We made it one whole month with lots of ups and very few downs as new parents. It is amazing to me how fast this past month went and I love watching Edie grow and become more interactive but part of me wants time to slow down just a little bit. Today on Naturally Familyyou can read Edie’s one month update.
How I Am Healing: I would say I am about 90% there! So excited! I have my 6 week appointment in 2 weeks and hope that I am cleared to get back to regular activity. Once I am I hope to get back to yoga classes and running!
Activity: I have been getting out for a walk every morning with Edie and it feels great. I love pushing her in the stroller because it really adds so resistance to my walk-it’s so much more challenging! You can follow my workouts on DailyMile.
Weight: Still no change but I am feeling good. I have a few new pieces of clothing (although the bottoms are maternity) and I hope that in the next few weeks I can find a few more items that I feel comfortable in because I am so over t-shirts and workout pants.
Breastfeeding: Things have been going really well with breastfeeding. We have had a few fussy moments with Edie when she has wanted to cluster feed and I haven’t had enough for her so she gets frustrated but otherwise things are going well. What’s new is that I decided about a week ago (and also per recommendation of the lactation consultant at our pediatricians office) that I would start pumping at least once per day to help my supply. I have been pumping most days but I’m still not getting a ton which may be because Edie is nursing so frequently. Yesterday I had a good window of time (she took a 3.5 hour nap) and was able to pump one ounce which the most I have been able to since I started. I am hoping that I will be able to pump more over time because I would really like to pump enough to have Neil give Edie a bottle a few nights a week so I can have a little me time and he can have some bonding time with her after he gets out of work.
Although Edie slept beautifully this morning I was still in need of a little pick me up so I whipped up a 5 Sparrow Snow Ghost Frappe* made with Chameleon Cold-Brew. The frappe tasted just like something you could pick up at a coffee house for an arm and a leg but it was made at a fraction of the cost at home with unsweetened almond milk. I sucked this back quick and I am looking forward to trying the other flavors that 5 Sparrow have including the chai.
After enjoying my coffee frappe I spent the remainder of the day nursing a baby who just couldn’t eat enough; today was one of those challenging nursing days. When I was finally able to take a quick break and Neil was able to have a little daddy-daughter time I whipped up two big salads for Neil and I for lunch.
leftover potato-summer squash-chickpea hash
Drew’sRoasted Garlic & Peppercorn Salad Dressing for me and Lemon Goddess Salad Dressing for him
After lunch I was back at my nursing station on the couch for a few more hours. In between feedings I was able to get a little bit of work done on the computer and played with Edie when she wasn’t fussing to eat or needing to be changed (we went through so many diapers today!).
As a snack I decided to try a Good ‘n Natural bar but after one bite (that I couldn’t finish) it ended up in the trash bin; the texture and flavor was awful. Neil tried the other two flavors that we had but after a small bite of each he came to the same conclusion- they were all awful. So instead I had a KIT’s ORGANIC bar instead which I already knew was tasty.
Once Neil finished up working for the day (he is working from home this week and next) we decided to head downtown to the local wine shop to pick up a few bottles of wine and use our Living Social deal. When we arrived downtown we put Edie in the Boba wrap and she fell asleep instantly so we headed to the wine shop and picked up two bottles of red and a beer for a gift. Since Edie was still sleeping peacefully we decided to stop into American Flatbread for a beer. I had a 6oz pour of Juhlia which is a sahti (for you beer geeks) and Neil had a pint of the TLA IPA (and about 1.5oz of my Juhlia because it was a high alcohol beer). It was amazing to sit outside and enjoy a beer with Neil while Edie just slept peacefully.
This evening I bathed Edie and put her to bed while Neil made dinner (veggie burgers and homemade baked potato “chips”). Now it’s time to sit back, relax and watch a few shows on Netflix before heading to bed.
Disclaimer:5 Sparrow provided me with their product at no cost. I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.
Is it really already Thursday? The days just flow together lately and time seems to be passing so fast. Last night we were able to get the munchkin down fairly early so Neil and I actually had time to eat dinner together, talk, enjoy a small glass of red wine (oh how I missed you) and caught up on an episode of White Collar.
Although we had a pretty good evening we woke up this morning with a cranky, gassy baby. To help make it through the morning I decided that coffee was a must have and Neil and I tried the Chameleon Cold-Brew (FYI I can’t stop singing karma karma karma chameleon every time I think about this coffee) I received yesterday*. I debated trying a few of the different recipes that were sent with the coffee and ultimately decided to make Neil and I the Southern Hemisphere.
This was the perfect coffee drink to get me started this morning. I was expecting it to be a lot sweeter than it was but was happy to find that it was just the right balance of flavors and sweetness for me. Tomorrow morning I think that we are going to try a variation on the peanut butter cup coffee drink recipe using the Chameleon Cold-Brew.
Once I was fueled up with a good breakfast and coffee it was time to take on the cranky baby (so thankful to have Neil working from home this week and next). I could tell Edie was getting tired by her big yawns, bating eyelids and tugging at her ears. I tried bouncing her, swaying her, rocking her and every time I thought she was ready to be put down she would let out a big wail when I tried so I moved on to Plan B the Boba Wrap. She was a little fussy at first when I put her in but a few minutes of bouncing on the exercise ball and she had passed out and I was able to take on some freelance assignments and read a few blogs.
Now it’s afternoon and I have Edie lounging in her Boppy Infant Lounger and I am getting ready to take on the task of figuring out what to make with our CSA veggies this week. Here is what we got along with some garlic and cucumbers that I forgot to take photos of.
Any recipe suggestions? You can check out what I have in my pantry here.
Disclaimer:Chameleon Cold-Brew provided me with their product at no cost. I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.
I have never been one to pull all-nighters. I like to go to bed at a reasonable hour (ie. when I am tired) and get a goodnights rest. Well last night I was shit out of luck because while I wanted to sleep Edie wanted to cry, fuss, bounce, nurse, and repeat. Around 4 AM she finally decided to fall asleep while I side nursed her in our bed and since I was too exhausted and afraid that she would wake up again she slept by my side for the next two hours. Needless to say I am running on about three hours of sleep (thankfully my amazing husband took over bounce duty for a good hour while I slept) and am exhausted today.
Even though I am exhausted it’s hard not to smile at our beautiful baby and be thankful for a number of things today including:
A husband who makes dinner when you are exhausted (and makes enough for leftovers). Last night Neil took over in the kitchen and made us Alicia Silverstone’s Rustic Pasta from The Kind Diet. It was so delicious and he made the full recipe so today we have leftovers for lunch, which is a life saver considering he is back to working (from home–>another thing I am thankful for) and we are both running on no sleep.
I am thankful for water with electrolytes. I don’t know if it really makes a difference but Neil and I both had a bottle of resource® natural spring water* last night and if nothing else we were hydrated during our all-nighter. I like to think that the electrolytes in the water were beneficial for both of us especially after all the bouncing and breastfeeding that was being done.
Lastly, today (and everyday) I am thankful for a beautiful little girl who may have her fussy nights but is otherwise a happy baby.
*resource is a 100% natural spring water with natural electrolytes for taste, sustainably sourced and packaged in a bottle made of 50% recycled plastic.* resource water is good for you and mindful of the Earth. With natural electrolytes for taste, its recycled bottle helps you keep nature in mind too.
Disclaimer:resource® natural spring water provided me with these products at no cost. I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family. This week we have been discussing our diapering plans, Neil reviewed The Other F-Word and our Doula Sarah wrote about her perspective on Edith’s birth. We have also been featuring a photo of the day for our 365 days of photo project that you can check out here.
Interested in sponsoring on Naturally Family? Check out the details here.
This weekend we have been pretty busy a little more busy than we should have been but more on that in this weeks postpartum post. We had our doula over for our first postpartum appointment which consisted of us chatting about the birth, about how things are going so far and being new parents, among other things. We also had a few visitors over to meet Edie on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
One first we gad this weekend was trying out cloth diapering. Make sure to check out my post on Naturally Family tomorrow regarding our cloth diapering plans.
Saturday afternoon Neil and I attempted to venture out to the market to pick up lunch and a few things but upon arriving at the store Edie had a little bit of a break down so her and I stayed in the car while Neil picked up some things. I think she was a little over stimulated from all the new people and it was pretty hot out too. I calmed her down and nursed in the car while Neil picked up lunch, some groceries and a green lemonade for me (bless him).
Today we decided to try and go out for an early breakfast and we were pretty successful. I nursed right before we let in hopes that would fill her up so we could eat without much worry of needing to stop to nurse her. Breakfast went pretty smoothly minus the fact that I ate too fast because I was nervous that Edie would have a little bit of a breakdown and I wanted to be ready to take her outside. Well Neil and I were both able to enjoy our breakfast before the fussing started and I took Edie outside (where she calmed right down) and Neil paid.
Another first for us today was going for a walk with Edie in the Boba Wrap. It took a few tries and 30 minutes of nursing before we could finally go but it was great once we did. We didn’t go far, just about 20 minutes of walking but it was nice to get out.
At around 11:30am, I finally started the last part of my birthing journey…the pushing. Little did I know that this would be the most challenging part of the entire birth experience. At this point I had been up for nearly 28 hours with only one hour of sleep, my body was tired, my mind was tired, but I knew I had to push on (literally and mentally).
The front of the birthing bed was lowered and the squat bar was brought out. I started off my pushing in an upright squat, using the bar as support. The initial sensation was incredibly uncomfortable, awkward and new, but I knew there was no turning back. I pushed slowly at first getting used to the new sensation, reminding myself to use my core to push and reminding myself to take a breath in between pushes (well everyone else around me also reminding me that I needed to take a breath). At the end of each contraction I relaxed back, making sure to relax my entire body as I prepared for the next contraction and the next round of pushes.
After about 30 minutes of pushing in an upright squat I was getting exhausted so the midwives had me try a new position. A sheet was put over the top of the squat bar and I put my feet up on either side of the bar to put myself in a reclined squat position. Each contraction I would wrap the ends of the sheet around each of my hands, curl myself over my baby (thankful that Sarah kept reminding me to do so) and push with all my strength. The contraction would end and I would fall back, relaxing my shoulders, my face, and my body as much as I could as I waited for the next contraction.
I pushed in this reclined squat for awhile and then was asked if I would be interested in trying pushing on my hands and knees, the thought being that gravity would help bring the baby down. The back of the bed was put almost up right for me to grab on to the top and I got on my knees, when the contraction came I started to push down, but I quickly wanted to come out of the position. I was uncomfortable, it hurt more than the reclined squat and I just didn’t like it. The midwives and nurse encouraged me to keep trying it and at least finish this contraction. Reminding me that in each new position that I tried I would encounter a new sensation and that it would take a few contractions to get used to it.
I went back to my breathing and kept reminding myself that there was no turning back and that I was trying this new position to get our baby down and out as fast as I could. I pushed through a few more contractions in this position before I finally couldn’t take it anymore and moved back to upright squat for a few contractions before I finally went back to the reclined squat, which was the most comfortable for me.
At some point, I think about an hour and fifteen minutes, into pushing, Midwife Ellen checked on my progress and found that the baby was about one inch from crowning. This meant absolutely nothing to me. All I could think of was an inch? How long is that going to take? I knew there was no point in asking because I would either be given a time and be concerned if it didn’t happen in that amount of time or they wouldn’t be able to tell me anything at all. Instead, I focused on breathing, pushing and psyching myself up at each contraction to push this baby out. I reminded myself that it would take as long as it had to but that I need to make sure I took advantage of each contraction and pushed with all my might.
After another 30 minutes or so, I was told the baby was almost crowning. This is when I knew I was getting closer. I was looking forward to hearing that s/he was crowning and I kept in mind the “ring of fire” sensation that I had read about. After around four or five more contractions I started to feel the ring of fire sensation and I knew that I was close, this was the motivation that I needed to finish pushing.
Once the baby was finally crowning Midwife Ellen took over coaching/guiding me through the last few pushes. At my next contraction, I made sure to bare down as much as possible and pushed, took a breath, pushed again and five breaths/pushes later I felt this incredible sensation and my baby was out and on my stomach while Midwife Ellen cut the cord. After that she was quickly whisked away by the pediatrician to be assessed because of the meconium in my waters.
Neil went over to the warmer to reveal the sex of our baby (IT’S A GIRL!) and to cut (trim) the umbilical cord- we both loved this since he wasn’t able to cut the cord initially due to the urgency of having her checked. She held onto his finger as he watched the pediatrician check her out. He found that everything looked good, with no worries of her ingesting the meconium into her lungs. She was returned to my chest and I was ecstatic to have her on me. Neil then whispered in my ear that he knew which name he thought was perfect for her (at this point we had narrowed it down to two girls names and had decided to wait until the birth to choose a girls name). I looked at him and told him I had decided as well and asked him to share his choice first that’s when he said Edith and I was delighted because that is what I had decided as well.
We announced the name and honestly I don’t remember much else after this just that I had my first breastfeeding attempt after about 30 minutes and was able to hold my baby on my chest for the first two hours before she was weighed and given her first bath by her daddy (with guidance by Nurse Ellen). Then Neil had his turn at skin to skin contact with the baby- and I watched, falling more in love with both of them.
My Reflection on the Birth:
I had nothing short of an amazing birth experience. I attribute my amazing experience to staying active during pregnancy, prenatal yoga, hiring a doula, choosing the care providers that were right for us and having an amazing husband who was supportive through my entire pregnancy and the birthing of our daughter.
At 10am Midwife Ellen checked my progress and found that I was 7cm and 90% effaced. I was now moving into transition and was encouraged to try a new position to labor in- squatting. The birthing ball was rolled over to the side of the bed, a sheet placed over it and there I was naked besides my bra laboring on the birthing ball in a supported squat. I used the side of the bed for support to lean over during contractions and eventually found myself reaching out for Neil’s arms across the bed.
Things started to get really intense very quickly and the sensation of the contractions was at times almost unbearable, but I knew I could do it- I had to do it. I tired to focus on my breath, making low noises and fluttering my (horse) lips. Each time I would find myself starting to lose control asking “Why aren’t they here yet” I would be reminded that the contraction would eventually end and I would get a break. I kept talking to myself, telling myself “it will be fine”, repeating it over and over and over again.
At one point I remember making these low groaning noises and I could tell Neil was doing his best not to laugh but I knew I sounded funny and I told him that he could make monster sounds with me too if he wanted. This made us both break out into laughter and I successfully made it through yet another contraction.
As each contraction came on stronger, my desire for it to end became more intense. Eventually, I started to groan that I just wanted them out and “why weren’t they out yet!?”. My midwives reminded me that I need to focus on my breath and try making low “O” sounds which eventually turned into me chanting “ouuuuuuuuut” over and over again. Sarah reminded me to soften around the baby during each contraction and so I started a new chant repeating “soften around the baby” over and over again.
Although I kept trying to smile and laugh the intensity of each contraction was wearing on me and eventually it felt like I just wasn’t getting a break. Each contraction I would close my eyes tight, grab on just above Neil’s wrist and work through each contraction. At one point Neil needed to take a pee break and Sarah moved from pressing on my back and took over his position across the bed. Contractions were coming hard and quick at this point and although I knew Neil was in the washroom I couldn’t help but ask where he was, I just knew I needed him across from me. He quickly finished and came back to his position and I yelled (okay maybe demanded) for Sarah to get back to my back.
Shortly after this I started to feel the “urge to push”. I put this in quotes because I really felt like I need to have a bowel movement. I went through three more contractions feeling this intense urge before I finally turned to Sarah and told her that “I feel like I need to poop.” She asked if I was feeling the urge to push and I told her yes. She looked over and told Midwife Ellen that I was feeling the urge to push and Ellen said I should see if I was still feeling that way after a few more contractions. I told her that I had felt this urge for the last four contractions and then I went through one more. Midwife Ellen then had me get up in the bed to be checked and she found that I was fully dilated (10 cm) and 100% effaced. Now was when I could finally start pushing.
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