St Jean Pied de Port

St Jean Pied de Port

The Route

The Route

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Always listen to your gutt

Checking in early usually means avoiding long line ups, it means printing off boarding passes, it means removing hastles of airport check ins right???  Wrong... when you have an infant in lap or are flying with Air Canada it simply means having the illusion that you won't be standing arond for 1.5 hours in a cue with really grouchy people.

We follow all the steps to check in and even call the airline to verify we have done everything correctly, and yet our family has to endure a hellish 1.5 hour checkin.  Not only do we have to wait in line as Air Canada doesn't seem to feel that families with children deserve any breaks   They inform us not to come in until 1:45 as our flight departs at 3:45 and we've already been checked in....

So despite our better judgment we believe said horrible misinformed person and we show up as they suggested.  We are told we have to wait in this line from hell with our almost 4 year old who hasn't had lunch and is running on cereal and a few organic cereal bars.  We look around at all the other pissed off parents and older people who haven't joined the ranks of the technologically savvy people and wonder WTF are they thinking?  Who does this to families.  First off we as a family of four pay more for a flight then the single person who smiles at us as they zip by our line in the already checked in so avoiding all the hastle line.  You can see the families with small kids wanting to throttle those passengers.  The other single older folks look at your off their head toddler and think why can't you control that horrible beast.  Meanwhle you want to sick them on everyone there so as to show the morons who felt families don't deserve any special treatment they should really consider a F'ing famly curotosy lineup.  

All the families towing car seats, strollers luggage for 4 waiting for over an hour, each of us looking longilgy at the line up thinking please just let us go...   When we finally do get to the front the woman takes our information yet fails to print off a boadinng pass for our youngest.  We have no clue we are missing anything so we lug our luggage to customs go through the painful process of having to scan our passports maunally ourselves, take photos of each of us and then continue with the luggage to they US customs offiical only to find out we can't get through without this boarding pass.

Lucky for us they did think of placing an Air Canada ticket adgent at the security gate and they give us a pass for our daughter avoiding us having to lug everything back around the corner down the hall to the previous line up.  Good thing cause our flight at this point is boarding.

So we rush through the security check point I won't even mention the water my partner fails to throw away and thus is found in the xray scan  We arrive at our gate late and my partner goes up to the woman tells her we were held up hoping she'd allow us to board the plane and instead are told to wait in line because we've missed the point where they fianlly cut the familes a break and allow us to board the plane early.

I swear if we ever fly AC again I am going to make sure I unleash my toddler on them so they can get some first hand understanding of why you just don't do that to families.  So if your travelling with kids and are told to just show up 2 hours before laugh at them and show up 3 hours early so you can actually sit and enjoy a coffee or at least try to instead of rushing throught he aiport yelling hurry up were gonna miss our flight.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Don't forget the passports

Travelling with 2 kids in tow may seem to some like a lot of work but it's really about prep time. Prepping for a trip with kids goes like this.  You write a list and then re-write it a million times.  You pack and un-pack about 10x in hopes to get the stuff you need to fit into the allowed baggage with no additional cost to you. You get the shoes your going to have them wear and realize the day before the trip the kids feet have grown and now don't fit into those perfect shoes you picked out for them.  Thus forcing you last minute to have to dig into the treasure chest of shoes you have stored, if your so lucky,  to find a pair that will work.  In the end though as long as you have your essentials, diapers, natural pain and cold meds, toys, entertainment, snacks and in my opinion a good stroller and carrier your all set.  The other stuff can be picked up when you land if you really need to and forget something your kids can't live without.  Lucky for me my partner is completely organized and writes list upon list so the likely hood we forgot anything is pretty slim but for some reason I am worried my bathing suit didn't make the cut.... Oh well we shall see when we land :)

We are heading to Hawaii for a 5 week vacation.  We have the house/cat sitter in place, and have been packed for about a week.  The kids are so easy that they really don't care about what is going on or they simply don't realize for the next 5 weeks they won't be home surrounded by the toys and familiar items that make most of us feel safe.  My youngest biggest concern is that her pack-pack (harness back-pack) comes along.  At a ripe old age of 21 months she really doesn't demand a lot other then boob and snacks :).  My son well he's almost 4 and let's say he's in between the OMG why are threes so bad and all grown up supposed to be Fantastic 4 stage.  We've packed an IPAD for him though we never allow him to play on one we've learned Air Canada has opted for IPAD's as the choice of entertainment source on their flights.  What is that about????? Who does that to people on a 10 hour flight.  I did call them and ensure there is a plug cause let's just say if we can't zone the kid out on movies about 5 hours into the flight the kids going to turn into Godzilla.  God help us all.

The flight is about 10 hours and with the added time before for check in and then baggage claim we should be travelling for a total of about 14 hours.  Arriving in Hawaii at about midnight our local time I imagine the kids will be a bit of a wreck.  It's expected with a time change and all.

So for today we have packed the car, are about to load up on food for the trip cause did I mention Air Canada also DOESN'T PROVIDE FOOD????? You don't want to know how much we paid for these tickets!!!! Ok I as I pick up the last minute food for our dinner on flight cause we refuse to pay for crapy airline food and finish the final touches of cat proofing the house we are fully prepared and ready to go.

If I forgot anything well it's too late now we are off.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Breaking the Silence

Like a black cloud coming over you Postpartum/natal depression engulfs you until you can’t see clearly.  You lose track of yourself, the person you once were, the person you once loved ceases to exist.  I am a doula, I am trained to see PPD/PND in my clients.  The warning signs that signal a woman is on a slippery slope were so easy for me to see in my years as a Doula.  However when you are that person standing on the ledge its as if you are blinded by the fog.  Looking back I can see how it began.  Going to bed early, hiding in the bedroom, pulling away from friends and family.  All the signs I question my clients for in the months after the birth of a child and I had them all present yet not visible to me.  How could I a doula be so blind to the fact that I was losing myself?  How could I have allowed this to happen to me?   Shame sets in, you begin to feel as though your feelings are wrong.  How could I feel so down when I got exactly what I wanted.  A baby girl I longed for,  a rainbow baby after two early loses.  It wasn’t just my own thoughts people are so unaware of what a few simple words do to a mom.  The words “at least you have a healthy baby” or “how can you be depressed you have beautiful children”.  As if this state of mind was my choice and not my captor.  

People think PPD/PND is definable by one set of rules.  Like if you have PPD/PND you must be crying all the time, withdrawn from your baby, tired, but it’s not the same for every woman.  Where one women will feel those exact feelings others may experience it in the form of anxiety or anger.   Some women feel like their baby is in harms way not from themselves but from the world, others may feel themselves are unable to care for their child.  Neither one is more definable than the other each leads to the same fog ridden path.  When I finally figured out what was going on it was too late.  I was knee deep in the fog and my relationship was severely affected.  Where stood my once best friend a stranger now took their place.  We were so distant and so apart we could hardly see the others pain.  

Each day I lived for bedtime, I longed for the hours to go by so I could retreat to my bedroom and be alone with my kids.  I lay in my room feeding my youngest and waiting for my toddler to fall asleep.  Then I would watch endless hours of Netflix watching one series and moving on to the next.  Watching them became a way for me to be numb, to silence the thoughts in my head, to have moments of clear stillness.  These characters become my friends in a way, I longed to see them on the screen and felt safe when I was watching them.  I reached out to people on Facebook and talked to them about anything but how I was feeling.  I withdrew from my friends because I was worried that they would think I was crazy for feeling this way.  Shame made me go deeper and deeper into hiding until I was so lost I couldn’t find my way back even if I wanted to.

One night when I was sleeping it came to me, the reason my birth affected me so.  It was at that moment that I realized something was seriously wrong with me.  I wasn’t myself, I needed to find me again and maybe the way back to my life partner would once again become clear.  One simple act during birth, the breaking of my waters, triggered in me a moment in time that had taken place over 20 years prior.  A moment I had not thought about for several years had somehow consumed me in a way, and I had no idea it was happening.   Once that became clear and I was able to voice it to my partner, I thought it would be easy to return home.  It isn’t that simple though, you can’t just return to the moment in time before PPD and pick up where you left off.  In the wake of destruction so much has to happen before you an even hope to put the pieces of your old life back.  I began taking my placenta tincture, the one I had prepared for myself as I had done for many clients before this birth.  I finally started to feel like me again, if it was a placebo affect as some call it so be it, because it saved me.

The fog doesn’t leave right away, it slowly gets clearer but I can’t say you ever feel whole again.   Once it touches you it’s almost like it makes a dent in your soul and will remain part of you forever.  People need to stop shaming women for feeling this way after birth.  They need to realize that it has nothing to do with them or with the children that are born.  Of course we are delighted to be mothers, of course we are beyond the moon that we have had these precious babies, it isn’t about that.  For those that have PPD/PND due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by the birth it’s ok to feel this way.  It isn’t OK for people to say things like at least you have a healthy baby, at least your baby is here alive and well.   I wish for once the medical world would see how important birth is not just for baby but for mother as well.  More than 50% of the women I spoke to ended a relationship after a bout with PPD/PND.  How can we then say that the only thing that matters in birth is a healthy baby?  When in the end PPD strips from you months, years of memories you could have had.  When it beats your relationship to the point where you may not ever be able to return things to the way they were before?  Birth matters of course the health of the baby matters but so does the health of the women, of the mothers of the families. 

I lost months, years of my life to PPD/PND.  I am not sure how things will play out in my life, I’m not sure if things will ever go back to the way they once were.  I’m forced to watch videos of my kids and try to remember how I was feeling when I captured those moments.  I am forced to remember a time when the love of my life was also my best friend.  I can’t change my past I can only hope that in my pain, in my sorrow you can understand your not alone.  I feel your pain and I hope you can see there is no shame in asking for help.  The shame lies in the medical staff that ignored our health, it lies in the people who instead of holding us shamed us into feeling like we don’t matter like we needed to hide.  Enough is enough we need to stand together and let others know that we aren’t going to hide from it any longer.  That were are going to fight for the rights of women everywhere to have their feelings understood, their voices heard and their mental health treated equally as important as their newborn baby.  No more silence.  To the women who took their own lives because they felt so alone I am so sorry that the system failed you.  To the children without a mother now, it was never about you and I am so sorry the system didn’t protect your family.  PPD/PND is a horrible road to be on but your not on it alone.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Packing list for baby

Packing List for toddler by Viviana Marinacci

Toys for plane
Books for plane
Snacks lots of them for plane
Blanket to cover and block out the rest of the people on the plane
Bum Balm
Change Pad (to help with changes if baby can't stand)
Sun Glasses
Sun Screen
Bug Spray (depending on where your heading)
Homeopathic meds or meds for teething, fever, cold and pain
Teething toy (depending on age)
Sippy Cup
Water shoes
swim goggles (age dependant)
Towel (though not necessary hostels and hotels usually have these)
Water shoes (the sand can often be too hot for babes feat)
Hat (and maybe a strap to keep hat from becoming lost
swim suit
swim diaper

you can also bring some snacks or treats for the flight attendants and people around you.

You can pick up toys for the sand at most stores wherever you go so no need to pack those.  Green toys are available in most countries as are Hape.

This is to be updated if I feel I forgot something important :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flying for two...

It is so different for me flying with child. Fortunately for me the person who was scheduled to sit next to me in the three person set up didn't show up. Not sure who was more fortunate him or me.

So my midwives expressed the importance of drinking loads of water on the flight, which of course I made certain I did. Which meant at least every hour I was up peeing myself silly. What I wasn't prepared for was the take off which normally I love, this time it was a nightmare. Between the ear popping that never ended, the dizziness and of course light headed feeling I thought I was in hell. Kimberley then told me that is what she felt like the past week during her dizzy spell episodes ... gross.

The landing was much the same.

Vancouver is behind us by about 3 hours so when we arrived at 1pm it was already approaching our dinner time, which meant I was getting irritable and easily annoyed. We took the train downtown to our hostel where they proceeded to tell us that we were unable to get two lower bunks. Well that is just great you have me pregnant and peeing all night, and Kimberley not pregnant, foot injury and peeing all night. So of course after much debate and back and forth I took the upper bunk. So sorry to the young one who was sharing a room with us and took the lower bunk... up and down all night. We ended up or rather I ended up crashing at about 7pm, Kimberley followed not long after.

Another thing I am not used to is the feeling of exhaustion that normally doesn't hit me so soon in the travels. Usually I am able to adjust just fine with the time change and traveling. This time when we walked to and back from the train station to get a time frame required to walk at 5AM to catch our 6 o'clock train to Portland I was so beat I thought I was going to faint.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ultrasound day ;0)

So the ultrasound did what I had expected had it's positives and negatives.

As the technician did her thing I laid there refusing to look at the screen as my partner was told to wait outside while the measurements were taken. It isn't like in the movies where you both go in, you laying down and your partner watching the screen in anticipation of seeing the wee one. Instead you are taken in and the technician sits there preforming the scan slowly making notes as to what she or he finds. You can choose to watch or not but in the end the silence in between her verbal notes can get to you.

As I laid there hoping she would be done quick and my partner and I would be reunited I began wondering... what is taking so long? Is there something wrong... does she not see the baby... does she see two.... is the heart beating? Why is she going so low... why is she up so high...

When my partner and our friend were finally allowed in she told me baby looked fine, that by the measurements I was 5 days further along than anticipated. Now my partner and I both know the exact day we inseminated for the first time so the fact that the dates have changed is perplexing. How is that possible ... none the less that didn't really bother me at least not at the moment. Talk to me in 4 months and 1 week when they begin to tell me I am really overdue when I am actually on time and it will be another story.

She then asked my partner and friend to leave the room so she could do one more thing. Little did I know at the time but she believed that my placenta was lying low. 5% of pregnant women between the 18th and 20th week have a low lying placenta and out of that only .5% will require a C-Section because it doesn't move up in the later stages of pregnancy. Anyway she asks me if she can preform an internal scan and after I ask her if there are any risks associated she says no and up she goes. As she is doing an internal scan I begin to think, what if I wasn't a doula? What if I didn't know the odds of my placenta moving up in later pregnancy? Would I be lying there in tears because I think I might now lose my chance at a vaginal birth? Yes I believe I would have, even though I am a doula and know the odds it pops into my head... lucky for me though it leaves as quickly as it enters. I know my odds are good at the home birth I am hoping for. I am calm and assured things will turn out OK no matter what happens.... As she finishes up I look to her and ask so is everything OK? She looks at me and says it will all be in the report at your doctors within one to two days. Like that isn't going to send a mother into a frenzy. It is the one reason I did not want an ultrasound... but in the end I wanted to ensure all was well with the baby and get the picture for the scrap book. I guess in the end if you ask me if it was worth it I would say no. Simply for the reason that subconsciously I may wonder about that potential low lying placenta or the 5 days I lost in my pregnancy... and I don't want to put any energy into it. The baby will come when he or she is ready... and the placenta will shift up...

Check out this link if you are worried about your own diagnosis of a low lying Placenta...

As for the pictures WOW they gave me a 3D photo... well it cost me 15.00 but that was well worth it.... I can't believe it is real sometimes... and when I can't I will look at that picture... well that is until I can feel solid movement as opposed to the small... was that a kick that is happening right now.

Oh on a positive note baby has all the fingers and toes they are supposed to ... a brain and a spinal cord to match ;0).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pregnant Dreams- Week 17

This past week I have been wondering if our dreams are a reflection of the person we are carrying inside. Do our dreams have a connection to the past lives of our little ones. That is if you believe in past lives and all.

I guess because I have taken some sciences and Reiki levels I believe in the statement energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So if that is true then our soul which is made up of energy has been around longer than our bodies have.

In the past week or so I have been wondering if my dreams are an insight into the person who once was. It isn't like you can google this and come up with a definitive answer to this question. I asked my parter and my friends and they believe it is possible.

Being the person I am I require more than the it is possible answer.... I want reassurance to know that my dreams have a purpose, that the soul inside of me has chosen to communicate with me, letting me in on where they have come, and what they have been through to get here. Yes I was the kid who searched for the clues that Santa existed beyond the gift left under the tree.

Some websites believe that the soul enters the fetus at different times in the pregnancy. For some it is early and for others it is later. In the end though I guess it all depends on your belief system. My mother believed in Heaven and Hell, that once you died you were done. I can't say I agree with her or maybe I just don't want it to be that final. I'd rather believe that we are here now learning what we can but when we die we will be reborn into another body for another crack at life.

If this is the case, and I am truly experiencing some type of visual window into our childs past. then they had a hard life before this one. It sounds weird I know, dreaming of sad times at such a joyous time. I walk around during the day elated, feeling happy, day dreaming of our little ones birth. There is no sadness just happiness, no fear just excitement, so to try to explain why I am dreaming what I am some nights would be impossible. I just know on some nights I dream of a child who had a hard life, sadness and lack of love. As well I can't say how old this soul was when they passed the first time as I can only envision them as a child.... The creator has a purpose for everything that happens to us I believe anyways, so I have to believe that this soul was paired up with us to make this life different for them. I only hope I do justice to the Creators plan and to this soul.

I can say one thing this child will never feel a day where they will wonder if they are loved. My partner and I have loved this child from before they were even conceived. We aren't perfect by far and are not ever going to claim to be mistake free... after all parenting even after you have had children is a constant and never ending series of learning and growing. However, we will always strive to do the best for this child and to be the best we can be that is what parenting should be about.