The Day I Became a Mom

It is hard to believe that my daughter is a year old today!  Was it really a year ago that I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her to arrive?  She was 10 days late.  My May baby ended up being a June baby instead.  I thought I’d share my birth story.

While I was pregnant I had read so many times that I should create a “birth plan” for my labour and delivery.  I think there is some value in having a plan, but when I say having a plan, I mean discussing the “what if” scenarios and maybe a couple extra things.  An example of the “what if” scenarios – what if the baby needs to be taken to the ICN, who will go with the baby, who will stay with mom?  You hope it won’t happen, but at least you know where everyone is going to be if it does.  Other things like do you want an epidural?  And who do you want in the delivery room?  Those are questions you might want to have answered too and put into your “birth plan”.

Here was my birth plan: I wanted to deliver in the hospital.  I wanted an epidural if possible.  I wanted my husband by my side, but if I needed my mom I gave myself permission to ask for her to come into the room.  I’m glad I didn’t have anything more complicated than that since it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Here’s what did happen:


I was due May 24.  It came and went.  I was scheduled for an induction for June 3 at 8:00 AM.  I was sent in to the hospital for a non-stress test on June 2 just to make sure that the baby was doing ok.  This was the third non-stress test I had to do so I was starting to be a pro at them.  ūüôā  It went well and I was even asked by one of the intern doctors if they could bring in an ultrasound machine so that he could practice identifying the position of the baby for future deliveries he might be involved in.  They apparently needed someone very pregnant but not actually in labour.  I was the perfect candidate.  It was fun seeing the baby in there one last time.  We headed home shortly afterwards.

That evening I started getting contractions.  They weren’t all that painful, nothing more than menstrual cramps.  I’ve probably actually had worse cramps than the contractions I was having.  According to the information we were given I was supposed to head to the hospital if the contractions were coming in less than 5 minute intervals.  Once they reached 3 minutes on a consistent basis (around 11:00 at night) we decided to head to the hospital.  Another non-stress test, a pelvic exam, and I was sent home, being only 2 cm dilated.  ūüė¶

The contractions slowed down a bit, but they were enough to keep me from really sleeping that night.  They were also enough to dilate me just a little bit more.

Bright and early we drove to the hospital.  Another time being hooked up to the machines for a non-stress test.  My doctor visited me, confirmed that I was 3 cm dilated, and gave the go-ahead to start pumping me with oxytocin to induce labour.  Now we just had to wait for a labour and delivery room to open up.  In the meantime, the nurses came to start the IV.  Attempt one – not in.  Attempt two – not in.  Attempt three – it’s in, but it hurts!  It ended up hurting the entire day.  If I had known better I would have kept on mentioning it until it got fixed.

About an hour or so later I was moved into the labour and delivery room.  The wonderful thing about the hospital was that you were able to stay in one room the entire time.  The oxytocin was hooked up and we waited for things to start happening.  The contractions were still no more than menstrual cramp intensity.

Around noon my doctor stopped by and broke my water.  What a weird feeling!  It was quite uncomfortable when she used the crochet-like hook to break the membrane and then the warm liquid burst out.  It kind of felt like I had just wet myself!  About a half hour later that’s when things started happening!

The contractions started coming faster now and a bit more painful (although to be honest I don’t recall any pain since it was overshadowed by what was happening next).  I requested my epidural and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I was in a full blown panic attack!!!  It was scary!  I had never had a panic attack like that before!!!  The nurse was fantastic.  She was with me the entire time, helping me get through the intense moments.  I was crying.  I was trying to breathe.  I was crushing my husband’s hand when I contraction would come.  I remember the nurse’s calming presence.  Her hand on my head.  Her gentle voice.  (Even now as I’m writing this I’m almost in tears from the memories!)  Eventually I calmed down enough and the anesthesiologist was able to give me the epidural.  It felt like ice being poured down my back and then no more pain.  Breathing returned to normal, crying stopped, and I was able to settle back down again.  (As a side note, I was reading somewhere the pros and cons of having an epidural.  One thing that was listed as a con was needing a catheter since you can’t really be up an and about.  I’m not sure why this was listed as a negative thing.  I loved not feeling like I had a full bladder.  Anyone who’s been pregnant knows the joys of having the baby sit on her bladder.  Haha!)

My parents came for a visit, as did my sisters.  It was fun being able to see them and it was a diversion while we were waiting for me to get more dilated.

At 6:00 pm my doctor came back to check on my progress.  (I had lots of visits from the nurses in between the doctor’s visits.)  It was determined that the baby was sunny side up and I was only about 7 cm dilated and the oxytocin was at a very high dose.  They decided to give it a bit more time, increasing the dose of oxytocin, and my doctor would come check again in a couple hours.

In those two hours my feet started swelling and my cervix did too so that by the time my doctor came back I had actually regressed.  Now I was only 6 cm dilated!  My doctor recommended a c-section.  They turned off the oxytocin drip.  I was told that there would be a bit of a wait before I would go into the OR because there was one lady in front of me in line.  Of course, about 10 minutes later the nurses popped into my room saying that they were waiting for blood work for her and so I was going in right away!  Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do all that well with change…ok, I’m terrible with change…and being pumped up with oxytocin (a stress hormone) I was barely managing to keep calm.  My husband changed into scrubs (he looked pretty handsome in them if you ask me) and I was wheeled into the OR.

I lost it when they asked me to move from the bed I was in to the operating table.  I had been given an extra dose of the epidural and my feet were so swollen that I could barely move.  I started panicking again!!!  They tried to distract me and help me calm down, but I couldn’t stop shaking or crying.  My husband came into the OR and tried to help calm me down too….

The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes and there was my husband, holding our daughter!  They’d had to put me under in order to get me to stop shaking so they could perform the surgery.  I asked if the baby was a girl (apparently a few times) and I thanked the anesthesiologist for putting me under and then we moved to the recovery room…where I started having my third panic attack of the day!!!  My nose was stuffed and I was having a hard time breathing, the nurses were checking this and that, pushing on my uterus to make sure the bleeding had stopped…I don’t even remember how this panic attack ended, but I guess it did eventually and I was able to hold my daughter for the first time.

She was beautiful!  A tiny little perfect baby girl!  And she had a beautifully shaped head.  I was a mom!

After about an hour we were wheeled into a private room and my parents, my husband’s parents, and my sisters came into the room to meet the newest member of our family.  As I remember this part of the day I remember who was there and that there was time when I wasn’t holding my baby, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember anyone holding her.  I have pictures, but I guess I was still too drugged up to remember.  So strange.

The next morning we were told that the cord had been wrapped around my daughter’s neck a couple times.  It really made me appreciate how great it is to have hospitals, doctors, nurses, and epidurals.  There seems to be a huge fad for having “natural” births and home births, but there is a reason why there are hospitals and doctors.  The panic attacks I could have done without, but that was me and not the “modern medicine’s” fault.  My goal for the next time (if/when it comes around) is to be conscious when the baby is born, but at least I know that I’ll be well taken care of.

And now my baby is a year old!  Wow!  Happy 1st Birthday, Little E!


Hospital Bag Checklist

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. ¬†The weather has turned beautiful so we have been enjoying being outside whenever we can! ¬†ūüôā

With the arrival of summer, I know several people who are expecting their bundles of joy soon and that has made me start thinking about hospitals and delivery.  My daughter is turning one in a couple weeks so that might have something to do with it too.  I find myself thinking about how much has happened since little E came into our lives.

So with all this thought on hospitals, I figured my blog wouldn’t be complete without a “Hospital Bag Checklist” so here it goes!

What to take to the hospital.

The thing to remember is that every labour and delivery story is going to be different, and the length of your stay in the hospital may be different than someone else’s. ¬†I had a c-section so I was in the hospital for 3 nights. ¬†But I think that these things listed here would be nice to have regardless of how long you are in the hospital. ¬†There are lots of lists on the internet to help you pack your bags, and here are my suggestions to add to it! ¬†ūüôā



  • hairbrush, hair ties, hair clip, bobby pins – After going through the entire crazy day, I was so grateful to be able to brush my hair and make myself look presentable again! ¬†I looked a little worse for wear the night my daughter was delivered!
  • face wash, face lotion, make-up – I am one of those types of people who doesn’t feel completely like myself if I have a greasy face or without a bit of eye shadow on. ¬†And I’m able to look back on the pictures feeling like I look at least somewhat decent.
  • shampoo and body wash – Some hospitals may provide this, but I took my own. ¬†That first shower after delivery was fantastic! ¬†I was able to wash off all the sweat and just felt so clean again!
  • toothbrush and toothpaste –¬†A key part of feeling human again!
  • sleep nursing bra –¬†I packed this and I’m glad I did since those silly hospital gowns really don’t provide all that much privacy when you are trying to breastfeed for the first time!
  • nursing pads –¬†Just in case things start leaking a bit.
  • pajamas –¬†I did bring a new set of pajamas that I had bought for the occasion, but I didn’t wear them. ¬†I was so swollen from all the liquids they had pumped into me and the elastic on the pants hit my c-section incision rather uncomfortably. ¬†I think next time I’m going to see if I can either find something that will be more comfortable after surgery or make one of those gowns that I’ve seen on Pinterest.
  • panties¬†– Again, because of my c-section incision, I didn’t use the ones I had brought. ¬†The hospital ones they provide are ridiculous looking, but they sure are comfy! ¬†Next time I’m going to actually ask for a couple pairs to take home with me for the first week post delivery. ¬†However, if I hadn’t had a c-section, I would have been more than happy to be back in my own normal panties again!
  • socks –¬†Didn’t use them until I got dressed to go home, but I know that some women like to wear them during labour.
  • going home clothes –¬†I took a super comfy pair of maternity sweat pants and a nursing top with me.
  • paper/pen –¬†I had a small notebook that I used to record gifts that were brought when people came to visit.
  • camera and charger – Obviously. ūüôā
  • cellphone and charger –¬†I liked being able to share those first pictures and announce to the world that my daughter had arrived. ¬†It was also nice to have to be able to stay in contact with my family and friends since I was in the hospital for a little longer than expected.
  • slippers/flip flops –¬†I took slippers with me, but my feet were so swollen they didn’t really fit. ¬†And I leaked blood on them (gross) when I got out of bed the first time. ¬†I think next time I’ll take a pair of flip flops instead.
  • pads –¬†I used the hospital ones during my stay, but they were rather thick so it was nice to have a thinner one to wear on my way home.
  • wallet –¬†Not so much for the money or credit cards, but for the ID and Health Cards.


  • going home outfit –¬†I took two. ¬†The ultrasound tech had told us we were having a girl, but on the off chance that she turned out to be a boy we took a girly sleeper and a gender neutral one. ¬†The baby won’t need an outfit for in the hospital since s/he will probably just be wrapped up in a blanket most of the time or laying on your chest skin to skin.
  • hat¬†– I forgot one, so the hospital provided one after E’s first bath. ¬†It made a cute keepsake.
  • cloth diaper –¬†This one is totally optional! ¬†I’m pretty sure the hospital will give you a disposable diaper for your baby if need be, but I brought one of my cloth diapers since I was SO excited to use them.
  • car seat – At our hospital they did a safety check once E was strapped in, just to make sure she was in there properly.
  • blanket –¬†Even though it was the beginning of June and beautiful weather, we still put a blanket over top of E so that she was nice and cozy.
  • soother/pacifier¬†– Some people say not to introduce a soother too early, but I’m glad we brought them. ¬†E was able to be soothed and I was able to get some sleep.
  • Vasoline –¬†I brought some but used the tube the hospital provided instead.


  • pair of clothes –¬†Just in case he got spit up on or something.
  • snacks or money for the vending machine –¬†He might get hungry and the hospital doesn’t provide his meals.

Basically you’ll be taking what you would take for an overnight trip.

Hope you found this list helpful! ¬†What’s in your hospital bag?


Smock Bib: FREE Pattern and Tutorial

It’s sewing time! ¬†I’m excited to share with you my first ever FREE pattern and tutorial for a baby smock bib. ¬†ūüôā


I don’t know about your kids, but my baby is certainly a messy eater! ¬†She likes to feed herself and usually ends up with food everywhere. ¬†Even when we try to feed her it gets a little messy. ¬†Easter dinner ended up all over her face, hands, hair, ears. ¬†Fortunately she was wearing her smock so her clothes were at least unstained. ¬†ūüôā

When we first introduced E to solid food, we quickly figured out that the regular bibs weren’t going to work. ¬†So I went out and found a smock that I hoped would do the trick. ¬†It was made out of vinyl or something that seemed like a great idea, but really didn’t come clean and it wasn’t too long before holes were starting to form. ¬†I took it apart and used the pieces as a rough template for a cloth version. ¬†The original smock was for 18 M. ¬†I decided to make it about the same size, but since my daughter is only 10 1/2 months, we just roll up the arms to make them a bit shorter for now.

The front of the smock is made up of denim from three pairs of my old blue jeans (might as well use them for something!). ¬†Denim is a fantastic choice for a bib since it doesn’t stain easily. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I’ve used various types of fabric for the back and sleeves so you can probably use whatever you have on hand. ¬†In this tutorial I’m using flannelette, but I’ve also used broadcloth and even a cut up cotton t-shirt. ¬†As long as it’s washable, I don’t see why you couldn’t use it.

I was at FabricLand and found this super cute fabric with the pea pods. ¬†Ok, maybe white isn’t the BEST choice for a bib, but it was so cute I just couldn’t resist. ¬†ūüôā

But enough chatter…on to the tutorial.


– fabric for sleeves and smock back (can be the same, as in this tutorial, or different)

– denim for the smock front (I used my old blue jeans)

– double fold bias tape (around 2 1/2 yards or meters)

– coordinating thread

–¬†hook and loop closure

Smock Pattern and tape


1. Print, cut out, and tape the pattern pieces together.

There are 3 pieces for the sleeve and 2 pieces for the front.  Overlap the pieces so that the shapes are complete.

You will need to create the reflection of the front so that you have a full shape. ¬†I just have half in the pattern so that it was easier to share. ¬†Here’s what your pieces should look like. ¬†(Ignore the “Fold” written in pencil)

IMG_3655 IMG_3657

2. Cut out your fabric.

IMG_3659Fold your fabric with wrong sides together and cut out the sleeves.

Cut the smock back using just one layer of fabric, either of the same fabric or a coordinating fabric.




3. Create the denim smock front.

IMG_3661This is where you can get creative. ¬†Because I used my blue jeans the front will not be in just one piece. ¬†Here’s what I did. ¬†I took the pattern for the smock front and divided it into three sections. ¬†I just did vertical lines for this tutorial, but the sections can also be cut on an angle.




Pin each section onto the denim and cut out. ¬†Here’s the important part: make sure to add about 1/2 inch extra on the “cut” side. ¬†This is so that you can sew the pieces together, creating the front of the smock.



Here are my pieces all cut.

IMG_3666 IMG_3665 IMG_3664

TIMG_3667ake the bottom and middle pieces and pin with right sides together.  Repeat with the top and middle pieces.






Sew each pinned section using a 1/2 in seam.  Trim the seams and iron open.  Put aside for now.






4. Prepare the sleeves.

IMG_3692Pin and sew the bias tape onto the straight edge of the sleeve. ¬†If this is your first time using bias tape, there are lots of great tutorials online. ¬†Basically here’s how you do it. ¬†When folded the bias tape is slightly longer on one side than the other. ¬†Taking the shorter side, unfold it and pin, right sides together, to the sleeve as shown in the picture. ¬†Sew along the fold.



IMG_3693Next, remove the pins and fold the bias tape over the edge. ¬†With the right side up, since that’s the side that is going to be visible, sew along the inner edge (basically where you were first sewed the bias tape to the sleeve).




IMG_3694Once the bias tape is sewn on, fold the sleeve as shown in the picture.  Sew using a 1/2 in seam.






IMG_3695Trim the excess material.  I did a zigzag stitch which will hopefully prevent too much fraying from happening when it is washed.





5. Attach the sleeves to the front of the smock.

IMG_3691Take the denim front and fabric back of the smock and pin, wrong sides together. ¬†If you are feeling ambitious, baste them together, leaving the openings for the sleeves. ¬†Basting would help eliminate blood stains from pin pricks! ¬†ūüôā




IMG_3696Fold down the openings for the sleeve about 1/2 in as shown in the picture.






IMG_3698Pin the sleeve (the non-sewn straight edge) in between the two layers. ¬†Make sure you have the correct sleeve on the correct side! ¬†The rounded part goes in the back of the bib, around the baby’s neck. ¬†Sew in place. ¬†I sewed fairly close to the edge of the denim. ¬†You just want to make sure that all the layers are sewn together.



6. Add bias tape to finish the edges.

IMG_3701Here’s the most dangerous part of the project…there are a lot of pins! ¬†Pin and sew the bias tape around all the unfinished edges. ¬†It does get a little tricky, so have patience during this step.






IMG_3707You’re almost done! ¬†And hopefully you’ll have a bit more luck than I did. ¬†My sewing machine needle was on it’s last legs and seemed to hit every other pin until it finally broke! ¬†I replaced the needle and finished the project.





7. Attach the hook and loop closure.

It doesn’t really matter which side overlaps, but I would suggest that you put the “hook” part on the side that will be on the top. ¬†Reason for this…it won’t get stuck in hair! ¬†Ouch!

IMG_3708Cut about an inch of the “hook” part and sew in place. ¬†You can either do the same size for the “loop” or make it slightly bigger, which allows for a bit more size variation.




IMG_3710And you’re done! ¬†Congratulations! ¬†I’d love to hear how yours turned out!




Baby Finger Food: Spinach Cups

I wanted to share a great recipe that I found through Pinterest. ¬†The original recipe is from The Test Kitchen of Melissa Fallis. ¬†This is the second time I’ve made the spinach cups. ¬†The first time my daughter didn’t like them at first, but then we gave them to her a few weeks later and she devoured them! ¬†Looks like this batch is going to be eaten pretty quickly too. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I haven’t tried the other recipes, but they look pretty tasty too.


– Spinach (I used a 10 oz bag)

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

– 2 eggs

– sprinkle of pepper

– sprinkle of garlic powder (the original recipe called for minced garlic, but I didn’t have any fresh garlic)


IMG_37521. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Chop up the spinach.  I had great success with a Tupperware Quick Chef Pro System.  I chopped the spinach into rough chunks.





IMG_37532. Add the sour cream.

Ok, I’m showing off more Tupperware here! ¬†Bowl, measuring cups…I had a Tupperware Bridal Shower before we got married…let’s just say, I got spoiled! ¬†ūüôā




IMG_37543. Add the cheddar cheese.  Mix well.






IMG_37614. Add 2 eggs.  Mix well.







IMG_37625. Fill a mini muffin pan with the spinach mixture.  I filled them to the top and it made 24 muffins.  Put in the preheated oven.

I just recently cleaned my oven, but it certainly doesn’t look like it from this picture!




IMG_37636. Let them back for about 20 Р25 minutes.  A toothpick should come clean when inserted into the middle of the muffins.

Here is E waiting for her spinach cups! ¬†(Don’t mind the messy oven door…that was a pretzel making mishap!)




IMG_37787. Once they are cooked, take them out of the oven and let them cool. ¬†Remove them from the muffin tin and place them on a cookie sheet so that they aren’t touching. ¬†Stick them in the freezer. ¬†Once they are frozen they can be put into a freezer bag without sticking to each other.

Enjoy!  Thanks again to Melissa Fallis for this great recipe!

My Top 5: When Baby has a Cold

My daughter just got over a cold!  There are lots of ways to help prevent colds, like washing hands, staying away from germs, etc., but even with good hygiene everyone catches colds.

It’s a fact of life.

And really, do I want to keep my child in a sanitary bubble her whole life? ¬†I think not. ¬†I will teach her about washing hands, covering her mouth, and all that other stuff as she gets older. ¬†For now, when her primary mode of moving is by putting her hands on the floor and everything goes in her mouth, there isn’t too much I can do.

Except deal with the symptoms and help her get through it as comfortably as possible.

So what do I use? ¬†Here’s My Top 5 things for when baby¬†has a cold.IMG_3545

1. Boogie Wipes: Never would have splurged on these, but my cousin gave me a pack as part of a baby shower gift. ¬†I have since picked up the large size! ¬†These things are great! ¬†They wipe off crusted on boogies like nobody’s business. ¬†They even work better than a warm wet cloth or other baby face wipes! ¬†I still use a tissue to wipe E’s nose most of the time (which she hates), but she complains far less with the Boogie Wipes and they do a much better job getting everything off. ¬†The wipes come in three “flavours” (Fresh, Grape, and Unscented), although I have only tried the Fresh scent.

2. Vick’s BabyRub Soothing Ointment: This is on the must-have list for a new baby. ¬†It is a non-medicated ointment that helps relieve congestion and coughing. ¬†It also smells wonderful because of the aloe vera, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavendar in it. ¬†According to the directions, it is meant to be rubbed on the baby’s chest, back, and neck. ¬†I also read on Pinterest that rubbing it on the baby’s feet can also help.

3. HydraSense Ultra-Gentle Mist Hydrating Nasal Care: Another product on the must-have list. ¬†This helps with nasal congestion. ¬†It has a specially designed “comfort tip” that has been designed specifically for a baby’s tiny and delicate nose. ¬†E isn’t a huge fan of it getting sprayed up her nose, but it helps her breathe and relieves dryness.

4. Humidifier: Speaking of dryness, a humidifier can help with that! ¬†Edmonton can be very dry, especially in the winter, and E will often have a very dry nose that starts bleeding a little bit. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†We have a humidifier running in her room during naps and through the night to help relieve some of the dryness. ¬†It also provides white noise which is an added bonus!

5. Coconut Oil: This is an amazing thing! ¬†Everyone should have a big jar of it in their homes. ¬† I even listed it as a “bonus” item in My Top 5: Things for a Newborn post. ¬†Right before putting her to bed, we would give E a baby spoonful of coconut oil to help relieve coughing. ¬†It tastes great so she takes it eagerly. ¬†Apparently mixing it with honey makes it even better for coughs, but since E is still under a year, we haven’t tried that yet.

There you have it.  Five great things to help your baby through a cold.  Add some extra love and cuddles, maybe even a nice warm bath, and hopefully your baby will be feeling better soon!