Beauty and Body, family, Health, Review

Eco Chic Movement – Baby Line. Includes discount code!

Mason just turned 5 months old this week. Can you believe it? I can’t. It goes so fast the second time around (or maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking).  Thankfully, it means that I have had some time to test out the products that I received from Eco Chic Movement to try from their baby line. For those that missed it, check out my post reviewing their adult line of products here.

As I mentioned there,  Eco Chic Movement is a fantastic company headed by Dr. Alexis Reid – a chemical engineer, pharmacologist, toxicologist and naturopathic doctor here in Ottawa. I came across their baby line while working at Belly Laughs and really enjoyed it. When they gave me the opportunity to try a selection of their products, I was all over that!

So, their baby line is the line of products I’m most familiar with, simply because I sold them at Belly Laughs and use them at home. Let’s get to my review, shall we?

Baby Lotion

I’m very careful about using lotions on my kids because they have sensitive skin (just like their mama). This lotion was created with sensitive skin in mind. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t have artificial fragrances. Now that Liam is getting a bit older and in to more things, I’ve been finding his hands, knees and elbows are getting dry. He loves using this lotion. It’s gentle, light, absorbs quickly and works great at moisturizing those dry spots. I appreciate that it has a pump, which keeps the product safe from those germy kid hands.

Baby Massage Oil

This is a beautiful product with a bunch of different uses. Mason had bad cradle cap and I was able to use this oil after baths, with a gentle comb scrape along the patches and now he is clear of all cradle cap. We also used it for baby massages (and for mama’s tired shoulders) before bed time. It has a really lovely scent that is really calming.

Diaper Cream

This cream reminds me a lot of the Earth Mama Angel Baby diaper cream that I used with Liam. It has worked wonders for the occasional red bum that Mason has had, and because it has no zinc, I feel comfortable using it with our cloth diapers. Also, it is super gentle and doesn’t upset the baby when we put it on those sore spots. A quick note: Because of the oil content, you may notice some little oil grains in the cream. Just rub the cream between your fingers and the oil will melt and go on baby’s skin smoothly.

Baby Face Cream

This may be one of my favourite products. I use this cream on everything. It’s rich, but gentle (is this the word of the day? I think it may be), and I feel totally fine putting this on Mason’s face when he needs it (he gets dry patches on his cheeks from the wind). I also use it on my face when my eczema flares up. I love the scent and the texture.

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Skin Conditions Cream (eczema cream)

I was so excited to see this product. I suffered with eczema my whole life and my parents had nothing but prescription creams to deal with my trouble areas. It’s so great that we have some other options now! Mason, unfortunately, inherited my eczema (though thankfully, not to the same severity). I love having something in my arsenal to fight those flare ups. This cream is specially designed to treat skin conditions, as well as moisturize. It does have a unique odor, due to the natural oils, but it’s worth it when it means your baby gets some relief for the itchiness and discomfort. For the record, I also use this on myself when I flare up and find it helps without stinging. You will notice the area will get a little red, but this is normal.

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Baby Shampoo and Body Wash

I love this product so much. SO MUCH. I have tried so many baby washes and this is the first that doesn’t make my eczema flare up on my hands after bath time. It doesn’t upset Mason’s skin, either. It has a lovely relaxing scent and leaves the skin soft and clean. I love how it dispenses and how it foams up. Sooooo neat.

Sunscreen

This isn’t currently on the website, but you should be able to see it soon. This is a baby safe sunscreen because it’s not a chemical based sunscreen. It’s a natural based sunscreen, with zinc oxide, a physical barrier sunscreen. You will notice that you need to rub it in more, and that it leaves a  bit of a white cast, because it is a physical barrier cream. It’s spf25 and hasn’t ever upset my eczema, unlike many other sunscreens I’ve tried. I will say it doesn’t last super long, but it’s a great option for those who want to use a sunscreen on babies before 6 months and who want a more natural option. For more information, check out Dr. Reid‘s video here.

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The only product that I haven’t yet tried yet is the chest congestion rub. If and when I do, I’ll make sure to share my thoughts!

Because I am now an Eco Chic Movement Ambassador, and really love their products, I have a discount code for you!

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Use when purchasing through their website

Please let me know about what you try. I really hope you love these products as much as I do. By the way, I want you to know that I am not being paid or sponsored to write this post in any way. They did send me the products to try and love the feedback of the community, but I am writing from my own honest experience and opinion. It’s important to me that I be 100% honest with you and make sure you know what’s up :)

Are there any other products that you’d like to see me talk about here? Shoot me a line and let me know!

Baby, Daily Life, Depression, family, Health, Pregnancy

Introducing Mason (His birth story)

You may have noticed the silence around here and the new face on my instagram. It’s true! We welcomed Baby M earthside on November 29th at around 5pm. I got my VBAC! So, allow me to share our birth story and introduce Mason.mason

In my 37th week, I noticed that I had started to lose my mucus plug. I knew this was a sign that my body was prepping for labour. Saturday the 28th, we had done some grocery shopping and I felt some wetness. Had I peed myself?! Embarrassing! That night, same thing happened again when I turned in my sleep, followed by some cramping and back pain. Ugh, unpleasant.

On Sunday the 29th, I woke up and felt kind of off. An hour or so later, I noticed I had bloody show and knew it was going to be baby time sooner rather than later. I casually startedtiming the contractions.  I told Pat and updated my friend Claire (our Doula). I had also noticed that I had what felt like menstrual cramps, which was nothing like what my contractions felt like last time with Liam. Eventually, Claire had me time them more carefully, just to see and we noticed that they were rhythmic. Huh. I still wasn’t convinced it was labour but when they got more steady and frequent, Claire told me she was coming over to check things out.

I made sure our bags were ready to go, and got in contact with my friends who had offered to watch Liam. I let Pat know things were picking up and started verbally prepping Liam for his first night away.

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In labour, on the exercise ball

The contractions were more intense, but nothing more than uncomfortable. I found relief in swaying on my exercise ball and doing figure 8s. When Claire arrived, we talked a bit and Pat got me some food from Timmy’s. Eventually, talking through contractions took more work. It was then that Pat and Claire suggested we go to the hospital, but I still didn’t think it was time. I was convinced the contractions were still 5 minutes plus apart, when they were actually closer to 3.5. I wanted Liam to have his nap, as it was noon. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom and had three contractions one after the other that I agreed to go.

We dropped Liam off at Jenn’s, and my heart broke. I already missed my little guy. We made our way to the Civic Hospital and met up with Claire there.

We made our way to the 4th floor, Labour and Delivery, where they took my history and checked me. I was 5cm. They admitted me and showed us to our room. There we met our great nurse, Phyllis, and I started labouring in earnest. I walked, swayed, leaned, cried and felt myself becoming overwhelmed by the rapid increase of the pain and frequency of the contractions. Eventually, I had had enough and requested an epidural. I was so afraid of letting everyone down, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. They checked me, and I was at 8cm. Having contractions while having to stay perfectly still was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Unfortunately, the Epi didn’t take fully. It merely dulled the pain a bit.

I was on the bed, feeling like I might need to push. I felt the sudden gush of my water breaking. It was full of meconium. They then needed to attach monitors to his head because his heart rate was decelerating and the monitors on my stomach weren’t working eith how low he was. Moments later, I could no longer control the urge to push. Within 15 minutes, Mason was born. Pat cut the cord and the OB showed me my placenta (soooo cool!). I felt so much better than after my c-section. I had a 2nd degree tear and some stitches, and felt like a champ. Mason ended up having some issues, however.

As I waited to deliver my placenta, the medical team was trying to get Mason to be more responsive. He eventually was, but his breathing still wasn’t great and his chest was puffed out. They left him with me for an hour to nurse before deciding to send him to the NICU with Pat. There, they did a chest x-ray and blood work. He had no meconium in his lungs and no air leaks. After keeping an eye on him for about 12 hrs, they brought him back to me. The next evening, we were sent home with a clean bill of health.m2

The After:

A couple days later, at our first post partum check up, our family dr confirmed our suspicions that M had jaundice. She sent us to get bloodwork done and that evening, we got a phone call to get to the children’s hospital ASAP. His bloodwork was very concerning. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a really difficult time for us. We were admitted after they ran a bunch of tests and we ended up staying at CHEO for 5 days. They were concerned he had a blood infection due to a mistake on a blood test, or an antibody issue due to the blood bank mixing up our file with someone else. In the end, he just had jaundice and needed a lot of phototherapy.

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Our stay was hard for me. Post partum hormones, and recovery in a hospital room for someone who is prone to anxiety and depression …it was not ideal. We were in a dorm style room with two other babies from out of town, which meant that there was a lot of noise, lots of crying and just one nurse to care for them. I was very stressed and unfortunately, my post partum anxiety got pretty bad. I wasn’t allowed to hold him much, with the exception of nursing. I basically had to sit and watch him on that light table. Thankfully, my family dr and my loved ones were on it. I had visitors daily and my meds were upped. Eventually, we developed a routine where I went home to be with Liam for a couple hours, which helped.

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Liam really struggled with all of this. When Mason was born, he was worried he wasn’t ever coming home from my friend Jenn’s place. When we were admitted to CHEO, he was heartbroken and really had a hard time with me being gone. We are dealing now with the fallout and his big feelings, but we’re all doing much better. Mason is growing and doing better every day. My anxiety is manageable and we are finally getting into the swing of things.  Every day is a challenge, but we are loved and supported, so we will be ok.

Baby, Daily Life, family, Health, Pregnancy

Weekly Preggo Update: 37 Weeks

As I mentioned in my last pregnancy update, I am going to switch to weekly updates until baby arrives. You know, assuming I can keep up. I’ll try ;)

27weeks
So tired, so sore.

A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): It was a more quiet week for us. I basically stayed home as much as possible as my body was definitely quite sore and needed rest. Thankfully, one of my best friends recently moved like 10 minutes from us and has been hosting play dates at her place, so I’ve been able to get hang out time with my girls and their kiddos without killing myself.

On Sunday, we hit the local Santa Claus parade and had a good but chilly time. It involved a lot of discomfort and walking for me, which seems to have kicked started my body prepping for labour.  The next day I lost more of my plug and have continued to do so all week. I’ve also had intense braxton hicks contractions. Eeeee.

In less good news, we found out at my weekly OB appointment that I have tested positive for Group B Strep. I freaked out a bit initially. I had these visions of a sick baby, of being stuck on my back in labour because of antibiotics, you name it. Thankfully, I have some great friends, and an amazing husband and doula, all of whom were able to calm me down.

How far along am I right now? 38 Weeks, 9 Months

I am thinking… About how quickly the last 9 months have flown by. What a strange time pregnancy is. There were moments where it felt like it dragged and I’d never get to the third trimester (especially when I was really sick those first few months), and yet, here I am now, about to have baby any time and I can’t believe it.

I am thankful for… My friends, living in suburbia (so many stores, open all the time, with so much chocolate) and my new neighbour! I have been plagued by a family that has lived right next door since we moved here almost 7 years ago. They were awful and this past week they moved out and the new neighbour moved in. She’s a single mom to a 1,5 y.o. I look forward to getting to know her :)

I am wearing… Comfy clothes. PJs, t shirts, leggings.

I am creating… Honestly, not much. I just don’t have the energy

I am going… to try and motivate myself to keep up my cleaning. Despite the preschooler and gigantic hairy dog that love to instantly destroy my efforts, I’ve enjoyed having a slightly less crazy home.

I am hoping… That we can navigate our recent money troubles a bit better. I am really really nervous about how things are going to be over the next few months. Any prayers, good mojo or happy thoughts would be appreciated.

One of my favorite things… Netflix. It is currently raising my child. My body is so incredibly sore these days that I just can’t do much with him.

Weight Gain: In total, we’re at 24lbs.

Baby is how big?: According to my Ovia App, baby is the size of a skunk.
Movement and Pregnancy Weirdness: I should go back and re-read my posts from when I was this far along last time, because I don’t remember having this much hip and pelvic pain last time. I swear, there are moments where I can’t walk, or feel like I’m going to fall apart. The pain is intense. Also, baby must have dropped because I can’t walk at all without a very pronounced waddle. This week marked the beginning of intense braxton hicks and losing my plug. This gives me hope that the end is in sight and that we should be able to have this baby before the holidays. Not that I don’t love kiddos born on the holidays, but it would really make life more difficult for us. I’d much rather have a wee babe in arms by then.
Cravings and Aversions: Chocolate, lots of chocolate. And spice. I have been enjoying hot sauce and chilis quite a bit lately.
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: I have reached the stage where I am sensitive to images in the media. Hurt or suffering children? Can’t watch it. Super intense violence? Nope. Give me comedy and romance please. My heart just can’t take anything else right now.
Other Pictures from this Week:
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Hanging out with my kiddo at the parade.
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Relaxing at my girlfriend’s house for a play date. 
Baby, Daily Life, family, Health, Pregnancy

Weekly Preggo Update: 36 Weeks

As I mentioned in my last pregnancy update, I am going to switch to weekly updates until baby arrives. You know, assuming I can keep up. I’ll try ;)

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A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): It was a busy week! It started off with my close friends throwing me an amazing baby shower at the Upkeep  Shoppe on Preston. It’s a fantastic nail bar, skin care and tea boutique. Yep. Pretty much heaven. I had a blast and was spoiled silly. Afterwards, a few of us make our way over to Stella Luna for gelato and coffee. They have a special gelato that they offer for pregnant ladies that promises to help get labour started, so obviously I had to try it. (Here we are, a week later and no baby, so obviously I wasn’t ready for it, but it was incredibly tasty anyway).

The rest of the week has been good. Found out my sister, Tracy, has booked a flight to visit us after baby arrives! I’m so so happy! Had a good OB appointment, a park date with some amazing ladies, an afternoon chilling with my doula and then a great mom and kiddo hang out.

The only downside is that I’m feeling extremely pregnant. My pelvis hurts like a mofo, I’ve been super crampy and nauseated. Some days I’m fine, others, I just want to sleep all day and be done with pregnancy. Thank god I’m no longer working. I can’t imagine trying to manage standing for hours while feeling this way.

How far along am I right now? 37 Weeks, 9 Months

I am thinking…about the last few things we have left to do before M makes his grand appearance. We still need to repair the glider, make a value village drop off, finalize the hospital bags, wrap christmas gifts, etc…

I am thankful for… Our incredible community of friends. I can’t tell you how supportive they’ve been. Between the gifts, the hand me downs, the meals, the helpful info and emotional support, I am so completely overwhelmed. This week alone, we’ve had like 5 different families offer to help out with Liam when baby comes.

I am wearing… Mat clothes. Most of my shirts no longer fit and the elastic on my pants have given up the illusion of even trying to stay up, but I do what I can.

I am creating…Attempting to work on Christmas gifts, but I have no energy to do much of anything these days.

I am going… to see if the full moon and crazy weather changes of this upcoming week will perhaps encourage M to arrive. I still have a feeling he’s going to make his appearance before his EDD of Dec 14

I am hoping…for a much more relaxed labour this time.

One of my favorite things…Zantac and milk. My heartburn has been AWFUL this time.

Weight Gain: In total, we’re at 24lbs.

Baby is how big?: According to my Ovia App, baby is the size of a chihuahua.
Movement and Pregnancy Weirdness: Movement has slowed down a bit now that kiddo is running out of room. He still has dance parties throughout the day, but the jabs are definitely more concentrated to certain areas. As for weirdness, Baby keeps going from feeling super low to back up. Not sure if he’s actually moving around like that, but I keep getting intense pelvic pressure and then kicks up near my ribs. Maybe this kid is going to be a giant? Also, I no longer fit in the maternity coat that I was given near the end with Liam. I can barely button it up. Oh dear.
Cravings and Aversions: Craving lots of dairy (milk, cheese, chocolate), and salty meat (hurr hurr hurr), like hot dogs or the like.
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: I am amused by the daily email and text checks to see how I’m doing. My friends are awesome <3 For the curious: www.haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com
Other Pictures from this Week:
Baby, Daily Life, family, Health, Pregnancy

Pregnancy Update: Month 8

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A peek at month 8: Hormones are in high gear this month. I’m very moody, restless, emotional and grumpy. Of course, because timing is awesome, the whole family caught a nasty sinus and chest mancold. So unpleasant. Many sleepless nights and exhausted days.

I started to find work was really hard on my body and Braxton Hicks started to make that known to me. The weekend of Halloween was fun but difficult for me, A long shift at work and lots of activities meant resulted in some bleeding, pressure, pain and a really unhappy worried mom. We ended up seeing the OB to make sure everything was ok and found out that I am overdoing it. Baby M is doing fine, but my body was not pleased with me. He recommended I leave work as soon as we could afford it, and so, my mat leave started a whole month early with Halloween being the last day I worked.

Timing ended up working in our favour as Pat has hopefully snagged a part time job to get us through me not qualifying for mat leave pay. Unfortunately, this means he will be working like 70 hours a week and I will be on my own with two kiddos during that time. Eep. Also, we booked Baby M’s eviction date. Because of my previous C-Section, my induction options are limited, and with the holidays being a pain for scheduling, we were booked for my Just In Case C-Section on Christmas Eve. So weird having a date where I know M will be here, no matter what.

How far along am I right now? 36 Weeks (9 months)

I am thinking…About how close we are now! How I’m going to handle this whole stay at home mom thing. How I can’t wait for my upcoming baby shower. I miss seeing all my friends together <3

I am thankful for…Our amazing health care system that allows me to get checked out even when we are pretty sure everything is ok but just want to double check.

I am creating…Not much. I don’t have much energy these days and my body is so sore.

I am going…to try and rest, despite my insane nesting urge to constantly clean and organize.

I am hoping…that baby M arrives well before his Christmas eviction date.

Around the house…trying not to overdo it, which has been proving to be difficult. My goals right now are to get on top of laundry and clean out our deep freezer so that we have room for freezer meals.

One of my favorite things…Halloween treats. Yum!

Weight Gain: Somewhere around 25lbs?

Baby in the Produce World:  Baby Centre says baby M is now as big as a head of romaine lettuce. That seems big. Eep. (36 weeks)
 Movement/Signs of the Baby: Holy, this kid has not been gentle on my insides. I swear he’s trying to claw and punch his way out. With Liam, I joked that he was a tiny ninja or dancer. This kiddo is hulk. He wakes me up with his jabs, and I have definitely felt pain at some of his movements. He moves around a lot. He is head down, and goes from low to high, curled up to stretched WAY out.

Cravings and Aversions: Chips and onion dip, cereal with milk and sugar, chocolate bars.
Body Changes/Weirdness: I think I’ve started to lose my mucous plug. Discharge is gross and frequent and man, do I hurt ALL the time. I feel like a rotisserie chicken with the amount of turning I have to do during the night due to sore hips (even with my snoogle). Bending is becoming very difficult (and sometimes impossible), depending on where baby is located. Also, peeing. Kid sometimes makes it impossible for me to pee. Ugh.
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: I am going to try to post more frequently as we get closer to the date, but I’m not sure it’s going to work out. We’ll have to wait and see. Basically, with all of my symptoms, baby could come at any time.
Baby, Daily Life, family, Health, Pregnancy

Pregnancy Update: Month 7

Sorry for the confusing title changes to these posts. It occurs to me that evening though I post this when I hit the following month, I am talking about the previous month…errr…confusng. Anyway, this post is about my 7th month of Pregnancy. So, yeah.

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A peek at month 7: Thank the Gods, month 7 was far less intense than last month. We did have one visit to triage, but everything looks good so I’m not worried. We got the results back on my gestational diabetes test and I PASSED!! WOOHOO! Who’s eating apple pie for breakfast? This guy.The weather has turned a bit cooler, and I’m definitely feeling gigantic, so we haven’t been out and active in a bit. We did have a lovely thanksgiving with my in-laws though.Oh, and a wonderful friend and fellow April Mom (L and her daughter were born in the same month three years ago, we have been friends since pregnancy) has offered to be our doula!! I’m so excited!

How far along am I right now? 32 Weeks (8 months)

I am thinking…About all the final details. DH is meeting our OB this month, and we have added a good friend of mine to our birthing team, as our Doula. I’m repacking our hospital bag and making sure our people are ready to care for Liam and our pets when the time comes.

I am thankful for…The beautiful weather, tea, and pumpkin scones.

I am creating…Lots of Halloween crafts with Liam, some Christmas stuff (hoping to get it all done early so I can just focus on baby)

I am going…keep working until the end of November, if all goes well.

I am hoping…that baby M isn’t going to be as huge as everyone thinks he will be.

Around the house…Trying to stay on top of cleaning and decluttering. We are pretty much ready for baby, with the exception of a few small things. DH has to fix our free glider, that sort of thing.

One of my favorite things…My snoogle and zantac. Night time has been BRUTAL for heartburn and hip pain.

Weight Gain: Somewhere around 25lbs?

Baby in the Produce World:  Baby Centre says baby M is now as big as a stalk of kale. Really? (at 32 weeks)
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 Movement/Signs of the Baby: Definitely way more movement this month! I have been unsuccessful at capturing video of it, and poor Daddy still hasn’t felt much, but I definitely do. He looooooves to kick my ribs and headbutt my pelvis. My poor bladder seems to be a comfy pillow for him as well.

Cravings and Aversions: Pumpkin Scones from Starbucks are the big one, and cheesy delicious pizza from Gabriel’s. Yum. No major aversions at the moment.
Body Changes/Weirdness: Welcome pregnancy insomnia and frequent pee breaks! Also, TMI time folks: For those of you who may not know, pregnancy brings about a lovely change often referred to as swamp crotch. This basically means you have a LOT more discharge and your crotch is pretty much always damp. Well, mine ramped WAY up this month, which brought us to Triage out of concern that I was leaking amniotic fluid. All turned out ok, but I am living in Poise liners now (or as Liam likes to call them “Mommy’s Diapers”). Otherwise, it’s all the typical stuff. My bellybutton is now an outie, my boobs are huge and sore, my belly is decorated in tiger’s stripes. Interestingly enough, I don’t have the crazy foot swelling that I had with Liam and I don’t think I’ve really had braxton hicks at all this time around (last time I had them CONSTANTLY)
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: Can I seriously get bigger? Ugh. My maternity clothes are already giving up the fight. Elastic waists don’t stay up and shirts barely cover my bump.
Other Pictures from the 7th month:
Baby, family, Health, Links, Pregnancy

Hospital Bag

It has been a crazy week here, all of which kind of hit me like a tonne of bricks on Friday (annoying money issues, over scheduled, health stuff, all at once). That all came to a head when I was told to go to Labour and Delivery triage to get checked out. There were concerns my water had broken or was leaking. Weeeeee.

So, as Pat rushed home from work, I grabbed a bag and threw some stuff in for me and another bag for Liam, just in case. At 29/30 weeks, it was entirely possible things were getting really real, much sooner than expected.

We spent several hours at the hospital, Liam was awesome, Pat was a saint and I was sore and tired. Baby and I are both fine, though they want my OB to keep a close eye on things.

This whole thing really made me realize how close we are to Baby arriving, whether or not we are ready for it. So, I took a close look at my lists and decided it was time to start getting things together. I mentioned this to my girlfriends in my due date group (Hello to my December Buzzle Mamas!) and was asked to share my Hospital Bag check list. I figured some of you may be interested as well! In this case, I am packing with the possibility of a few nights stay in mind. I was woefully unprepared when Liam was born and really wished I had packed more of certain items and waaaay less of others.

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Click here for the pdf copy of my list.

I was really impressed by the Triage staff. I have been nervous about this hospital, as it’s where my mother worked for years and years, and I’ve heard they tend to be busy (which sometimes translates to them sending labouring moms to walk around the hospital/hang out somewhere else because they don’t have a spot for them to labour privately). Our nurse, Judy, was awesome. She immediately put me at ease, was great with Liam and with Pat.

We are meeting a good friend of mine this week to see if she might join us as our doula. I’m really really hopeful that she and Pat will hit it off and that we’ll have this extra set of hands as support during this birth. Wish us luck! I can’t believe we are so close to the end already!

The rest of the Baby Basics Series: