Monday, June 29, 2009


This past week has been filled with wonderful Haydenisms!

On Wednesday, I had my hair done, bringing back my curls for the first time since Hayden was just a wee baby. When I picked up Hayden up from school that afternoon, he looked at me all wide-eyed, pointed to my hair, and said "Pitty hair mummy."
Then burst into tears and threw himself to the ground crying "I don't like your pitty hair!"

Over the weekend, we camped out at my parent’s house while Adam enjoyed his birthday weekend in Ottawa. The stage was set for his honest observations.

Hayden: Poppa, I have a baby in my tummy. A wittle baby.
Poppa: Oh really? What does mummy have in her tummy?
Hayden: Mummy has a wittle baby too.
Then he cocked his head to the side and looked at my dad thoughtfully.
Hayden: Poppa – you have a big baby in your tummy!

Gran: I’m going to go and get washed up now.
Hayden (looking at me): Gran’s dirty?
Me (laughing): Yup buddy, Gran needs to go and get washed and dressed.
Hayden follows Gran into the washroom and lifts her nightshirt.
Hayden: Get naked now Gran. Take your clothes off.

Gran: Come and give me a hug Hayden. Poppa and I will be gone when you get up from your nap.
Hayden: Sowwy Gran, I too busy.

Me: Okay buddy, time to close your eyes and go to sleep.
Hayden (with a pout): You sleeping upstaiws mummy?
Me: No baby, I’m going to sleep in this bed with you.
Hayden: Weally? I like that.

You just can’t help but love him….

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This week I've had not one, not two, but three people at work tell me that I've started waddling.

Last night as I made me way down the lane to bring in the recycling boxes, I looked back to see Adam on the porch with a crooked smile on his lips. When I asked what he was smirking about he just replied "You really are pregnant."

Only 13 weeks or three months left to go!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A vision of things to come?!

On Saturday, we packed up the car and drove to Cobourg to visit my new niece, Rachael. Born only two days after Petra, we hadn't had a chance to meet her and say congratulations to her parents. I was a little leery of bringing our tiny tornado into the mix so we coached him a little on how to be gentle and quiet with tiny babies.

The visit started predictably enough with Hayden and his cousin Aurora screaming round in giant loops from the living room through the kitchen and back again. Both completely oblivious to the baby and to parental warnings, they had a blast reconnecting.

What surprised me was how mobile and pain-free Virginia was after her c-section delivery! You'd never know that she was only a few weeks post-partum - she looked fabulous and was moving around the house without even a slight grimace. Seems that my labour nightmare was actually a god-send for her!

After lunch, we all settled in the living room to chat. Hayden, having worn himself out doing laps of the main floor, plunked himself beside me to inspect baby Rachael. "I want to hold her," he pronounced. I looked to Virginia to gage her reaction and she nodded with a smile (must be a second-time mother)!

Well didn't Hayden sit for nearly half an hour cuddling Rachael and "protecting" her from her big sister, Aurora. He gently kissed and stroked her head, patted her belly, pointed out all her tiny features to me, and encouraged me to touch her feet.

Seeing Hayden in this calm, gentle state just melted me and gave me hope for when our little bundle arrives in September. I can only hope that he feels the same tender love and protectiveness for his own little brother or sister. Tornado turned summer breeze....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mission compromised!

Apparently Hayden and I are more alike than I ever imagined.

Last night, when Adam left to play his weekly baseball game, Hayden and I got down to the business of crafting his father's day present. We worked in a colourful, sloppy rainbow - both of us partially naked to reduce the amount of laundry - for about an hour and a half. I think we were both pretty happy with the results, both the craft and Hayden's new technicolour torso. (Man, I wished I'd thought to snap some pictures, but I was too busy trying to prevent him from touching the new micro-suede sofa!)

As we put the masterpieces up to dry, I explained to Hayden that these were a big surprise for daddy and we couldn't tell him what we did tonight. It was a secret - shhhh! Hayden nodded sagely. I gave him a bath, washed the remnants from my own hands and arms and then tucked him into bed. Again, I reminded him that he couldn't tell daddy about his pretty gift for three more sleeps, and then we'd surprise him in bed on Sunday. He agreed with a grin and snuggled into bed with his six stuffy friends and one big plastic truck.

Adam arrived home not five minutes after Hayden had gone to bed. As soon as Hayden heard the front door open, he began calling for Adam to come upstairs.

And what did he say to Adam the minute he saw him? "Guess what daddy! Mummy and I made you a special secret present! I painted my hands!"

*sigh* I can't blame him. I've never been able to keep a secret either!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Confessions of a pregnant woman

I, Lucy, do solemnly hang my head in shame and confess to the following pregnancy induced 'crimes' and/or morally bereft acts:
  1. Once I'm finally home for the day and put my feet up I'm very reluctant to get off the couch. Hayden has been acting as my fetcher to bring me the phone, my cup, and anything else that's out of reach.
  2. I suck at taking prenatal vitamins. I probably only remember three times a week if I'm lucky.
  3. I only drink about 4 cups of fluid a day. I've always been a camel and find it hard to drink unless I'm actually thirsty.
  4. I have not shaved my legs in over a month.
  5. I fell asleep in the bath tub last week.
  6. I allow myself one nutritionally-void snack every day (usually a chocolate bar or a handful of chips).
  7. I haven't done a lick of exercise in six months.
  8. It's been nearly a month since Adam and I did the deed.

It's so empowering to just write these things out loud. My mortal sins of pregnancy, as they were!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Birthing from within

My family thinks I’m crazy and kidding myself. My friends think I’m brave. My doula and midwives think that I have the strength I need to get the job done. I think I’m going to push every limit of my mind and body in order to become a stronger woman and to experience something ancient and miraculous.

I’m planning to have a drug-free, natural childbirth.

I think it’s amazing how that one statement can elicit such wildly different reactions.

On one end of the spectrum are my mother and sister. They both openly mock my choice to try and go drug-free. Mum says she’s done it naturally and by c section and felt no affection or desire to repeat the former. My sister reminds me of how painful my last birth was and questions my ability and sanity in coping without readily available pain relief.

On the flip side sit my doula and my midwives. All give me quiet, unwavering confidence that if this is my choice, they have utmost confidence that I can achieve my goal. They have the skills and knowledge to guide me through the journey that centuries of women before me have travelled.

In the depths of my mind, I hear and validate both sides.

With Hayden, I coped quite well with contractions until the Pitocin was started and I was forced to lay flat on my back so that Hayden’s heart could be continually monitored. After the drugs took hold, I was consumed with the pain and ferocity of the contractions. So yes, I know how much labour can hurt. I laboured with those drug-fortified labour pains for six hours unmedicated. Then I begged for an epidural to release me from labour’s grip.

The liberal, granola part of my brain reminds me that this time will be different. This time I will have the unwavering support of my doula (a very good friend), two midwives, my mother and my husband. The experts among my support team know different positions and techniques to cope with the increasing pain. They know how to naturally encourage my body to work with the contractions to help the baby to descend. And they know how to guide those I love to provide comfort and encouragement when I need it.

I’ve been reading book after book on natural childbirth to prepare myself for what is to come. I am now confident that with my team and my newfound knowledge, I can do this. I’m still unsure of why I’ve chosen this path. It’s hard to describe, but it just feels like the right thing to do. What I was meant to do. That it will in some way heal me and make me stronger.

Testing myself and pushing my personal limits is something I’ve always done – from staying a straight A student in school to learning how to fly a glider to sleeping outside in an igloo in the dead of winter. But it’s been a long time since I’ve purposefully pushed my limits. I think perhaps this little bird is yearning to stretch her wings again. To look suffering and pain in the face and say I’m better than you! Wish me luck.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Welcome to the world Petra!

This weekend, my sister welcomed a baby girl into the world. Little Petra Olivia defied all baby pools and arrived eight days after her due date. I know it doesn’t sound remarkable as many babies are born past term, but Petra had threatened to come at 34 weeks. Ang was on strict bed rest to prevent her early arrival and we were all expecting baby’s arrival weeks ago.

It just goes to show that babies have their own schedules and their own agendas. Little Petra has shown us that there’s nothing predictable about babies, labour, or childbirth!

She’s gorgeous and looks just like her dad – dark, curly hair, big blue eyes, giant hands and feet! Despite her size, 8lbs, 6ozs., she was a much easier delivery than her brother and Ang only had to push for 15 minutes. (We should all be so lucky!)

I brought Gage to the hospital to see his newborn sister just hours after she arrived. The moment I walked into the room I was overcome by emotion and burst into tears. I’m not sure if it was the tranquil scene or the reminder of what my own future holds, but it was incredibly touching to see those siblings interact for the first time and to see my sister in all her birthing glory. It definitely made me excited for my own impending delivery.

Everyone is home now and doing great. Petra is a nursing champ and hasn’t stopped since she left the womb. She’s a strong one – in will and body (she must get that from her Auntie Lucy).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pregnancy can be cruel

Morning sickness in the second trimester sucks. Being nauseous while a little ninja practices their twirls, kicks and punches next to your rolling gut is simply awful. I have a new respect for the women in my life who have lived through this (Ang and Dana - I'm talking to you!). Ugh.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The wisdom of carnies

This past weekend, a carnival rolled into our end of town. All weekend I hummed and hawed over whether to take Hayden or complete the mountain of chores at home. When a kindly old man gave us a free sheet of tickets at breakfast, the scales tipped and Hayden and I dashed off to the fair before nap time.

The first ride we came to was the merry-go-round. Hayden pulled on my hand and pointed to every horse that galloped by as we waited our turn in (a thankfully very short) line. Once we got through the gate, Hayden carefully chose his horse with the concentration of a seasoned jockey. I hoisted him on the horse and stood beside him, watching the smile widen across his face.

As the ride began, Hayden's grip tightened and the smile spread right up into his eyes. It dawned on me at that moment that this was Hayden's first ever carnival ride...and his daddy wasn't there to witness how much joy it brought him. The reality mixed with my overabundance of hormones left me with tears streaming down my face as we spun in circles. Crazy preggo meet touching first childhood experience.

We left the merry-go-round with a spring in our steps and toured the rest of the carnival. Hayden was drawn to all the large, vomit-inducing rides like the twirling strawberries and the drop zone. When he set his eyes on the giant ferris wheel, I knew I had to compromise. Amazingly, we both enjoyed it. Hayden would point out the "too fast for mummy" Matterhorn ride every time we reached the top. Clearly this child has his father's need for speed. I was beginning to think that I was holding him back.

Lately, Hayden has been growing in leaps and bounds developmentally. Every time he tries to master a new skill (potty training, sleeping in a big boy bed), he does it almost flawlessly and with much less prodding than I anticipated. Keeping his advancements in mind, I decided to loosen the baby reigns a bit. Hayden had been pushing to ride the "dragon" - a mini coaster built just for kids under 6. Given that I couldn't ride with him, I'd written it off. But in an effort to keep from holding my son back from experiencing life, I relented.

Hayden JUST graced the minimum height restriction. As I sat him in the seat, he grinned back at me, gripping the safety bar for dear life. I bit my lip and reminded him to hold on tight and not stand up. Then I pointed to where I'd be standing and left my baby in the hands of the carnies.

As the ride started with a jolt, Hayden's face just crumpled. By the time he came around the first corner, he was wailing. Three times I had to watch my son's panic stricken face rumble past me. By the time the ride slowed to a stop, I was crying almost as hard as he was. I raced to pull him from the seat of terror and he clung to me almost as hard as I gripped him.

We sat on a nearby bench, both of us in tears. Hayden turned to me and sobbed "Too fast mummy. Dragon was too fast for me!" I hugged him harder and said I was sorry about a dozen times. My mind beating itself up over letting my toddler get on a scary carnie ride by himself. A few long minutes later, with an offer of a hamburger, his traumatic experience was forgotten and the tears dried.

It was the first time I gave in to myself to let Hayden do something I felt was too much for him. The first time I pushed my little bird out of the safety of my nest. He wasn't hurt, wasn't scarred for life (I hope), and yet I beat myself up over it all night. I half expected him to wake up with nightmares of the terrible dragon that night. But he didn't.

It was a learning experience for us both. For me, I learned that Hayden's first times are not always going to be magical moments and I should expect some bumps, bruises and tears. For Hayden, he learned that sometimes mummy says no for a reason and, hopefully, that there are some things better left to the big kids.

Who knew a carnival would hold such important life lessons.