Elimination communication is working for us, though we have not fully committed to it yet.  Even though E and I spend all our days together, I have yet to really note any signs from him for needing to go to the bathroom.  I can tell when he wants to eat and when he needs to sleep, but not when he is ready to eliminate.  It is ok though, we have maintained E's awareness so he does pee when we cue him into his little Baby Bjorn toilet.  I think that E just doesn't really care about going to the bathroom yet.  He never seems uncomfortable, even in the wettest diaper, and most of the time when he poops there is no noticeable sign, not even a smell sometimes.  From my readings about EC the poops are supposed to be the easiest to determine, but we catch many more pees than poops right now.

E is fully breastfed so his poop is pretty liquid, it is only just starting to get a bit more sticky in the past two-ish weeks.  So, as his digestive system matures and he starts to eat solid food in a few months, we will see if it is easier to catch poops and to teach E a separate cue for them.  Right now he only has one cue to respond to and he does it very well.  We taught E the pee cue by responding with it in the first few weeks of life if he ever peed outside of his diaper.  It was a challenge at first to not make some noise of surprise or flip out if he started peeing all over the place.  But Marc and I both trained ourselves to just stand there and make the cueing noise while he peed, then clean up afterwards.

Initially E wasn't a fan of being held over the little toilet, but he adjusted quickly.  Even now he will get upset if he is tired and he won't want to sit or be held over the toilet, but that is ok.  We try very hard not to stress over whether he eliminates in the toilet or not because if we stress, he will stress and then he won't eliminate on cue.  I have spent time with E out of his diaper, usually about a half an hour a day (our record so far is two hours).  The problem with diaper-free time is that I worry about E peeing on me, or falling asleep without a diaper on so I am holding him over the toilet about every ten minutes and it isn't fun for either of us.  Until I can feel more comfortable and relax more when E has his diaper off, I will not go for long times.  I am hoping as he gets older I will start to recognize signs that he needs to use the toilet, or he will learn the ASL sign to tell me he needs to go.  We are working on it.  I think once E can sit up on his own I will be more vigorous about elimination communication.  At this point I feel keeping him aware of how to release his pelvic floor is good enough.


this is the end of a tummy time photo shoot... <3


I have read a lot of things about children and so I don't know really where I got the idea that they are egocentric beings who need to learn that the world they live in does not actually revolve around them; that all of the times they get upset are really rooted in this delusion that the world is supposed to be working for them.

Well now, three months into revolving my world around one of these egocentric beings, I disagree that he is egocentric.  He lives in the present and only in the present.  If in the present he is hungry, then in the present he needs to be fed.  When he is comfortable his present is filled with cooing and the start of his giggle, lots and lots of drooling and smiles from both of us.  Honestly, the time when his present is totally comfortable and all needs are met is usually pretty fleeting; though it does last long enough for me to wonder what the heck to do with him next- that is usually the sign that it is going to end soon if it isn't already over.  I think my baby's "present" varies from about thirty seconds to two minutes based on observations of the cycles when he cries where he can calm himself down a bit and then starts up again.  Also, he understands that I am coming to meet his needs in a short time frame if I hold up two fingers at him- a sign that means "two minutes" to me but usually only gets about 40 seconds of calm baby and doesn't work more than two or three times in a row.

My totally awesome therapist that I worked with for the three years after my dad died always held living in the present as an ideal way of life.  Touch the past, hope for the future, but live in the present.  My baby seems to be giving the ultimate demonstration of living in the present since he has no solid memories of the past and no concept of the future to muddle things for him.  Following him, letting his schedule and his needs dictate what I do forces me to live so much more in the present then I have ever been able to before- some days it is easier for me to do than others.  Some days his present allows me to get work done around the house, or prepare a meal with two free hands.  Other days he needs to be in arms or his present is not a happy place.  The days that are harder are the ones where I am trying to live outside of my present.


Life is getting more structured and I am just really starting to realize it.  E has pretty much established his schedule though I feel like it varies through out the month.  We definitely seem to be on a monthly rotation that is most identifiable by E's sleep patterns.  We'll have about a week where E will sleep more than anything else and then over the next three weeks after that he slowly starts sleeping less and less and less until he has a few days where he sleeps at night and can only do half hour naps in arms during the day.  Those days are hard because I can't sleep while he is napping if I need to.  And, when I do get the chance to lay down it really doesn't last longer than fifteen minutes and I wake up to E crying.  I think that is the worst part of having a baby- you don't really get to wake up in silence or peace.

The days of bad sleeping make for a cranky little boy so that time is difficult.  Then, the cycle starts over.  In the week where E is sleeping a lot I am too, so the housework isn't getting done as much.  Plus I just spent the previous days with a baby I felt like I couldn't make happy and so my confidence is blown a bit.  This past group of "bad sleep days" are the first I have handled well without a crying meltdown or irrational behavior towards Marc.

I haven't really had time to myself since E was born.  Partially that is because we are living in a new place so I don't have established friends to hang out with or regular activities to continue doing.  In Toronto I played water polo twice a week and I miss it so much now.  Joining the Toronto Triggerfish was something I did kind of on a whim just because I felt like it.  And joining a water polo team is not the only whim I just acted on.  I think about my last few years in Toronto almost as a past life now.... having a baby kills selfish parts of you that you didn't even realize were selfish.

This past weekend I did the first thing "for me" in Denmark.  I went to a gospel choir workshop in Aarhus with a group of ladies from church.  A new friend, Ida, invited me in front of my mother to come along back before E was born.  My mother encouraged me and in the end I think God really pushed me to agree to go.  I was afraid to go because I knew E would have to come along since he needs to be fed during the day.  And, I had to decide whether or not to go when E was about a month old so I had a really bad "worst case scenario" in my head.  The workshop ended up going really well.  I think E loved being wrapped to me all day as I sang and danced.  Any time he got fussy, he was happy to take my hand and munch on a finger of his choosing.  He actually removed the finger he was sucking on and inserted another into his mouth a few times.  I was very impressed with how he behaved and I was able to learn all the music.  On Saturday we are performing a concert.  Obviously, Marc will have E for the concert and hopefully for the hours beforehand.  I am just hoping E behaves as well for Marc as he did for me.

Life in Denmark, as hard as it has been to relocate, is getting more busy and I am starting to see what "normal" will hopefully be like.  I will be able to learn Danish.  I will have good friends with children of similar ages.  We know more people our age here who are having babies, newly married or about to get married than we did in Canada.  I will have too many activities to go to.  I may even work a full time job before I know it.  But, it's all going to take time to coalesce.  I have recently accepted the fact that I can't make any of the adjusting happen faster then it is going to happen and in doing so have found an overall peace that I didn't have before.  I really feel like I want to stay here and build a permanent life.  I feel like in a Danish life I will be able to raise E and any of his future siblings in the ways that before were just the ideals in my head.  So many aspects of raising children you don't have control over and in Denmark, the parts I can't control are done the way I would do them if I could control them.  It does suck that our family is far away, but I can see a Danish surrogate family being put together around us- God is great.  I am overwhelmed with how great everything is and I want now what I see can be in the future.  But, the lesson that nothing great comes easy is being reinforced in me these days over and over again.  It would be easier if everyone in the world spoke one single language, but human brains would not be as dynamic.  It would be easier if I bottle fed my baby, but I want to be all he needs.  It would be easier if I lived near family and old friends, but I would not be in a community where my ideal expectations are realities; where my children can grow up in as close to perfection as I can imagine there being.  Possibility feels so good.


Moving to Denmark has not been the easiest transition.  We don't speak Danish yet, and although everyone speaks English, it is not the default language choice for communicating.  English is a second (or third or fourth) language for probably 95% of the people we have met so far.  We have had people roll their eyes at us when we tell them we can't speak Danish yet.  Maybe having a small child makes people think we have been here longer than we have, but strangers just seem to assume we should be able to speak to them.  For the people who know us, it is different.  We have been blessed to have met people who care about our well-being and have gone out of their way to include us in their lives.  We have not had the ex-patriot experience you read about normally on the internet in regard to Danes and I don't know if it is because we live in Jutland, or because we have met most of the people we can call friends right now through the church we attend.  The Danish families we have met are incredibly friendly and they have gone out of their way to incorporate us in their lives.

Specifically, one family has truly blessed us.  JΓΈrgen and Jytte are a wonderful couple who have really taken us under their wing.  They were missionaries in Africa for ten years so, as they always say, they know what it is like to be outsiders in a new country.  We are extra lucky that their children are having their first babies right now too.  Their oldest daughter has a little girl who is only six weeks younger than E, and their son's wife is due to have a baby next spring.  Their niece lives in the same town as we do and also had a baby girl three weeks after E was born.  So, it seems like E wont be at a loss for friends his age at church.  Jytte is in the picture with E at Lea's house (Lea is the oldest daughter).  We went for a visit a few weeks after Lea's daughter was born.  E is almost two months old in the photo.  He really enjoys his reflection and so Jytte is showing him a mirror.  Lea has a mesh disc swing type thing for her baby suspended in their living room which E is laying on.  The swing is really cool, though I don't know how useful it would be after the baby starts rolling over itself ...  I also don't know how much weight it holds.

E was in a good mood for the start of the visit, but then he started to get fussy.  E is loud about the things in life that make him unhappy.  Actually, he's pretty loud about the things that make him happy too, but when he is unhappy it is not easy to have a conversation around him.  When we visit people, I find that I spend a fair amount of time in adjacent rooms with him as he loudly protests whatever is bothering him or loudly enjoys a meal.  Since E was really only settling if I was walking him around and I was trying to talk with Lea, Jytte offered to take E for a walk outside.  She returned ten minutes later saying she thought he was hungry because he started crying while they were walking.  It didn't matter if E was hungry or not, he was definitely at the point where boob was the easiest solution to settling him down and he fell asleep pretty quickly after that.  After a short nap in my arms E woke up and had been sitting quietly in my lap facing outward (a position he was newly content to be in) for about ten minutes when Lea's daughter woke up.

Danes have interesting customs when it comes to raising children and I "get" all of them so maybe if we had arrived in Denmark sooner I would be doing more than observing them.  A very Danish element to child rearing that we have yet to try is using their huge prams to transport children.  I do think the prams are monstrous and would be burdensome for getting on and off the train, or walking a crowded city street.  If we had a car to transport it and a yard to push it around in, I would be more interested in getting one.  The Danes don't bring the prams inside really, so they don't get in the way in that form.  The babies sleep in lifts that can be carried in and out easily.  The prams are really like small cribs on wheels and using it allows a baby to sleep outside- something Danes seem to swear by.  Take the baby for a walk in the pram, it falls asleep and the parents just leave the baby outside in the pram with a baby monitor until it wakes up.  I would do it with E if we had a pram..and a place outside to leave the pram; it seems like the more outside air he breathes in a day, the better he sleeps.

In any case, E was sitting nicely on my lap when Lea's daughter woke up in her pram on the porch. Lea brought her into the living room- she was crying as any three week old baby would be after a long nap.  E got very quiet and just watched Lea's baby.  Lea handed her daughter off to Dad as she prepared to breastfeed, E watching intently the entire time.  Once the feeding started it took E about five seconds before he yelled "Neh! Neh!" -the sound he makes when he wants boob.  He then turned around and looked into my eyes and started wailing as if to say "I want to do that too!"  So, I had to bite Lea's styles and start feeding E as well.  It was the first time I had really heard E separate his "talking" and his "crying."  I felt really proud of us because I want him to be able to express himself and I want to be able to understand that expression.  Plus, it was just totally cute.


Six weeks on Monday since I had my baby...

Breastfeeding just started getting really awesome in the past week or so.  We learned quickly and E's latch was good from the start.  I did enough research to know exactly how I wanted him latched on and wouldn't accept anything less because I didn't want him to learn wrong.  I got a crack in one of my nipples because I fell asleep while breastfeeding in the first few days and E's latch slipped.  I was asleep so I didn't correct it and I woke up to him munching only on the nipple itself, no aureole.  One of the perils of narcoleptic breastfeeding I guess.  The other issue I have had with narcolepsy and breastfeeding is that when I'm extremely tired my cataplexy acts up so every time E sucks I lose my muscle tone for that fraction of a second over and over and over, it's really just irritating more than anything else.  I breast feed lying down to help me transition from asleep to awake which is a necessity for me to have.  I had to figure out how to breastfeed lying down because I got mastitis and my fever was so high I couldn't sit up to feed.  I wanted to try different positions sooner but I was waiting for my nipples to not hurt so much.  That was apparently a bad idea as using only the one position (cross-cradle) may have encouraged the infection- along with the crack in the nipple and using nipple shields to not leak all over everywhere.  I am really starting to enjoy breastfeeding now, but in the first weeks I understood why the bottle was invented.

I let E breastfeed whenever he wants it.  Babies use boobs to eat and also to sooth themselves.  Initially, E was eating too much and throwing up when my milk came in because he wanted to sooth himself so often.  He wouldn't take anything besides boob, but eventually he accepted a pinky finger.  I still have to put him to sleep with my finger pretty frequently, though it's dropped off a lot recently.  The sucking reflex is a force to be reckoned with, but I feel like if I didn't allow E to use me as his soother in addition to his meals, my milk wouldn't be so plentiful.  It is a bit of a nuisance when we're around other people to have to pull a lady out to calm E down (even though Danes are very accepting of public breastfeeding), but we're learning how to feed in the wrap which makes things much easier.  We also found a pacifier that is shaped to sit on the roof of E's mouth.  E really hasn't taken well to any pacifiers, but this one he will keep in his mouth long enough to calm down.  We really only use it when we're out.

Baby wearing is really nice.  I love to do it even though it is not the most convenient thing.  It's good once baby is in the wrap, but there can be a lot of effort needed to get to that point.  E isn't fond of being restrained so it takes him a few minutes of screaming to calm down and accept that he is in the wrap.  He then, promptly, falls asleep (usually).  I think my biggest problem with the wrap is that I thought I would be able to put one on around the house and pop the baby in and out as necessary.  I have found that in reality the wrap gets so twisted around when wearing it without the baby in it that by the time I want to pop him back in, I have to put the wrap back on.  For out of the house it is great.  Well it's great for in the house too, I just need more time to get patient with it or I need to sew myself a sling.  I am focusing on completing both.  I really dont put E down very much.  If he is awake and alert he is happy to sit in his rocker or on a blanket for almost ten minutes before wanting to be held again.  If he is sleeping in arms it's a crap shoot whether he will wake up after being put down or not.  In any case I have very small amounts of time spent with two hands and a not exhausted body capable of using both of those hands, but Marc and I are working on increasing that amount time for me.


Today is our second anniversary :-)
Today is also the day I'm four days over my official "due date"

Originally, we were told our baby was due on August 7th based on my last menstrual period date, but then the baby measured bigger.  So, as we started the second trimester, we were given a new "due date."  I've never been pregnant before and I didn't have a real choice over who would be handling my care in Toronto. I have a feeling that a start to finish pregnancy with a Danish midwife would have handled a baby measuring big a bit differently.  When our due date was pushed up to the 31st of July, I was tempted to not say so to anyone.  We would know what the doctor said, but no one else needed to and that would have given us a week... We didn't do that.

A week would have been really nice, now that I am here still pregnant.  There are so many things I wish I had done differently concerning this freaking "due date."  The first thing is just not telling anyone the actual day, ever- or at least adding two weeks.  I've had to put myself on a media blackout where I don't reply on Facebook to anyone asking about whether I've had the baby...I haven't really been answering emails either.  I'm blogging today because it's my anniversary; and also because I know these things I am writing about will seem so inconsequential when the baby comes and I want to remember how much they really did matter to me before that.  They may not matter in my memory, but they do have significant influence in my life.

What matters to me now is trying to stay relaxed and, unfortunately, I'm feeling much pressure to perform.  As much as I don't hold myself to unrealistic expectations, I am aware that other people have them for me- for this baby in me.  I am also aware that the expectations come because they are excited for Marc and I.  We don't know what the baby is, we don't know anything about it.  We think it has hair because of how ridiculous my heartburn is (and the Asian genes, of course- aren't all Asian babies born with hair?).  We think it will look like Marc more than me, again because of the Asian genes.  But, in reality, we know nothing about the baby.  Thats why we shared the real due date, because it's something we know about the baby.  Everyone is so excited and wants to know all about the baby, so you tell everyone everything you know because you don't know very much.  At least, that's what we did this time.  I think if there is a next time we will internalize even more...

I know people aren't aware that their excitement stresses me out.  I know people don't realize that their unrealistic expectations that the baby will BE BORN on, or before the due date make me feel like I am failing at some aspect of this pregnancy.  I know that explaining to people the complexities of the situation will just make them feel like they can't be excited- and that's not how I want people to feel.  I'm glad we have so many friends and family that are looking forward to our baby coming into this world.  I don't want them to think we are ungrateful for all the support and love that they show us.  But, honestly, right now I don't want to hear about it.

I am incredibly uncomfortable.  My joints are really soft and sore.  I keep saying "I'm going to go to the hospital for a dislocated hip before I go to the hospital for labour."  I have the most incredible and unpredictable heartburn I've ever felt.  The baby is so low and so big that I can't go to the bathroom without experiencing excruciating pain with little reward for my efforts- and baby keeps pushing downward.  Have you ever been punched in your anus from the inside? let me tell you, it's worse than it sounds.  I know this is no real news to anyone that has been pregnant before.  The stereotypical point is, I am so uncomfortable I want the baby to come out last week.  So, having to tell people over and over that the baby isn't here yet just makes me think about how badly I want the baby to come.

There are a million other reasons I just want the baby to come out (discomfort is the main one in my mind right now...), but Marc and I have spent this pregnancy training for letting nature take its course.  When the baby is ready, when my body is ready, then I will go into labour.  A doctor's estimation doesn't change nature's course.  We are so focused on schedules... "I have to wait this long until I don't have to wait anymore"- it's drilled in us.  I'm not surprised if people are thinking "ok it's August 4th, why do I not have a baby picture in my inbox yet?! I want to see this freaking baby!"  I just can't go there mentally if I want to stay here, in the "letting nature do its thing" present.  I can't be sending out preemptive strike emails that say "hey, nothing has changed" because then I am acknowledging that something should have happened by now.  Since nothing has happened, since no baby has come, then nothing should have happened yet.  I don't know if this makes sense to anyone but Marc and I...but we're the only ones that it needs to make sense to.

It's a hard mentality to be in, even without the external influences.  It takes effort to submit to a process that is completely out of our control.  We must actually fully submit to pregnancy and the unknown time it takes; not just understand that submitting is what should be happening then turning around and begging God to just put me into labour already! or wondering every five minutes if my water is about to break.  It's a tight rope walk between despair and frustration (one where you fall off a lot), and then when you're finally done walking the tight rope you have to have a baby.  I can understand a little better now the reason people use the medical system to induce labour, control pain... skip it all and just schedule a C-section.  The weeks leading up to the birth are mentally draining because there is so much pressure around the "due date," and then you need all the mental faculties you have to get through the birth.  You're drained before you even get there because you're in a cycle of insanity wondering when the baby will come but knowing that you can't know at all.  We are doing our very best to shut down that cycle.  Preparing for a natural birth has helped a lot because we have a routine where we can focus on the "how" instead of the "when."

The due date is just a day.  Today is my anniversary; more than just a day.  When I found out our due date I was worried because today was a day I wanted to keep to myself with Marc.  I didn't want to share today with a child's birthday because that child wouldn't understand why they weren't the most important thing on their birthday.  One day maybe they would "get it," but not early enough in life for me to feel comfortable about caring more about the day our family started then the day they entered the world.  I do care more about our anniversary, I will always care more because I will make that choice daily.  And my child will hopefully be grateful for that eventually...
Today might be the day that my body and the baby inside it decide they are ready to do birth- and we are prepared for that, whenever it comes.  I'm not fighting with nature because I'm not caring about when the baby comes, even if the baby comes today.  Today is a celebration day, more important to me then almost any other day of the year (Easter being the exception), and celebrations are always better without expectations.


I read this article from New York Magazine about how being a parent makes you THINK you are happier, but you're not.  Apparently, most academic research studies indicate that people with children are less happy overall than their peers without- the findings are so conclusive that its accepted as a general fact in academia.  But as I read the article, I really felt like it's not parenting that makes people unhappy, but the ridiculous expectations parents have for themselves because "OMG! I am molding a future god knows what here!"

People need to realize that their happiness is all in the choices they make.  If your expectations for you, your life or the people in your life are too high AND you have decided to base your happiness on the rate at which those expectations are met, you're setting yourself up for unhappiness.  It all comes down to choices you make.  There is nothing wrong with having high-expectations just as long as the gratifying elements in life have nothing to do with meeting them- typically then they are called "goals."

I think "society" and what it "deems acceptable" or "expects" of people is whack, period.  But with parenting, it's all whack to a much higher level.  It's funny to me because, as very soon-to-be parents, my husband and I have made decisions on how we want to raise our child.  Most of the decisions we've made happen to align themselves with the way a majority of children in the world are raised: natural birth, co-sleeping, breast feeding, elimination communication, baby wearing- people in Africa/Asia call it "normal."  Unfortunately, my husband and I have decided to do these things in the Western World, where they are considered ass-backwards, too difficult, nonsensical, or hippie parenting- like there is something inherently wrong with being a hippie [insert rolling of my eyes].

We didn't wake up one day and say to ourselves "hey, lets look to the Third World on how to raise our baby."  When we got pregnant for the first time it was a complete surprise, but we had been thinking about doing it SO we had started looking into what techniques would fit us best.  The first thing you read about affecting parents when you read about newborns is sleep deprivation.  This was a big deal to us because I have narcolepsy; that's right, I am a fully bona-fide narcoleptic.  I am lucky enough to not lose consciousness without warning, my case is not that severe, but high emotions and high stress most definitely put my brain into sleep mode.  I get cataleptic when I laugh really hard or make fun of someone, and I have regular sleep paralysis and hallucinations.  And, all of it gets worse when I am sleep deprived!  So as subtle as my narcolepsy is, it's something Marc and I do have to plan our lives around.  My narcolepsy led us to research co-sleeping- the facts are all online and in books, so I'm not going to reiterate them.  Co-sleeping essentially appealed to us because it meant I wouldn't have to get totally out of bed and travel to a separate place to take care of baby in the night.

Of course I would be the one ALWAYS getting up because I was going to breast-feed.  That wasn't even a choice for Marc and I.  We were both breastfed as babies; I remember my mom breastfeeding my younger sister.  All my life breastfeeding just seemed like what a mom does once the baby is born, so the reading I have done on breast feeding in the past year has really surprised me.  Apparently breast feeding isn't considered "normal" in Western society.  The Western World tries to act like breastfeeding is the accepted feeding normal, but it doesn't really.  If it did, then people wouldn't tell you that the Dad should get to feed the baby too, like you're depriving him of some sort of incredible experience.  a) The Dad can participate in the feeding without actually doing the food delivery; and b) if the Dad was going to be deprived by not going through the "feed the baby" experience, his breasts would produce milk too.  So Marc and I never even had to discuss breast feeding except to say "duh" and that led us to learning about co-sleeping.

So if you do an internet search for say, a parenting book that covers both breast feeding and co-sleeping, you're going to find out about Attachment Parenting.  Breast-feeding and bed-sharing are two of the "b's" of Attachment Parenting.  One of the other "b's" is baby-wearing, and we just happened to really start reading about Attachment Parenting at the end of summer when we were out and about at different events that involve crowds of people.  I find one of the most frustrating things in a crowd of people is a stroller.  And, I'm sure that just being a pedestrian next to or behind a stroller in a crowd is not nearly as frustrating as being the one pushing a stroller through a crowd.  Walking through The Ex in Toronto to get to the food pavilion and back to the Virgin Festival was enough for me to declare I would never use a stroller to move one child from place to place, ever.  I think I would physically hurt people if I tried; or at least be incredibly rude to them.

I will say that when we started really researching Attachment Parenting, we were still planning on using a stroller, a removable carrier-car seat, a crib, bottles... But, our research really converted us.  We realized that all the tenants of AP really made sense to us and spoke to our hearts.  Essentially, Attachment Parenting simply acknowledges that this little baby is a person with needs.  Just like any other person, the baby is the best expert on what it needs- not a book or a relative or a generalized set of rules.  As a parent, if you pay attention to your baby it will tell you how to meet its needs using a variety of individual signs and signals.  So, the goal is to get "in tune" with your baby to understand how it communicates and then be able to meet his needs before he gets upset and has to cry to get help.

Babies are not inherently manipulative, but they are quick learners.  We teach babies that crying is how they get our attention to meet their needs. So, they learn to cry or at least to make the sounds immediately- it becomes part of their communication. Later in life, it translates into whining/crying for things that they want because children don't understand the difference between a want and a need.  I'm not a child psychologist, but it totally makes sense to me.  I have heard enough fake crying in the grocery store to say the theory has plenty of merit to my mind.  Plus, I think ideas like "the baby needs to learn to comfort/calm himself" or "let the baby cry it out" are so against the instincts of a parent.

So we agreed to be Attachment parents and we both read Attachment Parenting by Granju and Kennedy.  From the tenants of AP, Elimination Communication was an easy addition to our theorized parenting lifestyle.  EC says the same things about infant communication, just relates it to using the bathroom.  A baby has an inherent awareness of their need to go to the bathroom and a desire to not soil themselves.  We train the awareness and desire out of them by making them go to the bathroom in incredibly absorbent materials which always feel dry.  We have to potty-train kids twice: the first time to go in their diaper and the second to go in the toilet.  EC just skips the first type of potty training, and even though you're training infants who can't say they have to pee or poop with words, they do communicate it- it's one of their needs.  We learned about EC from The Diaper Free Baby by Gross-Loh.

We dove into researching more throughly the different parts of our new-found parenting style and we learned that a natural birth would help us get started with everything in the right direction.  I never thought about how the drugs that are used to make a mother feel more comfortable in labour get into the baby's system too.  So I'm spending months taking vitamins and eating good things, working hard to keep my body as healthy as I can because of this little life inside it.  And then, right before the baby has to make a HUGE transition into an unknown world, I numb its nervous system? mess with its muscle control? cloud up the baby brain? because I am in pain and uncomfortable?

The drugged-up baby doesn't breast feed as well, doesn't bond as well.  The baby's body systems are not fully developed enough to quickly remove the drugs so their effects last much longer than they do on the Mother.  We figured it would be better to just prepare for a natural birth.  We would have loved to do a home birth, but the midwife here in Denmark doesn't know us well and doesn't have time to figure out if we're prepared for it.

So that's how we got to be "hippie" parents.  We picked a parenting style that was convenient for us, it just happens to not be using any of the normal Western society ideas of convenient.  I think the best thing about the parenting method we've chosen, and the books we have read, is that they all highlight how important it is to not take it all too seriously.  Be flexible, fit what you can into a day and forget about the rest.  Just because you're baby cries doesn't mean you're not doing your best at Attachment Parenting.  When you miss a pee/poop, or decide to put your baby in a diaper for the day; you aren't ruining all the work you have done at Elimination Communication.  Every single book we've read says "take the theories here and apply them how you want- you make the expectations and then you meet them."  There is no right way.  Even the Breastfeeding Guide told me to chill out.  It's all the opposite of what the New York Magazine articles describe as reality for parents.

I can't say whether being a parent is going to make me think I'm happier than I am (it's possible, love does that to you, ya know).  But, I know I am not going to waste time and energy beating myself up over society's expectations of how we should or shouldn't raise our children.  I am so tired of all the skepticism that we get when we talk about our plans, but that doesn't mean I'm going to cave in and go buy a stroller so people leave me alone.  Live and let live- life is what it is.  I have goals, but not expectations.  And, I definitely won't be beating myself over having a totally different idea of "how to parent" when I actually become one.


I am coming to the end of this whole being pregnant thing.  It will all have happened in just over a year since we found out we were pregnant the first time.  I'm reflecting now because I know this baby may not wait the four weeks it has left inside to come out.  I keep telling baby to be late, but not too late, for my own selfish reasons.

For a while I struggled  with the idea of having children because I thought it was selfish.  I have yet to to come up with a legit reason to bring another human being in to this world that isn't based on some sort of selfish motivation on our part- even though I know parenting is one of the most selfless things I'll ever do.  The baby inside me is our emotional reaction to a miscarriage; and that first pregnancy was a total surprise.  But, we were planning by that point on making babies, so I had reconciled myself with the selfish motivations.  I do want offspring, I want to have the security of people around to care for me and look out for my interests when I no longer can.  I want to see what my genes will look like mixed with my husband's.  I want to see how my theories on parenting actually stack up in reality- no one takes you totally seriously when you talk about "how to raise children" until you have empirical evidence.  The concept and resulting conception come because of a series of "I want..." statements, but the actual person that is created won't (I hope!).

The funny thing about this "year of pregnancy" is that our lives really haven't revolved around pregnancy that much.  The main focus of the past year has definitely been Marc's choices related to the fact that he wants to be the Provider.  The first pregnancy kind of shocked him out of complacent dislike for the career path he was on; into action to find another path he could imagine involving himself in for the rest of his working life.  The only thing I asked of him is that he find something that will make him happy.  We relocated to Denmark for the new job!  And I think switching to the European work environment alone will be a huge help for Marc's happiness.  The other day we were invited over to a barbecue by people from our new church.  Our new Danish friends were warning Marc to really stick to the required hours when he starts working, especially with the new baby, because sometimes people work 40-45 hours a week! and you don't want to get into that habit especially because you don't get paid for the extra time you spend.  I didn't laugh out loud because they were truly concerned, but its just such an example of the difference between here and North America (where people would be saying "don't work 60 hours" if anything).  A difference that is going to increase Marc's quality of life so much more... I hope.

The best thing I did during pregnancy, by far, was go on a cruise right at the beginning of the second trimester.  My baby-sick was really getting to me at that point and I didn't know when it would be over.  The only true thing I knew how to do to combat it was to eat good food constantly; lots of protein and complex sugars and the bigger the breakfast the better.  But when I'm feeling sick, I'm much more inclined to sleep then to make food for myself (I'll blame the narcolepsy for that).  It was just so nice to have a few days where I didn't have to worry about the production of meals or whereto find food, I could just worry about eating.  So a cruise during pregnancy is a must for me; and if I ever do this whole "body snatchers" thing again, I'm going on another one...or two... and maybe not getting off the boat in ports next time.

I am coming around to understanding how women do have more than one baby.  I'm looking forward to my labour in a lot of ways.  My husband and I have had to prepare for our natural birth with books and The Pink Kit; we never had the time to take any instructed classes.  Not that Toronto offered very much for natural birth outside hypno-birthing, which was not what we wanted to do. Denmark's system seems much more open to the natural birth process.  The midwives here are recognized medical professionals who handle all things birth related unless there are complications or the mother wants to work solely with a doctor.  But the midwife here in Brande still said to me "you might end up wanting an epidural" when I told her I wanted to do a drug-free birth.  I am so tired of hearing that, but that's a whole other post.  I've pretty much forgotten how miserable I was in the first half of my pregnancy, and in the course of it Marc and I figured out how to manage things so that next time (because there will probably be one) I may be able to suffer less.  

These days I have crazy heartburn and too many stretch marks.  Marc laughs at how round I am, especially when I sit- he thinks it is cute.  He asked me the other day if he could call me "roley-poley" and I told him he was going to give me a complex.  It's all in jest and fun.  I am much bigger than I realize.  In my head I don't picture myself with such a huge belly for some reason, so I get surprised when I see my reflection.  But, I wouldn't call myself huge- especially for being at the end.  I have tried not to waddle as I walk and, in the past few days, my efforts have become unsuccessful.  My hip joints are softening, especially the tissue around my sacrum, so I'm loving the yoga stretches I have learned and the massage techniques The Pink Kit has taught my husband.  I'm really appreciating the Internal Work from TPK as well; it feels good and seems like it is going to be incredibly helpful.

Today our shipment from Canada arrives so I will actually be able to nest for real.  I have made an EC baby outfit from scratch, no pattern, just ideas off the internet.  My soft crib is getting its finishing touches, but it's totally functional.  Once we unpack the big computer I'll be able to post photos of all the projects, and by then  I'm hoping there will be more done, but the nest might be a bit time consuming.


I stopped blogging for a little while...
At first it was because my life (and my sewing projects) were being put on hold due to a BIG HUGE decision my husband and I were making.  Then, it was because we decided we would go through with the BIG HUGE decision- the logistics of which were life consuming for all of May up until now.

The big decision was whether or not Marc should accept a job offer in Brande, Denmark... So, in the last month and a half we decided "yes" and subsequently moved to Denmark.  It's been a whirlwind, crazy experience.  I mean, I knew we were probably going to relocate before the baby was born, but an international relocation in the third trimester was never something I assumed possible.  It's funny how God does things though.  When Marc decided to stop doing his Masters and look for a job instead, I felt like the results were going to be life altering.  And even though for most of the job hunting absolutely nothing was happening, I was preparing myself for the life-cartwheel coming (this is all separate from preparing for the baby induced life-back flip on it's way, btw).  We're still pretty much mid-cartwheel.  Even though we've made it to Denmark we're still working on finding someone to help birth the baby and getting out of the tiny temporary apartment we've been set up in (complete with a tiny tiny temporary bed).

My sewing machine and fabrics were packed up and flown on the plane with us so that I could finish the huge list of things I haven't been able to work on since April.  Everything we couldn't carry, we sent to Denmark via shipping container and it won't arrive until mid-July.  Even though our temporary housing is small, I'm slowly figuring out how to work within it- actual work has yet to be achieved.  Though I did turn a long piece of black jersey knit that wouldn't hold it's dye into a wrap (with assistance from my mom) for the baby.  I plan to wear it around the house only because the fabric looks so bad, but at least I found a way to use all the fabric without having to waste it.

[Insert photo here, when I upload photos]

Next project I plan to tackle is what I'm calling a soft crib, then it's back to baby clothes... the timing of all of this is dependent on getting an iron (which I hope to do today... this week... soon)


I h
aven't been a big fan of pregnancy thus far.  I find my attitude towards pregnancy really depends on how sick I'm feeling at any given time, though the weird/scary dreams, the insomnia, water retention and the massive boob growth doesn't help my opinion on the matter.

I don't want to sound ungrateful, I'm not.  I appreciate our fertility and am incredibly thankful that the only trials when it comes to babies have been self-inflicted ones.  But, being pregnant has overall been a weird experience with stronger downs then ups for me and I don't know if I could do it many more times.

Sickness was all day every day for the first four and a half months. Sometimes pukey sickness, sometimes low blood-sugar jittery sickness that turned into pukey sickness.  I have found it more manageable with a huge breakfast incorporating lots of different sources of protein and eating fruit all day.  Lately I've only been getting sick one or two days out of a week and it's been pretty manageable with Tums for heartburn, ginger Gravol for the nausea, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and french fries for everything else :-)  I have also found that a lot of my body hair is lighter, my sense of smell is super-human and the tendons holding my uterus in place are not fans of supporting extra load.

At first I liked feeling the baby move, then the novelty wore off and it was annoying (especially the bladder and spinal column kicks), but now I like it again.  It's kind of fun to try and figure out if I'm feeling a kick or a punch or a shoulder roll.  Watching my belly jump around on its own is cool and anytime Marc feels the baby it is fun too...the other day he got kicked in the head which I enjoyed.  I think weird things are funny these days...like I couldn't stop laughing in church when I read in the program that the young adult retreat cost included "one free horse ride."  Is that even funny? I don't know but I'm laughing now.


I made three buntings for the baby.  I used a Simplicity pattern (#5720), but modified a few parts.  I found I spent most of my time making these in transferring the pattern.  I wanted to keep copies of the three sizes the pattern came in which meant a lot of tracing and cutting for me to do.

The pattern called for a bias tape collar, but I think bias tape is not soft so I made my own collar from the flannel for each bunting.  I also added a cover to the back side of the zipper so that the soft flannel would be against baby's skin, not the zipper itself.

I will make more of these (this is only round 1) but I'm making other things first...


I want to have a natural childbirth in a hospital even though the drugs will be just a button push away.  I want to be in-tune with our child so that it doesn't need to cry to have its needs met.  I want the only nipples our child knows to be real ones; I would rather it suck its thumb than a rubber pacifier.  I want to let our child wean itself when its ready.  I want to skip the stroller, the high chair, the crib and the carrier.  I want a car seat that doesn't come out of the car.  I want to make baby slings, nursing shirts, onesies with matching leg-warmers.  I want gDiapers when we're out of the house and elimination communication when we're in.  I want to co-sleep until they want their bed.  I want to communicate with our child as early, as often and for as long as I can.  I want to have a Montessori shelf and do homeschool.  I want to grow fruits and vegetables in a green house.  I want to have chickens in a backyard coop and fresh eggs every morning.  I want to make decisions based on what we think makes the most sense for us, not based on what everyone tells us makes the most sense to them.  I want to love my husband more every day and never lose sight how important our relationship is, no matter what happens in life.  I want this blog to be about all the projects that we do, all the things we make.  We've just started building our lives and I want to keep track of how the construction goes.

I think goals are good to have as long as success is not defined solely by whether they are met or not.  The time spent working on achieving the goals has to matter too, regardless of the outcome.  I'm not so proud to think we will meet all these goals, but I know we will try.  And, we will keep track of whatever happens because goals or no goals, this time is gonna fly by fast.


I happened to be blogging regularly when my Dad died and continued for the months after.  I feel like it's time to start recording again.
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