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Filtering by Category: Lifestyle

Baby & Body: 4 Month Update

Andrea Porritt

Inès is 4 months old! FOUR MONTHS!!! I swear there are times when I feel like I've known her my entire life. And then there are times when I'm so amazed that she's actually here. My life is obviously forever changed. 

Since it's been a while since my last blog post I'm sure you can tell that I now have a hell of a lot less time on my hands!! Lol.

BABY

She's skyrocketed to a whopping 17 lbs 6 oz and is 27 inches long! That's in the 97th percentile people (which is where she was charting at her 2 month check-up)! So suffice it to say she is currently wearing 9-12 month old clothing and even a few 12-18 month pieces. She seems to be outgrowing items lengthwise on the regular.

She's so much more engaged these days. She now likes to watch me when I'm walking around the house, especially in the morning when I'm making breakfast.

There's been lots of smiling, cooing, giggling and squealing. I especially love the smiles I get when I go into get her in the morning or after each nap. She's also starting to laugh, and seeing her do so is one of my absolute favourite things. She can hold up her head and is starting to really grab at stuff, mostly toys and my hair! She also sucks the life out of her hands. She is working hard at rolling over, but hasn't totally figured it out yet. She's growing so fast and getting stronger everyday. I just love this little person so much and I'm so thankful every single moment for this precious baby girl.

Favourite Things - She LOVES seeing her reflection in the mirror. I've heard that she won't become aware that her reflection is actually her until about two years of age?? Not sure if this is totally true, but regardless, she sure is a big old ham whenever she sees that cute baby face in the mirror. She also likes car rides, going for walks and loves bath time.

Eating - 100% mama's milk.

Sleep - Inès has always been a good night sleeper. But when she hit 3.5 months she started to regress. Dennis was away at work when this started to happen. After two totally sleepless nights I was emotionally and physically exhausted so I decided to call in the reinforcements. I phoned up my mom and told her to pack a bag because she was coming over to help me sleep train. 

After 3 nights Inès was back to sleeping through the night! She now sleeps in her crib in her nursery.

I stick to a really consistent bed time routine which starts at 5:30pm with a nice warm bath, followed by a little massage with my absolute favourite Organic Baby Balm from Nezza Naturals. Then it's into her pj's and sleep sack. I start nursing her around 6:15pm and then she's usually asleep in her crib by 7:15pm. She will sleep through the night and tends to wake up sometime between 4:30am - 5:30am. I'll get up, do a diaper change, nurse her, and she'll go back to sleep for another couple of hours. 

The sleep training has also made a huge difference to her naps! While she was always a great sleeper at nights, she would rarely nap in her crib during the day. She now naps 3 - 4 times a day for 45 - 60 minute stretches in her CRIB! This never used to happen.  CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

After she wakes up, I nurse her and then we hang out, play games, read books, etc. before she needs to go back down for another nap. Generally she will need to go down for a nap after about 90 - 120 minutes of wakefulness. I put her down drowsy but awake, and she is now able to self sooth and fall asleep on her own.

Through this process I've definitely learned about the power of persistence, consistency and routine, and how effective they are together. I've also learned a lot about my baby girl and have become more familiar with my own strengths. Though I am by no means a perfect parent (the perfect mother doesn't exist), I will strive to keep learning.

Our new sleep and nap routine has been game changing. This is one happy mama over here!

But that's enough of that - let's talk about sore tits and c-section scars!

BODY

C-Section Recovery - The first few days were pretty awful. Whenever I tried to use my core muscles (so.....pretty much most of the time) a sharp pain would shoot through me and I felt like my incision was going to explode. Sneezing, laughing, coughing were all no fly zones and getting in and out of bed was no picnic either. But after that first week or so things started to get a lot better and overall my recovery has been pretty amazing.

Body - I lost all the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy fairly quickly, which I think had a lot to do with the fact that I worked out and stayed in shape throughout my pregnancy and the fact that I'm breastfeeding. But it still took a week or two before my belly was back to being flat-ish. I had a little bit of linea negra near the end of my pregnancy, but that is long gone. It just ended up fading away. 

My boob size has exploded, as to be expected when breastfeeding. I did get a little bit of Mastitis, a.k.a. boob flu. What a bastard of a thing to get. Luckily I caught it really early so I was able to get on the antibiotics asap before I got deathly sick.

Workouts/Fitness - Because I had a c-section I had to wait 6 weeks before heading back to the gym. I really wasn't allowed to do anything during those first 6 weeks (not even vacuum) so I basically lost all the muscle tone that I had built up before and during my pregnancy. So when I was finally able to go back to the gym I felt like I was starting back at square one.

I've been doing my regular workout routine - which includes 4-5 days a week of either bootcamps, weights and/or cardio. I feel like I'm slowly starting to get my body back. Except for the two watermelons I have on my chest - these are cumbersome and definitely make running kinda uncomfortable. I also feel like I have this layer of fat left over from pregnancy that doesn't seem to want to go away. I've been told that it won't be until I stop breastfeeding that my body will truly start to feel back to normal again. Regardless, my workouts keep me sane and centred. They help to keep me energized for the day and I feel stronger, more focused and less anxious.

Mom Life - Don't get me wrong I love my baby girl, but there are days when I just don't feel like moming. It's especially hard when Dennis is away at work and I have to "be on" all the time and I get pretty worn down. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but Dennis works away, alternating between one month at home and one month away at work. It's definitely more physically challenging for me but it's more emotionally challenging for him, being away and feeling like he's missing out on so much, especially when Inès changes by the day. But apart from that I really can't complain, everything is going really well and Dennis and I are just so smitten with our little munchkin. Lots of learning curves involved folks!

 

My Birth Story.

Andrea Porritt

So excited to introduce Inès Audrey Grant to the world! She was born December 20, 2017 at 4:03am and weighed 7 lbs 3oz and was 52 cm long.

This post is looong overdue. I've been trying to find the time to put together my birth story for quite a while and finally I slowly started writing little bits here and there while she slept between feedings. So here it goes....

My birth story wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it, but then again, who's is?

If I could sum up my experience in a few short words it would be: Oh My God, What (insert profanity here) Just Happened?!!!

Some of you mamas out there might feel the same way I do. Awestruck, thunderstruck, moonstruck. Completely amazed at what your body just accomplished...but now your body is...things are not quite...look at that BABY...

Oh my God. What just HAPPENED?!

It all started on the morning of December 19th (my due date was December 16th). I woke up just before 8:00am to a huge wet spot on my side of the bed. I thought to myself, OMG did I just pee the bed?!! I got up to go to the bathroom and a rush of clear fluid started gushing down my legs. I wasn't really sure what was going on so I called my Mom, who's been a nurse at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) for the past 40 years, and told her that I think my water just broke. She told me to call the doctor because if my water did break and I don't go into labour within 24 hours I could get an infection. So I called my doctor and shortly after Dennis and I had thrown our bags into the car and were on our way to the hospital.

The clinic I've been going to throughout my pregnancy, Maternity Care Westside, is headed up by Dr. Bronnie Hautala who has 3-4 midwives that work with her. They all take turns being on call so you don't know who you're going to end up with the day you go into labour. I had a fairly good experience at Maternity Care, however there was one midwife that I just did not like. And of course she was the one that just so happened to be on call the day my water broke. Just my luck. So suffice it to say I wasn't off to a great start.

Dennis and I checked into the hospital around 10:00am. The midwife met us there. She examined me, told me I was only 2 cm dilated and that I should go home. By this point I had started to get some mild cramping in my lower back.

So Dennis and I left the hospital, ran some errands, went out for lunch and then headed home. By about 2:30pm the cramping in my back had started to get a lot worse! I called the midwife, explained that I was experiencing some serious low back pain and that I was going to need some sort of medication. All she told me was that I should monitor my contractions for the next hour and then call her back. I'm sorry what??!! There was no chance I was going to wait around for another hour in serious pain.

So back to the hospital we went. They checked me again, but there wasn't any progression from earlier that morning so they loaded me up with some morphine and sent me home, again.

I soon learned that the excruciating pain I was getting in my back was in fact back labour! For those of you who have never experienced back labour it basically feels like the most horrid, terrible, excruciating and intense pain in the world that is localized in the lower back and peaks during contractions. I literally felt like my back was breaking with each contraction. I had to hold onto Dennis whenever I got a contraction because they were so unbelievably painful! Seriously the worst pain I have ever experienced! EVER!

When we got home I turned out all the lights, laid in bed and felt like I was going to die. Literally going to die.

By about 7:00pm I couldn't take it anymore, so back to the hospital we went! This time there was no chance in hell I was going to let them send me home, the pain was just so completely unbearable. So we checked back into the hospital and told the first nurse I saw "Get me an EPIDURAL NOW!!!!"

They put us in a room where we waited for what seemed like forever. Finally the nurse came in and I asked her where the hell my epidural was?! She said the midwife had to check me first and that I would have to wait because she was in another room with another labour/delivery. I said, can't you just check me?! I really don't feel like waiting for the friggin' midwife. So they put us in a labour room, I got into a gown, hooked me up to the monitor and put in my IV. After a quick internal check they told me I was 5 cm dilated. 

My Mom happened to be working at the hospital that night and came down to our labour room around 9:00pm and didn't end up leaving until it was all over. Thank God she was there because that nurse who was looking after us was pretty much useless. To start things off she inserted my IV wrong - it was inter-tissue so all the fluid was swelling up around my wrist and I ended up with a massive bruise because if it. My mom had to alert the nurse that it needed to be fixed. Later in the night my IV bag ran out of fluid and was sitting empty, so once again my mom came to the rescue and had to tell the nurse to change it. Dennis and I were so glad she was there!

The midwife was also totally useless and pretty much ignored me. She would walk into our room every so often with her arms crossed and just stand there and look at me as I laid on the bed in pain. At one point during a contraction I even caught her laughing at me! Like I was overreacting or something! She just did not care about my well being or how I was coping. She was definitely not supportive or felt like she was ready to help at any moment. And she didn't tell us anything in terms of what was going on with the baby, or things I could do to try and get more comfortable, nothing. Just awful.

By about 1:00am I hadn't progressed at all since I first got to the hospital earlier that evening. I've had the cadillac of drugs - laughing gas, fentanyl and several epidurals and nothing seemed to be helping.  Finally, they called in a specialist - Dr. Yoshida to the rescue!!!

He came into asses me and said that I was still only 5 cm dilated (you should dilate 1 cm every hour) and that the baby was sunny side up - which would explain the insane back labour! He monitored me for a while and then suggested I go on the oxytocin drip to see if we could speed things along. By about 3:00am, I had progressed to 8cm - by this time the pain had migrated from my low back into my pelvis where it was now bone on bone and there were a few issues that had started to arise with the baby's heart rate. Dr. Yoshida said we can either amp up the oxytocin in the hope that more time would potentially allow my uterus to flip the baby so its facing the right way and to try and get me to 10 cm so that I could actually start pushing. Or we could consider a c-section. Without hesitation I said give me the flippin C-SECTION! By this point I was pretty much willing to walk down to the operating room myself!! There was no way in hell I was going to try and be a hero and wait it out in crazy pain for who knows how long to see if maybe my baby would flip so that I could actually start pushing. Are you nuts!!??

So they prepped me for surgery. Luckily both Dennis and my Mom were able to be in the operating room with me. I've had two ACL reconstructions (knee) and one rotator cuff repair (shoulder) so this was not my first rodeo in terms of surgery. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, I would be lying if I said there wasn't a bit of cold fear in my heart as they strapped me down to the table. Definitely grateful for the curtain that conceals everything... as drugged up and numb as I was I could still hear everything, including the word "scalpel".

 At 4:03am it was all over. I was the proud mama of a beautiful baby girl! Dennis even got to cut the umbilical cord. And just like that it was all over. It seemed like as fast as the pain came it was gone, sort of like coming up from under water. 

I got to meet her shortly after once I was in the Recovery Room. They handed her to me and she latched immediately! I watched her nurse, just watched her because I didn't need to intervene, it was like she knew what she was doing. 

Huge shout out to Dr. Yoshida!! The best! He was calming, direct, very thorough and had a great sense of humour. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend him as he exceeded all my expectations. His communication skills were excellent (unlike my useless midwife) and kept us informed without using hard to understand medical terminology. A total pro! I mean he basically took me apart and put me all back together again - and he got it all right! He even made the incision low enough that I'm pretty sure nobody will ever see it except Dennis and the girlfriends I show after I've had a few drinks ;)

The pain, the fear, the drama is all starting to become a distant memory now. Dennis and I had to compare notes in order to recall all the events of that day. Then we swore to each other that we definitely won't be doing that again any time soon!

My mom, Dennis and Inès. That's me in the background...strapped on the operating table looking like death (but so relieved that it was finally over!)

One week old.

One month old!

Pregnancy: What I've Learned.

Andrea Porritt

Hi everyone! Well today marks 39 + 6, and I simply can't believe that we're only one day away from our estimated due date (Saturday, December 16th). ONE MORE DAY PEOPLE!! I'm ready to pop...seriously ready to pop! So today I wanted to share this last round of bump photos and some final thoughts on my pregnancy. Being so close to the finish line, I've been feeling a lot of mixed emotions lately. I've also been trying to get as much rest as possible, soak up this last stretch of freedom, and try to wrap my head around the fact that I'm going to be a mom VERY soon. Yikes!

I've certainly learned a lot over the last 9 months, about babies, pregnancy, and coping with all the changes it brings to my body. It's been quite the journey.

As many of you know already I've never really loved being pregnant. It sort of feels like a lifetime. Let me tell you... it's been a long 9 months. I can't even remember what it feels like to not be pregnant, let alone what my stomach used to look like or how to "suck it in". 

The last two weeks have been especially tough. This period has certainly been the hardest part of my entire pregnancy as I've basically felt like I was born pregnant. I feel HUGE! Maybe this is all part of  Mother Nature's  plan... wait until you're super annoyed and uncomfortable so that you actually start to look forward to labour.

At my 38 week doctor's appointment I was 1 cm dilated but when I went this week there was virtually no change. I've done two membrane sweeps in hopes of moving things along, but it would appear that this babe is unwilling to budge at the moment. I feel like I'm starting to get negative towards this whole waiting game, I'm trying to embrace it and be positive and optimistic but man is it hard! Everything is just so completely out of your control!

And to top it all off I've gained 2.5 pounds in the past week! In terms of my total weight gain it's a bit hard to say as I never weighed myself before I got pregnant - scales do not exist in my house. My first doctor's appointment/weigh-in was at around 3.5 months and since then I've gained a total of 12.5 pounds.

Everything seems pretty squished in there, and I get full really fast so I've been eating lots of small meals throughout the day. I haven't had any major cravings although I have been drinking a LOT of ice water lately! I feel like I'm thirstier than ever! No stretch marks to report, I haven't slept through the night in months and baby kicks are weird!

I really can't complain too much though. Compared to some horror stories I've heard I've had a really easy pregnancy with absolutely no complications. I'm pretty happy that I never had to experience morning sickness, so I feel like I won the lottery in that department! I did experience a little bit of fatigue in my first trimester but nothing major and last week I had to have an ultrasound because I've been measuring small but the results came back normal. 

I also haven't had to buy any maternity clothes which is a major bonus. I'm still wearing all my normal clothes, although I am limited on what I can actually wear so I've been getting creative with some of the pieces I already have in my closet. For instance, the shirt I'm wearing in the pics below is actually a dress! I did a post about it back in the summer that you can see here.

One thing I did love was that I never used my pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy! Being pregnant actually challenged me to continue life as I normally would. Fitness has always been a big part of my life and I've continued to workout 4-5 times per week throughout my entire pregnancy. My goal was to stay as fit as possible so I never tried avoiding my workouts just because I was pregnant. In the end, I believe this helped me experience less aches and pains and has helped keep my energy up! I'm really hoping this will pay off in labour too!

People often ask me if I'm "ready"? On a physical level, yes I'm totally ready, the nursery is pretty much finished, the car seat is locked and loaded, and I've packed "The Bag". But on an emotional level it's a bit of a different story and would have to say no I'm not ready. And that's not because I'm not excited, but simply because I can't even begin to wrap my head around what it's going to be like to have a child and to care for it every single day for the rest of my life. How can you feel ready for that???!!! I'm looking forward to it, but I have to admit that I simply can't fathom what lies ahead for me.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty anxious, nervous and scared. All to be expected before labour and contractions right??? I know my body is built for this and that I can do anything I put my mind to. I know I am strong and capable so I'm trying to keep the positive vibes going and be confident. Really hoping that everything goes smooth with minimal discomfort and ZERO complications. Hoping that this babe comes fast and is healthy, healthy, healthy!

Right... I'm off to have a baby. I'll update as soon as I'm able, but make sure to follow me on Instagram as I'm sure that will be the first place I'll post the news! Wish me luck and I'll see you all on the other side!

outfit details

 Zara Sateen Shirt Dress | Citizens of Humanity Rocket Denim - similar here and here | Marc Fisher Ankle Boots - similar here and here | Chloe Small 'Faye' Bag |

An Overall Update.

Andrea Porritt

Well I'm officially 36 weeks pregnant! Yikes! Only 4 more weeks to go... hopefully!

My growing bump is making a BIG fashion statement and has started to make dressing during my third trimester, well... tricky. I'm trying to go with it but some days I walk into my closet, let out a huge sigh, then turn around and walk out. I've chatted with lots of my girlfriends and other amazing ladies who have kids and I've yet to meet a single one who felt totally gorgeous during her third trimester. Big and uncomfortable? Absolutely. Glamorous and chic? Not so much.

Staying motivated to look cute while being 36 weeks pregnant is starting to become challenging, but I'm determined to stay the course. One of my go-to's has been overalls! I've been wearing them throughout my entire pregnancy and not only are they stylish but also super comfortable and versatile! I wore them a ton with slides during the summer but now that it's fall I've switched to sneakers. My high heel wearing days are pretty much numbered at this point.

The only downside is that they can be a bit tricky to take on and off, especially when it comes to my incessant bathroom visits (frequent urination anyone?!). But at this point they're just too comfortable for that to even matter. I love them too much to care and the roomy waist is a dream come true. Hoping these babies keep me looking and feeling good right up until D-day.

We're Pregnant!!!

Andrea Porritt

Well it's official, Dennis and I are happy to share that we are expecting!

I thought something was up back in March when we were on our ski trip in Austria but it wasn't until a few weeks later when my boobs got mega sore that I thought I should investigate a little further. So I peed on a stick in Ventura, California back in April when we were on our California road trip and sure enough, it was positive. Dennis was super excited and I went into major shock! "WAIT, WHAT?!" "NO!!", I said. "ARE YOU SURE?!" "HOLY SHIT!!"

Although I don't exactly love being pregnant, I have to admit it's been pretty smooth sailing so far - at least in comparison to some of the horror stories I've heard.

The first trimester was pretty breezy -  yay for no morning sickness! I did however find myself crawling into bed at 7:00pm on more than one occasion. And there was one incident with a container of fresh greens and herbs whose aroma instantly triggered my gag reflex in a big way. I never actually threw up but that was the end of salads for a while. 

My second trimester was pretty low key as well. Except for when Dennis came home from work with a cold and gave it to me!! It was basically one of the worst colds I've ever had, compounded by the fact that I couldn't take anything for it. I felt like death for about four days.

I'd say the most annoying symptom I've experienced so far is having to pee ALL THE TIME! I used to be able to sleep through the night no problem, but now I have to get up at least 2-3 times just to pee! I mean seriously?! This little bean must be dancing on my bladder because I feel like I have to pee every 5 minutes. It sucks! The urge never stops! And when I do give in there really isn't much that comes out. It's driving me nuts! Has anyone else had this same experience??

I'm now into my third trimester and everything seems to be business as usual. Besides the frequent urination, I've also started getting a little achy in my lower back and have been woken up in the middle of the night on more than one occasion by a muscle spasm in my right calf. WTF? The last time this happened, it felt like a gun shot! Oh the joys.

Dennis and I have chosen not to find out the gender of our little nugget. Don't get me wrong, there is certainly a part of me that really wants to know, but we're waiting till December 16th for the big reveal. Only 10 more weeks to go!