My oh my, how life changes in 18 months. I can still remember that early September morning when I peed on the pregnancy test strip and couldn’t look at the results! I was so nervous. We had been trying for… 9 months! Maybe 9 is a magical number..? I told Jeff that I was going to take the test again, as I’d been doing for the past couple of days. I peed on the test strip and jumped in the shower, because I was worried, excited, nervous, anxious and wasn’t ready to know if this was the day. Jeff came in while I was in the shower to find out the results and was shocked to hear that I hadn’t read them… I told him to check. So, my lovely friends, Jeff is the one who announced our pregnancy to ME! We were both SO happy!!!
My Mom and sister both had easy pregnancies (aside from physical discomfort later on), so I guess I was expecting the same. By no means, did I have a difficult pregnancy, but I was surprised when morning sickness (or rather – all-day-sickness) came knocking on the door at about 6 weeks. At first, I thought it was all in my head and I would actually ask myself if I was really feeling that nauseated – I was, haha. I spent the following 6 weeks in a hazy cloud of nausea, fatigue and excitement. Then we announced our fabulous news to the World 🙂
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We decided to keep the gender of our baby a surprise. Pros = extra excitement and money savings (not constantly shopping for cute girl/boy clothes). Cons = a little unprepared in the clothing department. I’m glad that we didn’t find out that we were having a girl. It allowed us to talk about how life might be with each gender and imagine in a more… expansive way. We also discussed the hot topic of male circumcision and whether we would have him circumcised or not. After coming to an agreement at about 5 months pregnant, we were able to move ahead and be ready for a girl or a boy!
Another thing that surprised me about pregnancy is how much my body changed. I gained 60 pounds! My weight was constantly addressed at my midwife appointments (albeit gently) and I was forever worried and anxious that I was doing something wrong. After testing negative for gestational diabetes and seeing that I gave birth to a normal, 8lb, 9oz baby girl, I have since concluded that our bodies do what they need to do in order to properly nourish the mama and the baby. If you check back to my post, “How I Lost 52 Pounds By 4 Months Postpartum”, you can read about how I was able to shed most of my postpartum weight in the first 4 months, without extensive effort. At 9 months postpartum, I now weigh less than what I weighed before I became pregnant!
The last trimester of my pregnancy was filled with naps, sleepless nights, heartburn and baby kicks! It’s HARD to sleep when you’re super prego. I would get heartburn around 2 or 3 am and have to go downstairs to take my special remedy (1 tsp of baking soda in a cup of water) and sit up for about 15 minutes until it passed. But guess what? After being awake for 15 minutes, my mind was already racing about all of the things I still had to get done before the baby’s arrival.
Here’s how my brain sounded: “I need to make freezer meals. How many should I make? Is it too early to freeze them? How long will they last in the freezer? I need to clear out some space in the freezer. I’m sure there’s a lot of wasted food in there. Why do I do that? I should make an inventory and keep track of things better.” – and on and on and on. Speaking of the freezer, we bought a small chest freezer while I was pregnant for our overflow. Having the fridge freezer for 5 people was already driving me over the edge. I LOVE our chest freezer. It has changed my life! Here’s the one that we have: click here.
Labour and delivery is beyond anything I could have imagined. Let me re-phrase that. Labour actually felt a lot like I imagined it would. I was caught off guard by how normal I felt in between contractions. But what I really could not have imagined is the emotional changes; they began June 2nd, 2016 and haven’t left! I never used to be a crier. After realizing that my planned home water birth had become an induction in the hospital with monitors and a transfer of care to an OB, I remained calm and went with it.
Wanting an un-medicated birth, I laboured for 6 hours, before finally asking for an epidural. I hear that the contractions are worse when you’re induced, but how would I know? I felt like I had failed myself at that point, but I kept it together and got some sleep. Dilation progressed and at 8-9 cm, the OB told me that I was going to need a C-section. That’s when the tears came. I don’t even get to try to push?! My home water birth was now a C-section. I was so upset.
The C-section took place and MORE tears came… I could not believe that this amazingly perfect little baby was mine! Thankfully they were tears of joy this time 🙂 More tears came about 24 hours later when we were told that Aurora had to be taken to NICU for a possible systemic infection. More tears came when we were discharged from the hospital 5 days later. Tears and tears and tears – happy and worried – that’s my life now!
The first 3 months of life with Aurora are a bit of a blur. As challenging as they were, I loved every minute of them. I expected sleepless nights and trials and tribulations with breastfeeding. At around 2 months, I was able to get Aurora to nap, by rubbing her back in a quiet room. She was going to bed at night around 6 or 7pm and was sleeping for 12 hours, except for breastfeeding 3 or 4 times, after which she fell back asleep right away.
Along came month 4… let’s just say, I had no idea what a “sleep regression” was, until this hit. Now I feel like I know everything there is to know about sleep regressions. If you’re not one for the “Cry-It-Out” method of getting your baby to sleep, I wholeheartedly recommend the closed Facebook group called, Sleepy Littles. The amount of peer support I received from this group was phenomenal and it absolutely helped me to get through one of our hardest months ever. Aurora’s naps became 1-2 hours of intense effort to get her to sleep 30 minutes. I basically bounced on an exercise ball all day. She refused to sleep at night and her bedtime became 11pm or 12am. I had virtually no breaks and I was exhausted.
These days, Aurora naps twice a day – still usually catnaps and has a regular bedtime at around 7pm. I have come to accept that she is not a great sleeper and I will do my best as her Mom to help her work through it 🙂
When Aurora was 6 months old, Jeff and I got married! On December 17, 2016, we gathered our family and some close friends and had a small wedding at Jeff’s parents’ house. With a demanding little baby, I am so grateful that I had the help of all 3 of my Moms to make our wedding day so special. I have been married before and my previous marriage was extremely unstable and harmful. Being married to Jeff and celebrating with all 4 of our children fills my heart with joy. Even 5 years ago, I never could have fathomed what an amazing life that I have.
Last month, Aurora turned 8 months old and we set flight to St. Lucia! Jeff’s parents took the whole family on a wonderful all-inclusive vacation, which we will always remember and be forever thankful. By this time, Aurora was crawling and pulling-up and enjoying solid food a little more – such a busy little girl. I won’t go into too much detail about the trip, because I’m working on a separate post that’s fully designated to traveling with a baby! What I WILL do, is give you some pictures though 🙂
9 months in and 9 months out… I’ve created a little Beauty that I cannot live without 🙂
Resources you might like:
Pregnancy test strips that I used: BFP Early Pregnancy Test Strips
Ovulation test strips that I used: BFP Ovulation Test Strips
Chest freezer that we bought and LOVE: Haier 7.1 cubic foot Chest Freezer
Facebook group for Mamas avoiding “Cry-It-Out”: Sleepy Littles
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