All the dates that matter

One year ago today, I was arriving at the fertility clinic to prepare for my egg retrieval.

Following the retrieval, my eggs met my husband’s sperm and the magical process of fertilization began.

Our babies were created.

I guarantee you if I asked any member of our families what happened one year ago today, none of them would know the answer. It’s dates like this that only we remember.

When you face infertility and pregnancy loss, you remember so many moments along the journey that were significant to you.

The first trip you made to the doctor…

The moment you received diagnostic test results…

The instant you found out your baby wouldn’t make it…

The date you realized you were pregnant again…

All of these moments were life changing.

All of these dates mattered.

Be proud of your special moments. Reflect on them with positivity and gratitude.

Allow yourself to feel sadness on the dates that broke your heart.

Celebrate your milestones.

You’ve faced so many challenges. You’ve grown as an individual and as a couple. If you and your partner are the only ones who remember these dates, then so be it. You don’t need anyone else to acknowledge your journey. You know in your heart how far you’ve come. <3

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The rocking chair has arrived!

I’ve been waiting to receive our rocker for 28 days… Doesn’t seem like long compared to everything else we’ve waited for, but the wait was hard when it’s a critical piece for finishing the nursery!

I ordered the Poplar Naptime Rocker in Grey Linen from a custom Canadian furniture company called Off Your Rocker.

I also ordered the Mum’s Helper which is a matching slipover sleeve with pockets to hold items while you are rocking. Our nursery is not a very large room. I thought this accessory would save me having to find a side table to go with the chair.

The owner/craftsman Frank has excellent customer service. He kept me in the loop throughout the building process to let me know where he was at. It took 3 days to ship from Ontario to Saskatchewan.

Assembly was super easy. The chair itself came in 4 pieces and the ottoman came in 3. All bolts and an Allan key were supplied. I will get my husband to tighten everything – just to be sure – once he gets home, but most people should be able to handle it themselves.

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The chair and ottoman

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Oliver checks it out

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The Mum’s helper (should have ironed it before I snapped this pic)

Next steps for the nursery:

  • Finish making a few pieces of wall art
  • Hang wall art
  • Sew a pillow for the chair

Almost done! :)

32 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 32 weeks and 5 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250mg at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required (which is OFTEN!).

Just an FYI: I use the Honest Company Prenatal Complete Once Daily and DHA Complete. My Naturopath was very satisfied with the ingredient listing on these products. I used to use the Whole Food Prenatal, but I switched to the once daily when I was throwing up too much.

Baby is the size of: Florida Pomelo (WTF is this? Is it just because I’m Canadian that I’ve never had a Pomelo?) or a winter squash

Best Moments This Week:

  • Nesting galore! I had a major energy surge this weekend. We cleaned and organized our entire basement. I also washed all the baby linens/blankets. I honestly don’t know where this energy came from! Last night I went to the grocery store and could barely finish my list without feeling exhausted.
  • Having a BodyTalk session. O-M-G! Every time I have Bodytalk it fascinates me! My back actually feels way better since my session yesterday. I also love the intuition validation. I was pleased when quite a few issues I wanted to address came up in my session on both a physical and emotional level. Another lesson that came up was enjoying stillness before baby comes. I’ve been really busy and trying to cross everything off my baby list lately. She encouraged me to take more moments for myself as they will be less frequent after he arrives.
  • Having multiple people tell me I’m smaller than they anticipated. I am torn on whether this is good or bad though? I just carry really low, but I guess it’s a good thing that people don’t like I look huge!
  • Planning my Blessingway with my doula :)
  • Going out for an evening to a session at my friend’s rock and crystal shop. I really needed this night out! It was great because it was relaxing and didn’t take a lot of energy from me.

Total Weight Gain: a total of 12.6 lbs. (Didn’t weigh myself again this week!!! Will do it for next week)

Maternity Clothes: I picked up a pair of leggings on the Thyme Maternity sale rack for $4. Fall is on it’s way and I need a few warmer options. I think that will be the last of my maternity purchases.

Symptoms:

  • Low iron = SO TIRED. Last week, I was seriously low energy from Monday-Thursday.
  • Energy spurt Friday to Sunday.
  • Peeing constantly
  • Sore hips/lower back – especially when sleeping
  • Carpal tunnel in my right wrist. Wearing a brace makes it better. For anyone who had it, does it actually go away after baby comes?

Sleep: Ugh. This past week, I wake up to extremely sore hips, lower back and shoulders. I’ve been having hot showers in the morning or bubble baths at night. And doing lots of stretching to get the kinks out. My dreams have been crazy too especially since I get up so many times to pee. I don’t often get back to that deep level of sleep.

Food Cravings: Peaches, chocolate, ice cold water

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing new this week.

Movement: I find his movements to be more pronounced now except my husband always misses when my belly moves. I think I’ve also noticed he’s had a hiccups a few times. That sensation is different!

Stretch Marks: Yup – same location lower tummy and parallel with my belly button. When my tummy grows, they get itchy. I lather up with coconut oil every night.

Baby Bump: Growing and growing… With my nice wrist brace on. :/

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Nothing yet except maybe a few Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie, but not much depth left.

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off due to the heat.

Happy or Moody?: I’ve been ok lately. My mood has been fairly level. I just find I get lonely as my husband is farming + working meaning he’s gone from the house for 12-14 hours a day. I work remotely so the lack of human contact can be hard some days, yet I also enjoy my alone time. I also had my first cry in a long time on Sunday night. My husband was grumpy from all the nesting and I didn’t appreciate his attitude. I know he works hard, but preparing for baby is important too. I am very fortunate that my husband does A LOT more than many of his friends, but sometimes I just wish he would see the up-side of our efforts rather than grumbling..

Purchases for baby:

Purchases for Momma: 

  • Maternity leggings
  • A Booby Trapper – excellent used condition for $10

Miss Anything?: Sleeping comfortably

Looking forward to:

  • Receiving our rocking chair to finish the nursery.
  • Receiving our mobile
  • Being off work in 5 weeks WHOHOO!

Prenatal class fail

We took hypnobirthing classes back before the summer, but we also registered for a prenatal class that our local health region puts on. I originally just wanted to take their breastfeeding class, but they had recently combined it into one program. Another perk was that your partner would be able to get the Tdap vaccine at the class.

Our class was scheduled to run from 6:30-8:30pm tonight and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm tomorrow.

Let’s just say…. we won’t be going back tomorrow. :/

Tonight we focused on how to know when you are in labour and labour coping techniques. A lot of the course content contradicted what we learned in hypnobirthing (i.e. hold your breath to push vs. using your breath to move the baby down). There were also inconsistencies between what the instructor said, what the book said and what was shown in the videos. I was also surprised that the course manual was borrowed from another province!

I feel like the Western medicine’s (or maybe it’s just my old school province) approach to birthing is definitely fear-based. The word “pain” was used quite frequently.

The instructor also made one comment that completely shocked me. She was taking about pre-term labour and how some infants would need a shot to help their lungs develop if they are born too soon. She said the majority of infants will do fine, but some could die. SAY WHAT!?!?!  She could have at least backed this up with the reassurance that the survival rate is between 90-95% for babies that arrive between 28-34 weeks. But nope, she didn’t.

I will give the instructor credit for being inclusive. All of tonight’s course participants were male-female couples, but she used the term “birth coach” instead of “Daddy”. She also did encourage women to trust that their bodies know what to do.

We also discovered that they recently (as in sometime in the past month) stopped giving the birth partner their vaccinations at the course. This contradicted the registration form that we received which asked for my husband’s health card number and whether or not he would be receiving the vaccine. Now, we have to call the Health Region to schedule another appointment.

Tomorrow’s topics are pain management, breastfeeding and taking baby home. Since we already have our birth preferences defined and took a taking baby home class through hypnobirthing, we’ve opted to ditch the course. I have a good friend who is a nurse. She has offered to give me additional breast feeding support if it’s needed beyond our hospital stay. Or else, I’ll go to a breastfeeding clinic or call a Lactation Consultant.

Overall, that prenatal class was an epic fail. If we hadn’t taken hypnobirthing and had very minimal knowledge of birthing practises, it would have offered some value. We were just beyond it and the material didn’t align with our values.

In the end, I would have been better off scheduling my husband in for his immunization and spending my 2 hours at home tonight continuing my nesting.

Reflecting on our IVF journey

One year ago today, I had bloodwork and an ultrasound, then started my stims.

I crossed over into the world of IVF treatment not realizing what was in store for me.

I think reflection is an important part of life. Not reflecting on the negative all the time, but reflecting on the challenges and seeing what became of them.

In the past year, I’ve experienced:

  • A cocktail of fertility meds
  • Over 120 self (or husband) injected needles
  • Close to 50 blood tests
  • 2 surgeries
  • 2 embryo transfers
  • 2 pregnancies
  • Grief and heartache following a pregnancy loss
  • A mild case of OHSS
  • Borderline Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Lost friends
  • Gained friends
  • A newfound sense of self
  • A closer connection to my husband
  • A better understanding of my body
  • Love at first sight
  • All of the “pregnancy firsts” (first ultrasound, first heartbeat, first anatomy scan, first kick)
  • 3 changes in my job position/title
  • Paying off IVF costs
  • Preparing for baby
  • Stress
  • Relaxation
  • Fear
  • Hope

I’m sure this list could go on and on…

Was this past year easy? Hell no, but I would never change it.

The challenges were worth the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, and the strength I’ve gained.

If you asked me 1 year ago where I thought I’d be today, I would have said on maternity leave with a 3 month old baby girl.

Instead, I’m 32 weeks pregnant preparing for the birth of our baby boy.

Life changes and we can’t control it.

All we can do is look back on it and appreciate how far we’ve come. <3

The journey never ends. It merely twists and turns us in another direction.

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August 19 – a day of HOPE

Today is August 19 – a day of HOPE – hosted by the Carly Marie Project. The inspiration for today is to break the silence about infant and pregnancy loss while honouring the lives of our children who left us too soon.

Participants are encouraged to make a prayer flag in memory of their child(ren), then share photos of it on social media.

I didn’t get a chance to make a flag to honour Emme, but I did share one of the project’s awareness images on my Instagram with the following statement:

“Some people think that having a rainbow baby in your womb changes everything. It doesn’t. You don’t ever forget. You simply learn to live as the “new you” – a mother to two children, one Angel; one on his way. You know that life can change in an instant, so you become more grateful for your blessings. You feel more. You love deeper. You continue to hope. Hope is what keeps you going.

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Sending love to you and your Angels today and always <3

Learn more about the day of HOPE:

Where to put the stink?

Alright folks, I need your opinion. We are doing disposable diapers for the newborn phase and will transition into cloth as baby gets bigger.

Here’s the options I’m considering for dirty diaper disposal/storage:

  1. Wet bag only
    1. Pro: Economical – I already have two, Space-saving, Easy to clean,
    2. Con: Won’t work for disposables
  2. Diaper Dekor Plus
    1. Pro: Large capacity, Pedal for easy access with childproof lock, Reasonably priced
    2. Con: Plastic, Have to buy disposable refills
  3. Ubbi
    1. Pro: Steel holds less odor, Can use regular garbage bags (less refill cost), Childproof lock
    2. Most expensive

I thought I might just use a wet bag, but that doesn’t help during the newborn phase when we have disposables. We could just use a regular garbage pail during that period though.

What diaper pail do you recommend and why? What option is most versatile for cloth/disposable combo? Is a diaper pail worth the investment?