Thursday 16 February 2023

Out of the Mouth of Myles

 I can't believe I have an almost 4 year old; it's one of those bizarre things where you logically realize it, but still can't fathom you're old enough to have that much responsibility. 

I digress, this isn't about that. This is about how freaking funny my almost 4 year old is. And insightful, witty, romantic, dramatic; he's all the things in the most perfectly Myles way. 

A few years ago when I was working at Birch, my coworker Trish gave me one of my most treasured presents: a personalized journal with a photo of Myles that is both mine & Jake's all-time favorite. His curly curly mop of hair, holding tightly to his bestie Mr Sloth & his 18 month old baby belly proudly hanging out. What i love about Trish is she always had this wise third eye about her; she didn't know it was our favorite, she found it on my instagram and could feel his little soul shining through the picture. "Kids say the sweetest, funniest things, and they say things a certain way that you swear you'll remember forever. But you don't, and so this journal is to write down all the things he says that you never ever want to forget"

And I wrote in it any chance I got, anytime I could remember to do it. But then I got busy and life whizzes by and i haven't in a while, but I text them to myself so I don't forget them. 

Part of the charm of Myles is his ability to warm up to anyone, and illicit a smile from even the most crotchety of the bunch. He's an old soul, our little chocolate lab with too much energy for his own good sometimes. Enjoy these little nuggets, out of the mouth of my babe. 


“No Daddy! I’m just ‘TENDIN!” - Jake was making the epic mistake of correcting him that his truck was not in fact a dinosaur. Rookie rookie move, Daddy

"Stop combing my hair! I don't want to look so handsome, I want to look like Myles!"

"Ohh my goodness mom, this is so cozy. Know what my body is telling you? It's saying 'Thank you, mommy Brianne!"…. quietly to himself, seconds later "Ohh this is so freaking cozy" 

"Can you put on the Shrek when they're in wuv?" - The song off Shrek when they're on their honeymoon, "Accidentally in Love" for those not as versed in Shrek songs as Jacob Stuchberry & I are. 

Actually, a full homage to the fact he can't pronounce his L's, or SM/SP sounds yet, so the following words are a cemented figure for us:

Pooties - Smoothies

Wuv- Love (this one is really going to break me when it ends)

Widdle - Little

Really any word that has an L in it comes out as a W, including his own name. Be still my freaking heart.

"Oh my GOSH this bath is so cold". Me: "Oh shoot, the bath is cold?".. "No, the bath is freaking cold."

Kid says freaking a lot.. it’s almost like his mother has a reformed…ish potty mouth :)

"I'm going to show you something and it's going to be really cool & not dangerous." Always a good start  

"I'm just watering Jack"

"Hey mom? Sometimes, sometimes I eat my boogers". Cool. 

(Myles wanted me to make him a fort like his Daddy does)

"Myles I'm not very good at this.."

"Mom, of course you are! You just need to try again"

I make one

"Mom you did it! I'm so proud of you! I'm really happy you did it". 

“Is this dinner a date? What is the dinner, chicken? Because I love chicken.” - Jake works so late that often i’ll wait to eat dinner until the kids have gone to bed and we make it into a “date” & there’s nothing Myles loves more than to third wheel his mom and dad. 

which leads me to…

“GROUP HUG!” - anytime Myles see Jake & I hugging, he launches himself in

Thursday 8 September 2022

a new beginning.

Wow, it’s been a while hey? what’s new, anything happen with you since 2019? Anything at all newsworthy…..? 



We don’t have to talk about it here, right? We know. We been through some shit, collectively, so to speak. We don’t need to talk about that big ol elephant here. It’s not the vibe. 

But it really has, it’s been a while. I fell out of this medium because, even though it was one of the most visceral parts of my identity, my other identity was taking up a LOT of time. Motherhood. He’s 3.5 now and holy Dina, this kid is my karma/blessing/joy all in one. His brother takes up the rear at 7 months and in searching in numerous directions for my role in life, I found it. It’s right where I left it, in search of the mysterious new me. Through heartbreak, pandemics, broken relationships and marriages almost in collapse. It went through hell and back again, and has come out on the other side shiny & new - like a diamond after being squeezed to the brink. 

Like I said, we been through some shit. 

But I’m back, and I want to talk about it.  

Friday 20 December 2019

9 months in, 9 months out

I turned 30 this week on Monday, literally 9 months minus a day that I became a mom. The end of one decade and the beginning of a new one as a completely different Brianne. A more confident, sure of herself, secure & happy Brianne. I have been feeling very introspective during the leadup to this birthday & I’m not going to go all hippy dippy on you, but I really feel like I have a clean slate going into this new decade and feel like a new & improved me. I feel sure of the path that I'm on, of the choices i made that lead me to it, and who I'm on the path with. Did anyone else feel this or is it just the hormones still? 
 I have a 9 month old baby. I am the mother of a very curious, funny, happy & active baby who is 3 months away from turning one. WHAT. How did this past 9 months fly by so fast? I know it’s cliche, but holy smokes man - I blinked and my baby went from the teeny little nugget we took home from the hospital who swam in newborn sleepers, to the 22 pound monkey who is much closer to walking unassisted than I’d like. It goes so fast. Newborn days simultaneously feel like a lifetime away, and last week. 

What can I say about motherhood other than it’s everything you’re warned of, and yet it still hits you like a squishy, adorable train. “You’ll never sleep again!” Except that it feels like you’ll never. sleep. again.. unless you have one of those awesome right out of the gate sleeper babies, which our FOMO child was not. If you have one of those unicorn babies, I hope you thank whatever shooting star, horseshoe or four leaf clover that crossed your path.

 It's taken me officially 9 months I would say to get me fully comfortable in all things Myles Nicholas. To really feel like I know him, and know what will work for him and what won't. Knowing where he can be flexible and where he needs his routine. From sleeping to eating to playing, I have finally figured out that my mama gut knows better than anyone. Myles was an adorable newborn, but easy is not a word either of us would use to describe him during that time. Particular? Yes. Easy? Not so much. Some would say he was colicky, some would say he was gassy/tired/hungry/wanted to see how close to the edge his parents could go. I would just say that Myles as a newborn humbled me fast. In a good way, I probably needed it; however it wasn't expected. 

In all truth, babies are little humans; they are their own person and they need some time to figure this brand new world out in their own way and in their own time. They need as much time figuring out life on the outside, as we do learning how to help them to figure it out. Now at 9 months, this is my favorite favorite stage. I'm watching his mind work in weird & wonderful ways. I'm listening to him have full conversations of babble, and I'm one of the lucky recipients of intentional kisses from him. He's such a snuggler and it's like the stork heard me wish for that when we ordered him. I googled so. much. in the first 6 months about everything: normal sleep patterns, normal poop, teething timelines, colic, gassy babies, when should he roll, crawl, smile, you name it. And then i realized that none of those articles pertained to Myles. I was the only "expert" on him, and I could only become an expert by getting to know him first. Social media has made it incredibly easy to compare your baby to all the others around you: "Well her baby has 4 teeth and she's 2 months younger! Why doesn't he have any yet!?" "Jake, their baby sleeps through the night, and they took the same course we did! How come it's not working on him?" Yadda Yadda. 

I had to stop and remind myself that this little human is one of a kind, and he will figure everything out in his own time, on his own schedule. I have to follow my mama instinct's, because they're connected with him. My little monkey may have no teeth, but he's been commando crawling since he was 4 months because in his timeline, moving was much more of a neccesity than chompers were, and mama's boobies are thankful for that anyway. He pulls himself up on anything in .2 seconds flat, and we're discovering there is nothing Myles enjoys more than doing something silly & getting a laugh out of us. & There is nothing we love more than seeing his "I'm so proud of myself" smile; not to be confused with his mischevious smile, or his "Goodness I love you" smile. 
 Things motherhood has taught me:
  • Even the “longest” seasons are still short.
    • You think you’ll never lose the weight, and then you just do. Your body doesn't look the same (nor should it, really), but you'll start fitting into your old clothes again and you won't expect just how good that feels. 
    • You think your relationship will never be the way it was again, and then it is - just a better version of it because now you have the same tiny sidekick who you're indescribably obsessed with. 
    • You’ll never sleep again! And then, you do. 
    • You swear you're team one and done.. And then you're not so sure anymore because look how teeny he was and we make such wicked little humans. 
  • I wish I could have a do-over with my friends who had babies before me. I would have more understanding of what their version of busy looked like compared to mine; I would bring them dinner or offer to do the dishes for them when I went to visit. I would understand if they didn't text me back, or even text me first. One of my best friends is having a baby and I seriously feel like this is my chance to make up for all the times she cooked me dinner when I would go over and see her and the kids after work, consumed in my own world and not paying attention to fully take in hers. 
  • You drop way more stuff on the ground than you think. & you don't truly notice until you have a little mini putting every little thing into his mouth. 
  • Babies are way more resilient than you give credit for. Don't worry mama. 
  • As mentioned above, you can google until your blue in the face and convinced your baby is going to "dry drown" overnight because he accidentally swallowed some bath water & coughed. You can max out your phone storage with every app there is, but nothing will tell you more than about your baby, than your own baby will. however, did have some great resources & definitely one I would recommend bookmarking. 

There are so many cliches about motherhood that you don't know are true until you're in the thick of it, part of the club. Do I look back on my last decade of selfishness, tight stomach skin & sleeping in on weekends fondly and with a heavy dose of nostalgia? Yes, of course I do -  that's okay it just means I enjoyed them. Would I trade my life now to go back? Absolutely not. Actually, wait.  That's not true. Give me the tight skin, but leave me my littlest best friend who falls asleep watching me shovel when he's supposed to be overseeing the process. 

Friday 21 June 2019

Breastfeeding: a journey through love & hate

*Disclaimer: A fed baby is a happy baby. Unless you're feeding your baby protein powder mixed with gatorade, there is no judgement here and all opinions stated are my own, and how I feel about my own journey. There is a plethora of reasons why people choose to feed their baby the way they do, and unless it's how they're feeding your baby,  it is no one's place to judge. Motherhood is hard enough with unneeded judgement. Moving along.

It's taken me 3 months to gather this blog post; I wish I had found a post like this when I was in the thick of learning breastfeeding, it would've given me a bit more hope that the light was at the end of the tunnel. Let’s get this clear out of the gate: breastfeeding is really really hard. Anyone who tells you it isn’t, is lying. It’s hard for a litany of reasons: under supply, over supply, bum nipples, sore nipples, cracked nipples, shallow latch, baby won’t latch, forceful letdown - there’s no cookie cutter reason for why it’s hard, it’s a “choose your own adventure” type thing. Point is, it’s hard for the first little bit - anywhere from 2-8 weeks, maybe even more. But no one tells you that and even if they do, you don’t “know” what it means until it’s YOUR version of hard. For me? Forceful letdown witha burning sensation and continuous excruciating cracked nipple pain, chronic clogged ducts, a bout of mastitis, plus a little boy who tended to gum as he fed, would look around whilst keeping my nipple in his mouth, all the while fiddle fucking around to make the sessions last even longer. LOVELY. 

Breastfeeding was important to me, I knew it was the best choice for Myles, it would ensure he got a healthy dose of my antibodies, and let’s face it - it was the best way for us to bond in those first few months & it's the least expensive route. It was important to me, but I entered it completely naively. We didn’t take any classes prior to Myles’s birth, because in my opinion, there’s only so much you can learn about feeding your baby before your baby is actually here. I now feel like this was a really dumb idea, but hindsight is 20/20. Thankfully I had been warned that the first few weeks were going to be painful for your nipples, but much like childbirth you don’t know what “painful” means until you’re experiencing it yourself. I figured that this would be something we would just kinda stumble through the first few days or weeks together, but apart from some nipple soreness that this would be smooth sailing - it’s “natural” after all, it had to come easy right? I assumed I would have the 2 week sore nipple, smooth sailing type of journey. I did not, I have not. I can only safely now say at 14 weeks, that it is more often than not, pain-free. 

Our journey of stumbling began the first hours he was born - he actively refused to latch, and I stressed that he was going to start starving soon; thankfully newborns are born with a full belly, but that mama guilt gets hardwired in around the same time I birthed the placenta, it would appear. I met with lactation specialists in the hospital and every nurse gave me their own version of advice, and it got to the point where the feeding sessions were “okay” at best; he was still within the range of weight he needed to be, so something was clearly working ish. When we were discharged I was overcome with anxiety about how I was going to manage this in real life; to the point where I had Jake cancel all of the planned visits that week, save for our parents. He was still not quite getting the latch down, and I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable or worked for us. I didn't want or need the added anxiety of people visiting while I was trying to just feed my baby properly. 

My milk came in on Tuesday evening, 2.5 days after he was born. Engorged, sore breasts that were rock hard and made me feel nauseous. I didn’t even realize my milk had come in - I thought Myles was peeing on me until I realized it was my milk leaking onto my belly. Within 3 days I had cracked, painful nipples & a clogged duct which I had to feed it out, massage and pray it away. Thankfully 36 hours later it was on its way out and hadn’t gone into mastitis. By week 3 I had ductal thrush and by week 4, I had another clogged duct from Myles sleeping on my right boob and pinching a duct. Week 5 brought an intense crack on the side of my left nipple that hurt so badly, when Myles would latch on I felt like I had to throw up or bite down on a peice of leather. There were many times I told Jake I was done, I was either switching to formula or exclusive bottle feeding, that having this kind of pain numerous times a day wasn't good for my mental health. I finally bought a breast pump, and fed him via bottles every time I had to feed on the left side in order to let this horrible crack start to heal. For two days, I had amazing relief - then with the pumping brought on more supply (obviously), which brought on another clogged duct since my breast wasn't getting drained properly - which meant I had to feed more on the side with the horrible crack. When one nipple healed, the other would decide to get a crack. For 10 weeks I had no idea what it felt like to feed without at least a few minutes of agony, or without nipple pain. I’d say at least every 2 days I was considering throwing in the towel, and quite a few times I dramatically announced to Jake that I fucking hated breastfeeding and I was so done. Between him reminding me that i would regret giving it up, and my own stubborness, I relented and continued on. There’s nothing wrong with formula, I just really wanted to give it every possible shot before I went that avenue, and I hadn’t yet. The fact that I had enough milk to sustain him also made me feel guilty for even considering formula; it felt like taking the easy way out when I had no problem feeding him myself. Not to mention the convenience of whipping a boob out vs. heating up a bottle - when this little guy decides he's hungry, he's hungry now, and waiting 10 minutes for a bottle to warm up would hand me a screaming baby in no time. Not only that, but our Bubba has quite the sensitive tummy, and I could just imagine the nightmare that finding a formula that worked for us would've been. Breastfeeding had to work. 

A particular low moment came for the first time around 3am at 3.5 weeks, feeding Myles and gritting my teeth & doing labor breathing through the pain of cracked nipples & thrush, I was overcome with a heavy resentment I didn’t expect to feel. Resentment towards Jake and his useless nipples that couldn’t just take a turn, resentment that my sleep got interrupted only to be in agony, resentment towards my nipples for being so god damn sensitive and not toughening up faster and worst of all, resentment towards my baby for not having this down to a science yet, for not just getting in and getting out, so to speak; resentment at him for being hungry. When was the supposed “beautiful bonding experience” going to kick in? Because right now I just want him to finish so I can have a break for at least an hour. I started to hate nights and dread them, because those were the loneliest moments of pain, and I started dreaming of the days when at least one of those feedings would get dropped. I even dreamt about the days I was done breastfeeding altogether and he was eating solid foods; ahh sweet freedom that will be. This resentment made me feel horrible, like a horrible person and a terrible mother. I told Jake that if this wasn't better by 12 weeks, we were done.  

The first few weeks he got better every day, but there were times he would just be so overstimulated that he just wouldn’t latch properly & either milk would go everywhere or he would take on a really shallow latch and it would be agonizing on my nipples. In those moments I had to remind myself : these moments are fleeting, they will pass, this is what’s best for him. This will get easier, we just had to tough it out. Because after those resentful moments, once he was on and going and I could hear those gulps accompanied by his satisfied coos, I would look down at his squishy, sleepy face and be so proud of these formerly itty bitty breasts who had risen to the task of providing him life. Who made milk like crazy, and who nourished him to gain weight like crazy to the point where he was doubling, tripling the expected weight gain when we would go in for checkups. 

I tried earth mama nipple cream, Jack Newman's Ointment (prescribed), coconut oil with lavendar, just airing them out (which resulted in me nearly drowning in my own milk as I slept), rubbing breast milk on them, and you know what finally, finally caused me relief? Lanolin. LANOLIN. The stuff that smells like it would grease your tire bolts, that your mother, grandmother and great-grandmother used. The stuff I avoided like the plague because ONE pinterest bitch told her followers it "created mastitis". I put that shit on, and all of a sudden it doesn't hurt as much the first day. And then the next day it hurt even less, and so on and so forth. After a week, of not worrying that it was time for him to feed on "that" side, of not worrying that he was due to feed soon, of not actively dreading it - it was finally better. We had finally gotten to the point where I was enjoying this? Actually enjoying it. Looking down at his sweet face as he gulped and made the most adorable, satisfied noises - kid is such a noisy eater. We had finally reached this point everyone told me about - they weren't just blowing smoke up my ass! I was no longer counting down the minutes, days and weeks until I could retire the old boobies. Myles wakes up from a nap and is hungry - okay here you go babe. Growth spurt? No worries, you eat however much you need to grow big & strong. 

This motherhood business has felt like one big, long game of tetris - finding out which pieces "fit" for our baby, which routine works and what doesn't. Breastfeeding has been our biggest hurdle, and no longer having it be the bain of my existence feels like such a relief. So here we are, 14 weeks deep & I’m no longer counting down the days until I can retire my boobies - and as I post this, I’m nursing through yet another clogged duct (6th one in 3 months, but who’s counting). I no longer have to slather myself in nipple cream hoping to create enough of a barrier for it to not be excruciating, just sore. In fact I haven’t used nipple cream in weeks. Breastfeeding was by far, the hardest hurdle to overcome on this whole motherhood journey, and yet I know I will be so sad when it’s done. If I can be of any advice to future mamas stumbling across this post at 3am feeling the same resentment I was it would be this: give it your all. Try absolutely everything you can, and just get through it. It isn’t for everybody, but it does get better. I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass. I promise, you & those nipples will make it, mama. Keep up the good fight. 

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Life with a Newborn

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. Or, we just survived the first month of having a little clingon in our lives - a little almost 10lb turkey who has completely, entirely & irrevocably changed our lives; completely for the better, but sometimes a little harder to admit than others. The last 5.5 weeks have been blissful, learning his little quirks and squeaks, somewhat deciphering what certain squeaks mean over others, melting over his baby snores and laughing hysterically over how loud he is when he eats and the faces he makes when he fights waking up. To put it bluntly, we’re obsessed with him. But that doesn’t mean it’s been a breezy month and a bit; I feel like I made it by the skin of my teeth - but we did it. 

Compiled is a list of what we have learned in the last 5.5 weeks: what will happen when you experience life with a newborn. Now that I’m a seasoned expert and everything (wink wink nudge nudge *SARCASM*). 

1.The cliche is true - you will forget to brush your teeth and remember in the afternoon sometime, and that coffee you made with great intentions will be chugged hours later - cold. Who cares, caffeine is caffeine girl. 
1a. When a support person accidentally dumps that 4 hours old coffee and you want to cry because wasted coffee is only secondarily tragic to wasted breast milk. 
2. Your husband/partner will start using phrases like “babe he’s starting to root” and you’re like, you’re correct but when the hell did you learn what that means. 
3. Take. It. Easy. Now - I was SHOCKED how little stamina I had the first few weeks after baby. I assumed that once the big belly was gone, I’d have my stamina back. You won’t, you just went through something maaajor - reward your body with kindness and gentleness. It’ll come back.
4. You still look pregnant. I told myself I’d leave the hospital looking exactly as I did going in, so that way anything less was a success. I left looking about 6 months pregnant, albeit with one helluva squishy belly. My belly admittedly did shrink fast (those uterus cramps are REAL), but dont worry, there's still lots of squish there. 
5. Baby blues are real. Thankfully for me they only lasted a few days, but for others they last longer and don’t be afraid to admit to it; it’s human, it’s normal and you shouldn’t suffer in silence. There's nothing to be ashamed about or feel guilty for. 
6. Breastfeeding is HARD. Your nipples are really sore, and you’re both still learning how to master this “natural” act.. natural doesn’t mean seamless. Relax, take your time with each other and get comfy. & take advantage of all the professional lactation advice you can receive within your community. Personally, breastfeeding hasn’t been something I enjoy - but that’s a whole other post I’m working on. 

7. Thirst & hunger is real. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories and it feels like painful cardio. Have healthy, nutrient dense snacks on hand to chow down quickly. & Chug water. Have a tall glass in every spot you breastfeed, and invest in (glass or steel) straws. Extra points for a husband who holds it up to your mouth when one hand is holding a boob and the other is holding a baby head. 
8. Take the help - it honestly takes a village and between both sets of parents and siblings, I don’t think I would’ve made it through the first week - especially when Jake’s back spasmed two days after we got home and he could barely move. Laundry was done, dishes, dinners taken care of, floors vacuumed and bathrooms done. It felt extremely weird and wrong to have people do “my” chores, but it made life so much easier. 
9. Don’t turn inward, but don’t feel afraid to turn away visitors if/when you feel overwhelmed. Like I said, Baby blues are real and everything can feel daunting and hard. I’m someone who instinctively turns inward when anxiety hits me, but was surprised how refreshing *SHORT* visits could be. Have a gatekeeper who enforces the visit time limit. 
10. Cuddle cuddle cuddle - they’re only this little once, and even the hard moments are ones you can’t get back. Can’t get him to sleep in his crib for his nap? Hold him and inhale all that baby smell. They’ll figure it out sooner than you think. 
12. Every cough, squeak, grunt, snort or funny coloured foot will panic you. It’s normal.

13. Nipppple. Paaaaaads. I’ve been very fortunate that my milk supply has been very good, it’s a great problem to have in the grand scheme of things as I know some women really struggle with supply. However, with a healthy supply comes with serious engorgement and pain, as well as major leakage. Nipple pads were and are my saviours. I have extras stashed everywhere.
14. Do what works for YOU. Myles slept on me for part of the night for the first month. We would manage to get him down in his bassinette for the first portion, but then that would be it. I felt like such a failure - until I realized ALL new moms do this to some extent. I’d say it’s 50% comfort for the baby, 50% mama’s only hope for sleep. He won't be sleeping on me when he's 3, so I'll just embrace it now and know it will eventually not be the normal. 
15. Are you like me and having a set schedule/day plan is important to you? Well SAY GOODBYE TO THAT because baby don’t give a fuuuuu. True story: I had to be somewhere for an appointment at 9:30, and had to leave the house at 8:45. I had my morning planned out and it involved feeding Myles at 8:15 so I could burp him, change him and go. He decided however he wanted to eat at 7:30. No big deal right? Well it fucked my whole type A personality right up; I HATE schedule deviations. However, we still left the house on time, I was just less “presentable” than I would’ve liked, and it didn’t matter. It was a quick lesson that you’re only in control so much and you have to be able to take the divots with grace, and flexibility. Or you will be a snap show. 
16. You still send your husband photos that include your breasts, but slightly different now because there’s a baby attached to it and it’s usually in response to “whatcha up to?” While he’s at work. 
17. You WILL say out loud to each other “what the fuck were we thinking?!” At least once. A week. If you don’t, that’s great but pretty sure you’re lying. It’s okay to admit it - your baby can’t read this. I won’t tell. It doesn't mean you don't love this little human to death, it means that raising this little human is HARD, and didn't come with a manual and it can get frustrating sometimes. 
18. Sleep. When. Baby. Sleeps. It took me a week to actually do this; mainly because adrenaline was so high that I wasn’t actually tired. Well, when that wore off I felt like a train hit me. Now I try to grab at least an hour or two nap during the day when he goes down, because I still don’t know what our night will look like. Everything else can wait, you need sleep. 

19. Baby's tummies are not fully developed when they're born, and gassy bellies happen and it's horrible for everyone. Stock up on Gripe water, Ovol drops (we have 3 bottles), and learn the bicycle pump - become a master at it. 
20. Unless you want to be a human pacifier, teach your baby to love a soother - and don't feel mom guilt for giving it to your baby at 2 weeks instead of the 5 weeks like you were planning, like I did. It'll save those sore nips and your sanity.  
21. Take moments for you and your spouse; you can't pour from an empty cup is what I always say, and that extends to your relationship. You two need to depend on each other and exhaustion can easily cause squabbles. Take mini dates, go for walks, keep lines of communication open. 

So there you have it, the few things I've figured out in the short almost 6 weeks we've had our little Bubba earthside. And now that I've put it in writing, Baby Murphy's Law means it's all going to go to shit and I will be back at square one. But that's okay, because it's a learning process and it's an adventure and I couldn't have better adventure buddies on my side. This little family of mine is everything I could ever want - but I would gladly take another hour or two of sleep a night ;) 

Thursday 21 February 2019

Bumpdate #3

Hopefully my last bumpdate and the next one will be an introduction, but we'll see! I can understand why pregnant women get to an "okay i'm friggin done" stage, because i'm very much almost there.  My hospital bag is mainly packed apart from last minute items I'll need to pack the day of, carseat is installed and nursery is ready; I even have diaper cream & nipple butter ready. Baby Boy Stuchberry, please don't make me wait 6 more weeks. Your dad's life may or may not depend on it ;) 

how far along:  35 weeks! Still boggles my mind how fast that came!  I’m 50% ready to have this baby and meet him and learn every inch of him, and 50% not ready to share him with the world quite yet.
Left - 30 weeks, Right - 35 weeks

baby size: babe is the size of a pineapple, or 18 inches & about 5 lbs! Although he feels like he’s already atleast 6 or 7 some days. My doctor told me today she expected him to be in the average size range of 7.5-8lbs given that my belly isn’t massive, so I’d be happy with that. I just feel like he’s going to be 7 lbs 8-9 oz.. here’s hoping he’s around that marker! Please lawd no 10 pounder for me.

gender: Mama’s little dude is still baking away in there like a little champ! I’ve heard stories now about women who were told they’re having one gender and it comes out the other, and to be honest if little boy Stuchberry turns out to be little girl Stuchberry? It would probably take me a hot minute to kind of go “well, okay, so who are you then?” because I’ve just gotten so used to the idea of my son being in there. Here’s hoping the ultrasound was accurate! Otherwise mama will be overnight shipping quite a few headbands and bows to go with all the boy onesies we have stocked up!

showing? LOL. Anyone who doesn’t think I’m pregnant when they see me by now would most likely get a death glare because that would mean I just look fat ;) - it’s a safe assumption at this point. But here’s the flipside, when people tell me my belly is still really tiny, I take offence to it – for some reason it feels like they’re telling me my baby is small, and I get all mama bear defensive. Hormones are weird.

belly button: that ol girl is really hanging onto being an inny still, which I appreciate. With all the changes my body is going through, good and bad, I really think my belly button being pushed out would be too much for me to handle. For now it’s very stretched and smooth, which is fun to stroke. However my old belly button piercing hole is SO itchy and red, it’s driving me crazy a little bit. It’s simmered down but about 2 weeks ago I couldn’t stop poking it trying to scratch the itch without scratching.

weight gained: Umm to be honest? More than I was supposed to :) . I just haven’t been one of those “can’t even tell from behind” pregnant ladies, and it’s honestly beyond my control. My body is doing what it wants to do, and so long as I’m indulging in more veggie soup than pizza, I just need to live and let live. My mom & sister are two of the leanest ladies I know, and they both did not have the “skinny girl pregnancy” so it’s not like I had false pretenses of what my own body was going to do. It’s just weight, it’s not going to be around forever. That’s not to say I love gaining weight – fuck no, but it is what it is. I’ll probably be around the 50 mark by the time I give birth, but lately it seems to all be belly which I’m more than fine with. But I won’t lie either, I cannot wait to get back to hard workouts and work this off. I miss burpees.

symptoms:  A very very sore pelvis (rolling over in bed can actually be excruciating if I go too fast), I am SO WARM all the time, my skin is crazy itchy from stretching, and gums that bleeed bleed bleed excessively. My second trimester was so freakin’ easy that it feels like it’s about time I had some discomfort – so long as the discomfort stays with me and babe stays happy & healthy in there. I am a fairly small person frame wise, so at this point it does feel like I have a bowling ball on me and the waddle is real, so I just take things slow and have really started to go easy on myself. I stopped exercising about 2 weeks ago because I was experiencing some possible early labor signs, so I’ll resume again at 37 weeks when I want him to come. I’ve even scouted out my friends with trampolines to get the ball rolling. I picked up a pelvis belt (finally!) so I can walk him out once maternity leave starts, without pain.

cravings:  oh, just the usual everything I’m not supposed to.. Pizza, Pasta, fried chicken, creamy & cheesy things.. cake.. sour candy..  I have been keeping it in check but also am not afraid to indulge every once in a while, if it’s really worth it. 

aversions: Not much really, at this point I’m into everything – especially carbs of the bread kind. Once baby comes I plan on cutting out dairy and gluten again for both of our tummies, so I’m making hay while the sun shines until then.

This week we have started referring to him by his name finally, and it feels like I’m getting to know bits of his personality while he’s still in there. For instance, his dad is a fidgeter. He cannot sit still, and he paces a room when he’s on the phone, or brushes his teeth. It drives me crazy. Well, on Sunday little bubba was moving his feet I would say 75% of the day. Crossing and uncrossing them, wiggling his toes and kicking alongside my belly. I kept laughing because I was honestly incredulous at how much he just kept playing with his feet in there and then it clicked – that’s what his dad does! Whenever we watch a movie or cuddle in bed, I’m constantly telling Jake to stop playing with his feet and he always goes “I can’t, I just have to move them”.. so, one more little clue that once this dude is with us, I will never sit down again.  Ohh I just can’t wait <3

Sunday 27 January 2019

The Dry Run

Essentially, the dry run on how little you get to control, when a baby is coming into your life. If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I’m not a through and through type a lady, but I like a plan and I’m not someone you’d refer to as spontaneous- I don’t like last minute Plans unless they include.. a plan. 

Side story, when Jake and I started dating and we’d have plans to go out on a Saturday, I’d ask him “when should I be ready?” And he’d go, “mhm not sure, I’ll text you later on” and since I wanted him to think I was this easy breezy cool chick, I was all yea sure that sounds great - all the while my insides were burning and my skin was crawling from the lack of preparation. 

Anyway, it’s Friday night and my husband has gone to Vancouver for a golf trip with his buddies. He only went because Friday morning I felt great - as I have this entire pregnancy - and as much as I couldn’t give two shits less that it was his “last chance for a weekend away before baby” (hi, I’m selfish too - my “last weekend” was my bachelorette but yea babe, you go nuts), I knew he’s wanted to golf for literally months, so I was happy for him to get a trip away as he’s been working crazy long days. I went to bed around 9, but for the first time I had back pain and I’ve been very lucky to avoid this almost the whole pregnancy. It wasn’t unbearable, more just an annoyance to get comfortable. 

I get up around 1:45 for my #237th pee of the night, and this time there was something unusual accompanying my pee break; I won’t go into too much info for the men reading, but essentially I was concerned as it appeared I lost the plug that acts as a cork to my cervix & can signify incoming labor so I was sitting in the toilet going, weeelll shit. As it was the middle of the night so I couldn’t call any of my nurse friends, and google wouldn’t actually help me much, I phoned the 24 hour nurse line and got to speak with a nurse who confirmed that yea, you should go to the hospital to make sure pre-term labor isn’t happening - you can lose this plug up to a month before labor, but I’m still 8 weeks out. Of course. Of course my husband isn’t home and I need to go to the hospital now, at 2 am. Of course I need to phone and scare the shit out of my husband and ask him to “try not to freak out, but I’m getting ready to go to the hospital”. And of course he won’t let me drive there myself and I have to wake up my mom to come get me - who of course didn’t skip a beat and came and got me looking wonderful. 

So we get to the hospital, and as I’m getting admitted the receptionist (who was actually the real life version of this character, as it so happened), looked awful confused that my healthcare card didn’t match what was in their system. Due to the fact that I changed my name through the BC medical government, but not my actual physical ID. Why? Because I didn’t want to go apply for new cards while pregnant and have my weight on the card be my pregnancy weight - or my picture be my puffy pregnancy face, naturally. The whole reason I changed my name in the system was so that when I actually got admitted, my name at the hospital would be Stuchberry, and after all that they used my maiden name so everything would match. So, add that one to the list - change your ID before you do this for realsies and maybe bribe the person at the ICBC location to let you choose your own weight ;) 

So long story semi short, all is fine. I may have lost the “plug”,  but my cervix is not dilated, baby is not coming yet - good man knows I like early arrivals but even this is too early for me. Circle the block for a few more weeks little dude. However, it allowed me to see that despite my best efforts, even I can’t plan for the unknown of pregnancy and delivery. Our nursery is all but done, clothes are washed and put away, we’re “ready”, but I don’t have a bag packed.  Type A me has wanted to do it since 30 weeks, rational me was telling me not to be a psycho and wait until 36. My mom and I were joking that my dad would have had to go to my house at 3 am with a list I texted him to pack my hospital bag, and just what a shitshow it would have been to entrust him to pack my bag with all my perfect necessities when he’s a) color blind and b) pretty sure he doesn’t know what a scunchie is, and would probably have packed my texture spray and not dry shampoo because they look the same. In all fairness, Jake would have tried valiantly and failed as well. 

I have this vision that when I do go into labor, I will have a shower, wash my hair and body, maybe shave my ankles & armpits since that’s about all I can reach, do my hair, etc before making a leisurely trip to the hospital. & this was a reminder that basically, you don’t get to control how this little person comes into your world; you can plan as much as you’d like to but when the time comes, it may not be so glamorous. And you know what? I no longer care - I just want to meet my son happy & healthy at the end of whatever my labor story turns out to be. 

But you best believe I now have my preliminary bag packed.