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!

 

Our Perfect Gender Reveal!

October 8, 2017 was definitely a day to remember. My husband and I were surrounded by friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, our gender reveal and my birthday. It was such a heartwarming time for our little family.

As we celebrated Thanksgiving this year I was especially grateful for being blessed with our little baby and for my husband who has been kind, loving and supportive throughout our 9 year relationship. We felt so much love from our friends and family and could not ask for a better support system.

There was so much anticipation as we patiently awaited the big moment. I had a dream that it was a boy and was almost certain that I was carrying our son in my womb. My husband also thought it was a boy while my sister and her husband thought it was a girl. Either way we would be happy and over the moon as we prepared to enter into Parenthood.

 

The Reveal

My sister had baked a cake which I thought was a bit weird as when we were brainstorming ideas I mentioned that a cake was a bit boring and that it was not my first choice. Nevertheless, as the cake was placed in front of us, I couldn’t help but feel a rush of emotions ranging from happiness and excitement to pure joy and gratitude. As my husband and I stood there waiting, I could feel my heart racing. I was 22 weeks pregnant and couldn’t wait to find out our baby’s gender.

As my husband and I cut into the cake, I looked down in confusion as the knife came out with pink and green on it. As we continued to cut into the cake, we realized that it was a trick; it was a rainbow cake. Perfectly fitting, as this was our rainbow baby.

We laughed and looked over as my cousin and her husband carried over a large package and held it over us. My cousin and her son, had created a rainbow piñata which would finally reveal whether Baby D’Souza would be a little girl or little boy.

It’s a…

                                          

BOY!!!

Thank you to everyone for attending and for the continuous love and support.

We are so excited for baby’s arrival.

Have you had a gender reveal party? Did you know prior or did you find out with everyone?

Stay strong and beautiful!

Second Trimester – The ‘Easiest’ One?

Thank you for continuing to follow me on my pregnancy journey and for all of your support.

So you’ve often heard that the second trimester of the pregnancy is the easiest or most like pre-pregnancy. However, as we all know that no two pregnancies are the same.

I have to say that I was counting down the days that I would be entering the second trimester and thought things would change drastically and improve. Let’s just say that I had vomitting and nausea up until about 17 to 18 weeks. Then heartburn took it’s place and the constipation was back.

Also back with a vengeance was my appetite. I could finally stand to be in a kitchen and eat normal foods again.

The highlights of my second trimester were:

  • morning sickness/nausea and vomitting eventually subsided
  • gender/anatomy scans between 18-20 weeks
  • appetite and ability to eat again
  • more energy than first trimester
  • gender reveal party

The lows of my second trimester:

  • OGTT (Testing positive for Gestational Diabetes)
  • heartburn
  • feet starting to swell

Thankfully, all of the lows have improved with proper attention and care.

Although not necessarily easy, I am so blessed and grateful to be able to experience the aches and pains as well as the joys and magic of being pregnant. Every single day I thank God that he has blessed us and that our baby is continually growing and is healthy. It is amazing how fast pregnancy goes.

My next post I will talk about my gender reveal party…stay tuned!

What were your symptoms in the second trimester?

Stay strong and beautiful!

 

 

 

Secret Pregnancy Post…Weeks 8-12

I can’t believe it…..we are nearing the end of the first trimester!

Let me just say that pregnancy hasn’t been a walk in the park for me…there are moments of discomfort and pain but at the end of the day, I know pregnancy and motherhood is a blessing.

They say it is better to announce your pregnancy after the first trimester, as the risk of miscarriage decreases after this time. It was hard to hide my pregnancy from my sister, whom I work with every day. However, I managed to keep it a secret until the ninth week.

Sharing the News

My sister, brother in law, husband and I had planned a road trip to Montreal just a short two day trip. We excitedly shared the news that we were expecting and my sister admitted she had no clue, except for the fact that I looked bigger than usual. It was such a relief having them know, as she was pregnant too.

The only thing that was kinda annoying was that my sister had such a smooth pregnancy with very few symptoms. While I had a whole list of symptoms that changed as the weeks went by. It’s actually pretty interesting how much pregnancies differ between women.

We announced our pregnancy to close family and friends in the following weeks; everyone was so excited and thrilled for us.

A recap of weeks 8 to 12:

  • got another ultrasound I was around 11.5 weeks (picture featured), we also got the Nuchal Translucency (NT) test done to see if our baby was at risk for any chromosomal defects (the test is a combination of a blood test and ultrasound that measures the amount of fluid build-up that is present behind the baby’s neck….our results were great 1 in 16,000)

Some symptoms that I experienced included:

  • morning all day sickness
  • lots of nausea and vomiting
  • migraines
  • heartburn
  • nipple and breast sensitivity
  • extreme bloating
  • gas
  • emotional and extra sensitive
  • insomnia
  • tired
  • food aversions to meats and vegetables (anything cooked in a kitchen)
  • constant metallic taste in mouth (yuck)
  • constipation

But even after all that I feel so blessed and thank God every day! Keep cooking little one!

I cannot wait to share the rest of my pregnancy journey with you…stay tuned for more.

Stay strong and beautiful!

 

 

 

Secret Pregnancy Post.. 6 weeks pregnant

Thank you God. We are pregnant!!

The last time I went in for an ultrasound I didn’t know what to expect…When I went in I was told that there was a yolk sac but no fetal pole. It was a quick appointment and I was told to come back in two weeks. Sadly, nothing ever developed and I had a blighted ovum miscarriage.

I did not want to get my hopes up this time around. I called my doctor to tell her that my tom never came; I had missed my period and that took an at home pregnancy test and for a faint plus. She quickly sent me forms to get my blood work done to ensure that I was in fact pregnant. the first set of numbers looked promising and after a follow up test three days later. it was confirmed that my hcg levels were increasing and that the embryo had implanted in just the right spot.

I booked an appointment with the nurse and kept praying that our time to become parents had come. I was so nervous and didn’t know what to expect. There was a nurse and an ultrasound technician in the room and she began the transvaginal ultrasound. It wasn’t the most comfortable but I wasn’t thinking of that at all. I was just laying there holding my breath, anticipating the words that were going to come out of the technician’s mouth.

After a couple of minutes, she looked at me and smiled. She turned the monitor towards me and said everything looked normal and that I was 6 weeks and 2 days along. She told me that there was one baby with a nice, strong heartbeat (157 BPM). I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I began to cry as I became overwhelmed with happiness. Thank you God, I kept repeating as I left the room clutching the picture of my baby close to my chest. Although it looked like a blurry blob I was so overjoyed.

As I wiped away the tears and left the office, I excitedly called my husband and told him the good news…there was a baby in my uterus and growing healthy and that he/she had a strong heartbeat. I didn’t know now to react. He was so happy as well but didn’t want to get his hopes up.

We were so happy to keeping our secret for a few more weeks before we would tell our family.

Stay tuned for my next update and remember that everything happens in God’s perfect timing!

Stay strong and beautiful!

Secret Pregnancy Post…4 weeks along

Could It Be?

I was going through the dreaded two week wait and was failing…testing and testing..knowing that it was too early but feeling so many symptoms.

TMI warning

There were a handful of symptoms I had that raised my suspicions that I may be pregnant. I had gas like it was no ones business…I had trouble sleeping and would wake up every morning at 5 am. My forehead was always super warm and I was extra bloated. My nipples were on fire.

I was at work a couple days later and felt like Aunt Flow was going to appear at any moment….the next day came and no AF. So i went to the dollar store after work and there it was the faintest line you ever did see.

Thank You God!

I am so happy and hope this little bean sticks…but I am a bit worried as I suffered an early miscarriage this past December. The lines have been getting darker and darker so I splurged on a Clearblue digital and ‘1-2 weeks’ appeared. I began to cry with tears of joy and excitement. I am so grateful that God has blessed us.

Hoping for a happy and healthy pregnancy journey!

Stay strong and beautiful!

My Therapy

Life can be Stormy

For the past few weeks, I have to admit that I have been feeling rather down and somewhat depressed. I just feel so sad and helpless and am so disappointed in myself. I should have done more by now; I’m so far from where I want to be.

My blog posts have become fewer and fewer and I am just getting by in my desire to accomplish things. The little drive that I once had has diminished and some days I just feel like sleeping all day. But I know I can’t, I have a job to do and a life to live.

The Sun will Shine Again

On the flip side, I have sacrifices to make, lessons to learn and adventures to explore.

If there’s one thing in this life that can put a smile on my face, it has got to be music. I pretty much like all types of music. From country and classical to hip-hop and broadway and everything in between. I also enjoy the music of different cultures and different languages. It truly is like therapy to me.

So fast forward to the greatest ‘me time’ moments, when I just lay on the couch and listen to songs I grew up listening to. Hit after hit, it takes me back and I can’t help but feel happy and calm. If only I had more of these moments, I could get my drive back.

Just Go For It

I then set out to seek opportunities and just really going for whatever I felt would be beneficial to me. Amongst those opportunities was the chance to travel to the States for a few days and without hesitation, I said ‘let’s go!’ They say that travelling opens your eyes and keeps you humble. It is so interesting to see how people in different areas of the world live and work on a daily basis.

It really makes you appreciate what you have and also teaches you that if you work hard, you can also play hard. Who wouldn’t want to travel more and go on vacation whenever they wanted? However, like most things in life, travelling comes with a price. I have recently made it my goal to take life head on and conquer my fears. No more self-sabotaging, full of doubt mentality. I believe that I can do whatever I mould into my mentality and will not apologize anymore.

I used to think that my actions were helping others, but come to see that all I’ve done is neglect my own growth. Someone recently told me that whether I do something or not, nobody cares. The challenge is to keep striving to stay relevant and achieve your own goals. People will notice you at some point or the other, but it is not your job to get people to notice you. Your only purpose is to create your best life!

Below are pictures from my adventures in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We went on a bit of a food tour and sampled a few bites from several popular foodie spots.

Las Vegas ahhh the city that never sleeps, With its bright lights and countless hotels, there’s something for everyone in Vegas. The hotels in Vegas are super creative and fun to look at.

We were there for 3 days and the trip ended with a Celine Dion concert live in Vegas. Let me tell you, that woman can sing! I was so impressed and a wave of tears just washed over me, because I was so happy and felt so blessed to be able to have this experience.

Travelling opened my eyes…it has given me drive to do what I do and do it well. It was the ‘pick me up’ that I needed and now I am focused to do well so I can have more of these experiences.

What are your travel plans or what do you do when travel opportunities come your way?

Stay strong and beautiful!

Planning the Perfect Vacation: Part 2

So in my previous post, I shared my experience and tips about the planning process of the perfect vacation. In this post, I will be discussing my experience with Ratings, Reviews and Extras.

Ratings

Ratings are not always as they seem. It is good to understand that a four or five star rating in Cuba or other popular destinations are not equivalent to four or five stars in say, Canada or the US. So when a hotel or resort claims to be a four star, it’s more likely a two star.

Reviews

The most important aspect of choosing a place to stay is reading the reviews. Reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, because mainly only two types of people take the time to write reviews; those with great experiences and those with horrible ones.

It is also good to consider that their experiences won’t necessarily be your own so if they had a horrible room experience chances are likely the same thing won’t happen to you. However, issues that relate to food, bugs, shows, mannerisms, beach and pool are probably what to read about so you have a good idea of what to expect.

Extra, Extras

Why not indulge in a once in a lifetime opportunity while you are lazing away. Excursions or extras are great add ons that you can participate in. Generally, prices per person are charged in USD. The resort you stay at will have a booth where an excursion specialist can help you choose and register you for tours and activities.

My husband and I went on a Catamaran tour which included a cruise to a few small islands, snorkelling, lunch and a show as well as interaction with dolphins.

In my next post, I’ll be discussing what to pack and how to prepare for your trip!

Have you had good or bad experiences when travelling?

Stay strong and beautiful!

Planning the Perfect Vacation (Mini Series)

VACAY

This will be another mini-series and I will share my experience and tips that I found useful when planning my upcoming vacation. Everyone in life can benefit from travelling and relaxing. Although it takes some time and research; it is well worth it!

So you’ve decided that it’s time to take a break from the old 9 to 5 grind. To you, I say good for you! It’s definitely important to take care of yourself while striving towards a work-life balance and allowing yourself to live a little.

There are a few steps that are key to the vacation planning process.

Choose Your Destination

It’s good to choose 3 to 4 places you would like to travel to. The world is such a beautiful place so geographically it depends on what you want to get out your trip. My husband and I wanted to go somewhere hot and sandy so we narrowed it down to Mexico, Cuba and Dominican Republic. Choosing your perfect vacation spot comes down to recommendations from friends and family,

Set a Budget (and Stick to It)

Generally sites and travel companies offer packages that include the flight, meals, drinks and transfers. It is very important to set a budget and not go overboard. You should have a general idea of how much you want to spend per person. The most popular package is the all-inclusive which includes flights, transfers, meals and drinks; the best bang for your buck. It helps to choose up to a maximum of 4 different websites or sources to make your comparisons, anything more than that becomes overwhelming.

Decide Travel Time

So you have a few destinations in mind and a budget. Next, decide when you would like to take the trip. Obviously there are months where travel rates are cheaper than others but it is up to you. Generally for hot countries, peak travel times are from Mid December to Mid-March when most children will be on their break. It is a good idea to start looking for tickets a few months in advance as prices fluctuate daily. It was somewhat stressful watching the great differences in prices only to feel a constant need to check other sites. 

How many days would you like to travel for? How much time off can you take from work? .Will you be travelling with/without children? Are you travelling in a large group or just as a couple?These are all helpful when determining the realistic length of your vacation.

Do Your Research

My husband and I decided to go to Cuba for 7 days. At first I was extremely against travelling to any hot, sunny destinations because of the zika virus especially since I had an early miscarriage a few months ago. However, after much thought and the likelihood of infection I decided that it’s now or never. So with that we are taking precautions to protect ourselves from the bugs and critters we may encounter.

In my next post, I will cover topics such as: Ratings, Extras and Reviews.

I would love to read about your experiences with vacations and all inclusive resorts! Comment below! 

Stay strong and beautiful!

Gratitude Challenge

The best attitude to have towards anything in life is gratitude…

When you are grateful, you are in a blessed state of mind. So to start the new year, I committed to having an attitude of gratitude each day of the month. Whether it be to thank God or the Universe, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

January 1, 2017: I am thankful that I am alive. It is such an amazing time to be alive. I vow to live more and take life more seriously.

January 2, 2017: I am grateful for friends and family. Without my friends and family I would not be where I am today. The constant push that I get from them is incredibly motivating.

January 3, 2017: I am grateful that I have a roof over my head. I am currently living with my in-laws with my husband. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful that I have such a great relationship with each person in our household.

January 4, 2017: I am so thankful today for a speedy recovery after my miscarriage; my body is healing and it shows.

January 5, 2017: I am honoured to be able to enjoy the comfort of being able to take charge of my life and to learn from my mistakes.

January 6, 2017: Today I am just so happy and blessed that I am close with my family and cousins; what a great time we had tonight.

January 7, 2017: Thank you for my family’s health; I know that health is never to be taken for granted.

January 8, 2017: Thank you for opening up my eyes, I truly felt your grace today. Your message at church was so relevant to my life, I felt as if you were speaking to me directly.

January 9, 2017: Thank you for my older sister; there are so many lessons that I have learned from her.

January 10, 2017: Thank you for allowing my husband and I to celebrate today; I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months.

January 11, 2017: Thank you for the magnificent man I get to call my husband. I am so lucky to have met him and to be married to him. He truly pushes me to be a better person and I am so appreciative of his honesty (as harsh as it may be at times).

January 12, 2017: Thank you for all the dogs in my life, Each one of you bring me so much joy and always put a smile on my face with your weird behaviours.

January 13, 2017: Thank you for guiding me to some new apps to keep my health and fitness in check….also thank you for technology.

January 14, 2017: Thank you for showing me a glimpse into my passion. It’s days like this I love.

January 15, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to receive ample blessings from the Evangelist today. I look forward to what you have in store for me.

January 16, 2017: Today I feel blessed that I am able to trust those around me and truly value each of their opinions.

January 17, 2017: Thank you for the boost of confidence I received today; every bit is helpful in regaining my confidence.

January 18, 2017: Thank you for putting the right people in my life. I really appreciate the path you have set up for me.

January 19, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to help others; it gives me such joy when I can make a difference in someone’s life.

January 20, 2017: Thank you for reshaping me and never giving up on me. I strive for consistent and meaningful improvements in my life.

January 21, 2017: Thank you for lessening my fears today. I am so grateful for all the lessons you have taught me. I am slowly beginning to have faith in myself again.

January 22, 2017: Thank you for giving me the strength to improve and for showing me that failure is part of success.

January 23, 2017: Today I walked a lot and though my feet hurt I am so blessed for my body and the ability to walk and run.

January 24, 2017: Today I share the joy and happiness of my newly engaged BFF! Thank you for sending her someone who is truly meant for her and makes her so happy.

January 25, 2017: Today I slept in and it felt great. Thank you for letting me rest today.

January 26, 2017: Today I  went to dinner with two of my girlfriends. Thank you for sending me such dear friends to share this journey of life with me.

January 27, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to be so productive today. I feel motivated when I make progress.

January 28, 2017: Thank you for the extra me time today. I was able to read my book in peace and it was very relaxing.

January 29, 2017: I am so grateful for the health of my family and friends. Thank you for taking such good care of my loved ones.

January 30, 2017: Thank you for the gift to learn. I know what I need to do and will begin to apply self-discipline and ultimately master it.

January 31, 2017: Thank you so much for allowing our closing to go smoothly. We move into our new place very soon and are very excited!

Thank you God for all of these sweet and unbelievably precious blessings.

What are you thankful for today? Would you be able to come up with at least one thing to be grateful for each day?

Stay strong and beautiful!