Friday, September 16, 2011

Crossing my fingers this is LABOUR!!!

Hi friends!

Ok, so tonight/tomorrow may be the day... I think I be experiencing the beginnings of labour.  My mom came over to keep me company today. We went out for lunch, where I started feeling kinda woozy, crampy, pressure and heavy.  We went into a few stores after lunch and I felt some funniness happening. I was a little worried that my water would break, and my mom just said "wouldn't that be a great story to tell!". I kept telling her I wanted to get going and she kept distracting me. By the time she dropped me off a few minutes ago I was feeling a bit worse.  I'm pretty sure I'm having light contractions, but haven't timed them.

I'm crossing my fingers that labour is near!!! So excited!! can't wait to meet our little lady!

I saw these geometric puzzles on Oh Dee Doh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

cat stevens + red raspberry leaf tea + danish wolf pillow

Hi friends!

No baby yet.  Last night I felt nauseated and just downright cranky. All through the night I was feeling really crampy, drifting in and out of sleep, wondering if I was having contractions.  I genuinely thought I would be in labour today, but no such luck.  I do, however, feel all weird and heavy, so maybe tonight will be the night.  After I finish this post I'm going to make sure everything is all set in our room for the home birth, and then make a batch of peach muffins, drink a ton of red raspberry-leaf tea and rock out to some Cat Stevens:

Oh yeah, and check out these awesome pillows by Danish design shop By Nord.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2 days overdue + Ben Cuevas knitting in the buff

Hello friends,

I'm 2 days past my due date and we're still waiting!  The bebe seems extremely comfortable and happy in my belly, except for her excessive hiccuping.  It's just after 8am and I'm feeling great.  Last night I was feeling SO crampy, heavy and uncomfortable.  In fact, every other night for the past two weeks I've been feeling increasingly miserable, thinking that I the bebe has to be coming soon. Then I go to bed and sleep like a dream and wake up feeling great.  I'm almost wishing I would have worked up until I have the baby because now I've already burned through two weeks of my maternity leave.  

My mind is so hazy that the days are just floating by.  I still can't believe there is a little person inside me and I have no idea what she looks like or what her mini personality will be like.  ARGHH!!! The anticipation is driving me nuts!  

My midwife visited yesterday. She is so lovely and makes me feel so relaxed.  She said the baby is doing great and that all the miserableness my body is feeling is my body working to prepare for labour. In fact, the baby's head is so low that she anticipates that my labour may be a bit shorter.

Off for my daily waddle around the neighbourhood....

But before I sign off, I want to share some work from the fibre artist Ben Cuevas.

Works in Progress Part III: The Genitosexual

Works in Progress Part V: Thyroid Etc.

Works in Progress Part I: Intestines

Jock Strap (a work in progress)

The artist, Ben Cueva, knitting in the buff. He is knitting this jock strap:

(more images of him knitting are on his website)

bye for now!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What to do with a placenta, part 2 --> Placenta as fabric

While roaming the interweb reading about the variety of things women do with placentas, I came across the work of artist Pinar Yolacan on the blog My Love For You.

In 2007, Pinar Yolacan created a series of 22 photographs of Afro-Brazilian women from an island off the coast of Brazil called "Maria". The clothing the women are wearing was created with a combination of fabric and the placenta of animals bought at a local Brazilian market.

You can read her artist statement for the series here.

You can check out other work by Pinar Yolacan on her website. 

Her series titled "Perishables" is stunning.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What to do with your placenta + The Placenta in Lore and Legend

Hello friends,

The weather in Toronto is crisp and cloudy today and it is reminding me that the school year has begun without me. I am officially on mat leave from my teaching position and although I am feeling hazy and heavy, waiting anxiously for my bebe to decide to make her appearance, I decided to dedicate part of my day to a scholarly activity. I spent the last couple of hours doing some online research on what we humans think and do with our placentas.
I first read an article called The Placenta in Lore and Legend, written in 1963 by E. Croft Long, associate professor of Physiology at Duke University Medical Centre. He writes the cultural beliefs about the placenta from around the world.

Here's a summary of what I found interesting.

  • The placenta as the child's mother: The Ostiak and Vogul tribes living in the Ural Mountains is Russia see the placenta as the "nourishing mother of the child" and "a small shirt is prepared together with other infant clothes and used to dress the placenta in a manner appropriate to a close relative".  (pg. 234)

  • The placenta as the child's sibling: the author points out several cultures where the placenta is seen as the older or younger sibling of the newborn baby.  The placenta is honoured and cared for and has a soul.  One culture in northern Sumatra buried the placenta and believes that the soul can leave the placenta to "warn the child of threats and danger. If the child behaves well the placenta-soul gives encouragement, acting as a type of conscience".  The people of Achinsk, Siberia believe that when a child laughs in its sleep that child is having playtime with its placenta.
  • The placenta as a monster!-"In Norway the mother herelf stabs the placenta with a knife so that a horrible monster would be prevented from taking her life at a later date." (236)
    -"The Transylvania gypsies also believes that both the placenta and meconium (baby's first poops) must be burned; otherwise wicked fairies could turn them into vampires who would attack the child." (236)
  • NOW THIS IS INTERESTING:The Baganda people of Uganda believe that the placenta is a second child, or twin of the baby, and that that the placenta has its own GHOST, who lives in the umbilical cord.  The placenta is buried, carefully wrapped in plantain leaves and buried at the root of a palm tree. The child's pee and poop are places under the tree until the fruit of the palm tree is ripe. When the fruit is ripe, a feast is prepared and after this feast the child's father is required to have sex with the child's mother.  "Otherwise if the father indulged with another woman, the child's spirit would go to her and not to the mother." (235)

Other things to do with your placenta:

1) Practice Placentophagy -> "(from 'placenta' + Greek φαγειν, to eat) is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth." Most mammals consume their placentas (even herbivores!) so they can hide their new birth from other animals, protecting themselves and their babies during a vulnerable time. (from Wikipedia) 

      You can do this by:

  • Giving your placenta to a Placenta Encapsulator: They will take your placenta, dehydrate it, grind it up and then puts it into capsules to be consumed by the new mom.

Watch this video documents the placenta being encapsulated.

(I will not be doing this... I just can't wrap my head around the fact that I would be eating a part of myself)

(hmmm.... will not be doing this either...)

2) Make a Placenta Print:
You can find instructions here.

I love this placenta print, done with the blood still in the placenta.  This artist created placenta prints for each of her kids. You can find them here, along with instructions on how she created the prints.

Here's another beautiful placenta print made using two colours of paint or ink. Unfortunately the artist is not credited on the website I found this on (which I'm not going to link to because the blog stinks).

bye for now...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

False labour + new stairs + bebe's room

Hi friends!

The cool, crisp weather yesterday in Toronto gave Labour Day that new start, back to school feel -- a perfect time to have our baby!

Joe and I had a few friends over in the afternoon and when they left our plan was to relax, make pizza for dinner and watch out favourite show, Coronation Street (now an hour on the CBC so we can catch up with Brits).  I tried to take a bit of a nap before dinner and started to feel crampy, so I laid in bed, looking out my bedroom window at the trees, trying to determine if my cramps were actual contractions. They seemed to come and go, but I didn't want to get too excited and try to time them.   I was uncomfortable, but I wouldn't call them painful.  I have felt this type of crampy-ness at night, but this time they felt different

I'll keep this short, because as the post title states, I didn't actually go into labour. But as the evening wore on, I grew increasingly uncomfortable, but we still didn't try to time my contractions.  I wasn't even sure they were contractions, but they were getting more uncomfortable and my belly had started tightening.  

I took a warm bath, with lot of bubbles and listened to Broadcast (I just learned that the singer, Trish Keenan, died of swine flu). Of course, my contractions eased up after the bath.  I was able to sleep wonderfully, but woke to a few contractions, but this morning, NADA!  

As promised, here are the photos of the new staircase my dad designed and built for us.  The only thing missing is the wood cap that will sit on top of the handrail.
(The drywall surrounding the opening to the second floor still needs to be finished too)

Here are some photos of the bebe's room.
 (I am so sick of called her bebe. We've picked out a name we're 99% certain of but are waiting for the big reveal)
Again, another Fred/Dad creation: He built the crib and nappy change station, originally for my nephews, and now it's been handed to us. The design is the same as this Oeuf crib

 The embroidered piece on the wall was embroidered by my mom and the frame was made by my dad using old barn board. This piece hung in my room when I was a child.

Bye for now!   I'm going to go take a nap. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll go into labour tonight!  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bebe Still in Belly + New Stairs

Hi friends!

So it's labour day and I'm still hanging out with the baby in my belly! I'm 39 weeks + 2 days.  I've been feeling lots of signs and I know I'll go into labour soon, but unfortunately, I don't think I'll be in labour on Labour Day. Joe and I have spent the weekend cleaning up and stocking our fridge so we're ready for the big pusssssh.  She's squirming in there, quickly running out of room.  Whenever I lay down my whole belly starts to morph and she readjusts to a more comfortable position.

The set of stairs that my dad designed and built for us is almost finished and installed.  He came over to install the railing on the second floor yesterday.  Joe is up on the ladder cleaning the construction dust off the stairs as I write this.  I'll take proper photos when it's all cleaned up and post them in the next fews days.

bye for now.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Waiting Game, pressies, geometric mobile and big-eyed kids

Hello friends!

I'm still floating on a cloud in la-la land, out of it.  It's hot today in Toronto... I'm sweating, drinking big classes of ice water, roaming my house, doing random house-work-type things - laundry, dusting, washing cushion covers, washing the floors... I am a zombie-crazy-cleaning-mama-in-waiting lady.  

I've been having on-and-off menstrual-like cramps for days. I had an appointment with my wonderful midwife yesterday and she said my cervix has thinned but not dilated.  The cramps are due to my cervix working on thinning out.  The baby is also between 7 and 9 pounds. She grew a lot last week.  No wonder I've been so out of it.  My official due-date is September 11, 9 days away, but both my midwife and my midwife sister-in-law predicted I'd go sooner than that. THIS ANTICIPATION IS DRIVING ME NUTS!  My brain is mush and my body has been taken over completely.  

I'm feeling anti-social because I just don't feel like myself, but I also feel squirrelly and a bit lonely.  AH!  So many people have been checking up on me and I'm so thankful. There was a staff meeting at the school I work at yesterday and a couple work friends mentioned they missed me, which is very sweet.  I almost can't believe I won't be working for a whole year.  My mat leave started yesterday! I don't necessarily miss the students I taught last year (I teach an alternative school program for teenage ladies who are pregnant or have babies), but I would love to know how they're doing. A couple students I had last year are returning to the program this year, so I'll see them in a month or so when I stop by to show off the bebe, but a few students graduated and I'd love to find out how they are. 

My friend Jennifer (who is the lovely woman behind Castlemusic. I created this animation for her song "heaven" a few years ago) stopped by a few times in the past week or so and brought me presents!  

Cinnamon-honey, fresh flowers and an INCREDIBLE gigantic cinnamon bun from Dufferin Grove market!
This lovely soft scarf, perfect for breastfeeding coverage.

Some bad-ass hand-me-downs.  THANKS JENNIFER!! xo

I finally bought that geometric mobile I mentioned in an earlier post. It took about half-an-hour to put together, but it was totally worth it.  I love it.  I hope the bebe will love it too.

Today I dug out some of my vintage big-eyed kid art. I have a big collection that I gathered from thrift stores in my hoarding high school days. I'm trying to decide which ones to hang in the bebe's room.  I keep thinking, am I already trying to make her into a mini-me? 
(I just noticed my baby bump in this photo)


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