Post-Baby Health Challenge Day 2

vitaminsToday is Day 2 of my attempts to get a little healthier and leaner, 8 months after having Phoenix… One small change a day, one day at a time!

I’m going to keep Day 2 as easy and manageable as Day 1:

Day 2
Take your vitamins! This is important for everyone, but especially for Breastfeeding moms, because let’s be honest, we don’t always get the appropriate nutrition everyday (nutrition? What’s that? You ask… Stick around, we’ll get there!) and our little mini-me’s get all of their nutrition from us! Really makes you reconsider having that empty-calorie-bagel and coffee for breakfast, lunch and dinner, huh?

So take a multi-vitamin, or your pre/post natal vitamin and whatever else you’re deficient in. Some of my favourites include Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium, and Omega 3. Also while you’re at it make sure you’re giving your baby their daily dose of Vitamin D!

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The Best Advice for New and Expectant Moms, Part 1

Travic_Alicia_196Once I had actually announced I was pregnant, (I waited 4 months, April 1st to be exact, to tell close friends, and waited until I was a month shy of my due date to announce it on Facebook), the flood gate of advice and opinions had opened!

Some of the advice was common sense, some was great, some I hadn’t given much thought, and of course some of it was downright ridiculous! Most of it, I just smiled and nodded at and didn’t give it much of a second thought, that was until Phoenix was born and all the voices I had been hearing for months waved over my consciousness in spurts. So far, in the past 8 months I have learned the following is the absolute best advice I received or that I can offer:

1. Sleep when the baby sleeps. No, really. Sleep!!!
This one I found hard to do after the first 2 weeks, I still struggle with being absolutely exhausted but not wanting to stay in bed once Phoenix has settled for his nap. I have yoga to do! Laundry, dishes, and a girl’s got to eat!

2. The housework can wait. Settle into a messy home.
An extension of number one, and it is so hard to accept, because let’s face it, who enjoys living in a messy or cluttered house?! I can’t stand it! But at the same time, it’s really hard to keep up with laundry and dishes and de-cluttering, when you’re also struggling to find time to shower and eat and get outside for some Vitamin D; and you should be sleeping when the baby sleeps so you’re not a walking Mombie… Oh yeah and you need to feed, change and entertain your baby! If you want a spotless house, be prepared to stay awake 24-7, or hire a cleaning lady!

3. Meal Prep before your Due Date.
Another one I did not accomplish very well myself, but I learned how important it was once I was no longer being fed by the hospital and my Love had to go back to work. Find the time, while you still have it, to prepare some easily frozen and defrosted meals, because as simple as those Ristaurante Thin Crust pizzas are to heat up, you really don’t want them to be your only form of sustenance! Take my word for it!

4. When People offer to Help, TAKE IT!
I do not live as close to my family as I would like to, but I had some great friends offer to help and I found it incredibly hard to accept or to ask for. But you need it! You’ll get by,, I promise, but if someone is offering their help, take it! Whether its to hold the baby while you shower, to help fold laundry, to cook you a meal, anything you would find helpful, take it! And do not be afraid to tell them what you need. Even veteran moms can forget what it’s like to have a newborn and to be a new mom, so let them know what it is you need. And don’t let them take all the cuddles and kisses either, they can have some as payment, but holding and snuggling with your infant while they’re in a good mood and letting you put your dishes away isn’t my idea of help! Also, do not let them take away the small window you have to nap, if you need to sleep, tell them so, if they are indeed your friends and loved ones they will understand or forgive you later.

5. Get outside. As much as Possible.
I struggled with this, especially after a caesarean, but it was so important that I do it, for myself and my entire family. I can get down really easily, especially when I’m not getting enough sunlight or enough interaction with other humans, so getting out and going on walks or meeting up with friends and family was really important for me. Otherwise my mood would drop, the baby blues would set in, and the downward spiral of exhaustion and depression would commence. I joined a few mommy groups and meet ups and signed us up for baby & me swimming lessons, which we both enjoyed. So when people offer to come visit, ask them to join you on a walk instead or to meet you at your favourite park or café, even if you can only get out for 15-30 minutes a day, it’s enough to help stave off Cabin Fever.

To be continued, Tips 6-10 to come…

Being a Momma, This is My Story…

DSC_8496_peWhat better time to start a blog inspired by my handsome little man and our journey through this wonderful(ly tiring) world of parenthood, than on Mother’s Day?!?

My journey started a year and a half ago when I discovered I was pregnant. After a long bout of constant nausea, and an intimate relationship with bedside saltines & Arrowroot cookies, which eventually evolved to an exclusive relationship with steak and bacon, unbearable exhaustion (I would literally pass out unexpectedly), unpredictable mood swings, I found out I was having a healthy baby boy! By pass the minor swelling, voracious libido, and expected back pain, I hit 41 weeks and 6 days!! I tried everything I could to avoid medical induction and the day before I was scheduled to be induced I had acupuncture, a deep tissue massage, walked 6km, drank as much red leaf raspberry tea I could and had a second stretch and sweep (only to be told my cervix was still closed!). Well it worked! I started feeling those questionable cramps of early labour, “Is this it? Has it started? Or is this just aftermath from that walk???” followed by more insistent cramping, the kind that makes you inform your partner that you think you’re in labour, followed by the NEED to soak the pain away in the tub… And then it all went downhill from there!

If you have never heard of back labour, allow me to share my experience: Your contractions are irregular and in my case lasted on average 60 seconds up to two full minutes, with sometimes as little as 25-30 seconds in between, although most breaks in the beginning were 4-5 minutes. I had two breaks of 8 minutes in length and one that lasted a glorious 15 minutes. Those were the only times I was able to sleep the entire night… laying in the bath tub at 3am, fantasizing about bumping my head off the ANYTHING in hopes to get me to the hospital and thus medicated faster, or to suffer the rest of my EARLY labour unconscious! After 12 hours of this I was certain my cervix had done more than just “soften and start to open,” only to be told by my midwife I had only dilated 1cm! I could have cried! Of course by this point, I was no longer able to speak, except to swear multiple times that “I was NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.”  At around the 20 hour mark, my water broke, I had already vomited three times from the pain, pretty much broke our headboard, and sobbed at my love to “Stop making me do this,” as he tried to help me “walk off” the contractions, back labour does not allow for that! He described his experience as watching my back contort, and feeling each contraction as my lower back would spasm under his hand. My midwife came back over, with the worst news I could have heard at that moment… I was only 3-4cm dilated! You would have sworn the world was ending by my reaction, I quickly called for drugs and we headed to the hospital! Of course we hit traffic, which made our ride very dramatic as I screamed and moaned down Queen Street, shocking the passing pedestrians while we were gridlocked.

After 24 hours of labour, I finally received my epidural. The angels sang, the heavens opened and I stopped crushing whoever dared put their hand or limbs near me (I actually even bit my love, more than once!). As calm as my entire labour had become after the magical medical intervention, it still wasn’t smooth sailing yet. Unfortunately I was not progressing, and my wee little man’s trace (heart rate) was not showing enough variation, so my marvelous midwife called for everything we could to avoid a caesarean; but there wasn’t enough oxygen, pitocin or time to overcome what I was later told was an “obstructed labour.” The fabulous team at St Michael’s Hospital prepped me and scrubbed in and my sweet little rocket was born at 12:20 exactly 2 weeks after his due date at 42 weeks.

7 and a half months later, I am still figuring things out, am very tired, a little soft and lumpy, but loving being a mom and have become a regular Mommarazzi. It should be noted that although I have shared the drama of my birthing story, I am well aware that there are those that have had it worse, and I do not resent those who had it better… Alright, I still have yet to forgive my sister’s perfect birthing experience, but the rest of you lucky ladies, there’s no ill will! And I am of course incredibly grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to be a mom, and although I proclaimed to never go through that again, I may, eventually, change my mind.

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