Weeks 22 – 24

Hello April!

I’m not really the type that has a deep hatred for winter, snow or cold, but even I am getting to the point where I’m so ready for the nicer Spring / Summer weather to get here…. Austin and I are  suffering from a bit of cabin fever and it will be so nice to get outside a little bit more as the weather gets nicer.

As per usual, it’s been a busy several weeks for all of us over here, and as per usual, Austin is a completely different baby from the last time that I updated!


Oh boy.

It serves us right really; we were feeling pretty cocky that we had a good little sleeper on our hands with no sleep training or really any effort at all on our part….but alllll that has gone straight out the window in the past month. The free fall really started with teething about 2 – 3 weeks ago. We noticed that Austin’s cheeks were getting super rosy red (I said that he looked like he was constantly drinking brandy…ha), and when we felt along his bottom gums, there were two little teeth very noticeable under the surface! We were super excited about that at first…until we realized what it meant.

Dear sweet baby Jesus, it was like our happy little dude had been possessed.

It really was heart breaking to watch Austin suffer with the pain in his mouth; I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in pain like that and not understand why or really be able to do anything to help yourself except cry. Once teething really kicked in, we had a couple vicious weeks of sleep (or lack thereof) where Austin was awake literally every hour on the hour, all night long. We tried everything: Tylenol, feeding, rocking, walking, music….you name it…. and nothing really helped. Every time we would finally get him back to sleep, he would be up screaming  again an hour or so later every time.

We had a small reprieve of a few days once the teeth had broken through…but now for some reason, Austin is still stuck in a really bad sleep pattern where he doesn’t sleep through the night anymore, is awake usually at least 2, if not more, times a night and sometimes will only go back to sleep with a full feed in the middle of the night. Naps have been a joke too, and if he doesn’t skip / refuse his naps altogether, they only last 30 minutes at the very most.

BIG siiiiiiiggghhhhhhhh.

I won’t lie, it’s been really tough operating on such sleep deprivation. We haven’t had to  function with this lack of sleep since Austin was a newborn, and man it’s tough. In general I’ve been really tense and short-tempered with everyone the past several weeks, and I have to assume that it’s largely in part due to the lack of sleep. Part of me wants to explore some options for sleep training, but I don’t know that I have it in me to let him cry, even for a few minutes… give me a few more weeks of this, and maybe my attitude will change, but for now, I guess we are just going to keep on trudging through day by day and praying for sleep! We are also right in the middle of Leap 5 right now, so maybe once this is over, our sunny little guy will come back around and we can all get some much needed shut-eye!


Eeeeek, it’s been such a big couple of weeks for Austin developmentally!

The biggest differences that we’ve seen in him the past few weeks are firstly that he regularly rolls from his back to his front now (he’s been able to do this for a while, but only did it a handful of times). Now, when you put him on his back (especially in his crib), he rolls over to his tummy almost immediately! He’s also learned how to string rolls together, so he can actually kind of travel across the floor by rolling haha I still get such a kick out of when I turn my back to him for 20 seconds and look back at him and he’s in a different spot then where I put him. He always has this cheeky little grin when this happens and looks at me like “Look what I did!”. So funny.

We’ve been working hard at sitting up unassisted, but still have a ways to go. He is definitely getting much stronger, and sometimes we can get a couple of seconds of sitting unassisted, but then he topples over every time haha….I’m trying not to stress out too much about this, considering he’s not even 6 months yet, and I know all babies are different. We’ll just keep working at it!

Feeding / Solids

I guess it’s time to reinstate the “feeding” section of these posts, because here we go into the terrifying world of introducing solid foods…..

*cue horror movie music*

I am SO not looking forward to solid foods….funny how that worked out, isn’t it?! I can remember in this god awful early days of attempting to breast feed / pump & feed lamenting how I wished that we could just feed him baby food because it would be so much easier….and now I would be quite content to bottle feed him breastmilk for the next 5 years!!

Well…actually…if I’m being completely honest with you, pumping three times a day is getting really old, and I would love dearly to stop pumping soon…but I know how good breastmilk is for babies, and I really don’t have a valid reason for stopping except that it is a minor inconvenience for me, so I’ll keep rolling on as long as I can. I set the bar at a year though….I’m putting my foot down! Lol

SO when it comes to solids….we are planning to start with an iron fortified infant oat cereal sometime after he turns 6 months (which is in 5 days….OMG). I think we are going to use some of our frozen breastmilk to mix in with the cereal and will start with it really runny at first, and gradually add more and more cereal to it until he gets the hang of it. From there, I think we start with green vegetables, then orange vegetables and then fruit purees.

I’ve put my foot down and said that I am not going to be making my own baby food (unless it happens to be SUPER easy and we happen to be making single vegetables for our own dinner…but we don’t really eat vegetables like that in our house, so I doubt very much that we will end up doing this). My mom was talking about wanting to make some baby food for us, and I’m happy to accept that, but honestly, with all of the work that has gone into exclusively pumping for the past 6 months (and for another 6 months to come), I’m reeeeeeaaallllyyyyy really not ready to accept another entire set of equipment to use and clean and sterilize 4+ times a day. I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into making sure that Austin is exclusively breastfed, and at this point, as long as I’m confident in the quality of the baby food and the ingredients are top notch ….then I am fine to trust the experts at Gerber to help us through this transition and make my life one iota simpler.


Austin and I have been a little busier during the days getting out to a few more drop-ins and classes!

We signed up for an art class called “Baby Picasso” which has been pretty fun so far, although I think Austin may be a little young for some of the things that we do in the class. I think it will be much easier for him to participate in everything fully once he can sit up on his own. This week we were doing body painting, which Austin totally HATED haha, I’m thinking that he may be a little like his mama and not like getting dirty (much to his daddy’s dismay ;)).

We’ve also done two swimming lessons now, and that’s been a bit challenging for sure. Austin is still a bit unsure in the water, and it’s really important to me that he feels comfortable and learns to love being in the water. Our 15 year old instructor got a little sassy with me last week (oh no she DIDN’T *snap*)and insisted that I should dunk his head under the water because “it was really important”, but I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that to him when he’s already so unsure and clearly uncomfortable. We had a minor stand-off and I basically had to pull rank and tell her that we wouldn’t be doing it at this point, period. I have a feeling we are going to have the same conversation this week LOL….oh dear.  Guess I won’t be making any friends at swimming lessons… 😛

My Recovery

Things have continued to improve by leaps and bounds, and slowly, very slowly, I’m starting to feel more like my pre-baby self every day.

I’ve seen my physiotherapist a couple more times since last update, and she’s reassured me that everything looks and feels really good, and that my pelvic floor system is functioning as it should. This has given me the confidence to take the leap back into teaching BodyPump in the past week and a half!! Ahh!! I still have a few little twinges here and there when doing the class, but my physio has assured me that this is normal and to be expected with getting back into more movement, and that it should gradually fade away the more that I do it.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed with gratitude for where I am now vs. where I was 6 months ago. In fact, I’ve decided that I am going to do an entirely separate post about this whole ordeal, and what the journey has been like from start to finish, because I would really like some poor new mom who has just found out that she has suffered from 4th degree tearing to stumble across my story on the Internet, and take some solace in the fact that although it will take time, recovery is possible. I remember those early days  (and even many days not so early on) sobbing and sobbing and sobbing, thinking that recovery just wasn’t possible for me, and that my body had been changed and damaged forever. While I won’t lie, some aspects of my body really have been changed / damaged forever, I’m getting back to a point where I can see myself functioning normally every day again, and living the active life that I want to live. And that has to be good enough for me.

It’s become very frustrating for me that these types of serious injuries during childbirth aren’t talked about, or acknowledged just because it’s a messy, embarrassing topic. Enough women suffering in silence. I’d really like to open the conversation on this. Stay tuned.

Onwards & Upwards

One last update from our family before I sign off for this week….Matt and I have some exciting news!!

(Dear god, we aren’t pregnant again lol no way, not yet)

About 2 months ago, we floated the idea that if we did want to have our kids relatively close together, and we wanted to be moved into our “forever” house before our next child was born…then in theory, we really didn’t have all THAT much time to shop around for a new house and find the perfect one for us to raise our family in. We started working with our family friend real estate agent just keeping an eye on the listings in our desired neighbourhoods (not far from where we currently are).

Matt and I thought that we wanted a big, grand house located right in the heart of town, close to the highway for easy access, but as we saw more and more of those type of houses, it became clear to us that something was just not clicking. I just couldn’t picture raising my babies on these narrow, crowded streets with houses so close you can touch the neighbours house from yours. I found myself craving a little bit more quiet, a little more of an escape, somewhere that I could send our kids out the door to ride their bikes and not worry about them being hit by a car cruising down a through street. I found myself craving green space, and trees, and character.

Who ammmmmmmmmmmmm I???????? Seriously!! Anyone who knows me knows that this is so NOT me!!!

Anyways, our real estate agent recommended one particular street that he said was his very favourite street in the whole city. The neighbourhood wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be, but feeling a bit frustrated with the houses that we had seen where we DID want to be, we agreed to take a look.

I’m sure you can guess how this story ends.

The street was to die for, just like our agent told us it was. It’s a circle actually, a closed circle with no through-traffic and the most gorgeous, mature trees that nearly meet over top of the road. Every house on the street looks different, so lots of character, and the very best part of all, the circle surrounds a huge, green park with a huge play structure and a softball field!!

There was one house for sale on the circle, and it just so happened to be our house. It’s a quirky, 5 level back split house that has been completely (and very beautifully) renovated on the first 3 levels, leaving us some creative license to renovate and finish the bottom two levels to meet our needs. We got the house at a price that we were comfortable with  (below asking!) and are launching into a huge renovation project as soon as we take possession in June!

It will be really sad to leave our little townhouse; we’ve been through so much within these 4 walls, but at the same time, both Matt and I are so excited to have the extra space, and we so can’t wait to spend time with our kids in the park, or out on their deck in the backyard barbecuing, or trick or treating around the circle. We just can’t wait to get started on the renovations and get into it!

Anyways, that’s all from us for now, here’s hoping for Spring and for warmer weather to bring with it a fresh start for all!

-Sara xo

Weeks 19 – 21

Oh boy, time has gotten away on me over here! I can’t believe it’s been 3+ weeks since my last update!

Early on in Austin’s life, the weeks were very clearly delineated from each other, and each Monday I was acutely aware that he was another week older (and also, I was another week further along in my healing process). These days, I hardly even notice the start of a new week anymore, they all are kind of melding together, and the month markers seem to be more clearly defined. I’m sure over time, even those will meld away into years. Sniff sniff. My heart is swelling and breaking at the same time to watch my little baby grow every day!

The biggest event since my last update a few weeks ago was our big trip to Mexico with Matt’s family! We were gone for 7 days from February 27th – March 6th, and we all lived to tell the tale! Traveling with a 5 month old is NOT for the faint of heart, and I thought I was seriously going to die from anxiety a couple of times, but it was all really good learning for us, and Austin-from-Boston (still going strong with that nickname….ha) made things SO easy on us…he really is such a good little baby.

Things got off to kind of a rocky start with the trip because there was a big backlog of people at the airport checking in, and we ended up being late for our flight. I forgot our chilled milk in the fridge at home (OMG), so we were counting on me being able to do a big morning pump in the bathroom at the airport to give us enough milk for the flight, and basically to get us to the hotel room at the resort. With us being late, it ended up being that as soon as we got through security, they were calling general boarding for our flight already! We didn’t really have a choice, so I popped into the first bathroom that I saw and started pumping (seriously – sometimes I can’t take the glamour of it all lol). We figured that it normally takes at LEAST 20 minutes to board an airplane, and that I’d be able to do a full 20 minute pump, which should have given us 400+ mL to survive  the flight and trip to the resort from the airport. Of course, for some reason, boarding was LIGHTNING fast this time, and I was only about 8 minutes into pumping when suddenly I heard the “final boarding call for Sidders, party of 3″….OMG!! I totally flipped out (pretty funny to see I bet with my crazy pumping apparatus), ripped off the pumping gear and ran out of the bathroom with the breastmilk bottles AND pumping cones still attached, found Matt and Austin waiting outside, and together we bustled over to the gate, milk in hand.

Moment to appreciate the crazy family running through the airport with the frazzled mother holding two half full bottles of breastmilk and pumping cones…..seriously, I don’t even want to KNOW what people must have been thinking LOL

We got to the check-in desk at the gate, and I was fumbling around like an idiot with the bottles, trying to get the cones off and the lids on, spilling milk all over the place, it was just a gong show, there’s no other way to describe it! From there, we made our way down the ramp to the plane, and with all of the craziness, I hadn’t really had a chance to let the anxiety catch up to me, but it all came screaming into my face at the door of the airplane.

It’s a long story, but to cut it short, Austin wasn’t able to get his vaccines before we went on this trip. We had our specialist appointment on the 20th of February, and the outcome was basically that they were going to arrange for him to receive the vaccines under observation at McMaster hospital (which by the way, is ALL we have been trying to achieve for  the  past 6 months…..ugghhhhhh). They never called us back, and STILL haven’t called us back over three weeks later to schedule his appointment. They are on my hit list to follow-up with this week, that’s for sure. Our family doctor was less than supportive of this trip to Mexico, and kind of raised her eyebrows at us for traveling with him unvaccinated. Matt and I talked about it at length, did our research and decided that we were going to go ahead with the trip, as the risk was super super low. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t anxious about it. I’ve been a bit obsessive about germs in our daily lives, let alone on an airplane in a confined space, so I was REALLY anxious about flying with Austin.

At the door of the airplane, we had to take Austin out of his car seat / stroller and carry him onto the plane. For some reason, seeing  my tiny little baby exposed at the door of this big huge airplane full of germs just totally overwhelmed me and I started balling my eyes out at the door of the plane while Matt fussed with the stroller, trying to jam it into this bag that I had bought to protect it when it went under the airplane (it didn’t end up fitting our stroller LOL, poor Matt….). I still had breastmilk bottles under my arm, and was carrying about 5 different bags, the pump on my back, Austin’s blankets etc, and I was still balling my eyes out when I stepped on the plane with Austin. The flight attendants thought I was BANANAS lol, one of them had her arms out like I was on fire or something and was saying something like “I just…I don’t know how to help you?!” LOL… looking back it’s pretty funny, but at the time…..very UNFUNNY let me tell you.

The flight ended up being totally uneventful after all that hullabaloo. We fed Austin on the way up, there was no issue with his ears, and he slept for a good chunk of the flight. He got a little fussy part way through, but nothing that a little walking around didn’t fix. Landing wasn’t an issue either. PHEW.

Throughout the week, the biggest challenge was managing Austin’s temperature. The problem with Mexico is that it gets SUPER super hot and sunny outside during the days, and indoors it is air conditioned pretty heavily, making it pretty chilly. So between being chilly indoors, and hot as hell outdoors….it was a little tough to try and keep little muffin the right temperature all week. A couple of tricks like battery powered fans clipped onto our stroller were key in helping with this!


Matt’s cousin’s wedding was gorgeous, and I was so happy that we could be there for it. Being there for events like this is really important to me, and we really try to make a point to say YES to important life events like this for our friends and family, even when it’s challenging to make it work. I feel like life is just too short to miss out on these moments if there is any possible way that we can be there.


The flight home was even more uneventful than the way there, Austin slept with me for a good chunk of it, and hardly fussed at all. Again….PHEW.

Apart from Mexico, Austin is as full of beans as ever, and we are really settling into our new normal well! We’ve shifted his bedtime earlier now to about 8:30pm, which is amazing, because it gives us about an hour and a half after he has gone to bed to just relax and hangout ourselves. For the last several months, we’ve pretty much had Austin up with us right until we go to bed, so it’s this entirely new (and wonderful) universe to have some time to just put our feet up and relax. I’m hopeful to keep shifting his bedtime just a little earlier, I think a 7pm – 7am schedule would be ideal for daycare once I’m back to work in the Fall, but 8pm – 8am wouldn’t be bad for now either.

Developmentally, Austin is chugging along, and his cheeky little personality comes out more and  more every day! He’s discovered that when he’s had enough of his bottle, he can purse his lips and SPIT milk back out at us LOL….I laugh because it’s kind of cute, but trust me, I’m not overly thrilled when I get a mouthful of milk right in the face!! He also regularly feasts on his toes now; the second his diaper comes off especially, the feet go up and straight into his mouth! In general, Austin just seems anxious to get moving, he kind of “bum scoots” across the floor now on his back, where he kind of pushes off his feet and lifts his bum to scoot forward. He rolls over to his back  automatically now as soon as you put him on his tummy, and he’s also learned to roll from his back ONTO his tummy, which is a lot more effort for him, but he’s done it several times (including a couple of times OVERNIGHT…talk about a freakin’ heart attack, when  I woke up, looked at the monitor and see him on his FACE….OMG).


Our big goal for 5 months is to work on sitting up! We work on it every day, and while we still have a way to go, I’d bet that by the time 6 months comes around, we’ll be pretty close.

Austin and I start swimming lessons together next week, and I just can’t believe it! I’m kind of nervous about germs in the pool, but am taking solace in the fact that his face won’t be in the water at all….I hope he likes the swimming lessons, he still seems a little  unsure about bath time! We’ve also signed up for a mama and baby art class (Baby Picasso….lol) which starts the week after next and I’m really looking forward to that as well! I’m a lot more confident going to some of these classes now that we’ve had several weeks of Tickles ‘n Tales under our belts, and I kind of know what to expect.

Lastly, my recovery. It’s been a huge couple of weeks for me.

I’ve been dealing with some pretty massive anxiety about some symptoms (mostly heaviness / dragging sensations when doing activity) and what that meant for me. I was certain that I had some serious problems that would be life long, and was really depressed about it all. I knew that I was obsessing about it; it was on my mind all day every day. I had my check-in with my OB, and she gave me a glowing review. She completely ruled out the concerns that I had about prolapse, and assured me that I really and truly didn’t have to worry about that going forward. She also did a quick little chemical treatment on me externally to cauterize / heal up one teeny tiny little spot that has been stubborn to heal, and it’s made a world of difference already. To reinforce all of this, my pelvic floor physiotherapist gave me a very similar report at my appointment on Monday of this week, and encouraged me to start exercising again! All this to say, that I am really and truly starting to move forward from this. I’m actively working on the anxiety and obsessing that I’ve done for the last 5 months, and I am truly optimistic that the end is near for me and this injury / recovery.

BodyAttack 100 launches at GoodLife on April 25th, and I am tentatively, and cautiously optimistic that with a lot of focused strength work and easing in, that I may be able to be a part of it in someway. I still have a lot of work to do before that, but I have 6 weeks to do it, and I’m cautiously optimistic; that’s all I can say.

I am truly starting to feel so lucky that my body is finally responding to treatments and that I HOPEFULLY won’t have lingering side effects for life because of this tough situation. Hopefully this story has a positive ending, and I can be a beacon of hope for some other poor new mama that finds herself in this very difficult boat and feels hopeless like I did for so many weeks and months.


Anyways – I’m off to enjoy another few minutes to myself before heading to bed. Life is good, I am such a lucky girl.

-Sara xo

Weeks 17 & 18

I don’t really remember at which point we stopped describing Austin’s age in “weeks” and started using “months”; but ever since then, it’s gotten a bit tricky to keep track of which week we are on!

Austin turned 4 months on February 9th, and we’re right smack dab in the middle of week 19 now, and as per usual, I don’t know where the time is going. We’ve had a busy morning today at the specialists office to find out what the best approach was for Austin’s shots. They’ve referred us over to a different hospital to receive the shots in hospital and under full-day observation, so it looks like Austin-from-Boston (lol – newest nickname in rotation and cracks me up every time) will be getting his shots in the next few weeks which will be a big relief.

Lots has been going on around here in the past few weeks….

Leap 4 

Leap 4, the 4 month regression, whatever you want to call it, this thing sucked and sucked BIG time. Thankfully our little Austin Possum managed it really well, all things considered, and we only had one extremely tough week (here’s lookin’ at you  week 17).

During week 17, my poor little baby was just inconsolable most of the day, refused point blank to nap and really didn’t want to do anything except walk around the house with either Matt or I (and even that didn’t do the trick sometimes….sheesh). We had a couple of brutal nights too where we were back to being up every 3 hours or less, and even one night where he took a full feed in the middle of the night which was very odd as he hasn’t done that in quite a while. We kind of worked up to this point starting in week 16 when he was starting to wake up a couple of times a night because his soother had come out of his mouth and he wanted it back.

I was gearing up for the long haul with the regression, but it SEEMS anyways that we’ve come out the other side of it, at least for now! Austin is back to his sunny, smiley self during the days, and it’s a “bad” night if we have to get up once or twice to replace his soother  (which, of course, isn’t bad at all!).

Naps are still a challenge for us (nap schedule? WTF is that?), but that’s nothing new and has been going on since he was born! I thiiiiiinnnnkkk you could say that on average he takes three naps a day: one arouuunnnnd mid-late morning, one arouuuuunnnnddd the lunch hour / early afternoon, and one arouuuuunnnnd early / mid evening. I say this very skeptically, and very tentatively, if you couldn’t read into that 😉 Little man basically does as he pleases as far as naps go, and I’m not stressing about it. Believe me, it’s the only thing I’m not stressing about lol. I’ve read lots of articles and even purchased one sleep training program back when Austin was only about 6 weeks old, and they insist (INSIST) on these extremely rigid nap schedules during  the day being critical to a full nights sleep (I’m talking, wake your baby within 5 minutes of the allotted napping time being over if they’re still sleeping, which just seems crazy to me). Matt and I haven’t done a damn thing in terms of regulating Austin’s sleep / nap schedule, and our little possum seems to have figured it out for the most part completely on his own, so we’re going to leave well enough alone and I guess just thank our lucky stars!


We’re chugging along over here, and it is so much fun to watch Austin grow and discover new things and new abilities literally every single day! Ever since his big rolling spree a few weeks back, he hasn’t rolled completely over either way again, but he loves to roll from his back to his side and does this about a hundred times a day lol he’s also great at pushing right up onto his hands now from his tummy and will usually hang out like that for several minutes squirming with this lower body trying to move before he gets frustrated. I was reading that some babies just aren’t into crawling and will go straight from the ground to some form of walking, but I can tell that Austin will be a crawler (god help us all), because his little legs are already so busy trying to get his knees under him!!

The latest and greatest thing that he started doing towards the end of week 18 was grabbing his feet when he’s laying on his back! It’s hilarious and just cracks me up whenever he does it (which is a lot now!). He normally beams at me when he grabs his feet, and I now truly understand where the “happy baby” yoga pose comes from! 🙂

The next big gross motor skill that we’ve been working hard on is sitting up! Austin has been doing great with this, and now when I offer him my fingers while he’s lying on his back, I can pull him up to sitting with relatively little force, and he can stay sitting on his own while holding onto my fingers pretty well most of the time! He is so funny when he sits up, he normally lets his mouth gape open as he looks around like “well THIS is a new way to see the world!”, it just warms my heart. We still have lots of work to do before he can sit up on his own, but we’ll get there!

Out & About

I’ve been doing a little better at getting out of the house with Austin the past 2 weeks and I think it’s been good for us to get out and moving a little bit for sure.

We’re still right in the middle of this vicious cold and flu season, and I’m still completely OCD, carrying around hand sanitizer and all-but drinking the stuff before I touch Austin, but so far (BIG knock on wood), we’ve all managed to stay healthy. I know my friends and family think I’m crazy and poke fun at me for insisting that they wash & sanitize their hands before they touch Austin or come into our house, but to be blunt, I really don’t give a damn. These aren’t small stakes that we’re gambling with, and I would rather be safe than sorry, so I’ll take all the ribbing, as long as you do it while soaping up to your elbows in my bathroom sink, mmmmmkay? 🙂

We have a few weeks left of our nursery rhyme class Tickles ‘n Tales, and then we actually start swimming lessons the week of March 19th! I’m totally freaked about germs etc for this, but am just kicking that can down the road as future Sara’s problem to deal with. I’m also planning to sign us up for a sensory art class that starts in May! I’ve heard great reviews about this one, and am excited for it!

It’s a little tough for Austin and I to get out to a lot of the drop-in programs because most of them are reasonably early in the morning, and since Austin goes to bed around 9pm – 9:30pm, he normally isn’t up and awake for the day until about 10am, meaning we’ve missed the start time for most of the morning programs, or there’s no chance that we would make it there in time. One in particular I was really interested in was a program where you bring your babies (or toddlers) over to a retirement residence and have song / dance hour with the residents! Apparently it’s a real hit and the babies / residents all get a kick out of it. I’m really hopeful that maybe as Austin gets a bit older we’ll be able to shift his bedtime earlier and hopefully get out to some of those programs before the end of the year.

My Recovery

The usual roller coaster – ups and downs, highs and lows. Some symptoms have improved dramatically, others have worsened significantly.

The main thing that’s been on my mind has been an extreme, crippling fear of creating pelvic organ prolapse because of weak pelvic floor muscles. I’ve had this lingering feeling of heaviness / dragging in my pelvis that definitely gets worse the more I walk, or do any form of exercise. Ironically, it also gets much worse the more that I think about it. I apparently do not have prolapse (says my pelvic floor physiotherapist), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t develop it over time, and it’s scared me out of doing 90% of the exercise that I was doing, including walking.

I’m finding it really, really difficult (if not, impossible) to stop obsessing over every little thing that I feel in that area, and to worry about it constantly, all day, every day. The fear / worrying is much worse than the actual symptoms at this point.

My primary goal at the moment is to get onto some sort of regular pelvic floor training routine where I know that the muscles are working properly and getting stronger to support things down there. I’m hoping that this will give me some tiny iota of confidence, and will hopefully lead to me trusting my body enough to start using it a bit more.


We leave for Mexico one week from today, and I’ve officially started packing! It’s pretty hilarious that tiny little Austin is bringing the biggest suitcase we own just for his paraphernalia lol  I think I’ve thought things through about as well as I can, and at this point I’m kind of anxious to just get going so that we can start dealing with the inevitable challenges as they come.

I really don’t think this trip is going to be very relaxing (quite the contrary lol), but hopefully the change of scenery will be nice for Austin, and hopefully we can make it fun for him even though he’s still pretty young to enjoy a resort like this 🙂

I’ll have a full report for you on the trip during my next update post! 🙂


Well, I think that’s about all from us for now! PLEASE wish us luck on this trip to Mexico, above all, as long as our little guy stays healthy and happy, the rest of the details really aren’t such a big deal 🙂

Have a great couple of weeks – maybe we will bring back some sun with us?!

-Sara xo


Weeks 15 & 16

Hellooooo to February, and hellooooo to a new look for Going the Distance! The blog refresh is still very much a work in progress, but I’ve been looking to freshen up the look and feel of the blog for a while now, as well as organize the content a little better, and finally took a (very initial) stab at it this weekend. There are still lots of things that I’m trying to figure out in WordPress, so bear with me! 🙂

I’ve always really liked the transition from January to February for some reason. While I love the “fresh start feel” of January, February always seems a little more realistic, and like we’re settling into the year and can really roll up our sleeves and get into whatever goals we’ve set for the year. I took some time this week to sit back and really think about my goals for this year, and I’m feeling really excited about getting into them. I think I’ll do a separate post about 2018 goals and goal-setting in general, so stay tuned for more to come!

My Austin-Possum (lol) continues to grow and change every day, and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with myself I love him so much. I said to Matt the other day that I don’t know what we’re going to do when we have more children because I feel like my heart is already bursting through my chest and I don’t know that I can squeeze any more love in there without it bursting!!

Austin is such a good baby and has been really content for the most part the past two weeks, even though we are right smack dab in the middle of “Leap 4” according to the Wonder Weeks app (which is supposed to be notoriously bad for crying, clinging, crankiness). Normally when he’s fussy, there’s a good reason for it (he’s either over-tired, hungry, or just needs a hug and a walk-around), and we can solve the problem pretty quickly for him. I’ve hardly noticed an increase in crying / clinging / crankiness though, I’ve found him to be really smiley the past few weeks!


Austin has still been sleeping really well for us, and we’ve been nudging his bedtime a little earlier and earlier each night so we are closer to a 9:00pm – 9:30pm bedtime now, which is nice because it gives Matt and I a little bit of time to do other things around the house after he’s gone to bed. He wakes up sometimes in the (very) early morning because his soother is out of his mouth and he wants it back, but that’s just a quick wake-up to pop the soother back in his mouth and he goes straight back to sleep so it’s not the end of the world by any means.

My sleep, on the other  hand, continues to be very disrupted, less to do with Austin, and more to do with this crazy anxiety that I’ve been having over something happening to him when he’s asleep. I’m still having a really hard time falling asleep, and wake up very easily at the slightest noise, usually anywhere from 5 – 10 times a night. I’m really trying to chill out and get some sleep because it’s really starting to wear on me.

One of my favourite parts of the day is first thing in the morning when Austin wakes up and I go into his room to get him from his crib. Normally he wakes up and starts babbling to himself rather than start crying. I wake up to him babbling, and come into his room, and his whole little face just lights up into this enormous beaming grin that just melts my heart. Sometimes I even get a huge dolphin squeal when he sees me, which just lights up my life! It’s such a great way to start the day, and even if I’m really tired and not quite ready to get up for the day myself, seeing his cheery little face always makes up for it.

I’m still dreading this four month sleep regression, but I’m hoping and praying that we’re kind of in the middle of the transition already, and that things won’t go off the rails for us too bad! We are about half way through Leap 4, and exactly one week away from Austin’s 4 month mark, so this is kind of crunch time if this regression really is going to happen! Cross your fingers for us!


25 days until we leave for Mexico, and I’m starting to try and get my head around all of the craziness that will need to happen for this trip to be a success.

The first concern I have is making sure that we keep on our feeding / pumping schedule, and the cleanliness of the water on the resort to clean and sterilize his bottles. We will need to use bottled water to clean / sterilize the bottles, and I’ve asked the resort for a microwave, but of course they “won’t guarantee” anything for us until we arrive. As a back-up plan, I’ve ordered an electric travel kettle that folds right down and a big collapsible mixing bowl so that worst case, we can boil the bottled water and soak the bottles in there.

Sleeping hopefully won’t be an issue now that Austin is 100% transitioned to his big boy crib at home. I’m hoping that he won’t really notice or care too much about sleeping in a different crib.

I’ve bought a baby sun shade tent and a little Finding Nemo bouncer chair that I’m going to leave disassembled until we get to Mexico so that he has somewhere to hang out on the beach or by the pool that’s out of the sun. I seriously  have no idea how we’re going to navigate getting all of this gear into suitcases and down to Mexico in one piece, but we’re sure going to try!

I’m really hoping that this trip  will be a good chance to relax a little bit, even with all of this stress. It’s been a while since we went away on a vacation like this, and I’m hoping that it will be a really good chance for us to kind of exhale after all of the craziness of our first five months as a family of three.


We had a pretty exciting event around here last week (week 15)! Austin rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time COMPLETELY on his own, with nobody touching him at all! It was so exciting!

The very first time that he did it, I was actually out of the house and he rolled for Matt – I couldn’t believe it! We’ve been working on that roll for a few weeks now, and go figure, as soon as I turn my back, the little rascal rolls for us. He rolled again three times in a row at my parents house, and we all cheered and clapped for him 🙂

Since he went on his rolling spree last weekend, he actually hasn’t done it again since, but we’re kind of attributing that to the fact that he actually doesn’t mind being on his belly so much anymore. He kind of rests on his elbows now and is pretty content for at least 5 – 10 minutes before he starts grumbling and wants to flip onto his back. He’s also doing some pretty funny squirming with his legs that looks something like an attempt to crawl, even though we know he’s got a few milestones to go before crawling comes into the picture (sweet baby Jesus….what are we going to do when he starts crawling LOL).

Tickles and Tales

Austin and I are enrolled in a nursery rhyme group called “Tickles and Tales” that started this past week, and it was pretty damn hilarious to sit around in a circle with all of the other moms and babies singing nursery rhymes to our little guys!

Poor little Austin had had a busy morning already, and was pretty tired so started to get a bit fussy in the second half of the class, so I ended up swaying with him in my arms until he fell asleep and he missed out on the maraca fun of the second half haha….oh well, next time I’ll know better and we’ll have a more low key morning before the class. I think it will be a good thing for him to get out and interact with some other babies, and I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting a few more new moms as well.

I’m extremely anxious about this especially vicious flu season that we’ve been having this year, so I don’t love taking Austin out places with lots of other kids / people right now. I’m really looking forward to the Spring and the end of cold / flu season.

My Recovery

Oh you guys, I’m finally starting to feel better. Like, really better.

That estrogen cream that my OB prescribed me has been an absolute miracle for me, and things are really starting to heal well now that I’ve been using it regularly for about 2 weeks, and I’m extremely hopeful and optimistic that by the time I see my OB again at the start of March that I’ll be completely healed up on the outside at least. YAY!

Now that I’m finally starting to really feel better, I’m turning my attention and 100% of my effort on rebuilding my core and pelvic floor strength before I transition into more strenuous exercise. I mentioned in my last post that I was back teaching CXWORX now, and that is still feeling really good, but jumping and high impact stuff is still posing a challenge, mostly due to muscle weakness I think.

I’ve been doing lots of research and reading up on pelvic floor rebuilding, and I’ve been completely dedicated to doing some focused work on the exercises each and every day. So far they’ve been feeling really good, and I think that they will really help. My hope (and expectation, frankly) is that after a few weeks of focused work on both pelvic floor and core strength, that jumping and running will feel much better.

We are headed in the right direction folks! My OB did refer me to a specialist to check out a few things internally, but that appointment isn’t until July (seriously – what a joke. I can only hope that I was deprioritized because I’m doing relatively well, because if I was having severe symptoms and they told me July, I think I would have thrown myself off a bridge). I’m doing my best to put the specialist appointment out of my mind completely, and hey, if things continue to go well, then I may end up canceling that appointment as July gets nearer. Wahoo!


I think that’s it for this update – we are off to Niagara Falls today with my family and Austin for the first time so that will be nice! I’m bringing along my good camera and am hoping to get some good shots of him, and all of us together actually! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend friends!

-Sara xo




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