Maternity Leave so far!

Thanks for all of your comments on the photo tour of Baby H’s nursery! I am so happy with how it came together. I didn’t have a ‘vision’ in my head when we first started putting it together but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

So as of today I have been on maternity leave for 1 week and have had 5 official days of maternity leave (again not counting the weekend). The past week has actually gone by super fast and I’ve been pretty busy. I seem to alternate super busy days with super relaxing days. I kicked off maternity leave last Wednesday, November 1 by going to the pool for a swim, cleaning the house, getting a pedicure and going to prenatal yoga. Then last Thursday I spent most of the day on the couch reading. It’s been pretty lovely to do it that way!

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Sleeping in / Laying in bed

One of the hardest things about going to work the last couple of weeks was getting up and getting ready in the mornings. My sleep has been steadily going downhill since about 36 weeks of pregnancy due to being extremely uncomfortable and waking up several times in the night. Being able to just stay in bed as long as I want / need to in the mornings has been amazing over the last week.

Reading

I’ve spent a lot of time plopped right here on our couch reading my book and it’s been amazing!

Walking / Swimming / Yoga

I did do an upper body strength workout from Fitness Blender one day last week, but for the most part I am sticking to walking, swimming and yoga in these end of pregnancy days. Over the last week I’ve walked almost every day at the track with my mom, went swimming twice and went to yoga three times.

House Stuff

  

I have a list of things I’ve been wanting to get done around the house so I’ve been puttering away at those. The other day I took absolutely everything out of our pantry, wiped it out and organized it. Before and After photos above. Also on my list is to wipe down all blinds / windowsills and baseboards in the house. I will start picking away at that today or tomorrow. Later this week / weekend I plan to spend some serious time in the kitchen making some meals and easy snacks (like muffins!) to freeze.

Studying

I am working on converting my Group Fitness Instructor certificate through the YMCA/YWCA to a certificate through the BCRPA since we do not have a Y in my current city. This means I have to retake the Fitness Theory exam which has lots of complicated questions about the muscular and skeletal systems so I have been spending about 1 hour a day studying for that and plan to take the exam this Friday. Wish me luck! I hope my pregnancy brain doesn’t betray me.

Self Care

I booked a pedicure for my very first day of leave – and it was ah-ma-zing. I also am going to the chiropractor weekly and had a prenatal massage yesterday, which I wouldn’t say was insanely enjoyable at the time but felt good afterwards! So I am also filling my days/weeks with lots of appointments that I probably won’t have time for very soon plus the chiropractor and massage appointments feel more like necessities these days, especially the chiropractor!

Seasonal Decorating

Well, so far all I’ve done for that is exchanged some of the fall decor in our entry way for these two winter-y / Christmas-y signs. However, I’ve already decided that if Baby H hasn’t made his or her appearance when Eric goes on days off next week we are pulling out the decorations and doing full on Christmas decorating! The cold weather and snow has me in holiday mode.

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I think that about sums it up! All of the above and general puttering / tidying around the house has basically filled my days and I haven’t felt ‘bored’ yet, which I thought I would. I think the fact that I’m very large and uncomfortable helps – for example, that pantry clean out took me about 4 hours with a few breaks whereas I’m sure it would have taken me 2 hours max in my pre-pregnancy days or high energy second trimester days.

I’ve had staycations before – usually over the Christmas holidays – but never ones where you don’t know when the end will be. It could be in 2 days, in a week or (god forbid!) in 2 weeks from now. There is really no way of knowing when this babe will arrive and these early days of maternity leave / having a staycation will come to an end so I’m trying really hard to soak up each day as it comes and enjoy this time even though of course it’s only natural at this point to be starting to feel anxious for babe to arrive already. That said, I have a pretty busy rest of this week ahead of me so would be OK with Baby H staying cozy until this weekend at least 🙂

If you had a couple of weeks off work at home what would you get up to? 

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Baby H’s Nursery

Hiya friends! I’ve now officially had 4 full days of maternity leave (6 if you count the weekend, but I don’t as those would have been “days off” anyways :)) and I’ve kept myself fairly busy. I’ll do a separate post with all the things I’ve been up to, but one thing I did this weekend was put the finishing touches on Baby H’s nursery, which I’m excited to share.

In our old home in Kamloops when I would imagine creating a nursery I always thought it would include some major painting work. However, since our current home is a new build it seemed crazy to paint over brand new paint, and also the entire house is already a nice neutral grey, which was perfect for our gender neutral nursery.

Here are some pics…

On the right hand side of the room is the crib, the glider is centred under the window with the nightstand tucked in the corner.

I just adore this nightstand! My mom helped me refinish it with chalk paint. The light on top is from Ikea and the adorable little moccasins were made by my mother-in-law. I seriously cannot wait for Baby H to wear those! Of course I had to have something pineapple in the nursery of our miracle baby 🙂

Across from the crib is the dresser we are using as a changing table and the start of Baby H’s book collection. I bought this dresser at a thrift store in Kamloops over 2 years ago for $20! It was always going to be the dresser for the baby’s room and I’m so grateful that time is finally here. The changing pad on top is from Walmart and the adorable little chevron basket was a gift and holds all of the diaper changing essentials.

A mirror and a collage of our maternity photos / Baby H’s ultrasound picture hang above the changing table. That blank space below the photo collage frame will be for his or her name once we know what that is 🙂

My mom bought Baby H the teepee at Costco, and while he/she won’t be able to play in it for awhile it works well to hide the laundry basket for now 🙂 The crib is from Wayfair and was very generously gifted to us by my dad! Also I didn’t take any pictures of the closet, but it is directly to the right of the teepee and right full of stuff as well.

Of course Baby H already has an extensive book collection, thanks mostly to gifts from family and friends! We got the shelving at Jysk and plan to buy two more shelves to continue up the wall as his/her book collection grows.

I love these two prints I picked up at a local store (The Artisan Farmhouse) and they are in grey frames from Walmart.

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We already owned the dresser and the nightstand but refinished them both with chalk paint so they would match. My aunt gave us her old glider and my grandma refinished the cushions on it and my dad gifted us our crib. So we were lucky that we did not have to spend a lot of money purchasing furniture for the nursery. The total cost for refinishing the glider, dresser and nightstand was less than $200! We have been so lucky with how generous our family and friends have been.

I am in love with this space and can’t stop staring at it. I plan to spend a lot of time in there over the remainder of my maternity leave using the glider and reading a few labour and baby preparation books I still haven’t really dove into. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute 😉

I’m also really happy with how the space turned out because it doesn’t feel too baby-ish or kid-ish. I think it could very easily be converted into a ‘big kid room’ down the road, or also a completely different space if we ever decide to rearrange completely. We are lucky to have a 4-bedroom home so it was a no brainer to dedicate an entire room to Baby H. When we lived in Kamloops we had always planned on having a nursery/office space combined since we only had a 3 bedroom home there and did not want to give up our guest room.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of Baby H’s nursery.

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Reflections on pregnancy as we near the end

You can feel more than one emotion all at once and right now I feel uncomfortable and grateful at the same time. I feel ready for pregnancy to be over and not ready for it to end all at once. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have had this incredible experience of growing a human in my body and ready to no longer have a human in my body all at the same time.

For almost two years we tried to get pregnant. We talked to doctors and specialists all over Western Canada. I connected with other women battling infertility on social media. I injected hormones into my body. For almost two years every time I saw a pregnant woman out and about or a pregnancy announcement on social media I felt like I’d been stabbed in the gut with a knife. I like having control over my body so when I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) in January of 2016, it was devastating. I was basically being told my body had this thing wrong with it and there was nothing I could do about it.

Due to that experience, the underlying emotion throughout this entire pregnancy has been gratefulness. When I couldn’t stop puking over the Easter weekend I still felt grateful. When I felt nauseous all day, every day for 6 weeks straight I was grateful. When my back would ache at the end of every single day, I was grateful. Right now, when it hurts to walk because of pelvic pain and I sometimes cry out in the night from the pain of rolling over or getting out of bed, I am grateful. So grateful. And I wouldn’t trade what I’m going through for anything. I am SO LUCKY to be pregnant right now and I will never ever forget that or let the negativity / bad side outweigh the good.

At the same time, being pregnant kind of sucks and most pregnant people will tell you that. Trust me, this was not something I wanted to hear when I was dealing with infertility so if you don’t want to hear this right now – or reading this makes you angry – I give you full permission to stop reading this post now. But just because I dealt with infertility, struggled to get pregnant and this baby in my belly is a little 1% miracle baby, doesn’t make the experience any less crappy and I can and am holding both emotions at once.

I definitely didn’t realize how uncomfortable I would be, how much I would hate the way my body looks in most photos (or that it would take 30 tries to get a bump photo I liked!) or how hormonal / emotional I would feel. Also, in general you just don’t ‘feel’ good or like yourself anymore, and that’s hard, especially for 40 weeks. I also really miss running.

There are a few things I truly will miss about being pregnant though, and here they are…

Feeling the baby move

I LOVE when the baby moves. Right from that first tiny flutter I felt at 18 weeks up to the big belly movements I feel now, every single movement has been amazing. I’ve been lucky to not really have any painful kick and I’ve never thought his/her kicks were annoying. They are just a lovely miraculous little feeling of a small babe in my belly. The best.

Eric bonding with my belly

I mean obviously seeing him bond / love on a baby is going to be 100% better but I’ve loved watching him love on his little babe before it’s even born. He talks to him/her, kisses him/her goodbye every day and also gets so much joy out of watching/feeling the movements. Again, this is something that just overwhelms my heart with gratefulness because we waited for it for so long and I didn’t know if it would ever be our turn.

Pregnant workouts during the second trimester

I already miss this since I’m now well beyond the second trimester, but I loved working out during that time period when my belly wasn’t too big and I wasn’t too uncomfortable yet. I felt totally bad ass for doing so many Fitness Blender HIIT and strength workouts and rocking my 10,000 steps a day for 3 months in a row while pregnant. It felt really really good to move my body and have such an active pregnancy. I am still moving regularly now at 36 weeks but that looks like yoga with A LOT of modifications, very short walks, and slow swims once a week. I’m still teaching a boot camp class 2x per week but not actively participating in the full class anymore. I mostly stick to things like lunges, squats and upper body strength moves.

Anticipating whether the baby is a ‘he’ or a ‘she’

I am SO glad we didn’t find out the sex of Baby H. It has made these last few weeks so much more fun! It’s fun to imagine having both a son AND a daughter. It’s fun to brainstorm names for both. I am feeling really excited to find out, but also not ‘dying to know’ yet either if that makes sense. I will know when we know. I cannot wait to have Eric be the one to announce it to me in the delivery room though 🙂 <3 If we are ever lucky enough to get pregnant again I would consider finding out the sex of the baby, just to experience both sides of the coin. But I’m definitely very glad we did not find out for this first babe.

Well, that turned into a bit of a monster post 🙂 So I will leave it at that!

If you are pregnant or have been pregnant before what did you like about it and will miss and what was your least favourite thing about it?

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