Posted on

Aeto’s Nest – Our Beginning Story

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, who would ever have imagined that a pass time I loved would become a business. For quite some time I had been sharing my family care products with my family and friends and upon my husbands suggestion I decided to share them with the world.

What would we call this new business? Something with our children’s names of course. Derek suggested AETO which means bird. I thought this was fitting because when Alice saw our first ultrasound for the twins, she insisted that I had some owls in my tummy. This gave us our inspiration for our logo. Our four wise and beautiful owls.

My hope is that this can become my day job and give me the opportunity to spend the most possible time with my awesome kids. As a musician I have spent my adult life selling my singing voice, so I am hoping that experience will help me as I begin marketing these products I am so proud to represent.

I make each batch personally in my “secret Lab” (That is what the big kids call it) during nap time. Its my guilty pleasure and my opportunity to do something I really enjoy and I hope you enjoy it also. Everything is 100% natural, chemical, paraben and petroleum free, no artificial flavours or colours. Mom and baby tested and kid approved.

I also wanted to have a place to share my story so it was important to me that our website have a blog. I believe if you tell your difficult truths it makes it easier for people to tell theirs and then we can dance together in our humanity. I would love to hear your stories so feel free to leave a comment here or drop me an email.

Posted on

Our Birth Story

At 37 weeks pregnant, almost to the minute, we went for our induction. My hips had spread and Mr. Theo had his head in position, I had also been walking around in mild labour for about a week so I was in a significant amount of discomfort, plus I was super excited to meet Eva and Theo! This appointment also gave me the chance to have my incredible OBGYN Val Cevetic attend the birth. Derek and I arrived at the hospital at 8:00am with our doula our dear friend Olathe. We had previously discussed what our birth plan was and Olathe had taught Derek some techniques to coach me. I also had done prenatal yoga so I was fairly sure of having a sacred birth in the hospital.

We brought lotions and music and objects that were important to me. Derek had given me a stone Pachamama for my birthday two weeks previous to our appointment. (this significant to our travels in Peru and our work with a Shaman there).

During the twelve hours that followed I was pampered like a queen. Every birthing mother should be treated like that! Hand massages, foot massages, shoulder massages, soothing music, fresh fruits and delicious broths – the treatment made the contractions much more bearable. The nurse and doctor came into the room at one point and both commented that the love in the room was actually a tangible object and they had never seen such a peaceful zen environment. I am so blessed.

At 7:30pm things got scary. They had put a monitor on Theo and every time I tried to get more comfortable his heart rate would plummet and then when I moved back it would sky rocket, we were so worried. I needed to have an emergency surgical birth. I grieved the loss of this rite of passage I had been looking forward to experiencing, but knew that the safety of these babies was far more important than my pride. Immediately they had Derek and I in a surgical suite. I was given a full spinal which was a strange feeling as I was still very aware of my body and felt everything expect the pain. The doctors were wonderful they even allowed Derek to take photographs of the whole procedure. When I heard Theo cry the first time at 8:00 I was so relieved and so overwhelmed I wept with joy. They brought him to me and held him where I could see his beautiful little 5lb self. God, he is amazing! Thank-you. One minute later I didn’t know where to look my beautiful 6lb princess was on the other side gazing at me with all the love of the universe. Derek was taken back upstairs where he would hold the babies skin to skin while I was in recovery. In recovery I laid there willing the drugs out of my body and begging the nurse just to let me go to my room. My OB came in and she said “For God sake let her go to her babies” and before you knew it I had them both in my arms nursing their first drops of colostrum.

It wasn’t the birth we had planned but it was still incredible and beautiful. It no longer mattered how they arrived just that they were here, healthy and safe. Our six hearts overflowed with love and our beautiful family was complete and more than we could ever have dreamed or wished for in a lifetime.

Posted on

Our IVF Journey

Derek and I had been on the waiting list for an information meeting with London Health Sciences Fertility Clinic. We had both been patients there and had put our plans for treatment on hold while we adopted. In August of 2013 we got a call to see if we could come the following Tuesday for an information seminar. Derek and I discussed it and decided there was no harm in hearing what they had to say after all we did want more children. We were pros at parenthood now after all 🙂

I didn’t get my period regularly so it seemed ominous when I got it the day before our meeting. The first thing they told us in the meeting was that we would need to call when I had my day one. We looked at each other and I sheepishly told the nurse that yesterday in fact had been my day one. Suddenly in a flurry of excitement we were shown all the drugs I would be taking and rushed about to speak to a therapist. We explained to the therapist that this was our hail Mary. We only plan to try once and if it doesn’t work we are still happy with the two beautiful children we have and that will be enough. I suppose that was a good enough answer, because she didn’t require to see us again before we began treatment that Friday.

We had to travel to London (about 75mins from our home) every other day with the children in tow for ultrasounds and blood work. We tried to explain as best as a 2 and 3 year old can understand. They seemed excited just to be a part of the whole thing.

I ate a pineapple every day and ate every single thing I read online would help with implantation. I did acupuncture washed with salt blends and rubbed my body with essential oil blends. I prayed and meditated and did my yoga. If someone told me it might help – I did it!

Well the drugs worked too well. I developed ovarian hyper stimulation, luckily they still harvested our eggs and still implanted. They said the fact that I had already developed mild hyper stimulation was likely a good sign for the viability of the pregnancy.

I remember watching the implantation on the big screen in the operating room. Two sparks of light flashed on the screen. Our two beautiful fertilized eggs, the beginning of life the two additions I knew in my heart would come to stay with us.

I was two weeks pregnant the next time we saw them on the ultrasound screen. They printed us a photo and Alice insisted that the doctor had done it wrong and I had an owl in there because the picture looked far more like an owl than a baby. This was also the day of my first admission to hospital. I was in terrible pain, could barely walk without fainting and felt like I was going to die.

Over the 2 months that followed I was admitted into hospital several times with congestive heart failure with an ovary the size of a watermelon. At the height of my severe hyper stimulation I had about 75lb of fluid in my body. I went through 2 painful draining procedures and even after that was still bedridden until Halloween. Halloween was my first outing! Thank God for online shopping for kids costumes.

I took the kids around one city block in the rain with the help of my brother. It was our kids first Halloween outing. They thought that it was the best holiday ever!

I wasn’t sure if I actually had morning sickness or if it was just the hyper stimulation making me ill but guess what I had morning sickness!!! Or should I say ALL day sickness! While I had been sick Derek mixed me some herbals and those helped me get out of bed in the morning. I kept my happy secret for a few more weeks, we were just bursting with joy but knew we should wait until we knew the pregnancy was viable. At 16 weeks we made it Facebook public and the out pouring of love for our new additions began.

Once I was well again I had a very wonderful sacred pregnancy. I loved every second of having these two amazing beings growing within me. We bought a fetal heart rate moniter and the first time Derek and I found the heart beats we recorded them and showed it to our family and friends. It was a special moment for our family. The toddlers were amazed to hear the little beings inside Mommy. All the sickness was worthwhile knowing these two new people were healthily growing.

At six months pregnant we went to Disney for a week. We met every character! The babies even got a kiss from Mickey and Minnie Mouse. On day three I was leaking a bit from all the walking so on our OBGYN’s direction my wonderful husband rented a wheelchair and was my charioteer for the days that followed. We had a blast!!!

If you have any questions about my experience with IVF or are experiencing ovarian hyper-stimulation I would love to talk to you about my experience so feel free to email me.

Posted on

Our Adoption Journey

If you had told me four years ago that I was going to be the Mom of the four most amazing children under the age of 4, I would never have believed you! My husband and I started our long journey to parenthood six years ago. We visited two fertility clinics and were told due to my PCOS and my husband’s fertility issues that IVF would be our only option to conceive naturally. Prior to that we tried Clomid and Metformin the combination of which made me so sick and my continued lack of ovulation made me disheartened. Years of ovulation test kits, pregnancy tests and tears on the bathroom floor followed.

In November 2011 we made our choice to pursue adoption as we had always planned to adopt at some point. By the summer of 2012 we had been through PRIDE training and completed our home study and were what is called Adopt Ready in Ontario. We were presented with several cases many of which had severe special needs and then finally in August of 2011 we were presented with a sibling group. A boy and a girl who we were told were beautiful children with big brown eyes and brown hair. We read their story and imagined those little faces – We were in love with children we had never met.

Soon we found out we had been selected for an interview, we carefully read the possible questions and discussed our feelings and how we would answer based on the needs of our potential children. Would we be open to an open adoption? Would we be open to adopting other possible siblings in the future? How would we handle special needs? We stressed and imagined and I spent hours on Pinterest imagining the rooms I would create for them and all the cute outfits I would get them and just was in full nesting mode. After what seemed like an eternity we were told we had been selected to Foster to Adopt these beautiful children. Trying to walk this fine line between being our children and having them ripped away at a moments notice was impossible. From the moment we knew we were selected they were ours. They were loved.

Later that day their current Foster Mom sent us photos, I wanted to shout and announce it from the rafters. I wanted to show these pictures to the world. We couldn’t though because there were definitely no guarantees and what if the children hated us? A week later we met at the foster home. A lovely missionary family with the three most kind and loving daughters. I thought I would be jealous of the Mother relationship the children had with her, but I wasn’t, it was beautiful. My heart had been changed about open adoption forever.

It was three months of weekly visits before the children came to live with us, which seemed like the longest three months of my life. I decorated and sewed and made preparations. I read and read about holistic parenting and about how to make baby food that was healthy. I read about herbs and vitamins and about attachment. Derek and I took attachment classes and other classes to prepare and met with an attachment therapist to be sure we were prepared. On Owen’s 1st birthday he moved into our house and he and 2 year old sister Alice occupied a big piece of our heart.

Alice had bad reactions when she had visits so only Owen went for visits and those times away were traumatic for his sister. Life wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Alice screamed for hours a day, cried, hit, bit and otherwise terrorized the household. One day after we had been together about a month she had an allergic reaction so I gave her some Bendryl, she was allergic to that and went on a rampage. She bit me hard enough to draw blood, broke my glasses, tore out a hunk of my hair, broke several dishes and peed on the floor. I cried wondering why I wasn’t able to get the hang of this motherhood thing. Everything was coming up roses when Daddy was at home and when I was alone everything was a disaster. Thank God I am not one to ever give up! Any relationship takes work, how could I expect this little person to love me immediately as much as I loved her, her life had been turned upside down.

We did attachment therapy and worked with an occupational therapist and slowly but surely over the months that followed things got better for everyone. The screaming stopped, the biting stopped everything just became good. Love can move mountains if we are patient enough and work together. My relationship with my daughter and our special times make that adjustment period so worthwhile.

In May of 2012 we found out that the court had made the children crown wards. I was so happy and relieved but at the same time I cried for the loss the birth mother must be feeling. At that point we didn’t think a relationship with her would be possible because she wasn’t in a healthy place in her life. We were given her email address to correspond and it was suggested we make an anonymous email address. We signed the papers and had a huge adoption party with an awesome balloon guy, face painting, bouncy castle, food food and more food. This was finally our chance to shout it from the roof tops the joy we had inside could finally over flow and be shared fully with our family and friends. In September of that year all the paperwork was finalized and we could finally start planning our first family trip! Where would we go? Disney of course!!!!!!