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

The best ways to make mom friends in your community

I was extremely nervous when I saw those two pink lines on a pregnancy test. My husband and I were excited, but of course a little scared – especially since we were the first of our friend group to take the baby plunge. I had never held a baby before, or met a newborn, I was so scared and felt so alone. (Now 3 of my close friends are pregnant and all due a month apart from each other and all I can say is you’re welcome for jumping odd the cliff first).

Thankfully for me, Squamish is a hub for young families. Taking a drive down any street you will see as many Thule strollers as you do cars – but the question was – how do I become friends with these other moms around town? I wanted to share some tips for moms that might be in the same boat as me, finding new mom friends outside of your friend group (While I will share some specifics for Squamish these tips go across the board in any community).

Join a pre-natal fitness class

I signed up for local classes with Carrie Charlton. At first it was a way for me to  do workouts that were safe and help me stay healthy throughout my pregnancy. In the end it helped me with that, but it also helped me make some friends. Through these workout classes I made a mom group and we did weekly activities throughout our pregnancy and postpartum as well. In fact last week we celebrated two of their little ones first birthdays – how special is that?

Same goes for post natal workout classes, and the best part is as babies get older and mobile it is a great way for you to get a workout in and for your babies to socialize with friends.

Check with the local library

A lot of libraries have baby activities. Our local one has a bi-weekly half hour baby story time. Every week I bring my son here where we sing, dance, and tell stories for 30 minutes. It has also been a great place to connect with other families and a lot of the time we will head to the park for a little hang out afterwards.

The Park

Speaking of the park -what better way to tire your kiddos out while also potentially meeting other moms. Max has a love for the swing and so at least once a week we head to our local park and I have had a chance to meet so many other parents there, it just takes a bit of courage to start up a conversation.

Local Community Services

I am so lucky to live in a place that prioritizes young families. The Squamish and Sea to Sky Community Services offer so many incredible free programs for mom and baby. Through the SSCS I have learned about the Health Pregnancy Outreach Program – which is a bi-weekly opportunity to connect with other parents, they also offer pre-natal vitamins, baby vitamins, diapers, clothes, you name it. Another great program through the community services is Mother Goose – a free in the park sing along opportunity.

Check with the local rec centre 

I have signed Max up for both swim and gymnastics through our local rec centre. It has been a great opportunity for him to get exercise and learn some important life skills while at the same time a great way for me to connect with other moms in the community.

I know how overwhelming it is to be thrown into the role of new mom and you can feel so alone, but I know my mom group has really helped me get through the tough times and so I hope you are also able to find your own go to group to make this crazy yet beautiful experience a bit more fun

Sending love to all my mommas out there,

xo

Mia

7 Ways to cope with the overwhelming reality of being a new mom

It has been 5 months since we welcomed our son Max into the world and our lives have changed drastically. While we are over the moon in love with our new family member, it is still such a learning process when you are responsible for the well being of another person. There have been moments where I have felt stressed, overwhelmed, and I am not going to lie, even a bit resentful towards my partner, but the more I talk to other new moms the more I realize that this is completely normal.

I wanted to share some ways I have been able to cope with becoming a new mom that has helped me learn how to enjoy our little bundle of joy.

 

Set Boundaries And Say No

My whole life I have been a yes person, I say yes to everything and find myself overwhelmed and exhausted, so when we welcomed our baby I realized how important it was to set boundaries for yourself and say “no” to things that you can’t deal with right now. Try your best to set some boundaries and politely decline offers that are too much for you at the moment. Or if someone does want to come and see you and the baby, don’t be afraid to ask if they can also help out around the house or with some tasks.  You can’t do everything and be everything to everyone. You have to be realistic about your limitations. Take care of yourself and your baby in your own way. That is your top priority. So do things at your own pace and in your own time.

 

Create Routines For You And Your Baby

At the beginning you are just trying to get through each day and you and your baby are getting to know each other, but as you two get more familiar with one another you can start creating some routines or your family. Routines are perfect for new moms who feel overwhelmed by all the unique responsibilities of having a baby. While it’s important to allow for some flexibility with new routines, you can use them as a guideline to help you get into a more organized and relaxed routine with your baby and your new mommy life. Try and integrate activities that help you mentally, like exercise. And there’s no better exercise than walking. And it’s easy to do as a mom with stroller-friendly walks that get you moving together. 

 

Try Not To Get Too Overwhelmed By All The Advice

There is a lot of advice out there on becoming a new mom. But try to remember that everyone’s different and all babies are different. You have to decide what is right for you as a mom. You’re just a new mom who may be going through some challenges. With that in mind, you should try not to get too overwhelmed by all the advice out there. You just have to do what is right for you as a new mom.

 

Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Moms

This one is extremely hard, especially since where I live in Squamish there are so many young families and it is hard not to compare yourself and how you and your baby are doing.  You may be feeling guilty that you don’t have the same “perfect” life as other moms who are also new moms. Maybe your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, or you are struggling with breastfeeding but that is ok! Do things at your own pace and in your own way. Find what works for you as a new mom and your baby. It’s a journey that all moms go through in their own way.

 

Make Time For Yourself

Becoming a new mom often means that you’ll have less “me” time, if any at all. If you’re feeling this way, take some time for yourself. Find time to take care of your mental health by doing things you enjoy. Time for yourself lets you recharge your batteries and remember that you’re not just a mom. Joining group activities like yoga classes is a great way to take time for yourself and be social. Try signing up for different groups. I love taking an hour to myself even if its mommy and baby workouts where we go together. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. I am lucky enough to have my mom in town to let me take some breaks.  

 

Find A Support Network Of Fellow New Moms You Trust

Living in Squamish, I am so lucky to have a wonderful support network. From a great group of other new moms, group activities catered to new parents, and even a medical group called Mountain Maternity that is on hand to help out in the first six weeks, but we are pretty lucky here and so it’s important no matter where you life that you find your own network. Having a support network of fellow new moms that you trust is important for your life as a parent. They can help you feel less alone, stressed and overwhelmed with everything about having a new baby. Try things like joining a mommy and me group or organizing a neighborhood playdate with other new moms in your area.

 

Celebrate The Small Victories

Becoming a new mom is a fantastic journey. But it can also be a bit scary, overwhelming and even frustrating at times. It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed right now. So give yourself a pat on the back. Being a mom is hard. And you’re doing amazingly. Celebrate all the little wins. 

You got this mommas

xo

Mia

My experience with Lovevery play kits

Being a new mom is extremely challenging. You have to get into a good feeding routine, and sleep training, and then there are those milestones that even though everyone tells you not to worry about them too much, you still worry way too much. Because of this I did a lot of reading and research into toys that could help my baby’s development and hopefully help him reach those milestones – although again I try to tell myself daily that every baby is different and will develop in their own time.

In my endless google searches I came across Lovevery. On the website it states that the play products are designed by child development experts to help children get what they need at every stage of development. If you read further, the website has more information on exactly who those experts are. Different doctors that specialize in neuroscience, experts in Montessori learning, and psychologists to name a few. And so I ended up connecting with Lovevery after Max was born to see if I could give their products a try.

The first kit that we got was the 3-4 month play kit. When the kit arrived it came with instructions on how to use each toy that was included and at what stage to introduce them into playtime. In the box we found contrast cards, a soft book, a mirror card, a rubber teether, crinckle bag, silicone teether, wooden rattle, framed mirror, rolling bell, and hand to hand disk. I was surprised at just how much came in the kit.

The instruction book came with talking points for 3 and then 4 months. Different things to expect from your baby and things your baby may like at this point in their lives and then went into detail about each play thing. Why it is useful at this given age and how to use it. It really took the guess work out of how to help my baby develop with these items and as a new mom made the hours and hours of play time each day (which don’t get me wrong I love but sometimes don’t know what to do) make more sense.

And as soon as Max hit three months he  started to thrive with these toys. He loved looking at the mirror for tummy time, grabbing the soft book, and rolling the bell. It was amazing to see the wonder and enjoyment in his eyes but also see developmental leaps start to happen. Grabbing with both hands at just three months, rolling onto his side around that time too. I was impressed to see his progress in such little time.

Takeaways from working with Lovevery:

  • It takes the guesswork out of play time 

I never had to take time to do my own research when it came to toys. They sent them straight to my door each month with a guide on how to play with them and when.

  • There is a variety of toys 

You don’t just get one or two toys each month, you get a handful that all have different uses which I really loved. We had rattles to work on our hearing senses, teethers for touch, and mutli-coloured toys for sight.

  • They are child safe and sustainable 

If you watch my work on the Weather Network you know how important sustainable products are to me. I love that these toys are built to last and made with sustainably harvested wood and nontoxic paint.

I am a big fan of Lovevery and cannot wait to watch max continue to grow with these toys.

Happy play time mommas,

xo

Mia