Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Birth, Breastfeeding (or lack of) and Motherhood

A few weeks ago I was reflecting on becoming a mother and for whatever reason I was feeling a little down. In this occasion I wrote the following email to my best friend Rachel:

"Childbirth changes everything. Maybe not everyone feels this way about it. When I look at my life, I can divide it in 2 parts: life before James and life after James. My character has changed, my body has changed and it is taking me some time to adjust myself to the new me. I must admit, the type and depth of this transformation has caught me by surprise.  I thought I was going to be super-mom and instead I find myself more fearful than I ever being. At times I also feel so lonely. I guess it is a phase and like everything else it will pass. Of course, there are the positives as well.  There is no greatest joy in seeing James smile and knowing he is happy, healthy and safe."

The birth itself was quite an experience, My pregnancy was very healthy. James was born 3 weeks early but at full term. My labour lasted 35 hours. I got to 8 cm with no drugs and then accepted the epidural. Everything was going great until the last 10 minutes when James had to be vacuumed out. He came out right away but he had to be resuscitated. Consequently, they took him to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where he stayed for 2 days. He did very well and was healthy straight away. The staff in the birth and delivery unit were great, so were the staff at the NICU. I was not prepared, though, for a crappy experience in the recovery section. After 35 hours of labour the nurses would not let me sleep because they wanted me to pump my breasts for milk. It turned out my breast had a problem of some kind as the whole pumping thing was excruciating painful. This carried on for 24 hours. To make a long story short, I could not breast feed, no one took the time to figure out what was wrong (I would have liked to know) and the staff was making feel horrible about the fact I had to bottle feed my baby. This attitude carried on outside of the hospital. My family doctor, the nurse practioner were all very busy at making me feel guilty and very busy at offering no support regarding bottle feeding. Thanksfully the people at NICU and my GYN were more helpful. The experience left a mark though. For weeks I felt horrible and getting close to be depressed. Fortunately I bounced back. So to ANYONE OUT THERE WHO NEEDS TO BOTTLE FEED THEIR BABIES DO NOT FEEL GUILTY DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, YOU NEED TO FEED YOUR BABY AND THAT'S END OF STORY. IGNORE THE MILK TALIBAN (great expression created by my step-sister!).
So here some pics of our baby James who was 12 weeks old yesterday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn 2008

It turns out I have taken quite a few pictures of autumn landscapes over the last 4 years. So I decided to dig some of the pics out of my photo library. In 2006 we moved back to Canada after living for a few years in the States (Philadelphia, PA). First we moved to Ottawa for a period of two years and then moved back out West.
View from our old apartment, trees along the Bow river, Calgary, autumn 2008, can you see the tiny and only tree with red foliage?

View from our old apartment, trees along the Bow river, Calgary, autumn 2008

View from our old apartment, trees along the Bow river, Calgary, autumn 2008

The Bow river and I, Calgary, autumn 2008

Friday, October 15, 2010

This time last year...

....we had lots of snow in Banff National Park (1 hour and 30 min NW of Calgary). This year we have zero snow...

Autumn in Alberta

Autumn is my favourite time of the year. Everything looks different in the autumn light, every line, shape and colour seem accentuated. During my strolls with James I have been able to take a few pics of nature in our city. A stricking feature of Alberta is its bright blue sky which becomes even bluer in fall. In Calgary the weather can change on you very fast. One minute it is sunny, the next it snows. My pictures are taken using a simple point-and-shoot SD400 Canon and I am by no means an accomplished photographer. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the pics.

Welcome to the World James!

On July 26th 2010 our son James was born. This is for me a turning point in my life. 2010 is most definitely a year of change. Out with non- essential and old and I welcome change and renewal.

Welcome to the the world little James. Always remember life is an adventure.