Motherhood and my children have been the most inspiring thing that has happened to me, and it motivated me to write; about them, about us, about our days together – Our Everydays.
I cannot believe it has been a year since I posted my first words on this blog. And what a wonderful journey of creativity, self-growth and community it has become
Motherhood ignited a confidence in me to explore the love I’ve always had for storytelling, and so I began to write. This space not only allowed me to be creative, and to learn and grow in my craft, but it introduced me to so many other amazing women and mothers who were also telling their stories.
I’ve said this before, but I really believe storytelling is the way we connect and relate as human beings. In motherhood, especially, telling our stories allow us to relate, to feel connected, and most of all, to know we’re not alone.
The best kind of memories, I think, are the ones you remember when you hear a song, when you smell a certain smell, or from the sensation on your fingers as you run them through an embroidery a loved one made for you. Tangible memories.
During the holiday season, a time when tangible is a very common theme, especially with gift giving, the idea of creating tangible memories stuck with me. Finding a way to make tangible something that my children associate to an experience or memory, rather than a gift.
With this craft, I hope I am creating moments with my children that they will remember whenever they touch or see a pine branch.
Pine Branches that we foraged during our walks
Flour and Glitter
The older Penelope gets, the more impressed I am by how well she is able to do crafts. On her own, she poured some flour and glitter onto a baking pan and mixed it. She was taking her craft very seriously, it was so endearing to watch. In the meantime, I cut a few pine branches and coated them with a thin layer of glue. She then pressed them against the flour mix and the result was quite beautiful. The flour mix creates a beautiful simulation of snow that looked quite magical. Once the glue dried, I grouped the branches into similar size lengths and by overlapping them, created the shape of a wreath. I secured the branches to one another using a hot glue gun, and mixed the greens with, and without the flour mix coat, together.
Once completed, I ran some ribbon through them, and they were ready to hang as decor for the holidays.
A fun and easy activity to do with the kids, and they turned out so beautiful!
I have told my children’s birth stories before; to family, to friends, but I finally sit down and write them.
Today, I am 9 months postpartum for the second time, the same amount of time I carried each of my children in my womb, and in honor of that, I share their birth stories.
I begin with Penelope’s, my first born.
The technician at our 20 week ultrasound asked me and my husband if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. We didn’t, but I already knew. I have never been one to really think about the meaning of dreams, but when it comes to my children, they have been true. I met Penelope in my dreams years ago, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was having a daughter. Picking names was easy. We had a boy name, just in case, but in my heart, our search was done once we had her name.
Penelope, “Weaver” in Greek, and Eve, “Life” in Hebrew; she was, and still is, our little weaver of life.
The same way I knew I was having a daughter, I also knew I wanted a home birth. It was important to me, I trusted I could do it, and it was just something I wanted. We found the most wonderful midwife, bought all our supplies for our planned home birth, rented a birth pool, read books, did prenatal yoga and classes; we did what we were supposed to do as expecting parents. My confidence as a first time mom-to-be was high, and I felt strong and prepared. The weeks passed, and so did our “due date”, but we knew we were close, and just patiently waited.
I was 40+3 weeks pregnant, winding down from another day passed. It was 9:30 pm, and just as I was feeling this was another day gone with no baby, I felt my first little contraction. I smiled. There was a note pad next to me, and I started writing down how often I was getting these period like cramps. I did that quietly for the next two hours, and only then, looked at my husband and said “I think I’m in labor”, ha! We tried to go to bed, and the excitement that labor was imminent didn’t allow me much sleep, but I made it through the night. My husband woke up later in the morning, made me an egg and avocado sandwich for breakfast, which I remember clearly, as I ended up flushing that down the toiler later, ha. We waited a few more hours before we called our midwife, my family arrived to keep us company, went for a walk, and a little after noon, my midwife arrived. When she checked me, I was about 7/8cm dilated! I was so excited, like “YES! I’ve got this, we’re almost there!”.
We called our birth photographer, my husband set up the birth pool, my midwife was getting all her equipment ready, the second midwife was on her way, my family in the living room downstairs, patiently waiting for this baby to be born; everyone had a job. At this point, my contractions were getting stronger, and I was bouncing on my toes as my coping technique. It was working well, but when they told me the pool was ready, I got in right away. My goodness; that was B L I S S. The warm water was so comforting and my contractions stopped for a wonderful break that I so desperately needed. Once the contractions started again though, they came on strong. One of them broke my water, as I felt a pop in between my legs, but the fluid was clear, which was a good sign; my baby was happy.
In the months leading up to labor, I had visualized how I saw the whole thing happening. I always saw myself giving birth during the day. At that moment, I was in the birth pool, the afternoon light was beautiful; it’s what I had been visualizing for months and it was happening. I was starting to get the urge to push, the end is near, but I still wasn’t fully dilated, and I had cervical lip. I got out of the pool, my midwife guided me through some movements that could better position Penelope’s head since that cervical lip was in the way, and I followed along.
At this point, my confidence from earlier in the day was starting to shift. I had progressed relatively quickly for the first part, but the last few centimeters were taking longer than I had expected. Of course, there is no formula for how quickly a cervix dilates, but at the time, I figured if I got to 7/8 cm easily, the last 3 were going to happen fast too, right? My body was doing everything it was supposed to do, but exhaustion was setting in, and with that, a little bit of fear, but mostly pain. The hours passed, the contractions kept getting stronger, and we still didn’t have a baby.
At around 6:30pm, almost 21 hours since I had felt my first little contraction, I was starting to feel like this baby was never going to come. At one point, I remember asking my midwife to “Just cut the baby out!”. We tried pushing to see if we could get the cervical lip out of the way, but it wasn’t moving. I was lying in bed, tossing and turning, trying to find the best position to cope with the surges, but they were very painful no matter what I tried. I looked at my husband and he knew what I was going to say, but as my biggest advocate, he was going to support the birth plan he knew I wanted. I was trying to be strong; I never once uttered that the contractions hurt, or that I was tired. I wanted the home birth I had been dreaming about for so long, but I was tired and tense. The more I tensed up my body to escape the pain, the less my contractions were working, but they still hurt just as much. I needed to rest, I needed a break. With a feeling of defeat, but great certainty that is is what I needed, I told my midwife that I needed help and wanted to transfer. At 9cm dilated, we grabbed our hospital bags, and transferred to the hospital.
The car ride to the hospital was horrible. My poor husband would have ran all the red lights if he could have, just to get there faster. My midwife had privileges at the hospital we transferred to, and walked right into a room when we got there; that was wonderful. I got some gas and air, and got an IV hooked up for all the things I was going to receive. I was GBS positive, and though we opted out of antibiotics for our planned home water birth, now at the hospital, I needed them. A pitocin drip was started, and still that last stubborn centimeter took 6 hours to dilate. The gas and air was wonderful, I was smiling away, but then that stopped working. The epidural was not part of my birth plan (planning a home birth), but at this point, I wasn’t refusing one, I was requesting one! The epidural was administered, and I wish I could say I was able to relax after, it really only took the edge off. I still moaned and groaned through my contractions, and adjusted my position on the bed as often I could with the restrictions of all the monitors on me. Several times, my midwife touched my thighs and belly and asked me if I could feel them, and I could.
Though we had transferred to the hospital, I was happy to still be working with my midwife exclusively. She was sitting a few feet away from me the whole time; she’s just amazing. My family were great too; bringing snacks to the hospital, sleeping on the floor or sharing couches to get some shut eye, to keep me company while I slowwwwly dilated. I felt guilty that I was taking so much of everybody’s time, but it made so happy to know this was my birth team. I rested as much as I could, and when early morning came, I was fully dilated and ready to push. I asked for more privacy at this point, and the only people in the room were my husband, my midwife (and lovely birth photographer) and a hospital nurse who would come in every now and then. It was quiet and intimate, which is something I wanted for my home birth. As the epidural had not taken well, I was able to use my contractions to help me, but as a first time mom, I still pushed for about 2 hours.
On May 13th, at 6:58 am, 33 hours after I had felt my first contractions in my basement couch, after many hours of roller coaster feelings and emotions, my beautiful baby was born. Everything in the world made sense again. She was perfect. My midwife placed this beautiful little being on my chest. She wasn’t crying; she was calm, lifted her head, and looked straight into my eyes as if to say “Hi Mama”. We met earth side. After a few seconds, she let out the quietest cry, and they confirmed that she was indeed a little girl; my Penelope. My husband cut the cord, they cleaned her up a bit, and she was back on my chest, skin to skin.
You never know how you’re going to react when you meet your child for the first time. My husband had the most wonderful tears of joy, and I, the emotional one out of the two, had none – go figure, haha. I was so happy, the happiest I have ever been, and all I could do was smile. Penelope was big, bigger than what I thought a new born baby would be like (she was 9 lbs too), but at the same time, she was the smallest and most precious little thing I had ever held. We kissed her, counted her toes, said her name and caressed the softest of skin. While I delivered my placenta, my husband did skin to skin with her, and I treasure the pictures captured of that moment.
Labor was officially done. Penelope and I were doing well, my perineum was intact, and 3 hours after Penelope was born, we were on our way home.
When we got home, I showered, then took a 4 hour nap with my new little family. It was perfect. After our nap, immediate family came over to meet Penelope, and for the rest of the evening, it was just the 3 of us; my new little family at home.
About 6 weeks later…
I got an email from my birth photographer letting me know that my photos and video were ready! My first reaction was excitement, and then I was nervous…
My birth had not gone as I had planned. I didn’t get the home birth I so very much wanted. We didn’t transfer due to an emergency; Penelope and I were healthy during the whole birthing process, it was me – I wasn’t able to do it. Would watching my birth video/photos bring back feelings that I had dealt with in the previous weeks? My baby was healthy, so was I, that’s all that matters! Yes, and no. I grieved the experience I didn’t get, and I feel incredibly guilty saying that, but it’s true. The birth experience is not a throw away. We all have a vision of how we want our births to be, and when we don’t get it, it’s sad. How can an experience that provides you the epitome of happiness and love the moment you meet your child, also be the same experience that, depending on how it went, can cause sadness as well. It’s a weird feeling, and for many weeks, I felt guilty that I associated a feeling of grief with the same experience that had brought me my beautiful daughter. I’m not the only woman who has felt this, and if you, the person reading this, has felt the same, know it’s OK to feel these feelings. It’s part of healing.
I sat in my photographer’s office, and I watched my birth video for the first time while Penelope nursed in my arms.
After watching it, I went upstairs, and she asked me “What did you think?” My first response, without thinking about it twice was, “I fell in love with Adam all over again”.
The woman misses a lot during the process of labor and delivery. Your body is doing a lot of work, and your mind doesn’t have energy to remember the details. I’m sure many women have thought “Oh, that’s right, that DID happen, etc” when remembering their birth stories. Just 6 weeks postpartum, I was watching my birth video and remembered things I had forgotten or missed. I was worried that my birth video was going to bring up feelings, and it did, but not the ones I thought. I saw my husband’s unconditional support during the entire process, the look of love and concern on his face, the tears when he saw his daughter for the first time. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
I noticed something else watching my birth video. I didn’t feel as much pain as I looked like I did. I remember labor being very hard, but I didn’t remember it being that hard. Perhaps it’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting the woman; a way of allowing us to heal from childbirth, by making us forget the “labor” part of giving birth, but remembering everything else. Just 6 weeks postpartum, I felt like I had learnt so much from my labor and delivery, and was wiser and more prepared if I had to do it again right then and there.
Time is a wonderful thing. I write my daughter’s birth story 2 years after she was born, and I write it with so many feelings of gratitude and love for the birth experience I did have. It was different than what I had planned, but it was beautiful. It taught me to be humble to an experience which I have no control of, and to be grateful for the beautiful things that happened outside that control. I was able to witness the amazing love and support from the people around me; my family, my midwife, my amazing husband. Giving birth was my official journey into motherhood, my transition from woman to mother, but it was more than that, the experience was part of their journey too; my parents became grandparents, my sister became an aunt, my husband became a father. It’s a beautiful thing.
Giving birth to my daughter will always be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I became a mother, I met the love of my life, and nothing takes away from that.
Thank you for reading. xo.
Oliver’s Birth Story here
My wonderful midwife, Teilya Kiely.
It feels like just yesterday, I was pregnant for the second time, full of that nesting energy again, and my husband and I had decided our children would room share. What was then Penelope’s room, turned into the shared nursery, and within those four walls, so many memories, evolution and growth. It’s the place where my babies rest, where they dream at night, and always in each other’s company. Their little shared room, a space that is so special to me.
My children have been room sharing for 7 months now, and it has been wonderful. I love so many parts of it; their little chats before they go to bed, their patience with each other, especially when one has a bad night, and their happiness when they see each other in the morning (even though they’ve been in the same room all night) makes my mama heart happy. Are there nights that are harder than others? Absolutely! To me, that’s just part of being a parent of young children though. They need us through the night sometimes, and it would happen whether they were in the same room or not.
When Oliver turned 3 months old, I wrote a blog post on how the room sharing was going, and the things we did to prepare for a smooth transition. One of the things I mention on there is keeping Penelope in her crib for as long as possible.
Last week, my husband and I were surprised to hear little footsteps outside our bedroom door at 5 in the morning, and then a little voice that said “Mami”.
Penelope learnt how to climb out of her crib!
I was not anticipating this transition so soon. Penelope is only 27 months old, and I was planning on keeping her in her crib until she was 5 (kidding). She slept well in her crib, she liked it, so why fix something that isn’t broken. But, of course, as with many things in parenthood, you may not be ready for a change, but they are, and you just have to go with the flow.
We decided to transition her straight into a twin bed with side rails, and she loves it! We bought the frame, mattress and side rails from IKEA, and since Penelope graduated her crib, we gave hers to Oliver, as her crib was nicer. Even with a larger piece of furniture in the room, it still feels as spacious as before.
The transition to big girl bed has gone much easier than I had expected, which I’m happy for, especially since I wasn’t expecting it, ha! The first 3 nights, it was as though she didn’t think she could get out of her bed at all, and she didn’t. The fourth night, once the novelty wore off, she took forever to fall asleep. She tried to open the door and leave her room, which we then closed, and she didn’t like, so she screamed and protested, then moved the rocking chair towards the wall so she could reach the switch to turn the lights on, and scream and protested some more. After a few minutes, my husband went back in (which is when he saw her standing on the rocking chair, ha!), told her it was “night night time”, and she settled for the night. The silver lining? Oliver slept through all of this! haha! One of the advantages of room sharing, you learn to sleep through A LOT of noise, ha! It’s been a little over a week since the transition, and other than that crazy fourth night, bed time routine is back to normal! Woohoo!
I sometimes still get the “Is she crazy?!?!” look when someone learns that my baby and toddler room share, but it really isn’t as impossible as it sounds. During transitions, like a move to a big girl bed, it can be a little nerve wracking, but then I think to myself; I’m not the first parent whose children room share, and I certainly won’t be the last. The experience itself has taught me a few things along the way too, so even if we had a third bedroom on the same floor as our other two, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
If you’re thinking/planning to have your children room share, from one mom to another…
Trust your gut. In my heart, I knew I wanted my children to room share, and I believed it would go well, and it has. They fed off our of energy that this was their normal, and that’s the way it has been.
Be Flexible and Adjust as needed. There have been times when one of them will go through periods of bad sleep (they are both still babies), and if we worried that they would wake/keep each other up, we would adjust. We’ve had nights when Penelope has slept in our bedroom/ guest bedroom in the play pen, and that’s OK. Once their sleep regulated, we would put them right back in the same room.
Babies are more adaptable than we think. The most common question I get when a someone learns that my children room share is, “Don’t they wake each other up?”. Penelope was pretty young (19 months old) when Oliver moved into the nursery, so she adjusted easily. Oliver hasn’t known anything other than room sharing all his life, so he didn’t have a choice, ha! They fall asleep to each other’s sounds, and almost sleep better for it. Penelope has only woken up a few times when I’ve nursed Oliver in the middle of the night, most of the time, she doesn’t even hear us. Also, White Noise Machine is a must when room sharing! So, no, they don’t wake each other up at night. If they did, I wouldn’t get much sleep at night, and I like sleep.
Separate them for naps. Daytime sleep is never as deep as it is as night, so the noises that they sleep through during the night, can wake them up in the day. They used to take day time naps together, but since Penelope’s naps are getting shorter, she would sometimes wake Oliver up before he was ready to during naps, so I decided to separate them. Oliver naps in the shared room, and Penelope either naps in our room or the guest bedroom. She will drop her naps before he does, so I wasn’t too worried about her not napping in the room.
Embrace the experience. On the nights they have 30 minutes of baby chit/chat before they fall asleep, and I’m annoyed because I just want them to fall asleep already, I realize the chit chat is exactly the magic of the room sharing experience. They are bonding over their little laughs and jokes, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. We have a third bedroom in our home, not on the same floor as our master and second bedroom, but the extra room is there. The day they request to have their own space, I will honor it, but for now, I am embracing everything that comes with room sharing… late night chats and all.
My babies are growing so fast, and so wonderfully. It’s still a little weird to walk into their room and no longer see two cribs, but now a big girl bed in there. Though it wasn’t a transition I had planned this early, at least now, I can sneak in a cuddle or two with my Penelope when I go and check in on them before I go to bed.
I am especially aware of how I perceive the way time passes ever since becoming a mom. When my little Oliver no longer fits a piece of clothing because his legs are too long. When my Penelope outgrows her shoes. Anytime they move up a diaper size – time.
Their play area, set up for a baby who just learnt how to crawl and a toddler who likes coloring, becomes an abstract portrait of my children at 2 years old and 7 months old Anytime they change and grown, so does this space.
I love their little corner. Other than their shared bedroom, this play area is the only other spot in the house that is completely theirs. An eclectic backdrop of toys, lots of handmade details, and stuffed toys that were once valentine’s day gift given to me by their father, now theirs. There is something special in that isn’t there?
We don’t spend much time in this area during the summer months, but with some rain the past week, I got a chance to watch them play in this space again.
As a parent, do you find yourself feeling nostalgia with things you never thought you would? I do, I am nostalgic often. All of their little toys have memories attached to them. Pepe, for example, was Penelope’s first doll. She loved him from the moment she saw him, in an IKEA hallway, love at first sight, ha! I have videos of her dancing with him when she was still learning to walk properly, because Penelope danced before she walked. Pepe is still her favorite doll. Pepe has a special place in her heart, and he does in mine too.
Oliver’s little corner still has a mirror at floor level, the one he could see himself in when he could only roll over. Now that he’s crawling and pulling up to stand on anything he can, that mirror will soon be gone, but I wanted to capture him playing in that area with the mirror still there one more time.
In this area, I watch how they play together. Oliver is Penelope’s little copy cat. If she’s reading a book, he wants to read too, if she’s in the little canopy, he wants to be there too. Perhaps the reason the second child usually does everything sooner, as he’s trying to keep up with the oldest. It’s a bittersweet thing, but I love that he sees Penelope as his teacher. As with any siblings, they are starting to have their moments of frustration towards each other. The time they both want the same toys, or when Penelope gets a little tired of him following her around, or when Oliver tries to walk like his sister, but he can’t. Regardless of their dynamic, it’s wonderful to watch them grow, and learn through play, with their little corner as their stage.
I pulled out my camera, and without any interventions, watched them play. Like a fly on the wall, I just watched. Their play, their interactions, their little conversations. The things I want to remember forever.
Ok, I’m pretty proud of this DIY. It’s not often that baby items can be used again once they’ve been outgrown, or just not needed any more, and baby items aren’t cheap. Soooo… when you accidentally find potential in an old baby item, and make it into something so pretty, it makes me so, damn, happy. Without further ado, a DIY plant hanger/ wall hanging made from old baby gates!
If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you’ll know that I always look DIYs to be simple, easy and affordable. A little creativity, love put into your craft, and you can make the most beautiful things from items that you already have in your home. In this case, baby gates that we were getting ready to discard , as we had replaced them. My husband had them stacked up against the garage wall until the next garbage day, and I just couldn’t throw them away; there was potential screaming out from them. Baby gates are an item all parents have, and hopefully this DIY gives you an idea of what you could do with them once your kids have outgrown them. The side of an old crib would work just as well! #yourewelcome
What you’ll need:
Old baby gates
Wire and Wire cutters
Small indoor plants you have around the house.
Picture Hanging Set (which you can get at the dollar store)
I started by giving the gates a good wipe, as they had their years worth of love from a toddler with sticky fingers, and a dog, ha! I then measured enough wire that could go around the perimeter of one pot, added about 2 inches to that, and cut them with the wire cutter.With the baby gate leaned up against the wall, I twisted the wire around one bar where I knew I wanted a plant to hang. Once one side was secure, I place my plant adjacent the baby gate, looped the wire around the pot, and secured it to the other side. Because the pot is wider at the top than it is at the bottom, the wire loop is enough to keep it secure and from falling down.Once I had wired a loop for all my plants, I screwed two small hooks to the back of the baby gate, and secured the wire it would hang it from, just like you would for a picture frame. What I found worked best, was to hang the gate first, and then add the plants. And voila!I love how it turned out! Such an easy way to create a wall hanging to display your plants, or pictures… the potential is endless really. I hope you enjoyed this, and that it inspires one of you. Thanks for reading! xo
I hadn’t ever thought to press a dandelion flower, but the children have taught me to find beauty and potential with everything. Dandelions press beautifully – who knew? They are delicate, the yellow color preserves well, and there is something magical about them. From the moment Penelope could walk, she has loved picking dandelions flowers. I imagine Oliver will be the same. Where live, these flowers are everywhere in the spring and summer, perhaps even over looked in their abundance, but they really are quite beautiful.I didn’t grow up in Canada, so the dandelion is very much a flower that I consider native to the land. To my children, the dandelion is something they will have seen since the moment they were born, just a flower that grew in their home land. I imagine one day, when they are older, travelling the world, and come across a dandelion flower, they will remember this mobile, their mother, their father, where they came from. The dandelion flower, the inspiration for this DIY post.
As a mother raising bicultural children, I am always looking for fun and creative ways to teach them about both their cultures. My children are Canadian, and they are also Peruvian. I speak to them in Spanish so that they learn their mother’s tongue, I sing them the songs that I was sung as a child. During our walks in the beautiful Edmonton trails, Penelope picks up dandelions, fallen pine cones, tree sticks, and she learns about the flora of her country. Through exploration, my children are embracing the nature of their homeland, and learning to love their mother’s language as they practice the names for trees, flowers, rocks in English and Spanish.
As with any DIY that I do, like this and this , I look for it to be easy, simple and affordable. In this case, most of our materials are collected from nature, and the rest, most likely in your home already, or easy and inexpensive to get (ie- your local Dollar store).
We began by cutting the stems off the dandelions we collected, placed them face down between two sheets of paper in a large heavy book, and allowed them to dry. Penelope then helped me tie “talking knots”, or “quipu” into the string, a practice that is native to her Andean culture. The number and color of the knots conveyed meaning, sort of like writing. In this mobile, the number of knots in the strands reading both her and Oliver’s birthday.Once the dandelions were dry, I glued a small piece of cardboard onto the back of the flowers for easier handling, and glued them back to back onto the string. I tied pine cones at different heights and secured a little Spanish note in there as a special touch.
Once two pieces were completed, I placed them together at a perpendicular angle, and secured them with wrapped knot, leaving a little loop at the top for hanging. And voila!I love how this DIY turned out! In the process of making this mobile, with the stories I tell my children while we’re out exploring nature, they are learning about the history and the culture before them, and I give them a sense of identity, a place in the world.
Gathering materials that are abundant in the native flora of where we live, with addition of details native to my ethnic culture, my children and I create a simple, but special piece of art that brings activity, culture, and nature together. All encompassed by something all mothers, of all cultures, share – love.
As a second time mom, something I think about quite often is how to be fair when it comes to the kids. From small things like buying the e-x-a-c-t same baby book for both of them, to making sure they both have their birth shadow boxes, to offering them the same snack (now that Oliver is weaning). If I handmade a mobile for Penelope, I had to do one for Oliver too, and the list goes on.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s stressful being equal with the children, but I’m certainly aware of it… a lot. Though I feel I have been successful at it so far, I make peace with the fact that I probably won’t be completely successful at it for the rest of my life. I can certainly try, but if I can’t, I know it’s OK too. The effort has to be worth something, right?
One of the things that came together quite spontaneously in the subject of being “fair” with the kids, is ” A Mother’s Love” session I had with both of them around the same time in their lives- Penelope at 3.5 months old and Oliver at 6 months old. Looking at these pictures, I see a few things. 1. Adam and I must only have one position one mold (haha) because I can’t believe how much Penelope and Oliver look like each other. I notice the little subtleties in their faces, Penelope’s softer edges and Oliver’s more prominent features, but they are very much little twins – girl and boy version, 18 months apart. 2. They have such great smiles. 3. Oliver has a lot more hair than Penelope did… and Penelope had a lot of hair for a 3.5 month old. 4. I love the wonderful space that both sessions took place in. Edmonton has so many beautiful little gems all around.
5. I see my smile, the way I look at them when they are nursing, the light in my eyes when they are around, and I know one thing…
One thing I’m never going to have to worry about when it comes to being “fair” with them is how much I love them. I love them with every fiber in my being, with every kiss, with every early morning wake up, every giggle, every hug. I just adore them.
When I was pregnant for the second time, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to help make the postpartum period easier, especially since I knew I would be taking care of a newborn and a toddler this time around. Placenta encapsulation was one of those things.
I had heard about placenta encapsulation in my prenatal classes, from some friends and my midwife, but didn’t actually go ahead with it for my first pregnancy. Second time around, I knew I wanted to try it. I did some research on it, and the benefits sounded like something I would want. In a nutshell; helps with post labor recovery, replenishment of iron levels, increase in milk supply and can help with postpartum depression.
I’ve recently started to wean off my placenta pills (I am 4.5 months postpartum) and from my experience, I would definitely recommend it. Overall, I feel the pills really helped, especially during the first two weeks postpartum, which to me, are always the hardest. I felt really great given I was getting little sleep, recovering from labor, and taking care of two little people. My milk came in faster and my supply was stronger. In terms of my mood, I was less stressed and happier (this could all be because it was my second time around too), and in my husband’s words “I was nicer” (haha). I didn’t experience any hair loss, until I started to wean off them…that’s why I’m still sort of taking them.
The encapsulation service was done by a local doula, so if you’re thinking about it, I would start looking there. The service can be a little bit pricey (around $200 or more), but the benefits, in my opinion, were definitely worth it. The service included pick up of the placenta, encapsulation, drop off and a little umbilical cord heart shape keepsake (which I loved!).
It’s so incredible to believe the things I’m emotionally attached to since becoming mom; I still have the positive pee tests for both kids, their fallen baby hair in an envelope, and I’ve had Oliver’s heart shaped cord and both Penelope and Oliver’s stump saved for what seems like forever. I know, I know- I’m THAT mom.
It’s amazing to believe that the cord was what kept my little babies alive in my womb, so special. I finally got around to doing something with the cord and stumps, a little DIY below, and I absolutely love it how it turned out.
Did you do anything with your placenta? I would love to hear your experience!