"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


One thing I may not have mentioned yet in the pages of this blog is that I have a foot phobia. I'm not sure exactly when it began or what triggered it; I can only surmise that years of giving my Dad footrubs every birthday, Father's Day, Groundhog Day etc. somehow scarred me for life. Dad is a great guy, but decades of walking the bush, fording various rivers and pacing barefoot through skivy hockey locker rooms have given him feet only a hobbit would be proud of.

I have a particular aversion to what I like to call 'big yuckky man-feet,' but pretty much any bare foot will make me wince and/or recoil in horror. You can imagine how traumatic it is for me now that summer is here and everyone feels the need to bare their calluses, corns and talon-like toenails in sandals. *SHUDDER!*

Well, I came across this site today and I still feel a little nauseous. So of course I had to share. You're welcome.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The agony and the ecstasy...

Okay, let me just state here for the record that I am about to shamelessly violate my limited-baby-blog rule in this entry. And just a warning to any fellows that might be reading this: I will be talking about my boobs. And probably not in a way you want to read about them. I will, however, spare you any photos.

I thought that labour and delivery would be the hardest part of Mummyhood. And yes, that part was pretty tough. It's not often one finds oneself down on all fours on a hospital floor, groaning like a stuck pig and crying your husband's name through gritted teeth. (My friend, who's a nurse, was horrified: "Oh Kim, tell me you didn't touch the floor in TRIAGE???") And I'm getting a handle on sleep deprivation, Jade's occasional screaming fits, and even the explosive diaper surprises that land on my hand/leg/shoulder. Know what's brought me to tears more than anything? BREASTFEEDING.

How is it that something that should be so instinctual is so freaking DIFFICULT? The boobs just aren't working. I mean, that's what the darned things are for, right? And babies are hungry mammals, right? So how come possums and kittens and all those other critters can figure it out so quickly when Jade and I are still struggling after 5 weeks to get it right?

D's aunt stopped in for a visit last week and I poured out my woes to her. The older generation doesn't have much advice to offer a mum who is wrestling with the agonies of nursing; they all did bottles with formula, on their doctors' orders. In fact, D's aunt told me that she tried breastfeeding one of her kids while in the hospital, only to be scolded by the doctor, who said, "What the hell are you doing? That's not what those are for!" Um...huh? Yikes.

Today's approach is completely the opposite. There are a lot of militant breastfeeders out there and God forbid you mention formula to them. If I see "breast is best" emblazoned on another hand-out or poster I'm going to tear it down and use it for diaper liners.

I had pastoral visions of breastfeeding my baby: we would be cuddled together in a comfy chair, watching the sun rise and bonding. Instead, I'm rolling around in my office chair at 4am, wrestling with a baby who growls with impatience as I try to figure out the correct latching technique so as not to injure my already screaming sore nipples. It's magical. Really.

Believe me, I've tried to get help. Five lactation consultants, horrid finger feedings, pumping (which is a whole new exercise in humiliation), Dr. Newman's website, prescription tit cream and many tears later, we are nowhere near expert level, but we are not giving up. Why? Because I just really want to breastfeed my baby. It's something I've always dreamed of doing, and while I have nothing against formula per se, I think breastfeeding is healthiest for Jade. I have enough milk and she seems to love it, so that's not the issue. I just can't have subjected my chest to 5 weeks of torment only to cave in and switch to bottles.

And so, I hereby swear by all the lanolin I have in my cupboard that we WILL succeed! Honestly, I don't think I've ever worked this hard at achieving anything in my life. I'm not sure if that's sad or uplifting!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Enter Sandman

I swore to myself that this blog would not become a repository of baby-related rhapsodies once I gave birth. And I am going to stick to that promise. Right after I tell you that Jade has the biggest belly I've ever seen this morning. Geesh. That kid can eat. Apparently I AM a "high producer," as D says.

Anyhoo, in the interest of promoting reduced baby content on this blog, did I ever tell you about the time I attended a Metallica concert?

I was dating a guy who liked metal a lot at the time. He coaxed me into coming to the concert with a few of his friends, and a mutual friend of ours who was a rare breed: a female metalhead. I liked Metallica well enough, but I wouldn't say I was a huge fan. Sure, in the 80's, I had veered dangerously into metalhead territory with my growing penchant for bands like Motley Crue and Ratt, but I was saved by the punk and new wave music some friends introduced me to. It was like an intervention.

I thought Metallica did have considerable talent despite the screaming vocals and grinding guitars, so I bought a ticket and off we went to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. When we got there, I realized I was dressed completely inappropriately: everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - was wearing black. Black shirts, black jackets, black jeans, black boots. I wore my favourite red shirt, embroidered jeans and running shoes. Oops.

The thing I remember most about that concert was the song "Enter Sandman." I'm still partial to the song because of the creepy lyrics and trance-inducing rhythm, but that night I was particularly excited about it as it was one of the few songs they played that I knew the words to. As I belted out the lyrics along with a coliseum full of other people, I decided it was time to try thrashing. My friends had been doing it to every song, and practically everyone else was doing it too, including the band.

Thrashing, for those of you who have never tried it, is the act of flinging your head (and preferably your long, dyed black hair) back and forth in time to heavy metal music. If you're good, you can lean to one side and get your whole torso going. If you're REALLY good, you can do this all while playing air guitar.

What I failed to realize was just how much neck muscle is actually required in order to thrash to more than one song. Encouraged by the thumbs up I received from my female metalhead friend, I thrashed enthusiastically for the rest of the concert. The next morning, I couldn't lift my head off my pillow. It felt like I had a pumpkin attached to my neck by a thread.

Why am I telling you all this, dear reader? Well, this was just one of the many random memories that's drifted across my mind during a 4am feeding. It seems particularly significant because Jade's head bobs around like a drunken thrasher if not supported, and because the Sandman is someone I have come to appreciate during these first four weeks of mummyhood.

I can't say I've ever appreciated the wonder of sleep the way I have lately. I can actually pinpoint the moment before I fall asleep, something I've never noticed before in my life. It's like I'm tiptoeing up to the edge of a very deep chasm - think Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam or Niagara Falls - looking down for a moment, then blissfully plunging over the edge. No screaming, no splat; just a delightful floaty feeling and poof! I'm asleep. It's glorious.

At first I was afraid I'd be irritable and resentful at having my sleep interrupted by baby. As lovely and wanted as she is, I am a pretty big fan of my zzz's. Thankfully I have come to view the 2, 3, or 4 hour stretches I get to sleep as exciting opportunities to nap, rather than whinging about the fact that I can't get a good night's sleep anymore. Napping is always a good thing, right? Thankfully Jade shares my enthusiasm for naps too. Enter Sandman indeed.

Guess I did end up talking a bit about baby, didn't I?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Hullo from the 'hood...

Mummyhood that is! Yes, the blessed event finally happened on May 16th at 2:04pm. May I present to you the lovely miss Jade Violet Alisa Lowry!

She weighed 6lbs 10.5 oz, 19 inches long but is now up to 7lbs 7oz and is verrrry long...thanks to daddy's genes. She is growing way too fast for Mummy's liking. *sigh* She makes snorty piggy noises when she's angry and honks like a Canada goose when she's content. I can't get enough of her toes and fingers and belly. As for the name, which probably seems huge for such a wee girl, here is the story behind it.

D and I had been volleying names back and forth for months. Our tastes are very different and so we had a hard time agreeing on anything for a girl. We had a very short list for boys (of course). After Jade was born, she was referred to as "sweet pea" for 4 days because we STILL couldn't decide on a name. I think the nurses were getting rather disgusted with us. And then, as I was lying in that wretched hospital bed, recovering from the C-section while Sweet Pea got light therapy for her jaundice, I started mulling over a conversation I'd had with my brother-in-law about a month previously.

C was filling up my errant Kia's tires with air in the shop on the farm. Suddenly he looked up at me and said, "Kimmy, I have the perfect name. Your troubles are over. Jade Lowry. Just add whatever your mother's name was in the middle." And he grinned in triumph. Hmm, I thought. Kinda strippery. Kinda catchy. I politely nodded but wasn't really won over at the time.

The more I thought about it in that hospital bed, and the more I came to know Sweet Pea's personality, the more I realized that she was not a Grace or a Madeleine or a Danielle or a Taylor. She was a Jade! And really, C has done so much for us over these past two years - the least we could do is let him name our child.

D liked the name Jadyn, which means "God has heard us" so it was a good compromise. Also, the stone Jade is said to have mystical, heart-healing properties; what better way to heal hearts so bruised after two losses than with sweet baby Jade's arrival. And as my sister Tanzi reminded me, I wrote several stories when I was younger that featured a main character named Jade.

As for Violet, it's my favourite flower, and I found them in bloom all over Someday farm's lawns the week Jade before was born. Alisa was my mother's name; she died in 1993. She was a strong, sophisticated, intelligent woman who had a gift for friendship. I can only hope that Jade will inherit these qualities from the Babushka she never got to meet.

So there's the scoop for now. Sorry to have kept you in suspense, bloggy friends! I hope to do more entries, but I'm telling ya, it's darned hard to type blog entries with one finger while nursing. (0: We are all well and healthy and very, very happy. Thanks for all your prayers and warm wishes. I'll be back soon...