Boobs… the story of a love lost.

Let me get the first part of my chest (excuse the obvious pun) but I had a breast reduction.

I got a Breast reduction in Toronto in 2017. I got it because I really hated my breasts. I hated my breasts for what they did to my neck which no longer had a curve, what they did to my shoulders as I compensated for years for their girth, for how I never fitted into proper clothing.

I remember my family joking at my 7 year old body which had started to develop, I had breasts as long as I could remember. I was synonymous for my boobs. They were me. They had been part of me forever and I finally came to term to say Goodbye to them.

In high school, they got me a lot of attention. They were huge and everyone commented on them. Girls found them overwhelming and would make snide comments like can’t you put those away, boys would ask for a little more. I won’t lie I was popular with the boys.

I was never shy about my boobs and may have even played them up. Hey you all are going to talk about them, so I am going to flaunt them in your faces. Girls who complained about them being too big, needing to be covered only spurred me further to be annoying.

And then I got pregnant. I remember listening to women explain how much their boobs changed with pregnancy and post baby. Mine did not. 4 babies, a little saggier than they were when I was 15, they were any smaller. They were being lifted into a size DDD/E because well there was also the reality that one was way larger than the other. But the truth is at 24, I worked at a Chiropractor clinic, when the lead chiropractor said my shoulders will never come back if I never dealt with my frontal weight. I remember my GP saying tell me when you will stop having babies and we will work on getting the surgery required.

2014 my last baby was born and so the reality of it was time to fix me became important to me. I made the conscious effort to go under the knife for an elective surgery. I heard about all the horrid possibilities, like losing my nipples to necrosis. But I was steadfast… my children scared… even second guessing the choice because who would I be without my boobs.

And then I woke up. With far less pain than I imagined… the weight was lifted off my chest. It was surreal. Strapped in like a mummy, daughters confused and looking at my feet from the top of my body with joy. And the rest is history.

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How do you love yourself?

meI had written a post about the world strong for today, … I did.

I started writing it about how I hated being called the word strong because I just wasn’t. I felt that I never lived up to that term that some had called me recently. And the word had been thrown in my direction since losing our baby.

And so for my blog post I looked up the definition of strong…

All these words like indestructible, solid, tough and resilient came up, and I can promise physically I don’t see those words reflecting back in the mirror at me.

But as I sat to think about it, I have been all those words personally… NOT physically.

Why did it take me to start writing a post about the term strong to finally see myself as a word others use to describe me so often? Why did I not want to believe people when they said it? Why did I waver at the idea that this was my truth? And most of all why didn’t I love myself enough to believe I was strong?

Parenting has taught me a lot about myself that I don’t like… not in a bad way, but in a very looking at myself differently and seeing why I haven’t always been so good to myself. I think I associated the word tough as a shield, a force that didn’t allow people in… a good friend of mine had said that my husband and I use to seem too intimidating in our motorcycle leathers riding throughout Toronto like badasses… and this idea always made me laugh because I see myself as this bubbly fun, pink loving girly girl. But I wasn’t giving that off.

Clearly from the last few posts you can obviously see that I am not afraid to speak my truth, but some how I haven’t been living my truth, maybe I was in my tight black pants in my leather jacket was protecting the pink loving bubbly girl. Maybe I was holding on to that bubbly girl in my head because I never wanted to be the harsh strong badass I was becoming, maybe I just wasn’t prepared to love myself enough to see it either way… but I was sending off signals and wasn’t owning my own truth.

But now I have daughters and I am a great mom, yeah I will own that one… I let my girls walk around my home owning 100% of who they are, sometimes I ask them if their current opinion is doing them any good… and maybe coming to this laptop today was the Universe asking me is my current opinion of myself doing me any good.

What is so wrong with being strong, anyways, Angie??  

You know this blog has been a place for me to speak my truth. Many times in the years that I wrote it was about the puff pieces, the ones that made people just see a product or make them laugh. But I never wanted to ruffle the feathers, or make waves in a stagnant water. But I am coming to learn I am the Thunder people say I am… and it’s ok. I just need to know when to start becoming loud. I don’t need to be quiet, I definitely don’t need to be quiet because it makes others uncomfortable… at least that is definitely not a lesson I teach my kids.

I tell them to talk, and express opinions, to debate me if they feel confident to do so, also to read the hell out of the rooms and situations they are in because I didn’t just have children, I birthed future adults and they need to get ready to love themselves when I won’t be in the room.  I need to love myself like I teach them to do for themselves. I need to never apologize for who I am… I always seem to need to explain my strong opinions, my view points, my positions. In honour of loving myself, and honouring my word this year of WORTH, I will accept myself, love myself and be ok with the fact that others might not love me and that will be ok because I will love myself enough for all of them.

How to write… (Thank you!)

So, I have been struggling on what to write!?!?!?

I won’t lie, I have been a little mentally unable to come up with something cool and inspiring, my phone died a slow death and a bunch of pictures and videos I had were lost.

I spent a good amount of time coming to grips with my new reality, I have been loved with affection and presents from people who showed great love towards me and baby Titan, but I also have felt people have been afraid to talk to me. Keeping their happy news to themselves not to seem insensitive. But it made me lonely!

In healing from my stillbirth it made me lonely, there is so much processing of the sad when you know it’s time to smile and focus on the happy, I went on my Facebook and saw a couple girlfriends gave birth, and mostly birth of sons, who while gorgeous a ting of jealousy kicked in. Not because I needed a son, but because now I knew I had one, and now I don’t

But their joy is so gorgeous, these beautiful babies wrapped in those white blankets with the pink and blue stripes. And I am so happy to those ladies who are maybe only having their second child in the attempt to build their own little families. I want to share in that joy… it’s so lovely. SOOOO LOVELY.

It’s not a brave face, I want to move on, I will never get my chance with Titan again and I am as ok as I think I could ever be. I am still physically dealing with my birth but my brain is telling me:

Go love life again.”

I have had an interesting couple of years where I haven’t felt like I could be as happy or as excited as I wanted to get, but I turned a leaf, my mantra is about just wanting to go and dream all the dreams I can dream up again. I no longer want to be sad about anything, not even my greatest loss. I lived through it but I want to live with it as a badge of what was. I had plans, great little mommy of a newborn plans, they might have seem crazy to some but they were my plans and I was going to make this little nuggets life fun and happy. Now I am not. And that needs to be ok, I need to change my plans but in doing so, making plans that make me and my older babies happy.

I am NOT walking on eggshells, I don’t want you to be either around me, I am on an adventure as a Mom now who has experienced it all, life and loss. And this is my new adventure.

I felt like I would feel guilty about no longer talking about my baby loss, but I don’t know if I will ever write about it again, but as of now I am going to try and write about other adventures we are unfolding.

So thank you for seeing me, reading my word, and loving me in ways I haven’t felt in a while… but I need to be more for my girls and myself. So here is to more.

Thank you!

Delivering when there is no baby.

I am sitting here in the maternity ward as we speak. Striped out of my clothes like all the other times I came to birth my girls. In a room that I am pretty sure I birthed one of my daughters previously.

Husband is in the lounger beside me and we can hear a new born crying in another room. It’s gut wrenching. I want to run to that room and hold that baby. Tell that mom her blessing made it. It’s a miracle.

They’ve put meds inside of me to weaken my cervix. And we now wait… she thinks I will unfortunately be here 8 hours til my cervix has fully let go….

And then it took me 3 days to come here and finish this story.

My best friend messaged me as I was writing and while she said I am thinking of you do you need anything; I typed do you think you could come here.

Here we were the 3 of us, Mike sitting now on the window ledge, Cindy my best friend and I journeying into the abyss that I learned was called Birthing a still birth. 4 hours came and went and I needed another dose. To be honest the whole thing was so insane, it had become comical. Our nurse kept saying vaginally wrong which annoyed and entertained us feverishly. We laughed more than any other person in the ward.

My doctor told us she purposefully put us in the more quiet room on the floor, we could hear the newborns whimper which hurt. I couldn’t tell you which room it was coming from or who the parents were; but I can promise you I uttered the words to my husband: that I would happily go to pick up that baby if the mother didn’t want to.

The aches from the meds progressed, it was strange not at all like the past few times, the pains were dull and long, eventually I got some Ibuprofen. All the nurses and the doctor laughed at me because I didn’t want anything stronger.  Then just before we did the 3rd set of the meds, I was in enough pain to ask to be put on some Percocet. The pain a bit more annoying. Continue reading “Delivering when there is no baby.”

Mourning and Miscarriages.

I had this fun post about the new season and the new year that some cultures celebrate… but then tragedy struck our family.

We had our 20 week prenatal appointment, not much was thought to happen, we’d go and hear the heartbeat, talk about the dreaded glucose test and I waited to chat with her before I called in my 19 week ultrasound.

I went and waited my turn patiently got on the scale, 2 pounds up from the last 4 weeks, makes sense the girls were home for March Break so we were eating way more junk, staying up late watching movies and just being goofballs around the house. We chatted, I said is my belly huge, because everyone keeps saying it looks huge, she measured and said not at all… this is where it should be at this point. So she took out the audio monitor after doing my blood pressure. And she couldn’t find anything, we talked about how I hadn’t felt any movement yet, she said not a huge deal since I had scar tissue and by placenta had landed anteriorly (which I didn’t know what a thing til she checked my last Ultrasound)… and we couldn’t hear baby. She said man this baby won’t stay still… even told me to stop talking to see if baby would calm down.

Nothing much happened, she said listen can you just go for a ultrasound down the hall I just want a heartbeat confirmation. She didn’t seem much worried at all… why would she be, I was feeling fine, growing fine and I have 4 normal pregnancies before yesterday. 2 hours after being squeezed into an ultrasound, a tech saw me. She looked around put a ton of gel on my tummy and said I just need to call in the radiologist to confirm findings with you. He came in… stoic looking and said any bleeding, I said no. I looked at him and said:

“Just tell me, do you see a heartbeat, I’ll be fine.

He responded:

“I am sorry we don’t see a heartbeat.

I didn’t miss a beat, I had a follow up question like a robot who had never dealt with trauma and said:

“Ok, can you give a size measurement and I can figure out when?”

He obliged and continued with some more imagery and measured the baby’s femur. He seemed sad. I guess he didn’t feel like seeing a dead baby inside a human either yesterday. He measured and measured and said:

“I’m getting a 17 week measurement.”

I thanked him for being so open and honest with me. The tech had to take some more pictures to send to my OB, so I sat there as she finished the work she did. She was at a loss for words, I said: – do you see this often? Her response was: -Not often this far along.

I wiped myself off and walked out to the waiting room which luckily my husband had returned to because he had to grab our girls from school and drop them off at my mom’s since we weren’t too sure how soon my ultrasound would occur and I nodded No to him. He looked perplexed, I said No heartbeat, and walked out of the room.

Doctor was in clinic all day, I walked back into her office and I got to see her next, not sure if I got bumped ahead of the line, all I remember was leaving her office it was full, I wanted to keep it together, all these beautifully pregnant women in there waiting to talk about their babies, didn’t need to see the face of a woman who just found out she is pregnant still with a baby with no heart beat.

You want to know how hard it is to talk to your OB, the OB who has been the doctor to walk you through all your pregnancies, who helped force all your babies out because they were happy to stay in my womb for so long, my doctor called my womb club med. She joked at my Uterus genetic numbers, and said come on you still have a uterus of a 17 year old. She looked at me like, oh good, everything ok… and I nodded NO for the second time in less than 5 minutes. I didn’t want to utter words. I didn’t want to say it out loud, I just wanted people to know without me having to say it.

We walked into the room, discussed, I said:

Can you go in and just take it out of me?

She quickly responded:

No, you are too far along, baby has dense bones, and will need to be birthed.

Those might be the ugliest words ever said to me. I, who has a very hard time birthing, my body who doesn’t enjoy participating in my births will have to coax it to participate in a birth of a baby I will never get to hold in my arms, I will never get to bring home, I will never get to share with my girls.

I left with an appointment, an appointment to birth my dead baby. Like WTF? That’s a thing, it’s a thing some women have to do. Like we don’t deal with enough shit, add this to the list of things. This was my reality… this is what I will begin to process for the next 24 hours. Like somehow anyone can prepare to wrap around their heads on this matter.

It’s shit, it’s shit watching your husband become bewildered, it’s really shit watching your 11 year old and 10 year old just ball and ball. And feeling, well ok, you have to be strong for them, they need you now. I jump into that roll easily, always have. ME mourn, me feel sad, me feel an emotion other than just get it done; Rarely. But man I should. But I feel NUMB. I say that, because my tummy is in knots, my head aches and I feel absent of tears, because I feel like I am on the outside walking my body through this time. I want to punch someone, I want to kick myself, I want to hurt and I want to yell at myself for hurting.

Who am I to complain about miscarrying, I have 4 beautiful healthy children at home, safe, educated, smiling, loved. Why should I be lucky enough to have never lost a child in womb? Why would those be my cards? Others go a lifetime with never making one successful live birth, others have miscarriages between children.

But here I am still carrying a baby in my womb, with no heartbeat, I feel I have lost my heartbeat in the process. I feel like baby took my heartbeat with it. I may have been spoiled, but today I feel loss.

 

 

We are growing.

So by now many people are privy to the idea that our family is having a baby. Now lots of people have babies, not many already have 4 not so small babies at home when it happens.

We were a settled family of 6, we had 4 girls, a nice round number my husband use to say, as the many Chinese old ladies in my mother’s retirement building have informed me is a very lucky endeavor, 4 girls. We assumed that this was all it was going to be for us and we were happy. No boys, 4 beautiful girls who keep us on our toes.

And then like that SURPRISE.

Continue reading “We are growing.”

Love, Valentine’s and all that matters.

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends.

Let’s talk about LOVE.

This is another hard one for me.

What do I tell you, how to be in a relationship for almost 22 years and married for 14 with 4 kids? How to weed out a bad suitor? How to keep the flame alive? What happens when you hit a love low? How to love your partner when you feel exhausted loving your children? How do I still have sex with the same person after all these years? How do we spice things up? How do I show my children healthy loving relationships between parents?

Truth is all those would make great topics but I would feel terribly disingenuous. Because no matter how contrived or heck, how perfect, I might answer those questions the truth is NONE of those matter.

I spent the majority of my life showing others a ton of love, making sure they felt loved so they could blossom and grow. And while I still do this mostly for a handful of loved ones and beautiful friendships. I have started to learn to love myself…

Women don’t often love themselves. And honestly I don’t think a lot of men love themselves either. But we spend so much time fluffing everyone’s pillow around us assuming the feeling will be reciprocated only to notice your cup has runneth dried.  Why do we as humans not feel like loving ourselves. And I don’t mean self-love like buying yourself a new pair of shoes, laying in a bathtub with a face mask… I am saying self loving.

When was the last time you praised yourself. When was the last time you stopped for a moment and said—-“I did good this week, I really cared for myself. I allowed myself to go further, to try harder, to sweat more. I am proud of myself. Good job you!” Maybe you do.  But do you mean it, do you try to convince yourself that you did good.

There are 2 versions of myself, the one who is a fierce lion and will rip you apart if you hurt someone I love or a concept I find truthful and fair. I like to defend the fair. But then if you talk to me about me I am the meek mouse who while I don’t blush feels a horrible sense of awkwardness. She is Humble Angie. I was raised to be humble Angie, it was important to my mom not to make waves, just to do without bringing much attention to yourself. So when big bad opinionated Angie comes out, most people see her and think wow she must be so confident. Humble Angie will laugh at you.

But then one day you offer yourself for Career day at school…. and your daughter wonders why you are coming, and you aren’t a big deal. Clearly because I don’t tell her I am a big deal, she barely knows what I do because even to my 6 year old daughter I don’t share my wins. She told me about the Librarian, the Janitor who came… and I had painted a picture of myself that was less than.

And then I did the presentation, and my daughters friends in class were in awe. My also meek don’t make waves daughter said nothing the whole time I was in the class and then we came home and she was now in awe. She was in awe because her friends in awe, she fell under the trap that she needed others opinions to see her mommy as pretty darn cool. I understand that most kids don’t register parents coolness until they are older, but her reaction taught me about how I love myself period.

I am still that 6yo. I never learned to love myself. I never knew how to toot my own horn for anything from how deep I love to how cool my job might be. Now I am not saying letting your ego get in the way, because when you wait for ego to kick in, the truth is you don’t like yourself enough that the Ego comes in and compensates and makes others uncomfortable making you feel superior.

I am talking about the pride, the pat on the back, the indulgence in the accomplishment.

When was the last time you did those for yourself? I ask because all the love you give, all the space you fill with your love will never feel like much success if you aren’t filling your own pot. And others can adorn you, and wine and dine you… but if you aren’t loving yourself or allowing yourself to be loved by yourself all that loves gets lost somewhere.

So today, on Valentine’s day… I want to remind you that no matter your circumstance and if your house is full of love, or not, none of that matters if you aren’t loving yourself to the fullest. Go love yourself a bit today.

P.S. I also recommend you following a crazy idea or dream you have in your head, because when you listen to your dreams, which come from deep inside your heart and you try to accomplish them; you tell yourself I see you, I hear you and I love you and your crazy ideas. Let’s go do this.