Writing and editing

Nine or ten hours after Holden was born, a doctor came into my room and told me that he had to take Holden to the NICU because he wasn’t breathing properly. I told the doctor that he could do no such thing. And the doctor looked at me and said, I have to take him. When he lifted my baby out of my arms I cried and cried. The doctor seemed somewhat surprised. The nurse with him told me that she would be back at 8a to take my catheter out and walk me to the NICU.

I watched the clock for eight hours, like a tiger ready to pounce.

The nurse showed up after 9a. She remarked on the amount of pee. I almost tore her head off. She got me out of bed and walked me, maybe 10 feet to the bathroom. And then she chirped merrily, “Well there you go – you can make it to the bathroom! That is far enough for now!”  And with that, she basically shoved me back into bed.

I remember thinking: who the fuck decides to do this shit more than once? What is the point of loving someone so much, so stupidly, within just a few short hours of knowing them that you would be totally willing to put up with the most humiliating bullshit?

Well, I guess I forgot about all that, because guess what? We are having another one! I am 4 months. I’m feeling good after the first horrific three months.

Thoughts on a second pregnancy

1. People tell you after your first, when you get pregnant your body is used to being all stretched out. And when people tell you that, you secretly hope that it won’t apply to you because it sounds not so pleasant. But it is true. In the last two weeks I went from sandwich bloat to full-on belly button popping belly. I think I wore my jeans into my 6th month last time. This week I had to say goodbye to my pants. Last time around, this seemed sort of wonderful and miraculous. This time around, not so much.

2. Now that people know that I am growing a human, they usually ask, “How are you feeling?” And usually because my mind is on fifty different things, I don’t catch their drift and just say, “Oh fine, how are you?’ Sometimes people ask me how the baby is and I have to think for a moment about what baby they are talking about. “Oh, this baby? I eat, it grows itself. No laundry. Amazing.”

3. I am super excited to get some nice baby clothes and think about names. Holden wants to buy some toys for the baby. He has a few picked out already at the local toy store, and that is going to be the best ever. I am buying a crib this time around, and I am happy about that. And then I remember the other shit I need, like a change table. Gross! I can wipe the baby’s poopy ass on that change table and one day that same baby will fall off the change table and I will get to spend time in the emergency ward. Some baby stuff: incredible. Other baby stuff: complete crap. Now that I have had one baby, I know that my child will fall off some incredibly high surface he/she is perched upon. I also know there will be baby shit on the walls. These are facts. Facts, I thought my incredible mothering skills would prevent me from ever experiencing with my first child. I feel at once dismayed at my nonchalance, and also comforted in knowing that I am part of a large group of shitty fucking mothers who let their babies fall from high places.

All this to say, I feel really lucky that I get to have another baby. it is a crazy big honour being someone’s mom. I hope I am up to the challenge. I have a feeling this baby is going to be an incredible person.

On another note: Holden got a camera for Christmas from his Auntie Kim. We uploaded the pictures the other day to our computer. So great.

A lot of the photos of people are at this level.

Sigh, jeans….

He sets up weird photo shoots with his toy reptiles:

He took this awesome shot of me, and he added the emoji. Love!

Once in a while, he takes a really arty shot of something at crotch level:

Holden took this shot of us in Miami. Ashtanga Celebrity time! We are practicing in Kino Macgregor and Tim Feldmann’s backyard. I am on Kino’s mat. And I am practicing next to David Robson. And in that photo I am almost three months pregnant with his child. Ashtanga Celebrity!! Preschooler paparazzi!


In the last three days, three people have mentioned reading my blog. And three times three makes nine, I think, and that is clearly a message from the Gods that if I don’t write in my blog the sky will fall on me.

So, I just turned on the lights here at  Miss Stan headquarters. Dusted the cobwebs off the compooter, powered it up and made some cracking noises with my fingers. Read some fascinating comments from Mr. GetRidOfManBoobs. Now I’m  ready to get everyone caught up

1. Holden, David and I went to Miami, or “Miamit” as Holden calls it, last month. David had a workshop at the Miami Life Center. We stayed at Kino’s house, which was very fun. Now, I get why parents don’t go anywhere with small children unless there is a beach. Holy crap, beaches are entertaining. Holden told me today that he was going to take an airplane to Miamit. His favourite part was when he saw a crab. My favourite part was South Beach fashion.

These pictures are when we just decided to take a walk on the beach, and Holden decided to go for a swim. In his clothes.

2. That picture basically sums up the experience of parenting a toddler on a good day. Your kid wants to do something fun and silly like 98% of the time and 97% of the time you have to be somewhere not soaking wet. But sometimes you catch a break, and you can actually be a total mess and your kid totally jumps on the chance. And it is awesome.

3. Because I don’t want to give my son a crew cut, I have become one of those parents who gets asked constantly if her child is a girl or a boy. Often I pick Holden up at daycare and the teachers have put his hair in a ponytail. Okay, maybe I am also a bit lazy about cutting his hair. I recently cut it after staring at this picture for a while and realizing that I was raising a dirty hippy.

When I cut his hair in the bathtub he cried, “Hair fall down!” And I had to pretend that I was gluing his hair back on his head.

4. Holden is collecting potato bugs that he finds in the basement to show his dad when David gets home from Edmonton and Ottawa. I suppose I should be alarmed that there are that many potato bugs in my house but I figure it could be so much worse. Anyway, all the potato bugs have “fallen down”, which is such an elegant toddler euphemism for dead. Funny that the hair on his head and his nails have also met the same disastrous fate.

5. Yesterday, on a whim I visited the rat-infested Pusateri’s. Well, I guess it was rat-infested last year. Anyway, it was my first time and I bought something in a bottle. I got to see a little old lady who had a driver in a very fancy suit helping her with her crap. And best of all: when I was leaving I was about to turn right out of the parking lot because Avenue Road was a bit busy – but there was a cop there. And he stopped traffic to let me turn left. Imagine that! He went to cop school and he is helping rich people who shop at rat-infested stores turn left. It was so great to turn left and not have to go around, so I was indeed very grateful to the prosperous, if somewhat filthy Pusateri’s.

Life is good.

Happy New Moon!

No scary childbirth educational toys at last night’s prenatal class, thank goodness. Just the little cloth baby with a plastic head that our teacher demonstrates with and then disconcertingly throws around when she is finished demo-ing.

She asked us what we remembered from last week’s session.

D: Well that placenta toy.

T: Oh yes, what did you learn about that?

D: It haunted me.

T: OK…. And what about you, Stan?

We practiced breathing and David practiced rubbing my back. That was fun.  We learned about epidurals:

Ughh. My last two experiences with needles have been a little crummy. When you are pregnant they test you for everything under the sun, syphillus, rubella – whatever – you name it. The second last blood test I had was at Women’s College Hospital and the staff were training someone new. Because the skin on my arms is basically see-through they used me as a pin cushion for a trainee. She was nervous and her hand shook when she put the needle in. She had to take several vials of blood for each test and she kept filling them up to the very top. At one point the supervisor came back into the room and yelled at her for making all the vials overflow unnecessarily with my blood. Great.

The last time I had blood taken, it was at the midwife’s office with the student midwife – who is also just learning. She made a bit of a mistake and blood started spurting both inside and outside the vial. Suddenly, there was blood running down my arm, all over her hands and covering the pillow my arm was resting on. We both started apologizing to each other as the blood kept streaming down. I had a bruise on my arm for a week. Pregnant junkie is not a good look – in case you were wondering.

I’m done being helpful to the medical community. I’m going to need a resume from the next person who sticks a needle in me.

David and I ate chap chae on Bloor after the class. I love chap chae. We ate at 9:30p. Because we always eat at senior citizen’s hour, we spent most of the meal remarking on how amazing it was that the restaurant was open and people were there eating as well.

Tomorrow, I am back to practice. I was so grateful for the break today. I haven’t taken a day off practice in over two weeks, because I did a fantastic mysore with Kino on Saturday (David calls this a “bonus practice”) and the Saturday before I took Oliver’s beginner class. I am teaching Oliver’s class this Saturday, and now I know how he tortures his students with extra holds in chaturanga. I’m hoping if I talk in a really low voice and pretend to be much nicer than I really am, his students won’t mind his absence too much.

Have a great Thursday back.

I’ve been very bad about updating this week. I reached a new level of tired in the past few days. Which means when I am not at work, I am sitting at home staring blankly at a spot three feet in front of me. I can’t wait to get my brain back. Maybe tomorrow’s moon day will help.

OK. So, Kino MacGregor is funny, smart and totally adorable. When we picked her up at the airport on Friday, it was snowing. The weather has been so well behaved lately, I actually felt embarrassed. But Kino is so gracious, she complimented the weather when it warmed up slightly the next day. Considering she lives in Miami, I thought that was pretty big of her.

Kino is very well-spoken, and she talked a lot about the demands of a daily practice this weekend, but also about her own struggles. It is nice to be reminded that someone with a beautiful and controlled practice, like Kino, has worked so hard for that equanimity for many years. Throughout the weekend, she would forgo resting or going out for lunch so that she could also practice and be prepared and open to teach.

Having a teacher that is also a student everyday is really special. I really appreciate that Kino can do this, despite her hectic travelling and general superstar schedule. I think if you get good at it, the role of teacher can take over personal practice. And while in other disciplines, this might be OK – football coaching or something, I just don’t really think it is the way yoga is supposed to work. Your yoga lineage is your guide, no matter how many students you teach yoga to, you always have a teacher. Submission is a big part of yoga, and if a teacher isn’t also a student -how can she or he understand this or teach anyone else how to submit to the rigors of a meditation practice?

I know I make it sound a little tiresome, but (at the risk of sounding negative or ungrateful) I practiced for many years with someone who doesn’t have a teacher and that was truly a tiresome experience. I was cast adrift just as he was. We were all just making it up as we went along, we all knew better. It wasn’t meditation, it was whatever we felt like doing. Like a never ending jam-band concert. And when I went to Goa and met Sharath, I was surprised that here was a teacher, who teaches thousands and thousands of people around the world, and he sits on the floor in front of them and would rather speak about himself as a student.

Kino is like that too.

On another note: when you are pregnant and you are running around doing stuff, you can sometimes forget just how funny you look. Here is very pregnant Mo helping very pregnant me at Kino’s backbending workshop. In my mind’s eye at the time, I thought I looked totally flat-bellied. I did wonder why everyone was pointing, laughing and taking pictures. Yay, ok. Now I understand.

Don’t drink the water at AYCT!

For those of you who don’t stalk the comment section of this blog (you are totally missing out!), Diana provided me with a picture the most disturbing childbirth educational toy ever. Bwhahahaha! I can’t. even. begin. with the picture of the doll giving birth. Don’t click!

I leave you with that image of a detachable knitted placenta. Prenatal class is tonight, and I have to digest my Kino weekend a little more. I promise to be good and update tomorrow, so check back in for more half-baked thoughts!

(photo credit: kinoyoga.com)

Kino MacGregor comes to Toronto in two weeks, and I am pretty excited to study with her. She is the hardest working woman in the yoga business: her DVDs are incredible, her writing is beautiful, her practice is from a different planet… I love that she is so committed to the tradition. It should be a fantastic weekend.

Last fall, I wondered if I would still be practicing and how I would be feeling when Kino arrives. But baby and I are totally up for the challenge, in fact, I can’t really imagine stopping my practice. It has become such an anchor for my inexorably changing body.

Hosting out-of-town teachers is certainly a perk, but it can be a source of anxiety – will the teacher be happy? what will the teacher need? and will the students like the workshop? I don’t really feel that way at all about Kino. Her philosophy is really in line with what David teaches at AYCT, and I know the students will love her. Also, she is a pretty lovely person.

When Sharath came into town, we were just so grateful that he rescheduled and hopped across the ocean from London before going back to Mysore, that we didn’t think too much about the fact that we just had a couple of months to organize. I remember a week before he arrived, I started feeling a little panicky: What on earth are we going to talk about with Sharath for AN ENTIRE WEEK?

Apparently, big cats. Sharath was charming, laid back, and a little sleepy after being on the road for a month and subject to various time zones. Sleepy, happy visitors are really just the greatest visitors in the world, and with Paul and Rachelle Gold around with their rockin’ Canon camera – the visit was such a breeze. What’s more I learned quite a bit about tigers. Sharath has an adorably geeky knowledge of tigers, and he is a member of an organization in India that preserves tiger habitats and protects tigers from poaching.

The best day we had with Sharath, Rachelle had organized a car to drive us to Niagara Falls. The five of us went on the Maid of the Mist. We all put on plastic blue shapeless rain coats and stood clutching the side of the boat as it drew closer and closer to the horseshoe. At a certain point, the mist became more of a steady stream as the boat fought against the rush of water coming down the falls. Eventually, it was like someone turned a cold hose on your face for about 10 minutes. The woman next to me was screaming the entire time. It was fantastic, there was so much energy.

After 20 minutes the boat returned to the dock. We got off, soaking wet and wide eyed. Sharath turned to us, dripping water and his face framed by tightly-tied blue plastic hood.

“Very good experience.” he said.

The four of us exhaled.