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What I Learned About Pregnancy

Now that I'm 1 month postpartum, I thought I would do a little post on what I learned about pregnancy. This is obviously just in regards to my own pregnancy, as we all know, each pregnancy is different in their own way. These are just my thoughts and opinions!
17 weeks

1. Pregnancy waddle is real. It's crazy how much your hips want to be ahead of the rest of your body when you're standing, or walking. Plus it doesn't help that it feels like there's a head in-between your legs!
2. Cravings are also real. Kit Kat Chunky's, Creme Eggs, & Cherry Sours have never held such a special place in my heart. 
18 weeks
3. It's really hard not to compare yourself to other fellow preggos.. but try your best not to and remember that this is your own personal, unique journey!
4. You may get the weirdest, most inconvenient pregnancy symptoms, such as carpal tunnel, jumpy legs or blurred vision... & you might have them all at once.
20 weeks
5. You may feel extra confident with your baby belly & take a million photos of it.
6. Climbing stairs and hills gets real challenging in the later months. 
24 weeks
7. You may pee yourself a little while brushing your teeth/tongue due to sensitive gag reflex. 
8. You may change up your wardrobe to sports bras and leggings once things stop fitting.
26 weeks
9. The first trimester is brutal. If you're one of the special ones who didn't get sick, consider yourself lucky. I was nauseas and threw up everyday for 14 weeks... but then it was like a light switch & I wanted to eat everything!
10. The first time you feel the baby move, is amazing... but the first time I saw my boyfriend feel the baby move, was so emotional.
29 weeks
11. You're really not as "big" as you think you are. I've been looking back through my belly photos, and I really wasn't as huge as I or anyone else thought I was!
12. The gender ultrasound is so fun! We knew we wanted to find out what we were having right away.. Having the ultrasound tech show us his "parts" was so emotional! All I could say was "it's a boy!!!" & then tears started falling. It was the first time I cried at an appointment.
34 weeks
13. You may think you're in the clear for stretch marks, but truth is, you probably just can't see them on that part of your body. You'll see the reality of it once the baby is out. 
14. Emotions change on a dime.
38 weeks
15. It's not as hot as you think it is. Careful not to freeze your boyfriend by opening windows and turning off the heat in the car, during the winter months. 
16. Pregnancy is really not that glamorous at times.... Consider it preparation for the also not so glam labour & birth. 
38 weeks
 17. You will miss your belly after you give birth.
18. You never really get used to your belly sticking out so far. I grazed mine on doors, walls, and the fridge countless times. 
40 weeks
19. Epsom salts & lavender bubble bath is a treat for the tired, aching body.
20. 9 [10] months of pregnancy doesn't prepare you for the overwhelming feeling of love when you see your baby for the first time.
40 weeks & 5 days


Newborn - 3 Week Postpartum Update!

So I decided I'm going to do postpartum updates..Why not right? It only makes sense! I'll do a quick blurb about me [except todays might be a little longer since its my first update for the first 3 weeks...] and how I'm doing postpartum, and then I'll comment on the 6 topics below on how Hunter is doing! 
Today's post is going to be a mash of my 1, 2 and 3 weeks postpartum status, because come on... I'm never going to remember what happened and when... My brain is complete mush! I was shocked to hear the date the other day... I was like, a week behind in my world! haha! Anyway... and then it'll probably be weekly updates after that!
So I recovered from birth pretty well I must say! I did get some stitches, so that was pretty tender in the beginning, and I feel as though it gets worse before it gets better... Needless to say, lots of Advil and Tylenol were had. 
My milk came in full force on day 4 or 5 I believe. I know 3 days is the average, but I think it took a little longer for me because we were under so much stress at the hospital. We ended up staying for a few more days longer then we originally hoped... & it wasn't a pleasant stay. But, my milk finally came in, & that was so nice because I could tell that my baby was much more satisfied after feedings. We ended up having to "top up" with formula while we were in the hospital, and a couple days of being at home [we just quit giving it to him one day]. He originally wasn't getting enough from just the colostrum, and after a nurse fed him some formula one night, I could tell it was something that he needed until my milk came in. He had a couple bad days before we started giving him formula, and once we started topping him up, he was like a whole new baby! I felt so bad right off the bat because I felt like I was starving him! Then I was thankful, because he stopped screaming and slept.
I wish I had a scale. I have no idea what my weight is at. I'm quite curious! I won't be seeing anyone until 6 weeks postpartum, so 3 more weeks to go. I'm glad my nurse practitioner can see me for that. I quite missed her... and we all know how I feel about my OB. 
Since I am breastfeeding, I have that to thank for my belly shrinking as fast as it did. I'm still quite jiggly and shmushy... but I could tell my uterus shrunk rather quick....I noticed visibly and quite physically. I got a lot of contractions/cramping while nursing for the first week. It was an all too familiar feeling haha! Felt just like period cramps. 
Belly definitely has a slew of stretch marks. I definitely couldn't see them when I was pregnant, but theres a bunch of small ones on my lower belly. No big deal... but they're definitely noticeable now!
I've been going for walks almost everyday with Hunter. He likes walking, and I like to see him not crying! He's been quite fussy during the day the last few days, and it breaks my heart to see him cry like that sometimes. I think he just fights sleep for so long, then he get like, overtired.. and that's when shit hits the fan. So it's nice to break up one of those crying cycles with a walk! I can fit back into a pair of pre pregnancy jeans, so it must be helping momma too! 
41 weeks & 2 weeks postpartum

Height/Weight: Hunter was 53 cm tall and 9 lbs 6 oz when he was born. He then lost 8% of his body weight while we were in the hospital. 8 days after he was born, he was weighed again at our Mommy & Baby lactation appointment. He weighed 9 lbs 7 oz! The following Monday at his 2 week check up, 6 days later, he was weighed 10 lbs, 5 oz and grew 3 cm, putting him at 56 cm total! My nurse practitioner said "obviously breastfeeding is going really well for you two!".... So nice to hear! We have the option of going for a 1 month appointment, which would be next week, but I'm not sure if were going to make it or not. Otherwise his next check up is at 2 months I believe. 

Nothing has really stuck so far.. Just as I start to get used to one routine, he starts another. 
While we were in the hospital, he was doing a good routine of every 3 hours - eat, burp, diaper, sleep, repeat. That was alright.. Plus he slept like 3-5 hour stretches at night, and still does.
Things have changed a few times since then... now were doing kind of a wake up around 9am, eat, burp, diaper, eat, burp, play, eat sleep. Repeat. He's been eating so much lately, and he's been extra fussy. Around the 2 week mark, he was rally fussy in the evening for a few hours. The last couple days he's been fussy all day, from about 1pm-9pm ish. So, lots of cluster feeding.

He started off sleeping in 3 hour intervals... except at night where he would stretch it out to about 4-5 hours straight
Since then, times have changed. He's been hitting all sorts of growth spurts and now his sleep is all over the place. He used to wake up around 9am and stay awake for a few hours, then take a couple more naps in the afternoon, then go to "bed" at about 9pm and wake every few hours to eat, burp, change diaper, and then right back to sleep. He's always been really good at night time. 
Now were at wake up around 7 or 8am... go back to sleep. Wake around 11, back to sleep. Then from about 1pm and on, it's his fussy time. He sleeps very short periods of time until 9pm or so. Takes multiple little naps that are nowhere near long enough, and put him in a rotten mood. He wakes up every couple hours in the night now, but is still pretty good with going back to sleep right away...... except for last night. He woke up at 2am.. and stayed awake until 5:30am.. then woke up somewhere between 6 and 630am. That was the first night that I didn't get a good nights sleep. 

I'm exclusively breastfeeding now. In the hospital, we were topping him up with an oz of formula, but I stopped that a couple days after getting home.
Again, he was nursing about every 3 hours in his first week. 
Now he nurses probably way more often then that because he tends to cluster feed. I do think he's pretty efficient though, when he's not cluster feeding. He'll drain a boob in like 10 minutes! 

He's started growing out of his newborn sleepers and onesies! I went to put him in the one he wore home from the hospital, and it was so small! I now have a stack of clothes he doesn't fit started already :( 
They grow too fast.
Speaking of newborn sizes... he definitely grew out of the NB diapers in a matter of maybe 2 days. They did fit him, but the size 1's just looked more comfortable. He's still in size 1's for now, but I wouldn't be surprised if we changed to size 2's soon. 

His umbilical cord fell off on day 10 I believe
Smiling. He loves when I give him kisses or make noises in his mouth.. it's so cute!
His neck and legs are really strong. He likes to stand or pulling himself up into a sitting position when he's laying down. 


What's In My Hospital Bag - Postpartum Update!

So if you didnt originally see my first "What's In My Hospital Bag" post, click here!

Here are all the photos from my original post with the contents of the bags. I was only expecting to stay in the hospital for like, 2 days.... but we ended up being there 5 days, from Sunday-Friday... So that definitely plays a part in what I needed/should have packed. 

First! The clothing bag.
 So right off the bat, I'm going to say we needed more clothes. Bo for sure needed more. 
I should have brought pj pants. I really don't know why I didn't. 
I planned to wear my yoga pants as a going home outfit, but I ended up wearing them for a couple days in the hospital because I bled on one pair of leggings, and only had one other pair of leggings to wear. I also only had 3 tank tops... Definitely needed a couple more of those as well. 
I didn't ever use the flip flops.
The best thing I brought was my robe. It was greatly used, and then it was sadly missed because after labour, it wasn't wearable anymore... Another one would have been nice.
I would have really liked to have a nightgown that had easy boob access. That would have been nice to have as well..Maybe a couple of them actually..
 This blanket was so nice to have. It was nice to have something to snuggle with instead of the stupid hospital bedding. I would have had enough maxi pads for 3 days, but not 5. I ended up needing to use the hospital pads, which were definitely not as nice, and they didn't have wings, which I discovered is way better than no wings. I didn't need near as many nursing pads as I brought. My milk didn't really start flowing until day 4. Diapers - he wore newborn size for like, 1 day.. then we just used size 1's. I ended up having a bunch of size 1's of my own left over because we had a small package the hospital provided that we used first. 
 All the snacks were eaten.. it was 100% needed since the food there was CRAP and the cafeteria food was expensive. I wish I brought more snacks/food. Bo went home one night, cooked a frozen lasagna and brought it back. That was a good idea! 
I went through the baby wipes in 3 days.. I didn't use the coconut oil - and still haven't for that matter. Ive been really lucky in the breastfeeding department. I also didn't need the baby body wash/shampoo because the hospital gave us some. Everything they used for him was left with him. We even scored a soother.
He wore 1 pair of mittens, 1 onesie, 1 sleeper, and his going home outfit. I definitely overpacked in the clothes department. He was basically naked, wrapped in that top striped blanket the whole hospital stay. The nurses had to keep coming in and checking him and he kept having to have a bunch of tests done, so it was just easier to keep him naked instead of dressing/undressing him every time. 

So there's that! The only thing I really overpacked on was the baby's clothes. Other then that, it was pretty much all needed and used!


Our Birth Story!

I’m going to start off by saying that almost everything went the complete opposite way I wanted it to. There were many interventions that happened, which I originally desperately wanted to avoid. That being said, I couldn’t have asked for anything more or less because I now have my baby here laying beside me as I type this, healthy as can be! I don’t resent my labour or birth or any of the choices I made during that time. If I didn’t do what I did, when I did it, I can guarantee my labour and birth would have been more traumatic and I would have looked at that memory with negativity and not as the crazy, emotional, amazing life changing experience that it was! 

So it all started on March 29th. 8 days passed my due date. We had to drive from Sussex to the Saint John Regional Hospital that morning for a 9am appointment to get a dose of Prostin gel. At this point, my cervix wasn’t doing much of anything. The Prostin is supposed to help soften and prepare the cervix for dilation and what not. I was supposed to go in, get monitored for 20 minutes, get a dose of the gel, get monitored for another hour, and then I was supposed to leave and go back 6 hours later to do it all again for a second dose. After the second dose, I was supposed to be able to go home. Well…. After my first dose, and me returning a few hours later to be monitored for my first 20 minutes before receiving my second dose, they discovered that I was having contractions… Which I couldn’t feel at all. At first I was excited, because something was finally happening, but then I got nervous. Since my contractions were so close together, I couldn’t get my second dose. I was then told that if I got a second dose, I wouldn’t be able to go home, since we live over an hour away. So… we had to go waste a couple more hours before I was hooked back up to the monitor again. 
At this point, we’ve been in the hospital for about 8 or so hours & we were heading back to the Labour & Delivery unit to see if there was any changes. After being checked, they told me I was about a finger tip dilated. 
Woo.. freakin.. hoo. 
Along with this news, they told me that since my contractions were still too close together, I couldn’t get the second dose of Prostin AND I couldn’t go home. So I was officially admitted into L&D. We really weren’t expecting to spend the night. I thought I would for sure be going home at the end of the day. I had an induction set for the next morning so they decided to keep me for extra monitoring since I was in fact, contracting. So we set up our beds for the night and went to waste some time in the cafeteria sine that was the only place we could get wifi. After a couple hours of that, we decided we should go to sleep. 
So... I'm sleeping...and I wake up with bad period cramps. Woo these must be contractions! Every 5 or so minutes I'm getting these contractions. I ended up spending most of my night on my hands and knees with the bed propped up to almost the sitting position. I didn't bother waking Bo up at this point, because we didn't get much sleep the night before and I wanted him to rest as much as possible since I was supposed to get induced in the morning. Around 1 am I got up to pee, and there was some fluid on the bed that looked like it had a little blood in it. I called the nurse in and she just said "thats ok" and changed the pads on my bed for me. I continued with the mild contractions/cramping for another 3 hours. I woke up to what felt like, me peeing myself. I had assumed my water broke but I was just so tired from being woken up every few minutes, that I just changed my pad I was laying on, and went to sleep again, because I knew "they" [the doctor and nurses] would be back in a couple hours to check me again anyway. I should mention that I had been checked a few times at this point already, and I had only ever made it to the tip of a finger dilated. 
When the nurse came back in the morning [a.k.a a couple hours later], I told her about me possibly breaking my water, or peeing myself. She laughed and took the pads I was laying on to test them. When she came back she said it wasn't amniotic fluid. Figures, right? So we got all packed up and we headed to the bigger birthing suite! It was so nice to be in there. It was so much bigger then then tiny room we had spent the previous whole day and night in. I took a shower/bath, the nurse brought me toast and peanut butter and apple juice, and I waited for the resident OB to come in to check me one more time before being hooked up to the Oxytocin. 
I was at a whopping whole finger. 
Seriously.. slowest labour ever. 
So in went the IV, and the drip started. This is where things started going the way I didn't want. For starters, I didn't want to be induced. With all the research I did regarding labour and birth, I found out that trying to get through a medically induced labour without any pain medication was quite difficult and most women went through a snowball effect.... First you get induced, then you get an epidural, then your contractions are too strong and your baby goes into distress, and then you get a c section. I'm not saying its impossible... I'm just saying getting induced doesn't always give you contractions your body can actually work with. In the end, all I really wanted was to get my baby here safely, and to avoid was a c section. 
So there I am, probably around 8am, all hooked up to an IV with my penicillin [for + Group B Strep] and my Oxytocin [to get my contractions going]. A few hours go by and oh my goodness, am I ever feeling these contractions now! And what do you know, I'm having back labour! Yay! Around maybe 11am, the resident OB comes in to check me again, this time I'm at a 3! YES!!! Finally.. PROGRESS! This really excited me but also made me scared as shit because that was a ton of pain for only 3 cm! They told me then, that I could get an epidural at 4 cm. I was still against it at this point. They said he would come back in an hour or two to check me again. This is where my timeline gets a little fuzzy because the pain completely took over at this point. 
So from a 3 and on, I was having the worst back labour ever. I was on my hands and knees and every time a contraction would come on, which was every 3 or so minutes, I would grab onto the bed, inhale really deeply through my nose, and exhale through my mouth making a "whooooooooo" sound. Like an owl. haha! The nurse that monitored me from the beginning [her name was Julie, love her!] kept telling me how great I was doing with my breathing. It's amazing how much those words helped me stay on track with breathing. In that moment, all I wanted to do was hold my breath and grit my teeth... but I kept on breathing through them while Bo deeply massaged my lower back/butt. If I didn't have counter pressure on my lower back at the same time as a contraction, I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I already had the shakes and that alone was exhausting. It had been about another hour, and my nurse told me that the doctor wasn't going to come back for another hour or two. 
That's when I gave in. 
I couldn't do it anymore. It was too unbearable! It was contraction on top of contraction, plus I hadn't slept for 2 days now. I was hardly getting a break in between to get myself prepared for the next one. I gave in and got her to explain my pain options again. Gravol, morphine, and fentanyl were my choices at that point. I chose fentanyl because it only lasted a short time and was less likely to make me groggy or nauseas. She gave me my first dose. Although it didn't take away the pain by any means, it took the edge off.... For the first half hour anyway. I was able to get 2 more doses after that which would mean I laboured for an hour and a half, since I could only get a dose every 30 minutes. The second and third dose worked even less then the one before it. 
Finally around 1:30 or 2? Again, timeline is a little fuzzy. The doctor came in to check me and break my water. All I could think at that point was "if I'm only at a frikkin 4, I'm going to lose my shit". I remember telling Julie that I felt like Rachel on that episode of Friends where she's in labour with Emma and all these women come in and out while she lays there in the longest labour ever. Yah. I felt exactly like that. Especially since the nurses were talking about a woman who had just come in last night saying "she didn't know if she should be there or not" and when they checked her, she was an 8!!!! Seriously jealous is what I was after I heard that story. 
So anyway, doctor comes in all prepared to break my water, and boom! It's already broken. I was so paralyzed in pain on the bed that I didn't even notice the wetness. In all fairness, I'm sure it broke at 4am and had just continued leaking since then. So then she checks me. Again, all I'm thinking is how I'm going to just die if I'm only a 4...."Looks like were at a 6!" Best thing I've heard all day. Epidural lady was then called and papers were signed. There was no way I could keep going on with labour without an epidural. I actually cried after I signed the paperwork for the Fentanyl and the Epidural. I felt like I was betraying myself and my baby. Bo did his best to reassure me that everything was fine and to not feel bad about not going natural... which now when I look back at it... there was no way I could have managed the last 4 cm without getting an epidural. You'll read why. 
So I had to wait a little longer for the epidural lady to come and during that time I threw up twice from the pain. When she arrived, the worst part of getting the epidural was her wiping my back down with antiseptic stuff! It felt like she was scraping my skin off! It must have been a combination of the rough thing she was using to clean my back, Bo rubbing my back for the last few hours really hard, and the back labour itself. Ouch. I barely felt any part of the epidural because I was having contractions the whole time and could only focus on that. Once it started to kick in, I really felt how tired I was. I think it was about 2 ish in the afternoon and I was exhausted! I ended up throwing up again. I was laying on my left side at first but had to roll over to my right to get the epidural to kind of drain over to my right hip. Everything was completely numb except my right hip. Let me tell you... that was some rough pain. Threw up again. I remember looking at the machine that was monitoring my contractions earlier, when I still cared about looking at machines....and the numbers were in the high 50's and 60's. At the moment everything was numb minus my hip, the numbers were somewhere around 120 I think it was! I was beyond thankful when my right hip finally went numb with the rest of my lower body. It was at this point, I was able to fall asleep. 
Thank baby jesus.
I napped for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half... something like that. I woke up to Bo saying he was going to the cafeteria to get a tea and then come back. Just as he left, the nurse said the doctor was going to come in and check me again. She came and checked and to my absolute complete surprise, she said I was fully dilated and fully effaced. She looked at me and said "lets have a baby!" 
That was such an exciting but terrifying moment. For starters, Bo wasn't back, he had literally just left... and second of all, I couldn't feel a damn thing. I couldn't lift my legs, I couldn't feel contractions.. Nothing. 
All of a sudden, my room was being filled with nurses and doctors. They got me on my back and got my legs all propped up into position. The doctor told me that on my next contraction, we were going to do a practice push, just to see how well I was able to push with absolutely no feeling. Julie told me I was having a contraction, so I took a deep breath in, released it, took another deep breath and PUSHED HARD, deep breath, PUSH, deep breath, PUSH! Right after another.... & with those 3 pushes, I brought the baby all the way down. The doctor was so impressed with my pushing skills and said I did a really good job. At that moment I said "I'm not pushing again until Bo gets here!!" 2 minutes later, he came running into the room. He said when he got buzzed back into the Labour and Delivery ward, the nurse at the desk told him he better hurry because I was pushing! 
So, at this point, all I'm focusing on is Bo & Julie. Bo had to tell me all about what was going on a couple days later, because I had no idea it even happened. Little did I know, the baby's heart rate was going all over the damn place because my contractions were so strong. It would go really high, and then really low... so they had to put an internal fetal monitor on his big little head [another thing I didn't want to happen during my labour but totally necessary]. When they told me that I needed to push hard, I really put all my effort into it. It was such a weird feeling not feeling anything. That being said, THANK GOD I couldn't feel anything because that boy was sunny side up and the doctors had to literally [beware of these next few words...] reach their hands inside and turn him to face the right way. Hence the insane back labour. Like I said earlier, I was focused on Julie, and Bo. All I was listening for was "ok push!" and then I would push.  So after they turned him, they decided that they were going to use a vacuum to help me out because he needed to come out NOW [yet another thing I didn't want to happen, but again, necessary]. Bo said the doctor said I was literally 4-6 minutes away from getting a c-section. Every time they told me to push, I would push as hard as I possibly could and I would do a minimum of 3 pushes back to back. 
I needed to get my baby out. 
From my first push to my last push, it was about 10 minutes total... and then he was here. 4:10pm. 
I originally wanted to do immediate skin to skin & delayed cord clamping.. but that was NOT an option anymore. Bo didn't even get to cut the cord right away but he did get to trim it later. I didn't even get to see him before they took him to the warming bed.. the only thing I saw was his head full of dark hair. I looked at Bo and told him to go with him. They took him straight to the warming bed and used an electric sucking machine thing to clear out his nose and mouth. I laid in my bed anxiously waiting for his cry. It didn't take long before I heard that first squeal. I immediately broke down in tears. I couldn't stop crying. It was the most amazing sound I had ever heard in my life. Not too long later, just a couple minutes, they brought him to me and we did skin to skin. 

It was such a surreal moment to have my baby on the outside of my body, in my arms. Hearing him cry gave me butterflies. He had such a good set of lungs on him! He had all his fingers and toes, he had a full head of dark hair, and he was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I said "hi" to him right away and then I said "happy birthday!" to which some other people in the room said "happy birthday" to him as well. Bo was taking pictures with my iPhone, thankfully! Taking photos was the last thing on my mind, but I'm glad he was on the ball, and he even got a couple videos. 
While I was falling in love with my baby, the doctors were stitching me up, which I couldn't feel thanks to the epidural! Seriously so thankful I got that thing. Considering I just pushed out a baby that weighed 9 lbs 6 oz and in under 10 minutes, I only had first degree tears! I overheard the doctor saying "I'm good!"... to which she was referring to the vacuum I think.... and then one of the nurses said "no, thats a good vagina!" haha! I love whoever said that! 
It's amazing how quick the room clears out once you and baby are ok! The lights were all turned down and there was peace in the room again. 20 or so minutes later, I put the baby to my breast and he latched on right away and nursed for a good 5-10 minutes! Julie brought me more toast and peanut butter and some apple juice too. When we were done this, I handed the baby to Bo and my nurse helped me to the shower. I was wheeled into the bathroom on a wheelchair and was told to sit on the chair in the shower but I had to stand up to wash my hair and vag properly. I think I gave my nurse a heart attack. Epidural and all... probably shouldn't have been standing. Oops. Oh my good god, the shower felt so nice! Once I was done in there, I came out, dried off, got dressed, sat in the wheelchair and Bo gave me the baby. Julie and Bo packed up all our things and she wheeled me to the mother and baby recovery section of the floor. I spent the rest of the night cuddling the most adorable little human in the world <3
So that's that! 
Hunter Rylee Jardine 
March 30th, 2015
9 lbs 6 oz
21 inches long