Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scenes from a Halloween evening









* * *

Thank you everyone for your kind words on my post the other day. I've had a chance to sift through my thoughts, and will likely post a follow-up explanation over the next few days. Rest assured, things are good here, and Mr Babbler, Peanut and I are doing great.

I've been extremely delinquent in some of my housekeeping duties around here. In September the fine ladies Mad Hatter of Under the Mad Hat, Jen of One Plus Two, Susanne of Creative Mother Thinking and Hel of Truth Cycles awarded me a Just Post for this post.
Thank you ladies - I am so honoured to receive this, my first "award".



Also, Nap Warden of The Chronicles of a SAHM kindly passed along this little sweet treat. Thank you Nap Warden! I hereby pass it along to all you fine readers. Grab it and paste it up on your own fine blog on this Happy Halloween!



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crossroads

i stand at a crossroads

* * *
on my left

taking the hurt, the rejection, the disappointment

and turning the other cheek

self-deprecation as armor

tucking the words in a box and hiding it on a dusty shelf

* * *
on my right

my beautiful, unspoilt daughter

deserving of so much more and none of this

and drawing a line in the sand

this ends now

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scenes from a birthday weekend

A Peanut in a pumpkin patch.









Family time at the zoo.









Gifts!








Birthday cake!















For the Peanut's birthday we decided to spread out her birthday celebrations because A) we have a small house, B) we didn't want her to become overwhelmed and C) we really wanted to spend her actual birthday alone, just the three of us. Over the next two weekends we'll be having small parties, for family and friends, but having the time alone this weekend was very special to us all.


Monday, October 22, 2007

A year ago today (Part V)

You can read Part I here.
You can read Part II here.
You can read Part III here.

You can read Part IV here.


A year ago today I gave birth to the Peanut. Such a simple sentence, but it encompasses so much more. I will apologize in advance for the perhaps scattered nature of this entry. Things happened so quickly that it feels that I have small vignettes of memory about the day.

When I left the story off it was midnight and we had just arrived at the second hospital of the evening by ambulance. The team there had been alerted to our arrival, and were completely prepared as soon as I was wheeled in the door. It was truly a scene out of ER. I was surrounded by nurses who were all madly trading information and summing up the situation. The doctor on call was there to meet me. Very suddenly it all became real - I was having this baby, and I was having her that night. According to the doctor I would be having the baby well before the morning, and she was very clear that it was a good possibility that I would be having the Peanut by cesarean. (
I should point out that this doctor was a lovely woman who actually spent time speaking with me and letting me know what was going on throughout the labour - a novel concept!)

The nurse who came with us for the transfer leaned over me to say goodbye. She was an older Filipino woman. She hugged me tightly and whispered in my ear. "God bless," she said. "The lord will look over you and your little one."

By the time I reached the hospital my contractions were now a minute apart and were quite strong. I had started to run a fever and the doctor was pretty sure that I had an infection. The Peanut was starting to show some signs of distress. Oh, and I had developed a wicked case of motion sickness while traveling in the ambulance. I was pretty much a mess.

Now, a few notes about the efficiency of the Canadian health care system:

1) Although I had filled out all the registration paperwork at the other hospital, and had a nurse bring me from that hospital, I quickly found out that I had to complete all the paperwork all over again. So, in the midst of all of the above, I found myself answering the same questions all over again. When was the date of your last menstrual period? Your expected due date? If it's a boy, will you have it circumcised. And on it went. The kicker was when they handed me a pamphlet, mid-contraction, and asked me to read it and the sign the consent for any necessary blood transfusions. Yes, I had done this paperwork before. Yes, I had transferred here with a nurse who, ostensibly, had all my paperwork. But in the middle of labour I had to do this all over again.

2) The doctor ordered Pitocin to further speed up the already incredibly speedy labour, and my IV saline was running out. This was where I finally found out how inefficient our health care system can be. When they went to start the new bag and add the Pitocin they found that the hospital I had been at used a different IV system that could not be coupled with the IV bags or drips in the new hospital. Two hospitals, less than 100 km apart, and they did not use the same IV systems. They were going to have to pull the freshly started IV from early that evening and begin a new on on my other hand (which had just had another IV pulled from it that morning). Fun times! Now, back to the labour...

They also needed to do a blood gas test, which didn't go well. I had a nurses madly pumping my arm and squeezing it get every drop of blood. The whole time I kept apologizing to the room full of nurses - apologizing for the inability to get blood from my artery, apologizing for the monitor which kept losing the Peanut's heartbeat, and apologizing for throwing up and missing the basin, requiring a gown change.

Other than my apologies though, I was a pretty quiet patient. I never knew quite what to expect when I went into labour. When I'm sick, I'm normally the type to drag myself off and lick my wounds in privacy, but labour is a whole other ball of wax. Turns out that I'm not much different during labour. I didn't scream and yell at Mr Babbler, didn't grab his hand and break his fingers during contractions, didn't make demands of my nurses. I just worked my way through each (incredibly fast now, with the Pitocin) contraction. And I apologized for all the inconvenience. The only moment where I truly became rattled was when I realized my father-in-law, who had followed us to the hospital, was in my room. My father-in-law was in my room, the room where I was, with hoo-ha exposed, groaning through contractions, my father-in-law! He had gotten himself trapped in the nurses hallway, so they just sent him back out to the correct hallway through my room. I think he was as horrified as I was. To this day, we have never mentioned that moment to one another. If we just keep ignoring it, it will be like it never happened, right? Right?!

Finally, more than an hour after I arrived, a nurse uttered those magic words. "Do you have a pain plan?" I said yes, that in this case, I would be taking the epidural please. An anesthesiologist was called in, and after another half hour or so, I finally had some relief.

From that point on I had a nurse in the room constantly, monitoring both me and the Peanut. For the next couple of hours she chatted with us, while her eyes remained on the monitor and she periodically made notes on her clipboard. She talked with us about her years as an obstetrical nurse, the birth classes she ran, and her marriage. Most importantly, she prepared us for what would happen as soon as the baby was born. She explained about all the people who would be in the room with us, what their roles were and what they would do. She told us how our baby would likely look, and where they would take her. She kept talking, simultaneously easing our fears about what was going to happen and taking our mind off of the imminent delivery.

Finally, around 4:30 in the morning, she started to look more concerned during each contraction. She called out in the hallway that it was time to deliver the baby, this baby, now. The Peanut's heartbeat had started to decrease dramatically during contractions, disappearing entirely. They were concerned that the infection that was causing my fever was starting to get out of control. She was in distress, and the Peanut was being born now, one way or another.

I was wheeled into the high-risk delivery room where a team of nurses awaited me. The neonatologist and the NICU nurse came in, as did the respiratory therapist. The room was busy with people. An incubator was against the side of the room, a resuscitation table against another wall, around which waited the nenatologist, NICU nurse and the respiratory therapist. A nurse prepared my bed and then told me that on my next contraction I could go ahead and try to push. Two pushes later they were calling for the doctor. She walked in and pulled on her gloves as I was pushing again. She reached the table, told me to keep pushing and then told me I could stop. She was out. Just like that, at 4:59 in the morning, the Peanut was born.

She didn't cry right away, and I could feel them turning her, checking her. Then, a quiet cry, a mewl really. She was breathing. Briefly she was laid on my stomach as they cut the cord, and I finally started crying. We had done it, Mr Babbler and I. I had done it, I had stayed calm and followed all the directions the nurses and doctors had given me, and I had had her naturally. She was alive and she was breathing. After those brief moments she was whisked to the waiting table where she was checked over and given oxygen. Three pounds, twelve ounces the nurse called out, and 17 inches long.

What can I say about that first glimpse? She was so tiny and pale, and more than a little fuzzy as she still had a lot of her lanugo. Her head fit in the palm of your hand, all of her fingers could wrap around the tip of one of your fingers. She was skinny - so skinny - with wrinkly skin where her baby chub should have been. Her delicate legs and feet, slender enough that Mr Babbler could have easily slipped his wedding ring onto her ankle.

Then the neonatologist announced that she could spend a few moments with us before she was moved up to the NICU. They handed us our little Peanut, wrapped in the blue and pink striped blanket, and asked if we had a camera. We told them no, we weren't planning on having the baby that night. So instead we simply held her and looked at what we had made. Her tiny fingers, so tiny that you could see almost through them. Her soft fuzzy head. Her squished nose and rolled up ears. Her puffy little face. Her little stork marks, one in her eyebrow. Her chin, almost cleft, just like her daddy's. She was so delicate and tiny, and our sense of awe and our sense of responsibility was enormous.

A nurse soon came to us and took her to the incubator, to begin her journey to the NICU. The time that followed was perhaps strangest of all. We were left with the aftermath of birth but without our child. I was cleaned up (detailed, like a car really) and transferred to the maternity ward. I was given a semi-private room, but fortunately there was no other mother, no mother with their child in a bassinet pulled up tightly to their bed, there to mock my child-less state. Mr Babbler and I tried to rest, but couldn't. Just after 6 am, we started making calls to our family. Later that morning Mr Babbler went to the NICU to visit the Peanut. She had her spot, just inside the NICU doors. Mr Babbler warned me, she was fully hooked up to monitors and cables and IVs and tubes. He snapped our first photos.

Peanut, aka Snow White.


Friends and family came and went, listening to the crazy story of our Peanut's birth and seeing our little girl, like Snow White in her glass box. Evening came, and when we went to visit her the kind nurse took pity on us. She allowed us to hold her. Fortunately, a friend was there to capture the moment.

The new family.

Finally, at about this time a year ago, Mr Babbler went home to get some sleep and I was left alone. Finally, finally, I broke down and sobbed. I cried for my failure to protect my little girl. I cried for my birth experience. I cried for my baby, tucked away in a glass box in the NICU. I cried for what I was missing - breastfeeding, waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, caring for my baby. And I cried for what was to come - the weeks of time in the NICU. The potential for setbacks. For the unknown.

In the end, though, we were lucky. I lasted three days on bedrest, and that gave my body the time it needed for the steroids to work, and the Peanut's lungs to develop more fully. We were able to stay in our home town instead of giving birth in a foreign country. We had an excellent team of nurses and doctors after a weak beginning. I was able to hold my baby girl before she was taken away to the NICU. For all of these things, I am grateful.

But most of all, I am grateful to her. For being such an amazing little girl. For being a fighter, for being resilient, for showing the doctor a thing or two about beating expectations and preemie-hood and NICU life. For showing me how lucky I am, we are, to have her.



A year ago today, I fell in love.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A year ago today (Part IV)

You can read Part I here.
You can read Part II here.
You can read Part III here.


A year ago today my day started with a whimper and ended with a bang. This day, it has so many details imprinted on my memory that I am unsure of how to proceed.

I was still on bed rest in the hospital, but I had started to find a rhythm to my days. It was a Saturday, so I had many visitors who all came laden with gifts. Later that afternoon Mr Babbler came for the evening. He had spent the day working with his father on our house, as the timeline for the completion of renovations had significantly stepped up. He had brought with him everything he thought I'd need to be comfortable for the next three weeks - more books, magazines, clothes, food, DVDs.

Saturday night was supposed to be our date night. We had been given tickets to the Leafs game - platinum tickets, a first for me - and we were supposed to go for a nice dinner. Since we were unable to go to the game, Mr Babbler decided to bring the game to me. We were still having date night, in my room at the hospital. He had brought sushi (vegetarian rolls for me) and we were going to cuddle up and watch the game on my TV. A romantic little date.

Just before Mr Babbler arrived I started to feel strange. My tummy felt a little upset and I visited the washroom several times, but merely chalked it up to the terrible gruel slop food. A friend of ours stopped by to pick up the tickets at which point I ended up throwing both men out of the room I felt so terrible. Shortly after our visitor left I finally called the nurse. She decided to put me on the fetal monitor and left the room for half an hour.

During this time my father had arrived for a visit. Finding me hooked up to a monitor and feeling rather poorly, he and Mr Babbler watched an episode of Little People, Big World. (He doesn't do medical stuff very well.) There I am, in labour (although I didn't yet know it) and the last show I see before things get really crazy involves the Roloffs. Nice!

My father left shortly after the show ended, promising to call the next day. The nurse came back and announced I was not in labour, according to the strip from the monitor. Since I was still feeling badly, with cramping that felt like it was occurring every few minutes, she went to get a nurse from labour and delivery. Said nurse walked in and immediately announced that the monitor had been put on wrong - because I was only 32 weeks the monitor had been placed way too high on my belly - and, oh look, there are the contractions (contractions?!) and they are two minutes apart.

I'm in labour? What? Holy shit! And I could have possibly found this out more than an hour ago? We were starting to think we had the B crew this particular Saturday night. It was only going to get better.

The nurse went back to find a doctor on duty. The doctor was busy (which was interesting in retrospect, as there were no other women delivering that night) so a resident came to see me. Make that a resident and a student. Perfect! It turned out I was already a few centimetres dilated and they would speak with the obstetrician about the course of action.

Unfortunately for me, I got caught in shift change (B crew to C crew, perhaps?). After waiting (and waiting and waiting) Mr Babbler finally went to track down a nurse. A new nurse from the maternity ward was brought up to speed, and she went to get a (new) obstetrical nurse. The new obstetrical nurse walked into the room with a huge chip on her shoulder. I can remember being stunned by how rude she was, as she didn't seem to believe I was in labour and made me repeat several times exactly what I was feeling. Hello, nurse? I didn't know I was in labour, one of your people told me I was in labour 'cause of that fancy-dancy machine over there. And um, here's some Lady Speedstick. When I'm in labour and feeling like complete crap, do I really need your overpowering body odor around? No, I think not. (And I'm not exaggerating on that point. This is my story, and I wanted that particular moment memorialized for posterity. For some reason, in the midst of everything else, that was what I found the most inconsiderate at the time.)

Finally, I was moved to the labour and delivery room. Mr Babbler made an emergency call to his father, who was staying at our house. "Um, dad, please don't settle in with a glass of wine and a movie, we may, uh, need you to come and pack up b*babbler's room as it seems she's in labour." After waiting a brief time the obstetrician swanned in. He wasn't my regular obstetrician - a terrific woman who was actually the head of obstetrics at that hospital but unfortunately not on duty that night. I'd never really been faced with truly bad bedside manner until that night. The doctor walked in, mumbled his name and told me to spread 'em. That was pretty much the extent of his discussion with me that night, as he began issuing commands to the nurses, calling for morphine to try to stop the contractions.

The nurses started a new IV with a high-speed saline drip, hooked me up to a fetal monitor, and gave me my injection of morphine. As they worked they spoke over top of me, as though I wasn't there.

"I don't know why he's bothering with the morphine. She's fully effaced. She's having this baby tonight. This is a waste of time."

Yeah. Thanks for that update folks. I love wasting time when I'm in preterm labour.

Mr Babbler and I spent the next several hours in a strange state. The morphine made me stupid and zombie-like, but didn't do anything for the contractions. There was a television on in the room that only aired the Weather Network, so we listened over and over to the same unchanging reports. The nurse who kept checking on me was pregnant. 32 weeks, she announced to me. I felt like a failure. Here I was, in labour at 32 weeks and she was still working, planning on another two months of pregnancy. I was upset, but somehow unable to cry. I needed to pee, but getting up was a major procedure. I apologized repeatedly to everyone I met. Time moved slowly and flew by faster than I could ever imagine, measured by the dripping of my IV.

After several hours the doctor came back in and examined me. He announced that I would be having the baby that night (surprise surprise!), but the hospital there couldn't handle it and he was checking with Mount Sinai and Sick Kids and then swanned out of the room, leaving Mr Babbler and I gaping. But, we were told the hospital here had a Level 2 NICU! There's no one else delivering here tonight! Why can't you handle me?! What the hell is going on! Is something wrong with my baby? But he was gone. Mr Babbler tracked him down to question him and found him playing, I mean researching, on the internet. Apparently they were short on beds in the NICU and couldn't take me that evening.

A while later he was back. Mount Sinai and Sick Kids were full. They were checking with Ottawa but they might end up moving me to Buffalo. Either way, I was moving somewhere that evening.

Ottawa?! Buffalo?! What the hell! Insert many curse words and fearful looks here.

Mr Babbler's father was called in to pack up my room. I had already changed out of my clothes into a hospital gown, and had only my Crocs, my teddy bear (given to me by my best friend when she found out I was pregnant) and my pillow. Everything else was taken home. Good man that he is, he even remembered the uneaten sushi dinner in the kitchen. We were not meant to watch that game.

Finally they announced I was going to a hospital across the city that we had never heard of. I would be traveling by ambulance and they would hopefully be coming for me in about an hour.

Sure enough, an hour later the medics arrived with the gurney. I was loaded on the gurney, a nurse was arranged to travel with us for the handoff and Mr Babbler was allowed to come along for the ride. While heading to the ambulance, the medic asked us if the delivery was imminent. He could do it in the ambulance, but he'd just prefer to have some advance notice. Wouldn't we all, I thought.

We got out to the ambulance at which point the driver announced that two of the major highways leading to the other hospital were closed that weekend for repairs. We were going to have to find a cross-city route. I'm normally the driver and directions person, as Mr Babbler will proudly tell you, so there I was, strapped onto the gurney on my back, in full labour having contractions every two minute apart, approximately 6 centimetres dilated and had no pain medication (the morphine having worn off) and I was tossing out possible routes left right and centre. No, not that way, you'll get stuck at that intersection. No! That stretch of road is already bad. How about you take A to B, then jog along C, up to D and that should take us there, right? Hey, it took my mind off everything else.

We headed out. No, let me tell you. Is a grown man anything other than a boy that wears larger shoes? I think not. Mr Babbler was so excited to be in an ambulance. With the light on! And the sirens! And hey look, we went through a red light! Ooh, ooh, ooh. Yeah. Seriously.

As we turned off one major road we heard an "oh shit" from the driver, "I forgot they put speed bumps all up this road."

Now let me state this up front - is there anything more uncomfortable than labouring on the flat of your back? Yes! Labouring on the flat of your back while strapped to a gurney going over speed bumps.

And then I had to pee. They had been giving me a full bag of saline by IV approximately every hour to hour and a half, and what goes in must come out. The solution? Put me on the "potty" while lying strapped down.

Is there anything more uncomfortable that labouring on the flat of your back while strapped to a gurney while going over speed bumps? Why yes there is! You can labour on the flat of your back while strapped to a gurney while your back is arched up and over the "potty".

That was how I remained for the rest of the drive, which, due to the road closures, took close to an hour and a half. I spoke to no one, and throttled my teddy bear through each contraction. Breathing? Yeah, I guess I did a little bit of that too. Finally, right around midnight, we arrived at the hospital where my Peanut would be born.

But that's a tale for tomorrow, the final part in this very long birth story.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A year ago today (Part III)

You can read Part I here.
You can read Part II here.


A year ago today I sat in a hospital bed all day, moving only to use the washroom. I had a battery of blood tests, was placed on a fetal monitor three times over the course of the day and ate some of the worst food ever (the vegetarian diet at the hospital? Beyond terrible. Seriously, it makes regular hospital food look like fine dining.) I read some my book, watched TV, listened to the sounds of the new mothers in the ward, and felt rather sorry for myself.

Not an interesting day to report, so instead we'll go back a bit in history. To what happened before these events.

We were quite lucky. When we decided to start a family, we got pregnant right away. That was just about where our luck ended.

At seven weeks we had our first scare. I ended up at the hospital with the fear that the pregnancy was ectopic after several days of sharp pains in my one side. An ultrasound revealed that it was some scar tissue from an appendectomy, but the seeds of unease were laid. I was learning, early on, just how scary this pregnancy business could be.

First there was the sickness. From early on I was sick, so very very sick, with morning all-day sickness. As time went on, it only got worse instead of better. What can I say of this time, except that it dragged on and on, punctuated only by the trips to the hospital when the dehydration became so severe that I was dizzy lying down, dizzy standing up, nearly passing out on 20 foot walk from bedroom to bathroom and back again. I did, though, learn several things during this time.

1) If you show up at the hospital pregnant looking like you are 16 (when you are nearly 30), with an absent husband (in Las Vegas on a business trip), nearly pass out at triage, and then end up in the hallway bathroom loudly dry heaving, when you open the door to the bathroom where two nurses will pretty well bodily carry you to a bed. Immediately.

2) When you show up a second time on a busy Friday night in the same downtown hospital, it pays to have a sister who used to work as an ER nurse before being promoted to ICU nurse (it's all about hierarchy). She will a) ensure that you not left lying in the hallway right next to the nurses station, because the nurse can't be bothered to move you because you are a patient who doesn't cause trouble and she doesn't want to "lose you" and not only get you moved by move you into a coveted private room and b) when she walks into your room and checks on you at 3 am only to find you have ended up with a nurse who doesn't respond to the call bell despite 30 minutes of trying because oh, say, the anti-nauseant drugs that are put up and 30 seconds later the infuser stops working, will immediately fix the problem, go out and give the nurse hell and then report her the next day. I'm not one for overriding the system, but I can't begin to describe how these two actions saved my sanity that night.

Ultimately, I lost nearly 15 pounds during the first part of my pregnancy. I ended up on Diclectin and was just starting to feel better when the final strike fell.

I ended up with a faulty gall bladder. Sexy, I know. A gall bladder so faulty that no amount of diet restrictions could control it. Small snacks of simple breads, rice, vegetables and fruits, and still I was having attacks nearly every other day. I was seen by a surgeon who recommended I have surgery to remove the offending organ. Said surgery of course came with a risk, described to me as:

"Hmm... you would be... let's see... 23-24 weeks at the time of the surgery. Well, you know that your baby would likely not survive if you were to go into preterm labour, a risk of the surgery. So, yes, that's a decision you'll have to make."

Gee, when you put it like that it's ever so simple a decision.

My obstetrician recommend the surgery, as she was afraid the attacks were going to cause me to go into preterm labour anyway. I wasn't gaining weight. It wasn't good for the baby. I do believe this was the rock and the hard place.

I arranged for the month off work that my surgeon and my obstetrician recommended, and I scheduled the surgery. I was terrified. As they put me to sleep I told the nurse over and over again to please take care of my baby, that she was a little girl, that we were going to name her (Peanut). Please take care of her, please take care of her, please take care of her.

I woke up and was put on a monitor to find the heartbeat. A very nosy medical student was fascinated with the whole process. "You mean she's 24 weeks pregnant? And she had surgery? Was it a keyhole cut? Oh, look! They made the incisions there, and there and there." She made the Grey's Anatomy interns look like bored slackers. For the first time since becoming pregnant I was openly rude to a medical professional and asked (less than politely) if they could just look for the damn heartbeat. Please.

In the end the Peanut and I were okay. It was a long recovery, but we had made it through with no apparent side effects. I started to eat again, and finally gained a bit of weight. I went back to work. We were just starting to become good at the pregnancy thing, her and I.

And then my water broke.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In memoriam

A year ago today, while I lay in the hospital, I missed the funeral for the father of one of my oldest friends. But this part of the story is not about me. It's about a man - a man we'll call A.

I met A many years ago, as a teenager, brought home as a friend by his son. A was a good man, a kind man, a funny man, a true gentleman (oh, how he could charm the ladies. Old ladies, young ladies, women with children - they would all stop to chat with him),
and most importantly, a family man. These are words that merely state the obvious about the man he was, are generic terms that could describe any man, for how do you truly summarize a life? How do you describe the person he really was?

Why don't I start with a romance? Every life needs a romance, and As was exceptional. It was England during the 60s. A had left high school to become a police officer, a "bobby".
I can only imagine how he looked, a young, fresh-faced officer, ears sticking out around his neatly shorn hair, crisply pressed uniform. On his regular beat, a street corner in London, he began to notice a pretty young woman who walked past the intersection. The pretty young woman was far away from home, Pakistan, training to be nurse. Eventually he asked the pretty young woman out on a date. Against the protest of their families (this was the 60s after all) they married. An unusual couple, the upper-class Pakistani girl and the working class British bobby, but a marriage that lasted more than 30 years, three children, grandchildren, immigration to Canada, job loss and rebuilding. A romance in the truest sense of the word.

What about his sense of humour? A had one of the best senses of humour, even when it was unintentional or at the expense of himself (he was infamous for putting his foot deeply in his mouth. He never meant any harm, and often these faux pas made for the best stories later. One in particular involved a hotel reservation and a funeral - but I'll save that story for his son to tell.) Perhaps another story: The summer I met A he had taken out several Agatha Christie mysteries from the local library. As he came to the end of each one he realized that the final pages, the revealing of the whodunnit, had been torn out of the book.
But it made for great comedy (and A loved Agatha Christie), so he continued to take Agatha Christies out of the library, and he continued to be frustrated at the end of each and every novel upon discovering that they, too, were missing their ending. It made for too good a story, and A couldn't pass up the opportunity for a good story! He could even laugh at the relationship with the mother-in-law who lived with him, a relationship not that unlike that of Endora and Derwin, Derwood, Dum Dum... I mean Darren. As I said, often the best source of humour was at his own expense.

Finally, a story about kindness. One summer the house behind the motel went up in flames - a destructive, encompassing fire. The house was owned by an old man who lived there alone. Quietly, with no fanfare, A offered the man a room in the motel. The next morning A sent me up to the room with breakfast on a tray - after the upset of the night before he wouldn't make the man come down to the breakfast room, he just needed peace. I don't know how long the man stayed there in A's motel, but I do know that A would have never tossed him out or charged him as long as the man needed a place to stay. A was a man who couldn't even move the family cat off the comfy chair in the office, and could often be found sitting on the uncomfortable hardback chair, there was no way he would evict the man, even when times were tough for his own family.

Most important though, he was a many who deeply loved his family. He brought his two children from England to Canada to offer them a better life, without class restrictions, that he himself had not had. When stress started to overtake their life in a busy city in Ontario, he moved them east, where they purchased a small motel and built a quieter life in small town. He was so proud of the daughter he had, the family surprise later in life. When the town was bypassed by a new highway extension, devastating the town, he picked up his family and rebuilt their lives again back in the city from which they fled, even moving back to the same apartment building they had first moved to upon arriving in Canada. He began over, working at thankless jobs, climbing back up the ladder, eventually buying his family a house and moving them out of the apartment. Before he got sick he had a good job as a manager with a good company and was near retirement. He was a man who had earned his retirement. Where another man may have become bitter and angry with the trials life dealt him, he maintained a sense equanimity, of optimism and, most importantly, his sense of humour. He did it all for his family. He was a far better man than many of us would have been in similar circumstances.

Five years ago A watched proudly as both his sons married good women, in the same summer. Nearly for years ago A watched his eldest son have his first child, a granddaughter. Two and a half years ago A saw his first grandson born. And two years ago A became sick with brain cancer. Last year A passed away, a month before his third grandchild, a granddaughter was brought into this world.

A lived a rich life, a full life, a life full of love and a life filled with more than his share of hardship and humility. He raised three wonderful children and lived to see two grandchildren born. He left behind a woman who loved him deeply. He deserved so much more - he deserved to grow old with his wife, to enjoy his retirement, to see all his grandchildren born, to see his daughter graduate from college, to walk her down the aisle, to see her have children of her own. He deserved, had earned, many more years. It's a testament just how unfair life can be.

My friend, if you are reading this, I apologize. After promising you, repeatedly, that I would be there for you when the time came, I wasn't able to follow through with my promise. Events intervened. So I humbly offer this gift to you, a year later, my words and memories on your wonderful father. These words can never adequately paint an image of the life he led, but I offer them to you nonetheless. You are so very like him, sharing many of his best characteristics. He would be so very proud of you, but I hope you already know that.

*Any inaccuracies are solely mine - the result of drawing these stories from the depths of memory.



Thursday, October 18, 2007

A year ago today (Part II)

You can read Part I here.

What was I doing a year ago today? Ah, here the memory sharpens and becomes much clearer. The details pop, vividly, are crammed in my head as fresh as if the day happened merely yesterday, not a year ago. Will I always remember this much? This clearly?

A year ago today I woke up and felt something that seemed a little off, nothing I could put my finger on definitively, but just... off. Since I was otherwise feeling fine, I left for work. Feeling a bit ridiculous, I gave my obstetrician a call, and left a message on her machine.

There was a meeting. A very long, very boring meeting via teleconference. I recall just how long it was, because I remember leaving at one point and grabbed my bag of cut up veggies which I proceeded to munch on through the remainder of the very long meeting.

After escaping, I checked for a follow up call from my obstetrician. Finding that I had no messages, I gave her another call. Her assistant let me know that she was in an emergency c-section, and after talking to me suggested that perhaps I might want to pop into labour and delivery down at the hospital, just to be checked out. She was sure that it was likely nothing, but better safe than sorry, yes?

I told my boss that yet again I would have to leave work, but this time I was sure it would only be for a couple of hours. I could make up the time at the end of the day, as I was sure I would be back. (Oh, how sure of myself I was, how certain that I was the one in control. The Fates must have looked down at me and snickered at my hubris and fallibility.) Because of my certainty, I did not pack up any of the work on my desk, (unusually) I left my laptop at the office, I did not send the final e-mail I meant to send that afternoon. I merely grabbed my bag, the book I had been reading (The Historian, as previously noted) thinking that I would be kept waiting, and left the office.

I arrived at labour and delivery where I was checked into the admissions/triage room. I was first interviewed by the most nervous young (male) medical student I have ever encountered. He was as fresh-faced as they come and was so tongue-tied he could barely ask me the necessary questions. He stammered, blushed and tripped his way through most of the questions. When the attending obstetrician came in, I found he was unable to ask me one of the more pertinent (in the doctor's eyes apparently) questions: had I had sexual relations lately? It was quite endearing, although I recall thinking at the time that if he was too nervous to ask me that question, good luck to him, as I'm sure that there would be many much more embarrassing questions he would be required to ask in his future career.

I was checked out, and the doctor announced that it looked like perhaps something had been happening, but at the time I wasn't effaced, my water hadn't broken, I was not dilated, so she was pretty sure I was okay. She would, though, prefer I have an ultrasound and remain off work until the following Tuesday, the date of my next appointment with my obstetrician. I agreed, grudgingly. I had no remaining sick or holiday days, having used them all up in prior parts of the pregnancy, and there was a five-day waiting period for short-term disability to kick in. In other words, I was taking a five-day unpaid holiday.

The student then came back and announced that the hospital had no ultrasound appointments available, but would I mind going home and coming back when they called me.

I arrived home just in time to walk in the door to the phone ringing. It was the ultrasound department, could I come back right now? They had an opening. I love Murphy's Law.

I walked right back out the door and into the car. I turned out onto the main road in time to see a bicyclist hit by a car. The day had truly become surreal. I stopped, called 911, and waited with the cyclist. When the police arrived, I apologized for appearing rude, but asked if they could please interview me immediately as I was required back at the hospital myself.

Could the day get any stranger?

I had the ultrasound, and after several hours of waiting the same obstetrician came to review it with me. Again, the baby looked good. My amniotic level was a little low, but still good. The same diagnosis: go home, stay off work a few days, relax, enjoy the "free" time off.

I came home dejected. I very clearly recall sitting on a footstool in front of Mr Babbler, and griping that I couldn't seem to do anything right. That I sucked at being pregnant. I was angry and disappointed and frustrated. He consoled me and told me it was going to be fine, not to worry about the money, to enjoy the time off, to sit and read and watch TV and some good movies, and relax. And as he talked I remember very clearly how I started to feel, well, a wee bit damp. Wet. Soggy even.

I quietly excused myself and wandered up to the bathroom. I hadn't peed myself, had I? I didn't recall laughing and having one of those "oops" moments. Did it smell like pee? Damn it, what had our silly birthing instructor said about amniotic fluid again? Surely it wasn't that. It couldn't be. I had only arrived back from the hospital less than an hour ago, where they told me I was fine. No no no no NO! I was just turning into a Nervous Nelly. I was certain there was no cause for alarm.

As I sat in the bathroom, realizing that the problem didn't seem to be resolving itself, I tried to figure out how to break this new development to Mr Babbler. "Honey," I called from the stairs, "I'm sure it's proooo-ba-bly nothing, but we might have a liiittle problem. But I'm sure it's nothing to worry about." Within five minutes forty-five seconds of my telling him, he had put on his shoes and jacket, grabbed his keys and was standing by the door. Me? For some reason I was a little more sanguine about the whole affair. (Although if I'm being honest, there was no way in hell I was going back to the hospital where, most likely, the very same obstetrician would see me and think I was the biggest hypochondriac on the earth. I certainly wasn't about to subject myself to that particular embarrassment.) What did I do? I am nothing if not methodical. I pulled out every pregnancy book I had. When that didn't work I turned to the ever-faithful Google, true nerd that I am. Do you know what comes up when you Google amniotic fluid vs. urine? All in the name of parenthood!

Mr Babbler had had enough. We were going to the damn hospital, and we were going now. I packed up another book for Mr Babbler, my iPod, and a few snacks. As a last precaution I optimistically put on a panty liner. Didn't I think I was ever so smart? Go on and laugh. I sure am.

We arrived at the hospital, and in the amount of time it took to walk from the car park into the front door I was dripping into my shoes. At that point I knew, although I was still in pretty firm denial. I just needed to use the washroom, really that was all. Really.

Again we checked into labour and delivery admissions/triage. Things were a bit busier than earlier in the day, and the assistants said they were going to pull my file. In the meantime I could go into the cubicle and a nurse would see me.

The nurse bustled in, fully dressed in scrubs, with a trainee beside her. She quickly snapped on some gloves to administer the amniotic swab test. Holding it up, she announced briskly that yes, my water had broken.

And I burst into sobs. Long, wracking sobs.

Looking utterly confused, she asked me what was wrong. "But, but, but, [sob] it's tooooooo e-e-e-arly. I'm ooo-o-o-nly [sob] thirty-[sob, hiccup]t-t-two weeks!"

The nurse looked utterly chagrined, and immediately apologized. She hadn't seen my chart before looking at me, and no one had warned her. Things were going terribly wrong with a c-section in progress and everyone was running around (from the hallways was the constant sound of people yelling "get moving, I don't care who you send to the bloodbank, I need another 3 units of platelets. Move it, NOW!" It was a bit disconcerting to say the least.) Within a minute I had settled myself down and had started to ask questions. Mr Babbler and I both have always operated best when we are armed with information.

The nurse sat down and told us what would be happening next. As I wasn't in labour, I would remain in the hospital on bed rest. I would immediately be started on an IV (to keep my fluid intake up), I would have steroid shots (for the Peanut's lungs) and antibiotics (to prevent infection). I would likely have many more ultrasounds, monitoring several times a day, and a battery of blood tests. I would still deliver early as they wouldn't let this continue beyond around 35 weeks, but hopefully they could prolong the pregnancy a little while longer. And the nurse explained what would happen if the Peanut was delivered right away, what she would look like, who would be in the room, what would happen. She, in the midst of one of her busiest and worst nights ever, and more than anyone who would follow, prepared us for what was to come.

Mr Babbler was led away to start the process of checking me into the hospital. Wonderful man that he is, he sprung for a private room so I wouldn't have to be surrounded by a constant procession of other mother's with their brand new babies. With the constant questions, and the family visits, and the late nights, and their babies.

Within a couple of hours I was checked into a room on the maternity ward. As I lay in bed that night, adjusting to the noises and rhythms of the hospital, the constant ins and outs of the nurses, I pondered my new predicament. Bed rest? Me? Surely this wasn't how I was meant to spend the remainder of my pregnant days. My Peanut and I, we had important things to do together. We needed to be together, her and I, much longer than they were giving us.

And while the doctors were giving us another three weeks together, little did I know that again, the Peanut was going to have other ideas. Our time together was rapidly drawing to a close, and within a few days my world would be turned upside down.

Again.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A year ago today (Part I)

What was I doing a year ago today? Can I remember?

It was a day like any other, of that I'm sure, and yet from the vantage point of the future, it was a day entirely like any other. For it was to be the day that would mark the boundary between before and after. It was a day in which I unknowingly hung on the precipice.

I was seven months pregnant, and of one thing I'm certain. It was a day in which I had finally, after several hospitalizations and scares, a surgery at 24 weeks followed by a month of sick leave, become comfortable and complacent in my pregnancy. I was finally relaxing, allowing some of the tension and fear that had drained me for the first seven months drift away.

To the details. Was it sunny out that day? Rainy? Cold? Warm? This I cannot retrieve from my memory. A historical search tells me that it was cool outside, a high of 14 degrees, and that there was 36 mm of precipitation that day. Not surprising really, as I recall the next few days spent staring out the window at the gray skies.


It was a Tuesday. A work day.

There, dimly, a scene comes to mind. A boardroom and a meeting - droning on - Charity Week planning. Pizza parties, candygrams and silent auctions. The usual corporate attempt at drumming up some cash prior to the holiday season.

Did I work late? Likely. In retrospect, it would not surprise me that I was wasting my few remaining hours in the office.

What did I do when I came home? Did I have dinner with Mr Babbler, or was he, too, working late? Did we watch TV together? Spend time together talking, touching, kissing?

Did I read a few chapters from my book, The Historian (one of the few details that comes clearly to mind, as my bookmark still remains in place at page 94, where I was interrupted a few days later, the book never to be picked up again. A memorial to a time, a place, a momentous event.)

Did we crawl into bed together that night, and hold each other, draw each other close? Perhaps, or perhaps we fell into bed, tired and exhausted wanting only to sleep, needing only to get through the work week, still blissfully unaware of what the next day would bring us.

This time, the memory of this last evening together, as simply us, lost for all time.

When I drifted to sleep, did I dream of the baby inside of me? Did I hold my belly tight, feeling the rolling tumbles and the sudden kicks? Could I feel a change, a sudden decisiveness, a purposefulness, to my little Peanut's drifting movements? As I dreamed, did my subconscious know what my mind did not - that our time together as a single entity was rapidly drawing to a close, so much sooner than I ever could have imagined.

If I had known, would I have stayed awake all night, holding tight to Mr Babbler, holding tight to the baby inside me? Would I have clung wildly to that last time together, as it slipped slipped slipped so swiftly through my fingers?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A thinly veiled request from a desperate book lover

Edited 9:00 PM

This was a post about a certain event I was hoping to attend. I have since found the information I was looking for, so have edited this post to remove any potentially identifying details of my former life.

Just in case they hunt me down, ya know?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Action and inadequacy - Blog Action Day


I'm a little stunned today. There have been so many excellent posts today, and I am in awe.

And I feel, well...

Lazy.
Shocked.
Scared.
Overwhelmed.
Inadequate.

I want, so desperately, to do more for the environment, but sometimes it's so difficult.

We're trying. We're made the little changes.
  • We've purchased the reusable bags - and I'm trying to remember to bring them with me when I shop.
  • We own only one car, and it has fantastic fuel efficiency.
  • Mr Babbler takes public transit to work every day.
  • We have switched almost every light bulb in our house over to high efficiency compact fluorescents bulbs.
  • We are buying in larger quantities to cut down on packaging.
  • I have cut down significantly on the number of magazines I purchase. (I can't, however, seem to break the book purchase habit.)
But, but, but. These are all such minor things. They are so inadequate, in the grand scheme of things. It's not nearly enough.
  • We still use bottles. The bad ones.
  • We still use household cleaners. Not the good ones. But oh how I love the smell of Windex.
  • We have computers that are left on far too frequently.
  • We use a dryer instead of line drying.
  • We buy packaged foods.
  • We produce (far) too much garbage (see above).
And the list goes on...

We have so much more to do. Here in the Babbler house we're going to try. We have to try. We will slough off the weight of laziness and rouse ourself from our torpor, and make some changes. Because at the end of the day, no less than the fate of the world and the future of humanity rests on it, really.



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Losing the war, but winning the battles - Breast Fest 2007

Today was the fabulous Breast Fest. There have been posts, there have been videos, there have been beautiful photos.

I have no photos.
I have no video.
I do, though, have our story.

When your baby is born early, you will realize, very rapidly, that your entire birth experience will slip through your fingers, handed over to the specialists who will be tasked with stabilizing your baby. Many hands (not yours) will touch your baby. You may get a glimpse, perhaps a brief moment to cuddle, but then the baby will quickly be whisked away out of sight, for the tests, the tubes, the plastic box that will be their home for the next weeks. You will not get an opportunity to breast feed shortly after the birth, not after their first bath, possibly not for days or weeks.

This was our experience. When the Peanut was born, we were lucky enough to have a few brief moments to cuddle before she was moved to the NICU. But feeding her, nourishing her? That came much later.

When a baby is born as early as the Peanut, they haven't perfected the suck-swallow-breathe reflex. Because of this, they are fed by a tube leading down to their stomach. Later, they are often started on a bottle, as breastfeeding takes much more energy and is quite tiring for the baby and can lead to weight loss that the baby can not afford.


Five ccs of formula. A humble beginning.


Oh, how I wanted to breastfeed my baby. Instead, she was fed by a test tube, scotch taped to the inside of her incubator while I watched.

As a mom of a preemie, the pump was promptly wheeled in to my room by the end of the first day. And I pumped.

And pumped.

And pumped.

Nothing happened. I was told to go and look at my daughter, gaze on her, keep a picture of her with me when I pumped.

Still nothing happened.

Finally, after three days, I pumped a stunning 12 ccs of milk. A small victory. And after approximately ten days I was allowed to try breastfeeding my little Peanut.

There are mechanics to breastfeeding a preemie, so much to learn.

Regardless, we got settled into a chair, two nurses and a lactation consultant assisted. One nurse held the Peanut, the other attempted to jam her tiny, tiny little mouth onto my nipple. My hands flopped around helplessly, aimlessly. The nurse and the lactation consultant started bickering about method, technique, the baby herself. I was lost. Finally after a few more attempts (no more than one per day), the nurse finally came and told me to go and buy myself a nipple shield. The baby's mouth, she said, is too small. The nipple shield will help.

So I did as I was told. And the nurse was right, the Peanut was able to latch on to the nipple shield where she had failed with my nipple, and slowly, we were off. At one point the lactation consultant came in and saw me using the shield, and clucked and scolded and chastised. Lacatation consultants, as I found out the hard way, don't like the nipple shield. But damn it, the Peanut was learning to breastfeed, and I would use that shield for the next year if I had to.

During this, I continued to pump. I had a hard time with it, driving back and forth across the city from my home to the hospital on the other side of the city where the Peanut was, trying to find a bit of privacy in the hospital to pump. My milk supply wasn't great and often I couldn't pump enough to meet her needs for the day. But oh, how I tried.

Eventually we reached a point where I was allowed to try to breastfeed her for every meal that I was at the hospital. Even then, there were more mechanics. You strip the baby to her diaper. Weigh her. Feed her. Then weigh her again, to ensure that her weight is now 40g more than the initial weigh in, the 40g being what constitues a full feed. If she had stopped eating or fallen asleep and was not 40g heavier, and was too tired for the bottle then the difference between what was ingested and her prescribed feed amounts was tube fed. So many mechanics. Such an unnatural environment.

A lot of preemie moms give up. For your child to leave the NICU, amongst other milestones, they must be off tube feeding completely for at least three days. If you are breastfeeding, it is more likely that you will need to tube feed occasionally. The nurses, overworked, stressed and desperate to get the babies home with their parents, can sometimes be discouraging towards the breastfeeding process. In the NICU, with everything else going on, they just don't have the time to supervise it in the manner they feel they need to (although they push hard for you to pump. Pump Pump Pump!). Oh, they say, you can focus on breastfeeding when you get home (weeks or even months after your baby has been born. Weeks and months of tube feeding and bottle feeding, and a milk supply compromised by stress and exclusive pumping.)

But the Peanut and I? We battled on, eventually breastfeeding every meal. The nurses were surprised and pointed to me as an example of what it was possible to accomplish - a small NICU victory. But I was nervous. I knew my milk supply was not keeping up. I took Domperidone, I took fenugreek, and I worried and I hoped.

When the Peanut came home I breastfed as much as possible, but my low milk supply combined with the Peanut's propensity for falling asleep at the breast, meant that we were dependent on formula for parts, or whole, meals. At 4 lb, we couldn't afford for her to lose weight. Then, nearly three months after she was born, the Peanut finally learned how to latch without the shield. What a great day!

We hobbled along, her and I, breastfeeding as much as possible, always in the morning and at night, before bed and periodically throughout the day. I tried all the remedies to increase my milks supply - drugs, oatmeal, constant pumping - but nothing worked. After a while, I realized that she really wasn't getting much nourishment from the feedings (as she would cry in hunger even after being at the breast for 20 minutes or more), but in its place breastfeeding had become the Peanut's calming and soothing mechanism. She wouldn't take a soother, (oh no, no soother for her, despite the small fortune I spent on testing each and every damn brand out there) but she would nurse to sleep before every nap, before bedtime. She would nurse in a restaurant to calm herself down. She would nurse on the airplane on our trip to Vancouver. She would nurse while hanging out with friends on a Saturday evening. As tied down as I was by it, I loved it. I felt empowered by my ability to calm the Peanut, to soothe her, to help her fall asleep.

Then on the weekend of her christening, when she was seven months old, the Peanut took a couple of nips at my breast, turned her head, and fell asleep.

She didn't want me anymore. She didn't need my boobies, didn't want my boobies. And she didn't change her mind.

I joked with people about it, laughed it off. I told my husband that he could now do bedtime duty. But inside I was crying, for I wish that I could have breast fed her exclusively. I wish I could have breastfed her longer. I wish I had photos and videos of that special time.

But at th end of it all, I know we did our best, her and I. I
'm so proud that we did our very best. We may not have won the war, but we certainly claimed victory in a few battles.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On the jagged edge of frustration (and guilt)

The day started out beautifully enough. Some much longed for cooler weather. A reasonable wake up call. Play time together.

Naptime. A decent length of an hour and half (not the Marathon Naps that some enjoy, but we sleep through the night, so I can't really complain). Then some shopping and lunch out. We had a wonderful time, smiles and giggles. New clothes purchased, a cozy knitted hat and mitts.

They say that if a bird shits on you, its good luck. But what happens when the shit just misses you and hits the recently vacated stroller instead? Then it hits the fan. Metaphorically, of course.

We arrived home in time for afternoon bottle and then nap. I was tired, and not feeling particularly well. The nap didn't happen. There was jumping up and down, there was banging on the music box, there was smashing of feet against the bars and tiny fists against headboard of the crib.

And there was the crying. The wailing. The carrying on.

[In our house, nap time is sacred. After years spent alone, spent hiding in books, it is the time I need - no, require - to be a good mother, a decent mother. With Mr Babbler's work hours, I am on "duty", so to speak, in excess of 12 hours most days, and with the Peanut cruising and exploring and generally requiring constant monitoring those can be 12 very busy, very tiring hours . Without that time, that hour in the afternoon, I start to feel anxious and stressed. It is the touchstone that helps me maintain my grip on my sense of self. It is the hour that is the bridge between my former self, the independent, loner me, and the me that has become a wife and a mother, part of our social family unit.]

I gave up on the nap, but my frustration, my irritation, was palpable. My mouth was an unsmiling line, my sentences abrupt. I could not rouse myself to playfulness. I looked at the clock, counted the hours.

As the afternoon wore on the spiky edges of my frustration jabbed at me unrelentingly. I tried in vain to find my happy place, my best self, but she was lost in the prickliness of irritation, was consumed by my frustration. The Peanut was merciless (that burst of energy that comes before the inevitable crash), climbing over barriers, banging on the television, grabbing papers and stuffing them in her mouth. After pulling yet one more item from the Peanut's grasp (a remote? the telephone? the computer? was it really that important?) my tone turned from merely abrupt to a full-fledged bark.

And the Peanut started crying. She looked at me, and started to cry.

I had made her cry. Oh, dear god, I had made my Peanut cry. (Over a remote? A telephone? A missed nap?) What was the matter with me?

At that moment I loathed myself, despised myself. The guilt welled up, a tidal wave of sick from deep within my belly as I looked at my Peanut, my beautiful little girl, with tears in her eyes. Tears I had caused. Hot tears, my penance for being a bad mother.

I want to go to bed, to close my eyes and let the day with my irritation, my frustration, my sadness, my guilt (oh, the overwhelming guilt) and the fear, the fear of becoming this woman, wash away. I want to wake up tomorrow - a new day, with no mistakes in it, yet - and be that good, patient mother, the brick of guilt removed from my belly (for the time being). I want to be the mother the Peanut deserves. I want a chance, another opportunity, to be that mother on the pedestal in my imagination. The mother I aspire, valiantly, to be.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To pee or not to pee

To pee or not to pee - that is the question.

Witnessed today in the IKEA parking lot, early afternoon:


A mother with her son, approximately three years of age, in front of one of the planters/lane dividers. The mother was helping him to aim his "peepee" at the concrete. There was no attempt at concealing the activity in question, as the son took obvious delight in the giant mark he was making on the concrete.


Let me further clarify. They were parked in the "family" parking spot closest to the door, just inside of which I happen to know that there is a bathroom. Further, there was another adult who could have remained with the car (and any other children inside it).


As I witnessed this I couldn't help but wonder, would the mother have done the same thing if it had been a daughter who needed to go? Would she have just had her squat in the parking lot? What does this teach her son? That it is acceptable to pee wherever you want? (Please note: I can understand peeing behind trees when on long car trips with kids and that sort of thing. But there was a washroom
just inside the door of the store.)

So, in the spirit of delurking day, I ask you fine folks to weigh in - was this acceptable or not? Is it different because the child was a boy? What are your thoughts/experiences/wisdom/rants?


The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

* * *

I'm finally starting to feel a bit better - thanks for all your kind thoughts. It looks like it was brief but brutal. All I can say is that being sick is so much more difficult when you have a toddler (and in the last few days the Peanut has become just that. She is climbing over things, cruising around the room, getting into all sorts of nooks and crannies).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Help a girl out (please?)

Here I am, two days into the "post a day" challenge, and I've got nothing.

Nothing.

That would be due to the overwhelming sickness that overtook me in the middle of the night. No warning, just suddenly a bout of wicked flu-like symptoms. I'm going to blame it on the birthday party at the petri dish they call Gymboree, but at least it was me that got sick and not the Peanut. Mr Babbler ended up staying home with the Peanut today, as I was completely incapacitated.

So, I ask you humble readers, help a girl out. Leave a comment and tell me a joke, an amusing anecdote, a good new book that you've read, an excellent album, something funny you overheard on the transit - anything to take my mind off the nausea (oh the overwhelming nausea!)

I promise I'll be back with something, anything, as soon as I kick whatever this is that's taken me down.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shiny! New! MacBook!

Apparently I pissed off my crappy old Averatec PC by speaking poorly of it, because mere hours after I posted about the destruction of my trusty old Powerbook, the PC crapped out. The battery had already long since gone on it, so it was only useful with the power adapter. Unfortunately, the connector on the inside of the laptop started to fail, so that only by holding the cord at the right angle would the computer work. That'll teach me to bad mouth my computer (and oh, indignity of indignities, by typing those insults on its very keyboard!)

Mr Babbler - wonderful husband that he is - corrected the situation almost immediately. On Saturday he purchased me this:

Isn't it a thing of beauty?

Whee! It's so fast, and shiny, and most importantly, it works. I think I'm in loooove. What a wonderful husband. I may just keep him!

And, since I've recently found out its National Blog Posting Month, I now have no excuse not to post every day.

Now, because I seem to have a serious case of the Monday Malaise, I'm going to return to watching season one of Dexter, a delightfully creepy show that I love for its examination of right/wrong/justice and the law. I'm hoping to catch up so that Mr Babbler and I can watch season two together.
 

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