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!

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

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

(no subject)

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.

(no subject)

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.

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