Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Audrey's Birth Story Part 1

What better way to dust off the 'ol blog than with a birth story?

I'll start a couple weeks before my due date. I started experiencing frequent "practice contractions" at about 37 weeks. They would come every night- often as I climbed into bed, as well as in the middle of the night. I would describe them as strong braxton hicks contractions that had no pattern, rhyme or reason to them. They wouldn't interfere with my sleep too much so I wasn't too bothered by them. Given that I had Elliott at 39 weeks and I was experiencing these contractions I fully expected this baby to come early as well. At my 38 week appt with my midwife she also agreed that she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it to my next appt.

Then on Sept 16th (38 weeks, 3 days) my Dad fell off a ladder and was rushed to the U of A hospital with a skull fracture and brain bleed. All of a sudden I was praying that baby would stay put while we dealt with this emergency. And stay put she did! I am a big believer that a relaxed body will go into labour much easier than a tense, anxious body, and in my opinion the accident put my body into lockdown. I was fine with it because my focus was all on my Dad. I'm not sure I could have handled having Audrey directly after the accident because that first week-ish was so crazy up and down in terms of my Dad's recovery. Also, each day she didn't come meant one more day I could spend at the hospital visiting my Dad. I was grateful for each of those days.

Now fast forward to my due date. Tues, Sept 27th.

I started out the day by going to visit my Dad in the morning. I was feeling really emotional because I didn't have a lot of time to spend with him- I could barely stay for an entire hour just because of what time it was and needing to pick up Elliott from my friend's house in time for getting home for lunch and his nap. I spent most of the visit just sitting, holding his hand as he slept, but the last 15 minutes or so he woke up and was really responsive to me. At this point in his recovery he had only been "fully awake" for a couple of days, so it was really exciting to talk to him and see his facial expressions change, and see him try to talk (though he was still intubated and couldn't) I was able to read his lips for the first time. He said "I love you too" as I was leaving. The last thing I said to him was "See you tomorrow- unless I have the baby!" Then I chuckled and said "I think I've said that to you everyday you've been in here!" and he grinned. I walked to the parkade attempting to hold back, but the tears started coming once I sat in the drivers seat. All along I had been giving baby a "pep talk" each day saying that he or she needed to stay put until grandpa woke up and could talk. I remember taking a deep breath and silently telling baby that this was good enough for me.

As sat there crying I got a text from Chris. All it said was "I got the job!!!" which caused me to completely break down sobbing. We had been waiting more than two weeks to hear if he got this new job, and it was such a giant relief to finally hear that he had it. It felt like coming up for air after holding your breath for longer than you should. Relief. Release. Joy.

The rest of the day was pretty normal. Not much could get me down- especially because I had a massage booked for that evening! For days I had been telling Chris that I hoped I would go into labour after the massage. With Elliott I had a massage the day I went into labour, and like I said- a relaxed body can go into labour easier than a tense body! I was definitely hopeful.

My massage therapist and I chatted that evening about the excitement and anticipation. She asked me when my induction date was, which is a foreign concept to me because I have had a midwife with both pregnancies. I remember thinking "Really? Is that a thing?" I explained to her that I had a midwife and so therefor I didn't have an induction date, which seemed to confuse her! I left after my massage and said "I'll let you know if I have the baby tonight!" and we both laughed.

As I crawled into bed that night I realized that I hadn't secured childcare for the next day to be able to visit my Dad. I was annoyed with myself that I would have to scramble the next day if I had a chance of getting there, but as I drifted off, once again thought "Well, maybe I'll just have the baby tonight and won't have to worry about it"

I woke up at 4 am to the sound of Elliott calling for me. Not unusual. He's not a great sleeper and often wakes once or twice a night. Immediately, before I even got out of bed I felt a contraction. It was stronger than any that I had been having in the last few weeks. I actually paused until it passed before I climbed out of bed. I went to his room, picked him up and rocked with him in his rocking chair for a minute. Then I put him back in bed and headed back to our room. As per usual I needed to pee, and so I crawled in bed after that and shortly after had another contraction. Again, I noted how it felt quite a bit stronger and I wondered if this might be it.

(Spoiler alert: It was)

..... to be continued!

Monday, 25 July 2016

31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along? 31 Weeks

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Nope. I even ate a McDonalds cheeseburger last week out desperation/poor planning and found it to taste delicious!

Food Cravings? Oh, pretty much anything sweet! I decided to give up added sugar a couple weeks ago, so of course that's all I'm craving now. Donuts. (Smelling mini donuts at the farmers markets KILLS me each week) Ice cream. French toast. I just want all the sugar all the time. I am pretty stubborn however, so I've been resisting!

Mood: Pretty good! I definitely have my days where I'm already feeling SO done with being pregnant and want to go hide in a hole by myself until September, but then I get over it.

Symptoms: Mostly just getting bigger and more uncomfortable each week. My pelvis is still painful, and my back has started to hurt a bit, but both don't really bother me until the evening, so I can't complain too much. 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake- it's hard to turn my mind off, and it's even harder to get comfortable with the now-awake baby kicking away. The past 3 nights Elliott (and I) have been sleeping the whole night without waking up. It's been glorious! Praying it continues!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Baby is head down (and hopefully just stays that way now) and so most of the movement is higher up these days. Not quite in my ribs yet, but I imagine it won't be long..

Best moment of the week? A week or so ago we had a really nice Saturday where we had fun, but didn't jam pack our day with too much stuff. My favourite part was playing with Elliott in the front yard while I weeded the flower bed. He kept running up to both Chris and I and exclaiming "This is fun!!" before running back to his bike or somersaults. It was so adorable and totally melted my heart!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished (again.) We have a really c
ool feature wall planned and I just want to paint so badly!!

Belly Button in or out? In and no noticeable changes

Nursery Progress? There's been some real progress in clearing out the room in the past week, and I'm hoping to finally get it painted in the next two weeks. We have everything ready to move in once it's been painted. This time around I'm waiting until baby is born to finish decorating- I have distinct differences to how I want it to look for either a boy or a girl, so I'll do everything I can until we know who this baby is, then finish off the last details after he or she arrives!

Baby Loot: I have almost everything checked off my list! In the last couple weeks we've acquired a sound machine, some Aden&Anias blankets, a side table for beside the glider, and even a package of newborn diapers. THAT felt crazy to buy already. Man those things are tiny. 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

28 Weeks Pregnant

28 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry guys. No picture this week!

How Far Along? 28 Weeks, 1 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Still McDonalds (wouldn't be the worst thing if that continued after pregnancy!) and I ate a gross soggy wrap from Sobey's yesterday (well, two bites of it) so right now the idea of a wrap is pretty much the worst thing. 

Food Cravings? Not that I can think of.  

Mood? The past week has been a lot of ups and downs. These hormones are starting to get the best of me, and having a toddler who has decided to wake up in the middle of the night again doesn't help!

Symptoms: Well the pain in my pelvis is still a pain in my butt- mostly in the evening once I have sat down on the couch to rest for a while. When I try to readjust my weight or get up it can be pretty painful. Oh well. Right now I'm just thankful it doesn't give me too much trouble throughout the day. 
Lots of Braxton Hicks. They feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but I wonder if it's because I don't have the option of just not moving while they happen- I have a toddler and I run a dayhome. I move a lot, and that doesn't stop just because I'm having a little Braxton Hicks!
A week or so ago I had some trouble taking a deep breath for an entire two days. It was horrible and I'm thankful it went away. (And am praying it doesn't return!) 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake while the soccer player in my belly settles down. I suppose the Lord is preparing me for what is to come!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Most of the kicks are still quite low in my pelvis. I'm guessing that will change when baby turns head down. 

Best moment of the week? We took Elliott to the Calgary zoo a coupe days ago, and it was just so much fun! It was so sweet and wonderful to watch him get excited about the animals. Such a fun day!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished- hopefully we'll be painting soon!

Belly Button in or out? In and getting more shallow each week!

Nursery Progress? We have been very slowly getting the room ready to paint. We moved a bit of stuff out of there, but still have more to move. Funny how much less time you have to do these things when you both work full time and have a two year old. 

Baby Loot: We scored a dresser and a glider off Kijiji just this past week. I'm so excited to get the room painted and move it all in there!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

24 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along? 24 Weeks, 2 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
The only thing I can think of is McDonalds. Right from the start the idea of a McDonalds burger has completely repulsed me, and that seems to still stand. Any other fast food burger is fine, but please please keep the McDonalds far from me!

Food Cravings? A couple weeks ago I had a wicked craving for Olive Garden salad. We went and it was everything I dreamed it would be. 

Mood? Good! I spend a huge portion of my day outside either at the park or in the backyard watching the dayhome kiddos play. Often it includes a latte and/or a book to read. It's pretty wonderful!

Symptoms: Heartburn from time to time still, but nothing major. The pain in my pelvis is a daily struggle, but I'm learning my limits- there have been days I have done too much and then in the evening I can barely readjust my body weight on the couch without wincing. Most days it's a moderate annoyance but not debilitating by any means. I've been feeling quite a few Braxton Hicks- I'm sure it's started earlier than with Elliott, and they seem stronger as well. Bring 'em on, I say! Let's get ready for the main event!!

Sleep?  Pretty darn good lately! This baby kicks more at night than Elliott ever did, but the kicks still aren't strong enough to mess with my sleep. 

Movement? Lots of movement! A difference between this pregnancy and my last is the location of my placenta- with Elliott it was in the anterior position (front of my belly) so everything was somewhat muffled in the front and I felt most of the stronger kicks on my sides. This time around my placenta is posterior (at the back of my uterus) and I can already tell a difference in how I'm feeling more movement in the front. I'm looking forward to baby growing and feeling more and more!

Best moment of the week? A couple days ago we were talking about the baby and Elliott said "I want your baby come out soon mommy" It was so sweet and totally unprompted! We rarely talk about how long it will be before baby comes out, (or even much about the baby coming out in general.) It was just the cutest.

Looking forward to? This weekend is our 5th wedding anniversary, and also happens to be the first day of the farmers market. We *love* the market and I'm really looking forward to celebrating our anniversary. I think it will be a great weekend!

Belly Button in or out? In and getting slightly more shallow. If it didn't pop out last time, I'm guessing chances are that it won't pop this time either...?

Nursery Progress? No change. Talk has commenced of when we should start painting etc. but still no action. Better get on it soon though! Man this pregnancy is going so much faster than the last one!!

Baby Loot: We got a couple big ticket items in the last couple weeks - a double stroller (Britax B-Ready with the stroller board which makes it like a sit and stand) and a crib! 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

21 Weeks Pregnant

No fancy picture? I know, I know, but if you want to wait for the picture it will be another week before I post. 

How Far Along? 21 Weeks, 2 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Aside from our entire week in L.A, nope! Sadly baby didn't seem to enjoy the trip as much as we did. So much uneaten Mexican food... :( It didn't hinder our trip too much- just lots of extra naps, and I was good to go! It really was the weirdest thing though.  I felt completely fine once we were home. 7 days of sick, and then totally normal. What a picky baby. 

Food Cravings? Hmm, nothing too weird lately. I still sometimes crave spicy food but have learned my limits with it. Heartburn is still sticking around and bothersome at times. 

Mood? Great! Now that Chris has graduated and I am done the course I was in for the last 6 months, life seems easy breezy. Not to mention all the outdoor time these days seriously pumps up my mood. I LOVE getting outside with the dayhome kiddos as much as possible. Park every morning and backyard play multiple times a day. As long as we aren't eating, or it isn't quiet time, we're outside in the sunshine!

Symptoms? Heartburn from time to time. Not a huge deal though. 
Sadly, in the last couple days I have realized that my old friend SPD from my last pregnancy has come to stay again. I'm so disappointed and slightly nervous of how to get through the second half of pregnancy (while running a dayhome!) with it. SPD (Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction) is a painful condition where the relaxin hormone released in pregnancy zeroes in on one area in particular- your pubic bone. The hormone is meant to loosen your pelvis in preparation of delivery, but in my case it works overtime, softening the cartilage and ligaments so much so that the bones can move independently of each other with every movement. 
In some cases it feels like they are grinding together. There is discomfort with pretty much every movement, but some create more pain than others- walking up stairs, picking up Elliott (carrying Elliott up the stairs. Ouch ouch!)  pushing the double stroller to the park, lifting one leg higher than the other to walk over a baby gate, or even to put on socks... Or pants for that matter. I have started taking Lecithin which helped quite a bit last time, and plan on seeing my chiro as well. Prayers would be appreciated! 

Sleep? Not too bad. My biggest complaint right now is my allergies keeping me awake! Things will get a lot better once we get air conditioning (Giant perk to having a husband that installs them for a living over the summer!) and we don't keep the windows open throughout the night. 

Movement? Oh yes- tons of kicks and jabs. I can often see my belly move from the outside now, which is really fun. Chris finally felt a kick last night, which is just the best :)

Best moment of the week? Chris feeling the first kick was definitely a favourite moment. I just loved seeing his excitement at finally feeling it.

Looking forward to? It's the long weekend this weekend, and Chris' 30th birthday is on Sunday. I have a couple 
 things planned which I think will be really fun!

Belly Button in or out? In (obviously)

Nursery Progress? No change. Still an office with a deep freezer in there

Baby Loot: When we were in L.A we went to Target. Oh, how I miss Target!! They always had the best baby clothes. I was so excited to find some newborn onesies and sleepers that are gender neutral- a much harder task than you might expect! 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

17 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along?
 17 Weeks

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Yes and no. I'm officially over the nausea, but some things still seem really unappealing to me. Caesar salad (which was a craving that went awry a couple months ago) is one example. I can't think of any others, but they pop up here and there. Thankfully my heartburn has subsided quite a bit. I've been able to drink lattes this week. Black coffee makes me nervous and doesn't seem very appealing, so still staying away from that. I can even eat mildly spicy food without paying for it (huge win for me as I love spicy!!)

Food Cravings? I've had some weird ones this pregnancy. Tuna melts. Chef Boyardee ravioli. Pickles. Strawberry milk. 

Mood? Pretty good! I'm so relieved to be feeling better (finally) since about the beginning of week 15. 

Symptoms? Not much for symptoms these days. Still feel a bit off if I don't eat on schedule, but thankfully the schedule is more like 3 meals a day rather than every 1.5-2 hours. I've been feeling more tired in the afternoons the past couple weeks. I'm very aware of how different the circumstances are this time around - running a dayhome is very different than sitting at a desk for 8 hours!

Sleep? Not too bad. I learned quick to drink as much as I can before 7-8 pm so I don't drink later on and have to wake up to pee. If I do wake up I have a heck of a time getting back to sleep. 

Movement? Yep! The little munchkin has been moving around a little more each day- I felt it really faintly beginning in week 15 and it's gotten stronger every day. It seems really early to me, but I know what it feels like this time so it was easier to say confidently that I'm definitely feeling baby move!

Best moment of the week? Well, this was more than a week ago, but a friend of mine was praying for the baby with her hand on my belly and while I had only been feeling itty bitty swishes here and there, as soon as she started praying I felt really distinct kicks and somersaults. It was a really cool moment.

Looking forward to? My next midwife appt is on Thursday. Love her. Love midwifery. Love love love.

Belly Button in or out? In (obviously)

Nursery Progress? It's still currently an office with a deep freeze and an extra pantry in there. Oh, and a really ugly lazy boy that I had (have?) aspirations of recovering to use as a rocker. It may still end up on Kijiji. 

Baby Loot: I'm going to pick up a Daphne bath seat this week and I'm stoked! I really didn't love the portable tub thing we had last time- it seemed like Elliott outgrew the reclined side of it long before he was ready to sit upright and it just felt awkward, both in the sink and in the tub. We moved to having him lay in shallow water in the tub really early on, but I think the Daphne seat will make it easier and more enjoyable for babe!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Mom Guilt, Grace and Lattes

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. How did I end up being the angry mom that loses her patience? 

Last night I sat with a good friend sipping tea- well, hot water with lemon and honey for me because this baby insists both tea and coffee are not acceptable. She is one of those friends that you can not see for 6 months and sit down and have meaningful, real conversation as though no time has passed. We talked about the good and the bad and the nitty gritty hard parts of parenting and how Jesus is present in it all. I left her house feeling refreshed and filled up and sure that I would be a better, more patient mom because of her wisdom.

And then I was woken at 5:20 this morning by a kid that seems to have forgotten how to sleep until 6. Yes, that's right, I would be so pleased with 6. My sore throat and cough seem to have evolved into a sinus cold and my head was pounding. Of course Tylenol does nothing and I can't take anything else. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell who feeds off of who's negative mood more, but either way it's safe to say that Elliott and I were both having a rough start. Things went downhill fast and by 9 am I had already resorted to taking him upstairs and plopping him in front of Peppa Pig just to give myself and the dayhome kids a break from his rampage. They can only take so much of his pushing/hitting/tackling, and I can only pull him off, redirect and give time outs so many times before we all go batty. Mostly me.

It wears on you, you know? Constantly correcting the same behaviour over and over. You've read the books, you know it's a cry for attention and maybe it would help to give him some focused one on one, but the truth is that at this point you're pretty sure he's doing it just to get under your skin and you kind of just want to call him an asshole. Please excuse my French. It's been a long morning. 

So how do you do this? How do you handle his mood when your own is declining at a rapid speed and you've cried four times already? Your headache is pounding and you even blame that on him because he woke you up so early. 

At one point he went to hit another kid and I literally lost it. I just saw red. I picked him up and put in in time out (buckled into a booster chair) and minutes later when it was snack time I just turned the chair towards the table where his snack sat. He picked up a fistful of crackers and crushed them in his hands. It may not have been deliberate disobedience, but man did it ever feel like it in the moment. I scooped him up, ran up the stairs and set him down, wailing in front of his Dad. Without a word I ran back down the stairs, made sure the kids were settled with their snack and ran to the laundry room to cry. 

Ohhhh, the mom guilt. 

I rushed up the stairs and scooped him into my arms, sobbing and apologizing. He was already fine- happy as a clam to be upstairs with his Daddy. 

"Why sad mommy?"
"Mommy's just having a bad day honey"
"I'm not sad. Daddy not sad either. Auntie not sad. Jonah not sad. Rezrae not sad."

Ugh. My heart. 

At one point in all this I had the thought that I should pray, or read my devotional for the day to recenter myself, but I just didn't feel like it. I've had days like this before. I know for a fact that I can't do it on my own strength. Still, I just didn't want to. I barely let myself finish the thought before pushing it down, defiantly. 
No. I don't want to ask Jesus for help. I just want this kid to stop.

And then Chris made me a latte- a risky move seeing as coffee gives me heartburn, but the headache and heartache was just too much and it seemed well worth the risk. He handed it to me and gave me a big, sympathetic hug. I sipped on it and let Elliott play a game on my phone, and a feeling of total grace washed over me. It was such a simple small thing, but it really just felt like an extension of God's love. Like he was saying "It's ok if you can't even muster up the strength to turn to me. Just take a little sip of my living water and remember what it tastes like."

So thankful for grace today. 

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