Mommy Dates

I just had my first mommy play date!  Those of you that know me are aware that I don’t have the most female friends, and the ones I have, have a tendency to leave me out of ‘play dates’ and meet ups.  That’s normally fine by me, I’ve never really meshed with women, but now that I am a mom seeing others get together so close to me and not inviting me makes me feel snubbed; I want my little girl to have friends her age. “I thought we all liked each other, guess not.” Is the thought that crosses my mind every time I see this.  So, I decided to stop wallowing in my perceived rejection and create my OWN mommy group and invite people myself. If I’m not invited to your soiree, I’ll make up my own 🙂

We met at Lafarge Lake, a small man made lake near my house.  There were originally 5 of us getting together, but mommy duties forced 3 to postpone.  So it was just me and one other woman (and our babies or course).  “What am I going to say to her?  How are we going to get along just one on one?  What if she doesn’t like me?”  I felt like a teenager again going on my first date. Well just my luck, she is a Chatty Kathy just like me.  We hung out for 3 hours and the conversation never died down.  She didn’t care that Lady Bug has day time purple crying, it didn’t embarrass her when we were eating sushi and my little angel decided to start screaming at the top of her lungs.  We just finished our lunch, packed up, and went on our way.  It was so awesome to have someone with me; if I had been alone I would have been freaking out that Lady Bug was crying and totally embarrassed.

At the end of our date we made plans to hang out again.  I’m excited to maybe have another friend for me, and possibly a buddy for my Lady Bug.  Now, what’s the rule for calling a mommy back?  Do I wait the customized 42 hours?  LOL

 

The photo was shot by me, just not during my mommy date.  Check out my other work on Facebook: Miss Adventure Photography

Crazy Time

Its been a crazy couple of weeks.  Lady Bug had her second baby shower (yup second, it’s what happens in divorced families) and she was the Belle of the Ball.   Charming and cute and oh so… oh no wait, that’s not my daughter.  She cried practically the entire time, nobody but me was allowed to hold her (according to her) and if they tried she screamed like someone just cut off a finger.  I felt horrible with friends and family that I have known forever trying to hold her and all she did was scream.  People took time out of their lives to come celebrate her, the least she could do was let them snuggle her.  Unfortunately she’s a baby and she doesn’t see reason like us grown ups do.  Geesh. Thankfully everyone there had their own kids.  They knew what it was like, not only did they have their own kids but there were also nurses there, and even one that specialized in babies.  I still was embarrassed that I didn’t look like supermom with it all together and the perfect angelic baby, but at least everyone understood.

I am still trying to come to grips with my lack of mommy skills,  my baby has Purple Crying or Colic as it was once known and it wears you down until you think that there is no way you can go another day.  Top this off with me being alone with her for 16+ hours a day and having next to no support you can be sure to welcome Post Partum Anxiety or Post Partum Depression.  I am now suffering from both, lucky me.  The anxiety presented itself first, or at least its what I noticed first.  It is NOT normal for you to be afraid to do everything with your baby.  I hadn’t even gone into a Starbucks until Lady Bug was 10 weeks old and when I finally did I was so anxious I nearly threw up.  I would sit in the truck and let B go in for us.  If we went in someone would spill their coffee on her, or step on her in her car seat, or they would trip and she would fall out of her stroller (yes she was strapped in, but anxiety knows no boundaries).  Letting my mother in-law push her in her stroller also caused extreme anxiety for me.  What if she leaned on the stroller and tipped it over? The one and only time I let her push the stroller I walked in front of them crying, shaking and again extremely nauseous.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, I also wake up every hour or so just to make sure she is still breathing.  I cant afford the Levana Oma so I don’t get the same security that this device would offer me by having an alarm go off if she stopped breathing.  On top of all this I can’t seem to keep anything clean enough.  B says the house is so clean we could eat off the floors, but I don’t see it.  I am constantly freaking out because nothing s clean or organized.  He has finally noticed me suffering and has agreed that we will go to counselling together.  Thank God.

Not everything has been bad though.  We have started a sleep schedule and for the last three weeks it has been going great at night time.  I wrap her in her Woombie after having an aromatherapy bath and she sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time, wakes up only to eat then goes right back to sleep.  This constant in our lives has helped me relax at night and I too am even getting a couple hours of sleep here and there.  I also went and stayed with my dad and his wife for nearly 2 weeks and they were a great help.  Lady Bug loves going to them and it gives me a break to pass her off to someone that I know will be able to calm the screams.  This gives me some very much needed me time and I even had the luxury of a bath or shower, not to mention the joy of being able to brush my teeth and my hair! She is also turning into the happy smiling baby that I have been dreaming of for the past 12 weeks.  Every single morning when it is time to wake up (so she says) I am greeted with great big smiles, and its at that moment that I know she loves me and is happy to see me, even if I am doing everything wrong.

I wouldn’t be able to continue without the help and support of my family.  I am excited to start counselling and I can’t wait to be able to enjoy my baby without the constant crippling fear that something bad is going to happen and she will be taken away from me.

If you think you may be suffering from Post Partum Depression or Anxiety click HERE for a list of symptoms.  Having friends and family around to help you is great for prevention but is not always possible.  Search for a Mommy Group near you and don’t be afraid to drop in.  They won’t judge you, trust me.

Lady Bugs headband was purchased HERE and was made by a talented Stay At Home Mom.

Vaccine day… dun dun dun

Now I know this is a hot topic, but I chose to vaccinate my daughter.  I want her protected, and I want to know she is safe from diseases/illnesses that could easily kill her just ’cause I refused to get her vaccinated.

I knew these were going to hurt my little Lady Bug (as I shall call her in internet land) and I was prepared to cry a little bit myself.  Heck when they did the heel prick at 2 days old I sobbed, and I mean sobbed.  She was done crying at that time way before I was, sitting there nursing away as my crocodile tears kept falling on her face.  One thing I learned was that nursing was a great way to soothe your baby when something crappy is going to happen, ie. vaccines, the only issue here is that Lady Bug is a power nurser.  She goes from starving to totally full in 5 minutes, she always has.  Its funny because as she’s getting bigger she’s not taking longer to feed, just sucking harder.  Anyway I was truly hoping that the doctor would be able to give her all 3 (yes 3!) shots before she finished.  NOPE.  The rotavirus vaccine contains sugar water which is supposed to act as a pain reliever and the baby needs to suck away for 2 minutes for it to start kicking in, AHHHH she’s already been on for 1 minute.  “Doc you’ve got about 30 seconds before she is finished eating, then we are in trouble.”  Sure enough the doctor gives her her first shot.  Her perfect little face goes bright red and she lets out a blood curdling, heart stopping scream like I have never heard her scream before.  I was so upset immediately I nearly threw up.  Im crying, I have my boob hanging out trying to get her to latch back on soothe can soothe herself, she’s screaming and the poor pediatrician doesn’t know which one of us to try to console first (he chose the baby, and told me to do whatever I needed to calm her down.)  Oh yeah!  Crazy Momma Bear Mode kicked in, I stood up and started bouncing, stopped crying and sang “Hush Little Baby” to my poor inconsolable girl  not even caring if I looked stupid with my top half off, breast squirting milk everywhere and baby screaming.  ( I guess we’ll clean that up later)

That stupid sugar water id nothing for my girl – or Delicate Flower – as the doctor called her.  I guess she’s just a little extra emotionally sensitive compared to other babies.  I finally got her to calm down , but I guess I was still white as a sheet since the doc kept asking if I was going to be ok.  I said I was, took my girl to the truck and made sure to take a few breaths before I started driving.

The needles themselves were just the beginning.

Two hours later Lady Bug started screaming, the same screams I heard at the office.  I ran to her and took her out of her swing and immediately checked her legs for swelling and checked to make sure there was no fever. Thank God there was neither.  The poor thing was again inconsolable.  Her appointment was at 11:00 am and she hadn’t slept since 10:30, it was now 2:30 she needs to sleep! So I gave her a single dose of baby Tylenol to try to comfort her, calm her and get rid of any pain she was feeling.  Forty minutes later she falls asleep.  I thought I had finally achieved victory.  She woke up after 30 minutes.  Now I don’t know what you know about 8 week old babies but the definitely need more than 1 hours sleep in a day.  I spend the rest of the day trying to console her, co-sleep, bounce, rock, babywear and feed; anything to help her out.   At 6:30 I say screw you to her 730 bedtime routine and give her a bath.  The sound of the tub is one of her favorite things so I hold her while it fills, light a couple lavender oil candles and the give her a lavender and vanilla bubble bath.  Next I swaddle her in her Woombi then continue with the 5 S’s that I’ve been trying all day.  Still nothing is working.  Since her 2 favorite things are the tub running and bouncing on the exercise ball I bring the ball into the bathroom, turn off the lights and leave the candles going.  after 10 minutes she falls asleep so I try to move her.  She immediately woke up so I sat right back down and bounced her some more.  Now with legs that feel like noodles after bouncing for 90% of the day I move to sit on the toilet. I manage half an hour before my tail bone feels like its going to fall off but Lady Bug is still sleeping so I’m not leaving the bathroom.  We ended up staying in there- water running and switching from ball to toilet to save my spine- for an hour and a half till my fiancé came home at 8pm.  I pass her to him so I can get the feeling back in my arms.  She immediately starts screaming again – from a dead sleep- so we give her one more dose of baby Tylenol and Momma Bear holds her ’till she falls asleep again.  Finally she seems like she is down for the count.  I get her into her bassinet and wolf down dinner with the man like its my first and last meal ever.  She is pretty good, and sleeping like an angel for 2 more hours, then wakes up screaming for a feed, so I feed her and she passes right out again.  This was the whole night last night.  Every two yours woken by a screaming baby.

I am not looking forward to her 4 month shots, though this time I booked them for a Sunday so B can come too.

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Up till today…

I spent 4 days in the hospital following my c section, they kept me an extra day because I wasn’t handling the pain in the way they expected.  I sure didn’t want to leave.  Being a first time mom everything was terrifying. “Why did she just projectile vomit all over me?”  “Is something wrong?” B and I had no clue so we just pushed that handy dandy nurse call button and someone came and helped us, calmed our nerves and lets us know she was perfectly ok.  I would like to say that my anxiety went away, or at least lessened being in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses, but considering a baby had just been kidnapped by a nurse (in a different hospital) it was nearly impossible.  Any time I was sleeping and I heard someone come into our room I would jolt awake, I don’t think I slept more than 2-3 hours a night, in total!

I chose to breast feed, and I wasn’t going to let anything (short of medical reasons) get in my way.  Nothing can really prepare you for breast feeding.  Sure you go to the class, they tell you it won’t hurt if your baby latches right and in the video some baby of about 3 months of age is latching perfectly and the mom is barely trying.  Well this is definitely not the case with a newborn, not only are you learning but so in the baby.  For me this equaled blisters, bloody nipples and me crying tears of pain so big they looked like gum drops.  This pain lasted just under 2 weeks for me.  It was a little embarrassing to walk around topless in mesh panties while I met 4-5 new nurses a day, not to mention when the in-laws came to visit trying to cover with my hospital gown but my poor nipples were too sensitive.  Sorry for the show everyone 🙂  Going topless and braless didn’t last forever and at the 2 week mark it was literally like I had new boobs and feeding didn’t hurt anymore.  If you are going to breast feed, try and make it past this point if you can, it all gets better.

The first 2 weeks with my lovely baby were like a honeymoon, she rarely cried, loved to snuggle and I could pretty much put her down anywhere to sleep.  Purple crying?  Well that obviously wasn’t going to happen to us.  I had my fiancé there for the first week at the hospital and for a couple days at home, then sadly he had to go back to work.  I was in full panic mode, how was I going to do this alone?  We survived that first day, and the whole week.

Week 3-now (8) – holly crap what happened to my angel? Purple crying (colic) has arrived!  We don’t have it as bad of a lot of people, she only cries for about 1 hour each night, but as a first time mom this is longest hour of my life.  You would be amazed by how many things parents will try to get their baby to stop crying.  The usual, feed, diaper change and snuggle don’t always work.  We tried everything, if you could have been a fly on the wall I’m sure you would have been laughing out loud at us.  What works for my little girl:  the tub water running on full (nope no the sink or shower, the TUB) her daddy holding her on her tummy and lifting her up and down, essentially doing bicep curls for hours at a time with an 8 pound weight on his forearm. Swinging her in her car seat, and I mean swinging, buckle that baby in and swing ’till your arms fall off.  And just to keep you on your toes each of these things will NOT work every time, once you got the routine down pat, she doesn’t like it anymore.

What made it all worth while?  Well other than the obvious love we feel for her and the desire to make her happy at 5 weeks she SMILED a real smile, not the usual “Hi mommy, I’m farting or pooping right now” no, a real genuine smile.  There is nothing more precious than a baby smile!

The positives: At week 6 we were giving her tummy time on the floor, not just on our tummies, now our angel has been lifting her head no problem since she was 2 days old, but seeing her lift her head off the floor and holding herself up was definitely a proud momma moment.  Listening to her start to coo and chatter with us was also amazing. At week 7 she responds to your smiles by smiling back and trying to copy facial expressions, she even lets out little baby giggles.  Week 8, to the day, she rolled over for the first time.  I never would have thought that watching a baby roll over onto her back could be so amazing, but I was so proud of her and so shocked that I nearly cried.  I whipped out my cell phone and put her back on her tummy again to see if it was on purpose or an accident, and caught her second ever roll on camera.  Im still watching it on a daily basis and its been nearly a week!IMG_3619 - Copy - Copy

 

Being pregnant, and having a baby…

Now when you have been told for years the you can’t/won’t/shouldn’t have kids and you find out you are indeed pregnant and going to have a baby, a small amount of fear kicks in.  For me it became a huge problem.  I was terrified of losing this baby.  At the 9 week ultrasound I cried seeing my little lovely blob on that screen, and when that little blob moved its arm stub and looked like it was waving I was hooked.  I will do anything and everything to make sure I carry this baby to term in the most healthy way possible.  Crazy Momma Bear was born. I immediately cut out all caffeine, processed foods, no nitrates and I got the book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”  shortly followed by “What To Eat When You’re Expecting.”    I cannot stress it enough, do not waste your money on these books!  All they did was add to the fear that I already had.  “Don’t eat nitrates, they cause neural tube defects.” “Don’t have caffeine it causes premature birth and low birth weight.”  “If you want more information buy our other book.” I hate fear propaganda, and I hate it even more when people use fear to get more out of others.  If you are Canadian and you want more info I highly recommend “Pregnancy Day by Day”  its more text book style, and has photos and medical information for every day of pregnancy, labor and a few weeks postpartum.  But I digress.

My pregnancy was fairly lackluster.  I did have hyperemesis g.  so I was incredibly ill the entire time.  For the first 4 months all I could keep down was triscuits and green grapes – don’t even try the red ones!  At 9 weeks pregnant I had to quit my job as a cook at my most favorite place of employment ever Black And Blue Restaurant due to being so sick and so sensitive to smells I spent my entire shift holding myself up or puking.  Not really great for business.  The rest of the pregnancy was great, I embraced my growing body. loved and adored my baby bump and really truly did not care about the number on the scale.  For one of the first times in my life I was actually happy with who I was and who I was becoming.

On new years eve B proposed to me with my dream ring.  Marriage was something we had been talking about before the pregnancy, so it wasn’t a huge surprise but it was amazing to be proposed to with actual fireworks in the background.  We toasted the engagement with grape juice in wine glasses.

At 20 weeks my women’s intuition was confirmed, I was indeed having a girl, and everything looked perfectly healthy.  All I had left to do was give birth, which I also ‘knew’ was going to happen early.

Sure enough at 38 weeks exactly, May 28th, 2014 went into labor.  I had started having labor pains about a week before.  I remember telling my doula that it felt like I was wearing hot yoga shorts of pain, because that’s where it hurt.  I won’t go into all the gory details but after 42 hours of labor, 36 hours of that being hard labor my baby girl was born by emergency c section.  She was transverse and face up, not ideal for a first pregnancy, to top it off I didn’t dilate past 5cm and the baby didn’t drop.  My dream of having a drug free natural birth was crushed (though I did go 36 hours drug free.) I got an epidural after 36 hours, at this point I was only 3cm, I knew I couldn’t keep going.   The epi relaxed me and in 1 hour I moved to 5cm, the doctors and were hopeful that things would progress.  They didn’t.  I got sent with B to go do my emergency section.  Once I was prepped the doctors started cutting, and I FELT EVERYTHING!  The anesthesiologist rushed to give me more drugs and they tried again and I could still feel them cutting.  Imagine the trauma for myself and for BThis poor man has just watched his fiancé have contractions every 2 minutes for the last 36 hours, watched me cry in pain and beg for an epidural, now she can FEEL everything that she isn’t supposed to, the man was a mess. So now I’m put under general anesthetic, B is rushed out of the room and they proceed to take away even my back-up birth plan away from me.  I won’t get my delayed cord clamping, nor will I get immediate skin to skin.  It ends up being 4 hours before I recover enough to meet my baby girl.  When I finally do I cry, my heart explodes with love and I do the one and only thing I wanted that is still in my birth plan, I rip off that stupid newborn hat and let the oxytocin’s take over.   I snuggle my girl, get in skin to skin and attempt to breast feed her for the first time.  Success!

 

Ok I guess I did tell you all the gory details.

smurf 20 Weeks

You’re Pregnant Babe!

Getting pregnant is the fun part.  Being pregnant, for some, means glowing skin, bigger boobs and a nice round butt. For me, it was 7 months of daily puking, hot flashes, shakes and an unprecedented amount of fear.

When I first found out I was pregnant it was following a month of being so incredibly ill that I couldn’t even get out of bed without vomiting.  I lay on the couch at home for weeks.  Missing work, missing everything, not knowing what was going on.  I was ready to blame Cactus Club Restaurant for feeding me bad seafood or beef because all my sick feelings hit me at once the day after eating there.  The trained chef in me knew there was no way food poisoning could last a month, but maybe it could.  So after that first month my breasts started hurting, hurting so bad B’ couldn’t even hug me.  Now I know what you are all thinking “Obviously she’s pregnant, how did she not figure it out?”  Well I didn’t figure it out because this has all happened before, and I can guarantee there was definitely no baby.  Now he is starting to worry, only unlike me, he hasn’t been told his whole life he will never have kids so the first thing he says to me is, “babe I think you’re pregnant”.  I tell him he’s crazy, but since I don’t get regular periods, and I’ve been sick for so long I ask him to go get us a pregnancy test, just to make sure.  He comes home after work that day with a pregnancy test.  I read the instructions, and realize I should take it in the morning to get the most accurate results – good luck sleeping tonight- we go to bed, and I’m up at 6am with him to take the test.  Pee on the stick and wait 3 minutes.  Well the little miracle + sign didn’t even wait 30 seconds to show up.  Still in denial I flip it over, hand it to ‘B’ and ask him to tell me what it says after 3 minutes.  Heck maybe I’m not pregnant and the + will go away.  It didn’t.  Shock sets in.

‘B’ takes the day off work to deal with his crazy girlfriend who is in shock and refuses to believe she is pregnant.  I made him take me to a walk-in clinic where they did a second test, which again confirmed that YES I was pregnant.  Cue the paranoia.  ” Oh my God, I had a glass of wine last week, and 2 drinks the week before that.  Did I damage the baby? Is she going to be ok?  Oh is there something I can also do about this crippling morning sickness?  I drank coffee every single day!”

Word to the wise, not all walk-in clinics are created equal.  This doctor gave me a prescription for Diclofenic for the nausea and told me it was no problem for me to drink 7 cups of coffee a day and eat sushi whenever I want, oh and would I like for her to me my OB.  “No thank you!”

At least now I will have the funs story to tell my daughter.  “Oh yes your dad told me I was pregnant, not the other way around.”

A (Not-So) Brief History

For years I have been told, I can’t have kids.  I shouldn’t have kids.  If I have kids they will be born with developmental disabilities or if I get pregnant I will just miscarry – so don’t bother trying.

I have suffered from eating disorders since I was 9 years old.  On top of that when I finally hit puberty I was one of the ‘lucky‘ few that got her period with a friend: endometriosis.  I suffered from age 16-26 with extreme cramping and monthly hospitalizations with the exception of the time that I was on depo-provera (the shot).  Yay again, the depo caused bone density loss so I had to stop taking it.  So I welcomed back excruciating pain but now due to the depo and many years of starvation and purging I only got my period once or twice a year. Good luck getting pregnant after doing so much damage to your body.

At age 30 along comes a new gyno.  He puts me in for a laparoscopy and burns off as much of the endo as he can.  He then puts me on Lupron hormone therapy with the hope of re-booting my cycle and getting rid of the endo.  Lupron is a whopping $450 per month and I was on it for 6 months.  OUCH !  Thankfully the majorityof it was covered by my extended medical plan.  Lupron is used for many things one of the great side affects is that after treatment you are supposed to be ‘super fertile for about 3 months.  The bad side affect is that in order to reboot my system it put me through menopause.  Yay for hot flashes and moodiness but also a highly increased sex drive (which definitely made for a happy boyfriend, even though he didn’t understand why I was sweating buckets in the middle of winter)  After Lupron I went back on a single dose of depo, I loved my boyfriend but we definitely weren’t together for long enough to be having babies.

During these three months we discovered that I had graves disease, yes I actually can have more things wrong with me.  I have to go for x rays, and swallow radioactive drinks so they can see if it really is graves or if it is some kind of cancer.  This is when the specialists tell me that children are not an option for me and I will probably have to drink radioactive iodine in which case I can’t even try to get pregnant for a year or I risk serious birth defects.  The wind was taken right out of my sails.  Just because I wasn’t ready to have kids, doesn’t mean that I didn’t want them ever, and being in my 30’s time was definitely running short.  I decided against the radioactive therapy and chose pills as an option instead.  My boyfriend and I became much more serious, we moved to Vancouver and I started seeing a new specialist, who was much more on board with my desire to one day have kids.

Two months after moving to Vancouver I was pregnant!  This is where our story truly begins.

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