28 July 2013

Welcome ADELE!

Adele's Birth Story......

Adele Jamie Collins
5 pounds 4 ounces
17.3 inches

On Tuesday, July 23rd, Home Care came by for a regular visit and to do an NST. Baby's heartbeat wasn't showing any accelerations, so this concerned the nurse. She told us to go to The Rockyview and just get things checked out.
Baby was showing the same pattern at the hospital, so the doctor decided that after multiple visits to the hospital, it was time to have this baby. James and I expected this to happen; we even brought the overnight bag and baby's outfits.
The induction started at 5:00pm and I was pretty sure that the contractions would start within 20 minutes, as they did with Brinley. The cramping started, then it all went away when I ate dinner. I was happy and disappointed all at the same time. Ange and James really wanted it all to get going and for me to push out a baby. After all, it was all about them and their sleep schedule. ;)
At around 10:00pm, the nurse came in and informed mom, James and Ange that they weren't allowed to stay the night and that they would have to go home. UMMMMM......I'm sorry, what did you just say?? They can't leave. Are you insane??!!?? I need them here, I need the support and encouragement. I need them to hold my hand when the contractions hit hard. UGGGGGGHHHHH.
So, they left.
I kept it together. I was surprised that I didn't cry. I didn't get upset. I just pressed on. Ok, I need some sleep. Once the contractions start hitting hard, I will call James and they can come back to hold my hand.
At around midnight, the cramping hit, it wasn't hard, just a bit uncomfortable. The nurse offered me some morphine and gravol. No way!!! I wouldn't subject my baby to anymore drugs. I'll press on.
Ok, I'll take some morphine and some gravol. Well, that didn't help at all. Not at all. The cramping hit hard and I took some more drugs. The nurse decided to check me...I was 2cm. Well, it's a start, I guess. I ONLY have 8 more to go. OH MY GOODNESS!!!
At around 3:00am, the pain was now VERY uncomfortable and the cramping was painful and making me breathe harder and I was trying to go to the happy place. All I saw was a place filled with fire, I was guessing it was a type of hell. I pressed on, I had no choice as my sister would tell me.
At 4:15am, I pressed the nurse call button and wanted to tell her that I'm sure I had a million more hours to go and that she better stick a huge needle in my spine and get rid of this pain. I am now not able to speak through the cramping but the contraction strip didn't show anything obscene. I guess I'm a wimp. Man up Krista and press on.
The nurse came in and said that she would check me because she wasn't going to wait for the doctor and she didn't even know where he was.....
All I heard was "you are 10cm!!!"
The second that she invaded my vagina, the labour hit and it hit hard. I needed to call James and Ange. I rolled over, grabbed the phone and barely managed to call James.
"IT'S TIME!!!" Click.
In the meantime, actually, I believe that right after I was told that I was at 10cm, I asked if I could still get the epidural. The nurse giggled a bit and told me that we are way too late. Oh frick!
I remember being whipped down the hall into labour and delivery. The pressure in my bottom and the urge to push was overwhelming. They said not to push. 
HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! Now that it funny. 
Once in labour and delivery, they told me to move myself onto the other bed in between contractions. I managed to move myself, not gracefully but I did it.
My body started to push and the nurses, whose average age was 22, told me not to push and to wait for the doctor. 
You obviously have not pushed out a child before. I am pushing and she is coming. I was pouring with sweat. She is coming.
The doctors showed up as well as the NICU team because she was 5 weeks early. She would need some extra loving. 
My water broke at 4:30am. 
No James and no Ange. It had only been 10 minutes since the call.
Push Push Push 
She's out! 

At 4:39am, our precious Adele Jamie Collins made her appearance into the world. I exhaled and felt like a queen. No more pain. No more pushing. I could hear our little princess crying. 
I got in one kiss and she was whisked away. She was so cute.
In the meantime, Ange and James showed up at the hospital. The nurse saw them walking down the hall and she informed them that things happened a little quicker than expected and that baby was here. They were shocked.
When they walked into the room, their faces were priceless. I told them to go see baby and to check to make sure that she was doing ok. 
Then it all started to go downhill....
I had two doctors staring at my vagina like it was a drive in movie screen. They were trying to figure out how to get my placenta out...it was stuck. Ok, just get in there and pull. Let's get moving. The doctor said that I would have to go to the OR and get an epidural and then get it removed. Oh, I'm sorry, you want to give me an epidural now?? I don't think so. Get it out of me. This popcorn eating, drive in movie continued for 30 minutes until another doctor walked in, grabbed the cord and pulled. There you go, my placenta is out. :)

The NICU doctor then walked into the room and asked me how I knew that she had Down Syndrome. I was a bit confused. I told him that we had done non-invasive and invasive testing and both came back above 99%. The doctors were not convinced that she had Down Syndrome. I knew that she did and it just didn't matter. I love her with all my heart. The other doctor in the room started talking about maybe she's mosaic. I had no idea what this meant, but it sounded exotic and fancy. I guess it means that she still tests positive for Down Syndrome but it could be very mild. Who knows. She's perfect!
Next, my blood pressure sky rocketed. I was injected with so many drugs that nobody could keep count. I guess I was a bizarre shade of grey and I was puffy. Nothing was getting it down. The doctors were getting concerned so they hooked me up to some anti seizure drugs and I was told that I wouldn't be moving, eating or drinking at all for the day.
I was given 4 IVs, oxygen, heparin, catheter and leg pillows. I didn't get to see Adele at all that day but was told that she was doing well.
I remember when James walked back into labour and delivery, he had tears in his eyes. I could see that he was in love all over again. Another baby girl to snuggle and love. He is such a good father and husband.
My blood pressure improved.
Adele was hooked up to some machines so that they could monitor her closely. We had no hiccups. Thank god!

Momma's first visit

The following evening, all of the crazy equipment was removed from momma and I was about to have my first visit. James rolled me in and I saw my baby girl. I cried.
I cried because it has been such a journey. I cried because she was healthy. I cried because I have never in my entire life felt so much love for another human being (except her sister). I cried because it was all over. I cried because my hormones were so messed up. :)
It was a great moment.
The love that you feel for your children is above any emotion, any feeling that you have ever experienced. You see no flaws. All you see is this human being that you made. You see the love that went into making this beautiful child. All you see is absolute perfection. There is no better feeling in the entire world then holding and loving your child.
I have to be honest, I was worried that maybe my love would take a while, maybe I would be so overwhelmed by the Down Syndrome that I would need some time to come to terms with everything....I needed no time. I loved this baby from the second she made her entrance into the world. I loved every inch of her. She is ours.

Adele is doing great and is eating like a champ. She is almost back to her original birthweight and we've been told that she is a mover and a shaker. Momma can't go for snuggles until this cold goes away. I'm sad but I know that she is in great hands. The nurse told me today that she is getting tons of love in the NICU.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for the love and support over the past months. Thank you for the gifts, the words of encouragement and for never judging. You are amazing. <3


21 July 2013

My Cervix is HIGH! :)

Our Princess!

Well, it's been a while since the last blog. I find that my mind is on our little house and keeping this baby in the oven. Last weekend, I spent the night in the hospital because my BP was elevated and they wanted to monitor the baby. The doctor released me the following day BUT it was quickly follwed up with "you need home care and you will not leave here unless you agree with the conditions."
I quickly agreed!

This week, I had my routine OB appointment and was sent to the 6th floor to be monitored because, once again, my BP was elevated. I already had it all planned out in my head how I was going to tell the doctors that I was not willing to spend the night and that being in the hospital is not conducive to lowering my blood pressure. They monitored the baby and I found out that I was having regular contractions. Nothing painful, just a lot of tightening. First thought....great, she's coming soon. GREAT! Please keep her in, push her back in, don't let her out yet, I am not ready. The resident, who is the third doctor to ask me if I was a nurse because I guess I use a lot of medical terminology, was kind and caring and very knowledgeable. I think it's funny that they think I am a nurse, couldn't I be a doctor?? Why a nurse?? Is it because I am just a girl? :))


Anyways, he said that he was going to check my cervix. YAHOO!!! Pregnancy takes away all diginity that you have as a woman and flushes it right down the toilet. I remember with Brinley when the nurse came in the day after delivery and started to milk my boobs. After she milked my boobs, she checked my mesh undies and frozen maxi pad! I felt like such a winner. I don't know how husbands keep the attraction going for their wives after giving birth!?!?! Droopy, flabby belly and droopy, flabby boobs and crazy hormones and damaged vagina and maxi pads for a month. It is SEXY!!
Ok, back to the cervix. The doctor had not checked many cervix in his rotation, so when he checked mine, I almost laughed. He was so gentle and caring, maybe almost creepy like. ;)
The nurse checked right after him to see if they were both on the same page. She went in for the kill, up to her elbow and whipped her hand right out, snapped the glove off and smiled. Thank you nurse! My cervix was closed and things were tight and high! ALL GOOD!!!
They all know me by name now on the 6th floor...we are friends! I would probably feel better if I could check a cervix too or at least do some BP checks. I feel like our relationship is so one sided at the hospital. I'm a giver and I feel that I'm not reciprocating the love.

So, that's where we are at with the baby. I am on a type of modified bed rest, which is quite difficult with a toddler but mom, dad and James have been helping out a lot. I get as much rest as I can. I am aiming for 37 weeks, so another two, then it will probably be go time. I have another ultrasound on Wednesday, so we will see how she is looking and I'll have a good chat with the doctor about how she/he feels about when I should deliver. It is going to be difficult having a baby at mom and dad's house. I know that we will feel bad when she's crying at night and inturn it causes James and I to get frustrated with each other. Ma and Pa are heading to their BC property for the first two weeks in August, so that may give us some time to settle.

Our home is being worked on but we have heard that it will be another month before we are permitted to move back in....that will be a total of two months out of our house. It's crazy!! James has been working diligently on getting us back in as soon as possible and has spent so many hours putting together the list of all the damaged items. It's been a lot of work for him and I feel awful that he lost so much. He really downplays it and said that one day he would have sold it all, but this wasn't the way for it to go....in a flood. Maybe karma will come his way and somebody will replace some of his lost items. ;)
Maybe Michael Jordan with step up and give him a new rookie card?? Maybe GI Joe will step up and send him some first edition comic books?? I mean come on, GI Joe has connections, he must be able to pull some strings.  :)

Lastly, our friends have been truly amazing throughout this whole ordeal. James and I would never ask for anything from anybody. We know that there are others who have lost absolutely everything, their entire house and the insurance company is not covering anything, nothing. We have been fortunate.
We have received so many gifts and gift cards from friends and family. We are overwhelmed and blessed and thankful and humbled by the kindness. I don't know what to say, besides thank you thank you thank you.

Have a wonderful Sunday with your family! <3

8 July 2013

Done at 37!!!

Princess Brinley!

Yes, it's been a while since the last post. Life has been busy and stressful for all of us, including friends and family. We have been living with my parents for the past 2.5 weeks and will now be here for at least another month. I was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with high blood pressure. I thought maybe they would have released me that night but it was a no go. I think I had maybe two hours of sleep, which sucks for lowering the blood pressure. My roomie who was just wonderful and delightful was induced that night at 1:0oam, so we both didn't sleep too much. Yesterday, I had more blood work done as well as a 24 hour urine test. I can't stand that test, but I guess it's pretty simple compared to other tests. James drove to the the hospital 3 times yesterday to be with me, plus take care of little Brinley. It was a busy day for him, while I just sat and stirred in my little bed. I had an ultrasound later on in the day and it went well, they wouldn't let me walk so I got to go strolling in a wheelchair. I like being taken care of!! :) James wasn't allowed in and I didn't even get to see the screen, so I never got to see our princess. I asked the tech how she looked. His answer "fine." WOW!! Thanks!!
I asked how her femurs were measuring and he told me that they were a little shorter. I told him, thinking that he would have read my chart, that she has Down Syndrome. His answer "oh, she does??" NICE!!!
The ultrasound results came back perfect. She weighs 4 pounds 6 ounces and scored an 8/8. Those results made us smile.
The tech asked James to take me back to my room and as we were getting out of the elevator, the wheelchair got stuck on the metal piece, I almost went flying. The chair smashed my ankles and my chart shot across the floor. James does not make a good porter. :) 
The doctor came in to have a chat and he told me that the only way I was allowed to be discharged from the hospital was if I was open to home care. Yup, I sure am!! So, I am on a type of bed rest until baby arrives. I have to be honest, it stresses me out a bit more just because we had to leave the house due to the flood, so nothing is ready the way I like it! I am quite the perfectionist, so I need for my house to be just perfect for baby. I think I will hire a cleaning company to go in and do a very thorough clean, that will make me feel better. We don't really need access to the basement and garage, just the top two floors. I know that it will all work out in the end, but I miss my home. I miss my bed. I miss my schedule and routine. I miss my little town.
I try so hard to stay positive and put a smile on my face. It's difficult. I don't wish this on anybody, losing your belongings and your valuables. I have heard a few times that it's just stuff, but we have worked very hard for that stuff and poor James had to throw it all out in the garbage bins. I didn't have to witness our belongings being tossed and I can't imagine the heartache for James. A couple of the things that he lost were his Michael Jordan rookie card, first edition GI Joe comic books that he's collected over the years plus his hobby and passion for Greek books, figurines, shields etc., all gone!
Driving around High River is incredibly difficult. When you watch the news and see the devastation, you feel bad for others then you move on and eat dinner. When you see the destruction first hand, it is surreal and heart wrenching. You drive up and down the streets and all you see are families tossing their belongings out on the front lawn, all covered in mud and sewage. High River is also a community that houses the elderly, this breaks my heart. Some of them have nowhere to go, no money and no help. I pray that they heal.

Life has it's twists and turns and heartaches, but you rebuild and move on. I am thankful that my family is safe and that we have a place to stay until baby arrives.

My goal is to keep cooking this little one. I am 33 weeks pregnant and would like to get to 37, then it's exit time. I don't think this body will carry a baby to 40 weeks and we all know that 37 is full term. I am ready to never house a little human being ever again. I am thankful that we were able to conceive so easily and we are blessed with Brinley and Little Bean, I am just done. Induce me, epidural me, drug me and exit! I asked the OB after I delivered Brinley to just completely sew me up, there is no need for that anymore. ;) She obviously didn't listen to my request. 

I am looking forward to the next step in our lives and can't wait to meet this perfect baby of ours. Thank you to everybody who has helped us out, you mean the world to us and we love you.

Happy Monday to all my friends!

26 June 2013

Damn You Mother Nature....


I'm back, sort of!

We were hit last week with a major flood in High River. I'm sure some of you are like "well ya, you live in HIGH RIVER!" We have a river, yes, but it is nowhere near our house. We woke up Thursday morning and James told me that his parent's basement was flooded and that he was going to head over to help get furniture out of their place and that they may be evacuated. I still thought nothing of it...nope, it's all good.
Then I noticed that people were walking down the street taking pictures of the field and the school. Hmmm...maybe something is going on?? Power gone now and no cell phone service. Knock at the door, a friend stopped by to tell me to get out and find another place to stay. Still, it didn't really kick in. I couldn't get a hold of James, I started pacing the house.

Should I get some things out of the basement? No, it'll be ok and I can't lift the heavy boxes. Still in denial. Then I hear a fireman over the bull horn telling us to get out and that we have been evacuated. Still thinking that this is silly. I go outside and ask the neighbours if they have a plan. Most weren't leaving. All I was thinking was that I needed a shower and maybe I should get ready.

James comes home and says that it's crazy down the street at his parent's house. The windows were smashing in and the whole basement was destroyed. I was having troubles comprehending that only 1 minute away, a neighbourhood was being swept away.

We grabbed some stuff and headed down the street in the other direction to Ange and Bob's house. All dry.
The RCMP show up and tell us that we must evacuate. WHAT??? No way!!! We are hungry and I guess in denial. We decide to BBQ and evaluate the situation then decide what we should be doing. I guess we needed to think about the kids and their safety.

Mom and dad didn't really give us a choice. We headed to the folk's house....9.5 of us!

The next day, we were watching the news, there was our place, under water. Are you kidding me?? We needed to get home and find out what was going on....assess the damage.
We hear that there is no access to High River...we will find a way!

We all headed back home and were stopped by the RCMP. Mom always taught us that you get farther with honey then you do with vinegar. We were sweet and nice and polite. The officer escorted us to our place and said that we had 20 minutes. Dad, James and I went in and headed straight to the basement. I could hear splash. Oh crap, oh crap! All of our stuff, oh crap, my wedding dress, all of our diapers and wipes and clothes for the new baby. Our fridge, our freezer, all of our food, all of our personal belongings in the garage. I felt so overwhelmed. I cried. I cried for all the hurt that I felt at that moment. I cried because I knew that this wasn't good. I cried just for myself. I felt sorry for me.

I knew that I couldn't pull the what if...what if we just moved stuff? What if we just unloaded some of our personal belongings from the basement? What if we just took some time to get our place ready for water? Nope, don't do what if...this is how it is. We moved nothing. Dad said to get moving and gather some stuff. I felt overwhelmed and only grabbed a few things because I'm sure we would return to our place in a few days. I only need a couple pairs of undies, maybe a shirt or two...

We left. I cried again.

James managed to get back to our place once more and he grabbed the wedding dress, my rings that don't fit, and some clothes for all of us. Don't forget my blood pressure machine, grab the Doppler, get undies, get Brinley some clothes as she has been wearing sleepers for almost a week. I feel so displaced.

My wedding dress :(

Dad spent over an hour in the rain, washing and spraying my dress outside. He did such a good job and managed to get a lot of the dirt and mud off of the dress. Bob and Ange offered to have it boxed and cleaned and to not worry about it. They would take care of it. There goes another 400 dollars to get the dress cleaned. :(

Emotionally, this has been a roller coaster ride. I know that our damage is minimal compared to others who have lost everything. I feel bad for so many. I feel bad for those who have to sleep at the rec centres, I feel bad for myself, I feel bad for the elderly, I feel bad for the pets that are stranded, I feel bad for those who died in the flood, I feel bad for those who live paycheck to paycheck and who can't afford any of the costs associated with the flood, I feel sorry for my parents who are housing all of us, I feel sorry.
I also feel disconnected from my husband and it makes me sad. I feel that our lives have been consumed with the flood and worrying about the costs, the damage and getting the house ready for Little Bean. At times, we are frustrated with each other and it's hard to voice kindly our concerns to each other, so it comes out harsh. I don't want that to happen. We need to be together and on the same page and support the decisions and the trials that await us.

I never really realized how much I took our little home for granted. I did. I miss my bed, my routine, my schedule and I miss sleeping in a room where I don't need to whisper in fear that I will wake the baby beside me. I also need for this baby to keep cooking. If she comes early, I will lose it.

My blood pressure is high right now. I will talk to my doctor and get a plan going. I need to make sure that I am healthy and that baby is healthy.

Lastly, we have been blessed with so many great friends. I have received so many texts, phone calls and messages sending love and support. You have no idea how much we appreciate your kindness. It keeps our spirits up.

My cousin sent me this for a laugh....beware, there are many swears. If you take offense easily, stop reading. :)

I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog and other tales from a twentysomething disaster.

Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace

Every damn time someone in my facebook feed posts something like this, I click it. Every damn time.
We all have this facebook friend, right? People you genuinely love and admire. People you like hanging out with. People you invite to your birthday parties. You know. Actual friends. Until you’ve clicked links exactly like this again and again and again. For YEARS. And all of a sudden, you start to wonder if this is some elaborate hoax, if you’ve actually just been reading the same article over and over.
It’s not like I have anything against happiness, or success, or meditation, or yoga, or being nice, or smiling more, or eating healthy, or losing weight, or being your best you, or embracing the day with a positive attitude. Those all sound great. Honestly, they do. And there are some really smart, simple truths to be found in all of those articles. There truly are.
It’s just that I have a problem with being told to do all of those things by skinny blonde ladies laughing on a beach wearing yoga pants.
Don’t believe me? Take the challenge. Next time you read one of these articles, I dare you not to play Inspirational Photo Bingo:
Don’t believe me? Compiling these photos took LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES.
I can’t fucking remember the last time I pranced around a tropical island paradise waving a white scarf around my head as a professional photographer snapped a picture, but I bet if I did, I’d be a whole lot happier too.
Below please find my version of this article, that I want to share with you, the internet. May it bring you all the inner peace you can cram into your backpacking gear right before downward dogging it atop that mountain at sunrise.
  1. Do whatever the fuck you want.
  2. Do whatever the fuck you want.
  3. Seriously, do you want that burger? Then just fucking eat a burger. Don’t be gross about it, and don’t eat a burger three meals a day. But I beg you, women and image-conscious male humans of the world, stop beating yourself up about it and just eat the fucking burger.
  4. Do whatever the fuck you want.
  5. Have good friends. Call them. Complain a little. That’s what friends are for. Return the favor. Don’t be a shitty friend.
  6. Learn how to laugh about farts. Fart more. Laugh about it.
  7. Be incessantly curious about the world around you! Experience art, science, beauty, and nature! But stop beating yourself up on those nights when you just want to sit your ass on the couch and watch reruns of Friends. 
  8. Smile when you feel like smiling. Laugh whenever you fucking feel like laughing. Pro tip: Being told to ‘laugh more’ is not going to make you laugh more. Being told to ‘smile more’ is not going to make you smile more.
  9. Make time for yourself. After you’ve run that 5K, started a load of laundry, harvested your organic vegetable garden, run to the bank, paid the bills, dazzled everyone with recipes that are cost-effective, healthy, and delicious, thought of something witty and clever to share with your social networking site, caught up on current events and politics, and cleaned all of the house, that special hour set aside just for you is so critical to your well-being.*
    10. Do whatever the fuck you want.
    11. Don’t care what other people think. Unless they’re right. In which case, fucking humble yourself enough to listen to them.
    12. Do. Whatever. The Fuck. You Want.

Do what you want. Be your damn self. Don’t be a terrible person. Be nice to others. Be supportive of your friends and allow yourself to give them the benefit of the doubt when they want to try something new, like rescuing shelter dogs, or making performance art in the nude, or dating terrible people. They’re your friends and you love them, and if they suck, stop being their friend. Show up for work. Pay your bills. Find some fucking purpose in your life, and figure out a way to share that purpose with others in a way that isn’t sanctimonious and doesn’t involve a picture of a woman laughing at an empty beach. Smile because something makes you smile. Laugh because you’ve surrounded yourself by people who make you laugh, and they’re funny fucking people, and you’re happy to be with them. Dance because you’re drunk at a big dance party with your friends and Michael Jackson is playing, not because ‘no one is watching.’ Everyone is watching. We’re at a fucking party. That’s how parties work.
Do whatever the fuck you want.
And the next time one of you has the kind of spare cash around to take a prancercise vacation to a tropical island, for the love of all that is holy please bring me with you. I am excellent at waving scarves around but even better at buying drinks with tiny umbrellas.

*And I don’t even HAVE KIDS! Or a husband! Or a boyfriend! I can’t even imagine how condescending that advice must feel to working moms. As someone who works all the time and can barely remember which day of the week the trash gets taken out: making time for yourself seems like one of the cruelest bits of advice of all. I’ll make plenty of time for myself. ONCE I FINISH ALL OF THE THINGS.

13 June 2013

Some Love For Today.....

A dear friend sent this to me! It's from another mommy blog called Sipping Lemonade...I really needed this today. :) Thank you Jenny. xo

Dear mom who just received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis,

I know how you feel.

Except — unlike you, I was holding my new baby, Kate, in my arms when I found out. She was wrapped in a blanket, looking up at me as I cried, listening to the Neonatologist on staff tell me — only minutes after she was born — that she had Down syndrome. And what that meant.
He said that it meant she had an extra chromosome. And that she would have learning delays. He said that it meant she was significantly predisposed to certain medical conditions, including congenital heart defects — and that we should get her heart tested right away. He said that it meant she had low muscle tone and may not be able to breastfeed. He said that it meant she would do things on a different schedule than other kids.
And in those first few days, after hearing those statistics, talking to doctors and researching online, I thought I knew what it “meant” to have a child with Down syndrome. And quite frankly, I was devastated.
And so it is with you.
But let me tell you — from one mother to another — those facts are not what it means to have a child with Down syndrome.
Many of those facts may not even apply to you. Some might, but many might not. I’ve learned this with all of my children. And I never allow generalizations to set my expectations. (For the record, Kate breastfed like a champ and continues to break stereotypes.)
What those facts didn’t tell me about Kate is that — along with almond eyes and slightly lower muscle tone — she would also have my thick, blond hair and full lips. That she’s a Daddy’s girl. That she loves peanut butter waffles and rocking her baby doll to sleep. They didn’t tell me that she’s a nurturing big sister, a doting little sister — and the star in the room wherever we go.
Those facts didn’t tell me that she would make funny faces and dance like crazy to Fresh Beat Band. That she loves to sing. And swim. And go to gymnastics. And unload all of my kitchen cabinets.
What those facts didn’t tell me in all that they “meant” is what she would mean — to me, to our family, to our friends.
I look back on those first days and I remember the feeling of craving normality. I didn’t want to hear how life would be forever altered in some big way and that I would just learn to accept it. I just wanted life to be the way it was before — routine, “normal.”
Will things ever be normal again? I thought.
And then one day — soon — they were. Except they weren’t like before. They were better.
Suddenly, the overwhelming facts and fears faded. Because instead of knowing a diagnosis, I grew to know her.
And so it will be with you.
Because of her life, I have the unique perspective of seeing the best in the human spirit — and not just in her spirit (though she’s quite spirited!) but in everyone else.
In a world where it’s easy to view strangers through skeptic eyes, I have seen an outpouring of love and compassion surrounding her. I have connected to those I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have had strangers stop me on the street — just to tell me how beautiful she is. The world can seem like a scary place for any child, especially those with a disability. But I have met so many who just want to love her.
I cannot tell you what challenges your precious one might have — just as I cannot tell you what challenges anybody’s child will have, “special needs” or not. One aspect of your child’s life just happens to be detectable by prenatal medical technology. But prenatal testing cannot tell you who your child will be, anymore than a fuzzy, black and white sonogram can tell you how your child will look.
When Kate was just a few months old, I went to Target to pick up some groceries. In line that day, I met the mom of a 19-year-old man with Down syndrome. And when I shared that my daughter also had Down syndrome, her eyes softened and she held my gaze with a warm smile.
It was as if we were both part of a secret sorority and she was an old pledge member. She asked me a few questions and before leaving, softly said the words that I’ll pass on to you here:
“Welcome to your beautiful journey.”
From my heart to yours,

Have a wonderful day today. xo

11 June 2013

FARTS...again! :)


Yesterday, Ange, Ryder and I went to The Rockyview to have a non stress test done. I figured that we would be in and out! Nope, every pregnant woman in Calgary went into labour yesterday, so we waited and we waited. When I finally got all hooked up, it all went well. There was lots of movement and baby's heartbeat was excellent. It was all good news!
Our nurse was just lovely, she did make one comment that I know was very innocent but it shows just how sensitive I am when it comes to this little bean. She asked me when we found out that she had Down Syndrome. I answered her but sort of felt annoyed. If we knew early on, should we have terminated the pregnancy or was she happy that we had decided to carry on with this incredible journey?
Anyways, it all went great and we are all happy that baby is doing well right now! <3

James and I have decided to take a little mini vacation. My parents have some property in BC, so we will head out there in July for a few days. Let Brinley have some fun swimming and mommy and daddy can relax. Nothing better then having to do, well, nothing. Might just be a good time to get a little relaxation in before we are consumed with no sleep, crying baby and walking around like zombies. :)

My godmother sent me this one.....I've read it before and it totally cracked me up! Enjoy!!

Like everything in life, farts have a time and place. However, I never realized that in the wrong time and place, flatulence had enough power to alter my course in history. Well, it can if it’s the third date with the man ...of your dreams. And, if it makes his eyes burn. If God destined us to be together, I was one SBD away from foiling His plans (that’s “Silent But Deadly” for you prudes).
It was about five years ago. I was trying to lose a few pounds so I was staying away from carbs. That’s when I met my husband, Rob. On our first date, he booked the next two. He liked me. I liked him. Things were looking real good.
He picked me up in a Cobra, Mustang and his pathetic attempt to win me over with a car totally worked. I’m not shallow, but since I spent most of my twenties picking men up because I didn’t want my hair to frizz in their non-air conditioned jalopies on 3 wheels and a 15 year old spare, I welcomed his fancy sports car with open arms.
We arrived at the restaurant and Rob was ordering food I hadn’t allowed myself to eat in years. I didn’t want to be “that girl” so I ate, drank, and oh, was I merry. Later we shopped a bit. Rob surprised me by buying an expensive pair of shoes that he caught me eyeing. Was this love?
That’s when it happened. Gas strikes in two different ways – uncontrollable toots or sharp, shooting pains that feel a lot like dying. I thought I was dying. Not to make a scene, I told Rob I suddenly wasn’t feeling well and probably needed to head home.
On the way home in his Cobra, he tried to hold my hand and ask me lots of questions, but I wasn’t having any of it. The pain was so bad it felt like I was being stabbed with a bunch of tiny forks. Then I realized …
My God, help me. I have a horrendous fart on deck. I’m in trouble. Big trouble.
The more I held it in, the more pain would shoot through my stomach and down my legs. I was even having to raise myself off the seat, gripping on to my door and the dashboard.
“Seriously, you need to hurry – I’m in a lot of pain.” I managed to say through gritted teeth.
“Wow, it’s that bad? What’s wrong? Do I need to take you to a hospital?”
How do you tell a man you just started dating that the reason you’re writhing in pain is because you have to fart?
Well, you can either tell him, or like me, let the fart speak for itself.
People, hear me. There was nothing I could do. As impressive as I am with sphincter control, this was out of my hands. Slowly, it eeked out. The more I tried to stop it, the more it forced its way through the door. However, to my pleasant surprise, there was no sound. I sat silently, sweat accumulating above my upper lip. Ok, maybe I got away with it. Maybe I’m home free. Then it hit me. Not an idea, a cloud. A horrific, fart cloud. Not in a, “am I smelling something?” sort of way. More like a “is someone dead and rotting in your trunk and am I in hell?” sort of way.
Suddenly, I panicked. “Roll down the windows!” I screamed (yes, I literally screamed it like I was in a horror movie).
“What? Why?” Rob asked, starting to freak out because I was freaking out.
“I can’t roll down the windows, unlock it! UNLOCK IT!”
“What’s going on?” Rob yells back to me, “Why are you …” then it hit him. I could see it in his eyes. Was it surprise? Horror? Water started to accumulate at the base of his eyelids, “Oh my God, I CAN TASTE IT!” he screamed.
“Roll down the windows!” As I screamed, the toots started to flood out uncontrollably. I scratched and clawed at the window like I was being kidnapped. Rob, unable to see either by fart cloud or panic, kept turning on the windshield wipers instead of unlocking the window.
It was chaos. We were acting like we were under siege by gun fire. We were under siege alright, just not by gun fire.
Finally he was able to hit the right control and he rolled down our windows. We both gulped in fresh air. I was horrified, yet happy to be alive, then remembered I just farted on the man of dreams, then sorta wished I was dead.
We sat silently for the rest of the way home. Although the shooting pains had subsided, I now desperately needed to use the bathroom, in an urgent, explosive kind of way.
He pulled up to my apartment and before he could come to a stop I had already jumped out, “Ok, thanks for dinner, sorry about the fart, love the shoes!” and ran in to my apartment like I was running from the cops.
I burst through my door and ran straight for the bathroom, where I was finally able to unleash and make noises that no one should ever, EVER, hear coming from another person.
Then I heard it. Rob’s voice. Right. Outside. My. Bathroom. Door.
“Anna? You left your shoes in my car and your front door was open. Where do you want me to put them?”
“Get away from the door!” I scream like Reagan from The Exorcist.
“Ok, I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
*toot* *toot* *splatter* *ungodly noise*
“I’m fine, Rob – just leave the shoes there. I’ll call you later okay?”
“Okay, are you sure you’re …”
“I’m fine! Get away from the door!”
This man! I mean, I love him, but take a freakin’ hint!
Finally, I heard the front door shut, and the Cobra engine zoom away. I thought that was the last I’d hear from him. I didn’t think it was possible to ever see a man again after he screams he can taste your fart after only knowing you for 48 hours.
But, to my surprise, I did. A couple days later, actually. Now we’re married and he’s lying on the couch while I type this … “It was your rack that saved you,” he just lovingly reminded me.

Happy Tuesday! xo

7 June 2013

Vasectomy and a Pea Bag!

A few thoughts today....

Last night I decided to say my prayers but I extended them just a little bit and added some adjectives and got pretty intense. Usually we say bedtime prayers and we include the health and happiness of our friends and family and we say hi and miss you to our loved ones. My prayer last night went something like this....

Dear God,

I encourage you to plant continuous thoughts in James's head about getting a vasectomy. When I say continuous, I mean, the average man thinks about sex hundreds of times during the day, I want you to switch that to snip, snip, snip and a pea bag to help heal. Please God let the vasectomy work because if I get pregnant again, there will be hell to pay and it will all be directed at James, who let's be honest, is not at fault. Now God, if you feel that James is not quite finished having kids and you think he will leave us in the next 10 years for a tight, 20 year old blonde girl, please let him know that he will no longer be getting ANY in this house. Just put that thought in his head too. Now God, I do not take for granted that we were able to conceive very, very easily and we are thankful that you have blessed us with two princesses....I know that Dr. Phil says that if you start a sentence then say "but", you just erased everything that you said before the word "but." I don't want to say "but"......I am thankful for the pregnancies, _ _ _, I will not do this again. :)
I'm pretty sure God that this little bean is laughing inside of me while she jumps continuously on my bladder, which lately has made walking short distances a challenge. I pee at night every hour or two and sometimes when I think I won't quite make it to the bathroom, I sit down quickly and I hear, "tinkle, tinkle." Really??? That's it?? All that pressure and pain and discomfort for a "tinkle, tinkle." Shame on my destroyed bladder. God, I would also like to ask that you keep my family happy and healthy.

I believe that pregnancy works for some, like the Duggars, but this momma is not a good pregnant woman. How has Michelle Duggar enjoyed 20 years of pregnancy? I mean, 20 YEARS of carrying children and 20 children who have exited her body. Not too sure how I feel about that...scary picture!!

Next, last night I had a great conversation with a dear friend. We were talking about marriage and how now a days, marriage is sometimes considered a novelty and something that is easy to do and easy to get out of. I don't know if it's because of technology, social media, cell phones, internet...is that it? I know of one website that encourages couples to cheat, it is a site for married men and women who are looking for a little fun. The creator of this site is married and his wife says that she approves of the site but does not approve of her husband having an affair. Yup, makes a lot of sense of me! Don't you dare do it to me but I support others doing it to their spouses and partners.
We also discussed therapy and counselling and that men are not always willing to go to these lengths as it shows weakness. I said to her that I see it as the complete opposite. A man who is willing to go to any length to save his message, is a real man.
Now, don't think that I am opposed to separation and divorce. If you have tried and tried and your home has become unhealthy for the family, especially the children, maybe the family needs to consider separation. I just feel that couples give up so easily now a days, yup, we tried, now we're done. When I was younger, it was unheard of, all of our friend's parents were still married, we never even thought about it.
I remember getting a phone call from one of my BFFs, she was crying. We were in grade 9 at the time, heading into grade 10. She told me that her parents were divorced, I was so confused. When did this happen? Last night? She told me that they got divorced when we were in grade 1. WHAT??? I am so confused. I guess, they just didn't want to tell the kids, they wanted them to go through school without worry and knowing that their parents were there for them at all times. Her dad lived in the house the entire time and it was a very healthy relationship, lots of love and support. It was so crazy!!
All three kids grew up to be very successful and productive members of society. Two if them are doctors and one is a lawyer. Her dad moved out that summer and it actually went very smoothly. There is a lot of love in that family.

I am off to a graduation today. One of my former students made it!! She did it! She succeeded and I am one happy teacher. I was so honoured that she invited me to her grad. She told me that her mom and grandma would look out for me, I told her that I am very hard to miss! Large, pregnant woman. :)

Our princess is 15 months! Love you B! :)

Have a wonderful Friday! xo