To my beautiful baby girl on her 1st Birthday

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

From the moment I stared in disbelief at that second line on the pregnancy test I loved you! I cried tears of pure joy and jumped in excitement. I barrelled out of the bathroom screaming and crying to tell your Daddy that I was pregnant.

I felt you grow and move. I cringed when you found the perfect spot in between two of my ribs to stick and wiggle your teeny tiny toes. I watched in wonder as the ripples moved across my swelling belly and enjoyed rubbing my hand against whichever body part was poking out at any given moment.

As the final weeks and days ticked by I grew more and more excited to finally meet you but you were very cozy in my womb and showed no signs of wanting out. Unfortunately my body was giving out and it was time to meet you.

I was scheduled to come in to the hospital to get the ball rolling but due to your heart rate going at an impressive 187 bpm it was decided we needed a speedier method so I was admitted and induced with Pitocin.

Nanny had to run back home to get Daddy and our bags because we were expecting to hang out for an hour, get my treatment and go home to wait for it to work. I had big plans of cooking, cleaning and having one last day at home before you came. That’s what I get for planning.

I was hooked up around 10am to the drip and contractions started within the hour. By 6pm, my contractions were big and close together but I was only 3.5 cm dilated, I decided to ask for an epidural so I could relax and sleep, which would hopefully allow my body to open up.

5cm…7cm…9cm..10!

By 1 am I was fully dilated and it was time to get the show on the road. The nurses instructed me on how to push and I tried a couple of practice pushes while waiting for the doctor to arrive.

“Stop! That’s good, this won’t take long. I can see the head.”

The doctor arrived around 1:10 and just 2-3 pushes later out you came around 1:22am!

12592752_10156507113075088_2265407424657647628_n

You were the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on. Crying, using your lungs for the very first time.  Angry, that you were forced to leave your dark, warm spot. Perfect in every way. Gazing into your face I had tears of joy streaming down my cheeks. No words. Just tears – much like the ones that sprung from my eyes when I saw that positive pregnancy test eight months before.

Although this all happened a year ago I can recall the emotion and moment as clear as day. I had a dream when I was in my second trimester where I saw your face and in that dream it was revealed to me that you were a girl. We waited until you were born to find out your sex but as soon as I saw your face I knew it was exactly the same face that had been in my dream.

I love watching you grow and learn. I love the expression on your face when you do something for the first time. I love it when you are so overtaken by a song you have to stop and dance. I love your independent streak and your sweet smile, the way your head always smells like a fresh summer day.

16105716_10158104494990088_5018263066866216354_n

So keep being you my baby girl. Be fierce. Love always. Respect yourself. Stand tall.

Love, Mommy

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“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. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clara’s First Picture with the Easter Bunny

  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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. 

   
   

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Birth Story 

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. 

  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment