Saturday, 30 November 2013

Raising Baby Vegetarians

I have mentioned before that during pregnancy J and I discussed how we were going to raise Weston (diet wise). His daddy eats meat occasionally, usually fish and sometimes chicken. When he is dining out he will sometimes have red meat. I am vegan (except for some egg whites I ate in pregnancy during the height of my nausea).

We have reached an agreement that Weston will be raised vegetarian with low dairy consumption. There are a few reasons for this, mainly his transition to daycare next year and being able to partake in his Grandma A's baking which is actually more of a soft spot than I had originally imagined.

We have also discussed that if he chooses to eat meat or asks us about it as a later date, we will let him make that decision. This post by healthy tipping point was very helpful and reinforced some of our ideas on the vegetarian debate.  However in our home we won't eat meat. Our home will also probably have more vegan snack foods than vegetarian, and most importantly an emphasis on health and what foods make us strong and healthy.  I am thinking rainbows and "real food" concepts will come into play. After all, we could feed him french fries and oreos as a vegan and he could develop very unhealthy eating habits.  I also want food to be fun and not a battle zone.

In my opinion it is never too early to start thinking about how you will approach these things as a family. It is hard when you have well-meaning in-laws weighing in, and that old myth that it's hard to get enough protein as a vegetarian.  An informed rationale is all you need and some back pocket facts (i.e. there are many wonderful sources of non-meat protein!).

Are you raising (or plan to raise) your little one as a vegetarian (or vegan, paleo, gluten-free)?
Was it an easy decision or did you face some backlash??


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Postpartum week 3

Baby

Weston had his three-week check up yesterday. They weighed and measured him and did a general run through of things like how are his diapers, how is he feeding, how is he sleeping etc.

Breastfeeding

Since our last weight check at the health centre he has gained a whopping 1.5 lbs. 16% weight gain! I guess the BF'ing is working. It was a relief because I have been worrying (like mothers do) that I didn't have enough milk or he wasn't feeding long enough. Just to recap, the first nurse we saw in the hospital said he didn't have a good latch and I would have to work on it. The second nurse that came to our home told me that he needed to eat longer and on both sides. And finally, yesterday his pediatrician told me I should feed him LESS because he is gaining so quickly.

After a call to my mom and sister they reassured me that mom knows best and to go with my gut.  When I cut down his feedings I don't believe he is getting the hind milk (as evidenced by his diapers) so I am not going to do that for now.

Sleeping

We hit a rocky 3 week growth spurt on Tuesday and things are just starting to settle down. He fed non-stop and was so fussy I shed a few tears trying to calm him down a few times. Needless to say, sleep has been all over the place.  There are some new highlights though. He has slept in his crib twice now for 2 and 3 hour time spans. Yay for moving to the big boy crib for naps! I also found the 3 swaddle blankets he actually likes. They are his anais anais ones (the boy has expensive taste).

Diaper Rash

Weston has developed a mean case of diaper rash. I am beginning to think it is from his Kirkland wipes. Despite hearing rave reviews, after further research I discovered here are some nasty ingredients in the new formula. Formaldehyde being one of them. On our to do list tomorrow is a trip to pick up new wipes. I am thinking we will try a sensitive skin brand of some sort and see if this angry redness will begin to clear up. Poor little guy :(

Body

At three and a half weeks postpartum I am pretty much back to pre-pregnancy size except for about an inch round my abdomen. I am chalking this up to genetics and a quite active pregnancy.  Breastfeeding has also played a role in tightening my uterus back up.  I will tell you that I have a lot of work to do to get back some muscle tone. My arms are weak and my core strength leaves much to be desired. I have been doing mini core workouts (planks, leg slides, bridges).  Next week (4 weeks PP) will mark my return to light exercise. I even charged my garmin in hopes that I can go on a mini run or brisk walk.

I cannot believe we are close to the 4 week mark. It is true that time goes so quickly with a wee one. I am trying my hardest to cherish every moment. Even the fits of tears when he is really saying "mommy I need you". I don't think he knows yet just how much I need him too :)

 


Thursday, 21 November 2013

My New Mommy Wardrobe

The first two weeks (and a bit) at home with a new-born are a challenge for more than a number of reasons.  For one, you are a different size - you don't really fit your maternity clothes but your old clothes just don't work.  This is due in part to your newly well endowed chest (in my case anyway) and your still swollen tummy.

Don't worry, over the first 2-3 weeks you will begin to see glimpses of your old self in the mirror. In the meantime, you need comfy clothes. Clothes that you can go to a coffee shop in for your first big outing or run to the drugstore for more breastpads and lanolin cream.

Here are a few items that have been lifesavers for me. Most days I try to get dressed to maintain my sanity, and still look somewhat put together (or in most cases like I just left a yoga class).



  1. A nursing tank - I now have 3 from target and they are lifesavers!

  2. An open cardigan or sweater for easy nursing access - I love this old navy one.

  3. Lululemon Wonder Unders - a bit more dressed up than leggings at least

  4. Knee socks - I wear these under my boots if I run out on an errand and for extra coziness around the house.

  5. A great baby bag - I have this Skip Hop one and it has replaced my handbag.


Did you have a postpartum uniform that you lived in for the first couple of weeks?
What are your go to comfy clothes??


 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Postpartum week 2 - Baby

How is our baby already two weeks old!! Time flies when you don't sleep and spend 24 hours a day caring for a little one.  Here is a run down of our first two weeks with baby:

Sleeping

I think he is a good sleeper. Sometimes we get 3 hour stretches which is pretty amazing at two weeks. There are some problems though.  He won't sleep on his back and seems to have the ability to roll over already.  I know that seems crazy but I have woken up multiple times to find him pressed against the mesh of his co-sleeper.  If I put him on the big bed with no blankets or pillows near him he will sleep upwards of three hours soundly.  I don't know what to do at this point as I am aware of the SIDS risk and "back to sleep" warnings.

Eating

He eats like a champ. Eight days post birth he had passed his discharge weight and was three ounces shy of his birth weight. I am anxiously awaiting his appointment next week to see how he is progressing.  Breastfeeding still hurts at first latch but is getting a bit better.  Right now we are testing out different bottles to see if we can successfully get daddy to feed him.  It is a process of trial and error right now.

Play

My parents are here for a visit and bought him a play gym. He is fascinated with the mirror! It is really quite funny to watch him stare at it and make his funny little noises.  He is also fond of a big teddy bear we have, mainly due to the big black nose.  He has  little conversations with the bear every morning.

If you have advice on the sleep situation I would love to hear it! 

 


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Postpartum Week 1 - Body



Technically today we are 9 days postpartum but I plan to share weekly recaps of all the changes and phases.  This week has been a whirlwind of feedings, diapers, cat naps and snacking when I have time.  Here are the real details of what my first week was like in hopes that it might help some expecting or new mommies out there.

Body changes

I don't know if this is common, but I was truly amazed at how quickly my body (physical appearance wise) bounced back.  By day three I looked about 3 months pregnant and by one week I looked like my old self with bad muscle tone (i.e. i have NO ab muscles).  This means it is harder to carry heavy things like the car seat because of my weak core.  I am not too worried though and have started my kegels and bridges when i lie on the floor with Weston.

One thing I was not ready for: intense night sweats. I wake up soaking wet!

Tearing

I had a second degree tear which needed 8 stitches post delivery.  It has been more uncomfortable than I expected. For the first couple of days i was terrified to go to the bathroom but once i started taking the prescribed pain relievers more regularly the pain became more manageable. I think my moment of truth came when we decided to go on a short walk last Thursday (about 4 blocks) and half way there I almost started crying from all the pain and pressure in the suture area.  My advice: rest! You will have gone through something way more taxing on your body than you first realize and it is better in hindsight to take those few extra days on the couch than it is to push yourself too soon.  One other tip: stock up on super maxi pads. You will need them and you will likely underestimate how many you need. I was told later by the nurse to think about changing it every time you change baby (i.e. 8-12 times a day).  Costco jumbo packs will be your friend ladies. 

Breastfeeding

My milk supply came in fast and furious by day 3. It was more painful than i imagined and latching till stings. I am able to pump a considerable amount of milk at one time so I express after our first morning feeding.  I am going to stick with it as long as i can, and i am stockpiling milk so that we also have the option of feeding him Expressed Breast Milk (EBM as the public health nurse calls it).  NONE of my nursing bras fit, this is traumatic.  I will take this time to stress if you have a smaller rib cage and require less than a 34 bad size be ready to hunt for nursing bras.

Mood

I have had a few outbursts, I have cried a couple of times, and the lack of sleep is starting to wear me down. For now I feel pretty positive though and i am so happy J got to take these first two weeks off with me.  It has been a lifesaver and we have learned a lot about each other : )  I also experience elation when I look down at the little man in my arms. It is definitely a rollercoaster.

Exercise

None. Well a couple of walks and kegels but I am listening to my body and I am prepared to wait it out until I feel really ready to start some sort of fitness regime again.  The other day I was thinking maybe I will ride my bike on the trainer. Then I snapped out of daydreaming and remembered the stitches.  The mind does funny things.

How was your postpartum experience?

Did you feel prepared for all the changes?

What did you find most surprising/shocking?

 



 

Monday, 11 November 2013

He has arrived!

Baby Weston finally arrived on Monday November 4th, 12 days late but well worth the wait.  I don't actually have words to accurately describe this first week of new life in our home.  There have been highs and lows, but mostly shared awe at how wonderful this little man is. There are many moments in the day that I look down and think how did this little miracle grow inside of me? 

This first post I will share his birth story and then we can recap all the details of this first week... the feedings, the sleep, the healing and the new man in my life.  

Birth Story

Image

With Weston being quite late, I was scheduled to go in for induction on November 1. That got pushed to the 2nd of November, and so began the 55 hr journey to his birth.  I had one 24 hr round of Cervidil with little progression and returned to assessment at 9 am on Sunday for the second round.  After we were released we went to the mall to walk for a bit, following the nurses advice that "gravity would be my best friend".

That evening there were small signs of hope that this baby might come naturally so I went to bed feeling hopeful. At 12am I woke up and sat straight up in bed with one thought: "oh that is what a contraction feels like!". For seven hours they contractions came in seven to ten minute intervals. I didn't wake J because I thought there wouldn't be much he could do at that point.  By the morning however he found me downstairs by the tv on my hands and knees ; )

We went into assessment again after a shower and coffee stop to find I had actually dilated to 3-4 cm.  Progress!! We were given the choice to try another round of Cervidil or move onto an Oxy drip to hasten contractions. I took the latter as I don't think my body would have taken another 24 hr stint and still had the ability and energy to labour. 

I was allowed to eat something small before the drip so J went and got me a bagel then we moved onto step two. The drip brought on contractions almost right away in 4-5 minute intervals. It was unpleasant and I started to think about pain relief. A few minutes later the attending physician came and looked at the charts and said they were going to break my water. This was not in our birth plan, J was out grabbing lunch and our doula hadn't arrived yet so I felt a little alone at this point in the process. 

I was moved quickly to Labour and Delivery and within minutes the Dr. had broke my water.  By the time J came back I was in a new room, my water was broken and contractions were coming fast and fierce.  That is when I lost my breakfast, got really dizzy and realized I wasn't going to be able to do it drug free.  In hindsight, the Doula told us that all the interventions came so quickly that my body had no time to adapt.  

After the epidural, pain began to subside for about an hour and then I felt pressure.  Lots of pressure. I asked the nurse what I should be feeling because I thought the Epi would take all the pain away. It wasn't horrible, but my instincts told me it wasn't quite normal.  She called a resident in to come check me and I was fully dilated and baby was right there. I was told I could start pushing when I was ready. 

Right away I started trying. It is a very foreign process this "pushing". We quickly found that I couldn't push on my back because babies HR dropped too much so I had to lie on my side. Between each contraction I had to switch sides so they could find the HR again. It was uncomfortable and a bit stressful.  J helped by counting to 10 for each push (3 pushes per contraction), but as I got more irritated I needed the counting in my ear to stop.  He then took on the role of water bottle holder.  I imagine it is quite hard to be the partner in those cases because how can you really soothe someone in that state : )

An hour and a half in I asked my doula if I could take a break but was told no because it would erase all the hard work.  With that news it clicked in me that I had to get him out before I got more tired. 20 minutes later they were telling me to stop because he was right there (and there were no Dr's in the room). This is the funny point where I said (yelled) "No, he's coming out". The rest is a blur of delivery, Dr's and nurses, his loud loud cry and them placing his warm, wriggly body on me.  Immediately I said how big is he! He is so heavy!!

He was 8lb 9oz on his birthday and 21 inches long. He is my sweet, sweet boy and we couldn't be happier. Every day I tell him he was born to do great things and I can't wait to help him along the way.