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My girl, You are a RIOT

You are a Pixie Gnome. You are MAGIC

You are Fire and Light.

These five months have been full of Growth and Understanding.  You have grown so much, at the speed of light it seems sometimes. Your Papa and I have been growing too.  Slower than you my dear, but there it is.

Delightful, Charming, quick to Smile, and Love are the outstanding traits thus far.

You sit, bang on your bongo, bang on anything really. Have mastered the Bitch Slap, the Scream/Shreak/Squeal. MASTERED I tell ya.

You love your toys.

You love love love all the people in your life, but Mama just a pinch above the rest.

Already my babe, you are a comedic timing mastermind. You know when to inflect your voice in any conversation, which regularly results in pauses by the Growns, and laughter from all of us, which just eggs you on to really turn on the charm and giggles.

You weigh just under 14 pounds, and are still relatively wee in length.

But really, all the maniacal jumping more than makes up for the wee stature.

My love, I love you!
~Mama

“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.  The soul that rises with us, our life’s star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and comet from afar: not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home.”

William Wordsworth

read this first

Birth 

February 20

At 8:20 pm I had my first twinges while lying in bed watching Sharpe with Taylor.

10:30 pm and they were still keeping on keeping on.  I im’ed my friend Jess to let her know what was going on, and that I thought they were the real deal.  I also let my mum and sister know.  We started to feel equal parts excited and sleepy.

At around 1:30 am they started to be actually painful.  Not awful but more than just an inconvenience.  This is where I start to debate with myself and Taylor whether or not to let my midwife know whats up.

2:00 am  I decide to let her know before it gets any later and ruins her entire nights sleep.  I call her and feel like a major asshole for waking her.  She says that it (she listened to me during a contraction) most likely is the real thing, and to have a shower or bath and try and sleep (HAH)

After I finished talking to her, I showered and sat on my bath stool and prayed, trying to work out how I felt about everything. I decide this is the real deal, that I’m mostly excited, and majorly relieved that I will obviously not need to be induced.  Give myself a pep talk that the next 24 hours will probably suck.  But then BABY, so trade off seems ok to me.

3:00 am  I try and sleep.

4:00 am Things are definitely getting into the bad period and yucky feeling category.  I try and sleep, give up and watch some Emma.

5:00 am and I am drifting in and out of sleep still being woken by my lovely contractions that never really stop, just vary in degrees of discomfort and pain.  I also realize that it is impressively blizzarding out.  I found this very funny, because way way back when I figured out my ‘estimated due date’ I said, “it is totally gonna be a huge blizzard ya know!” (we always have our big ones in February) And I also realized that Monday would be the 21 which is Family Day in our province AND the day my Midwife predicted I’d have the baby. (HUZZAH for predictions)

6:00 am

This is where I am pretty hazy on times. I ‘think’ between 6-7 Taylor calls her again.  Things are a good deal more painful, but I am still able to talk through a contraction.  But not able to feel like I can cope by myself anymore (and where I feel like a huge wuss) She listens to me during one and says that she will get ready to come over and check things. Around 8 they (midwife, and student midwife) arrive.  I instantly felt better, and calmer as soon as they set foot in the door.  M sets up the birth station area and has me pick the most comfortable place to be for her to check me.  I lie down and she checks to see how things are progressing in the cervix department.  I am almost 2cm inside and 1 outside and babies head is right there.  I wasn’t surprised, or discouraged in the sense that I couldn’t do this.  But I was discouraged in the sense that I knew then, it would be a lot more work and pain for me to get her out.

I have experienced a lot more pain than the average person in my life. I have chronic pain health ‘issues’ and thought that I would be able to cope with labour pain better because of it.  That was not the case.  The biggest shock of my life was how intense the pain was and feeling overwhelmed trying to cope with it.  This is where my student midwife came into play.  She was the anchor that kept me able to work on coping and not drowning under the fatigue and overwhelming (at times) intensity of everything.

After I’m checked, M and SM leave ( I think they went to check on someone else and their new baby?  I’m not sure) with instructions to call when things pick up or I just need them to be there.  I manage on my own with Taylor till around 1 pm.

I would like to take this time to mention the things we did not do.  1. film anything till the very end. 2. listen to music. 3. take pictures 4. basically do anything that would break my focus.  Also, I did not swear. Not even a damn or hell.  Even in my head. O.O

I have a suspicion that it all went this way, because of the lingering contractions.  And how I am when I am in pain.  Also, the shock of how much pain I was in, in what I felt was very soon during the whole labour process.

At 1 pm I called them again, really wanting them to come. Things had picked up even more and I needed the extra support.  By 2 pm (I think it was 2 anyways) they arrived and I was checked again. (NOT FUN but I wanted to know) I think I was 3 maybe close to 4? They stayed and things slowly picked up.  Details after that feel like one giant wheel of repeating different postions. Lie on my side and labour, labour on toilet.  Labour on my hands and knees, leaning against a tall dresser. Back on toilet.  Around 5 or 6 was when I felt that mentally I could not cope anymore. I was done. I wanted pain relief.  M and SM and Taylor tried encouraging me and talking me through it, and said I was doing beautifully etc..  I finally said that it wasn’t the physical aspect of the pain, but that mentally I just could not do it.  M then walked me through what would need to happen to go to the hospital if I chose to do that.  All during that I was having this big argument with myself that went, “I CANNOT do this anymore, but I CANNOT go to the hospital. AHHHH”  Then I threw up massively and felt much better. THEN I realized, “Oh, so that’s transition. -.-”

After that things went very quickly. The pain was more intense, the contractions were now a constant stream and I was switching positions much faster. Bed, hands and knees, leaning on dresser, toilet, swaying against sink, bed, toilet.  Hands and knees on floor against bed.

Lying on the bed for the last time was when everything changed. I felt a lot of pressure and urgently needed to get on my hands and knees. That is when I needed to push. M checked me but I was barely 9 and the lip wouldn’t slide over the baby at all.  This was the worst and more stressful part for me.  Having to pant through the need to push! I also knew what pushing too soon could do.  I’m not sure how long this lasted.  I know not too long, because then I could not pant anymore and was 10 and pushing.  Tzigana-Mae came out in about 20 minutes of completely painless pushing.  The Ring of Fire felt more like paper cuts and therefore was inconsequential to me.  Which I am sure was greatly due to the wee-ness of Zs head and the Warm cloth/oil magic the midwives were doing to my junk.

8:13 pm

Tzigana-Mae Tulip Winter is born.  Weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches.

It was AWESOME. I pulled her out and she was slimy, definitely fresh, and was hollering her wee head off.  She smelt awesome, and she FELT awesome.  We didn’t even check to confirm she was a girl for a few minutes.  We were all swept up in fresh human glory.

Not long after, I pushed out the placenta (Which, was easy peasy. No bones.) and that’s that. It’s in my freezer all frozen and gruesome like.

My midwife asked me the next day when they came to check on us, “If I had another baby would I do a homebirth again?”  At the time I wasn’t sure. It was a, “NO WAY!  But well, Yah.”

I wasn’t sure because the pain was so fresh (though I can still vividly remember, it isn’t juicy fresh), and I wasn’t sure because I’m not sure if we will have another babe.  But now I can say for certain.  Yes I would.  The recovery and peacefulness, post birth carnage is worth it.  It was amazing to have a shower in my own home, and then go right to bed with the new babe and my Mr.  It was fantastic that my parents and a couple friends could come by and be out in the living room while I chilled peacefully in my bed.  And it was worth everything that I could keep my babe with me and control everything that was or was not done to her, and that I had complete peace of mind.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My thoughts/Epilogue 

Before my pregnancy was even a whisper, I was a birth and pregnancy junkie.  I spent most of my time reading and watching and learning what I could get my hands on.  That’s important because I feel it changed things for me and how I made decisions and experienced my pregnancy and birth.  Knowledge is Power.

If I were to break the Birth of Tzigana down into just a few words they would be,

Fatigue, Fire, Gratefulness, and Joy.

Fatigue would be the 24 hours.  The resting in between the crashing waves of Fire.  The not wanting to eat anything. (my midwife got me to eat half a sandwich and keep up my fluids.  Thankfully, I listened to her even though I did not want too)  I felt mentally Fatigued during Transition and in the early morning hours of labouring.

Fire was the pain.  The smoldering, slow burn of the low points of contracting. The bright burning high points. I did not experience “the ring of fire” it felt more like getting several paper cuts at once. I said “ouch ouch ouch” and laughed.  Fire was not the birth I wanted but the birth I needed.  Ziggy is Fire.  And I truly believe my pregnancy and birth prepared me for the person that she is.

I felt Gratefulness often. Gratefulness over the student midwife who I had come to love over my pregnancy that acted as (what it felt to me during and after) Doula. She was Strong, and Confident in me, she was my anchor. She massaged my hips and joints. Kept me present and vocal. She helped me regain confidence and was very calming during Transition.  Thinking of her and my midwife still makes me feel strong echos of how I felt in those hours.

Another point of Gratefulness is to my midwife, who kept me focused and working.  She was my rationale when my mind felt out of control.  She made me feel safe, and that I could just let go. My midwife had my back.  I am forever and eternally grateful to her and to them both.  They were a fantastic team.

Joy.  My first strong feeling of Joy was when I was able to push.  I loved it. No. More. Pain.  The endorphins and good feelings were running high and it was fantastic.  Tzigana-Mae was out in 20 minutes.  I was so excited to be almost done, to almost have her, and to have Taylor there with me.  When I was able to start to feel her head with my hand that just spiked it all up that much more. It was so amazing. A person, our little person, coming out of my body!  What craziness is this?!  Equal parts Science Fiction and Magic.

The Joy has not stopped.  There have been many emotional ups and downs in the short five months Z has been earth-side.  Trial by Fire comes to mind.

She is helping us be the best we can, so we can be the best for her.

Happy Ziggy-Three Months Old

yfrog Video : http://yfrog.com/gh43653581z – Uploaded by cristymuranda.

41 weeks 1 day.

The day Tzigana-Mae was born.

Birth, is this crazy, trippy thing.

It takes forever, but goes by like a blur.  Much like pregnancy, and life in general. (lookit me being all obvious with the cliches)

But, before I get to the gore, (actually, mine was particularly Gore (aheha, insert some kind of vague Al Gore joke here) free) I would like to get the Before things outta the way.

The previous day, a Sunday, (at around 8:20 pm) is when things started moving along.

I remember that day pretty well. I was stressing about the Tuesday coming up. If I hadn’t gone into labour by then, we would need to do the stress tests and nst and all that fun stuff. Now, being with a midwife, I could of course decline, decline, decline. But, I decided to just assume I would have the fresh human on the outside by then.

On one hand, I wanted to go ahead and have this baby, so I wouldn’t have to stare down the Induction Talk barrel anymore. On the other, I honestly was not that uncomfortable. I was not in one of those, “get this baby outta here!” states of mind. I was fine, I enjoyed feeling her on the inside. She was safe, and I really loved being pregnant by that point.

By which, I mean, the first five months were Puke Hell, and then it only upgraded to a slightly more functional Nausea Purgatory.

But towards the very end. It got a lot better, I didn’t have any joint pain, except for the pelvic pain, of OMG SHIN SPLINTS IN MY VAGINA. But, OK, other than that agony. Life was good.

I should back up and explain, why, with having a midwife, there was already discussions of having ‘The Discussion” about going over due.  I have hormone ‘issues’ and sometimes, with hormone issues, pregnant women if they are ABLE to get pregnant. They will have lovely pregnancies, but when it comes time for the end. We kinda stall out. Espcially when it comes to having a Thyroid issue as well.  So, that is why, at 41 weeks.  We were discussing, about discussing, “The Discussion.”

If there are any home-birthy-crunchers reading this, please know that, while I am more of a soggy crunch, I am TOTALLY with you on letting your body do its thing, in its own time. Which is why, it was just a discussion, about a Discussion.

Moving ON

Sunday Night! Turned into, THE NIGHT. Dun Dun DUH

It was pretty slow, boring, kinda uncomfortable, and did I mention boring? Also, I had downloaded this Contraction Timer iPod App. That SUCKED, it didn’t help that apparently I had “lingering contractions” which basically means that, They slowly got stronger and then slowly got mild again. See how I didn’t mention that they would STOP? No, OK, my contractions never really stopped. Just got less intense. THE ENTIRE 24 hours of LABOURRRR AHHHHH *dies* So that bit screwed up my ability to time them. Cue calling my midwife at 4 in the morning, like a douche, being all “HI! I haven’t done this before, so…what do I do now?” Her response, “SLEEP WOMAN, and call me in the morning.” Not actually though, she was really nice about the whole being woken up in the middle of the night.

So recap.

At around 8:20 pm things started happening. The then not really contractions, contractions, felt similar to period cramps, but in the bottom part of my stomach, by my pelvis area. Nothing happened for a long time, except being uncomfortable and frustrated as all heck with the stupidest of stupid iPod apps.

Birth Story soon folks!

p.s.

you know how people tell you that when its really early labour, to rest and sleep as much as possible? And then when it happens to you, you don’t. Which you regret, so then YOU tell people the same thing.

Well, I’m not telling you that, because you won’t listen anyways. The same goes with “SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEP AHHHH” people as well. Cuz sure, you should, but you WON’T. So I’m not gonna even say it.

Except you should.

Sorry I have not been posting. I am a terrible, horrible, no good human. person.

But hey! A MOVIE

woooooOoOOoo

😀

Tzigana-Mae Tulip Winter Weeks 0-11 from Criri K. on Vimeo.

Soo..
It wasn’t teething.
Ziggy has an ulcer under her tongue that was caused by her teeth. The past three days have been a living nightmare you guys. Hearing her scream like she was dying has traumatized me so bad it affected my milk supply. We managed to get her into the best Pediatric dentist here this afternoon. Her teeth are well developed for Natal teeth and don’t need to be removed, but to stop from scraping under her tongue every time she nurses they needed to be filed down.
The procedure itself wasn’t painful but I had to hold her still while it was happening and she screamed so bad that her eyes are blood shot and the hygienist almost cried. Awful does not describe this day.
Z is doing much better though since. She is still fussy and has pretty miserable moments, but they are just moments. A wonderful break from the near constant hysteria of the past 5 days.

Also, yesterday I took Z to the walk-in down from us, to make sure there wasn’t something going on somewhere in her body that I was mistaking for teething, and while the Doctor was completely unhelpful in the mouth issues department. I had him also check out her bellybutton because Taylor noticed it looked a little shadowy on Saturday, and then Monday it was darker. Lo and behold, on top of everything, Z also has an umbilical hernia. >.<
>.< xs infinity.

To break the slitmywrists mood, here are some pictures of Z from today.
P.S. She just fell asleep for the first time in days without having to be witch doctored by me. Huzzah!

White bit is the ulcer. It’s basically a big puffy canker sore

The nursing necklace I’m wearing that Tzigana-Mae is grabbed onto, is an amethyst stone heart, called Mama’s Heart. I just received it yesterday from wildmotherarts.com
I love it.
Amethyst is Tzigana’s birthstone.
It is crazy mad how much I love her.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Happy

A happy break during the sad panda teething saga

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Teething

We are in the deep trenches of teething. It. Is. Horrific. I am dead serious. My babu isn’t even eight weeks and is in horrible pain. The other night she woke up screaming so bad, she sounded like she had been broken in half. I was barely awake so it felt like a living nightmare.
My poor baby.
She is still a bright, little light when not suffering.
Though, I am thoroughly traumatized.

Ziggy Stardust

So ya. I am a terrible blogger, blah blah.
I shall assuage my guilt with granting you pictures of Zigga zigga! Which will only be new if you don’t have me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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This month, there have been lots of new firsts with wee Ziggeh. Most recently, we have embarked on the cruel journey of teething. And let me just say, OH MY EFF! She is only seven weeks. This is just cruel, I am thanking the wee (possibly also teething) baby Jesus for homeopathic remedies. They are life and sanity savers, and the only things that stop the sad panda tears.
Other new things include, almost complete head control, lots and lots of smiles! And today, we had near giggles.
Obviously my life is all baby, all the time. I just need to figure out how to keep our place clean again. I’m thinking , one chore a day.
On a sad note, my joints have gone to shit again. It’s getting really hard to hold Tzigana-Mae while standing, without her in a carrier. That sucks a lot, and there really isn’t a solution 😦
How are all you guys? Tell me something funny.

p.s. I hate that I have to pay to be able to put videos on here. How Fascist is that?!

little things

Doods. My boobs never get empty. Its weird.
Tzigana-Mae is five weeks tomorrow, it’s making me so sad, I miss those first days so much. She’s still doing great! It’s lots of fun, she’s hilarious to watch. Something about it being your own kid. Watching them never gets boring. For realz yo.
I’m pretty tired, and my brain is all over the place, so I’ll end the ramblings here.

xo

This is her, “i just peed” face.