Becoming a Mom for the 4th Time – Surviving the First Trimester

Looking back at my track record, my first trimester pregnancies were either a hit or miss. With my first pregnancy, I came to discover I could NOT eat bananas during my first trimester. I LOVE bananas, and I couldn’t even eat them if they were mixed into something else. Nope, not having it.

Come to think of it, my oldest isn’t too fond of bananas.

For my second and third pregnancies, things went fairly smoothly during the first trimester.

This pregnancy was by far the most harrowing.

I, no, we (as in hubby and I) just knew we were having a girl.

This go around, I was nauseous without any vomiting and was mainly horizontal for a majority of the first trimester. As soon as I ate something, it would immediately make me feel sick to my stomach, but nothing would come up. It was pure torture.

We were having a girl.

I was tired more than usual, and although I was taking my prenatal vitamins, I could only take them at night because during the day, I was so nauseous and once again in the horizontal position.

We were having a girl.

All the activities I was used to doing came to a screeching halt for a few weeks as my body adjusted to this life growing inside of me. My FitBit obsession was compromised as well (not too happy about that one.) I was also limited in what I could do with the boys because I was so sick. Add to the mix hubby was working in Alberta and gone for most of the first trimester.

This was DEFINITELY a girl.

They say all pregnancies are different and there’s no way of predicting whether you’ll have a boy or girl, but we knew. EVERYTHING about this pregnancy SCREAMED DRAMA!!! The conception, the first trimester, it was non-stop DRAMA!!!

Then, I had additional testing because of my age. I’m not a fan of the term used for women over 35 who are pregnant; it just sounds so…UGH. I mean, really?!?!?! Yes, we’re older, but we’re not completely washed up or used goods, for crying out loud.

But, I digress.

I was paired up with a great OB/GYN and my first visit went well. She asked the standard question – date of my last menstrual period, any other pregnancies, miscarriages, etc. Measurements were taken, urine sample, all the fun stuff that happens during a prenatal visit. And then the doppler came out. I think a little piece of me was still convinced that maybe this was all a fluke of sorts – maybe it was just really bad gas and I needed to let out a huge burp or fart.

After some poking around trying to find the fetus, there was the distinct sound of a heartbeat.

Well, there was no mistaking that sound. I was having a baby!!!

There were some concerns, however. Because I had 3 c-sections, my uterus was a little higher than normal and doing the cervical exam was quite interesting, but a success.  There was quite a bit of scar tissue, which resulted in my uterus being so high, and there was no question that this would be another section birth. There was the possibility that during delivery, I could have complications and I appreciated the fact that she was so forthcoming in the beginning. That way, we could go in prepared with this information, should there be any problems.

I asked about my active lifestyle and if I could continue. It was encouraged, but to take things in moderation, especially since things were so difficult during the first trimester. I decided to put my running on hold, and would continue my workouts at home, following the modified routines.

We hit the 12-week mark on October 6th. Bloodwork was scheduled to make sure my levels were okay and to check for any possible risks of birth defects.  That day, hubby and I had an appointment at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax for an ultrasound. Since it was still too early, we wouldn’t be able to find out the sex of the baby, only meet him/her for the first time. We were kinda bummed about it; I mean, we just wanted to know so we could be ready. We arrived, got registered and waited our turn.

Then came the ultrasound.

img001I gotta admit, I was still a little in denial. A little part of me was still convinced it could have been really, really, REALLY bad gas. Then we saw the image on the screen. There was no mistaking that visual. We were having a baby. Of course hubby, the impatient one, was trying to decode what we were having. As the technician got to the privates area, he says, “That looks like it could be a girl.” The technician then says, “I can’t say that I disagree with you.” So, unofficially, we got confirmation we were having a girl, but would not be certain until the 20-week ultrasound.

So, I had my confirmation and we survived the first trimester without any complications, other than my crazy nausea and fatigue. Now that we had the official word of being pregnant, we could start sharing. More important, the boys could finally let the cat out of the bag (which I came to find out later they told some of their friends, but SWORE them to secrecy.) Since my boys have always been involved with the pregnancies since Day One, I wanted a cool way for THEM to make the announcement. I decided on a video and they were more than willing to participate.

The fact that the boys were over the moon excited to have another baby in the house helped to put my mind at ease. Yeah, this meant one more mouth to feed, the return of dirty diapers, lack of sleep, making adjustments in our lives and basically starting all over again. Seeing the look on their faces and how excited they were about being big brothers (especially my youngest), made it all worth it.

The journey continues…

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Becoming a Mom for the 4th Time

I am now a Mom of 4. I honestly didn’t think I would ever say (or type) those words, but, this is my new reality.

I should start at the beginning.

California AdventuresIt was August 2015 when my life (okay our family’s life) changed forever. In July, we took our first family vacation to California and was there for 2 weeks. It was a lot of fun for all of us and we spent time with family. When we got back, things seemed a little different. I felt different.

August 14th came and no cycle. I grew concerned. The next day, nothing. Three days later – nothing. Then, I was a week late.

I was not happy.

On August 21st, I sat down with hubby and said, “I’m late. I’m not happy. Get a pregnancy test, even though I already know the outcome.”

On Sunday, August 23rd, I pee’d on a stick.20150823_155852

There were 2 lines. The second line was faint, but it was a line, nonetheless.

I was PISSED!!!

Hubby, my oldest and I saw the stick. Hubby was in denial; my oldest was excited. We called the 2 youngest boys in to look at the stick. “Boys, what do you see?” “2 pink lines!!!”

I was PISSED!!!

Here’s why…

I turned 40 in February; all 3 boys were in school; I was FINALLY at a stage in my life where I could start focusing on me, start having some one on one time with hubby, expanding my business and just breathing again.

I got PISSED again!!!

I had plans. I was done at three. All my life, I said I was going to have 3 kids. Granted, I said they would be two boys and a girl, but it didn’t happen that way, and I was fine. We were fine. When my youngest started Kindergarten in 2014, we cleaned house of everything baby – no crib, change table, baby clothes, etc. We thought we were done – at least I thought I was. We had a rhythm going. Things were good. Heck, I started running earlier in the year, ran a 10K in June and was planning to run a half-marathon in October.

So much for that happening.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bitter person and I love being a Mom. I simply thought we were good as we were. It was 6 years since we had a baby in the house. We were starting all over again.

Was I ready to do this again?  Was I up for the task? Would I have the stamina and patience for another baby at my age? Would there be any risks?

Then, the big one hit – when this baby turns 18, I would be 59!!!!

I got PISSED again!!!

All these emotions and questions happened in a matter of 5 minutes, if you can believe that!!! I did decide that I was going to keep this very quiet, only immediate family was going to know initially. I was mainly concerned because of my age and the increased risks, so, if we got through the first trimester without any problems, then, we could tell the world. I said this to the kids as well. With school starting back a week later, I asked them to keep this information to themselves and wait until I hit the 12-week mark.

We also didn’t have a family doctor, and for about 3 weeks, I was on the phone practically every day with the Family Registry, leaving messages to inquire about a Family Doctor. If I’m gonna bring a new life in this world, I darn well better have a physician. The nagging must have worked because I was paired up with a great OB/GYN who helped put my mind at ease during my new journey.

All I kept thinking in my head was, “Here we go again!!!”

The journey continues…

A Few Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

SketchValentinesDay590Today is February 14th…Valentine’s Day!!!!

Love is in the air; flowers and chocolates have been sent aplenty. What a great day to be loved.

Or is it?

Recently, I was part of a discussion about Valentine’s Day and we hit on quite a few topics. From whether or not we celebrate, what the day means, it was a great “roundtable” discussion with some amazing women, and I wanted to share some of MY thoughts on this day.

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

In my opinion, it’s become a commercialized day to see who can outdo the other person with the “best” gift, etc. For me, the meaning has been lost and is all about spending.

Don’t get me wrong I am a HOPELESS romantic. I love a good romance novel, movie and the overall feeling of love. I LOVE love. However, if you only use THIS day as the ONLY day to express your love for another, then there are some other underlying issues that need to be addressed.

Relationships take work. From marriages, friendships, business partnerships and the like; they ALL take work and growth and sometimes a little sacrifice. Declaring a day to show your love for someone disturbs me. This has been something I’ve felt for a long time. I’m not a bitter woman who shuns Valentine’s Day or anything like that. I simply believe that we have become too engrossed in the purchasing power associated with the day and the true meaning has been lost.

Instead of using today to shower someone with gifts, how about spreading it out every day? Little notes here and there, an encouraging smile, offering your hand without expecting anything in return, being a shoulder for someone who needs it. It’s the little things, compounded over time, that show your love for others.

I enjoy seeing all the posts about the gifts received and dinners attended. Everyone is happy and is having a great time. At the end of the day, the flowers will wilt, the chocolates will be eaten, the dinner digested. Did that make you feel whole? Did all of that make you feel complete? If you didn’t receive any of these “gifts,” would the day still have meaning for you? What about tomorrow or the next day or next month? Sometimes we tend to look for love in the wrong places and never find that true happiness which can only come from within.

At the end of the day, as long as you love YOURSELF, the other things are simply secondary.

Confessions of a Runner in Training

Screenshot_2015-05-23-16-01-09I started running 8 weeks ago, but the decision to run came much earlier than that. I can’t really remember when I got the running bug, but it really started to manifest last year when I decided to sign up for the Color Run.  That took place in July, and it was a great first-time experience for me. The running bug crept up again last year, around September, when I found out PEI held an annual marathon. I had also seen lots of posts from friends on Facebook who were running marathons, whether they were full, half, 10K or 5K.

U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner of Los Angeles strides to a world record in a semifinal heat of the Olympic women's 200-meter dash in Seoul Thursday, Sept. 29, 1988.  Joyner's time of 21.56 seconds claimed the record and moved her into the finals in the event.(AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Flo-Jo was one of my idols growing up.

Thinking back, I’ve always been interested in running.  Back in high school, one of my nicknames was Flo-Jo. During one of our gym classes, we had a 100m dash. I can’t remember my exact running time, it was probably 4 seconds, but it was pretty darn quick, hence the nickname. But, I never really pursued running for whatever reasons I cast in my head.

Fast forward to earlier this year, and it was about 10 weeks ago, I decided I was going to run my first marathon. I started asking questions, doing my research, and almost everyone I spoke to said training usually lasts about 3 months. One friend cautioned me that since this would be my first marathon, I should start earlier. Hubby got me a treadmill and I started walking during the winter. Once the weather got warmer, I knew I had to make the transition from the treadmill to the pavement.

But I was going to need help.

Screenshot_2015-06-06-07-11-36
This is what I share on my Social Media platforms each time I finish a training.

Not really ready for a trainer, (and maybe a little of my ego had something to do with it) I needed to find something that was easy to do, started off slow and would help me gradually increase my running skills. Enter 10K Trainer from ZenLabs. I saw a few friends using this app and did some research. There are lots of free and paid apps, so of course I know I’m going for the free app. I downloaded the app…and then did nothing for 2 weeks.

Fear and doubt set in.

What if this doesn’t work?

What am I trying to prove?

What will people think?

Why put yourself through the torture?

Is this really worth it?

I then decided that YES, it is worth it!!!

So, on Sunday, April 12, 2015, I started my 10K Trainer journey.

At this point, I was still indoors using the treadmill, but thank goodness it started off real easy – 8 rounds (60 seconds jogging and 90 seconds walking) along with a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down, which lasted for 30 minutes. Each week lasts 3 days, so I would alternate days, and the intervals would increase with each week.

It was around Week 2 or 3 that I started to take my running venture outdoors because the weather was finally getting nicer and I knew at some point, I would have to start running outdoors.

Screenshot_2015-06-06-07-11-57
This is my trainer for each run. Was pretty excited to see the “You can now run the 5K” message.

So, here we are, 8 weeks under my belt. When I saw that this was Week 8, I got real excited. I was even more excited because this week is a major milestone, according to my training app. Today’s completed run means I can run a 5K!!!  I’m pretty excited about that.  I mean, I’ve been running steadily for 8 solid weeks. This morning was even more challenging because it was RAINING. I almost chickened out, but before my brain could realize what I was doing, I got dressed and headed out the door.

I’m so glad I did.

I look forward to running. It’s a part of me. I love to run.

Recently, several people have asked me what am I running for; if I have any particuI just felt like runninglar reason. I couldn’t help but think of Forrest Gump when the reporters asked him similar questions and “I just felt like running” kept replaying in my head. Aside from the marathon, I’m doing this for me. I have to prove to myself that I can do this. Winning the marathon is not the ultimate goal – COMPLETING the marathon is. I’m not sure what will come of it once it gets here, but I do know that regardless of what happens, I WILL finish the race.

Screenshot_2015-06-06-06-23-28
When you first open the 10K Trainer App, a daily motivational quote pops up to help you start your run.

I am by no means done with my training. I still have another 6 weeks left of my 10K training. What will I do next? I’m not sure. On the app, the next step is to move to the 1/2 marathon training, so I may do just that. Whatever I decide, I know that I have incorporated running as a part of my life because it’s a lot of fun.

The journey continues…

Take Charge of Your Life…Ask the Right Questions

Does the sound of nails scraping against the blackboard just make you cringe? How many of you out there even know what that means? I think I may have dated myself with that one.

cringeThat being said, the biggest thing that makes me cringe is how desperate we can become when looking for the right partnership. All the time I see posts in various groups promoting their opportunity, and it really looks like the person on the street with the sandwich board over their head yelling on the street, “Hey, look at me; I’m so cool. Pick me, pick me.” Even scarier is when someone is looking for help and everyone just POUNCES on that person like they are fresh meat.

Please stop doing that!!!

Recently, someone posted in a group that she was looking for a legit work from home opportunity, and just as suspected, the vultures came out of the woodwork. Don’t be one of those vultures.

When it comes to looking for the right opportunity, ask questions. Here are some suggestions that will help you from making the wrong choice:

Treat this as if it were a job interview.Job Interview

  • What qualities are you looking for in a company?
  • What are the start-up costs?
  • Are you looking for the next big opportunity or something to build that will last a lifetime?
  • Are your core values and beliefs in alignment with said company?
  • What will be your responsibilities?
  • Will you be teamed up with someone?
  • When looking for a coach, what are their credentials?
  • What is their level of experience with this company?
  • Do they have credibility?
  • Does said coach have a specific plan in place for you to achieve your goals?
  • Is there a support team available if your coach is not?
  • What are YOU willing to bring to the partnership?

You are looking for the perfect fit for YOU, so be specific in what you are looking for. When you are crystal clear on what you want, the Universe will then go to work. Realize that sometimes the answers may not come in the way you may expect. Be open-minded and watch for clues.

You are looking to build your DREAM LIFE. Make sure you are partnered with the right people who will help you make that dream life happen.

Small Progress is Still Progress

Screenshot_2015-01-16-23-58-48For those who know me fairly well, know and understand how much I LOVE my FitBit.  Ever since I purchased my One in Nov. 2012, I have been everything FitBit.  I get a little obsessed, almost to the point of  needing to be committed.  Every year, I get a report of how I did during the year.  To be honest, I was pretty certain that my numbers weren’t going to be great because I had a few setbacks that took place.  Well, low and behold my amazement when I got my report for 2014 and saw these numbers.

This got me to thinking.  There are many times when we fall off track; lose our way or park our car on the side of the road for a bit, and when we do that we think everything has fallen apart.  What we need to realize is that progress is still progress, no matter how small.  Always remember to look at the big picture, keep your eye on the prize and if you fall off track, that’s okay.  Just dust yourself off and get back on track.  Even though I had a few circumstances happen last year that I thought derailed my progress, I did pretty darn phenomenal.  For one year, I walked almost 5 million steps.  That is no small feat.

Remember, you are stronger than you give yourself credit.  Instead of looking at what you don’t have or what you’ve lost, appreciate all  have and what you’ve gained.  Turn negative thinking into positive thinking and remember as long as you are moving forward, you are progressing toward your goal.  You are one step closer today than you were yesterday and you are miles ahead of those who haven’t taken any steps at all.

So, as I look at these numbers, I am reflecting on all I accomplished last year and how I can improve this year.   Use these tools as gauges to help you become a better you.  You have a lot of purpose in life and you are meant for greatness.

Worker Bee or Wannabee…Which Are You?

A few days ago, I was listening to a training call from one of my mentors, and one of the things she spoke about was worker bees vs wannabees.  I’ve heard this topic many times in the past, but for some reason, it stuck with me this time.

What are some differences between worker bees and wannabees?

Worker bees dowannabees think.

Worker bees keep going untilwannabees keep going unless.

Worker bees understand success takes time and is long-term…wannabees quit when results don’t happen quickly.

Worker bees help others reach their goals…wannabees only help themselves.

After listening to some of the examples of what separates worker bees from wannabees, I started thinking…have you ever had a friend/co-worker, etc. who always found the negative in things?  Thought their world was always coming to an end? Made excuses or wouldn’t do the work? (“Oh, no one wants to work iwth me”“Oh, you don’t understand what I’m going through”; “Oh, it’s easy for you because…”; “Oh, you’re part of a great team, that’s why you’re successful”; “Oh, you didn’t help me reach my goal”; “Oh, I don’t have anyone to work with/you didn’t put any great people on my team.”)  It’s always a never-ending cycle of woe-is-me.

Do you know ay of these people?  Are you one of these people?

Sometimes we have to be willing to take a good, hard look at ourselves and have that keep-it-real conversation and ask are we worker bees or wannabees?  Have you fallen into a rut and blame everyone around you for your failures?  Do you sit on the sidelines because things have gotten tough or you’ve hit a rough patch?

Remember, the only person who can change you is YOU.  You have to do the work in order to see the results.  It’s going to take time; you’re going to hit some roadblocks and for many, it’s a matter of hitting the “Refresh” button.  No matter what, keep doing the work; keep going until.

Be a worker bee; not a wannabe.