Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Babies and Sleep

I was extremely lucky as a new mother, my sister was able to stay with me and my husband for the first week of Charlie being at home with us and then my mother stayed with us for two weeks after that. Because of the additional help in the first 3 weeks I was not the typical sleep deprived new mother as I had them to help in between feedings which gave me time to nap when needed. I can not say enough how much having the two of them there helped me and made such a huge difference. If you can, accept help like this in your irate few weeks after childbirth, it will keep you sane.

It also helped that Charlie was not and still is not a colicky or fussy baby. My biggest issue was for the first 6 weeks she required a nipple shield to assist in breast feeding. Although this saved me from having to revert to formula and took away a lot of potential stress, they are not conducive to night time side feeding which meant I had to get into the sitting position and feed her in the cradle hold making it harder for me to fall asleep afterwards. Now that that isn't an issue we have been enjoying relatively peaceful nights even with night feelings as Charlie "dream feeds" and never really wakes between 9pm and 5:30am.

We've also fallen quietly nicely into our nap routine.

With all that said I'm currently holding my breath. At only 16 weeks old Charlie is exhibiting all of the signs of teething which have left her fussier then normal in the evenings and last night the two us didn't go to sleep until almost midnight. Not because she was crying but she was just awake. I'm hoping things remain okay and I'm not writing another post in a few weeks about my lack of sleep!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Charlie's Birth Story

Charlotte "Charlie" Lena (named after my mother's father and D's nan) arrived Saturday March 16th at 4:15pm, weighing 8lbs 4ozs and 20.5 inches long.

My labour at home was relatively easy...or at least not as horrifying as I thought it would be. My contractions started being noticeable at 9pm while my sister and I were watching a movie but I didn't want to say anything in case I was wrong. By 2:30 am, after changing positions, taking a hot shower/bath, and tracking my contractions I figured I should say something to my husband and sister. I wasn't sure what to do as I was told the rule to go to the hospital is 4-1-1 (contractions every 4 minutes, lasting 1 minute long and consistent for at least an hour) and that in active labour the contraction pains are apparently so bad that you can't talk through them. Well mine were more like 2.5 to 3 minutes apart -  45 seconds long - and consistent for a few hours, and I didn't feel like I couldn't talk through them. Yes it hurt but not as much as I had assumed.

I called St. B maternity triage and gave them this information and they advised that I wait until the contractions are at least 60 seconds in length or my water broke. So I was at the hospital at 6 am, hoping that they wouldn't check and see that I wasn't even close and send me home but when I was admitted into triage it turned out I was fully effaced and 6 cm dilated so I was most definitely staying. I got stuck in triage for 2 hours because they could find a vein in my hands to put the IV in. By the time they walked me to my private room and checked again I had progressed to 8.5 cm this point my back was killing me and I definitely had no desire to talk through a contraction.

I opted for the epidural, even though at that point I only had 2 cms to go and then push which I assumed would be only 2-3 more hours, thankfully I didn't listen to this 'rational' part of my brain because it turned out that Charlie was facing left and I was going to experience the dreaded back labour.  This tends to take longer and hurt more! My contractions started slowing down around 11:30 and I had to be given a drip to help 'induce' me, I started pushing at 2:30 and when my delivering doctor showed up at 3:30 she attempted to manually turn Charlie which was a 'wonderful' feeling even with the epidural, not to mention the back pain that snuck past the drugs. At 4pm she told us she needed to use the vacuum which meant a trip to the OR. Well 15 minutes later, with a heavier dose of epidural which numbed my legs and took away the back pain, a failed vacuum attempt, the use of forceps, an episiodomy that left me with multiple stitches (the Dr didn't tell me how many), and two hemorrhoids because I pushed so hard, Charlie entered the world.

It was so sweet. D cried and fell in love immediately. I did too.

Even though it would be considered a traumatic birth for baby and mom, I personally didn't think it went that bad. I guess I had worked myself up into thinking labour was the worst thing ever but managing to go 8.5cm with no drugs and then having the epidural look after the rest it was definitely doable!

Charlie did have a bit more tough of a time though and slept a lot (we had to force her awake at feedings). She didn't take to my breast so we had to finger tube feed her, basically she wouldn't open her mouth enough to fit a nipple in. My sister was nice enough to pump milk for me, as I wasn't producing enough to feed her the first 3 days by myself, although I did give her what I could pump myself first. On the fourth evening my milk had come in strong (my breasts are a lot bigger then I expected them to get) and I was able to transfer her to my breast with the help of a nipple shield so that she could maintain a latch. We are at 3 weeks today and still using the shield although I'm working on getting her to hold a latch with out it, so far we got her on for approximately 3 minutes.

So now we are settling in at home, getting to know each other and loving parenthood. I am so lucky to have such a good baby, who really only cries when she's hungry and lets me sleep well at night. Knocking on wood it stays that way for a long time!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A more organized 2013

Happy New Year!

Normally I wait until my birthday to start reflecting on new year goals and resolutions but with only 2.5 months left before baby Kaethler joins our household I KNOW that I need to start working on organizing my house.

So I've decided that in 2013 I want to focus on the following two goals:
  1. Slowing Down - I realize that with a baby about to arrive into our lives it will be pretty busy this year but rather then letting things overwhelm me, I want to practice mentally slowing down. Taking a deep breath and tackling ONE thing at a time so I am not running all over the place and ending up burnt out. With only 2 months left at work I want to implement this and NOT stay at work late like I did in November/December.
  2. Plan, Prepare & Organize - One of the biggest hurdles I've had in my life to achieving balance is the fact that my environment is usually in chaos so in the next 2.5 months I want to organize my house as much as possible and hopefully continue to tackle projects through out the year once I get out of the baby daze that I'm sure will fall on me soon.

With that said, my first project in 2013 has been to tackle the disaster that has become my office. After helping to plan a social, 3 baby showers, a bridal shower, a wedding, an 85th birthday and Christmas in 2012, failing to put away supplies that I pulled out for each event inevitably resulted in this mess.

So this morning after procrastinating for a few hours, I jumped in and started cleaning everything up. Here is what my office looked like this morning when I started...

....what a mess!

While I organized things into piles and got rid of things that were garbage or should have been somewhere else in the house I dragged my husband away from his relaxing day of video games to hang the needle point that my great grandmother had done a few years before she past away, which my mother generously past down to me. Its amazing how finished a room will look when you start hanging art/photos.

... And after 5 hours I am finally able to sit at my clean desk and write this post, which feels wonderful!

Now that I have a working office again I want to tackle some smaller projects in the office this month that will organize our paper clutter through filing and binders.

My sister also got a beautiful Silhouette CAMEO from her husband this year for Christmas and I plan on buying some vinyl for her to cut out labels for my containers in the closet which currently contain craft supplies, party supplies, a wrapping station (that desperately needs to be better organized but I'm still looking for inspiration), and gifts for future baby showers and kids birthdays.

Tackling this project first also happens to fall within the time frame for week #1 of the New Year’s Organizing PRIZE Challenge which means I can actually link up. To see other blogs tackling their home office this week clink on the button below.

A Bowl Full of Lemons

On a side note, I used my iPad's camera to take these photos and am not impressed with the quality. I'm think I might have to pull out my camera this year to post clearer pictures, unless there are tricks to using the iPad that will make them look better...suggestions?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy, busy

At work this week we moved over the last division (the industrial/labour temp staffing) to our new payroll software, which was 200+ employees at once. And by we I mean me, at least for the processing part so I was at work until 1:30am yesterday and 8:00pm today ensuring everyone got paid.

Needless to say I don't have much to contribute via blogging tonight. Sorry I've been pretty boring lately.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Annual Vacation

I love to travel, and although D is more of a home body when ever I convince him to take a trip with me he has truly enjoyed himself.

In the past few years we have been able to save money on our trips because we accumulate air mile and aeroplan points to pay for our flights. I also research a lot ahead of time for activities, food and accommodations.

Now I've been thinking of investing into a TimeShare property and then subscribe to RCI or something similar which allows you to trade your timeshare week in for points that can be used to stay at other locations. I know of a few people that have timeshare properties, one of them being a coworker. Her and her sister purchased a timeshare five years ago in Florida, close to Disney World, for $13,000 + $350/annually for maintenance fees and than signed up for RCI's point program. They get 37400 points a year and since then select their vacations 'last minute' they are able to get amazing locations for a fraction of the cost/points it would normally cost. (She gave me her log in and she has over 100k points accumulated right now and yet they travel every year).

I like the idea of being able to stay in nice locations when we travel but not having to pay the sticker price but I've also read terrible online reviews of people that weren't happy when they exchanged their weeks for points to redeem at other locations.

Due to the economy a lot of people have been forced to sell their timeshares because they can either not afford the finance charges for the property because they didn't pay for it in full during purchase or the annual maintenance fees are too much for their tight budgets. Because they don't want to keep paying the annual fees they are selling the properties for a fraction of the original cost.

Obviously I would rather pick up a property for below cost but I don't want to get one that I wouldn't want to stay at if I decide not to use RCI.

Long story short I feel like I haven't researched even close to enough right now and wish I could wrap my head around everything.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adding to my Christmas wishlist

 I was driving back to the office from my lunch break and the CBC radio noon host was interviewing one of the writers from Best of Bridges, as they have just launched their newest cookbook - Best of Bridges Slow Cooker Cookbook.

As I mentioned previously I want to do the weekly meal planning and my Mondays and Tuesdays need to be premade or in a crockpot as I don't get home until after 8pm due to Girl Guides and CMA Group work. I really want some healthy and tasty ideas for crockpot recipes and this cookbook sounds good. If I don't get something like it for Christmas I will definitely be purchasing it by the New Year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wrapping up

Feet are starting to hurt and I getting tired.

Another great day though, breakfast at Norma's, walk through Central Park, more bus tours, Rockefeller Centre and now we are waiting for our pizza delivery.