Looking Back

Sometimes I look back at the self I was a year ago 9 months pregnant, eager to meet my little boy, elated, excited, anxious and terrified all at the same time.  I look back and think, “what would I tell my pregnant self?”.  What words of wisdom would I impart with a very pregnant, and slightly irrational, Ana?

photo taken by Labour of Love Photography

I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy the way I hear many women do.  Mine was long, hard, painful and uncomfortable.  Perhaps it had something to do with my son being bigger than the average infant, and my torso being disproportionately shorter than my legs.  Or perhaps it was due to having every single symptom written about in pregnancy books.  In any case I was eager for my pregnancy to end.  For me to finally have my little boy to kiss and hug, and to finally get my old body back.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved feeling his little body move inside my belly.  It was the most incredible feeling and for a long time after he was born, I would lay awake at night, not able to fall asleep without his rhythmic hiccups that came without fail every night around 10pm.  So what would I say??

I would tell myself to be patient and enjoy the small things.  Pregnancy is so special and it takes time to really savour it, good or bad, its still a unique experience.

I would tell myself that my son could hear me all day long.  Really, really hear me, and that I should speak to him more often, read children’s books and sing lullabies.

I would tell myself to not be afraid of change.  To expect to become a different person at the exact second of my son’s birth, but that this new momma would be such a more amazing mom than I could ever plan to be.

I would tell myself that the future is never guaranteed, but that all we can do is our very best.  And often our best is good enough.

I would tell myself to understand that this new little person I am about to meet is both completely dependent and completely independent of me at the same time.

I would tell myself to know there would be hard times, frustrating times, scary times, but that in the end it will all work out.

I would tell myself that no matter how hard I tried to imagine the single exact moment of my son’s birth, no matter how many times I envisioned the exact feelings and emotions I would feel.  Nothing could prepare me for just how that incredible it would actually be.

I would tell myself to sleep, relax and prepare to the biggest adventure of my life.

Because to me that’s just what this journey has been so far, an amazing adventure full of love and laughter, tears and frustration, and I am oh so fortunate to experience it to the fullest.

Man Test

My son’s two month pediatrician appointment happened to fall on an immaculate Saturday morning.  My wife and I arrived at the doctor’s office at 8am and the waiting room was a complete ghost town…perfect!  Waited a few minutes only and BINGO to the room we went. Now my wife had mentioned earlier in the week that this would be our son’s first round of shots. In my head,  all I was thinking was what a great opportunity to see what the little guy is made of.    A preliminary man test, if you will.    What I certainly wasn’t thinking about was about my wife and how she would have any problems at all with this appointment.  While we were waiting for the doctor I noticed my wife acting a little jumpy, again thought nothing of it.  Pediatrician comes in, does the usual height/weight and then as she was prepping the needles, she asks my wife if she was okay.  This was the precise moment the first alarm bell started going off in my head, bur that point it was too late to act. I was holding my son down while the doctor stabbed the needle into my son’s thigh, one at a time (why did I think the shots would be like drawing blood?).

I honestly thought he took it pretty well, but my wife was another story.  Complete water works. The moment the needle was out, my wife lunged for our son while damn near knocking me over. It all happened so quickly.

Everyone around me was crying… did I miss something?

Ultimately the first man test came back  inconclusive. I’m convinced that he was only crying  because he didn’t want his mom to be singled out. In some ways he is so ahead of his time.

-dad

Perfect Nursing Top {Fashion Fridays}

{Mariposa Top}

I am always so envious of European mommas and mommas-to-be, with their simple luxurious clothing and unassuming natural beauty.  I had a difficult time during my pregnancy, and now that I am a nursing momma, finding the right clothing to accommodate my needs. 

This Mariposa top however is EXACTLY the type of staple I needed in my wardrobe!  Its perfect with jeans or shorts {in the summer}, accessorized with a beautiful long necklace and killer flat boots!  Divine! 

The best part is the hidden side compartment for easy breastfeeding! 

I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that I am going to be on the lookout for this top during my trip to Valencia! LOVE LOVE!

Our Nightly Walk

Every night after dinner, Michael, baby J and I get together and go for a walk.  We have a pretty awesome routine right now and the daily walk has become one of my absolute FAVORITE times of the day.  Baby J naps while we walk over to our local coffee shop, grab our coffee’s {sometimes for an extra treat we also get a frozen yogurt}, and then we walk around our little local park.  Its lovely!

The park makes for amazing people watching!!  People migrate to the park after work.  They sit in groups on the grass under the trees, drinking their bevies {many of them of the alcoholic variety}.  There are groups there celebrating birthdays with a picnic and balloons, doing yoga on the grass, making out under the willows or learning to balance on a tight rope tied between two trees.  Last week I sat with my friend, my cousin and baby J on a bench and just watched a group of hippie men play Frisbee, while one of their friends serenaded them on his guitar to Brittany Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, it was pretty funny I won’t lie.

I think my favorite thing about our walks though is having that one hour of alone time with my two boys.  Quiet alone time!  With baby J asleep in his stroller, my husband and I get a chance to talk.  We talk about everything, our day at work, my plans for the blog, his vision for the suit he is having made for his sister’s wedding next month, and various strategies for how we will tackle baby J’s life and development.  It really is the perfect time to just talk about anything and connect after our busy days {since we both work full time + blog + taking care of the baby…it gets to be a bit overwhelming sometimes}.  If you’re not in a routine where you do this with your partners, and you are able to integrate a walk in your evening a few days a week, I would highly recommend this.  Its pure perfection!

I initially wanted to document our evening stroll, but I failed miserably at taking any non-blurry shots of the park and the people.  So you will have to settle for images of Johannes and I getting ready for our walk with snuggles and kisses, photos of Michael pushing the stroller, waiting for our coffee, baby feet and a shot of the Toronto skyline as I was walking across the intersection.

LOVE LOVE!

We Are Introducing Solid Food!

For weeks now baby J has been super fussy at {adult} meal times.  He just cries and whines as soon as he sees solid foods come out, and tries to grab everything out of our hands and shove it in his mouth.  I guess I should have figured that he was maybe ready for solid food {or maybe I secretly knew and disregarded it because I was maybe trying to hang on a little while longer to this milk-only baby stage}.  Either way we met with our pediatrician on Saturday morning and she gave us the OK to start introducing baby J to some rice cereal.

Yey for new stage!!  Boo to no longer being on a breast milk only diet!  As a new momma I think my biggest fear is that he will no longer want to nurse.  I cherish that special time with him so much, and I know that it won’t last forever.  But I won’t get all sappy this morning…I refuse.  Instead I will focus on the positive!

Our first attempt at feeding J solids was successfull!  He just gobbled it down as if it was his last meal, and as though he’d been eating with a spoon forever.  We even managed to keep him relatively clean throughout the process.   We also discovered that at the end he wants to drink from a cup like us big people.  So I put a little more breast milk in the cup, splush it around….{is spush even a real word?}  and let him have his fun with whatever is left.  So far he LOVES it!  He makes “num” “num” pleasure noises as he eats and cries when the food is all gone, so I have to rush him up to his room to nurse.  He even slept through the night again!  yey!!  I think we’re on the right track so far.

Here are a few pictures we took of his first food attempt!  Doesn’t he look like such a big boy?!

Are You Offended by Breast Pumps in the Workplace?!

Last week the Style section of the New York times published a letter from a reader {mom} who came under fire at her work place for pumping in the office.  To be clear, she was not pumping IN the office, she would do this in the office bathroom or the “pumping closet”.  It was the simple act of having her office mate “see” her pump parts sticking out of her non-descript black bag, that had HR running a frenzy to try and put a stop to this. 

“I share an office with someone who works from home many days a week.  I have a pump in a black bag.  I had the bag on the floor, but not fully under my desk, top part unzippered so that empty bottles were visible.  This resulted in a complaint to HR by my office mate (with whom I have a superficially friendly relationship) that it made her uncomfortable.  She wants to not have to see the black bag because it grosses her out.” {excerpt from “Offended by an Office Breast Pump”, NY Times}  – You can read the rest of the article here.

As a mom who works in an office full-time, this really struck home with me.  I nurse my son exclusively, and given that breast feeding is so important and becoming quite the hot-political-issue, I am honestly SHOCKED that there are moms out there who are coming under fire for pumping!! 

I also have the non-descript black pumping bag, I also pump in the bathroom, rinse the parts in the communal sink, and have my bag on the shelf in my cubicle…that’s right, I don’t even HAVE AN OFFICE!  My experience thus far has been great.  I have not received one complaint, one dirty look or snide remark.  On the contrary, most of my colleagues {which I should add are male…and probably reading this right now!} have been really supportive…and by supportive I mean, they don’t really talk about it and don’t really acknowledge what I’m doing, as I walk by their desks with my little black bag and show up 10min late for lunches.

I think I would be really offended if  someone had complained about seeing my bag, or me rinsing my pump in the bathroom sink…especially given that I often hear the most vile noises coming from various bathroom stalls.  And then there is always the ever-horrid hacking followed by the detestable loogie launch into the sink some persons feel is necessary.  Or the persons who REFUSE to wash their hands after they go to the washroom {you know who you are!}.  How is PUMPING any more offensive than what I just described?!  Funny enough, you don’t hear complaints to HR about THOSE people!

I would love to hear any stories about your personal experiences with this?!  What do YOU think?

{From the top:  Image viaCoghill Cartooning’s Photostream / Images via Escaping to My Happy Place}