Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016, I Bid You Adieu.

2016, You have been a tough year. We have gone through some pretty tough places. I don't care to delve too fully into our year but, in many ways it is a year I am happy to put behind us.

Most would likely say I am an optimistic person....occasionally I have a flair for the dramatic but - for the most part, I am a rose coloured glasses kind of girl. This year we had some beautiful moments, that were necessary, given that the rest of the stuff was HARD. Even things that are very much blessings can be a struggle, and no I am not talking about my kiddos...although I guess the same can be said about them.

We started the year with illness, and I mean a NEVER ending cold. It seemed as though we were fighting croup, colds, ear infections, for well over a month. Throw some thrush in there and we were having a lovely Viral Bacteria Party. Ben and I spent most of that time in a sleepy haze, I likely came off as a crazy person during that time as I was VERY sleep deprived. I do not have good sleepers, so adding illness to the mix was NOT helpful. Then we ended the year with a two week long bout of the stomach flu....we are talking what felt like never ending puke and poop.

Honestly, this year doesn't sound to hard when written. It's when I get down to the nitty gritty, the things that you don't write down, the things that aren't often shared, where it starts to feel heavy. When I think about how hard all this transition has been on my Isla, how she cries about missing Nanaimo and her friends there, that feels hard. It's when I think about how frustrating it can be to try and maintain a romantic relationship while living under the same roof as your parents, that feels hard(sorry Ben). It was the constant battle with different bug's and flu's. It was the detail that made it hard, yet in the same breath it was that detail that made it beautiful. Moments where I would look deeply at my children and be overwhelmed with love. Moments where I would look at my husband and just KNOW how loved I truly am.

So 2016, I am happy we made it through, you have been a heavy year. I am looking forward to 2017 and am praying that God will allow this year to be a little bit lighter.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Its been a while since I have wrote. Lots of things have happened. There have been many times where I have wanted to write, where I've tried to write, I just haven't found the words. Being a mother to two little ones isn't easy.

This year has been a year of transitions. 

In March Ben heard of a position within Young Life opening in Cranbrook, our home town, and after lots of prayer, talking to friends and family, having different staff members tell him to apply, he decided to apply. It was a fairly long process including several interviews. Finally, in May, Ben was offered the job and he eagerly said "Yes".

We originally were told they wanted us in Cranbrook by September, then August, and finally July. So we packed up all our belongings, said our goodbyes, and moved across the province. This was a very hard move for Isla as her entire world was in Nanaimo, she had friends, favourite places, and although she has traveled throughout BC plenty Nanaimo was her Home. She is not a child who is flexible to change, Calvin adapts quickly seamlessly, Isla not so much.

When we began to look into housing in Cranbrook we realized the rental market was pricey. We were looking at paying almost double for a comparable place. So after some thought, and a generous gift, and my parents offering, we decided the best plan was to stay at my parents while we put together the money needed to purchase a place.

As with all things, our plans are often not the same as God's. While we had intended on staying with my parents for four months or so - things changed. Rules and regulations around buying recently made it harder to purchase and now instead of buying this month, like we had originally intended, we are now having to wait another 4-6 months.

God loves to teach you, stretch you, and stop you from becoming to comfortable. Faith shouldn't be comfortable. Faith should push you continually.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure we will get what we hoped for. It is being sure of what we can not see.

I am sure that we will one day get a house. I am sure God will provide us a house, and although it isn't tangible right now, I know it is there and that we will soon have a place to call home.

Transitions are HARD.
Transitions cause growing.
And sometimes we are stuck in transition for a long time, without view of the end, or without knowledge of how to get out.
God is in the transitions.

And so we will wait, God's timing is perfect.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Calvin Part. 2: a birth story

December 31st, my mom had arrived the evening of the 30th and we decided to do a quick run to the mall to gather up a few more things before baby boy arrived. While at the mall we ran into some friends of mine and I remember saying, "I've been saying the second or later, but I have resigned myself to the fact that he is likely going to arrive on my birthday." Alastair's reply, "You look far to comfortable to have the baby tomorrow...nope it's not going to happen."

That was around noon, I had my midwife appointment at 2:30 and my mom joined me. We talked about when to call, etc. and she did a quick internal to see how I was doing. We smiled talk some more then headed home. I was in the car driving home from the midwife appointment and I had a contraction, still mild but there. Once we got home Ben and I took Isla to the park just down the street and walked around a bit, swaying with contractions. I remember thinking about how it was the last time at the park with just Isla, how the next time we went we would have a little baby joining us. I was excited, and emotional. As we went for a walk my mom puttered around the house getting things cleaned and ready. 

The next few hours are a blur as a flurry of things just seemed to happen around me I was so focused I just didn't have the capacity to keep track of anything else. I remember we got Isla all ready for bed, and I began to nurse her and while nursing the contractions intensified, and came in waves. I cringed as she nursed and I so wanted her to be done, my body ached. I wanted so badly to hold her and nurse her but, at the same time my body needed to focus on birthing my baby.
Once Isla was asleep we put on Netflix and watched a show, I can't remember what, and I would sway or rock during contractions. I remember someone posting on Facebook asking if anyone was in labour, about to have the New Years baby, I followed it seeing who was but never made a comment as I didn't want family or friends to know quite yet. We were supposed to go to a New Years party that night, my mom was going to watch Isla, but had obviously had to cancel and the hostess was told, she did her best to keep it under wraps as she knew we didn't want others to announce our baby's imminent arrival. At some point in here Ben and I realize that our pump doesn't fit the pool and poor Ben had to blow up the pool all by himself, such a good loving husband.

Time ticked on and at 11:45 Ben made to call to the midwives, my contractions were lasting a minute plus and were approximately five minutes apart. Of course, once the midwife arrives Isla wakes up and my contractions start to stall out. Ben went to tend to Isla and our amazing midwife, Rhonda, gets to work setting everything up. We had yet to get water in the tub, and I am waiting for Ben to get out of Isla's room, signifying that she is asleep. Ben actually ended up falling asleep, and I was stuck stalled. As soon as Ben got out of the room my body/mind knew it was okay to keep going and that Isla was taken care of. Right away I started contracting close and intense and I remember standing in the archway to the hall saying, "I want to go into the pool." So Ben set to work with the midwives, our second - Amanda - arrived by this point, and they filled the pool.

Getting into the pool was such a relief, from this point on I don't remember much. Every few minutes Rhonda would check baby's heart rate with the dopler, Amanda was sleeping in our case things went long and they would have to take turns, my mom was on a chair in our teeny living room and Ben was behind me laying across the couch. We'd sleep between contractions and once one hit I'd hold Ben's hand sway my head from side to side and moan a deep "Uuhh" (Once I started doing this I realized that this was something I also did with Isla when I was nearing transition). The lights were off in the living room with just the light from the kitchen creeping in, it was serene, it was quiet, I felt so very at ease.

It was around 6:00am that I felt the need to start pushing Rhonda checked me and said if I felt the urge to go ahead, about 10 minutes later I was actively pushing with every contraction, my mom was helping hold one leg, Ben at my head holding my hand, and Amanda holding my other leg. With Isla, pushing was hard, a chore....this time pushing was a relief. At 6:37 am on New Years Day, my little boy was born. Caught by Rhonda, brought from the water and placed on my belly. After making one small squeak he was quiet and contented right away. I remember asking if that was okay, I remembered Isla really letting us know she had lungs, and Rhonda the midwife that caught him telling me, "Yup, some babies are just quiet." 

Ben and I hadn't figured out a name yet, Ben said he had one but didn't want to share it until we were alone. Right after our little guy was born I moved into my room and relaxed in our bed as I waited to deliver the placenta. I was layered in warm blankets and my freshly born boy worked his way up to nurse. Shortly after the placenta was delivered, Ben and I in a complete daze staring at the sweet new soul that had snuggled in right against me, we had a moment. Just us. Ben said, "What do you think of the name Calvin?" and I thought it was perfect.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Calvin. Part 1.

The birth story of my little man starts with not with his birth but, instead, with the day we found out we were expecting. With Isla we tried for a good few months before getting a positive pregnancy test, so when we started thinking about adding to our family we were planning on it taking a while. So, the fact that I saw two pink lines the month we stop using contraceptives came as a surprise. I got out a little gift bag, put a sweet new newborn sleeper and the positive pregnancy test in the bottom of the bag and Isla delivered the gift to Ben in the morning. Ben pulled out the sleeper and said, "What sweet new PJ's for you Isla", he was obviously still tired so I said, "I don't think they will fit Isla, there is something more at the bottom." He pulled out the pregnancy test and said, "Really?"

That was end of April. Then mid May Ben had a conference out at Rock Ridge Canyon, just outside of Princeton BC, and I decided I would join him. Boy, am I sure glad I did. I got there Saturday and woke up early Sunday morning with lots of discomfort, thinking maybe I had to go to the washroom. I tried, nothing. I felt like puking, nothing. All of these feelings I took as normal early pregnancy symptoms. After nothing happening for an hour I went back to bed, maybe I could sleep it off. Wake up was at 8:00, Isla was still asleep and Ben wasn't hungry so I thought I'd go to breakfast alone, maybe eating would help. Unfortunately food was not something I wanted, I ate some but didn't feel like much and picked over what was on my plate. I headed back up to our room and had to stop three times, I was most comfortable hunched over.

Ben went down to the main hall to listen to some speakers, this was a work conference, and I stayed in the room as Isla was napping. I was in a lot of pain and tried to go to the bathroom again, nothing. I called my mom and she said maybe I should go see a doctor, it could be an ectopic pregnancy. I gathered up Isla, getting her dressed and slowly made my way to the main hall. By the time I got there I was almost in tears I was in such pain. I walked into the room hoping to spot Ben and a nice middle age woman noticed me and asked me who I was looking for, "the doctor". She grabbed the doctor, who surprisingly she knew, and I passed Isla off to a friend as I went into the first aid room. There the doctor had me give a urine sample, still pregnant, and poked around my abdomen. Someone had finally found Ben and he and Isla met me in the room right as the doctor was saying I likely need to go to the hospital.

Princeton Hospital, elevated white blood cells....Ambulance to Penticton Hospital. Ultrasound, baby is in the right place rules out ectopic pregnancy. Looks like Appendicitis.

A family friend who lives in Penticton came and checked on us. It was actually quite perfect. Ben had forgotten they lived there and was texting back and forth with his parents and my parents to keep everyone informed (my mom was already on her way) and Ben's mom called Deanne, a close family friend, who dropped everything and came to the hospital. Deanne is a nurse and right away took charge, we were tired and in a daze and really had no idea what to do, she talked to the nurses and doctors and figured out what was going on and let us know. The surgeon came and talked me and, "Well we are going to do the surgery, we can't not as that wont end well for anyone. I do need to inform you that there is a high chance of miscarriage, I don't know percentages as this isn't something that has been studied but as with all procedures done this early in pregnancy there can be negative affects and you may lose this pregnancy." Hard to hear. We knew I needed this though so we prayed and then Ben headed off to Deanna's house. We were told it would likely be a few hours until my procedure. I guess I was bumped up in line because it wasn't fifteen minutes after Ben left that I was informed I was heading to the OR right away.

Text Ben. Wait.

Right as they were about to wheel me in Ben and Isla come in, Ben prays, we kiss...then into the OR I go. 

December 31st 2014, I had said the entirety of my pregnancy I was happy as long as my son didn't arrive on my birthday, January 1st, but it was 3:00pm and contractions had started. He was coming and chances were he was going to make an appearance on my Birthday.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's just after 5am

(written on October 8th)

my baby girl is trying her best to fall asleep near the foot of my bed. I've been up for an hour. I nursed her and her father took her sleeping little body off to bed. Then, I curled up comfy in my duvet and started my journey back to sleep. It didn't last long. Minutes later Isla threw herself into a tizzy and Ben answered her call.

He snuggled her close, wrapped her in blankets and rocked her. Eventually he had her practically asleep against his chest on the couch. Then, I had to pee. That sweet little girl who I thought was sleeping noticed me walk into the bathroom and was no longer okay with her sleeping arrangement, silly girl. So I brought her into the room and after a few moments realized she would likely to better if I just let her lay on the bed beside me, rather than against me. She quickly settled in on top of my down duvet, squirming and flapping like a little bird trying to find the best position and location. Rubbing her chin with her blanket. Occasionally she lets out a squawk and I "shh shh shh" her back to sleep. Now she sleeps near the foot of my bed.

I'm not sure if sleep is on its way to me though. I think someday we may need to invest in a bigger bed.