Monday, April 30, 2007

The Truth and Nothing But the Whole Truth?

Is it right to tell pregnant women the whole truth about the first few weeks after birth?

I have to say that I am not sure what the answer is. I had a friend who gave birth two months before I did and when I saw her right before I gave birth, I questioned her on the birth, the breastfeeding and the pain.

She was very vague, all she would tell me was that it was indeed painful, that I would know when I went into labour (I told her that I was worried I would not recognize labour pains), that I should make sure that I slept as much as possible and that breastfeeding takes commitment.

There is no doubt that her answers were right on the money I felt that she should have given me more information. Though I wonder whether I would have really listened, many times one thinks in the back of your head that it will be different for them. It sure was not.

So if there are any pregnant women who by some chance are reading this post here are my two cents:

- Labour will be what it will be, you may be one of the lucky ones who has bearable pain or be like me who had pain that required medication. I think that if I can say anything on this is to have a plan before you go into labour about your comfort level with medication and communicate this to your doctor and partner.

- The first couple of nights will be extremely tiring, the baby will be feeding what feels like all the time in order to help the milk come down.

- No matter what kind of labour you have you will be very sore and in pain. Take care of yourself and don't worry as things will get better with time.

- Breastfeeding may not come 'naturally', at least it did not for me. I had the help of my doula and the nurse from the hospital. Please ask for help if you feel unsure, this is so important.

- Have the baby close to you at all times. I find that it is great when you have a baby sling and have the baby sleep next to you because this way you don't have to travel far to get to them.

- Sleep when the baby sleeps, no matter what is happening.

- You will be emotional for a few weeks after the birth and should not feel guilty for any of the emotions that you may experience. It is important to talk to our partner about any feelings that you may be having.

- If you can or want, have a birth doula. The reason why I recommend a doula is because with the cut backs in our medical system, the doctors and nurses are not always available to answer questions or concerns quickly. Also a doula will stay with you after the birth and make sure that you are breastfeeding well, that you yourself are feeling okay and will answer any questions that you may have. During the labour they will be a familiar person besides your partner whom you can rely on. They will also stop by a couple of weeks afterwards to check up on you and the baby.

- Go for nice walks with the baby as soon as you can. I found it so relaxing to take Isa out for walks soon after she was born. We both got fresh air and I got some low impact exercise.

I guess that that was more then two cents worth of 'advice'. Take what you like and ignore the rest. If you would like to share any other please leave a comment.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here is to New Beginnings

There is an amazing baby shower being thrown for mamas Tammie, Liz and Christina by some great friends of theirs.

It was requested that in honour of their upcoming births we send some advice or assvice as Motherbumper so nicely put it.

I thought long and hard about this and made the mistake in taking a peek at some of the great posts submitted by other bloggers.

Nevertheless, I have a couple of things up my sleeve. I apologise if I rip off your idea but there are just so many good ones out there.

1) Get support. I made the mistake of assuming that I could do everything myself, boy was I wrong. In the end I was exhausted and cranky which was not good for anyone. Get help from family and friends, don't worry about asking them to come on by and take care of the baby for an hour so that you can get some time to yourself. Or ask them to bring something nice to eat. Whatever it is, ask.

2) Don't always take everything the baby books have to say as the only way to do things. I did find it very useful to read as many books as possible mostly because I had so many questions and no one who could answer them. I personally like any of the Ann Douglas books.

3) Find yourself a moms group. Getting together with other mothers with children of similar ages was a life saver for me. They are some of my dearest friends still and we have been there for each other through many things.

4) Trust yourself. I think that we don't trust ourselves to know what is best. You and your partner will know what is best for your child. Trust that you will make the right decisions.

5) Learn to breastfeed lying down. In my opinion this is the best way to breastfeed because you don't hurt your back and you can just relax and let the baby enjoy his meal. After you are done you can both take a little nap. This was my life saver for the the midnight feedings.

I am done now, I think that I have given the moms-to-be quite a few pieces of advice.

Now for some of the assvice that I received when I was going to have Isa. I have to admit that I have erased many things from my memory. Mostly because it was certainly not worth remembering, so the list will be extremely short.

1) Don't give them a pacifier or bottle or they will not learn how to latch properly. I agree that you don't want to give a one month old a pacifier or a bottle as it may interfere with them learning how to latch. But you can certainly use your own discretion to determine when you can introduce either.

2) Drinking beer will help your milk come down. Enough said.

3) Don't let your baby sleep with you because if you do they will never leave your bed. So not true, Isa slept with us until she was 3 months and it was the best decision we ever made.

Congratulations to all the parents-to-be who are anxiously awaiting the appearance of their little one. Being a parent is the most wonderful thing in the world, it will be very hard at the beginning but it will get better, so much better.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Traffic, Doctor and Shots Oh My

Yesterday I had to take Isa for her 18 month shots, normally this is not a big deal, I am quite used to doing this as we have had to go for shots pretty much every six months. I now know what to expect, but man was it absolutely awful yesterday.

First, let me start with some background information. I live in the west end of the city (hence my name) but before I moved over here I used to live in the opposite side of the city. Because of this my family doctor is located in the East end. Before Isa was born, I had a lot of difficulties finding her a doctor on this end of the city, at least one that was recommended by someone and the problem was that many family doctors are now not taking new patients (I will not go into this issue because we can be here all day). In the end I decided that she will also go to see my own family doctor. And to tell you the truth it has really worked out well so far (expect for the distance).

On a good day (light traffic) it takes about 40 minutes to get to the doctor. Yesterday it took one hour. The traffic was horrendous, at one point I was moving at 40 Km/h on the highway, I was ready to pull out my hair.

To make matters worse Isa was throwing things around and getting upset because I could not give them back to her on demand (this too is another post in itself). I tried keeping her from having a total melt down by signing songs to her. This distracted her only for the duration of the signing which meant that by the end I had no voice left.

Thankfully we got to the doctor in time and did not have to wait too long for her to see us. The examination went very well, with Isa crying only a little bit but she calmed down pretty fast.

The icing on the cake was our trip home. By this time it was 6:30 close to Isa's bed time and it would take us at least 45 minutes to get home. Well let me tell you that it took us one hour. There was an accident on the highway and no possibility of exiting. By the time we got home we were both just frustrated and exhausted. I got the Husband to give her a bath, put her to bed and make dinner.

She had some problems falling asleep which was expected as she was really tired, but eventually she did and slept all night with no problems.

Needless to say I was done for the night, all I could do was sit in front of the tv and watch Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy.

At least we don't have to go back until she turns two and no more shots till school. Hurray for that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mother = Guilt

I was watching the news and they had a segment on a program were mothers can exercise with their children. Personally I think that this is a great thing, but it bothered me that the mother said that she is happy that she no longer feels guilty about taking an hour to herself on the weekends.

I know from personal experience that us mothers place a great deal of guilt on ourselves. When Isa was a newborn I felt so guilty about everything. From the way that I fed her, to how I burped her, whether I made sure that she had enough tummy time and so on. As she got older it was giving her a bottle of breast milk so that I could spend some time by myself (by that time I really needed it).

The list goes on and pretty much at every stage there was something that I would feel guilty about. Things improved a great deal when she started daycare, only because I really did not feel bad about her going there. I absolutely loved the daycare, the staff, their programs and all the children. Now, don't get me wrong, this does not mean that I did not feel like the world's worst mom before she started but once we both went through the transition it was better. I felt confident that she would be looked after, as well as be stimulated and challenged.

There is no doubt that that I felt so guilty once I started working and would hardly see her. But I had no choice at the time and even now that I am at home, she still goes to daycare because she needs the interaction with the children. And also I just can't work with her at home. I admire any mom that has to do both because I know that it is hard not be mommy all the time.

Being a mom is feeling guilty pretty much all the time, but it is important to be practical about things. You can't let the guilt take over because I believe that if you do you hurt yourself. Many times it is about give and take, for me it was about giving up my time with Isa during the week but really taking advantage of the weekends with her. I would be everything for her on the weekends, her cook, her get the picture. I have to admit it was exhausting but so good and rewarding.

The guilt we experience as mothers will probably never go away and very likely we will have guilt thrown at us as they get older. But you really have to try to not let it take over. Easier said than done.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Family Traditions

I was reading a very nice post by Mimi on the Breach yesterday, were she talked about her family's tradition of going to the local greasy spoon restaurant for brunch. This got me thinking about my own traditions, like Mimi, we too loved to go to our neighbourhood greasy spoon restaurant for some eggs, bacon and pancakes but now with Isa reaching her toddler years and not being able to stay put in one place for longer than 10 minutes, we have stopped going. Instead we have very nice big breakfasts at home just the three of us.

It is interesting how I have always had some kind of weekend breakfast tradition. When I was a younger we would have a big breakfast every Saturday, with my dad cooking up some amazing pancakes and all five of us sitting down to chat and read the Saturday Star. I would always read the Comics, my brother the Sports and my dad the Wheels section. These were really special times for all of us, I am thankful that we did have them as now we only see each other once a year.

It is certainly true that many of my family's traditions revolve around food. At Christmas a very important tradition is preparing our special holiday stuffing. It is an all day event with pretty much everyone in the family contributing to it's preparation. My mother and I also have our own mother-daughter tradition of having a nice cup of coffee in the evenings after dinner and chatting about anything. This is something that we started when I was a teenager before she went back to Nicaragua. I love this time of just the two of us because we got to talking about important things in both of our lives.

What traditions do you have?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bye Bye Peta

There was quite a big development this past weekend. We phased out Isa's pacifier (her Peta). I have to say it was quite a traumatic experience for all of us. We had been noticing that she has been using it way too much lately and even though we try to only give it to her for her nap and bed time she still finds ways to get it.

On the way back from Ottawa, she had her Peta and was constantly throwing it to the floor and asking for it back. It got to the point that I told her that if she did it one more time I would not get it back for her because she seamed to not really want it.

Well, needless to say she threw it, I did not give it back to her and a HUGE tantrum ensued. The Husband and I stuck to our guns and did not give in. She cried for 30 minutes and afterwards fell asleep exhausted.

Believe me when I tell you that it was absolutely horrible to listen to her crying for that long. I so wanted to give her her soother but I knew if I did she would know that if she cried long enough she could get things. The Husband was amazing and if he had not been there I don't think I could have done it.

In the end we decided to not give it back to her at all. She is a big girl now and does not need it to put herself to sleep. Today she has asked for it, but we tell her that petas are only for babies and that she is a big girl. She has been so great, she did not cry at all during her nap and only made a small fuss at bed time.

I was so worried that she would have such a hard time because she loved her soother and it gave her so much comfort. But it was the right thing to do and as it turns out the right time.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm off to the Country

We are visiting my in-laws for the next couple of days in beautiful Wakefield Quebec. I am really happy to be here as it means that Isa will be completely taken care of by someone other than the Husband and I.

My mother-in-law has been just dying to see her and really looks forward to her visits.

So you may not hear from me for a couple of days as I will be doing what I do best in Wakefield: drink, eat, and read (in that order).

Enjoy the awesome weather and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

18 Months Going On 13 Years

I was catching up on my favourite blogs and as I was reading Motherbumper's post on the things her little bumper does, it got me thinking about all the things that Isa has started to do and before they get lost in my memories I want to write them down.

I am happy to say that her repertoire of words has grown, she now says, UP, teche (milk), pio pio ( bird), mas (more), papa (dad), pan (bread) and some times she says mama. I have to admit that I don't know all the English words that she may know as I try not to speak to her in English. 'Up' is the only word that I actually encourage or don't correct with the correct Spanish words as it is an easy word and she uses it quite a lot.

Though her speaking is in the early stages, her comprehension is just amazing. She understand perfectly what we ask of her in both languages. She is able to follow directions and to perform small tasks. For instance she goes to the bathroom when I tell her that it is bath time. She goes to her chair when it is time to eat, when she is done and I ask her if she wants more food she picks up her plate and says 'mas'. She gets her shoes from the mat by the door when we ask her to, and even puts them there after we come home. Not even the Husband does that.

It is not only that she follows directions or that she comprehends but that she now communicates to us what her wants are. She tell us when she wants to go outside by grabbing her jacket and getting her shoes. She tells you whether she wants water or milk with her meals and lets you know that she would like to play with you by grabbing your hand and taking you to her room where her toys are.

It is incredible how far she has come and I have to agree with a good friend of mine who has a 4 year old son, these are some of the best times. But they can also be hard because they are starting to get frustrated and so the tantrums have come into the picture. She is like a little teenager one minute she is happy and the next she is having a melt down.

but it is all good, it is all part of growing up.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Extra Extra

After many months of market research, creative design, software development, product research, vendor agreements, business plans…(you get the picture), I am very proud to say that the doors are open for business. is a place where new moms can browse for useful resources, get connected to other moms in their community through online mom groups, and shop for cool developmental and wooden toys for their infants and tots.

All the hard work that was put in by both of us has paid of in a truly great site and there are so many more things that we are planning to add to it such as articles that address topics which are important to parents, a gift registry, more great developmental toys and much more.

Thank you very much to everyone that sent out their words of encouragement and best wishes. I hope that you stop by and visit. Please let me know what you think, comments and feedback are always welcome.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Everyone is a Critic

I have been having some problems in the feeding department with Isa lately. I mentioned before how she will only eat things that are just solid or mushy but certainly not both. This means that she will not have lumpy mashed potatoes or soup with chunks of veggies or meat.

Not a problem, we learned about this particular eating requirement early and took steps to ensure that it was met. The problem is that I always have to think of something different to make her for meals. She will not have many of the things I make because they violate her requirements, ie. spaghetti sauce with meat and veggies or any nice home made soup.

Thankfully she is a great eater when she gets food that she loves, like cheese, yogurt, avocados, bread, pasta with tomato sauce and eggs. And she especially likes to sit at the table with us while we have our meals. This is something that both the Husband and I have taken very serious. But it sure is hard because before I would get so much house work done when she was happily strapped to her high chair. Now I have to make sure that the meal that everyone will be having is prepared for the times that she eats. Needless to say this only works on the weekends.

Ahhh, I miss the days when she would take just about anything, now she has standards.

So for those reading this article, if you are a parent of a baby that is just starting solids and is eating everything you give them with no problems, enjoy it, because Isa was like that and now she is not. On the other hand if your little one is not so keen on the solid stuff right away, don't fret because I know many babies who were like this who now eat anything their parents give them. And then there are the lucky ones whose child always loves food. If you are such a parent, don't tell us.
The moral of the story is that you just never know how it will be in the future and that you just have to adjust. Experiment and don't freak out if they wont eat something today because they can change their minds tomorrow.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Let The Hunt Begin

I was so wrong about how Isa would react to the Easter egg hunt. As I said, we went over to my in-laws to celebrate Easter and they bought a ton of little Easter eggs and bunnies for the five kids including Isa to search throughout the house.

In the end they decided to only hide the eggs in the living room and to have most within Isa's reach. I was very skeptical as to how much Isa would be able to participate. But boy was I totally wrong. As soon as she got her basket and saw the other kids looking for the eggs, she knew exactly what she had to do. It was incredible to see the focus in her little face, she looked everywhere for the little eggs. Unbelievable. It was hilarious to see her searching under the sofa, in the plants, on the coffee table, everywhere for her chocolate. In fact she even learned how to say chocolate. chote.

We were all just laughing so hard, it was incredibly fun to see her doing this. I have to say that I enjoyed it and that it will have to be a family tradition because she has so much fun.

Needless to say she got to enjoy the fruits of her labour and was just wired. Thankfully I was able to calm her down with a nice bath and was in bed at her usual time.

A wonderful Easter was had by all, round two happens in a couple of weeks at my other in-laws in Ottawa. Isa is going to start thinking that this happens all the time.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

We wish you all a very Happy Easter full of yummy chocolate bunnies.

I know that Isa's grandparents are going to go INSANE over the chocolate bunnies for many years to come. Every time we go over they have some sugary treat for her and the smart little girl knows it.

I have to say that I am not sure how I feel about the whole Easter egg hunt thing and the cheap quality chocolate animals. I don't want Isa to think that this is all Easter is about. Now, don't get me wrong I think that the Easter Egg hunt is lots of fun and will be something that we will all enjoy taking part in. I am also looking forward to decorating eggs and doing other Easter crafts with her. Especially since I only got to do this once as a child (my mother was not a crafty person) I just need to ensure that she
also knows that Easter is about Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection of Christ.

But there is no point in worrying about this right now, she is only 18 months and has only a small idea of what is happening.


Friday, April 06, 2007

My Apologies

I had hopped that now that I was no longer working at The Bank with my boss sitting right behind me I would do more blogging. But this last week I have been so busy getting ready to open up the store that I have had no time to blog or to even visit my favourite blogs. But things should be better this week as I have straighten things out.

So I hope to keep to my promise or goal really of blogging more and stopping by to say hi.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Sunday Blues

I have always had what some call the Sunday Blues, on Sundays I would get a little sad that the weekend was over and that I had to either go to school the next day or go to work.

I read in Cosmo, a long time ago that it was a good idea to do something that you really enjoy on Sundays to minimize the Sunday Blues. So I would usually spend it doing my favourite things like reading a good book, hanging out with friends, going for walks in Bloor West and having a very nice dinner with the Husband and watching some good t.v.

After Isa was born and I was back to work, my Sunday Blues got even worse because it meant that I would not spend as much time with her. My working weeks were very busy and thankfully they went quickly.

But now I have no more Sunday Blues, I can spend as much time with Isa as I want during the week. If I feel like keeping her home from daycare one day I can. Or she can go to daycare and I can pick her up early and we can go on play dates with her little friends.

I am just so grateful to have this opportunity.

Here is to the end of my Sunday Blues.