Scotland Adventure!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Our piece of heaven

As much as every human being on earth has a mother who has gone through this birthing process of one sort or another... It makes it really special when it's you who goes through it.
No matter if you deliver caesarian or vaginally, it is just really awesome to go through pregnancy and then have this amazing little creature of yours in your arms.

Well, as you all know... this little lady made us all wait a little longer, but that was ok! We were able to rest, chill, and prepare.

On September 27th I met up with my midwife for a check up; had an amazing Acupuncture treatment from my bestie at her clinic (babe was moving the whole treatment); then went home and hung out.

It seemed by 2am (September 28th) things might have officially started for cramping, but I slept through it.
Took a wonderful Verbena Cocktail at 5am to see if this natural method of induction would work.
By 8am, Nikita (our dog) was up and needed outside... the last thing we needed was dog poo on the floor that morning.
Haha so I got up and from then on, everything indicated today was the day.

For the next 8 hours I was able to distract myself through the crampy stage.
Put in a pot roast, painted my nails (haha I know right), watched/slept through a movie, even went outside to scoop poop.
But by 4pm I sent a message to Tara (midwife) and Nadia (my bestie and Doula) that I was at a point were I had to really focus through the waves of contractions.
One last important piece to the birth team. Photographer. LOL--there was no way this kid was gunna come into this world without some proper documentation!

By 5pm everyone arrived and I was able to send one last text to Taylor before I put it down for the rest of the day. Lol she made me giggle.

The one thing that was amazing to experience was that after every contraction, came peace. 
No pain --literally nothing. 
Near the end, I was even able to take a mini nap between them. 
Ya, it was f*cking painful haha, but the fact that the pain completely disappeared was incredible.
Human bodies are amazing things.

And the pain, well it was intense cramping like most women will attest to... and it came in stages. Each time increasing --most likely following my cervix's lead in opening up lol
Jason asked me why I was smiling at one point (between a long contraction), I said "after these long waits, the next one is usually pretty intense"

Yup. Ouch.
My Rock

I laboured in a few places + positions. Both for comfort or to help the baby decend.

We stayed in the bonus room for an hour or so. Leaning over the yoga ball, then standing and "dancing" with Jason. Lol we haven't really danced since out wedding ;)
But by 7pm or so, I needed the power of warm water.

I didn't get into the birth pool right away, but stood in the shower for a bit, it seemed to slow down the contractions but helped with each one that came.

The hot water only lasted so long, so I asked for the pool to be filled... and oooo boy did that feel immediately better.
Didn't mean the labor process got any less insane (ha) but the comfort was there. The water took away gravity and the weight of everything on the lower part of my belly.

So from here on in, we were in our room and ready for this babe to make an appearance. It might have felt like forever, but by 9pm I was officially "pushy" 

--and LOUD.

OMG I am surprised the cops weren't called. There was no way... NO WAY I could have held back the primal sounds I was making.

Progress was made by my cervix, babe's head was low, and my water was still intact --then came the "bottom" bum pressure.
Oh wow. My hips felt like they were going numb, the pain was insane, but I tell ya... at no point did I want to give up or feel spent. 
I was going to DO THIS! Ha!
Jason was there to supported my back, Nadia was always in my ear saying "your making space for your baby" as well as applying cranial therapy/acupressure, and Tara's wonderful updates on babes position.
Oh and thanks for the cold cloth on my face. That was heaven.

Did I mention the Pot Roast was done? Lol made for a great snack for everyone, but the small bites I took almost came flying out on everyone and it made it verrrry hard to breathe during the contraptions.
Stick to water/juice during late labor stages next time Nicole. Hahaha. Sheesh.

Then ermuhgerd. I felt babe coming down and I wasn't taking this "ring of fire" shit. LOL --it hurt and I was impatient to wait for another contraction to continue.
My water broke on one push, and then on the next I pushed hard. I barely heard Tara tell me to slow down, but I couldn't. 
From what everyone saw... she shot out in that one push. 

And that feeling of her coming out was about the weirdest/bumpiest thing EVER. No joke...hahaha it is something that you really can't explain. 

"It's a girl!" I heard Jason say... our baby girl was out and she was wired for sound! 
She was placed on my chest and it was the greatest feeling ever... her teeny body and cries were about the coolest thing ever <3

Little Yammers was a 7lbs 1oz girl now officially named Sawyer Kayla Yamniuk. 
Our little piece of Heaven, or our S.K.Y. --she is so amazing and perfect. 

In addition to our little lady, what made the day even more perfect was the people present. Jason, Taylor, Nadia, Tara, Heidi (2nd midwife), and Vannessa shared in this experience and I am so blessed to have them in our life.

So, for now, it's sleep-eat-sleep-eat-sleep... oh, and diaper changes haha YUM! 
This won't be easy, but we are surrounded by so many epic human beings that it will be awesome.

Thank you to everyone who sent us love, messages, and gifts. So so so appreciated and Sawyer says thank you in her squeaky cry <3 <3
We are all excited for you to meet her. 

For now, I'm gunna go eat and feed this cool kid! 

But before you go, please check out HOPE MidwivesWomen's Balance Health, and Vanessa Brown Photography
<3 <3 Much love to them, my wonderful husband and Taylor for being there! 

To check out the amazing work Vannessa Brown did on the Birth Video, please click HERE and scroll down to the "Feature Birth Story" to watch Sawyers Birth.

P.S. I can see why women do this again and again. Ya I might be bat-shit crazy, but it was epic.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Jumping Manta Rays... who knew?

We had to get up earlier today (sigh) to catch the low tide... 
Our hour long boat ride beside the coast took us by something unbelievably amazing! 

Have you ever heard of or seen giant Manta Rays jumping out of the water??

OMG they were so crazy funny to watch

They would launch out of the water, flap a few times like they really wanted to fly, then belly flopped back into the water. 
The COOLEST thing I have seen, EVER. 
We were all so awestruck that no one got a video haha, so here is a clip done by BBC about the jumping manta ray ----> Click HERE

Soooo the reason we had to get up early was so we could see this amazing place called the "Lava Tunnels". Back in the day when the molten lava hit the coast and ran into the water, it made these amazing formations... and we get to snorkel through them today !
BUT, we had to arrive when the tide was low, otherwise the tunnels will get flooded for the day.

The boating adventure on GETTING to the location was fantastic, hehehe. The Captains had to strategically time the waves. The swells were so big that they had to wait, wait, wait, then they gunned it in between the HUGE swells. ER MUH GERD it was a crazy experience!!!!! Hahaha. 

Then, it was over and silence of the lava tunnels surrounded us. <3 <3 <3
No one around but the boobies and the sea turtles :P

The blue footed boobie "love dance"

I guess the female wants nothing to do with him lol

Grabbing our snorkel gear, we swam in, under and around the tunnels. It was pretty much like caving, lots of adrenaline pumping going from air bubble to air bubble.

The tide was coming up, so some spots weren't as accessible as they would have been an hour earlier. But it was still so beautiful... As Pablo would say "Ahhhh-mazing!" 

Please check out my YouTube video ^_^
Watch to the very end, since leaving the Lava Tunnels was pretty crazy and entertaining haha ----> Click HERE

(The sharks that are in the video were shot at the second snorkel location we went to after the Lava Tunnels)

The few boats we met up with later had said that they could not access the site due to the waves being too difficult to navigate through... he he he, suckers. Thats what you get for sleeping in :P

The afternoon was "free time".
Tom, Tanya, and I took off adventuring into town to do some 'People Photography'. We were even able to find our "guide-in-training" Cristian and take pictures in his surfer 'hangover' house!

Enjoy all the pictures from the rest of our day, go all the way to the end of the post to read about another member of our group =D

The bar owners cat did NOT let go of me. He purred and purred and purred! haha 

We stopped at a soccer practice, and the kids had no problem with us hanging around

I guess some one wasn't allowed to play

My absolute favourite

Pablo's son Kian wanted to play with the boys so bad that he took off to join the game lol

Kian is a hard workin soccer player !

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;
it is something you design for the present. 
- Jim Rohn

We befriended a family doing construction on their house,
 their young son was smitten with Tanya and gave some pretty awesome kisses ^_^

This little boy loved playing dress up with Tom's stuff :P

Lots of dogs around, this little lady was too beautiful

Speed... rope?

Cristian's artwork on the front of his house

His beautiful puppy "Nyky"

Before you go, I would like you to meet Pablo Valladares.
Hands down, the greatest guide any one of us has ever had in our worldly experiences.

He has such passion for his country, culture, and life that it is infectious... it makes you want to be better, do better, or see things in a different light.
You don't meet people like that every day... The world needs more like you Pablo !!

Some little bits about this smiley 39 year old...

-Surfing saved his life (got him away from all the bad stuff)

-Married a UK girl named Laura and has a little boy named Kian

-Wanted to be in the military (had 3 generations of fathers who joined) 
but his father new Pablo to be such a great free spirit, that he told his son not to pursue it

Pablo and his son Kian

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Volcán walk

Only one activity today, and that is to hike a Volcano and learn about all the eruptions that have happened over the last century and see the changes in landscape.

Lol, and even tho these early morning wake-ups seem terrible, it seems the recent shutdown at work got me into the groove of walking up early and not hating the world.

We arrived at the trail head for Vulcán Sierra Negro/Chicho around 830am and proceeded on a 16km round trip hike into the mist.

Along the way, we saw a spotless lady bug, a Land Iguana, lots of lava lizards, and lots of OLD lava.

Nerding out on a spotless ladybug

A Carpenter Bee going hard on getting some pollen out of a cactus flower

Tom working on his theme

Local garb vs. Tourist garb while hiking along the rim of a Volcano

Cristian and Pablo recounted their stories of the days after Vulcán Sierra Negra erupted.
This volcano erupted in 2005
and the big things they remember are burnt vegetation & farm animals, sulphur and how the earth trembled.

Old lava flows from the 2005 eruption

"It is not a crater, but a caldera"
-as Tanya put it, kinda like a volcanic sink hole-

Along the way to the Lava Fields, the landscape changed so rapidly from lush forest, to shrub like trees, then to nothing but lava. Notice in the next few pictures how the differences in 'Lava age' makes the landscape change so much.

This land iguana is quite special.
During our walk, Pablo was telling us how he has only ever seen them ONCE in this area before.
And not, a minute later... BAM
Pablo spots this beauty. You have no idea how excited he was to see it.
LOL, the next 1/2 hour was spend photographing the iguana :P
This eruption happened in the 70's

The darker lava is from a more recent eruption than the reddish coloured one.
Also, there are cactus's growing on the redder lava, next to nothing on the darker "younger" lava

Lava layers

Getting our learn on !!

Tom, overlooking the Lava Flow.
We all rested here for a few minutes in silence. It was very very beautiful <3 <3

Our #1 guide - Pablo



Pete being a rebel :P

Heading back
Left - Vulcan Sierra Negra
Right - the Pacific Ocean (what I thought was a lake before the mist cleared hahahahaha)

Our total hike time was 8 hours for a 16km hike. LOL, we were about 2 hours slower than average. But considering we stopped a LOT to talk photos, we did ok.
The walk back was very cool. Most of it in the mist, which made for some fun photo opportunities!

"Pablo in the Mist"

"Pablo, outta the mist" -lol

Once back in town, we were on our own for dinner.
Tom, Barb, Tanya and I found a fun spot to eat at, and also made Cristian come with us for dinner.
To communicate better with him, I had a couple spanish iPhone apps that we used -as well as Tanya's "large" vocabulary of Spanish-
It ended up being a hilarious evening! And the word "chévere" (cheh-beh-reh) was born into our Spanish vocabulary.
Means "cool" and they use it ALL the time.

Since he was on our walk to the volcano today, we invited him to our  evening "photo critique" since we took many pictures of him. He really enjoyed it :P

The newest "guide-in-training"

The trekker of the day is 71 year old former Canadian Pete Brackett
He is married to Kathy (also on this trip), is a serial entrepreneur, loves his rum, and his friends call him "Mr Encyclopaedia" 
He quit high school in grade 10, but eventually got a PhD. Whoot! Go Pete!