Thursday, 17 April 2014

When You Hear God Wrong And Get Mastitis

Almost a year ago our lead pastor and lead associate pastor went to Southland Church in Steinbach Manitoba for a weekend long retreat. They both came back and said that they will look back on that weekend as a turning point for them. To understand how impactful that statement was on me would mean I would need to explain how much I respect both of these men and their individual walks with God. Frankly we don't have time for that, so just take my word for it- that's a pretty big statement. Right away I wanted to go. I told Chris immediately- if there was a way for me to attend a weekend like they did, I wanted to be there.

A few months later our church sent the rest of the pastors and a couple other staff members to the same retreat. I knew I had a chance to go if I paid my own way, but we had just found out I was pregnant, and I was sick all the time, as well as feeling nervous about our budget once baby arrived. Spending $400 on a plane ticket to Steinbach didn't feel wise. So, as much as it broke my heart I stayed home. Thankfully there was already talk of us hosting the same retreat (with the pastor from Southland!) at our own church in the future. I was so excited! ....Until I heard the date was set for March 28 & 29th.

My due date was March 27th.

That hardly slowed down my enthusiasm for the weekend. I was determined that I could and would attend. I decided to pray very intentionally and asked other to as well. I figured if I had the baby a week early, I would be set. 7 days to heal enough to sit on a chair nursing my baby all day? No biggie! So that is how I prayed- Lord, let this baby come a week early, or not until after the 29th! I always imagined that I would end up being overdue anyways - so many women are with their first, and I was measuring small my entire pregnancy.

Elliott arrived exactly one week early on March 20th. For the first couple days I didn't think about the conference at all. Chris and I talked about it once Elliott was about 3 or 4 days old. We already knew I was healing really well. Physically there were no concerns with going. Chris expressed his concern about the emotional aspect of the weekend. The retreat was called "Encounter God"  and was one that promised to be quite impactful. There would be opportunities to hear from God and to be set free from bondage and sin... this was not a light hearted praise service. This was a time to dig deep and unpack the areas of your life where you have struggled. Was this wise to enter into at 8 days postpartum? Right away we both leaned towards no, but decided to take a few days to pray about it before we made a decision.

On Wednesday, two days before the retreat we were asked if we had made a decision. I hadn't shared it with Chris yet, but I was feeling like I was leaning more towards yes. Chris was still leaning towards no. We talked it out, and even though Chris still felt quite hesitant, he agreed to go- especially because I was now advocating strongly for it. I felt like God had answered my very specific prayer of Elliott coming a week early. I couldn't ignore that, and took it as a sign that I was meant to be there. If God wanted me there so badly, perhaps there was something I needed to work out with him? At the very least I imagined that he would be faithful in making it a positive experience for me. So, with all that in mind, we were decided. We would go.

Thursday night I woke at about 12:30 am with fever chills. Chris wasn't in bed yet, and so for a few minutes I lay awake assessing how I was feeling. I realized that my right breast was VERY painful. Fever chills and a painful breast? I knew right away it was mastitis. It went from bad to worse in mere minutes. The fever chills took over my body causing me to shiver uncontrollably. I couldn't get out of bed and was freezing. I texted Chris asking him to come to the room. He arrived, concerned, and became even more so when he saw me. I asked him to cover me with another blanket, and explained that I was sure I had mastitis, and what that meant. I felt so ill, all I could do was cry, which only made my shivering worse to a point where my entire body was shaking. Chris laid beside me and held me close as I wept, which seemed to be the only thing that helped. I felt so panicky because I had no idea when Elliott would wake up to eat, but I knew I couldn't possibly get up to feed him in the state I was in. He had already been sleeping for about 2.5 hours, and up to this point in his life he had only slept longer than that once or twice. That panicky feeling only made the shaking even worse. Chris suddenly had a thought- doesn't Tylenol bring a fever down? (umm, duh!) Yes! Thank you Jesus for reminding him of that! Within 20 minutes of taking some, I started to feel the fever subside.

Right away, my thoughts turned to the conference, and how it was obvious I wouldn't be going. I was upset about not being able to go, but much more so upset at myself. Had I heard God wrong? Was it my pride that led my decision? I had told SO many people throughout my pregnancy how I was going to the conference- baby would just have to come a week early or afterwards. Now that it worked out that way I realized I felt a lot of pressure to show up. Also, I remember reading that mastitis can be a sign that Mom is doing too much and it's her body's way of telling her to slow down. Then the guilt hit - was I so concerned with appearing as though I was handling a newborn with such ease that I was putting too much strain on my healing body? Had I unknowingly put my health in jeopardy, and now I couldn't care for my newborn as well (or so it felt)?

These thoughts swirled in my mind as I cried and shook in Chris' arms. I admitted all my feelings to him and he prayed for me, as well as for healing for my body. My shaking slowed, and my tears dried up as I received His grace.

I laid awake as I waited for Elliott to wake so I could feed him. I couldn't possibly sleep with all these thoughts running through my mind, and I used the time to work it all out with God. I imagined he would wake at any moment, but it seems that the Lord had a lot to work out with me because Elliott slept longer than he ever had before - a full SIX hours. (He hasn't slept that long since that night.)

The truth is that I really had not been doing too much. I had only left the house twice- once for less than an hour, and the second time for maybe 3 hours. I hadn't lifted a finger all week long while Chris made every single meal and kept the house tidy. I think I did one load of laundry because I felt bored one day, but aside from that I had spent the majority of the past seven days on the couch, getting up only to change Elliott (which Chris offered to do more than half the time) So all in all, the question of whether I had done too much was answered with a resounding No.

My pride however; that may be a reasonable thing to question. Oh Lord, how I look forward to the day when my pride is not the first thing I confess before you each day...

Just to be clear- I do not believe God gave me mastitis to punish me or even to teach me a lesson. I do think that he used the situation to speak to me in a way that was impossible for me not to listen. I am thankful for the lesson I learned, although I would be lying if I said that I was thankful for the timing.

The lesson is simple.

There is no substitution to earnestly seeking God's will in every single situation. I made a lot of assumptions on what God must have been saying based on what I had prayed throughout my pregnancy, as well as based on what seemed to be an "open door" to attend the conference. The truth is though, that I did not ask Him specifically if he wanted me to attend or not. I didn't ask him before I had Elliott, and I didn't ask him in those days of deciding after Elliott had been born. I knew I desired to go, and it seemed as though God had made a way for me to be there, and so I proceeded.

Basing decisions on "open doors" alone is unwise because it discounts the fact that we have an enemy in this world that also has the ability to present opportunities before us. I think we often assume that if the opportunity seems positive it's from God, and negative means it's not from God. I think the enemy loves to trick us though- masquerading his traps as positive experiences so that we won't think twice, and we certainly won't seek confirmation from God. The traps are not necessarily there to create a negative experience. If I had not come down with mastitis, I don't  think I would have had a bad time at the conference. The trap is that over time, with situations like these we can be tricked into thinking we don't need to talk to God or ask him if we should proceed or not. Over time we leave him out of the equation altogether, and that is a dangerous place to be in.

For those that are wondering, Elliott and I are doing wonderfully now. (Well, he was always doing wonderfully) It was pretty rough at the time, but I now feel completely over the mastitis. Hallelujah! 


Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose today...



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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Elliott's Birth Story

I'll start by saying that I fully expected to go past my due date. I very intentionally told myself over and over that pregnancy was 42 weeks long, and anything before that was a bonus. I know way too many mamas that got really antsy when they didn't deliver by their due date and I didn't want to feel that way. I think I legitimately convinced myself, because when I started having contractions 8 days before my due date I certainly was surprised!!  

Wednesday turned out to be a very busy day for me. I joined a mom's group that meets on Wednesdays and they were kind enough to let me in before baby was born! So Wednesday morning I went to MOPS for the first time. The group is held at the church I attend and work(ed) at so there were many familiar faces, and I met a few new ladies as well. It was a lovely time! After staying late to visit a little I didn't have a lot of time to get home, make and eat lunch and get out the door- I had a massage booked for 2 pm. Somehow I did have enough time to wipe out the oven that I had turned on self clean the day before. Aaahh... sparkly oven.

I went to my massage, and fully enjoyed the water bed they have at this particular spa for pregnant women. So comfy and relaxing! After that Chris asked me to drop off some things he needed for that evening at church - it was the night of the biggest youth event we hold for the kids. Nerf Warfare. Chris had been setting up all day for it, and once the kids arrived after dinner it would be 2 hours of running around the church, just to end with an hour or two of cleaning up after. In other words, my husband who normally has a very non physical internship was having the busiest most physical day he could possibly have. (Proving God's sense of humor once again)

I went home after stopping at the church and running a couple errands, (stopping for a donair on the way so I didn't need to cook anything.) Then I happily plopped myself in front of the couch and got ready to relax for the evening. Just before 9 pm I felt a pain which I dismissed as gas pain. Perhaps I shouldn't have had that donair, I thought... It took two more pains for me to realize that the pain had a rise and fall to it, and that they were coming in regular intervals of about ten minutes apart. I excitedly waited for another pain to appear, and when it did ten minutes later I was convinced! These were contractions, and that meant I was in labour!!

I texted Chris, not telling him what was going on, but just asking how his night was going, to see if he was going to be home soon or not. I was hoping he was nearly on his way home so I could tell him in person that I was in labour. When he didn't answer after a few minutes I broke down and called him to tell him the news. All I could think was if he got home an hour later he would wonder why the heck I hadn't told him yet! When he answered the phone I asked him where they were at in cleaning up, and he said they were nearly done. I said "Ok, well you're definitely good to stay and finish up, but just so you know I've had a couple contractions!"

I texted my Midwife Tara somewhere between 9:30 and 10 just to give her a heads up that I was having contractions. I knew I didn't need to call her so early, but thought that if I were her I would want to know to go to bed early if I was going to woken in the middle of the night with a labouring patient! Sure enough she asked a few questions and then told me to let her know when the contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds, consistently for 1 full hour. She strongly suggested I try to get some rest while the contractions were still so mild and far apart. (Ha!)

Chris got home shortly after. I told him how Tara said the best thing was to try to get some sleep, and I headed to bed somewhere around 10:30. At first I told him I was fine with going to bed alone, but then I asked him to crawl in with me. I was just so excited and wanted him near. That may have been a mistake because all we did was talk excitedly about how we were going to meet our baby soon! He helped keep my mind off the contractions by asking me to tell him a story- specifically the story of when I was 14 and got caught drinking alcohol with a friend at my lake. (Such a silly story!) I'm sure he had heard it a few times, but it killed some time to tell it once again, in detail!

It was obvious sleep was not going to come easily and so we decided to go watch a movie and perhaps we could fall asleep in front of the TV. The first 40-60 minutes or so of the movie I was able to just lay on the couch on my side and wince at each contraction, breathing through it with no problem. Somewhere around midnight they picked up though, and I moved to the floor to see if a different position would be better for the contractions. I found being on my hands and knees to be the best. I was timing the contractions at this point, and they were about 7 minutes apart. They were starting to hurt quite a bit more. Right around this point I started to feel nauseated during each contraction. It would pass quickly once the contraction stopped, but as the contractions got stronger, so did the nausea. It was a symptom I didn't expect to experience until I hit transition labour, and so while the contractions were still about 6-7 minutes apart I decided to check in with Tara just to make sure.

I texted Tara around 1 am to let her know how I was progressing and about the nausea. She said it was not uncommon to experience symptoms like that as I switched into more active labour, and it was likely a rush of adrenaline at each contraction that made me feel nauseous. She eased my nerves and reminded me that this was an endurance race and I was doing great. Just what I needed to hear! I agreed to let her know once we had hit the mark for heading to the birth center - 5 minutes apart for an hour straight.

Right around this point Chris asked if he could try to nap, which I thought was wise. If we were in it for the long haul, I would need him to be more awake once things picked up. While he tried to sleep a little on the couch I moved to the bedroom for a while and labored on the bed. I had made a labour playlist full of worship music and this is when I started to really listen to it. I especially loved having earbuds in and feeling like I could shut everything else out. 

Tara had advised me not to pay too close attention to how far apart my contractions were until they started commanding my full attention. That happened somewhere around 1 am for me when we had last spoke, and finally at 3 am I texted Tara to tell her that my contractions had consistently been 5 minutes apart for a full hour. It was finally time!

I woke Chris up and told him it was time to go. He jumped up and gathered our bag (which was grossly overpacked by the way!) and got me a sweater and socks (and helped me put them on) I walked out of the house to a warmed up car right outside the door, and we were off! A friend of ours had told Chris that you can run red lights without penalty when your wife is in labour, so sure enough he ran the first red we came to. On Ray Gibbon Drive at 3:20 am. What a rebel ;) Contractions in the car were pretty horrible, but thankfully the drive is short (less than 20 minutes with no traffic)  so there weren't many of them. 

We arrived at the birth center less than 5 minutes before Tara. She quickly went to find us a room and came back with surprising news. There are two main rooms and one back up at the birth center. When we toured it we were told that the third room is barely ever used. So imagine our surprise when we found out that all three rooms had just recently been vacated! The good news was we had a room, the bad news was that we had to wait for it to be cleaned. In the meantime Tara found us a nice little office with a couch to hang out in and I was able to labour on my hands and knees, kneeling over the couch during contractions. I continued listening to my music and Tara did some initial assessments of baby's heartbeat etc. She asked me if I wanted to be checked for dilation, and I declined. I knew that I had an idea in my head of how dilated I would like to be given the amount of hours I had been labouring already, and I didn't want to feel discouraged if I was wrong. Tara agreed. From observing me for the past few contractions and knowing how things had progressed thus far she was very comfortable with how my labour was progressing and didn't feel like it would be beneficial to know how dilated I was. We were in the office less than an hour and moved into the room. Right away, we filled up the tub.

It just so happened that I had a contraction as I was stepping into the tub. There's really no turning back when you have one leg over the side already so I just went for it. The moment I sunk into the water I felt relief from the pain. Hallelujah! This was what I was waiting for!! The water wasn't quite hot enough so Tara and her student midwife Sam (who just joined us as we got into the room) went to boil water on the stove. I remember the short time Chris and I had alone in the room to be my favourite part of labour. I was so excited how the water was cutting the pain, and now that we were at the birth center it all felt so much more real and close- sure it was the wee hours of the morning and we were exhausted, but we were going to meet our baby that day! I had a renewed energy and determination.

So we settled into labouring in the tub for a while. The contractions certainly got more intense as time went on. I also got more tired and felt more nauseous with each one. I had asked for a glass of juice in an attempt to boost my blood sugar a little, but it only took a couple sips to realize I couldn't drink it for fear of throwing up. Shortly after, I had to ask Chris to remove the glass of juice from the room. Just the thought of it made me sick and everytime I looked at it I could taste it again. Blech. 

I continued listening to my music the whole time I was in the tub- no longer with my earphones, but just using my iPhone to play it through the speakers. There was an iPod Dock in the room, but it was so quiet in there that we didn't even have it on full volume on my phone, and this way Chris could change the song when I asked him to without leaving my side. One of Chris' favourite stories to tell about labour was how, as labour progressed I would grow less and less tolerant of listing to songs I didn't know. At first I would ask him kindly to change to the next song, or even to change to the next artist on the playlist (I had loaded entire albums) but as labour got more intense I would just say "I don't know this song" which meant "Change this now" He really was wonderful during it all. He sat there with me and grabbed my hand during each contraction. I spoke very little during this portion of labour, mainly from exhaustion, and so he also spoke very little. His presence was calming and consistent- exactly what I needed. He offered me a sip of water from my water bottle after each contraction, and just at the right times he told me how great I was doing. Later on, as my legs and ankles were getting sore from the position I took during each contraction (kneeling, leaning over the side of the tub with my arms on the edge) he would help me up from my sitting back position so I could quickly get back to kneeling by the time the contraction hit it's peak. There was a lot of back and forth for a while, but it was necessary to keep my ankles from going numb. I just wasn't willing to be sitting during a contraction- it just felt like the least comfortable

At about 6 am Tara asked me if I wanted her to check me for dilation - something we hadn't done at all yet. Again, this time when she asked I declined. She suggested that in about an hour we may want to discuss it again, which I agreed to. She thought it would be helpful to know if we were close to pushing or if we still had a few hours to go. Having a little time to mentally prepare myself for not caring how far along I was, was just what I needed. At about 7 am I got out of the tub and onto the bed. Tara determined I was 6 cm, but dilated to a full 8 during a contraction. My cervix was also paper thin (completely effaced) which is half the battle. She was so encouraging, and I was determined to be fine with any answer, and so I was. Truly, I felt no emotion about how far I was, and I wasn't concerned in the least with how much longer labour may take. This was a moment I had prayed very specifically about, and I am so thankful for the Lord's faithfulness in answering. 


Tara asked me if I wanted her to break my water. I was surprised she was even asking because we had had a conversation at one of our last appointments about how midwives prefer to never break the water. They feel like it is interfering with the natural process, and there are very few instances where it is medically necessary. In a almost every case it is best for the water to break on it's own so the mother can progress naturally. Breaking the water will speed up labour because the head descends quickly, and contractions will intensify accordingly. If you are not ready to push (dilation and effacement) you can tear more easily and really, no one wants that! I think Tara knew I was growing quite weary, and so she gave me the option. Knowing what I know, and having her tell me in that moment that she could break my water, but it would get very intense very fast, the decision was easy. I didn't want to interfere.

Things seemed to pick up quite quickly after this. I was so exhausted that I decided to try labouring on the bed for a short while. Contractions hurt SO much more, but I had the opportunity to fall asleep for a few minutes in between each one. It is amazing to me how a person can go from experiencing the worst pain they have ever felt, to dead asleep in mere seconds... but that's exactly what happened. Over and over for about half an hour. During the contractions either Sam or Chris would rub my back for counter pressure while I laid on my side, then Chris would offer me a sip of water directly after, then I'd zonk out until the next one hit. Fascinating, really!

Next, after the worst trip to the bathroom ever (So horrible to have a contraction on the toilet! Tara rubbed my back while I leaned against Chris, then they both scooted out so I could actually pee) I got back in the tub. I don't know if it started on the bed, the bathroom, or once I got back in the tub (probably a combo of all three because changing positions can intensify labour drastically!) but I was definitely in the throws of transition labour. If there was any question, all of a sudden I was sure I was going to throw up. I vocalized the fact, and Tara had a bowl in front of my face in seconds. This is definitely the closest I have come in years to throwing up (For those that don't remember, I've been puke free since the year 2000) My mouth filled with saliva which I spit in the bowl, but then I was able to regain my composure. Phew, that was close!!

I think I started vocalizing my contractions before I moved to the bed, but now I was definitely moaning through each and every one. All I really said was a long, drawn out "Ooooowwww" in a low, growly voice. (My description. I'm curious if Chris would agree, ha ha) I have no clue how long this portion of labour was, but going by how long I know the rest of labour took, I'd say an hour max. I started experiencing more and more pressure, and I knew things were moving along. Somewhere around 10 am Tara suggested she check me again, which I welcomed.

Back to the bed (So much easier said than done!) and the good news came - I was a full ten and ready to push! I'm not actually sure what Tara did (perhaps stretched me that last quarter of a centimetre? ) but immediately after her exam, I felt an intense burning with the next contraction and felt the urge to push. Tara asked me if I wanted to move back to the tub, as it was my desire to deliver in the tub, but I told her I couldn't. The pain was just too bad, and standing up simply wasn't an option. She suggested that I push in a squatting position, facing the back of the bed. I agreed that that sounded good. They raised the back of the bed up, and I turned around (with a great deal of help) and leaned over the bed, holding on to the back of the bed for dear life.

I know some women say they enjoy pushing because it feels like a relief to finally be able to actively do something. That was not my experience. I strongly disliked pushing. It hurt. A lot. Enough said? Thankfully at this point I was fully aware that I had no choice but to keep going. Tara told me once that there is a point of surrender in every labour. I think I had a couple points of surrender, but the greatest of all was when I was pushing. The first few pushes I could feel myself holding back. Tara could tell as well, and she asked me what I was afraid of. Just having her ask the question made me realize I was afraid. Afraid of losing control. My body just didn't give me a choice- it's like an undeniable reflex that you can't control, and have to just give in to. More than any other moment in my life did I realize that in my own strength I can do nothing. I leaned heavily on the Lord, knowing that was the only way to make it through, and knowing the pay off was going to be the biggest one of my life.

As much as I was focusing on what I was doing I couldn't help but hear the midwives talking excitedly (Tara's partner Heidi came for the birth because two registered midwives must attend each birth) I was getting very near to pushing the head out (so they said) and I heard them say "in the caul" and I knew (but had forgotten) that my water still hadn't broken. Sure enough, a couple pushes later (after 40 minutes total of pushing) and the head was out- still in my bag of waters, which had not yet broken. I had to wait for a few seconds before the next contraction peaked to push out the rest of the body, and as I did the water must have burst as one of the midwives caught him. They helped me to sit up a bit from my kneeling/squatting position and I picked him up from the bed (not even looking to see if he was a boy or girl) and hugged him close, weeping. They helped me turn around so I could sit leaning back against the bed, and they had already covered him in a towel. Suddenly someone said that they hadn't even looked to see the gender. Chris spoke up and said "I know what it is" Then he turned to me and said "It's a boy!!"

Like with so many things with pregnancy, childbirth, and now motherhood, I just can't describe that moment adequately with words. The flood of emotions was overwhelming. In an instant I fell more deeply in love than I knew was possible, and to know that it is still only a fraction of how my heavenly Father feels about me is baffling, humbling, and a completely new revelation of his love.

After Chris cut the cord and the midwives cleared out of the room for a few minutes, we sat there as a brand new family of three. Chris prayed for us, thanking the Lord for the amazing gift he had given us.

Looking back, aside from it all happening during the middle of the night, I couldn't have asked for a better labour and delivery. I am so thankful for all the prayer warriors I had interceding on my behalf before, during and after. I tangibly felt those prayers, and know without a doubt that they made a difference!



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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Welcome To The World Elliott Joshua!!

Sorry for taking so long to post, but as I'm sure you can imagine, I have had my hands full. Quite literally. It's pretty tricky business to try to type on a laptop when you have a newborn in your arms!

Elliott Joshua was born exactly a week before his due date on Thursday, March 20th at 10:54 am. He weighed 9 lbs, 2 oz and was 21 inches long. He was born at Lucina Birth Centre in Edmonton with my Midwife Tara (who is Ah-mazing) We were anticipating a water birth, but when it came down to go time I was more comfortable on the bed. C'est la vie!

And folks... he is absolutely perfect.

I am writing up his birth story, but for this update I just wanted to share a few pictures and let you know how his first week of life has been. Speaking of his birth, here's a picture taken mere seconds after he was born. I didn't even know if he was a boy or girl yet!

Pure joy <3


As I write this today, he is 9 days old. It's so surreal to think he's been here more than a week because we can't picture life without him already. He's settled into our lives so seamlessly, it's almost like he's been here all along.

We've learned lots about him so far. He hates having a dirty diaper, but even more so hates having his bum changed, and screams every time. So cold! And yes, we've both been peed on a couple times. Gotta get that face cloth trick down ;) He's a good little eater, and some of my favourite moments are when he's at my breast. I get so many smiles with my nipple in his mouth- it always makes me giggle.  (even at 4 in the morning) He loves being swaddled. I always thought the blankets they make for swaddling were silly- why used a fancy velcro thing when you can just wrap him up yourself? Well, because not all of us are gifting in swaddling (such as myself) I'm so thankful for our SwaddleMe Blanket. He loves being wrapped up tight, and can't wriggle out of it even if he tried. We also learned after the first couple nights that he didn't love his bassinet. He would barely sleep an hour tops in there, and only seemed happy if he was snuggled close to Mama. Both Chris and I are way too freaked out to co-sleep. Those first few nights he spent more time in our bed than anywhere else, but I barely slept a wink because I was so concerned about the blankets covering his face, or his face being pressed to close to my skin, or heaven forbid one of us rolling on him... I "slept" motionless and woke up in so much pain... we knew there had to be a better solution. Thankfully there was- his crib! All along we said we would be happy for him to go straight in his crib if he would- the bassinet was just for our own sanity those first few nights of needing to know he was still breathing at all times. Turns out he sleeps great in his crib- on average 3-4 hours at a time, but one night he even slept 6 straight hours! Wow!! This means I get up with him only once or twice a night. I feel incredibly spoiled. It seems like each day he has longer periods of awake times. I can (and do) just sit there with him and stare as he makes all his faces and adorable sounds. Man he's cute.

Now, without further adieu, some pictures of our little man!


Getting weighed

About 3 hours old
Again, about 3 hours old
3 days old!
Chris, his Mom and Elliott
Just woke up!
First time all wrapped up in the Moby. He loved it!

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned for his birth story coming soon!




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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant


Taken at 38 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 38 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope, no sickness at all this week!

Food Cravings? One night I had a sweet craving so bad that I had Chris stop on the way home (at 10:30 pm!) for an Oreo McFlurry. Mmmmm ice cream. I figure that I have had so few cravings that it certainly can't hurt to give into a late night one ;)

Mood? Fantastic! I'm loving Maternity Leave so far. It's so lovely to have time to relax, and also clean to my heart's content! I'm pretty sure that I underestimated how real nesting is, and it catches me by surprise as I am relaxing on the couch and feeling the intense urge to get up and scrub down something new, but I'm loving it! I've never smiled so much while cleaning in my life- it's just so satisfying! Don't worry though- I am definitely still taking plenty of time to relax. I've already had a pedicure and a massage in the past week. I am fully enjoying the break before baby (and sleeping in too!)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Nursery Tour!! Bright Colours, Scripture and Star Wars


I am officially on maternity leave! My last day was this past Wednesday, and as a wonderful surprise, the crib sheets I ordered two months ago finally came in the mail on Thursday morning. Best first day of mat leave ever. I'm so glad I held off on sharing pictures until these sheets came in, because along with the change pad cover and the breast feeding pillow cover, I feel like they really complete the room.

Ok! Let's get started!! When Chris and I first started envisioning the baby's room we first of all wanted the colours to be gender neutral, but not pastel. We knew we wanted it to look modern with clean lines and bright colours, but also have a few vintage touches.  I am so excited how it all turned out.

First of all. This wall. So in love. I adore the clean lines of the horizontal stripes and the pop of colour from the one orange stripe. The orange is brought together in the room by the change pad cover (in a Moroccan print) and the two framed bible verses on the adjacent wall. 



The crib sheets are in a herringbone print, and the breastfeeding pillow, obviously in chevron. The flip side of the pillow is a bright orange minky fabric.



This is the wall you see as you walk in the room. The bible verses on either side of the window are from Jeremiah Chapter 1. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (vs 5) "Before you were born I set you apart" (vs 6) These verses meant a lot to me as we were trying to get pregnant. I just kept submitting to Jesus, knowing that He already knew our baby and had set him or her apart for us, and more importantly for His Kingdom.

The dresser is from IKEA. Originally we were going to refinish an old dresser and paint it a bright colour, but I'm so happy with the white dresser and how it looks with the crib and the white stripes. Also, loving those green curtains so so much.



A cute print form IKEA and a sweet little giraffe rattle.



On the right side of the dresser is the laundry hamper. I have a large wet bag which I will be hanging inside the hamper or (just placing beside), for the cloth diaper laundry. On the other side of the dresser is the waste basket. Cute. Small. Functional. You can also see a humidifier in the picture. Alberta is so dry, it's somewhat necessary! 


Now for the shelves..

The top shelf has the cutest wooden yellow bird that we found at Superstore on clearance (Score!) along with blocks that we'll use to take pictures of babe. The "weeks" block can be changed to "days", "months" and "years" Very functional! The blocks were a gift, but I believe they were found at Chapters.

The middle shelf holds a stuffed whale that was saved from Chris' childhood toys, and a tin watering can with billy balls in it- a leftover decoration from our wedding.

The bottom shelf has another IKEA print and a tiny dinosaur 3D puzzle.


To take a look at the wall across form the crib...
We have the shelves, a white mounted deer head, and of course a touch of Star Wars for Daddy.

A close up of the Star Wars print...



Speaking of Star Wars, check out the wall above the door...



A closer look again....



For the record, yes little girls can be Jedi's too ;)

Ok! On to the last corner of the room. The rocking chair!! We got this rocking chair off Kijiji for $50, and I just love it. The blanket on it was one of Chris' baby blankets. Oh my heart...

The little nightside table is (you guessed it!) from IKEA. As is the lamp. The giraffe sitting there is from Chapters, and is still my favourite baby item ever. In the months before we got pregnant we made many detours from the books to the baby section in Chapters. MANY. Each time I picked this little guy up and told Chris how much I wanted him. Each time he told me to buy him and I told him that I wanted to wait until we were pregnant. The trip to go pick him up after seeing those two lines was just as fun and happy as I always pictured it. Well worth the wait!



On the left side of this shelf is another printed bible verse. Samuel 1:27 "I prayed for this child and the Lord granted me what I asked of Him" and then one last IKEA printable. The right side of the shelf is my favourite...



The teddy was Chris's as a child. The pencil sketch of the pig is one that I drew in Grade 11, and then it's all pulled together with the ABC blocks... Seeing as it's right above the rocking chair with Chris' baby blanket, I call this the vintage corner ;)



Well, I think that's it! Truth be told, it's still missing the mobile. I plan on getting that finished this week, but I just couldn't wait any longer to share the rest of the nursery. So, what do you think?? I'd love to hear your feedback, and feel free to link to your own nursery tours in the comments below!


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Thanks for stopping by :)

~M

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

37 Weeks Pregnant


Taken at 37 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 37 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Actually, yes. This past week I've had a couple nights where out of the blue, right before bed I feel nauseated and sick. One night was particularly bad, and I woke up twice (once at 1 am, once at 3 am) both times tasting vomit in my mouth and feeling as though puking was imminent. I suppressed it because I have a ridiculous aversion to throwing up (going on 14 years puke free!), but it also brought along terrible heartburn (only the second time I've experienced it) All in all it was a really horrible night of very little sleep. A couple nights later I experienced a very mild version of the very same thing. I'm praying this isn't a new trend.

Food Cravings? Nothing specific that I can think of. Feeling very wary of foods ever since the couple of nights of sickness. Once was after we indulged in too much junk food, and the other time was after eating pizza for lunch.

Mood? So much better than last week! I'm not feeling nearly as backed into a corner about leaving work ASAP as I was the past couple of weeks (At first it seemed so out of my control for medical reasons) I have decided that my last day is... well... today actually. I'll be totally honest with you guys though- I'm typing this up Tuesday evening, and while I have been feeling emotional and sad about leaving, it's nothing in comparison to how I'll be feeling tomorrow. I had no idea it would be so hard, but it really is. I LOVE my job and my coworkers. To think that I am leaving and not coming back is just plain hard. There will be tears tomorrow (ahem, today. Wednesday. You get it, right?)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

36 Weeks Pregnant


Taken at 36 Weeks, 4 Days

How Far Along? 36 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope!

Food Cravings? Well, I did have nachos this week, and I was pretty excited about them...

Mood? Oh heavens, this week has been a roller coaster! Up and down emotions about dealing with the reality that baby may want to come very early, and then up and down emotions about how soon I should be leaving work (Which I didn't realize would be such an emotional decision, but it certainly was!) And THEN learning that my complication (prolapsed uterus) wasn't nearly as complicated as we thought (second opinion confirmed it was NOT my uterus that is prolapsed- I'll explain more below) Man. I feel like I've been through the ringer this week. There have been a LOT of tears.

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