Welcome Brooks Frederick Craig Helm to our Family

I wanted to wait until we truly absorbed these first few weeks with Brooks before I took time away from it to go back to writing. I have just enjoyed learning about this little guy, watching Pearce love on him and recovering from this whole process. It took time and I didn’t want to put pressure on getting this blog post out by a set day to take away from this. But here goes!

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For starters Brooks was due on November 4th, I tried not to share it as when you’re overdue you are bombarded daily by a lot of questions, some very personal and to be honest I didn’t have all the answers and I was sick of sharing them. People trying to tell you how to get the baby to come out, suggestion after suggestions. I tried it all, the days leading up to his birth I was at the gym running an hour on the elliptical – he wasn’t moving till he wanted. I tried acupuncture twice and had a great experience with a woman from Abbotsford who helped tremendously with my anxiety – I have had extremely bad anxiety this year not just about labor so I plan to do more of this in the future.

After seeing my doctor on November 5th he advised me that our baby was large and he did not think it was safe for him to be in much longer and that he wanted me to be induced that week, so I chose the 11th as my mom would be back from her work trip and we would have the week to prepare. At this point I had been 2 cm for 3 weeks and lost my mucus plug 3 weeks previous and had 3 sweeps. Chris and I planned to clean the house and organize Friday (November 9th) while Pearce was at daycare. We were going to organize and get ready so that Saturday we could have one last family day then Sunday have the babe.

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By November 7th I was so uncomfortable crying from the pressure in my abdomen, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do anything the pain of carrying Brooks was taking its toll on my body. The night of November 7th I cried and rocked on my exercise ball for 3 hours until finally forcing myself to sleep with lavender oil and bad tv. The night of November 8th was the same, but much worse contractions had started nothing consistent until about 5 am, when they started to come more consistently.

Well with contractions picking up I took Pearce to daycare (8:30am) and came home, stripped our bedding and started cleaning the kitchen and bathroom as I thought they were possibly Braxton Hicks since I  had them all week. By about 10:30 the contractions were getting a lot stronger my doctor had advised me that because of how quick my first labor was that we shouldn’t take our time going to hospital. So we packed up, made arrangements and headed to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Just a reminder we did not know the gender of our baby so we were still arguing about baby girl names on the way to the hospital. As we did not have one!

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We arrived at the hospital around 11:45 am at around 12:30 pm the doctor checked and advised I was only 4 cm and my membranes were bulging (your water will break soon) at this point we had 2 choices

1. Go walk around and hope your water breaks on its own

2. Be admitted and have the doctor break my water

When I had Pearce my water broke on its own and he was born 40 mins later so I wanted to try to wait. So we went to the mall and walked around for 3 hrs! Picked up some last-minute things, got Pearce a present and headed back to the hospital. When the dr checked me this time I was still 4 cm and still had bulging membranes. So they asked what I wanted to do, I said I really wanted to try to let it happen naturally and asked if I could have a bath before doing that, so we tried the bath – it completely slowed things down. So we got out of the bath and I walked a few laps around the hospital wing. At this point we were approaching a nurse shift change and I decided that I would wait till the shift change to have my water broken to ensure I could meet my new nurse and discuss my plans/wants before anything.

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While waiting I advised my nurse I hadn’t eaten anything that day since 9 am as my mom had told me I would need an enema and I didn’t want one so I was extremely hungry – the nurse laughed at me saying they no longer do enemas and that I could eat. She got me some toast and juice – it really helped! At 7:30pm we were introduced to our new nurse (she was our nurse who delivered Pearce as well) and at 7:40pm they broke my water. Contractions came on stronger and I was able to manage them until 9:45 I was exhausted and after speaking to the doctor who said I was only 7 cm and my cervix was starting to swell and that we may need to try to move the baby I gave in, I asked for fentenyl, after one dose I could still feel the pain and just felt very out of it not able to concentrate on anything. Each time you take an opioid you have to be checked and the baby, when they checked they noticed that our baby HR was starting to get irregular and my cervix was swelling more and the baby was not moving down. At this point it was about 10:45 and the doctor advised me that she thought the best thing to do would be to get an epidural, as she believed we may have to have a c section but at the very least it may allow them to adjust his position and get him moving.

Our doctors plan was to get the epidural, slow the labor down and adjust baby to have them enter the birth canal, then give oxytocin to try to deliver vaginal although she didn’t believe this was going to be successful due to the baby’s size and HR issues. After having the epidural our baby continued to not cooperate, he was fighting it and his HR got so bad that they had to put a HR monitor on the baby inside me. We tried changing my position to regulate his HR – nothing was helping and a c section was needed. We had to wait for the doctor to finish up with another patient and at 11:40 we headed to the OR. I asked the doctor that if there was anyway we could safely have the baby on November 10th I would love that so that both our boys were born on the 10th of the month. So they said they would make it happen.

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So with that we left my mom in the room and headed down to the OR, and at 12:02 am we met our beautiful BIG baby boy! Brooks Frederick Craig Helm was born at 12:02 am on November 10th, and weighed 9 lbs 8 ounces, 55 cm and a head circumference of 39 cm. The pediatrician said it was the biggest head he’d delivered!

While the doctor stitched me she advised me that due to the size of my son and his position he was unable to move down the birth canal to have a vaginal birth, and that even if we had successfully moved his position  he most likely would not have been able to fit – and that I should be thankfully he didn’t.

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When I got to recovery, my husband was there waiting with our son. He latched immediately and it was such a blessing to be holding him, I have no ill feelings about having a c section. My birth plan was always to get a healthy baby. While keeping me safe I put my hands in the care of medical professionals and am so incredibly pleased with the care of the delivery nurses, doctors and all the amazing nurses who took care of us afterwards.

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Now for how we picked his name:

Brooks – I found this name while on Instagram looking at Carousel Nursery designs, and messaged my husband told him I found the perfect name for a boy. He said he also found one and that he had been emailing with a guy about hockey and loved his name we both sent each other a picture – we both sent each other the name Brooks – it was meant to be

Frederick – my husbands grandpa

Craig – my maiden name to name after my family which is also my father in law’s name.

Thank you everyone for following my pregnancy story

– xOx CHELSEA

 

Photocred: Michelle Cervo Photography 

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Hospital Bag

As many of you know I am in my third trimester and have been spending the past few weeks getting my hospital bag ready, and this involves unpacking and repacking a few times. Making lists of things to pick up, and things to add, and taking out things I have changed my mind about only to re-add them later – typical indecisive pregnant lady thoughts.

When I gave birth to my son I went super basic, and my mom had to bring me stuff from her house because there were so many things I didn’t think of. But I’ve decided to share with you what I am bringing, and what I will be using from the hospital

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Mom’s Bag: 

  1. This time I opted for a house coat, last time we had so many visitors come to the hospital, Pearce was a bit of a traumatic birth, and it was really uncomfortable to be nursing, and having all my husbands friends around, and just sitting in a hospital gown or my mothers night-gown she brought me which was not nursing friendly. I got my house coat from Pink Blush Maternity, I went for a mid-length one and am really pleased with the quality.
  2. As stated below it was really difficult to breast feed in the night-gown my mom brought me and the last thing I wanted to wear was pants LOL. So I opted this time for 2 night gowns. One black one that is a tank top style from the Gap, and One that is a T-shirt Style from Thyme Maternity, Both will be great for breast-feeding and are long enough that I feel comfortable and aren’t too thick as I tend to run hot even when I am not pregnant!
  3. I also packed a pair of flip-flops – for showering at the hospital, and a pair of slippers for walking around at the hospital. – no specific type or brand
  4. I packed my favorite pillow and put an extra pillow case on it (that’s black – self-explanatory)
  5. When I gave birth to Pearce I did not buy ANY nursing bra’s prior, my thought was that I don’t want to spend the money and not be able to nurse, as I know so many woman who struggled with this. This time I purchased a few soft ones from Amazon, (since my boobs changed so much after the initial engorgement I will wait to buy any wire or supportive ones till that happens). I purchased a 4 pack of nursing bra’s from Amazon, they came with back extenders which is so nice when you first give birth. They were 4 for $39.99 which is pretty hard to beat (black, pink, beige and white)!
  6. I always like to pack my own towel and face cloth, just because I do like to shower after giving birth and having one from home just makes you feel more comfortable, and I have an obsession with washing my face with really hot water with a face cloth a few times a day.
  7. I packed a going home outfit – A pair of baggy sweat pants, a t-shirt and a sweater, nothing fancy, Comfort is key for me. As well as Warm Socks for the cold hospital floor when my slippers are too far away.
  8. Nursing pillow, I just have a jolly jumper one that I got when I was pregnant with Pearce, I didn’t find that I used it too much, except for at the hospital

Toiletry Bag:

  1. Loofa – This is self-explanatory, I bring a new loofa whenever we go anywhere.
  2. Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray – I didn’t have this spray with my son but I opted for it this time, just knowing how things feel down there before and after labor, so Far I have found it really helpful.
  3. K’Pure Smooch Lip Balm , K’Pure Get Closer Deodorant  & K’Pure Keep Going spray
  4. So Luxury Sitz Bath – I packed this as I plan to put it in my spray bottle for my bottom bits after labor!
  5. Then I packed your regular travel toiletries

For My Hub:

  1.  Change of Clothes – with Extra socks
  2. I Packed a sweat shirt this time for him as last time he was very cold.
  3. Snacks – I made some pumpkin muffins and froze them that we will grab on our way out the door and other snacks I know he will like
  4. Toiletries
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For The Baby:

  1. I grabbed the Baby Starter Kit from K’Pure Naturals as it came with everything I would want for the hospital, I have used the sleepy time bath stuff on my son since he was an infant. The Numpfer baby cloth is so incredibly soft compared to what the hospital provides.
  2. I packed 4 Sleepers, my last birth we were in the hospital for a few days so I wanted to pack a few to be safe
  3. I packed So Luxury Coco Oat Bath  – Depending on babes skin I may use this instead of the K’Pure sleepy time.
  4. I packed 2 pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of hand mits to cover babe from scratching
  5. I packed 4 diapers and a pack of wipes – I plan on using the diapers from the hospital so these were just extra.
  6. I packed 1 Muslin receiving blanket (I always used this as a breast-feeding shield with my first), 2 regular cotton receiving blankets, and 1 blanket to go over the car seat
  7. Take Home outfit for girl and Take home outfit for boy – I like to pack a different outfit for each gender so its obvious what we have in the picture. This time I got the outfits from Jax and Lennon.
  8. Nipple leaking pads – its unlikely that I will be leaking at the point of leaving the hospital because my milk most likely won’t have come in yet, but they’re packed just in case
  9. I also packed little knit skates we got made for my son, we didn’t know the gender of my son either so we had Pink, and blue laces made so I have packed them as well for babe to come home in. Below is a picture of the one I got in case its a boy, But I also got a matching bow so it can work for both!

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Its getting down to the final days of this pregnancy and I am so excited to meet this little bean and find out if it’s a boy or a girl, and to just really take some time to bond as a family of 4. Whether baby comes early, on time or late, I know that it is going to be an experience all its own!

xOx Chelsea 

Absence

Some of you may have noticed that it has been awhile since I have written. This year has brought so many amazing things into my life, and so many overwhelming feelings that I was not prepared to feel.

I discussed in my last blog that I suffer from social anxiety, and after writing it I had so many friends reach out and tell me they had no idea. I thought writing about how I was feeling would be therapeutic and help me to better deal with what I was going through. But the truth is that it did and it didn’t.

To start, I don’t want to say that it didn’t help to write about it, because it did, I think the problem was that I wasn’t ready to deal with them. The past few months have been an emotional roller coaster. From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, the truth is that life is hard. It isn’t always easy and people come into your life and leave your life, and things happen that have ripple effects. Sometimes when you get everything you’ve always wanted you aren’t prepared to not feel complete? – Let me explain.

From the moment I became a mother to our beautiful little boy, I felt a sense of meaning, that I finally knew what I wanted from life, what I needed and that I had found something that really made me happy – I couldn’t wait to do it again! Flash forward 2.5 years and after many discussions with my husband, friends who have multiples, we tried and we got pregnant. It was all I had wanted, but I couldn’t explain why this didn’t make me the happiest person in the world. So many people long for babies, and try and try and it doesn’t happen or suffer loses, and we were truly blessed that this time around trying, it happened right away. We are going to be a family of 4 – what I wasn’t prepared for was the feeling of loss. Sometimes gaining one more means that you have to mourn the loss of an only child, you have to mourn the loss of time, and you have to admit that getting pregnant at a time when you’re not emotionally healthy can be hard.

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This year has been one of the hardest in a long time. I felt the best way to deal with it, wasn’t to pretend my life was perfect and continue writing blogs, when I didn’t have my heart in it. I didn’t want to pretend on social media that I was this incredibly happy person, when the truth is most days I didn’t feel that way. We are gearing down to the end of this pregnancy, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The morning sickness has finally ended, I will be going on leave at the end of the week and I know it couldn’t come at a more perfect time. The aches and pains are coming on stronger, and I know this means our little bundle is coming soon. My family has gone through so much the past few months and I know we are ready to bring this baby into this family with happy hearts. I know that it won’t be easy, or all be good days but I think I am finally emotionally healthy to bring this baby. Part of me thinks I needed each one of these bad days, these struggles, these lessons to get to this point – part of me thinks it was too much to deal with. But I am so excited for the future.

My absence from the blog was really good for me, as much as It brings me pleasure and fulfillment in writing sometimes its nice to step away, not put so much on yourself to enjoy the family time, the toddler snuggles, the married life and not put extra pressure on things. I have tried to spend as much time as possible really enjoy Pearce before our time together is shared. I think this for me will be the hardest, I have no idea what our future brings or what being a mom of 2 is all about but I am so excited to find out.

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Until baby’s arrival later next month, I plan on enjoying snuggles with the toddler, and puppies. Possibly a date night with the hub, and definitely some oreo cookies dipped in milk.

Tata For Now Friends ❤ 

xOx Chelsea