Writing and editing

A few weekends ago, I went to a beautiful elopement party in the park with Holden. It was a perfect day and the ceremony was lovely. Afterwards, someone asked me if I always coordinated my outfits with Holden’s. I looked down at myself, and realized that 1) we were wearing the same colours 2) I was momentarily relieved to notice that I was, in fact, fully dressed.

A friend once told me about a woman they knew, who answered her door topless by accident. I now think that she must have been breastfeeding. That said, I did show up to my midwives appointment with my pants completely undone. They were being held up and obscured by the baby carrier. But the top button and the zipper were undone on the 40 minute subway ride to see the midwife. I only noticed the button was undone when I took off the carrier and handed the baby to the midwife and she gave me an odd look.

Holden’s Practice Notes:

The Buffalo crew from East Meets West are always so welcoming and fun to hang out with. Buffalo is really quite pretty if you aren’t just heading straight to the nearest Target, plus America is the land of a million vegan treats that you can’t get in Canada. This year, we discovered these:

Even the cashier at the store told us, “If you haven’t had these before, you are starting something you shouldn’t.” Oh lord. I am almost glad that we can’t get them in Canada. Now, why Buffalo – land of wings and almost winning football teams – has better vegan treats than Toronto, I have no idea. I just know if I lived here I would be 600 lbs and camped out at the Lexington Co-op.

So, while his mom is slowly slipping into a diabetic coma, Holden took a yoga class with the wonderful Sarah. Itsy Bitsy Yoga was so much fun, and Sarah said that Holden was a super genius for not crying. Ok, maybe she didn’t say he was a super genius but she might have mentioned Yale. I think our vinyasa should certainly include the song, “1,2,3,4 – I love you, forever and more!” I’ll write to Sharath – maybe at janu c?

Today we head home, I’m sad to say goodbye to all the desserts and the lovely peeps – but I’m excited to get back to our routine and see Mercedes and my mom.

On Thursday night, the day before Holden was born, things started to get a little rough in labour. I was at home when my water broke and I was starting to develop a fever, which would end up lasting through until the next morning. I was on my hands and knees in our bedroom trying rather unsuccessfully to cope with the contractions by counting my breaths, sort of like a never ending headstand. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt but they were soaking wet at this point. David and I thought there might be some meconium – baby poop –  in the water, and when the midwife came over for the third time that day she confirmed it.

She said: “We can’t pretend anymore. We have to go to the hospital. David: put her in a large t-shirt and a pair of boxers with a pad and we will meet you in the hospital lobby.”

So, my husband pulled out the biggest t-shirt he could find. Yep. A huge white oversized boxy tee shirt that says in large black letters on the front: EAT MORE CHAPATIS. On the back there is info from a Sharath tour. He put me in the Eat More Chapatis t-shirt with a pair of his grey boxers. Mercedes tried to get me to put on shoes, but I couldn’t deal, so she had to carry my shoes with her to the hospital.

Sitting in the back seat, through the counting, I could hear David saying to Mercedes:

“Stan is going to kill me.”

After the 20 minute drive to the hospital, I got out of the car. The boxers were soaked with water and meconium, which was streaming down my legs, as I stood barefoot in the lobby of the hospital with EAT MORE CHAPATIS! blazed across my chest.

No one said a thing.

But anyone who has had a baby in the hospital knows that you meet about forty million doctors and nurses in the course of your labour and they all want to check how far dilated you are, where the baby’s head is and if you are me – what exactly your shirt says.

So, it really was an ashtanga birth! And I really will one day kill my husband for putting me in that ridiculous thing.

David was away last week, and I am just getting back on my feet. This week I am committed to being a better blogger and to responding to everyone’s lovely comments. Keep checking in, I promise I will be updating regularly with my post surgery practice and the amazing amounts of food I am eating while nursing.

Is it possible that I gave birth to the cutest baby that ever lived? Totally possible! My son is the greatest evah!

David and I made a little video on Monday of my pregnant dropbacks.  My second one is a bit jumpy but I’m too lazy and pregnant to get it perfect – so you are stuck with the honest (OK sloppy!) version of how I dropback everyday. The real reason to watch this is for the belly.

YouTube Preview Image

My belly dropped this week. I can see it started happening on Monday because my shirt is riding up in that video. I’ve been trying to coax baby out by walking around the garden and bragging about all the flowers, shaking rattles by my belly, and raving about how soft and nice the baby’s bed is. So far, I’ve just had some new cramping feelings – but the baby hasn’t come out while I am sleeping or anything.

Mary, the midwife, told the baby on Thursday that it was time to come out. She told me that I should start eating lots of Indian food, have lots of sex, and lie horizontally to reduce the swelling in my feet when I watch television. David says I have the best life ever. But then, it seems to work out for him pretty well too.

Actually, David is the best husband ever. When I came home today there was a package waiting for me from David that he bought all stealth-like online.

So great! I’m not opening it until the baby comes and I have to lie in bed for 2 weeks. David says we can glean good child rearing tips from the show. I hope there are lots of extras on Daddy, the world’s best pitbull.

It was the perfect spring rain today. The kind you purposefully go for a walk in. The city had that slightly sooty smell when water hits concrete, but my backyard smells like fresh dirt.

May 5th was Dolly’s birthday. I thought I might scatter her ashes in the backyard on her birthday, but now I don’t really want to. I think I will carry her with me a little longer.

On Monday,  I went to Eynat’s house to take photos of my big belly. Eynat has a big belly of her own. Her baby girl is due a week before Mystery Baby. Eynat is lovely and so talented and relaxed. I had lots of fun rolling around on her floor for a few hours.

Photos: Eynat Don Photography

Practice is going pretty well, considering I just have 4 weeks to go. Since dropping my feeble attempts at Supta Kurmasana in favour making a diamond with my legs, hands reaching slightly towards my bum, and a positively Quasimodo-shaped back, I haven’t had to let anything else go. There have been some changes though: I noticed in led primary that during the week I am holding Halasana and Karna Pidasana for about about half the usual count to avoid being crushed by the enormous weight of my belly. Uth pluthi is the fastest 10 breaths in history and there are some face-wiping/shirt-fixing escape tactics cropping up in between Navasanas.

On the plus side, I am still doing my dropbacks with less dancing around my mat than last month. The first time I come up from standing, I am so winded, I behave like I just ran a marathon and pant with my head between my knees for a few minutes but I can still do the three on kinda the correct vinyasa. I love backbends right now.

We saw the midwife today at the clinic. There was a crazy/grumpy pregnant lady waiting with us. Sometimes crazy/grumpy people make me feel nervous, and sometimes their grumpyness makes me feel extremely sunny, which is maybe a little mean. Today, I felt really sunny and happy in the presence of big crustiness. The baby’s head is in a great position, the heartbeat was good, and Mary the midwife said “Nice, Really REALLY nice.” about 15 times. Then she told me she has no worries about me or the baby.

Maybe the dour pregnant lady in the waiting room was doing all the worrying for us.

If you have a problem that is keeping you up at night, just visualize the crabby pregnant woman in the waiting room huffing, puffing and pulling pieces of paper out of her wallet in fustrated attempt to organize.

Let the  unbalanced pregnant person take the weight of  your problems. She already has loads – what’s a few more?

And don’t feel bad – we’ve been doing it for centuries!

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.

Another heavy, heavy practice today. My arms are starting to get so tired from all the vinyasa. It reminds me of when I first started doing led vinyasa classes and I wondered why anyone would bother doing a vinyasa on both sides. Like an off day, I keep waiting for that heaviness to pass, but it is persistent and seems to get exponentially worse with every week. I like the idea of being able to run to catch the subway, or to zip up the stairs to grab something I forgot. Every movement is becoming a calculation: how far, how long, how important is it really? Two more months. People tell me it will whizz by. I am beginning to understand that look very pregnant women get a few weeks before they give birth. Like whoever they used to be has receded into the background temporarily, and they are now just waiting for their moment.

I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time in months. I can feel kicking and movement, but there was something really reassuring about hearing that faint little drum. The midwife squeezed my belly and found the head and the spine.

Ok, I talk to the baby all the time. I tell it to settle down or that everything is going to be fine. David likes to put his mouth up to my belly and calls out, “Whoooo is in there?” But the midwife talked to the baby in this new way, as though the baby was participating in a conversation with her.

Midwife: (looking at my belly) Oh, why hello there!


M: (squeezing just above my pubic bone) Oh, that’s your head!


M: (still just looking at the belly) Did you have a good vacation?


M: I think you had a really nice vacation too.


M: Nice. Very nice.

My midwife is cool.