Sunday, October 30, 2011

my mother, myself, my daughter

I am reading "Found: A Memoir" by Jennifer Lauck, and I am finding the book very emotionally charged. I am loving the way she writes, very deep and heartfelt, and the story makes me see Emma in a whole new light.  Babies seem to come equipped with a lot of pre-determined similarities with the biological family, and a very strong need for their biological mother, not just any caregiver, although the book does make me wonder whether a different adoptive mother would not have made a bit of a difference in Jennifer's life.  I have not finished the book yet, although I will finish it in the next hour or so, and so far I can warmly recommend it.  It will strike a cord with any new mother, and it will definitely strike a cord with any adoptive parent or adopted child.

Emma is a very happy baby.  She smiles almost all the time (except for when I do something she does not want at that moment, like putting clothes on her after a bath, or strapping her into the car seat, when she screams bloody murder and makes me into a nervous wreck).  Her smiles make me forget for the moment about any problems that I might be having and absorb me completely back into the mother role.  She has a way of drawing me into her world, into the bond that we share (which is my world in any case 99.9% of the time) just with her bright eyes and her wide, toothless smile.  She melts into my neck when I walk around with her.  She puts her hand on my boob when breastfeeding, or purposefully grabs my finger, as if she is so intensely wanting to have me all to herself for that moment.  Not just the boob, but my whole being.  She even looks into my eyes and has the same intense look that I have.  I see so much of myself in her nowadays, while as when she was born she was mostly MrH.  (Not to worry, she still has his hair...which means she is still somewhat bald :).

In all honesty, she is much more than I thought she would be.  She is more of a person than I imagined she would be.  She has likes and dislikes, and a voice to show them.  She makes me even more happy than I thought possible.  I knew that being her mother would be a full time responsibility that I would have to assume, as everyone EVERYONE constantly reminded me.  In particular my own mother, as if I was a burden at this age and she had to look after me.  So I was prepared for the burden, the inconvenient awakenings, the constant responsibility that would stun my own life into narrow boundaries.  What I did not expect was that I would WANT that responsibility, that I would love being constrained, that I would love waking up at night to see her face and live another peaceful moment with her on my boob, that I would gladly renounce all of my other worldly pursuits to dedicate myself to her WILLINGLY.  This burden of mine, she is all light and sunshine.

I might be the same as my mother, but life has taught me differently, and hence my perception of the world is different.  Yes, our voice on the phone is identical, and we wear the same size clothes, and do the same athletic activities, and have the same hair colouring and both like makeup and skincare and cooking, but my daughter is a privilege to me, and I was a responsibility to her.  Not that I was not desired, quite the opposite.  But I came quickly, within the first two months of trying, and there was never in her mind the possibility that I might never be.  From that point of view we are worlds apart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

on men, part two

I am adding another short post to this topic that I have started a while ago.  I was planning on writing more, but life got in the way.  I was inspired by a recent conversation that I have had with a friend on the subject of service.  Service to others is an awesome, powerful way to enhance our lives.  We learn to share of ourselves, which makes us more open, more vulnerable but also more connected with the world around us. The time when I was the happiest are also the times when I connected the most with others.  In fact, if I don't connect with someone at least once a day through a conversation, a shared moment, a cup of tea, then I am prone to anxiety and sadness.  It is my social life that gives meaning and purpose to my existence.

Service to others can be difficult when going though infertility.  I remember being very unhappy, very closed off from the world at the worst times, and the last thing on my mind was giving, when I felt so dry and empty that a whole river of love could not fill me.  Sometimes giving was difficult.  Sometimes even impossible, or so it felt.  But the one person that I could always give to was my husband.  I wanted to be open and vulnerable to him, because it felt right to me, and service to him included many things, but in particular it included forgiveness.  I forgave and forgot my anger a lot of times.  I was often under the strong impression that I was right, in a discussion, or in an argument.  He was at times unfair, impatient, inconsiderate (but not very often really, just when he got tired and worn out).  My service to him consisted of forgiving and being the first one to make up, to say I'm sorry.  I still am the first one to make up most of the time.  I have noticed however that I am reaping the benefits of this behavior as well:  our fights don't last long, our sullen silence moments are very brief, and sometimes, more and more often, he even says that he is sorry (whoa! score!).

Men like a woman who serves them (yes, women also like a man who serves them, but I am willing to bet that men don't read my blog so I will leave that part out for now).  And women like having a man worthy of serving.  Serving is not about fairness, quite the opposite.  It is an action born out of the willingness to forget about what is fair for a moment, and focus on giving, and on the end point.  It is hard, and it feels unnatural the first hundred times, but it leads to a better relationship, and to more openness and vulnerability in the relationship.  And it invariably leads to the man wanting to serve back (chuckle...that is just a side effect...don't serve to be served back or you will often be disappointed).

Does this make sense to anybody?  I realize that in the age of equality of sexes, it might sound dated and wrong, but if your relationship is feeling strained and cold, and you are willing to try something different than usual, why not try this?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

bison having sex while smelling rose otto

First off, I will share something that I found insanely hilarious:  once in a while I check for "traffic sources" that lead people to my blog, in other words I look to see what search words someone typed into a search engine to lead onto my pages.  Occasionally I will publish the funniest ones.  Today's keyword/phrase is "bison having sex".  Yep, someone typed that into google and my blog came up as a possible answer.  If anybody has an explanation for this, please go ahead and post it in the comments.

Jumping ahead to the post:  Rose otto is the essential oil of rose (rosa damascena, or Bulgarian rose).  It is insanely expensive.  Which is why I just had to try it.  I bought a minuscule amount online from my usual essential oil supplier, and put one drop in the diffuser tonight.  I was shocked how far one drop can go:  it smelled throughout the entire bedroom and upstairs, not strongly, but distinctly.  Will it make the bison have sex?  who knows...

Because of Emma I am limited in the kind of oils I can use, as well as the quantities, but if chosen carefully even with a small baby I can still surround myself with heavenly smells.  At least good thing MrH likes the smells in the house, which is nice.  I don't know how I would deal with a husband who does not like smells, like my father, who has a very sensitive nose and will protest if I wear hand cream at the table.  (I think him and I share the same genes as far as the nausea factor goes, except for me the sensitivity only kicks in when I am pregnant, and for him it is all the time :).

On the good news front:  the appliance repairman showed up today to fix my dishwasher.  This is record time.  Normally people wait for one month at least.  I know that because my friend is waiting to have her oven fixed for over two weeks, and she is booked with the same (only!) company for the end of November.  I must have been quite convincing on the phone yesterday.  In any case, the guy found a date pit in the pump that empties the dishwasher.  That would explain it.  It was a 100 dollar date pit, or at least that is how much it cost for me to find out about its existence.  If only I had known, I would have removed it myself.  Embarrassing to say the least... But because I know him from an exercise class that I used to attend regularly, he taught me how to open the pump for future reference, so it was an expensive lesson but not all is lost.

On the weight front, since tomorrow is weigh in day, I am barely going to scrape by with 177 lb (one lb down for the week).  I have had a couple of days of anxiety and tiredness, and with the sprained ankle I took a break since Saturday from all forms of exercise, so I have not been as focused.  I am however starting to focus again, and the ankle is improving, so on we go.  I need to lose at least 2 lb per week to reach my goal by January, when I am going back to work.  If I don't reach my goal weight of 155 lb, I am not likely to fit into any clothes for work, and that would be a problem, a big problem, since I cannot show up at work in Lululemon yoga stretch pants, however comfy they might be.

I need some advice: what to wear at Emma's baptism.  I have a top that fits but only goes with pants, so I will need to buy some pants, or wear my old maternity pants which look nice but not extraordinary.  I also have a skirt that I am five pounds from fitting into, but no top to match it that is festive enough.  The last option is to spend some money on a new outfit, or on a new pair of pants, but I find that a pricey option because I don't think I will be ever using the outfit again.  If you have attended a baptism or have baptised your child, what did you wear, or what did the mother wear:  skirt, pants, or dress?  or a suit (gulp! expensive option).

PS. I googled "bison having sex" and my blog did not come up in the first couple of pages.  It must have been a different search engine.  For a fun assignment, since you all have ample spare time (why else are you reading my blabbering?) try to type "bison having sex" into various search engines and see which one leads you to my blog :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

frustration about my dishwasher

At least my post titles give you a fair warning about how boring my blog has become...but boring is good...(for me, not so much for entertainment readers though).  Anyway, if you want to hear me ranting about service in Northern British Columbia, feel free to keep reading.

My dishwasher has died.  He/she was very young, only 1.5 years old, just barely out of warranty.  I might have ridden my poor slave too hard, who knows, perhaps one load a day is more than Kenmore has designed their products to handle.  Perhaps other people do their dishes only once a week for all I know.  In any case, my poor dishwasher has one day keeled over and infarcted its pump (the thing that pumps the water out after the dishes are done).  I will not describe here just how much fun MrH had cleaning out that dirty water from the bottom of the dishwasher (which I have named Splashy in this tale, in order to protect his/her privacy.  The real name will not be revealed).

So, Splashy Kenmore is dry and alone in my kitchen for eight days.  The very next day after Splashy got sick, I called Sears and asked to have it fixed.  I was given the good news that the warranty had just expired, but I said breathlessly that I did not care, I just wanted my dear Splashy back.  So please send me over an appliance ambulance complete with resuscitation kit.  I was assured that I would be called within two days by the service doctor.

A week has passed, and nothing.  I loaded Emma on her stroller, did my hair and make up and went over to Sears to seduce the manager in order to save Splashy.  I gave him my best smile and asked what the F$#% is going on.  I was told to call the service place myself and ask them where I was on that list.  Which I did.  And found out that I wasn't ON that list at all.  I then called the service dispatcher in Ontario (at least it wasn't in India!) and they put me on hold for half an hour, after which they confirmed that indeed I was not on that list, because the service request had been rejected.  Rejected by whom?  I feel like Splashy is on the list for organ transplant or something.

Back on hold, forty five minutes later after I had my breakfast, my latte, my second latte, my third latte and my tachycardic spell from too much coffee, I was assured that I am now back on the list.  SAVE MY DISHWASHER I feel like yelling in the phone.  Not only that, but apparently there still is warranty for parts and electronics, and the pump is an electronic organ, so hopefully my wallet won't be gutted by the end of the week.  As we all know, I need the money to buy makeup.

Monday, October 24, 2011

musing about work

I am feeling worn out for some reason.  Perhaps I am coming down with a virus, but most likely I am overtraining, like I was suspecting initially.  I started thinking about what it will be like to go back to work, and how I will cope with knowing that Emma is with someone else, a stranger to her.  I think it is going to be hard, and the anticipation of that is saddening me a little.  Even though it is only going to happen in mid-January (and for the first month I am hoping to convince my mom to come and look after her), I have already started to worry, MrsH-style.  I am pretty sure that if I get a good sleep tonight I am going to wake up and feel better about the whole thing, but tonight I am mopey.  It helps that I love my job, and that I am a social person that likes to communicate daily.  I know that going back to work from that point of view will be good for me, since it forces me to be social and to be involved in things other than my own life/problems.  But...leaving Emma...even if only for four hours a day...bahhhahhhahh...

You know what I mean.

On the other hand, I cannot believe you gals in the US have to go back after three months.  That must be so hard.  How do you cope?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Milk Cow

If you have been following my story, you know that after the post partum hemorrhage that almost killed me I lost my milk supply.  Initially I had NOTHING (at about three weeks post partum).  Then, I managed to pump 1 oz from both breasts combined for the longest time.  We are now at 2.5 months of age, and I am starting to notice that Emma does not require as much SNS supplementation as she used to.  For the past week, I have only given her about 300 ml (10 oz) from the SNS, as opposed to the usual 20 oz that he would require.  Last night she did not need any supplementation.  This morning again.  I started thinking that she might have indigestion and maybe her appetite is down.  This afternoon, I went for a long walk with my friend and left Emma at home with MrH.  He had to give her 90 ml (3 oz) of supplement, then I came home and had full breasts, so I started pumping.  I pumped 3 oz and at the same time fed her I guess about 1 oz.  I made 4 oz of milk!!!!!!!!!!!! This is such a huge achievement for me, I cannot even begin to describe it.  It makes me happier than the weight loss even, and that should mean a lot for whoever knows how obsessed I am with my weight at the moment :)

Jumping around to another idea, I had to ask this question that popped into my head last night.  For those of you who have or have had babies, you might identify with this dilemma:  when your baby wakes you up at 5 am to feed, and your bladder is full and bursting, which do you do first:  pee, or feed the baby?  If I feed Emma, I am rather uncomfortable to put it mildly for the whole 20-40 minutes that it takes her to eat.  If I pee first, then Emma fully wakes up and starts screaming, waking up MrH who has to work in the morning.  So far, I have been able to either hold it until I feed her, or carry her to the washroom and feed while on the toilet, but she is getting rather long and heavy and I don't know how long she will be manageable to carry around, especially that the toilet is in a narrow spot in our bathroom.

That is it for deep thoughts.  Please let me know what you do/what you would do in this situation.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

beauty therapy

During ICLW I try to post every day, because it is an important way to meet new people in the blogging world.  However, I must say that I have nothing intelligent to write about lately.  I think I am keeping myself too busy to think.  I sprained my ankle running, and today re-injured it a bit during jazzercise, so I really will have to take it easier with the exercising.  That should give me more time to just be and feel and think and write.

First I will start with a resolution: no more baking while I am trying to lose weight.  I baked banana bread yesterday, and despite the fact that it only had two tbsp of sugar and two tbsp of oil for the whole loaf, I ate too much (three slices? with peanut butter and honey... instead of dinner, ouch) and woke up weighing 179 lb.  I know we should not weigh ourselves daily, but heck if I don't see every single mistake on that scale if I weigh myself daily.  I mean, I never gain 1 lb after eating my usual meals.  So, no more baking.  No more anything that will put me out of my routine, other than one meal: Emma's baptism.  It will be on November 12, and I plan on eating a little more freely then.  But not overeating.  I have to get it in my head that overeating is out of my life for good, and that if it shows up again uninvited, I have to assess why and do my best to avoid future situations where it is likely to happen.

I was doing my hair with hot rollers today, and I came up with another observation:  hot rollers take time.  Five minutes to apply, and two to remove, to be more precise.  They do create a nice wave and lots of volume that stays the whole day, they are more gentle on the hair than a curling or straightening iron, but they take more time.  So, the truth is that at least in my life, with limited time for self-grooming, I will have to chose one aspect of my beauty routine that I want to emphasize and spend time on, and be more minimal on the other aspects.  In the past I used to chose my make up as the part to emphasize, and do my hair pretty much in the same way daily, using a curling or straightening iron for variation.  (BTW, within the make up routine, one can spend more time and money on products for the face, or for the eyes, or for the lips, so in there too there is a way to break it up in order to spend time on the one feature that one wants emphasized.  Lately I have been focusing on creating a flawless complexion, which takes quite a bit of steps since my complexion is not flawless, given my lack of sleep, hehehe...).  Now, I want to create a voluminous hair, so I have to limit something else in order to steal the extra four minutes for the hair routine.  (I kid you not, my self care is THAT regimented.  I have OCD).  So, the extra time is coming from clothing (with only two pairs of pants that fit me, and both of them jeans, I don't really have to spend too much time choosing or ironing:) and it will probably also come from skin care.  I have simplified my skin care regime a lot: wash, remove makeup, add vitamin C 20% serum, add lactic acid/salicylic acid gel, and some basic eye cream.  When I want pampering, I also add some herbal recovery gel from Jurlique.  (If you think this is complex, you should have seen what I was doing before:  cream for face, cream for neck, cream for boobs, cream for butt, cream for waist, cream for hands, cream for feet.  That was before I had a child.  Now it's one cream for everything, and I make it :).

Anyway, I am blabbering.  I had better stop for today.  If you want more random wandering thoughts then stop by tomorrow.  I might blabber about cooking.  I wish, really, that I had some deeper thoughts, but I just don't.  I am very superficial at the moment, so on we go.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday check in

I am a little late for the Thursday weight check-in:  Emma has been fussy the whole day and I did not get to the computer at all.  The dieting is still going, (for those reading from ICLW, I am in the process of losing 35 lb after giving birth to my daughter Emma on August 10).  I weighed 178 lb this morning (start weight 187 lb) so officially breaching the 180's barrier, and nine pounds lost since the start of my diet.  My husband is full of praises for how I look, which helps me a lot to stay motivated.  I find that once I lose some of the weight, I am tempted to stop or to slack off (which in the world of dieting is bad).  I still have 23 lb to go, so I must not stop.

I became interested in aromatherapy again (I was always into perfumes and smells and the chemistry behind it, but during the pregnancy I became intolerant of most smells, so I had to stop using fragrances and essential oils).  I am building my collection of essential oils, and experimenting on my husband with methods to induce deep sleep (and sneaking in an aphrodisiac here and there, but he does not have to know, haha... maybe that is why the parrots are pecking each other).  I am getting an ultrasonic diffuser by mail sometime next week, which should make the process more efficient.  I also made a solid perfume this week, using 1 tbsp beeswax, 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted together, and when cooler I added bergamont and grapefruit essential oils (about 25 drops total).  It smells lovely, and I use it more as a hand and foot cream.

I will try to write a longer post this weekend about Emma's development.  She is smiling all the time, and "talking to us", this week she has also tried to help MrH open an envelope, reaching for it interested.  We dance every day to Alicia Keys in the mornings and generally have a fabulous time.  I am still the happiest mom on the planet :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The October 15 candle for our babies.


As far as the weight loss goes, this weekend I had a minor setback, and did not lose any weight.  In fact, at one point I had gained 2 lb.  This probably was due to salt and water retention, which usually happens when I start eating more than usual.  I did not eat insane amounts, actually I only ate enough not to be hungry, but the truth is that in order to lose weight, one has to be hungry, so the extra food that consisted of 5 oz of salmon, 100 g of pasta and one cup of lentil soup (in addition to my usual calories) have stalled my progress and made me put weight back on.

I had to reassess the situation:  why was this happening?  I think the main reason has to do with the fact that I am exhausted.  Losing weight is hard enough, but I also exercise daily, running about 5-7 km, doing pushups, sit-ups, planks, etc, or hiking up and down the hills for one hour.  Once a week I go to an exercise class as well.  The other thing is that I have to get Emma to come with me for the almost daily hiking, and that consists of hurrying to feed her (she takes forever still to feed) and then fighting with her to put her  in the car seat, fighting with her to let me put a hat on, and struggling to convince her that the Ergo carrier is a fine place to be in for one whole hour, which my active little girl does not always believe. There are many days in which I get there late and stressed out, and often think that I should just stop making plans with other people, because I am never on time, even if I start to get ready one and a half hours prior.

So, after realizing that this is the case, I am going to allow myself days off from exercise, and even from meeting other people and going out for walks.  I am going to let myself spend whole days just doing nothing other than the basic housework and caring for Emma.  I also need to spend more time sleeping.  And, finally, I need to cut back on the exercise, although this might sound counter intuitive when we are talking about weight loss.  The truth is that exercise is only 20% of the effort, 80% of weight loss is the diet, and if exercising too much makes me eat out of tiredness or frustration of not having time to just vegetate and relax, then the exercise is counterproductive to the final goal.  (The final goal is to fit into this red Chanel skirt that I bought while I was pregnant, measuring 100 cm in the hips and 75 cm in the waist - as far away as the moon really).

As soon as I made this decision, I have begun to relax.  I still ran 6 km last night, but I enjoyed doing it because I chose to, not because I had to.  I also took a long bath with essential oils (I chose lavander, frankincense, geranium and rose of Maroc) and in fact took out my collection of essential oils and expanded it by adding three more (lemon, cedarwood, and a blend called "appetite suppressant " that has rosemary, fennel and peppermint I think).  Lastly, I started using my cellulite cream again, not so much because I think it works, but rather because it makes me feel pampered.

So I am back on the right track, I was hungry yesterday and I am sure that I lost one pound of water.  Will check in on Thursday.  BTW, if you are doing the weight loss with me then on Thursday post your weight (yes, you G!).  This will keep you on the right path and encourage you not to stray, at least not on Wednesday night...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, Remembering- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Thinking of all of our little ones that we lost:  Adrian, Olivia, Lillian Grace, Julius, Wendy, Rowan, Levi, Ayla Joy, Juliet Grace, Bayli and Thomas, Caleb Anthony, Aidan, Valentina, Baby M, Baby C, and I deeply apologize for anybody that I might have left out accidentally.  I have lit a candle today for all of them, as usual, and I will post the picture in a little while.

I sometimes have the impression that I think of Adrian more than usual, and sometimes less than usual.  Watching Emma grow and become her own little person has me wondering how would Adrian have been doing going through the same steps.  The other day, a little boy asked me if Emma has a brother, and I told him that she did, but he died.  He looked all serious and asked me why, and I smiled and told him that he was born too small.  Because I was loving and light-hearted about it, which I truly am at this point in my life (given how blessed and happy I feel), he accepted it and moved on, with no fear about this information.  He was actually quite sweet.  I don't hide Adrian's loss from anybody.  All who ask get the truth from me, since I don't feel any reluctance to disclose Adrian's existence.  I have not had many people be inappropriate about it either.  I accepted it as part of life, I let people know about him with love and peace, and they probably feel safe and don't need to block out the sad story.

Adrian is resting in a small urn on my night table, and I say goodnight to him every night.  It is for him that I have had the courage to go on living, and eventually got Emma.  It is for both my children, but particularly for him, that I want to live my life to the fullest, just like I would have liked him to do.  It is the only thing a bereaved parent can do for their child, live as if his or her days have been passed onto us.  May we all make the most of our days, for us and for them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

life is good

Just a quick update before I dash to the indoor running track:  I have lost a total of 7 lb since I started the diet, currently being at 180 lb.  That is 2 lb in the past week, which included Thanksgiving (I obviously have behaved :).

Emma is more and more entertaining.  We run daily, her in the stroller, me pushing her (one day we'll change places).  I love the Stokke stroller for its height, as Emma is feeling much more secure close to me than she would close to the ground.  She laughs often and enjoys the speed.  She cries if I slow down, so honestly she is my best training partner, pushing me continuously.  She also loves her baths, kicking her little legs when we bathe together, almost daily.  She screams my head off when I take her out, even though I try to keep her warm.  She is such a lovely little girl, and I feel immensely blessed to have her EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Yesterday I was running outdoors on a path on which I run every summer, and I have suddenly had a flashback to one of the numerous times that I ran to forget about infertility, either before an IVF or after an unsuccessful procedure.  Every step on that path has memories of infertility, dashed hopes, pain, impatience, doubt.  And now I ran it with Emma.  This was an immensely healing experience for me, and I have ended up thanking her out loud for choosing us to be her parents.  What a difference she has made to my life, how much happier and brighter I feel!  Thank you, thank you, thank you little girl for being brave and taking a chance on us.  We will do our best not to disappoint :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I must confess, I love the blogging world.  I love reading other people's blogs even more than writing my own, and I like it a lot when people comment, because it makes me feel like someone out there is actually reading my blabbering.  Oh, I know I can use the stats and see if people click on the pages, but when one actually writes a comment it means a lot to me.  It is like a conversation, and that is what makes us a community.  Which is why I am going to sign up again for the International Comment Leaving Week (ICLW), see the link on the right hand corner in brown for this month.  Who knows how I will find the time, between exercising and caring for my newborn daughter, but we shall try.

I found some interesting blogs lately, one of which was about how to have great legs.  I believe it is called the Great Legs blog or something like that.  I am sure if I search for it I am going to find a blog about how to have great abs, great breath, and definitely I know that there is one for shiny long hair, 'cause I used to read it.  Anything you want, you name it, someone else out there is obsessed with it even more than you and has become expert enough at the issue to write about it.  I LOVE THE INTERNET!

Speaking of great legs, I am going on with the diet, I weighed 181 lb this morning, which is fabulous!  I cannot believe what a long way I still have to go until I can fit into my large size clothes, not to mention the medium size.  It is a slow process, but I am concentrating on it, and it is going on.  This morning I have tried a jazzercise class, which reminded me of hi-low impact aerobics that I used to teach at some point when living in Vancouver.  I enjoyed the group, and the opportunity to show off my lululemon top (I am going through a lululemon stage, a couple of years behind the rest of Vancouver, but hey, I was piss poor at the stage when lululemon became the mandatory gym wear in Vancouver so I used to work out in my old beat up t-shirts and my dad's pants.  I think I looked quite sexy though, in a carpenter-girl sort of way.

I am nervous about Thanksgiving dinner.  Similarly to many people, I like to eat more than my diet allows when I go out, and we are going out to someone's house who is a good cook. If you have any tips on how to stick to the diet while at the same time not making the host feel uncomfortable (as I would feel if someone refused to eat my pumpkin pie) please share.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So peaceful

8 weeks old. Her crying makes me soft.

Emma is 8 weeks old and I weigh 182 lb (down 2 lb since we started the diet last week).
Yesterday I was hungry and cranky, and I bet Emma is picking up on that a bit, because she just had a lot of cramps and was cranky herself.  We had a nice bath in the big tub, and she splashed around with her little legs, but as soon as I took her out of the water she started crying, and worked herself up into a hysterical mode.  I soothed her as best as I could, but she did not want the boob (that is a first for Emma!) and at one point I had to get dried up and dressed myself, as I had just gotten out of the tub with her.  After dressing her warmly I put her on the floor of my walk in closet, where I was getting dressed, and she started crying very angry, and thrashing around with her little legs and arms, and I felt so bad that I just had to get dried up and dressed, and could not pick her up.  She was just lying there, helpless, and my heart really melted out of compassion for this little body that cannot do a single thing for herself and is so incredibly dependent.  I cannot imagine the frustration!  Good thing she doesn't know any better...  

There was another magical moment last night, when she grabbed her daddy's finger, looked at it, then tentatively stuck out her little tongue and slowly brought her head to the finger (instead of the other way around :) and first tasted it, then started chewing on his knuckle.  It was so sweet to see her explore.  I am used to her playing with my boob, chewing on it, grabbing it with her hands, checking it out with her tongue, whenever she is not hungry and feels like having fun.  But I have never seen her doing it with anything other than my boob or her hands, so this was definitely a first.

As for my own progress, which I will probably post every Thursday, I am doing well...except for the irritability :( which hopefully will get better.  I feel tense, probably because all I can think about is how to get my hands on more food, so I can't concentrate on anything else.  I have good results though.  Down 2 lb, and stronger in the core exercises (I can now do the plank for one minute, while just one week ago I had to struggle for 30 seconds).  I can even do it on one leg at a time, for 10 seconds each.  I just got my gymboss interval timer, and my workouts have gotten harder, since the timer beeps each time when I have to increase the intensity, and measures out my breaks.  I use it for everything, including the elliptical workouts, which I do 50 sec hard, 10 sec break, repeat times 20.  Yesterday the sweat was pouring off me like rain.

I like interval training, it is way less boring than regular 20 min of elliptical at the same pace.  The other way to spice up training is to get some new and exciting exercise clothes.  I just splurged and treated myself to some lululemon pants and jacket (the thin one that matches the pants in both colour and material, like a track suit), two bras (identical black v-neck) and one white hoodie.  My bank account is groaning in pain.  But I need some comfy exercise clothes, and I stick to that excuse.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

flattering comments...NOT!

On the plus side, I weigh 182 lb, which is very good.  Two pounds down in one week.  MrH thinks I am an irritable bitch when I lose weight, but he is willing to put up with it so on we go.  I went running today for my current 4 km distance at the indoor running track.  It is a beautiful building, with two hockey rings on the first level, a speed skating ring on the second level, and a walking/running track overlooking all the other levels.  The lady who was supervising was someone I knew from work, and she had not seen me for about two years.  She did not recognize me!  we had a long chat, and at the end she asked me where I am from.  I told her I am from Romania, and it then clicked to her who I was, and she said the first thing that came to her mind: oh my God, you used to be so skinny and pretty!  (as in now you are not!!!).  I would tell my husband about you and how good you look, how nicely your clothes fit, etc.  She went on and on.  Like I destroyed some kind of monument.  Ahem.

True enough.  I am not skinny.  But I will be.  I told her that I am running and dieting and that I have already lost 5 lb, but hey, she could not shake the disappointment off her face.   Hey, lady, I just had a baby, get over it.  But it was shocking for me to realize just how different I must look, with the extra 30 lb on board (probably the lycra pants did not do me any favours either).  It was also shocking to see how she did not believe, not truly believe, that I could lose this weight.  Puh-leeze.  Who do you think you are talking to, lady, do you have any idea how much harder having this baby was than losing 30 lb?  How much deprivation and frustration I have had to endure?  I think I could have lost 150 lb in the time that it took me to have this baby, and it would have been an easier journey.  That's the thing, surviving infertility and somehow resolving it puts one in a position of power, whether one has a baby or not at the end of it, there is no way not to look at the usual everyday problems and not shrug, as in "whatever".  It is nothing compared to what I already did.  It takes time and determination, but at least the result is pretty much guaranteed.  While as I cannot say the same thing about the IVF, or the end of a high risk pregnancy.

BTW, does anybody want to join me on this weight loss journey?  If so, post your goal in the comments section.  Once a week, let's check in.  Say on Thursdays, my usual weigh in day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

men and infertility

I read this article just now, after being directed to it by  I felt that it was written with incredible sensitivity from this man undergoing ART and finally IVF with his wife for a total of three years, without a positive result, and without great chances.  It shows just how heart-wrenching this process is, and how from the man's perspective, he is able to take other people's jokes and crassness in stride on the surface, and still affects him.  It makes me wonder if men are perhaps not less sensitive than us, but rather less likely to complain.  Less likely to share.  More likely to just "take it like a man".  I don't want to generalize, but his style of thinking and writing reminded me of my own husband, the man I know best in this lifetime, and I felt deep tenderness towards the strong male who seems that he is just "tagging along for the ride" and in reality experiencing everything just as intensely as the woman.  Including the experience of having a wife who desperately wants children and cannot have them.  (If men want children as intensely, they are better at hiding it from us than we are from them, thus the additional stress is still on them).

I did not think that IVF was a lot harder on me than on him.  We both had our share of stress, and overall it was a pretty pleasant experience.  Not as pleasant as fucking each other's brains out would have been, of course, more along the lines of a root canal, but the doctors were nice, the clinic was comfortable, and we got to travel to Vancouver where I had a wonderful time.  Not much to complain about in my case.  Plus I had some pregnancies coming out of it, which is probably what colours my experience in retrospect.  What I did find very difficult was the infertility itself, the not knowing if I would ever have a child, the incompetent cervix on top of all that making me wonder if I would have a preemie with disabilities to raise and if I was strong enough for that as well.  That is still an issue for us of course, especially now that I have lost the TAC and I will have to get a regular McDonalds next.

I feel blessed every single hour of every single day for having escaped the hell called infertility.  I only now know just how closed I was to the world, how much isolation and hurt I struggled with every day.  I feel like I am filled with light.  And in addition to this immense relief, I have this wonderful baby to love, whose hand right now rests on my breast like a butterfly touch.  And let me tell you, going from hell to heaven without transition is a wild ride.

And from the side

As promised

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My name is MsH and I am overweight. Big time (literally)!

I calculated my BMI this week, and it was not pretty:  28.  That officially places me right in the middle of the overweight range, close to obesity (obese would be 30).  I have NEVER been this fat in my whole life. I have also never carried a pregnancy to term before either, so there we go.  I cannot fit into any of my previous clothes.  If I squeeze myself into a pair of exercise pants (we are talking about the stretchy black lycra type) I need to hold my breath and avoid sitting or else the industrial strength seams might crack.  The other day I tried on my previous bathing suit for the pool (size 10) and I could not get it to slip past my knees.  I called the triboutique company from which I order my swimming gear, and gave them my measurements:  41-37-44.  They said that they don't carry anything in stock for this size (slightly larger than XL) but that they will order it in for me from the company that makes them.  Sweet, but very embarrassing conversation indeed.

And while I am aware that I have just had a baby which I am currently trying to at least partially breastfeed with my limited milk supply, this cannot go on any longer.  It is eroding on my confidence.  I am going back to work in January and would like to have some clothes to wear other than my two pairs of size 12 jeans that barely zip up (optimistic recent purchase).  I need to lose weight as much as I need air at this point.  Hence I have declared the situation a state of emergency, at least until I lose enough to fit into my priorly fat clothes.  This means that I am currently very strict with my diet, not having any sugar and limiting the fruit/grains to only one serving per meal at most.  I also have small portions.  I am hungry most of the time in the evenings.  Starting from about 4 pm, I am hungry almost non stop until dinner, and then hungry again half an hour after dinner until I fall asleep.  I hate being hungry all the time, but I know from  previous experience that the hungry stage only lasts about one week, then the stomach shrinks to a smaller size and does not need to be fed every five minutes.

I also exercise every day, some kind of cardio (either running or elliptical) for 30 min and do the workouts.  They are tough, but I can feel that they are helping build up my strength back quite quickly.  I am already pleased with my abdominal muscles, I think that they will come back to their usual position and strength in the next month.  Ditto for the quads.  The only problem that I really need to work on lots is the upper body strength.  I have never been able to do a proper chin-up and probably never will be able to due to the fact that I have spaghetti arms.  But at least I wish I could go back to doing pushups.  And that will require about one year of work, I am afraid.  And on a more achievable level, I wish I could haul around the car seat with Emma in it without feeling like my forearms will fall off.

That is the current situation, and what I am busying myself with.  The strange thing is, I have no self-hatred during this whole thing.  Before I would have felt like I am a useless piece of sausage with no will power and would have kicked myself in order to motivate the change.  Now I feel like I am doing it out of love for myself and for Emma (I want her to have a fit and beautiful mother that she is proud of, just like I did - my mom was my number one exercise partner until I moved to SmallTown in the North).  And I feel like the effort to lose the weight is part of the small price that I have had to pay to have this wonderful baby.  She is worth every bit of effort indeed, and I remember that each time I look at her (which is constantly).

I will post a "before" picture in my exercise pants and bra.  And then, on the first of every month, I will post the "after" pictures.