Friday, October 5, 2012

New Names

So I have been thinking about a new blog name for the Divine Miss A because I think that she needs something a little bit more colourful than a simple initial.  And "the Divine Miss A" is perhaps a bit much.

Increasingly, I love the way that she opens her mouth to eat or to nurse. It is an action so full of trust and expectation and innocence.  Just like a baby bird.

Our little Baby Bird.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Looking to the weekend

Tomorrow, along with being the feast of St. Michael and every single one of the blasted angels, is our birthday. I say 'our' because WH and I were born on the same day, but eight years apart. 

I don't think that a birthday has ever before snuck up on me quite so quickly and unnoticed as this one.  I think that having a baby naturally makes a person a little bit less self-involved so I haven't had a lot of time to think about turning thirty-three. 

We have decided to forego presents this year. We've both run out of time and besides, we're about to take on a significant renovation in our basement so we don't feel like we have a lot of extra money to be spending on gifts for each other that we don't really need.  We will go out on Sunday, taking in a concert in the afternoon and then going for dinner.  Miss A will spend a delectable afternoon with her Auntie.

Otherwise, we'll spend a nice weekend together as a family.

It'll be perfect.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Irrationally Excited

Dudes! I'm irrationally excited about something!

We are about to embark, probably, on finishing our basement.  And I am quite excited, if a little bit nervous, about that project.  I think that excitement is perfectly rational. 

But in the process of scanning what the basement clean up project would be like before we start the renovation, my eyes fell on a very simple wooden table.  I think that WH had used it as a bedside table in his old apartment but it's been in the basement since we moved here.  It's about 2' x 2' and not very tall... about the height of a couch end table.  And I thought... and here comes the irrational excitement... THAT WOULD MAKE A PERFECT PLAY TABLE FOR OUR DAUGHTER!

My intention will be to sand it down, paint it some spectacular bright colour, stencil her name on it and some flowers or something and then cover it in a lacquer or varnish to make it easy to clean.  And then buy a couple of wee chairs to go with it! 


Carry on... 

Monday, September 24, 2012


One of the new things we've seen with Miss A in the last month is a developing list of things that make her happy.  Ever since she first smiled she has smiled a lot, but we are now starting to see patterns of specific things that bring out her biggest and broadest smiles and giggles. 

Foremost on the list this week, it seems, are FEET.  Her own, her dad's, her mom's...  she's not biased like that.  Last night, in the bath, I sat her up and splashed my foot in the water.  PEALS of laughter.  And then I splashed her feet in the water.  DOUBLE PEALS of laughter.

She is also developing an increasing happiness at the sight of the cats.  They continue to be pretty ambivalent about her, but she smiles at them when they come in the room, she follows their every movement and if we're lucky enough to be able to get her close enough to stroke one of them, she squeals with delight.

And we - her mama and papa - are also on that list, thankfully!  First thing in the mornings and when she wakes up from her naps, she is always thrilled to see one of us come through the door of her nursery.  We get the big smile and she kicks her feet as hard as she can to show us how excited she is to be getting up to face the next part of her day. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

On sleeping

I love my daughter very much. She's more fun every day, she's happy and she's doing all kinds of new things that are so exciting to witness.

I also love when she's asleep.

We are in the process of transitioning her from three naps a day to two. This has meant more general crankiness as we approach nap time -- because she's been awake for longer -- but it also means wonderful long naps, often two hours long. She also goes to sleep at 7pm and sleeps through until at least 3 or 4 am every night.

I love those sleeping hours.

I love that I can take some of that time to have adult conversations with WH or with other family or friends.  I love that I can take some of that time to catch up on housework or other items on the to-do list. I love that I can take some of that time to sit in front of the television. I love that I can take some of that time to sleep myself!

And I love that when she wakes up from her nap or wakes up in the morning, she's back to her usual rested, happy and delightful self.

God bless sleep.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Random Friday Five

Today's Friday Five from the RevGals is random!

1. What is one of the best things that happened to you this week?

We started Miss A. on solid food! It's so exciting to have the opportunity to introduce herself to the world of food!  So far, that world only includes rice cereal but she seems to like it!

2. If you were in a Ms. Canada Pageant, what would your talent be?

Sending a clear, elegant and grammatically correct email.

3.  You were just given a YACHT!!! What would you name it, and why?

I always liked the name Kelly and I think that The Kelly is a kind of an elegant name for a boat.

4.  If you were to perform in a circus, what would you do?

I think that I would like to be the lady riding on the elephant.
5.  What do you have in your bag/wallet/backpack that best describes your personality? 

Given that my bag is currently full of diapers, I'm not even going to go there...

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Miss A will be six months old next Friday.  Six months old seems to be an age at which everything is in transition, including the two biggies, eating and sleeping.

She is showing many signs of being ready to start solid food, including interest in the things that we are eating, shown by staring and reaching at our food and drink. I think I'll pick up some rice cereal tomorrow and just see what happens. Everything that I've read has reinforced that the first eating experiences should be fun and relaxed, so that's how we'll approach it!

The sleeping seems to be more complicated.  She is in a kind of limbo between two naps and three naps a day, so no two days recently have been the same.  And her naps affect the time that she goes to sleep at night, which affects the time that she wakes up in the morning, which affects the time that she has her first nap, etc. etc. etc.  I know that consistency will come eventually... right?

At the same time, I have been trying to help her fall asleep more independently.  It can be a frustrating process because I find myself unsure of when to go in and try to settle her, and when to leave her alone. And inevitably, I feel like I've made the wrong decision. Take this afternoon, for example.  We got home from church and she was showing all the signs of being tired.  Her eyes were red, she was rubbing her face in my shoulder and she was very quiet.  I put her down in her crib, swaddled her up, gave her her soother, kissed her on the forehead, said, "I love you, now go to sleep," and left the room.

She talked to herself for about 20 minutes, at which point I peeked in to see how she was doing. She was sideways in the crib, had removed the swaddle and had lost the soother.  I went in to get her resettled and she smiled her big goofy grin at me.  I put the swaddle away, lay her back in her normal position, gave her back the soother, kissed her on the forehead, said, "I love you, now go to sleep," and left the room.

She talked to herself for another 20 minutes, so I went to check on her again. She had wiggled herself around so much that she had pulled her diaper down and wet the bed. So I changed the diaper, covered the wet spot, lay her back in her normal position, kissed her on the forehead, said, "I LOVE YOU NOW GO TO SLEEP," and left the room.

She cried.

So I sat next to her crib, held the soother in her mouth and rubbed her little nose until she fell asleep, a full hour after I first put her in her crib.  Her little arms relaxed and she spit out the soother and finally, FINALLY, she drifted off to dreamland.  I left the room.

She woke up 15 minutes later.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Randoms on Motherhood

Just a few random smattering of thoughts from the first (almost) six months of A's life:
  • While there was a great deal about her challenging beginning that was  difficult for WH and me, there was much about the experience that was positive.  We got so much wonderful care and tremendous coaching from the nurses in the NICU, all of which provided us with a wonderful start when we finally got to bring her home.  
  • She's a wonderful sleeper (knock on wood) and that is a relief to me.
  • There is nothing quite so empowering as discovering that she is growing! 
  • I have a New Mom's Group here in Prairie Hamlet that is run by the local health centre.  Nurses come each week and give a lecture and answer questions on a variety of topics, including growth, development, teething, sleep, nutrition, local resources, injury prevention, etc.  Judging by the questions asked in the first couple of sessions, if all the classes were called "Eating and Sleeing cont.," we'd all be happy.  I'm also amused by how many of the questions are phrased as follows: "My baby does X; is that normal?"  Commonality of experience is comforting. 
  • There is nothing quite so humbling as being thrown up on. 
  • God Bless You, Mr. Jolly Jumper. God Bless You. 
  • I've been interested by how one redefines success as a mother.  Coffee, a shower and breakfast?  That's a successful day. 
  • The cats have been totally ambivalent to the new family member.  She, on the other hand, is now very interested in them! 
  • She is very alert and spends lots of time simply looking around and taking in the world.  For this reason, I'm excited to start her on solid food, to get to be a part of all the new experiences that entails.  I recognize that they won't all be easy or enjoyable experiences, but I'm glad that we get to witness them! 
  • We took her camping this weekend and she loved it.  The temperature dropped to about 8C at night and with all her various bundlings, she was a complete champion. 
  • She is, quite simply, the niftiest thing I have ever come across.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


It's astonishing how quickly maternity leave is flying by.  Miss A is already a shocking five months old!  WH, A and I have spent a really delightful summer together, including a little bit of travel, some great visits with family near and far and beautiful weather! 

September now approaches and the name of the game will be routine and making the very best use of my time!

To that end, here's what's been on my mind:
  • More cooking, better eating! 
  • No "background" TV
  • Quality time with my husband and good quality time at that.
  • Quality time with our daughter and good quality time at that.
  • A potential basement renovation to make the most productive and fulfilling use of the space that we own.
  • Eliminating extraneous "noise" around us.
  • Quality time with extended family and friends and good quality time at that. 
  • Being just a little bit more thoughtful and a little bit less reactive all the time. 
  • Teamwork. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our Story

 weeping may endure for a night

Up until the 32nd week of my pregnancy, I was considered "low-risk." The baby was growing as expected, there had been little in the way of complication and we were heading towards the mid-April due date exactly as we had expected.

Probably our fault for getting too comfortable...

At a regular appointment with my OB in mid-February, my blood pressure measured above normal and I tested positive for protein in my urine. Many of you will know that these are both troubling signs of potential pre-eclampsia.  The condition is now commonly known as "pregnancy-induced hypertension," or PIH.

Just like that, I became a high-risk case, no longer able to work and visited daily by nurses at home to have my blood pressure checked and the baby monitored.  My activities were restricted and eventually, I was prescribed some medication to keep the BP in further check. We were informed that we would eventually see signs that the placenta was no longer providing the needed nutrition to the baby. We were told to prepare for the possibility of an early birth and that our goal was to get as close to 37 weeks as we possibly could.

We almost made it.

A day before we hit 35 weeks, our ultrasound showed that the baby had not grown the expected amount in the previous two weeks and that the fluid levels in the uterus had fallen.  I confess to not being particularly surprised by this news; I had been aware that I was not getting bigger in that aggressive third-trimester way.  The doctor who reviewed the ultrasound told us that we had reached the expected point and that our baby was better off getting nutrition outside the womb than inside it.

I was admitted at 9am on Monday morning and the induction process was begun shortly after noon.

WH stayed with me for the afternoon and evening on Monday and then went home to sleep as we knew that the induction process was likely to be long.  Monday night was very trying... I was not having any contractions, but I was cramping and was too uncomfortable to sleep for longer than an hour at a time.  I spent most of the time staring at the clock and rocking back and forth to try to alleviate pressure.  And trying not to cry.

Tuesday morning brought the very first signs that our baby may not tolerate labour.  Very small drops in heart rate, from which the baby immediately recovered, led to a need to test the baby's ability to withstand contractions.  I was given very small doses of oxytocin and we watched to see how the baby would react.  The baby passed and full oxytocin was begun.

Labour began to come on fairly strongly in the afternoon on Tuesday and my water broke shortly thereafter.  WH and the Maternal Unit took turns rubbing my back and legs as the contractions came and went.  Occasionally, I added to the drama by throwing up.   Still, the little heart rate went down and up again, down and up again.  We watched and held our breath.

I had an epidural in the evening on Tuesday and WH and I managed to sleep.

Early in the morning on Wednesday, the resident came and checked my progress.  Frustratingly... disappointingly... only a centimeter and a half.  Down and up again...  We were given the option of continuing with labour and monitoring the baby for another two or three hours or progressing to a c-section.  Given the issues with the baby's heart-rate and my increasing exhaustion, we chose to go straight to the surgery.  It was time.

but joy cometh in the morning

I was wheeled to the operating room at about 5:30am on Wednesday morning. We were delayed a short amount of time while another emergency c-section took place, so WH and I finalized our choices for names and asked each other about 50 times if each other was ok. "You ok?"  "Yup. You?" "Yup."

I felt very calm heading into surgery, but overwhelmed that we were about to find out whether we were parents to a boy or a girl.  As that moment came closer and closer, I became increasingly emotional.  I had been quite dozy as we waited for surgery, but the surgery itself brought intense clarity of consciousness and focus.

"We're getting close!" "We're almost there!" "Come on, little one!"

And then, at 6:30am on Wednesday, March 14, our little girl was born.  Our. Little. Girl. Four pounds, one ounce of perfection.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Two months to go!

I'm not sure when the "home stretch" of pregnancy techinically begins, but it feels like we're getting close.

When I consider how I look and how much stronger the baby feels everyday, I think that this must be the home stretch.  But when I think about the fact that the baby only weighs about half of what it will weigh when it's born, I think, "Nope... no home stretch here."

When I look at the increasingly large number of baby things arriving on our doorstep, it sure feels like the home stretch. But when I think about how much more there is to acquire and decide, I hope and pray that the middle stretch is here for a bit longer.

You know how it goes, I'm sure.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm pretty sure...

... that what I'll be giving birth to in a couple of months is not a baby at all, but a rolling pin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I can't wear my wedding ring any more.

I was fairly certain that this day would arrive sooner than later and I turned out to be right.  I can still wear the engagement ring, but even it is not long for my left hand, I fear.

It's not a big deal and I know that it's temporary, but I was much more sad about it than I thought I would be.

I love my rings.  I look at them every day and think about my husband and my marriage and our home and our life together.  They're a constant corner-of-my-eye reminder of how lucky I am to have what I have.

I know that they are just "things," and that in the grand scheme of things, they don't matter.  I know that if we had no material symbols of our marriage at all, we would still be happy and committed to each other.  I know all these things.

But I miss my ring.

But then, eventually, I feel a might boot to the side of my abdomen and I'm reminded why it is that the rings will be in a box on my dresser and not on my hand.

And that's a pretty nifty thing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Catching up, catching up

Well, my dear friends, aside from being a negligent blogger, life continues on apace!

We are now almost 28 weeks pregnant, so just at the beginning of our third trimester. I feel bigger every day, and every time that I think that this baby can't get any stronger, he/she delivers a kick stronger than any I've felt before. 

I have absolutely loved being pregnant.

Relative to many, I think that I have had a pretty easy pregnancy.  Some morning sickness that extended almost all of the way through my second trimester, but nothing too bad or too disruptive to every day life. I've been lucky  to have had no medical complications (knock on wood) thus far. My doctor is confident that the pregnancy and the birth will be straightforward and low risk.  I have grown and gained weight at pretty standard rates and the little one has done all the things he/she is expected to approximately when he/she was expected to do them.

So we have had lots of time to simply enjoy the experience, for which I am immensely grateful.  I try to spend some time every day just watching my stomach move or feeling the kicks and punches and rolls without doing anything else.  Just taking that time is part of a general intent in my life to uncomplicate and slow down before the baby comes. 

Slowing down seems to have resulted in more time for things like cooking, planning the nursery, shopping and reading, all of which I'm enjoying.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that life isn't busy, but it's a very fun and interesting kind of busy!

Hope to blog more in the near future about it!