2018 Family Vacation

First Vacation as a Family!

It has been quite a week…and as a family, we have been blessed to be able to spend a week together in Punta Cana.

My husband and I are celebrating being together for 10 years and being married for 2 years. I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by; we have been together for a whole decade!

Let’s just say that marriage is by no means easy and having a baby really put stress on a relationship and marriage. Not saying that children are stressful but just that it’s wise to have a strong foundation in which your marriage is built upon before adding kids to the mix.

Week of Firsts

It was a week of firsts for Isaac including first time at the airport, first flight and first vacation which were some of the bigger ones.

Happy 10 Years!, 2 Years and 7 Months!

Today was a very special day! Sean and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage, 10 years of being together and Isaac is 7 months! So thankful that we could spend time together! The resort was very nice, and we would recommend it to those with young children, as there were cribs, sofa beds and high chairs available upon request.

Our Baby Boy Isaac

My husband and I were impressed at how well Isaac did on the flight. He happily climbed over us and smiled for most of it. Isaac was so excited at the airport and was so curious about everything that was going on around him. Just as we were waiting to board, he fell asleep in my arms. (Heart melts)

         

We’ve Arrived!

The bus ride to the resort was about 30 minutes and Isaac was still so happy. We arrived at the Resort at around 5:20 p.m. We checked in and decided to rest, relax and start unpacking.

We had heard great things about the resort that we stayed at (Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia) and it was also recommended to us by our family and friends; we decided that it would be perfect for our first family vacation!

     

The weather was pretty hot around 34 degrees Celsius but we were just happy that we arrived safely and that we were finally there! The resort was made up of a lot of castles and palm trees. It was so pretty and inviting.

                

Going Home

Even though we had an amazing time on our vacation, it was time to go home! There is just something about sleeping in your own bed that is comforting and I couldn’t wait.

We left the resort around 1:00 p.m. and had one last cocktail before we boarded the bus. The ride was good and it was nice to take in the sights for as we neared the airport. Isaac was a bit cranky on the flight back and was exhausted (poor guy) and just wanted to sleep. It was a long day for everyone. We got home around 10 p.m. and passed out.

I wish we had taken more pictures but to have experienced being in the moment fully was even better! I look forward to many more family vacations together and hope to travel at least twice a year; doesn’t matter whether it’s near or far, as long as we are together!

Stay strong and beautiful!

After the Birth and the Joys and Pains of Breastfeeding

Who Should You Invite to the Hospital?

Everyone, no one or just certain people. It is completely up to you and your significant other to decide who you want to invite to the hospital. Whether or not you want friends or family or anyone to visit you after your baby is born. Labour and delivery are not easy or pretty by any means, and it is frankly exhausting. In addition to being exhausted, I was in pain from the stitches, medicated and nauseous and just feeling extra hormonal.

My husband and I decided, during one of the many talks leading up to my induction, that we didn’t want to have anyone except for our immediate families come visit us after our son was born. This is a personal decision and you should not feel bad about it.

We wanted our first 24 hours to be spent as a new family of three and for our parents and siblings to be the only ones visiting us and sharing this special time with us.

As soon as we settled in at my in-laws place, we invited our friends and family over. It was so nice but my emotions were all over the place and everytime I stood up, I literally had to brace myself as my uterus continued to contract and decontract.

Goodbye Hospital!

After you have had the privilege of holding your little baby in your arms and doing skin to skin and perhaps even getting a few hours of sleep the time will come when you’ve been checked and cleared to leave.

Once you are discharged from the hospital and you’re no longer surrounded by nurses and doctors, who are checking in on you and your baby, reality starts to set in. You are now responsible for this tiny human and life that you have created and birthed.

My family came to visit us and we shared some quality time together. They were so excited to meet our son. It was unreal how raw the pain was just hours after giving birth (a feeling that I will never forget). 

Pregnancy and giving birth was the most exhilarating and terrifying experience rolled into one. The moment the pregnancy test turned positive, the worry began. All throughout pregnancy then labour then birth and every single second after.

I was on some anti-nauseants and IV’s to make sure I wasn’t getting dehydrated. I couldn’t eat for more than 24 hours after giving birth…which made me nauseous and dizzy and a tad annoyed on top of being pretty hormonal.

Can I just say, it was like night and day; the nurses in the Labour and Delivery Unit were AMAZING BEYOND WORDS, the nurses in the Mother and Baby Unit were the total opposite! It was upsetting but I just lay in my bed staring at my son pressing the page button over and over again, in hopes that at least one nurse would be able to tend to me. Whenever we did get a nurse, they weren’t very helpful. One nurse, in particular, was quite rude. She was too lazy to change my IVs so she tried to take a shortcut and instead of inserting another needle to add the IV she tried to add more tubes to the existing fluids. I was so exhausted and so out of it that I rested when my baby did. I felt something cold on my side and woke up to find that my gown was soaked. I was confused and didn’t know what was happening. I lifted my hand up to page the nurse and realized that two of the IV tubes were leaking all over me. Although we were lucky enough to get the last room in the Mother and Baby unit, we were put into a semi-private room with a couple who had given birth several hours before me. Exhausted and looking forward to getting some rest, we realized that the other couple had taken our pillows (luckily I had brought my own), table and chair and added it to their side.

There was a stiff chair that didn’t recline properly and no bed, and so I sent my husband home to get some sleep. He was laying next to me as I was screaming in pain from the nonstop contractions I experienced for about 13 hours after being induced. We were discharged the next morning and off to my in-law’s house.

The first night was rough, my husband and I were in awe, super excited but also exhausted. My milk hadn’t come in yet so we fed Isaac with the formula that the hospital provided. My sister who had her daughter about 4.5 months prior had frozen some of her breastmilk so we supplemented with that along with the formula.

The next morning we had an appointment at the Mother and Baby Follow Up Unit to get tips on breastfeeding and to make sure baby was latching correctly. I confidently showed the nurses how I breastfed my son and they were happy with me and told me to just continue to do that. They explained that if I wanted to improve the breastfeeding to supplement with a tube feeding and finger tube feeding. Let’s just say they made it look so easy. ‘So you just take a piece of tape stick it on the wall, pour in the milk/formula, line the holes up to baby’s mouth, either on your finger or your breast and tada…he will start sucking and getting milk/formula. The thing with newborns is their stomachs are so tiny that they need to feed every 1.5 to 2 hours and when they aren’t eating they are most likely sleeping or getting ready to eat again. So I proudly went home and did my thing. I fed him like a champ from bottle and boob.

Until one day my baby wasn’t eating, he wasn’t latching, and he was super gassy and cranky.  I tried to use the feeding tube on my breast, so that he could latch. I don’t know what it was, maybe the lack of sleep and the raging hormones but it was so frustrating. Sometimes my baby would swing his little hand against the tube and the milk tube would fall off the wall and all the milk in it. Other times, I would hit the tube and the holes would never line up properly so my baby would have a tube in his mouth but not be getting any milk. It was a miserable cycle and I took to breastfeeding horribly. I cried most nights, along with my son; feeling defeated because I couldn’t get him to eat.

When the midwife came over for his 6-day checkup she told me that he wasn’t gaining enough weight and hadn’t reached his birth weight yet. This made me sad and I had a small case of baby blues. Postpartum blues and/or depression is real and it sucks! I was so happy because my son was finally here but I was so sad because I felt like I was already failing as a mother.

Things I never knew about Breastfeeding

  1. Your breast/boob changes shape as colostrum and milk comes in
  2. Engorged boobs can be painful
  3. It takes a few days for supplements to adjust – I took Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle supplements
  4. Breastfeeding clinics For the Win – I went three different times and I walked out each time feeling more confident than the last
  5. Nursing pads are a must – I tried the Johnson and Lansinoh brands – there are pros and cons to both 
  6.  You can have multiple letdowns and this is good for pumping – I purchased an electric breast pump and a manual one – I prefer the manual one
  7. Drinking a lot of water helps your supply – breastfeeding makes you thirsty
  8. I could physically feel my stomach emptying when my son nurses – like my nutrients are being given to him – it’s weird yet amazing
  9. You will be hungry so make sure you eat relatively healthy and eat enough
  10. There are certain foods that help increase your milk supply and ones that decrease it.

Stay tuned for my next post where I cover the first month with our baby boy!

Stay strong and beautiful!

Motherhood #190…The Greatest Blessing of My Life

Welcome to the world my son Isaac! We love you and can’t wait to see you grow up!

The Longest Wait

I had a vaginal birth and a pretty typical labour. I was induced at 39 weeks and 4 days due to my baby boy being big; as I had gestational diabetes. I was originally scheduled to be induced using a mechanical foley bulb catheter, which was supposed to help me dilate to 3 cm. We went to the hospital as planned but were told that I was already 3 cm dilated and the foley bulb wouldn’t do much. I was pleased as I wanted to avoid any induction by the hospital. We were given the option to have my water broken manually or to go home shower, get some rest and come back in the morning. My husband and I were happy to go home and prayed that I would dilate on my own and go into labour. The next morning I woke up and we delayed going to the hospital for as long as we could, I spent the morning bouncing on my fitness ball and walking up and down the hallway; hoping to induce some contractions.

Little Bubs was not ready to come out, he was happily kicking inside and having a ball. We arrived at the hospital around 9 am and were told that there were no beds available and to go walk around a bit have lunch and then come back. It was another chance for my husband and me to pray together in anticipation for our baby boy’s arrival. We got back to the hospital around 12:30 pm and were put in a room. We waited several hours and took advantage of the time, to walk around the hospital hallways in hopes of going into labour on my own. My family came to wish me words of encouragement and we shared a meal together.

Labour

I was checked and told that I was 4 cm dilated. I was then induced at 5:35 pm and had my water broken manually. I was given Pitocin which made my contractions start. I was not ready for what came next. I had heard stories about how chemically induced contractions are much stronger than naturally induced contractions, but I had nothing to compare it to. Long story short, I was in agony and barely had a break in between contractions, there was a beginning and it just seemed to peak and not really end. After many, many hours, I was told that it would be advisable for me to get an epidural. I was extremely against it but was told that my body was too tense, ( I was STILL 4 cm dilated) and since I hadn’t slept for nearly 20 hours, I would likely have to get a cesarean section.

I thought back to our hypnobirthing classes and remembered that births don’t go as planned and that you have to be open to different options and that the end goal is to take home a healthy baby. I was terrified and in pain but had told myself that I would put my trust in the doctors and nurses, and thank God I did. The next few hours were somewhat blissful. I was no longer in pain, I was able to relax and let myself get some rest. I was checked a few hours later and I had dilated to 5 cm, then 7 then 9.5, until I reached 10 cm and was fully dilated.

Delivery

It’s GO TIME! I was told that it was time to start pushing and I nervously looked at my husband, who was super supportive and my sister, who had given birth 4 months prior. My sister said a prayer for us and then I knew I was ready. I felt woozy from all of the fluids/IV’s that I was hooked up to but I knew one thing for sure, I was going to push my son out, even if it killed me. After almost 2 hours of pushing our baby boy arrived into the world at 1:17 a.m. Born on the 39th week and 6th day just one day from his due date. He was quite long and had the cutest cheeks and face I have ever laid eyes on. He stole our hearts from the second we saw him. My husband, Isaac and I are so blessed to be a family!

It’s true what they say, the moment you see your baby for the first time, you are in so much awe that whatever fears, pain or discomfort you experienced during pregnancy and labour make it all worth it! Thank you for allowing me and giving me the opportunity to be your mom.

Look out for next blog post which I will discuss my experience with Recovery, Breastfeeding and Months 1 to 3.

Stay strong and beautiful!