Magnus’ Birth Story

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After months and weeks of waiting and wondering.  Dreaming and excitement, Magnus Valentin joined our family on September 9.  He was 9.45lbs, 1 week past his due date and full of personality.

I decided months ago to try my hardest for a VBAC after my emergency Cesarian with Johannes.  But at 41 weeks pregnant and with no labour on the horizon I made the decision to schedule a csection.  Risking another emergency Cesarian was not at all appealing to me, and I decided that I wanted a controlled environment rather than the unknown.  So this birth story is very different from the last.

The night before my csection, my mom took Johannes and Michael and I enjoyed a nice dinner out just the two of us.  We woke up early the next day, cleaned up a bit, packed our car and left for the hospital.  Unlike my first csection, this one wasn’t filled with anxiety, worry and fear.  My biggest concern that day was more or less how I would personally handle the proceedure and less the fear that my son wouldn’t be born alive.  And let me tell you, that’s a huge HUGE thing.

The doctors and nurses were relaxed and chatty.  They introduced themselves and took their time to explain what would happen.  Michael came into the OR as soon as my spinal tap was complete, and held my hand.  Within a few minutes and feeling some pulling and tugging, our son was born.  The hospital we chose to give birth at implemented a new program where skin to skin is allowed between the mom and baby as soon as he is born.  My hands were not tied down like the last time, and the curtain was drawn much lower on my chest so I could have Magnus on me right away.  It was so lovely to experience that.  I remember feeling like an eternity before I could see or hold Johannes, it was torture.  I had skin to skin time with my baby boy until it was time to wheel me out of the OR, at which point they handed him to Michael to bring along.

Once in recovery we had over an hour of skin to skin with our son.  He latched perfectly right away and nursed with no issue.  Ahh the smell and deliciousness of a fresh baby is just the most amazing thing ever.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Recovery was much quicker this time also.  Without the prior 20+ hours of labour my body seems to have healed faster.

Now for the bad parts.  I really don’t react well to any type of anesthetic.  The spinal made me horribly nauseated, and I was unable to eat or drink anything for about 20hours after surgery.  I just couldn’t hold water down.  And the itching.  I couldn’t stop that.  But unlike at Johannes’ birth I was aware of Magnus’.  I savoured every minute and was able to really focus on him and his sweetness.

I am so grateful to have this little in my life, and to have been able to carry him to term and beyond.  I have no regrets, no guilt, just joy and admiration for what a mom’s body can do to produce a human life.  I think the key for me was not having too many expectations of myself.  Letting the pregnancy dictate the outcome, while taking into account the risks to both mine and my baby’s health.

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38 weeks

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Home stretch! The end always feels the hardest, but I forget that it ends just as quickly as it’s begun. In less than a month we will have a new baby in the house and my body is prepping for no sleep by waking me up every hour now with either hip pain or bladder needs. I will miss this, mostly the belly movement and the hiccups. But I’m ready to meet this little guy.

On the home front we have been battling the fever, a serious sore throat, coughing and as of this morning…an eye infection. No it’s not me, it’s Johannes. He’s sick. We are headed to the doctor just as soon as the office opens, hopefully he can kick this (whatever it is) quickly and get back to his cheerful self. Until then we are spending our days in bed watching old movies and eating popcorn.

Style Me Pretty and a Tour of my Home

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To say I’m a fan of Style Me Pretty, would be an understatement, I practically planned my entire wedding while perusing the site.  So when Jacquelyn asked me if I would like to take part in the Behind the Blog and Home Tour features of SMP Living, I was obviously incredibly excited and flattered!  The talented Anna, from Anna with Love took the photos, and you can see and read more on the SMP site, interview and product credits!

 

Life Lately

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I’m not sure if its the pregnancy, or the realization that summer is almost over, or maybe a combination of everything, but I’ve been finding it really difficult to do much of anything lately.  By 1pm I’m tired and ready for a nap, and at night I toss and turn and wake up every hour to go to the bathroom.  I miss sleeping.

But despite appearances online and on Instagram, there are super exciting things happening around me too.  For starters my baby brother got engaged, and to a red-head after all!  What are the odds that we both fall in love and marry red-heads!!?  I hashtag this one #awesome.

Our tiny little urban garden has also exploded lately yielding plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, carrots, basil, peppers and broccoli.  Johannes loves to pick the ripe veggies and eat the tomatoes straight off the vine.  There were a few weeks there where raccoons were eating most of our vegetables, but we bought this “scarecrow” aka motion sensor sprinkler that now squirts them every time they come into our yard.  1 point for me….0 points for the raccoons.

Then just this weekend Johannes passed level 2 swimming.  He is now officially in level 3 and I couldn’t be more proud.  He swam 30meters unassisted…30!  I am pretty sure I’d be totally exhausted swimming an entire pool length, yet somehow my 3 year old did it.

So now we wait for baby brother.  I’m 38 weeks pregnant and out of everyone else who was pregnant and due the same week as me, it seems I am the only one left pregnant.  But I make big babies.  Big, hearty babies, who don’t like to make an early exit.  I even tried playing soccer with Johannes this afternoon and gardening in the hopes that all that activity and running would give him a nudge….but it seems I only managed to give myself a back ache and fat ankles.

The Best After-school Programs in Toronto

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Its hard to figure out the best programs for littles.  Ones that will challenge them, get them excited about going and channeling their creativity.  I had a really hard time trying to find the best camps, after school programs and activities for Johannes.

I found out about the Seasons Family Centre in Toronto when Nikki contacted me through the blog a few years ago.  As it turns out, pre-babies, pre-marriage, when we were young and care-free, we used to live in the same loft building at Yonge and Dundas Square!  Nikki remembered Michael, the red hair and height will do that, and she reached out because she was also a new mom like me and a new business owner.  Nikki opened the Seasons Family Centre with the intention of having a space where she could provide creative classes that would enrich the minds of little humans.

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Since then the Centre has evolved, providing full-time care, classes, after school programs, birthday parties, workshops and special events.  Its such a great multi-faceted space and Nikki lovingly oversees it all, along with a qualified team of certified instructors.  They even have kiddo yoga and an awesome haunted house at Halloween!  You can check out their calendar here for available activities and classes.

And funny story, but when I went to visit the centre a few weeks ago, the kids were pretty fascinated with my “big belly” lots and lots of questions were asked and answered.

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My Favourite Guacamole Recipe

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I was craving guacamole…and so I made some.

I’m sort of in a no-cooking phase lately, I blame the pregnancy for my lack of energy, but when cravings come calling I just can’t ignore them.  So guacamole it is.

My favourite recipe ever is super simple and fresh.  No fancy spices, just a couple of perfectly ripe avocados, some red onion and lime. (well and a few other things as you’ll see below).

the best guacamole recipe

ingredients

2 ripe avocados

juice of 1 fresh lime

4 tbsp finely chopped red onion

2 green onions finely chopped

4 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

salt to taste

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make

Pit the avocados and mash the flesh with a fork.  Mix in the onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice.  Taste and add salt until you think its appropriate for consuming along side some delicious tortilla chips and a strawberry margarita…that’s how my non-pregnant self would have it anyways.