Weeks 13 & 14

Another two weeks has sailed by, and here we are almost at the end of January! Austin is growing and changing so much every week, it is truly magnificent to watch. January feels like it’s been a busy month, with lots of people to see and things to do. There are lots of family birthdays this month, so we’ve been eating lots of cake and celebrating lots of milestones! Little Austin has been along for the ride with all of it, and loving every minute 🙂


Honestly, not a lot to report  here, because everything is going so, so well! Austin is eating like a champ, and I can’t believe how solid he is getting! You really have to think twice when you go to pick him up now, you can’t just scoop him up without thinking about it anymore!

We haven’t had him weighed since December 15th (he was 12 lbs at that appointment), and I think that he’s probably somewhere between 14 and 15 lbs now (if I had to guess – I would say closer to 15, but you never know!). The next time that we weigh him will probably be at his specialist appointment for his vaccinations on February 20th, and by then I hope he will be over 15 lbs! Wahoo!

I’ve been pumping 4 times a day, and that gives us more than enough milk to keep afloat. My supply was getting a little bit low last week, but then I made some lactation cookies for my cousin (who just had her super sweet little babe last Tuesday by the way!) and got munching on them myself…..holy catfish did that ever boost my supply! It’s reassuring to know that if I ever do start to decline before we’re ready to stop, that I can make these cookies for a quick boost. We still breastfeed for his first early morning feed of the day (normally he wakes up for this feed sometime between 6am – 7:30am), and that is going perfectly as well. It’s pretty unbelievable to me how much we used to struggle with feeding Austin, and how effortless it is now. I’m so relieved that we’ve settled into a rhythm that works really well for us, and he seems to be thriving on it.

I don’t typically do a whole lot during the day aside from visiting at my parents house sometimes, so it hasn’t been a big deal to pump every 4 hours. I know that this could  be challenging as the weeks and months carry on though, and we start to do more and more things outside the house, or even as we go away on trips etc. I’m trying not to worry too much about it, and just go week by week.


We’ve made some significant progress in our sleep habits this past two weeks! Towards the end of week 13, I went to get Austin from his bassinet in the morning and was horrified to see that my little nibsy had wriggled himself down to the bottom end of the bassinet and was sleeping with his little knees up around his belly because there wasn’t room for his legs. Poor sweet baby, it just broke my heart. I knew that the time had come; my little babe had outgrown his bassinet.

I’ve been dreading moving Austin to his crib and his own bedroom for a while now because frankly the thought of him being a wall away from us terrifies me, but we took the bull by the horns and kind of just went for it one night, putting him down in his crib instead of in his bassinet (we didn’t even put him in there for a nap or anything first – just threw the poor guy right to the wolves LOL). Our little champion sleeper went down right away and slept the whole night through, no issues whatsoever! HOW did we get so lucky!?


While Austin has managed the transition to his big boy crib like a boss, it’s been his lunatic mommy that has been having a hard time. I’ve been waking up between 10 – 15 times a night in an absolute panic, stumbling out of bed like crazy and sprinting into his room to check on him, checking the baby monitor 30 times a night, laying awake and trying to hear him breathing on the monitor……it’s been wearing on me quite a bit to be honest. I always knew that I was a pretty anxious person, but I never foresaw how anxious I would be or become when it comes to Austin. It’s something that I really need to work on, for all of our health; it isn’t doing anyone any favours to have me so stressed out all the time.

My Recovery

God, what a roller coaster this all has been. I’ve been working my way back into exercise SLOWLY over the past few weeks. I started with some brisk walking on our treadmill, and even a little three minute jog, then layered on a 30 minute CX class down in our basement, and have even done a couple of low impact Step workouts with our BodyStep team.

When I first started all of this, I felt like I had set myself back a bit for sure afterwards, and was experiencing more pain and other symptoms for sure. My physiotherapist reassured me that I hadn’t done any damage to anything, that I was just exploring what my body was and wasn’t ready to do, and that I had probably just done a little too much too soon. As frustrated and upset as I was, I grudgingly agreed to dial it back and started doing simple squats every day; starting with 5. I did 5 squats a day for a couple of days, then increased to 10, then to 15, then to 2 sets of 15 etc etc….and I have to admit that it felt much better this way. Since then, I’m back to doing CXWORX now, and even team taught my very first class back at the gym yesterday at 15 weeks postpartum!

Although it is really great news that I’ve been feeling a little better, I do still have a lot of complications to deal with. I saw the OB that delivered Austin earlier this week, and she had some concerns about how things are looking / healing, and decided to refer me to a different specialist to take a look and do some more tests to determine if further surgery may be required. I’m hoping and praying that this isn’t the case, and that things keep moving in the right direction, but we will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m taking returning to CX as a victory, and my sights are set on returning to BodyPump next. High impact classes like BodyStep and BodyAttack will take a little longer for sure.


Austin is using his hands like a champ now and his favourite toys are probably his multi-coloured rings which he loves to grab and shake around, and most importantly, shove in his mouth at every possible opportunity.


OMG this little baby is so funny, every single thing goes straight into his mouth, but his very favourite things to stuff in his mouth are his own hands LOL….if he had a third hand, he would be very pleased to try and stuff that one in there too…..


His head and neck strength is really great and we don’t even hold onto his upper back anymore when we pick him up! He also rolled over from his back to his front this week (week 15), but we haven’t been able to get him to do this again since earlier in the week. I know he is so close to rolling from his front to his back, he’s working so hard at it whenever we put him on his belly (we are guilty of probably not doing enough tummy time in a day to be honest)! He is also so babbly and talkative now, and absolutely loves when people pay attention to him and play games like peekaboo, or airplane (basically holding him horizontal under the chest and “flying him” around the house while making airplane noises LOL).

He is becoming more and more fun every day – and I just love seeing little bits and pieces of his little personality come to light.



Eeeeeks, we are just about a month away from our trip to Mexico, and I’m starting to panic a bit and wonder what I was thinking when I booked this trip lol…..I’m super stressed about things like the water cleanliness and bug bites in Mexico, and just don’t know how we’re going to manage to sterilize our bottles and keep to our system that is working so well while we’re away for an entire week.

I’m thinking that this week I’m going to start a list of everything that we’ll need to bring with us, and I’d also like to take Austin back to our doctor for his four month check-up before we leave (four month check-up…..whaaaaat the heck is happening…..). We have our specialist appointment to test him for negative reactions to the regular vaccines on the 20th of February, and we are due to leave for Mexico on the 27th of February, so it looks like there is a good chance that we will not get the vaccines before we go away, unless by some miracle everything happens on the 20th, or very shortly afterwards, and we can sneak in for the shots a couple of days before the 27th. This all makes me super uneasy, and has been weighing on my mind a lot, but I guess at this point all we can do is our very best to keep him healthy, and to work through the process to make sure that it will be safe to give him the vaccines.

Thoughts on Motherhood and on Life 

I’ve realized more and more as the weeks go on the stark reality that is motherhood, and life really. Without getting too deep and emotional: this is hard. All of it is hard. Whether you had a natural birth and tore to hell, or a c-section birth, or a smooth and easy birth, whether your baby sleeps 12 hours at night or 12 minutes at night, whether you breast feed, or bottle feed, or your baby rolls over or doesn’t roll over, or gets his vaccines or doesn’t get his vaccines. It’s hard; so is life.

That being said, motherhood has also been the most wonderful roller coaster that I’ve ever been on, and there are so many glowing moments that make the hard parts worth it, and that truly overshadow the struggles. I’m working harder these days to really drink in those wonderful moments and not take them for granted, not just when it comes to Austin, but in general. Moments together with our family, or quiet moments alone, happy times and celebrations, and mundane conversations and day to day life. Some of the health struggles that we’ve been facing lately have really brought all of this into sharp focus for me, and made me realize that life is too short to focus on the hard parts. Just some food for thought I guess, sorry to go all Oprah on you 😉


Well, I guess that’s it from us for now! Today is actually Matt’s birthday, so we are celebrating him today and the quiet giant that he is for our family. We would be up the creek without a paddle without him, that’s for sure!

Chat soon!

-Sara xo

Weeks 11 & 12

I guess I could really start every one of these posts with some kind of exclamation of how fast time is going, but that would get old real quick 😉

I’m writing this post right at the tail end of our 12th week and things are pretty much just a constant mad house over here! I can’t even begin to imagine how crazy things are going to get once Austin starts to move around on his own or *gasp* when there are more kids to contend with!

A lot has happened in our lives since I last posted before Christmas. Unfortunately, it was a pretty difficult holiday season for us and our family. My dad has been sick for quite some time now, and he finally ended up being admitted to the hospital on December 22nd with extreme nausea, weight loss, jaundicing, wonky bloodwork and many other symptoms. The next day, we were given a tentative diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which was completely devastating, as I’m sure you can imagine.

As luck, fate, God, the universe or whatever other higher power you believe in would have it, the doctors had spoken a little bit prematurely when they told us their suspicions, and some more scans / tests in the next few days actually suggested that it was most likely not pancreatic cancer, but rather some kind of autoimmune disorder attacking the pancreas. Although that in itself still isn’t great news, we were all overjoyed that it wasn’t cancer, and that this disorder can most likely be treated and will clear up well for my dad. We all felt like we had dodged a pretty devastating bullet!

In and amongst all of this stress and heartache was Austin’s very first Christmas. My dad was such a trooper and actually checked out of the hospital on a day pass on Christmas Day so that he could go home for the day to be there for presents etc, and even with the difficult circumstances, I think that we salvaged a pretty wonderful first Christmas for Austin.

Matt’s dad was here with us the week leading up to Christmas, and his brother Scott was actually here for Christmas as well! We spent our very first Christmas Eve at our house (normally Matt and I go over to stay at my parents on Christmas Eve but now that we have Austin we wanted to stay at our own house for stockings etc), and Austin was an angel for presents and stockings being opened, looking especially cute for all of the pictures that we snapped (I think I took about 173,000).  I hope that we did his first Christmas justice!


We’re still doing really well in terms of long stretches overnight, but there have been a few nights over the break where Austin would wake up randomly at 2am or 3am upset. We quickly figured out that he was just looking for his soother, and once we gave it back to him, he was out like a light again. He’s been waking up a little bit earlier too (somewhere between 5am – 6am) for a quick feed, before going back down for another 2 – 3 hours. He normally gets up for the day sometime between 9:30am – 10:00am. All in all – not too bad at all for a wee little guy! We had a hard time keeping his bedtime and nighttime routine consistent with all of the get togethers / things to do in the evenings, so I think he did really well sleep-wise all things considered.

We do have some rough waters ahead in terms of sleep. We have to transition Austin into his crib soon, as he’s outgrown his bassinet completely! Poor little guy can hardly straighten out his legs anymore, and the classic “roller coaster” pose isn’t working out for him in the bassinet anymore either. He’s a long one!! Combine this with the dreaded four month sleep regression, and I’m terrified that these long stretches overnight are going to go out the window. Here’s hoping that we can hold onto them!


One thing that I do need to get better at is finding a way to control my crazy anxiety about him while he’s sleeping. There have been a couple of really funny nights where I wake up in a PANIC, throwing blankets and pillows all over the place, tumbling out of our bed and into the wall, half sprinting – half crawling across our bedroom floor to frantically get to his bassinet….only to find him sleeping away like a little angel … I’m a nut job you guys, a total and complete nut job. The best one was when I woke up savagely HITTING Matt in our bed to wake up, wake up, wake up because I thought something was wrong with Austin for some reason….LOL….poor Matt….

I’m not really sure why this is happening, it seems to be whenever I wake up without him crying or making noise, I’m waking up in a total panic that something is wrong or that he’s slept too long or something like that. I need to get it together because I’m pretty sure every panicked wake-up takes a year off of my life…


Feeding has been going so well since we made the transition over to 95% bottle-feeds. He eats about every 2 hours during the day, sometimes stretching to 3, and consistently will eat 140mL per feed. I can’t believe we used to struggle so much to get 80mL into him!!

Pumping every 4 hours is a lot of work for me – but I’m happy to do it for the trade-off of a happy, well-fed baby, and smooth feeds 6+ times a day. It’s been such a gigantic relief of stress to not fight with Austin about feeds all day long. My milk supply has taken a hit for sure, so now my only worry is being able to keep up with his demands for the next few months. We’re lucky to have a huge stash of milk in our freezer from the early days when I was pumping after every single feed (*shudder* those were tough days!!), and pretty soon I think we’ll have to start dipping into that, but for now, I’m keeping up just by the skin of our teeth!

Austin is getting so much bigger and heavier now, and I’m actually excited to weigh him now (whereas I used to be absolutely terrified)! I know that he’s gaining weight well, and can’t believe how solid he is!

My Recovery

As per usual, there isn’t much positive to report on the recovery front. I wrote last update that I was starting to feel a lot better, which I was, but I’ve taken a significant step backwards since starting to introduce a tiny bit of exercise.

I’ve done three workouts in total in the past 7 days, and none of them have felt very good, and all of them have set my recovery back so that I’m in pain again most of the time. My very first “workout” was just 20 minutes of fast walking on our treadmill, with 3 minutes of very slow jogging at the end (the same pace that I was walking at). I did a 30 minute CXWORX workout in our basement as well, and then went to participate in a friend’s BodyStep assessment video at the gym (100% low-impact).

I’m really lost as to what is happening with my body in terms of my recovery. I’m at the point now where I don’t think that time is the issue, and I’m sure that there is something not healing properly based on how I’m feeling. I have an appointment with the OB that delivered Austin on January 22nd, and that day can’t come soon enough because I am so done with all of this. I just can’t wait for this to be behind me, but I’m not convinced that that day will ever come at this rate. We seem to only be standing still, or moving backwards.

Like I wrote last update, I’m just tired when it comes to this whole topic. Even thinking about it exhausts me. I just want it all to be over.


Austin has been changing so much every week, the biggest change in him in the past 2 weeks is that he seems to have discovered that he has control over his hands. He’s learned how to take his soother out of his mouth and hold it in his hand, which makes us laugh and roll our eyes at the same time because the little monkey will take his soother out, and then cry because he wants his soother back in his mouth but hasn’t figured out how to put it back in!

I know that he is super close to being able to roll over from his tummy to his back, we’ve been practicing on our bed and I can tell by the way he’s moving and squirming that he can do it, he just needs to get the mechanics down! He hates tummy time on hard surfaces (can’t blame the guy – I wouldn’t like laying on my tummy on hardwood floors either!), but doesn’t mind it at all on our soft beds! He also loves to play airplane where we hold him under the chest and “fly” him around our house making airplane noises haha (apparently babies at this age like to see the world from this perspective – the airplane noises are just to amuse Matt and I hehe).

My very favourite thing that Austin has started doing in the last few weeks is really laughing! We have a total giggle-monster on our hands! He had let out the odd giggle here or there a couple of weeks ago, but now we have full-on laughing fits when he gets into the right giggly mood! Matt is still more funny than me apparently, but I’ve gotten a couple of good giggles out of him! I also get lots and lots of smiles, so that’s good enough for me 🙂


Our Days

Austin and I have been spending a lot of time at home on our own during the days. It’s been brutally cold here, and I get kind of stressed out driving him with alone in the backseat (I need to get over that – I know), so it’s just easier on all fronts for us to hang out at home.

I do find it a bit lonely sometimes, but love hanging out with Austin, and he’s been really good for me during the days as well, very few stage 5 freak outs to report! We sing a lot of songs during the day, walk around while listening to music, play with his rings or his “tortuga” (fun fact – Matt and I thought that this little turtle that he got from Christmas was named “Tortuga” because that was on the box, but it turns out that “Tortuga” is actually “Turtle”in Spanish, HA), do a bit of tummy time or nap. I’m anxious for the weather to turn a bit nicer and to start getting out of the house to take advantage of some of the programs at the library and for mom & baby. We start a group at the library called “Tickles & Tales” in February, and I’m hoping that Austin is old enough to have some fun and enjoy it! We are also planning to start mom & baby swimming lessons in April!


Eeeeeeeeeks, we have our first plane ride coming up with Austin at the end of February and I am S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D (surprised? Me neither!).

We are on our way down to Mexico for a family destination wedding and I have no hot clue how we’re going to survive a trek through the airport and a 3 hour flight!! I have a huge phobia of flying myself, so this may actually be good for me because I’m sure I won’t have a second to be freaked out myself on the plane with Austin to look after!! I also really don’t want to pass this fear on to any of my babies as they get older, so I really need to keep it together.

More to come on this topic – but it’s on my mind lots already!


I think that’s about it for our 11 / 12 week update! One of my cousins is due to deliver her baby anytime now in January, and chatting with her about the upcoming delivery is bringing me such nostalgia (can you have nostalgia for something that was only 13 weeks ago? Ha) for those pre-delivery and early newborn days. Although they were hard, no question about it, it is sad in a way to think that they are gone now.

I’ll have to come back to this post when we have babies # 2 – 4 and am ready to pull my hair out from sleep deprivation 😉

Chat soon!

-Sara xo

Weeks 7 – 10

How….I repeat….HOW is my sweet baby nearly 11 weeks old??? Those teeny, tiny newborn days seem so far behind us now, he is getting so big that he has practically outgrown his bassinet!! It breaks my heart and makes me so happy all at the same time. As with most advice, I’m realizing after the fact how true it was that I needed to soak in these precious days, even during the hard parts, because they are over so so soon.


Every week with Austin seems to be getting better and better. Each week that goes by, I look back on and say “that was my favourite week so far!”….and then each week seems to top it after that! He is so expressive with his face, hands and legs now and it’s just impossible to be around him without smiling (at least when he’s in a good mood – which he is for the most part!). He’s started giggling now, a real little person laugh, and it just makes me die laughing whenever he does it. Normally Matt is the best at getting a laugh out of him when he makes a motor boat sound with his lips LOL….I’ve tried the same trick and just get a raised eyebrow from him, so apparently Mommy isn’t so funny……


Sometime during week 7, we had an especially rough couple of days with breastfeeding (same old story – he just refused to eat from me and each feed caused him to scream hysterically until he couldn’t breathe), and I hit my breaking point. I told Matt, “that’s it, I’m done. I’m spent, emotionally exhausted, I tried, we tried….this just isn’t working”. I knew that my sentiments weren’t too far off the mark, because my very reasonable husband actually agreed with me.

We agreed that we would maintain status quo (trying to breastfeed each feed and then following up with a bottle of pumped breast milk) until Austin got his shots on December 15th, and then we would call it a day with breastfeeding. I would pump as much as I could in 3 sessions each day to bottle-feed him, and we would supplement the balance with formula once my supply ran out. It didn’t feel good, but we were really out of options. We had tried everything.

We had a really great couple of days with breastfeeding shortly after this decision (of course – I swear this baby understands English and once we get to our breaking point, he figures “meh, I’ll throw ’em a bone!”), but then reverted back to our same old struggles, tenfold. We had several days in a row where he was (strenuously) refusing both the breast and the bottle, and my anxiety was through the roof because I knew he wasn’t getting enough milk to support his weight. At his doctors appointment, he weighed in at 12 pounds exactly, and his rate of gain had slowed down significantly from earlier.

Our doctor was very matter of fact and said that it really wasn’t a big deal, and we needed to just pick one: breast or bottle, and it really didn’t matter which one we chose as both were good options for him. And so we did. We’ve been feeding him almost exclusively bottles of pumped breastmilk for about a week now, and while we are still struggling to get the timing exactly right, he is eating so much better, is a much happier baby, and my anxiety is gradually starting to reduce a little bit. A win for all. I’m lucky to have a ton of milk, so I only have to pump three times a day to have more than enough for a full day of breastmilk feeds. I’m not keen to use formula just yet, so will have to keep an eye on my milk supply, because if it starts to go down then I’ll have to reevaluate. 

I’m still holding onto our early morning breastfeeding session because he seems to do really well at this time when I have the most milk, and he’s a bit dozy (read: not yet wearing his sassy pants for the day), and so far this routine is working well for us. I’m glad to have at least one breastfeeding session a day just for the snuggles and am actually looking forward to this session now that things are going so much more smoothly.

I’m dealing with extreme guilt that we aren’t breastfeeding very much anymore, but I’m gradually accepting that this is the best decision for all of us. It’s a real shame that we didn’t get the hang of breastfeeding, but I’m grateful that we did have a few months at the beginning, and I’m hopeful that for future babies we may have a better shot at it now that I know more about it and have some experience behind us. For now, we’re doing the best we can for our little muffin, and I’m glad that he is still exclusively on breastmilk. I hope that we can make it to six months, but we’ll just have to wait and see!


Oh mama, it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for us!! I really and truly don’t know what changed, because we sure haven’t done anything in terms of setting a routine or sleep training, but our little man is sleeping like a boss at night…HALLELUJAH.

It started one night at about 6 – 7 weeks when, totally out of the blue, he slept for 5 hours straight overnight. I woke up so confused and nearly killed myself toppling out of our bed and getting over to the bassinet to make sure he was okay…and there he was sleeping in his usual “arms overhead – riding the roller coaster” pose (LOL – melt my heart).


Each night from there onwards seemed to get better and better, and his intervals stretched out from 3 – 4 hours to 4 – 5 hours….then 5 – 6 hours…..then two nights in a row, he slept 7 hours straight……and then came the 8 hour stretch?! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

Like I said, we really don’t have much of a routine, but we do give him a big 120+mL bottle and put him to bed in his swaddle sometime between 11pm and midnight each night. He’s been going down for a nap around 9:30pm – 10pm each night, but pretty consistently wakes up around 11:00pm for his last feed of the night. Ideally, we’d love to push his bedtime much earlier, but for now, we’re sticking with what works.

I may have gotten a little cocky thinking that we were completely over our sleep woes; sometimes he’ll have a night where he’ll only do a 5 hour stretch, but usually on these nights, he just wakes up for a quick feed, and then gone down for another 3ish hours after that. This isn’t bad at all either, and we can totally function on this routine, so I’m not complaining at all.

Soooooo, so grateful over here, I know that not all babies figure sleep patterns out so easily, we are so, so lucky! Fingers crossed that it’s only onwards and upwards from here! I pretty much live in fear of this four month sleep regression that I hear so much about, but am trying to just keep my nose to the grind and keep doing what we’re doing because it’s working like a charm right now.


My Recovery

I feel like I’ve just been this black cloud of despair when it comes to my recovery for the past 10 weeks, but I finally, finally am feeling a little bit more optimistic.

The six-week mark was a really disappointing one for me, because I really didn’t feel even close to fully recovered, or able to return to really any aspects of my pre-baby life. I had a very dismissive doctor’s appointment at the end of week six, where my doctor really had nothing to say to me except to “give it time”, and that it would be a long road to recovery. I left that appointment so discouraged and upset. It felt like I was running in place and getting nowhere.

Weeks 7 and 8 specifically were HUGE ones in terms of moving forward with my recovery. I don’t even know what the catalyst or the turning point was, but things just slowly started feeling more and more “normal”, and I was thinking about the injury less and less every single day. I remember one day I even jogged up our stairs without even thinking about it, and realized that it didn’t hurt or feel odd one bit!

Week 9 was a harder one for me, with the return of a lot of pain, and a heavy sensation that really freaked me out. I went into the walk-in doctor towards the end of week 10 and found out that I had a urinary tract infection. Sigh. I left the office feeling like I had just done ten rounds in the ring with Muhammed Ali, and that I just couldn’t catch a break.

Once I started taking the (breastfeeding safe) antibiotic, I started feeling dramatically better in all aspects. The pain I was having started to decrease, the heaviness mostly went away, and things just started to improve a lot. I’m kind of in a new steady state now where I wouldn’t say things are improving dramatically every day anymore, but I feel pretty good most of the time.

My head is starting to fall apart a little bit in terms of my recovery and my goals. I’m starting to change the dialogue in my head to one that kind of scares me because it’s one that says “oh well, maybe you don’t need to teach or exercise anymore, maybe you can find other hobbies, you have a family now, you’re too busy to exercise anyways, it’s okay if I can’t jump anymore, you’ve always wanted to write more, learn photography ….maybe if you don’t teach anymore then you’ll have time for those things “………

Fitness and exercise was such a gargantuan part of my life that it makes me really sad to be thinking like this. In mentally strong moments, I feel like maybe one day I’ll get back to what I used to do, but I’ll admit that more often then not, I’m in the mode I described above. It’s odd really, because as I feel better and better, you would think that my head space would be improving, but for some reason, it’s been the opposite. I was bound and determined early on that I was going to make a full recovery and get back to teaching ASAP, but now I just feel lethargic about it all. Tired. Tired of the stress and the fear, tired of the sadness, tired of the dull pain all the time, tired of it all. It feels like it may be less painful to just let it all go and start over with a new passion then fight so hard and try to claw my way back to what I used to be.

I’ll be fine – really. No really, I mean it 😉 I’m trying to be patient and just believe that what is meant to be will be. Once the holiday craziness is over and we settle into our new normal again in January, I’m hoping that things become more clear to me.


Holy cats – talk about stress!!!

So Austin was due to get his two month shots on Friday December 15th….but that didn’t end up happening. Like I mentioned in one of my pregnancy posts from my third trimester, Matt and his younger brother both had serious reactions to these vaccines (i.e. stopped breathing!!!) when they were babies. We mentioned this to our doctor, and asked for her opinion on whether or not it was safe to give Austin these shots, or if there were other options for us. She ended up referring us to an allergist to test him for adverse reactions to these vaccines before we give them to him, which will delay him getting his shots by several weeks. Gah.

I’m ultra stressed about cold and flu season and exposing Austin to germs, now that he’s getting a bit bigger and so, so snuggly, everyone is dying to see him and hold him and touch him (a complete stranger at my office put his little hands IN HER MOUTH pretending to “eat his hands” when I brought him in for a visit….WTF!?!?!?!? I nearly body-tackled her!!!)….and I feel like we’re just on the bubble of a cold. Stresssssssssss!!!

Thankfully our little man has been a trooper, even with strangers licking him (lol) and seems to be in good health. I’m hoping and praying that things stay that way until his allergist appointment in February.


In general – it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for us. I truly feel like I have a little friend in Austin now, and I’m just in love with the time that we spend together all day. We will sometimes spend hours at a time listening to Michael Buble music (this child WILL appreciate talented musicians – I refuse to raise a fan of the garbage that you hear on the radio these days), and dancing around our house, or just singing along in his MamaRoo, and I will treasure those memories for the rest of my days.

I’ll leave you with some of Austin’s newborn photos that we got back from our very talented photographer….my little baby….look at how tiny he was!!!

We wish you an absolutely magical holiday season – I hope that you take the time to hold your family close, laugh lots, eat delicious food and just enjoy life completely ❤ ❤ ❤


Lots of love,

-Sara xo





The Next Two Weeks

I’ve had my eye on this milestone for a long time – six weeks! Everything that I’ve heard / read has said that six weeks is a huge leap forward for new families in terms of confidence, baby’s development, and just overall functionality….and indeed “they” were right (whoever “they” are anyways).

When I look back at some of those really early weeks, I can really see the difference in Matt and I as parents; we’re starting to get our feet under us somewhat, and it feels really good! We’re by no means “in control” of this circus (will we ever be again for the rest of our lives? lol), but we’re not feeling quite as overwhelmed  as we were early on. HALLELUJAH.


We had our very last midwife appointment back at the start of our 6th week (whaaaaaat?), and little man tipped the scales at 10 pounds 13 ounces! Woo! His growth has been on track and I’m so thankful that he is gaining weight well despite some challenges….


Week five was a really tough one for us – especially early on. We had some major setbacks with breastfeeding that pushed me right to the brink of my sanity. Breastfeeding is such a drain on my emotions, it’s crazy. More than anything I want to give Austin the best possible nutrition, and I really love our snuggly time together, but every single day I think about giving up on the gong show that is breastfeeding because of how hard it (still) is. Literally the only thing stopping me from saying “F it” once and for all is how much I love my little muffin, and how much I want to do the best possible thing for  him.

For a big part of week five, Austin went on a bit of a nursing strike where he wouldn’t latch on at all, and when he did, he would scream his head off after about 5 seconds to the point that he couldn’t breathe. This went on every single feed for about 3 days, and it was just traumatic for both of us. Nothing worked – probiotics, gripe water, different positions, pumping before feeding…..we went down every avenue we could possibly come up with. We survived those few days with pretty much exclusive bottle feeding, but he really wasn’t keen to take the bottle either, it was a similar reaction to breastfeeding when we tried to get the bottle into his mouth.


Finally, after about 3 days (and more Google searches then I care to admit), in desperation, I cut dairy out of my diet just to see what would happen. Well lo and behold….after about a day, our feeding sessions started to improve! I’ve been doing my best to avoid dairy ever since, and we’re sort of back to a good place now, but he will still only feed for about 10 minutes maximum, and is really only interested in one side at a time. We’re still doing a bottle top-up after every feed to make sure that his weight gain is still on track (sometimes he takes it, sometimes he doesn’t), and I’m hoping that consistently working at it every feed will result in us getting better and better, and hopefully eventually eliminate the need for the bottle. And if it doesn’t – then oh well. My immediate goal with breastfeeding is to get Austin at least to his two month shots (scheduled for December 15th!), and then we’ll re-evaluate from there. Next goal will be six months, and again, we’ll re-evaluate. We had a positive visit to the breastfeeding clinic during week six, and that gave me some reassurance that Austin is actually pretty efficient at getting milk from me (little man pulled 70 mL in 8 minutes and a total of 110mL in 12 minutes!), so I’m trying really hard to trust my body, and to trust him, and to keep pushing forward.

Our session at the breastfeeding clinic was actually pretty hysterical – call it my official initiation into parenthood! Austin and I had been feeding for a while, and he had started fussing, so I stood up with him and started walking around the room with him to calm him down. He was wearing only his diaper, and I was only wearing my nursing bra.

Can ya see where this is going?

As we were pacing around, he let out this HUGE, massive fart that I knew would have filled his diaper. I right away started cooing about how “that must have felt good!”, and “good job pooping”! I wasn’t allowed to change his diaper until we took his weight so that we could get an accurate read of how much milk he had taken from me during our session. The lactation consultant came back into the room a few minutes later with the scale to check his weight, and I put him down on the scale……….

Annnnnd realized that the entire lower part of my torso was COVERED (no like…..COVERED, you couldn’t see my skin colour) in poop! He had had a stage 5 poop explosion, and it was ALL OVER him, and me too! OMG. The little turkey was all smiles and giggles after that, he seemed quite proud of himself! I wished Matt had been there; he would have just died laughing!

Nickname Update

Some of Austin’s nicknames are starting to phase out, and some new ones are on the way in! “Flower” is still going strong, as is “NAKEDBABY!” (said altogether in an ultra-excited, high pitched voice). Matt has now taken to calling me “NAKEDMOMMY!” in the same ultra-excited high pitched voice when we’re getting set to feed LOL…oh the things that amuse us….

I’ve added “Wiggly-Bee” to the list of nicknames in rotation this past two weeks because he is just always in motion! He loves to kick his feet and we sometimes call him our little eel because he wriggles around so much when you’re holding him sometimes. You’ve got to keep a really good grip on him, or I swear he’ll get away!


My Recovery

It’s a work in progress folks, it truly is a work in progress. There’s been dramatic improvement in how I’m feeling now vs. 2+ weeks ago for sure, but I’m still not quite there. I can still feel a “pulling” or “stinging” sensation when I walk too much, or move in the wrong way and the incision area is also still quite tender to the touch. I’ve also got a few minor symptoms that are making me really nervous that more serious things could be wrong internally, but they are minor, and I’m trying really hard to not go looking for trouble. God help me to stay OFF the internet, I need to for my own sanity.

I’d be lieing if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed that we are past the 6 week mark now and I’m not 100% healed. I know that there’s no “6-week fairy godmother” that miraculously heals wounds at the 6 week mark, but ever since Austin’s birth, I’ve kind of had my eye on this week as THE week that things would be back to normal and this whole ordeal would be behind us, but that just isn’t the case. Not quite yet anyways 🙂

I’m still working hard on my recovery and doing everything I possibly can to promote healing. I had my first pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment on Thursday of week six and thought that it went pretty well. The therapist examined me externally and a little bit internally and was very positive and optimistic for a full and complete recovery (although it is still early to comment at this stage). She gave me some exercises to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, because she thinks that muscle tightness is a big source of some of the residual pain that I’m having. Both her and my family doctor have stressed to me that although six weeks is the “superficial”healing time frame, internal healing and return to completely normal muscle function will take longer. Apparently six weeks is still “very early” in the recovery process. Sigh.

One silver lining of this whole ordeal is that my injury has resulted in a new love for me…baths! I don’t think I had taken a bath in about 25 years until I was in labour, but ever since our nightmare delivery, it was highly recommended to me to take regular Epsom salt baths to help keep the incision area clean and to promote healing. I’ve been religious about it, and have soaked in an Epsom salt bath for just 5 – 10 minutes just about every day since Austin was born….and I’m hooked! Not only do the baths make my incision feel so much better, but now I’m starting to love them just as a chance to relax as well! I’ve started using these amazing Epsom / Lavender / Honey bath salts and ohhhhh baby I love them. I really look forward to a few minutes to soak in a day, and think that I’m officially a bath convert!

I’m reiterating my goal here to keep me honest and hold me to it: my goal is to begin light workouts in early December (after December 7th – I want to see my physiotherapist one more time before I begin working out), ramping up towards the end of the month and ultimately to teach the new releases coming out at the gym the third week of January. Both my physio and my family doctor have agreed that this seems realistic, as I’ll be well past the 3 month mark by that point. Time will tell.

I believe. I believe. Now accepting positive vibes, thoughts and prayers…lol



We are definitely making some progress on the sleep front! Over the past couple of weeks we’ve noticed a definite pattern in Austin’s sleep. He seems to be a bit more fussy in the later evening from about 8pm – 12am, but then goes down for a good stretch anywhere between 3.5 and 5 hours!! 5 hours!! That only happened once, but damn did it ever feel good lol….our days are sort of, kind of falling into a bit of a somewhat predictable routine, and it’s awesome.

Austin wakes up from his second sleep of the night sometime between 6am and 7am normally. We do our feed, and a bit of playing on his mat or his change table, he’s normally pretty alert and full of beans at this time! Sometime between 8 and 8:30am he goes back down to sleep for about another 2 hours, and then between 10am and 11am, we get up together “for the day”.

I’m kind of struggling a bit with how much time Austin needs to be awake in a day vs. sleeping. I sometimes feel like we’re always in such a hurry to get him back to sleep after a feed, and I don’t want to do that if my little monkey wants to be awake! He is becoming more and more fun every day, I love making him smile and can usually do this by “playing the bongos” on his belly, singing the itsy bitsy spider (complete with crawling hand motions up his belly) and poking him in the nose (LOL). He also loves when people make faces at him and quite often will try to mimic them back! Hanging out with Austin while he’s happy and giggly has to be one of my favourite things in the entire world; it truly makes all of the difficult parts of parenting worth it 1,000,000 times over.


Santa (!!)

This past weekend we dressed Austin up in a cute little outfit I bought him from H&M Baby and took him to a photo shoot session that I booked way back in the Summer to meet Santa!

I was super stressed about how he would do with the session, and he was a little sleepy because he had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the shoot, but I think we got a few good shots in there for sure! I just can’t wait to see the pictures! It’s so hard to believe that this is the last few days of November….time is flying, but standing still at the same time. I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas already. We’ve decided to get Austin’s high chair as a gift from Santa this year, so we went over to Babies ‘R Us and picked it up yesterday afternoon. I can’t imagine a time when he will be sitting at the table with us, but am so excited for that milestone! Speaking of milestones…

Although “official” tummy time is kind of a fail (he usually just lays there on his belly gurgling until he gets mad and then starts crying lol), he is holding up his head really well these days on our chest and looking side to side with pretty good control! We need to keep working at the tummy time for sure, it will be awesome when he’s able to hold his head up on his own!

The First Night

Oh boy…I feel guilty even writing this.

Weeks and weeks ago (before Austin was born), my mom and I had talked about going to Buffalo to do some Black Friday Christmas shopping in the States. We normally try to get over the border on Black Friday, if for nothing else, the tradition of going. I foolishly thought that by 6.5 weeks that things would be well under control and that it wouldn’t be a big deal for me to pop out for one night and come back mid-day the next day…

While things were in complete control with Matt, I balled like a baby and was thisclose to canceling the whole thing at 11pm as we were about to leave the house. I didn’t realize how much my heart would break leaving my Austin-Bee for even a short time…we haven’t spent a night apart from each other in over 11 months when you really think about it 😦

After some crying (me – not him lol), my mom and Matt convinced me that it would be good for me to get out of the house and take a bit of a break, so over the border we went. We were home by 4pm the next day, so really were only gone for about 15 hours, and surprise, surprise, everything was jut fine when I got home to my little muffin.

I did have to carry my breast pump around the mall in a backpack on my back, and pump in the bathroom of The Cheesecake Factory over lunch to try and keep my milk supply up though…LOL…oh my life….


All in all – it’s been a huge two weeks for us, and I’m so excited to keep rolling on this crazy train forward! I’ll do my best to update a little more frequently, as it’s easy to lose track of all the things that go on when I wait so long!

All the best to you and your families as we head into this crazy, but wonderful holiday season!

-Sara xo


The First Four Weeks

Sometime during my pregnancy, I wrote that “it’s true what they say, the days are long, but the years are short”. It only got more true after Austin was born – I just can’t believe that our little monkey will be a month old on Monday! He’s already grown and changed so much since he was born, and this week I had to put away some of his newborn sleepers because they just don’t fit anymore…..so sad! 😦


I’m going to try to stay on top of regular updates, because it’s crazy how the days and weeks are blurring together, and it kind of breaks my heart that some of these precious memories will be lost in the folds of sleep deprivation and hormonal mood swings.

SO – how are we doing? We’re doing okay! Some days I feel like we’re totally kicking ass at this whole parenting thing; we have a good rhythm with feedings, Austin is sleeping well, and content for the few minutes that he’s awake, I manage to get some stuff done around the house….and other days, literally if all three of us are still alive, then that’s the victory of the day! I am very much a Type A personality, and those days are really hard for me; I’ll be honest. I’ve never been good at letting go of a plan, or at rolling with the punches, and both of those skills are so important with a newborn. Thankfully, Matt is an absolute all-star, and is much better at letting go of plans and rolling with punches. He’s picked up the slack when I drop the ball so many times in the past 4 weeks, I can’t keep count anymore.


Breastfeeding has been an incredible challenge right from day 1 for us. Austin has struggled to latch on properly, and I’ve struggled with awkward positioning, raw / cracked / bleeding nipples and an incredible sense of failure that I’m just not getting the hang of this. I’ve felt enormous pressure (mostly self-imposed) to breastfeed vs. formula feed, but I won’t lie, more than a couple times I’ve been thisclose to throwing in the towel and giving up.

Thankfully – this past week has been a big turning point for us (I think)! Up until this week, we’ve been breastfeeding at just about every feed, and then topping up with a bottle of pumped breast milk to make sure that he is getting enough even if the breastfeeding isn’t going well. Well, this week at our check-in, his weight was up to 9 pounds 10 ounces, and he took 110mL from me while only breastfeeding for about 12 minutes!!! I seriously cheered out loud when I read those results on the scale – for one of the first times since Austin was born, I felt like I may have actually done something right, and that we were headed in the right direction!

Our lactation consultant has us exclusively breastfeeding now, no more bottle top-up. I’m very nervous about this, and to be honest, our first night without the bottle didn’t go well at all, but we’re going to keep working at it, and hopefully get to the point that it’s either breastfeeding OR a bottle to feed him, but not both. I’m glad that we did introduce the bottle early, because Austin doesn’t seem to mind switching back and forth, and I really appreciate the flexibility of someone else being able to feed him if I need a bit of a break, or have to step out for whatever reason.

Feeding is still totally a work in progress, but I feel like we’re starting to get there slowly, and we will keep working at it until we master it. I’m hoping in another few weeks that we will look back at all of these challenges and wonder what the big deal was.


The Many Nicknames…

LOL – oh you guys…for a mama that insisted on naming my baby something that nobody could shorten or change with a nickname, I sure do have an awful lot of nicknames for my little man! Sometimes people hear me talking to Austin and look at me like I’m insane LOL…here are some of my current faves:

  • Nibs
  • Nibsy Magoo
  • Mr. Magoo
  • Flower
  • Flower-Bug
  • Flower-Bee
  • NakedBaby (said all together very quickly LOL – this is one of my favourites when we’re changing his diaper / feeding him…it just cracks me up)
  • Honey-Bee
  • Austin-Bee (what’s with me and the bees???)

There are probably more, but those are the top ones for now….sheesh, this poor guy….. wait until  he’s a gigantic teenager playing hockey and finds out that I used to call him Flower-Bee LOL…. I die….



Oi…… for every time that I said the words “I’m so tired” before I had Austin….I truly and deeply apologize to the parenting community.

Some nights, Austin doesn’t do too bad, and will sleep for a solid 3 hours before waking up hungry. Those nights are totally manageable, and I’ve been REALLY lucky that most of the weeknights that I’ve handled on my own without Matt’s help have been like this. I’ve gotten pretty used to functioning okay on 2 – 2.5 hour stretches of sleep, but there have been a handful of nights from hell where our poor little monkey just can’t get settled back to sleep after a feeding, and is awake fussing for another 1 – 1.5 hours (or on particularly heinous nights like last night – 4 straight hours), meaning that by the time he does finally go down, he’s awake in another 20 minutes hungry again anyways. GAH.

Again – I’ll admit that my Type A personality makes me not so great in these difficult moments. I struggle to understand that there doesn’t always have to be a logical, and predictable reason that babies cry, sometimes they just need a hug or a cuddle, or they get hungry faster then they “should”….and I think what really is frustrating / upsetting to me is that I don’t know how or what to do to “fix” things when he gets so upset like this. Enter: guilt, stage left.

Everyone keeps telling me that things will improve sleep-wise, and I really hope that this is true for us. We’ve been sleeping downstairs on our couch for the past 4 weeks with Austin in his bassinet (one big bonus for us is that he does sleep very well in his bassinet, whereas I know a lot of babies struggle to sleep unless they are being held). I’m really looking forward to trying to move back upstairs into our bedroom (with the bassinet at the foot of our bed), I hate sleeping on our couch, and with my stitches, I find it really hard to get up and down from the couch because it’s such a deep, cushy sectional. This brings me to…..

My Recovery

Recovering from our delivery has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I’m probably still only 50% of the way there as of today. The first week was so hard. I don’t think there was one day where I didn’t sob until my stomach muscles hurt from either the pain, or more often from just the overwhelmingly poor prognosis for a full, long-term recovery. Google is awful. I challenge any of you to find more than 5 positive recovery stories from a fourth-degree tear during childbirth. I think I’ve found maybe 5 in total, with daily searches. I’ve probably read at least 200 stories from women struggling years later, who never returned to proper function. It’s completely and totally overwhelming, and if I’m having an emotionally weak moment, it’s enough to make me cry for an hour.

Slowly, very slowly, things are improving. I’m no longer in pain for 90% of the day or more, it’s more that sitting or moving certain ways feels a bit uncomfortable sometimes, and I can feel the stitches kind of pulling a bit, but nothing unbearable anymore by any means. I’m off all of my pain medications now (have been for over a week) and my biggest remaining challenge is staying on top of my fibre intake, because…well, use your imagination. (Sorry – TMI, I know). I’ve also been trying my best to get at least one Epsom salt bath in per day, and spend at least a few minutes with an ice pack as well, and I think both of these things have been really helping.

I hit my all-time low with recovery on Monday of this week (Monday October 30th) when I was absolutely sure that I had torn my stitches / incision open. Thankfully, my midwives were able to get me an emergency appointment with the OB that delivered Austin (and the one that stitched me back up!), and she saw me on Tuesday. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this OB – she has truly been one of the only bright spots in an otherwise very, very challenging situation. She just has the perfect balance of being so kind and empathetic, while at the same time, business-like and professional, and very knowledgeable. More important than any of that stuff is that she has 150% of my trust, and at a time when I’m feeling so vulnerable, it really puts my mind at ease to have a medical professional that I trust so much looking after me.

She examined me completely (external AND internal….dear God, I thought I would have a heart attack when she said internal, but she laughed at me and said that she of all people wouldn’t do any damage to the stitches that she had put in, so I had to trust her…and I did!). I nearly wept with relief (actually, I did weep with relief lol) when she told me that things were healing well, she couldn’t detect any issues at all, and that I had not torn open any stitches. That appointment really improved my head space when it comes to my recovery, and I’ve been more positive ever since.

It will be 4 weeks on Monday, and I’ve been told that I can begin pelvic floor physiotherapy as of 6 weeks. I have an appointment for November 23rd, and I just can’t wait to get started and feel like I’m actually contributing to my own recovery. I am really, really hoping to start light workouts again in December, and to be back in classes by January. I’m 100% committed to a full recovery, and will do whatever it takes to get there, so I’m trying to look at this as a goal of some sort (a new BHAG perhaps?!).


My Favourite Moments

I’ve talked a lot about challenges in this post, but there have been so many wonderful moments that truly trump and overshadow all of the things that we’ve gone through this month.

My absolute favourite moments are the sleepy ones  after we finish feeding when NakedBaby (LOL) falls asleep on my chest….sometimes he will make these soft little “coo” noises, and I think my heart might just melt through my chest.

Lately, his little face has been getting so expressive, and he’s starting to mimic facial expressions like smiles, big open mouths, sticking out tongues etc, and I just love interacting with him a little bit more. He’s going to be such a fun little boy.

I just love to watch Austin and Matt together. Matt is doing such an amazing job, just like I knew that he would. He is patient, never gets flustered, and Austin just adores him. When I’m at my wits end and have tried everything I can think of to calm him down, Matt will do it in less than a minute. My favourite thing that they do is play “rocket ship”, where Matt basically grabs Austin under the arms and goes “ROCKET SHIP – WOOOOOOOO” in a super high-pitched voice as he lifts him straight up. Right now, Austin doesn’t really know what the hell his Daddy is doing, but I’m sure he will just die laughing in a few weeks! IMG_2410IMG_2395IMG_2360IMG_2356

So, all in all, it’s been a challenging, but amazing and rewarding month at the same time. I’m really proud that I’ve stuck with pumping and breastfeeding, and that Austin has gained weight so well in his first month, and all things considered, I’d call our first month as a family of three a success. November is a big month for all of us in terms of development, routine, and recovery. I am really optimistic and hopeful that by December, I will be much further along with my recovery, Austin will be further along inn his development, and all of us will be a bit more settled into our new normal.

Lots of love from the Sidders Clan!

-Sara xo

Austin’s Birth Story

It’s taken me a while to document the story of how our sweet little sparrow came into this world for a lot of reasons, probably the most potent of all being that it’s a rare chunk of time that we get to sit down and take a breath these days!

Our original “calendar” due date was Monday October 9th, however at our 9-week ultrasound, based on Austin’s size / development, they had bumped us up by a few days, so Wednesday October 4th was the due date that we used for pretty much the entire pregnancy. Because of this, when Wednesday October 4th came and went…. I was so disappointed! I knew that first babies were quite often late (up to two weeks!), but was still so hoping that we wouldn’t fall into this category and that we would get to meet him sooner than later.

I took my last “bump photo” just before our due date on the 4th, but never ended up writing a 39-week post because I was getting kind of moody and impatient, and thought that if I kept pushing it off one more day – maybe I wouldn’t end up having to write one after all?! 😉


We had our last midwife appointment on Monday October 2nd, and I left that appointment feeling so discouraged that we could still be so far away from the big day. There was all kinds of talk about induction methods, and all of them just sounded terrible to me. I was also feeling zero signs of labour (or even IMPENDING labour) at this point, and really felt like we were going to end up needing an induction at 41+ weeks. Matt tried his best to cheer me up after the appointment, but I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. I definitely found my emotions ramping up quite a lot in the last week of my pregnancy, which I’m sure is a combination of the hormones, and the stress of the upcoming labour / delivery.

Our due date came and went on October 4th, and there were still no signs of labour. I was becoming considerably more uncomfortable with each passing day (minute and hour it felt like!), having a bit of a harder time breathing, sleep was almost completely non-existent because I just couldn’t find a position to get comfortable and was up most of the night, and finding it much harder to move around as well. I took a few fitness classes that week (Newbody and BodyPump) to try and get things moving with some squats / lunges / walking etc, but no dice! The last class that I took before the big day was actually on our due date – BodyPump. I thought that was pretty cool – to be in the gym working out on our due date! It did really help me to get out of the house and force myself to do something other than stare at my belly and wait. I was also struggling quite a bit with really low self-esteem about how my body was looking / feeling at this stage.

Over the weekend, I was restless, moody and emotional. I was so blue on Saturday that I literally watched all three Star Wars movies (the newer ones, not the originals) back to back to back and hardly left the couch. That’s over 9 hours of TV if you’re keeping track LOL….I just didn’t have the motivation / energy to do anything at all…..poor Matt felt terrible and didn’t know how to help, but in reality, little did we both know that changes were coming…..

I went to bed on Saturday night gearing up for another sleepless, uncomfortable night, but actually fell asleep pretty easily until…. I woke up around 3:30am with stomach cramps. I’ve had some stomach cramping before, but they’ve always been fairly mild and gone away quickly. These cramps felt a bit different, and much more persistent. I went to the washroom a couple of times but nothing seemed to help them go away. The third time that I went to the washroom, I noticed that I had lost my mucus plug. I was flabbergasted, my mouth literally dropped open and I think I said “oh my god” out loud…could this actually be it???

I went back to bed but my mind was racing a million miles an hour….was today the day? What did we still need to do? Was everything ready to go? I kind of gave up on sleeping and instead started keeping track of the cramps coming and going on my phone. They were totally sporadic and inconsistent, so I wasn’t even sure that they were contractions at this point, I was still calling them stomach cramps.

I went to the washroom again, and there was quite a bit of “bloody show”….another sign of labour, and a more clear sign that things were starting to happen. I once again couldn’t believe it. This time, I went into our guest room where all of our hospital bags were packed and waiting, and rifled through our file folder looking for the grid where our family and friends had guessed the birth date / weight / time at our baby shower back in June! A couple of people (including my brother Andrew and his girlfriend!) had guessed October 8th, and I had a feeling that they were going to be the winners at that point!

Around 6am, I was getting weary of tracking these sporadic cramps, and not noticing any pattern or consistency whatsoever. I managed to close my eyes and get about an hour of sleep before giving up completely and getting up to come downstairs.

As soon as Matt was up, I told him about the cramps and the other symptoms and we both were totally jittery thinking that this could be the day! I knew that things would have to ramp up significantly though, because the cramps were still so unpredictable, and pretty mild at this point (I say no more then a 2 – 3 out of 10 on the pain scale, at most).

We spent the day nervously doing errands: grocery shopping, hanging some last pictures around our house, taking out the garbage, I baked a big batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins……….all the while, the cramps marched on in their inconsistent little pattern. Sometimes I would have to pause what I was doing to take a deeper breath through them, but the pain level was still totally manageable.

My parents texted later that afternoon asking if we were still coming over for dinner that night. We debated, and I ended up deciding that yes I could make it through dinner without letting on that things were happening. Matt and I had wanted to keep our labour / delivery as more of an experience just for the two of us, and let our family / friends know after Babe was here. These plans kind of threw a bit of a wrench into things, but since the pain was totally manageable at this point, we decided to just go with it.

Dinner was pretty uneventful, although I was getting more and more uncomfortable and a bit more anxious as the minutes / hours marched on. We left my parents early after dinner around 8:30pm and got home just before 9:00pm. Oddly enough, as soon as we got home, things started to ramp up on the pain scale pretty significantly. I was camped out on the couch watching Friends on Netflix for a good part of the evening, but it was getting to the point where I couldn’t ignore the stomach cramps anymore as they would come and go (or I guess now – I could call them contractions officially). I had to breathe much deeper as each one came and went. I was still managing okay, but definitely starting to get more and more anxious about my ability to deal with the pain as it ramped up. My hope was that since the cramps / contractions had been going on all day long, that we were starting to make progress now that things were getting more and more intense by the minute. Contractions were also starting to come a little closer together, although still pretty sporadic.

Matt was asleep on the other end of the couch, but woke up around 3am. I wanted him to get as much sleep as possible because I had a feeling that it was going to be a really, really long day. By 3am, I was having a much harder time dealing with the pain of each contraction. The best way that I can describe them was a deep, burning stomach cramp, sort of similar to a period cramp, but much deeper, and much more intense. Kind of an extreme twisting / burning sensation deep in my lower stomach. Up until this point, you wouldn’t have necessarily known that I was having contractions to look at me, but from then on it was pretty obvious when I had each one.

Matt and I worked through contractions from 3am until about 5:30am. I was starting to get really panicky about the pain level, and in my mind, had already decided that I was going to get the epidural as soon as I got to the hospital. I had gone into the whole thing with the mindset that I would see how I was dealing with the pain and make a decision from there, and everyone that I had talked to had told me that I would know right away whether or not I was going to want drugs or not. They were right! My sole focus at that point became getting to the point where we could go to the hospital so that I could get some pain relief.

I had Matt call our midwives at some point between 3am and 5am and tell them that we were in labour, and that I was keen to go to the hospital ASAP for some pain relief. Our midwife was kind, but firm that with our contractions still so irregular and far apart, and with the pain level that I was describing, that I wasn’t in a position yet where they would admit me to the hospital, and they wouldn’t be able to give me anything for pain at this point either. She encouraged us to wait a while longer until contractions were 4 minutes apart and significantly stronger. I was a bit snappy with her on the phone and said that I had no intention of waiting until I was in excruciating pain to go to the hospital, and that I would try and wait a while longer, but when I was done, I was done. She cheerily agreed and recommended that I take two extra-strength Tylenol and a Graval and try to get some sleep in between contractions.

Those poor people – having to deal with distraught mothers in labour and deliver the message that they can’t have drugs just yet…*shudder*…

From about 5am until 8am, we went through the same pattern, with contractions increasing in pain level, but not necessarily falling into a super reliable rhythm. The frustrating thing for us was that we would have 5 or 6 contractions in a row that fell into a good rhythm about 4 – 6 minutes apart…. but then the next several would be 12 minutes, 8 minutes, 15 minutes….it felt so discouraging and like we were taking 2 steps forward, 3 steps backward. The ever-increasing pain wasn’t helping at all either. Around 8:30am, I was feeling like I was approaching my breaking point, and had Matt call our midwives back, even though we weren’t at the 4-minute interval mark. Although I know that they weren’t overly thrilled to hear from us before the prescribed time, I was feeling like I couldn’t take much more, and was getting very anxious to go to the hospital. They asked me a few questions, and finally agreed to come over to our house to check my progress and tell us if we were ready to go to the hospital.

It was a little after 9am on Monday morning by the time they got to our house, and I was in significant pain when they arrived. They checked my progress and I was absolutely devastated when they told me that I was only 2 – 3cm dilated that point, and the hospital would not admit or give anything for pain until I was past the 4cm mark or in “active” labour. I started to cry when they told me about my progress and just felt so helpless and frustrated. I didn’t think there was any possible way that I could make it another several hours to get to the point that we needed to be at.

After the midwives left, I did some more crying for a bit, but then I kind of had a shift in mentality and decided to try and buck up a little bit. Rather than just sit back and let each contraction wallop me, I tried to get a bit more active in breathing through them, and even decided to try sitting in our bathtub for a little while (which had seemed like such a chore before labour started – I never thought I would be one to like sitting in the tub!). Matt was so wonderful the whole time, was super positive (without annoying the hell out of me – an impressive feat at this point in time) and supportive, and I’m pretty sure that if I had told him that murdering a baby animal would have helped me in any way, he would have done it without asking any questions.

From 9am until about 12:00pm, I sat in a hot bath, and worked really hard (with Matt by my side) to control my breathing. Miraculously, it worked quite well, and I was able to last for hours longer then I thought I could.  For some reason, between 12 and 12:30, I started to get anxious to get out of the bath and get onto the next step in the process (read: hospital). At this point, Matt had to send some pretty loaded text messages to the rest of our family because we were scheduled to go over to my parent’s place for Thanksgiving dinner that night, with Matt’s brother Troy and his Dad who was also in town…..yikes!! We were clearly in no shape to be going to Thanksgiving dinner, hospital or no hospital, so it was time to break the news.

I got out of the tub and migrated into our guest room where shit got real; REAL fast. It had been a mistake to get out of the tub before I knew that it was time to go to the hospital FOR SURE, because for some reason the pain intensity picked way up once I got out of the water, and even my super measured breathing and full attention to getting through each one was hardly keeping me afloat anymore. Matt sent out his message to our family telling them that we wouldn’t be at dinner because we had another pressing engagement (lol) to attend, and by the time that was done, I told him in no uncertain terms that this time I meant it…. I was DONE, and we were going to the hospital, whether the midwives agreed or not. He called the midwives and relayed this message (in a much politer tone then I would have), and they agreed that by this point, it was likely that I was at least another centimeter along, and that they should be able to do something with me. HALLELUJAH – we were on our way to the hospital.

Matt got all of our preassembled hospital bags together and loaded into the car, all the while maintaining polite conversation with our busy body neighbor (this older guy who literally sits outside on his step all day long and waits to ask questions about what we’re doing….). Our neighbor kind of drives me crazy on the best of days, and I was in NO mood to make small talk on my way out to the car, so when I heard his voice, irrational Sara actually turned around and started back up the stairs as if I wasn’t going after all LOL…too funny…Matt waited for a minute or so until he disappeared into his garage for something and then flagged me to hurry outside (you know – as quickly as a 40.5 week pregnant, in labour person can hurry anyways) and into the car. Once we were loaded in, Matt peeled backwards down the driveway like Vin Diesel, prompting me to shriek at him to TAKE IT EASY, as every tiny bump felt like a dagger through my belly! We’ve chuckled about this a few times since the big day…

The ride to the hospital was painful, but I was relieved to be on our way there. I got a bit weepy when we started getting closer because I was starting to realize that I was going to have to get myself from the car, all the way through the hospital, up to the third floor, and I just didn’t know how I was going to do it. Somehow, someway, we very slowly made our way through the hospital and up to the maternity ward. A couple of people along the way made comments that I didn’t look too well, or something to that effect, and I can’t say I disagreed with them lol at that point I’d been awake for about 34 hours straight (with only about 3 hours of sleep BEFORE that as well), and had been in significant pain for about 15 of those hours.

We checked in at the maternity ward and it felt like it took forever at the front desk, even though we had pre-registered. I remember leaning up against the railing on the side of the wall and just closing my eyes willing for it all to end. We finally, finally got sent down the hall to our room (Room #8 lol) and our midwives were there waiting for us when we arrived. I remember seeing the little incubator / bassinet on the other side of the room from the bed, and thinking that hopefully in just a little while, our Babe would be here laying in that bassinet!

One of our midwives asked me when I got into the room what I would like to do for pain management, and if I wanted an epidural. I didn’t hesitate – YES, immediately please. They checked my progress and found that I was 4 -5cm. I was disappointed to have progressed so little in the last 6 hours, but relieved that I was far enough along to get some relief. They called for the anesthesiologist right away and I was so relieved that help was on the way.

The anesthesiologist was an Asian woman who apparently has a bit of a reputation for being a tad sharp with laboring mothers, and our midwives warned me about this before she even came in the room. I wasn’t overly concerned at this point, I didn’t care about bedside manner, as long as she could make the pain go away! She was a little brisk, but I had no issue at all with her, and actually very much appreciated her down to business, straight forward attitude. I was so super scared of getting the epidural, but feeling anymore pain was even more scary to me, and so I bit the bullet and just went for it. I really appreciated how much the anesthesiologist talked to me throughout the procedure, telling me exactly what I was going to feel at every step of the way, what to expect, and reassuring me that everything was going great. I did get myself a bit worked up at one point (purely based on anxiety – nothing physical) and told her that I was feeling a bit faint. She reacted so calmly, told me it was no problem and to go ahead and lie down on my side until it passed. Her calm reaction really helped, and the feeling passed quickly, and I was able to sit up and finish up the job shortly afterwards. I didn’t feel a thing while it was all going on – just a little bit of pressure in my back!

After the epidural, the anesthesiologist stood back to watch my contraction graph. I had two contractions with her standing in the room and didn’t feel a single thing. I felt like crying with happiness, at that point I felt so, so happy and positive, and like the hard part was over. Now all I had to do was wait and painlessly push…I felt a huge surge of confidence; the hard part was over, I could do this!

Over the next 4 hours, we rested and relaxed a little bit in our room. With me under control, poor Matt could finally take a breath himself and have some snacks from our hospital bag, and overall it was a calm, positive block of time for us. There was one wrinkle about 2 – 3 hours in however where some of the pain started to come back in one very localized area of my lower stomach. It was very strange, like one perfect square of my belly was somehow being missed by the pain medication…it started out manageable, but after about a half hour, I decided to say something about it, and we called the anesthesiologist back into the room to fiddle with my dosage a little bit. They made a couple of tweaks, and the pain subsided again, although I could still feel a little twinge during each contraction, it was very manageable, and I told the anesthesiologist that I would be fine to manage with it (the pain was only about a 2 out of 10 in that one spot – no big deal at this point in time).

Because I got the epidural (or maybe just because my body sucks and we had been at this for nearly 40 hours at this point), my contractions had basically stopped shortly after getting the drugs, and I had been started on Oxytocin drip. The Oxytocin did wonders for getting me into a regular rhythm of contractions, but as Matt commented from watching the contraction graph, “sheesh – those things look strong”. They were nearly double the length and height of the contractions that I was charting before I got the drugs. Thankfully, I wasn’t feeling any of this (except for that one localized spot), however as time wore on, the pain was slowly creeping up from a 2 / 10 in that one spot higher and higher each time.

Our midwives checked my progress around 7pm and I was absolutely astounded when she told me that I was 9cm, and just about ready to start pushing. I think my mouth literally hung open when she told me – I couldn’t believe it! I felt like dancing on the bed! I thought that we were SO close to meeting our sweet little Austin! The pain was increasing in that one section, and I mentioned a couple of times to my midwives that I was getting concerned about it. I asked if we could call the anesthesiologist back again to see if there was anything she could do to help before we started pushing.

The anesthesiologist did come back, but seemed a bit more annoyed this time and after a couple of quick adjustments basically told us that this was the best she could do, and that she really couldn’t give me any more medication, that sometimes due to the baby’s position, or just the location of certain nerves, the epidural can “miss” certain sections, and there really isn’t anything that can be done. By this point, the pain was back up close to a 7 or 8 out of 10 and I was in significant pain again. My midwives checked my progress again (about a half hour later), and told me that I was 10cm, and it was time to start pushing. I was in serious pain, but thought that I was so close to the end that I could muscle through; it would all be over so soon and I would have my Austin on my chest.

We started pushing around 7:30pm, and I quickly realized that the part of labour that I thought I would be the absolute best at…I just wasn’t. I was pushing with everything I had, three times during each contraction (which I was now feeling the full brunt of – it was excruciating), but for some reason, Austin wasn’t moving down as they expected. They checked several times, and I could tell from the looks on their faces that something was not quite right. After about an hour and a half of pushing to exhaustion, I asked if we were making any progress. My one midwife couldn’t even lie and told me that “baby is in a tough spot right now”. It turned out that our tricky little Austin had pulled a bit of a last-minute flip on us and had turned his back to my right side. This position made it extremely difficult for him to get down through the birth canal. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she told me that. I knew, without her saying it, that things were not going well, and I started to panic.

By this point, the pain had expanded outside of the localized area in my belly, and although I’m sure the epidural was still doing something, I felt as though I was feeling everything at this point. And I was losing it. I remember completely giving up during one round of pushing and just breaking down sobbing from the pain because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore. Shortly after that episode, I started to throw up from the pain, anxiety and exertion of it all. It was so violent that I nearly fell off the side of the bed.

At this point, my second midwife delivered the devastating news that Austin’s heart rate was in trouble. Baby boy had been super chill throughout our entire labour, but now his heart rate had skyrocketed and wasn’t coming back down. I was hysterical and panicked to get him out. I started trying to hold my pushes for even longer, desperate to make some progress, but nothing was happening. The midwives were in and out of the room at this point consulting with the OB on the floor, and sometimes, it was only Matt with me when I was pushing. My heart was breaking. I was terrified for Austin, terrified for Matt and I, and I just didn’t know what was going to happen to us. I can’t remember ever being so scared in my entire life.

The OB came into the room and explained what was going on to me, and told me that she was going to use a vacuum to help Austin get turned into the right position, and then with my help pushing, guide him down and out. I cried and cried when she told me her plan; I was scared for him and scared for me as well. I knew that a vacuum delivery would mean extensive tearing and that there was a risk for complications for Austin as well. I knew that we were all in trouble at this point though, and I was desperate to get him out ASAP.

It was a few (excruciating) minutes before the OB had the vacuum ready to go. By this point, each contraction was enough to send me up the wall. I was one of those crazy women you see on TV shows in labour…. except probably worse LOL. I was feeling frantic, panicky, anxiety to the point of vomiting. At some point while the OB was getting everything ready, she explained to me that there were going to be two emergency teams in the room for the birth, a respiratory team and a cardiac team, because Austin had been in distress. I did some more crying, but really at this point, hadn’t exactly stopped since everything had escalated, so it was more like “continued crying” lol

Finally, everything was ready to go, and she made her first attempt with the vacuum. It hurt like hell, and as she started to pull on him, suddenly there was this HUGE popping sound, and the she kind of flung backwards on her stool and very nearly fell right over. The vacuum hose had actually popped OFF of the vacuum head. I literally screamed out loud when this happened, I had no idea what was happening. She reassured us that it happens sometimes, and tried again. It popped off AGAIN, with the same crazy noise. I was absolutely hysterical. This thing was attached to my sweet babies HEAD, remember.

The OB looked me in the eye at that point and told me, “Don’t worry Sara, I have a Plan B, we’re going to get this baby out right now”. She then looked at Matt and told him that he needed to look away for this part. I had no idea what was happening, but the pain from whatever she was doing was enough to blur my vision and make me see stars. I was screaming at the top of my lungs.

She reattached the vacuum one more time and told me to push, which somehow, I did. She told me to keep pushing, which I did, with my eyes screwed shut. At this point, I was on another planet, I barely knew where I was anymore. Suddenly, the whole room was yelling loudly at me to LOOK, LOOK, LOOK! SARA, LOOK! I opened my eyes and looked down, to see my sweet baby laying on my chest, wriggling around and screaming his sweet little head off. I had dissociated so much from everything going on that I didn’t even realize that he had come out.

The first thing that I said (sobbed) to our baby boy was “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. I repeated it probably 150 times, over and over and over and over and over again. I still cry thinking about everything that he had to go through to come into this world. I remember looking over at Matt, and he was also sobbing. I tearfully asked the OB and my midwives if he was breathing okay, and they all laughed and said “Listen to those pipes! He’s breathing just fine!”. The respiratory and cardiac emergency teams left the room with no work to do – thank you God.

My midwives wanted to take Austin away to do some routine newborn tests but the OB stopped them firmly and told them to leave Austin on my chest, because she still had lots of work to do on me, and I needed some natural pain relief.

The OB then looked up at me and explained what had happened. With a vacuum delivery, there are only three attempts before vacuum is no longer an option (for safety of the baby). With the first two failed attempts, she needed to make absolutely sure that this time Austin was able to come out, and so she had performed a fourth-degree episiotomy on me. Go ahead and Google it, but foretold is forewarned, it ain’t pretty even to read about.

It took an hour and a half and 40 stitches to repair the damage that was done to me. I felt every one of them, but having Austin on my chest did help with pain relief! The OB was very kind to us and reassured me that I would be okay, and that things were “looking really good” after she had finished. I was in a complete state of shock, and still didn’t quite comprehend exactly what had happened to me. I was so relieved that Austin was out and was doing okay. He passed all of his newborn tests with flying colours and it was the one saving grace for me.

We’ve come too far together for me to start lieing to you all now. Austin’s birth was the most traumatic experience that has ever happened to me. At the same time, no matter how traumatic it was (and continues to be if I’m being honest, I still cry every time I think about it), it brought us our sweet little sparrow, and he is perfect and healthy, and I wouldn’t trade the outcome for the entire world.

Today is 17 days post-delivery, and I am just starting to come to terms with our birth story. My ultimate desire for our labour and delivery was to bring Austin into the world in some sort of a calm, peaceful way. I didn’t want to be a crazy person screaming and climbing the walls of the hospital, which was why I was so steadfast on being open to pain, if I relief needed it. I was also desperately afraid of being cut in any way (C-section or otherwise), and well, we all know how that turned out! More than anything though, I wanted to be able to look back on our birth story with some sort of pride that I was able to do what women have done for centuries, successfully and safely bring a child into the world.

It’s taken me until this stage to associate an ounce of pride with our birth story. For the first two weeks post-delivery, I truly hated myself for how everything went down. If only I hadn’t been such a baby and needed the epidural, maybe things would have been different. If I had been better at pushing, maybe things would have been different. If I had been able to stay calm in the face of pain and uncertainty and stop myself from vomiting, maybe things would have been different. I still carry a lot of these feelings with me. I think I will for the rest of my life. That being said, with a little bit more space between the birth and where we are now, I’m starting to see that regardless of how things went down, we did get through it together, all three of us. Our birth was not an easy one, nor was it a routine one, and all three of us made it safely out the other side. That, in itself, is what I am proud of. I truly hope that as more time passes, that I can find more aspects of our birth story to be proud of, but if I don’t, then that’s okay too. We have our baby boy, I will heal eventually, and we will look back at all of this with a rueful smile someday.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about future pregnancies and deliveries since all of this has gone down, and I’d be lieing if I said that I wasn’t a bit scarred from what ended up happening to Austin during our delivery, but the simple fact is that Matt and I want a big family, and I refuse to let what happened this time change anything about that, so we’re going to walk this road again, and again and again! Maybe with a bit more knowledge and a few more lessons from the school of hard knocks next time 😉

Documenting our birth story here has been therapeutic for me as well, so I thank you for taking the time to read it, and to all of you who have reached out to offer words of encouragement and advice as well. I am surrounded by an incredible network of people, and for  the past two weeks, I’ve had no choice but to kind of surrender all control into the safety net of those around me. It isn’t lost on me how lucky I am, and I know that with all of the love around us, that I will heal quickly, and all of this will be put behind us before too much longer – leaving only the happy outcomes behind!

All my love,

-Sara xo













Matt and I are so thrilled and proud to introduce you all to our sweet “Babe”: Austin Walter Sidders, born Monday October 9th 2017 at 9:41pm, weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces!

We are so in love with our little baby sparrow (my newest nickname for him because of how his little mouth gapes open when you go to drop milk or vitamin D drops in with a tiny syringe….oh my heart….<3 ) and I can’t believe the seismic shift in my priorities that’s taken place since he’s been born. As long as Austin is happy, I’m happy too.

We have been home since Wednesday of last week now, and are fumbling our way through each day one day at a time! This parenting thing is NOT easy (go figure – everyone that told me that the first stretch was difficult was right!), but Matt and I make a great united team, and we will get there together, one day, one feeding at a time. I’ll try to post weekly updates on how we’re doing – more so for my own posterity, but I’m more than happy to share our experiences with the online community as well!

Austin’s birth was a complete and total roller coaster of emotions with some of the ultimate highest and lowest emotions of my life. I am still trying to process a lot of the emotions from that day (or really, those days as it turned out) to be honest, and sometimes they still overwhelm me a full week later. I am working on documenting his birth story and will share it here once it’s ready (I know that I loved to read other women’s birth stories as we geared up for our own labour / delivery, so thought that it would only be right to pay it forward!).

Thank you all so very much for following our pregnancy journey and for all of your lovely comments / well wishes along the way. The past 9+ months has been so challenging, rewarding, confusing and filled with emotional highs and lows, and it is still so surreal to me that that phase has come to an end. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our sweet Austin here on the outside, and can’t wait for the journey to continue!

All our love,

Sara, Matt & Austin




38 Weeks

A Letter to our Baby Boy…. 


Dear Babe, 

As I’m writing this letter to you, I am 39 weeks + 2 days pregnant….it could be any day now that we get to meet you, and your Daddy and I are getting so excited!

I know that people around us are getting anxious to meet you (your mama has never been so popular / gotten so many calls and messages!), but I’m feeling like you aren’t quite ready to make your way into the world just yet. I think that it will be at least another full week before we get to see your sweet face. That’s okay with me – you take your time, there’s absolutely no rush. 

We’ve been busy getting ready for your arrival this week now that I’m off work. Yesterday night we setup your baby monitor and your mobile in your crib. I’m loving how your room has come together, and I hope that it is perfect for you to get lots of sleep. I also found the most perfect storage containers that hang over the back of your closet door, and that made my whole day! 

I had another ultrasound to check on you earlier this week, and they estimated your weight at 6 pounds 10 ounces. I’d love for you to gain a bit more weight before you are born my love, your mama worries about you! I’m trying to eat lots of good, healthy foods for you this week, and hopefully we can get a few more ounces on you before the big day! 

You have the best Daddy in the entire world waiting for you out here baby boy. Watching your Dad take this pregnancy so seriously, and be so in tune with you every day has just made my heart swell. He reads to you every single night in my belly, has been to all of your prenatal appointments with me, and makes sure to talk to you in there every single day. I worry sometimes that I won’t be a good enough mama for you, but I’ve never once worried about your Daddy. He will be perfect. Also, I’m sure that he will be a hero with you because he’ll be the one to feed you Kraft Dinner and hot dogs when I’m not around! 

As excited as I am to meet you in person, I know I will dearly miss our days together with you on the inside. You are getting so strong in there, and always make me laugh with your crazy hard pushing on the inside of my belly. Sometimes it feels like you are going to push right through my skin! I love feeling like I always have a partner in crime with me, even when I’m “alone”. Thank you for making this pregnancy so easy on me! 

I am nervous about our labour and delivery now (I haven’t been overly nervous until this point, but am getting there now for sure!). Your mom is a bit of a control freak, and not being in control of that whole situation is starting to freak me out! The only thing that really brings me peace is to think that you and I will be in it together, no matter what happens. I know that the whole thing will be a bit of an ordeal for you too – so I’ll wish you luck, just like everyone is wishing me luck out here! Hang in there and be tough – your Daddy and I are waiting for you on the other side, and it will all be worth it, I promise. Your Daddy says that he will have a deli sandwich waiting for me once you are here (I haven’t been able to eat those for the past 9.5 months because there could be bacteria that isn’t good for you!). Your mama likes deli sandwiches! 

I won’t lie to you baby boy, it’s a tough world that you are coming into out here. Sometimes I lay awake thinking about what the world will look like as you grow up. My hope for you is that you and your generation will be the breath of fresh air that our world needs. That you will look for (and find) the good in every single person, regardless of circumstance or appearance. That you will work hard for every thing you have in life. That you will love and laugh freely and openly, and experience that same love and laughter back in return 100-fold. That you will take chances and make mistakes, but always hold yourself accountable for the decisions that you make, and work hard to make things right when you make the wrong ones. I know it’s a lot to put on your unborn shoulders my love, but the world is counting on you! 

I’m sad to say goodbye to this chapter in our lives together sweet baby, but know that we are starting off on the greatest adventure of our lives. If you had asked me 10 months ago what my purpose on this earth was, I would have said “to teach fitness classes and make people healthier”. That may still be true to some degree, but with absolute clarity I can say now that my real purpose on this earth is to be your mama (and hopefully – mama to your future brothers / sisters some day as well). I can’t promise that I will get everything right (in fact, I can promise you that I won’t get everything right), but I can promise you that I will do my very best for you every single day – and that nobody will ever love you as much as I do. Everything else – we can figure out together. 

Hang tough in there my boy – we are so close to the end, and hey, if you feel like a quick 1 hour labour will do the trick, I won’t complain! Looking so forward to meeting you!

All my love, 

Your Mama xoxo

37 Weeks

bumpie (2)

I realized when starting this post that this MAY be the second last weekly pregnancy post that I write!

You may or may not have caught on from the tense that I use, but I write my weekly posts once the week has finished (i.e. I’m writing this 37 week post on Thursday the 21st, which is actually day 2 of week 38), so each post is more of a “week in review” looking back at the previous week! That means that at this time next week, I’ll be writing my week 38 in review….and by the time the next one comes around….I’ll be past 40 weeks! EEKS!

My midwives (and everyone else I talk to for that matter!) seem to be totally convinced that Babe will arrive late, so I’m kind of counting on a 41 week pregnancy unfortunately…..I’m so impatient and anxious to meet little Babe, I can’t wait anymore! That being said, I do have a lot of appointments and there are still a lot of things that I’d like to get done before the big day, so I guess I’m kind of torn between being so impatient, and being in a panic to finish things up!

We’re ticking away through the to-do list over here though, and milestones are just falling off the page! My last (half) day of work is tomorrow (OMG), and I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that I’ll be off work for a year….it doesn’t seem real AT all!

We had our first prenatal class last Saturday (made it just under the wire – phew! Matt and I were the closest couple to our due date in the whole class of 15 couples LOL) and it was pretty good. To be honest, I’d already came across 95% of the information in all of the reading / research that I’ve done on my own, but the instructor was really lovely and it was good reinforcement to hear it all again from a live person. Plus, it was good to have Matt there to hear everything with me so that he feels somewhat prepared as well!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the approach that was presented to labour / delivery (in particular the approach to drugs / interventions). I just found the stance to be a little bit strong for me and my learning style, and although I do agree with some of the points that were made, at the end of the day, I really don’t feel that it matters so much how our sweet babies come into the world, as long as they are healthy and happy, and as long as mama is too.

At the end of the day, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from all of my (many) hours of research on the topic is that everyone’s body and everyone’s experience is so different! If mom and baby are dealing well with the whole thing and can make it through stone sober by rolling around on an exercise ball, then that’s super awesome – good for them! If a different mom and baby are getting totally rocked, are miserable and opt for some relief in the form of drugs, then that’s super awesome too – and good for them as well!

I’m trying extremely hard to go into this whole thing with a really, really open mind. I haven’t written off literally any options, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about all of the different schools of thought. I think at the end of the day, no matter what everyone has to say, this is going to come down to Babe and I, and we’ll figure it out together, just like we have everything else the last 9+ months. Something about that thought brings me a lot of comfort and really puts my mind at ease 🙂

Aside from prenatal class, it’s been a pretty chill week! I had a last minute opportunity to pop downtown for a Leafs preseason game with my family on Tuesday night (while coincidentally, Matt was downtown at the Jays game with his friend from Red Lake at the same time!), so that was pretty cool! I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to get tickets to the home-opener game on October 7th, but am thinking that’s probably a little ballsy considering that would be three days past our due date, and Leaf tickets ain’t cheap 😉

I’ve been back in the studio a little bit more this week participating in classes (BodyPump mostly, but I did do a Newbody class last Friday as well!), and am sooooooo, so, so, so uber thankful that I’m still able to work out at this late stage in the game! The activity and the endorphins are doing WONDERS to keep me sane these days, and even when I’m a bit achey going into the workout, I feel the absolute most like myself after taking a class (shocker right? Somethings never change….;) ). Babe has also started to stay awake during Pump classes and he moves around lots, particularly after the chest track which is just hysterical to me for some reason LOL…

My hope is to get out to at least 2 – 3 classes next week while I’m off work, and really, to keep going right up until the birth if possible! I can’t come up with a reason at this point for me to stop what I’m doing, so it’s full steam ahead as far as I’m concerned!

On the eating side, you’ll be glad to know that my drumstick phase is officially over (damn, that lasted a while lol), and I’ve moved on to just devouring as much as physically possible. I sometimes go into what I call “bread blackouts” and will just eat three pieces of plain, un-toasted bread right out of the bag while standing at the counter (much to Matt’s dismay – the poor guy budgets out exactly to the slice how much bread he needs for his sandwiches for the week, and these bread blackouts have been messing with his mojo big time LOL).

Sleeping, for the first time in this entire pregnancy, has become a bit more of a challenge, but just a bit. I’ve been waking up several times a night, mostly because I’m finding myself rolling onto my back in my sleep, which is a bit uncomfortable now. Jamming a small pillow in behind my back is helping somewhat, but last night when I did that, I woke up super sweaty, hot and a bit disoriented and ended up hurling the pillow across in the room in sleepy confusion lol (dear lord – please don’t let me do that to my baby 😐 ). I’m taking solace in the fact that I’m only setting an alarm for ONE MORE DAY, and then I’ll be able to sleep in / nap as I please!

*insert happy dance*

I wanted to finish off today by thanking everyone for their super kind words and encouragement as Babe and I round the last of the corners in our pregnancy and are barreling down on the finish line. I’ve been surrounded by so much love and support throughout this pregnancy, and I really believe that this has contributed to how lucky I’ve been in terms of how I’m feeling / what I’ve been able to do etc It truly means the world to us – thank you! ❤

I’m sure I’ll be here next week with our 38 week in review……but hey, you just never know 😉

Have a great week!!

-Sara & Babe xo

36 Weeks

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For those of you who are SUPER perceptive….you may notice that my blonde is back! I bit the bullet and got my highlights re-done on the weekend, and Babe doesn’t seem to have minded too much (in fact, I think he slept through the entire appointment lol). Although I was mega-freaked to get it done, reassurance from my midwife, and from most of my more credible forums online pushed me to just do it. And I’m glad I did – as it turns out, being blonde is kind of part of my identity, and I was really missing it as my natural colour was growing in more and more!

Although I’m far from “suffering” over here, I just can’t believe how S-L-O-W-L-Y the weeks are dragging by….my god! It feels like 36 weeks was seriously 3 weeks long! It’s been a busy week, and my energy levels are seriously fading, making it somewhat of a challenge to keep up with things these days.

On Thursday night, Matt and I went to a car seat workshop up at the Milton Fire Hall hosted by the City of Halton where they teach you a bit about car seat safety and then do an inspection of your installed car seat to make sure that you’ve done it correctly. I had little part in installing our car seat, but Matt whipped through it in about 3 minutes claiming that it was “EASY AS PIE”, so I was curious to see how the experts graded his handy work 😉

He was perfect – go figure!

I had  a REALLY negative experience going for a prenatal massage on Friday afternoon and it took me a couple of days to get over the stress of the whole thing (seriously – who goes to a massage and leaves a basket of stress???). Without getting into too much detail, I was really freaked out by a couple of things that the therapist wanted to do / did without asking me, like use essential oils in the room and rub them all over my neck and shoulders. Everything I’ve read online / in books about essential oils says that using them is somewhat of a controversial topic in pregnancy (you know – along with hot dogs and feta cheese…..lol 😉 ), and  bottom line was that if she had asked me, I would have said NO, keep them away from me for right now please. But, I wasn’t given that choice, so instead was relegated to a full day of surfing Google reading articles about how potentially dangerous certain essential oils can be, and trying to decipher what the hay oils were used on me to see if any of them were on the forbidden list.

Grumble grumble grumble.

If I could give any health practicioner dealing with a pregnant lady any advice, it would be so simple…..just ASK us what we’re comfortable with! We’re a crazy bunch – believe me when I say: WE WILL TELL YOU if you just give us the opportunity! Sigh…..

On Saturday, Matt and I tackled some freezer cooking / baking! Our kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off (not good for this nesting mama), but man did we power through a lot of cooking / baking!

Over the course of the afternoon, we managed to whip up 4 loaves of homemade herb & cheese bread (SO, so good – if we hadn’t frozen the other three loaves, they would all be gone by now – we tend to black out while eating this bread and come to when the whole loaf is gone….), 48 oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies and 2 chicken penne casseroles. Phew! I was seriously beat by the time the whole operation was said and done – even though truth be told, Matt did more of the heavy lifting then I did 😉

It felt pretty good to get some of that done and into the freezer – although I do have a few more things I’d like to make (maybe something a little healthier than cookies and bread lol). Maybe some soups or something like that…..

It was our friends 30th birthday party on Saturday night, and it was nice to get out of the house and do something non-babe related for a change! It feels like about 98% of our lives are devoted to getting ready for Babe these days (which I know is going to be reality for the next 18+ years likely LOL) – which is super awesome don’t get me wrong, but a change of pace is always nice!

On Sunday we went for our 36.5 week maternity photo session at the always beautiful Andrew’s Scenic Acres (where Matt proposed to me!). I had lots of people give me the advice that I should keep this session in our calendars even though I’ve really been feeling huge and quite ugly lately (if I’m just shootin’ straight with you lol), because I’ll be glad to have the pictures after all is said and done, and more importantly, to show Babe one day. So, keep the session we did, and although I’m really not sure that I’ll like any of the pictures, I have to admit that we had fun doing the session, and we always like to get out to Andrew’s Scenic Acres, which didn’t disappoint on the most gorgeous evening with sunflowers in full bloom……..life is so beautiful 🙂


My symptoms have been minimal, although a new one has popped up with is that my body temperature is approximately that of the core of the mother-effing SUN these days. Seriously, if this is what menopause / hot flashes is like, then I’m all for hormone therapy, because it’s BRUTAL. I’ll just be sitting there at work, and will suddenly realize that I’m burning up like I’ve been in a tanning bed for about 7.5 consecutive hours….and the sweat……..take it from a VERY sweaty gym-goer……..sweating from doing burpee tuck-jumps is considerably different than sweating from sitting at your desk in an air conditioned office.

All in all, I guess I’ll take the “sun like” body temperature over any more serious symptoms. I’m getting progressively more and more awkward / uncomfortable by the day, but still nothing crazy. My nightly trips to the bathroom are back in full force, but I’m still able to sleep for the most part undisturbed which is nice (I’m trying to stock-pile some of this!).

Overall – although 36 weeks went by SUPER slowly, it was a productive week for us. I’m so very thankful to be working on week 37 now, and can’t help but think that every day brings us significantly closer to meeting Babe now! Baby Centre tells me that we have 21 days until our due date. Um….what?

I’ve been feeling like Babe will come early, although I know that first babies are more often late to the party. Time will tell!

Hope you’ve all had a great week! Chat soon!

-Sara & Babe xo