The Wind of Autism

Like a sunrise I didn’t know I needed,
you marched into our life to make your claim.
Your silent words I should have heeded,
delays past milestones, red-flags everywhere.
Your eyes expressed when words failed.
The simplest thing could trigger a storm.
I pulled every trick I could until you sailed
back to the moment, back to me.

As my heart aches, helpless to you.
You wrap your arms around my neck
Thaws my winter chill, I feel anew
Ready once again, to chase your seasons.

A New Kinder Year, a New Contest!

Barbie and  Hotwheel Kinder

I am watching my 4 & 6 year-old daughters race away in the delight of their new Kinder Eggs. In one hand is the Pink Barbie Egg and in the other is a Hot Wheel Egg. They eat the delicious chocolate egg shell and hand over the surprise inside for us to discover the toy. The looks on their faces remind me of my own childhood excitement to open the Egg.

I think back to being a kid and recall that girls were told that Barbie’s and Easy Bake Ovens were the must-have toys. Boys were encouraged to race their Hot Wheels and play trains. As the decades melded into forward thinking, I love being a mom now. My girls can choose their own way of playing and with what they play with. If they want to play Barbie, great! If they want to race a Hot Wheel car to win a Race Cup, super!  Girls can play with both ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys. The choice is theirs.

I have loved being a part of the Kinder Canada campaign over the past year.  Play time, sharing and empowering kids is the core of creative thinking.  Also, I love having fun along with them.  I know my children are crafting the memories they will hold close through their adulthood.

To kick off this amazing launch, our friends at KINDER® Canada will be giving away 40 KINDER® Barbie™ Hot Wheels™ Prize Packs which is only exclusive to Facebook. Prizes include Barbie™ and Hot Wheels™ toys as well as a pack of 24 KINDER® SURPRISE® eggs. Starting on January 10th, for four weeks, you will be able to participate in our KINDER® Barbie™ Hot Wheels™ contest simply by becoming a fan of Kinder Canada and by following the instructions on Facebook.

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Facing my Fear by Putting on a Bathing Suit

Tragedy and Comedy“Please mom, can we all go swimming?” as my six-year-old’s face is right in front of me.

I take a brave breath, and nod. Her screams of joy bounce off the walls as she races to her room. I ignore the voices in my head that are screaming,‘ No!’ The whole world seems to be in slow motion. As I begin to pack the bag with towels and hair brushes, I am tempted to not put in my suit. The anxious butterflies in my stomach are trying to take over my brain.

It has been 8 years since I last put on a bathing suit-two years before becoming pregnant for the first time. I have always had a love/hate relationship with my bathing suit. The last time I had it on was when my hubby and I were in Vegas by the pool. There I figured no one we knew was with us, so all good.

On the ride over to the pool I rationalized with myself: since it is Sunday morning, the pool will not be busy. Feeling a little calmer, we park as I see the crowds around the centre. They are clearly there for a swim meet. The butterflies come back and bring their kin. I know I cannot cancel now, that would give my children the wrong impression.

So , the four of us march into a family room to change and wrap up our belongings to pack into a locker. I toy with the idea of leaving my glasses in the locker so I will not see if anyone I know is there. Quickly, I slip below the water to wade around with my youngest. Now, I am beginning to feel silly. I stand up and keep playing with my family in the water.

After about an hour we are ready to go. I saw nothing but the smiles of my girls. As we are about to walk back into the Family Change Rooms, we run into my oldest daughter’s classmate and his dad. I smile a hello and keep walking, all the while, laughing at my fear.

Wanted: Parenthood #ivf4bc

IVF4BC In August 2005, I walked out of the third specialist I saw to help with my endometriosis. I have had the disease since I was fifteen years old. All three doctors had told me the same thing: I would not get pregnant naturally. I sat on the bus on the way home overwhelmed with emotions that surprised me. While I did not try to get pregnant, but nonetheless I wanted to own that choice, not doctors or ultimately, the disease. I mourned the results and trusted the multiple doctors’ opinions. I would not be a mom.

The next day I traveled through a lot of websites that confirmed that infertility is commonly linked with endometriosis. Many people go through in vitro fertilization treatments, naturopaths and surrogate options to become parents. I decided to accept it and let it go from my mind. I needed to figure out just what I wanted to explore.

Three months later, our beautiful child was conceived. Imagine my surprise at my shocked doctor who delivered me the news. Two years later, our baby girl became a big sister. Both of our children are gifts. I cannot imagine my life without my daughters. What was supposed to be a medical impossible became a medical possible, twice.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $15,000 with fertility medications included.As a result many couples desperate to conceive, remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Many couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that results often in extremely high health care costs and risky multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the recommended course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.”
Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF is this the year for BC couples to get public funding for IVF?
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Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

I don’t like 2013. 2012 was great!

20121008-073545.jpgMeet and Greet. J steals FSword20121114-095320.jpg

I stare at the new Family Calendar. The fresh year reveals its untouched surface. I have yet to update it with the family’s schedules. In my left hand are the school calendar and therapy schedules; in my right is the Sharpie marker to fill it all in. An overwhelming feeling washes over me. I am in denial. I do not want to begin a new year.
2012 was such an emotionally hard and great year rolled into a batch of twelve months. It started with our youngest daughter beginning speech and ABA therapies to help her with her delays and autism tendencies. She has done so well. We are so proud of her at every step of the way. Our oldest finished full-day kindergarten and began Grade 1. Her academic skills still surprises me as she reads a level up.
The year also marked a difficult one. The year I turned older than my mother lived. Some worry about turning 40, where I looked forward to it. The guilt of why did I get to live and she didn’t visits me frequently.
So on Thanksgiving Weekend I walked into our house to a surprise party. The people that took the time to celebrate with me still make me smile with gratitude. You can read about it more here.
Shortly after mine and my youngest daughter’s birthdays, we had the honor of meeting her rock stars, The Wiggles. She still holds the special feathersword with care.
In November, my husband and I marked our 20 year wedding anniversary by going on a rare date. It felt so good to get out without the kids and just hang out. We have been together for almost 23 years and he is still my best friend. I love that our girls see it every day. It is not easy sometimes, especially since we became parents later in our relationship. Having said that, I am very proud of us on how far we have come.
December arrived with our youngest needing her tonsils and adenoids out. The time in the hospital with her was awful. With her sensory and social challenges, I am grateful that the nurses finally listened to me to make her visit tolerable for her (and others). We were so happy to be home. Then, the cold bugs hit along with molars cutting. We didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas. The kids always motivate us to jump out of our comfort zone.
The biggest reason why I am anxious about 2013 is that our youngest will be registered for kindergarten. After over a year of therapy, I second-guess myself if she is even ready for it. She loves pre-school and her workers that come to the house. I worry if we should hold her back or would it harm her socially. The one thing that helps is that her sister would be there in the same school. A school the two have them have come to know over the past few years.
With a heavy sigh, I start to update the calendar. When January is done, I take a step back. Then it hits me, is it just me that is not ready for my girls to grow up?