The Really Shitty Side of Trying to Start a Family

I’ve had this post written for over a year.
I’ve been meaning to share my own experience for two reasons:
1. With the hope that maybe it will help another loss Mama, like so many posts have helped me over the last two years.
2. To raise awareness and to start the conversation. So many women suffer loss in silence. The topic of pregnancy is brought up so much for couples of all ages, but the truth is, no one truly knows. Pregnancy becomes a sensitive subject for those who struggle to get pregnant or who have lost a baby.


I have two babies. One is a sweet little almost eight month old boy who brings so much joy to my life; the other one is my heaven baby.

We lost our first baby at 6 weeks on November 7th, 2016. You never forget a day like that. My HCG levels were under the normal range a week before. I was a little worried, but they just said it was because it was so early along in the pregnancy. So I cautiously believed them. Silly me. On Monday, November 7th, I woke up to some spotting. A brief Doctor’s appointment that morning with an ultrasound schedule for the Friday basically suggested that things could go either way. But I put it all together. I was losing miscarrying my baby.

Over the course of the week, the spotting increased to bleeding and the cramping felt like really awful period cramps. Thursday of that week, I miscarried my baby. By the time of the ultrasound on Friday, there was nothing. Which can be argued as being good because I didn’t need medical interventions of any sort … and my body just naturally let everything go.

I never got to see my baby on an ultrasound, I never got to hear its heartbeat. At six weeks, would there have even been a heartbeat? To me, it is a baby, but what would other people say? My whole heart began to grieve our loss, but these questions also made me feel guilty for being so sad. Some women suffer miscarriages at 12, 16 or 20 weeks. Some mothers have to endure the labour and delivery of a dead baby. Is it foolish of me to feel this way about something so small?

Grief and heartbreak are deep and difficult feelings to grasp. Dealing with the grief and heartbreak of a person you knew, but never got to see, or touch, or hear are just a whole different level of emotions that I’m sure no one knows how to deal with, unless they are faced with it. I didn’t just lose a child, I lost what I thought would have been my first born; I lost hopes and dreams and sweet ways to tell our family at Christmas time. I lost this sweet little real person that I constructed in my mind. Days were spent trying to cope with this new feeling of emptiness, and nights were spent grieving the loss of the baby we almost had. I fell into a sad, lonely, and depressing time in my life. I struggled with every aspect of our loss for three months. Until one day in February, I went to mass and every single thing that was said was exactly what I needed to hear. The readings and Gospel and homily all revolved around putting your trust in God. That was the day that I finally felt at peace with what had happened and let go.

We waited 7 months for our rainbow baby.

You learn a lot when you become a part of this small community of loss Mamas. Having a miscarriage changes the way you experience your next pregnancy (and I assume all other pregnancies as well). I felt like I held my breath for those first 12 weeks until we saw our baby and that little heartbeat on the ultrasound. Part of me wanted to tell family early this time, but another part of me couldn’t bear to witness the people I love so dearly experience the heartache that I endured should something happen. So again, we kept this one to ourselves, until we finally SAW our baby and that teeny tiny flutter on the ultrasound. Even after those 12 weeks, the fear of loss still remains; perhaps it gets further and further away as the weeks go on, but to me, there truly is no “safe zone” until that baby is placed in your arms.

1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The chances are that someone you know has experienced a pregnancy loss. I know three other Mamas who’ve walked this route before, two of which helped me through my own miscarriage. I know a few more through connecting on social media. If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, you are not alone. You can grieve because regardless of what others say, your pregnancy was real. One day you had a baby, and the next day you didn’t. You can scream and cry and be jealous and angry because since you’ve lost a baby, women around you are announcing their pregnancies, but you still don’t have your rainbow yet. You take all the time you need. These feelings are real. They are valid, and they may only lessen as the years go on. In all truth, they may be brought up all over again in certain situations. The reality is that life simply is not fair and 1 in 4 of us Mamas have had to deal with the very dark and lonely side of trying to start a family.

I have found it so difficult to talk about my experience with others who don’t really understand. People struggle to empathize with Mamas who’ve miscarried and often find words that, although have good intentions, do not give comfort to someone who is grieving in such a way. From my experience, even a simple, “I’m so sorry for your loss” can mean so much. However, I have found comfort in sharing my experience with other Mamas going through loss. Just being able to talk about it is healing in itself.

If you need someone to talk to in any sense, please reach out. To me, to family or friends, or even strangers who’ve been there. When you are ready.

November 7th will come again this year, and again I will mourn the loss of my first baby. I will remember the journey that led me to my rainbow baby and I will snuggle and love him twice as hard in memory of my heaven baby.

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[Well, if you’re still sticking around my blog, I apologize for the radio silence as I adjust to this new and crazy and wonderful chapter of my life!]

Our sweet baby BOY arrived on February 24th, 2018 at 12:40pm weighing 7lbs and 13oz. It’s been over 2 months but I still remember every detail like it was yesterday. The whole experience was just surreal and I’m still in the process of writing out my birth story (as I find the time to do so!)! Motherhood is the most difficult, yet most rewarding job I have ever had. Every day is a different adventure and I find him growing up much too fast for my liking.

Oh how I miss those sweet tiny fingers already!

I will try my hardest to be more consistent in posting – I feel like I’ve said that a lot these past few months, but it’s something that I truly enjoy and I just have so much to share … and since I’m off on mat leave, it will definitely give me something to do!

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39 Week Bumpdate!

How far along: 39 weeks … aka I am a ticking TIME BOMB.
Gender: SOON.
Weight gain: Over 30lbs.
Maternity clothes: Jeans have become the most uncomfortable thing that I can possibly wear right now. So it’s all the leggings and soft GAP tees and drapey sweaters when I need to wear clothes (aka, when I have to go out) and it’s giant sweatpants, hubs’ tees, pajama bottoms and a housecoat when I’m at home.
Rings on or off: Non-existent. I really can’t wait until I can wear them again!
Labour signs: None, but I think that (hopefully) the pelvic pressure that I’ve been feeling this week is baby making its way down!
Belly button in or out: It’s decided to go about as far out as it can get!
Sleep: From what I’ve heard from other Mamas, I’ve really lucked out in the sleep department this pregnancy. I’ve only been having to get up once throughout the night to go to the bathroom. I’ve also figured out a wicked pillow set up, that basically doesn’t allow me to move AT ALL and is fairly comfortable (as in my head I can usually get to sleep quickly!). Now, if this babe could give me a few days to recoup from the wild few weeks I’ve had from finishing up work and let me sleep a bit more, that would be GREAT!!
Best moment this week: I kind of hate to say it, but my best moment (and most bittersweet moment) this week was definitely finishing up work on Friday! As thankful as I am to have been so blessed with the opportunity to have my own classroom, my body was definitely starting to slow down and it was becoming much more difficult to find the energy and patience for my sweet little kiddos.

Worst moment this week: Well, my BP was a little bit above normal my last appointment, so then I had to go back and get it checked again the next day, as well as test urine (although they never said in particular what they were monitoring for until after the second BP check, I knew it was for pre-eclampsia). Luckily, everything was relatively okay and we can proceed as normal.

Miss anything: Not taking 10+ minutes to get out the door in the morning. Socks AND boots AND a coat have just become such a hassle these days, especially when I have to get them on all by myself. 😦 Seriously, I’d say the only downfall to being pregnant during the winter months would be the ice, and having to put winter boots on (ANY KIND OF WINTER BOOTS!)
Movement: Strong little kicks and jabs and punches everywhere! I’m seriously going to miss this part.
Cravings: None.
Looking forward to: Having some time off to myself, to just relax (sleep in!) and do some last minute cleaning (like getting on top of this laundry situation!).
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38 Week Bumpdate!


How far along: 38 weeks.

Gender: We will soon find out!

Weight gain: I think about 30lbs … yeeks.

Maternity clothes: PLEASE. At this point, I assume everyone knows that maternity clothes only only work while out and about, and as soon as I get home, I am just in all the comfies.

Rings on or off: Non-existent.

Labour signs: None.

Belly button in or out: I think it’s trying to push its way out … and almost succeeding.

Sleep: Good. However, the relaxin is totally taking over my body and the pelvic/hip soreness is becoming a thing. I’ve been trying to figure out way to unstack my hips while sleeping at night because that relieves some of the pain. I have a few more weeks to master the art of pregnancy pillow placement. Might be needing some extra pillows for back support.

Best moment this week: Well it was a 4 day week for the kids which was nice. Meant a Friday to just work on report cards. Although these might just be the death of me! However, I will get through it, because next week is my last week of work!

Miss anything: I miss being able to walk normally … both in terms of speed and without a waddle. Yes I guess I miss going places fast and not in pain.

Movement: No need to be counting kicks here. Seriously. This kid moves ALL THE TIME. Possibly even when I’m sleeping but my body just enjoys sleep so much that movement definitely doesn’t wake me up at night.

Cravings: Nothing that I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. I’ve been indulging in some sweet treats (like all the ice cream!)… but I guess my days of this are numbered. sigh.

Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to getting some rest before this tiny human arrives. Whose bright idea was it to work until 39 weeks anyways!? oh right. MINE.

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35+36 Week Bumpdate!


How far along: 35 weeks.


Gender: Unknown, the guesses are still 100% boy, but don’t worry, we have a girl name picked out in case everyone is wrong! 😉


Weight gain: 24lbs+


Maternity clothes: During the day, yes. When I get home, it’s pajamas, oversized tees and a housecoat.


Rings on or off: Wearing my silicone ones when I feel like wearing rings, which isn’t too often these days. My fingers are just so swollen and stiff and semi-painful when I wake up that I don’t feel like shoving them on.


Belly button in or out: Legit. FLAT.


Sleep: Pretty decent. I’m thankful I was able to do some catching up on sleep during the holidays, but everyone who said that coming back to work after the break is even more exhausting were definitely telling the truth. I’ve started getting up in the middle of the night to go to the washroom, or flop over to the other side, but usually I can get back to sleep quite easily. My goal from now until I got on mat leave is to go to sleep earlier!


Best moment this week: Getting back to work! I would rather be working at this point than going off. It’s been keeping my busy throughout the week. We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks time! Also, going to the Kingston Fronts hockey game with a bunch of friends on Friday!
Miss anything: Getting out of bed in a more … delicate manner? Like not having to roll or slide myself to the edge of the bed and then get up!


Movement: Uh YES! We recently discovered the tapping back thing, where you can press on belly and baby will push back! It’s SO COOL. I also think this tiny human is running out of room in there. The feet or leg jabs up into the ribs are just slightly uncomfortable and baby seems to be favouring the right side of my belly (or the left if you’re looking at me!). It usually makes for slight discomfort until he/she decides to move (or moves as a result of me pushing ever so gently).


Cravings: I’m back on the cinnamon kick. Cinnamon toast all the things! Oh and chocolate covered digestive cookies!


Looking forward to: Actually … I’m really looking forward to making it to full term. Like how did this even go by so quickly!?
How far along: 36 weeks (That is OFFICIALLY MONTH 9 PEOPLE!!!)


Gender: Unknown, the guesses are still 100% boy, but don’t worry, we have a girl name picked out in case everyone is wrong! 😉


Weight gain: 24lbs+


Maternity clothes: Yup. I’m actually pretty impressed with the limited wardrobe that I currently have that is wearable. I can still manage, although I suppose it’s time to start looking into postpartum clothes. Leggings, nursing bras/tanks and oversized sweatshirts anyone? Not like that really is any different from what I usually wear, although no work clothes for over a year will be wonderful!


Rings on or off: I’ve given up on all hope of wearing anything on my swollen sausage fingers for the time being.
Labour signs: Diddly squat.


Belly button in or out: I think it’s trying to escape outwards, but also not having any of it!


Sleep: GOOD. I’ve only had a few nights where I’ve had to get up to go to the washroom … and then I’m thirsty … and then hungry, but too tired to go get something to eat so I just take a sip of water and fall back to sleep. I have found that my hips are starting to get just a little bit more sore when sleeping, probably because I’m stacking them on top of each other, so the pillow fortress has been helping and letting me lean back a little bit more, which relieves the weight off my hips. Also having to turn over in the middle of the night is just SO FUN. NOT.


Best moment this week: I had a work email about an impromptu meeting to be held after school on Wednesday of this week. Little did I know when I walked into the staff room (with the other pregnant staff who is due a week before me!), that it was a surprise baby celebration! It was so wonderful (and slightly embarrassing; if you know me, I am not one to bask in the limelight of all the attention!). I actually feel so blessed to be a part of a school community for these last few weeks before I go off on mat leave. OH AND I submitted my maternity leave paperwork to HR. I will officially be off on February 9th (as long as this tiny human stays in there until then!)!
Miss anything: Putting on my socks/boots/coat without having to struggle. Or be out of breath when I do things …. like talk on the phone. HA!


Movement: CONSTANTLY. Does this kid ever sleep?! Possibly … since I don’t really feel movement when I’m asleep. Is this an indication of how it’s going to be when this baby comes earthside?! One can only dream …


Cravings: CAKE. Because I obviously didn’t eat cake 3 days in a row this week! Apple Cinnamon Cheerios … with milk. Everything with milk.


Looking forward to: Finishing up the last few things we have to do before babe arrives  – installing the car seat, getting bags packed and ready at the door, and probably one nice big clean of the whole house! (We’ll see how much gets done considering I am the slowest packer EVER.)

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A Loss to Our Family

I don’t have a 34 week update for you guys. In all truth, my 34th week of pregnancy was just a blur of emotion as we suddenly lost my beautiful Grandmother on New Year’s Day and laid her to rest the following Friday. It was a rough week. I woke up every morning thinking it was a terrible dream and the reality sunk in and most of my days were spent getting overwhelmed and so terribly upset. I think it was more difficult because the visitations were held in the evening during the week and although we were still on Christmas holidays, it would have been difficult for us to drive there for the evening (about 2.5 hrs away).

2018 was going to be one of the best years for my Grandma. She was so excited for this. It will be her first Grandchild and she wanted us to call her GG (for Great Grandma) after he/she was born. My Mom told me that when she went to visit a few days before my Grandma passed away, she kept asking if my Mom knew if it was a boy or a girl. I know she totally knows who this baby is now and I have no doubt in my mind that she is keeping us safe and adding the finishing touches to baby from the other side. My cousin is also getting married this year and I have heard that she was planning on what she was going to wear for her wedding a few days before she left us. A pantsuit. I think she wanted it to be sparkly. She would have looked absolutely stunning. 

My Grandma was laid to rest in the beautiful gown she had worn to my wedding. She had everything planned for her funeral – right down to the music selection for the mass (which absolutely devastated me while we walked behind her casket; I am thankful for my sister and cousin who walked beside me). 

Grandma, 2018 will not be the same without you. I still can’t believe you’re gone. I will miss celebrating these wonderful life events coming up this year and my heart will forever long to have a picture of you holding our baby. I know you are watching over us always and you have the greatest view of this year from where you are. 

Forever in our hearts. Love you GG. 

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33 Week Bumpdate!

How far along: 33 weeks!


Gender: Unknown, but in all truth, I would be happy with either!


Weight gain: 24lbs! Also, according to all these pregnancy apps, the baby is 4-5 lbs at this point?! HOW?!


Maternity clothes: Yes’m. Although, since we are off on Christmas holidays I have been mostly lounging in pajama bottoms and hubs huge hockey t-shirts because comfort over fashion at this point.


Rings on or off: What rings? My wedding bands have been retired, but I picked up a few of these enso rings, which are made out of silicone and have some stretch to them. I still feel like my giant fingers are still pretty darn swollen, so I only use these when I have to/feel like it! My joints have also started feeling super stiff when I wake up in the morning and sometimes in the evening; it’s such a terrible feeling.


Belly button in or out: Uhhh, I’d say my belly button has become more of a pancake. It is on the verge of being neither in nor out, but just FLAT.


Sleep: Still getting fabulous amounts of sleep and extremely thankful for it! I’ve definitely enjoyed these days off though.


Best moment this week: Celebrating Christmas of course! Hanging with our families and taking in what was our last Christmas as just a married couple.


Miss anything: STILL beer … and kombucha … and Toblerone bars. And let’s just say that Toblerone bars are definitely hard to come by only a few days before Christmas and definitely hard to find after Christmas. I’m thankful for my Dad and hubs who managed to find some … and to hubs’ students who also contributed to the Toblerone stash! I also miss not having to go to the washroom every two minutes!


Movement: We are head down folks as confirmed today! Midwife couldn’t tell which was baby’s butt or head so she brought out the handy dandy hand-held ultrasound machine (who knew those were a thing! technology these days I tell ya!) and BOOM we got a nice beautiful view of a head … right where it should be. Which is also scary AF.


Cravings: French toast. I was so excited to have french toast when we went out for breakfast a few days ago. But I’m pretty darn sure it was bread soaked in beaten eggs. Disappointing. So I’ve made it my mission to make SO. MUCH. FRENCH. TOAST. before I go back to work!


Looking forward to: Definitely looking forward to being home and sleeping in my own bed after a few days away. The month of January just seems to be so open and relaxing for us at last! We have a few finishing touches to add to the nursery. I’m kind of excited to get back to my class and spending some time with them before I have to go off on mat leave!
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