Saturday, December 25, 2010

Life is Good...Part Two

What a day...

It was pure magic, from the moment my little one opened his eyes and smiled up at me from his crib, to the minute I put his tired little head down for the night. My baby's first Christmas. Wow.

After a hearty Christmas breakfast of cereal and fruit, we began the daunting task of opening the many presents that lay under the tree for him. From grandparents to Mommy and Daddy to Santa Claus, Mason was definitely spoiled. He seemed to love each gift that was shoved onto his lap for ripping open, and patiently posed for a million photos. And, of course, we discovered that the most expensive toy in the world doesn't compete with the intrigue and fun that a Christmas ribbon brings. Mason had more fun with the tissue and bows than some of the trinkets he got!

After a "pretend nap" - during which he pretended to sleep but was really rolling around in his crib, giggling (as witnessed on the video monitor...), we hauled him up for Round Two of gift opening. Yes - he had so many presents we had to divide the opening into two parts. But when the dust cleared and the last bit of gift wrap was ripped away, it was all too much for our little prince and, though I'm sure he didn't want to leave the action, he actually fell soundly asleep for a little afternoon nap.

The evening brought a visit to his Auntie's for a big family Christmas dinner - where he was once again spoiled. How could one tiny little person have so many toys?

My Christmas prayer today was that my baby boy always feel this much love - and that he is always surrounded by family who will care for him and shelter him. He is, by far, the greatest gift that I have ever been given. No gift receipts necessary. He's my special edition, priceless treasure that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Merry Christmas, Mason. We love you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Tears

My baby crawled for the first time today. And after I ran to get the camera so that I could record this precious moment, and then shot about five minutes worth of footage, I sat beside him and cried.

Happy tears.

My heart was so overwhelmed with love for him at that moment - it's indescribable. I know what you're thinking - how cheesy! And yes - I totally agree! Those happy tears took me by total surprise. But in these past nine months ( God, yes, nine months...doesn't time fly??) I have had a lot of these moments when I burst into happy tears spontaneously, my heart filled with joy and amazement.

This is my son. This wonderful, amazing little creature, that smells of baby powder and lavender, who smiles and coos and kicks is my son.

Somedays, I have to shake myself to know that it's not a dream. Most days, I say a silent prayer of thanks to God for His gift. Everyday, I look into my baby's eyes and tell him how much I love him.

Life is good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Already!!

Where does the time go?

I can't believe that it's December already - and that I haven't posted in almost two months. Quite honestly, I have been beating myself up over that a bit lately. I get into these moods where I worry that I haven't documented Mason's life enough - haven't taken enough pictures, recorded enough in his baby journal, captured enough video footage. And then panic sets in when I realize that it'll all be over in a flash and he'll be one and I'll be back at work, missing the milestones as they appear. I don't know if these tumbled-together thoughts are hormonally-driven or not...regardless, I hate feeling this way. I know I should be enjoying my time with him and putting less pressure on myself...but you know how it is...gotta be the perfect Mama, right?

Anyway, we have had a terrific winter and Mason has grown by leaps and bounds. Two weeks ago, he graduated from sitting in his Bumbo during mealtimes to sitting in a highchair. He looks so tiny in it. Love it. He's fascinated with the seatbelt. And sometimes he rests his head on the tray and sucks on the edge. But let me tell you - it's great having him in that highchair - especially when I am preparing his food or cooking dinner. I can pop a few toys on his tray and he sits nicely to least for a few minutes anyway!

Last week, he said "Mama" for the first time! Actually, it was more like "Mamamama". Now, granted, there is no assurance that he was using the word in reference to me (in fact, I'm sure he wasn't!) - but I loved hearing it all the same. Sigh. My little lovebug. The same week he learned how to clap his hands and he does it often now. Funny story: we were snuggling in bed together the night before last while I was watching the evening news, and a commercial came on for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. He watched it - and then began to applaud! This made DH laugh and laugh - "That's my boy!" he exclaims proudly. Could there be more testosterone?

We have embarked on our journey to find childcare for him for when I return to work next year. Ugh. I am really struggling with this. It hurts my heart to think of leaving him in a daycare or dayhome. I had found a local dayhome that specialized in caring for babies (taking 12 - 24 month olds), which I thought was a fantastic idea - until several people I spoke with balked at this, commenting that taking up to 8 babies (which is what they take) was far too much and that the two caregivers could not possibly look after all of those babies properly. Hmm...yes, good point. I was thinking more from the perspective of Mason having plenty of little ones his own age to play with...without recognizing that 8 babies in one spot was indeed quite a handful. Sigh.

So we have just begun looking into the possibility of hiring a nanny - but to be honest, I have no idea where to begin (*if anyone has any advice...I could really use some!!) I have heard a lot of horror stories about nanny agencies, so if at all possible, DH and I would like to screen and hire on our own. But what are the logistics behind having a nanny? What are we responsible for? Do we make deductions for income tax, CPP, etc.? Do we make sure they are licensed/bonded? Do I even know what I am talking about? No. So, please comment with info and help if you can...

Our little family is headed to Maui next week for a little rest and relaxation before Christmas...and I am SO excited! DH and I have birthdays one day apart, and every year we usually escape to the mountains for a romantic getaway. This year, however, DH suggested we take an actual trip, considering I am off and we won't get this opportunity again. So he asked where I wanted to go, I said "Maui" - and boom! We're off to Maui. Yippee!!

For those that still read this little blog - Happy Holidays. May your home and hearts be filled with magic and more love than you have every known. May the New Year bring every happiness, and may your families experience good health and good fortune. Thank you for being there...


Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Musings

Where do I even begin to outline all of the reasons that I am thankful this year?

Let's start with the obvious -

I am thankful for my little lovebug. It seems like a light-year ago that DH and I were yearning for a sweet-smelling, squirmy little baby to hold in our arms. And here we are - our hard-fought battle has been won and we are now busy changing diapers, singing nursery rhymes, mixing rice cereal and tickling toes. In all of the ways that we are thankful this year, we are most grateful that God answered our prayers and brought us our son. If we never received another gift for as long as we live, I think we would be okay - each day with our son is a gift to us now.

I am thankful for my husband. He is not perfect - and neither am I. But he is my rock. He is my best friend, the greatest daddy and a fine man. He makes my little boy's eyes light up just by walking into the room. He stood by and supported me through the darkest times of my life, always making me feel loved. I really am a lucky girl.

I am so very grateful for my family. My parents - where do I begin? They are amazing. They love me with their whole hearts - I feel it in everything that they do for me. They have encouraged me and helped me with so many things - I know that I can always count on them, and I can only hope that they feel the same way about me. My mom comes over once a week to help me give Mason one of his baths...this is their special bonding time. She saves up all of her special cuddles and snuggles for her littlest grandson. She never criticizes me, and always give fantastic advice. I couldn't do it without my parents - and especially my mommy.

My sister and her family are also important in my life and I am so glad that they are in it, My sister is my hero - she ran another marathon this weekend and though she did not make a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon (her goal), the mere fact that she trains hard, stays the course, and works toward this goal - no matter the pain - makes her an incredible woman. She has also always been there for me, and I love her for it.

There are some very special friends in my life that I am grateful for as well. These friends listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me and make my life so much richer.

I know that I don't always take the time to think about all of the things that I have, and especially in these last three years everything has seemed overshadowed by our struggles with infertiity. There have been good days, but so many bad...though now that Mason has joined our lives, everything seems so much better that even the bad days aren't that hard anymore.

It's been wonderful to share in Mason's first Thanksgiving. He sat with my sister during dinner and watched every forkful of food going into her mouth (something tells me he's going to be a good little eater!) It's going to be a goal of mine to make every holiday really special for surround him with the love of family...and create memories that will last him (and us!) a lifetime.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Half a Year...A Whole Lotta Love!

My baby turns 6 months old today....where does the time go?

Warning: This blog entry will be a bit "gushy"...yes, I am going to wax poetic about my beautiful, amazing baby boy. Please bear with me, for I am one proud mama...

There are countless ways that Mason brings joy into my life every single day.

In the mornings, I can often hear him babbling to himself happily in his crib (as he waits for me to fetch him, change him and give him breakfast) and it makes me smile. When I pop into his room, bend down beside his crib, peer at him through the slats and greet him, he always gives me the biggest grin. Ahh, my baby is morning person, through and through, and he always starts his days off with a great little attitude.

He is such a little chatterbox now - and lately, his favourite thing to do has been to give "raspberries". He will carry on (what is in his mind) a full conversation with you - he babbles away, pauses to look at you for a response, and then continues. If he is keeping you company while you do some of the more mundane things in life (like cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry) and he feels that you aren't acknowledging his chatter, he will grunt at you and look at you expectantly. Then, when you take the time to respond, he will beam.

Mason is a pro at rolling all around the ground. And when he is on his tummy, you can tell that he is trying hard to move/crawl. It won't be long now when he'll be motoring around...can't wait to see that happen.

He giggles at the cutest things. Like when you say "Mmmm..." or "Boo!" At first, he'll give you a smile...and if you continue with those sounds, he will give you a full-on, full-bellied giggle, that always ends with a squeal! The best giggle that I get is when I nuzzle his soft little neck and shower him with kisses....and oh, how I love to do that...

Mason has a blankie. And he loves it. He will suck on it, rub his little eyes with it, and hug it tight when he is tired. He likes to drape it over himself when he is nursing, and it comforts him when he is crying. He is my little Linus. There are days when we have his blankies all over the house...and when my lovebug is napping, all is quiet, and I am tidying up the place, I love to find his blankies draped here, there and everywhere. I will often hold the found treasures up to my nose and inhale deeply - oh, I just love the smell of my baby...

Mason is an amazingly content, easy baby. He's been sleeping 7 hours through the night since he was 3.5 months old...I know that we are lucky. He knows his nights from his days and is so good with the schedule we have him on. I always feel terribly guilty if I have to stray from it (if, for example, I am having lunch with friends or there is a playdate arranged...) But he seems adaptable, and it doesn't take him long to get him back on track.

Mason has been healthy thus far (...knock on wood). I thank God everyday for blessing us with a happy, healthy child. We leave for the Mayan Riviera tomorrow morning (...speaking of getting him off-schedule...) and I am hoping that his strong immune system carries him through this vacation, incident free.

Happy 6 month birthday, Mason. For a little guy who's only been around for half a year, you sure have brought a whole lotta love into our lives. You have touched our lives and enriched it in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine. Baby, I love you all the way to the moon - and back again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One...Part Two...

Man, I can't stop thinking about it.

DH and I had the chance to discuss things again last week, and we have decided that I will not be going for another IVF cycle in an effort to conceive a second child. When we look back at everything that it took to have our little Dim Sum, the realization of just how much we went through hits us. Because the main cause of our infertility was egg quality, it took a lot to create a healthy embryo - my poor response to stims, despite the extremely large dosages of drugs I had to inject, was so disappointing. And it's scary to think about the large amount of hormones and drugs that I had coursing through my system (especially estrogen, which I had copious amounts of during this last - successful - cycle). All of that takes such a toll - and with a baby at home to take care of, cycling would be extra difficult....and I want to be able to enjoy every single second with my son. I also want to be around for a long, long time to see my son grow into a man (I have heard that ovulation inductions using fertility drugs, as well as increased exposure to estrogens, are linked to an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancers, respectively). So no, no more IVF for us.

Despite the fact that AF has returned, my cycles are in no way regular yet. This month, I dug out my old friend, Mr. Clearblue Fertility Monitor, to use. Discovered that I ovulated on Day 17 (which is late for me...) and then AF arrived on Day 23. Crap. Obviously it will take a little while for things to balance themselves out again...and hopefully they will. Because au naturel will be the only means by which we will be trying for another little angel.

Does this make me sad? YES. I cuddle my little man everyday and wistfully hope that he gets to be a big brother. I stroke his cheek and will every minute to slow down so that I can enjoy every part of his "babyness". I watch my husband with him and wish that he could be an amazing daddy to more than one child. But at this point in our lives, having been so supremely blessed with our son, I couldn't ask for anything more.

So now I concentrate on making each day count with and for our son. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I will still know how damn lucky we are...because we have already won the lottery.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is "One" Really the Loneliest Number?

Right now, it's 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I am one-finger typing. My little lovebug is sitting on my lap, happily chewing on his hands and kicking his legs. Oh, there's an occasional spit-up or two as well...but he is content. Daddy is still asleep and Mommy is waiting for the washing machine to finish (loose diaper in the middle of the night = soaking wet sleepsack...which my son can't sleep without!) And when the house is quiet like this, my mind starts to wander to the one thing that has been troubling me of late...

What about #2?

Seems ridiculous to even think about this right now, given all of the problems we have had and the fact that our little one is only 4 and a half months old. I feel greedy even allowing the thought to enter my head. I feel as though I have no right to think about this, because unlike many others, I won my hard fought battle...with the ultimate prize...

But time slows down for marches on and on, in my case leaving its nasty imprint on my ovaries and eggs. For someone whose infertility issues are related to egg quality, time is an unwelcome entity.

DH and I have talked about it - he seems less concerned than I. While he's never actually said it aloud, I believe that he would be happy with having one child in our lives. He has said he's not sure if he wants to do another IVF - to see me go through it all again. He's told me not to obsess about getting pregnant again; to relax and take it one day at a time. He has said, "We never even thought we could be parents to one - but here we are. We should be happy." And it's not that I'm unhappy (oh, God, on the contrary...everyday that I look into my lovebug's eyes I feel more than happiness than I could ever imagine...). It's just that there is so much love in our little family that I want to be able to share it with another child. Is that selfish of me?

So here I am, wrestling with the pros and cons of having a one-child family. There are definitely some pros - more time and resources to spend on our little lovebug, which means exposure to so many more opportunities. But will he be lonely? Will he turn out spoiled? Is he going to turn into a little adult, incapable of relating to peers his own age? Will we have a hard time explaining to him why he can't have a little brother or sister?

In my mind, I know that I shouldn't be wasting my time worrying about this. Realistically, I truly should feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. I have one happy, healthy baby.

But this lurks in the recesses of my mind every now and then...

Wouldn't it be great if I had two?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Day

Yesterday was a special day for us. Last July 14th was the day that our sweet baby boy was conceived. It was a day filled with anxiety and fear, then joy and hope - we didn't know what to expect with the egg retrieval and, truth be told, I went in with low expectations so that I wouldn't once again be devastated. But on this day, one year ago, the embryologist told us that our eggs looked good. And then our baby was created.

A gal whose blog I used to follow called this day "Life Day" - the day that her baby was given life. This has always stuck with me - and now, here I am, celebrating our own life day with a beautiful four month old baby boy. I can't believe that it's been a year! It definitely seems like yesterday that we were on that rollercoaster...the ups and downs seemed neverending. But the end result was worth the tumultuous ride.

Mason continues to amaze us each day. He learned to roll over from his back to his front on Canada Day, while on a visit to his Granny and Grampa's in Kelowna. We had him sleeping in the Kidco Pea Pod (a travel bed that looks like a miniature tent) - and at the end of one of his afternoon naps, I found him face down on the carpet of the guest room at my in-laws'...he had rolled out of the tent!! Poor little guy was wailing and flailing his little arms...he has since learned to better control the rolling, and is just beginning to get the hang of rolling back onto his back. It has been a worrisome couple of weeks, though, with Mason rolling onto his tummy to sleep. The first couple of nights were pretty much sleepless for me - I was constantly waking up to check on him. But according to the many "experts" (read: Mommies) on "Dr. Google", there isn't anything to worry about - as long as the crib is empty of all blankets, bumper pads and toys. It seems that if a baby is old enough to roll, he is old enough to stay safe.

I love when he keeps me company during the day. My favourite thing to do is to place him in his Bumbo chair and situate him in the kitchen so that he can watch me cook. He coos and gurgles and we have really great conversations while I'm preparing dinner! He is such a little lovebug, and as time goes on and he becomes more interactive, I find myself falling more and more in love (if that is possible!)

Sigh. Happy Life Day, my sweetie. Although you don't know it, you have filled our lives with amazing sunshine and happiness. We love you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

3 Months!

Happy 3 month birthday, my little Dim Sum! You make Mummy so proud...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My LoveBug is Twelve Weeks Old!


Mason is twelve weeks old today. Hard to believe. These past three months have been so amazing - words can hardly describe them. I had heard from so many people that the first six weeks with a newborn is hell - and I can't say that I disagree. But along with that hell came so much love and happiness that the dark days were overshadowed. Then, when we finally got into a groove and everyone got used to each other, each day was a day of discovery (for both Mason and his parents!) He has taught us so many things - about patience and caring, and total, absolute, unconditional love...

Mason's finally reached the start of the "fun point" - he is smiling and cooing and gurgling in response to our interactions with him. He is a happy baby (for the most part...except during nap time!) and for that, we are grateful. And we know that there's more fun around the corner...

Our little guy is ready to move into his own room. Up until this point, we had him in a bassinette beside our bed, and it was so lovely (and comforting) to hear his little sighs and grunts throughout the night as he slept soundly. I'm going to miss hearing it all - even the sound of him unloading into his diaper!! And so will my dear husband; as a matter of fact, he said that other night that he was really going to miss having our son in our room, and that he knows he'll be running into Mason's bedroom to check on him every five minutes! This is a brand new kind of separation anxiety...

In other news, it would appear that my body is ready to make another baby... (hahahahahahaha...*picks self up off floor*). Good old AF showed up on June 1st, amid much confusion (isn't she supposed to stay away for the duration of my breastfeeding days?) My mum actually cautioned me to go on birth control now (again, hahahahahahahaha....) but my husband is thrilled. "We can start trying again!" he exclaimed happily. Um, honey - did someone forget that we are infertile? :)

A special message to all of my special cyberfriends that follow this humble little blog - happy spring! Whatever your circumstance, embrace this season as a time for renewal. Keep your faith. Hang in there. I am sending you hugs...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Five Fast Facts about....Mason!

Where do the days go?

I have a beautiful baby journal that I have yet to begin writing in. A blog that I haven't posted on in weeks. Feet that are screaming for a pedicure. A house that desperately needs tidying. Cheques that need depositing. And a husband that needs a little lovin'.

And all because of a little man named Mason.

Here are five fast facts about my little monkey -

1. He has the hiccups at least once a day. This was the way it was when he was in utero - I constantly felt the reverberation of hiccups in my tummy. Poor little thing - when he was littler, he couldn't hiccup and cry at the same time, so whenever he had the hiccups, we popped him into his bassinette to sleep. He couldn't fuss - because of the hiccups - so he just fell asleep instead. Awesome.

2. He hates naps. I have the darnedest time putting him down for a nap during the day - he figures there's waaaay too much fun going on around him. Never wants to miss out on a thing. So he wails and wails and wails - and the little tears streaming down his face rip at my heartstrings. So I end up picking him up for a cuddle. Sigh. Sleep training going out the window...

3. He has a funny little way of checking to make sure you're still around when he's falling asleep. He opens up one eye (usually the right one) and takes a peek. He's been doing this since he was born - I noticed it when we were in the NICU. Cutest thing EVER.

4. When he is trying to do something - lift his head during tummy time, get out of his swaddle, etc. - he makes these tiny little grunting noises, like he is really trying hard. He is such a determined, strong little guy. He's been able to hold his head up since he was a week old, and he's got powerful little legs that love to kick and press. He's going to be a great athlete one day.

5. He is a mama's boy. He knows my voice, loves my singing. Cuddles right into me. Finds comfort in me. Looks deep into my eyes and smiles at me from the very core of his little heart. When he is tired, he will fuss and fuss with anyone else, but the minute I hold him, he stops. And sighs. And relaxes his body into mine. And at that very moment, I know that all is right with the world.

Slowly but surely, our routines are getting established. I am trying to get Mason on a schedule, but it's hard. Even though he's only 2 months old, I can't help but panic slightly - "...he's already 2 months old and we haven't got him on a schedule?!?"

Everything revolves around his feeds - and since I am no longer waking him up at night to feed him, his feed times change everyday because he doesn't always wake up at the same time in the middle of the night to nurse. Hence, the difficulty in scheduling him.

In my heart, I know that it will all happen in due time. Best for me just to enjoy every single second with my little lovebug.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On Becoming a Mother...

I have waited so long for this day.

10 months ago, every day seemed to be filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Injections, patches, ultrasounds - it seemed never ending and in moments when I thought our luck would never take a turn for the better, I reminded myself of the end goal and I pushed forward. Always praying, always hoping.

And here I am today.

This morning, at 5:00 a.m., I held my son to my breast and looked into his eyes. I stroked his cheek and I cried.

But this time, they were tears of joy.

Because I had waited so long for this day - and it had finally come.

Every year, DH and I used to host my family's Mother's Day dinner at our house....the theory being that my sister and my mom deserved the night off, and because I wasn't a mother, I could do the cooking and the hostessing. But this year, things were different...

We went out for dinner last evening, and my sister and mom embraced me so warmly. They whispered, "Happy Mother's Day". And it felt so nice. I have become a Mother.

I have been given a wonderful gift - a little one who touches my heart and soul every day. And I will never, ever squander this opportunity - because this incredibly elusive gift was so hard to get. Of all the blessings that I count on a daily basis, this one is the very best.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Red Eggs and Ginger

Today marked our baby boy's one month birthday. And, as is the Chinese custom, we held a big Red Egg and Ginger Party for Mason, filled with good food, loving family, and wonderful friends.

What, you may ask, is a Red Egg and Ginger Party? Centuries ago, when medical resources and medical knowledge were not plentiful, infant mortality rates were high. The Chinese considered the one-month mark to be the "safe point" at which the baby's survival was assured - thus, a large celebration was held to introduce the baby to family and friends. The baby's name was announced at this celebration, and the mother (who was supposed to stay indoors to convalesce during the first month...) was finally able to rejoin the community. Red eggs and ginger are handed out to the party guests, and the baby is given gifts of lucky money in red envelopes. A Red Egg and Ginger Party is meant to be a very joyous occasion for everyone attending!

Obviously, I haven't been housebound for a month, but it was definitely nice to get dressed up for a night out. We held Mason's party at our favourite Chinese restaurant, and had approximately 40 guests. DH's parents came into town for the party, and we had the chance to gather together all of our close friends - what a great evening! The food was spectacular and the mood was festive. Mason looked adorable, dressed in a little red sleeper (P.S. - ask me how hard it was to find a red outfit for a newborn baby boy!!), and he charmed everyone with his calm demeanour. He spent the better part of the night being handed around from person to person - everyone wanted a cuddle. Everyone remarked at what a sweet little baby he is - and I couldn't disagree. Even though it was a long night, my little boy didn't complain one bit - he was so patient. I was so proud of him!

It's hard to believe that one month has passed by's been filled with a lot of sleepless nights and diaper changes, but I definitely wouldn't change a thing. I have waited so long for this - and am enjoying every single second.

Happy One Month Birthday, my son. We love you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mason's Birth Story

So many women that I have talked with have said that their labour and deliveries were all a blur, and many have commented that they don't recall a thing about it all - they only remember the moment when their precious babies entered their lives. With this in mind, I was determined throughout my experience to remember every single moment - because I don't know whether or not I will to through it again....

So, with great detail - here is my son Mason's birth story....

Following my last entry (Tuesday, March 9th), I hustled over to Walmart to pick up what I deemed might be the essentials in preparation for going into labour. My parents (bless their hearts!) came with me, and patiently pushed the cart along while I frantically filled it - diapers, soothers, wipes, onesies, nursing bras, cozy socks - you name it, I snatched it from the shelves and threw it into the buggy! The burst of adrenalin was incredible - I was so worried about being unprepared that I didn't stop for air until I had spent over 200 bucks and had everything that I thought would make me ready to be a mommy.

When I arrived home, I was shocked to discover that my mucus plug had come out - and there was quite the "show" (as it is called). The sight of so much blood made me panic, but I had learned from one of the prenatal classes that we had attended that this was to be expected. I rested that evening - and the hours passed by uneventfully. In fact, things were so status quo that I decided I was going to go into work the next day!

In the morning, I put a call into my doc, as the "show" had not let up and I was beginning to get concerned. She suggested that I come in right away so that she could check my cervix again - if it was anywhere near 8 cm, she said, she was going to ship me into the hospital right away! "Ha!" I thought to myself, "I'm ready this time!!" I conscientiously put the suitcase that I had packed for the hospital the night before into the trunk of my car, and off I went! Once I arrived, I got checked and Doc determined that I was still 4 cm dilated - "I don't think this baby is coming this week!" she announced confidently. So off I went to work!
That afternoon, I was beginning to cramp, but brushed the cramping off as Braxton Hicks contractions. I had a ton of work to finish up and was feeling stressed that I didn't have enough time to tie up all of the loose ends. The cramping was sharp but didn't follow any sort of pattern or timing, so I pressed on...much to the chagrin of my colleagues, who scolded me for being there!

When I arrived home, I was exhausted and decided to take a nap. However, the dull aches woke me shortly, and with DH out with friends that evening, I decided that perhaps I should pick myself up some dinner (would that help with the cramping? Perhaps they were hunger pains?) I drove over to the neighbourhood Asian take-out. Every so often in the car, a cramp would appear - this time strong enough to take my breath away. But a big bowl of Vietnamese noodles was calling my name, so I had to focus and get myself fed!

Once dinner was tucked away in my pregnant belly, I decided I should lie down and take it easy. And this is where it really began...

Settling into a movie ("Ghosts of Girlfriends Past"), my enjoyment was interrupted every 10 minutes or so with a painful contraction (yes...I was willing at this point to acknowledge them as contactions...) and panic began to set in. I watched the clock and began timing them...and at about 9:30 p.m., I realized that the pains were coming about every seven minutes! I called DH and began to cry on the phone...telling him to hurry home...telling him that the baby was coming...telling him that I was scared...

When he arrived home, he sat with me and timed the contractions. To distract me, we finished watching the movie and as he held my hand, the pains became more intense. We left for the hospital at 11:40 p.m. - with contractions that were six minutes apart and growing stronger.

We arrived at the hospital and got ourselves checked into the maternity wing triage just before midnight, and at this point the contractions were so painful that I couldn't talk - all I could do was moan (...anyone who knows me knows that this was what I feared. An overt sign of weakness. Moaning like a wounded animal. I didn't want DH to see me like this.) Once the resident on duty arrived, he checked my cervix and determined that I was 5 cm dilated. They hooked me up to an IV line, notified the anesthetist that I wanted an epidural, and whisked me away to Labour and Delivery.

Approximiately 2:00 a.m. - and life's little blessing arrived in the form of an anesthetist, who efficiently inserted the catheter that would administer my epidural. By this point, my contractions were only two minutes apart - and I was in an incredible amount of pain. I was also already 8 cm dilated, and the nurse indicated that soon I would get to start pushing! This statement panicked me for a moment, and I looked at DH - who was grinning from ear to ear! Once the epidural kicked in, I was actually able to take a nap, which I was so grateful for since I needed to store up some energy before the real show began!
I was awoken (rather harshly!) by one of the nurses a couple of hours later, as I had been sleeping on my left side and somehow this was bringing my baby's heartrate down. I had to turn over and find a new position in order to get the baby's heartrate back up. At this point, they checked my cervix again (discovering that I was at 10 cm), went in and broke my water so that I could begin pushing, and then instructed me to start.

I'm not gonna lie to you - pushing was hard work. Definitely not painful, due to the epidural, but I was pushing as hard as I could, yet I couldn't really tell what impact it was having since I was numb from the waist down ( my estimation, the only downfall of having an epidural...) This caused me to try and push harder! Unfortunately, about ten minutes into the pushing, the baby's heartrate took a nose-dive - and this was where it got scary!

Up unti this point, it had just been me, DH and our lovely nurse in the birthing room. However, at this point, the nurse pushed the "call" button and said "Can I get some help in here?!?" She also asked for the doctor to be paged immediately. Within seconds, we were surrounded by the on-call OB, his resident, about five nurses, and the neo-natalogist. I looked up at my husband, frantically searching his face for a clue as to what was going on...but he just reassured me and told me that things were going to be okay (I later learned that he was just as panicked as I was...)

The OB ended up having to attach a vacuum to our baby's head, and instructed me to push HARD, five times in a row. It took some doing, but about 20 minutes later the doctor said "Look down, look down! Here comes your baby!" and when I did as I was told, I saw the most beautiful little baby emerging. It was like looking through the gates of heaven.

DH and I got the chance to hold Mason for a brief moment, but then they had to take him right away to the NICU, as he was having some difficulties breathing and was looking rather gray. DH went with him, and as I lay in the birthing room, a flood of emotions overcame me - overwhelming joy at what had just happened; worry about my little son; pride that I had done it! It was such a magical moment - I don't think any other will ever equal it.

They ended up keeping Mason in the NICU for 48 hours, just to monitor his breathing. But he is perfect in every way - our little blessing from God.

Welcome to the world, Mason - you are so loved.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So I'm at the doc's this morning for my weekly check up and she's trying to find the baby's head. She can't, so she's worried it's transverse. Let's check things out, she says, as she straps on the rubber glove...

Insert finger...(ouch!)...extract finger...and she exclaims, "Oh, Springroll! You're 4 cm dilated and the head is down and engaged! No wonder we couldn't find it!!"

So she tells me that I have a 25% chance of going into labour in the next 48 hours.

I am freaking out. I have nothing ready.. and I'm not exaggerating! No diapers, no sleepers, no soother...nothing!!! The carseat isn't even installed yet!!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Hive" Got an Itch!!

Okay, nobody prepared me for what I went through last evening.

Out of nowhere, I developed the worst case of hives I have ever had in my entire life! It started out as a random itchiness throughout the my torso, so being the Einstein that I am, I decided to take a lukewarm shower and then moisturize, thinking that my skin was simply dry. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Shortly after my shower, my entire torso turned an angry shade of red (picture the worst sunburn you have ever had...), and then I started getting welts - the worst of them on the sides of my body beside my tummy and my breasts. My back was all blotchy with welts as well, and the rash was quickly making its way up my neck and behind my ears. Needless to say, it was not pretty. I drove over to the local walk-in medicentre, but was frustrated to discover a sign that said "Due to a shortage of physicians, we are closed at 4:00 p.m. today". Ack! I zipped home, then made a phone call to a nurse at Healthlink.

She asked a ton of questions ("Is the baby still moving? Have you had any abdominal pains? Have you vomited? Is there any bleeding?"), but by the end of it, even she was stumped about what had brought this on! She made a referral for me to go to the "after hours clinic" for the next morning, and gave me some coping strategies to ease the itch in the meantime. I ended up lying in a lukewarm baking soda bath, with my dearest husband bathing me tenderly with a washcloth. I'm sure that I looked a fright!! By after the bath, the welts began to go away...and by morning, they were all gone. Weird.

My research on Dr. Google tells me that I either a) had an allergic reaction to something I had eaten, or b) had "PUPPP - Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy". Apparently, PUPPP is a common rash amongst pregnant women, and whilst its cause is unknown, it is most common in the third trimester of first pregnancies (average onset, 35 weeks!) and interestingly is more common amongst women who go on to deliver baby boys! Quite honestly, though, I don't think that I had PUPPP, because it's supposed to last on average up to 6 weeks - and my rash went away overnight. But boy, was it ever freaky!

In other news...

DH and I went to our first pre-natal class last week, led by what could be the cheeriest woman I have ever met! It was interesting to watch DH's reaction to things that were being shared...he has so much less experience with infants than I do that I think this course will benefit him the most. We didn't see "the video" - which, according to the instructor, was NOT edited for television (that will be this week's class). I am bracing myself for the horror. Can I tell you a secret? I am scared to have my husband see me in the labouring stage...the moaning and grunting and shrieking....I'm pretty sure it'll freak him out. Can others relate?

35 weeks as of today. Wow. We don't have much more time before our little Dim Sum is delivered. I can't wait to hold him and look into his eyes...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The REAL Inspiration...

On and off over the course of these last two years that I have been blogging, I have had some lovely individuals post a comment or two about how I have inspired them....which has meant more to me than anyone could ever know.

But this week, I happened upon a story of REAL inspiration. After reading this entry and looking at all of the pictures, I cried. And it renewed my belief that with spiritual support and the love of family and friends, we can fight any challenge, no matter how difficult.

I would have to say that this lady is the true her story: Enjoying the Small Things


Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Day

What a fantastic weekend this has been.

First of all, it afforded me some much needed rest, as I had the luxury of a 4 day weekend (got Friday off, which is normally the time that local teachers working for school boards had to attend Teachers' Convention...but because we are a private school, we did our PD on the Thursday instead...and of course, it was provincial Family Day holiday today...) I am finding that sleep is one thing right now that I cannot seem to get enough of. I've had such a difficult time sleeping through the night - constant visits to the bathroom, coupled with awkward sleep positions have me up at least once every evening, usually around 4:00 a.m. Then when I return to bed, I can't seem to fall back asleep. So this four day weekend allowed me to take some quality naps and just putter around the's been great.

Valentine's Day was absolutely amazing. I awoke to a bedroom decorated with red balloons and beautiful heart cut-outs. My husband gave me the most wonderful gift - what he called the "Love Connection Game". Basically, he presented me with a scroll tied in red ribbon - which contained five questions about our relationship. I was to answer each question at a specific time of the day - and if I got the correct answer, I got to peel back a red ribbon on the scroll that described what my prize would be. My 9:00 a.m. prize was breakfast in bed. My 10:00 a.m. prize was a bouquet of beautiful roses. My 3:00 p.m. prize was a 30 minute back massage. My 6:00 p.m. prize was my favourite meal (chicken parmigiana) cooked for me. And my 9:00 p.m. prize was a foot massage with peppermint lotion. I tell ya - he went above and beyond to spoil me on Valentine's Day, and I fell more in love with him than ever. I have the most wonderful husband in the world...

Now, this weekend was also Chinese New Year, and we got the chance to go out with my family to celebrate on Saturday night. I love to go for dinner with my family, as it's always big and festive! On Sunday, DH and I went down to our local Chinese Cultural Centre to watch the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance...spectacular. Even though DH is Caucasian, he really loves everything about the Chinese culture and he has learned so much since being married. I can't wait until we can share our Chinese traditions with our little Dim Sum.

Time, of course, continues to fly by (I know I say that all the time!!) and pretty soon, our little Dim Sum will be here. He has been quite the gymnast this weekend - tossing and turning inside my tummy. I think he especially liked the drumming of the Dragon Dance - I could almost feel him moving to the rhythmic beat as I stood watching the colourful display! Each time I feel him moving, my heart swells with happiness and I cannot wait to meet him...

Only 7 more weeks, Baby, until I get to hold you in my arms...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 weeks and counting...

Only 63 days left!

This countdown is even better than the countdown to Christmas!! I still find myself amazed that I am where I seems so surreal.

Little Dim Sum is an incredibly active baby, and these days not an hour goes by that I don't feel him either hiccuping or turning a million somersaults inside my tummy. I do find myself wishing that my husband could feel these same sensations; even though he puts his hand on my belly to feel "the show", I just don't think it's the same! I know that he would think it's amazing to feel what I feel.

Sooo...starting to get a little nervous about the whole birth thing. I'm worried that I'm not fit enough to go through labour. From what I've read, it's a HUGE workout, requiring a lot of energy and stamina. Have I got what it takes?

Last month, in an effort to get myself into said shape, I signed up for a pre-natal fitness class at my local gym. The description said "No previous fitness experience required". So I got myself registered and eagerly looked forward to the first class.

When I showed up, the instructor gathered us all, took attendance, and then immediately started in on us. Without any kind of warm up, she asked us to do lunges for about 100m, then 20 push-ups. This was followed by another set of lunges for 100m, then 20 more pushups. I thought I was going to DIE. And part way through the lunging, she came over to me and said, "Oh, you're putting your weight on the balls of your feet; you should be stepping down on your heel." Did she realize that I was putting weight on the front of my foot because my big belly was dragging me forward?!? The lunging/pushups were followed by stairs (up, down, up down for 40 reps on each foot). This was followed by squats for 200m, 8 minutes on the rowing machine, weights (biceps and triceps), then stomach crunches (pilates style).

Needless to say, I couldn't walk for days afterwards...
And p.s. - I have since dropped out of that class.

No fitness experience necessary, my ass!!

But then this got me thinking - am I really THAT out of shape? If I can't handle an exercise class, what makes me think I can handle childbirth? What if I'm so out of shape that labour takes forever? What if I don't have the strength to push little Dim Sum out of me? Ack!

There is no point in asking my sister for advice. She ran a marathon when she was 4 months pregnant with my niece, and continued to work out throughout both of her pregnancies. When I told her about my exercise class experience, she tritely said to me, "Well, if that were me, I would be able to handle it..." I felt like jumping through the phone and clobbering her.

Sigh. I know it's too early to panic. But does anyone out there have any advice for me? I don't mind hearing bad labour stories...I'd rather be prepared than blissfully ignorant, only to be slammed when the sh*t hits the ceiling!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Going Crazy...

Okay, this is going to be a stupid blog to my IF friends who faithfully read my updates, I apologize in advance. To those newcomers who have stumbled upon my humble little blog, I don't blame you if you never want to read my blog again. But I am going crazy!

I can't decide what to do with the nursery. Quite simply put, I am overwhelmed. First of all, DH and I disagree a bit on what we would like to see - I would like something soft, understated, and "elegant" looking (for lack of a better word..) Here are just a few examples of what I love:

I really look the love of a handsewn quilt, and the above sets have them! The first set is called "My First ABC", from Kidsline, and the other two sets are from Pottery Barn Kids ("Cottontail Friends" and "Jungle Friends".

DH, on the other hand, would like to see as much colour as possible. Bright reds, blues, and greens. His favourite set is this one:

It's called "T is for Tiger". I don't mind it, but I don't love it - and shouldn't I love the room that we put little Dim Sum into? I have spent literally hours upon hours combing the internet looking for crib bedding that will appeal to me and appease my husband. And so far, we can't seem to agree on anything.

Told you this was a lame entry.

P.S. For those wanting a good deal, check out Baby Supermall. Their prices are amazing! For example, the T is for Tiger set is being retailed at our local children's store, E-Children, for $270.00, while the fine folks at Baby Supermall have it on for $138.00. You can't beat a $140.00 savings!!

P.S.S. 28 weeks and counting!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Is it me, or is time just zooming by? The winter holidays were wonderful, and I dare say this was the best Christmas I have ever had (...soon to be replaced by next Christmas, when our little Dim Sum waits for Santa for the first time...) Despite everyone's request that I pass along a Christmas wish list to make shopping easier, there honestly was not one thing that I wanted. I have everything that I could have every wished and prayed for - a loving husband, an inviting home, and a baby growing inside my tummy. Life is good.

DH and I went with friends out to Panorama Ski Resort for New Year's weekend, and it was simply spectacular! While the others went swooshing down the slopes, I had the chance to sit in our cozy condo (by the fireplace), and just look out at the gently falling snow. I got to visit the resort spa for a (much-needed) massage, and get caught up in my pregnancy journal. And I got to eat! I went for walks and watched young families tobogganing down snowy slopes, and I even rode the resort gondola down to the "lower village" to shop at the General Store. Dim Sum and I had a great time!

But of course, it's back to reality for us now, with work and other real-life inconveniences!

Dim Sum is an incredibly active little boy, and the constant kicks are reassuring. I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay asleep at night; no sleep position is really that comfortable, I find I am waking up in the middle of the night to pee, and Dim Sum enjoys thumping away at me if I am sleeping in a position that he doesn't care for. But know what? I worked damn hard to feel this way, so I wouldn't trade it for the world!! :)

DH and I talked the other day about what our plans would be for a second child after Dim Sum arrives...hard to imagine that we are already discussing it, given our struggles just getting to where we're at. But we're nothing if not realistic - even though we are pregnant, we still consider ourselves to be infertile. And because of this fact, our eyes are wide open to the need for planning. We have decided that our plan of action will be to try for a natural conception soon after Dim Sum's birth (but within a reasonable timeframe for healing! Ouch!), and if nothing happens in a year, we will go back to the Clinic. But in our hearts, both of us know how lucky we are to even have Dim Sum, so if Dim Sum is all that God blesses us with, we are thrilled.

Life really is good.