Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHARGE on for Noah

On my second night in residence at MSVU, I went out on the town with the girls on my floor. For the most part they all knew each other having lived in res the previous year and I was the new kid. I had an amazing time, totally hit on a floor mate's best guy friend, danced until 3am and was feeling the effects of the night before the morning after.

Laura came into my room the next day and we chatted for hours. Turns out we liked a lot of the same things and had a lot of the same interests. 2 weddings, 1 move to Alberta and 5 kids later we are as close as we have ever been. Laura is one of those amazing people who can overcome anything and I've learned so much from her and depended on her so many times over the years.

When her second little guy was born, he was fighting for his life. .Within weeks of Noah's birth he was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. Noah has many challenges that make his growth and development more difficult but seeing this little warrior overcome the smallest of obstacles brings overwhelming joy and happiness. He is one of the strongest, happies,  stubborn and determined little guys I've ever known. He is just as amazing as his momma.

Noah was born with bilateral optic nerve colobomas, severe to moderate hearing loss, unilateral facial palsy, cranial nerve malformation, laryngomalacia, a critical airway, small semi-circular canals (which affects balance), sleep apnea, a heart and a bladder defect, and he is fed by a gtube. These are just some of Noah's diagnoses. 

(It pains me that they dress these poor children in the blue and white...
black and gold would be so much cooler! lol)

As you might imagine hearing this news as parents was devastating. It felt like all the hopes and dreams that they had for their beautiful boy were slowly being removed with every doctor visit and hospital stay.  Over time these setbacks became just that, setbacks. It was a very difficult time but Laura and John met the challenges head on and  are doing everything they can to make life "normal" and exceptional for their little guy.

Laura and John have been very active in the CHARGE community and are planning to attend a conference in the spring to help them learn more and help Noah reach his full potential.

Just last month, Laura lost her mother and the unexpected trip home to say goodbye to a beloved mother and grandmother has put a dent in the funds they had set aside to attend the conference. They are really hoping to get the whole family to the conference but it might just not be possible to get us all there without some support.

Christmas is a time for giving. They have given so much to me and to so many others and I want to help them get to the conference. I'm hoping that a few of you will want to help too. Please visit their gofundme page and make a donation. I know how much it will mean to them. 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Guest Post: A hair- WHERE?!

Urban Farm girl strikes again!

Source- and a side note this is CAKE!

It was a Friday evening,  I was soaking in a sea of bubbles, admiring my newly painted toes by the candle light. The scent of orange blossoms and yalang yalang filled the air. I gingerly sipped a glass of bubbly. Life was good. 

Wait scratch that...

It was Friday,  that much is true.  The rest was a great big lie. There were no bubbles, not even shampoo. The kids were playing coffee shop/ science lab in the tub again.  It is because of them I no longer buy quality hair care products and I look like someone from the walking dead. It's a bit easier to forgive them when the empty bottle says Herbal Essences. So there I was in a questionably clean tub with no bubbles to hide my "wholesome figure". Which is just a nice way of saying you have to tuck in your fat roll every time you stand up,  your arms jiggle like Oprah’s and your ass would never, never fit in a pair of low rise skinny jeans again! 

But like all wholesome women know we have two assets working in our favor, yup we've got boobs. So after I finished counting my stretch marks, 1 million, 3 hundred, 58 thousand 6 hundred and 2, my eyes drifted upwards. I smiled to myself, you old girls don't look so bad. 2 kids, 7 years of breastfeeding later and you've still got it, at least while you're immune to the gravitational pull floating nicely on the water. And in that moment all seemed right with the world.  But these little pleasures never last long and in the snap of a finger my world came crashing down.

You see, that's when I saw it. Right there before my very eyes...A hair!  A dark, strangely straight hair ON MY AREOLA!   Yes I said areola, not nipple.  It is physiologically impossible to grow a hair on your nipple. (But enough with the science lesson). I screamed and clutched my chest. Surely I've suffer enough. Dear sweet baby Jesus!  I moved my hand and looked again. It was still there. I squeezed my eyes firmly shut and started pondering what this would mean for my future. How could I ever wear a bathing suit again? A lace bra? Become a playboy centerfold?  How could Drew ever be happy being married to a woman with more chest hair than him? I was starting to hyperventilate.

Then the answer came to me, I would call Ashley. She is the master tweezer at work. She does eyebrows, chin hairs, neck hair even. Surely one little chest hair wouldn't be too much for her. I had to talk myself down, this was crazy. It's just one little hair. I will just pull it out. Yes that's what I'll do. Drew will never have to be emasculated. He will never have to know. Just one quick pull and it will be over...... and if it grows back????? I will reduce our grocery budget and save for lazer hair removal. 10 dollars a week for 50 weeks I calculated. Totally doable.

I stepped out of the tub and reached for the tweezers. Surely a mother who birthed two children, one completely drug free, could handle the pain of plucking a breast hair, I told myself.  Just like a band-aid. But as I ripped there was no pain. None at all. I've lost all feeling in my nipples I thought.  Everyone told me this would happen if I insisted on letting the kids self wean at 4.

 As I examined the hair more closely I realized that I had seen a hair like this before, yes I was sure of it. The hair was very familiar indeed. Long and straight and oddly grey......Joe. The hair belonged to our cat Joe!  I fell to my knees and wept with joy. I don't think I had ever been so grateful for anything in my life. I skipped to my room, my wholesome body bounced all the way and just that once I didn’t care. My breasts were hair free, life was good. I slipped into my pajamas and into my unmade bed with my sweet grey cat tucked in close.