BABY BEAUTY – BABY SKIN CARE THAT I LOVE AND USE!

Being a new mom means learning everything from scratch; for me anyways. I had no experience with anything to do with “baby” before I became pregnant, so literally everything was (and still is) new to me.

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I started researching was top products that I would need for my baby and life as a new mom. Of course, there were THOUSANDS of product recommendations, and essentially, I became lost in all of it. I asked friends and relatives and everyone shared their favourites, but it was still all a little bit too much. I had no idea where to start – there were just too many options. Talk about overwhelming!

Eventually though, after many hours online + in the store examining products, I picked out what I thought would be best for my baby and decided that it was at least a good place to start – for now. I anticipated the fact that once baby arrived and we go to know her needs, I would most likely be adjusting my product choices – and I was okay with that.

Now that we are five months in, I have a better, and pretty good understanding of the products that work best for my daughter. Although some things have changed since birth, I have a list of go-to items I feel comfortable recommending and sharing with you – these are products that we have been using either since birth or shortly after and have loved.

Since I now have a collection of products from bath, body, clothing, and food to recommend, I’m going to bread down these products into separate posts so it’s not too overwhelming for you, and to give myself the time to write each of these posts (time is one thing I lack these days).

First off though, BABY BEAUTY – also known as, baby bath and skin care products I love and use and always have a surplus of.

AVEENO BABY ECZEMA CARE WASH – Eczema or no eczema we bath our baby in this most nights. When we first learned our daughter had drier, eczema prone skin, we were told by our pediatritian that this was the best product to try out. So we did, and it worked like a charm. Her baby soft skin came back. It doesn’t necessarily have a scent to it; its more of that natural oatmeal almost scent. To be honest, I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. BUT it works for baby so its perfect.

LIVE CLEAN BABY TEARLESS SHAMPOO AND WASH – This is my favourite product for many reasons – for starters, the product of harsh ingredients and is 97% plant derived. It also smells so delicate and baby-like that I have a tough time not wanting to use this on my daughter each night. We use this product on her hair once in a while when we don’t have any eczema flareups. I do plan on starting to transition to this product slowly; now that her eczema is getting much better and we have it under control.

SUDOCREM – When Zuzia was born, this is one of the first products we started using for her bum. Eventually, as she was a little bit older I though, maybe I can switch to vaseline instead – give something else a try. WELL, that didn’t last long and within a few days of switching over she developed a rash which actually caused her skin to tear! Imagine seeing that on your baby as a first time mom – PANIC MODE ON! Luckily we had a doctors visit that week so we go it cleared up shortly after and were reassured it was just a diaper rash. Sudocrem to the rescue and back to our changing table. Like the magic cream it is, the rash went away just as quickly as it appeared. I swear by this cream now, and am stocked up to make sure we never run out. NOW, having said that, if there’s no rash or irritation (redness) I only put it on her twice or three times day – not with every diaper change. Mainly in the morning, sometimes mid day, and of course after her bath for bedtime.

MUSTELA STELATOPIA EMOLLIENT FACE CREAM – This is THE ONLY thing I will put on her face. I am not worried about this product getting in her eyes because it sinks in momentarily; it’s so easy to apply and leaves her skin instantly smooth. Currently, we are fighting dry skin around her eyes, including her eyelids – and again, this is THE ONLY product I’ll use for her eyelids.

AVEENO ECZEMA BALM – At about two months old, we learned that our daughter has quite sensitive and dry skin, which caused quite an eczema discovery and flare up – this was news for both of us since neither one of us has had eczema or sensitive skin. Again, I popped open handy Uncle Google and started researching. From all my research, and from speaking with our doctor, friends, and family, Aveeno Baby Eczema care creams were the top recommendation to try first. WELL, let me tell you, from the day we started using the creams we’ve never looked back. First we tried out the cream, and quickly switched to the balm once I found it. We use this every single night after her bath, on her entire body (minus the face). I love Aveeno products so seeing the results on her skin with this product was no surprise.

HELLO BELLO BABY OIL – A few weeks after my daughter was born, we started noticing cradle cap coming on. Of course this worried me and I automatically ran for the laptop to start researching ways to clear it ASAP. In the end, I didn’t try any “special” methods. I simply washed her hair /head twice a day, and applied a lot of this Hello Bello Baby Oil to her head. About an hour after applying it (during the daytime) I would brush her hair through for a few minutes, as the oil softened the cradle cap. Thats that backstory, the truth about this product is that it’s also plant based, made with great ingredients, and does not contain any mineral oils. They package says its fragrance free but in my opinion there is a bit of an earthy scent to it – which is totally fine.

MUSTELA HYDRA BEBE BODY LOTION – After using Aveeno for a couple of months, and feeling comfortable with Zuzia’s eczema situation, I felt ready to branch out and try a different product. At this point, her eczema had gone away for the most part; there were no new flare ups and her skin was looking and feeling so delicate and soft. I wanted simply a moisturizer for her skin, but still something that would tame the dry skin and basically prevent her condition from coming back up dramatically. Mustela was my second choice in Eczema care so naturally I reached for it next. We use this lotion every morning when we change her out of her PJs, for the day. The scent is so refreshing and delicate, I love the way her skin smells with this on.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, if you are a mama-to-be or a new mama and are still figuring out your “baby product game” don’t stress it. Try out different products as you feel suits you best and eventually you will find the ones that work best for you and your family.

Good Luck!

BECOMING MAMA – THE FIRST THREE MONTHS WITH BABY

December 1, 2019 will now be one of the most precious dates in my life – this is the day my first child was born, and this is the day my life changed forever.

Our daughter Zuzannah Rose was born at 9:24pm, right here in our nations capital; Ottawa. Sharing her birth story is very personal and emotional for me so for now, while I’m still working on writing it, I’ll tell you that even though some things didn’t go as planned, I’d say I had a very good labour and delivery adventure.

Once she was born, we were in the hospital for two days; no complications, just procedure. But honestly, we just wanted to get home already – to the comfort of our own bed, to our kitchen, and just in general out of the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, we had a private room and AMAZING care (thank you to the nurses at QCH), but as we are very self sufficient and independent, we just really wanted to take our baby home and to be home ourselves.

STAGE ONE: THE FIRST FEW DAYS

The first few days being home with baby were something totally new for us – neither of us really had ANY experience with this type of thing. Yes, we read books, took classes, and listened to advice from others, but honestly, every baby is different and every home/lifestyle is different. ALSO, did I mention that we were on our own – entirely. No family, no mothers, fathers, grandparents, or siblings around to help us. Although my husband took a few weeks of parental leave, he still had to go into the office a few times to complete some year end things, leaving me by myself from, sometimes, even 9am-9pm. It was all quite the learning experience though, and I don’t think I would have changed it anyways.

I was just moving at a romantic Venice gondola sail pace while he was the Eurostar

Although I had a natural birth and everything went smoothly, I was EXHAUSTED and so weak – mainly everything fell on my husband. Now, that’s not to say I was out of the picture; we were doing everything together, I was just moving at a romantic Venice gondola sail pace while he was the Eurostar. We managed to organize ourselves and the routine the best we could. Now that I think about it, although this “more difficult” time felt like an eternity, it maybe lasted about two weeks before we fell into our groove and I was back to feeling more like myself.

Now, it’s important to note here, I started feeling more life myself because I (we) made a pretty big decision at this point. The breastfeeding and pumping needed to stop. After much discussion between ourselves, and with other professionals, this was the best decision for baby and I. AGAIN, this is my personal story and opinion, but unfortunately this was not doing us any good; I was going downhill – fast. Since we made this decision, things started looking up for me on a both mental and physical perspective. It actually breaks my heart that this is the direction we had to take, but I also feel almost a sense of relief – it just wasn’t right for me, for us. And THAT’S OKAY!

Now the choice of formula and bottles started – although we had an idea of what we wanted that wasn’t necessarily what baby needed! At the hospital we were given Similac Formula – unfortunately after trying it out for a bit at home we found out that our baby just wasn’t enjoying it. We went on to trying Nestle Good Start – this worked out well for a bit too, but then we noticed it wasn’t sitting right with her either. At this point I was getting nevous – trying all these different formulas; what if we never find the right one? Next we tried Enfamil A+! It worked; she liked it, and it seemed like it was okay for her tummy. After trying one box of this, I asked my Instagram community for advice on formulas. Many moms basically had the same situations as us, and many opted for the Enfamil Gentlease Formula. So; that was on my list right away. Ta-Dah – Zuzia loved it! It was easy on her tummy, and it seemed like she enjoyed it too! {we have been using it ever since}!

In terms of bottles – before she was born we had a set of Natural Glass Avent bottles. I was determined to only use glass as I wanted to stay away from plastic/BPA etc. WELL, we used {and continue to use} our glass bottles and I love them very much, but we ended up getting some plastic ones (from Avent as well) and think they are just as great – especially at night when it’s easier holding a lighter bottle!

STAGE TWO: ONE MONTH IN

By January 1 (we had a one month old) we were PROs in the mommy + daddy business – or so we thought. WE GOT THIS. Yes, yes we do – but HELLO COLIC! Zuzannah cried, I cried, and I bet my husband cried (in the other room of course). Seeing baby in pain is something no one wants to go through. Of course, plans changed, and we ended up giving her drops for the colic. Before this I was determined to stay away from any sort of unnecessary medications, etc. Well, this was NECESSARY, and it actually really helped both baby and mama! Lesson learned. Make sure you add a few bottles of Infacol to your baby medicine cabinet – just in case this happens!

During this time, my husbands parental leave ended and he returned to work full time – his full time is probably the equivalent to two individuals full time. Thats the power of a demanding job as well as a workaholic personality. All good though I thought, I GOT THIS. Well, January was a very gloomy and COLD month – the days were so short and my night+day started blurring into one. Since baby was eating basically every two hours, and her milk came up sometimes after eating, I wasn’t able to lay her down right away after a feeding – this meant that we cycled through feeding, burping, cuddling, and sleeping on repeat in my arms. Weekends were my time to shine – and by whine I mean, get some sleep! Hubby took nights so I could sleep without waking every few hours! It helped, but I found that sometimes when Monday came around it just got more difficult to get up again and get used to the “system”.

STAGE THREE: GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER

January rolled into February, and February into March. Just like that we had a three month old on our hands. Her personality started coming through, and we started noticing specific little things about her that make her HER. It’s truly a magical to watch your child and see all the new faces and expressions their learning – it’s beautiful.

By this point in time, I’d say we had a few more things figured out and were starting to become more comfortable and used to all the different changes in our lives. We now had our first vaccination experience behind us, we knew how to tackle the colic, and we had learned her favourite positions to sleep and play in.

Also, most importantly by this point we had learned what her favourite formula was (and by favourite I mean one that didn’t upset her stomach), and we had figured out a bottle washing/filling system – or how we like to call it; “bottle service”.

Looking back on these first three months, I’d say we have come SUCH a long way from what we planned and anticipated. I read a number of books during my pregnancy, watched videos, spoke with other parents, but in the end (or the beginning) its never what anyone else said exactly. Sure, there are bits and pieces of information that I’ve pieced together to create one big picture for us, but not once was it solely one situation that I could entirely relate to.

The moral of this story is; yes, take all the advice you can get, read all the books you can read, but remember that things don’t go as planned with children. There are thousands of scenarios that you can experience and you honestly won’t know which one you’re about to enter until you get there. So yes, plan ahead, discuss your options and wants, but remember to keep an open mind; because starting the day you become pregnant – “plan” is only a word you will use once in a while – other than that; just enjoy moments as they come.

Stay tuned for the next post, once we reach our next milestone of month 6.

THE OVER COMPANY #GetYourOVerOn

A few weeks ago, we received the sweetest package for our #BabyWiercinski from our dear friends Sabrina and Michael, from The OVer Company. They picked out the most perfect pieces for our girl, and even added some goodies for Mom and Dad too! I had originally planned to wait for our girl to arrive so I could put all these different pieces on her to share with you all, but I can’t hold it in any longer. I’m going to share our new OVer additions now, and then of course there will be a follow up post with #BabyWiercinski modelling them too!

A little bit of background before I jump into things…

I love and admire a good “Girl Boss” story – especially Sabrina’s with her company: The OVer Company! This is the story of a company which literally skyrocketed; developing into one of the best and most trusted brands for moms all over Canada (and internationally). I constantly look back to the day Sabrina first told me of her idea and think WOW. I’m just so proud and happy for her! She made her business dreams come true; and to this day continues to push forward with new ideas and products, simply growing her brand! You go girl! If you haven’t checked out The OVer Company yet, don’t wait any longer – follow this link directly to their website and #GetYourOVerOn !

Nodo Gowns, Blankets, and OVers, Oh My!

Let me start by saying that I have been dreaming of the day when I could finally purchase OVer items for my own child, ever since the company opened. Finally my dreams came true, and instead of just getting things for my friends and family, I am now able to buy things for MY BABY!

This lovely package from Sabrina and Michael came to us filled with goodies and love for our #BabyWiercinski ; I couldn’t have picked out the items better myself!

So, let’s talk product details!

The Original OVer Baby Cover

| The Original OVer Baby Cover – $50.00 CAD |

First and foremost, #BabyWiercinski will start her life with two of the original OVer Company Overs! I literally dreamed of the day I could finally own one of these to use on my own child! We are now the proud owners of two; one in a solid soft pink in the Serene print, and a second in a solid black Eclipse print (this one is for daddy when he takes baby out and perhaps starts feeling a bit too overwhelmed with the amount of PINK everywhere – haha).

The Nodo Gown + Matching Nodo Hat

| The OVer Company Nodo Collection – Gowns $38.00 CAD + Hats $16.00 CAD |

The classic OVer Company Nodo Gowns with matching hats! Here we have the Serene print and the Lala (floral) print! These gowns and hats are made from the softest materials! I cannot wait to dress our little bundle of joy in these, as they seem so practical with the fold-over sleeves over the hands, and the open tie up bottoms! Check out these items, as well as the many other Nodo Gowns + Nodo Hats available on The OVer Company website by following this link HERE!

The Butter Blanket and the Swaddle + Car Seat Blanket

| The Swaddle + Car Seat Blanket – $35.00 CAD // The Butter Blanket – $40.00 CAD |

Both of these blankets are the softest, most sweetest blankets I have seen for a newborn (and not only). The Lala Swaddle + Car Seat blanket is reversable – one side in a solid grey and the other in the OVer Company original Lala print. The butter blanket can also be used for swaddling and is also made from the softest light weight material. I’m sure we will be using both of these blankets around the clock with our little one as they are SO adorable and so practical!

The Mama Robe and Essential Scrunchie

| The Mama Robe – $90.00 CAD // The Essential Scrunchie – $16.00 |

I don’t think I will ever wear another robe every again! These OVer Mama robes are the softest, comfiest, and prettiest! AND who doesn’t want a matching scrunchie? Not to sound like an overkill but seriously, Sabrina worked her magic on these scrunchies too because literally I LOVE mine and wear it ALL THE TIME! It’s super comfy, the size is ideal, and it actually holds my hair together! Of course these beautiful mama pieces also come in different colours and patterns, all original to the OVer Company!

Here is the packaging for the OVer Mama products – how incredibly practical and pretty! Mama’s deserve sweet treats like this!

I cannot wait to start using all of these products with my little girl when she arrives (the due date is fast approaching), and I promise I will share many photos of her wearing these pieces!

In the meantime, I highly recommend you visit The OVer Company’s website and do some shopping of your own! There are so many amazing items to choose from; from blankets to gowns, and everything in between!

I am so thrilled that now that I will be a Mama, I will be able to shop this brand for my own child! This is literally just the beginning of my #BabyWiercinski’s OVer Collection!

PREGNANCY UPDATE #37Weeks

The hospital bags are packed, the baby clothes and blankets washed and ironed, the stroller and car seat are ready, and the baby room is complete. Now we are playing the waiting game for #BabyWiercinski to join us!

We are both so happy that the due date is coming up and that we will be meeting our little girl soon, but we also can’t believe how quickly these last few months have flown by. We were looking at pictures from the last few months and really so much has happened – from finding out we were expecting, to moving into our new house, and travelling – it was such a busy time for both of us.

The truth is, these last few weeks have been a bit more difficult for me, as I’m feeling much more “pregnant”. I’d say I’ve slowly started the winding down process, before I have to pick it up into full speed again when baby arrives. I’ve definitely been feeling much more exhausted, heavy, and simply put, slow recently. Now that I know that everything is ready for her arrival, I think my mind has finally given in and relaxed.

Nonetheless, no matter how nauseous, starving, or exhausted I’m feeling (sometimes all at once), I wouldn’t change this time for the world. I feel so blessed and happy to be on this journey, and already feel so in love with our little girl!

PREGNANCY UPDATE #30Weeks!

We have ten weeks *officially* left until we meet our baby girl! TEN WEEKS! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone; I feel like it was just yesterday that we found out that we were expecting; just yesterday that I was concerned with the size of my belly and that I wasn’t gaining enough weight. {Today, my belly is perfectly round pushed up in front of me; and I can’t be happier}.

Today, our baby girls room is painted a ballet slipper powder pink; her crib is assembled and ready for the accessories; and her collection of clothing and shoes has already taken up an entire shelf in her walk in closet! *she will take after her parents in the fashion department, for sure*.

Health wise, baby is doing great! She is healthy and growing as expected. Mom on the other hand, although doing great as well *glass half full mentality* is beginning to feel more and more pregnant. Sleeping is difficult and I perhaps get one or two full nights of sleep a week these days. The weight I’ve gained, which is just 10kg in total, is weighing me down like I never thought it would – I’m not used to it, that’s all. My appetite; well, that depends on the day I guess. Some days I could eat all day – everything and anything. Other days; I can’t even imagine putting food in my mouth – the nausea and distaste for food is real.

As I always say though, I am taking all of this with a positive attitude because well OMG there’s a baby, a human being growing inside me! Of course the body will feel and react differently. I’m taking it all one day at a time and still feeling extremely blessed and lucky to be on this adventure. It does help and make it better to have a very supportive partner too – my husband has been an incredible support from the beginning of this journey and I will be forever grateful!

The Return of: THE LOOK OF THE DAY {Maternity Edition}

Do you remember those blogging days when all I posted were outfit photos – all the time? Well, I miss those days! I was looking back on my Lookbook.nu account and this wave of nostalgia came over me. My first thought was; why did I stop? Immediately after that thought, came my answer : life! That’s the hard truth; I got too busy too fast and couldn’t keep up with taking photos and writing weekly posts about my outfits! I know they say “no excuses” and really, this isn’t an excuse. I LOVE my life and I wouldn’t change my path for anything, but I do miss my outfit posts and sharing them with the world!

Therefore, I’ve created a new goal for myself – to post at least ONE outfit post during the month. I’d say that’s achievable. I’d of course like to do more, but the truth is, especially right now, I mostly spend my days in sweatpants and a hoodie at home under a blanket. PLUS; this beautiful baby growing inside my belly isn’t really allowing me to get all that creative. Although, I won’t lie, I’m still wearing all my regular clothes and they are fitting just fine {except for pants which I definitely cannot zip up…}.

Nevertheless, I am on a mission and I don’t take missions lightly 😉 here is my first take at a style/outfit post. Pregnancy and all; I pulled out my favorite pair of denim {undone, of course} and paired it with my one and only favorite poncho sweater. Autumn is hitting Ottawa quick this year, so I completed the look with a leather jacket, booties, a hat, and my darling LV Palm Springs Backpack. Honestly, I felt GREAT in this outfit! The spacious poncho gave me room to breathe, but also kept me warm enough during the cooler evening. I can’t live without a leather jacket so really no explanation needed there. The jeans; that’s another story but I wasn’t going to give in and wear leggings just yet { I still refuse to buy maternity clothes – I just have one pair of leggings and I hope to manage with that}.

Where did this outfit take me you ask? Well, right into the heart of Student Downtown Life in Ottawa for dinner with my husband and brother. Even though I didn’t actually eat anything here, I enjoyed taking photos of their food.

So, how about that for my first {maternity} look of the day!? Perhaps if I get good at this monthly routine I’ll have to start posting my outfits on external #OOTD sites again! HA!

Happy F R I D A Y !

PREGNANCY UPDATE: #26WEEKS

Hello Week 26 and our last week of the second trimester! As we enter our final trimester of pregnancy I still can’t believe how blessed and lucky we are to be on this journey! Although my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest; I keep telling myself it really hasn’t been that bad (glass half full a l w a y s !) There have been a few speed bumps along the way; such as the nausea, back pains, headaches, food aversions, appetite breakdowns, and complete lack of sleep, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. The joy that this pregnancy is bringing us is far greater than the “pains”.

They say that you feel this type of “it was all worth it” joy once you see the baby, but for me, every time I feel our little girl kick, I light up in my heart and with a smile – that’s our sweet bundle of joy!

In terms of being organized and ready for baby to arrive; I am in a complete standstill. I have MANY ideas for her room, and MANY things on my “need to buy” list. There is still so much we have to do in this area; and it’s stressing me out a bit now that we are coming up at the “three months left” mark! I know myself though, and I know that once I get it all together, I’ll be able to complete it all successfully. I just want to start already but there are so many other things I need to do (or not do – but REST) right now that I can’t put my all into the room. And, I’m the type of person who won’t start something this big, only to be interrupted hundreds of times in between. It has to be done right!

All in all, positive vibes and happy thoughts all around – because that’s how we plan on raising our baby girl!

Ps: I’ve caved and bought my first pair of maternity clothing – leggings! I figured I won’t be able to wear my dresses for much longer {because A U T U M N is here!} so sweaters + leggings it will be. I actually can still fit into my jeans; by wearing them pretty low on my waist, so I figured leggings are the next best thing!

#PlayingTourist in NEW YORK CITY

The Classic FLATIRON photo is a must have for any NYC trip!

New York City truly is one of the most amazing cities; you can find A N Y T H I N G and everything in this city. For some it’s a bit much; I personally don’t think I could live in NYC, but for others it’s a dream come true.

Visiting New York City during the summer is actually not the best idea, but we went for it anyways. For starters, if you hit a heat wave in the city, you’re basically doomed. The concrete jungle literally sucks in the days heat and beams it out day after day. There’s no letting up even in the evenings. Another thing about NYC in the summer is the amount of tourists – I mean, there are hundreds of tourists in the city no matter what season it is, but it just seems like summer is the most popular. If you’re not into crowds though, don’t let that stop you from visiting. There any MANY places you can visit that aren’t your typical crowded Times Square.

So simple, yet so unique!
This view could never get old!

So, there are dozens of NYC city guides out there so I won’t bore you with a what to do, where to go, what to see guide. I’d say, anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed a New York experience. Pick a direction and just start walking! Especially if you’re staying in the downtown core; manhattan anywhere, you’re guaranteed an interesting and entertaining experience!

THE Library of all Libraries!
One day…
We finally tried Chick-Fil-A and absolutely LOVED it! I highly recommend it!
Mandatory Shopping!
Finding gems in such a big city is one of my favourite things to do!
Bryant Park – right in between the Library and Whole Foods Market! Score!
It never gets boring!

Although travelling is one of our favourite things to do, I think this was one of our last “longer” trips for a little bit now. With everything else going on, between settling into our new home and our baby on the way, the focus is now elsewhere. But hey, once a traveller always a traveller, so I know we will go back to it as soon as the time is right!

Pregnancy Update: Gender Reveal and 20 Weeks

Hello 20 Weeks! I can’t believe we are at the halfway point already! I feel like my belly has just popped, and I’m just now starting to get my appetite back (although still not entirely)! We also got some very exciting news!

Time has been flying for us lately, mainly because we are both so busy with setting up our new home, working full time, and having company over (summer time is THE time to visit us – maybe everyone is scared of the Ottawa Winter?)

Even though we are overwhelmed with all the other things happening in life right now; Baby is growing healthy and happy and that’s my priority right!

Last week we reached a very exciting milestone and we were able to find out the gender of our little one! As I mentioned in an earlier update, deciding if we wanted to find out the gender now was a tough decision for us because from the beginning we were planning on not finding out till birth!

Well, we went in for a routine ultrasound, and I told the technician that we aren’t sure if we want to know, and asked her to write on a piece of paper the gender of our baby. I brought in two envelopes with a piece of paper inside, as I didn’t want this life changing word to be on some plain scrap paper! I knew I’d have to keep it as a memory!

Right after the ultrasound, my husband turned to me and said “okay, let’s open the envelope now!”. I was actually shocked because he was the one that was set in NOT finding out till birth; and now this man towering over me was basically begging to know the gender of his baby. I cried a bit, because that’s what I do a lot now – they are all tears of joy – it’s just how I show my happiness.

So, we didn’t find out right there and then because now I had my mind set on having some sort of surprise for us too. So the next day, the secret envelope and I walked into the nearest Party City and asked for a gender reveal balloon. The entire way home I was worrying that the balloon would pop (there’s been a massive heat wave in Ottawa and apparently the balloon is like a human; can’t be too hot, can’t be too cold). Anyways, I made it home, placed the balloons in the middle of the living room and waited for my hubby to get home.

FINALLY he got home. Out of all days, this had to be the day he needed to work late. It was time to pop the balloon!

Since our family is all over the globe, we decided to share the moment live with our family through WhatsApp. We had both phones going at once; one was on WhatsApp and the other was filming us and the balloon!

Ah, it makes me so nervous and excited to share this news! So hubby did a little countdown from 3, and both of us pin in hand we popped the balloon together!

Out came flying PINK confetti!!! We are having a BABY GIRL!!!! My hubby was right, because from the very beginning he told me he thought we were having a girl! Daddy’s intuition or what? We feel so blessed and excited, and can’t wait to meet our daughter. {it feels so amazing saying “daughter” especially now that we know we are having a girl for sure!}.

In terms of names, I think we have her name picked out, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to share it yet {sorry}. We have 4 names that we love so we are still working through deciding on one!

All in all, what a wonderful experience. Although we were not sure if we wanted to go through with a reveal now or find out at birth, I am happy we did it. But, I also would be okay to find out at birth. One of my friends told me that we don’t get many surprises in life and what a great surprise it would be to find out at birth. That really stuck with me, and even though we decided to go ahead with the reveal now, I think this is a great thing to say to someone who is also debating a reveal.

No matter what, when, or how you find out, it’s a purely magical and special moment!

MY ADVENTURES WITH PRENATAL VITAMINS

Before I jump in to the main topic here, I thought I’d give you a little background on my first months of pregnancy, because i think this also affected the vitamins and how I was feeling.

The first few months of my pregnancy were not easy – nausea and extreme exhaustion were the worst. Mornings lasted forever, it was impossible to get out of bed and get my day going; especially when I knew I had to go somewhere that day. I have a fear of throwing up, so each morning I sat in a comfy chair in my living room and took deep breaths in and out, praying that I can keep it together. Relaxing my body and mind helped sometimes. Finally a few weeks in I had to make the call, see my doctor, and start taking anti-nausea medication.

Generally, I try to stay away from pills the best I can because I like to think I have a high pain tolerance and “things will pass”. I had to give in this time and take something because I literally could not function or go to work. I admit that although I do feel a bit guilty for taking something (I wanted to have a completely natural pregnancy) I now know that it was actually a smart decision. I took the smallest dosage possible; the nausea didn’t completely subside, but it became manageable enough to slowly go on with my day.

Then the topic of food came along and the stress that because I felt sick and couldn’t really eat too much, I wasn’t getting all my vitamins and nutrients in. Let’s also keep in mind that my relationship with food isn’t the best. I’m not a big eater, and I’m fairly picky. I’m one of those people that would literally “prefer not to eat if they didn’t have to”. I know that doesn’t sound healthy, but it’s the reality and I don’t feel like I need to hide that. Being pregnant for the first time, I really didn’t know that the golden rule in this stage is “don’t force yourself”. Well, I forced myself on a few things, thinking it might actually help me. I don’t think it did, and now I cannot take the look, smell, or thought of a few items (which I’m still not ready to talk about…) So ladies, don’t force yourself, eat whatever works and don’t worry about it too much in the beginning. Baby is getting his/her vitamins through your prenatal vitamins and your body in general.

So now the main topic of discussion here: P R E N A T A L V I T A M I N S

Along with this stress of “not getting enough nutrients”, came the priority of prenatal vitamins. I did research above research on this topic even before I became pregnant and thought I had it all figured out. Well, I did – to a point. I had a plan. The plan was to start with the vitamin that had the most and was the best rated (over the longest time period). I found this one to be Materna. So, because I got pregnant a bit quicker than expected (not that it was a surprise, I just didn’t think it would happen THAT quickly), I didn’t have time to try out Materna before actually HAVING to take it. We found out I was pregnant in the morning, and I attempted to take my first materna that night. I broke it in half, because I can’t for the life of me swallow pills bigger than an allergy pill. I thought that would be good enough and I could do it. *positive mindset*. BIG MISTAKE. It got stuck in my throat, running to the bathroom I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up or stop breathing. Neither happened (probably because of my fear) and I stood there for a good 10 minutes in shock; sweating and panting. Not understanding how I was still breathing with this thing lodged in my throat. I had hot tea handy and crackers so I started dropping crackers into the tea and once they soaked in the tea I started eating them to help push down the pill. THIRTY minutes later I had calmed down enough to tell my husband I will never put that thing, or any other hard pill in my mouth again. My husband was already taking in his newfound happiness of becoming a “father to be” to argue with me and just offered to go to the nearest pharmacy to get me something else. We left it at that for the night and decided we’d go the next day. I was desperate just to get in to bed and forget what had just happened.

The next prenatal vitamin on my list was the Jamieson Chewables. Chewing is fine, what could go wrong with this one? WELL, these upset my stomach to an extent I couldn’t live with anymore. The taste was bearable; like an apple cranberry mix that’s slightly sour. I maybe could have tried taking half of these instead of a whole, but instead my doctor and I decided to set aside the vitamins and give my body a rest for a minute. Keep in mind I was eating strawberries and crackers at this point – nothing else tasted or smelt even decently okay to have in my vicinity. I had lost weight, and feeling like a bad mother already. My doctor suggested I just try to focus on eating more healthy options and that we would revisit the vitamin topic at our next visit.

FINALLY, once the nausea ceased, I went for a third prenatal vitamin option – Nature’s Bounty Prenatal Gummies. I figured dummies were my last and best option, and so I researched and researched and finally found one I thought I could settle on. I’ve now been taking these for about 2 months; 3 gummies right before bed, and it’s looking good. First of all, they are delicious! For me they taste like some type of tropical drink I would order on a vacation in Mexico (while lounging by the pool). The fact that they are chewable gummies makes my life SO much easier and better. Some days I pop three in my mouth at a time, and some days it’s a one by one process. No matter what though, they are the answer to my prenatal vitamin adventure. 

I decided to share this story because I think it’s so important to share with other mama-to-be’s these “adventures”. Although we all go through things differently, and have different tolerances, I think it’s great to read other people’s stories. Especially for first time pregnancy’s when everything is so new and you really don’t know what to expect.

I’m curious to know, what kind of experience did you have with your prenatal vitamins? Which ones worked best for you?