Dream Diary:
I had a dream we were living in some sort of run down apartment building rather than our current, much nicer home. It was filthy, loud, cramped and situated in the middle of what appeared to be the projects of a city I was completely unfamiliar with.
Everything else about our family was the same: kids, job, lifestyle and even our furniture. I was still pregnant with this baby girl, but the only difference was the timing: I was very overdue. As I turned over another calendar day to mark the passing of 50 weeks without a baby, I felt a deep and persistent anxiety. When I checked myself – something I was doing regularly out of impatience – I found my cervix felt tight, long and closed; I had no regular contractions, no effacement, no nesting instinct, no baby dropping or engaging, absolutely no readiness signs at all! The baby seemed perfectly healthy; her heart rate was great, her movements were constant, my health was fine… but I felt no reassurance from our continued good health: I was becoming very scared. In spite of my trust for the natural process of pregnancy and birth, or the ability of women’s bodies to do what they need to, I was losing faith that I would give birth to this baby before she died inside me due to lack of adequate nutrition. Ten weeks overdue is almost three months old, and her nutritional needs had risen to the point where I knew my body would be unable to provide for her much longer. If she continued to stay put without any signs of labour I feared it would inevitably lead to her stillbirth.
With each passing day I felt more and more nervous, and more alone in my fears. I discussed it with no one; I didn’t even confide in Curtis because I didn’t want to scare him. On top of that, I had been forced to give up my wonderful midwife, and her wonderful care, because she couldn’t risk her job any more than she already had. I respected that limitation, though I deeply mourned the loss of her support. I needed it badly. The only way I could see her before the baby’s birth was to give birth at a hospital, in which case she could legally accompany me… but I didn’t want a cesarean, and I knew that’s what I’d get should I step foot inside.

More days passed and my fear deepend. One evening as I approached 51 weeks of pregnancy I decided I’d had enough; I said to Curtis that I couldn’t take it anymore, I was too frightened to go on and had decided to check myself into the hospital for an induction.
He asked me, “Are you sure this is what you want? Being as late as you are, you know they’ll end up giving you a repeat cesarean. I know you know that…”.
“I know,” I answered, “And that’s okay with me right now. I just need her out. I’m scared.”
He thought for a long time before responding, “Okay. If that’s what you want, and you feel comfortable with that choice, then I fully support you. Let’s pack up and go.”

We packed a hospital bag with clothes, toiletries, my camera and some emergency supplies in case there was something wrong… and as Curtis finished up I decided to take a walk around the halls of the apartment building to clear my head.. It was late at night so the halls were mostly empty as I paced them; eventually I made my way toward the restroom. We didn’t have a bathroom in our suite, for some reason, and had to share a communal toilet with the rest of the residents on our floor
I ducked inside for a moment of peace, hoping to spend some time sitting on the toilet and relaxing before I willingly underwent an unnecessary medical procedure. As I sat down I was suddenly struck with the notion that I should check my cervix one more time before going in. I reached inside and was surprised to feel a bulging bag of waters. The sac was very thick, and strangely dry. Without even pausing to consider my choice, I put my fingernails together on the edges of it and twisted hard.
It broke with a bang, and a heavy gush followed. Amniotic fluid, streaked with blood and meconium, pooled at my feet and quickly filled the small, filthy bathroom until it was nearly covered. I felt so relieved.
Before I had a chance to call Curtis for help, or even let him know I had changed my mind, I felt myself pushing. There were no contractions, no labour, no transition, no hormone rush and absolutely no pain: nothing but an undeniable urge to push.

I fell to my hands and knees on the dirty linoleum floor and pushed with all my might. Waters continued to flow out of me like a river, filling the room with the sticky sweet smell of birth. After a few unproductive pushes I realized something didn’t feel right: I could feel the heaviness of her body resting hard against my pubic bone, but she was not moving any further down regardless of how hard I worked – she was stuck. I changed position into a squat, holding onto a dirty toilet for support, and pushed with every ounce of strength I had left. I felt blood vessels bursting, saw stars, and worried I would pass out… but I kept pushing. The heaviness moved slowly downward. I didn’t stop. It felt as though my rectum and uterus would turn inside-out and I would have to pick them up off the floor when this was over, and still I continued to push. Finally I felt a pop as she made it past my pubic bone and began to crown. As I stretched over her head I felt horrific pain… then relief. I heard a splash as she fell onto the floor beneath me. And then it was over as quickly as it had begun.

I sighed, relieved, and took a moment to catch my breath before looking. On the floor was a thick, hard casing covered in birth fluids. It was dark coloured and very large. It looked strange, like some sort of rotted chestnut or alien insectoid chrysalis. It was heavy when I picked it up and examined it. I noted a seam down one side, so I pulled at the edges until it cracked open. Inside was a perfectly formed baby girl, fat and large, curled into a tight ball and still partially covered in a pool of amniotic fluid. As the cold air and light hit her she woke and began to cry. I lifted her out of the shell and held her in my arms. I was shocked by her size: she didn’t look like a newborn, and there was no umbilical cord to cut. It was as though I’d given birth to a six month old.
Somehow I took her stats: she was 26 inches long, weighed nearly 16lbs, and after her initial shock she didn’t make a peep. I brought her back to our apartment and immediately put her down for a nap. For some reason no one but me seemed surprised at the appearance of her birth…

From there the dream fell apart as I woke up a little and then quickly fell back to sleep without completely breaking the stream of consciousness.

I’ve had a lot of dreams lately about precipitous birth. In a recurring one I give birth in the restroom of our favourite coffee shop, and they offer us a gift card for coffee and lunch.
In another I give birth on the side of the road as we walk home from the beach. We find a nice grassy plain in front of someone’s yard and the kids look on as I squat over a wet towel and scream out a fat baby girl just in time for the ambulance
In a recent one I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and end up birthing on the toilet. I keep screaming for Curtis to come in so he doesn’t miss it, but he’s passed out cold and absolutely won’t wake up. I manage to birth without issue, clean myself (and the bathroom) up, wrap up the baby in a towel and cut the cord. I put the placenta in a bowl in the fridge to deal with in the morning and made my way back to bed, where I violently shake Curtis until he wakes up, thrust the newborn at him and say, “LOOK WHAT YOU SLEPT THROUGH!”.

Every time I think I have a handle on the HG, and it’s going down and giving me a little reprieve, it comes back out of nowhere and hits me with a brutal attack that lasts days.
The third trimester has been better than the first two: I’ve had much less vomiting, and overall the nausea has been easier to control.
However, as soon as I entered the third trimester the Diclectin stopped working. It might as well be baby aspirin for all the good its doing. It just seems to make me burp – which triggers more attacks – and regardless of the dosage it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect anymore. This is kind of terrifying for me because even though it wasn’t curing me by any means, it was keeping things in the “safe” zone when I was taking 10-12 a day in combination with occasional Zofran during the day, and Gravol at night (both on an as-needed basis).

Before the meds I was severely nauseated 24 hours a day, and having regular attacks where I would throw up 15-30 times in a two hour period… all day long. I couldn’t keep down water, food, medication, or anything else. I was up multiple times a night to throw up, and barely left the house. When I did feel brave enough to leave the house I usually didn’t stray further than where I could walk and I carried plastic bags and toilet paper with me to clean myself up. There were also quite a few times when I wasn’t able to keep down a single dose of my daily pain meds, which are liquid and are absorbed within 20 minutes… that’s how sick I was. As a result I’d start experiencing that twitchy, uncomfortable my-spine-is-trying-to-snake-out-of-my-body feeling in the middle of the night, which inevitably triggered even more attacks. It got to the point where I seriously considered taking my doses by rectal syringe. Rectal tissues are among the most absorbent in the body, and an old midwife trick for controlling a postpartum hemorrhage is to literally suck the blood up and shoot it into the mother’s rectum (with bulb syringe) for quick reabsorption. Apparently this works very well in a pinch. NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW.
On a regular medication schedule I am moderately to severely nauseated around 12-16 hours a day and the attacks are more stretched out and generally only resulted in throwing up 5-10 times every 1-4 days. I could often keep down small snacks and small servings of water or juice in-between attacks.
Since entering the third trimester it’s been much better: moderate to severe nausea for 6+ hours every day, with attacks a few times a week where I’m throwing up 5-10 times. That’s way, way, way better. The only thing I’m really not cool with is the introduction to dry heaving, which I wasn’t doing much of before but now I seem to be doing all the time. The dry heaving attacks happen at least once a day, are incredibly painful and don’t ever seem to resolve. But I can’t really complain much about that in light of the fact that I’m no longer throwing up 20 times a day…

I have one Zofran left right now, and since I’ve been running out for a while I’ve been scared to use them when I need to so I end up being miserable and unable to eat or leave the bed. I need to just go in and get a prescription from the clinic, but I’m afraid it won’t be covered (the vast, vast majority of medications are covered for me, but some newer and/or expensive ones that have “alternatives” are not) in which case it’s just a big waste of time because there’s no way in hell I can afford it. I’ve heard from multiple people that they’ll only cover it if it’s being used in cancer patients, or if your HG gets bad enough to require a pump insertion. Which is fucking stupid because it’s shown that women with HG who start a regular schedule of anti-emetics ASAP are much less likely to ever require extended hospitalization or a pump.

… and of course now that I’ve spent a day and some writing this all out, tonight has turned into a wicked awful nausea and dry-heaving night. Every so often I go back to the Diclectin hoping it will work, and sometimes it seems to sort of ‘take the edge off’ at a high dose, but it’s not nearly enough. Ugghhhhh.

Other than that I love this pregnancy, and it’s been perfect. I can’t believe I’m 30 weeks in now. I had a midwife appointment last week that was revitalizing and uplifting, as all of them have been. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I love this woman so much! She makes me feel confident in my birth, in my ability to birth – and what’s more she makes me unafraid. She took off her midwife hat for about half an hour during our appointment and just shot the shit with Curtis and I about how amazing the system of birth is designed for all the blocks to fall into place. Things like how babies are born with a low vitamin K (hence the shot) and how simultaneously the mother’s rectum and colon are filling with a massive dose of it just as labour begins. Babies are generally born face down toward mother’s bum, which almost always ends up expelling some matter of some sort … it’s pretty gross but it makes sense.
After we discussed this little piece of trivia she laughed out loud and said, “So we’ll just make sure your baby stays on your perineum for a really long time. You know, take a big bite!”.
She added that she’d recently been given this very nice position as an advisor in our local birthing hospital, and said cheekily, “If they could hear this conversation…”

I’m grateful for my oldest and best friends who know me well enough to not point out every ridiculous verbal slip up I make, because I make a lot of them… especially when I get going on a subject that’s even remotely emotional. It’s like my brain just turns into this weird pile of words and I lose all control of my mental faculties. The more excited I get, and the more I talk, the more words just start… appearing. It’s like my internal thesaurus took drugs and then exploded. Things are just swimming around and start flying out regardless of whether or not they’re relevant. I have to stop and correct myself constantly (and that’s only when and if I notice it, which isn’t often). It’s extremely frustrating, and really embarrassing.
This is why I loathe public speaking. This happens every time, and so severely that I end up completely losing my ability to verbalize at all. I’m more intelligent than I sound, I swear to god. I could never, ever put on any kind of presentation without a teleprompter and a fuckload of practice. The internet, and journaling in particular are super awesome for me due entirely tot he fact that I have those precious extra seconds to spend thinking about what I’m saying so that this shit doesn’t happen. If I ever accidentally posted my first draft (when I race through a thought, quote or story I have to get down the gist of it before the details escape me) I don’t think any one of you would be able to decipher it and would strongly suspect I was high.

For example: I switch words around that have NO RELATION WHATSOEVER and I don’t immediately catch what I’ve said, because as I say it it makes perfect sense to me at the time (like “time” vs. “personality” and other such ridiculous bullshit that is in NO WAY similar). Somehow my friends nod like they completely understand what I meant to say, which I’m not entirely sure I believe… yet they seem to still get the gist of what I’m talking about. I struggle to keep sentences together and as a result have to pause and think about every third word, which makes me sound either like I’m a huge idiot, or like I’m carefully crafting some sort of elaborate fiction out of even the most mundane conversation (like a shopping list, for instance). As I talk about memories or events the words start getting switched, and I start getting paranoid that they’ll take the aphasia too literally and think I’m making shit up, which just makes it worse…
I’m already self-conscious enough about how I appear to others in social settings, and I have disturbingly vivid recall of every time I have ever fucked up a conversation so badly that someone noticed. I’m still convinced that a mom friend I made in a playgroup when Tempest was a baby stopped talking to me not because she moved away, but because she lost all respect for me after I tried to say (in a conversation about breastfeeding, evolution and the development of taste) that breastmilk was naturally sweet to encourage a natural preference toward sweet things (ie. plants and fruits that were not poison)… but and it came out something like, “breastmilk is vanilla, full of vanilla because we like vanilla”. To which she replied, “Vanilla is a plant”, confusing the hell out of me until I realized what had happened. In that horrific moment I felt there was no way to try and explain that I knew that already, didn’t mean anything even CLOSE to what I had said, and that I understood what I was talking about.

Curtis doesn’t even have to think about it anymore and just miraculously understands me 100% of the time. He has said that when it happens it’s a little like playing a word association game with someone who has a different dictionary than everyone else does, but is still speaking the same language. Once you understand the ‘rules’ between associations, it makes perfect sense. The rules seem to change with the conversation’s context, so I don’t even get it most of the time… not entirely sure how he does it. It’s like internalized Tourettes.

Spring Break has officially started for 99% of the schools here. The other 1%, like Xan’s preschool, won’t go on break until next week. So for the first time ever we have Tempest home all day and Xan in class several times a week. I hate the discrepancy between schools and I really wish they’d all just stick to the same schedule.
On the other hand, Tempest is enjoying walking with me an Curtis for Xan’s pick up and drop off, because she gets to strut around standing tall as the “much older, cooler sibling” among a gaggle of insane toddlers. She gets that look to her where she casually leans on a fence and turns her nose up because she’s so much better than all these rowdy four year olds, (which is probably true because four as an agegroup is a really huge pain in the ass). It’s ridiculously cute.

We’re still having our love affair with rec centers, and since it’s spring break most are open on holiday schedules with long family swims in the middle of the afternoon. A few days ago we decided to try out this one center on the west shore that everyone seems to be in love with. It has salt water, a whirlpool, some small splash pads, and a lot of people have suggested we bring the kids there over break for one of their ‘fun swims’ where the lifeguards play games and have music going (it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds).
We arrived with plenty of time to play, got changed in the family room and entered the pool room together… and as soon as I walked in and glanced around I felt my heart drop into my stomach. The act of simply looking at the whirlpool section was enough to hit me with a very vivid memory of floating around in it as a child, feeling fuzzy on a “field trip” night while institutionalized during The Kid Stay. I felt ill. Curtis discreetly asked me if I needed to sit this out, but I insisted on going in. I hate it when the family caters to my limitations, whatever they may be in whatever situation. I feel like the most shitty parent ever whenever I’m stuck sitting on the sidelines and everyone else stops what they’re doing to keep me company.
Fortunately, after 10-15 minutes of playing with the kids the panic attack subsided and I was able to relax and enjoy myself in spite of the association.
The water felt so, so nice on my joints. It sounds insane to say but I really felt like I could swim easier in that water. My joints didn’t hurt nearly as bad as they normally do after a swim, and I wasn’t nearly as exhausted either. This, of course, could be entirely coincidence and placebo effect but regardless of what’s causing it, I enjoyed myself immensely.

Their main family pool where the whirpool, splashpad and other fun things are, is no deeper than about four feet at the highest, and as a result it’s just about perfect “practice swimming” height for kids who are at an age where they want or need to practice swimming but are generally rather nervous about the deceptive depth of the water. Like Tempest. Tempest hasn’t been to swimming lessons in nearly a year (they keep getting booked up as soon as they open for registration) and when she finished her last classes some time ago she just barely graduated due to not meeting one of the minimum requirements of being able to doggie paddle 2-3 feet from a lifeguard’s arms to a wall, in shallow water. She tends to freak the hell out instead, which got in the way of the swimming… This is why she always has a life jacket on in pool photos.
So it was really amazing to see her transform her ability to not only float about in the water, but trust the water, in less than two hours time of swimming in this pool. By the end of our visit, (and two 10-minute practice sessions with me), she was successfully swimming in small bursts of 10-15 feet at a time and could easily go longer. She didn’t panic, she didn’t freak, she was amazing! I’ve never seen her pick up a skill like that so fast with so little challenge. Development of motor skills is not generally her forte, as is typical with Aspergers, and teaching her seemingly simple things like coordinating a bike ride or even catching a ball were once impossibly difficult tasks.

On top of the amazing swim thing, she had an amazing time being independent. The shallower water also meant we could trust her moving away from us so long as she was within sight and being safe. She ended up finding one of her little classmates who also happened to be swimming way the fuck out there that afternoon, and the two of them played and screamed all over the place for the rest of our visit. Every time I came up to Tempest to try and help her out, she’d kick at me, yell, “No no! Leave me alone! I don’t need your help!” and then swim away. The entire time she was there was an exercise of her ability to communicate GTFO in approximately two dozen different ways. She’s getting to the age where I’m no longer cool.

Xan spent almost the entire time swirling through the whirpool cackling with glee. Both Curtis and I attempted to get him to practice his floating and submerging (the reason why he failed his swim class, other than the missing-classes-due-to-injury part), and after a while he finally started responding to it, though he’s still pretty adamant that he doesn’t need to practice and doesn’t like the idea at all… which means we’re not signing him up for any more lessons until he changes his mind. We simply can’t afford to pay for classes that he has no interest in actually learning from, and we both want him to keep going, so I’m hoping he figures out we’re serious pretty soon.

When we were finished swimming and went back into the family change room to shower ofd and get dressed, Xan decided it would be funny to streak the halls while our backs were turned. He still had his pigtails in and everyone had been calling him a girl all day, which just made this idea all the more appealing for him. His thing with gender bending, I swear…
He ran up and down the halls with his tongue out, making funny noses, pausing every few seconds to waggle his bits in the wind and then take off like a rocket once he realized we were chasing him. Curtis gave him a lecture about leaving the changerooms while naked, and at the time we were really pissed at him for not listening, but in retrospect it was at least a little funny. He can be the most ridiculous little kid, and he makes me want to sneak a peek into his future to see what kind of interesting adult he’ll make.

More knitting!


Close up of tubes and cervix.

Upon showing these to Tempest, she expressed her dismay in their inaccuracy: they had no vaginas attached to the cervixes. She was also disappointed she couldn’t dilate the cervix and peek inside.
She was also one of only a few people to correctly guess what they were right away. Everyone else who has seen them usually says “alien” or, “hand”. They don’t look remotely like a hand to me.

Also: breasts.

I’m making two pairs for the public health nurses.

Twisted rib socks. One is done (the left one) and I’m just over half-way done the right. These were taken while the left was blocking on my wire-coat-hanger-sock-blocker thing.

I made an epic shitload of mistakes, but most aren’t that noticeable to the average viewer so I’m hoping the pair will still pass as a decent project when finished. They did end up a little bigger than I anticipated, so I think they’ll probably be given to my mother when I’m done rather than kept for myself as I originally intended. She needs more knitted socks anyway.
I love the visual effect of the insteps twisting up over the top of your feet and toward each other when you’re wearing both, it’s so cool. This is the first time I’ve tried a “fancy” sock pattern and it’s proving both more difficult and more boring than I anticipated. I may stick with the plain, fast sock knits for a while. I have a knack of losing interest in a project fast when it starts getting repetitive.

*update: Finished them.

On a knitted-related topic, Curtis and I go to the library about 1-2 times a week to pick up a new stack of books and games and movies with the kids. Tempest goes through about 10-15 books a week (depending on their size), Curtis goes through about half a dozen every 2-3 weeks, and I don’t read much fiction anymore but occasionally go through their manga or crafting sections and pull out things that interest me. Yesterday I found this fantastic little knitting and crochet craft book featuring only patterns for flowers, leaves and food. Everything is made with gorgeous bold colours (in life-like palettes), in delicate yarns, and it looks amazing. I immediately pulled it off the shelf and brought it home.
Curtis has already made several of the lovely crochet roses (in non-rose-colour lavender yarn, as a test), and I plan on working on a few more flowers over the next week so we can eventually put together a nice faux bouquet for the table. I’ve seen tons of crafty flower patterns on the web before but none that look even half as good as these do. Seriously, check this book out if you’re a crafter, I’m considering buying it to have in our collection because I love it so much : [ 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet ], by Lesley Stanfield. This book and Nicky Epstein’s [ Knitted Embellishments ] are the only two reference/pattern books I’ve actually felt were useful enough to have on my shelf. All other books are useful only a few times, and then tend to lose their juice once you craft the one or two patterns you actually want to use from them.

He also picked up this fantastic little book called “Yummi Gurumi” that’s filled with equally adorable and wonderful food patterns. He’s working on a complete fruit salad for the kids to play restaurant with, which I’ll post when he’s done.

Mandatory pregnancy update:
I am 30 freakin’ weeks.

Well, nearly 31 now…

This baby is fucking massive and has had her legs crossed for the last little while, causing her to rub her knees back and forth across the upper part of my stomach in the most painful way. It makes me jump and cringe and cry out in shock. And then the kids demand to know what’s going on and want me to lay down so they can feel, too. She pushes so hard for so long in certain spots that they feel very bruised and are sore to the touch. Get some fat on your bones, baby!
For all the aches and pains, being this far into pregnancy does offer much more rewarding interactions with your unborn. For instance, when Curtis leans up against my stomach and speaks to her I feel her head moving as she turns toward his voice. Sometimes she’ll roll to face him and questioningly poke and prod in his direction. It’s amazing to me how reactive a little fetus can be, and the more real she becomes the more freaked out I get as I realize how close I am to giving birth.

I checked my cervix the other day and found it a wide open 2cm, which is pretty typical for multiparas, though in the past I was generally wider at the base and closed at the top by this point in pregnancy and it took until the very end to lose the “funnel cervix” effect. I’m taking this as a sign that I’ll have another short, smooth labour. Please and thank you.
When she drops I’ll be able to easily feel her head, wrinkles and all, which is absolutely terrifying in this, “SHIT GOT REAL” sort of way. Though I kind of can’t wait to try anyway.

I still find myself wandering through this experience feeling a little detached from the whole, “having another baby” thing, though it’s getting a little better as I get closer to the end and have more interaction with the Fuzz. This has gone by very fast for me, much faster than my other pregnancies seemed to, and I’m quickly approaching the preparation stage where I have to start taking it seriously; writing down phone numbers and setting up my home birth kit with postpartum herbals and placenta bowls.
Some days back a friend dropped off a huge (fucking huge. HUGE) supply of baby girl clothes in about 9 giant bags. This is additional to one large box and four or five more large bags from two other friends. Our bedroom is absolutely full of clothes. We have yet to organize them by size and style, because we have yet to find a dresser that we can put them all away in… so until that time we’re drowning in a sea of pink.

Adventures in Hyperemesis #391: My brother sent me the link for [ Damn You Autocorrect ], which is a site I’ve seen a few times but never spent that much time on. I don’t know why that night was any different, but I decided I was bored enough to actually sit down and read through it. It was approximately ten thousand times funnier than I thought it would be, and within seconds I was laughing so hard I was in tears. After reading a few out loud to Curtis, he was soon logged on from his spot and then we spent an hour reading entries out to each other and then crying in laughter. Most of the time we couldn’t even make it through a single sentence before dissolving in fits of hysterics.
At about the hour and ten minute mark I hit post that was exceptionally funny and laughed so hard I threw up.
Then I came back and read some more, and laughed so hard I threw up again.
And then I came back and read some more and laughed so hard I started dry heaving. Not eager to go for a round four, I abruptly (and sadly) closed the browser and told Curtis that he was not allowed to read any more out to me for the rest of the night… because the site was so funny I was now vomiting non-stop.

Conversation of the Day:
The other day we took the kids up to this brand new candy store for treat day and let them choose several different, fun candy items to munch on over the long walk home. This candy store is epicly fucking awesome and has an entire section called “Memory Lane” devoted solely to old childhood favourites dating back decades. They also had a whole section of Pop Rocks in a variety of flavours, and seeing as the kids almost never eat candy I figured this was a perfect opportunity to introduce them to this amazing little invention. Half-way through the walk home, after enjoying their reactions enough times to have sufficiently filled my glee quota for the day, I folded the bag up and put the remaining rocks in my coat pocket. When I got home I set the package on my bedside dresser and promptly forgot about it. Tonight while taking off my make-up I noticed the baggie still sitting there and curiously opened it up to find that the Pop Rocks had formed some sort of large Pop Clump and had lost all their pop.
After a moment of sad reflection on how ruined they’d become, I started chatting with Curtis about it.
Me: I’ve discovered something interesting about Pop Rocks.
Curtis: What’s that?
Me: They’re… uh… fuck. That word that means they draw moisture from the air. Like honey. (note: I meant hygroscopic).
Curtis: … what?
Me: Look at them! It’s a clump! They’ve lost all their pop!
I stick a little in my mouth to demonstrate the fact that they no longer make noise.
Me: You can’t call them Pop Rocks anymore, more like Sad, Slow, Pulsing Emo Rocks.
Curtis: … WHAT?!
Me: I said they can’t be Pop Rocks, they’ve lost their pop.
Curtis: And that means they’re emo?
Me: Yes. Everyone knows Emo is the opposite of Pop. See?
I open my mouth and put another clump in, then lean toward Curtis so he can have a listen. The candy makes a few sad, pathetic sounding trickles and then goes quiet.
Me: This is the sound that Pop Rocks make when they cut themselves.
Curtis: You’re going to hell.
Me: You assume hell would want me. They’ll probably throw me out and have me reincarnated as someone’s underwear.

When I went to the Bubble Tea Place today to get some tea. We’re in there quite often, and usually order 5-6 drinks at once (me, Curtis, Tempest, Xan, mom and/or Marika) and the owner knows my family quite well and is very friendly.
While paying for the tea, I accidentally pulled my debit card out of the reader before it was done. The owner feigned shock and announced, “Oh noez! Premature withdrawal! Premature withdrawal!” he smiles cheekily and adds, “That’s okay… it’s obviously not something you normally have a problem with.”
Me, laughing: “Oh my god. That was awful!”
Him, collapsed on the counter giggling: “I’m sorry. I’ve been waiting YEARS to use that on you!”

Frustration of the Day:
If I ever want to be helpful to people again, please remind me of the whole preschool bullshit and I will run. Fast. Far away. Forever.
Them: “Please change all the enrollment emails on the site from x to y”,
Me: *checks* “Okay, but x email doesn’t actually appear anywhere on the site, or in the code. All the enrollment emails are actually being sent to an admin mailbox, or webmail that’s been provided by the host, and I don’t control that nor do I have access to it. If you look here and here it shows that. It looks like POP access/forwarding has been enabled to automatically send all domain based messages to x email instead. If you want that to change, you’ll have to log into your webmail box and change that setting, it’s easy and should be in the account settings. But if you want, I can remove all reference to the admin mailbox and just change it to y.”
Them: *days go by, and then* “I just confirmed with WomanWhoHatesYourGutsAndWouldDoAnythingToMakeYourLifeMiserable that I was right all along; you CAN change it, because the domain people did it once, so do it now plz.”
Me: *bangs head on the desk repeatedly*, *removes all code referencing the domain mailboxes… knowing full well that anyone who tries to send email to the domain – which people do very often – will have it continue to go to chick who doesn’t work there anymore, because they refuse to listen to a single word I said*. “Ok, I did it”.

Just a few more months until this is over. Just a few more months…

Links of the Day:
Ten ways to spot an incompetent midwife – This is a good read, and these things apply not just for midwives but also for OBGYNs. The bottom line is that if you’re getting red flags, and you feel you’re not comfortable with how your care provider is running things… chances are you won’t be at all comfortable with how they’re running things in your labour, either. It’s hard to keep this in perspective as a patient, but remember that YOU are the most important thing in your relationship with your care provider. More important than their personal preferences, more important than their opinions, and more important than whether or not your partner is comfortable. Yes, you ARE more important than your partner when it comes to your birth experience! Always, always, always. Their job is to be supportive, educated, calm and there for you.
Maternal mortality in the United States: A human rights failure“Even more troubling, the United Nations data show that between 1990 and 2008, while the vast majority of countries reduced their maternal mortality ratios for a global decrease of 34%, maternal mortality nearly doubled in the United States.”
Also disturbing? How much racism plays a part of this: “Clearly, contrary to common assumptions, the racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes are not always due to women of color having a higher prevalence of diseases. But as these studies illustrate, women of color often are less likely to receive beneficial treatments that could have prevented their death or injury.”
Tsunami footage – This is some of the most awe-inspiring footage I’ve seen of the tsunami. In six minutes this little town goes from bustling and bare to completely destroyed. This was taken by someone holding a camera, standing on a hill just above the waterline. Footage like this really puts it into perspective for those of us who have never experienced anything like this… and it’s absolutely terrifying.
Stages of a photographer – An informational graph showing the relationship between how good you are, vs. how good you think you are. Spoiler: in order to get better, you have to realize you suck ass. Hat tip to You Are Not a Photographer.
How to snakes – snake snake snake snake snake snake SNAKE.
Talking Pictures“When I tell people I collect snapshots, I usually get a blank stare. So I made a video to help explain why I love them”. Absolutely fucking amazing.
Fortified breastmilk may not help preemies’ growth – Your breastmilk is just fine the way it is, even for preemies. In the context of weight and length alone (very important context!), no statistically relevant difference was found between preemies fed fortfied formula, and those who were breastfed. There were a shit-load of well known disadvantages and risks to formula feeding preemies outside of this, but this is merely addressing the idea that your breastmilk isn’t good enough by itself for micropreemies and that it requires extensive fortification and supplementation to be “as good as” special formulas designed to bulk up a preemie’s weight and length.
Radiation dose chart – For those worried about the “deadly radiation cloud” that is apparently coming to kill us all.




  • keilababe says:


    Have you thought about doing a deal on your Etsy shop on Heartsy? (Groupon for Etsy basically)


  • admin says:

    The first one we’ve done before, but the next two we haven’t. I’ll have to put those on our hold list!

  • I like that pool too! Not too chilly for the lil’ people but not too hot either (like the baby pool at Common…). Rylan is going into his THIRD round of lessons in the same level b/c he will NOT put his head back all the way for an unassisted backfloat or submerge his face for a front glide. If he doesn’t get over that and move on in the next session we’ll quit for a while as well, kind of a waste of money for lessons to stay stuck in the same spot forever! You never know with these kids though, one week they suddenly make a HUGE leap– like Tempest did!

    Sorry for ‘drowning in pink’, but better you than me ;-P I still have two large bags of 0-9 month stuff going into the next mega sale, and will pass on what doesn’t sell of our more gently used stuff. We did inherit a LOT of stuff! We will soon have a dresser to give away if you don’t need one this minute– hoping to get Rylan a bedroom set for his 4th b-day. The dresser he has was Kyle’s childhood one, repainted white. Nothing fancy but sturdy and with new painted knobs can fit to match anything you have.

    • admin says:

      I posted a dresser want ad on freecycle and got a hit for it this afternoon, so we’re going to pick up someone’s old one tomorrow and screw on some new handles. πŸ™‚
      I wanted one ASAP not because we need it ASAP, but because I really need my bedroom floor back… after your donation added to the other two drop-offs we recently got from friends and my sister-in-law… well, it’s pretty ridiculous. We have to sort through and separate what is newborn, vs. 0-3, vs, 3-6 and so on… and then put all the 0-3 stuff away with the 3-6 on hold just in case she’s a fatty. Xan went straight into 3-6 month at birth, and then in two weeks time was in 6-9 month.

      Swim lessons: Xan is stuck on the SAME PART. He refuses to do both those things. We’re also on round three (once he agrees to go back in, that is).

  • Pregnancy sounds like magic

    I realize it’s terrible for you and I’m really sorry you have to go through it but the part about how you were laughing so hard that you kept vomiting made me laugh uncontrollably.

    “Your site was so funny that I vomited profusely several times”

  • we had those kinds of breasts at my doula training workshop! Really cool.

    Also, I was going to tell you, the photograph arrived a while ago, and it’s just as gorgeous up close!

  • dwer says:

    Heather, that baby is enormous!

    I have an unrelated question for you, if you can answer it. We tried one of the traditional swings for our newborn, but neither mother nor child like it. So, we returned it for a Moby sling, which we like very much, but can’t figure out how to breastfeed in it. We know we CAN breastfeed in it, if only because of the oblique references that say “after breastfeeding, return your baby to the upright and locked position”, but we can’t find anything that tells us HOW to do it. Got any suggestions?

    Drew (sorry about the address mix-up, by the way.)

    • admin says:

      Oh are you the person who the print got returned from? No no, don’t apologize… I feel bad because now it’s going to be so late. πŸ™

      I’ve been striving to get everyone’s out on time and it makes me cringe every time something like this happens because I feel AWFUL over the fact that a big set of prints went out about 4 days late due to a bad HG bout where I ended up not leaving the house that entire time and it just… didn’t occur to me to get Curtis to do it.

      Breastfeeding in a moby: You can usually accomplish this one of two ways. Put baby in as you normally would and slide one shoulder strap off and lean baby down. OR, put them in tummy to tummy but position them low enough down that you can just move them over slightly and have them nurse in an upright position. This last one works better if they’re a tad older. I used to breastfeed Tempest in the wrap like this ALL THE TIME. I have an image of her breastfeeding that way, discreetly, *while we’re walking around*, when she was about 10 months old.

      I also found this, maybe it might help? http://babywearingvideos.com/blog/instructional-videos/wraparound-slings/409
      *edit: that video isn’t working. But they have lots of others. Here’s a great one for newborn nursing!! : http://babywearingvideos.com/blog/instructional-videos/wraparound-slings/428 I’m totally using this. I’d never done it this way before.
      Here’s their tag for it: http://babywearingvideos.com/blog/tag/nursing

      • dwer says:

        well, had I given you the right address, they wouldn’t have been returned.

        This video is excellent. I’m pretty sure we can make that work. Once again, you rock. πŸ˜€

  • bluealoe says:

    You have such vivid and detailed dreams, and you actually remember them. It’s like your dreams are novels..I’m a little jealous.

    I wish I had something intelligent to say about HG, but having never experienced it all I can say is sounds absolutely horrible, and I hope it gets better ASAP.

    You know, whenever I’ve been around you I have never noticed the word-switching thing you describe. Maybe you’ve never done it around me, or maybe I just understand you for some reason. *shrugs*

    I miss swimming. I haven’t gone swimming in at least a year. *sigh*
    Yay for Tempest! That’s amazing that she picked it up so quickly, and was so independent. πŸ™‚

    Your uteruses and breasts are gorgeous. Okay, that sounds creepy..but it’s true! Are the uteruses “life” size? It’s hard to tell scale from the pictures.

    I absolutely LOVE the socks, especially the pattern over the toes. That look so cool! I wish I could make socks.

    Question: Do you think you’ve become more sensitive to babies’ movements over the course of your pregnancy? Like, when you were pregnant with Tempest, could you feel her head moving when someone talked to her, like you do with this one? I ask because when my sister was pregnant with her first, she said she couldn’t really figure out what all the baby’s movements were. But with her second, she knew when he moved his legs or arms. I was curious if you experienced the same thing.

    I would totally buy Emo Rocks. Just sayin’.

    You got the Snakes and Talking Pictures video links from Vlogbrothers, didn’t you? πŸ˜‰ The guy who does Talking Pictures, Ransom Riggs, also has a column at Mental Floss. At the end of that link is a list of most of his Talking Pictures columns.

    I am so sick of the radiation hysteria. Several of my classmates have left Japan already, mostly due to pressure from their families. It’s driving me crazy.

    • admin says:

      I don’t think you and I have ever gotten into a conversation fervent enough for it to start coming out. Generally it doesn’t happen in casual conversation, just when I start getting excited/emotional in some way.

      The uteruses… huh, well, I guess they are just about life size? They’re about the size of my closed fist, which AFAIK is just about what they really are.

      I’ve TOTALLY become more sensitive. I think it definitely changed for me being pregnant back to back with Jericho and Xan. I mean, I practically spent two years of my life pregnant, and that gave me a lot of time to consider things… plus I was having UP/UCs and spent a lot more time inwardly focused.

      Snakes: No, I’ve been a subscriber to viHart for a while. HOWEVER the other one I did… and it’s amazing.

  • derryn_007 says:

    Danm You Auto Correct!

    This one just made me totally lose my shit: http://damnyouautocorrect.com/6791/boyfriends-and-strip-clubs/
    I’m alone in the house laughing hysterically with TEARS running down my face. OMG.

  • I would bet that your joints hurt less in that particular pool because it was salt water. You’re more buoyant in salt water, so there was likely less drag and strain on your joints as you moved, and you didn’t have to work as hard to swim along. Maybe that’s also why Tempest did so well? She was held up a little more and didn’t have that “omg I’m drowning” feeling? Just a guess, but that might have something to do with it…

    • fallingwthu says:

      I just realized what pool she went too and I think it’s Ozone, not salt water. At least here, at one point in time we had tried ozone in most pools. The one by my house went ozone then switched back to fully to chlorine.

  • altarflame says:

    I normally find other peoples’ recounted dreams unbearably boring, and sometimes even skim yours – but that was riveting. I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, the entire time.

    My problem with damnyouautocorrect is that I have a hard time suspending my disbelief, they all just seem so made up. I’ve managed twice to read the site as though those are all actual exchanges and get to a point of crying, freaking-out hysterical laughter…most of the time though I go, see the first couple and am like “Oh come on, how would that ever happen? They’re so full of shit”. Note: I am not an iPhone user. Also note: I think if the iPhone really does autocorrect to the most innapropriate variable every time, it is a ploy Apple is using on purpose to increase notoriety. Which is a funny idea, and ingenius.

    I was looking through that crocheted flower book on amazon and it really does look badass. Isaac has wanted a looped and draped flower vine over his bed forever, maybe I’ll use that and finally get down to business….

    Have you seen Pop Rocks cereal? This is a thing. A thing that exists, in reality. My Dad used to let my little niece eat bowls of it for breakfast with COKE poured in it instead of milk O_O

  • Did you read about the Duggars’ premature baby being diagnosed as lactose intolerant while getting nothing but ‘boosted’ (fortified) breastmilk? I wanted to yell at the news article something along the lines of: “take the crap out of her milk!”

    I love my daughter, but the four year old stage is…damn. I go in once a month to her pre-K for Parent Day and they are their usual dorkyness, this month they were WIRED due to St. Patrick’s Day. (The room had been decorated to look as if a pack of leprechauns had trashed the place. Also as if a glitter factory had upchucked as well.) I was about ready to claw my way out two hours later, wishing the teacher ‘Good luck!’.

    If I find out we’re having another girl I am making sure to tell people that we don’t need clothing for the first months. There is a massive amount of pink in out basement…

  • mammaopal says:

    Fair Pharmacare will cover ondansetron fully after you’ve reached the deductible.
    We had a hell of a time getting ON Fair Pharmacare during my pregnancy due to clerical stuff, so we ended up paying $1500 a month for my medication. It was awful. Then, finally after 5 months of paying that much money, it was suddenly FREE. I cried tears of joy in that Shoppers Drug Mart. Now we’re waiting to be reimbursed, and I’m antsy to get that money back.

    Also, make sure when you get that Prescription, that they give you the 8mg tablets, not the 4mg tablets. For some reason, they charge by tablet, NOT by mg, so you get twice as much medication for the SAME PRICE. It’s ridiculous, but a handy thing to know.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fair Pharmacare will cover ondansetron fully after you’ve reached the deductible.
    We had a hell of a time getting ON Fair Pharmacare during my pregnancy due to clerical stuff, so we ended up paying $1500 a month for my medication. It was awful. Then, finally after 5 months of paying that much money, it was suddenly FREE. I cried tears of joy in that Shoppers Drug Mart. Now we’re waiting to be reimbursed, and I’m antsy to get that money back.

    Also, make sure when you get that Prescription, that they give you the 8mg tablets, not the 4mg tablets. For some reason, they charge by tablet, NOT by mg, so you get twice as much medication for the SAME PRICE. It’s ridiculous, but a handy thing to know.

  • Anonymous says:

    damn you autocorrect – YES! i found this a few weeks ago while Stumbling next to my sleeping husband and… nearly choked to death on my own spit with laughter. he actually woke up! he’s one of those people that you literally have to jump on him to get up. so forking funny…

  • Thanks for the radiation chart. I’m going to send it to my mother. She insists on freaking out about it. Hopefully this will help her come to her senses! πŸ˜‰

  • facethemoon says:

    You have Life passes right? Free swimming for the whole year! And they give you a hefty credit to use to enroll your kids in anything run by the community centers – we’ve used ours for swimming lessons for T!

    Also, creepy preggo dream is creepy. Baby in shell. Made me shudder a little.

    And YOU ARE HUGE! Let me know when you want my deets, and when I should remain glued to my cell. ♥

    • admin says:

      We do have the passes. It knocks 50% off the registration fee, but it doesn’t help when you’re registering two kids over and over again. πŸ˜›

      I wouldn’t worry until I get into June. There is no way I’m having this baby in May; I’ve been saying from the beginning that my “real” due date is June 2nd.

      • facethemoon says:

        What?! We had T’s swim lessons covered repeatedly, as the pool only charges $35 (afaik), you’re saying they don’t cover the cost? Only the registration?

        But yes, if he’s not willing to progress past the stage he’s at, there’s no point. πŸ˜‰ T just doesn’t want to do it anymore, as he’s a perfectly competent swimmer and thinks the lessons are “un-fun”. So we just haven’t bothered.

        And good to know, re: “due” date. Hehe. I never thought I’d go early, and if you go fast you better call me early! Hey, would you want to do a preggo shoot further along? Maybe outside at the beach or something? I’d love to help you out so you could have some of those amazing pregnancy shots you gave me. I love the ones you’ve been doing, but if you need any assistance taking others (you set up the shot and whatnot, I’ll press the button) let me know. ♥

        • admin says:

          Wait, now I’m confused… there’s only one cost associated with the lessons AFAIK and they cut it by 50%. Tempest has yet to learn to swim and like I said gross motor skills aren’t really her forte, plus she’s enjoying it, so I want to keep her in…

          Beach shots: TOTALLY!

          • facethemoon says:

            Hmm, we’ve never paid anything. In fact, I always just call in to book them and ask them to apply it to our credit. I wonder if it depends on the pool? We go to the one downtown (C. Pool) and they never do.

            I used to boycott it as it’s not salt water, it’s ozonized, however when we called both the salt water and that pool to compare, they actually add the exact same amount of chlorine so we stopped driving across town to the other one. Although the one near your place is soooo close to you.

            And YAY for beach shots!

      • fallingwthu says:

        When we were on the life program we had it all covered. Guess things change since we’ve been on it. Do you still need to get your photo taken with the life program? I miss being on the program as you’d get 52 free swims or work out per year. That’s once a week..enough for us to relax and have some fun.
        I recall some boys are not ready to swim my sister has a son age 7 and he’s a head of his brother who is 10 years old really depends on how much they really want it.

        I do wonder, have you thought of putting Tempest in Brownie? I know you were a Brownie, and it’s changed a lot since we’ve been kids.

        How’s Xan’s back since his fall? did he fall, I assume he did because you’d have to do something so major like falling from a high place to cause a gash like that. I know, from experience, I was 7 or 8 years old, fell off the top bunk of my bed, and broke both wrists — this is because I tried hard to stop my fall with my hands. Big mistake that was.

        • admin says:

          We do get our photos taken. Swim drop ins are free, 52 per year, but classes are not.
          I don’t want Tempest in girl guides, but if she asks I will enroll her. I’m just not actively encouraging it. I don’t agree with their associations.

          Xan “fell” but it wasn’t that serious a fall, it was just the fact that he gashed himself that was the bad part. He’s totally fine now. Almost completely healed, just a little scabby.

      • fallingwthu says:

        June 2nd? That was the due date of my first born. She ended up 5.5 weeks early and I nearly died.

  • skyrose says:

    You should check out this book if you haven’t already:

    It talks about similar things to what your midwife had said. It’s an AWESOME book for anyone who is fascinated about the neat, magical things that breastmilk does. I love it! I had ordered it through Hale Publishing (ibreastfeeding.com) when it was on sale. I’m wondering now if it was a clearance, since it’s showing as out of stock.

    Your uterus looks awesome! Umm.. the knitted one that is *lol* I can see the alien comments, but I’m *completely* with Tempest. I wanted it to be able to dilate. I’m looking for a pattern that would allow that, but all of them seem to do a “sleeve” type opening that you can shove a baby doll out of. Doesn’t do what I want it to.
    Oh, and you’ll appreciate this. My knitted breast was sitting by my TV the other day. Ethan walks over and picks it up by the nipple and starts twiddling and twirling it. I had to actually say “Ethan, please stop twirling Mommy’s nipple.” Wouldn’t have been nearly as odd, had Ethan’s TSS not been standing 10 feet away *lol* She got quite a kick out of it πŸ˜‰

  • effervescent says:

    You are so very pregnant and you look gorgeous πŸ˜€ Also, I love the Bubble Tea story, haha! It makes me wonder how many other people out there just save up jokes in the hopes that one they’ll be able to use them.

    I love hearing about how the baby acts before she’s even born πŸ˜€ It amazes me how responsive babies are before they’re even born.

  • ashosaurus says:

    Literally dying laughing @ the bubble tea conversation. I love people sometimes!

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