By the Time You Read This…

Hospital Sign

The birds start chirping before I realize that the morning is about to begin. I have no idea how long I have been awake, or if I slept at all. This day has been months, if not years in the making. I do not need to put my glasses on to know it is too early for me to shower. Thank goodness. My heart and head are still trying to process the itinerary for today.

I will be staring at four, pale pastel walls. Either I’ll be having a long nap or waiting to go in the operating room. Right now, I am in limbo to find out if it’s my turn with the cancer card. I’ve avoided it for 39 years now. As I said here in Erica Ehm’s post, I made time for me, so I can be here for my girls. Weeks ago an ultrasound gave concrete proof that my body has been fighting fibroids. More tumours are trying to reside here.

Because of my cancer history the doctors are not waiting to biopsy. My uterus, and possible more parts, has been given their eviction notice. I do see the rational side of the procedure and there will be relief to have it all gone. No more debilitating cycles that has robbed me of time to have fun with my family. I may be 39 years old but, I want my mommy! I want her to tell me all those reassuring ‘mom-isms’. I need her to tell me the magic words, “It will be okay.” I am scared.

I hear the birds starting their morning song. I take a deep from-my-toes cleansing breath, and place my brave face on to kiss my husband good morning. I repeat again and again that everything will be okay as I take my pre-op shower. History will not repeat itself. It cannot.

As I recover from whatever results in today, this site will show a variety of new and archived posts. By the time you read this, .. let’s be real, I will be dreaming of a glass of chardonnay. xo

Grief is like Another Child

20130205-092247.jpgHearing the cars outside just highlights that I need to get to sleep. The moonlight peeks through the blinds in our bedroom. I need to sleep. I do not know when she will wake me up. My four-year-old has a horrible sleep track record. Most nights I take the midnight shifts to let my hubby be rested for work.

Today was one of the bad days in our world of autism. She did not sleep last night so the morning ABA session did not go well. She screamed to leave. When I took her to preschool, I did not expect it to go well. An hour later I had got the call from her aide that she was inconsolable. I went to get her early. For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening she wailed. I had no idea how to help her. She does not speak so it makes it even more heart breaking. I hate myself for saying how much Autism can suck.

At that moment I said it in my head, the tears rolled fast. I turned away from my husband to try not to wake him. I balled my fist into my mouth to muffle my sobs. It took several minutes for the tears to stop. It is like I lost someone I never knew. Only we do not have a funeral. Grieving about it gives power to the feeling that it is like another child. She is my daughter and I will do anything for her. Right now I accepted the grief so I can move forward and be the mom she needs in me.

Best Mom Medicine #BestLittleLaugh

Music Class

After the shower I felt so good to finally have ten minutes of kid free time. I walked down the stairs and was told by my two-year-old that it is music class time. I have to sit and listen to what they were about to do. My baby is to her left and Ernie is to her right. My husband shows me this picture of how she began the class. I bite my lip from the laughter and pure joy in seeing Big Sister conduct the class. After all the sleep deprived hours and dirty diapers there’s nothing better than your kids bringing you joy and laughter.

It is moments like these that remind me I need to laugh a little more. The diapers go away, the kids grow older and all we will be left with is memories and pictures.

The little laughs turn out to be the best medicine because laughter is better than crying.

What makes you your children go into that hysterical laughter? The kind that you just can’t help but join in on giggles.

Fisher-Price is very excited about the launch of the new Laugh and Learn site! This is a fun place at the webpage which offers webisodes, fun games and activities, a place where you and your kids can meet the laugh and learn characters, enjoy fun apps and learn about what’s new and upcoming from Fisher Price.

We love this site as my girls grow computer-savvy. We can play and learn together while being safe online.

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price blogger campaign with mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as my part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

FP BLL Logo 2013

Childless Fathers Count #ivf4bc

A Dad's Dream

“ So when is it going to be your turn?” Jim tells me his most hated posed question why he and Cathy do not have kids. Then, they will turn around  and say ‘Next year it will happen.’

Jim and Cathy met through a blind date and were married two years later. They scrimped and saved to buy their dream house to fill with kids. Both had great and well-paying jobs. They went on vacations and weekend getaways as they knew it would decrease when kids arrived. They prepared the house, and enjoyed the last moments of their alone time together.

Like any couple who planned to have kids, they actively pursued getting pregnant. Cathy took meticulous notes on the calendar, positive that they would have a child in no time. It did not happen.

When they began to tell family the truth about not being able to get pregnant, everyone focused on Cathy, making sure that she was okay. No one offered Jim a shoulder, let alone an ear.

“I felt like it was my fault.” He admits.

There is a lot of information out there about female infertility, but very little about male. It could be a stigma, but regardless it is very real: Male infertility has many causes–from hormonal imbalances, to physical problems, to psychological and/or behavioral problems.  More so, fertility reflects a man’s overall health.  The following list highlights some lifestyle choices that negatively impact male fertility: 
smoking which significantly decreases both sperm count and sperm cell motility, prolonged use of marijuana and other recreational drugs, alcohol abuse, inadequate Vitamin C and Zinc, tight underwear, exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, lead, radiation, and excessive stress. Yet, men can live in healthy environments and lead healthy lifestyles and experience infertility.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $10,000  to $13,000, with fertility medications included. As a result, many couples desperate to conceive remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. 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 often results in extremely high health care costs and 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 suggested 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 % to well under 10%, 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.

I thanked Jim for his time to chat. He brought up a very common feeling in many men who want to be dads. Like moms who just want to be moms, childless dads count.


Compassion and Autism: Uniquely My Kids


I am leaning over my six-year-olds toes to paint them a bright purple. We just got back from the mall on a special mom and daughter date, from where we bought the nail color. Her fingernails are adorned with the gorgeous color. I am almost finished her left foot when the door to my bedroom is pushed open with a bang.

In marches her four-year-old sister, sits down next to her sister and sticks out her hands. The simple gesture makes my heart burst. This is such a ‘regular’ moment of a younger sister wanting to be like her big sister. For my youngest it is huge. She was diagnosed with autism over a year ago. Her delays have kept her behind on ‘regular’ kid stuff for a long time. Until now.

I apologize to my six-year-old that our date was interrupted. My hubby is nearby, ready to see where this goes. My beautiful date says it is okay and tells her sister to hold still. Everyday, my girls delightfully surprise me with their compassion for each other and uniqueness of their own individual selves. I proceed to paint her nails too as my hubby snaps this special picture.

Their nails dry fast and we go downstairs for a special treat of a Kinder Egg. I do not know when the next unique moment will be. Autism keeps us guessing. I am so grateful to be here to see each one.

With spring in full swing and summer fast-approaching, Kinder Canada is very excited to help you get to know the new egg in town – Kinder® Surprise® Pink, with over 30 new playful toys inside. They have added a brand-new section showcasing some of the new toys in the Toy Gallery on Facebook, where you can browse the new collection and vote for your favorites.

Kinder Eggs

To celebrate the launch of Kinder® Surprise® Pink, Kinder Canada will hosting an exclusive Facebook contest. Starting May 29th, for three weeks, you will be able to participate simply by becoming a friend of Kinder Canada and telling Kinder Canada what makes their child so unique! YOU could be lucky enough to scoop up one of three $250 VISA gift cards! Contest will be live from May 29 to June 19.

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.

A Tribute to Mrs. C and My Mom

Jeanne Cooper

While watching the sweet tribute to Jeanne Cooper (Mrs. Chancellor) on The Young and The Restless who died May 8th of this year at the age of 84. There are cast members who are telling personal set stories. The clips from her past and current plot lines tell only a glimpse of how amazing her impact was on them and the fans.

When Peter Bergman told his recall of her jewelry with her hand gestures, I fall into a puddle of tears.  The cocktail rings that she wore bear a strong resemblance to the ring my mom would wear. I still have the ring that reminds me of the era. A cocktail ring that takes over my knuckle in and aura of opals and transforms my hand into my mother’s hand.

She would wear it for dinner parties and just because days. Watching this tribute makes me sad yet connected to my mom all over again. Jeanne Cooper is who I thought my mom would have been like if she lived a long life.  Sassy and tell-it-like-it-is kind-of lady, just like I recall of my mom.

RIP Mrs. C.  Thank you.