Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Special" birthday

Anyone who's been through fertility treatments knows that there is little or no romance when it comes to conception. Because of this, there is no romantic or funny story about how Ruby was concieved. It happened in a petri dish (or whatever the embryologists are using these days). And it didn't even take place inside my body. In fact, Steve and I were not even in the room when she was concieved... sounds strange doesn't it?

Does that matter? No. Because in the end a little piece of me and a little piece of him came together and the most beautiful little being that we could have ever hoped for was created.

I suppose you could say that a "bonus" of getting pregnant via IVF is that you know the exact day (you might even know the exact time) that conception occurred. And that date was one year ago today.

So I've named March 25th, Ruby's "special" birthday. And I plan on celebrating it every year.

In commemoration of her special birthday, I bought a new charm to wear on the charm bracelet that my mom gave me for giving birth to Ruby. It's a little angel - which I saw as perfectly fitting. And Steve bought an "R" charm to sit beside the angel charm as well. And every time I look at that little angel charm I will remember this special day and think of all the blood, sweat and tears that it took to have her little life created, and how it was all worth it, a billion times over.

I will also be celebrating the day by smooshing and snuggling and kissing and hugging her all day long - or as much as she will allow...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Totally Stylin' Tattoo Mommy

You may have already seen it - Mattell has released Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie.

And Ruby is so getting one. (Although I'm thinking of getting Totally Stylin' Tattoo Nicki because she's brunette and so am I.)

Of course she's too young for it now but one day she'll be old enough to play with Barbies and then Tattoo Barbie might not be around anymore. And I want her to have one.

My mother vehemently despises my tattoos and lets me know about it at every opportunity that she gets. So when I told her about Tattoo Barbie she snarled up her nose and made a big deal about it, wondering why I would EVER want Ruby to have such a thing! And while she was at it, my dad was bringing up the rear, showing his disgust as well.

It made me feel bad inside.

I've said it before, I'll be fucking damned if they're going to do that to Ruby.

Because how will it make Ruby feel when her grandma says mean things about her mommy because mommy has some colors and pictures on her arm? Is mommy "bad" then?? Is grandma "bad" for saying mean things about mommy?

I know we have a little while before this becomes an issue but I needed to nip it in the bud (besides, I'm so tired of this shit and it needs to stop).

So I mulled it over for a couple of days until I knew just what I wanted to say and then waited for the right opportunity to bring it up. The opportunity presented itself last night, and so we had our first (probably of many) conversation about what will and will NOT be tolerated around Ruby.

I let my mother know that we are not going to bring Ruby up thinking that tattoos are "bad". By the same token we are also not going to teach her that they are "good" either. They just are. Some people have them. Some people don't. Everybody in the world is different. Everybody looks different. Looking different doesn't make you a bad or a good person. That comes from inside.

She said, "So you want me to keep my mouth shut about your tattoos then."

I told her yes, my tattoos and anyone else's for that matter. That she is free to think whatever she wants about them and she can hate them to her hearts content but she is NOT to express those negative thoughts to Ruby or in Ruby's presence. Starting now.

End of story.

She agreed to it. (Smart lady)

And anyways, to be brutally honest... I really don't think she truly despises them as much as she makes out. I think she thinks she SHOULD hate them because she's my mom. And that when other people see them they will look down on me so she has to make sure everyone knows that SHE doesn't agree with them so that she won't look bad too. Something like that anyways.

In the meantime I'm picking up the Barbie this weekend. And god help me to keep it in the package and not take it out and play with it myself and get Barbie all tatty'd up.

(I also just bought Ruby a Sophie... just to keep things balanced... just so you know...)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm different

I'm sure that nobody who knows me would disagree with that. But what I really mean is that I'm different now, compared to how I used to be.

A couple of weeks ago I met a girlfriend for a drink. I hadn't seen her in a while but after only 5 minutes of visiting with her she said, "You seem so different now. In a good way. You're so positive." And then she teared up and gave me a kiss and a hug.

I mentioned this conversation to my mother the next time I saw her and she said, "You are different. Ruby has softened you."

My dad has been saying it since my pregnancy days - how much "nicer" I am to be around.

And last night my in-laws were over for a visit and my FIL said, "You are a totally different person now. In a good way. A really good way."

So then... was I that terrible before?

Perhaps I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. But being raised by one parent who is an alcoholic/drug addict/workaholic and another parent who is very busy trying to hide all of that and make us look "normal" by being controlling, will do that to a person.

And then so will infertility.

And nobody (not the friends nor the family that were around me) seemed interested in helping me overcome either of those obstacles. In fact, sometimes it felt quite the opposite.

I fought through it all on my own, and it wasn't easy. I felt like I was up against the world... all. the. time. And I felt really alone a lot of the time. I always felt like an oddball. And I never felt comfortable enough, safe enough or confident enough to be myself. My true self.

So there was the chip. And there was a lot of pain inside. And I took whatever means were necessary to try to numb the pain. Read into that whatever you like. If you can imagine it, I probably did it. (Go right ahead, imagine big.) And I didn't put up with any shit from anyone. Even shit that I should have let slide, I didn't. I couldn't. Because I constantly felt like I had to prove myself. Stick up for myself, because nobody else would, right? Right.

It's not great living your life, feeling like you're always on the defence.

Apparently that made me kind of walking-on-eggshelly to be around.

Then Ruby was born and everything changed for me. The second she was put on my chest, I felt different. In ways I could never have imagined. I had no idea she would impact my life in this way.

Now, I really don't give a shit about everyone else anymore. Some things just don't matter anymore. Some things just aren't all that important anymore. And perhaps most significantly, I no longer feel that strong need to prove myself to everyone, or anyone.

And this has given me an insane amount of confidence that I have never felt before in my life. I have never felt more sure of myself. I've never felt so much peace and calm inside of me.

I had no idea until recently, that these feelings translated so loudly to the people around me.

Now, don't misunderstand. I still swear like a sailor. And I still would not hesitate to tell you off if you crossed me. I still have an edge and it's still sharp. I did not have a lobotomy during my hospital stay back in December. I'm still me.

It's just easier to be me now.

So yes, maybe she's softened me. Yes, maybe I'm more positive now. Maybe I'm nicer to be around. Maybe I've changed - in a good way.

I have Ruby to thank for that. She healed my heart.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No rest

It's 3:24am and I've been up for two hours.

Ruby is sound asleep and has been since she ate at 1:20am. It was Steve's turn to feed her, yet with him letting her cry while he warmed a bottle and then feeding her right next to the monitor and then the dog wanting to be let out and then the dog wanting to be let in and then the dog running around the house barking and then the dog eating and then Steve fucking around on the computer and then Steve flushing the toilet and turning on and off lights, I *somehow* became wide awake and frustrated (and a little pissed off) which turned into a big fight.

And now everyone is sound asleep except me. I'm sitting up crying and can't get back to sleep.

I am so fucked for the day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogging Brunch

I attended my very first little face-to-face meeting of bloggers today!

Some of us local bloggers have wanted to get together for a while now but we recently had a couple of out of province bloggers in town which gave us the perfect reason to convene.

Pictured from left to right are: Anna from Working On It, Marin from Planning Doesn't Work, Me and Ruby, Emily from Wish, Wait, Hope, Pray (and various other locations around the internet) and Emily from IF This Works (whom I've met previously and was my cycle buddy when Ruby was being... created - and has since become a friend).

We had a lovely little lunch in a little bistro in Fort Langley. The waitress asked us if were were a "club" to which we all thought for a second and then smirked and said "yes". In a sense, that is exactly what we are...

After brunch we strolled around in the FREEZING RAIN/SNOW and did a little shopping.

I really enjoyed seeing/meeting everyone and am hoping we can have these little get-togethers more often.

Mua! (that's me blowing a kiss to you girls!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 Months

My little jewel is 3 months old today!

Could I convince you that this was Ruby's attempt at a supermodel pose?

(Instead of what it really was - which was her needing a nap and being uncooperative with the "photographer"?)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Really, Universe??? Really?

I've been trying to keep my shit together. Trying hard to find a good balance so that I can be an optimal mommy and still a happy, productive individual.

So I made the decision a few weeks back to start jogging again.

I used to be an avid jogger and really enjoyed it. I've missed it and thought it was high time I start up again. So for the past month or so, every day when Steve comes home from work, I am ready with my running gear on, and I go out for a little jog. I crank the music and I push myself. I enjoy my time (even if it's short) out in the fresh air, doing my body (and mind) some good. It's been really hard though, with all the extra baby weight and I long for the day when I can run a 5k again (and eventually maybe even start doing the odd 10k again). But for now I have been doing a walk/jog routine - and I even recently added some distance.

Things were going ok. It was my little block of time just for me.

And then yesterday my little block of time ended abruptly when I tripped and fell during my jog.

Yeah, I scraped up my hand and my elbow and my knee.

Like, fuck. Come on.

Now today I'm bruised and sore and achy, and just generally feeling crappy.

My mood is shit. I'm not sure if that is a direct result of my fall or if it's just an added bonus.

I really think it's bullshit that I was trying to do something good for myself and I got this sort of result. It's totally frustrating and disheartening.

On the other hand I do wonder about fate and think maybe if I'd kept jogging yesterday I might have been hit by a car and killed or hit by a stray bullet or something equally terrible like that and then I would be dead and Ruby wouldn't have a mommy. So if that was the deal yesterday then I'm ok with the fall and my minor injuries.

Yeah, that's how my fucked up head works sometimes...

Monday, March 9, 2009

No sleep during hockey

Tonight Ruby started to get sleepy around 8pm so I got her ready for bed and then let her fall asleep on my lap in the living room while we watched the Canucks game.

By about 8:30pm she was sleeping pretty soundly so I decided to take her to her room and put her in her crib.

When I stood up and started walking towards her room, she fluttered her little eyes open and shut a few times but was still half asleep. Steve smiled lovingly at her as we walked past him on the couch.

She was still half asleep as I gently laid her down in her crib (which is ideal) when I heard this from the living room:

YEAH!!!! SCORE!!!!






And now he has Ruby on his lap to watch the magnificent goal that Burrows scored.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Night #3 = success again (but less sleep for me)

So just quickly - last night we stayed at my mom's house. Kind of a trial run for those times when I want a night out or a night off and I leave her there overnight.

She has her own room at my mom's, with a playyard for a bed - which she's never slept in before. I was worried it might screw things up with her sleeping in her own room/crib.

In actuality, she slept better than she ever has. Ever.

She fell asleep around 9pm and didn't wake up again until 8 hours later.

Oh yes, this would have been absolutely delightful - if I hadn't been up every hour after 1am checking on her to make sure she was still breathing.

Today, I am completely exhausted and feeling rotten.

So now that we're home again I ask (beg) Ruby for a repeat, and this time I plan on taking full advantage of it and sleeping through the night as well.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Night #2 = SUCCESS

Just a quick note to say that Ruby is rocking her crib.

Last night I fed her and put her to sleep in her crib at around 9pm. I then sat in my bed watching TV with the volume off, straining with my ear to the monitor, waiting for her to fuss and want mommy... But nothing.

Nothing, in fact, until 3am. (That's 6 hours of sleep!). She was then fed by Steve and put back in her crib by Steve, (we're making great strides here) where I heard her moving around and mumbling for a few minutes until she put herself back to sleep.

Steve got up at 6 and checked in on her and she was apparently laying there awake with her feet up in the air and her thumb in her mouth (did I mention that I think she's going to be a thumb sucker?). I got up at 6:45am and fed and changed her and she fell back asleep.

Right now it's 7:45am and she's sound asleep in the crib still.

Seriously, Ruby? I had all this crib anxiety for nothing?

Could this just be a fluke?

Oh and the other bonus of this - I'm not there to pop the pacifier in her mouth so she's getting less of it during the night. This could be the start of pacifier weening as well. Two birds with one stone?

This seems too good (too easy) to be true.

And as if to tempt fate, tonight we are going to stay the night at Grandma's house (my mom and dad's) for the first time. I wanted to break Ruby in with an overnighter at Grandma's while I was there. And if it works out, she may be spending more nights at Grandma's and I might have a free evening every now and then.

Fingers crossed for continued smooth sailing!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stepping out of the comfort zone

Last night was a big night for us.

Firstly - I got out of the house and went downtown Vancouver to get my hair cut. And after my haircut I went to the pub down the street and met a girlfriend for a beer (ok, two). And where was Ruby? Why she was at home with her daddy! It was our first night trying such a feat and it actually worked out pretty darn well.

I expected to come home to a screaming baby, things burnt on the stove, dog pee on the floor and Steve dialing my mother's number asking what he should do.

But actually the only thing I could find to nit-pick about when I got home was that he had Ruby in a 6-9 month sleeper which was too long for her. Oh, and she was still awake and should have been in bed sleeping (10pm). Overall though, not bad at all.

For me it felt good to have a couple hours of freedom. To actually tote a purse and not a giant diaper bag, car seat, and breast pump. To sit in a loud pub and listen to live music and eat dry ribs, sip draft beer and talk to a girlfriend about her latest man toy. And my cell phone didn't ring once.

(Of course nothing comes for free. He's now "mentioned" that he'd like to go for drinks with some friends from work tonight. )

And then... I'm not sure if it was the courage bestowed upon me from drinking two glasses of beer, but I decided to try letting Ruby sleep in her own room, in her crib last night.

It wasn't easy, I had to fuss with Steve about it. He didn't want her in another room. As it turns out HE'S not ready for that yet either. So not only did I have to deal with my own Ruby-separation-anxiety but I had to deal with his as well (which made it way worse). Ruby, on the other hand? She was cool with it. She snoozed til 2am - which is around her usual feeding time anyways (although I did get up at 1am to check on her). Steve fed her then and I slept - but when I woke up, there was Ruby in her bassinet next to me. He couldn't stand to put her back in her crib. So when I got up to do the 5:30am feed/pump, I put her back in her crib again when we were done.

I woke up again at 8am to the sounds of her moving around and talking to herself in her crib. (Well actually I woke up at 7 when Steve was getting ready for work and woke me to ask if he should bring Ruby into our bed since he was up - answer, no!) She stayed there for another half an hour, awake and content. Of course I didn't sleep during this time because the kid is a jabber mouth and I still didn't want to shut the monitor off. It was also pretty cute and kinda funny to listen to her babble.

So all in all, I think it was relatively successful and I will probably try it again tonight - although this time I will ply Steve with some alcohol first so he is a little more carefree when it comes to putting Ruby in her own room and in turn, maybe I can maybe sleep a little better myself.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daddy's girl

I'm in another room listening to Steve talk to Ruby while he warms up a bottle for her.

He just told her that if she wants to grow up to be a championship beer chugger like him, she should start taking her bottles with a faster nipple.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soft as a baby's....

I just wanted to write a quick post about Aveeno Baby - Soothing Relief Moisture Cream.

This stuff is AMAZING.

Ruby has had sandpaper-like, dry skin on her forehead around her hairline, partly due to some cradle cap and also perhaps from a little bit of eczema. I was trying to let it run it's own course but I think it was starting to bother her as she was starting to rub at it and make it red and irritated. I had tried applying olive oil to it but that just wasn't helping it anymore (not to mention the greasiness). I remember my midwife mentioning the Aveeno cream so I grabbed a bottle of it at the pharmacy while I was there getting my baby crack.

I had no idea it would actually work so well. Ruby's forehead is now soft and the dry patches around her ears and eyebrows are almost totally gone. It makes her skin feels fantastic. No more redness, no more sandpaper. And there was a noticeable difference after just one application.

Before now, I would have told you that one cream is probably just as good as the next. But now I'm all about the Aveeno Baby, baby.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Ruby wasn't feeling well for a couple of days. She was really fussy (not like her), she kept crying out (not like her), and she was throwing up a lot of clear fluid (not like her) and her movements were sometimes jerky like she was hurting (not like her).

I made the decision yesterday evening to buy a bottle of Gripe water and give it a try.

I picked it up on our way to some friends' house for dinner. Except I realized that I had no way to administer the 1 teaspoon of gripe water that is suggested for Ruby's age. So I called the nurse hotline to ask if I could put it in her bottle. Big mistake.

I explained to the nurse that I needed to give my baby some gripe water and wondered if I could put it in with my breastmilk in her bottle. Simple question, no?

Well. Nurse told me that gripe water is MEDICATION and that they can't dispense advice on medication. Why do I want to give my baby gripe water anyways? Did my doctor tell me to give her gripe water? No? Then why would I do it? And what makes me think she has a tummy ache?

Because I'm her fucking mother and I know - is what I wish I said, but instead I explained Ruby's fussiness, her spitting up so much clear fluid, her crying, her seeming to be uncomfortable.

Nurse then launches into a diatribe about how I should apparently be feeding Ruby... She says that Ruby is throwing up because babies tummys are so small and I'm obviously feeding her too much. If she's throwing up, it's because it won't fit in her tummy. (But it's clear fluid, not milky and it's an hour or two AFTER she's eaten). No, I'm definitely feeding her too much. I should feed her less food more often even if that's not what Ruby wants. Because Ruby isn't smart enough to know when she's full (oh yes she is). And why am I not breastfeeding her anyways? Because I should breastfeed her more and bottle feed her less because the milk comes out slower from the breast than it does from a bottle so Ruby will realize she's full faster if she's on the breast and it will stop her from overeating. (But everything has been perfect up until now with the way I am doing things) Well the composition of my milk is "probably" changing right now and it might be getting more fatty so Ruby should be eating less and should be on the breast more than on the bottle for sure.

Oh, and about the crying. Did I not receive a DVD from the hospital about crying? (Yes I did) Have I watched it? No?? Why not? (Because I've never had a need to because Ruby is not a crying kind of baby). Well maybe I should sit down this evening and watch the DVD because it would explain a lot about my baby that I don't know. (Because clearly I don't have a clue about my 11 week old baby) It will explain to me why she is crying lately. It's because baby's crying peaks between 2-5 months and that is clearly what's happening right now. Yes, even if up until this point Ruby only cries when she needs something.

Ok so lets see if I have this right... the crying just coincidentally started in the past two days at the same time that she started spitting up clear fluid, and started being unhappy and fussy, and got jerky little movements and then cries out? And my milk composition is changing right at the very same time? And it's also at the very same time that I'm suddenly feeding her too much?

And you can diagnose all of that shit right over the phone????

Wow. I'm sure glad our tax dollars are going to such a helpful and worthy service.


And so silly little rookie mom me, who apparently knows nothing about my own baby - I went ahead and dipped Ruby's pacifier into the gripe water and gave it to her that way. And this miraculously stopped Ruby's fussing, her crying, her puking and she was able to get some sleep. And she woke up this morning smiling and laughing again.

But what do I know?

Funny how mothers intuition works. Better than any know-it-all nurse from a hotline.