Thursday, October 6, 2011

My baby is growing up...

So, I started an internship last month, which means I'm co-facilitating a group on Thursday nights. Simon and I talked about the internship and we both felt it was important for my career and will bring in extra income once I'm a certified group therapist. I have to be at group on Thursdays at 4:00 in the afternoon; this means Simon comes home early on Thursdays to take care of Isla.

Simon's work has been incredibly demanding lately and he called me in the early afternoon today to tell me he couldn't come home on time today for me to run group. I was in such a panic because I needed to figure out with whom I would leave Isla. In the end, my sisters, Kara and Sasha, graciously offered to babysit for me.

Although I had found a solution, I was still in a panic because Simon and I have left Isla of the care of someone else only one time and she was about 6 or 7 weeks old at the time. Isla generally freaks out when I move out of her line of sight (this started around the time she turned 6 months) and I was really nervous that she would throw a fit with my sisters once she realized I wasn't there.

Turns out I didn't need to worry at all. Turns out she did great :) She had a great time with her aunties and her cousins. I can't believe how independent my little one is! This makes me feel a lot better leaving her at daycare.

My daughter, this little person I brought into the world, is growing up so fast. Please father time...slow down!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thinking a lot about work...

Well, let me just say I'm thinking a lot about my paid work. I'm a social worker and I work in mental health. I've been drawn to social work for as long as I can remember. My passion lies with working with women who have experienced trauma as a result of some kind of abuse; I love bearing witness to the transformation women make. Watching a woman in crisis grow from being a timid wall-flower into a strong, confident power in her own right is incredible...there truly are no words to describe how wonderful it is for me to be part of that process.

As much as I love being a social worker, I've been flirting with other callings as well. For instance, as a way to deal with infertility and get a reprieve from the stress of my work, I began taking baking classes. I was there to do something completely different and was looking to have a little fun in the kitchen. Not only did I have a lot of fun, I found a passion for baking! My friend, Kathy and I, took basic baking lessons from Micheal's and it was great! We couldn't continue because between the both of us getting pregnant, neither of us had the energy to work full-time and take baking lessons at night. Kathy recently had her son...I wonder how she'll feel about returning to baking adventures a year from now...

I feel like I can't change careers right now...there are too many changes happening in my life right now to think about changing careers. And I don't know that I have enough talent to be a professional pastry chef. I do know that I'm a damn good social worker and having my own practice as a therapist has been a dream of mine for a very long time. Perhaps I need to focus on what I know and move towards being my own boss. And perhaps I could the therapist who provides nourishment for the soul and stomach :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wait, I have an 8 month old baby...what?!#&

As usual, I'll start this post by apologizing yet again for not blogging regularly. Time just semms to slip through my fingers like sand. And again, I will try to be more diligent about posting more often.

My little bundle of joy is not so little anymore. Isla turned 8 months on September 16th. She's sitting up all by herself (and has been for a while), is doing great with solids (although, I constantly have to hide her veggies in her fruit) and I noticed her first tooth! I can't believe my baby has her first tooth. She is growing up so fast...oh time, please slow down!

On other fronts, I have only have a few more months before I go back to work. I'm going back at the beginning of February next year and honestly, I am dreading it! I've always been a career-oriented gal but seriously, all I wanna do is stay home with my precious daughter until she's ready for kindergarden. I truly I wish the hubs and I had the financial freedom for me to have the choice of staying at home with Isla past my maternity leave.

After a lot of searching, we found a daycare we liked. They are more expensive than most daycares in our area however, it was the one we liked the most and the one we felt most comfortable with. Isla will be going to daycare three days a week and my sister, Sasha, graciously offered to take care of Isla for the other two days a week. When Isla turns 18 months, we're planning on putting her in daycare full-time. I'm really nervous about putting Isla in daycare. What if she feels abandoned by us? What if the other kids aren't nice to her? What if she hates it there? Whenever I think about dayare, I can feel my anxiety going through the roof. She'll be fine, right? Right???

On the weight loss front...well, the battle continues and sadly, I'm not winning :( I really hate the way my body looks yet can't seem to get my ass on my treadmill. I honestly don't know what is holding me back but whatever it is, I better get over it fast. I absolutely have to be a comfortable weight by the end of this year. I simply cannot face waking up on another New Year's Day with my weight being the first thing on my mind and feeling like shit about the way my body looks. Okay treadmill, you and I have a hot, sweaty date's to a long and loving relationship :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3 months and 3 days ago...

My DH and I brought our daughter from the hospital and arrived at home at approximately 10:30 am. I remember there was a snowstorm that morning and it was snowing on the drive home. I was sitting in the backseat with Isla, just staring at her all bundled up in her car seat. I remember feeling overwhelmed with love for my baby and thinking there was no way I could love her more than I did at that moment. What I didn’t realize is that I would love her more and more every day. It’s actually scary how much you can love someone else. Scary and exhilarating.
So, Isla just turned 3 months on the weekend. I just can’t get over how much she has changed since she was born. She looks a lot like my husband but I see her personality is a lot like her mama; when she’s hungry, wants a diaper change or wants someone to play with her, she definitely lets you know :)

In other news, at 8 weeks post delivery, I lost all my pregnancy weight. Now, tackling the 30 pounds I was carrying when I got pregnant is another story. I know I need to exercise but am nervous because I don’t want my breast milk supply to tank (although my doctor says it’s perfectly fine for me to start exercising slowly and work my way back up to the level I was doing before getting pregnant). I think I will start with 15 minute runs and see what my body does. I really hope I reach my goal weight in the next few months...I don’t want to spend another summer being overweight.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to return to my job after my maternity leave. My job has a lot of positives and just as many negatives. I had lunch with a co-worker last week and she was giving me the latest updates since I’ve been gone and let’s just say it is business as usual on my team...sigh...In any case, I don’t have to return to work until next January so, I have a lot of time to think about what I’m going to do career-wise. And in the meantime, I intend to enjoy my leave with my princess :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Musings on Motherhood

Well, my newborn isn't a newborn anymore. Isla will be 3 months old in a few weeks. She is getting so big and I miss how tiny she once was. Every time I look at Isla, I am reminded about how much my husband and I struggled to have her. The creation of her life is a truly a gift. During my pregnancy, I remember thinking about how I couldn't wait to meet her and I was really looking forward to motherhood. And that's why when I started to experience postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, I was shocked.

It all started on the first night we spent with her in the hospital. My husband was getting ready to go home and I was feeling anxious and panicked at being alone in a hosptial room with our newborn. She was so small, this little tiny life that was depending on us for everything; her trust in us implicitly and I was so scared that I would not be able to meet her needs or nuture her properly. Tearfully, I asked my husband to stay with me and he did. That night, the three of us slept in the tiny hospital bed; I was estatic and scared all at the same time.

My husband was at home with us for 5 weeks. The anxiety and depression I was experiencing were at all time high. I wasn't getting any sleep, my milk a week to come in (leaving us with no other choice than to supplement with formula as Isla was losing weight), I was very sore and in pain from the delivery and I had no idea what I was doing. When Isla cried, I couldn't tell if she was hungry, tired or needed a diaper change and, sometimes it was none of those things. I know babies cry, it's the only way they can was simply very hard for me to hear my little one cry. It was total chaos and I had no idea how to get it together.

In the few days before my husband went back to work, I began to feel even more anxious. I was terrified to be left alone with our daughter. My sister, who experienced significant PPD and PPA herself, is a stay-at-home-mother and lives 5 minutes away from me. She totally understood what I was going through and told me I could come to her house all day, every day if I needed to. And I did. When Isla finished her morning feed, I would get her and myself ready to go to my sister's house. We would spend the day at her house and leave when my husband was on his way home. We did this routine for about 3 weeks.

During this time, I kept wondering how I was going to manage for the balance of my maternity leave (in Canada, we get a year). Isla would not sleep any where but in my arms (or anyone's arms), which left me pinned to the couch. If I put her down once she fell asleep, she would cry shortly after. Isla was completely attached to me all day...either she was on my boob feeding or sleeping on me. At night, she would sleep in our bed, nestled in the crook of my arm. I could only shower at night, when my husband got home. I could go to the bathroom only when was awake, which wasn't often and she couldn't stay awake for long periods of time. The bottom line was, I wasn't enjoying motherhood at all. I felt drained, exhausted beyond anything I can describe, totally unconfident that I could take care of my baby, concerned she would never sleep in her crib and having mini meltdowns daily.

People kept telling me it will get better. And eventually it did. The anxiety and depression are finally lifting, although I still have bad moments here and there. Thanks to the support of my family, I was able to feel much better and get a handle on things.

Isla will be three months old this weekend. I can't believe how time flies! She is changing every single day and she amazes me. And I'm thrilled to be enjoying motherhood these days :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Introducing...Baby Isla :)

Again, another apology for not posting regularly. Since my last post, so much has happened.

In early January, I had my baby shower. I was so touched by the things people gave my baby girl...she is very loved. My hubby decided on a name for her. My daughter's name is Isla Juliette.

My last day of work was December 31/10 and by the first week of January, I was very comfortable being at home and getting last minute things for Isla. The end of my pregnancy was near and I was really looking forward to meeting my little girl.

On January 14th, I started having contractions at around 7:30 pm. By 11:00 pm, my hubby and I were at the hospital because my contractions were 5 minutes apart for about 2 1/2 hours. I was dilated 1 cm and 40% effaced. By 1:00 am on Saturday morning, my contractions were coming every minute to two minutes and they were excruciatingly painful; it seemed I couldn't even catch my breath between contractions...I'm not kidding, I thought I would faint from the pain. At 3:00 am, I was given a shot of morphine and gravol, which totally took the edge off; so, while I could still feel contractions, I didn't feel the pain and I was able to get some rest. By 9:30 am, I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. My contractions were not as painful and I was able to slowly walk around. By 4:00 pm, I was admitted to the birthing suite; I was so grateful to leave the assessment suite because it was so uncomfortable (bright lights and little privacy). The birthing suite was wonderful because my hubby and I had a room all to ourselves, complete with a private bathroom.

A few hours later, my contractions started getting really painful again. I think I was given the epidural around 8:00 pm. Shortly after getting the epidural, I began to tremble uncontrollably. I was getting scared when my nurse told me this was normal with an epidural. My nurse strapped the baby monitor around my belly, covered me in lots of warm blankets, dimmed the lights and I was able to rest. All this time, my water still had not broken. The doctor checked me and said Isla was not in the right position and if my water broke now, part of the umbilical cord might come out as well; they gave me a drug form of oxytocin to help Isla move her way down.

When I was ready to push, my water still had not broken. It was still in it's sac and made it's way right at the opening of my lady parts. The doctor removed it, whole and nurse said that is something you don't see every day! When I did my first push, baby Isla had done a lot of the work herself and she was already crowning. In the middle of pushing, I felt really nauseous and projectile vomited all over my nurse...poor woman! She was so great about it and said to stop apologizing and it's the epidural that made me sick. I think I pushed for just under an hour and at some point, the doctor did an episiotomy. And at 1:52 am on January 16th, my little girl made her grand entrance into the world :) I was so emotional when they put her on my chest; I couldn't even speak and I thought I was going to burst out in tears. Weighing in at 6 pounds and 11 ounces, baby Isla is simply perfect.

And since then, life as I knew it has not been the same :) It is total chaos over here but it's so wonderful. My journey to motherhood was a long and heart-wrenching road; in the last 4 1/2 years, I can't even tell you how many tears I shed, how I raged against IF, how devastated I was each time I miscarried...and how terrified I was during my pregnancy with Isla that I was lose her. And finally, my baby is here, in all her perfection...I think my heart might just burst with love for my daughter.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A long overdue update...

So much has happened since my last post and for those of you who are reading my blog, I will make much more of an effort to post regular updates.

S and I had a 3D ultrasound done and we found out it’s a girl :) We’ve registered at Babiesrus and, ordered and put together her furniture. S painted her room last weekend and has been fussing over all the stuff family and friends have been giving us for her. I tell you, our little girl has her Dad wrapped around her pinky finger already...he is in deep trouble when she’s born :)

S and I finally chose a name. We struggled with this so much and I’m relieved we agreed on something. Our daughter’s name Isla...I love the way it sounds! And now the battle for her middle name begins...

My shower is on January 2/11. I’ll be pushing 37 weeks by then and I know I’m cutting it close but we’ve had some recent family deaths and I didn’t feel right having a shower in the midst of grief and sadness. Fingers crossed that my daughter and I will make it to her party.

Isla is moving around much more now and dancing up a storm in my belly. I love the movements she makes when I’m waking up in the morning...feeling her move makes me feel like she is waking up with me. I feel like I’m bonding more and more with her every day. I love my little Isla so much already and can’t wait to meet her!

And speaking of my belly, I finally popped at about 28 weeks. I actually look pregnant and not just fat. I will post belly pics as soon as I can.

Work continues to stress me out but hey, I’ve only got 4 more weeks left and then hello maternity leave! I’m so grateful that we get a full year of maternity leave in Canada. I have no intentions of returning to my job when my year is up and a year off of work will give me lots of time to think about what direction I want my career to take.

And in a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on with me.