34 Week Bumpdate: Big Week Big Changes 🍁

Since I last posted life has thrown us for a real change… like we no longer live in the same province kind of change. In mid February we were presented with a choice to head East for the next 6 months; because Michael and I believe in family first and God made it very clear that we were to take this chance we packed up our little growing family and headed for the ocean. Now that we are here and starting to settling into a new normal in my childhood home, and I am settled in with my doctors here, I am finally able to take a deep breath and take an adventure or two with my Moo.

I’ll start with a Bumpdate. So that worry I mentioned in my 25 Week Bumpdate about the gestational diabetes diagnosis came to fruition. I was diagnosed with “borderline” gestational diabetes as my sugars were slightly elevated at the 1 hour mark of the testing but managed to get themselves in order by the second hour. This added a huge stress to my life as I was still at work and having to test every 2 hours and eat every 2 hours while still getting my job done. Thankfully I have a very supportive office and for the 2 weeks I was there with the diagnosis they never complained or made me feel like I was slacking…. because I did a good enough job of that myself.

On February 13 I finished work and began my general illness before baby came. This was a huge blessing with the cards life has dealt my family as a whole as of late and made the transition to the East Coast that much less stressful. But before we left we did take a fun day trip to West Edmonton Mall where Moo had a chance to play on some rides and see some new animal friends.

On February 23 Moo and I flew across the country while Michael drove and made it from Alberta in record time. I can say flying at 31 weeks is probably the least fun airline experience I have ever had and would not recommend it to anyone. But Moo had a good time and loved all the special treats he found in his new backpack.

The 34 week mark arrived as did 34 weeks and 1 day, 34 weeks and 2 days and deep breath 34 weeks and 3 days. Mile marker met!!!! Now I am officially more pregnant that I have ever been, every single day and that means every day that passes should mean that Little Moo will be just that much healthier and that much stronger when they are born. Now I hope to make it to term on March 31 and so I will hopefully not have a NICU stay. But I have to be honest, Little Moo feels a little anxious to get out, but only time will tell.

After a few weeks int the Maritimes we are starting to settle in and are ready to take on some new adventures, we we decided to start with the Sugar Bush.

Growing up in the maritimes I was lucky enough to experience the annual tradition of hiking into the woods in late winter early spring for the sole purpose of eating maple sugar and pancakes. Michael on the other hand having grown up everywhere from the beautiful southern British Columbia rich in wine to the gold rush territories of the Yukon and many places in between had never experienced this childhood dream of a tradition. So at the end of week 34 I packed up my favourite guys and we headed to one of our local maple sugar camps, Trites Maples.

We hiked a short distance into the wood to the Pancake House, where we started off with Moo having his first taste of hot Maple Toffee on freshly fallen snow (thank goodness for all the Nor’Easters earlier in the week).

After having our fill of pure maple goodness, we headed inside for an all you can eat pancake breakfast where Moo was very excited to share everyone’s sausages and pancakes. It was by far his favourite part of the day!

I have to say that this short Saturday adventure was a lot of fun and totally worth the walk in the cold and would recommend it to anyone wanting to partake in a wonderful eastern Canadian tradition. Because lets face it winter is far too long to not have add little Maple Sugar Tradition to your life.

Have you every made a quick decision to make a big change in your life? Where did that decision take you? What is your favourite winter/spring tradition?

To see more of our Maritime adventures follow us on instagram (@the_mcgills2015)

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The Mama who could have bounced…. but didn’t 

Motherhood almost instantly readjusts your priorities, at least it did for me. From the second Monkey was born Michael and I were making critical life or death decisions and focused solely on what was best for Monkey. This was a huge mind shift for me that affected my life in ways I didn’t expect. 

Growing up I was that girls that danced 4 hours a day 7 days a week and never felt thin or fit enough, I was but I always strived for more. Thankfully I found myself in a therapists office before I could do too much damage but I was always the type to push my body to its limits at least for period of time. 

Solveg – Academy of Classical Ballet 2000

When my dance life ended and I went off to University I took up running and the gym. This was a slow burn relationship with lots of ups and downs that I still struggle with but in the end I still managed to keep my weigh and dress size within MY acceptable range. It would be nothing for me to decided to chase the bikini body mid summer and decided that two classes a day was completely doable along with a “I only eat food that looks like it did coming out of the ground” diet… because if I am anything I am dedicated and goal driven. And I would achieve that goal… every… single… time….sometimes with a little time to spare.

So with all this type A personality engrained in my DNA and 14 years of ballet school discipline woven into my lifestyle “bouncing back” after pregnancy should have been a piece of cake right? And really it probably would have been if I had tried, but this post is not about how you can get your pre-pregnancy body back quickly if you just try hard enough. It’s about how that doesn’t actually matter.

When Monkey first came home I went to the gym a lot… to shower. Michael was workings away a lot, we were room sharing  and the sound of the shower would wake Monkey up. So I was there about 3 times a week to put Monkey in the day care, so I could take a quick walk on the treadmill to justify showering in the locker room. I am pretty sure I was in the shower longer than on any of the machines. I assumed that this would eventually become my routine and I would be there daily and rockin’ my ore wedding jeans before Christmas. That was not the case.

Once Monkey started to sleep in his own bedroom and showering at the gym was no longer required; that drive into town became less frequent, because I wanted to spend time with my son. Newborns are up basically 4 hours a day and I didn’t want to spend a significant portion of that time away from him while he was in the gym day care. It was so much more important that I spent my time at mommy and me and  practicing tummy time than pushing the calorie count on the step mill. 

At that moment my priorities had shifted from about how I look in that dress to how I looked in his eyes. I want to be the mom who will share some ice cream with her son and not worry about the consequences. I don’t want sit on the side of the pool because I am worried about the tummy rolls and cellulite that lets be serious no one sees but you. I want to have a relationship with myself that promotes memories with my son not one that makes him call the day care workers Mama. 

This however does not mean that thinking about my health is out the window, but that the focus has shifted. I will continue to love working out, but when it comes between the bench press and the park bench, you will find me at the park every time. I want to do what I can to make sure that I am around the share those memories for a long time to come and able to make more as we all grow older, but it won’t be at the expense of this precious and all too fleeting time.

How did your perspective change when you became Mama (or Dada)? Let me know in the comments below!

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The 3 things I knew before I became Mama

Before becoming a Mama I knew a few rules my littles would definitely live by, like no screens before 2, no sweets until preschool, and no cosleeping. Lol I love how I thought this would a realistic, it shows how young and naive I really was about this whole parenting gig.

The first rule, no screens stems from the barrage of Facebook parenting experts posting articles stating the screens are the root of all evil. That if your child even glances at a screen before the age of 2 you will be battling the screen issue for all eternity. These articles were not all anecdotal some of these sources were pretty credible like the American Association of Paediatricians, so with experts like that making the recommendations they must be followed right? Righ?!?

I have to say that this was a rule we were really good at for about 10 months, but for this Mama who was fortunate enough to have a full year of maternity, but lives 20 minutes out of town and doesn’t function well when the isolation starts to make her feel like a recluse, she needed a little more than the sounds of talk radio during breakfast. So the breaking of this rule was completely selfish, I needed Monkey to give me just 10 more minutes to think straight in the morning, and get just a little more tea in me before facing the day. This is when Studio K, and more specifically Scout came into our lives.


Scout is a purely Canadian show that will make any banjo loving, biodynamic eating, Hunter wearing millennial’s heart swell. The program is about 7 minutes in length and focus on the subject of mindful living and critical thinking through solving a daily mystery with 3 clues. The first time I watch it I cried and wanted Monkey to be a Gumboot Kids too. This was then end of no screens for Monkey. 

Now his screen time is still extremely limited, but he can have a little screen time to catch up with Scout in the mornings with a sprinkling of Paw Patrol and Beat Bugs from time to time when Mama needs a little more time. 

My second thought on parenting was no sweets before preschool, because in all reality no one needs chocolate, or ice cream or cake or cookies right? They are just refined sugar and have no health benefit whatsoever so why would I feed that to my little…. Ummm because if you only did things in life that had a physical, intellectual, financial benefits we would never have fun, or learn from our mistakes. 

For close to a year Monkey thought plain full fat Greek yogurt was ice cream. He ate is every day for dessert. Then one day, about a week before is first birthday when he was eating his dinner and I was eating a Blizzard I had picked up on our way home from a play date. Because vanilla ice cream looks like plain Greek yogurt he wanted some. This was the end of rule number 2. And how could you deny a little something that is this cute

And lastly the rule that we broke the fastest. Absolutely no cosleeping. We were not even really open to room sharing before Monkey was born. We wanted him to go from hospital to nursery. We thought why have more transitions than necessary, plus wouldn’t everyone sleep better if they were in their own spaces? 

Although I believe this is very true and if we are blessed with another monkey we will most likely not cosleep, there are so many benefits to doing so as well which is how we fell down the rabbit hole. When Monkey was discharged from hospital part of his discharge plan was that he room share. So we went out, bought a pack n play for him to sleep in. 


In the beginning we kept Monkey awake and when he woke up both Michael and I were both awake leaving no one rested for the day time. But eventually we all got used to one another and everyone was sleeping better. Then when Michael left to work out of town the cosleeping began, because it was just me and Monkey, all day for weeks at a time; and it was so much easier to just cosleep. 

And even though I believe there are wonderful things that can come from cosleeping, this is not for us. It caused far too many bumps in the sleep training road, but I am glad I tried it. 

After just over a year of Mommying I have come the conclusion that I was definitely a much better parent before Monkey came along! There are so many ins and outs and ups and downs that arise once your little comes you can’t even imagine how your points of view change. So for all you Mama’s to be out there, write your rules in pencil so you can adjust accordingly. And for all those Mamas out there adjusting their plan every day you are not alone… we are all making this up as we go along.

What was your biggest parenting misconception pre baby? Let me know in the comments below!

Mommy Moment: First Hugs

When Monkey was first born he was quickly taken to the NICU to be stabilized. When I was finally able to see him a few hours later he was in an isolette with IV drip and CPAP. I was told I was not allowed to even touch him because it would be too much stimulation and he would stop breathing. 
This was not in my plan. For the last 34 weeks, and if I can really be honest for a large part of my life I had pictured how today would go. The script was as follows: around 40 weeks go to hospital, have unmedicated vaginal delivery, then skin to skin. How were we supposed to bond and form attachment when we can’t do skin to skin? Even the signs all over the NICU walls promoted it, and I wasn’t allowed because it could harm my baby. 
So I sat, in a rocking chair and watching him. I watched his little chest rise and fall, watched the numbers on the monitors suddenly change from good to bad to ok, watched the nurses provide basic care. And there I stayed until it was insisted that I get some rest late that night.
I was admitted to a room with another mother who’s baby was not on the NICU so I spent my first night as a mother alone, with another mother who got to hold her little while I feared for the life of mine. 
Early the next morning we learned that Monkey was still not stabilizing and would need several more interventions to breath independently. So still without having held him we agreed for him to have intrusive procedures that came with potential success and a lot of risk.
And so we waited, and we prayed that everything would be a success; and we we’re fortunate enough that it was.
 And then finally, 28 hours and 10 minutes after Monkey’s grand entrance into the world I could hold him. His breathing stabilized, his heart rate steadied, and his temperature regulated. Because there are few better things in this world than a mothers touch.

Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.

Baby Basics: Stocking Stuffers

One thing I struggled with in the Christmas gift department this year is the the stocking. In our house Santa brings stockings filled with yummy treats, a small toy, something to read, a toothbrush and special bath products that are extra luxurious. So what do you get  little person who has only lad teeth for about 2 weeks so his toothbrush is pretty new and is too little eat any of the treats? 

After wondering Babies R Us for an hour or so I managed to come up with the following list of things that I think he will enjoy!

1. The Stocking


Ok so I am very aware that this will be his only first Christmas but this can be a socknwe had down from Marcus to the next little and so on. Plus it had a monkey so how could we not get it!

2. Rubber Ducky

Monkey’s favourite time of day is bath time, and his favourite time of swimming lesson is when the rubber duckies come out. This will be a win.

3. Book

At 8 months Monke is at that age were story time is more about him grabbing at the pages to put in his mouth and scratching at the pictures trying to pull the images off the page so a board book with textures is perfect for his age.

4. Toothbrush

Santa always brings a nice fresh toothebrush for Christmas in our house, even if you only have half of your 2 front bottoms ones.

5.Bath Lotion

This stuff is like MAGIC! I difuse Gentle baby in Monkey’s room at night and mix it with coconut oil to use a massage lotion every night. It has a soothing soft sent that when combined with massage relaxes baby and sets them up for a good night sleep.

6. Favourite Snacks

Now these are a favourite in our house and I am hoping by having it poking out the top of the stocking it will encourage him to want to look and see what’s inside.

7. A little something special 

What are some fun things you picked for your little’s stocking for their first Christmas? Leave your ideas in the comments and follow me on Instagram (@TheMcGills) to see Monkey’s sock under the tree on Christmas morning.

Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!

Mommy Moment: A Mother’s Instinct 

Shortly after Michael and I got home from our honeymoon we learned that we were expecting our first child and due in May of 2016. This was such exciting news, baby would be the first grandchild on my side of the family and the first in 3 years on Michael’s. Everything was going to plan; which is pretty typical for me. I am a planner like no other according to my best friend Alissa.

The pregnancy went along smoothly, my prenatal appointments looked great but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “there’s something wrong”. I would often say we need to have everything ready by the end of March because you never know what could happen. At one appointment I broke down crying to the doctor saying I was worried there was something wrong and no one was telling me. I was reassured that the baby was healthy and I had absolutely nothing to worry about. 

I kept attributing the worry running through my mind to first time mom jitters, but boy was I wrong… and extremely accurate.

Easter 2016 arrived and Michael and I spent the weekend at Mass, and celebrating with family. I felt great after just getting over probably the worst cold of my life. When I returned to work on Tuesday I teased my officemate that I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions all weekend and that maybe I would go into labour in the office… his biggest concern since finding out I was expecting.  I thought I was hilarious!! On Wednesday I started my day a little late, a voice told me to take my weekly bump shot before leaving for work because it could be my last. Like I had been doing for months I pushed that out of my mind and rushed off to the office. 


That entire day I felt off, I struggled to sit and stand and had no appetite. On my way home I decided to stop by my clinic and thankfully my GP was working walk in. He did an non stress test and said everything seemed ok and I was probably dehydrated from my cold so go home, rest, drink lots of fluids and if there is any blood or sharp pain go directly to the hospital. So I did just that… all of it.

On March 31, 2016 around 2am I woke up and went to the bathroom and there was the tiniest bit of blood. I debated (can you believe it, I DEBATED!!!) waking up Michael to go to the hospital but thankfully after months of fighting it I let the little voice win. We packed up a few things because my hospital bag was not ready and we headed out. 

While waiting in the exam room at the hospital and having nothing to look at but the giant clock on the wall I realized that the cramping that had been going on since weekend were about 3 minutes minutes apart. After the doctor examined me, Michael was told I was being admitted and would not be going home until baby came whether that was in 6 hours or 6 weeks. 

Later that afternoon after hours of more poking, and ultrasounds Michael was sent home to get my things because I had only thrown a shirt and an extra pair of underwear in my purse because when packing that night I was certain this was not happening. The nurses put me in the bath hoping it would slow labour because I still hadn’t progressed any further than my exam at 3am. 

At about 2pm my water broke, Michael was still gone and the little voice said you couldn’t have done anything different except pack your hospital bag. Thankfully Michael made it back to the hospital just minutes that felt like hours later and at 2:50pm in a room full of labour delivery nurses, obstetricians, pediatrcians, and a NICU team of nurses and respiratory care specialists our son was born. He cried, Michael cut the chord and he was taken away to be examined by the NICU team. Then he stopped crying…

Our little bundle was whisked away to the NICU and Michael followed where his journey of several respiratory treatments began to stabilize him. Over the next few days we watched the team of nurses and doctors perform procedures and treatments on him to stabilize his breathing so he could come home, and after 36 days he did. And now he is a happy, healthy, growing far too quickly 8 month old Monkey.

I will post more about our time in the NICU and how we managed to get through that difficult time soon. 

Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.