Sunday, May 30, 2010

the birth story

I realized I have never written this and should write it while I remember. I'm sure I might forget and then blur all the stories when we start the process again with another baby. What a ride our little Jackie Chan was in the belly. Our birth story starts early at 22 weeks gestation. Hard to believe so early but it's where our story begins...

22 weeks - I start to experience waves of pain irregular and extremely unpleasant. I explain to the OB what has been going on, they type of pain and what it feels like, she says it sounds like labour but it must be braxton hicks but can't imagine them so early, or painful. She tells me not to worry and that I must just have an overactive uterus. She tells me that if they get harder and closer to head to the hospital.

Over the next few weeks, these pains come and go, sometimes lasting for hours or days and getting as close as 3 minutes apart. I go to the hospital numerous times I am told that I can't possibly be experiencing labour pains and that they will go away, it is just braxton hicks. Without being checked I head home from each appointment and hospital visit anxious and knowing something isn't right but can only trust that they know what they are talking about.

At about 6 months the pain gets worse, i mean wow, intense pain begins, after about 8 hours a day for 3 days straight, and being woken out of my sleep I know something is not right, i ignore that this might be braxton hicks and I go to the hospital. Luke's brother was born at 6 months, and so I am incredibly aware that a baby coming this early is possible. I head to the hospital with what we can't believe might be contractions 10 min apart and when I arrive I am greeted by a cheery nurse they ask, are you gonna have a baby today!? I say, "I hope not, I am only 6 months pregnant!", " oh my! well lets check you out!" They put me up on the bed begin to monitor the baby. Sure enough, contractions, so hard and strong that they are off the little ticker paper and they have been going on for 3 days. Baby's heart rate is steady but I am in a panic. After hours of not letting up, being monitered the dr. puts in an IV in hopes to rehydrate me and hopefully stop the contractions. The Dr checks my cervix and it is changing. This is not Braxon Hicks, I have been experiencing early labour and they aren't sure for how long. I'm ordered immediately to the dreaded bed rest. We need to do everything possible to keep this baby in. The contractions do eventually stop but worried that the baby will come before 34 weeks they give me shots that will mature the baby's lungs if he is born soon. I am return every 12 hours over the next 3 days to be monitored.

at 28 weeks gestation, I experience an unbelievable pain that takes me almost to the ground at work on lunch, I try to shake it off but with the pains happening so often I have learned to track them more than 6 in an hour and i am suppose to head to the hospital, by 4pm I am about 6 minutes apart, steady and more and more painful. I call my husband and we head to the hospital. My Cervix is changing again, convinced this baby is coming soon I am orderd to bedrest again I am done . Convinced that I am going to have this baby very soon, the dr;s the OB, the labour coach all say this baby is coming before christmas (I am not due untill Feb 1) and we are just to wait. The goal is to hold this baby in as long as possible.

so the next 10 weeks become incredibly boring! with many contractions, everyday! and visits to the hospital many checks, my cervix continues to change but no baby. we are so thankful when we hit 30 weeks and then 34 weeks. Thank you Jesus!!

38 weeks- Jan 20th.

- 5am I wake up with this unbelievably bad contraction, I can hardly believe it. Wondering if this is it, I head to the bathroom to pee and as I walk I feel a shift, something move/drop? inside of me, it's the baby, WOW WHAT WAS THAT!? But there is only one, disappointed, I go back to sleep.

- 10 am I drag myself out of bed, contractions start up, but this is not any different than any other day. They come so often that I don't even pay attention anymore, something really needs to stand out to grad my attention, but nothing different. They ALL suck, all the time, but there is no reason for me to think otherwise. They start to be consistent at about 20 minutes apart. I call my husband and tell him what happened that morning and that I have been contracting, and I'll let him know if there is anything else. He asks for me to find out if my moms around just in case. So I give her a call, she is around and decided to come over just in case I need to go to the hospital she is close by. My sister in law and niece also come over to hang out. by the time they get there contractions are about 15 min apart. They all arrive and we hang out, contractions stop. Ah! How frustrating, this has been going on for months now!! I sparatically get a few during the day but nothing to concern myself over. They are harder but they are always changing.

4pm - my sister in law leave, it;s just me and mom and they contractions start up again! Excited, full force, waahooo! Maybe something!! I am as big as a house and ready for this baby to come, and the thought of him coming in 2 more weeks is unbearable. My mom stays till Luke comes home from work, we map the contractions, they are becoming steadier, but still in te same intensity that I have had them all along.

6pm - my inlaws come for dinner, I don't want them to know what's going on b/c i have been to the hospital soo many time now it could be nothing. I sit through dinner, chat be friendly, blah blah blah, meanwhile i am quietly breathing my way through contractions that are now down to every 10 min or less and getting more and more painful. After dinner, they head home and something in me just needs to walk!! So we go for a walk! I hit the end of the street and I have already had 2 contractions! It's only been a few minutes! They are hard and strong, wow! I have to stop walking and "slow dance" with luke, seems to be the only way I can get through them. As we continue to walk we stop frequently but have forgotten out watch so we have no idea how far apart they are, or how long we have been walking. we get home, and calculate how many we have had and how ling we have been gone, we are surprised to find that they are about 5-6 minutes apart. I am STILL not convinced. If i go to the hospital they are just gonna send us home. but I start to bleed and freak out, maybe we should go, better be safe than sorry. We load the car, unsure what to take, thinking they will check me and tell me everything is ok and I am not in labour.

10:30 pm - Luke bombs down Mississauga Rd to the hospital, partly hoping to get pulled over so he can use the line "MY WIFE IS IN LABOUR!!!" we get to the hospital in record time, a ridiculous 12 minutes for what is usually about 35. We walk into the assessment unit, I am calm, collected breathing through each contraction, they are bearable and i have the lowest pain tolerance. I am used to this procedure, go in, hook me up, ticker tape moniters baby and me, nothing unsual. A girl comes in behind me screaming in agony, me, I have not made a peep, just breathing when another contraction comes along. The nurses look at me like what are you doing here!? No labour, get out of our busy labour ward. One nurse jokes saying they have no beds or rooms so I have to pass a test to stay, be past 3 cm, otherwise go home. Dr comes in, checks, and says goodjob you are a squishy 4 cm. How about you go for a walk around the hospital for an hour and see how you progress, there are 3 of you fighting for one room, whoever progresses the quickest gets it! WHAAATTT!!! I am in labour!! holy crap I am in labour!!! I get a BIG huge smile, I AM IN LABOUR! I am excited, I am modivated and excited to do this. I was created to do this, and i am fully prepared to do it without drugs. A wail of pain from the next curtain over AHHHHHHHH. Oh jeez, she must be really far along. A nurse that earlier gave me attitude comes in and says," Did I hear you are 4 cm?" - "yes" i reply, " you are SO QUIET! Good job! she (referring to the girl behind the curtain) is only 2 cm! (BIG SMILE) Are you planning to get an epidural?" - "no, no drugs" - "good, you are off to a GREAT start! You are almost 1/2 way there!"
Wow respect from a nurse that wanted me out. Nice. HA TAKE THAT! With that, we walk. around the hospital, I realize I am wearing my Brand new Uggs, AHHH MAN! I don't want my water to break on these!!! But I have nothing else and my labour bag is still in the car. As we walk and hit downstairs, We call our parents, tell them whats up. Dang this is starting to get hard, I need to focus and breathe. So that is exactly what I do, breathe, Luke and I breathe together, dance together, walk together in the stillness, in the quietness of the hospital get through each contraction. I focus on opening up and staying relaxed, the more relaxed i am the easier my body can open up and do what it's suppose to.

After about an hour we head upstairs to check in, I am now a squishy 5 cm! And still no noise. I am proud of me, and feel happy, this is finally happening and I AM DOING IT!! I enter a trance like state and just breathe, man some were really hard though, if i lost focus I lost my trance and then i knew how much I hurt if I focused and breathed I didnt notice as much. My parents arrive and my mom is there to help, a former Doula and labour specialist, teaching lamaze for 20 years,
we are happy to have her there. The nurses are STILL waiting for a room, but I am in the head of the race and progressing much faster than others so it is mine!! We are moved into the whirlpool, maybe that will help distract me and progress through labour. I get in the whirlpool, I am out of it. Just lost in extreme focus and flake out completly floppy and realxed. I barely even respond to people around me. Cold cloths feel sooo nice on my head, Luke is the master of distraction manipulation. He said it was amazing how i responded to him and keeping me focused with my breathing without him even having to say much. All directed with hand movement. . I gotta be honest, I didn't like the whirlpool, the jets were in the wrong place, I was cold, the tub kept draining, but Luke thinks I progressed the quickest there. We don't even know how long we were in there b/c we were just trying to figure out how the tub works the whole time.

The nurse comes in and tells me a room is ready, THANK GOD, a quiet place, I need to get to, our space, get my stuff and settle in, get my ipod running and break out the worship music. But as we are signing the paperwork, I can't even read it, I am having contractions back to back i can barely even think straight as Luke just points where I need to sign or initial which are just scribbles that make no sense. We get our room, Luke takes this oppertunity to run to the car to get the labour bag. My mom starts to lay some things out, get the birthing ball try to make me comfortable. All I want is a flat wall. I find the bathroom door and lie my back flat against it and squat. Ahhh my back, anything to get the pressure off it. I have no concept of time but I need to pee, mom helps me to the bathroom, oh sitting on the toilet squatting feels so good, something about the shape of your body, but oh man here comes a major contraction and I nearly start to hyperventilate. My mom stops being mom and doula sue kicks in, she is hard, straight and it is perfect, just what I need "grab it heather and focus, you can do it" ok ok, heather you can do this, quiet back down and focus breathe!! soo hard though cause ALL I WANNA DO IS PUSH!!!! "mom I wanna push!!" oh!! she helps me off the toilet and gets the nurse, "she needs to be checked, she wants to push!" WOW they move fast when you say that. i remember looking down an being horrified by the amount of stuff that comes out when you are in labour, really I'm glad to not have the job of the person that cleans a labour room after a baby is born. I remember apologizing to the nurse, I got stuff on the floor. "Ohh sweetie, that is the last thing you need to worry about" Luke is coming in with the bags, it hasn't been very long, they check me and i am 9.5 cm!! WOW! I am ready to push!! As she is checking me my water breaks and I feel the baby move right on down. Wow what a WEIRD feeling! but ahh the pain in my back is gone. The only problem is that the baby is favouring one side and my cervix is opening/thinning unevenly so they physically turn the baby on the next contraction. AAHHHHH THAT IS THE WORST PAIN EVER! but I am allowed to get pushing.

I have forgotten my birth plan at home, but God knew and the whole situation and birth enviroment is exactly what I wanted. Worship music going,dim lights, I worship and worship and worship. it was great.

Pushing.. wow what a strange experience. It is such a relief at this point holding it is really hard, but man is it hard and exhausting! But something comes over you, this incredible strength, modivation, excitemet to see your little one and you try your hardest to get them there, effort cries off the end of each push I take a breath and go for another, I worship, I squeek out the words to the songs between and during pushes I yell, COME ON JACK! I pray for help from papa.. Then after all that work, HOLD IT! Hold it!!?? I wait wait wait, the dr Jokes that the top of the baby's head is out so far they could stick a hat on it. Then one small push and "OW OW OW OW OW" I cry out loud, "DON'T STOP! IT'S THE SHOULDERS!" - WAIT THE SHOULDERS!!!?? WHEN DID HIS HEAD COME OUT??? But then all of a sudden the most beautiful moment, he is there, on my chest, my son. His face all scrunched up it is engraved in my brain. Squinty, puffy eyes and cute little face. I hold him and laugh and cry all at the same time. It is the most incredible, most overwhelming feeling I have ever felt. I look at Luke and we stare adoringly. We are a family. What a beautiful moment, the best day of my life.

January 21st @ 5:21am our little man Jack Owen Sinnott 7lbs 11 oz, he enters the world. I did it, drug free, problem free, thank you God. Luke Cuts the cord and we hold the baby and sing to him in worship, in thanks for such a great God, we are just such proud mama and papa. WHAT AN AMAZING DAY.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Show Post Partum

So it all starts up again.. Feeling slightly more relaxed and adjusting to my new normal as a mommy I am having my first show since the baby was born. I had one set up in April to be showing but still feeling overwhelmed a gracious friend took over my spot for me. But here we go and I gotta say I'm getting excited. After painting 2 weeks ago at the conference i feel I have a new breath of life and finally some inspiration and feel ready to get to work! I will be joining in on the fun with the Junction Arts Festival in Toronto this September and i am really excited! A weekend full of live music and dance performance, street parties, art and good food. I am showing at a venue called The Hair Lounge, a funky, little salon downtown. I am busy busy in my spare time, planning out new pieces and working on my new collection of works. It has been nice to have a break away from my art but I have been desperately awaiting new ideas, for the first time in a while I am excited and ready to get painting! I will post more info to come, in the meantime save the date Sept 8 - 12th and I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Love love love

I staring at this little sweet boy and all I can think about is love love love.
How lucky am I to have such a wonderful son.

I asked God to talk to me about mommyhood and being a parent and for Him to show me so much about Him through my little Jack. I would give anything for this little one. I stare at him when he sleeps and laugh and play all day long (it was tough to get the hang of all of this but) I enjoy him so much. I want to talk with him, hold him and have conversations and know since the day he was born. Even during a long nap, I miss spending time with him (don't get me wrong I am like any other mom and need me time but,) I want to be his favourite place. When he looks at me He looks at me with such adoration, i can't help but melt, I am his mommy and he knows that. I am his most favourite place, me and dad are his most favourite people and he feels safe with us and just wants to be with us all the time. I realize all these things are true about our God and more. He wants to be our safe and most favourite place. He wants to play with us, hold us, comfort and enjoy us. I love this. I think becoming a mommy I am learning more about the heart of who our papa is. And if I can love Jack as much as i do I can't even imagine how much God loves me.

Just since Saturday and blogging about it yesterday, addressing my fears, my axiety about my identity I feel better, I feel different. I feel more complete, happier, and open. Open to new things Papa wants to show me. Open to trusting, knowing he is in controll and excited to learn. Even blogging 2 days in a row after almost an entire year, I need this. I need to talk it out, write it out, understand my heart and mind in words in front of me, not only in paint.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


i painted for the first time in months this week at a conference at my church, something i haven't done in nearly 7 or 8 months. i was hesitant at first but decided to go for it and i'm so glad i did, what a journey God took me through is just a short worship session he met me, and we had a great time.

since the baby has been born I have struggled a lot with my identity. Seems weird to say but it has felt like everything i worked towards, all the shows and education, was all for nothing, to throw it all out the window to be a mom. i have felt lost. It sounds selfish but it is really honest, i have been missing apart of me, the only me I have ever known seemed to be missing and was replaced with 'mommy heather'. I know that when you have a baby it is 'death to self' but didn't realize quite the impact it had had on me to just recently.

Getting pregnant last year I thought it would be the most inspirational time of my life, instead I felt exhausted, unmodivated and painted very little, unless it was a commission or for a show. God told me he wanted to teach me about love. everything i did paint for myself, shot deep into my heart, and I experienced the deepest, most intimate conversations I'd ever had with Him. Things kinda went on pause, the baby took over my life and haven't had anytime for me or really even take a shower let alone paint. But God has had other plans, I think the break was really to show me more about myself and finally address this identity issue I had been struggling with.

He has been showing me his hands lately, how much they can handle, what they are capable of and I think it is the greatest most beautiful representation of all the things he is and can do. This week He showed me a Child holding his papa's finger. There is so much Love, so much trust, this little boy being led by his papa.

My son is now 4 months old, my husband and i are beginning to talk about what happens in January, will I be going back to work... I always thought that when I had babies I would never go back to work, but stay home full time take care of the kids and finally make a living off my art. But fear that it is not a steady cheque and that really we have no idea what will happen if we only rely on art sales. On Saturday God spoke to me about me, who i am, most importantly not finding my identity in being an artist, or a mom but firstly, being a daughter of the king. And that being a wife, a mom, an artist, are all apart of me, they only add and just create a fuller me not take away from who he created me to be. That being a daughter of the King i need to learn to really trust him and put all of this in His hands. Wow, ok, I am royalty, a daughter of the King and need to Trust that my dad, the King will take care of me... As i walked off stage still digesting this I take my son to the nursery to feed him. In a daze a woman walks in to the room and asks to speak to me about my painting. I openly speak with her, she shares her story with me about her and her ministry, as I listen she pulls out a cheque and asks me how much the painting is, she feels that God has been speaking to her about the piece and it has greatly impacted her. without hesitation, She writes me a cheque on the spot. WOW. I am quickly reminded to "trust my dad the King. After the service is over still in shock I begin to pack up my work, I have a small crowd at the bottom of the stage asking me about the piece and sharing with me their hearts of what God spoke to them about and how much my painting nailed them all! Wow, soo cool God! As I talk to each one by one, a man walks right up to me and tells me he wants to buy it, I explain it has already been sold but would be happy to show him some other works, his wife and him agree it needs to be this piece. I tell him I'd be happy to paint another like it if they are that interested in this one, they say yes and write me another cheque for the full amount! Amazing.

I go home that evening talking to God, wow if he can provide for me almost an entire months pay in one afternoon how can i be so afraid that he won't take care of us. In tears I drive home, he begins to speak to me about being his daughter, how proud he is of me and how much he loves me. I wake up the next morning to an email in my inbox, a woman at the confernce so impacted by what God showed me, she is also interested in a print or reproduction, a big smile comes to my face and I am reminded again Like a child trusts his Dad to always to provide, my dad is the King.