The importance of spending one-on-one time with your spouse

Hello all,

Here we are nearly 3 months postpartum and throughly enjoying watching our beautiful bundle grow and thrive. 

We are so fortunate to have both sets of parents close by and to have a fantastic relationship.  

Alex and I were able to get out to our first date night a few weeks ago (movie + sushi) while my parents looked after Clara and today we got to enjoy an adventure in the beautiful Spring sunshine thanks to Alex’s parents. 

We dropped Clara off with all her stuff and a few directions around 11am and headed to our favourite coffee place. We took coffees and a treat to-go and drove out to Lawrencetown Beach. There’s something magical walking along the beach, holding hands and sipping the most perfect cold brewed coffee. 

After our leisurely stroll, hand holding and stolen kisses we were off for downtown Halifax. 

We enjoyed a cold beer and tasty burger at the Economy Shoe Shop along with each other’s company. 

Finally we walked along the boardwalk along the harbour and enjoyed a scoop of ice cream at Sugah. 

As we walked back to the car I could feel the soreness of my core and legs from all the walking. My body is still recovering from pregnancy, birth and my appendectomy but it was glorious to get so much fresh air and time to just be a couple. 

We headed to the grocery store and back to his parents place. After a visit there we came home and it was so nice to be reunited with our little miss. 

I captured a sweet photo of grandma reading a story  

I feel rejuvenated, relaxed and so so happy. I’m looking forward to enjoying this nice weather with Clara and many more days out as a family taking advantage of all the beauty surrounding us!

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“You’re Already Pretty”

Alex was entertaining Clara on our bed, I was grabbing my pjs and chit chatting about some things I wanted to get done over the next few weeks. Alex is used to my strong A-type personality and endless to-do lists. 

I mentioned that I wanted to dye my hair back to a light blonde and get a nice cut, “to make me feel pretty.”

To which my super sweet, affectionate husband replied (while still entertaining and staring at Clara), “You’re already pretty.”

To which I sighed, “But I don’t feel pretty right now.”

I’m trying really hard to remember how awesome my body worked to grow and birth this beautiful baby girl less than two months ago. Having surgery just 3 weeks post partum really messed me up both mentally and physically. 

Pregnancy was hard on my flexible joints. My pelvis, my sacrum, my SI joint all took turns wrecking havoc on my body so I haven’t felt physically capable for a good six to eight months now. Add an appendectomy to my already sore and recovering body and I feel like mush…sore and cranky mush. I am beyond ready to get back to normal. I want to be able to do my Body Pump weight lifting, take the dog for a long walk and be able to clean and organize my house. 

I’m still two weeks out from being able to carry Clara in her car seat and start my workouts. I keep pushing myself too hard and causing soreness in my abdomin – not good. A fussy baby is forcing me to sit and rest today which is good. But my sister and her family are arriving for a visit on Thursday and I still have things to do. 

Anyway, the cumulative result of my physical woes to my mental fatigue and hair that hasn’t been styled in over a year and I’m not feeling pretty. 

I know complaining and wishing I was better won’t speed up my healing or get me back on my feet any faster. It will take what it takes and that’s what it is. 

As much as I don’t want to wish my sister’s visit away, as soon as they leave I plan to start (slowly) my Body Pump program again. 

I think that returning to physical activity and a new hairstyle will help me feel more like myself. 

Until then I’m so lucky to have a husband who tells me I’m pretty and loves being a great Daddy to our precious little bean. 

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Clara’s First Picture with the Easter Bunny


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Update – Mom Life

Hi all,

Well here I am nearly 4 weeks post surgery and I’m starting to feel back to normal. My incisions are nearly healed and my energy levels are greatly improved. I’m not supposed to lift over 10 lbs or do heavy cleaning for 4-6 weeks post surgery. Even though I’m feeling better I’m trying to wait the entire 6 weeks before resuming the heaviest of duties, including carrying Clara in her car seat and things around the house like vacuuming. Two short weeks to go! Woo!

I have been working on getting my to do list checked off this week. I printed a bunch of photos to frame and put on the wall – including our wedding photos from 2012! 

I am happy to report that between naps I managed to finished two large collages (one wedding and one newborn + maternity), one with two big photos (one of our wedding and our family photo with Clara) and framed a matted print my mom gave me years ago. Next in the list is to hang them on the wall. 

I also have to get our taxes done by the end of the week so I can get that off my list. 

My sister and her family from NL are coming for a visit over Easter so I want to get all my peskier items off my list so I can just enjoy their visit without worrying about things I need to get done before the end of the month. 

Little miss Clara is 7 weeks old and just getting bigger and brighter by the day! She is truly such a happy and easy going baby. She sleeps through the night, eats well and gives us all kinds of smiles and a few coos. She is growing up so fast and I know I will blink and she will be a toddler. 

Being a mom is just he most wonderful gig I could ask for. I spend most of my day just feeling so blessed to be her mom. 

I’ve been cleared post parfumerie from my doctor and once my 6 weeks post surgery is up I am jumping back into my body pump workouts.  I haven’t done them in about a year and I’m so looking forward to getting back in shape for summer. Pregnancy was hard on my body so I’m looking forward to feeling strong and capable again. Plus I want to set a good example for my little sponge. 

Here’s a look at my baby/maternity collage. What do you think?

Sounds like Clara is waking up from her nap so I must go but I will try to fit in some time to write into my week. I’m loving maternity leave but I do miss writing and expressing myself creatively through my words on a consistent basis. I have the perfect outlet in my little blog so I should really take advantage of that when I can. 

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My village

They say it takes a village to raise a child. 

I was already aware that I had access to a wonderful core support team in my immediate family. We have always been tight knit and I was raised with the understanding that you were always to offer help and support when needed and could expect the same from others. 

I was also very fortunate to marry into a family with similar values. 

I called upon this village when I was first home with Clara. I knew we needed help and with no questions asked my mother in law packed a bag and came over for a couple of days. 

It wasn’t until this past weekend while laying on a bed in the emergency room when I realized that my village was so much bigger than previously thought. My immediate family is just one hut and within a few hours more huts popped up. My village was revealed. 

Around supper time on Friday night my stomach started to feel off. I thought I was having some indigestion, so I took some medicine and rested on the couch. Instead of feeling some relief however as the evening wore on I felt worse. My mom who had been helping out my sister in the next province for the past three weeks had just gotten home that afternoon with my sister and nieces in tow. Everyone was eager to get to know baby Clara. Around the time I was feeling sick my mom and sister left in my car to visit an aunt who is currently going through cancer treatments. After they left I took Tylenol and something for nausea and laid down in bed for an hour, leaving Alex on baby duty. 

When I woke up in a lot of pain and clammy I discovered I had a low grade fever and started feeling like I might need to go see a doctor. 

Seeing on how it was after 9:30pm and I hated going to the ER (almost as much as I hated asking for help), you know I was worried. At 3.5 weeks postpartum, I was afraid I had an infection in my uterus. Thankfully, because I was still considered in my postpartum recovery period I could go to the Women and Children’s hospital when I delivered instead of waiting in the ER for who knows how many hours. 

Just after 10pm I had Alex texting my mom to see when they were coming home and by 11pm we were on our way, baby in tow since I’m breastfeeding. 

At the IWK I was given a room on the labour and delivery floor while I waited for blood work and an exam from the doctor. The OB working that night was also working when I was in labour and it was nice to see a familiar face. It took a while to get seen because all the ladies in labour rightfully took priority. By 3:30am my blood work was back showing a high white blood cell count and it was determined I needed a CAT scan to know what exactly was wrong. I was told they suspected appendicitis or gastroenteritis. I was hoping for the latter because I knew appendicitis meant surgery. 

I was transferred to the ER and by 7am I was taken for my CAT scan. Due to the radioactive dye I was advised not to breastfeed for 48 hours. My stomach dropped. I had 2 oz of pumped milk in the fridge and another 5 in the freezer. I had just started pumping enough excess that week to store and it wasn’t 48 hours worth. Thankfully I had just fed Clara before the test. 

Within a half hour I was told I had appendicitis and needed to be put on antibiotics and consult with the surgeon. 

At that point Alex and mom packed up Clara to take home. I couldn’t feed her anymore and they had both been up 24 hours at that point. The tears started to flow as my mind raced. I didn’t want to be away from my baby and how was she going to eat while I was in hospital being pumped full of drugs? I know if push came to shove she could have taken formula but I didn’t know how it would affect her digestive system or if it would affect our breastfeeding relationship post recovery. Things had just gotten so good with feeding I didn’t want it ruined already. 

I wrote a Facebook status about being in the ER and one of the managers at work reached out and encouraged me to pump my milk and look for donor milk to do us until I could feed Clara again. 

Being someone who rarely asks for help, I hesitated for a moment before posting to a local breastfeeding support group asking for donor milk. Within minutes I has offers from a coworker and another friend who are still nursing to help with pumped milk and the offer to nurse if she won’t take a bottle. I burst into tears, so touched from the love of these mothers. Of course that was the moment a nurse entered my room and asked if I was ok. I blubbered out my explaination and she was touched. 

Within an hour my village grew in number as I had offer after offer of frozen milk and mom friends in the city offered to pump some milk for me. Between interruptions from medical staff, my phone being plugged in and only being able to use one hand due to the iv in my other arm it was hard to keep up with the offered and figure out how to coordinate pickup of the milk. 

My awesome friend from work offered to not only pickup donated milk but to coordinate the offers coming in for me. The iv pain medication + being up for more than a day (except for a couple of short nap so) + being sick was taking its toll and I was drained. Trusting fully in my friends abilities, I let my sister (who was taking over baby duty) know what was happening and that donor milk was coming. 

I can’t describe the feeling of despair in my heart while lying in the ER, helpless to take care of my baby girl. The love and gratitude felt each time a new hut popped up in my village as each offer of help buzzed through my Facebook feed was incredible. Some moms I knew personally and others were strangers but they all came together to nourish my baby and lift my spirits. Once I knew Clara was taken care of it was easier to let go and rest until it was time for surgery. 

I learned that because I had a newborn at homecoming, was generally in good health and had a previous successful laparoscopic surgery if all went well I could go home that day!

By 12:50pm I was wheeled to the OR and just after 4pm my mom was picking me up. What a whirlwind. 

My fridge and freezer were full of donated milk and my heart was bursting with love. 

I am currently 3 days post surgery and while I am impatient to recover and get back to normal I know I have to take it easy. Thankfully I have an easy baby no lots of help at home. 

I also have an incredible village of family and friends and for that I am truly grateful. 


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My Birth Storyย 

On Monday, January 25 I went to my regular OB appointment. I was 40+1 and done with being pregnant, I had a lot of ligament pain, hip problems, twisted sacrum and my SI joint had started popping out a couple of weeks prior. I was 1cm and 50% effaced. She offered to put me on the induction list and I jumped over that. From there I went to Costco with my mom and got the call to come in at 9am Tuesday. 
Thursday the previous week at my OB appointment baby had a very high HR of 187 so she sent me in for an nst and induction. We took all the bags only to have baby cooperate and pass the test with flying colours and they sent me home. So on Tuesday At the hospital they hooked me up to monitor baby and her HR was 184-187 for 45 min. They decided baby had to come that day so instead of cervidil I was to be admitted and induced with oxytocin and have them break my water. We were expecting to go home so my mom drove me with no bags and I left hubby home to sleep figuring he would need it later. 
So I get admitted and mom fetches hubby and our bags. 
Drip started around 10:30am. Doc punctured my waters but baby was so engaged nothing came out. 
By my 4pm check I was only 3.5-4 and 80% and contractions were picking up. I laboured in the tub for a while until I couldn’t breathe through anymore and they were 30-40 sec apart. 
Knowing I still had a ways to go I asked for the epidural. My contractions were so close together I had 3 while it was being put in and another right after. Then sweet, sweet relief. 
I was able to relax and had a nap. Around 11pm I was 9cm and 100% effaced and my water finally started coming in little gushes. Lol. 
At 1:10 am I was feeling lots of pressure and they checked me and said it was go time. While we were waiting for the doctor they asked me for a couple of small practice pushes and they told me to stop because she was crowning. 
Doc comes in and with my next contraction I do 3 big pushes. Another contraction and a 2 sec push and her head is out I’m told to stop. Then one more push and out she comes. Born at 1:24am. 
Daddy got to announce the sex and cut the cord. 
They put her on my chest and I just cried. I couldn’t talk and I can’t describe the feeling of seeing her covered in all manner of fluids, crying and looking completely perfect. 
I had 3 tears (2 internal) and lost a lot of blood. About an hour later she was still on my chest and my blood pressure dropped suddenly. My mom took Clara so the team could work on me. A little scary but we are fine. 

We are nearly 2 weeks postpartum and doing great. Clara is supposed to have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow but we are in the middle of a blizzard right now so I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it. 


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On Being a Mom

Hi all, 

Sorry for the radio silence but as you may have guessed we welcomed our little girl, Clara Ellen into this world on January 27. 

She is absolutely perfect. 

We are 9 days new right now and have a good routine on the go. Unfortunately my husband returns to work on Monday so we have to readjust to accommodate the loss of that extra set of hands. My mom was present for the birth but had to leave the next day to go to NB for 3 weeks to help my sister with her girls.  Just two more weeks and she will be home again!

Motherhood is amazing! I can’t get over how much I love my little girl. She is a really good baby. She will sleep in her bassinet for hours and only cries when she’s hungry, gassy or needs a change.  

Our first night home from hospital was really hard. She was up crying all night with gas, I couldn’t get her to latch so she was hungry, I had only slept maybe 6 hours in 3 days and I was a hormonal mess. I wanted Alex to sleep that night because he didn’t have much sleep either and I wanted someone to be rested for morning. I got him up at 7am because I needed a break. While I was eating breakfast with tears running down my cheeks, I looked at him and told him to call his mom. I knew we needed reinforcements and I needed a mom. I’m so glad I have two great ones. 

As I was trying to remember through my fogged brain whether or not I booked a check in with the public health nurse and where the sheet of paper was with their info my phone rang and it was the nurse! I blubbered how bad I was doing through the phone and she scheduled a visit for later that morning.  

My MIL showed up with her overnight bag and the nurse followed shortly after. As she was asking me some routine questions she stopped and asked me how much I has slept? It was hard for me to recall. Then like a wise owl she looked at me and said, “You need to sleep.” 


It hadn’t occurred to me that I needed to sleep! 

Thankfully my milk had started to come in (which apparently contributes to the weeping) and the nurse got us started with a nipple shield to help Clara latch and taught me a few cues to watch for to make sure she was eating and how to know when she is full. She scheduled another visit for Monday (This was Friday) and left. We had a great feed while she was here so as soon as she left I went to sleep. 

My MIL stayed up with me all that night to help, she was really gassy again. But other than feeding my girl, I spent the majority of the next few days sleeping. 

MIL went home the next night to sleep and we had a much better night as Clara was starting to sleep in her bassinet and have less gas and Alex and I set up a tag team effort where he went to bed early and I came to bed after her 1am feeding and then if she was fussy it was his turn to get up so I could sleep. 

Now that we are a week and a half into this parenting gig Clara is sleeping 3-4 hoy stretches in her bassinet at night and we are both rested which makes me more confident that I can handle the nights and days alone. 

I am so very thankful to the amazing staff at the IWK health centre and the public health nursing service for their support. I’m also so thankful to be Canadian and have access to all of these amazing services for free (obviously paid by my tax dollars but no cost out of pocket). 

My advice to other new moms is to take advantage of all help you have access to, especially in the beginning. After the toll labour and delivery has on your body + the demands of caring for a newborn, rest is essential. 

I will share my birth story and more about my journey through new motherhood soon. Here is one of my most swoon worthy moments of our 7 year relationship. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


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