Thursday, July 24, 2014

How Pregnant Ladies Wait

There is a variety of patience that is employed while waiting to go into labour (real labour)
It's not like the patience involved in waiting for a beard to grow, or for your quinoa waffles to cook.
It's a very uncertain, edgy, draining time. 

Like any moment you could get a knock on your door and open it to a little sprite who tosses water onto your crotch and begins punching you in the uterus at five minute intervals. You won't really have time to get your ish together and it's gonna hurt.

So here I am, trying to maintain daily and nightly showers - shave every time - cause hairless stumps are about the only dignity I get to retain while in childbirth. I'm keeping up on laundry and washing my son's limited summer clothes supply and the random cloth diaper I am able to still sneak in to my routine. Garbage is tossed out daily regardless of the kitchen catcher consumption. And don't eat too much bean salad, definitely no egg salad. But still eat too much because I have this consuming fear of being really hungry or thirsty while in labour and they don't let you eat or drink during labour (in the hospital).

Then the doctor gave me a carrot, in the form of a cervix stretching  - but it also comes with an almost guarantee I will go into labour no later than next Wednesday.

And suddenly I feel pressured to do so much with this time.  Make an awesome playlist, pack and repack my hospital bag, have day dates with my kids, give them all my attention even when they are sick of it, do lots of stretching and eating and food prepping. And napping! And wedding dancing!! Remember that babies are easier to care for on the inside and all the restless nights of slow crampy flip flopping will help prepare my body for the big day.

So finally I will wait with patience, instead of being prangry. My family is very relieved and I'm off to have a midday bath.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Baby Companion {AKA The Best Baby Book I've Ever Read}

If you are a new mom (like I was) you probably had a bazillion questions and concerns about your newborn. You might have even written desperate emails during midnight feedings asking your mom friends and family what you are doing wrong. Why aren't they sleeping/eating/burping/babbling/doing long division?? 

Then maybe you have another kid or two and you become that person your friends with fresh bambinos come asking questions to. When you answer their questions I bet you no longer scour to the end of Google for the solution. You probably give some empathetic, all-encompassing response like 'as long as they are gaining weight...babies are hard, I hear ya...just give it time'. Because you know now, sometimes there are no answers or solutions. Just patience, and grace, and lots of coffee. 

I recently read a book called the BABY COMPANION. It was written by author Jess Wolstenholm (of Grace For Moms), Pediatrician Dr. Andrea Johnston and OBGYN Dr. Heather Rupe. I was given this book by Jess and asked to post my honest review of the book, so I'm gonna give you a run down of  my views on what this book and what it isn't.

From the time we find out we are pregnant all through the baby stage we are consumed by 'baby'. We are constantly assessing sleep, feedings, diapers, the 'next steps', and milestones. We almost live with blinders on for their first year and suddenly they are 18 months and running naked through the house searching for crackers that fell under the couch and we wonder why we stressed so much and had such a narrow focus. 

I've said before that I didn't always enjoy the baby stage. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do as a new mom, fix all the problems and get on with showering and housework. That's a recipe for a burnt-out, insecure mother, and will slowly make you think you aren't capable of mothering.  

This book is a way to simplify motherhood, to empower you in motherhood, to take you from survival mode to being spirit-led. This book is practical and is literary breathing room into parenting with peace rather than the stresses of pursuing unattainable perfection. 

The book has the facts you need, the stuff your girlfriend would tell you over a glass of wine, the basic facts you would get from your doctors, the quiet whispers of God in your tired ears:
- Formatted to go month by month from newborn to one year (which is my favourite format) 
- Run down of basic medical issues (from doctors, not some random googled page)
- Development checklists (and not an exhaustive overwhelming list, just the important stuff)
- Facts and realistic tips on sleep, schedules, vaccines, feeding, diapers, clothes shopping etc. at each month
- Mommy care tips (some of the most practical I've read)
- Real mom stories
- Truth for the journey (scripture and dialogue around parenting through God, with God. This was my favourite portion as they were all slow, hard and true lessons I had to learn (am learning) as a mom)

Judgment. Fear-based advice. Pressure to parent a certain way. Instructions to adhere to ideologies around what your baby ought to be doing at each month. Laundry lists of medical and development charts. 

This book empowers your mothering because it doesn't give you the answers, but the facts and the counsel you need to make decisions as a mother. This book is drenched in the lessons I was slow to learn over three and a half years and two kids under two. Particularly that I couldn't rely on finding all the answers online, but that I had to surrender to the grace of God in my parenting (and that fact really spreads it's roots into all aspects of my life). 

THE BABY COMPANION FOR NEW MOMS (and really all moms)
This book was written for new moms, oh how I wish I had this in my insecure little paws when I was a new mom. I truly believe it would have made me more laid back (which my whole family would have appreciated), less of a mom martyr and allow me to more confidently enjoy motherhood to babies. Simply because it is based on facts and faith. And that's all you have as a mom - sometimes you just waste time wading through all the other distraction and chaos to realize that's all you have. 

I read the book from the perspective of having one very adaptable happy baby, and one very high needs GERD baby and I found it covered all the issues I faced with both children. I know I will be referring to this book again with my third baby!! I also know I will be encouraging all my mom friends to read it. 


Jess and Dr. Rupe have also written the PREGNANCY COMPANION, you can check out a sample chapter here

Also check out some free printables (I mean, who doesn't love free printables?!) from the Baby Companion here


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Contest is open to Canadian and US residents
Open from July 21/2014 to July 28/2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Prangry = pregnant + angry + hungry

A pregnant friend and I were tossing around our third trimester woes - well let's be real, I was complaining and she was sympathizing and offering me chocolate because she is kinda awesome. The word 'Prangry' came up, so let me fill you in on what is. Cause if you were pregnant, you most likely experienced it too:

This condition is exacerbated upon the occurrence of false labour. Which might happen once on your anniversary get away. But if it happens twice, logical thinking is bound to be replaced by desperate impatience to give birth already! As confirmed by my findings last week when we drove over an hour to the hospital at 330am to have contractions that only lasted four hours and resulted in no dilation = false labour = a prangry lady!
This woman is experiencing full blown PRANGRY
Maybe I should have expected this. It's no secret that pregnancy is not my jam, I have confessed that it makes me my worst possible self.  Near the end of the second trimester I had given up on things like presentable bikini lines, food that doesn't taste like heartburn, and maternity clothes that are not peasant wear or covered in stripes.

My two kids have noticed my new addiction to naps and dropping iron levels. Levi points out in his favourite book this picture of 'me'....which a robed lady in a constant lounging position while children jump on her seems pretty accurate at this point. 

Now I'm at the end of the third trimester. I have most definitely forfeited my desire to wear pants or shorts (thanks BC Summer!), as well as given up on luxuries like sleeping through the night and full bladder control. Don't even get me started on the constant feeling of hungry, sore and tired. 

I find myself rambling on tirades of how my brain has stopped communicating with my body. After all I accidentally doused my veggie kabobs in dish soap rather than grapeseed oil.

My husband tells me I'm handling this all very maturely as I mutter about how I'm ignoring all and any contractions until my water breaks (which has never happened to me).  My progression through the stages of acceptance has pretty much stalled at 'anger'. False labour has really pushed me over the edge...or over the yoga ball, I should say, as I lay on it daily to try and get the baby turn from posterior. 

Thanks for lending an ear, this has been cathartic for me. I think I'm ready to move to the 'it happens when it happens but it should really happen today' stage. I hear there are lots of waffles and smoothies in this stage...and possibly some evening primrose oil and a brush with the passing thought of castor oil.

How were your pregnancies? Did you ever reach the point of feeling 'prangry??'

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