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Osteopath Appointment

We dared a long distance journey yesterday, of course NOT by car as that would mean using the demon car seat. Rather, we with the baby in the sling, grabbed a train from the local station and headed to the coast, Ostende. The Belgian coast isn’t the most vegan friendly of places, but it was nice to get away with the baby and enjoy the afternoon. Aodhan was a perfect baby, sleeping on the first train ride and wide awake and nursing on the way home.

I had made an appointment with my Osteopath for the early evening, with the hopes that he could treat my carpal tunnel syndrome, which I developed the last three days of my pregnancy. Before leaving I read an article by an osteopath promoting the positive link between osteopathy and reflux. This author went so far as to link traumatic and C-section births with high rates of reflux; given the way these babies are delivered there is an increase in the misalignment of their belly-systems and respiratory bits. I also noted a lot of moms on various forums who had taken their kidlets to Osteos with positive results.

After my appointment the Dr, (who by the way had an 8 week old Yorkshire Terrier in his office!!! I could hardly keep it together….he did let me pet her) placed Aodhan on the table and worked on his neck, shoulders, pelvis and tummy. Aodhan was uber-quiet and seemed entranced by either the blue-coated stranger’s face OR the treatment. Not sure which. But either way, he seemed really happy with the treatment and we will go back in a week an a half for another. Of course, he continues to puke like a trooper.

Kevin is at work today, so the babe and I have a trial run of being on our own, which starts for good in a couple more weeks. No worries. Park, lunch, playtime, nap! Poor daddy.


New Home

I have decided to switch over to WordPress for my Vegan Mummy blog. I still love Blogger, but I wanted to diversify and play with the tools on WordPress. So, here is our new home!

The veganbean is sleeping on my chest as I write – his favourite spot for sleeping. Attachment Parenting definitely makes for attached babies – at least in their infancy. He is a little piece of velcro. I am not complaining. I spent a lot of time before having him thinking about how my life was going to change and how the energy and love I put into things like my cooking and exercising would have to readjust, at least until the veganbean was a little older and was handling the world in a way that made him feel good and solid. That time has really helped me ease into this 100 percent parenting. He is with me about 99 percent of the day, and when he isn’t with me, he is with his daddy.That being said, we are already noticing that he is calmer and more capable of playing on the floor and chilling out on the change table while I throw in a load of his diapers. Hats off to Dr. Sears and his AP Philosophy – he is attached BUT developing a sense of self. What more could a momma ask for?

Our only sadness with veganbean is what appears to be his reflux. Poor little guy. He spits up like a mad man. His dad and I have now taken to totting around endless clothes and rags and have fitted Aodhan with some organic imsevimsy bibs which manage to catch a good deal of the non-stop dribbles.

I am trying to be stoic about it, and take the dr’s advice of ‘waiting and watching’ with the assumption that like 40 percent of babies, my son will grow out of this yuckiness; I am trying to believe that this really is just an underdeveloped digestive system and it will iron out as he gets a little older. It’s pretty hard though – watching your baby son curl up in pain, or make faces in his sleep when a batch of my breastmilk is returned to his mouth. I worry about the damage the acid is doing to his throat and new little mouth. I worry about the emotional effect the pain has on him. I worry about what I can be doing to make it better —- I have eliminated Soy from my diet. Though, Kevin is being pretty hard core about what I am eating right now, he has a point, as a vegan, I can’t cut out everything.

But, Aodhan is managing. He has good days, where he only spits up about 10 times and bad days, when he projectile vomits into the stratosphere and fusses from the discomfort. For a reflux baby he is remarkable, hardly ever crying and still gaining weight like a trooper. I just hate that he is hurting.

38 weeks today…..

The days are being gobbled up in big bites. Something silly like 14 days left until Aodhan’s due date. Wow.

I spent the day working on my Birthing Quilt, which I posted on VeganCowGirl as my Work-in-Progress Wednesday. I also filled my day with other home-based activities, like cooking a curry, baking a crumble, making frosting (which is sinfully decadent), finishing up some editing work, and trying to polish off an article on Vegan Pregnancy.

I spent a part of the day in the back room, which, since we will be co-sleeping, is pretty much multi-purpose at the moment. It has the change table, the baby’s dressers and his books. But it is also where I have set up my sewing machine. It is a comfy room that I hope will get even more comfy once we settle into some semblance of a schedule and see in what ways we use space.

But, one of the things we do have laid out in this room is a set up for two scenarios: HomeBirth First outfits and Hospital Bag. The Homebirth first outfits are laying spread out on the blow up change pad. I couldn’t decide/didn’t know what would be best to lay out, so I have three outfits waiting for him. Pretty much the same deal for the hospital bag. The one thing that is in both bags are little hats for him – the midwife was very insistent that we have little hats for him. I really like the green one you can see in the photo – found it in England in December and I just love the little tie on the top!

The midwife comes for her first home visit tomorrow…..can’t wait to have her look over the ‘goodies’ we have picked up and make sure there isn’t anything we are missing.

Terrible Article

My ire was raised today when, after catching up on posts from one of my favourite blogs: Stand and Deliver, I was redirected to this poorly written article entitled “The Case Against Breastfeeding,” which was written by Hanna Rosin for The Atlantic. There are many things that I wish I could take Ms. Rosin to task for – but I feel almost certainly (after teaching Composition and Rhetoric at Sheridan) that making too much of her claims prior to my actual experiences with breastfeeding would be writing you could consider to be as poor as her own words. I will say that her condescension towards Lactation Consultants was done in terrible taste. I don’t care what she thinks or writes about breastfeeding, she has not right to take a shot at the important, legitimate and drastically understaffed position of Lactation Consultants.

Like I said, I will wait until I have my own experiences (beyond leaking colostrum before my baby is even BORN) to discuss before I actually reply to, what I think are, shoddy claims that she uses rather ancient stats and surveys to dam up. Wretched.

I had a visit to an osteopath today. Upon recommendation from my midwife, after having really the only pain or discomfort in this whole 9+ months, I went to see this specialist to find some relief for the shooting pain in my left thigh. He agreed with the midwife’s diagnosis of sciatica and gave me a good rub down. I feel quite a bit better and he said that I could come back as often as I like AND that he will happily see me for breastfeeding and running concerns (when I can finally hit the treadmill again).

I think veganbean has dropped down quite a bit this weekend. I really feel his movements in the lower bits of me, and the pressure is like being on the DropZone at Canada’s Wonderland. Better get the foot pump back from Auntie Kim so that we can start pumping up that pool as soon as needed.

Gosh – tomorrow starts my first official day off on Mat Leave (today is yet ANOTHER holiday in Belgium). Haven’t quite settled into the idea of being away from work (school more specifically, since I figured that the last time I was away from school for more than 2 months was when I was three years old!). I have some things to do before veganbean shows up:
1. more hypnobirthing sessions
2. a good root touch up
3. finish a few more thank you cards
4. make a couple more ‘just in case’ lists and piles for if we end up at the hospital
5. bake a cake for my kids for Wednesday (they graduate at the end of the month)
6. finish my damn birthing quilt
7. buy a birthing bikini (can’t have a birthing pool without a birthing bikini)
8. start to make some plans for my mom and dad’s visit. I think I am actually more anxious about making plans for them then I am for the baby’s arrival!!!
9. finish editing next months’ Rendez Vous section and start editing a new book I am looking at for a vegan blogger.
10. start drafting my own vegan pregnancy-mummy book!

A Scattered Post

I know my last post was a little on the venom-infused side. I know this. But I am not ok with apologizing for it. So, I will stand by my feelings and keep on reading my Ina May ChildBirth books and hope to hell that all goes to plan – in the end.

My baby is massive. At least he feels, looks, scans as pretty big. Though, I am confident that this has more to do with a miscalculation of due dates and not the actual growth of my son. Either way, I am pretty sure that he will find his way out. I trust him. Let’s just hope he trusts me and all my wild ways.

I have been an exceptionally lucky pregnant mamma. I want to attribute this to my lifestyle – my vegan ways, my every day workouts since the end of uni, and my attempts to be as Eco as I can. But, hey, maybe I just have a body made for making babies? Maybe this is just one of the things I am good at? (along with….singing..nope, pottery…nope, cuddling…yes!)

My body hasn’t given me any of the kick back you read about in What to Expect When You Are Expecting. I want to challenge this book (for more then this reason) because the more I chat with women, the more I find my way into the mommy club, the less inclined I am to believe that this sickly, wretched-body, zombie approach to pregnancy is the norm, with only the second trimester offering any relief. Of course there are lots of women who have a horrible time with the morning sickness, nausea, etc. But, I think, that for the most part, women do remarkable, and their bodies handle things with the stride and stamina needed to push that thing out of us. We aren’t sickly and don’t need much more than your respect and the occasional shoe tied (thanks Darren).

I have yet to enter into the world of varicose veins, heavy duty stretch marks (I have a few and wear them like a warrior), hemorrhoids (three cheers for vegetables and flax seed), and patchy skin. I am big and getting up out of bed is about as fun as watching an episode of Benny Hill (fun for you, not so fun for me), but, come on. This is life I am making here. I can’t get more crafty or creative then this. One toe at a time this body made another body. Bravo.

I have a great photo to share: (look at those hooters – I haven’t had hooters in years!)

It’s from our trip home and is only a tiny way to show how excited my mom is about this baby. (I think she might even be more excited then Kevin and I?) She was cool though. Knowing my ‘hands off’ approach, she was always really good with asking if she could feel him moving – which he did throughout the trip. My sister was the most hilarious though – actually jumping back and shrieking when he moved under her touch. I love that she is 20.

Big Mamma Update

Rather than wasting space and energy in explaining my way-too-long absence, I will point you towards today’s post on VeganCowGirl, which explains the annoying and now relieved barrier to my blogging.

Baby Update!
As of yesterday I entered the last week of my second trimester. The truth is: I feel amazing, wonderful and fantastic. Admittedly, I feel huge, huge, huge, but my overall emotional, physical and mental well-being has been great for the last three weeks. I charged through a walk-a-ton of a trip to London, strolled around Amsterdam and spent the past weekend walking through Brussels with my mother-in-law to be. The baby seems to be quite happy in my belly, he moves constantly, with his big jam sessions falling in the typical evening-bed-time hours and early mornings.

There is no feeling better than feeling this little man move inside me. I have really started to connect with his energy and I acknowledge his life as it changes and expands with each passing week. I can tell that he feels my hand on him, and I am sure that he responds to Kevin’s voice, moving with great energy when Kevin happens upon my bloated form in the parking lot after a long day apart.

Mentally: At dinner last night, Kevin talked about his confidence that we are now both in a mental space where we are ready for the ups and downs of parenting (though, with the full awareness that we actually have very little idea, except our own ideals, of what is ahead of us). I have begun to feel this pleasant mental aura of happiness and contentment. Something I wasn’t expecting with pregnancy. I find myself hardly able to work up a bluster or fury these days. I am quiet and happy and feel like a little ray of sunshine is warming me up all the time. This is not a normal feeling for this veganmamma. She is known for her fire and ire, her upstart ways and her shouting howls. Of course, if anyone messed with anyone in my family, my baby, my body or the planet, I think they would still get an angry skunk of an argument from me….but other little things are slipping away from my radar.

Physically: Still getting to the gym. Have switched from running or biking to inclined walking. The biking was killing my bum – with all the extra weight, my once-broken tailbone was aching after just five minutes of spinning. I have kept up with Yoga, though mostly through the great videos I have bought.

Food wise – I haven’t really had anymore cravings, with the big exception of peanut butter, which I have been eating on bagels and in oatmeal. It’s just oh, so good. And the Whole Earth Organic variety is just my favourite. I have been doing lots of meal planning, so our meals have been veggie, varied and vitamin-rich.

I continue to be under the care of a great team of midwives, who have a very natural, handsoff approach: she didn’t even weigh me at my last appointment! We also have the input and advice of a great woman who will be coaching us through our pre-natal courses. It is great to have grown big in her presence. I trust her completely and appreciate all of her advice and support.

My only heartache is how much I miss my mom and sister right now. I can’t wait for my trip home to Canada (though, I am sure I will be hating the flight from beginning to end) in a few more weeks.

I promise to never leave the blog alone for so long. I imagine that this will take over much more of my writing time than VeganCowGirl, and despite earlier thoughts – they might even morph into one blog when Aidan is born.

Getting Bigger….

Despite all the really nice women who cut my hair, and give me pedicures cooing on about how small I still I am….I FELL LIKE A KILLER WHALE. It actually took effot to heft my butt out of bed last night. It is an interesting experience for me to essentially be giving up my body – espeacially when over the last six years or so I became so obsessed with exercise, fitness, health, eating and staying healthy. I am now watching myself pop out of every piece of clothing I own – including my bras (I actually have breasts now).

This little button is still so very small, and yet, I feel so very very big. Giant. Huge. Massive.

I am totally ok with this shift. I don’t really worry about long term effects of the weight I am gaining – I eat healthy, I exercise and I will continue doing all of this when I am a new momma (energy and daddy-watching-baby-reality willing). So, any stretch marks that I get, or any permanent change to my cup size is ok – I can live with it. In the end, I am making life so bring on the pounds. But…..I miss my clothes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The baby is growing quite a bit right now. Things are changing in my tummy and I am showing – despite what the stylist told me at the hair dresser yesterday.

The only stress we seem to have right now is that I am home….from work…..there is a little concern about a totally normal childhood ailment at my work right now, and we are waiting to see if I have the antibodies for it. Fingers crossed because I miss the kids and teaching so much.

I get to see the button tonight!!! We have our 18 week ultrasound tonight and I just can’t wait!!! I will be sure to post pictures as soon as we can.