Monday, November 24, 2014

A Time to Rest

I've made this observation before, but it still rings true.  I reread the posts on this
blog and I am amazed and baffled at how different life is, how different I am from
the six years ago.  I had begun this online journal as a way to chronicle my journey
as a midwife.  It was intended as a window into our lives so that family and friends in
North America could be a part of our adventures in the Philippines.

And then, that didn't happen.

It became a window into our lives in New Brunswick.  Close enough!

That's minor, really.  I think on how I began as an electrologist, then as a doula, then
as a student herbalist.  My electrologist business lasted  seven years and came to an
end after Gen was born.  It was too busy, it was crazy.  My doula business puttered along
until a couple years ago when a boom bumped my births up to fifty plus visits per year
with clients.  I came to a pretty abrupt halt this summer, deciding that it was just too much.
Being a doula is hard physically, emotionally, financially, familially, and socially.  Seven years as a birth attendant seemed enough.

Now, I am nearing the end of my course as a Certified Women's Health Educator and Community Herbalist.  I can't help but think, now what?  It's almost a certainty that I can't build a career from this, at least, not in this area.  I have a vague idea of workshops and online webinars.  I have a vague dream of a strawbale apothecary, consultation room, and herbal cafe.  Likely as not, that will remain a dream.

I should be disappointed.  I should be downcast, feeling like I've wasted all this time and money on an education that won't be used.  I suppose I am, but the bigger feeling is one of suspense.

I had worked hard to build my electrologist business.  It was a huge leap of faith to shut my doors, and yet, it worked out.  My salary was matched almost dollar for dollar with a promotion for Richard.  My doula business was (literally) blood, sweat, and tears, and publicly announcing my step back was suicide for my doula work.  Yet, it coincided with a very surprising turn of events which will replace all our family has lost from my not working.

Perhaps I will be a practicing herbalist.  Maybe I will hold workshops and herb walks, teach how to make ointments and lotions, or put together formulations and health support plans for those in my community.  Then again, maybe not.  Whatever happens, though, there is that faith that things are working out just exactly as they should.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Short Stories

I love short stories.  I think it is the concentrated goodness, or the cutting to the chase that is necessary to cram an entire story into a few pages.  Perhaps I love them so much because I am in fact a commitment-phobe, a little gun shy when it comes to fully commiting to any long-term relationship.

This brings to mind the time Richard and I broke up, or rather I broke up with Richard.  Aptly entitled 'Richard's Worst Day Ever, and Then There Was the Dog Poop', it's my kids' favourite story.  We'll get to that some other time.

Yes, the short story relationship is probably the best one out there.  You get the best of the story, skip the unnecessary details, and get right to the point.  No idle talk, no messing around, and if there is idle talk, you know it's in there for a really good reason.  There is no wasted ink in a short story.  It's all good.

I've lost track of how many books I've begun to read, only to lose interest after a couple chapters.  Worst, to lose the actual book after having invested my time and interest.  Doubly worst, to have forgotten the book on the deck and to have it torn to shreds and eaten by a raccoon (5 books this summer).  With short stories, you sit down, you read, your life is forever changed, and you're done.

Short stories.  If I were to be given any book as a present, I would hope it was a collection of short stories.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Going to Town

When I was a girl, I used to ask my mom (okay, I harassed her, not asked) to go shopping
all the time.  I didn't really want to buy anything, and I had no money to do so anyway.
I just really enjoyed going to the mall and looking at all the pretty things.  

She always said no.  

Why?!  Didn't she want to leave the house and peruse all the fancy things that we wanted but
couldn't have?  Didn't Woolworths have that irresistible pull on her, too?  Wasn't she just dying
to watch me try on shoes and outfits?  

Her no always baffled me.  That is, it baffled me until I became a busy mom of four.

Need something picked up from the store at a moment's notice?  It's urgent?  There's a deadline?
Well, no problem!  Ask a mother of four to pick it up for you.  This is how that 10 minute errand will go....

1:06 - Get the phone call.  My mission is to obtain a prized food item at a ridiculously low price from the under-stocked store.  Every other mother in town is on the same mission.  We must suit up, man up, and get ready to push and shove our way to the display at everybody else's expense to claim the Holy Grail of grocery items.  

1:07 - Realize that our one car is gone.  To work.  With my husband.  Duh.

1:08 - Call the husband at work.  He can make it back at break time if I promise to make it snappy and get him back to work before his 15 minutes is up.


2:30 - start getting the kids ready to leave.  Wash hands, wash faces, get snacks.  Where are the shoes?  WHERE ARE THE SHOES??  Where's the other one?!?!

2:50 - Stand outside so as not to miss the 'bus'.  If the husband leaves at 3 pm, he'll be here at 3:07 pm, leaving us 8 minutes to transfer, drive back, and drop him off at the door.

2:58 - Kid 2 is hungry.  Run inside for a snack.

2:59 - Kid 3 has to pee.  Runs inside.

3:00 - Husband should be leaving work.  Kid 4 has to pee.  Squats in the driveway.

3:01 - Run inside with Kid 4 at arm's length.  Change her.  Start laundry.  

3:05 -Waiting.  Waiting.  Don't get dirty!  No, you can't get another snack.  Hold it in!!

3:07 - Van arrives.  Throw the kids in.  Momentarily panic as both drivers try to figure out if husband driving is faster, or the wife.

3:09 -  Emergency stop 200 ft from the drive.  Forgot to buckle Kid 4.

3:11 - Stuck behind a tractor.  Turn up the radio to muffle any adult words from the driver.

 3:16 - Drop husband off at work.  Hope no one notices the 16 minute break.

3:24 - Meant to go to the Superstore, but went the 'scenic' route downtown instead.  

3:25 - No, we can't go to the library.  No, we can't get Timbits.  No, I don't have money for the second hand book store.  No, I said we can't!  

3:47 - Quiet in the back of the van as the kids munch on donuts and read library books.  Driver is hoping the extra caffeine from the coffee will take care of the jack hammer between her temples.

4:06 - Drive by the Dollarstore on the way to the Superstore.  No, we can't get a toy.  No, it will just break the first time you use it.  No, I'm not paying for more junk I'll just have to pick up off the floor anyway.

4:22 - Kid 1 is pouting, Kid 4 is wailing.  Plastic pieces are strewn throughout the van.  Kid 3 inquires about Dollarstore warranties.

4:29 -  Pull into the Superstore.  March the kids in single file to the front doors.  

Bedlam.  Mass hysteria.  

4:32 - Carry Kid 4 so as not to lose her.  Kid 1 has her stiff upper lip on, while Kids 2 and 3 hang on to my skirts to battle the crowd.  Freezer empty.  Display case empty.  Staff looks like they'd rather be anywhere but here.  No radio to turn up.

4:38 - Realize it's time to pick up husband, and supper should be on the table in less than half an hour.  Buy some cheap frozen pizzas and a throw together salad for health reasons.  No, we can't buy Kinder Surprise Eggs.  No, they're illegal in the USA.  Seriously!!  Yes, we're Canadian, what's your point?!

4:50 - Back to the van.  Where are the keys?  WHERE ARE THE KEYS?  Not in the ignition.  Dump purse onto pavement.  Got 'em.  

4:52 - Emergency stop.  Forgot to buckle Kid 4.

5:01 - Screech to a stop at husband's work.  He knows enough not to ask.  

And that is how an entire afternoon is wasted, and how the pharmaceutical industry makes so much money off nerve pills.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Can't Live Without You

My facebook status today read:

"What one thing can't you live without (and don't say food or air!)?"

Top runners were Jesus, God, freedom to worship, family, friends, love, books, the church....

Initially the answer to my own question was that I just can't live without a really good paring knife.  My sanity, and therefore safety, is also dependant on a pen and notepad - though any scrap piece of paper will do.

I'm reminded of a show I watched where the wife and husband are trying to reconnect by having a deep talk.  She says, "Let's talk about our fears.  Sometimes I get so afraid that we're drifting apart, and that we'll run out of things to say to each other.  My deepest fear is that we'll grow old and grow apart and that you'll look at me and wonder why we're still together, and that secretly you'll resent me for taking the best years of your life.  I couldn't bear that, I'm so scared of losing you.  What are you most afraid of?"

And he says, "Sharks."

It was interesting to see who cherished what, though.  I can't say that I was all that surprised by the answers.  After all, we live what we love.

I really do like paring knives and gel pens, but I'll give it some deeper thought.  I'm thinking my answer might change a bit once I do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Hurricane Arthur hurled into the maritimes a couple months ago.
The rain poured from the skies, although in all honesty it could very well
have come from the next town over as it blew in horizontally most of the day.
Trees were uprooted, power knocked out for over a week in some spots, and
businesses closed.  Grocery stores lost produce and meats, and 
many families had to cut their losses with refrigerated foods.

And my neighbours held a yard sale.

You can't tell but it was raining really, really hard.

And so, 33 new to me #3 - attending a yard sale in a hurricane.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Vacay

We missed Caton's Island last summer because of Richard's health.
It was so nice to be there again.  The weather was the best so far, 
especially considering that we were so used to having it pour at least
one day of the weekend.

What a difference this year!  The kids have grown a lot in the last 2 years,
and they were much more independent.  It was kind of nice not
to have to watch them every second of the day.  Of course, 
Gen is not nearly to that point.  She still needs constant 
supervision.  That may be her personality  more than her age.
The other kids felt pretty confident, and rode their bikes on the trails, 
hung out with friends, and participated in the activities.

Whereas two years ago the kids weren't really big enough for the ropes course or rock climbing,
this year they were able and willing.  Here's some snapshots:

Eva on the ropes course.

Graedon climbing the wall...and maybe cheating on the side a bit.

Zip-lining Maddie.

Maxin' and relaxin'.

Me on the rock wall.  I made it to the top!

Wild and wooly beach hair.

Maddie and Gen on the sand bar.


Roasting hot dogs.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Moms Gone Wild

Every spring there is a homeschool conference.  I love to go.  It's a time to be 
encouraged, reenergized, and to remember why we've committed to homeschool
in the first place.  Educating one's own children is a hard job, one that requires some sacrifice,
and that absolutely tests a mother's patience and (sometimes) sanity.  But it is an important job, and
immensely rewarding.  Encouragement is not only beneficial, but necessary.

Most times I go to the conference with Rich.  This time I went with my friend, Emily.  It was raining.
We could feel the car lift and slosh from the puddles, so Emily was driving below the speed limit.  
Suddenly, in what seems like the blink of an eye and incredibly slow all at once, we fish-tailed
along the highway, did a 360 degrees and smashed front first into the guardrail.  The guardrail
post snapped off, we skidded to a stop facing the wrong way and just sat for a second.
We were fine.  Not a scratch.  No whiplash.  Baby (Emily's pregnant) seemed good.  I was still
holding my apple in my hand.

Considering the car, it's a miracle we walked away absolutely unharmed.

We only sat there for a few seconds before a nice lady came to the window and dialed 911 for help.
A DOT truck was just going by, and parked his car with arrow flashing to divert traffic.
The lady's husband directed cars away from us, and the RCMP was there in no time.  The officer was 
very sweet, shared her gum with us, had us sit in the back of the cruiser, and later drove us to the 
rental car place.

We pressed on to the conference since there really was no reason to go home.  Emily got a door prize
for having wrecked her car!  Good things from bad, right?

This brings me to my first 33 New to Me:

Riding in the back of a police car!

Help!  We're locked in here!

The next day was beautiful, sunny, and hot.  
We stuffed ourselves at the restaurant, prepared to go home, and...
locked the keys in the trunk of the car!!

This was not our weekend.

Our "Are you kidding me?!" faces

I am so thankful that we weren't harmed.  I'm convinced that God played a hand in that one, undoubtedly.
We should have been hurt.  There could have been another car involved.  We could have skidded to
a stop in the middle of the highway instead of safely on the shoulder.  It could have been night
and we could have rolled the car into the ditch to stay undiscovered 'til morning.

But we didn't.  Our husbands still have their wives, and our children are not motherless.

Thank you, Lord.

This gives me another chance to update my life insurance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

33 New to Me

I couldn't resist.  I had to make a bucket list of 33 things to do before I turn 33 in 2015.  
But then I got tired, and I couldn't think of anything interesting or worthwhile to strive for
that was also realistic and not shallow.

Therefore, behold!  I switched it up and came up with
33 New to Me...before I'm 33.

I'm going to discover 33 new things.  They might be food, activities, places, information, who knows?  

I think it's a pretty good compromise.  No skydiving or body building contests, but tsokay.

There will be food.  There will be fun.  There will be new.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Don't Flush Your Drugs

Our town is having a prescription drug collection day.  If you're done with a prescription and have some leftover pills, they want you to bring them in to the pharmacies.  That way your teens won't be selling and getting fixes from your pain meds, and our water supplies won't be tainted with chemicals from flushing pills down the pipes.

So, here I am filtering the ginger tincture I've had macerating over the last 14 days...fully intending to compost the leftovers.  And I guess that's the difference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Journey to 30

I stumbled across another woman's blogpost today.  It was entitled Journey to 30, and was a list of 30 things she wanted to accomplish by the time she turned 30 later that year.  I thought, 'Cool!  I should do that!' except that 30 is past already, and my list would have to be called Journey to 33.  It doesn't have the same ring to it, and considering it is only 3 weeks to my birthday, it would be totally unrealistic to get 33 things done, even normal things, before May 9th.

And, then, I realized I am not turning 33 this year.  It's 2014, so I should be turning 32.  Well, that's one less thing and a little pressure off.

1.  Remember what year it is, at all times.

I was big into bucket lists as a teen.  I had lists upon lists of things I needed to do before I croaked.  There were the normal things - get a tattoo (done), sky dive (check), learn a new language (si?  Me hables un poco de espagnol.), go on a plane (underrated), sing in public (nearly wet myself) and all that.  Then there were the other things that I think were sort of foolish like live in a house with 10 plus rooms (oh my gracious, the cleaning involved!), earn more than $20 per hour (why?  so I can spend it on gas getting to work?) and other stuff.

So, what now?  Do I really want to make another bucket list?  The pressure!  The stress of trying to tick extra things off the list when getting through the day is already a big success.  And, what if the time runs out and there are still things to do?  Is that a failure?  Am I?  What happens to the really important things that just aren't that important in a couple months (see living in 10 rooms)?

Foolish.  Or, at least that's what the dreamer-turned-realist-tired-of-being-disappointed-mature-adult in me says.

But why not?  Let's throw a few things out there and see where it gets us.

2. Be happy with what I have and gentle with myself when I don't meet my own expectations.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Downward Dogs and Angry Cats

I've taken up yoga.  

I know.  Oh, I know.

It's all "om" and trips to India and wearing racerback exercise tanks and those finger socks with rubber soles.

Except it isn't!

I put off yoga for a long time because it was just a little bit too out there.  I didn't think I was 
the type.  I don't juice my carrots and parsley, and I occasionally get angry and lippy. 

But I decided to try it.  I'd noticed I was kind of tight in the morning and my neck and shoulders were all 
out of whack from my sleeping position.  I tried all kinds of different things to fix my neck.  I
followed the massage person's suggestion to lie on my couch arm and let my arms hang 
(surprisingly effective except for the tingling).  I tried to switch from sleeping on my side/armpit/bicep
to sleeping on my back with my hands crossed over my heart (think the mom on Addam's Family).
I woke up one day with a lily in my hands and knew that Richard was making fun of me.

Not really.

But it didn't help.  So, yoga it was.  And yoga it is.  I admit, I thought yoga was the exercise of 
people who really didn't want to break a sweat.  It's just stretching right?  I found a beginner
yoga video on YouTube and realized....

I was wrong!

That stuff is hard!  The balance.  The stretching beyond stretching.  The trying to look graceful during 
it....fiew.  I admit, I didn't nearly look like the lady on the video.  She was beautiful and graceful in 
her racerback tank.  I was kind of, well, not beautiful or graceful in my pj bottoms and Richard's t-shirt.
She moved from position to position like a dancer.  I stumbled through like a 12 month old learning
to walk.  

And then I thought, "Hey!  Let's mix things up and try the core strengthening yoga!"  Oh, Emilie.  
Oh, no, Emilie.  Leave well enough alone, Emilie.

I originally thought I didn't have abs.  I found them.  They're under that layer of skin and fat and 
they are real.  And they hurt.  A lot.  Scissoring your legs while keeping your shoulders off the ground
is torture.  Resting (ha!) on your elbows and pumping your legs and twisting our hips all the while
keeping your feet from touching the floor is excruciating.  Looking good while doing it?  No.

It's day 2, and it hurts to bend over.  But, I am not a quitter.  I will prevail!

Yoga, I will own you.    

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On Growing Old

I have been looking at myself lately.  This has never happened before, except for
the blessed times I've been pregnant.  It was a pleasure and a thrill to stand
in front of the mirror, sideways, to see if my seven week baby bump was noticeable.
Had anyone guessed my secret yet?  That my body was busy, busy, busy building
a little human from nothing but a miniscule seed and egg and hopes and dreams and love?
And, long after any guess work was involved, I would run my hands over the huge mountain
of a belly, feeling the elbows and heels with my fingers.  Fascinating, to see the results of
life in the making.

No, this has never happened before.  Secure in a husband's desire, there's never been the worry of
ugliness or fault.  I have never cared all that much, beyond the teenage vanity
of years ago.  Was I too fat?  Too skinny?  Did I curve right?  Life took over, and frankly, beyond the
daily shower there hasn't been time for fussing over wrinkles or flabby thighs.

But the last few months have brought changes.  My twenties - long over.  I am swiftly approaching
35, when I officially become an obstetric old lady, half way to my allotted three score and ten.  Only
3 years until I am midlife.  Tic. Tic.  Tic.

And, so, I have looked at myself lately.  Not critically, as I am not really preoccupied with
generic sexiness and sculpted bodies.  Every woman is desirable, if only for the right lover.  I have
mine, and there is great thankfulness in this.  No, not critically.  More...curiously.  It began with a few strands of silver hair, right at my temple where my hair parts.  I loved them immediately.  They lent my face a wisdom, a dignity, a respectability of sorts.  Their placement was a bonus.  I felt I had graduated to the experienced, wise-woman status.  Quickly, they have been joined by more silver.

In the mirror as I bent closer to confirm, yes, more silver, I noticed my face is not as smooth as it was even a year ago.  Tiny lines by my mouth, a faint furrow between my brows.  Have I frowned more lately?  I tried a little upset face...the furrow matched, the wrinkles not.  Maybe I had smiled more.  Yes, those lines matched when my lips curved upward.  And, is it any wonder?  We weathered the hardest year of our married life these past dozen months.  My face.  A reflection of my life.  A reflection of my husband.  The pain and worry and stress of debilitating pain.  The horrible strain on our marriage.  The hope of surgery.  The relief that it helped.  The joy of holding hands and walking - walking! - together through a parking lot.  The happy tears of witnessing our toddler in his lap, without having to push her off because of the incredible pain. It's there.  My face, a history.

And down, lower, my body has been altered by years and babies and circumstance.  The breasts that fed our babies, all four of them, literally keeping them alive and thriving.  How different they are from the beginning of my adulthood.  From one trick pony, to jack of all trades.  They were and are food for hungry bellies, comfort for bumps and bruises, a soft spot for tired heads at the perfect level for me to dip my head and bury my face in the tendrils smelling of baby soft loveliness.

I have looked at myself lately.  I have run my hands over my belly, turned sideways in the mirror, and wondered.  Does anyone know?  When they see me at the market, my belly a slight bulge, do they know that I have carried my son and three daughters within me?  That I have grown them in the secret of my body, that there they were safe, warm, and loved?  That the stripes shining on my skin are witness to the hugeness of my belly after ten moons, as huge as the love and responsibility of my commitment to my little ones?  Never will my muscles and skin return to their 'normal', rippled muscles and bikini-ready.  Never will my heart go back to those times, either, abandoning these last 10 years.  I have run my fingers over my scar, from where my daughter was lifted screaming with her fist pumped over her head.  I cried hot tears over that battle scar, only to have that river of grief lead me to a safe port of thankfulness.  It's there, a faint white line, and bears testimony to the birth of a newborn baby, a newborn mother.

When I was very young I imagined myself a grandmother.  I imagined the apron, making cookies with my grandchildren.  I saw them snuggled up, pages turning on the couch.  I imagined the comfortable, easy smiles and silly dances that have no room for vanity.  I imagined the garden, barefoot, eating peas fresh from the pods and teaching the children of my children what my mother had taught me.  And it looked like this.  It looked like dirt handprints on jeans.  It was like flour on rounded cheeks.  It was a lap big enough for two or three, soft with no sharp.  It was a little finger tip tracing the crinkles of my laughter just before naptime sleep.

Beautifully, wonderfully made.  My body as a testament of life lived well.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Little Taste of Japan

I was in the city yesterday for doula meetings (3!  What a difference from a few years ago!).
My first meeting started early and thus ended early which luckily gave me enough time to grab a quick lunch.
Living in a small town with only a few fast food joints and good ol' home cooking type restaurants 
has me jumping at any and every chance to live it up and eat ethnic.

Japanese cuisine, here I come!  

It was my first time in a Japanese restaurant, and I must say that I was pleased.  Classy, beautiful
and modern looking.  There were no fish tanks (thank goodness!  No one likes watching fish take a poo
while eating something they can't identify.), no gaudy streamers and no pre-wrapped fortune cookies...
which means I wasn't at the local chinese eatery.  The ceiling was a painted black tin, and the plates were 
earthen pottery.

I was dining alone so I chose a quiet table in the corner where I could observe without being watched.
I chose from the menu (in English, though I really had no idea what I was in for) and settled back.  I
started wishing I'd brought in a book.  There is something slightly awkward about trying to look entertained
when you're all by yourself.  My food came in record time and it was beautiful.


I had a little clay teacup with green tea and a dish of miso soup.  There was a funny shaped spoon in the soup which led me to believe I should eat it with that.  I looked around desperately for someone to mimic.  Were they using their funny spoon?  Or should I just drink from the rim?  I went back to my old adage...WWTD?  What Would Toni Do?  I did my best.

With the soup and tea I had a woven basket with square dishes each filled with a different food.  Another ceramic dish for sauce (tempura, Tempra? like the paint?  No!  For the tempura.  Ah, yes.  I dipped everything in it since I wasn't really sure which of the foods was tempura), and sticky rice in a perfect sphere on a side plate.  But, no fork.  Only some very classy silver plated chopsticks.

And then I realized that these were the real deal chopsticks.  All those other wooden, pre-wrapped chopsticks?  Not the real deal.  Those are apparently rigged.  These chopsticks were heavy, slippery and took considerable skill.  All the times I had successfully (and smugly, sigh) eaten with chopsticks now
meant nothing.  I started to be very thankful that I was dining alone because the seat across me was soon splattered with sauce from my poor chopstick handling.  I did my best.  When I thought no one was looking I just stabbed my deep-fried yams and ate them lollipop style.

Being noon-time the restaurant was filling up.  A couple came in, young and giggly.  The girl tossed her hair and smiled an awful lot, the boy was wearing what he considered a flattering bicep-showing shirt and paid an awful lot of attention to his girl.  Aw, a first date maybe?  Newly in love?  They sat down, stared deep into each other's eyes and promptly took out their phones to text friends who were not there.  Well.  So that's how people date in these modern times.  I hope they were texting each other.

So I ate the sticky rice.  I ate the soup.  I enjoyed the yams and zucchini.  I finished the raw tuna.  I polished off the sushi.  

The tea gave me palpitations, but I'm sure my solitary dining experience was more heartfelt than the texting couple.  

At least we'll always have green tea.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mangers and Bassinets

It happened.  Christmas!

It happened without me, unfortunately, which was a first.  20 minutes before my family was due to arrive
to celebrate the Reveillon I received a call from my client.  She was heading to the hospital.

And then I got another call.  Client number 2 was also heading to the DECH.

Thank goodness for my wonderful back-up doula!  In the 7 years I've been doula-ing
I've never had to call in a back-up.  Yet, here we were, Christmas Eve, and I was frantically
phoning her in.

It's like birth insurance.  You hope you never need it, but you're awfully glad it's there when you do!

Yet another twist of fate, and my first client was dismissed from the ward early.  She settled in for a night of sleep.  I joined Super Back-up with my second client and witnessed the triumphant birth of a little girl on a peaceful Christmas Eve.

Fearful that I'd be called in during the night snowstorm I stayed in the city overnight.  I was right...the next afternoon a beautiful baby boy was born - a Christmas child!

 Although I missed my family, and the hub-bub of opening presents, it seemed rather fitting to be on the labour and delivery floor for Christmas.  What an appropriate way to celebrate Jesus' birth.