Monday, October 29, 2012

Welcome, Milo

On the evening of October 15th, I realized that I was saying the word, "Yikes" every seven minutes.

If that happens, and you're 40 weeks pregnant, it means you're in labour. The thing about labour, though, is that in its early stages it often lasts for days.  I had a clinic appointment scheduled for the next afternoon which we kept. Contractions were still 7 minutes apart. They sent us home. Evening came. The Man of Science and all the pets went to sleep. I stayed up, saying "yikes" a little louder for a while, and eventually switching to profanities. I watched episodes of The Golden Girls in the bathtub. Eventually I just paced around the room. When the contractions were 5 minutes apart and I was in a lot of pain and slightly delirious from lack of sleep, I woke the MoS up and said it was time to go to the hospital.

At first they said they weren't even going to admit us, but then the nurse told me that the baby wasn't reacting well to my contractions. They admitted us, we called our doula, Danielle, and I made myself comfortable in the hospital bed.

A few hours later, we were still hanging out peacefully in the hospital room, expecting many, many more hours of labour. I was sitting on an exercise ball and chatting with Danielle. The Man of Science had gone home (with everyone's blessing) to walk the dogs. A nurse came in to check the baby's heartbeat. She couldn't find it. I was immediately uneasy because since the very early stages of his existence, this child's heartbeat had been easy to detect. Doppler machines, ultrasounds, whatever - the heartbeat was always there.

Within about two minutes I was, as I kept describing it to people, in the middle of a Gray's Anatomy episode. Bed flattened and being wheeled through hospital hallways with nurses and doctors running alongside, double doors flying open, mask pressed over my face while I very sincerely asked the nurse who was holding my hand, "Is my baby going to die?" She couldn't answer.

Eight minutes later, I was unconscious and Milo George was born via a very emergency cesarean section. Very much alive and completely healthy. All seven glorious pounds of him.

Since I was put completely under, so didn't know the full extent of what had happened until I woke up, hours later. As a precaution, Milo stayed in the neo-natal intensive care unit for the first few days of his life, but soon he was with us in our small hospital room. Since then we've all been together as a new family of three and Milo has been paying us back for his difficult birth by being a fairly easy baby. Knock on wood.

Now we are all home, learning how to live together and muddling happily through these first few weeks. I am healing slowly and taking things easy and counting my blessings. More in love with my two guys than I really ever thought anyone could be.

So lucky.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiveganing: AKA Your Best Meal Ever

plate of awesome

When you are nine months pregnant and have just moved into a new house and some people offer to come to your house and bring you all the complicated parts of a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, you jump at that chance. Especially if those people are awesome, like Krishna and Magi, and if they also are going to bring their three dogs to make things into a real party.

As you can see from this photo, I am still quite pregnant. And hungry. So when Krishna and Magi (and Petunia, Bluebell, and Maya) arrived with a large, delicious seitan roast I was really excited. For my part I made some brussels sprouts (shredded with lemon and poppy seeds) and some mashed potatoes and gravy (miso based). We laid all the food out on my beautiful-vintage-sideboard-that-I'm-in-love-with and dug in. Wow, it was good.


Oh, and of course there was dessert. It didn't matter that we'd all had seconds of dinner (except for one of us who had thirds) (Magi) we were excited to dig into the pumpkin brulee custards that Krishna and Magi brought. They even borrowed a kitchen torch to fire them up properly. Now that's dedication. I think the recipe they used was this one of Dreena Burton's.

pumpkin brulee

I made a somewhat over-the-top and not at all healthy vegan cheesecake for the second dessert. It was "no bake" which meant a quick blend of all the ingredients in my nice Vitamix and the whole thing was  basically done. I've never actually made a vegan cheesecake with actual vegan cream cheese before, but this one was too good to resist, especially since it used some of the vegan Speculoos cookie butter that was burning a hole in my pantry.

Speculoos vegan cheesecake

The Man of Science, who is a big fan of cheesecake, declared immediately that this tasted like non-vegan (aka "real") cheesecake, and was quite excited about it. I haven't had cheesecake in years, but I have to say this certainly tasted the way I remember cheesecakes of yore tasting. I used Sheese brand cream cheese instead of Tofutti, which may have been the reason. I've never tried any of the Sheese cheeses before, but it was what the healthfood store had when I arrived, so I took my chances and lucked out. Everyone agreed that the desserts were the perfect end to the meal. 


All those photos were taken by Krishna (seen below with Petunia), whose camera was NOT out of battery power like mine was. She and I both wish we'd taken more photos of the six (six!) dogs who were in attendance. Well, there's always next time when we'll have six dogs and one new baby. Whenever that happens. I'll keep you all posted.