My what a busy week we've had. Wednesday we had a play date with my buddy Michele (whom I met in Newfoundland and haven't seen since) and her 15 month-old son, Aidan. Aidan started walking 3 weeks ago and tore it up doing laps around my main floor. Nate was in awe of this child and was braver than his usual overly-cautious self. He was standing up and hanging onto stuff with only one hand. BIG improvement.
Wednesday evening we welcomed our Edmonton pals Shroomy and Thor, who were in town for the holidays, but had enough of their folks and the burbs. Mi aero mattresso es su aero mattresso (so not even close to being Spanish, or even Spanglish !) The only catch was they had to babysit upon arrival. I had to go to Ragdoll's lovely wedding party (she was giddy and glowing. She needed to end off 2005 like that after the year she's had) and so our initial time together was short, but long enough to get them feeling comfy with Nate and vice versa. It was so amazing to catch up with them in person and to talk for long hours into the night drinking wine. This was also the stupidest thing I could have done two nights in a row.
Going to bed at 4:30 am means peeing at 4:30 am, which would wake Nate (we need to do the tough love thing again as the holidays have spoiled his good sleeping). Nate would sleep restlessly in the bed with me while hauling on the tit. That meant I slept shitty and still had to get up between 6 and 8 (his normal wake up range) to play and mash bananas. Faaaack! I'm a touch on the owie side today. I should be in bed now, except I'm so hopped up on caffeine that I can't.
Shroomy made sure to drop off the latest issue of Today's Parent magazine for me, since our friend Double Momma has written a very personal essay in the January issue about her experience giving birth to her preemies, Maggie and Daisy. It is a beautiful piece and I hope y'all will read the piece and support my fabulous friend.
This whole long lead up to talk about Double Momma. Typical verbose scarbie! My dad used to give me shit for going into too much detail growing up. Perhaps I became worse to spite him. They do say that God is in the details, so it can't be that bad. Anyway, back to Double Momma.
When I first met her 3.5 years ago, it was under strange circumstances. I was in Edmonton for the first time, for the wedding of Shroomy and Thor. It was July and I was still very much the hipster party girl. We went out of town to play flying disc golf, Thor's obsession at the time, and meet his friends. I was already out of my element being in Alberta, but by the time we got to the dug-up field-cum-disc golf course-cum-police training facility-cum-construction site, I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I was trying to impress and was a bit over-dressed for the event. I even had a purse! Looking back at this photo of that "old me" makes me laugh. Needless to say, I've never been good at sports.
Double Momma showed up with her husband Dangerous D/Stampy. She was wearing a kilt and a homemade iron-on tee. This diminutive person (and for me to say that, you know she's gotta be tiny!) was small in stature only. She had/has something so booming and powerful about her. So much so that she inspired this photo I took of her. I was instantly insecure and intimidated. She was a respected journalist and I wrote Top 10 lists. She was a hippie and coordinated and outdoorsy. There is no way this chick is going to dig me, I thought. Oh how they loved the Dog, but they didn't really feel the Scarb.
But over the years I've thought of her fondly and with respect. I never thought we'd ever really bond. Even when we were both pregnant, I didn't really think of it as something in common. She was having twins via IVF and that seemed worlds different from what I was doing. I wasn't even sure how I felt about IVF and science getting involved in something so natural. Maybe some people just should forget about having their own kids, I thought. Can't they just adopt? The news of her early delivery came and I could only think of it with ignorant envy. She had done it au naturel and the Dog was trying to pressure me to go that route. I didn't have the balls to stomach the pain.
It wasn't until I crossed to other side, until I gave birth and had my own horrible NICU ordeal, that I began to get a sense of what she might have gone through with her twins. Months in the hospital with monitors going off. I had done it for over a week and had aged years. They had done it for two months! Thankfully, her twins were snugly home by the time Nate came into the world nearly a year ago. When I met the twins for the first time last June, and I saw these lovely human beings, my friends, with THEIR children, I regretted all my assumptions instantly. They were born to love and care for these two little girls. And I was so happy that they were given the chance.
If there is anything I have learned from the giving birth thing, it's that you can't make assumptions about people's lives. The whole "walk a mile in their shoes" deal is fo rilla . Yes, motherhood has made me soft. It's also given me a bond with some incredible women that I would not have gotten to know well enough otherwise. So Double Momma, if you are reading this, I just want you to know that I am glad that motherhood has brough us closer. I just wish motherhood would allow me more time to call you or email you. Damn children!
If you would like to read more on amazingly teeny babies, Toronto Life magazine also published THIS STORY on a T-dot momma's experience with preems and the incredible NICU at Women's College Hospital (where Nate lived for 9 days). We are so truly fortunate to live in a country where everyone can access this type of medical care. Think about that at the polls next month.