Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Funny Angela

My friend Angela sends me forwards All. The. Time. Now usually that annoys me, (read do NOT send me forwards), but Ange's are always funny. Sometimes they're movies, some stories, some pictures. I save them up in my inbox until I have a longer period of time at the computer and then I sit here and read them all in one shot and laugh until I pee. I really should get one of those rubber mat things that go under office chairs. I read one today and it made me laugh in the 'I've so been there and wanted to do this' kinda way. See if you can relate:

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes,looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?" She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?" "Yes," was his incredulous reply. She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."
I don't write that as a slam on any man or anything, but just as an ode to that 'invisible mommy' feeling that is so succinctly expressed in it's sarcasm, but not worth trading anything for!
Have you hugged a mom today?

Monday, October 23, 2006


Upon reading the title of my post you are probably picturing me in pj's with crazy hair and not having showered in days just a mess of mommyness.

But I'm not. It's simply the name of the Youth Retreat Nick was at this weekend. He left on Friday after work and returned just in time for Amazing Race on Sunday night. The girls and I were all by ourselves for two whole days. And the hardest part, not being able to make a slurpee run at 11:30pm when I REALLY wanted one.

Isabella continues on in a sort of rough way making the transition to big sister. She cried at her gated door for about half an hour, (on and off), and then decided all was all right and climbed into bed. It was quite hard for me to sit in the next room, but I was feeding Brooklyn and couldn't just get up and tend to Belle. I think it worked out for the best. I sure got showered in hugs the next morning.

We made our first outing as 'the-mom-with-two-kids-under-two' which also seems to be known as 'brave', 'crazy', 'ambitious', and whatever people are thinking when they roll their eyes at me. We hit the grocery store and ventured into Brampton, (the city between us and Toronto basically), to find a Michaels to buy baby announcement/thank you supplies. Brooklyn slept through the whole event and Isabella only got kinda cranky around nap time. I am thinking about starting a petition to Michaels. Their carts are not wide enough to fit a car seat in. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm just wondering if I need to send my petition to head office or just my local store.

I had folks over to watch XMen 3 and then visited with my Aunt and Grandparents and then had the same folks over to watch Amazing Race on Sunday. I even made and iced a carrot cake that tasted good!!

We had a good weekend, but it was constant. I'm sure looking forward to when Brooklyn sleeps in her own bed for chunks. That happens around her third birthday right? (I jest I jest).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

One week.

Today was Brooklyn's one week check up at the doctor's. In many ways it feels like this last week has flown by, but in other ways it feels like this is how our life has always been. That Brooklyn has always been here. She is doing splendid. She is weighing in at 3.2 kg and is 34cm long. (We saw the resident at her check-up and I think she missed the part of her training where they tell you mothers know things in pounds and inches, just kidding she's a swell doc). All of her reflexes are doing great and she peed all over the scale. Wonderful. It was such a relief for me to hear that she's back to her birth weight, or at least that's assumed as most babies lose weight first. Weight gain was a huge struggle with Belle and it makes me feel so much relief to know that things are going along swimmingly in that arena. I did tell a little white lie when she asked if Brooklyn was being fed every three hours, I said she was. And it's true that if she's awake every three hours she gets fed. But on Monday night she slept two 5 hour stretches and on Tuesday night she slept for 8 hours straight! Of course then on Wednesday night she woke up every hour, so it all balances out! It's fun and yet strange how I did this journey such a short time ago but it's all brand new again. I don't think I'll ever get to say 'you're exactly like your sister', and I'm totally okay with that because they're unique people and that is my favorite part.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Camel's back.

You know that expression "the hair that broke the camel's back". I think I have the verbiage screwed up, so please comment and let me know what it actually is.

And even though I have it messed up, I know you know what I mean. I had decided a while ago that I wanted to exclusively pump in order to feed Brooklyn, but I had thought I would try breastfeeding the traditional way first and see how it went and then re-evaluate in a couple of weeks or so. But Brooklyn is just like her sister. Wide awake, smiling, laughing even and then you hook her up to the boob and she's asleep quicker than most teenagers. I have never had such rock hard boobs in my life. I started to think pumping was going to be happening a little earlier than planned.

Then at church on Sunday I excused myself from the service to go and feed her in the foyer. As soon as I sat down the dad of a guy we're friends with sat down next to me. Now I'm not exactly fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes, or the current breastfeeding attire I own, so I knew that as soon as I unzipped my sweater he would get to know me, all of me, a lot better than he wanted. After a few awkward moments he finally got on and moozeyed off. I got Brooklyn latched on and we were just sitting there listening to the sermon doing our thing. Along comes an elderly lady, one who knows me but I do not know her name. She says the usual congratulations and asks how I'm feeling. I assume she is going to move on. Nope, she pulls the blanket that I have covering Brooklyn right off so she can get a good luck at our little bundle. What the heck!

Pumping is definitely for me. I'm transparent, but there are parts of me I don't want anyone to see.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Great Debate

Here is the best close up of Brooklyn that I have so far. I haven't taken that many pictures thus far. (Which I must correct because I don't want to have a zillion pictures of Belle and a handful of the others.) Anyway.

Now that people besides Nick and I have seen her The Great Debate has begun. Does she look like me or Nick? Most everyone has said me, and a few have already commented on the striking resemblance to Isabella.

But here's what I think. She looks like Nala. That little lion cub in The Lion King. Her eyes are just almond enough to touch the bridge of her nose in the right spot and come down to that little crease at the end of her nose between her lips. Very feline features. She does have the same lips at Belle which I also think are a bit cat like. As far as animal resemblances it could be much worse! I think she's a very cute cat.

I don't know the expression

In the last few days there have been so many things that I have felt that I just don't know the appropriate words to express it. Nick just called me from work to see how my day was going and although it's been full of a disobedient toddler, poop, puke and a consistent wondering of if I'm doing things right, it has been one of the best days ever. I am just so happy to be here at home with my girls doing the little things in life.

We have been so blessed by our Church. Every night since Brooklyn was born someone has shown up at our door around 5:00pm with dinner. Homemade Mac & Cheese, lasagna, corn chowder. And salads and desserts. We have been eating so well and haven't had to lift a finger. How great is that?! I'm spending the girl's afternoon nap writing thank you notes and baking thank you cookies and I am content. So very content.

And I think that all things baby are going well. I do feel like I've forgotten virtually everything I learned with Belle, but Brooklyn has only had one unexplained crying episode and she's nursing like a champ. It's just amazing to me that I have this little family and I'm falling in love all over again every morning!

And I am so very grateful for this guy. He took some sick days this weekend to take care of us girls. And man did he ever step up to the plate. I did virtually nothing all weekend. He served dinner and cleaned up afterwards. He did all the laundry and kept the house tidy. He answered the phone every time it rang and fielded all the calls. He played with Isabella and cuddled with Brooklyn. I was sad when he went to work today, knowing we wouldn't be spending every minute togther again, but it also makes the day better to wait for him to walk through the door!

You know all those feelings you have and there are words to describe them, but they're just not enough. It's one of those days.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Brooklyn's Birthday

Here is the birth story, at least the best of what I can remember. There is about an hour that is
totally fuzzy, as you'll come to understand when I tell the story.

On Thursday October 12, 2006 we headed to Georgetown Hospital to be induced. I called at 7:45 to make sure there was a bed for me and they assured me there was, it was going to be a slow day. So we began preparing to go. We arrived at about 9:00 and had to do the admissions stuff and finally got to the Maternity Ward. Unfortunately we had missed my doctor's morning rounds and would have to wait for a break in his patient load at the office before he could come see me.

He arrived at about 10:30 and did an internal exam. I had already progressed to 3 cm all by myself! How great I thought, that's more than my body did on it's own the first time around, maybe I wont need as much intervention. Our original plan had been to begin with a gel that would thin my cervix, then move to breaking my water, and finally to oxytocin should nothing else work. I was on board with the plan. However, since I was already at 3 cm we skipped ahead and he broke my water. Sweet. He would return with his resident at about 12:30 to see where we were at and go from there. Dr. Sutherland predicted the baby would be born by 5:00pm.

I guess things at the office were busy, we didn't see Dr. Sutherland again until almost 2 and when he came back I was only at 4 cm. I did my best to hide my disappointment, and we decided to go right to the oxytocin drip. I hate IV's. I mean hate them. I almost passed out getting this one done! But more than I hate IV's I wanted to meet my child, so we got through. Nick and I had brought the portable DVD player and we began watching movies. We were in the middle of Hitch and I was feeling contractions on a regular basis, but they weren't strong. Our sweet, sweet nurse Dawn decided to tell us in a sweet, sweet way that this was going to be a long day. Again I tried to hide my disappointment. At about 4:00 a lady came into the ward. She had been there earlier and they sent her home telling her it would be a while. When she arrived she was 6 cm, and she was not quiet from the minute she got there. Trying to concentrate on our movie got really hard as the "Lord Jesus save me, save me!!" from the next room never seemed to stop. And that's when I conformed to reliving that Friends episode. You know the one where Rachel is in labor with Emma and everyone and their dog comes in to have a baby, and does before her?!

As this lady's contractions got stronger and she got louder, my own began to pick up and it started to get intense for me. I thought, here we go, sweet! The other lady had her baby by 4:30, and she happened to also be Dr. Sutherland's patient. He got there in time to be the one to yell "Okay, push now!". Once she had been taken care of him and his resident came to check on me. Ofcourse the minute they get their fingers all up in my girlie parts I start having another contraction and I'm trying to just breathe. Both of them are feeling around in there and then they compare notes. "I'm thinking 7" says the resident. "Yeah, about that" says Sutherland, "it's more like 5, maybe 6."

And that's when I started to lose it. All of a sudden the contractions were about 200% more intense and I had gone a cm beyond the choice to have a shot of morphine, and refused the epidural. Oh, and the laughing gas isn't available today, they've decided not to offer it at the time being! I started to think, what have I done? What have I done?

I was feeling pretty low and decided I couldn't just lay there, so I asked Nick to help me sit up. He did ofcourse. Once I was sitting the contractions got even worse and were coming one on top of the other. I started to cry when they happened, not regular crying, that ugly sob crying. And I was feeling tingly all through my limbs. Once I could catch my breath I asked the nurse if the tingliness was normal. She got pale, no she said it's not. Turns out I was hyperventilating. So she held one hand and Nick held the other and all three of us breathed in unison for a few moments until I was no longer tingly. Crises averted!!

Things continued to get worse and I started telling Nick I couldn't do it. I was so sorry. In all honesty I had placed my hopes in the laughing gas. I knew that could get me through, but without it I was lost. The nurse suggested we check we're I was at. So I had to lay down again and she did an internal check. Just a lip of cervix was left to dilate!

And that's when things got nuts. And a freak snow storm began. I'm not joking, although this picture might not show it very well. I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that Friday the Thirteenth hadn't started yet! (This picture was after when there is snow on the ground in hopes of seeing it, it looked like someone was shaking a snow globe way too fast at this point in the story.)

Dr. Sutherland and his resident had assumed that I would be a while still and had headed back to the clinic to attend to their patients. So he was not in the building. A call was placed to him to let him know we were on the threshold. The nurse, who has been a Labor and Delivery nurse for her entire career, and is very good at her job, got really pale and very quiet. Suddenly she called for another nurse. Her name was Julie and she had done our NST.

Julie came in and started to feel around, it's now 5:25. And I don't really remember the next bit. Nick was standing above my head behind the bed because he's tall enough to reach over it, he was holding both my hands over my head and I was squeezing the living daylights out of them. He was murming into my ear to remember to breathe slowly and I had almost gotten back in control when this feeling started in my shoulders, ran all the way down my spine and I screamed- "I just can't stop I have to push now, I can't do this!". And push I did. The nurses encouraged me I could do it and that I had to stop breathing and focus on the pushing part, oh yeah, I forgot! I honestly don't know how Brooklyn was born, because I swear I didn't do a good job of pushing, I never felt like I got back in the driver's seat after this point.

Dawn raised the back of the bed to a full 90 degree angle and Julie raised it up. No time to remove the bottom part or anything. Each one grabbed an ankle and shoved it under my hip and I continued to scream through the most intense pain of my life thinking for sure I was going to die and then I hear, "Okay that's the baby's head, stop pushing." and then "Okay push, but slowly, slowly."

I'm still not sure what's harder, stopping pushing or pushing slowly. And Brooklyn was here at 5:40pm. Delivered by Nurse Julie.

Brooklyn emerged from the womb with her right hand up against her right cheek and the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times. She didn't cry. She was quite still. They placed her on my chest and asked me to rub her vigorously to try and get her going, as they had to catch up with what had just happened. (Later Dawn told me that I had taken her by surprise, she had never seen the last 4cm go that fast!).

We got Brooklyn breathing and Nick and I just stayed still crying. I had totally freaked him out with all my screaming, freaked myself out in fact, but I guess it proves that you just do what you need to do to get through. And I'm quite proud of myself for getting through with no pain medication whatsoever. I honestly did think I was going to die, but I'm still here and the thought was fleeting enough to have us already anticipating another baby.
Lovely Dr. Sutherland then returned to the room. The placenta also needed time to catch up to my crash course in delivering a child, it took about 5 more minutes before it let go of my uterus and was delivered. Then I got stitched up, (the tear isn't bad, but is a result of her head and hand coming out together.)

The nurses asked me if I was okay and then they all had to leave. There was utter crazziness in the Maternity Ward while I was there. It went from being a quiet day where I was the only patient, to delivering 7 babies in 12 hours! We had to wait quite a while before they got back to weigh Brooklyn and begin moving me over to the recovery side.

I had expressed to Dr. Sutherland my inability to do well in a hospital and asked that I be allowed to go home as soon as possible. I'm so glad I did because I once again got the nosiest roomie, whom I swear knows all of Georgetown, and joined me after an unplanned C-section at 2:30am. I was more than ready to come home by the 11:00 release time.

We're all doing good. I have only had a few Advil to deal with any discomfort, and am only just now beginning to feel the tiredness of my muscles. Nick is finally sleeping and has taken sick days for the weekend so he can spend it doting on his girls. Brooklyn is sleeping right now, and we've begun that journey of learning cries and breastfeeding. I think Belle is a little thrown off. She's got some adjusting to do, but from the recent transitions in her life I know she'll do so more quickly than we think and with flying colors.

Well, I think I hear some quiet cries, must be time for a night lunch!

I lied.

In my last post I led you all to believe I didn't know when our baby would be born.
I lied.
I was induced yesterday and we are now four!
I will post the story and pictures after I have a nap, but for now I'll let you know that
Brooklyn Adia Franks
Born: October 12, 2006 @5:40pm
6 lbs 13 oz
21 inches long

Has joined our family. We're thrilled, but next time there won't be a baby pool cuz you guys were way more right than I expected, (an overdue girl), and we will be trying for another as Nick needs a son!
Ciao for now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Officially 41 weeks.

Well I am officially 41 weeks pregnant. How fun is that? The latest I'll be let go overdue would be to have me induced on Monday. I got the times of my doctor's appointment mixed up today and showed up at 1:00 instead of 1:30. The nurses take their lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 so Isabella and I sat in the waiting room, had a nice little snack and then read some magazines. I would be lying if I said the "You're still pregnant?" comments weren't getting to me a little bit, but for some reason it's like 10 times worse when the nurses of the doctor's office walk in en masse and exclaim, "Why are you here?". Don't they know it's just because I like their sunny dispositions? Anyway, I guess it confirms that my spiritual gift is Hospitality!! I had been tiding myself over waiting for news of my friend Charity who is expecting her second. She was due on September 25 and I had not yet heard from her, so I thought 'If she can make it, I can make it!'. Only today I got an email saying her hubby had my wrong email address and their son was actually born September 24, in such a quick and easy manner all was done by paramedics in their living room while their toddler slept! Now there's nothing to wait for! Except of course news on Baby D , whom I will never meet, but I am just as excited about!! I know I can't be pregnant forever, but being induced really takes the fun out of it! I'll hold tight to my doctor's belief that once I'm in labor it is going to go quickly, I think that will be enough to get me through.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Feeling like a Dork.

Waiting for our new bundle of joy to arrive has pretty much consumed life at our house. Every time Nick walks into a room he looks at me and says "Are you in labor yet?". And everytime I politely tell him that if he asks me one more time I will hurt him. He knows it's an empty threat because he keeps asking and I keep gritting my teeth and saying politely, "Really, I'll let you know."

While waiting for Belle to be born we got really impatient. When I was 5 days overdue they put me on the list for an induction. I then had to wait until a bed was open in the hospital I had chosen to deliver at. It took 7 more days, and each one sucked big time. Getting up in the morning hoping against hope that the call would come and going to bed each night without it was hard. But about 5 days into the wait, (so I was 10 days overdue by then), we decided to go in for an NST. I wasn't totally worried as the babe was still moving around, but I was secretly hoping that merely showing up in the hospital would be the miracle needed for a bed to be there for me. No such luck. We went home, we crawled under the covers, we bawled. Just the feeling of total helplessness, there really was nothing I could do to bring this baby into the world. I felt like I was a broken woman, like there was honestly a part of me that didn't work right.

So I was determined to not go into the hospital unless I KNEW I was in labor, or for a scheduled induction. I don't like feeling like I'm broken. But today I woke up and there was absolute stillness in my womb. The last three weeks has been a 24 hour performance of Cirque De Soleil in there, but this morning nothing. And when I started to poke and prod this little one hoping to spring it to action, all I got was a little half hearted nudge. I started to get sad. I started to think I really am broken and this time it has cost a life. So, I swallowed all my pride and we called around to find someone to hang out with Belle and went in for the NST. This time we really just wanted assurance that our baby was okay, no hidden motivations. I got into the bed and they hooked me all up and had me drink some juice. I forgot that the test took an hour. My doctor would be coming to check on me and he was en route from the Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto. So we just waited.

It was such a relief the minute they hooked up the fetal monitor and I could hear that little heartbeat. The baby would move and the heartbeat would become faint as it's heart moved away from the monitor and Nick would freak a bit. But we knew everything was all right. It took just that few moments to let me know all was okay, but I had to stay there for the hour. I instantly felt guilty. Guilty for calling my doctor away from a genuinely sick child, guilty for having someone interrupt their saturday to look after Belle, guilty for having Nick go through the emotions he was experiencing. The baby's movements still aren't as "circussy" as I have been feeling, but my doctor assured me that the strip the computer emitted was definitely looking like Cirque De Soleil and it wont be long until our little one is here.

I'm still totally sure I'll be induced, and after my doctor's appointment on Tuesday I'll know when. It is still so hard to wait, but it's nice to know that everything is still okay. And what a great weekend to be reminded of how thankful I am for the opportunity to be a mom, and a wife, and to experience the even not-so-happy times of pregnancy so I can be there for others in hard times.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Cutie Bear

I had a visit with my Aunt on Friday last week and she brought Isabella a few gifts she had forgotten to mail when we lived in Alberta. One was this totally cute rain suit. So far she's only worn the jacket, but it's adorable. Too adorable not to share.

We woke up this morning to rain. I love the rain and one of my favorite things in Ontario is the plethora of thunderstorms. From about 6:00am to 6:45am there was thunder, lightning and the sky was so dark you would have sworn it was midnight not sunrise. The craziest part though is that it had only been about 14 degrees yesterday and colder through the night. I didn't know you could have thunderstorms unless they followed an incredibly hot/humid day. It has been raining all day so far. Sometimes just little spitting, but we've had one more bout of thunder and I'm hoping for more.

It's too bad we're already sick, cuz if we weren't she would sure be wearing that whole suit and jumping in puddles! Instead we'll just cuddle on the couch and watch tv.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Well today was week 40's check up and nothing is happening folks, nothing at all. Apparently the problem isn't getting the baby in there it's getting it to come out. I didn't meet with my doctor today, instead I met his resident and she was very nice. I had been practicing my speech of why I needed to be induced on Friday night, a mere 2 days overdue and had spent all day trying to find the courage to fight the fight. But walking into a new doctor caused me to loose all my nerve and, you've guessed it folks there most likely will not be a baby here until sometime between October 14-18. Immediately following my appointment I drowned my sorrows in a pint of Slurpee. Then I came home and cried for an hour while watching Trading Spaces. Nick just sat there next to me looking completely mistified as to what to do. I didn't care. I let that snot run down my face and onto my chest, I mean something had to glisten-I have definitely lost my pregnant glow. I would post a picture for you all, but I officially do not fit in any of my maternity clothes and so I look like stretch marked trailer trash, and I prefer not to share that. I think when I wear Nick's sweat pants to church on Sunday no one will come up to me and say "Oh, I hoped I wouldn't see you today." or "You're not supposed to be here-there's supposed to be an announcement about you today.". Yep, those are actual comments from last Sunday. Fun. And the thing is I'm not doing anything else to post about. I usually sit on my couch and scrapbook at my coffee table, but my belly now prohibits that. I get winded and completely exhausted merely picking up Isabella's toys after she has gone to bed. I think this child has to be about 30cm long because the only semi comfortable position to be in is laying down completely flat on my side, but only for a short time until my side begins to ache, and then I roll to my back until my kidneys mutiny and then I try the other side, and then back again. Seriously. Last night I sat in bed trying to read for a while, (oh yeah I forgot to mention we also all have severe head colds), as my head was going to explode whenever I lay down and the pain of those Braxton Hicks seriously had me thinking I was in labor. Nope. Just the fact that this kid can simultaneously be in the birth canal and my esophagus. Again, fun times. It's almost enough to make me never do it again, almost.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The $64,000,000 Question

Nope. No baby yet!