1 Month Postpartum

Hey, they said labor was hard…nothing and I mean absolutely nothing could have prepared me for my postpartum experience. Even endless hours of reading books and articles on other women’s experiences. Reading it is all one thing but experiencing it for yourself is a whole other playing field. In the end, pregnancy is not glamorous by any means..but once again kudos to the women who actually enjoy it. For me it was just something I had to push through until we got the final product. I was prepared to a certain degree for postpartum but I was so focused on just getting through my pregnancy I made the mistake of underestimating certain things.

Along with a crappy pregnancy my postpartum experience seemed to go hand in hand. You are not prepared for how sore you’re going to be..I mean like for two weeks I could hardly get up, the idea of going to the bathroom was dreadful, and Justin had to take on a lot of things like diaper changes because I just couldn’t move around easily. On top of that I had second degree tearing, which is normal for most first time moms, but my stitches got infected maybe a week after the birth. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. I also got blessed with a urinary tract infection (because they needed to catheter me like 3 times after the birth to help me go to bathroom due to how swollen I was) AND hemorrhoids from the pushing. So lets just say “down there” really wasn’t too happy.

For me the worst part of my postpartum experience was being so sore and dealing with all those little health problems AND taking care of a newborn at the same time. With a baby you are mostly sitting or laying down most of the time with them, and my keister just wasn’t having it. After sitting for hours at a time my ass was throbbing. Oh and to make the situation even better you are running on maybe 3 hours of sleep and you have a screaming newborn in your arms who you are still trying to figure out.

I felt a little overwhelmed because I was a new mom with literally no baby experience except for what I read online or in books. I didn’t have younger siblings and I didn’t baby sit infants when I was younger. It was completely new to me. The first two weeks were the hardest by far. Cedar didn’t like sleeping on her back at all so she wouldn’t sleep in a crib or bassinet. This meant she was co-sleeping with us, which made me super nervous at first, or she was sleeping in her Fisher Price Rock n’ Play. She was also one of those babies that just hates to be swaddled, so this made soothing her a little harder as well. In an ideal world you can just swaddle a newborn and stick them in their bassinet and go off and enjoy a few hours of sleep…sorry! Doesn’t happen that way..and any parents that bring their baby home from the hospital with that expectation is in for a serious wake up call.

Another thing that was a wake up call was breastfeeding. I was SO DETERMINED to make it happen. I was thinking “it’s totally a mind over matter thing, I got this!” Well honestly my motivation was there to push through it but one thing I didn’t plan for was my milk supply, which was seriously slacking for how much she actually ate. I didn’t buy any formula pre-baby because in my mind “breast is best”. Well when you are in the hospital and your baby is screaming like a banshee because they are hungry and you are only producing a tiny bit of colostrum, I caved. I was bawling my eyes out because I knew she was hungry but I felt like I just couldn’t satisfy her. I know, I know…”Haleigh they only need a bit of colostrum to get them by until your milk comes in!” Well you try sitting there with your baby in your arms just screaming for hours. Also when my milk did actually come in I was barely producing any…maybe an ounce between both breasts when I would pump and as a newborn she was actually crushing about 3 oz in a feeding which really surprised me. Even now, 5 weeks later, after pumping sessions and giving her the breast before I even try to bottle feed her I am still only producing about 1-2 oz at a time. Now that shes older she crushing 4-5 oz in a feeding. I even resorted to milk teas and tinctures, eating foods that boost milk supply, etc. Nothing seemed to be efficient enough. So now we are supplementing with formula and I am freely giving her the breast whenever she wants it and pumping on the side. In the end you just need to do what works best for you even if it’s not what you had planned. Now my baby is happy, content, and gaining weight just as she should be, all while still getting what nutrients she needs from me and being full.

So far I have not dealt with PPD (postpartum depression). Yes, in the last month I have cried way more than I usually do, but I know its just hormones. The first two weeks I was crying about everything..even when I was happy. I’d just look at her and I would cry, but since then the rushing emotions have slowly diminished and I find the only time that I get emotional is when I didn’t have a good sleep the night before or I’m sleep deprived. When I am actually well rested it feels so much easier to take the day on and whatever obstacles the little babe throws my way. Having Justin here for the month helped so much!!! I can’t stress enough that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him. I have a whole new appreciation for single moms. With having him at home I was able to maybe get a solid 4-6 hours of sleep on some days or even something as simple as having a bath for half an hour. Self care is so important and its SO easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are caring for a tiny human. I would forget to eat, or drink for hours at a time at first.

Honestly if I were to give any new moms advice it would be to trust your instincts. It really does come very naturally, even if you are totally lost when it comes to babies. You find ways to make it work when it comes to eating, napping, and showering (eventually). Some other advice? POSTPARTUM PREP, seriously…make the padsciles ahead of time, buy a bunch of black underwear and maxi pads, don’t underestimate how efficient nursing shirts and nursing bras are, make sure you have Tylenol or Advil handy, and for heavens sake go in there with an open mind and realize there are things that worked for others but might not work for you. Every baby is different. Don’t write off formula right away and exclusively try to breast feed (ladies, there is no such thing as nipple confusion so don’t worry!). Also stock up on quick meals and snacks, cause when you are starving after not eating for 6 hours and you have a baby that refuses to be put down you can’t exactly make that nice steak dinner you planned yet alone make a sandwich. My last piece of advice I learned myself is to accept help when you need it but also take peoples advice with a grain of salt. Everyone these days thinks that because they have had a baby they are the know-all, be-all parent. Do what works for you and your family.

When they say “it gets easier” its true. My girl is almost 6 weeks old now and I am JUST  starting to be able to decipher her cries and understand her cues. We are also just starting to get into a (somewhat) schedule with sleeping and eating. It changes slightly from day to day depending but usually I can anticipate when she will generally want a bottle or have a nap. It all takes time and the understanding that you guys are not only figuring each other out but your little babes are figuring out the world as well. The first month flew by and she has already changed so much since we brought her home!! They literally look like they are bigger everyday so I am just trying to soak it all in and appreciate it while it lasts. Eventually she will running around yelling “NO” every 5 minutes instead of sleeping peacefully on my chest like the little angel she is.

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Cedar River Lawrence: Our Labor Story

I’ve been anxiously waiting to write this post! As you can imagine its extremely difficult to get on a computer for a solid hour or two with a newborn (especially one that refuses to be put down), not to mention I needed some serious recovery time. Regardless, here she is! Our sweet girl, Cedar River Lawrence. Born July 2nd at 2:52 am, 7 lbs 3 oz.

At a week past due, I was done being pregnant, but I really didn’t want to get induced…I was really hoping she would make her debut on her own when she and my body was ready.

On the 29th I had an appointment at the hospital for a NST (non-stress test) where they listen to the baby’s heart rate for half an hour. Up until this point I had no upcoming signs of labor that I could notice. I actually had the nurse ask me if I had felt any contractions for which I replied no…My doctor told me I would really feel braxton hicks and that they should “stop me in my tracks”, which they didn’t. I was 41 weeks pregnant and had no idea what a contraction even felt like. Apparently I was already having steady contractions based on the NST. My doctor came and offered to “stretch me”, basically she wants to manually dilate me to 1 cm or more and there would be a 20% chance of inducing labor. It was painless and I was on my way out the door within 5 minutes.

Me, Justin, and my mother in-law all went shopping for last minute baby stuff and grocery shopping cause I knew I’d want a full fridge after the baby came. All during this time out I started to feel contractions. I was having contractions walking around Babies R’ Us, which progressively got more and more intense. Then came the fun part…48 hours of early labor and contractions. Literally two days of almost no sleep cause I was having contractions at least every 20 minutes when I would attempt to sleep. I was throwing up constantly in between (couldn’t even hold down water) and also my entire body was trembling, uncontrollably. I cant tell you how lucky I was to have my husband there with me. He just laid in bed with me the entire time, holding me every time I had a contraction and that was all I needed at the time, to just know he was there.

We were constantly timing my contractions with an app and when the pain got too intense we went to the hospital. Where they told me I was still only 1 cm dilated. I got a gravol/morphine shot and was sent home, TWICE. It was frustrating as the nurses were telling me to come back to the hospital when my contractions were only 20-45 seconds apart and lasting about a minute or two (which they were) but when we’d arrive at the hospital and get all checked in again, I would find out I’m still only 1 cm dilated. It was a painfully slow progression (I’m assuming because I was manually dilated, which induced my labor).

After 48 hours, and two morphine shots I was exhausted and we were making our third trip to the hospital. Turns out this time I was 3-4 cm dilated so I was finally admitted. We went right to the birthing room to get organized and I was lucky enough to get access to this amazing $25,000 bathtub (this thing was literally the Lamborghini of all bath tubs). I sat in that thing for hours with Justin sitting next to me. I cant even tell you how helpful it was with the contractions, I barely felt them while I as in there (seriously considering a water birth if we ever choose to do this again).

I did choose to have an epidural. KUDOS to any women that decides to go natural cause contractions seriously suck. I really think if my labor went a lot quicker I would have considered going natural but after 2 days of contractions I was desperate for some relief. I actually didn’t even feel my epidural to be honest (and I was scared shitless after hearing horror stories of the “giant” needle going in my spine). I actually had a contraction right in the middle of getting it so I needed to be held down, this is probably why I think it didn’t hurt so bad). Minutes later I was numb from the waist down.

By 10 pm July 1st I was told by the nurse that I was ready to start pushing. For an hour I started pushing with the nurse present, waiting for my doctor to arrive. By 11 pm my doctor was there and took over. I was told our girl was going to be a Canada Day baby because I was making such good progress pushing. But of course, labor doesn’t always go so easily…Our girl flipped half way through so she was face up and she got stuck in my pelvis, which stalled my labor completely. By then the epidural had almost worn off completely. I was so exhausted from being up for 2 days and pushing that I was literally falling asleep with my feet in the stirrups in-between contractions.

After 3 1/2 hours and well into July 2nd, I turned to my doctor and said I just couldn’t do it. I could feel that I was just not progressing at all with my pushing. She offered a vacuum assisted delivery (where they put a suction cup on the baby’s head and help you by slightly pulling while you push). If that didn’t work I was going to be prepped for a C-section. After only maybe 5-10 minutes with the assistance of the vacuum, she was here!

Labor was definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. If my early labor didn’t last so long I think it would have been a lot easier but regardless I am so proud of my body and really wasn’t aware of what it was really capable of until now. During my pregnancy I was so worn down and sick for the 9 months that I felt weak and like my body just wasn’t able to do what it was supposed to do. I was always thinking “if I can’t handle this, how the hell will I handle the birth?”. I feel so accomplished and so relieved that its over. The main thing in the end is that our girl is healthy as a horse. She passed all her tests with no concerns and to me that makes the 9 months of throwing up and the 52 hours of labor worth it.

As soon as you have a baby everything changes. Its a surreal feeling. As soon as you stare into their eyes you realize nothing else in this world matters but them. Even though my pregnancy journey has ended now the most rewarding part has come, I get to be a mom to the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

My Pregnancy: Full Term

Well this is it! I’m currently coming up to 38 weeks pregnant, I’m officially off work, and I’m officially full-term. Right when you think the day is never going to come, it seriously sneaks up on you! I honestly have no idea where that fine line was going from barely looking pregnant to looking like I was about to pop, because there was NO GREY AREA there. I either had to convince people I was actually pregnant or just laugh along with them that I was huge. “Popping” was an understatement. My bump felt like it came overnight and then every day after I was waking up to being bigger and bigger (and more and more uncomfortable).

I’m actually really grateful that I didn’t start getting huge until later in my pregnancy because it meant more time I could get around or more specifically just move in general. I also got away with only buying 1 maternity shirt. Don’t even ask me how I managed to swing that because I don’t even know somedays. I was able to re-purpose a lot of older, baggier, shirts as I got larger and dresses, skirts, and leggings were a life saver. I didn’t have to buy expensive maternity pants or winter jackets which was a huge money saver for me. Now that I’m at a whale status, no clothes fit, but I refuse to buy more maternity clothes with only a couple weeks left of my pregnancy.  

I finally understand what women mean when they are complaining about how uncomfortable they are in their last few weeks, because DAMN. Everything hurts, and I mean everything. My back and neck ache with a dull pain, my feet and face are so swollen. Getting up and walking around is actually so difficult. I could sleep for days and on top of that you are all emotional about being so uncomfortable day to day (thanks hormones). On top of that I still have random days of morning sickness and nausea.

I also went from not being able to hold down food and keep on weight to gaining like crazy. At my first doctors appointment I realized I lost 15 lbs from being so sick (I was literally the lowest weight I’ve ever been since high school). Every weigh in after that I was only gaining maybe 1-2 lbs every month. It wasn’t until my third trimester when my nausea slowly started to ease up and my appetite fully return that I started to gain weight again. In one week I jumped 13 lbs (keeping in mind a lot of that is probably water weight and baby weight). Honestly, I’d rather gain baby weight and eat what I’d like rather than have my head in the toilet everyday. So when my nausea finally slowed down, I didn’t hold back…If I was hungry and I wanted it, I’d have it. I was making up for the 8 months of throwing up and not being able to eat anything without my stomach turning. That being said, I deterred away from my healthy eating habits a bit. (When I said I didn’t hold back, I wasn’t kidding).

Everyone talks about “getting their body back” after having a baby. This is just the furthest thing from my mind at this point. I know I’ll be focusing on my newborn and also trying to squeeze in showers and meals for myself whenever I can. I want to focus on getting into a routine first with my child and my husband. When it feels like I have things under control and in a good flow then I can focus more on myself and my well-being. Breastfeeding will forsure help with weight loss as well, but that’s just an added bonus. I just want to focus on being a mom and I feel like the weight loss will come on its own eventually, when I’m ready, at my own pace.

I want to use the baby arriving and breastfeeding to kick-start my healthy eating habits again and get back into a good groove. This baby has a MAJOR sweet tooth cause literally all I crave is sugar. Pancakes with syrup, sugary cereals, peanut butter and jam…(are you seeing a breakfast food trend here?) I’m going to need a huge sugar detox after this. Regardless, eating well, breastfeeding, and doing things like going for a walk every night after dinner are all steps in the right direction and they will all assist in natural weight loss without the vigorous exercise or dieting.

Now its just a waiting game. The hospital bag is packed, the nursery is (pretty much) done except for the decor, and my doctor is currently on a beach somewhere south. We just had our weekly appointment and she checked me out. It looks like this baby hasn’t even started making her way down to the birthing position yet. So it looks like she will be coming right around her due date and not before (and I’m totally fine with that, even with how insanely uncomfortable I am).

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There’s a light at the end of tunnel and I see it coming my way! We are both so excited to meet our little girl and both so excited for this chapter to come to an end. Probably more so me than my husband, but he’s been a saint throughout this whole process. Even if he was annoyed with me he never showed it. This will be my last blog post about my pregnancy until after the babe comes, its almost bittersweet!

Getting Ready for Baby (Naturally)

With the birth fast approaching, and I mean FAST, I thought I’d write a blog about what I’ve been up to in regards to getting ready for our little girl. Focusing on what I’m bringing to the hospital, what I have prepared at home, and what items I plan to use with cloth diapering.

My Hospital Bag

Hey, I’m a first time mom, so I will most likely be OVER prepared on what to bring to the hospital as I have no clue how long we will be there for. Regardless here’s a list of things I have packed

  • Cloth Diapers
    Also regular NB diapers in case she turns out to be too small for cloth diapers, as most cloth diapers are “one size fits all” they usually fit babies that are 8-10 lbs or over. Not to mention regular diapers might be easier to use while at the hospital considering baby’s first BM is usually pretty gross.
  • Water Wipes
    These are 99.9% Water and .01% Fruit Extract, totally chemical-free and the most efficient thing to bring to the hospital until we start cloth diapering at home. Unfortunately you can only really find these in the US so I bought a value pack on Amazon for $14.99.
  • 2-3 NB Onesies & Sleepers
    Including a couple 3M sets considering we don’t know how big she might be ALSO not forgetting a hat, scratch mitts, and socks.
  • Swaddle Blankets & Receiving Blankets 
  • T-Shirt Dress, Black Cotton Underwear, Loose PJ Pants, Comfy Socks
    To give birth in because who enjoys wearing hospital gowns and having cold feet?
    Also Justin will need a few outfits to change into just in case.
  • Postpartum Pads
    These and adult diapers should also be supplied by the hospital but I’m bringing some just in case.
  • Nursing Bra & 1 Nursing Shirt
  • Essential Oils
    Lavender for stress relief & Peppermint for my nausea are my go-to’s.
  • Personal Toiletries
    All the essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, witch hazel, etc.
    See my previous blog post My Natural (Daily) Beauty Routine to see my favorites I use everyday.
  • Money/Change
    For Vending Machines, Food, Parking, etc.
  • Car Seat
    Cause they don’t let you take baby home without something.
  • Baby Folder
    Meaning ALL the paperwork I’ve been accumulating over the last 9 months from my doctor regarding the baby, hospital forms, information packages, etc. This also gives me a spot to put other important papers the hospital will give me while I’m there.

Diaper Changing

Cloth Diapers/Wipes

I actually found a shop on Etsy that makes bundles of cloth diapers and charcoal bamboo inserts. It was actually pretty cost efficient considering the cost of cloth diapers. I was able to get 12 covers and inserts for $200. I thought this was good to start but I will eventually need to get more. They are one size fits all with different snap locations for different weights and ages.

I also found another shop owner who produces cloth wipes, I purchased 50 for $50 ($1 a wipe, can’t go too wrong with that considering they are washable & reusable)

It seems like a large upfront cost but the benefits out-weigh the price, no chemicals or toxins and if all goes well I won’t need to purchase a box of diapers or wipes AT ALL, which will help us save SO much money down the line. If you are interested in other ways I plan to be natural with baby check out my previous blog post Being Natural with Baby

Baby Wipe Spray

I have made a super easy and clean wipe spray with only 4 ingredients.

  • 8 oz Distilled Water
  • 1/2 tsp Unscented Dr. Bonner’s Castile Soap
  • 1 tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil (Can also use Sweet Almond Oil)
  • 2-3 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

Simply Mix all these together in a 8 oz glass amber spray bottle & SHAKE WELL before each use. Fractionated Coconut Oil can be found in the cosmetic section of your local health food store and please do your research in regards to using essential oils with babies! Baby’s skin is sensitive and doesn’t require nearly as much as we would and also use the highest quality oils you can find, I prefer to use doTERRA for recipes like this.

Another thing to consider is efficiency with cloth diapering. There will be times when we are out and about and she will need a change. Instead of lugging around a big 8 oz spray bottle in the diaper bag, opt for a small 2-4 oz mini sprayer.

Diaper Sprayer/Washer (Bidet Sprayer)

This was more of an “efficient luxury” rather then a necessity, but I wanted to equip myself with as many things as possible to make cloth diapering easier for myself. I bought this bidet sprayer off Amazon for $30, it comes with all the attachments and a holder. Essentially its used to spray remaining poop off the diapers and into the toilet before washing or before the diapers are put in the wet bags until washing. Ideally this will minimize stains and making the process easier (and less smelly) in general.

Wet Bags x 2

TWO Vinyl Wet Bags, ONE for my “bed side” change station at home and ONE for the diaper bag. These are for storing the dirty cloth diapers and wipes until washing. They keep in the smell and the moisture. I bought mine from Amazon for less than $14.99.

DIY Laundry Detergent

Most liquid laundry detergents are not compatible with cloth diapering and can actually ruin the diapers (not to mention full of chemicals). The best option is to make your own, luckily the detergent I make is clean and compatible with cloth diapers, it also lasts 6 months so its a HUGE cost saver! Check out my previous blog post Lavender Orange Laundry Detergent for the recipe.

Mesh Laundry Bags

This is also an efficient luxury. Do you know how small baby socks are? God knows they will get lost in my house within a week. So these bags are specifically for really small things like socks, hats, and mitts that need to be washed without getting lost in the sock munching machine known as your dryer.

An Efficient Change Station

I have set up 2 change stations in my house. 1 in the Nursery and 1 right next to my bed for night time changings. For the nursery change station I used a kitchen island cart from IKEA ($69.99) This was luckily something I had before from my Interior Design days. Its perfect for storing diapers, wipes, spray bottles, etc. & it’s on wheels. The other change station I purchased a storage box and filled it with changing necessities including a portable change pad and wet bag so I ideally won’t even need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

Everyday Essentials

Earth Mama Line (Herbal Pads, Bottom Spray, Nipple Butter)

Earth Mama makes a ton of products for both mama and baby, ranging from things to assist with pregnancy, breast feeding, and postpartum. Certified organic and natural/minimal ingredients, this line is perfect for the expecting mommy who isn’t keen on making their own products or if you just don’t have the time to do so. Out of all the things they sell I purchased the three things I feel like I will use the most day to day.

The herbal pads and bottom spray are both for postpartum relief. (Once again feeling like I need to be over prepared cause I don’t know what to expect and I really want to try to stay away from taking pain killers if I’m hurting. The other product I wanted to try was their nipple butter. Its lanolin-free and doesn’t require you to wash it off between feedings. All of these products are reasonably priced and have amazing reviews.

Carina Organics Baby Wash/Shampoo/Lotion

My husband and I actually use the Carina Organics shampoo line and I love them! My hair feels so light weight after which is amazing cause I have SUCH thick, curly hair. I bought small 8 oz bottles of their shampoo/wash and lotion from their baby line to try on our girl. Certified organic, no harsh smells or fragrances, and amazing reviews. As long as there is no sort of reactions with her skin I will definitely be upgrading to the 1 liter bottles.

Washable Breast Pads & Breast Milk Storage Bags

While the breast milk storage bags are not natural (plastic and disposable) I still felt like they were a definite necessity when it comes to storing breast milk instead of using small containers. With how much breast milk we plan to store away and use, containers just weren’t an option. They are stackable, freeze flat, easier to thaw, and have an area to write the date it was collected and stored. A pack of 100 cost me $19.00 on Amazon. The breast pads however are washable and can be reused over and over.

Baby Wrap/Carrier

I’ve chosen a brand called Huggaloops and I opted for the bamboo carrier in a neutral colour so my husband is okay with wearing baby too (not that he’d really care about strutting around in a hot pink baby wrap anyways). I’m actually really excited about baby wearing because its an ancient practice and women rave all the time about still being able to get stuff done around the house. Can even go as far as wearing baby out instead of pushing a big stroller around. It’s a pricey purchase ($100 including shipping and taxes) but I feel like it will be beyond worth it in the end when it comes to efficiency.

Baby Lounger

We actually purchased multiple loungers, the fisher price rock n’ play for the main level and we have a small bed side bassinet for our room. On top of that we also purchased a custom lounger from a shop on Etsy (this one was similar to the Dock-a-Tot or Boppy Lounger but way cheaper). While the Dock-a-Tot goes for around $300 we purchased ours for $70. Its perfect for co-sleeping, nap time, and travelling. Once again a pricey purchase but I feel as though in the end it will be worth it to have multiple places to put down baby when we need to.

Hormonal Teas/Nursing Teas

Finally I purchased some herbal teas specific to balancing those pesky postpartum hormones and boosting milk production. Everyone is different when it comes to milk production so I am not sure how these teas will effect me directly but it’s worth a shot to see if it helps. While placenta encapsulation is a generally new practice and is said to help immensely with balancing hormones and postpartum depression, I did not plan for it personally, so I’m hoping a herbal tea will be equally effective.

Well there you have it, better to be OVER prepared instead of under prepared. With the birth only weeks away, its literally just a waiting game now. If others mama’s have preferred natural products that they swear by please feel free to comment and share!

Becoming a Mother Changes You

I hear this all the time..and to me its crazy to think how I haven’t even given birth yet and I can already feel these changes. Not only is my physical body changing at rocket speed day to day but I can sense the changes in my emotional self as well.

For one I just don’t have time for others negativity. I’m at this point in my life where I feel as though I am going through something that’s difficult for me. PREGNANCY has been difficult for me in general. Dealing with HG, going on sick leave, etc. There were times where I felt like I couldn’t even take care of myself properly yet alone deal with other peoples problems or crappy attitudes.

I needed to be surrounded by supportive and encouraging people. I had some people in my family tell me I wouldn’t be able to support this baby or that I wasn’t ready. The most logical thing to do in my perspective was to distance myself from them as the LAST thing I needed was my own family emotionally tearing me down when I was already in such a negative state. Didn’t they understand that this is my first child, my first experience? Didn’t they understand that this wasn’t something we planned and I am scared shitless to give birth or be a mom? I chose to surround myself with other supportive family and friends and the remainder of my pregnancy has been so much more positive.

A part of me knows this new found attitude is going to just continue after the baby comes. If you don’t have something nice to say, then keep it yourself, cause I don’t have the time or the emotional energy to care about your negative opinions. I do what I can to better myself everyday and I don’t need everyone’s approval and constant permission. In the end I am going to do whatever I can everyday to make sure my baby is taken care of and get what she needs

Going hand in hand with that you learn you may loose people in the process. Most people are not at the same life stage as you, their priorities are different. Most people don’t understand how much a baby actually changes your life. We were sort of thrown into parenthood only weeks after our honeymoon (something we had to seriously adjust to). Those couple relaxing years we were planning for to focus on things we wanted to do and each other was put right to the back burner.

My husband’s focus shifted to my well-being and being at home with his family (and that’s unlikely to change after the baby comes as well). Obviously some people don’t realize that he doesn’t want to stay out till all hours of the night drinking with his 35 week pregnant wife at home, or soon to be newborn. His priorities have changed drastically and even though I am so thankful to have a partner who goes out of his way to put me and his family first everyday, other friends may not see it as so and may feel bitter or somewhat betrayed. All I can say is someday when they are about to bring a life into the world, its all they are going to care about at the time as well…and they will finally understand.

All and all, in the end the most important thing to you day to day is your child. Are they healthy? Are you prepared? Do you have what you need? Are they happy? Are you taking care of yourself? Cause lets be honest, how can you take care of a baby if you aren’t making yourself a priority too. When all these things are the only things you think about other people’s crappy attitudes or lack of understanding is the last thing you need weighing you down. Truth is, you just don’t need it in your life and its okay to choose to distance yourself from that.

I’m now 35 weeks and 4 days along and I also wanted to share my favorites from our maternity shoot. Done by our amazing photographer Vanessa Marie Dewsbury who did our engagement and wedding photography as well!

Vanessa is also a Reiki Master and all around natural healing enthusiast! She is also a fellow blogger with an amazingly insightful blog called
The Sensitive Soul

The Third Trimester

I’d like to say it just gets easier..some people were telling me they felt the best in their third trimester. Unfortunately you tend to get more and more uncomfortable day by day. I’m now 30 weeks along, celebrating 212 days of pregnancy, celebrating the magnificent life that my body is growing. The only good thing so far coming into my third trimester is that time is literally flying by now. In a short 10 weeks I will be staring into my girl’s eyes in awe of what I created and what I have been through. It really feels like there’s a huge bright light at the end of this long, trying, tunnel.

Our first doctors appointment after finding out the gender we found out she was in breech. It was a little worrisome but she has weeks to turn before we really needed to be concerned. In the end I was trusting that if I was meant to have a C-section it would be the safest option and I was totally open to that. Of course a natural birth is what we want but it really comes down to whatever the safer option is at the time.

I was also feeling SO sick, it felt like my first trimester all over, literally. Exhausted, nausea, back to throwing up multiple times a day…It was discouraging because I was only back to work full-time for a little over a month and I was STILL missing shifts, having to go home early, etc. I couldn’t possibly be this cursed right? RIGHT! Truth is, I still wasn’t finding a routine that was working for me.

It wasn’t until my next monthly doctors appointment that we found out I was insanely anemic. It was bittersweet to know that this was something that could be easily fixed and not something that “I just need to deal with”. So I altered my diet to include even more iron rich foods (even more red meat, even though I don’t eat it often) and I’m currently taking iron supplements. I can honestly say, even after only a few days I felt a lot of my energy return and I got some colour back in what was my pale and sickly looking face. We also found out that our girl is no longer in breech and shes head down, which is amazing news! As long as our little acrobat doesn’t flip back around between now and 36 weeks, then we can hopefully assume a natural birth.

My work and my doctor also suggested that I cut my hours down to “half shifts”. Along with taking iron supplements, THIS was the life saver for me. My job is unfortunately so physically demanding for an 8 hour shift that I was pushing myself way too hard and causing myself to be sick day to day. If I wasn’t throwing up on the bus I was throwing up as soon as I walked in the door to my house. As soon as I started working half shifts it was like a complete 180. I was no longer pushing myself harder than I could handle and I was no longer sick coming home. Lets be honest, when you are sick every morning no matter what..even the smallest bit of relief for the afternoon or evening make it all a little more bearable.

When it’s more bearable you can enjoy and take notice in the little things. Instead of little bumps, punches or kicks, she has full on squirming sessions in there. Sometimes I find myself just staring at my stomach watching her move and wondering what shes doing. She’s big enough that I can feel where she is sitting in my belly and I can even feel things like hiccups. Other then some random days of nasty back pain and my daily dose of morning sickness I have been pretty lucky not to have many other horrible third trimester symptoms. My squeamishness with certain foods and meats has completely disappeared! Except coffee…I was able to drink a cup of coffee a day through most of my second trimester but now I am just completely turned off by it. Matcha has been my substitute (Thanks to my best friend who has been supplying my tea habit). I am still FRUIT OBSESSED. While at the beginning it was a lot of apples and grapes its transitioned to melons and pineapples. I’m not going to lie I treat myself to ice cream and a good poutine from the pub every once in a while as well. I’m also going to be brutally honest and say that now that the weather is getting a lot nicer, I am seriously missing beer. Patio beers, a cold tall boy with dinner at home, you name it.

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Some other news, me and Justin decided to (hopefully) do a vlog of the birth. As long as everything is complication free and we aren’t surprised with an early labor, then we are definitely going to try. It’s just getting closer and closer! I will be doing one more blog post about my pregnancy closer to full term.

A woman’s body is truly fascinating, the entire process and what it goes through from beginning to end. Creating life but also keeping it safe. Even though this entire process hasn’t been the easiest for me I am still so proud of what I have grown. I’m a little freaked out with my upcoming postpartum experience but I feel like it really comes down to me just being nervous about something I have never experienced before and only having an idea of what to expect. But I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband and supportive family to help me through it.

Follow the Signs

At first I was craving a fresh start, a clean slate in a nicer, newer house with my new baby. It wasn’t until things started falling apart that I realized I can be perfectly happy in what we already have. It’s easy to want new things and a clean slate but sometimes life just doesn’t work out that way and it smacks you back to reality.

After weeks of packing up our house and going from house showing to house showing, endless rental applications, credit checks, sleepless nights (and I literally mean 3-4 hours every night) we were really discouraged that we weren’t finding places to suit our needs or that would even match up to what we already have. Why leave a place to move to another that’s smaller, more expensive, and in a horrible area of town? We promised ourselves throughout this process that we wouldn’t settle and we would only move if we could find something better. It was all about relocating to the other end of town because we both work there and we’d be a little closer to family. In the end we found that we were settling, we were settling to the point that we would have moved forward with any place that would taken us, even if it meant moving to the worst area of town.

With two more weeks left before we were supposed to be out (and seemingly homeless), it seemed like the universe attempted to throw a bunch of signs our way. Hubby got a full time job downtown and wouldn’t require to travel to the other end of town. Our landlord came in and fixed the initial issues in our current place, and with me going on maternity leave in only 2 months I wouldn’t need to travel far either from where we are. I started to realize all these factors that were influencing our move initially are no longer factors at all.

Now I have faith that the universe is pushing me in the right direction and I firmly believe this has all happened for a reason, which seemed disappointing at first but I realized that this is how it should be, and we will be just fine. Follow the signs, the universe is trying to tell you something. I was so determined to push through and move no matter what that I was letting that must all/be all goal cloud my judgement and inhibit me from seeing that we can be perfectly content with what we already have (maybe with a little TLC).

Literally to the second, since I had that big realization it felt like a huge weight was lifted from my chest. Weeks of stress and worry were just gone. Now I am in full blown nesting mode, getting the baby’s room ready, patching up and repainting walls, hell I even re-caulked the bathroom! Packing everything up was great because it forced us to go through everything and throw out or donate unused furniture. Now we only have what we use day to day and what we need.

Lesson learned: sometimes you have a plan but things don’t work out. Try to be accepting of the changes and understand that everything is as it should be and that you can be happy with what you have. I always find myself wanting or yearning for more, feeling discontent and restless. I have to teach myself everyday to value and appreciate what I have, the crave for change and my overall restlessness overpowered that. Everything we went through initially felt like a huge burden but it really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Follow. The. Signs.