That Time We Went Camping

I have some news… we have moved. Well, sort of… we’ve officially left Vancouver and are spending this weekend in Calgary to visit my sister and her boyfriend, and then are continuing our journey East next week to Hamilton. It’s a bittersweet move for us, we’re definitely excited to be closer to family and friends but are deeply mourning the Vancouver lifestyle, climate, and scenery that we won’t have anymore. My feelings on this topic deserve their own post so more on that another day. Leading up to the move, we made a point to try and squeeze as many amazing memories as we could out of BC while we could. Two weekends ago we went camping on Vancouver Island because we wanted to make family memories with Owen even though he’s two months old and clearly won’t remember any of it.

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It turns out that camping with an infant wasn’t so hard for us because we’ve been blessed with a really easygoing baby. The middle of the night diaper changes in a tent, on an air mattress, in the dark, was a challenge though. We are cloth diapering and are loving it, but we decided to leave the cloth at home and bring disposibles for this trip since we would be gone for 4 days and wouldn’t have access to laundry facilities. We started our adventure on the Friday afternoon and took the ferry to Nanaimo, BC. When we got to the ferry terminal we were STARVING because it was 2:00 PM and neither James or I had eaten lunch yet. There were typical food court options at the ferry terminal and I gave into my intense craving for a chilli cheese dog. I haven’t had one of these in…forever? and it was magical. I had been eating really healthy up until this chilli cheese dog, then it all went down hill from there for the rest of the weekend. Anyway, we got off the ferry around 6:00 PM and drove to Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park where we set up our tent with our little camper.

20160806_082714  his “camping outfit”… I just can’t handle the cuteness

James & I barely got a wink of sleep because we heard wolves howling and strange forest noises and I was convinced that wild animals could smell my infant and would attack us through the thin nylon barrier of our tent. Protective mama instinct or crazy lady? Probably the latter. Owen didn’t seem to notice the howls and once we got him settled in our sleeping bag he slept pretty soundly for most of the night. He seemed to love his first night’s camping experience! We got up early on Saturday morning and made the long drive to Tofino, BC. Tofino is a surfer town on the Western-most point of Canada that I had never been to and wanted to see it before we left. Umm, it’s gorgeous. The day was drizzly and overcast but it made the sights all that more beautiful.

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We had lunch at Shelter and since it was damp and chilly outside I ordered carrot & ginger soup to start my meal, and it was the perfect thing to warm me up. Carrot & ginger soup is officially my favourite soup ever.

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After we wandered around Tofino for the afternoon we drove to Ucluelet where our next campsite was waiting for us. This was a private campground and wasn’t a provincial park so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but we were so pleased with the site that they gave us and with the views at this place. I mean, look at this…

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We set up our site and made a delicious campfire dinner. On the menu was hot dogs and grilled cheese because carbs were the theme of the evening apparently. I bought sandwich/pie irons ahead of our trip and introduced James to camping grilled cheeses.

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We balanced out the meal with salad though that survived our travels in the cooler. I don’t buy bagged salad often but it was the perfect thing for camping convenience and it eased the guilt a little of the carnival of carbohydrates that I had going on.

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twinning with my boy

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We had the best night around the camp fire, eating, drinking a beer, and listening to a camper a few sites over play guitar (he was really good!), it was just the perfect most relaxing night. On Sunday morning we made bacon and eggs around the campfire and then got back on the road. We stopped at a beach in Ucluelet to check out the scenery. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous this was, the overcast day only enhanced the beauty.

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swoon!

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On Sunday afternoon we drove from Ucluelet to Nanaimo and checked into a hotel for the night because James had to attend meetings in Nanaimo on Monday. Owen and I explored town and had a breakfast date together while James was working and then we all took the ferry back to Vancouver that afternoon but first we had to eat a nanaimo bar in Nanaimo because it just wouldn’t have been right if we didn’t.

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And that was the end of our last BC weekend getaway! We had an amazing weekend and made an effort to stay off our our phones (with the exception of taking pictures) and it was so nice to make some memories as a family of three.

Comments:

Where was your last weekend getaway?

Have you ever had a nanaimo bar?

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Long Weekend Things

This weekend was a long weekend in BC but I’m on maternity leave right now, so lets face it.. everyday is a long weekend for me these days but it meant that James was home with us for an extra day so we had plans to make the most of it.

On Saturday morning we had big plans to check out this trail through old train tunnels in Hope, BC. These tunnels were an “engineering marvel”, I’ll let you guess who was more excited for this…me or my engineer husband’s. We woke up bright and early and were out of the house by 8:30 AM (which felt like a major accomplishment with an infant) to start the long drive to the Othello Tunnels in Hope. So we walked through the old train tunnels that were blasted through mountains and James was really in awe of the whole thing, I thought it was neat but it was also very dark inside the tunnels and there was cave water that dripped on my head numerous times, and I was afraid that there were bats in there, and basically…I don’t like being in tunnels.

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I didn’t complain once though because I’m working on being more mature. These views were worth the drive and the water drops on my head though.

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I feel like I should explain the state of my hair in the above photo. I ran out of conditioner so it was fuzz-city up in there, plus I need to get highlights in a big way but I can’t on a weekday because I’m afraid my kid will scream while I’m covered in bleachy foils and our next few weekends are booked up, so… yeah. I guess I’m letting myself go.

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After our hike/walk we went to a random diner for lunch with a huge line up out the door, which we took as a good sign, and we ate a glutenous meal which I didn’t photo document for some reason since I take pictures of 99% of the things I eat, even though I rarely blog them. I had some kind of grilled chicken melt with caramelized onions and fries. It just doesn’t feel right to order a salad at a diner, am I right? I felt bad about myself afterwards because I’ve been eating pretty healthy lately and I kind of ruined it with this meal. I decided to just call the day a wash because after lunch we started the long drive home but decided to stop at the Chilliwack Airport for pie. What? I know but the airport cafe at the tiny airport in Chilliwack, BC is famous for their pie, and we decided that we should probably get some. I had strawberry rhubarb and James had blueberry peach crumble. I liked his better and he liked mine better, so everything worked out.

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On Sunday I don’t think that I took a single picture but we laid around on the couch for the majority of the day and watched way too many episodes of Once Upon A Time on Netflix. They film that show in a park near our house and in Steveston, a small fishing town about 30 minutes from us. Because its so local, James and I decided to watch a couple of episodes about a week ago and now we are hooked, even though it’s kind of terrible. After way too many consecutive episodes, I got restless and my butt imprint was deeply ingrained in the couch so I dragged myself outside and went for a run. Yes, you read that correctly, A RUN! This was actually my 3rd run post-baby, my first one was last Sunday and then I went on Wednesday morning, and now this one. This time I ran 3km (including up a huge hill) without stopping to walk once and I was pretty proud of myself. I wouldn’t have considered this to be a running accomplishment a year ago but you guys, running is hard when you haven’t done it in forever. I’m looking forward to that run where it starts to feel easy again, but until then I will enjoy the pain and progress, and the baby-free time where I can do something alone. Alone time is few and far between these days, and I wouldn’t change a thing but it was a nice break.

On Monday we went for a hike/walk on Mount Seymour and did a loop trail around a lake. It was really pretty and I carried Owen in our new Ergobaby carrier, which is  easily my favourite baby gear purchase so far. It was incredible how comfortable it was to carry him and he seemed comfortable too and fell asleep within 3 minutes of being tucked in there.

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Afterwards we came home and barbecued homemade burgers and ate corn on the cob and watermelon. Basically, it was a perfect Summer day complete with watching The Bachelorette finale but I didn’t stay up to watch the After the Final Rose because let’s face it, I haven’t seen 11:00 PM in weeks because, #momlife. Thank goodness for PVR.

Comments:

How did you spend your long weekend?

What is your favourite Summer food?

Moms – what is your favourite baby-related purchase?

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The Birth Story: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of Owen’s birth story, click here.

So, we tried to nap but it was short-lived because, contractions. At 6:00 PM, almost 48 hours since contractions had begun, I reached a breaking point and decided that with 100% certainty I was done. I’d had enough. This home birth clearly wasn’t meant to happen for me and I needed an epidural NOW. I called my midwife and told her my decision, she was supportive and I think that she could sense that there was no changing my mind. I was going to the hospital and that was the end of it.

She came to our house again to check me and I was 4 cm dilated which meant that I was at the point where the hospital would give me the epidural (thank goodness!). But only 4 cm after all of that time? Let’s just say I was in disbelief that that much pain and suffering only resulted in 4 measly cm. On our way to the hospital I was in too much pain to sit in the front in a seated position like a civilized person, and so I was in a straddling position in the backseat, facing the back window, hugging the headrest and screaming with every contraction and bump in the road. Every time we got stopped at a red light I felt rage in my heart.

The hospital is literally 5 minutes away from our house and at one point James asked “is the hospital before or after Canada Way?” (Note: Canada Way is a main street in our neighbourhood). I replied, “WHAT! ITS BEFORE CANADA WAY, WHERE ARE WE??!”  I turned my head to see that we were driving up to the intersection at Canada Way… I said a few choice words in that moment that I won’t repeat, but the main message was “YOU JUST DROVE PAST THE HOSPITAL!!! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!” If you haven’t concluded yet, labour didn’t bring out the best side of me. 

When we (finally) got to the hospital, James had to drop me off at the door of the Emergency Room because he had to park the car in a far away parking lot, and a volunteer saw me waddling in, grimacing in pain, breathing heavy, etc. and asked me if I wanted a wheelchair. It was one of those questions that really shouldn’t need to be asked when you see someone in such a state, and I don’t think that I even answered her but gave her a pleading look that she immediately understood. Within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital, we had a private birthing suite and I had the anaesthesiologist giving me sweet, sweet relief. I was so glad that he was available right then and not stuck in a surgery because they had warned me that that could happen. I was always anti-epidural and was afraid of the thought of a gigantic needle in my spine but in that moment I was in so much pain and for so long, that I just didn’t care. Risk of paralysis? Don’t care. Possibility of a severe headaches for days afterwards? Sign me up. Just give me the drugs. And you guys, the results were glorious. I was finally able to get a little bit of rest and relief, and started feeling a little like myself again.

After a few hours they told me that I wasn’t dilating enough and gave me Oxytocin to speed things up. This worked and after a few more hours I was at 9.5 cm, but there I stayed. I was stuck at 9.5 cm for hours and just couldn’t seem to get to 10 cm on my own. Finally my midwife had me push a little so that she could try to manually push the tip of my cervix behind the baby’s head. After a few tries it worked. When they told me that I was at 10 cm and could finally push my baby out, I started to cry because I was so relieved and so ready to meet this baby who was clearly trying to kill me. 

At about 7:30 AM on Thursday morning I started to push my baby out. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed for over 3 hours. At one point my midwife asked if I had had anything to drink other than water since arriving to the hospital the night before, I hadn’t and they quickly got me some apple juice to boost my blood sugar and give me some more energy. After each contraction I’d have a gulp of apple juice, take a few breaths, and push again. After awhile the apple juice started making me feel like I was going to be sick and I realized that I really overdid it with the juice. Every time I pushed, I tasted apple juice coming up and now the thought of it makes me feel sick.

When the baby’s head was coming out, I reached a breaking point where I remember pleading to the midwives & nurses, “Just give me a C-section, cut him out…I’m done!”  They all laughed at me and were like, “His head is literally right there…keep going.”  But honestly, if I could have turned this whole ship around at that point and been like “You know what, I’m good.. forget this whole baby thing. I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to go through with this after all” I would have in that moment. The entire time James was holding my hand, or my foot, or whatever it is that I wanted him to hold and was saying the most beautiful, encouraging things to me that I really needed to hear. Now that I think of it, I don’t even think that he went to the bathroom for hours because he didn’t leave my side.

After my little meltdown of self doubt, I realized that I had to bear down and get this baby out. I had no choice here. I couldn’t talk my way out of this one. I mustered up enough determination to push, and push, and push until 10:55 AM when our baby boy was finally born. It was so surreal when he came out. It felt like things were happening at super speeds around me and I was aware that he was on my chest but I was just trying to catch my breath and wrap my mind around the whole thing. The baby had meconium in his water so our plans to do delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, etc. were abandoned and a pediatrician was standing by to check him out right away. They did put him on my chest for about 5 seconds before he was whisked away to get examined. Thankfully he checked out perfectly and then he was finally able to lay in my arms .

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The feeling of finally holding my baby boy was incredible and strange. I couldn’t get over the feeling that this is my baby, the one that has been in my belly for so many months, he’s finally here. I was so relieved that after 64 hours of labour, it was all over and that he was here safe and sound.

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Afterwards the nurse helped me shower, got James and I both a hot meal of quiche and vegetables (I ate most of both of our meals because my appetite was back and I needed to eat all the things) and then we were moved from labour & deliver to the maternity ward and we were able to stay overnight if we wanted to but because Owen & I checked out just fine, we could go home if we preferred. James and I decided to go home around 5:00 PM that day. Just before we were leaving the hospital dropped off another meal for me (dinner this time) of a nice big piece of chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. We had planned to get Swiss Chalet takeout for my “reward meal” and even though we were about to go there, I ate the hospital meal first only giving James a few bites because, post-labour hunger is a beast you guys. Later I ate another whole meal of Swiss Chalet and James was looking at me in disbelief for how much I was putting away, but then he remembered that I hadn’t eaten a real meal or anything substantial since Monday night and had gone through a marathon labour, and then he silently nodded in understanding and passed me more food. Ha!

Although we didn’t get the birth that we had planned for, dreamed of, and expected for so many months, I truly feel at peace with the way that things happened. I tried it without drugs for longer than I ever though possible, but I reached my breaking point and recognized that I didn’t need to be a hero and stick with the home birth plans just to say that I did. I am mentally and physically tougher than I ever knew, and I’m really proud of that. In the end, the midwife told me that when my water broke and they saw meconium in it they would have had me abandon my home birth plan and get to the hospital anyways – so things worked out the way that they were supposed to. I still have to pinch myself that this little boy is ours and that I’m a mother. I don’t know how I got so lucky.

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So, that’s the story of how Owen came into the world. I’m going to tell him this story every single year of his life so that he knows what he put me through and won’t skimp on my Mother’s Day gift. :)

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Welcome Owen Douglas! The Birth Story: Part 1

Well you guys, I did it… I had a baby. Owen Douglas was born on June 9, 2016 at 10:55 AM. Let me tell you, childbirth was the single hardest, most exhausting, painful, and incredible experience of my life. Six weeks later and I am still in awe that I am a mother, that James & I created a human, and that this little boy is all mine. My body has done some hard things before like run two half-marathons, multiple shorter road & trail races, I have my black belt in karate, etc. and so, I already had a healthy level of respect for my body and what it was capable of… but all of those accomplishments pale in comparison to just how impressed and grateful I am with my body for being able to grow and give birth to this beautiful little boy. It also made me want to apologize profusely to my mom for ever being mean to her because women really do go through a lot to get their babies here and I have a whole new level of respect and admiration for every mother out there. Sorry for being a jerk all of those years Mom.

Now before I get to the long-winded birth story, let’s just take a look at how cute my baby is. I realize that I’m a biased party here, but look at this picture and tell me he’s not adorable?! DO IT. You can’t, can you? He’s incredible and hilarious, and has SO MUCH HAIR! Note: This picture was taken at 7 days old so, basically he’s 1.5x this size now. STOP GROWING SO FAST!

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Okay so, Owen is over 6 weeks old so I realize that I’m a little, okay.. a lot, behind in sharing this story… but being a mom is tiring, busy, and I find myself choosing to stare at him, hold him, kiss him, etc. over pretty much any other task. Therefore, blogging has taken a back seat at this stage in my life which is understandable I think, but now that I’m feeling on top of this whole motherhood role, I’m making it my goal to blog more regularly.

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Now onto the story of how this little guy finally joined us in the outside world. I had mentioned on the blog before that I had planned to do a home birth in a birthing pool with no drugs. I had hired a doula and had midwives and I was in control and everything would be totally manageable, right? WRONG. I had heard that you should expect the unexpected with childbirth and in my case, it couldn’t have been more true.

I had been going to prenatal acupuncture sessions for the past 4 weeks leading up to my due date. I was really enjoying these sessions and am a huge fan of acupuncture in general, and prenatal sessions are supposed to ripen your cervix to prepare your body for labour. Let’s just say, at 36 – 40 weeks pregnant, I was more than on board with the idea to get this kid out of me as easily and efficiently as possible, and if acupuncture could help then sign me up! I went to what I didn’t know would be my last acupuncture session on Monday, June 6th (the day before my due date) and asked the acupuncturist if she could “give me a little extra” of whatever it is she was doing, to get this labour kickstarted because my due date was tomorrow and I was ready for to get this show on the road. She said that she would see what she could do, and after my treatment I oddly felt like I needed a nap. I’m really not a napper so this struck me as odd at the time, but I listened to my body and had a really long nap that afternoon which turned out to be important since that was the last bit of sleep I’d be getting for awhile.

Somehow I mustered up the energy that night to make a healthy and amazing dinner for James when he got home from work. Sweet potato “potato skins” with pulled chicken, spinach, and cheddar. I had seen the recipe online and this one was a hit, he and I both loved it. This meal would also be important because it was the last real meal that I’d eat for awhile.

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Fast forward to 7:30 PM that evening, contractions started… it was a different feeling than the Braxton hicks which I’d had a minimal amount of in the end of my pregnancy, and when they started coming James & I both excitedly downloaded apps onto our phones to time the contractions. 5 minutes apart, 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. They were coming but were irregular so it wasn’t time to call the doula, midwives, or our families just yet, but it was enough to get us excited and anxious that we were going to get to meet our baby soon. I had contractions for the entire night and eventually got up and slept on the couch in the living room to let James get some sleep since clearly sleep wasn’t happening for me with the consistent pains I was having. By Tuesday morning I was exhausted but even more excited because today was my due date and I’d been in labour since 7:30 PM the night before, so clearly today was the day. Right? Ha! James told his work that he wouldn’t be in that day, he inflated the birthing pool and we were ready to go.. except that those stupid contractions continued regularly but weren’t regular enough.

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After telling our midwives and doula that I had been having regular contractions since the night before, they let us know to phone them when things picked up. In the meantime we went for walks around our neighbourhood, I did squats, bounced on the birthing ball, had hot baths…basically anything that I could think of to make this labour progress. My due date came and went with no baby in sight. I continued to have constant but irregular contractions and didn’t get any sleep that night either. Now let me just tell you that when I don’t get enough sleep I’m a real joy to be around (…..), so I’m sure that you can imagine my mood at this point…

After another night of no sleep and no baby, we were 100% certain that Wednesday would be the day. I started having more signs that things were progressing early Wednesday morning and got into the bath to help with the pain, which at this point had been steady for 36 hours. James stayed home from work again and called my doula in the early morning to tell her that we thought that she should come over. She got here around 7:00 AM and despite me being exhausted and irritable, she did a good job of keeping me calm and focused. I had no appetite and had barely eaten anything since Monday night so she was making sure that I ate and drank even though the thought of food was not appetizing at all.

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She put electrodes on my back from her TENS machine on me which sends smalls shocks to your body and helps to block the pain receptors in your brain. I was skeptical at first but had been in pain for so long so I was open to anything at that point. The TENS machine was a gift from God and truly made a world of difference to me. I felt slightly reenergized to finally be getting some relief from the pain.

By 11:00 AM I insisted to James and my doula that I needed the midwives now, my doula gently told me that she didn’t think it was time yet, but I was thinking “this has to be almost over…it has to be.”  Our midwives got there and stayed for awhile, and then my midwife Colleen dropped a bomb gently broke it to us that we were still in “early labour” and that I still had a ways to go until it was considered active labour and it was time to push. She suggested that I take a couple of Gravol and Tylenol and try to have a nap to pass the time. My lip started to quiver but I held it together until the midwives and doula left but assured us that they’d be back as soon as things picked up. As soon as the door closed and they were gone I broke down and collapsed in James’ arms completely emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. I had the breakdown of all breakdowns and honestly don’t remember ever crying that hard in my life. To say that we were devastated, disappointed, frustrated, angry, and exhausted at this point would be putting it mildly. I had been in labour for 40 hours at this point with no drugs and I needed this baby out of me like, yesterday.

Well this post is getting too lengthy and I need a break. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Owen’s birth story!

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38 Week Bump Update

Due date: June 7, 2016

How far along: 38 weeks + 3 days

20160524_183438  pic taken at 38 weeks

Baby’s size: Baby boy is as long as a pumpkin. Look at that belly, clearly that kid is the size of a pumpkin…at least.  I think that we can all agree, I’ve “popped” since my 36 week update.

Boy or Girl: BOY!!

Development: Basically the baby is just practicing his sucking and swallowing skills according to my pregnancy app. He’s basically developed and his growing has slowed down a little until the end of the pregnancy, presumably so that he can make his exit without killing his mother. I appreciate that Mother Nature has my back here.

Symptoms: It seems that by Thursdays I’m physically drained.. I’m still working so Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I feel great and then by Thursday it all catches up with me.

Cravings/Aversions: These past two weeks I haven’t been overly hungry and sometimes need to remind myself to eat or snack because it’s been awhile since my last meal…as I was typing this though, I remembered that one day this week where I had two lunches because I was ravenous. Oops. I wouldn’t call it a craving but I’ve been very into all things avocado/guacamole and BLT sandwiches lately. For example, yesterday my boss took me out for lunch and I had a BLT + A (BLT & avocado) and it was basically everything that I needed in my life on a plate.

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Other News:

1// Baby could come literally anytime now and he’s considered full-term and ready for life in the outside world. I spend every night bouncing on an exercise ball for at least an hour trying to get him to drop and “promote” labour. You guys, it’s not working.

2// I’ve started prenatal acupuncture to start getting the baby in an optimal position and to start “ripening my cervix” (TMI?). During my first session the baby was going CRAZY when the acupuncture needles were in. So much movement, apparently due to the increased blood flow in my body during the treatment. I had mentioned to the acupuncturist that I’m not sleeping well so she did some needles to promote sleep and miraculously I slept amazingly that night. Whether it was the acupuncture or a coincidence, I don’t know and I don’t care.. it was incredible. I was supposed to have another session last weekend but like an idiot I left my purse & wallet in James’s truck and he went golfing for the morning and so I had no way of paying for my session since it was scheduled for first thing in the morning before he’s be back home. Fail. I have another appointment on Monday though and plan to go weekly from now on.

3// My last day of work before maternity leave is today. I’m not sure how I feel about it, I guess it’s a mix of… excited, relieved, sad, uncertain, etc. I guess “bittersweet” would be a good way to describe it. because I love my job, but I’m also looking forward to hanging out in yoga pants on the regular. I’m seriously concerned that going from being so busy with meetings all day and having so much interaction with people to hanging out at home mainly all by my lonesome watching daytime TV is going to be a shock to my system. I’m planning daily outings to keep myself busy (i.e. appointments, shopping trips, long walks, etc.) so hopefully that helps keep my spirits up.

Comments:

Prenatal acupuncture – has anyone tried it? Did it help?

How did you feel going off work for maternity leave?

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36 Week Bump Update

Due date: June 7, 2016

How far along: 36 weeks, holy smokes! How am I only one month away from my due date? The reality that this little guy has to….*gulp* exit my body in the near future is becoming more and more real each day.

IMG_20160508_064600 pic taken at 35 weeks, 5 days

Baby’s size: Baby boy is as long as a head of romaine lettuce

Boy or Girl: BOY!!

Development: It doesn’t sound like there is much mental/physical development going on at this point, mainly just that the baby has been packing on the pounds. I can tell because I’m also packing on the pounds, well.. I haven’t weighed myself once during this entire pregnancy because ignorance is bliss, but I can tell because it’s getting difficult to take deep breaths in most of my clothes. I feel best when I’m in a sports bra and no top so that I can just let this thing hang out. I’m sure that James is super attracted to me right now (ha!)

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Symptoms: I’ve been feeling pretty great lately with the exception of being utterly exhausted for the past few days. I’m trying to stay as active as possible but I’m definitely slowing down. A frequent occurrence for me these days is literally seeing stars if I stand up too fast, you’d think that I’d learn to get up slowly but it’s hard for me to admit that I can’t do what I used to. This weekend I asked James if he wanted to do the Grouse Grind with me and he looked at me like I’m crazy and said…you can’t do that right now babe. And then I realized, yeah I probably definitely couldn’t. 

Cravings/Aversions: I’ve been finding that I’m hungry constantly but if I overeat I feel really uncomfortable, so figuring out how to navigate that slippery slope has been interesting. Some days I don’t try to balance it at all, like yesterday…

tweetOther News:

1// We are planning a home birth/water birth with a midwife and a doula. This is a little bit too “alternative” for most people to be comfortable with, but I’ve had a textbook pregnancy so far and I’m a perfect candidate so we’re going to cross our fingers and hope for the best. This means that I’m planning on no drugs/epidural for the birth…but if I absolutely need drugs/the hospital, I’m fine with going that route, I just feel inclined to try it without. Note: I think that I have an unrealistic understanding of how much this is going to hurt.

Our doula came over this weekend for a prenatal visit to discuss our “birth strategy” (my words, not hers) and she was like “What will your coping mechanisms be?”, “Would you like calming music and candles while you’re labouring?”  I actually responded with, “Well, when I’m doing a hard workout I find that ‘Work B*tch’ by Britney Spears really motivates me, so maybe that playing on repeat would be helpful?” and she looked at me with a blank stare. So, I’m sure that she’s really glad that she took me on as a client right about now.

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Comments:

Home birth – have you done it?

Did you have an epidural?

Did you have music on during your labour? If so, what did you listen to?

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Perfect Weekend = Lots of Naps

This weekend was perfect. Why, you ask? Because it involved no travel, pretty much no plans, and long naps. We’ve had such a whirlwind month of April that this was our first weekend to be at home alone in our own space in quite awhile. The weather was perfect, we fired up the barbecue for almost every meal, and I finally relaxed.

On Saturday afternoon after I did groceries in the morning and had a 3 hour nap, ahem.. we went for a long walk on Saturday through Central Park a few blocks away from our house. I love this park so much. It’s huge and it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere in a forest and you can’t hear any traffic noise. I anticipate that we’ll take our baby boy for tons of walks here this Summer.

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The one thing that was on our to-do list this weekend was the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. Well, it was on James’ to-do list, I didn’t think it would be wise to train or run a half marathon at almost 9 months pregnant, especially since I can’t up more than a couple of flights of stairs right now without getting lightheaded and panting. So I just had plans to cheer him on at the finish line. What a crazy experience! This was the biggest race that we’ve ever been to and it was amazing for the experience, but also frustrating because it was impossible to get near the finish line due to barriers put up by the race organizers. I was able to find myself a spot right by the fencing about 100m from the finish line and had my eyes peeled for a guy wearing a blue shirt that looked like my husband. I spotted him and cheered so loud but he had his headphones in his ears and didn’t hear me #fail.

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He finished his half marathon in 2 hours 8 minutes which made me pretty proud. While I was waiting for him to cross the finish line, I was watching other runners (so…strangers) run past me and I got so choked up. I always get like this when I watch people finish a race, you can see the struggle, or the elation on their faces, some of them look like they’re in pain, some look strong, and I can relate to both of those feelings when crossing a finish line. No matter how they’re feeling in that moment, they did something that most don’t attempt to try and I felt my heart bursting with pride for strangers. It isn’t even the pregnancy hormones that I can blame these emotions on, I have been like this for years.

kristen basically

Anyways, after his race I asked what he wanted for his reward meal and he wanted homemade burgers on the BBQ so that is just what we did. I didn’t take a photo of my burger which is really unlike me, but I can assure you that it was amazing. After lunch I had a nap which made my nap streak this weekend 2 for 2.

Speaking of food, I’ve been making a real effort to eat as healthy as possible these days. I don’t know if it’s the sunny weather, the baby, or “cravings” but I want healthy food 24/7. I made an epic salad for us for dinner on Saturday night with grilled vegetables on the BBQ (asparagus, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes), grilled chicken that I had marinated for a couple of hours in olive oil, garlic, and herbs, with organic mixed greens, goat cheese, with fig balsamic dressing, and half a piece of grilled naan bread on the side. I want this salad every day this Summer, it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed.

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On Sunday night I made salmon with a honey dijon glaze, broccoli, and wild rice & quinoa.

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And last but not least, I’ve recently rediscovered overnight oats for quick and easy breakfasts through the work week. The secret ingredients for me are tons of cinnamon and shredded coconut. It keeps me full and satisfied until lunch time which is a rare thing these days at almost 35 weeks pregnant.

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And last but not least, here’s a bump selfie in the bathroom at work last week. I officially have a basketball under my shirt. Note: I didn’t realize this picture or almost all of the pictures in this post were blurry until just now, sorry friends. I’ll do better.

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Comments:

Have you started BBQ’ing yet?

When was the last race that you ran? For me, it has been awhile… I’m officially missing running and feeling that excitement to see a finish line though, so as soon as this baby is out of me and I’m allowed to run again, I’m going to start training for a half marathon this Fall.

What did you do this weekend?

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34 Week Bump Update

It’s time for another bump update on the blog… we’re already 34 weeks and having just 6 weeks left literally blows my mind. When anyone talks to me about it, I start laughing with a wild, panicked look in my eyes. I’m adjusting really well over here. Alright, here we go..

Due date: June 7, 2016

How far along: 34 weeks, 1 day 

34 weeks 334 weeks, 1 day in this hotel bathroom selfie

Baby’s size: Baby boy is the size of a cantaloupe according to the Internet

Boy or Girl: BOY!!

Development: Baby weighs 4.5 lbs now and is over 17” long from head to toe. He’s gaining weight and getting chubbier and cuter by the day over here. He can also hear me and I’m supposed to start talking to him a lot, but I feel crazy doing that so I’m just talking to people (James, my family on the phone, people at work, etc.) and I’m hoping that he is used to my voice by now.

Symptoms: Oh, I had a new thing this past week… swollen feet. It’s been a real treat, you guys. By the time I get home from work, the tops of my feet (I wear flats most of the time) are puffy and the skin feels stretched and sore. Then I take off my shoes and its not pretty. I also need a pedicure but I can’t reach my toes right now… I had taken a photo to post, but thought I’d spare people.

Sleep: This past week and a half has been insane for me (us). We flew to Calgary last weekend to visit my sister and then I had a conference for work last week for 2.5 days and had to sleep in a hotel for 2 nights and had full days of conference activities and then evening activities at night which meant no downtime for this super pregnant girl here. Then we flew to Ontario this past weekend for 48 hours at 6:30 AM on Friday and got home late Sunday night and I’m away for work again this week, so like… I’m sleeping fairly well considering that I am physically and mentally drained almost each and every night.

Cravings/Aversions: None, I’ve got a normal appetite and no aversions. Most days I’ve been wanting healthier things like salads, grilled fish tacos, etc., I don’t know if that’s because I’m actually craving them or just because I’m terrified of blowing up like a blimp for these next few weeks left. Probably the latter.

Other News:

1// Someone at work this week told me that my face has gotten fat… umm, thanks…?

thanks

2// In more uplifting news, James had his hand on my belly on Monday night and could feel the baby hiccupping. I’d never felt him hiccupping or noticed that this was even happening, and was like “How do you know that?” and then he put my hand it and we could feel rhythmic jumps in my belly in the same intervals that hiccups are. It was so cute.

3// We hired a doula this week and I’m glad that we have one more thing crossed off of the list. She seems a little bit…eccentric, and let’s just hope that she can calm me down during labour and not annoy the living hell out of me. I’m sure the mere sound of James breathing near me while I’m in labour will be annoying, so I wish her luck.

4// My beautiful cousin had her baby two weeks ago and he was 9 lb 11 oz (she’s a rockstar, I would have died), and I met him on our short weekend in Ontario. I fell in love with this little boy and got SO excited that him and our baby are going to be only 2 months (ish) apart in age and they can be BFF’s like my cousin & I are. It was hard to believe that one of those (hopefully a smaller version) is living inside of me right now. In other news, another one of our cousins just announced that she’s pregnant and due later this year, so that means we have 3 new babies coming into our family this year and I can’t wait for Christmas when we can have them all lay awkwardly on a blanket together under the Christmas tree. Not that I’m planning that far ahead or anything like a weirdo..

Comments:

Mom friends – did you hire a doula? Was it helpful?

Any suggestions for swollen feet?

liverunsparkle@gmail.com | April 27, 2016 at 7:07 am | T

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32 Week Bump Update

Life has been crazy af lately, so I’m a week behind in posting my 32 week bump update. I’m an awesome and consistent blogger, I know.

Due date: Still June 7, 2016

How far along: Technically I’m 33 weeks today, but in this first photo I’m 32 weeks  

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Baby’s size: At 32 weeks, baby was the size (length) of kale

Boy or Girl: BOY!!

Development: Baby weighs almost 4 lbs now and is close to 17” long from head to toe. He’s practicing breathing in there and exercising his lungs. Speaking of exercise and lungs, I’m winded constantly because little guy is pressing on my lungs every minute. Sometimes when I’m laying in bed, I randomly gasp because I lost my breath…from laying still. According to the internet, from 32 weeks, baby would have good chance of surviving and thriving but lets hope he sticks around in there for a few more weeks.

Symptoms: My back is still achy, my pelvis is achy by the end of the day, and I’m just growing and growing… feeling large and in charge.

Sleep: I have a couple great nights sleep and a few terrible ones, but I’m just happy to sleep at all because in a few weeks I know that I will be lusting for these days when I wasn’t awoken by a screaming infant.

Cravings/Aversions: Last week I had an intense afternoon craving for a chocolate brownie. It came and went within 30 seconds and I still haven’t satisfied the craving, because #willpower. I’m trying to avoid the urges as much as possible even though you wouldn’t know it by the rate of which my belly is growing.

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Good News: My bff Ryan came to visit us for a few days a couple of weeks ago and he has this uncanny ability to stick his belly out and look pregnant… it’s always been his party trick and I think it’s hilarious, so we had to take a belly picture together.

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30 Week Bump Update

You guys, the weeks are flying by over here. How is this pregnancy almost over?! I’m really glad that I (finally) started documenting this pregnancy. Here’s my latest update.

Due date: June 7, 2016

How far along: 30 weeks today! (In this photo I’m 29 weeks + 4 days…close enough)

20160325_153336 hotel room selfie, don’t mind my white running socks #hot

Baby’s size: Baby is about the size of a cabbage

Boy or Girl: BOY!!

Development: Baby weighs almost 3 lbs now and is close to 15” long from head to toe. His head is growing and his bones are hardening and I’m supposed to be having extra calcium for him, so to me, that means cheese. Kidding, I’m not eating that much of it but those blue babybel cheese’s wrapped in red wax are my go-to snack right now.

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Symptoms: I’ve had a super achy back for a couple of weeks now and I was literally at my wits end a couple of weeks back at work. I was so over the back pain that I randomly checked out Amazon and ordered a back massager chair cover for my office chair. I have an Obus Form back massager, I’m officially an elderly person. Whatever, it was on sale for $70 and I was desperate. I tracked the package every 2-3 hours for days like a stalker, and last Monday this beauty finally arrived at my office. I heard the angels singing when I opened the box to see this beauty.

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Yes, it’s a little cumbersome with its wires and yes, it comes with a remote control like the massage chairs at the spa. I turn it off during meetings in my office because the buzzing is distracting and quite frankly, is embarrassing. But now I can get through the day without wanting to cry and take off my bra at my desk, so it’s staying for the next 10 weeks.

Sleep: I had some very deep sleeps in week #29 and I felt like a million bucks and baby wasn’t kicking much which means only one thing, kid is having a growth spurt up in there. This week is a different story, he’s moving around a ton all of the time and I only slept for 4 hours on Sunday night and then just laid in bed silently willing him to stop kicking me in the bladder.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing crazy this week for cravings to be honest. Lame, I know. James and I went to Seattle on the weekend (post on that coming later this week) and we went to a random Mexican restaurant that was blasting amazing music which made me feel like we were on a resort and James ordered a Corona because “when in Mexico…Seattle” and I was so sad that I couldn’t have one too. So, I guess my biggest craving was a beer? Does that make me a terrible mother? I didn’t order one, okay?

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Good News: James and I had a moment this weekend where we realized that we have a busy 3 weeks ahead of us with a friend visiting this weekend from Ontario, and us traveling to Calgary in a couple of weeks, that by the time the excitement is all over and we’re back home and life is normal, we’re going to be 33 weeks. 33 weeks means that we’ll be just four weeks away from being considered full-term! I should probably find a doula, get maternity photos done, and take more naps.

Comments:

Did/do you miss alcohol when pregnant? Is it just me?

Did you buy any embarrassing pregnancy contraptions to help with symptoms? Anyone else buy a vibrating chair cover? lol

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