~Special announcement~ My hubs and I are expecting our first baby, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! The Melon (as my Dad likes to called him or her) is due late August and we’re busy preparing in true newbie-parent fashion. We’ve upgraded from our bachelor apartment to a two bedroom home (which was totally overdue!), painted the baby’s room a lovely pale grey, and are amassing all things Baby from our generous friends and family. I’m so glad we have people in our lives who know the first-time parenting drill; they are saving me from hours of Google searching “what do babies eat/do/need”!
So, I’ve dropped the ball on journaling thus far into the pregnancy—however, I’m excited to share some of my mommy-to-be experiences with you here!
The Waiting Game
Before diving into my pregnancy stories, I just have to say that getting pregnant took us much longer than we thought it would. I was convinced that conceiving would be a breeze, yet, once we made the big decision to start a family, we had month after month of disappointment. Finally, after a year of trying we reached out to our doctor for advice. We consulted with a holistic nutritionist, I went for acupuncture, and finally we booked an appointment at a fertility clinic. It was scary not knowing if something was wrong, or if making babies was meant to be in our future!
The Turning Point
They say that stress is a huge contributor to infertility, and maybe this was the case for us. I didn’t feel like I was over-occupied with worry, but after reaching out to our healthcare providers, things turned around! By the time of our scheduled fertility clinic appointment, we were already pregnant. It took a year (which felt never-ending), and all I can recommend is having an open dialogue with your doctor while exploring ways to relax and take better care of yourself. Massage, acupuncture, healthy diet and exercise will keep your body happy and your stress levels down.
The Best Christmas Gift Ever (5 weeks)
The week prior to Christmas Holidays, I remember sitting in a boardroom meeting with clients. I was trying to keep my focus, but the truth is I was distracted by slight nausea, and the knowledge that my period was three days late… this could be it, I thought! But I didn’t want to get my hopes up. We decided to wait a day or two longer before taking a pregnancy test, and when the test revealed an inky blue “positive” there was a certain amount of disbelief. We took another test two days later for good measure, and it was super duper positive! Woohoo!
After a 5 hour drive, we arrived at my parents place for the holidays around 1 am. I couldn’t contain the news until dawn, I had to tell them right there and then. Obviously they were thrilled! That week, I also told my closest girlfriends. We sat huddled on a bed like preteens as I shared the news of the little life budding inside of me (the Melon was only as big as a lentil at the time). Joy and tears ensued; it was the best Christmas gift I could have asked for!
More Shreddies, Please (7 weeks)
“Morning sickness” is a drag… and let me tell you, it is not bound to the hours of the AM! During our visit to my parents I made the discovery that Shreddies cereal could settle my nauseated tummy—Hallelujah! My New Years resolution… stock up on these life-saving, wheaty squares. My nausea extended past the first trimester, but thankfully I never actually threw up. Since then, my cravings have shifted from Shreddies, to pickles (hold the ice cream), to cheese, to anything sweet. I like to think of cravings as baby telling me what they’re in the mood for.
Our First Ultrasound (10 weeks)
In the early weeks of pregnancy, all I had was the nausea and tiredness to remind me that my belly was carrying life. My shape hadn’t really begun to change yet, and the Melon was still too small for me to feel any movement; sometimes it didn’t feel like I was really pregnant at all, until we got our first ultrasound image! It was amazing—at only 10 weeks old our little baby was rolling around and stretching out its tiny arms!
This picture is from our 20 week ultrasound.
Finding the Right Midwife (13 weeks)
We knew we wanted to explore our options for birthing outside of a hospital setting; this meant finding a midwife. Yet, I was warned that the demand for midwives in Toronto far exceeds the supply. So we filled in a dozen applications for collectives across the city and crossed our fingers. After weeks of waiting and several rejections, we finally had a midwife assigned to us. I went to my first appointment with a lot of gratitude and anticipation, but it was really clear to me that this midwife and I were not going to click. I felt guilty for feeling picky, and tried to tell myself I was lucky to even have a midwife, but I couldn’t sweep the doubt from my heart. Thankfully, a different collective called me back with another midwife whom I met and loved! I made the switch and know that this was the right choice for me and the Melon.
Feeling the first Kicks (18 weeks)
I was told that the first baby movements that you can sense feel like bubbles, but I found I couldn’t decipher between bubbly baby gymnastics and a potentially gassy tummy. I wanted to feel the baby move so that I could know everything was going ok in there. Around 20 weeks, as I lay in bed with my hands on my belly, I felt an unmistakable kick—like a single thump from a powerful heart. I wish I could say it was a magical moment of bonding between me and the Melon, but actually it was scary! Until that moment I’d never felt such powerful involuntary movement from the inside. Now that I’m used to the sensation, I really love it, and I’ve learned that the Melon does a special dance after I eat spicy food or drink juice. One of my favourite things is for my husband to place his hands on my belly so we can both feel the Melon do it’s fancy jig!
The Pregnant Yogi (25 weeks)
Soon after learning I was a mama-in-the-making, I needed to shift my yoga practice from hot rooms and vigorous vinyasa, to movement that was a little more belly friendly. Even though my body didn’t look pregnant, I could feel my balance changing, and my general level of fatigue made my former practice unenjoyable. Prior to pregnancy I began following Toronto Yoga Mamas on Instagram; their feed is just beautiful, and I knew this was the new mama community I was looking for. To my delight, the studio was also offering Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training through Blooma, so I signed up! I completed Level 1 in January, and after completing Level 2 for the course next week I’ll be Yoga Alliance certified to teach Prenatal classes—I can’t wait!
I’m so happy to be sharing these new experiences with you. Thanks for joining us on our Luvly adventure!