Mia’s Momalogue Chapter 4: I hated being pregnant and that’s ok

 

I remember the first day I knew I was pregnant. My stomach would’t settle. I had this terrible indigestion that made me feel nauseous. No amount of Tums would settle it. A test said negative but I knew otherwise. That was just the first of the annoying symptoms that followed me around for 9 months.

In that two week wait window my mind was racing a million miles per hour. I didn’t feel ready for this – not having any other friends that had babies this was a whole new world I knew nothing about and was riddled with anxiety, fear, worry – none of the happy, excited, joyful feelings I thought I would have when we decided to start a family. Which left me confused. This couldn’t be normal could it? (I later found out it can definitely be normal).

Finally those two little pink lines showed up – and instead of happy tears I cried tears of fear ( I hate admitting it now – because I have been blessed with the most perfect little human and I should of been happy but I said I would be totally honest and at the time I was scared.) And then more annoying little symptoms started. I was lucky not to have a bad pregnancy (aside from the GD) but the indigestion, nausea, extreme fatigue, then came the round ligament and joint pain  – and as an athlete not being able to use my body like I was did was strange and unwelcoming.

I tried to hide these feelings deep inside me – I put on a smile because and told myself how lucky we were to be pregnant (and trust me I know how lucky we are and I am thankful everyday) but the more I tried to cover up those other feelings and tell people I was fine with a smile on my face the more lost I felt. I wasn’t being honest with anyone, especially not myself and that made me even more tired.

It was finally at a prenatal workout class where the instructor asked what we have loved most about being pregnant. I was first to go and I just blurted out, ” I haven’t loved anything.” It was the first time I said it out loud and it felt so good to be honest with everyone there as well as with myself. I immediately felt guilty when the very next person answered; “well it took me a long time to get pregnant so I have loved all of it.” – ugh I am such an asshole I thought to myself. But then one person after another agreed with me saying how miserable they have been, how un-magical it was and for the first time in my pregnancy I didn’t feel so alone.

What I am trying to get at here is that you can be excited about the idea of having a baby, but that doesn’t mean you have to be excited about being pregnant. About giving up sushi and wine for 9 months, about waking up every morning with a new pain (and by waking up I mean sleeping for two hours while tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position), about literally having to fall asleep on the carpet of your office because you are too tired to make it to the bed. Ya none of this is glamorous, or fun, or magical in my opinion (yes I find the process of pregnancy and the fact that we are able to create life magical) but not how I felt in the moment.

So be honest with yourself and with those in your circle. Don’t try and go through this alone my friends.

Oh and lastly just know it will all be worth it – I remember holding that little purple squirmy wormy baby in my arms for the first time and immediately forgot the misery of the past 9 months ( I guess that is how women do it multiple times, they just forget). And while there may have been a moment or two during my pregnancy where I literally told my stomach I hated it ( yes the few moments I regret and blame fully on hormones) everything and I mean everything was worth it when I looked into that little man’s eyes for the first time.

So I promise there is a silver lining at the end of all of this – a love so strong you never knew it could exist and you realize those nine months was just the start of the sacrifices you will make for this human because you will literally do anything for them.

You got this mommas I promise!

xo

Mia

Mom life: Returning to work after mat leave

While the first few days feel like I blur I still remember the feeling. The feeling of utter joy to have my new baby in my arms but I also remember just feeling so overwhelmed, anxious, scared, and of course tired. I remember wishing away the early days. I can’t wait until he sleeps through the night or I can’t wait until he no longer has to feed every two hours.

But then the days started to fly by, and those early sleepless nights were a distant memory. As someone once told me “The days are long but the years are short.” And it’s so true – this year flew by in the blink of an eye. And 13 months since I said see ya later to the Weather Network to embark on this incredible new journey as mom – it is time to head back to work.

This year has been my biggest year of growth yet. It has taught me patience, kindness, love (like I have never known before) and what is truly important to me. It has been a year full of memories, laughter, tears, and now it is time to turn the page on the book again and start a new chapter.

I was speaking with my therapist the other day about the anxiety I am having around finding the perfect balance. A balance between work and life they say but it is so much more than that, work, life, family, friends, my baby, and myself. It sounds like something only a superhero could do. I was feeling so overwhelmed that this wasn’t possible. And you know what – finding that perfect balance might not be humanly possible -but we decided I would just take it one day at a time.

Before having Max my life was my work – I had worked for 10 years to get to where I am and I finally found a job that I actually saw as a career that I love. After years of working part time, freelance, hard news and all the in between moments. At the Weather Network I have finally had a chance to tell real stories, ones that matter. Bringing important information to people, while also focusing on climate change and sustainability – which is something I care deeply about. I have had a chance to even create my own documentaries on these topics. I love my work – it has allowed me to travel and explore. I have seen the Northern Lights in the Yukon, the glaciers that tower over Whistler, the grizzlies of the Great Bear Rainforest. I have been given so many incredible opportunities and I am truly excited to see what comes next as the videographer and bureau chief for the Weather Network out here in British Columbia.

But now I have this new priority in my life. Gone are the days where I can just pack a bag and go. Gone are the days where I can just drop everything and run out to cover active weather. It is going to be a new balancing act for sure – one that I am nervous to try and conquer, but also one that I am excited about. I am excited to write this next chapter of my life – of our lives.

I know it isn’t going to be easy, there are going to be hiccups, and bumps and challenges – but that is the world we live in, and now I know just how challenging it is to be a working mom, but I want to be a mom that my son is proud of.

So mommas I see you, I feel you and I am here with you as you start to write new chapters of your own lives.

xo

Mia

What to do if your baby gets sick while on vacation

Our family recently went on a beautiful vacation to Mexico, one problem though, our baby got traveller’s diarrhea half way through our trip. if you thought newborn diapers were wet, gross, and hard to clean, just wait until you have to deal with these kind of diapers. But aside from the diarrhea or poor little guy had a fever, a terrible diaper rash that was bleeding, and once he had blood in his stool we knew we had to do something.

It was so scary seeing our baby so sick (especially since it was the first time for us dealign with a sickness) but being so far away from home, in a foreign country, trying to communicate the issue in a different language, with medicine that also doesn’t have english on the label – well that just adds even more fear and anxiety to the situation. And so I wanted to share a few tips on what to do if your baby gets sick while on vacation.

Preparation is key

There are a few things you can do to prepare for the possibility of a sick baby before you even step foot on the plane. This is something I have learned very quickly as a new mom.

Even when I am just going to the park, I am always traveling with a first aid kit that has everything from baby tylenol to band-aids.

On top of packing first aid items you can also do a little extra research ahead of time. Talk to your doctor about safety tips for the particular place you are traveling to. Make sure your child is up to date on all their vaccines and get any additional ones that might be needed for the area you are visiting. Also check your travel insurance ahead of time in case you need to visit a doctor while abroad (like we did… twice).

 

Try to stay calm and assess the situation

Ok, you prepared as much as you could and your child still gets sick, now what? It is easy to go into panic mode in this situations – I know easier said than done ( I definitely went straight into panic mode), but thankfully I had my much more grounded husband by my side (and very lucky his GP mom) to help me stay calm. Even if you don’t have that support team though, it is important to remind yourself your child needs you and you need to stay calm to figure out the best plan of action for them.

Think about what you would do if you were dealing with a sick kid back home. How do you need to treat this? Is it something that just needs rest and fluids or do you need medication?

 

Regarding medication, finding the ideal one while on vacation might be difficult. It is even more challenging when the medication labelling is written in a foreign language. Fortunately, there is a way around this hurdle; you only need a good internet connection. It takes effective planning even before you get on the plane. For example, if your child has asthma, pack the appropriate inhalers. However, it would also help if you ordered the appropriate COPD medication prescribed by the doctor to help handle the situation. While doing all this, remember to stay calm throughout the situation.

Trust your instinct and seek help if you need it

I knew my babe wasn’t well but I didn’t trust my instincts right away. We kept going back and forth on if we actually needed medical help, that it wasn’t until we saw blood in his stool (which even google will tell you is no good) that we made the call. If something feels off and you need help, get it – but on that note do your research. Check online to find the most reputable doctor’s office.

But try and get a second opinion if you can

Like I mentioned, we were super lucky to have my husband’s mom with us – who right away told us that the medication they prescribed our son wasn’t the right one. Of course not everyone has the luxury of having a doctor in their family. If it isn’t an emergency and you might be able to get on the phone with your doctor back home (especially if you are in a different country) I would highly suggest doing that.

Adjust your itinerary

Sure it is no fun when you have to cancel plans you have been looking forward to – but hey getting your child better is top priority – and if you can do that in the sunshine by a pool at your resort -well that sounds pretty good to me. We were lucky that we had a team with us (aka my husband’s parents) so we decided to take turns and everyone got to stay home and snuggly with our sick babe and also hit the town for a little date night. At the same time don’t the experience totally ruin the trip. I was exhausted by the end and needed another vacation – but we still created some beautiful memories as a family.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of baby

In our case it was traveller’s diarrhea but what it if was a virus? It is hard enough to take care of your sick child in a foreign country, but to do that while fighting off a virus yourself? No bueno. If your child does get sick try and take those extra measures – extra hand washing, stay hydrate etc.

We survived the first one and I am sure it won’t be the last but don’t let the idea of a sick baby on vacation deter you from booking that ticket to experience the world with your little one.

xo

Mia

Mia’s Momalogue Chapter 2: Hurry up and wait (for more than 9 months)

Can you believe it has already been a month since my fist mom-alogue?? I can’t believe I thought I would be able to do this bi-monthly, I barely got this one finished in time, but alas here we are. In this chapter I am going to focus on those early pregnancy days where you have to hurry up and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. I honestly thought there would be a lot more to do in the beginning but no, there wasn’t, which also just meant a lot of time to be anxious about all the things I wasn’t doing yet… 

The first Dr. appointment  

When I first saw those two lines on the pregnancy test I called my doctor right away. I was so overwhelmed and flustered that I can’t even remember if I was speaking english on the phone. About a week after my dating ultrasound I had an in person appointment where I actually prepared some questions like, when do we need to discuss my birth plan? What are the next steps? I was surprised at some of her answers: “We have lots of time to work on the birth plan.” “Right now the next steps are to just relax and take care of yourself”. I thought there was going to a whole list of things I need to do and check off, the athlete in me was ready to get to work, but instead I was told there really was nothing to do. “I recommend early genetic testing but that’s about all.

I left the appointment with more questions than answers – I thought pregnancy was a lot of work (which it definitely is later on) but I really thought I was going to have legit homework to do each week – instead I was told to just sit back and try my best to relax ( I later realized that was the hardest homework assignment of them all).

We ended up taking our doctor’s advice and get genetic testing done – those were the longest 10 days of my entire life. I remember the doctor’s office called me while I was at work and when I called them back it was their lunch break. I had to wait 30 minutes, which felt like 30 days to get the results – low risk – the best words in the english language was what I finally heard.

What to expect from the endless waiting game

Then it was back to the waiting game. As someone who constantly has a million projects on the go and the word relax is not part of my vocabulary – this whole hurry up and wait thing was really killing me and then there is the fact that you are expected to wait to tell anyone, so you are going through this nerve wracking experience on your own and have to try and act normal when you see anyone.

At this point I expected that pregnancy glow, that luscious hair, and oh the cute bump pics – but alas I don’t think I got the glow until 30 weeks and it was actually just sweat, the hair never came, and I went straight from not showing to waddling, there was no cute in between phase for me.

But what was really killing me was the fact that aside from my constant indigestion – there was rally no other signs to reassure  me that baby was ok during these early days. When a month finally passed and I was finally back at the doctor’s office I was so anxious to hear that heart beat – and there it was;  boom boom boom boom – the most magical sound in the world.

Then it was back to anxiety – I felt like humpty dumpty trying to get back on the wall. Every day I was googling this new pain or discomfort that was likely round ligament pain but it could also be a deadly rare disease. Every day I had 99 problems and 86 of them were made up scenario  in my head that 0.00001% of the population might develop during pregnancy.

The very very awkward 20 week ultrasound 

Finally after what felt like decades it was time for something –  my 20 week ultrasound. No one warned me that this would be one of the hardest hurry up and wait moments of the entire pregnancy. I knew that this ultrasound was to do all the babies measurements – but I didn’t know it would take an hour of click click here and a zoom zoom here – and since it was still at the height of covid – I was in there all alone with the ultrasound tech – who also doubles as an amazing actor. I kept trying to look for clues in her face – every frown, squint, hmm and ahhh I figured there was something very very wrong with my baby. And every time I asked if my baby was ok she said that I would have to wait until my doctor’s appointment. When I asked if she could at least tell me if he had 10 fingers – she said  we don’t focus on number of limbs just that they are all the right size.

A few days later I got the call that I had a healthy looking baby boy with a very large head, which was quite concerning for me as I was going to have to birth this large headed child (ladies chose your partner wisely based on head size for the sake of your body). And after that 20 week ultrasound I really did have homework. Organize a birth class, book your GD testing, book your rH factor shot and the list goes on. Part of me wished I could go back to the early days of waiting and waiting.

Oh and just a little note – I never actually wrote up a birth plan.

Here are some tips that helped me in the early days and will hopefully help you as well.

  • If you want to tell someone before the three month “safe mark” go ahead and tell them. Honestly the risk of miscarriages goes down tremendously after 7 weeks and if that were to happen to me, these are the friends that I would need as a shoulder to cry on anyway. Telling a few friends early helped make this super anxious time a little easier to navigate
  • Listen to your doctor when they say to take it easy. I freaked out that I wasn’t doing enough, now with a walking 11 month old I long for the days of relaxing. Trust me you have time to finish the nursery and research strollers, and come up with a birth plan
  • Listen to your body not google. Like I said those early days are hard because there is no tell tale signs that everything is going well and baby is healthy and google is a deep dark rabbit hole of fear – instead if you have a concern reach out to the medical team. Where I live our maternity doctors were so gracious and helpful every step of the way and never made me feel like I was wrong for reaching out with any kind of question
  • Find distractions. The waiting game is HARD – but I got into some prenatal workout classes and home deco, and even started meditating to try and calm myself down during this period of time.
  • Just know the 20 week ultrasound is awkward AF ( I wish someone had told me this ahead of time but like I mentioned in my previous momalogue I was the first of my friends to have a baby so I had to find this out the hard way) but just know that every click and zoom is to double check things and make sure your baby is as healthy as can be – and we have a great health care system that prioritizes these checkups. Your baby likely has all fingers and toes – despite not being confirmed – and even if you are told he has a big head – your body can still push out a healthy baby I promise

Like I said after the 20 week mark things really escalate and I am looking forward to sharing that next chapter with you in November but in the meantime mommas enjoy this time where your only goal is to take care of yourself .

xo

Mia

Mia’s Mom-alogue Chapter 1: If you ain’t first you’re last

 

The idea behind mom-alogue

So there I was, sitting with my nearly one year old baby ( well 10 months let’s not age him) sending memes back and forth with a girlfriend who also recently had a baby and then sharing stories of how these memes actually related to our new normal – why yes my baby did bite me while feeding today and yes I did snort his snot out of his nose… And it was in this moment I decided I was going to start a podcast for new moms. As I started to read up on “how to start a podcast” my baby woke up. I decided if I couldn’t figure out how to start a podcast in an hour nap time it wasn’t for me. And so instead I decided to start sharing my mom life lessons here on my blog.

There are a million “real” and “honest” and “funny” mom blogs/podcasts/youtube channels out there right? So what sets mine apart you may ask? Absolutely nothing actually. I have no qualifications, no degree, I am definitely not a doctor – although my mother-in-law is (if you are a mom friend of mine I have definitely said that to you oh a dozen times). But I have just leaned so much on my own friends to get me through the ups, downs, and everything in between of becoming a new mom, that I wanted to be your friend and help you through this crazy, beautiful, exhausting, emotional time of your life. And so every month I will add to the blog a new mom-alogue and I promise to be real, and honest, and open, and I like to find humour in some of these moments (how else do we make it through on like 4 hours of sleep a day?) and I am sure no one will really care because again, lack of qualifications, but that’s ok. If I can make one new, exhausted, and overwhelmed mom feel slightly less lonely then my job here is done. So let’s begin at the beginning.

Chapter 1: If you’re not first you’re last 

I decided to begin my mom-alogue with my experience of being the first of my friends to have a baby. My husband and I were one of the lucky ones that snuck our wedding in before the pandemic, and while I begged to wait until our friends tide the knot to start trying, after the zillionth covid wave, we decided it was time to try this whole baby thing out. Being the first brings on anxiety that I never really expected. Will my friends want to hang out with me ever again because I now bring a crying piece of hip luggage along? Will I ever sleep again ( I really really really like sleep)? I have never held a baby before what if I don’t support the neck right and it break? I don’t have any qualifications to keep this mostly helpless human alive!  (This was a surprisingly very common question or at least statement in my birthing class).

When I got around to taking a pregnancy test and texted 2 girlfriends and my mom asking if they saw the faint pink line I did, while holding it up to every light in the house I had this overwhelming sense of I am so so not cut out for this. I was more scared than that time I came face to face with a black mamba (just the world’s most poisonous snake). And then the very next day I got indigestion for the first time in my life and I knew for a fact that faint line that everyone said I was making up was really there and oh ya that indigestion I speak of lasted for 9 whole months.

We then had to patiently wait for the genetic testing results. The doctor called  me while I was working and when I called back they were on their lunch break. I spent the next 2 hours (which felt more like 10) panicking over every worst case scenario. Finally I was able to get through, and with tears in my eyes and clearly in my voice I asked the doctor how bad is it? She said you are low risk – would you like to know the gender?

Since I was the first of my friends I didn’t have anyone to really talk to about this.  The next few weeks google and I became both best friends and worst enemies as every cramp I felt could either be very normal round ligament pain, or an immediate visit to the ER.  There is nothing worse than going for your dating ultrasound and then literally never speaking to a doctor again for a month. I can be an anxious person but this took things to a whole new level. And while every blog told me to relax my brain said HA.HA.

On top of all of that my indigestion was making me feel sick daily, I had to pee every 20 minutes, oh and I had a food aversion to everything including coffee, which didn’t help with the fact that I was beyond exhausted. In fact I would get to 2 in the afternoon and just need a nap. And by need a nap I mean I would fall asleep on the carpet in my office. I called it my office dirt naps since I didn’t even have the energy to get to my bedroom. It was a fun time, and again I didn’t really have anyone to turn to in my friend group.

The turning point

Eventually a friend of a friend reached out and told me about pre-natal workout classes she was doing. I was only 14 weeks at the time and not showing yet so I didn’t think I qualified for prenatal classes, but I decided to go anyway. It was here that I met my mom crew – my people. We would go on walks together, for none coffee dates (remember I couldn’t stomach coffee). And lunches. I would come home to my husband and be all giddy about the new girlfriend I made and whose number I got today. It was like dating, but way less pressure – and thankfully since I was a few weeks behind all of them they could prep me for what was to come. The awkwardness of the 20 week scan where the tech will literally not say one word to you, the disgusting sugary drink you have to chug for the gestational diabetes test, what a mucus plug is (that was a fun life lesson). I was so thankful for this group of friends.

Yes there are advantages to being the first 

Now let me tell you why I say ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last’. While I was scared, anxious, overwhelmed to be the first of my friends it actually turned out to be a true blessing. Guess what, I still got invited to dinners and trivia night – but instead of two hands to hold the baby I had 20. Everyone wanted a snuggle. “Do you want me to hold the baby while you finish your dinner?” “Do you want me to hold the baby while you shower?” “Can I just hold your baby?” – Guess what, the more babies that come into the group, the less and less that happens – everyone has their own baby to stop from falling down the stairs or eating rocks. Don’t worry through friends – I will always try and offer to hold your baby because I know how helpful it is. And even if you aren’t the first your baby is not last – your baby is special and wonderful and special – but for any of my mommas out here feeling the fear because they are the first of their friend group to take the plunge, just know it isn’t that bad – and then you can pass down all your “expert” advice (again I have absolutely now qualifications except my baby seems to be a happy camper 96% of the time). And now I get to be excited for all of my friends that are going through their own pregnancy journey.

That is all for now my friends – stay tuned for chapter 2.

You got this mommas

xo

Mia