The Jungle: Our First Outing

When Emilia was born… 13 days ago… my husband took a week off work to help get us situated and enjoy some family time. It was great! He normally commutes an hour each way to work, so our time together is fairly limited during the week.

Every now and then, these ideas of a perfect family outing pop in my head. They always seem like amazing ideas at the time. I imagine them as beautiful family experiences, I get excited, and then they turn out to be my worst fucking nightmare. This phenomenon happens because I subconsciously choose to forget major details of our current situation (like newborn baby, heat wave, stressed/sleep deprived parents.)

I wanted our first family outing to be St. Jacobs Farmers Market. Evelyn could see the animals, get some fresh air, delicious farmers breakfast, and apple fritters. I had a vision of Evelyn learning about the chickens, ponies and cows; baby would sleep, and we would get the best breakfast I’ve ever had. Cam and I would have fun watching all this go down and I’d use my new camera to get some great family photos. Sounds like a fucking unicorn experience, doesn’t it?

So. The morning started, reminder: with a new baby (4 days old) and a 14-month-old who is adjusting and teething; it took awhile to get out the door. Normally for the market, it’s an 8 am affair; so, at 10:30 am we took off. I was fucking smitten. I packed the diaper bag with everything I could possibly think of. Diapers, waters/sippy cup, bottle for Evelyn, breastfeeding cover, extra clothes, hats, camera, wallet, the whole enchilada… so I thought.

As the McDougall Entourage rolled down the Express Way, I started to get an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. I started to see this beautiful, bright-coloured illustrated day turn a red and grey. Panic and misery started to creep into my head. I was tired, it was hot out and I realized 10:30 am is a shit time to go to the market; it’ll be busy. We stopped and grabbed a coffee to relieve one obstacle we faced: ‘Sleep-Deprived Parents’.

We pulled up to the market. It’s packed like a fucking U2 concert. There were people everywhere… it’s a TUESDAY! What the hell were all of you doing there!? No one worked that week apparently, everyone was on vacation and 2500 of my closest friends decided the market was where we all needed to be. The McDougall Family pulled up and found a parking spot 235 km away from the front door. On top of it all, if cars had elbows this bitch would have thrown some. Savages! These people were fucking savages, all racing for the front door to get their delicious apple fritters which I had been dreaming about all morning. Everyone in groups of 3s or 10s, wearing massive sun hats, pulling ridiculous market utility carts (as if they’re at the airport), and wearing ugly Crocs. No one was being courteous, everyone was walking in the middle of the road and not giving two shits. Why would they! They were at the market and on vacation! *sigh*

We parked, it was 35 degrees out. I swear in my imaginary perfect day, the forecast was different, I couldn’t even blame the weatherman at this point. We sat for a second and took a deep breath… we got this.. annnd break! We grabbed our coffees and stepped out into the jungle of market-going savages. My husband went for the stroller, I for the diaper bag first.

“Where’s the carrier for the baby?”

“I didn’t bring it, baby can go in the stroller, Evelyn can be carried and walk with us”

“OK, hat for Evelyn?”

“Got it. Here.”

“Sunscreen?”

“Fuck. I forgot it.”

Ok…. So, I forgot the sunscreen. Bad move on my part. Only one thing forgotten, not that bad. Right? We can do the inside market and just briefly see the animals outside. It’s crap but it happens.

Evelyn doesn’t mind wearing hats, but of course, on this day she hated her hat and kept pulling it off her head. I had brought the sunhat with the elastic band, not the tie up one which would have forced her head hostage to mommy and daddy. *Another knife twist, adding more anxiety to this day, we weren’t even all out of the car yet.

I pulled the baby car seat out and clicked it into the stroller. While I do this, I noted baby’s head looked uncomfortable. The extra head support I bought… where was it? Oh riiiiight. My husband said she wouldn’t need it, so he had taken it out. She needed it while in the stroller, due to the angle she sits at, I couldn’t get her to stay in a comfortable position. The receiving blanket rolled up would have to do but I’m constantly having to fix it. I was now sweating and pissed. Cam mumbled something snarky under his breath and, like a time bomb, tick tick tick…. Boom. It happened.

“What did you say? Should we just fucking leave? I’m just about ready to. I’m done.” – I said as we are still unloading the car with what felt like useless baby crap. The important things were still sitting in the house.

He rolled his eyes and started walking with our oldest and I followed behind them. We weaved our way through the savages to the live animals. I pushed the stroller with my hip, coffee in one hand and fixing baby’s head with the other. I made a very difficult, yet necessary decision, ditch the coffee…. devastated but it was adding to the annoyance. Kissed it farewell. Garbage it went. I was performing a circus act in the jungle and watched my husband and daughter saunter up ahead.

Cam showed Evelyn the animals, she loved it, and I was secretly crushed 42 km away, unable to be apart of it. My camera at this point was completely out of the question. My stress levels were through the roof, my husband and I were just trying to avoid each other, and I was trying to keep Emilia’s body from turning into a pretzel.

We went inside and there was nothing relevant or interesting to look at. I’m sure there actually was but we were so over this family outing. The apple fritter line was out the door and into the hot sun, we skipped it. Getting heat stroke was not worth it. We decided to get some breakfast, some delicious farmers breakfast.

Baby starts screaming.

She’s hungry and probably annoyed with my fiddling. Where the hell was I going to feed her!? I, again, felt my anxiety levels raise.

I’ve never been one to breastfeed openly in public. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal and times are changing, however, I’ve just never been comfortable with it. I’m proud and impressed with the women who just whip out a boob and feed their babes wherever they want. I’m happy that women are changing how people see breastfeeding. I’m on the sidelines cheering for you as you pave the way, shit I’ll even buy the cement. Nevertheless, participating in paving the path is something I’m working towards; call me the lazy extra employee. With a 14-month-old and newborn, I’m learning it’s something I must get over and quickly.

Cam found a shaded picnic table dead smack in the middle of 90 other picnic tables… which were all full. I sat, he asked what I wanted to eat as I pulled out our screaming 4-day-old.

“I don’t care. Anything. Food.” A ticket out of this hell.

Him and Evelyn left to hunt for food, through the savages, as I swallowed deep and got over myself to breastfeed at the market.

My little 4-day-old peanut stopped crying and I took a deep breath in a way to relax myself.

Get your shit together. You planned this fucking nightmare outing.

Reflection began on how this was the worst idea I’ve come up with… well, since 4 days ago when I refused that epidural. I’m on a role.

My darling other half and Evelyn came back with some delicious breakfast sandwiches. He fed Evelyn, I breastfed using one hand, ate with the other and tried to keep my emotions regulated. Hormones!

Evelyn waved at random people, clapped and laughed (which was adorable and made me smile). Baby was quiet and finally at a place of comfort. Cam and I looked at each other…

“Sorry.”, I said.

“What the fuck were we thinking.”

We started laughing. Finished eating and got the fuck out of there.

 

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In with the new

Its been officially 7 days since Emilia was born. Today, while my husband stayed home with the two sleeping babes, I went out to the store. Alone. It was lovely. Breathe in the fresh air.. no crying or ‘mama’ or kids on the hip. Just me. With the sunroof down.

While picking up a few odds and ends at Michael’s, I asked for help from one of the employees. A very friendly, middle aged, smock-wearing woman who definitely takes wreath making to the next level. The topic of having a baby a week ago was brought up through what I was asking for… And that I have a 14 month old at home as well.

“Oh wow! You’ll have your hands busy! Brave girl you are!”

Original lady. I haven’t heard this yet. (This topic is a whole separate blog post coming your way later.)

She asked where the kids were; as if I must have left them home alone…or in the car… who else is there to possibly take care of them? She smelt neglect on the horizon.

“They’re with my husband”

*gasp* ( not even kidding) …”You are one lucky girl! Your husband is absolutely wonderful. Not many men would babsit two small children! Especially one a week old! Good for you!”

……..

What? Lol

Glossy-eyed and smiling I looked at her. For so long. Bless your fucking aged heart. My hair is slicked into a man bun. Like actually… I would have considered it that. Small… Weird bun smack in the back of my head and my hair needs washing. It’s the definition. I’ve been up since 4am, I’m impressed to be wearing clothes that aren’t stained (I felt like a fucking princess at a ball just with that alone). My boobs hurt and I’ve graduated from diaper-like scenario to pad recently. – and I’m at Michael’s. I’m a fucking trooper. But let’s get back to what she said.

First off. Girl? I just had a child. Multiple. I think I’ve crossed that finish line approximately 15 years ago. Secondly. My husband would not be happy to hear that he has been demoted to babysitter. Dad’s can’t babysit their own children. It’s a fucking fact. I don’t go home and slip him a 5, pat him on the head and say thank you. Third. I’m not lucky. I mean I am. Because he’s fucking awesome! But not because he stayed home with his children for an hour.

Lady! Come on! Real life parenting.

After my long stare… I decided, instead of going down the road of telling her my true feelings…

“Yes. He’s a stand up guy. I better get going. He has dinner waiting for me.”

I watched her head explode. Boom.

The Adventures of the Silent Dilator: A Labour Story

The big day has officially come and gone. The stress of waiting, knowing, and figuring out the plan is over. We, as an ‘official family unit’, can start the healing, learning, and enjoying.

Friday, June 29th at 7:14pm, Miss. Emilia Pearl McDougall arrived. She was beautiful, she was perfect, she was small but fierce. She came into this world like a force to be reckoned with. This little girl was one, I could honestly say, I fought for.

Friday morning, I got to the hospital at 8:15 am to be induced. They called me in, I was ready. I brought mine and my husband’s bag, Baby McDougall’s new belongings, and car seat. I gave myself a pep talk in the bathroom as I got ready.

“You can do this. You get this baby out; So, it won’t leave anymore damage to that belly and you can have a glass of wine.”
We were going to have a baby! Jesus Christ. *breathe.

At first, we waited in the hallway on the Labour and Delivery floor. We watched doctors and nurses go in and out of rooms, rushing and huffing around. I knew this atmosphere from working in the hospital … a sick feeling came over me as I watched. They were busy. Like really, really busy.

After waiting for what felt like hours (it kind of was) we were called into ‘the room’ (I thought). I was getting set up for the non-stress test first. Such an amusing name; if it was testing my actual stress levels, I’d fail. It was testing Baby McDougall’s coping abilities, so we passed with flying colours.

During the test, the nurse nonchalantly told me that they were swamped today. 15 inductions on the list and some people had been waiting three days already. You’re the healthiest on this list… you’re going home to hopefully come back naturally in labour. I had an adult temper tantrum in my mind thinking of all the arranging my husband and I did for the day as I asked why I was called to come in.
“It’s a liability on us to call you in to at least do a nonstress test. I’ll also have the OB do a check to see how dilated you are.” was her answer.
“Super.” I knew I was at least on the positive in the dilation category because the day before, at the OB office, I was 4 cm. This was why I was being induced… I have babies, I have them quick. T-minus two hours to go from 1 to 9 cm with the first… as I have said before… no fucking around. This would have to gain me points to get my name near the top of this list, right? No? Yes. Yes!

An OB I had seen bouncing down the halls earlier came into the room, I had thought she was possibly a resident. She was young and had a huge smile, she had a great pep to her step; her soul was still fresh to the healthcare world. She did a check and a cervical sweep.

This fucking sweep. 

My god. Second time in two days. As she’s sweeping me, I’m sweeping up the bed in pain. Sweep, it is such a gentle word for an action that causes utter fuckery. Through her travels of my anatomy, she did make a discovery, this trip to Anxiety Hill wasn’t a complete waste. I was 5 cm. I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m that person they send home, who goes into labour, and has the baby in Walmart. I’d have the next Walmart baby. Baby Wally and I would be chauffeured by EMS to the hospital with a middle finger up.

Plan from here was to walk. Walk my way into active labour; have that water break. So, we did. Walked a kilometre for some breakfast and back. Walked around the hospital, walked around my hospital room. Contractions slowly picked up and slowly went down. I was getting a bit discouraged. As if these people were going to kick me to the curb if I didn’t hurry my ass up. I was determined. “Squats in the room determined”.

The nurse came back to tell me that it was my lucky day … once again. Lets just sweep all up in there again like it’s nothing. Like, fuck it! Let’s continue this spring cleaning and get this baby outta there.

You getta sweep, you getta sweep, everyone gets sweeps! *Oprah voice*

She swept. My callous (I had mentioned in my previous blog) now has been hardened and scarred. I’m 7 cm though and so something was working.

I was coined the “Silent Dilator” (I wish I was lying). *head tilted to the side and eyes glazed over…. I was like a laborious super hero. But what does this all mean, really? My water needed to break and if it did… they were sure things would move right along. So, the next plan… break that water and have this baby.

My nurse, whom I truly admired, set a goal for me to have this baby by shift change so she would be there. Challenge accepted sister. Ok, since I don’t half-ass anything… let’s up the ante, shall we?

“Did you want an epidural?”

“Yes” … No hesitation there. I may be the “Silent Dilator” but I’m no hero.
“OK…. *longest pause of life*… lets discuss this further.”
“OK.”
“If you want the epidural, it’s your body… I get it. I truly do. Though, if you want to have this baby quick and just get it over with… ‘rip the Band-Aid off’… no epidural is the way to go.”
My imagination gets the best of me most of the time. I imagined this Band-Aid she spoke about. She was obviously talking about a negative-pressure wound therapy-type deal? Like fucking dressing on a necrotic wound? With a pump attached? I didn’t think “Band-Aid” made these products.
After negotiating with myself… my husband telling me I’m badass and I can do it… the nurse feeding my imagination with more answers… I agreed. Fuck it. No epidural… we are doing this the good ol’ fashion way! I’m going to regret it.
Word got around by the watering hole… this baby was coming faster than expected (probably) and we were off to the races. Water needed to now be broken.

I was waiting for the lovely Ms. Dr. OB to come back to do the procedure when Mr. Dr. Friendly Giant came in the room. Her resident. All 6’6 of him and he was sturdy. Big boy. Nice as pie but nice isn’t going to break my water… those fucking mammoth hands are. I can’t catch a fucking break.
He came bouncing in, the pep in his step was transferred from OB to resident. He was excited, he wanted the procedure. I know. I get it. He’s learning. I’m sad… and scared… and in my head, the small cartoon version of me is rocking in the corner with her head between her legs trying to breathe. I know this isn’t going to be pleasant and I know what is to follow.
Just be gentle with me…” I whisper in my head like a lunatic at this point.

Not as painful as I thought, felt like I peed, and we move on.

Baby officially must come today.

Realistically from this point on… life changed. I grew some globes, I had a baby and victory was ours.

Contractions started heavy pretty much the minute the resident left the room and said “OK, you can start walking again.” As if my walking was keeping the electricity on in this place.
Yeah fucking right. That wasn’t happening because I knew I didn’t need to do that. Shit was going down asap. Walking was just going to help me re-live amniotic fluid all over the floor like last time.
My nurse was a champ. She rooted for me the whole time. Made me laugh. Helped me when I cried a bit. My husband? The same thing. He reassured me of my decision… that it wasn’t a bad one.

I laughed when contractions started to heighten. I’m pretty sure my husband thought … this is it… they’ve cracked her. I thought of me at age 10 or so when I was in track and field. My coach who was also my mother had me in the 800m race. I fucking hated it. Loathed it. However, I was good at it. So that was the admission requirement. I would get so nervous going to the start line… I hated the adrenaline at the time, I hated the distance. It was too long to sprint it but too short to jog it. Fucking torture. This was the same scenario but 300 000 times worse. I’m good at having babies quickly, I get pregnant easily. I don’t want this labour experience, but I met the admission requirements. I also get a beautiful baby in the end, it beats the hell outta the plastic trophy.

I don’t know why I felt the need to be this way, I didn’t want to seem like the asshole I am in hospital to all the nurses and doctors. I didn’t want to swear much, I really attempted something that I don’t understand to this day. Maybe I thought that I wouldn’t get my baby in the end if I swore like an asshole for 12 hours.

The nurse asked me after her break, “how was that contraction? Have they picked up?”
“Oh, that last one was hearty” – haha what the shit? Hearty? What are you doing… testing stew at the fall fair Aunt Molly May?
“Well I’ve never heard that description” as she laughed.
Me neither. Hopefully a one off because I think I’m officially pickled from the pain I’m constantly feeling.

After my fair share of contractions, they have turned into one solid contraction, now I’m being told NOT to push because of the OB not being there… I truly stopped giving any fucks about what these people thought of me.
Fuck was the word. I have this problem without the contractions… with them… it was fucktown and I was mayor.
“Reg the truck driver is back” – Cam.
Reg is my nickname – from my husband – when my swearing is a little out of hand.
Regggggieeee … its been so long. Where have you been?

Side note: so, we moved back to a town we had both grown up in. I wasn’t thrilled because you see people you know when you’re out and about. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not. This would be the time where I’d naturally look at my husband and say “See! This is why I didn’t want to move back”. But I was in labour… and full out open to the room. So, I didn’t have those communication skills at the time. Instead… I blurted out; because why not make it more awkward if you can? Right? Fuck.

In walked a new nurse because of course, the deadline challenge wasn’t fully met… baby was crowning, and it was shift change. The nurse was a girl I went to high school with. She wouldn’t know it was me because my last name is different but I sure as shit knew who she was.

I KNOW YOU.” *shaky hollow voice applied
*awkward response, I don’t even remember what it was.
blah blah something “high school together”.
Right.

So. Not one of my finest moments to run into an old schoolmate. Full out fucking frontal with a baby coming out of me. Usually I’m worried about my hair, eyebrows… outfit… not this. Not body parts and bodily fluids. Although, she was professional and great. We got the job done.

After some massive pushes… me contemplating my decision. At the point of crowning… I had decided that this was a horrible life decision and that I was a complete idiot. When Baby M was making its way into the world, I secretly was angry at my husband and nurse for “forcing this decision on me” – never happened.

Yet, when they put that 7 lb 11 oz slimy, beautiful baby on my chest and I realized that shit was fucking over… it was the best decision I had made in a long time. It was quick, it was over, I had to fight hard, but I fought for something pretty perfect. She was perfect.

Being Prepared: Co-owned Diaper Bags.

If you read my first post, you’re fully aware of my water breaking event and the lack of experience I had to be prepared for it. Humorous now but at the time… mortifying. The necessity for it to happen again… not so necessary; with this in mind, I’ve to the table come prepared. My soul has been tainted and there is a callous on my pride; this next time, if it happens again, will be more civilized.

The easy things to do (and most common…?) were without thinking. Sleeping on a towel… easy. I work in a hospital, I know how well those bed pads work – I got some of those too! Lastly, conscious of the clothes I now wear. These are things that just make sense and are, for the most part, helpful around the house. Sleeping on a towel and bed pads… not sexy, not the most comfortable but hey… having your partner role into amniotic fluid or ruining your mattress isn’t either. So I’ll deal with it.

For the things that were not utilized during the first pregnancy – causing that callous I mentioned earlier were now added for today’s pregnancy. I learned quick that this bulky, annoying diaper bag I’ve been carrying around for 14 months is a dual-use bag. It’s mommy’s diaper bag now as well. Just like an intrusive roommate in college, taking up half of that small dorm room… mama’s moved in! Extra underwear and pants wherever I go; I have now moved into the one half of the inside pocket of this bag. Extra baby wipes and a hand towel, trust me… I’m doing myself a solid… to feel as decent as I can in this event. Lastly, pampering myself with that fucking adult diaper. Yes, pampering… wanna know why beautiful 20-year-old-somethings? They are expensive. There is a high price to save your pride these days. I strut through that grocery store with my head has high as it could possibly go in this moment, picked up those Maximum Strength Depends, I owned it and bought them. Threw one of those in my survival pack/diaper bag and saved the rest for after birth… they’ll be needed. Birth is beautiful… fuck you old man who probably said this first. It’s not. It’s fierce and primitive. It changes you… I haven’t yet figured out if it’s for the best.

To make woman feel better, they have blush coloured diapers with wonderful decals on them. Like bows, butterflies and flowers… this obviously will make me feel better when my water has broken and, at age 30, I’m putting on a diaper. Needless to say, it will save me some embarrassment in the long run.

As I mentioned, I do have all of this as a survival pack in my now ‘co-owned’ diaper bag. “No fucking around” is the new motto in week 39 of baby #2.

Over the weekend, we were at my parent’s house for a farewell to freedom (for awhile) visit before the second little bundle of joy arrives.
My husband went into the bag of tricks to put Evelyn’s bottle cap in there. He came back to me and wanted to let me know that he put it in the same pocket as her blush coloured shirt… err.. or article of clothing she owns.
I stared at him for a few seconds and obliviously said she doesn’t own anything like that, what are you talking about?
The blush clothing or whatever it is… it’s with that.
Oooohhhhh… OK. Right, that’s great, thank you. Jesus Christ, sure, we will go with that. He put it on ‘myyy side of the dorm room’.
He then asked further, what is that for her anyways?
Oh that large, blush piece of shit taking up ¼ of the diaper bag? It’s nothing.
He wants to know.
Pause. Deep breath in…
It’s my diaper. It’s my big girl, adult, bow decaled fucking diaper. He laughed and hugged me and moved on as I sat and felt that callous get a little bit harder.

Hello. I’m Here to Attempt This.

I never know how to introduce myself. Do I start with: my family situation, yes they are amazing and messy and I love them. Or do I start with the things that make me who I am? I’m a passionate mental health nurse, I love living in Canada and traveling to Florida to visit family, I am a sucker for a good bowl of ice cream. Also, admittedly, I love reading drama in the news (perfect times for that). I guess I should add: my name is Chantel.

I have a beautiful 14-month-old named Evelyn, a dog named Reuben and a husband named Cameron who works his ass off and commutes over an hour to do so. We recently moved from Ancaster to Kitchener, Ontario to be closer to family. We ran away from our family 6 years ago to grow as a couple and as individuals. We had a child and now have a second on the way, we came running back… full tilt.

I am due with my second child… any minute; if baby doesn’t come by tomorrow (June 28), I’m being induced.  Eviction notice goes out Thursday morning, movers come Friday type deal.

With my first pregnancy, inducing me was not a conversation. Evelyn was born a week early; so glowing, naïve, first time mom Chantel had no time to even think about the actual experience of labour. I had a week left! I was told you go over your due date with your first! I got cheated. My last day of work, I went to the OB in the afternoon and my water broke on the exam table. I was bottoms off, under the paper sheet, waiting for the dreaded exam and cervical sweep. Dr. OB was standing at my beside and I just blurted out “oh Jesus, I just peed. I peed on your table. I’m so sorry”. I was mortified, I just peed 5 minutes prior! It wasn’t pee, it didn’t stop, like Niagara Falls, that water, unforgivably, kept coming. Dr. OB laughed and sent me up to the ‘4th floor’ of labour and delivery. With a pat on the back, a panty liner, a paper-mâché ass, and now see-through pink scrub bottoms my adventure through the hospital was expected to start. A walk of shame? A kick of humour for the OB? Possibly both. First off, I needed a god-damn diaper with a bedsheet as a pad, I was by myself and I had no clue what was going on or what would happen next (I may be a nurse but no way in hell was I working in labour and delivery). I called my husband in a panic, sweating, as I tried to get my shit together, and said “Come fucking now! NOW!”. I walked through the massive McMaster Hospital, swearing under my breath, with a big sign on my crotch and down my legs. I made it upstairs for them to say… you’re having a baby today. I went from 1 cm to 9 cm in two hours and Miss Evelyn Scarlett was born. I’m being induced this time because the OB believes I’ll have the second one even faster, therefore, I should be in the hospital and prepared if I can be. My husband can for sure make it on time and I possibly won’t leave a water trail up to the 4th floor again.

The thought of being induced is scary. There is a date. A deadline to when life will change once again, there will be a new schedule to my life, my body will be unrecognizable, and breastfeeding will have to restart. I actually have this weird vision of a clock over my head with a countdown and everything I do is “this could be the last time for awhile… I should try and enjoy it”. I’m not about to go into hiding but this deadline kind of adds that effect to my life. Dramatics. Ok, I must admit, I am a planner. It’s a dream to think that I can possibly plan for this day. My daughter will be with my family, my husband won’t go to work that day and I’ll be prepared. However, it has only been 14 months and 14 days since my first labour and … I haven’t forgotten it; it hasn’t been long enough to mentally be OK with this yet. Those fucking contractions, the exhaustion, the healing process and vagina squirt bottle you get; the adult diapers and …. the dreaded first two weeks of breastfeeding again. When or do you ever forget those things? I was told they all get washed away from your memory once that baby lands in your arms. Wrong. Liars.

I started this blog to help clear my mind of the shit and messiness I face everyday as a parent and regular human being in society. I also started it to boast about the fun I have as a mother and what people leave out during pregnancy, labour and mom-life. Learning how my little family unit is changing me; the beautiful and traumatic experiences I go through as a parent are what I like to write about. Finding humour in the small victories and the good ol’ fuck you moments in life.