child spacing for 2nd child

The other day at work, I bought hard-boiled eggs from the cafeteria as per usual. This time, the eggs didn’t taste right so after a couple bites, I couldn’t eat anymore. A co-worker asked me about the eggs and then proclaimed, “maybe your pregnant!” I laughed and assured her that I’m not.

And so it begins. I have a 1 year old and I’m back to work after a year long maternity leave. Both of these = people wondering and asking if I’m pregnant with child #2.

While we think that we’d like a 2nd child (maybe?), I don’t feel ready for another pregnancy at this time. Is it even possible to feel ready for another pregnancy while you have a young child to take care of? And to feel ready for another round of newborn sleep deprivation?

I’ve done a little google searching on the topic of child spacing. Seems that many try to space their children close together in the hope that their children will be lifelong friends (while close spacing is no guarantee of this). There are others who intentionally wait until their child is older (3 or more years) so that they can have more 1:1 time with each child. In the different cases, I’ve noticed the following:

  1. almost everyone is happy with their child spacing (very few say they’d do things differently).
  2. there’s pros and cons to every age gap between siblings

I must acknowledge that we don’t always have a choice in child spacing. With that said, what are your thoughts re: ideal child spacing? For those with two or more children, what are the pros and cons of the age gap between your kids? Would you do things differently if there was a next time?

And if there’s any, “one and done” families reading this, please comment. What do you like about it? I’m loving our family of 3. I think it has many positives.

When Mother’s Day gives Mixed Emotions

I didn’t always want to be a mom. In fact, I thought that I’d live happily childfree for all of my days. Around 5 years of marriage, I started to wonder if I’d regret not having a child. I thought of and pursued the possibility of building our family through adoption. That door closed. Then we tried for a baby and had a miscarriage. Mother’s Day 2014 was dark and sad. I didn’t know if we’d ever have a child.

Here I am now in 2016 with a 13-month old on Mother’s Day. Becoming a mother has changed me in a way that I didn’t imagine. I now feel certain things so deeply in my heart. In particular, my heart aches for all sorts of mothers on Mother’s Day. Especially today, I think of:

The woman who wants to be a mother

The one who has lost a child

The lady struggling with the demands of motherhood

The mother who has an estranged child

Those living without their mom

And this week, I think of all the mothers affected by the Fort McMurray fires. There have been women who’ve given birth during this past week while fleeing from their home.

I am glad to be a mom. It is seriously hard work. Challenging. Tiring. And the lovey-dovey stuff too. But one thing I’m grateful for is the way in which my journey of motherhood has given me a deep love for any struggling momma. I’m feeling both sad and glad this Mother’s Day, and I think that’s okay.

Health risks of using baby powder

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Did you hear? A court ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay a family 72 million in damages. A woman’s death (ovarian cancer) was linked to using baby powder & shower to shower for decades.

While pregnant, I remember being told that baby powder is no longer recommended because of the risk of respiratory problems.

Baby powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage if a baby inhales the particles. And the particles are small enough that it’s hard to keep them out of the air during use. – Jennifer Lowry (Pediatrician).

I wasn’t aware that it can also cause health problems in adults (cancer).

Here’s more on the story: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/court-orders-johnson-johnson-payoff-talcum-powder-ovarian-cancer-case-n524456

Baby names that I love that I won’t get to use

I love thinking about baby names. Discussing baby names. Googling baby names. And I’m so grateful that I got to name a child! Our daughter is named after both of our mothers in a creative way (click here for that story). Her name wasn’t anywhere on our radar until about a year before she was born. Picking a name is tricky. First, you create your short list. Then your significant other comes along and vetoes nearly all of those names! Ha. It would be much easier to name a child if your opinion was the only one that mattered 🙂

Anyways, the following are names that I love but likely won’t get to use due to hubby not liking the name or for other reasons. In case we have another child, I won’t include names in this post that we may still use if we have a second child. Here are some of my favourite baby names:

Girl Names
Hannah
Lucy
Lauren
Norah
Madeline

Boy Names
Felix

Yes. My favourite boy name is Felix! I love so much about this name but I can’t get hubby on board. I love that it won’t get shortened to a nickname. I love that its rare and yet people have heard it before and know how to pronounce and spell it. To me, it has a cool factor even though its a very traditional/classic boy name. I just love it but there’s no way hubby will ever let me use it.

There you go. Above are a few baby names that I adore but will likely never use. What are some of your favourite baby names? Does your list and your partners seem to differ?

Teething: product reviews

Teething is brutal. They didn’t prepare us for teething in our baby class! Poor Isabel has had a rough go of teething. It was around 2 months old that people started to say that they think Isabel will teeth early. Lots of drooling and putting hands in mouth. It wasn’t until close to 7 months that she cut her bottom teeth (both at the same time!).  And since that time, we barely get a break before more teeth is coming through. She cut both top teeth at 8 months, and the ones beside those top teeth right at 9 months. She’s just over 9 months old at this time and she’s now cutting the teeth beside her bottom two! She’s easily going to have 8 teeth by 10 months! For Isabel, recently, teething has meant poor sleep (hard to go down and stay down as long as she usually would) + lots of biting + irritable.

Looking back, I was totally unprepared for teething. No clue re: what works + what doesn’t. Here’s what we’ve tried and the verdict is still out.

  1. Amber Teething Necklace
    Baby wears this necklace (not for them to chew on!). Isabel rarely notices that she’s wearing it. An Amber teething necklace is very popular for babies in European countries. Amber is known for its ability to help calm and relax. The idea is that for a teething (irritable) baby, wearing Amber will provide some relief. For me, the verdict is still out on this one. It hasn’t been a magic bullet like some people claim it to be. Tip: the darker the necklace, the higher concentration of Amber. So you want a necklace with dark brown stones on it!

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2. A teething necklace for mom (& dad!) is essential. At first, I thought this necklace was a waste of money. Isabel wasn’t interested in it for a while. But now that she’s super into chewing our buttons or zippers on our shirts, this necklace is a huge help in redirecting her. The necklace that we have is made of silicone. Recently, I’ve been thinking that a necklace with some wood in it might be nice for her to really chop down on. These teething necklaces that mom or dad wear are made in all different colours and styles. I originally didn’t want a rainbow one but then I decided that I wanted people to know that she wasn’t just chewing a regular necklace! 🙂 (The photo below is NOT the necklace that we have but gives you an idea of what’s out there. I rather like the necklaces in this photo due to the wood).

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3. Tylenol. As a momma who loves natural products, I was hesitant to give Tylenol to my baby. I’ve read some scientific studies that bring great pause to the use of Tylenol in young children. Regardless, I had always planned to use Tylenol if I felt that she actually really needed it. (With all of her shots, I didn’t give her Tylenol beforehand as its recommended to wait to administer Tylenol for at least 1 hour AFTER the shots. If you give Tylenol too soon it can actually block the effectiveness of the vaccines meaning the child won’t be fully immune. And as it turns out, she was completely herself after most of her shots so didn’t need Tylenol at all). Back to teething – I know some people give their child Tylenol at night for weeks (and months) on end when they are in the teething zone. We just don’t want to give her Tylenol if she doesn’t really need it. So we take it day by day (read: night by night) and if she really can’t settle and sleep and its due to teething, we give her some. Never more than the recommended dosing, often a bit less. I’ve come to resolve that sometimes, nothing else will work like Tylenol does.

4. Hyland’s Teething Tablets

I was super excited when I found this in a Metro (grocery store) in town. In Canada, it’s often hard to find natural products in a small town. I loved the idea of this product — until I realized that it was a large quantity  of liquid that had to go in a syringe. Isabel choked on it the first time and we haven’t used it since. I think when she’s older and we can just place a tablet on her tongue we’ll try it again.
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Would love to hear what products you recommend! Please leave a comment below re: what you think has worked or has been ineffective. Thanks!

Giving your child a nickname

I didn’t have a nickname as a child. My siblings didn’t either.

While pregnant, I liked the fact that our top girl name had a fun nickname.  Soon after she was born, I told people our daughter’s full name and her nickname.

Looking back, I shouldn’t have told people a nickname for our child that I hadn’t even tried out on her yet . As weeks and months went by, I realized that I wasn’t calling her by her nickname at all.  Ever. And her father wasn’t either.

Our daughter’s full name is a beautiful name. No nickname necessary.  She’s learning her name as what’s on her birth certificate. Maybe one day she’ll want a nickname for herself? Only time will tell and that will be up to her.

It’s frustrating and funny how I chose a name and a nickname for our baby. Nicknames seem to be more something fluid, something that happens over time, if ever at all.

Did you have a nickname as a child? Do you have a nickname for your child? Or have you, like me, decided not to use a nickname? Leave a comment below…

Miscarriage: Early Pregnancy Loss

Since October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I thought it appropriate to write a blog post on early miscarriage. “At least you weren’t far along” and “it’s likely that there was a problem with chromosomes” are examples of unhelpful statements made to those who receive a positive pregnancy test and lose the baby days or weeks later. If you believe that life begins at conception, losing a baby at any time is devastating.

It was late March of 2014. My period was late. But since I had wacky cycles, I didn’t get too excited. I finally decided to take a pregnancy test on a late Saturday afternoon (I know you’re supposed to test with first morning urine but I couldn’t wait any longer!). A faint but definite second line appeared. I went straight to google without even telling my husband. I read that there aren’t false positives but there are false negatives. This confirmed: I was pregnant!

I revealed to my husband our good news with a present and a card. The blanket was soft yellow with a monkey on it (my husband’s nickname was “monkey” as a child). The card read that we’ll be having a little monkey join our family on December 5, 2014. Eyes were teary.  We were excited. But with no personal history to feel this way, we also feared getting our hopes too high. We had good friends who experienced multiple early miscarriages so we weren’t naive to the fact that this could also be our reality.

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A couple days after celebrating our pregnancy, I began to spot. I called my doctor’s office and they instructed me to go to the ER. The ER doctor gave me a 50/50 chance of carrying the baby based on the spotting. The only thing I could do now was wait and see.

I took the following day off work and that seemed to help the spotting to slow down. But the following day the spotting picked up again. To make a long story short, I spotted for 4 days before the miscarriage began (full, heavy, red flow).

Our miscarriage happened at 5 weeks. I would describe it as the most painful period of my life. An early miscarriage can’t be compared to a period because it’s traumatic. SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO YOUR BODY THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO HAPPEN. I wanted to scream, “stop it! Stop it! Stop bleeding. Stop getting rid of the life that I so badly want! STOP IT!!”

I spent my 30th birthday miscarrying our first child. I hated the fact that the pieces of our baby were being flushed down the toilet. Our baby was not a goldfish. Our baby was human being and deeply loved.

Early miscarriage is no big deal, right? Wrong. At least for me, I will never be the same after the traumatic experience of miscarriage at *only* 5 weeks along. I will remember December 5, 2014 as our first little ones due date. And having our first pregnancy result in miscarriage caused me to have a fear and anxiety ridden second pregnancy. With all that said, I think I’ll end with this quote by Winnie the Pooh. To our first little one, you are forever loved!

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