Sunday, December 30, 2012

Very Quick Update and Some Photos

Hey All,
Allison here.  Thank you all SO much for the congratulations.  Perhaps needless to say, we are falling deeply in love with our daughter along with getting used to life as a family of four.  All is well. 
I hope to post a small fraction of what must be the thousand photos we've taken this week and also get to Sprout's birth story at some point.  All in due time.  Right now I need to get ready to feed the not-so-little one.  ;) 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Welcome Baby Girl

Sprout was born at 3:52 pm on December 24, 2012 by C-Section.  Baby and Mama are both doing well. Allison will have to be in the hospital for a few days recovering. 8 lbs 15.7 ounces at birth. 20.5 inches. More when we are back home. -Jen

Saturday, December 22, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 41 Weeks Pregnant

We're still here.

I'm still pregnant.

This week was tougher than I expected it to be.  Physically things are difficult, and only continue to get more difficult, but beyond that, emotionally I been a bit of a mess. 

People, understandably, keeps asking if Sprout has arrived yet.  We've said we will keep everyone updated, but there are still calls and emails daily.  While I appreciate that we're in peoples' thoughts, it's also a constant reminder that we are still waiting. 

I'm not able to get around easily, so I've mostly been at home, wondering when/if I am going to go into labour.  I try to distract myself.  The reminders don't make that any easier. 

Last night she didn't seem to be moving around as much as usual.  I said something to Jen about it and she asked if things were okay.  That got me worrying that they weren't.  I ended up sitting up in bed, in tears, hands on my belly waiting for some of the big kicks that she usually gives me in the evenings.  Eventually she did, but I was a mess waiting for them.  Thoughts of a long-time family friend who's son was stillborn at full term kept running through my head.  I wondered if I should be calling the midwife or going to the hospital or having an ultrasound just to make sure things were okay.  I worry that she would be better off outside than in, at this point.  I worry about the cord wrapping around her neck.  I worry that she'll grow to large for me to have a vaginal birth. 

I talked to my midwife and she agreed to an induction on the 27th.  I don't really want to be induced, but they would do it by the 30th anyway.  And I feel ready to meet this little one now.  I am confident that she is grown and developed and that those three extra days would not make a difference to that.  I also don't feel like those three days would make the difference of NOT needing the induction.  Plus, Jen's parents were going to stay until the 26th and then come back for the 30th.  That seemed silly.  With the induction scheduled for the 27th they'll just stay here until after the birth.  I feel better not worrying about them travelling 6+ hours to and fro on winter roads. 

Accupuncture this week was slightly more painful that in has been.  I probably won't make any more appointments.  The 24th and 26th would be the two days my accupuncturist is available and I already have a midwife appointment on the 24th.  I feel like if the accupuncture were going to make the baby come, it would have happened by now, though I do still hope it's helped my body prepare.  My midwife suggested inserting the Evening Primrose Oil and perhaps trying Castor Oil, but I think I'll just be to disappointed to have put myself through the discomfort if it turns out that those methods don't help.  So basically I've decided to just wait.  I'll keep taking my EPO and homeopathics,  I'll try to walk when/if I feel up to it, but I'm not going to start anything else. 

Please continue to send all your baby-come-soon thoughts out to the universe on our behalf. 

One way or another she will be here with us by next week. 

And we'll keep you updated.  Promise. 

41 week belly:

Friday, December 21, 2012

{this moment} playing around

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Monday, December 17, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 40(+2) Weeks Pregnant

This will be a very quick update as a wolf down a sandwich and get ready to go to my accupuncture and midwife appointments. 
I was hoping that I wouldn't be making this update, that we would have a birth announcement to post by this time, but here we are, still waiting. 
I continue to grow more and more impatient.  I worry about going to 42 weeks and being induced --something I'm sure my midwife will be discussing with me today.  I continue to become increasinly uncomfortable.  The Braxton Hicks seem to have increased in both frequency and intensity.  Not enough to believe that they are "real" contractions, but enough for me to now wince and have to sit down.  I feel bad that I can't be more productive.  I especially miss being able to play with The Bean the way I would like to in the evenings.  (Evenings are worse.)  But again, there's not much that can be done. 
On a lighter note, Jen and I went out for what will likely be our last pre-Sprout date on Saturday night.  Our favourite band, the band that brought us together, is on tour supporting another larger band.  The show that they had scheduled here was cancelled because the lead singer of the other band was sick, so they quickly booked their own headlining show.  It was my due date, so we didn't have tickets to the original show, but with no signs of imminent labour, we bought tickets to the last-minute show.  It was awesome.  We haven't seen them since Jen was pregnant with The Bean.  Sprout kicked up a storm so we figure she either loves them or hates them, but being in this family, I'm sure it's the former. :)  We got to go backstage afterwards and the girls wished us well, telling us it's likely they'll be back soon, perhaps with a family-friendly show scheduled.  We'll be looking forward to it almost as much as Sprout's arrival.
Here's the (huge) 40(+1) week belly:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Twenty-Three Months Old!

Today The Bean is twenty-three months old!

I can hardly believe our baby is nearly two.  It is hard to remember what life was like before him, yet the first time I held his tiny body doesn't seem like it was that long ago.

Even though he'll always be our "baby", it's hard to deny that he's becoming quite a little boy.

-His understanding of various concepts is really starting to be apparent.  He responds to what we say, like when he wasn't feeling well this past week and I was able to talk to him and calm him down.  He takes words he knows and uses them in new contexts, like asking us to "close the door" when he wants the shower curtain pulled shut at bath time.  

-He is using new words daily.  There is no way to keep up with them now.

-He is very opinionated and let's us know what he wants... whether it's turning on his favourite song (still "Firetruck", followed closely by "Jingle Bells" these days) in the car, having us dance and where ("Mama!  Dance!  Carpet!), what he wants to eat ("Applesauce.  Cinnamon."), or who he wants to see (Skype Grandma).  

-Despite the demands he is very sweet.  He often uses "please" and "thank you" without prompting, and not just when he wants/gets something.  If we tell him something along the lines of, "Your teeth look so nice and clean" or "You look great in that sweater", he will say thank you.  He has also started telling us "I love you MUCH".  Heartmelting.  

-With regards to the previous two bullets, he has also starting telling us "Great singing" or "No sing", depending on how he's feeling.  The first is so sweet.  The second a little upsetting, though we try not to take it personally.

-Two of the funnier things he says are, "I help you?" when asking for help and calling water "yoyo"  --we're not sure where this one came from as he used to call water water.  Kids!

-He is very social.  He loves it when people come over.  We had a neighbour we usually see at the park over earlier this month and they had a blast running around together.  He also does well with adults and seems to have great recall for names/faces.  That said, he still does not recognize the photo of himself with Grandma that we have on the fridge, and insists that it is "Jean Luc", his baby doll.

-He has been enjoying Christmas lights, tree, music and books.  We celebrated (early) with my family this past weekend and he had a blast.  It is so fun having a little one around during the holidays.  He played nicely with many of the toys he opened, and his favourites (so far) seemed to be a ramp set from my brother and his fiancee and a harmonica from us.

-He eats well, but is still somewhat picky.  We've found pouches with a blend of fruit and veggies are a good way of getting some different vegetables into him.  He's not big on meat, but will eat milk products and eggs.  We have mostly cut out cow milk from his diet and it seems to be improving the bowel issues he was having.  Grapes have been a newer favourite fruit and we've found canned peaches in water are also typically well-received.  He doesn't seem keen on crunchy fruit and vegetables.  It makes me wonder if more of a BLW approach and less purees would have been a better way of introducing solids.  He eats though and his healthy and growing, so I suppose I shouldn't worry.

-His motor skills continue to develop.  He requests colouring fairly often and has continued to enjoy working on puzzles.  Gross-motor wise, he is getting quite good at actions like marching, walking sideways and backward, and mimicking other movements.  He loves to run and climb and jump, though with the colder weather and darker evenings, we haven't been getting outside to give him opportunities to do so quite as much as I'm sure he would like.    

-He continues to be a good sleeper (*knock wood*), but has been fussing a little when we put him down.  He usually settles quickly, though sometimes one of us has to go in and rub his back or talk to him calmly for a minute or two.  I really hope the new baby doesn't mess up his sleep too much.  I think he takes after his mommy in regards to needing his sleep.  He typically sleeps from about 7:00pm to 6:30 or 7:00am.  On weekends he'll nap for 2-3 hours in the afternoon, though at daycare it seems to be more like 1-2 hours.

This next month is going to be a big one for our family.  (More) Christmas celebrations.  A new baby.  A second birthday.  It's been such a joy watching The Bean grow into this little boy he is becoming.  I can't wait for all everything this coming month and the many months ahead have in store for us all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 39(+2) Weeks Pregnant

(Potenially) less than a week to go! 

My goodness.  That is both exciting and slightly terrifying! 

I am very much looking forward to meeting this little one and holding her in my arms soon.  The "unknowns" of delivery are the part that I am finding slightly terrifying.  I am really trying to stay calm and hope for the best, but I am worried about pain both during and after.  I am sure it will all work out, and perhaps it's best not to know exactly what will happen beforehand, but I am so Type A that not knowing is difficult. 

Everything is pretty much ready to go.  Our bags are packed and waiting in the co-sleeper.  The carseat is in the car.  (Though it will have to be replaced as the missing stickers make it illegal even though it is perfectly safe.)  I picked up the antibiotics I will need during labour. 

I have a midwife appointment this afternoon and am following it up with a visit to the accupuncturist.  We'll see if that gets the ball rolling at all.  I have another appointment for accupuncture on Wednesday and will also book one for Saturday, if nothing has happened by then. 

The baby is really starting to feel big.  She still moves around a lot, especially in the evenings, but I can tell she's running out of space in there.  I'm pretty uncomfortable and am finding it increasingly difficult to get around, plus I tire a lot more easily than I ever have.  I guess that's to be expected.  I'm also pretty puffy, especially if I've been up and about a lot that day.  Sleeping is difficult, though I'm quite tired most nights.  I'm glad to have such a relaxed schedule right now, though I keep finding things to add to the "To Do" list.  I'm trying to take the attitude of what gets done, gets done, but I hope that most of things on the list do get done before I go into labour.  (Dusting our bedroom, washing The Bean's diapers, another big grocery shop, a few last minute gifts to pick up...) 

Of course, chances are I'll still be hanging out here on the 29th saying the same things.  Right? 

Here's the belly photo from yesterday (39+1):


My Family! Giveaway

Quite some time ago, Cheril from My Family! contacted me again about hosting another giveaway.  (You can read about the first giveaway here.) 

This time My Family! and author Monique Costa are offering one lucky reader the opportunity of receiving a copy of Monique's book When Leonard Lost His Spots: A Trans Parent Tail.

This book tells the story of when a beautiful lioness discovers she was born into the body of a male leopard.  Her family is shocked, the transition begins, and an amazing story unfolds.

Narrated by a young cub, "When Leonard Lost His Spots" is a sensitively crafted story that exemplifies how open communication can pave the way to acceptance in an ever-changing world.

Here's a brief Q&A with Monique Costa, author of When Leonard Lost His Spots: A Trans Parent Tail.

Being a heterosexual woman, how are you connected to the LGBT community?
Leonard is my connection! From the moment I wrote the manuscript, I was connected.  I have met such wonderful people because of this book. It continues to open doors for me both professionally and personally. 

Tell about Leonard and Leona, what inspired you to write this story?
Leonard is a loving father, who has known for a long time that he was born into the wrong body. With great courage, he announces to his family that he is going to move forward with his transition into Leona, a beautiful lioness. He stays true to himself, yet he never loses sight of his commitment as a father to his young cub.

My inspiration for this book was the lack of material out there for children of LGBT families…especially children with a transgender parent. I wanted to write a story that would make a difference to a specific audience. I am the mother of two young boys, so I’ve seen, first hand, how great books can leave a lasting impression.

What makes this tale unique among others?
The story line is just that…unique. There are books about transgender men, women and even children, but mine is the first fictional story to be written from the child’s point of view. Plus, it is for a very young audience. It rhymes and the illustrations are magnificent. 

What do you hope children and parents take away from this story?
Leonard is a universal inspiration for parents. The message in my book is that open communication is key. Children don’t get to choose their situations, yet they need to cope and to adapt. During his transition, Leonard talks to his son. He doesn’t ignore him or his feelings.

He is willing to talk openly about the changes, their feelings and their situation.  I truly believe that if children know that they are loved, they will survive change.

How receptive and supportive have your family and friends been about you writing a children's book for the LGBT community?
Extremely! I am so blessed. My friends and family could not have been more supportive…especially my husband. (He’s always ready for the next creative venture from me.) Everyone thinks it’s fantastic that I wrote the story. They recognized and applauded my need to reach out.

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. My motto has always been to live your life being happy- whatever that means to you. My friends agree. I don’t really think of LGBT as a separate community. I think we’re all in this crazy world together!

What are your hopes for Leonard and Leona? Do you see this character coming to life in other mediums?
I have very high hopes for Leonard and Leona because they are so loveable and so unique! I am currently working on bringing them to life in a children’s theater. I’d love to see a stuffed animal. The possibilities are endless!

Will there be more books from you in the future?
Yes, definitely.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to cook and entertain friends and family. I grew up in an Italian/ American house where everything revolved around food. It’s that way in my house today. I love to try new things and my husband and two sons are eager judges!

How can readers and their parents keep up with you on the web?
I have joined forces with my publishers, so readers can check us out at for the latest books, toys, dvds, etc.

Where can your book be purchased?
You can purchase my book on the website:, or it can be ordered anywhere books are sold in the United States. 
How to enter? 
Leave a comment on this blog post with the title of your favourite children's book that depicts non-traditional families or gender roles.  One comment per person please. The winner will be chosen randomly. You'll also have to leave or send me your email address so that I can contact you if you win, and the winner will have to be willing to share their name, address and phone number with Cheril so she can get the book to you. That's it! (Value of print is $14.99 USD.) Ends December 17th, 2012.  Open to those with a U.S. shipping address only. You can see photos from the book signing here.
And a video of an author reading here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 38(+1) Weeks Pregnant

Getting there! 

I'm happy to say that it's starting to feel like the end is in sight.  I'm eager to meet our little girl and, as I've said before, ready to not be pregnant anymore, though I'm sure there are aspects of it I will miss.

This week was slightly better than the past few.  My rib wasn't giving me as much pain.  I think the baby may have dropped a bit, as I've been feeling slightly less heartburn.  I even got a few stretches where I was able to sleep 3 hours at a time vs. the 1.5-2 I was averaging before.

The midwife did her home visit on Tuesday and all went well.  She prescribed an alternative antibiotic for me to use during labour because of the GBS.  I tried taking it to the local pharmacy to have filled, but it looks like I may have to go to a hospital pharmacy.  She also did a urine test because of my UTI suspicion, but so far I haven't received any results from her.  In the mean time, I've been drinking lots of water and cranberry juice, hoping that it clears up quickly.  I'm not sure that it is. 

We got a bunch of our baby gear back from my sister yesterday, and are starting to set things up in preparation for Sprout's arrival.  We had loaned her our infant carseat and she returned it without the Canadian compliance sticker, which poses what we consider to be a pretty big issue, especially with all the border-crossing we do.  She doesn't know what happened to it so now we're left trying to contact the manufacturer to see if they can reissue a sticker to us.  I really hope they can.  I hate to have to buy a new carseat just because the sticker came off.  (Who knows how, those things are IMPOSSIBLE to remove.)  Otherwise everything seems pretty good. 

The Bean is napping right now, and if I want to get my nap in I should get going!  I have another appointment tomorrow, but I suspect everything will still be status quo. 

Here's the belly shot for this week (taken yesterday).  Jen and I were looking back through the photos and there is such a HUGE difference from Week 5 that it's almost impossible to believe that they're both me.  I wonder if I'll ever look like Week 5 me again...