Riley's birth story

Sunday, July 21, 2019

It's such a special milestone in life to be able to give birth to a child, so I wanted to be sure to write out my son's birth story while it is still fresh in my mind. This is the story of how Riley Sameer came into the world.

Tuesday June 18, 2019
I wouldn’t say that labour started on Tuesday, but things were definitely happening! I wasn’t sure exactly how I was feeling, but I was having a lot of discomfort and pressure to the point that I couldn’t stand up. This lasted about an hour, but from then on I could feel that the baby had shifted.

Thursday June 20, 2019
On Thursday I had an appointment with my OB and he said that the baby was “in position” and could come at any time. I was already 3 cm dilated so he was guessing I would go into labour or baby would arrive within the next 48 hours! He is a seasoned Obstetrician so I was hoping he was right, but he said to call Monday morning for an U/S if nothing had happened yet. I decided to get a stretch and sweep procedure done which can help move things along, especially since I was already dilated.

We had plans to have dinner at my in-laws that night, and I was feeling very uncomfortable the whole time and did not have an appetite at all. I did feel like things were starting to happen but didn’t want to set off any false alarms. I just kept hinting at my husband that we needed to go home in case I was really going into labour. Sure enough once we got home I could feel the first contractions starting around 8:30pm.

Things continued through the night and started to increase in intensity around 2:00am. It seems that’s when  really started and around 4:30am (Friday June 21) I was having regular contractions. I didn’t get much sleep through the night, not necessarily due to a lot of pain, but just the anticipation, knowing that labour had started and this was really happening! We had been nervous about the timing of the birth, due to the fact that my husband only had a specific timeframe off from work, and I really wanted him to be home to support me through the labour and birthing process. I was so relieved when my labour started right on my due date!
By 7:00am sh*t started to get real and I was having stronger contractions, but they were still pretty spaced out, so I was able to cope fairly well (so different from my first labour experience!). At 11:00am I had my first intense contraction and I realized we should probably start considering going to the hospital, since it seemed that things were progressing quickly. I tested positive for the Group B Strep test, so was told I shouldn’t wait too long to go to the hospital so that I could get at least 2 doses of antibiotics if possible before the baby was born. At 12:00pm we decided to call my mother-in-law to come over to watch our daughter and I’m so glad we didn’t wait any longer. The contractions were still about every 9-10 minutes apart, but the intensity was definitely increasing.

When we got to the hospital at 1:30pm I was assessed and was already 5cm dilated. I was so thankful to be admitted and to know that we were going to meet our baby soon! The first couple of hours were very uneventful, and I was worried that things had slowed down. The contractions were strong and intense, but still far enough apart that I could manage and get rest in between. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural before the Anesthesiologist went to the OR to prep for a C-section, which would be about 45-60 minutes wait. At this point I was feeling pretty good and strong, and I could possibly go without at this point. I declined the epidural, and not even 10 minutes later my contractions got super painful and very close together. I was having contractions almost one after another, so as soon as one would start to slow down I could feel another one coming on.
The nurse suggested I try the bath for some relief while I waited for the epidural and at this point I was willing to try anything that could help. I didn’t find it was helping and the pain was so intense so the nurse called to see if the Anesthesiologist could come any sooner. By some miracle he could, so she rushed me out of the bath and ran me down the hall back to my room as quickly as possible to get prepped. The contractions were so close together that I was having a hard time sitting still enough for him to do the freezing and epidural, but we got it done. I was so thankful to hopefully start getting some relief! Unfortunately that relief never came, since it was too late and the epidural didn’t work! I am proud of myself for getting through such pain without medication, and how I was able to channel all that energy into pushing. I felt very much in control of my body without the epidural and was able to self-direct my pushing which was amazing. I think I pushed only about 6 times and our baby boy made his entrance into the world! It was such a feeling of relief that I wasn’t even concerned about what the sex of the baby was, I just wanted to see him!

Riley Sameer was born on June 21, 2019, at 6:51pm. He weighed 8 lbs 8 oz! I still can’t believe I gave birth to such a big baby!

My labour and delivery was completely different from my daughter, and I am grateful for the experience that I had this time around. I think it also helped knowing what was ahead of me and being able to prepare mentally for it. I am thankful for my L&D nurse who advocated for me and encouraged me through each step. She went over every detail of my birth plan when we arrived and made sure that we were able to get the best care according to those requests. One of my big concerns going into this delivery was that I wouldn’t just be a “learning opportunity” for someone, as I had felt with my daughter’s birth. I hated having so many people in the room just observing and even practicing their skills on me. This time I was able to just have my husband, midwife, nurse and doctor in the room to help me deliver and I felt much more at ease knowing I was in good hands.

We are still adjusting to life with a new baby and very active two year old, but we are so thankful for our baby boy and I can't wait to watch him grow. 

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Baby Products: Second time around

Friday, May 17, 2019

We are quickly approaching the arrival of our second child and I am still trying to figure out what we need this time around. I am trying to be more conscious about what I invest in for myself and our family these days, which means it's taken me a lot longer to decide on what to buy.

We were really happy with a lot of the products we ended up using and others not so much, so I wanted to break down my previous baby product list (pre-baby) and share what I liked, didn't like, and products I am looking forward to trying. 

Nursing Gear
Electric Breast pump: Medela pump in style breast pump
I'd say this is my favourite product we purchased with baby number 1! I ended up pumping quite a bit so it was definitely worth the investment. 

Manual pump: I tried a traditional manual breast pump, but it wasn't suitable for me and my needs. 
I am looking forward to trying the Haakaa silicone breast pump
"Made from 100% food grade silicone. Simply suction to your breast and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using suction. It's 100% eco-friendly and safe for mum, baby and our environment."

Nursing pillow: I borrowed the My Brest Friend pillow, but after using the half moon nursing pillow I found it easier to just grab and go. The my brest friend pillow is a lot firmer which is definitely better as the baby gets bigger, but overall I'd say not worth the extra cost. I am curious about the ErgoBaby nursing pillow, have you used it?

Stroller & Carseat
Strollers are such a hard purchase because it's a big investment. We ended up getting the Peg Perego Book on a bit of a whim because it was on sale and I knew it was a good name brand. I had done a lot of research on strollers but not on this specific model. The stroller was a bit of a disappointment for a couple of reasons; the mechanism to fold the stroller tends to get stuck, the basket has ripped a little bit and isn't very easy to get items in and out of, and the leg rest portion of the seat is flimsy. I also found it wasn't a very smooth ride for outdoor use which made it difficult if you have a sleeping child out for a walk.
We bought the Peg Perego Primo Viaggo 4-35 carseat to go along with it and I must say that I was really happy with it and still am happy to use it for our second baby.

Double stroller 
We are looking at some double stroller options right now, but they are so expensive! I need your advice! What have you used for a toddler and infant that is compatible with various carseats, easy to fold, and light weight?

Bottles & Accessories
I'd say that the advice I received to not buy too many of the same bottle was spot on! We did end up getting a set of Dr. Brown's bottles that included large and small sizes, and though they are good bottles, there are so many pieces to clean! We got a Nuk bottle as a gift and it ended up being our favourite. The orthodontic nipple and shape of the bottle was ideal and we have still been using them for our 2 year old. Note: The hard plastic bottle did end up getting a crack, so we purchased another of the silicone bottles instead.
The formula dispenser, bottle drying rack, and microwave bottle sterilizer are all things I would still recommend.

Noise Machine
We ended up purchasing the Skip Hop Owl Moonlight and Melodies Nightlight and we love it. There are lots of options for sounds, projection, and night light brightness. It's a little on the expensive side, but I know it's something we'll be able to use for many years.

Baby Carrier
I used the Baby K'tan Cotton Baby carrier with my daughter, and really liked the comfort it provided at home and it was very easy to use. I also used the Original Baby Bjorn carrier that my sister handed down to us, which worked out great while baby was still under 1 year old.
I enjoy the closeness that baby carriers provide and forsee using it a lot more with baby number two, so we decided to get the Ergobaby All Position 360 Baby carrier which can be used for up to 4 years old! We hope to do a lot of travelling with our kids in the next few years, so it will be great when we don't want to travel with a stroller.

I'd love to hear what your favourite baby products are!

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Pumpkin picking and a fall outfit

Thursday, November 2, 2017

It's funny how once you have a baby you suddenly feel like each holiday/ season needs to be perfectly documented, so you can remember that time you went to the pumpkin patch and said baby cried the whole time. It's not quite the memory we were hoping to make, but at least we managed to get a few photos between the tears. Maybe she'll come around next year.

Do you have any family traditions you were looking forward to that didn't go to plan?

Sweater: Thrifted | Button-up: Thrifted | Pants: Old Navy | Slip-ons: Old Navy

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Living Room: Media Storage

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Finding the perfect balance of form and function 

We've had our current living room furniture since we got married 5 years ago, and now that we've added a baby to the mix, the form and function of our furniture has to change. I have been trying to find a media storage unit, but haven't quite found something with the perfect balance between industrial and modern, yet still warm. Another must have is closed storage, since our baby girl loves pulling herself up and tearing everything off of shelves lately. *sigh
I'm dying to find something unique that stands out as more of a furniture piece rather than just media storage. Cue the inspiration.


All Modern: Bouvier tv stand | West Elm: Industrial storage media console | Structube: Clarence media unit | Article: Seno Oak sideboard | Ikea: Stockholm tv bench

 Sources: [1] [2] [3]

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Travel: Palm Beach, Florida

Monday, October 23, 2017

If you read my previous post, you would have read about our tumultuous flight home from Florida, but today I'd like to share the happier bits about our trip.

We stayed at the Hilton Embassy Suites in one of their 2 room corner suites, which was perfect for traveling with the baby. She could sleep in the bedroom while we still had our own space to hang out without disrupting her.

Since my husband was there for work, Maya and I stayed at the hotel during the day, where there was plenty of space for us to roam around and keep ourselves occupied. We enjoyed breakfast every morning together with Sam before he left for the day (their omelette station was amazing!), and spent most afternoons by the pool. 

We had some free time to explore as a family, so one day we went to Riviera Beach where Maya had her first experience in the ocean! She loved it, but it was so hot outside that the water wasn't refreshing, so we didn't stay very long. One evening we walked down Worth Avenue, a popular high end shopping street and down to the beach. Again, it was so hot that we didn't last too long outside, so we made our way to dinner from there.

Though things ended on a very stressful note, we were happy to spend some time together as a family in Florida. I think next time we might just plan a vacation outside of Hurricane season! 

Sidenote: All photos were taken with my iPhone

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Traveling alone with a baby, during a Hurricane

Sunday, October 15, 2017

We decided to make last minute plans for Maya and I to meet my husband in West Palm Beach, Florida, as he was there for 2.5 weeks for work. It was a whirlwind trying to get both of our passports within 6 days of our planned departure date, but we did it!
I was feeling pretty confident about everything up until the moment that my sister-in-law dropped us off and waved one last goodbye. I was suddenly on my own and felt a wave of emotions. I took a moment to compose myself, and we headed through customs. Thankfully, Pearson Airport (Toronto) has special check-in lines and U.S. customs for those traveling with small children, which made it much easier when traveling as a single parent. The staff was very patient as I nervously loaded my things onto the security belt, took off my shoes, and all while balancing a curious baby who was eating a sticker that she pulled off the check-in tag from her stroller.

I was glad I kept my packing to a minimum, because it made things a lot easier making my way through the airport. I brought one bag to check, my purse and a diaper bag. I could bring the stroller through security and all the way up the door of the plane, which was so helpful, so that I didn't have to carry everything on my own.

We booked our seats ahead of time and spent the extra money on priority seating for parents with children. I would highly recommend this for anyone traveling with kids as it gives you much more space to move around, and some airlines provide a bassinet for your baby to sleep. The priority boarding was great as it gave me time to settle in, and a flight attendant went over the safety and emergency procedures with me one-on-one since it was my first time flying with a baby.

The flight went really well and Maya did great! Even the other passengers around us commented on how well she did. I was relieved that we made it safely and we were able to spend some time with my husband.

As the days passed, the forecast for Hurricane Irma became more intense and we were worried about getting out on time before it Florida. Our flights were booked for Thursday evening, which they said would still be safe to leave, and my husband was able to leave early and get a flight out the same night from Miami. We figured we would be ok, but as the storm was approaching we were getting nervous that our flights might get cancelled. As we were checking in we were told that my flight was delayed 1.5 hours, but since my husband had to leave to catch his flight in Miami, we didn't have any other choice but to wait around at the airport. Time passed and I was getting eager to get home, and then an announcement was made that there was another delay, and our 7pm flight that was pushed to 9:30pm, would now not be leaving until 12:00am. I was nearly in tears when I walked up to the gate attendant to get some understanding as to why our flight kept getting delayed. Of course I knew there was nothing she could do to make the flight leave on time, but I was so frustrated and just wanted my baby to get some proper rest without getting woken up by the noise of a very busy terminal! I forgot to mention that the waiting area was packed with crying children, pets (large and small) barking at each other, and many tired and frustrated people trying to escape the Hurricane. I swear half of Ft. Lauderdale was waiting in that terminal!


The flight was delayed again until 1:00am, but I was still hopeful that we would make it out of Florida before the storm. Thankfully we did, but it was definitely a nerve wracking wait and not something I wish on anyone traveling alone with a baby.

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