Autumn Life Update

It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.

Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.

We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.bulletjournal

Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.

Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.

So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo

Mason – 7 Months Old

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I don’t know why 30 days make such a difference, but the sudden realization that we have less than half a year left before this little one turns 1 is crazy to me.

It has been a very busy month for us. June is always kind of a crazy time with events (including big brother finishing up his first karate session and graduating from dufferdoo), birthdays (I turned 33, for instance!) and anniversaries (Ours! 6 years married now). Being out and about didn’t slow Mason down at all. He has been getting more and more vocal, more mobile and more himself. He is growing so freaking fast!

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Where we are now:

  • Diaper Size: Pampers Size 4, cloth diapers in size 2
  • Clothing Size: Depending on the brand, between 9-18months.
  • Favourite Clothes: Clothes are a struggle with this guy. He is smaller than Liam was, and shaped very differently. He HATES getting dressed and especially hates things going over his head and overalls.
  • Nicknames: Mace and Macey, bubba, small fry, turd, petit frite
  • Loves: Rolling, cobra pose, avocados, yelling, banging, splashing, chewing, bouncing, standing, his family, water, Tinga Tinga Tales on Netflix, Cole (the cat), his bunny.
  • Hates: His carseat and the car, medicine,  getting dressed, sleeping.
  • Updates: His two middle bottom teeth finally broke through and now we are working on the uppers. He is  CRANKY teething bear these days. We have been fighting yeast rashes and have had to use disposables while the battle wages. He has started moving around on his own. He rolls around a room, does circles and scoots backwards. He also takes a few steps if we support him standing. He loves to sit up on his own, but has a bad tendency to throw himself over when he’s ready to do something else, resulting in many head bumps. He has been hating naps and sleep lately, which makes for a very tired mama.
  • He is still refusing the bottle, but has started eating food. His favourites at the moment are avocado and apple slices and peanut butter. He HATES baby cereals and purees with a passion (a puking passion). Peaches seem to cause him to break out in little bumps. He’s finally starting to get a bit better in the carseat, but still doesn’t love it. I still wear him all the time, especially for naps because nothing else works for me. Bath time is his favourite thing EVER.

Mason – 6 Months Old

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Half a year. Half a year since this little beastie joined our family and completed it. How is that possible? How has it already been so long? I’m sorry I haven’t really been doing these posts the last few months. Honestly, I’ve been struggling. Post Partum Anxiety has been kicking my butt, and was recently joined by Depression. Meds are being changed up and I’m looking into therapy, but it’s been a challenge. On top of that, there’s been a fair amount of drama and difficulties to deal with in the mean time. All that aside, we’re doing ok. I have great plans of doing some more reviews for you soon, and have even been thinking about starting to do some youtube videos!

Now, on to Mason.

Month 3: In his third Month, Mason met his fellow December baby friend, Phillip. One of my best friends, Crystal, has us over all the time and her sister is in my online December mom group. Our boys got to hang out. What else? Well, we tried Mason in the Jumperoo and he hated it. He also started popping his seat in the ring sling, which frustrated me to no end. He started to roll on to his side from his back. Mason also had his first Easter.

Month 4: Interacting with the world a lot more, loving toys, his playmat is his favourite thing. Holds his head up and tries to roll on to his belly. Begins teething haphazard, but hates teething toys. Tried the jolly jumper but doesn’t really get it. Totally in love with his brother, who turned 4 this month.

Month 5: plays peekaboo, starts giving aggressive kisses (grabs my face with his nails and open mouth kisses me). Chews on everything. Says mama when upset, and parrots “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii”, said Dada once. Rolled back to front and tries to crawl. Very frustrated he can’t move on his own. Takes a step or two if held up. Digging the circle of neglect and the jolly jumper now. We celebrated Mothers Day and went to the Agricultural Museum. Tried some fruit and veggies right before the 6 month mark. Had a very busy Victoria Day weekend with family and friends.

Where we are now:

  • Diaper Size: Pampers Size 4, cloth diapers in size 2
  • Clothing Size:Depending on the brand, between 6-12months.
  • Favourite Clothes: The cold weather had me loving one piece outfits for him. Now that things are heating up, I am LOVING cute shorts, rompers and onesies.
  • Nicknames: Mace and Macey, bubba, small fry, turd
  • Loves: Rolling, yelling, banging, splashing, chewing, bouncing, standing, his family, water, his bunny.
  • Hates: His carseat and the car, medicine, disposable diapers, getting dressed.
  • Updates: Still teething, no teeth yet. No soothers and no bottles yet. Sigh. Loves to mimic sounds he hears. We swear he can say mama, Dada and Hi. Doesn’t like the outdoors, but is getting better. Lots of wake ups at night again. He’s still in bed with me, which makes the lack of sleep survivable. Still gets worn daily. Loves to stand up (with support)

Cloth Diapering Part 4 – How Do I Cloth?

Welcome to part 4 of my Cloth Diapering series. We’ve talked about why you should try cloth, what the options are and what other bits and bobs you might need. Let’s talk about how I (as in me, Heather) cloth diaper as well as the basic How Tos for the Average Cloth Diaper-er.

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Ok, so this is it. You have everything you need. It’s time to get started.

  1. Organize your cloth stuff somewhere where you will be able to easily access it during diaper changes. Stuff your pocket diapers, have your snappies and wipes within reach. Basically, be ready for a baby bum.
  2. Take one diaperless or stinky-butted baby or toddler and bring them to where ever you have gathered your diapering stuff.
  3. Remove clothes and diaper you wish to replace. Cloth diapers that are soiled go in wet bag. If baby is eating solids, be sure to scrape/shake/spray poop into toilet first.
  4. Pick the cloth you want to use.
  5. Put it on the baby.
  6. Rejoice
  7. Smell something funky or hear complaining baby, start back at step 2.

About twice a week, take your wet bag of diapers to the laundry area of your choice, wash and dry. Start back at step 1.

It’s pretty simple, really. Oh, you want more details? Well, sure! I’ll do my best to take some pictures without flashing you poor Mason’s bits.

Prep Your Diapers

  • Wash all of your diapers, whether they are new or used. Follow the instructions provided by the brand for washing. Make sure to wash all of your like fibers together. So, hemp is washed with hemp, cotton with cotton, etc… This is important because hemp and bamboo have natural oils that may cause issues for your other materials after washing.
  • Prefolds needs to be prepped before use. This means washing them a few times or boiling them in a large stock pot. This opens up the fibers and makes them more pillowy and absorbent.

What I do: For new all in one or pocket diapers, I do one warm wash with an extra rinse, with detergent. I then do a dry in the dryer on medium or low, anything still damp goes out in the sun. For new prefolds, I boil them (like fiber with like fiber) and then toss them in the dryer. For covers, I wash them on a regular cycle with detergent and put them up outside to dry. Make sure when washing anything with velcro/hook and loop that all tabs are folded in so as to not catch and damage your diapers.

For used diapers, I do a bleach soak to sanitize. I fill my bathtub with water and add a very small amount of bleach. I then soak the diapers for a few hours. I then ring them out and run them through my regular wash routine.

  • Stuff your pocket diapers with whatever insert you want to use. Remember that if you want to use boosters or need to fold your inserts that boys need extra absorbency in the front and girls need it in the middle.
  • For Hybrid diapers, attach one of the inserts so that the diaper is ready to go. Have extra inserts near by for the following change.
  • Sort your prefolds by size
  • Snap your diapers or covers if you need to size them (ie: if you are diapering a newborn, you will need them snapped to the smallest setting. If you are diapering a toddler, make sure all the snaps are undone). One size diapers may have elastics in the legs that need to be adjusted as well.

Organize Your Space

Make sure your diapering station is all set to go. Everyone does this differently. Do what whats for you.

What I do: My diapering area is in the family room, where we spend most of our time. I have one large bin for all of my diapers, one small bin for my extra inserts and bits and bobs. The pack and play has an attached organizer, in which I have wipes, bum cream and snappies. My wet bag is hanging near by and my diaper genie (for disposables diapers and wipes) is right there.

Put the Diaper on your Baby

  • As I mentioned up top, this is the straight forward part. Put the diaper on your baby.
  • All in Ones go on just like a disposable diaper if they are velcro, otherwise you just have to do the snaps to whatever size works for your baby.IMG_20160527_060616
  • Pocket diapers go on like disposable diapers, assuming you’ve already stuffed them. If not, do so.
  • Fitted Diapers are a two step process. First, put the fitted diaper on your baby (much like a disposable diaper). Once on, put the cover over top the same way. It will be quite bulky but super absorbent.IMG_20160525_110930IMG_20160525_111005
  • Hybrid diapers need their inserts snapped or tucked in (depending on the brand), and then you put them on babyIMG_20160525_083507
  • Prefolds can go on in a bunch of different ways. I suggest checking out this site for a few options. After the prefold goes on, put on your cover. Here’s a couple ways I do it:

With all of these, make sure that the insert covers all the parts it needs to cover, and that none of the inner fabric or fleece is peeking out the leg holes or out the top.

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Go About Your Life

  • Yep. Dress your baby and do your thing. You may find that you have to size up pants for them to fit on your kiddo’s adorable fluffy bum.  They also make snap extenders for onesies that you can get.
  • You may find that you need to change your baby more often. Babies feel wetness in cloth, where as in disposables the diaper falls away from their body. That said, you may find you need to check baby more often too, as the tell tale diaper sag doesn’t happen with cloth.

Change Your Baby

  • When Baby is dirty, it’s time to change that diaper. Unsnap or undo the hook and loop and the snappi if in prefolds. You can reuse the cover if the binding is unsoiled. Simply wipe the PUL or lining. If the binding is wet or has poop, throw it in the wet bag. For pocket diapers you need to remove the insert before washing, so I try to remember to remove it before putting it and the diaper in the wet bag. For Hybrid diapers, just unsnap the insert and reuse the cover if its clean.
  • Wipe with either a disposable wipe or a cloth wipe.
  • If you need bum cream, be sure to use just a tiny bit of cloth safe cream, like Eco Chic Movement or Substance.
  • Put on another adorable cloth diaper.

There you have it, folks! The basics on how to cloth. I hope this series has been able to help demystify cloth diapers for you. Please let me know if you  have any questions or a theme for another post in this series (or another series entirely!) Thanks for reading!

 

The rest of the Baby Basics Series:

Liam: 4 Years Old

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Oh man, have I ever been meaning to get this up sooner. I’m a whole month late. Geez. Can you believe my oldest is already 4 years old? Well, I’m sure you can. It’s not exactly magic. I’m in shock though. I swear he was a baby yesterday. Today he made himself a snack, got himself dressed and peed all over the bathroom floor.

It’s been a crazy year. Going from 3 to 4 is really a HUGE change. Kids go from babies to kids, just like that. He talks so much now, and has so many opinions. He sees and hears so much. He takes everything in. He’s so excited to start school in the fall and even started preschool this year in preparation. He looooooves dufferdoo. He’s also doing karate once a week, which is the best. We hang out with his friends as much as we can (as much as our schedule and my anxiety allows). His best friend is Isla, who happens to also be one of his oldest friends. He ADORES his cousins Cassidy, Elliot and Wesley. Watching him with his brother is my greatest joy. He is so protective of Mason. He loves him to pieces, even when it’s hard.

Now, for some stats and an interview:

Around 43.25″ tall (about 3.6 feet), 43lbs

Nicknames: Monkey, kiddo, turd, turdmonkey, buddy, baby, big guy.

Diapers: He uses the potty during the day and wears good nights at night.

Noms: This kid is fussy. This has not changed. We’ve been able to add a few food items to his diet, but not much. Seriously. The only things he will eat are: Peanut butter, cucumber, carrots, cantaloupe, milk chocolate, olives, chicken nuggets, french fries, cold uncooked hot dogs, pepperoni, pizza (sometimes), kraft dinner, bologna, satines, waffles, gold fish, ice cream, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries and strawberry yogurt.

It was pretty awesome reading last year’s post. It’s funny that every year I’m like “Oh god, this is the hardest age”. I will say they all have their awful bits and awesome bits. I love how independent he is now. He’s such a PERSON. He has his own likes, dislikes, reactions, emotions, etc… The hardest part is the sass that comes at 4. Oh man, it was like a switch. Suddenly he’s all backtalk, sass, and potty humour.

  1. How old are you? 4
  2. What is your favourite colour? Red
  3. What is your favourite animal? Dinosaur
  4. What is your favourite book? The Animals Alphabet
  5. What is your favourite show? Sarah and Duck (Mummy would also add Paw Patrol, Teen Titans Go, and Curious George)
  6. What is your favourite movie? Big Hero 6 (aka Hiro Hamada)
  7. What is your favourite song? I don’t know
  8. What is your favourite food? Bananas
  9. What is your favourite snack? cheese
  10. What is your favourite outfit? Shorts and soccor ball shirts
  11. What is your favourite game? (goes to get Rayman Video game), Tag and What time is it Mr. Wolf
  12. What is your favourite toy? Buzz Lightyear
  13. Who is your best friend?  Isla
  14. What is your favourite thing to do? Play with everyone
  15. What is your favourite thing to do outside? Play at the park
  16. What is your favourite holiday? Tuesday and Halloween
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Daddy

Happy Birthday, baby. I love you so much.

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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!

Dark Days of Spring

It’s very odd to have depression some days. Yesterday, I broke down in tears to my husband “I feel like I don’t exist, or that I’m fading away. I’m invisible”. In that moment, I was desperate for people to see me, really see me. This morning, I woke up and the last thing I wanted was to be around anyone. I didn’t want to leave the house.

Spring is usually when most people start coming out of their winter blahs. For me, I struggle with loving the season while simultaneously hating how it reminds me of my mother’s death and Liam’s traumatic birth. Add to that that we have been having an incredibly difficult time the last few months…well…I’m not coping. Our financial situation is pretty dire, and I’m not using that word lightly. We are doing what we can to get by, but I feel a huge amount of responsibility for our situation as I am the one currently on maternity leave. On top of that, my husband’s health hasn’t been great and we have no answers. For people who have been surrounded by illness and death, we are both very anxious about this. There is just so much going on, all at once. The kids can feel it and see it, and are acting out accordingly.

I am pushing myself through it. One step at a time, day by day. I am barely able to adult, but I am doing the best I can to pay the bills, make meals and make sure the kids are dressed and don’t stink too badly. We have also added a new member of our little clan. Pat’s dear friend, A, has moved in with us for a while while she deals with some of her own difficult times. So, I’m sorry for being so quiet here and on social media lately. I just don’t know what to say or what to share at the moment.

I’ve been losing myself in beauty videos on youtube. Let me know if you want me to share any links, faves or any of my own stuff. I don’t think I can do videos at the moment with everything that we have going on, but I can certainly try to post more. It’s just tough with a velcro baby and velcro preschooler, on top of an ill husband. Mason’s 4 Month post is coming up in the next couple of days, and I also have plans to post about the Eco Chic Movement baby line soon, so stay tuned.

Thanks for understanding, y’all. I really appreciate you being there through the fun and the hard times.

Mason – One Month

I apologize for any spelling mistakes in this post. I’m writing a baby curled up in my lap. I can’t believe I’m here, writing this post. A whole month has already gone by, and it has flown.

I remember, with Liam, it felt like a lifetime. The PPD had me so firmly in its grasp, and my sleep deprivation was so bad, that every day felt like it wouldn’t end. That first month was a milestone of survival. With Mason, so much is different.

It is amazing to me to have a baby who looks so much like his brother did at the same age, but who is so completely different. He is calmer (or maybe we are?). He sleeps so much better, he fusses in a different way. He enjoys being carried, but not held like Liam did. Such little individuals they are.

We are doing well. My anxiety comes and goes, but is so much more mild now. The boredom of constant nursing is a bit of a downer, but otherwise, life feels so normal. After the rush of the holidays, I look forward to getting out and seeing friends and family again. So, now some stats on my little peanut, just like we did with his brother:

Born at 7lbs, 12oz and 19 inches.
– Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 1
– Clothing Size: NB and 0-3, some small 6mo.
– Favourite Clothes: Fleece sleepers and onepiece outfits
– Nicknames – Mace and Macey (from Liam), Pooper, stinker, squeaker, little man, small fry
– Lots of hugs and kisses from his big brother
– Sleeps in bed with Mommy
– First Christmas
– First trip to Daddy’s Work
– First worn in the Boba stretchie, but prefers Ring Slings.
-Likes music
-Loves watching lit candles
-Will sleep in the swing and hang out in the baby chair.
-Doesn’t like soothers
– Met friends and family, including Nanny Jan, Grammy, Auntie Megan and Katie, Rachael, Beth, Audrey and Brenda. Uncle Brandon, cousin Cassidy. Auntie Jenn, Auntie Krista, Auntie Crystal, Claire, Uncle Rick, Auntie Sarah, Auntie Stacie, Ali, Anna, Corey, Olivia.
– Started Smiling and giggling in his sleep at 2 weeks
– Tries to hold head up on his own

– Can roll on to his side all on his own

 

 

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.

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.