Tag: baby

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.

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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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39 Week Bumpdate!

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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!

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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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31 + 32 Week Bumpdates!

You guys. I am sucking horribly at these bumpdates! It sure is difficult staying on top of life with the chaos of the holidays that’s for sure! And my sweet little primary class was definitely no help in keeping me on track. So, I am skipping the 31 week bumpdate and will just do 32 weeks (I’m assuming they would both be very similar anyways as the weeks just keep melting into each other!).

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How far along: 32 weeks!

 

Gender: Unknown … the general consensus at this point is a boy … I am not convinced.

 

Weight gain: I would guess somewhere around 23lbs. I forgot to weigh myself at my last appointment, but there is another one coming up soon!

 

Maternity clothes: are everything. Hopefully I will be getting some more at Christmas!

 

Rings on or off: They are off. The sausage fingers have become an actual thing these days and oh my goodness my fingers are just so stiff and sore, especially in the morning when I guess they haven’t moved much. It’s a terrible feeling. I knew that the swelling might be a thing, but definitely wasn’t ready for the stiffness/soreness.

 

Belly button in or out: Innie … on its way into an outtie I think. Or a nothing.

 

Sleep: Pretty good. I can’t wait to catch up on all my sleep during the holidays! Hopefully my body (and this tiny human) let me sleep in some!

 

Best moment this week: Well, I have discovered through conversations and some reading that the 1 hr GTT is definitely not accurate. Anyways, I did the two hour one and everything was fiiiiiine! So give me all the delicious Christmas treats and cookies and chocolate and gingerbread.

 

Worst moment this week: Turns out my blood is going to have to be monitored every few weeks. Which means more needles for this Mama. Sigh.

 

Miss anything: Beer. Again. Especially with the holidays creeping up, I know there will be beer and wine everywhere!

 

Movement: Yup! This little bubs is moving around lots and it is the most amazing (and kind of strange) thing I’ve ever seen and felt.

 

Cravings: Cinnamon rolls. I think I have to make some over the holidays!

 

Looking forward to: TWO WEEKS OFF. Except I am told that two weeks off and then going back to work after having the chance to relax and sleep is actually even more exhausting. Celebrating our last Christmas together as just a couple (and our puppa!), spending time with our families. I’m super excited at the fact that Christmas falls early this year so we have a whole week after Christmas/New Years to just do nothing. Okay, we probably will do SOME things. Like wash/put away baby clothes and start packing hospital bags. WHAT.
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My Baby Bucket List!

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Yes, I know … this photo is so last year!

As the cooler days turn into cold days and Christmas trees and lights start popping up in neighbour’s front windows, I’ve realized that the weeks we spend as a couple are dwindling down (ALMOST into single digit weeks guys!), and there is so much that I still want to do before this sweet baby gets here. And yes, I totally understand that most of these things can be done with a baby, but I want to savour the last few months as just a married couple by carrying on some of the traditions we have created and doing the things we love to do together.

I started compiling a bucket list way back in the summer, and have slowly added to it as the weeks go on and now I think it’s ready to share!

  1. Go apple picking – Spring Meadow Orchards is our go-to each Fall, their apple cider donuts are the BOMB.com
  2. Visit Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village
  3. Carve pumpkins for Halloween!
  4. Experience/witness Queen’s University Homecoming. Walk down Aberdeen St. very likely for the last time.
  5. Go on a walk/hike to enjoy the cooler weather (or snow at this rate!)
  6. Take in a Kingston Frontenacs game (and get nachos of course!)
  7. Decorate for CHRISTMAS!
  8. Spend a day at the spa!
  9. Go to the movies (and watch something other than the new Star Wars because if you know me, those tickets have been purchased for WEEKS!)
  10. Go on all the coffee dates we can possibly have at all our favourite coffee shops.
  11. Wander aimlessly through our favourite shops – especially Michael’s and Home Sense, because soon it will be just a little bit more challenging/time consuming/I probably will just want to get in and out as fast as I can with a darling baby in tow.
  12. Hit up some local craft and vendor Christmas shows – because they are totally my jam and I love support small/local shops (but more on that later!)
  13. Stay at home in pajamas/curled up in bed all day … even better during a snowstorm!
  14. Go OUT for breakfast or dinner at least a few times before February rolls around.
    AND LASTLY …
  15. Give so much love and time to our sweet little dog; his life is about to experience a huge change.

Any other suggestions of things to add to my baby bucket list? Would love for you to share!

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