My client success interview with fertility coach Zahra Haji

Back in May, my fertility coach Zahra Haji interviewed me about the work we had done together through her Becoming the Vessel for IVF Success program.

Last night, I decided to listen to it.

This interview reminds me of how much I’ve learned and grown throughout our fertility journey. I think it’s so important to reflect on those things as you prepare for the new year.

When it first went live, I never shared it. Here it is:

I hope my story gives you some hope and inspiration. ❤

Note: If you are looking for more info on the Moon Goddess or Becoming the Vessel for IVF Success programs, please contact Zahra directly.  I did not receive any compensation for talking about my success with her programs. I share my story because I truly believe that focusing on mind-body health significantly improved our odds of conception via IVF. 

My initiation into breastfeeding without a cover

I did it! I breastfed Wyatt around my husband’s family without a cover.

We started out on Christmas Eve with the cover on. Wyatt was HANGRY and viciously swiped at the cover to move it off his face. I got frustrated that he was frustrated, so I took it off…

No one gasped. No one looked shocked. 

A few people got up a left the room, but that may have just been coincidence. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who encouraged me to try the double shirt approach.

I also draped a receiving blanket over my boob a bit to give more coverage without covering Wyatt himself.

SUCCESS!

I continued to use this method on Christmas Day and Boxing Day at each family gathering. Yesterday, I even found my brother-in-law was comfortable enough to have a conversation with me while I fed Wyatt. Next time I see him, I hope to personally thank him for being “normal” with me.

In the end, my anxiety around how people would react was worse than their actual reaction. Lesson learned: just go for it next time. 

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Merry Christmas!

Wow. What a year it has been.

If you had asked me a year ago if I imagined us celebrating our first Christmas with our child, I would have hoped so, but I never would have been able to predict just how great it truly is.

Over the past few weeks, I was struggling with Christmas. My family won’t get to share in Wyatt’s First Christmas with us. I was stuck in a cycle of nostalgic longing; reminiscing on the traditions from my own childhood. Earlier this week, I decided to make the most of it and find a way to add some magic to this Christmas.

Wyatt is too young to understand all of the festivities, but we still made some great memories.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas. May all your dreams come true this year. XO ❤

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2 months old

My grumpy little elf is officially 2 months old. At his doctors appointment on Tuesday, he weighed 12.87 lbs and was 24 inches long. He’s definitely going to be tall like his Daddy.

We attempted to take 2 month old photos this morning. Wyatt was not impressed.

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I understand now why people say to cherish each moment. Wyatt is growing and learning so much – especially over the past two weeks.

He loves playing on his activity mat (not so much when Bella licks his face though). He gets super excited when Dad gets home each night. He coos, giggles, smiles and talks to us in his own language all the time. He also loves bath time and recently started flailing his arms and kicking his legs to make splashes.

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Every night before bed, Mike has story time with Wyatt. We go to bed sometime between 10:30-11:30pm. He wakes up to feed between 2-5 am and then again around 7-8am. Sometimes we even go back to bed until 9-10am. But, don’t tell Mike that! 

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His favourite place to nap is on my chest… which means many afternoons glued to the recliner chair by the fire. I can’t complain though. 🙂 He normally isn’t grumpy, but we’ve had a few days lately where I think he’s got a case of the 8 week olds. He fights taking a nap and cries a bit as he gives in to the slumber. Wyatt used to need the boob to fall asleep, but he’s had 2 naps without it lately. I’m super sad about that. 😦 It’s shocking how much their progress makes your heart grow and hurt at the same time.

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He’s eating well. We are still exclusively breastfeeding. I did use the cover at my in-laws tonight, but… Wyatt got fussy during one feeding, so I actually took the cover off. I did the 2-shirt method, and then used a blanket to cover while I put my boob back in my shirt. Progress! 

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Clothing diapering is going very well. He still prefers the cloth over disposables. It’s surprising how much more he freaks out when he pees in a disposable. I want him to be comfortable, so today we did our first major outing in just cloth. It really wasn’t a hassle at all. I just brought a wet bag, a few inserts and 2 Flip covers. We are still using a combo of Flip covers and inserts, Bummis covers and inserts, Bum Genius 4.0s/Freetimes/Elementals. He’s starting to fit better now into the Bum Genius style. I do prefer snaps over velcro, so I’m contemplating reselling the velcro to invest in a few more snaps. I also just picked up an AMP to see how we like that brand. It’s a cute elephant print. And now I realize how cloth diapering gets addictive. You start coordinating with outfits and it’s all over! 

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As for baby wearing, I’m using the Ergo around the house. I find it works ok. It’s quick to put on, but it’s a bit awkward. I would really like to try out a few different kinds of wraps/carriers, so I’m going to join our local Babywearing club’s lending library.

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Other than that, life is good. I absolutely love being a Mom. Yes, some days can be more challenging than others, but when he grabs my hand, looks up at me and smiles, my heart melts. He is so totally worth it.

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I still remember

I changed my Facebook profile photo today. I got new glasses, so most people will assume that’s the reason why.

But really,  I changed it because I couldn’t bear to think that it was hurting someone else.

You see I’m an admin on our local infertility support Facebook group. A few weeks ago,  I changed my photo to one of Wyatt and I. In the moment, it seemed like the right thing to do. I was having a good hair day and a cuddle with my son.

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Since then, I cringe every time I post in the group and see my little profile icon with that image of me as a mother. I know there are so many other women in that group longing for what I have.

I just can’t do it. I can’t flaunt my transition beyond infertility even if some think my story may inspire and give hope. I know all too well that photos like that poke at the emptiness in your heart when you are longing for your own baby to cuddle.

I love my son beyond words, but that doesn’t take away the past. I know how much it used to hurt, how much it can still hurt reflecting back on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. I know exactly how it feels for every woman in that group still waiting for their babies. And I don’t want to inflict any more suffering on them… even if a profile photo is such a subtle gesture.

For now, I’ll limit my profile photo to be a solo shot of me.  I’ll use my cover photo for the family or baby pics as it’s not so in your face.

And I’ll keep hoping and praying that each and every one of those women find joy and happiness no matter where their journey leads them. ❤

Why do I suddenly feel the urge to burn my bra?

I have a secret longing to be one of those wild and free women who are perfectly comfortable with nursing uncovered in public.

I nurse uncovered at home (yes, even in front of my mother-in-law. Her squirming is usually way more noticeable than she realizes). I nurse uncovered at the homes of friends who are breastfeeding friendly. I nurse uncovered at doctor’s appointments. I’ve even nursed Wyatt uncovered in my car in front row of the parking lot at a London Drugs – and the back seat of my husband’s truck multiple times.

But, I have yet to just ”whip it out” in a public place full of potentially staring gazes like a coffee shop, restaurant or the food court at a shopping mall.

Tonight, we had a large family supper at a Chinese buffet restaurant. Wyatt was perched on a chair beside my husband sleeping in his car seat. When he woke, he simply squirmed and gave me ”the look”.  I just assume that every breastfeeding Momma knows what that look is. My Wyatt gets these soft eyes, opens his mouth and gently moves his tongue to the front of his mouth. Perhaps it’s the same with bottle fed babies?  I insisted that I could feed him there. I had my hooter hider in the diaper bag,  but Mike said he was fine. Mike gave Wyatt his soothie and it tied him over until we left.

I realized this moment felt like a loss to me. Another opportunity to bare it all had passed me by. Honestly, I probably would have still covered as my husband keeps saying he doesn’t want me completely uncovered in front of his family. But, I was potentially one step closer to nursing in public… And one step closer to nursing UNCOVERED in public.

I’ve had large breasts for as long as I can remember (meaning Grade 3-4 when I was the only girl wearing a training bra). I can’t wear a simple V neck tshirt without cleavage. This actually works to my benefit for breastfeeding as the two-shirt approach is a typical staple of my wardrobe.

During my teens and early 20s, I embraced my generous bra size and used them to my advantage (in retrospect, probably disadvantage as I needed more self respect and self love but that’s a whole other topic…). Cleavage was my friend especially if I was headed out for a night at the bar. My gigantic tits got me the attention I wanted at that time. As I grew up and my career progressed,  I covered up more and more. The concept of that cleavage peaking out made me feel slutty. I wanted to be taken seriously, and for a natural blonde with big breasts, that meant keeping the ta-tas hidden. It was a never-ending love/hate relationship.

Even though cleavage has been my friend, I was always insecure about my bare boobs. Just because they looked appealing to the eye when nicely propped up in a halter top didn’t mean that they would have the same effect when naked. In the past 8 weeks, the number of people who have seen my bare breasts has exponentially increased –  even if it is just select friends and family.

When I began breastfeeding, I lost all insecurity around the shape and size of my boobs. It doesn’t matter how big they are or what my nipples look like. What matters is that they are doing a damn good job of feeding my son!  My breasts are no longer merely an overly sexualized part of my body. For the first time in my life,  I feel like my breasts serve their true purpose. I’m proud of the nourishment they provide to my baby. And I couldn’t be happier. I love my breasts. They finally bring me joy.

I want to be comfortable breastfeeding uncovered in public because I want to step out from the girl I was before into the woman – the mother – I am now. Our journey to bring our son into this world is so much deeper than a moment of conception.  It’s a story of acceptance and a big part of that is me accepting myself – big boobs and all!

Mothering is an act of love. As long as the child is thriving, no judgement should be made. I believe woman should be able to feed her child from a breast – covered or uncovered – or from a bottle. The choice is hers, not that of some stuffy old man who has no problem gawking when Momma’s out for a night on the town, but all of a sudden has issues when a tiny human is latched to eat? Come on now…

Besides, my son hates being covered when eating. I want him to know that his Momma loved him enough to do whatever she could to make him as comfortable as he could be…and if that means breastfeeding uncovered in public,  I vow I will do it!

I’m still searching for my tribe. I’ve got a few Mommy friends who breastfeed,  but I want to find my vibe with others who can help me break out of my shell of conformity and into the freedom of motherhood that I’ve worked so hard to get to.

Boobies unite (.)(.)

Learning to slow down

It’s 2:07pm. Wyatt just fell asleep on me… Again!

I’m done with attempting to move him to his bassinet. Why bother when he wakes 5 minutes later crying for me?

I’m embracing that my little man is trying to teach his Momma to appreciate the downtime; to enjoy the stillness.

We spent 4 busy years trying to bring him into this world. Running from appointment to appointment. Working extra hard to make extra money to pay for the treatments, the appointments, the supplements, the gazillion pregnancy tests…

I deserve the break.

Who can really complain if every afternoon entails a cozy nap by the fireplace with Wyatt snuggled into my chest?

I’ve already folded 3 loads of laundry, put another load of diapers in the wash, gone to an acupuncture appointment and managed to eat breakfast and lunch today. That’s enough.

Now is the time to be still, to feel the love and enjoy the comfort.

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