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Sunday, March 11th, 2012
10:26 pm - Impromptu break
My blog at multiplicity.ca/blog was hacked and it's taking a bit to get it back up. it will be back up soon I hope. It should be okay database-wise. But I will wait and see.

Happy March to all!

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
8:53 pm - RIP Anne McCaffrey
Wow, how many people on my friends list are there 'cause of PernMUSH *anyway*? I have long since lost track. But it seems more than I'd remembered.

http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog/2011/11/22/rip-anne-mccaffrey/

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Monday, November 14th, 2011
9:08 pm - Guard your honor, let your reputation fall where it will
It's a Bujold quote and...yeah! :-)

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011
10:56 am - My real blog
Is at http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog, by the way. I decided to put this at the top for the first time in a few years. :-)

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Thursday, September 28th, 2006
2:22 pm - Organ donation
A lot of people on my friends+ list are currently mourning the loss of a friend/writer/co-fan, John M. Ford, and are reminding people to sign their organ donor cards in his memory as (I believe) he had a transplant that extended his life.

I just wanted to add some personal information to this which is if you want to be an organ donor, please make that really clear to your family and why.

Because they will be asked (in a lot of places I think their decision is more binding than a signed card), and if it's anything like what we went through with Emily they will be asked repeatedly, occasionally a little callously, and they may have to sign multiple documents at a time when their heads and hearts are going to feel like exploding.

And so they may need the clarity of your past conversation to get through the process and not just start waving their hands and saying "go away!"

In our case we had to sign I think 5 forms, after enduring not one but two long, long explanations about organ donation, what would happen if the wasn't a match or if the organs were not viable, and a kind of verbal test to make sure we'd understood what we'd heard. This was mostly as Emily was dying, and then again afterwards. As the parents we each had to be asked separately out of the presence of the other parent. And I had to have an additional blood test despite all the testing me, my placenta, and Emily had just gone through, for HIV/AIDS, because that was The Procedure.

I understood and still do understand that this was all Legalese, particularly in Canada where the people running the Red Cross had recently landed in /jail/ for not implementing HIV tests at the right time (despite the gov't not having yet approved funding for them). But it was a hurdle anyway. So take the time at a nice cosy meal or whatever to have the talk. It's worth it. :-)

My condolences to John M. Ford's friends & family.

And as usual my regular blog's at: http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog

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Monday, June 5th, 2006
9:07 pm - Breastfeeding
I'm posting this in my LJ today because LJ staff? volunteers? whoever apparently decreed that default user icons that show a baby breastfeeding are not okay if they show part of the pink/brown part of the boob.

I'm not participating in the blackout that some people are doing nor am I making a breastfeeding picture an icon in any way, shape, or form. But I do think that breastfeeding is just... feeding a baby.

I understand that in our society breasts are generally sexual and that they make people uncomfortable... although I'd argue that really low-slung jeans that almost show pubic hair and definitely show ass are even more sexual and they're not getting covered up much these days. Plus I have owned shirts that showed almost as much tit as breastfeeding does, except for the 4 seconds it takes to latch on, and cover up after.

Why do I feed Noah in public at all? Because there's not a lounge around, is the answer. (Or my car is parked far away.) I don't think that Noah and I need to not go places because he doesn't drink from a bottle, so we breastfeed more or less anywhere you'd feed a baby a bottle, except we find a quiet corner and use a blanket-sort-of or a sling.

No one likes a screaming baby much either, and believe me, that's what happens if you don't feed 'em. :)

I do think it's sad that bottle feeding is a very common image for "feeding a baby" and breastfeeding is not so common because - gasp! - it involves breasts. (And because formula companies are not paying for the pictures.) Other people feel even more strongly about this and that's why they want their breastfeeding pictures up.

I think LJ is being rather silly in its application of the rules. If a baby's on the breast, the mother is wearing a baby, not naked. :) Time to get over it, LJ. But meanwhile, LJ is fine with icons that -aren't- the default ones being breastfeeding ones. So I get that they are compromising.

(However, -however- you feed your baby, as long as it's a pretty decent way, is fine with me. This is not a salvo in the feeding wars.)

As a reminder my real blog, which is sometimes more coherent than this post and sometimes less, is at http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog

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Monday, November 21st, 2005
7:32 am - Oh! New space!
We have new space here:

http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog

Shandra

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Thursday, April 7th, 2005
5:51 pm
I really don't update here much so I remind everyone of my regular journal: http://shandra.diary-x.com.

I also have a pregnancy blog (which is also a missing Emily blog); drop me a line if you want to read it. I'm not sure why I keep it segregated. And oh yes we're due Sept 1.

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Friday, April 16th, 2004
3:03 pm
I should update here for those of you too lazy or uninterested to go see my main journal. I guess I'll put an abridged version of the post we wrote March 16, and preface it with the statement that we are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances; still just moving through it and figuring out what the hell to do with the rest of our lives.

As a system we have often complained about the lack of time we have in our days. But as it turns out there are worse lacks of times.

Our daughter ended up having 89 hours of life.

On Friday we went into labour in the morning. It started out fine but got progressively worse, ending up with 3 hours of pushing, one of them with the baby in essentially the same spot going back and forth. Up until the last 15 minutes or so she seemed to be doing fine and then they lost the fetal heartbeat. While they were about to put a scalp probe up we got the last burst of sheer adrenaline panic and pushed her out.

So at 5:58 pm on March 12, Emily Hope was born, weighing 6 lbs 10 oz, 21.5" long, with long fingers and toes and beautiful black hair.

She was on the wrong side of death and life, strangled by our umbilical cord. The room filled with people and they restarted her heart and put her on a ventilator. After 12 hours at that hospital the neonatalogist made the decision that her condition was worsening, with seizures and things, and moved her to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

Sunday was the first time we were able to hold her in our arms, for about 10 minutes, with a bunch of tubes and IVs and a respirator.

On Monday each test brought more bad news. Essentially her brain starved and none of the centres for hearing, vision, movement, or even swallowing were active, and she was displaying no reflexes at all, not even pupil dilation. The team at Sick Kids was great and advised us to just take her off the ventilator and let her try on her own.

So last night at 9 pm we took her off the ventilator and held her for the first time without a zillion needles and tubes. This morning at 4:10 am she stopped breathing visibly and near 5 am her heart stopped.

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Monday, January 12th, 2004
11:45 am - Wow
I have not posted here in a long time. Maybe it's time for an update!

The pregnancy is going well. We had a few concerns, especially about the size of the baby last month, but nothing that's resulted in anything more than a few nights of worry. We believe she's a she still, so she is a very active fetus in there, and getting good at kicking mum in the guts.

Writing sentences about myself as mum is mind blowing.

The system has united around this as never before, which is really empowering. Lynn doesn't like it much, but the goodwill that we've built up between us over the last years has gone a long way. I have even caught her playing music to help the fetus's taste develop, which as Lynn goes is an - incredibly normal decent thing to be doing. This shouldn't surprise me, but sometimes it still does.

Lyria is in her element, when the rest of us stop freaking out and get out of her way, and she has to take the credit for all the very nutritious meals and really forcing us to slow down enough not to make problems. Because she's around so much she and Carl have worked out a lot of things that might've taken longer if she weren't.

Teresa and JJ and a lot of our system kids are all happy and making plans. Well that's a little simplistic, but there's a lot of good feelings too.

All of these things have kind of brought back some of the creative juice that has been missing this last year, and in a way that makes me feel really happy - more in touch with who we can be, and what we really want to do with our life.

On the down side, I'm having some of the worst adjustment problems. A lot of my friends seem to be not only not into kids, which was a predictable problem, but really reluctant to want to share my life as a pregnant person (for some friends, this means I now can't share about being multiple -or- being a parent, which leaves me work, which is ending, and politics and art and culture). And I know what that's like from the other end of it - it is hard to understand how biologically consuming it can be - but I still feel a little hurt and abandoned, which are not happy emotions for me. I guess it's a lot about being in transition.

And like any transition it has displayed a few areas where my values or desires are not in line with the current reality, but I feel like I need to wait to address that until after the babe is actually born and we have settled into our Keen New Life. Whatever that is.

It is definitely a lesson in going with the flow. :)

Shandra

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Thursday, September 4th, 2003
11:21 am
Eh so I'll burble here too. I am having a burbly day.

Hearing the baby's heart beat made things really real for a lot of people in the system. It's all mixed up together for us that we're having a baby and dropping out of the 9-5 professional universe, so people's reactions are pretty mixed together that way too. Lyr is of course ecstatic in a Lyria way; she doesn't spend as much time as the rest of us dreaming about the future I don't think because she's quite in the present moment. Lynn told Anna she can't be too horrified because it makes Lyria happy and she is "predisposed to be indulgent towards Lyria." Snicker.

Teresa is suffering a little "I'm not worthy" crisis on both the writer and the mother front, but she'll make it. That is her reaction to most things. :)

Lynn is also glad to have more time to practice guitar and piano and all that. But the body stuff is hard on her; she has a horror of getting bigger and the pap smear was rough and procedures to come will be too. This is one reason I chose an obstetrician over a midwife; I think it might be better to get an epidural or whatever rather than putting the system through any more uterine/vaginal pain than necessary.

I do worry a lot about the recovery period when we're tired and torn and coping with breast feeding and all that; every one of those things sounds very triggering. So we are trying to do a lot of preparing and educating and making sure appropriate people will be around during that time to support us. This is probably one time that we're going to need to say: yo! help!

One thing that has become obvious to me is throughout the whole "get a handle on our recovery and multiple life" thing we have let a lot of what I think of as normal friendships, normal supports, normal light hearted relationships go. I am sad about that and lacking the energy at the same time to start them up. But that is a long term goal and over the next few months I want to really consider how to be a better friend out here in the real world, and not be so obsessed with how weird we might be. I think it's been a necessary protective thing, to focus only on those people I thought could be accepting of us. But it's getting to be an outdated response. I can think of three people I haven't pursued who probably would be cool friends if I had.

The kids are mostly happy they're going to get to play a lot, although there's some anxiety too that Carl won't love them as much and that kind of thing. The kinderlynn surface now and then to make statements like "if they touch our living dead dolls cut off their fingers!!" but I think that will be ok (also I think we will put a tall shelf in a wardrobe with their stuff in a box:)).

I'm getting all into it although I worry a bit about money and identity (I'm not sure I can handle full time parenthood without some regular adult universe work, but I figure if I can't we will work something out) and quite a lot about details like "how will I not flip out about diaper rash?" and shit like that. Then occasionally I go into a bout of minor anxiety in the middle of the night that can range from "I just know we'll have a kid who needs a motorized wheelchair" to "what if our house has toxic mold and we can't afford to move?" Those are very intense fears. But I might worry more if I never had any. Mostly in the morning they're gone.

The bottom line, I guess, is that I know things will come up, but I think we can handle them. Which is - really kind of cool. When did that happen?

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003
1:50 pm
I've only mentioned this twice in my regular journal but here it is again! My baby has a heart and it beats and Carl and I heard it. :)

Shandra

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2003
2:25 pm - polypersonous
After almost getting in an argument with someone in the polyamory community about what the difference is between "being an individual" and "being monogamous/nonmonogamous" I have come up with a new term for us rather than multiple or plural.

I think we're polypersonous.

The rant I wanted to post was that after spending the last 3.5 years of my life trying to arrange one body and 24 hrs/day into some semblance of a decent life for about 20 people (more or less) I think I know a little something about space for being an individual. Anyone who cedes their individuality to someone else is making a choice. Look at Lynn; she managed to carve out an identity for herself that goes so far beyond what I consider "me" it isn't even funny. And yet technically, if we could share all our memories at once, we'd've had the same life.

And someone wants to pin that process of human development on whether you're married or not? AUGH. Who you're dating/fucking/marrying is such a very small piece of that.

But then, this is always the issue with sexual politics. Or... polypersonous politics. :)

Shandra
(x-posted this one to my d-x)

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Monday, August 18th, 2003
8:27 pm - I should update!
Carl and I had a week at the cottage with quite a bit of his family and mine even stopped by briefly. It was great relaxation. I slept a lot, more than I have ever slept before when I wasn't sick. Gestating is hard work. I never appreciated this before. :)

It was a nice time to reconnect and also get centred for some of the ripple effects of my pregnancy like oh my whole life changing and some immediate possibilities being abruptly cut off and my grief around that. I am still blissfully and immensely happy in a way that is unusual for me. Scared too; terrified, often, that we won't be good parents or I'll eat some bad thing that causes a huge birth defect. And yes, grief and sadness and a little bit of feeling trapped now and then; nothing major except to recognize what a huge shift this is and that it's not just an inevitable ramp into joy.

Going back to work today was hard though. In my mind I have moved on. In reality I need to work to the due date. :) Although things as usual are unstable there and by Friday we should hear if layoffs are likely.

Shandra

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Monday, July 28th, 2003
3:46 pm - So, err. Yeah!
Oh I think I've forgotten to mention here that *eee* we're having a baby! Due March 17. So it's early and we're nervous about that, but for once everything is going ok with the pregnancy.

It's a sharp right turn on the road but you know what? I'm still kind of blissed out on it.

Shandra

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Monday, July 7th, 2003
2:06 pm - I guess I ought to update :)
I hope people who are interested have been following my regular life in my diary-x but since I've been on a commenting spree lately I thought I had better do a fast LJ update. :)

So let's see. I love being a writer/editor at my job; the sad thing is our company may yet run out of money. If it does I will write full-time at home until Carl and us run out of money, and then work something out (well; a few months before I would hope!:)). It's kind of neat to be in a career and not plotting random job changes and that frees up a lot of energy.

Which is good because as a system we have a lot happening. Lynn is taking guitar lessons and doing pretty darn well, although being a beginner is frustrating her sometimes. Carl and I went on a yuppie toy spending spree and we have a canoe and a motorcycle, both of which provide even more ways to spend our leisure time. The gym is going really well; I haven't completely renovated my body but it's getting stronger (slowly) and I dropped a dress size and it's all within non-obsessive boundaries. So that's been really good too.

Writing is not going that well but starting tomorrow we're spending an hour in the coffee shop near work in the morning to dedicate to it and that will hopefully help.

The kinderlynn, the weird little abused Lynn kids, have started to talk about their experiences which is Grand Progress but contributes a lot to feeling tired and overwhelmed at times. Still it is kind of a last frontier kind of feeling; I think we are moving towards being finished with the worst of the trauma-related revelations, although what comes next is kind of a mystery.

Another multiple system we met online came up in March and some of us, notably Magdalynn and Lyria, rocked the marital boat. I can't say fell in love because that was already in progress and because various of us falling in love is not new; we fall in love regularly. But they were cuddly and a bit more in the flesh (clothed, for those of you with your minds in the gutter:)) and it has brought our multiplicity to a head both within the sytem and with Carl. I would be lying if I said this had made life any /easier/ but it has made it extremely rich and full and complex. Today I have finally conceded and joined the polyamory community on LJ rather than lurking and commenting randomly alone.

Carl was pretty upset when he was first told about it (I told him almost right away) and we all are still adjusting to the reality of the situation which is that Carl is still pretty clear that he doesn't want to share our body with others, and some people in the system are connected enough to the real world that they are not content to be confined to feeling love without expressing it in some physical form.

And they are clear that they are not married because they didn't agree to it. Which raises some very exciting ethical issues; exciting, that is, if it's not one's own actual life. Which it is mine. Such as: is a contract formed by any member of the system binding on all? And if not does that mean we have no hope to be responsible adults? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion. Sigh.

I am being a little tongue in cheek about it but for me it's hard. I can't control what people in my system feel or even do. And normal people, that is to say, people with the usual ratio of souls to body, just can't understand it. It looks like indecision or infidelity or sloth. There is an impulse in me to take it that way too and try to beat out the undesireable people in our system that don't behave when I really thought we were past that phase. But it makes me feel as though we are perhaps untrustable, etc. etc. All that smarmy stuff.

Except... I was around at the time, and I know that people stopped themselves because they are moral agents who recognized that much was at stake and because they are sane and rational, perhaps more so than many so-called normal people. And their having done that makes me even more responsible for not blowing their feelings off.

I'm overly lucky in my life to share it with so many cool people, in and out of the system.

So that's the grand update I think, in true UTS "so here's what's been bothering me for the last 6 months" style; a style perfected by my friends who tend to drop letters from France explaining why they changed their whole lives around 3 months ago.

Shandra

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Monday, December 23rd, 2002
1:31 pm - hee hee hee
I just remembered I can post here since Carl doesn't read it. Whee. I've been dying to get this off my chest all day.

I haven't been in the world of ultra psycho fandom for a long, long time. But in high school I used to hang out with some friends at the Silver Snail (comic books, games, & related merch.) And during that time I never had any money of course and just had to sit and drool at the real psycho fan merchandise. As stupid and silly as it was.

So, I married a fellow fan-geek type, although I didn't realize how much of one he was (since we don't game or tape tv shows or go to cons or anything together; I guess neither of us qualifies anymore except for our general bent towards things.) Until this whole LoTR stuff started and I found to my surprise that although he gave up all his LoTR stuff when he became a monk, I was living with a big time Tolkien fan.

And, I got to go to the Silver Snail and reserve and pick up just today an absurdly expensive, useless, I am sure horribly balanced and utterly a travesty in every way Sting, the sword of Bilbo Baggins and I feel like I won the lottery and I should prance up and down Queen St. waving it.

Heee.

Shandra

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2002
5:28 pm
As usual it's past time for an update. Whee.

Things settled down at work finally somewhat. I love my new job. I still have residual guilt over my old job and my replacement is settling in very well... so that makes me feel a little incompetent, when I bother to notice. Mostly I don't because I'm busy noticing how we're doing as editors.

I have rediscovered that Teresa knows a ton more about writing than I do. What a wench. :)

December is its own unique rocky road that we are navigating as best we can. I hate trauma shit. I hate to admit that I was ever at all affected by anything that may or may not have happened to us. But - months like this remind me that I don't always get what I want. :) Some of my crew (our crew, our crew) is all bugfuck about this being the time of year they used to go fuck relatives and some are all hoping Santa Claus will come down the chimney when they're AWAKE. Heh. The rest of us fall mainly in the middle with various coping mechanisms to keep the noise to a dull roar.

Mine seem to centre around sex, rock and roll, the occasional scotch, and getting nostalgic for PernMUSH of all the bizarre things (addictions past present and future perhaps; NC being firmly in the 'past' category). Other people's involve eclairs and chips. I have decided to deal with it in January - not the healthiest way to do things but hey.

Carl had knee surgery (minor) and it looks like he can avoid major surgery but has to wear a brace. That and the loss of one of the leaders of our organization at work have reminded me that time and life can be short. Watching Carl lying on a hospital bed coming out of anasthesia sort of made me think of how it may be that we spent more and more time with each other in hospital as we age and things, and that was both incredibly cosy and incredibly scary. But the together part is always amazing.

Many of my friends are in hard holiday places so much tinsel for you all to have glittering anyway.

Shandra

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Thursday, November 14th, 2002
3:14 pm
Well I guess it's about time to update over here too. :)

I'm liking being an editor, even if it's a very basic sort. The rest of it has been nuts.

It's not just time; it's the sheer number of things for which I'm responsible at once. In the last three weeks I have implemented a new ad banner server including migrating all the client info (without a snag ha) and started a new editorial job, in between doing my old job and then training my replacement.

It is interesting how editing really does ask questions other things do not, such as "am I squelching this author's voice if I remove this?" It's a totally different headspace. For me that's quite literal; I can make those decisions but I find them frustrating. Teresa, on the other hand, wields Word's editorial tools gracefully and manages to trim articles pretty niftily with (for her) surprisingly little second-guessing. So we're trading off a lot more. It makes me feel a little panicky; sort of like I'm disappearing.

All things considered I'm really, really happy with how things worked out. The experience itself even if it ended today has been such a huge boost - not just to be the editor but to make it through the transition from my old job.

The volunteering at the International Festival of Authors was a lot of fun and I want to do it all again next year. I met so many cool people - the handshake sort of meet - and had conversations with two authors that Teresa, I think, took to heart. Couldn't ask for more, really.

On the home front things are going - swell. *grin* I had to come up with a 1950s adjective because it's just so peaceful. Plus Lyria is making Christmas cookies every few days (freezing them for doling out later) and that makes it seem very domestic. We're off to Ottawa this weekend to introduce my dog to my sister's new puppy so they'll get along forever after. I'm not sure yet whether we'll see my niece & nephews. I need a break. We are talking to them every few days on the phone.

Carl's knee though is in bad shape - he tore the ACL and will probably have to have surgery. That sucks, plus it means no skating this winter. At least not together. And that's one of the nicest things about winter in Toronto; meeting downtown and skating and then getting some lattes. So that really sucks. The whole thing, of course, sucks, especially for him, but that's the piece that I'm focused on right now.

That's the news that's fit to print. Well. Something similar, vaguely.

Shandra

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Thursday, October 24th, 2002
9:21 am - condolences
On an email list I frequent, someone left the list a few weeks ago to concentrate on her new life and relationship, which was cool (although, being me, I didn't really see why it was such a binary - but it was for her). She had left what she described as an abusive marriage just a few months before and the new relationship happened really fast. And there were some indications that this wasn't an easy choice either - an anorexic partner with one suicide attempt under their belt in the last weeks before she left the list already.

So word trickles back to the list via someone who knows her in person that she's now having a rough time because her new partner is drinking a lot and doing things like trashing her apartment.

And people on the list offered their condolences. Well, I think that's nice and very human and understandable and hence I am posting my frustration here and not to the list and not to my more-trafficked journal. But for me I must say that condolences are what one offers to someone who is in a difficult situation not of their making, like someone died, or cancer struck, or illness, or layoffs, or something similar.

I know I should be more tolerant. I'm working on it. But boy you'll find me offering my hope that things work out (i.e. she gets a clue and leaves and *gasp* maybe lives on her own for a year) and my belief in her capacities but you won't find me offering condolences.

Shandra

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