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Tag: babies

Still Getting Shit Done

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CBC

The other day I came across this post on Twitter ( or something….I honestly can’t remember the source because PARENTHOOD) of a mom who was tandem nursing her 5 week old twins, while working away on a laptop.   She made some sort of remark about being exhausted, not sleeping, barely functioning, but “still getting shit done”.

Well, honey.   Good for you.

I’m happy that she feels like she can get it all done.  A baby on each boob, not even  healed from the physical aspects of birth let alone the hormonal and emotional ones of becoming a mother, and happily working away.

Being ok with feeling like ass, and barely knowing what day of the week it is, and banging out some projects on your computer.

Jesus Christ.   What the hell is wrong with the world?

And no, I’m not shaming her.   If she wants to be a superstar human and do all of those things and is ok with that, then great.  Go for it.  Be the superhero.

I am lucky to live in Canada, where we have maternity benefits for up to one year after the birth of our child.   The first three months are maternity leave, and then the remaining nine months can be split with our partner pretty much any way we like.

Because even if if we can somehow find a way to work through the exhaustion, stay upright, and make sure that everyone is fed and the laundry is done and still get to work on time, why should we have to?  

In the States, many women get 6 weeks or even less of maternity leave.   Sometimes its completely unpaid.

And I can tell you from experience that going back to work 6 weeks after your baby is born is pretty much the biggest pile of shit ever.   Even when the person you are handing over care to is your husband.

As someone who is self employed, my babies were luckily both born in the summer and I went back to work when the school year began. Otherwise I wold have had no income, and no guarantee that my students would come back to me when I was ready to teach again.   It was so hard.   Because even though my husband was the “primary caregiver”  there is something very difficult to describe about the bond between an infant and her mother.   I was still getting up at night regularly.  I was still dealing with post partum anxiety and hormones.  I was still having a hard time with an unstable pelvis from the birth.  And there was nothing about being separated from my baby that made me feel good.

So, I have been in this woman’s shoes, and luckily for me and for her ( she is an artist) we are able to work primarily from home and decide what our ours of work are.

But what if you have a physically demanding job?   What if your career demands long hours?   High pressure?

We need to start taking better care of our mothers, and us mothers need to be ok with being cared for.

So the problem that I had with the woman’s post about “getting shit done”  is the implication that every woman should be able to and that it is completely normal to literally have a baby under each arm while doing your job.   It’s that this mom feels like she has to inspire other women that they can be a badass mom too.

What if they don’t want to be a badass?  What if you just want to be there for your children without feeling like you aren’t strong enough to balance a career alongside it?   What if you just don’t want the superhero to be the expectation of you?

I get it.   I have to work to.   But I will tell you hands down that the first year of a child’s life is mentally and emotionally exhausting and that having to work during it is not in everyone’s best interest.  There were many times that I felt on the edge.   Like on the fucking brink.

The US needs to get its shit together.   The reality is that many families simply cannot survive on one income anymore. I know we can’t.   But no woman should be forced to go back to work before her vagina is even done bleeding after the birth of her baby.   It’s beyond ridiculous.

All of us moms know we can “get shit done”.   Because we do.  But seriously.    You never ever get those weeks and months back.   The work will always be there waiting for you, but you will never ever regret focusing on your kids while they are tiny.   In that first year ( and beyond), I truly believe the only shit we should be getting done is putting ourselves back together while building a relationship with our tiny humans.   Seriously.   Just give us a break.

The bottom line is that women are constantly in this tug of war between career and family.   Much more so than men.   We are constantly having to sacrifice a piece of ourselves.   And usually, as apparent in the Twitter post about getting shit done, it’s the mom herself that is being sacrificed.   Why is it ok to feel exhausted and sleep deprived all the time?   Why is this how we become superheroes?

I guess for me personally, if there are three things on the table:   Myself, my child, or my job; and I need to sacrifice part of something to keep getting shit done, the first two choices should be non negotiable.

That doesn’t make me selfish.   That doesn’t make me a pussy.   And accepting that I should have to sacrifice my own well being is something I am no longer willing to do.   If I don’t take care of me, then the other two things suffer anyway.

So.  Make your own choice.  But ultimately, stop accepting less than you deserve and then cheering about how you can still make it work.   You shouldn’t fucking have to.

And After 5 Years And Two Babies, We’re Done.

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vimeo.com

Bitches, I started selling our baby stuff this weekend.

And let me tell you, people are fucking crazy. I will probably never try to sell anything on Kijiji again.  I had a woman who responded to my ad for the highchair who wanted me to do nothing short of using a goddamn blacklight on it, passing it through some sort of bed bug microscopic inspection and then sending her pictures of my detailed inspection via my cell phone’s camera. The Facebook pages seem to be easier and the people less idiotic.

Please, please just go fall off a cliff or something Kijiji Lady.

Anyway, the whole selling process is quite a pain in the ass and really emotionally trying.

I have spent the last almost three years nagging Husband to have one more baby.  He has clearly declined, or I would likely be bitching and moaning about my fat pregnancy feet or lack of sleep or some other delightful side effect of growing a human inside my body. But here’s the truth:

I like the idea of growing a baby again.  I loved all the feelings of anticipation and the new baby smell and the idea of a large family.  I fantasize about how easy the third one would be after all the things I learned with the first two.  I’ll just wear my baby and life will be perfect. I think about having 3 or 4 children and what that would mean for big family parties with tons of grandchildren once our kids are grown.

In reality, I am 38 years old and Husband is 45.  I worry about increased risks to the baby and what that would mean to their quality of life and to the life my older children have.  I worry that Husband and I would not survive that type of stress.  I think about not sleeping again for two years, and feeling crazy most of the time.  I think about bottles and diapers and gates and strollers.

And then I think NO.

In the last six months or so we finally feel like we have a little bit of freedom.  Our kids take really well to babysitters and have a few favourites that aren’t just named Grandma or Gago.  I can finally take the kids to the library or store and not have to put Buddy in a stroller or leash him to keep him contained.  I can let them play at the park without crawling up their ass or worrying that one of them is going to bolt just to be a total fucker.

I finally feel like we are catching our breath after 5 years of almost dying.

But the hardest thing out of all of this is being able to let go of this time in our lives.  I just can’t fathom that the baby years are coming to an end and I now have two children, rather than two babies.  Having two babies has been the single most defining thing about me for five years, and now I have to let go of that and find a new identity.  It’s really, really sad.

And so I think all the nagging and longing has been just a resistance to the change I know is inevitable coming, and I am desperately trying to hang on to a thing that desperately needs to evolve.

So I started selling all the shit to help myself close that door.

And also because it was starting to take up a lot of space in our fucking house.  And Buddy was using it all to climb up into trouble.  He doesn’t always run away in public anymore, but he finds other ways to be a total fucker.  So I guess not everything is changing.

How did you say goodbye to the baby years, Bitches?  Did you feel conflicted about it?  Or were you just “done” and that was that?

 

What Motherhood Means To Me

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We’re just coming off of Mother’s Day here.  I have to tell you, it’s really not a day that I look forward too.  Maybe it’s just too many years in the service industry, or the fact that my husband and I work irregular hours.  We don’t really have anything sacred around here when it comes to all of these made up holidays.  They start to feel like just one more thing we have to try to fit into our already overflowing lives.

But I did take a few minutes to think about what motherhood means to me.

It means everything.  Once you become a mother, it taints everything else around you.  There is not one decision you make or dollar you spend or moment in time where your love for your child doesn’t influence you.

I’m not sure if somethings happens on a cellular level, or if our brain chemistry changes, or if it is simply instinct.  But motherhood turns you into a different human.

Think about it.  Kids are a lot of work.  They are needy, demanding, complicated, moody and sort of abusive.  Yesterday, my son threw something at me because I told him it was bath time, while my daughter screeched “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT HARD FOR ME?” .

And yet, we tolerate the assholery and crazyness because you still have to do what’s best for them even when they hate you for it.  Even if what’s best for them is checking them for wood ticks and cleaning the mud out from between their toes.

I think so many women have a hard time with motherhood not only because they are trying to “have it all” , but maybe because we feel some need to prove that motherhood hasn’t changed us and that we can still be the same friend or employee or whatever.  But I say embrace the change.  The minute your child is born, you suddenly know what it is like to love something more than yourself, and that makes you a different person.  It makes you a different friend.  It makes you a different employee.  It makes you less available and less inclined to give a shit because you have other priorities now.

And you are also teetering on insanity from lack of sleep or emotionally exhausted from all the psychological warfare your 4 year old is throwing at you.  Or maybe that’s just me.

I can’t think of any other situation where I would allow someone to scream at me 100 times a day and I’d still be nice to them.

So what does motherhood mean to me?

  • It means a chance to pass on the things about myself that I am proud of.
  • It means a chance to raise another human being to be a positive force in this shitty world.
  • It means learning that even in the worst of all situations or when I am at my breaking point, if I act out of love it will have a stronger and more successful impact that if I act of anger.
  • It means learning patience and kindness wins every time.
  • It means learning to be honest without brutality.
  • It means selflessness.
  • It means loving through imperfections.
  • It means sacrifice.
  • It means humility, because kids have a funny way of becoming the teachers.
  • It means pride.  Pride in seeing all your efforts taking flight.
  • It means having a purpose.  I no longer work hard so that I can play hard….I work hard so that my family has all the chance they need to succeed and be happy.

 

Motherhood isn’t for everyone.  It’s often thankless, grueling, and just downright shitty.  It will strip you down of everything you once believed and humble you to adapt to whatever comes your way so that your baby can thrive.   But it also will reward you a million times over.  Because knowing the love that exists  between a mother and child is nothing short of miraculous.  And worth all the other crap.

So yeah.  Motherhood means everything to me.  And I don’t need Mother’s Day or triple priced flowers to remember that.  Gifts are nice, but time is precious.

 

 

 

Don’t Be An Asshole To Your Kids Either: What Monday Taught Me

Yesterday, Bitches, my kids were complete assholes.

From the start of the day until the moment we lay down to go to sleep they whined and fought and cried and bitched and moaned and I came so close to putting them both up for sale.

It was seriously a shitty day.

But I think I learned something new.

After the one millionth time I yelled at them, and honestly I can’t even remember what it was this time, I’d finally had enough of the shit they were dealing.  I was trying to just get a couple things done around the house.  You know, so there was food to eat and clean clothes to wear…the glamorous stuff. Anyway, Buddy was on a major freak out. Over a broken cracker.  And if you’ve never been stuck in a house with a 2 year old who is busy having a fucking shit fit about everything in the universe for 3 hours straight all while your poor husband is trying to sleep after a night shift, be thankful.

So I finally completely lost all patience and plucked him out of his chair, half dragged him up to his room and left him there to work out his fit.

5 minutes later he’s still screaming.  Except hes not screaming. He’s sobbing.

And Bitches, that’s my Buddy. 

I was still so fucking frustrated  and mad but he was sobbing.  So I went up to him and ask what his problem is and all he says is “nuggle you”.  Which in Buddy talk means “I need to snuggle you.”

So all this time he’s losing his shit all over the place, and even after I am a super asshole mom, all he really needs is that?

All that time he’s following me around whining and complaining while I try to load the dishwasher and throw some laundry in, he just wanted to snuggle?

So I sit on his bed and he crawls in my lap and immediately calms down.

And you what else happened?  I did too.  I felt all the mad and frustration go away as soon as I “nuggled” my Buddy.  It’s funny how what he needed seemed to be the same as what I needed.

So what did I learn?  I learned that I need to just let go of my agenda sometimes.  I learned that I can’t always expect things to go as planned.  I learned that it is ok if the dishes sit on the counter today if what my kids need is just a little more attention.

No wonder they get so excited about babysitters coming over.  They don’t have to worry about cleaning or cooking or working when they’re here.  They only have to focus on hanging out with the kids and the kids don’t have to compete with anything for their attention.

I learned that sometimes, having a productive day means that we had a happy one where I paid attention. I learned that sometimes, my job doesn’t have to be to do all the things.  It can be to do just the one thing.

I learned that a hug can cure most things.

And I learned that being an asshole because my kids are being assholes doesn’t help.

Less assholery.  More love. Don’t be an asshole.

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Give A Shit How You Feed Your Baby, As Long As You Feed Your Baby.

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Here’s the thing about Moms.  They (We) are the craziest, most passionate and stubborn group of people out there.  And it’s because we love our kids so much and want to give them every chance to succeed in life.

In this generation of Mothers, one of the hot topics is breastfeeding.  We have come to accept fairly consistently that “Breast is Best”. We fight for our right to breastfeed our children anywhere they need to be fed.  We have interest groups like the La Leche League who try to support women and help them breastfeed.  We have “Breastfeeding Awareness Week”or some other special recognition to help educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding.

And there have been numerous studies done that show how much better breastfed babies do in life when it comes to IQ and education.

Well.  Guess what?

There is now ANOTHER study ( read this article) that has been done that factors in things like socioeconomic status and IT shows that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily best.  It is barely statistically significantly better than formula.  That it is marginally better at most.

One of the things I found interesting is that families that are more educated and have a higher socioeconomic status are more likely to breastfeed.  I find that super weird because formula is fucking expensive.  You would think somebody that is close to the poverty line would be more likely to breastfeed, but I suppose they also have a lack of resources and education to help them through it.

Anyway, this is what I think:

I don’t give a shit how you feed your baby, as long as you feed your baby. 

Seriously.  It’s really that simple.

Why on earth is something so personal and beautiful as the relationship between a mother and her baby up for debate?

And why are people assholes sometimes about shit that doesn’t affect their life?

Let me be clear:   I love the idea of breastfeeding.  I think it is what nature intended.  I believe in and stick up for a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere her baby is hungry.  I think it has many benefits besides just nutrition and antibodies.  I think it is a beautiful thing.

Until it isn’t.

So many women, ( myself included) tried really hard to breastfeed their children.  I wanted so desperately to have that experience.  With my first, no milk came in.  With my second, it came in and my boobs simply did not work.  I had nurses and lactation people come over every day.  We tried to hook up tubes to my nipples. We tried everything and it just didn’t work.  And then I felt like a big fat failure.

So here’s the thing:  When people advocate for something, regardless of the specific nature of the topic, they need to be very careful that their advocacy doesn’t turn into a statement of superiority.

Is breastfeeding really best?  For some I’m sure it is.

But I can tell you that all the “pro-breastfeeding” information also served (unintentionally) to make people like myself feel like they were failing their kids right from the start. So you have to be careful that your positive experience with something doesn’t serve to cut someone else down for having to make another choice.  A choice that now appears as though it is just as beneficial for their child.

And that’s the key.  THEIR CHILD.

I think what happens is that people take their own experiences and love them so much that they want everyone else to have them too.  We can’t understand how something so wonderful in our experience could ever be hard or shitty for someone else.  It truly starts out with the best of intentions, but we need to learn to accept that everyone has different circumstances and their choices need respecting too. I have seen moms want so desperately to have an experience with breastfeeding that is all unicorns and rainbows that their baby almost starves in the first few weeks because they can’t accept that it isn’t working.

We get so caught up on what should be, that we can’t accept what is.

So yes.  I support breastfeeding. And I support formula feeding.  I support all moms who love their babies, and I don’t think we need any more studies about how much smarter or prettier breastfeeding your child will or not will make them.  Because in the end, I don’t think that should or will have an impact on the choice a mother has to make.

I think it’s ok to share your experiences, but it needs to be an exchange.  Just trading war stories, you know? It might make someone know that there are options for them, but it should never make someone feel like shit for doing the best they can with the situation given to them.

So go feed your babies,Bitches, and leave my titties alone.

 

 

This Mom Guilt Thing Is A Real Asshole

For all of you who are parents to more than one child, do you remember what it was like to have to say “goodbye” to your only child when your second was about to arrive?  How did it change your relationship with your oldest?  How do you cope with being two places or everywhere at the same time?

I came across a series of photos online yesterday of moms last moments alone with their firstborns shortly before they birthed their second baby.  I remember that moment so vividly, and I wish so badly that I had a birth photographer to capture it for me.

I remember that I had been in labour for 22 hours already and awake since the day before.  I remember Husband’s mum was there to take care of her while we left to bring our Buddy Earthside  And I remember her standing in her little sundress on the steps and looking at her with the saddest heart ever.

It wasn’t like I wouldn’t see her the next day.  It wasn’t like we were going away for a long time or not coming back.  But we kind of were.

I had to say goodbye to who she was at that moment and embrace a new role for her.  She was no longer going to be my whole world, she was only going to be a part of it.  And I felt like how can I do this to her?  How can I takeaway her job of being the single most important thing in my life and make her share it?  I felt terrible and sad  and selfish for leaving.

In that moment I had to mourn my only child and replace her with a big sister, and as dumb as that sounds it broke my heart into a million pieces.

And of course Buddy was and still is the clingiest, snuggliest, most sensitive little guy ever and is in constant demand of my attention.  He’s almost three and still needs his Mommy fiercely.  So I wonder how my Twee Destroyer of Hearts feels about that.

I wonder if she remembers the almost two years we had alone together or if she just accepts what is.  I wonder if I sometimes ignore her needs because her brother is younger and his needs are more immediate and usually a lot louder.  I wonder if she feels like I love her less because she has a little brother.

Which of course I don’t.  I just feel like I am always out of time, you know?  Like by the time I am done work and dinner and laundry and tending to all the things that need tending, that I have so little time left at the end of the day to just hang out with her and listen to what she wants to tell me.

I feel like the end of everyday is crammed into those final moments on the steps before I left for the hospital.  Like I want nothing more than just to sit there with her but there is always something pulling me away.  And I worry that she thinks I don’t care enough.

I have a lot of guilt lately.  I feel like I am never enough.  To anyone, but especially my babies, and even more especially to her.

The mom guilt is brutal lately, Bitches.  How do you pick yourself up?

 

Reasons NOT To Send My Child To Kindergarten

Kindergarten

http://www.bcsdk12.net See? Clearly a dangerous place.

With Destroyer starting kindergarten in the fall, I am really starting to feel that urge to have another baby.  It just seems like all of a sudden, my current babies aren’t babies and I feel like I’ve been sleeping through the night for over a year now so it’s clearly time to fuck that up and become crazy and sleep deprived again.  Because that’s when I’m the funnest.  I wrote some of my best shit when pregnant with Buddy.

But it might also be a knee jerk response to the fact that I can’t fathom giving her away to a complete stranger for half a day everyday. I mean, I also have to put her on a bus with some other person that I don’t know and expect them to drive her to a building full of people who aren’t me and just expect them to love her as much as I do.

A couple weeks ago, I registered her for kindergarten.  It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in parenthood.  I am not ready for this to be a thing.  Not ready for this stage of parenthood.  Not ready for her to learn things from people who aren’t me and have her probably like them better than me.  Those teachers better be bitches, so at least she likes me better than them.  At least I’ll have that.  Right?  RIGHT?

I’ve thought about it and thought about it and think that maybe I should withdraw my registration.  I made a list of pros and cons about sending her to kindergarten:

Reasons Not To Go To Kindergarten:

  1. There are no seatbelts on the schoolbus.
  2. The teacher is not me.  She is prettier than me.  Obviously a total skank.
  3. Other children have germs.
  4. Headlice.
  5. She might have to share things.
  6. Getting dressed in the morning now has a time limit.  Clearly too much pressure for a 5 year old.
  7. She can’t bring her dog.
  8. Destroyer will have to wipe her own ass.
  9. It will make me want to have another baby.
  10. I clearly can’t cope with this change.

Reasons To Go To Kindergarten:

  1. Destroyer will have to wipe her own ass.

So you see, Bitches, the Cons clearly outweigh the Pros.  Always make a list; it provides clarity and reasoning and good, sound logic.

Although, having her learn to wipe her own ass is almost a big enough Pro to send her just about anywhere on the planet.  I mean, how long does a child need someone to wipe her ass after she shits?  Until she’s 5? 10?  I’d actually probably send her to the moon a couple days a week if the astronauts could convince her that wiping her own ass is the thing of the future.

Seriously though.  Part of me is looking forward to having some time alone with Buddy.  He’s never had that, being the second baby and all.  But part of me also thinks that having only one child at home is just way too easy and that if I’m going to maintain this level of crazy, I better get knocked up ASAP.  On the bright side, Husband, you’re life could be about to get way more porno if you agree….

So yeah.  Anyway.  Tell me about sending your Firstborn to kindergarten, Bitches.  Tell me what I’m feeling is normal. Tell me how awesome it is before I do something stupid.  Like have another baby.

Seriously talk me off this ledge.

 

Change Is Hard But Peace Is Nice

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covabertrand.com

Today is one of those extremely rare mornings where I snuck out of bed and managed to not wake up anybody else.  Except the dog. The fucking dog always wakes up and falls down the stairs or something just to ruin the peace.

Anyway, it’s rare that I get a moment to myself these days.  Toddlers and preschoolers are exhausting and needy in a way I didn’t think could out-need a baby.  But in some ways they are.  And although we actually sleep through the night nowadays, the level of energy required to keep a toddler and a preschooler entertained and alive exceeds the current amount of caffeine in my diet.

The landscape is changing here.  I just filled out the one million forms it takes to register your child for kindergarten.  Adding in the daily logistics of getting Destroyer to and from school is going to complicate things a bit.

Buddy is talking in full sentences and although he still sees me as his number one girl, I can feel him turning into a person and I can watch my baby slip away from me.  I am trying to prepare myself to sell/give away the baby stuff we no longer need.  I can’t decide which is harder, going into the storage area and hauling it out, or the emotional issue of parting ways with that era of our lives.

I am trying so hard to accept the good with the bad.  Is there a little more freedom happening?  Yes and no.  I mean, on the plus side, we can hang out with other couples that have kids and all the children just hang out and leave us alone.  So there’s that.

But soon enough I will no longer have complete autonomy over what our days look like.  I will have to live by the school schedule like everybody else.

Anyway.  It’s just so quiet this morning, and I keep thinking, is this what the house will sound like in a couple more years, when the kids are gone all day?

What will I do?  How am I going to adjust my work hours to still be able to parent effectively? How will we fit in all the things and still just get to do cool stuff as a family?

I get this sense that time is about to fast forward, and I need something, anything to put the brakes on.    I wish I cold just hold these moments in a pause and not ever let them go.  Even the ones where everyone is acting like an asshole and it’s chaos and I almost cry from the sheer stupidity of our life.  Especially those ones.

If anyone wonders why I write down all of the ridiculous things that go on here, its so I never forget them.  And so I never forget how I felt in these moments.  So I can relive the happy, the sad, the frustration and the all the ways my heart learned new tricks.

And for now, I am going to enjoy the quiet, and hope that it’s a sign that nothing asshole is going to happen today.

The Business Of Making Babies: Supporting Midwifery Care

 

M0003964EB Ancient Roman relief carving of a midwife

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Who’s in the business of making babies?

Calm down.  Not me.  I had my two and would be happy to bake another baby-pie for y’alls entertainment, but I think this kitchen is closed.

There are however a whole lot of women out there who are in the business of making babies.

And then there’s the ones in the business of catching them.

MIDWIVES.

I personally did not have a midwife. You can read all about my heroic births here and here if you want a good laugh at my expense. My family doctor is one of those rare ones who does all of her own obstetrics (except when she is on medical leave at the end of your second pregnancy because fuck my life.)  She’s been my doctor since I was seventeen and I felt comfortable with the care and open relationship I have with her.  Had this not have been the case, I would have definitely sought out the care of a midwife rather than an OB.

But unfortunately it’s not that simple.

In Manitoba, we have about 50 practicing midwives, while the demand for midwifery care could support around 200.  That means that only 25 % of women who want to chose this kind of care and birth for their children are able to receive it.  Bitches, this is bullshit.

It is 2016.  Women are supposed to be in charge of their bodies and able to make informed decisions during pregnancy, labour and postpartum.  How is it that we are unable to provide necessary services to mothers and their newborns at a consistent level?

And yes.  Necessary.

How may of you have waited hours in an OB’s office waiting for your 10 minute prenatal appointment?  How many of you have spent the most vulnerable and raw moment of your life with a complete stranger as the resident on call came to catch the baby you were delivering and stitch up your vagina while he chatted casually with the nurses or you?  How many of your choices and desires were ignored or disrespected during labour or delivery because what you wanted was inconvenient for the hospital staff?  How many of you were laughed at or ignored at when you trusted your instincts and what your body was telling you during birth even when you were right?

All of those things happened to me.  And I have an awesome doctor who knows me well.

Midwifery care is different.  It’s personal.  It’s a bond of trust and care and guidance.  Of choices.  And those are all the necessary things you need during childbirth.

And there are some wonderful doctors out there.  Mine included.  But I can tell you from experience that labouring in a hospital and labouring at home are two completely different experiences.  And my doctor doesn’t make house calls.

So, what’s the solution?  Hire more midwives, right?

Not in this province.  First of all, the midwives here have been without a contract for two years.  Their current wages are so far behind the rest of the country that we keep losing the ones we have to other provinces where they are compensated better for the work they do.  They are about to strike, so we are about to have 0 practicing midwives if the province can’t get its shit together and offer them a decent deal.

The other issue is that we don’t really have a current training program.  A few years ago, the University of Manitoba teamed up with the College of the North in The Pas to develop a Midwifery program that included specific training in Aboriginal traditions and cultural sensitivity.

Sounds great right?  Women in rural communities without access to a hospital are the most in need of midwifery care.

Well, over 8 years,the program took in 26 students.  Only 8 graduated, and it cost the taxpayers 8 million dollars.  They have currently halted enrollment since 2015.  So now nobody is getting trained. *Edit:  There has apparently been a new intake of students in the fall of 2015.  Thank you readers!*

What the ever living fuck?  You’re going to invest a million dollars EACH to train these midwives and then you can’t compensate them properly when they are doing the job you deemed it was so critical to invest in?  Not only that, but half of them weren’t even offered full time positions.  So then the midwives we do have are so overworked with their clients that we don’t have enough of them to train the students.  AND SO it goes on.

We also built this beautiful birth center that is grossly underused.  With not enough midwives and doctors not allowed privellages there, it was a waste of money.  We keep trying to pretend like we are supporting women’s health and offering all these services, but we need to have an adequate number of midwives to make it all work.

The province needs to take a look at this.  They need to find a way to recruit, retain and train more midwives.  They need to stop putting the cart before the horse and get back to basics.  And for God’s sake, don’t lose any more of the ones we have.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, demand better care.  Insist that you have choices in your care.  Insist that you are provided all of the options and that they are available to you.  Because birthing in a hospital on a doctors timeline sucks balls sometimes.

 

My True Love

Seriously one of my favourite baby photos of Buddy ever.

Seriously one of my favourite baby photos of Buddy ever.

On this day, two years ago I met my true love.

We’d been corresponding for 9 months or so through a series of one sided conversations where he initially didn’t respond at all.  As we got to know each other better, he would move in response and let me know he heard me through a bunch a body movements or hiccups.

He like sweet things a lot so we went to Dairy Queen often.  You know what they say about love making you fat?  I must have loved him way more than you normally could love someone so early in a relationship.

I’d seen his pictures and thought he was very handsome, but they didn’t really do him justice.

So when I met him, at 1:35 am on July 3, I was overwhelmed with how beautiful he was and felt like my heart might just explode.  I loved him that much.  In an instant.  Forever.

And he loved me.  Like nobody ever has.

Now, two years later, he still loves me.  With all the grace and gentleness of a water buffalo, but I don’t care.  He doesn’t just kiss me, he wraps his arms around me so tight and squishes what feels like his entire essence into me.  He breaks everything in my house.  He twirls and pulls my hair at night, waking me up repeatedly, but I don’t care.

He tries my patience and throws tantrums and drives me up the fucking wall, but I don’t care about that either.

Because honestly, I can’t imagine ever loving anyone so hard and so much as I love him.

And now, two years later, after sweeping in and grabbing a hold of my heart so hard I see glimpses of what kind of child and man he will become.  A little boy who is full of so much joy, who loves to sing and run and play with everything that’s not a toy.  Who loves music and the Muppets and dinosaurs.

Happy Birthday to my Buddy.  Watching you grow up so fast has my heart in a knot, and I love you more than life itself.

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