Tag: family

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.

15625034_1820990031512380_5805439931736129536_n

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.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

 

39 Week Bumpdate!

 IMG_4405
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!).
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

38 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_4348

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.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

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. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

No comments

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!).

IMG_E4145

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.
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

27 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_3908.jpg

How far along: 27 weeks!

Gender: Unknown, looking forward to seeing what guesses are this weekend!

Weight gain: I would say 17+lbs at this point!

Maternity clothes: I think I still have to invest in a few more tops/sweaters and pants and then I should be good to go. Thanks to Instagram, this hoodie was suggested to me. Now it’s just a matter of getting to the store and buying it!

Stretch marks: They have made their presence known!

Rings on or off: I have been wearing them less and less these days. They DO still go on, but I get super nervous at the end of the day. Do I just ditch them altogether at this point,or sweat it out? I’m a little afraid of them getting STUCK.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but shalloooow.

Sleep: Good, but I have been finding that by the evening I am just EXHAUSTED. And when I get into bed I am OUT. Unfortunately, I still can’t sleep past 7:30am ON WEEKENDS!?

Best moment this week: Organizing all of the wonderful gifts we got for baby into his/her nursery. Missing a few important pieces of furniture to get it ALL set up, but hopefully (weather permitting) we will be able to get them this weekend! AND taking a little trip over the border to pick up some Christmas presents and wander aimlessly around everyone’s favourite happy place … TARGET.

Worst moment this week: Ugh, we had to cancel our sweet little day trip to Le Nordik Spa over the weekend because of weather … which means this Mama is in need of a local pre-natal massage. Any recommendations YGK friends?!

Miss anything: Sleeping on my back. That’s all I want to do.

Movement: Movements G A L O R E. And I can feel them all the time; standing, sitting, walking, driving, laying down! It seems to still be just little jabs/kicks/punches here and there but I -think- I’ve started to feel rolling … like the baby is moving but cannot be felt on the outside … just sort of twirling around in there. ANYWAYS.

Cravings: Clementines and all things cinnamon and sugar. Luckily I found a wicked and relatively healthy oatmeal recipe that involves cinnamon and sugar and I have been eating it for breakfast when I have time.

Looking forward to: Our busy weekend ahead! A concert, some (hopefully Christmas) shopping, picking out some final pieces of furniture and details for Baby L’s nursery and my second baby shower that is being thrown by my side of the family! SO SO SO excited to see all my friends and family members this weekend!

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

24 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_3594

Happy Halloween friends! I hope you all have a chance to get into the festive spirit! We are a little late to the game buuuut will be carving pumpkins hopefully before the first Trick or Treater comes to our door. And you can bet I’ll be eating pumpkin seeds by the handful (or will it be candy!?)

IMG_3646

How far along: 24 weeks!

Gender: Unknown … my gut says GIRL, everyone else says BOY.
Weight gain: Guesstimated 15+lbs (the Halloween-sized chocolate bars are probably NOT helping!)

Maternity clothes: YES. Actually so much more comfy than regular clothes at this point. ALSO, what is it with pregnancy pants not having front pockets!? Do they just assume we will not need front pockets?! I think I will be investing in way more leggings at this point.Super comfy and can be dressed up or down! … I tried on my winter coat and it’s S N U G already! Have to start researching alternatives before the cold weather hits … and STAYS.

Stretch marks: None

Belly button in or out: Still hanging IN there!

Sleep: SO MUCH. I am waiting for the pregnancy insomnia to hit.

Best moment this week: Hubs and I finally knocked Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village off our Fall Bucket List (actually has been on our bucket list for a few years now). The night was beautiful and it was such a spectacular display!
Also, GETTING MY FLU SHOT! Not. Actually, I spent that morning taking a little time for some self-care; I normally don’t get the flu shot but I have heard the flu will be bad this year … so I did that in the morning, then treated myself to a white hot chocolate downtown before walking around and window shopping in our beautiful city. It was a great way to just relax and take some time for myself.

Miss anything: S T A R B U C K S  L A T T E S. I KNOW those Holiday drinks will be making their appearance coon. All I can think about are Caramel Brulee Lattes!

Movement: I honestly don’t even know if this tiny human sleeps? Always poking and prodding me. I think he/she likes to hang out on the left side of my belly … of that’s where his/her arms and legs like to hang out at least! I have caught a few glimpses of movement on the outside as well — AMAZING and soooo weird.

Cravings: Anything and everything sweet — trying to consume more fruits than candy. (Seriously though … do I stock up on cheap Halloween candy tomorrow when it’s all on sale or just let it go?)

Queasy or sick: None

Aversions: No food aversions — just smells; cooking eggs and cooking ground beef (BLEH!). I can eat them though!

Looking forward to: NOVEMBER. There is SO MUCH happening — baby showers, CHRISTMAS SHOPPING, and a sweet little  babymoon staycation for hubs and I! If time could just slow down, that would be great!

Hope you all have a great Halloween friends!

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

 

23 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_3508 (1)
How far along: 23 weeks!
Gender: Unknown, and the guesses are mixed.
Weight gain: 15+lbs.
Maternity clothes: When I have to … otherwise it’s sweatpants/leggings and sweatshirts for this lady! Also, why is the weather so nice?! GET COOLER ALREADY!
Stretch marks: No
Belly button in or out: In
Sleep: Wonderful. Literally my favourite part of the day. I am certain I am out as soon as my head hits the pillow. Trying to get as much sleep as I can.
Best moment this week: Celebrating our second wedding anniversary! So nice to have a sweet little date night with the hubs. We ate dinner at our favourite restaurant, saved room for delicious dessert and took a quick little stroll around our downtown. Last wedding anniversary we’ll be able to do that on a whim (which makes me a little sad actually)! AND … Little bubs must be working out in there! Lots of movement throughout the day, and especially when relaxing in the evening. Kicks and rolls and whatever else he/she is up to in there! And it is actually one of my favourite (but super weird) things to experience. I LOVE IT.
Miss anything: Sleeping on my BACK! Also, I had to sit down the other day to put on socks? Oh, and I miss remembering things … and making sense. Because that has just gone OUT the window now.
Movement: Yes! See above!
Cravings: With Halloween upon us, I may have bought the smallest bags of Halloween chocolate and candy … and now they are gone. Oops. Random cravings of the week included taco salad from Wendy’s and Rice Krispie squares (which I have yet to make), hot chocolate (Starbucks one is delishhh!) AND SUSHI.
Queasy or sick: Neither! But indigestion likes to pop up every so often …
Aversions: Same old!
Looking forward to: Checking some more things off our Fall Bucket List (which I will share soon because you know, it’s already fall!!), getting a start on our nursery!
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

21 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_3393How far along: 21 weeks!
Gender: Unknown and it is safe to say it will be a surprise until this little bubs comes out!
Weight gain: … perhaps it would be best to not know?
Maternity clothes: Still mainly bottoms … my lounge wear is baggy enough that it still works. I have transitioned to hubs’ t-shirts for sleeping though!
Stretch marks: No
Belly button in or out: In
Sleep: In bed by 10-11pm, up around 7am, unless it’s an early work day! Sleeping right through the night (aside from the 5am washroom breaks!)
Best moment this week: 200% feeling baby move around now!
Worst moment this week: CATCHING A COLD. Being sick is SO not fun. I have no idea what what medications are safe to take, so I just sweated it out. Hot water, lemon & honey, chicken noodle soup and Fisherman’s Friend have definitely been my friends this week. AND ALL THE WATER
Miss anything: Feeling NOT sick!
Movement: Yes! They are definitely not a fluttery feeling … more like little jabs every so often. Can’t wait to feel more!
Cravings: Nope.
Queasy or sick: Just some mild indigestion here and there.
Aversions: Same old. Although I am going to purposely avoid everything extremely salty, garlicky, and full of spice because those are just horrible things to consume for me.
Looking forward to: Midwife appointment later this week … and hopefully planning some fall activities!
Also, I am officially IN LOVE with these dresses from dwell+slumber! One size fits most, buttery soft fabric that is super comfortable, they can be styled in so many ways AND pregnancy and nursing friendly! If you are an expecting mama, I HIGHLY suggest you check them out (although shipping to Canada is a little ridiculous, but there definitely are ways around it!)!
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM

20 Week Bumpdate!

IMG_3267 (1)
How far along: All I can think of for this is the chorus to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” – wooooah! we’re [officially] halfway there!
Gender: Unknown and it is safe to say it will be a surprise until this little bubs comes out!
Weight gain: SOON. ugh.
Maternity clothes: Still bits and pieces here and there, especially BOTTOMS! Have to invest in a few more pieces before we go full out with all the maternity wear. Thank goodness for online shopping!
Stretch marks: No
Belly button in or out: In
Sleep: Generally fairly good. I sleep through the night! It’s when I have to take those 4:30am washroom trips and get back into bed and my brain is like, “HA! Nice try. You’re wide awake now.”
Best moment this week: 
1. I am about 99% certain that I have FINALLY started to feel “flutters” – I would probably describe them more as like the feeling of gas bubbles! So amazing! I think I have felt a little kick the odd time too! It’s definitely different than anything I’ve ever felt. Can’t wait to feel them more!
2. Our 20 week ultrasound scan was just unbelievable. We got to see our little babe who would hardly stay still! Our US techs were wonderful and explained everything to us!
Miss anything: With all the wonderful moments this week, I couldn’t really miss anything!
Movement: YES! See above!
Cravings: Nothing wild.
Queasy or sick: I think the hot and then cool temps have decided to have some fun with me – might be coming down with a cold. We’ll see what happens.
Aversions: Nothing new – plain chicken, eggs, pickles … oh and mushrooms!
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving weekend! Eating all the mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy … and hopefully some turkey! Can’t forget all the delicious desserts!
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.37.27 PM