Just another WordPress.com site

baby ethan November 30, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 5:29 pm

I’m doing postpartum support for a new immigrant family with their first baby. i don’t know how long they have been here  but its must be less than a year, probably less than 6 months. dads English is fine, mom forgets some words and has some trouble with it, mixed with the fact that shes a bit more reserved and shy means that she doesn’t speak to me too much.

when i met them, she as having contractions. we talked about postpartum support and what i did and how i can help, and we had to keep pausing every 6-8 minutes for her to focus. they went into the hospital that night. baby boy.

i met them in the hallway of their building as they came home from the hospital the next day. they wanted me there right away to help them settle in for their first night at home. they are nervous, want to make sure they do things right, and they want to do it the Canadian way instead of the Chinese way. dad said to me “sorry to ask you to work on black friday,” and i said “what…? oh!, no it’s not a holiday. its an American thing mostly,” and explained it was about shopping and being mean to each other over $5 dolls.

when i show up in the morning, i fill up the kettle and turn it on in the dark. its Chinese tradition to drink hot or at least very warm water so i start that off for them so its ready when they get up. mom stays in bed until the baby is awake. dad comes to greet me and gives me the low-down on what their night was like. ‘she got, maybe about 2 hours of sleep. shes very tired today.” along with a list of chores to do – sweep the floor, put on the laundry, wipe down the kitchen counters, tidy up a bit. then he sometimes goes back to bed too. i do my stuff quietly and listen for the baby.

i change baby’s diaper, soothe him, bring him to mom for feeding, tuck them both in bed again. when shes ready for breakfast, i hold the baby so mom and dad can eat together. dad flusters around, getting her the soft chair and setting her place and speaking softly to her and letting her eat her pick first. and I bounce and rock and let him suck my finger and do everything i can to keep him content long enough for her to have a slow, peaceful meal. if he’s sleeping i tidy their room. i answer 7236825 questions about everything to do with newborn care. they tell me “we don’t know what we are doing! we know nothing about babies!” but i tell them that they probably know more than they realize. my job here is to put myself out of a job, basically. teach them, show them, until they have the confidence that they don’t need me there anymore. i teach them how to recognize the ‘im hungry’ cues. they ask me how to bath him, what to do about his rash on his neck, if they can take him outside, is it okay that he failed his newborn hearing test? (yes its fine. a lot of babies do. its not the baby, its the equipment.)

when they are done breakfast i might tuck in the chairs and rinse the dishes. mom goes to brush her teeth. dad helps her to shower. shes still very sore and moving slowly and shes not ready to shower alone yet. i take care of baby while dad takes care of mom. peace of mind for both of them.

while i was sitting on the couch holding this tiny boy, staring at him and taking in his delicious tiny baby parts, noticing every tiny downy hair on his face, (that how you know they’re super new. they are born covered in a soft layer of fuzz) i thought “this is the easiest hourly wage ever. im hardly doing anything. i am uncomfortable getting paid for so little work. i hope they feel like they are getting their moneys worth. maybe i’ll go wash the windows.” but i remember trying to shower with a newborn on my own. you put the baby in the bouncy seat in the bathroom and have the fastest shower of your life while the baby screams and your milk drips (erm, pours. shoots out.), and probably you cry because you feel like a failure for not being able to shower/not being able to take care of the baby.  i guess this system where you have a third person is much better.


the placenta musta kicked in November 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 9:15 pm

around six weeks things start pulling together. That squishy thing gets a functioning heartbeat and is now lentil-sized with a central nervous system. Its no more alive than an oyster is at this point, but its fast-track from from here once that ball starts rolling. Following the trend of naming our babies tiny ugly water-dwelling things, this one is the krill.

Also the yolk sac is gone. Absorbed into the lentil-sized body. Now, a lentil-sized placenta starts up. (Yes, placentas approx mirror their babies in size. Small babies have smallish placentas). Which means that now I am feeding it through a tube.

And it wants to EAT.

I had two dinners last night within an hour of each other. I had a really fulfilling lunch today and I was happily and comfortably full. Two hours later I needed to eat again. I have figured out, pretty quickly, that I need to eat something directly before I go to bed or else I wake up feeling sick in the morning. The other night I ate a banana and drank a large glass of milk. I was awake at 5 totally starving. Really, little krill? You ate THE WHOLE BANANA? You are 1cm long! How the hell did you eat the entire banana?!


November 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 8:14 pm

Had a productive day for the most part. Productivity is greatly hampered by having a three year old at home though. I made a smoothie to ease my tummy into the idea of eating actual food today 9i’m not so great with food right now…..) folded the laundry, put most of it away, washed two more loads. Jim whipped through the kitchen and mostly cleaned it up then made omelets. I walked to the post office and mailed off the 4 knitted breasts, the placenta and the uterus. I taught my lunchtime class, where randall was cute and awkward asking me about this pregnancy but managing to not use the word ‘pregnant’. I guess that word is just too strange to him. He literally knows nothing about pregnancy. He is curious and also excited, but has no idea how to ask his questions.

When I came home, I dealt with some henna heals emails, dealt with some of my own emails, made a batch of cornbread muffins, made lunch for myself, and then me and blaze went to pick up cordelia from school. We played outside for a bit. Theres a lopsided snowman outside the front window. He has slightly rotten brussel sprouts for eyes. I made the girls a snack, considered making dinner but decided against it, the girls ran off to play together by themselves which was great becasue i started t feel sick. (it sets in slowly, like a sunset. you dont really notice it at first). and I slowed down and started to wind down for the evening, noodling around. I tried on the clothes that marija gave me. Picked out the stuff I wanted, packed the rest up to pass on to the next person. Jim came home, put together a quick dinner for himself and was out again. Girls are winding down eating their dinner watching ponies.

I move through these days in bursts of activity. Then the sickness comes on, and I slow right down. I eat at random times – I eat when I can. thursday I couldn’t eat oranges. Friday I ate three oranges but could not eat cheddar cheese. It’s totally random. i got protective over a bag of chips and got angry when Jim wanted to share them with me.

i don’t even like chips.

Why the third one is different:
– I’m not lost in the romance of a baby. I KNOW babies. I am pro at this now. I am not fooling myself as to what it will be like. It will be chaotic and possibly hellish at times. i will hate the baby some days. i will hate Jim some days. i will cry on the bathroom floor a few times.

– I haven’t bothered to look up what foods im not supposed to eat. Alcohol, okay yes. But soft cheeses? get real. You think Italian woman stop eating soft cheese? I doubt it. I’m gonna eat brie k thanks. Raw fish? You bet.

– I forget I’m pregnant most of the time. first baby; its all you can think about, all the time. third: I’m too busy with the other two to remember. unless I’m feeling barfy, then I remember.

-I sometimes take a multivitamin. For a while I just ate one of the girls multivitamins every day. Now I have my very own preggie vitamins. They are pink. I remember to take one most days.

-kristy asked us if we had any names picked out. Names? It’s not even a person yet, it’s a squishy ball. Who names a squishy ball? We’ll name it sometime, I guess, possibly before it comes out. I was driving the other say and saw a car called sequoia. hmm, that would be a pretty name, possibly a little bit too hippy, but possible. then it occurred to me that names dont actually matter that much. the right name will fall into our laps like it has twice before.

(For the record, I would like to make it known that kristy said “oh you got the IUD out in august! That’s right after I told you that you should get pregnant like me! did you want to be pregnancy buddies? That’s so cute!” not everything is about you all the time. I took the IUD out in august because we wanted a baby born in late summer, after my teaching job is over and during a time where Jim has less work and right before the girls both go to school full time. I did not conceive a child like people impulse buy chocolate bars just because I wanted to ‘be like you’.

-I don’t give a fuck who knows. Tell whoever you want! Jims mom said “okay, well I guess we aren’t telling anyone for a while yet?” I said “what? Why?” theres no reason for most people to know, its not particularly special to anyone else (personal isn’t the same as important) but at the same time theres no reason for people to NOT know either.

-i want a girl. i cant imagine having a boy after having these two girls fill my life already. a trio of girls seems perfect.


ravioli November 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 10:26 am

we used to make fresh pasta about once a week or so, and at least twice a month. our little hand crank machine has had very little use for the past four years. i made lasagna with it two months ago, and then yesterday i decided to make roasted squash and goat cheese ravioli.

the bread machine made the pasta dough while i made the filling, then i rolled out all the sheets of pasta. i tried making the ravioli with the tray we have, but the dough was too sticky and elastic this time to pull out of the tray easily. so i made them all one by one. it worked out faster. they look a little rustic though.

it takes a very long time to make ravioli. but its always worth it.


i HATE it. i hate squash right now. this squash is the most squashiest-tasting vile thing on the face of the planet.


November 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 10:53 pm

My yarn worked. Better than I expected, almost exactly like I wanted.

I went the whole day without feeling ill but its settling in now. I don’t mind. Its so mild, its annoying, sometimes it takes me off my feet, but its also very comforting. Sickness is a reaction to the hormones raising – it means the little squish is firmly burrowed in and starting to grow. When I DONT feel it I consider getting very slightly anxious. Only consider it.

You know who else felt sick today? Cordelia. She told me in the car she didn’t feel well. We were on the way to the Italian bakery near my moms place, and when we got there the girls picked their treats. Then coco threw up all over herself, the chair, table and floor. For the most part she is entirely independent and doesn’t need me that much in her world, but when she’s sick she really, really needs me. I got a lot of (damp, smelly) hugs and gave out copious amounts of reassurance. Sometimes she is still such a small girl.

We are going to the royal fair on sat then over to my moms place. Rory is home this week so I think we will put them all in one room and get them to play 20 questions. Since this is how we announced the last two pregnancies, I don’t think it will take the whole lot of 20 to get there.

There’s a few people I am absolutely not excited to tell. Guess. I predict a little bit of shit to unfold and I want to put that off until I feel ready to face it with all my walls up first.


yarn November 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 3:59 pm


I have been thinking of making a circle shawl for a while, they are tricky and i haven’t tried one yet. this one, however. made me fall over.

thats all the star constellations of the northern hemisphere. holy crap.

i have some grey-blue-gold-white-turquoise yarn that would be good except that i truly hate the colours once they knit up. the colours by themselves are beautiful, but every single time i try to knit  this yarn, i hate it. I have tried like 8 times.

so today I’m dying it with food colouring. i am aiming for a dusky, dark purple, but you never know whats going to come out of the pot. then i going to make my own map or the northern skies. the center of the shawl is the north star. each star is marked with a small hole and also a white glass bead.

there is a tiny, squishy blobby thing in my body thats going to grow into a human being. multiple times a day i remember this and it makes me catch my breath. i told blaze this afternoon and she was unmoved. she requested that i grow two babies, and then asked if wanted to her her new song.

i called my midwives and their automated recording told me to fill out a form online. i filled out the form and the automated message that comes up on the screen told me that somebody would be in touch with me in about a week if they had a space for me. then they emailed me about 4 minutes later. i called them, they got me a spot. i get to work with Safire again, the midwife who caught Cordelia and encouraged me to become a doula. how perfect is that? i am thanking whatever forces in the universe lined that one up for me.


i forogt this part November 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 2:54 pm

had a productive morning. first of all, had a SLEEP IN. 8:20. then made pancakes, tidied up the kitchen a bit, and then after breakfast got out the sewing machine and fixed the jean quilt that was started to fray in a few places. finished the edging. Jim and i sat down and had a corporate meeting about our schedules for the day (seriously, this is what it feels like) and decided when we could both get the stuff done we needed to. i set up a time to see tynan this evening, wrote off a fiddle lesson, and jim blocked in some time to see his dad.

he took the girls to the park. i made a list of everything i needed to get done today, sat down and started plugging away at it. girls came home and Jim put them in the bath because coco dumped a scoop of sand into blazes hair at the park. the girls will play in the bath for a long time, so i finished up a couple more things on my list. jim pulled half a quiche out hte freezer and we shared it. jim went to see his dad. i got the girls hair washed (generally this is an ordeal) out the bath, made them lunch. made me lunch.


i am wiped out by a gentle, but thorough and silent wave of nausea. now my day is going to be about sitting on my ass and trying not to move very much. i will not be eating my lunch.

the end. the day is over.