Monthly Archives: November 2012

One Week!

We are quite taken with this little guy. He’s such a calm baby, only crying when he’s got some tummy troubles or needing a burp or a cuddle. His nights have been going superbly. I’ve been getting stretches of 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night! Granted he’s still in the sleepy stage, but he didn’t have his days and nights mixed-up like Rhys did (brutal!) and at least I’ve been able to recuperate from labour and delivery.

Eli really likes James. I’m not sure if it’s the voice or the moustache, or the combination of the two, but he loves looking at James and it seems he’s quite calmed by him. I like to think that he had a plan to work James and win him over since he wasn’t planned (by us) and we had a bit of a hard time coming to terms with the fact that there was another one on the way. I’m came around a lot sooner than James did, so right from the get-go Eli has been trying (and succeeding) to make James his biggest fan.

Rhys and Ammie have been wonderful with Eli. Ammie is a lot more hands-on with wanting to help bring me diapers or give him a bath, Rhys just wants to hold him once in a while and get his ‘baby brother’ fill. Rhys tries to make him laugh or pick out words from Eli’s babble even though I keep reminding him that it’s going to be a little while before he’ll really start paying attention to Rhys.

It’s definitely an adjustment having three kids. I just keep thanking God that he planned our family with a bit of a space in between Amelia and Eli. I know that lots of moms have a troupe of toddlers and babies all at once (and, seriously, you ladies have my utmost respect) but I’m so happy that I can ship my two older ones off to school for part of the day and that they both have fun things going on in life (friends, school, soccer, dance) other than me. In thinking about having three kids (after we had Ammie) I was always worried about how I’d find a healthy balance. Actually, I was worried that I wouldn’t find a healthy balance at all and go completely bat sh@* crazy. With the way our family has been spaced I feel like it is very manageable, and not just manageable but like all of us are going to really enjoy having this little guy around.

Anyways, that’s my one week update. Things are going well, I’m feeling pretty good and we’ve adjusted way better than I thought we would. I’m trying to soak all of the newness in because I know that in a blink-of-an-eye Eli will be crawling, then walking, then sitting at the kitchen table playing with playdough.

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Eli’s Birth Story

WARNING: This is a birth story. It’s slightly graphic in nature. If you still think or would like to believe that friendly storks deliver nicely cleaned off cherub babies to a mom and dad’s front door then I would suggest you skip reading this post and, instead, watch a cute YouTube video about kittens or something. There, be warned.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how ‘it’ went. I assume they mean labour. My reply has been “Good” or “It went well” along with “…but I never want to do that again.” Because it’s true, I never. ever. do.

With that said, it was an amazing experience. Really and truly. I’m so happy and feel very blessed that I was able to get the whole midwife experience. I would recommend it to any low-risk mom. The level of care you receive is beyond phenomenal. As it turns out, I didn’t have either of my midwives at Eli’s birth. My primary wasn’t on call last week and my secondary was attending a birth in the room next to mine. I had an older midwife and a student midwife with me the whole time, as well as a third midwife to assist just with the delivery. I had only met one of them before but, to be honest, I felt completely comfortable with all of them and I was so ‘in the zone’ the whole time that it didn’t matter to me at all. I was at the birth centre with James (who didn’t have to rush me their in a cruiser car) having a natural birth with a midwife. All the things I was hoping and praying for happened, so I have nothing to complain about.

I woke-up at 4:30 in the morning on the 21st feeling some cramping and contractions. I’d previously had a few ‘false’ starts, although I hate to say false because they were clearly getting my body ready for the birth, but I decided to wake-up and have a bath to see if they’d go away or continue on. I wasn’t in pain but I could clearly feel the contractions, pressure and discomfort and they were coming close enough together for a few hours so we decided to call my midwife and go in to get checked-out. We went to the clinic at 11:00 and I had progressed from 3cm (which is where I was sitting for two days) to 4cm, but my contractions weren’t close enough together and weren’t painful enough. While she was checking me she had a bit of a hard time hooking her fingers to figure-out how far I was and I’m sure that all that sweeping helped things along. My midwife said that I’d just know when it was time to come in. I’d have that one contraction where I’d have to hold onto something, breath through it and then I’d look at James and tell him to get me to the birth centre a.s.a.p.

We decided to go to the mall so that I could walk around for a few hours. It was hard work since my hips and feet were killing me, but it’s one of the best ways to get things going and it really helped when I was in early labour with Ammie. I wanted things to move along because I was ready to have the baby that day. The kids were with my mom and James was off work and I was going to do my best to get that baby out!! We walked and walked and walked and walked. Then we walked some more. My contractions started getting more intense but farther apart, every 10 minutes or so. I kept getting calls from the clinic to check-in and see how things were going. James and I decided to go home and if they fizzled then so be it. At about 4:00pm they picked-up and then at 5:30 I had it! I was standing in the kitchen and I could feel my uterus start to contract, but this time I grabbed the counter, deep-breathed all the way through it then announced that we needed to leave for the clinic right. now.

We called the midwife, grabbed our gear and got to the birthing centre at 6:10. My stand-in midwife checked me as she filled-up the birthing tub. I was sitting at 6-7 cm and my cervix was “paper thin”. Great! I thought. I’d progressed and was going to have the baby that day (hopefully)! As we settled in and I paced around the room, grabbing onto things and halting my speech with each wave of pain, I asked James when he thought the baby would be born. He said 8:45. I said 10:00. It was 6:30 by that time.

The birth centre is incredible. It’s more like a spa than a place you’d go to have a baby. The rooms are all decorated nicely, the lights dim way down, each room has a colour theme (my room was called Primrose), the bathrooms are huge, the birthing tub is huge, the beds are huge, the rooms are huge. It’s perfect.

The midwives kept to themselves keeping their voices low and checking my temperature and baby’s heart rate every 15 or 20 minutes. They brought me water and watched each contraction I had closely, but from a distance.

I laboured in the water for a while. It was so warm and relaxing, quite pleasant actually. We dimmed the lights and listened to Del Barber. In between contractions I’d put my head back and watch the dancing reflections on the ceiling, created by the light hitting the ripples of the water.

I had to get out of the water to use the wash room at one point. I have no idea what time it was but I do know that my contractions had become much stronger. There were a few that I’d felt like crying through but the water relaxed me so much that I didn’t realize how intense they were until I got out. About 3 contractions later (out of the water) I felt a lot of pressure. Having a baby feels a lot like needing to take the biggest poop of your life, no joke. It’s something they tell you to watch for while you’re labouring. Well, that’s what I felt. I got on the bed (hands and knees) and had a few more contractions there before I decided that the water was heaven and that I wanted back in.

In discussing labour at the birth centre with James and my midwife I had said that I’d like to spend time in the water, but not deliver in it. James was pretty grossed-out by the idea and so I was. Delivery is messy no matter what way you go about getting the baby out of you but the difference with a water birth is you’re sitting in all of it. I wasn’t really a fan. I said that I’d deliver on the bed.

Ha. I got back in the water and is was only a few moments later when each contraction became a pushing contraction. Up until this point I felt like I was doing really well. I’d been breathing well, resting in between well, I was in the zone. All of that changed when I felt the urge to bear-down and push. I started crying and telling James that I couldn’t do it.  So. much. pain. He was beside me (out of the tub) and I was holding onto his arms that were up by my head. His head was right by mine and he kept telling me I was doing an amazing job and that we were almost done.

My midwife checked me and said baby had about an inch more to go. Up until this point they were extremely hands-off, but even with me bearing down and pushing in the tub the three of them just sad on the edge and told me that my body knew what it needed to do and when it needed to do it.

The tub had a few places that were good to put your feet for when it was time push with all your might. And push I did. As each contraction came I pushed and breathed then pushed and breathed. No nurses holding my legs. No counting to 10. No being told what to do. My body went with what felt right and, right when I thought like I was going to die or at the very least tear in half, that good ol’ ring of fire lit-up and I knew the only way to make the pain stop was to get that little bugger out of me. I reached down and felt his head and then gave ‘er. The tub water was still quite clean at this point as my water (or as some medical professionals like to call it ‘sack of waters’…makes me cringe every time) only broke with one of the last contractions, so I was able to see the baby emerge, eyes opened an all. I had a few more pushes and then he was up and on my chest. Purple vernix covered slippery little man. Born at 8:27pm .

The cord was wrapped around his neck, but it wasn’t really tight. He got a 9 out of 10 on the APGAR and they only took a point off because his feet were pretty purple (and his feet look perfect for those of you who’ve been following along). I had a delayed cord clamping (which I requested but is standard procedure for midwives) and had immediate contact with him on my chest.

We’d had a few names picked-out but hadn’t quite decided which one we wanted to go with. We figured that it was one of those things where we’d see him first and then see what name would suit him (if it was a boy). Both James and I, upon seeing him for the first time, thought that he looked like an Eli. So Eli it is.

I moved over to the bed and nursed him a few moments after (although, he did go out with James to meet his Grandma and Grandpa who just so happened to be driving past the birth centre the moment he was born). We stayed at the centre until 1:00am and then decided it was a good time to take our little bundle home and recuperate in our own space.

James and I are so happy with our experience with the midwives at the birth centre. I highly recommend it to other women who are looking for some ‘alternative’ care and a more natural experience. Looking back on my labour I’m amazed at what my body was able to accomplish all on its own. No poking or prodding or drugs or medical interference.

So there it is. Eli’s birth story. You deserve a medal for making it this far.

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Day 5

Wrinkle feet

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Day 3 & 4

Day 3

First bath.

Day 4

Winter baby.

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Birth Day & Day 2

Birth Day

Meet our newest addition to the clan! Eli Arthur Erskine born November 21st at 8:27pm weighing in at 7 lbs 15 oz and 21.5 inches in length. I will post his birth story soon for those that are interested.

Day 2

Meeting little brother Eli for the first time. Rhys was instantly excited that it was a boy. Ammie, on the other hand, ran away crying when she was told what the gender was. She took a few minutes to come around when my mother brought them over to meet him but now they are both very taken with their new baby. Eli’s hands and feet are getting inspected over and over and both of the kids are quick to help-out when needed.

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Re-post: ruined for the ordinary

James came home the other day with an Applewood Smoked Cheddar (aged 2 years). He opened it up and my eyes grew in size as the smokey aroma hit me. As soon as the first flake touched the tip of my tongue my mind instantly started racing to all of the cheeses I’d ignored and neglected for so long. I’ve been so good, again. I’ve stuck to the basics and only splurged every couple of months on one maybe two exciting varieties. I looked at James and said, “We should buy more cheese!” I’m sure he quickly realized that he’d opened the floodgates. Once an addict, always an addict. Anyway  it reminded me of the relapse I had at Christmas time in 2009. I thought I’d share that experience with you again as I seem to be battling the same desires…only this time we’re well ahead of Christmas. It’s a recipe for disaster.

ruined for the ordinary (Jan. 18th 2010)

*i will start by saying that ALL of this is Jordan and Julia’s fault. yes. it is. i know you’re reading this…your fault*

I had been doing pretty good for a while there. I was keeping myself in check by not spending money on these trivial non-essentials and not adding the extra unnecessary fat to my good diet. Other than a few slices here and there I was doing pretty good. Of course I’d talk about it all the time, think about it all the time, fantasize about buying it all the time. I’d spend my days wishing I had the extra cash to go and buy all that I wanted until I was morbidly obese, full of my favourite thing and without a care in the world (I totally understand that thinking is flawed…but who cares). I’d think about these things but somehow I’d managed to keep my obsession at bay. I’m pretty sure that it had to do with buying lower quality…it just doesn’t leave you wanting more. Quite gross actually. However, it’s what fit into our budget and I can’t really complain about that. Until now…

On the Sunday before Christmas James and I had our good friends Jordan and Julia over for lunch. They brought a gift. Awe, how nice. I tore open the pretty wrapping paper to find a sleek black box printed with a teasing label in the middle…Bothwell Cheese. Oh my. The box slid open to show four beautiful squares of delicious cheeses; Dill Monterey Jack, Red Hot Chili Pepper Jack, Garlic Chive Monterey Jack and Marble Cheddar. I was so excited. I quickly opened up a few of the squares and prepared a cheese plate for everyone. So. Good.

James and I enjoyed the cheese so much that we made a trip out to New Bothwell to get the same Holiday Pack for James’ Mom and Step-dad and since we’d already driven all the way out there we may as well get more cheese…right? I walked into the little store and felt my carefully fashioned “I-WILL-NOT-BE-ADDICTED-TO-CHEESE” walls start to shake. Just a little quiver at first. We left with Curds, The Holiday Pack, 2 Year Maple Smoked Cheddar, and a Smoked Gouda. “That’s it” I told myself, “Just a little holiday treat and then you’re done!”

I went to my mom’s for a quick visit and light lunch one day after Christmas. She just so happened to put out a few cheeses. I heart jumped for joy as I savoured the Old Irish Cheddar…one of the best I’d tasted in a while. I couldn’t stop at just one slice. I needed 5, no 6, no 10 or more! It was heavenly. Sharp. Tangy. Strong. Need. More.

About a week later we had Christmas with James’ dad. I made a harvest casserole that called for Old Cheddar. I had bought a good quality one (although I can’t remember where it came from) and only had to use a little bit of it for the recipe. convenient. Very convenient. I stuffed my face. Budget was no longer an issue. I needed cheese…no I NEED cheese.

During my last grocery shopping trip I slowed the cart down when I came up to the deli. I mean really slowed. I stood looking at cheese for way to long. I’m sure the guy behind the counter thought I had some sort of disorder, why else would woman stare at blocks of cheese with drool pouring out of the mouth while excitedly asking her two-year old which would be better? Smoked Gouda? Fresh Mozzarella? Stilton with blueberries? Goat Cheese rolled in herbs? Wensleydale? Gruyère? Black Truffle or perhaps, one of my favorites, Cheddar marbled with Guinness? Too many delicious possibilities for this cheese addict. I had to wait for James to help me decide. We left with two Stilton’s; White Ginger Mango and Cranberry…both are just out of this world. Sweet, but not too sweet, with a smack of tart intertwined in a light creamy texture with an assertive aftertaste. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

*okay i’m back. i went and got some cheese while my picture was loading*

I unknowingly had Blue Cheese the other day at a work Christmas party. Our salad came to us drizzled in a Strawberry sauce with a cheese crumble lovingly atop the leafy greens. My first thought was that it was firm goat cheese, but upon my first taste in knew I had been mistaken. A Feta would be more salty, so what was it? It wasn’t until I saw little ribbons of blue sandwiched between the white nuggets that I realized I had just eaten the cheese that I thought I could never ever grow to love. It was good! James and I were both surprised that we were enjoying the Blue Cheese so much, although I think that I wouldn’t have it as a stand-alone cheese.

I may have to go work at Glutton’s on Corydon Avenue just to appease my insatiable hunger for the taste and knowledge of this unnecessary food item. Please tell me there are others out there like me!??! Am I the only one? Am I alone on this cheese addiction journey? Should I just quit cold-turkey or should I start a cheese journal cataloguing all the cheeses I can get my hands on? Should I start a ‘Buy Cheese For Bria’ fund? I could set up a paypal account and you could all give online!

Oh, what to do, what to do…

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Bit of a Weird Thing

It’s a bit of a weird thing waking-up in the morning not knowing if by the end of the day you’ll have gone through labour and had a baby. Likewise, it’s a bit of a weird thing going to bed at night with the possibility of welcoming the next day with your little bundle in your arms.

There are moments where I find it extremely hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve reached the end and we are indeed having another child any day now.

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