Post-Partum & Anxiety - My Story of Anxiety so far

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Sometimes I'm not even sure where to begin when I think about anxiety and the impact it has had on my life, mostly because it has affected me in so many ways. I guess the first time I actually knew I had anxiety was the summer of going into high school, and I had this over whelming feeling I couldn't shake, it was like I had done something wrong but I couldn't narrow down what that was. It became so bad I not only cried myself to sleep on several occasions, because I legit thought I was nuts, but I had stopped eating. Anxiety was slowly turning into depression for me and I had no idea why or how to stop this feeling. 
Fast forward a few years when I was in high school, that year was the first time I had tried to smoke weed (had a major panic attack and swore I'd never do it again), I had tried drinking and it honestly felt like it had helped me! For sometime I would use drinking as a crutch, which we all know doesn't end well. I had gone through a very difficult opioid addiction after I was in a car accident with an ex boyfriend, and thats a whole story on its own but it became a coping mechanism for the anxiety I always felt.  
Before I got pregnant I had been very fit and in a very healthy state of mind, which made me feel the best I had ever felt. I swear that the gym saved my life, not only did I feel strong, I looked good but most importantly I wasn't plagued with anxiety anymore. It was the first time in years that I was able to remain drug-free (anti-anxiety medications/SSRI's), and I could maintain that feeling without outside help. 
During this time we planned on having a baby, selling our condo in Toronto and buying a home north of the city. Even thou it was my dream to be a mom, the moment I found out I was pregnant was still very hard emotionally for me. I worried and stressed about every little thing, and very early on I had a few mental breakdowns because I began to feel anxious again and became very depressed this time. I finally made the decision to talk to my doctor about it, which became apparent that I needed to be on some kind of medication for the sake of my mental health. My medical team and I talked about the pros, cons and how the benefits outweighed the risks of taking an anti-depressant while pregnant. In my situation taking that specific medication (setraline) was a necessary next step to preventing any further issues, more specifically my medical team was concerned with postpartum depression. 
I was pregnant and in my second trimester when I was diagnosed with gallstones, and I think it made me feel a loss of control. To anyone who has anxiety knows that the feeling of having no control in your life has tremendous repercussions to keeping anxiety at bay.  I found that I had an unusual amount of energy in my third trimester, and began working out. I had bought myself a yoga pass and started going with a friend, which made me feel like myself again. 

My daughter was born on February 18th 2018, very healthy and scoring 9/9 on the Apgar scale. One of the known side effects of taking a (SSRI) Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibuter is withdrawals for a newborn. In our case Baby P did not show any signs of withdrawal until 48 hours after she was born and her breathing became a little faster. Thankfully that was resolved without medication, and her oxygen levels were just monitored for two more days. 
I felt a mix of emotions after she was born. I was happy, sad and had major mom guilt for putting her through any kind of trouble. I texted several of my friends, one who was on anti-depressants and pregnant as well and it felt good to get re-assurance that this was the best thing for myself and my baby. The following days after we came home, I felt like I was in a trance. I felt the happiest I have ever felt in my life, I was so in love with my child it was unreal. For the next four weeks it was constant, and I kept expecting a crash but it never happened. Then last week I started noticing my anxiety returning, and slowly feeling more and more like a panic attack. 
I feel an overwhelming since of frustration, I'm hot and cold, and I overthink and worry especially at night. I worry that I am not a good enough mom, and let what people say get to me (I never did before). I have also felt like my heart was going to explode, and had a hard time catching my breath.
I am still taking Setratline, at the same dose I was when I had my daughter and I have booked an appointment to see my doctor.

 I wanted to write this because I know a lot of other new moms find it hard to diagnose that Post-Partum Anxiety is a real thing. We are so consumed with the thought of having Post-Partum Depression, that the anxiety aspect is often over looked. I am certain that my anxiety and depression will be a life long battle. It will be something I constantly think about, but it doesn't have to run my life. There are so many things you can do if you have anxiety at any point in your life, what I should have done sooner was reach out for help. I should have made an appointment earlier to talk to someone in the medical field because it made a huge difference. I need to trust myself more when it comes to the limitations I have as a result of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially in social situations. I hope this story encourages even one person to seek help because it is perfectly normal to experience these feelings, and know that there is a light at the end! 

An estimated 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 10 men experiences troubling depression or anxiety after the birth or adoption of a child. This is referred to as postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A) and can be a tremendously stressful time for the family. PPD/A is often characterized by despondency, emotional instability, anger, guilt, tearfulness, worrying, anxious thoughts or images, feelings of inadequacy and the inability to cope. It may occur shortly after the arrival of a new baby or many months later. For some, symptoms may begin in pregnancy. If you are experiencing any symptoms, and your youngest child is younger than three years old, please call. You are not alone - Click here for more information.

Penelope at 6 weeks

Friday, 6 April 2018

I cannot believe I have been a mommy now for 6 weeks, and sometimes it feels like she has been with us for a lot longer than that. She amazes me more and more every single day. I love the way she looks at her dad when he lays with her in the evenings, and the way she cries for me when she’s hungry. There are so many things that have changed for us, and I couldn’t be more happier with our little family. There are many times when we think about her growing up and think about when we can put her in hockey, or what university we’re going to put her in and the trips we can all take as a family… but then I think how fleeting these newborn moments are. I feel even more passionate about being in the moment, and observing every second I can (I recently started filming her first weeks). I know a schedule isn’t for everyone, but I am someone who NEEDS routine. I have included our attempt at a routine with a newborn, because we all know a 6 week old baby doesn’t really have a routine yet but it doesn’t mean us as parents cant have one. 

Two days ago Penelope slept for 6 hours for the first time! We couldn’t believe what time it was when she woke up. However, she usually sleeps in 4 hour stretches now. Our sleeping arrangements are either having her sleep in her ‘Dock-A-Tot’, or in a side-laying nursing position at night (completely safe of course). She loves to sleep in her Zipadee-Zip sleep sac, which also makes us feel better that she won’t be able to scratch her face at night. 

We are now exclusively breastfeeding, and I have been taking “Fenugreek“ and drinking Mama’s Milk Tea for just over a week now, and I swear it works. I have been able to pump 3 oz each side! We took one night off breast feeding for a girlfriends birthday party so mama can have a glass of wine or two and honestly I hated every second of it. All I wanted  was to be with my baby, feeding her. 

She is already 9 lbs 12oz (at birth she was 6lbs 13oz), and I can not believe how fast she went through her ‘premie’ outfits. Her newborn ones are going to be too small very soon. Penelope had her final midwife visit today, and is “thriving” and healthy! She is measuring 55 inches now (52 inches at birth). 
The first few weeks I was on a high! I have never in my life felt so happy, and so in love. That feeling is definitely still there, just I am a little more aware of reality now. I have been so happy and tired all at the same time, but we’re doing great. I love being her mommy more than I have ever loved anything in my entire existence.  

Tony and I agree on almost everything when it comes to parenting, and what our goals are as parents. It has only been 6 weeks, but we have established a very good routine that I believe will benefit her for her entire life. We co-sleep, breastfeed and have lots of mommy, daddy, baby-skin-to-skin time. 

I think as new parents everyone goes through a million emotions and sometimes being tired catches up to you. We have bickered a few times, but for the most part we are both so content and in love with our little baby and each other, that we find ways to fall in love with each other and our new roles as parents every day. However, we do have our moments and just like any other new parent it can be hard with hormones, scheduling and time for ourselves. I never doubt that we will be just fine as our family grows more in the coming years. 

7:30 - 8: My wakeup call is Penelope needing to feed, and we usually start our day together. During the week daddy leaves for work, and on weekend we lay in bed together and talk to her. 

9-10: She lays awake with us in bed, or I sit her in her chair while I get ready for the day. 

11:00: She usually needs another feed, followed by a nap.  

2-3:00: Repeats a feed, and a nap.

5-7:00: Start our night time routine that we begin with spending it doing tummy time, or laying with daddy who watches sports while I cook and clean. 

8-9:00: Bath time (which is her favourite), followed by a baby massage and she gets in her sleep sack and she’s ready to be nursed and put to bed. 

11:00: Wakes up wanting to be fed, and put back to bed. 

3:00 am: Wakes up to be fed and put back to bed.   

5:00 am: Will wake up one more time before we start our morning again. 

Our First VLOG!

Monday, 26 March 2018

I am so proud of myself for actually sticking to my plan. I wanted to film as much as possible for Penelope, and wanted to be creative at the same time. I watched so many inspirational videos and decided to start with "A Week in my Life" vlog first, and maybe I can start to do updates later on. Being a new stay at home mom, I found myself bored (creatively speaking). I needed to find something that can keep me stimulated creatively, and what better way then to pick up the camera and document my child's life. 

Thanks for watching! Its been so much fun filming and putting it together, and I honestly have so much plans to make the future videos awesome!

Penelope's First Month - 1 month update

Friday, 23 March 2018

Here we are, officially one month old! It has been a month of first’s; first bath, first tummy time, first upset stomach, first time sleeping in your crib and those are just the first's of many others to come. Penelope my sweet daughter, has had her first upset tummy that we think it might be a formula allergy thats causing constipation, a facial rash and fussy eating. My poor girl there is nothing worse then seeing your newborn baby in so much discomfort. 

I honestly feel so lucky to have such an extraordinary baby. She is so serene, and very at peace with everything from bath time, to road trips.
Most nights Tone and I spend the evenings together on the couch usually watching hockey or some sports show, we take turns holding our bundle of joy, she’s our source of our happiness. Its those nights that we talk about how much we love where our life is, and Tony usually proclaims that he always knew that this would happen.  

This past week we saw our midwife for a monthly check in, and weighed Penelope at 8lbs 13oz. She is eating, pooping and peeing perfectly (anyone with a newborn knows that is the tell tale sign that everything is okay). 
Anyway our first month has come and gone with our darling Penelope, and it couldn’t be more perfect in anyway. 

Apparently daddy Tony has a hidden talent of getting fussy babies to bed real quick.. well maybe just our fussy baby.

Farmhouse Bedroom Reno

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


We bought our house this past November, and since we moved in I have been toying with the plan to redesign the painters beige walls and to eliminate the echoey, bare walls. The only problem was that I was very much pregnant, even thou I was in full nesting mode Tony had made sure I wasn't in here painting the walls and inhaling unnecessary fumes. 

So, the itch remained unscratched so to say.. and I turned to Pinterest to fill that need. I'm glad I waited because I knew I wanted barn board somewhere but I didn't know which shade, or what colour our three other bedroom walls would be.  I am slowly picking out all the decor that will turn my average room, into the bedroom of my dreams. 

|| BEFORE ||

I needed to find a style that fit with our environment, that took notice of the beautiful place we call home and let it influence the decor. I came up with the Farmhouse style, which is very much on trend and I love its simplicity.  Over the next few months, we will be beginning to transform each room of our house and I honestly am so excited! I love that we bought this house, it feels exactly like a home should feel like. I thought I would share some of the style inspirations, decor items I buy and the progress pictures. 

|| DECOR ||

Review of Boons, Grass drying rack.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

  I actually saw this the first time at Walmart, and it caught my eye but I didn’t end up buying it. Then a few days later I was watching a youtuber named Tara Henderson, who’s mom style I seriously love and she had the it for her two girls. I could not get it out of my head after that, because the more I thought about it the more I questioned why I was using the same drying rack I used for the rest of my dishes. It made more work for me drying the bottles with my other dishes because I always felt like I needed to disinfect them every time and it was a lot more work for a mommy with a newborn. I obviously bought it as soon as I could get to the store, and honestly I don’t know why I didn’t get it the first time! I think because I couldn’t picture how in the world the grass would look in my house… but after seeing it in her home I thought it looked really adorable. That's the reason I love this product, because in reality you could go out and get a standard drying rack from Walmart or a dollar store and it would do the same thing but it wouldn't look as good. Since your going to be using it every single day, I would rather get something that I will actually like to look at.  

    The top piece of grass has lots of room for drying parts of the bottles, and the bottom is where the water collects and comes apart so it can be easily cleaned. Boon also makes a larger drying rack called The Lawn, and another version called The Patch. The other fun thing about Boon, is that they make drying rack accessories that looks like flowers for drying nipples and utensils which makes it look so adorable on your kitchen table. I have not had any problems with this drying rack, and would defiantly be buying the flower accessories that go with it. The drying rack comes in white, if that suits your style more. 

**This is not a paid review, and is solely my opinion of this product.  

Mom & Baby Daily Style Diary: March 16th 2018

Friday, 16 March 2018

On Baby: Currently out of stock but this Dress is really cute, Headband 

Hey guys! I got asked so many times where I've been finding all her dresses lately, because it is hard to find really cute things like dresses for newborns. I found this at Walmart! it was on sale for $6 and I couldn't resist buying it to put her in it for Easter.   
My style on the other hand has done a full revamp since being pregnant. When I was pregnant I refused to buy myself anything that wasn't a total necessity. So post-partum I am finally feeling more like myself and wanted to start wearing cute outfits again. I went out and bought myself these Hunter Boots and I have literally wore them everyday! I basically live in these leggings, and who can resist a cute denim shirt.