Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It's all about the memories.
So it happened! SBean turned 3! Her “party” went super well and she had a wonderful day J
Tomorrow is HBear’s 7th birthday! I keep trying to negotiate with her to turn 5 but she is just not going for it lol.
Tomorrow is going to be her family dinner. She has chosen white sauce spaghetti AKA fettucine alfredo lol. She has made it very clear that she does NOT want mushrooms, shrimp, peppers or onions, just sauce and noodles oh and bread… with butter! J
Dinner with Grandma, Grandpa and Papa with present opening and lots of happy laughter. I am so lucky.
Now Friday is a totally different story! LOL She has chosen to have 8 girls over to our house for a PJ party. Let me repeat that… 8, 9 including HBear, girls… in our house. Friday.
We have lots of fabulous things planned and I can’t wait to share them with you next week in a birthday wrap up post. But today it is about HoneyBear.
I know I have said this before but it so important it is worth saying again.
HBear taught me how to love.
I loved Ninja. I loved myself and my family but I didn’t know what LOVE felt like until 7 years ago.
7 years ago on Grey Cup Sunday I began to feel contractions.
They were far apart but they were there lol. By 7:30 Monday morning I went to the bathroom and lost my mucous plug. Up until a few weeks prior I didn’t even know what that was LOL. Actually when I saw blood on the toilet paper I panicked. I called my midwife right away. I was petrified that something was wrong. I was experiencing more contractions and the pain was making me emotional.
By 10:30am they were very close and my Dad, who had flown in and stayed later because I was 2 weeks overdue, started up the car. Dad drove Ninja and I to St Boniface hospital and I was super calm. I wanted this to go as planned. As we all know, I am a planner LOL
When we got into the elevator I was bent over in pain but smiling. We were shown to our room. It was beautiful. Personal, big, had a walk in shower and chairs with a nice view. I was just over 4cm dilated. A bit early but my midwife assured me I came in at the right time.
I had the BEST midwife team. Elizabeth and Sari. Elizabeth was the midwife I had seen most often. In fact, I had just met Sari briefly but I knew that fate would have Elizabeth on call when I went into labor.
So when Sari walked in I was surprised. I should have seen that as a sign that things might not go as planned.
I was great. I concentrated. I pictured our baby coming into this world. I practiced my yoga breathing and focused on my hypno techniques. My sister, Mom, and Dad had all flown in and were there supporting me. My WpgBesty and my In-Laws were also there cheering me on. A few hours later I had not dilated anymore.
My water had not broken yet either. Sari thought she should break it to get things going again.
As soon as the warm water gushed I began puking.
And I mean PUKING! Considering I hadn’t eaten anything I can’t believe how much I vomited. It was funny because I had worked on a push playlist and a breathing playlist and a relaxing playlist but the sound of music made me sick.
At that point the pain was stupid. All I could do was sit fat and naked on a big ball in the shower with my head hanging for HOURS. Poor Ninja lol.
After hours of silence, water and vomit Sari, who had the most reassuring smile I had ever seen, talked to us. They wanted to move me to a different room. A room where they could monitor the baby and my vital signs.
By this time the sun had gone down and it had begun to lightly snow.
I was so tired. I vaguely heard the nurses, Ninja and Sari speaking. I heard the words stall, 9cms dilated, stalled, c-section, and the dreaded epidural.
I threw up some more.
For hours I heard the beeping of Maynard’s (that’s what we called her before she became HBear) heart monitor and all I could do was breathe and pray to a higher being that my baby girl would be healthy.
The surgeon came in and spoke to us. He told me he was going to start me on Pitocin in hopes that it would help move things along. The contractions got closer and more painful. He gave me 2 more hours and then we tried pushing. With his help and Sari’s I pushed for the next 45 minutes. It was almost the best thing I had done all day. At least when I pushed the pain seemed to go away or maybe it was so intense I just couldn’t feel anything lol. I went from 9cms to 8 and then 7. The surgeon told me to stop. He very kindly explained to me that he would be back with someone to administer the epidural.
He said I would have to have a C-Section.
I puked some more.
After the epidural I remember my Mom coming in and I looked up at her and asked “Mom is the baby ok?” Am I OK?" And her reassuring me as I finally fell asleep.
A while later I was rolled into the operating room. All I felt was fear. I tried thinking about our Doula classes. I thought back to that 1 class that took us on a path of all that could go wrong. Ninja and I had laughed at the time… as if any of that would happen to US! Duh. Every hurdle we faced in that class was one that we had faced in the past 18 hours.
As I was wheeled in one of the pretty nurses looked at Ninja and was like “Hey Chris! I haven’t seen you in years! How have you been?” My head whipped to the side to glare at him. Up until this point there had been no yelling, no swearing and no tension. I wanted this baby to come into the world surrounded by the love that had created her. However, I was about to freak out on Ninja and pretty blonde nurse until he took my hand squeezed it and assured me everything was going to be great. We were going to be great.
In the operating room it was just me… and 16 nurses, Dr’s and my midwife. They undressed me (so much for the beautiful birthing gown I picked out) so I was buck naked and took both arms and stretched me out like Jesus on the cross and buckled my wrists to the table.
The Anesthesiologist looked at me and said, “Are you alright?” I looked at him and said, “Well up until a few weeks ago I didn’t even like showering by myself in the light so this is just ducky. Thanks.”
He laughed and said “My aren’t we being a bit of a bitch?” I cracked up! He read me just right and alleviated my embarrassment. Ninja showed up a few minutes later all dressed in scrubs and with his “you can do it” face on.
Minutes later I felt fire. My stomach was on fire. I felt burning pain and the table was being jolted as my insides were pulled on and pulled out.
And then… her cry.
And my heart opened up and my life changed forever. The love I felt was so all consuming that I will remember that feeling for the rest of my life. It was protectivness, pride, amazement and a love so intense that the pain of the past 36 hours was forgotten and she laid on my chest and I felt complete.
I knew that nothing in my life had EVER made me feel like she made me feel at that moment. To my surprise I STILL feel that every single time I look at her or even think about her.
I am so lucky.
After they stitched me back up we went to recovery.
Ninja bathed her and I began the latching process. It was at that time that we named her. We ended up picking a name that wasn’t even on our list. I don’t know why, we really thought she was going to be Noa. But I felt that was too sweet for this little munchkin that had been so stubborn about coming out into the world. When they finally took me to my room (a shared bedroom, a far cry from the beautiful private room I had started in) I was exhausted. Ninja. Mom, Dad, WpgBesty, and my Sis all gave me and Baby a kiss and headed home. They had been in the waiting room for almost 24 hours by this time.
I finally closed my eyes when I heard, “Here’s your Mommy sweet Baby Girl.”
I opened my eyes and a nurse was handing me this perfect Baby. I shook my head… ummm no I’m very tired right now don’t you take her to the nursery or something? The nurse laughed at me and said “no dear you look after her. She is yours.”
I was sitting there completely exhausted holding this little pink baby… pretty much the 1st baby I had ever held and terror began coursing through my veins. WTF do I do with her?
That lovely image I had of peering through the nursery window at my perfect little baby was shattered. I was gobsmacked. She cried. Holy Crap! I began singing “You are my Sunshine” and she stopped.
The fear disappeared like that. I got a fourth or fifth wind and I just knew. Everything was going to be OK.
Because I loved her. I loved her so much that my pain, tiredness and fear were pushed aside to just stare at her and bask in the glow of love that surrounded us.
I thought, I am so lucky.
I was not lucky later that day when they made me walk down the hall to see my in-laws.
I was also not lucky when my catheter got stuck and I couldn’t pee for hours until the haughty nurse that didn’t believe me flicked the tube and pee shot out all over her… actually I guess that was my good luck and HER bad luck lol.
7 years later and I remember it all like it was yesterday.
December 1… the day I learned how to love.
Happy Birthday my Sweet Baby Girl. Mommy loves you to the Moon and Back.
A few weeks ago I made this super yummy chicken. Another breaded chicken actually? Weird lol. Anyways, It was pretty delicious. Not too saucy and with excellent flavor. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did J
Chicken Breasts with Mushroom & Onion Dijon Sauce
Adapted from A Family Feast
4 chicken breasts (I used more because they were small)
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon thyme
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon bold deli mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons margarine
Put flour and thyme in a medium bowl and season with salt & pepper and stir. Dredge chicken in four, shake excess and set aside.
In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken breasts and brown 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.
Heat pan back up to high and add mushrooms and cook for about three minutes until just starting to brown. Reduce to medium high and add onions and rosemary. Cook for two to three minutes.