Friday, February 26, 2010

Bullets again

-Last night was one of the worst night shift styles: one call, then a half hour to return to the station and just get settled and drift off to sleep, then another call, then forty five minutes to return and drift off to sleep, and then again...
So, no deep sleep, but a recipe for sleepiness. It's better if (a) it is so busy I don't have time to get tired, or (b) it's dead quiet so I can sleep at least a few hours.

-I got in a mini scrap with a nurse last night. She's a repeat bitch offender. I was PISSED! She's a power tripper and exceedingly negative person. She's the one who told me, "You are a really poor historian" a few months ago when I had this stroke patient who was a poor historian and had a wife who knew nothing about his medical history. Isn't that weird? As if you wouldn't know what medical problems your spouse has, or what medications he takes? I made a joke and this nurse acted as though I had said what I said in all seriousness and yelled at me, "Did you ACTUALLY just say that to me? That is SO INAPPROPRIATE!" I can't even remember what it was I said, but it was the friendly type of joke one would easily make with a coworker, you know? So I laughed at her and told her to calm down and that I was joking, which did wonders for her mood, and said, "You don't want to joke around? Fine. This is me being dead serious. You don't want to joke around, I won't joke around anymore. But that was a joke, there is no way I would say that in all seriousness." Suddenly she was busy with her paperwork and ignoring me. Nice. I thought later I should have called her on taking my joke seriously; she has more social intelligence than that, and I KNEW she knew I meant it as a joke and was pretending she didn't so she could act offended. I want to slap her bitchy face in my memory. Does that ever happen to any of you? The desire to slap the memory of someone's face?

-I had that weird experience that happens when you work two night shifts in a row: on the first night shift, after midnight, the date on your documentation changes. Then you go home, go to sleep, get up, go back to work, and it's still the SAME DATE, which feels WRONG. It makes that day seem like the longest day in history, much like traveling long distances East on an airplane. The day just keeps going and going...

-I drove home, fell into bed, and DIED. For three hours. Then it was time to get up and throw on some clothes and put my unwashed, uncombed hair into a ponytail and go help in Matthew's kindergarten classroom for their 100 Days of Kindergarten party, which I had volunteered for a month ago.

-The party was so cute it woke my foggy brain up.

-Then I drove home and Brent met us at the front door, so no chance to wash my face or comb that dirty hair, and we immediately left to take the bus/skytrain to Vancouver for a final Olympic immersion. This time it was raining, so not as comfortable, but warmer. And we were better dressed this time. We avoided pavilions and houses and mainly walked around to see what there was to see. We got caught up in the pre hockey game crowd which was hilarious, to see people with painted faces and red and white wigs and huge noisemakers en masse. We walked to the Russia house but it was closed except for the store, which I had seen in Whistler and been bummed by the prices. $80 for a t-shirt? Methinks not.
We wandered around the harbour, looking at inukshuks and rock piles, and the boys built piles of their own. Then we found an open air market with tons of different ethnic foods and jewellery and art and crafts; such cool stuff. We bought some things, ate some dinner (I had butter chicken, spicy chick peas, fennel rice, naan, and bubble tea--yay Taiwan, where bubble tea was invented!! And where I was introduced to it!), and wandered up Robson Street to Granville, where there were some wicked street performers. We happened to be close to the corner of Granville and Robson when the Canadian men's team won the hockey game tonight, and the NOISE and CHEERING and YELLING and DANCING and MOBS and MOBS of people that spilled onto the street were amazing to be a part of. Amazing! I'm so glad we went down today, later in the day than last time, wandered around, and happened to be smack in the middle of the action and energy totally by accident. What an experience! That was a pretty cool energy to be a part of. Go, Canada!

-We took the West Coast Express back, which the boys got a big kick out of. By this point, Riley had skipped his nap and was two hours past bedtime, so you can imagine the state he was in!!! Holy crap. But it was very fun to ride the real train, and a lot faster and more comfortable than riding the sky train or bus. Also more expensive. But I think it may be a viable option for me if I go to UBC, because it is fast and efficient and a grand total of five minutes from my house, now that the new Golden Ears Bridge is open. The bridge has a toll, parking costs $2, and the train is nine dollars one way. But a monthly pass for the train and a transponder for the bridge make those cheaper, and a few transfers after getting downtown and I could be at UBC faster than if I drove, without the headache of traffic. I could even do homework on the train. How cool is that? It rarely works out in Canada that public transportation is more efficient than driving. The price would be comparable to driving also, what with parking and gas and wear and tear on my car.

-I just might die again tonight. I'm that tired. I finally got a shower though, at eleven when we got back. :) And combed my hair.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prepare yourself for some emotional whiplash

Matthew's urology appointment was this morning. So I was in a STATE while I prepared to leave this morning, and during the drive to Vancouver--I was trying to keep calm but I kept wigging out. Spontaneous spazzing, let's call it. We got Ayden to school on time and then drove directly there. The biggest focus of my worry, which was of course a smokescreen for my toilet-training-my-son-made-him-a-psychopath anxiety, was getting Riley through the appointment without screeching or climbing everything. I brought the stroller and a dozen toys and half a dozen snacks, and a last resort bag of chocolate chips. Man oh man, chocolate chips buy me time for ANYTHING. Why didn't I ever think of them before? I discovered them a few months ago as a distraction for my youngest child when I'm busy and he's whining.
When we were almost at the hospital my friend phoned me freaking out about her ex husband's latest malicious tricks, which got me so frazzled I thought I might have a heart attack...
We were early for the appointment, so that was excellent. Being late for things makes me extremely anxious. Doctor's appointments make me extremely anxious. Both in one day = one crazy lady.
The doctor was okay. Not supercalafragalisticexpealidoceous, but not terrible. He was very good with Matthew, which is the important thing, but not so much with the people skills with me. He did spend a good 40 minutes with us, and devote much time to talking about the problem and his solution, so it was quite clear to me what he feels is going on. But he kept asking me questions and then talking over me to Matthew while I was answering. Like, either listen or talk, dude. Don't do both. And he was a bit mean about the fact that I admitted to having occasionally lost my patience and put him in a time out for accidents. I mean, it happens a few times a YEAR, it's not like we're coming down harsh on him every DAY. I just want to stick my fingers all the way inside my eyeballs and swish them around a bit to distract me from my frustration over WET UNDERWEAR EVERY DAY FOR THREE YEARS.
Here is Matthew's diagnosis:
Lower urinary tract dysfunction.
Matthew has taught himself some methods to cope with a full bladder which help him to ride out the feeling of needing to pee until it goes away. He dances, squats, and lets off a squirt of pee without actually going to the bathroom to relieve himself. Life is too full and busy to go to the bathroom. He has done this so consistently that his brain no longer registers that initial urge to pee, and he doesn't feel the urge to go until it comes BACK after being ignored and going away. We all know that if we ignore an initial urge to pee, it goes away for a bit. Then when it comes back it's super strong. Matthew's brain ignores the initial urge and the second urge is so strong that sometimes he floods, and other times he RACES to the bathroom and can hardly contain himself.
He also may have an irritable bladder, which can be affected by diet. He is supposed to avoid caffiene, carbonated beverages, citrus, and chocolate [do you hear me, grandma? NO MORE CHOCOLATE].

The method of addressing this type of learned conditioning is this:
Adherence to a schedule for intake and output. So, we go to the store and let him pick out a notebook or journal of some kind, let him decorate it with stickers and drawings and totally take ownership of it, and use this as a logbook. The schedule is to have him drink 5 glasses of water per day [as many glasses as the age of the child in years] on a schedule, so the same time every day. When he gets up, at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, and when he brushes his teeth at night, for example. And he pees on a schedule also. When he gets up, and every two hours thereafter. Increased fluid intake along with scheduled pee breaks should help him retrain his brain to register when he has that initial urge to pee. Of course, he can pee in between the scheduled pee breaks also.
At the end of the day, successfully following the daily intake/output schedule is rewarded with a sticker on a chart. The goal is successful adherence to the schedule, and not dry underwear [well, ultimately this is the goal, but as far as the reward system goes, we reward adherence rather than dryness]. Wet underwear is not punished by withholding stickers. A completed chart gains a bigger reward. This can take up to 4 months of focused work to retrain the brain, but it apparently is quite successful most of the time. If it is not, he may have a different diagnosis.

Many children with this problem also have difficulties with constipation, which Matthew does not have. In those cases, increased fiber intake as well as increased fluid intake is essential, as is focusing on relaxation during toileting. Girls are encouraged to open their knees during peeing to avoid obstructing flow, and boys are encouraged to pull underwear all the way to their knees to avoid underwear impeding the flow.


Here is how I feel: relieved that although this is a learned behaviour, it is something he learned by himself. It is not my fault, nor is it a result of incorrect toilet training technique or something. [Yes, I am a slave to the Guilt Master, mwahaha....] But I was pretty piqued by the Dr's snippy attitude about the time outs. It bothered me all day. In the end I concluded that I need to let go of this Freudian notion that toilet training your child incorrectly or with any kind of pressure or focus can turn them into a neurotic psychopathic individual. It can create a negative environment for your kid, or become a control issue between parent and child that the parent really cannot control, but in the end it doesn't set them up for a future with a psychotic break in it. Yes, this was my fear. I internalized it so completely that I didn't even know why it was such an issue for me. Today, I figured it out. And I think I'm going to oust Freud and his frankly weird theories, for once and for all. If I can let go of Freud, I don't feel so snippy or guilty about the time outs. Ah, Freud. Take your phallus and shove it up your ass.


I also had my friend's ex husband situation to stew about all day. I conveniently forgot that I can rely on GOD when it comes to this friend's situation--I tend to overburden myself with responsibility for things that aren't within my job description, and I worry for my friend's well being. Particularly today. Her ex is crazy. Like, psychotic break material, except it just keeps going and going and going. Obviously his parents used the wrong potty training technique when he was little.


This afternoon I was tired. So tired. So what did I do? I made handmade perogies from scratch for supper. Perogies are a LOT OF WORK! And I had never made them before!! I laugh at myself for choosing such ridiculous projects at such ridiculous times, but I think I am coming to realize that COOKING RELAXES ME!!!! The creative energy involved in focusing on making good food distracts and calms me, because I feel like I can control the elements that go into making the meal, and when I'm successful at a recipe, especially for the first time, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment which improves my mood. Plus it gets my mind off of everything I've been stewing about all day, and gives me some time and space to come up with things like Freud needs to take his phallus and shove it up his ass. And my friend's life is in God's hands so it is not my job to fix.
And the perogies took me a good two hours, but man they were GOOOOOOOOOOD. I filled them with mashed potatoes, bacon, and two types of cheese, and fried them up with onions, bacon and sausage. I thought about my Grandma Kadie the whole time, as homemade perogies were her German specialty. I sure wished she was here to make them with me, so I could learn from an expert instead of a recipe on a piece of paper. I sure do miss her, all the time. Another specialty of hers was saurkraut. I didn't feel like saurkraut so I made coleslaw instead, with sesame seeds in it just like White Spot coleslaw, which is to die for. I always wish they gave you two scoops instead of just one. My coleslaw wasn't quite White Spot style, but it was still delicious. Yum. I love food. If I didn't love my husband so much I think I just might run away and marry food. Especially curry. What is up with how delicious curry tastes? Indians have hands down THE best food on the planet, no question. And Russians have the worst. Blech.
I'm a good cook.
I don't say this with pride or self satisfaction, I say it with incredulity. When Ayden was three I was making dinner one night and he asked me what I was doing. I said making supper. He LAUGHED IN MY FACE and said, "Silly! You're not the supper maker!!!! Hahahahaha!!!" Because I literally NEVER cooked. His dad did ALL the cooking. I hated cooking. I didn't know how to cook anything more complicated than pasta and canned sauce. I considered cooking an affront to my feminist sensibilities. What a doofus. So for me, the fact that I like to cook and the fact that I'm good at it are in the realm of ridiculous.
:)

Also, while I was cleaning up after supper Riley was sitting on the counter and I was loading the dishwasher, and Riley fell off the counter. He landed face down and smacked his head on the floor, and it BOUNCED. He has a bruise on his forehead and a red mark on his chin and I'm a TERRIBLE PERSON because I let my baby sit on the counter while I worked in the kitchen and he FELL OFF! And the worst part is probably the fact that I know I'll do it again. Maybe with more care, but he LOVES sitting up there and chattering to me while I cook and clean up and it makes my life easier. So I'm double terrible. Uck. That moment where I saw his head hit the ground sucked pretty bad. I swore and apologized a few times!!! Good thing El Boobie was there to save the day.

El Boobie is what my cousin Sara's little guy calls breastfeeding, and his speech is VERY clear, and he just got back from a family trip to Mexico so El Boobie is HILARIOUS!!!! I was talking to her on the phone this evening and I could hear him in the background, "El Boobie! El boobie! El boobie!" So darn CUTE!

To underline the cute theme, here is a photo of Sara's two and my three for a total of five boys in a tub last week at my house!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bullet Post

-Hi! You are all fantastic. I wish we lived next door to each other, all of you. :)

-Last week Brent and I celebrated Valentine's Day on Thursday evening, four days after the calendar date, because I WENT TO THE OLYMPICS on Valentine's Day, and anyways Brent was working. So we did what we have done numerous times before; we fed the kids dinner, put them to bed early, and had a romantic date in our own house. ♥
Brent made us steamed crab and steak and asparagus and roasted red pepper, with sourdough bread and garlic butter.....ohhhh...it was SO GOOD! We snuggled on the couch and watched some PVRd Grey's Anatomy and it was WAYYYY better than a night out because I spent the whole evening in my sweat pants. Well, not the WHOLE evening....
;)
It was Valentine's Day, after all.

-Friday the kids had a Pro D day. Matthew had a kidney and bladder ultrasound first thing in the morning, and afterwards we took the sky train to Vancouver to experience some of the Olympic hype. It was awesome! The weather was perfect, there were tons of people everywhere, and cultural stuff, and everything was free. Our feet hurt from walking, but we were happy.

-During the ultrasound, Matthew was shaking because he had to pee so badly [they told us to get him to drink 20 oz of water an hour before the appointment--the same amount of water I was required to drink before my prenatal ultrasounds, and on both occasions was told my bladder was too full and to empty some of it. Are they stupid? The kid is five. So I had him drink 10 oz of water, and he was still shaking]. So the tech scanned one kidney and his full bladder, then allowed him to pee. She scanned his empty bladder and then his other kidney, and she asked if he had really emptied his bladder all the way because it was still quite full. But he didn't feel any urge to pee at all and said it was empty. This was interesting, and I wonder if he has some nerve dysfunction or something? If he can't feel that it is full, how is he supposed to empty it properly and follow his body's cues? Anyways we will know more after his urology appointment.

-Tonight we met up for a mini Nerdette Fest! One of our Nerdfriends was in Seattle from the Philippines and she and a friend drove up for the evening so we could all visit. It was fabulous, and props to Torie and Sam for putting up with yet another invasion. [We missed you guys, Dana!] Good friends, good times, tons of noise. Jen just wrote her North American Registered Midwives Exam on Wednesday. Congratulations, friend! Your hard work is paying off! I'm just a wee big greenish, and way proud!

-Tomorrow is Matthew's urology appointment at BC Children's Hospital. I'm nervous because I find it difficult to drive to Vancouver, I'm anxious about getting lost at Children's because it is a big hospital and I've only ever been to the Emergency department before [in the ambulance, not with my own kids], I am nervous meeting new people, particularly medical professionals, I'm afraid of how I'm going to juggle a very active and impatient Riley with the logistics of a pretty important medical appointment for my OTHER son, and I'm petrified of what they will tell me.
Your son is *f*d up and it is all your fault, you've failed, now you must pay the price.
Argh.
I was thinking today on the walk home from dropping Matthew off at school, of the Taoist principle of the letting go of desire. If I can release the desire to be recognized as a *good* parent, I will no longer feel fear of the outcome of this investigation into Matthew's urological health. My desire is for my children to grow up and be healthy and whole, and to be satisfied in the knowledge that I helped shape that. I don't think there is anything inethical in this desire, except maybe that it makes my path more difficult for me when I engage with it. If I can release my ego from the picture, I will be free of fear and free to engage with the source of the problem more effectively and more objectively, which will better serve Matthew.
Interesting to think about, anyways. I really love the fundamental principles of Tao. It is on my list to read their holy book, one of these days. I got partway through the Quran, and want to finish that first, but I may have to put that on hold for awhile, since I have a negative desire to actually read the Quran these days. I got bogged down in the negativity and harshness, and marked demarkation between the "in" and the "out" crowd. There must be more beautiful parts of that book, and someday I'll get to them...
In the meantime maybe I'll delve into Taoism [intellectually! I'm still a Christian]. Super cool.

-I'm exhausted. Fear is exhausting. I'll update you after Matthew's appointment as soon as I can.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Travels




I started a series on where I have travelled a long time ago. I did ONE post :) It was about when I went to Japan. My second big trip was when I was sixteen. My youth group travelled to Thailand and Cambodia. I can't remember exactly how long we were gone, but I think we spent two weeks in Thailand and a week in Cambodia, although that seems a bit long for a missions trip for high school aged kids, so maybe it was shorter. My mom came as a chaperone, so she will probably be able to sort that one out for me. There was a big group of about twenty of us, from all over Canada, and four or five from the U.S. We did some relief work, cleaning a hospital in Cambodia, outreach with public health nurses in Thailand, and building projects. We also did some evangelical work in remote parts of Northern Thailand. We went with an organization based out of Calgary called Samaritan's Purse Youth, whose main objective with youth missions trips is to open the eyes of N. American youth to the existence of poverty and the state that many people in the world live in. We gave a bit, as far as time and manpower and energy, but we gained a ton, in memories and in life lessons. It was weeks' worth of revelations and epiphanies, but a few of the most notable moments were;

-The realization that my mom was serious about not sharing her bottled water with me. So serious, in fact, that we had an actual fist fight over the water. She won. So much for motherly love and sacrifice!

-Experiencing a style of missions work which resonated with me. I've never really been comfortable with evangelism, and while we did do some of that during this trip, mostly we were exposed to relief work that was ongoing, whereby nurses, doctors, educators, construction workers, etc, work in areas of need or poverty. If you help a person's physical well being, you tend to his or her soul. If you try and tend to souls without regard to physical need, I've always felt this was disrespectful and backwards. I decided I wanted to become a nurse and return to Thailand to work in the slums.

-Confronting my own limitations, particularly in regards to poverty. There is so much need in the world, and I am just one girl. I remember standing in second story building looking out over miles and miles of impoverished homes and realizing that I could not, if I worked day and night for the rest of my life, meet this need. This was a valuable lesson in humility and my place in the world, and in accepting that God moves, and we either move with him or without him, without affecting how powerfully he moves through history. He is not indifferent to us, but he does not need us to fulfill his plans.

-The kids. There were so many kids running around the streets, playing or begging or selling items, and they were all so cute and wild and full of energy. It bothered me that so many children lived in orphanages or had few opportunities for education or access to health care. I saw children paralyzed by polio. I saw kids with ringworms in their heads. I saw malnourished toddlers. I also saw games and screeching laughter and play. It was cool to see the vast potential and carefree play, and heartbreaking to see preventable disease or lack of opportunity. Those kids crawled into my heart and opened up a space that would later be filled with Matthew.

-Visiting Northern Thailand, and seeing the gorgeous landscape of rural Southeast Asia. It was an amazing adventure. On our way North, we spent a night in a city called Chaing Mai, where Matthew lived for the first 15 months of his life.

-Riding the night train in Thailand. That was another amazing adventure. It struck me as very practical to be able to take a train from departure point to destination point, especially overnight. I wish we had that kind of thing in this part of the world.

-Seeing fireflies over the rice patties at dusk in Northern Thailand. So gorgeous.

I have some cool pictures of this trip, and my mom's album is fantastic. She took pictures of women breastfeeding, of course, and of people and food in the open air markets, and boats, and rivers, and motorcycles with entire families on board, including infants on the handlebars, and a great number of amazing things. So cool.

This trip really shaped me at a very formative time in my life. It was cool. Granted, I'm not a nurse in the slums of Thailand, but some other really cool things have grown out of that trip!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saved a Life

I know, today is mega posting day. Well, technically it is 5:30 in the morning so some of these posts were yesterday, and this one is tomorrow. Today. :)

Tonight I actually pulled someone back from the edge of dying. Pretty damn cool. Heroin overdose, down for hours, breathing at less than ten breaths per minute, very slow heart rate, very low oxygen, very low blood pressure. Almost no airway. I assessed him and gave him an airway, oxygen, narcan, an IV--all the trappings. He woke up. He puked. He swore. He was remarkably alive.

Some days I can't believe I get paid to do this job. [Then I remember that sometimes I don't...]

I also have to mention that this house we went to? Oh my goodness, if most of the population could SEE what disgusting squalor many, many people live in...I don't know what. Something would happen. Probably a whole lot of barfing, and then some political activism. We're talking knee high garbage and no access to the kitchen or bathroom, and dirt and bugs on the floor and of course no sheets on any mattresses, and piles of bloody dirty laundry everywhere. We don't put our equipment on the floor in these types of houses. We don't put our knees on the beds without checking carefully first. We don't roll people towards us or put our heads near their faces, because vomit is pretty unpredictable and totally gross if you get it in your eyes. It's poverty and it's addiction and it's social breakdown and it's a million little painful pieces splashed out in honest, rank display in houses in every town, every community, every city and village and rural area I have ever worked in. And so, I assume, every one I have not worked in.

Saved a life. What a cool way to spend a Wendesday night.
:)

Truth and Kindness

Tamie asked if her readers could write a poem about themselves that is true and kind. She had asked the same thing of the literacy students she teaches at her local prison, and extended the challenge to her readers. Here's mine.


A True Poem About Myself That Is Kind



There is a softness in the waves that slough on the shore,
Morning and midday and evening, always.
The water is fluid, giving way around stones, shells, bits of plants,
And it is relentless.
The stones of the shore are solid, immortal.
Yet given time, even the divinity of stones can be affected by the repeated fluttering of waves.

Morning and midday and evening, always,
I am soft and fluid, repeatedly flinging out at the shore
Of solid, immortal stones.


-meliss

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A lesson in taking one for the team, quietly

This morning Riley had his toddler music class, which is quite large--about 12 or 13 kids, with a parent each and sometimes a grandparent as well? I really love this class, but this morning I didn't really love one of the other moms. I had a momma bear moment. Riley really, really loves babies. His eyes light up when he sees one (the smaller the better), he breathes in this funny "Ohohohoh" pattern, and he hovers near them. He usually doesn't touch them, he just looks. So there is this two month old baby who comes to the class to sit in her stroller while her older sister participates in the music with her mom. Twice today I had to distract Riley away from the stroller, but not after a few peeks in the carseat to ooh and ahhh over the baby. The first time the mom came over and moved the stroller to a different place, about five feet away from its original position, but didn't say anything. The second time, she said, "Can you keep him out of there? She's sleeping."
Okay, bitch.
That's what I wanted to say. I was so mad. Isn't there a nicer way to say that? And what is the big friggin deal anyways? She's an INFANT, she can sleep through anything, there is massive noise in this room during the TODDLER MUSIC class, and he is not touching her!!! He's only LOOKING at her, for pete's sake. Besides, he is genuinely fascinated by your baby! You would think she would be inclined to like someone who is fascinated by her baby.
Actually what came to mind to say [I didn't actually want to say Okay bitch--that only came to mind when I started typing this story out] was, "If you want to be anal retentive, that's your business." But I bit my tongue and ground my teeth and walked away without saying anything at all.
For the remainder of the class I was silently furious. Part of me knew that maybe I didn't have the most balanced reaction to her rude request. Momma bear meets mood disorder, you know? Sometimes when my anxiety is higher than it should be, I have inappropriately strong emotional reactions to small events. I didn't think I was anxious, but I forgot to take my supplements yesterday morning so it is possible that was part of the cause. And so I just let it slide.
And later, as I was driving around doing errands with Riley, I cooled off and started to remind myself of a few pertinent details that my brain had been trying to mention but which I was too angry to acknowledge yet. Firstly, I remembered the dark circles under this mom's eyes. Then I remembered that her baby is only two months old. Then I remembered that I didn't see any bottle paraphernalia so likely she is getting up alone numerous times in the night to feed her baby [too bad dads don't have boobs to share those night feeds, eh?]. Then I remembered that she has just recently become a parent to TWO children, and I remembered how hard that transition was for me. Then I remembered all the times last year when I cried in my bedroom or in my kitchen or in my car or on my blog, wishing people would be just a little more gentle with me, because you never know when someone might be struggling and fragile and wide open vulnerable to the smallest hurt. What if this mom is there? What if my keeping silent is actually a kindness to her, as she muddles around with a new baby and parenting a toddler and who knows what else in her life?
What if her marriage is hurting? What if she recently lost her job? What if her mom has cancer?
I decided that I can take one for the team. Moms have a hard job. Don't I know it.
I'm glad I kept my mouth shut, and I'm glad I remembered in the end that gentleness is generally best applied liberally. Sometimes it is tough for me, because I have to be on guard against the bullying and harassment that is an entrenched part of paramedic subculture where I work. Learning to be assertive in THAT context has been a constant battle for me, and sometimes I forget that I can let that guard DOWN when I'm not at work. Not that I would tell anyone at work that if they wanted to be anal retentive it was their business--I probably would have said something more diplomatic! That was probably the Momma Bear on top of normal defensiveness.

Anyways. Good lesson.

Comment from my mom

My mom left a comment in my post about home births that I had to share with you. She is a particularly good resource for this topic, since she has been a labor and delivery nurse in a hospital for 35 years. She also acts as an assistant to the two midwives in her town when they do home births, and is quite knowledgeable and VERY experienced. And she's my mom, which makes it double cool. Here is what she had to say:


I'm becoming more and more aware of the scary microbes we are exposed to in hospitals - as more and more of them become resistant to antibiotics.

Here's a scarey example I experienced at work yesterday. 4 women were using our 2 breast pumps. 2 of the babies had been readmitted to the hospital - one for a group B strep infection (bad enough to cause a repiratory arrest) and the other for jaundice (with mom who had a cold sore).
The other 2 women had delivered in the past 48 hrs. The 2 breast pumps were in and out of these 4 rooms off and on all day.
The potential for the brand new newborns being exposed to gr B strep or herpes simplex (which can be fatal in newborns) seems pretty high to me. It was crazy busy on the ward so the staff had no time to come up with the safest solution here-including me. Today I emailed my boss with my concerns.
Anyhow, all this to say....and people think hospitals are safer than home to give birth in? Give me a break!

Also, in my 35 years of working on maternity wards, even in emergencies, time is almost always on our side. Most obstetrical complications give plenty of subtle and not so subtle signs long before things get urgent. Its women who do not have one on one experienced knowledgable constant support (aka midwives or labour nurses) who end up in trouble. Yes, interventions and c/s can save lives in the rare events of hemorraging or prolonged lack of oxygen but even then there are usually signs and symptoms that give you time to get the necessary help from home or the labour room.
And as you point out Melissa, despite what we see on ER, nobody just grabs a scalpel and starts to cut! The 30 min standard is quite realistic in hospital settings, and often takes longer. Very rarely, every second counts, but being in a hospital gives no garentee of a good outcome.

The emotional state and sense of safty a woman feels during labour effects how labour progrsses. So it just makes sense that women should be encouraged to give birth wherever they feel safest, emotionally and physically - be that home or hospital.

So ends my rant!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What did YOU do for V Day?

How did I celebrate Valentine's Day? I WENT TO THE OLYMPICS!!!! AND NOT WITH MY HUBBY!!!! B had to work, and his dad had FREE TICKETS he didn't want to the Luge event yesterday, so I went with Brent's sister. We got up at 5 A.M., drove to BCIT to catch the bus for 7:30, arrived in Whistler at 9:00, had a nice leisurely friggin' overpriced breakfast, wandered around the shops for a bit, and then headed to the sled track. There were two races, with 33 people in each race. IT WAS COOL!!! While we were waiting for the races to start, it was pouring rain. But then the sun came out five minutes before the race began, and it was beautiful. We stood RIGHT by the track and they whip by at over 140 kph (90mph for you yanks), a few feet from your face. Jeepers, it was awesome. Then we had just enough time for a Starbucks hot chocolate and to catch the bus home again. All in all, a 15 hour day. And I got to B's mom's place to pick up my kids, and the transfer home woke Riley up and he thought, "OH! IT"S TIME TO PLAY!!!" and stayed up until I don't know when because I fell asleep first and was treated to him stomping on my hair and smashing around on my head for who knows how long until he lay down and went to sleep. Finally. It was after eleven, sometime. Wowza.

So, not too romantic, but TONS OF FUN!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This Far and No Further

I had another clinical observation day today, for my breastfeeding course. This was with a community based lactation consultant, which was very cool. It was great to see an L.C. in action (I wish i could do an observation day with my MOM--how cool would that be??!), and I know this L.C. from before, as I went to see her when I had my first bout of yeast last year, and we have kept in touch since then. She's very supportive of midwifery also, which is nice, and which makes logical sense, since there is so much overlap between natural childbirth and breastfeeding. But today she threw me a comment that surprised me [I'm beginning to get the impression that this shouldn't surprise me, ever, from anyone], about how she just can't bring herself to support home birth, 'because it is SO much safer to be in the hospital, where everything is there if you need it.'

I'm cautious in moments like these. You don't want to plow over people with your opinions, but I feel strongly about the safety and appropriateness of homebirths for low risk women, and support a woman's right to choose where to give birth with all my heart. So I just can't keep quiet. But how to approach in such a way that doesn't shut people down? Close their minds?
I pointed out the fact that in hospitals, the golden standard timeline from recognition of an emergency to in the operating room, performing surgery, is thirty minutes [I didn't point out that it is not uncommon for this to actually become 40 to 45 minutes]. Many midwives will stipulate that a woman's home, should she choose to give birth at home, be within a half hour of a hospital. This is comparable to hospital OR time, since in an emergency a midwife can phone ahead to the hospital, get the operating room ball rolling, and call an ambulance or get in the car and drive, and have a woman in the operating room within the same or similar time frame.
All of this is true. Some midwives will deliver a particularly low risk woman at home when she lives further from the hospital. But often people seem confounded by the idea of home birth because of its geographical distance from the operating room. That geographical distance isn't quite as far as we like to think. Operating rooms don't stand filled with staff and equipment at all times, ready to cut in four or five minutes. Even in hospital, even in an emergency, a cesarean takes time to prepare for. And even in a home birth, a cesarean is accessible.

I could also have pointed out that in Norway, 70% if women give birth at home, attended by midwives, and Norway has one of the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.

I could also point out that home birth statistics in Canada show that home birth is actually safer. Intervention rates are lower. Complications are lower. Surgical rates are lower. Infection rates are lower. Death rates are lower.

Women are screened for risk factors before being accepted as candidates for home birth. There is always a second medically trained person at a home birth in case of the need for resuscitation. But the statistics are inarguably in favor of home births for low risk women. Perhaps hospital based infection rates cause enough deaths to counter balance any home birth deaths in which a geographically proximal operating room or a larger resuscitation team would have made a difference.

The thing is, women should be free to choose. Birth is not dangerous. It is a vulnerable time in a woman and an infant's life, but it is not inherently dangerous. Nature is very good at directing birth, which is not a medical event until [unless] it becomes a medical event. Healthy women with adequate nutrition and access to clean water, good medical care, some degree of prenatal care, and access to accurate information regarding birth, can and do give birth with very little danger. Some women feel safer in proximity to a greater number of health care professionals. Wonderful! Give birth in hospital. Some women feel safer in their own homes, with their own family and bed and bathtub around them, exposed to the microflora that their bodies are accustomed to living with. Wonderful. They should be free to choose this, without judgement.

Such a long journey. So solitary sometimes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So I showed up for work 2 hours early today. The universe's way of making up for my lateness last weekend? Jeepers. This resulted in me being moved to a different ambulance shift, which was GREAT--I got to avoid transfer car, and work emerg car instead! :)))))
It was a very busy day.

I attended my La Leche League meeting yesterday, as a clinical observer for my breastfeeding course. Which is kinda hilarious, because I'm a member of this LLL group and go to all of the monthly meetings. Now I'm an observer. :D
It was a good month to 'observe,' because we had a good, universally applicable topic (the first week of life), two new attendees, and some excellent questions and discussion. It was good to observe from the perspective of a student. It gave me an even deeper appreciation for our leader--she is amazingly good at balancing non judgement and emotional support, with delivery of accurate breastfeeding information. Plus she's super nice. I like her a lot!

And I LOOOOVE my course. I learn a ton. It has actually helped me a ton, inadvertently, nursing Riley. The soother is almost totally gone. I think Brent is more attached to it than Riley at this point: it only comes out while I'm at my breastfeeding course and B has to put the baby to bed. And I've adjusted my hold *slightly,* and am SO MUCH more comfortable! This past week I would have to say I've learned the most about achieving optimal latch (and retrospectively critiquing myself with both my biological babies), and what research has to say about why women breastfeed, and which women breastfeed. The older a woman is, the more educated she is, the more white she is, the more likely she is to breastfeed. Contact with health care professionals who promote breastfeeding has little effect on outcomes. The single largest predictor of breastfeeding initiation is spousal support. If spouses or significant others are supportive, women breastfeed. If they are not, rates plummet. Very interesting! Brent's support is awesome. Totally awesome. I'm very grateful for it.
The next greatest factor is peer and family support. Communities that support breastfeeding directly affect the health of the babies and children in their midst for the positive.
Attendance at prenatal classes and access to prenatal care ranked low on the list, but above contact with health care providers.

So fascinating.

I love this class. AND my teacher uses these knit boobs to demonstrate all kinds of various breast dos and don'ts and positions and equipment uses--I need to learn to make me some of those boobs! Perfect for demos and for teaching. Awesome!

xo, all.

Going to sleep.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Little boys and their @#$%^&*(^%$# sticks

I've been dealing with little boys and sticks for TOO LONG. What is WITH them? They attract sticks like polar opposite magnets. By the time we get home from school everyone, including the baby, has so many sticks they can hardly walk. And for WHAT?!?!?! What is the appeal? WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY????!??!?! And of course the friggin DOG loves sticks, too! Some sticks are fifteen feet long and are actually small trees. Other sticks are crumbling. Others are a foot long. Others are as fat as a thigh. Sticks, sticks, everywhere. I have a hard and fast rule regarding NO STICKS IN THE HOUSE, and a semi soft rule regarding no sticks anywhere on our property, otherwise I get a huge pile of various sized sticks just outside my front door. And why do the sticks always come home and never away from it?
If I get poked in the back/butt/neck/face with a stick ONE MORE TIME!!!!! Grrr....
And the baby will NOT be distracted from stick gathering, NOR will he walk at any measurable speed when holding or gathering sticks, NOR stay in the stroller with said gathered sticks. Man, that kid can pitch a fit. Anyone who has looked after him can attest to that--he can keep a tantrum or screaming session up for HOURS. Fortunately he's easygoing about most things, but his list of particulars is growing.

The other complaint I have is also a minor one. It is actually equally as funny as the stick gatherers. Matthew has this funny obsession with his birthday. He plans his birthday from September 21st of every year until September 19th of the following year, and it evolves and changes daily. He mentions his plans approximately 5 or 6 times a day. "Do you know, for my birthday, I am going to have a pirate cake, and real swords, and we will go to The Great Escape!" REALLY?! Sounds fun! Are you paying? Out of your college fund or something? Disneyland has been suggested. And Science World. He's generally overjoyed with the backyard birthday, so that's good. But the planning, oh the planning--I guess it's more than half the joy of having a birthday! I get so tired of birthday talk.

Today was gorgeous, again! We went with Ayden and Matthew's school to see the Olympic Torch pass by on our street. That was pretty cool, and I got some good pictures! It's pretty neat to have the hype so close, though I wasn't the biggest fan of Vancouver hosting the Olympics to begin with. It's kind of fun to have it close, I have to admit. A huge waste of taxpayers money, and embarrassingly WARM--too warm to even make snow--they have been IMPORTING SNOW FROM BC'S INTERIOR to coat the mountains. Jeepers.
So anyways, it was neat to see the torch. And take the kids. Riley loved it! And the torch was pretty much referred to as another friggin' stick by my two older boys. They didn't use the word friggin. That's just me.

I got to see a friend today that I haven't seen in almost seven years! That was fabulous! She is AMAZINGLY fun and we have always really connected well regardless of the distance of time that has spanned since we saw each other last. She and Megan and myself went to India for a month in the fall of 2001. I met her when I worked at BC Ferries. She got to see the stick boys in action! She's a chiropractor in Yaletown. Three cheers for old friends!

And three cheers for finishing ALL my homework for tomorrow's Breastfeeding Counsellor's class tomorrow night!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Further thoughts on midwifery school and childcare

Thanks for all your comments about my wrestling with childcare issues while I go to school!! Such good discussions. And I'm really thinking that if this happens, a part time nanny would meet our needs so much better than daycare. You guys are so cool, thanks for your input!! I actually feel tons better about leaving my kids with a nanny than in a daycare centre. I've left my kids in daycare before, and felt good about it, mainly because they were not there too often, except for that 6 month period when Brent was in training. Another reason was that I really loved the woman who provided daycare for us. She was very nurturing and kind, and it was at her house and had a family atmosphere and feel. I could drop by anytime, always welcome, and often stayed around to chat for an hour when I picked them up. But you know, it's still not home, and there are still between two and five other kids there at the same time, and stuff. A nanny sounds like a fabulous choice.

My cousin Tonya asked a really good question regarding my choice of timing. She asked, why don't I wait a few years before I go to school so my kids are older and better able to care for themselves after school? I have several answers for this. The first one is that as I'm sure you will all remember, I am an ANTICIPATORY WORRYWART. My mind goes down every future possible road and ferrets out potential hardships or difficulties and loses sleep while trying to find a solution. I don't even know if I have a remote chance of getting into midwifery school and thus if I will even NEED child care. So most of this anticipatory worrywart behaviour pertains to the possibility of me being accepted for admission this coming fall. That's a pretty big 'if.' Several hundred applicants, for ten spots.
The second thing is related to the first, in that I wasn't sure what timing would best fit my life or God's plans, so I figured I would apply and see what happens. God can't open a door we don't walk over to! I figured it was better to apply and turn it down or be turned down than to not apply and just sit and wonder.
The third is that I am burning out of my current job NOW. I can definitely hang in there for a few more years, but I really need to be working on an exit strategy in order not to feel bogged down and trapped. Having some sort of job really helps my state of mind, particularly as a parent, so quitting without another job or training lined up could be a negative situation for me. A day or two per week at work helps me appreciate and enjoy parenting so much, mostly because it is a break in routine. I guess I could apply for a different type of job under my same employer, or I could do something else altogether? Those are possibilities.
The fourth answer I have for the question of waiting is a geographical one. We don't love living where we live. It is busy, noisy, large, congested, expensive, smoggy, and very urban. Our ultimate goal is to move away from here, preferably to Vancouver Island or the Okanagan. But midwifery school is here. I mean, not HERE here, but within a commutable distance. So it would be nice to go to school now and move sooner rather than later. Especially because midwife graduates willing to move to other parts of the province are being offered partial student loan forgiveness as incentive.
And the fifth and final answer is also a pretty significant one. It pertains to working hours. It has definitely occurred to me that having Ayden be a teenager will be a big help when it comes to child care. But here's the kicker: Brent works 12 hour shifts. I can see asking a 12 or 13 year old kid to help look after their younger siblings for a few hours after school. But Brent works until either 6 or 7 p.m., depending on the week, which means he gets home at 7 or 8 p.m., IF he gets off on time. That would mean significant responsibility for Ayden, including dinner, homework, and possibly some bedtime preparation. The other end of that spectrum is that Brent leaves for work at either 5 or 7 a.m., so that would mean even more significant responsibility for Ayden, including getting everybody up for the day, breakfast, getting ready for school, and getting people to their classrooms on time. That is too much to expect even of a seventeen year old, I think, let alone a 12 or 13 year old. I mean, the vast majority of the time this type of responsibility wouldn't be necessary, but for three months of a time it could be, if I were placed in a clinical that was far away. And even if I were placed in a clinical that was local, I could be at a birth for a day or two at a time, maybe even more than once a week. It would depend upon how busy my clinical placement practice was. So, waiting until Ayden is old enough to help out doesn't really solve that problem adequately.
Not that I'm not willing to wait. If waiting is what God has in mind, I'm on board! I just figured I would try now, and see what happens!
Or maybe God has other plans altogether. I trust Him! Well, when I'm not anticipatory worrywarting.....
:)))))
xo
x

Definitely good things to wrestle with and talk about. Thanks for all your input, friends. [Keep inputting too, if you have more you would like to say!!!]

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dirty Kid

Yesterday I dressed Riley at ten minutes before noon. It was a busy morning, so I didn't get around to it until just before we dropped Matthew off at Kindergarten. At noon we dropped Matthew off, and Riley sat in a mud puddle. And then rolled over onto his front and LAY in the mud puddle. Ten MINUTES, people! The pants were kakhi, too.

Then this afternoon when Riley and I picked the boys up from school, it was warm and sunny (say hello to the Spring Olympics, people--it was 15 degrees today) so we stayed at the school playground for an hour after school, and all three boys got very dirty. Riley was up to his knees in a different mud puddle than yesterday, and of course he was wearing shoes, not boots. And all three of them got into a sand fight in the sand box. They were COVERED. So we walked home and I stripped them on the front stoop and sent them straight to the bathtub. Three little men in a tub. SO cute. SOOO fun. My bathroom is SOOOOOOOO wet.
Planning ahead, I dressed them in PJs. Half an hour later I was making dinner and Riley wanted milk, so I took him upstairs to lie down in my bed. I kept smelling something awful and was checking my breath and my armpits and my clothes....when suddenly Riley kicked his leg up and his ASS had exploded all over his clean PJs. SO GROSS. It smelled awful, but not like poop, you know? But it was poop. It smelled like garbage or something. Yuck!
THANK YOU, for waiting until AFTER your bath to make that mess, rugrat.

Several of you made the suggestion that I find a nanny to help look after my kids for when I go back to school. I LOVE that idea. Do you think I could find a part time nanny, though? We would need her only about half time. I usually think of the live-in, pay $30,000 a year plus benefits type of nanny, but a Grandma Kadie nanny would be awesome. One who lives in her own house near us and babysits when we need her. Because before and after school care for Ayden and Matthew is $44 per day. And daycare for Riley would be about $35 to $40 per day. It makes more sense to pay one woman $85 to look after all three of them than to farm them out to two different daycares. Actually, Ayden and Matthew will cost twice as much as we need, because we would have to pay for certain days of the week, but would only need care every other week. You know, logistically it might work way better to have a nanny. Then we won't have to pay for days we don't need and possibly not have care for days we DO need.
What do you think? Would anyone be willing to do childcare for such a wonky schedule? My kids are pretty great....Is that a selling feature? :) Maybe a grad student would be great, or someone who likes a flex schedule? Who likes that? Besides me, I mean. I love flex schedules. I hate when everything is the same every day. School kills me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meatball Soup

This is fabulous. I loved it, you have to try it, my kids all ate it.

3 oz whole wheat pasta shapes, bowties or wagon wheels are popular
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 sm onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup carrot puree or finely chopped raw carrot
1.5 tsp salt
3 cups beef or chicken broth
3 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
1 lrg egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sweet potato puree or finely chopped sweet potato
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp grated parmesean, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 lb ground turkey


Cook pasta and set aside.

Warm oil in large soup pot, add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft, approx 3 to 4 minutes

Puree tomatoes and their juice with carrot puree in food processor or blender, add to pot along with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the broth, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, put bread in large bowl. Add egg, sweet potato puree, milk, parmesean, 1 tsp salt, the pepper, paprika, and let soak until the bread is very soft. Stir to break up bread, add the ground turkey, and mix until smooth. Form into mini-meatballs 1/2 inch in diameter.

Add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink, approx 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Serve sprinkled with parmesean.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crikey

Wow, that pencil test post got lotsa comments!! Zero pencils could equal no boobs, or it could equal really perky large boobs, like I used to have before mine 'matured' with pregnancy. Oh boobs, I miss you so....
And there is no way that 73 year old anxiety lady just had perky boobs. Nobody has these past about 24 years of age, just because of the laws of gravity.

I remember when I was pregnant with Ayden I had this dream where I had a baby girl and she was breastfeeding, and she started to literally eat my boobs. She took giant bites out of them, like they were ice cream, and then she ate my chest wall and then my entire torso!!
I think I was a tiny bit afraid of being consumed by parenthood.
You don't need to be Freud to figure that one out!

I've been watching a ton of The Duggars lately. I used to think they were so dorky. Now I really love them! I cried and cried when their 19th baby was born, only 1 pound 6 ounces!! She was 15 weeks early!!! I'm huge into respecting womens' choices surrounding birth, as you might have noticed, but I have to say I kind of hope this is the last Duggar baby. 5 cesareans, 19 babies, two episodes of pre eclampsia, two sets of twins, and being 43 years old!!! She's pushing the limits of healthy for herself, I think. But her body is her own, so she can decide!! Not that my opinion ranks anywhere, eh?


In Vose news, Riley has moved into a big boy bed!! It is a wee bit premature, but I had heard last fall that Canada has legislated that drop rail cribs are no longer considered safe and are not allowed to be sold in Canada (in stores--I believe you can still sell them second hand!), so we were kind of thinking it might be a good idea to retire our drop rail crib. It served us well, and we bought it second hand for $70, so it served a minimum of four babies! That is a pretty good run for a crib! And we decided that since the drop rail is not considered the safest, and we had a toddler bed waiting in the garage for him, we would just move him up early! He LOOOOOOOVES it. He loves it so much he CANNOT fall alseep in it because he gets overexcited. Hilarious! He will sleep in it and not fall out if we carry him to it once he is asleep, but to actually put him to bed in it??? Work in progress.



I also called and put Ayden and Matthew on the waitlist for the before and after school daycare at their school. For some reason this triggered a really big wrestling match with anxiety. I know the reason for the anxiety, but I guess the access to daycare really brought it to the forefront for me, which is the 'some reason' part.
See, I really believe in family togetherness. Spending as much time together as possible, fostering strong attachments, making home cooked meals, minimizing extra curricular activities and schedules, sitting down for meals, walking to and from school, knowing my kids' friends and teachers, etc, etc.
I'm petrified about making this parenting philosophy work while attending midwifery school. Like, I'm a fossil. I feel like I am choking on guilt. I'll be so far away from the Duggars as to be unrecognizable. I guess I already am!!
I know that once I am practicing, I can be as busy or calm as I want to be. I can take one client per month (which means 9 clients total at any given time), I can take a month off, I can take several months off. But school, I fear. It is full time academia, which takes so much time, and requires so much homework, and the clinicals are 3 month stints--anywhere in BC or Alberta!!! Clinicals are several times per year (I think), in third and fourth year. So my kids would be 9, 8, and 4.5, which is older and more capable of understanding separation than they are now, but still icky. Not what I have in mind for parenting style. But temporary! And there is a good chance I could be placed somewhere in the lower mainland and not have to be away at all. But. But. BUT!
Short. Of. Breath!!!

My good friend reminded me that even if I go away for clinicals, I can visit home and my kids can visit me, and that midwifery is important work that MUST be done in large part by women, so it makes the education worthwhile.

I agonize....
I don't want to send my kids to daycare again! I love that they are with me or Brent in our current system, always. Or the odd time with grandma. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, because I don't believe daycare to be bad or negative.
Remember my Grandma Kadie? I need a Grandma Kadie for my kids. A loving German-Polish immigrant with pfefferneutin cookies and plum cake and scads of jam and LOVELOVELOVE to slather all over my kids. Ack, I miss Grandma Kadie ALL THE TIME. I think about her every single day, and miss her. I miss her most often when I cook and when my kids hold my hand while we are walking.
I remember at her funeral Matthew asked, really loudly, "What's inside that box??" and pointed at the coffin. Oh jeepers. Grandma would've gotten a laugh out of that one! Fortunately his speech was still really garbled so I'm not sure everyone else understood what he asked.
Now, Grandma was a survivor. She worked when her kids were young, and she babysat for my parents, who both worked when WE were young. And we all turned out well, and she never judged women who worked.

The thing is, I am a feminist. I believe in women working, and I think the debate about stay-at-home-or-work is a luxury of middle class opulence. For centuries women have worked scut jobs for scut pay because they HAD to, with no rights or benefits or time off to have babies and equal opportunity work environments are the best invention since the beginning of time. Who are we to squabble over work-or-not-to-work when the real issue is the necessity of providing for families? If moms work to provide, or if dads work to provide, or if both do; if the job gets done, there should be no debate.

But the other thing is, I think people take it too far. Both parents working long hours outside the home? Or when it is not financially necessary? Or daycare EVERY week day? That much separation doesn't seem healthy to me. All I can think about is lonely kids waiting for their parents to come pick them up at the end of a long day. And then not really connecting with their parents. I see kids at my kids' school who I am pretty sure have social issues that stem from a lack of deep attachment and a sense of being truly known by their parents. Not blow up the family dog with firecrackers types of issues. But bullying or cliquish behaviour, or acting out for attention. Or just perfectionism. Attempts to earn parental approval.
And 'providing' for your family can get out of hand really fast. What does a family really need anyways? In Canada; a home, a vehicle or two, food, some leisure money, and some extras. Does that mean a $900,000 house? You see where I'm going? If both parents work full time to afford a million dollar house that feels like opulence, not provision.

I feel like I'm going to explode with worry over all this.
My kids are not going to die going to daycare sometimes. Nor if I go back to school. Midwifery is important work. I'll be quitting my job and cutting back on other commitments so I will have more time to spend with my family there. God's will is somewhere in there, wrapped up in obscureness. Yet still I worry.

sigh.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Pencil Test

The pencil test is where you measure breast perkiness. "Pass" is when you can't hold a pencil under your breast with no hands. 8-10 pencils would be the ability to hold 8-10 pencils between your breast and your ribcage, using just the weight of your breast. I think I could happily hold about 35 pencils on each side, with my sand-in-a-tube-sock boobs.