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Benjamin’s Diagnosis

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So I know within the last few months I’ve written about how Baby B is always sick, throwing up, being congested, etc., well we finally know what’s going on!

I know it may not seem like a big deal to most, but for the last half of a year, Benjamin has spent it in our arms, struggling to breathe, choking on his milk, and being uncomfortable in most positions babies usually love. He has been passed on from family members for being too “cranky” or throwing up too much on everyone’s clothes.

For the last 6 months, I have barely slept for I would wake with every tiny sound he would make, scared he was no longer breathing. I was judged over and over again for cosleeping with my clearly sick child. I stopped breastfeeding because we thought he had an allergy to lactose, which was causing his “congestion.” We’ve kept him away from people, and inside, because his doctor told us ” it’s winter, babies get sick.” We got criticized for not clearing his nose enough, and for being overprotective when there was nothing wrong.

For the last few months I got told I was “baby-ing” my baby and was choosing a favourite child. That I was becoming the family member that nobody liked. I second guessed my judgment as a parent, and began to feel like I wasting the doctors time.

But here’s where I want to say “TRUST YOUR MAMA INSTINCTS!!” I knew something was off.

After many scans, xrays, scare of an abscess, checking for a heart murmur, and explaining the same story to countless doctors, we finally got some answers!

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After putting a camera up his nose, we were told that Benjamin has laryngomalacia. He doesn’t make the same noise that babies usually do with this condition so that is why they had such a hard time diagnosing him.

Laryngomalacia is when the tissue above the vocal cords is malformed and floppy, causing it to block the airway when inhaling. We were told that if they just looked at the video they took, Benjamin would for sure need surgery for how badly it is malformed, but because he is doing so well clinically (gaining weight etc,) and since this condition is known to improve during 6-8 months of age, we will wait to see if it continues to improve on its own. Benjamin also has reflux (which is common with laryngomalacia,) so he was put on medication for that too.

Even though he has stopped throwing up formula for the most part, we are still struggling with solids. He either throws them back up, gags/chokes, or his breathing gets really bad after. We may have to go for additional testing when we see his dr next week.

I am thrilled that we finally know what’s going on with our little man, but I still hate this waiting game. The whole bring him back if he “starts to turn blue” really freaks me out. I feel like I need to keep an eye on him 24/7 for we don’t know if/when it could turn for the worst. As much as I know that there are worse diagnosis’s, I hate seeing my little guy suffering and not being able to live his babyhood like he should be.

I will update after our appointment next week.

xo

Julie

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Anxiety – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Today is Bell Lets Talk day so I figured we would do just that. The last time I wrote more in depth about Anxiety would have been my post from last year! It was about being diagnosed, I included a link at the bottom of this post in case you guys want to check it out.

When my doctor recommended CBT to me I was very hesitant. How was I supposed to tell a total stranger about my life when I couldn’t even talk to the people around me? What was I supposed to talk about and how was I supposed to fit that in my schedule between work and school?

The place recommended to me was just a few stops away on the metro from my school so I went in between classes. I’d finish class in the morning, hop the metro and walk the rest of the way. Then I’d do the reverse and head back to school for more classes. It made for an extremely long day and I always felt so drained afterwards. I cried once a week in front of a woman that I knew nothing about and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

The process of starting was that you first go through an evaluation. I filled out so many forms filled with extremely personal questions. Then I sat down with two women, that read the forms and asked me even more questions. I cried during that too. They then determine what kind of anxiety you seem to have as there is more than one. Next they find a therapist or student therapist to match you with. They then set up an appointment for you and away you go.

I bawled my eyes out for almost every single appointment. I learned so much about myself and the people in my life. It sounds weird to say that but I saw them and their actions in a new light. I realized that I had some very toxic relationships that I either needed to fix or end because they were destroying me. I talked about so much and I said things that I would never have felt comfortable talking to the people around me about. I always worried that I wouldn’t have anything to say but after a couple of questions, I felt like I didn’t have time to talk about everything.

I knew my sessions were coming to an end when I was able to go once every two weeks… That and I wasn’t crying my way through the whole session! That was a huge improvement for me. I still have the tools my therapist taught me and I can’t thank her enough. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

I also got homework to do from my therapist and it was actually super helpful. I still use some of the techniques now, even though I no longer attend sessions. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. I learned what triggered my anxiety, how to stop from spiraling, and how to cope with it. It is usually done over a shorter time period, it can also be done in groups but I was not up for that.

Sometimes I think about finding another therapist, a bit closer to home, because it helped me immensely. Unfortunately, it can also be very expensive. It helps to talk about things and I am so glad my doctor convinced me to go. I don’t regret it for a minute.

So now I’ll wrap this up by telling you to please talk about it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in your life, an outsider can be so much easier. I still struggle to talk about how I feel but I’m better than I used to be and I hope I can improve even more. Don’t suffer in silence anymore, and you are always welcome to contact me through the contact us page if you just need to talk to someone that doesn’t know you, with no judgment.

Talk about it and help end the stigma.

xo

Brittany

Link to the diagnoses:

https://beautyandbrainsxo.ca/2018/01/28/anxiety-the-diagnoses/

Project Pan – Long Overdue Update

I just realized I haven’t posted anything for my Project Pan since February! I never even tried to finish the project I was working on because I found out about being pregnant in March and life has been all over the place since then! This will probably be just a quick little update. I’ve been trying to take pics of stuff as I finish them but I know I’ve forgotten a couple of times.

I honestly don’t think I’ve gotten any beauty or skin care products since finding out. I did buy a nail polish and a hair product since then but that’s about it. I know that’ll change soon because I’m almost finished my face wash and I’ll be able to get my free birthday gift from Sephora soon so I’ll end up putting in an order. Hopefully a small one but I make no promises.

I finished all the above products since February. I didn’t do the ones on my 21 for 2021 but I’ve almost finished 21 other products this year so I think that counts for something. I’m just about done another mascara too so I’m pretty sure it’ll be done before the new year.

I decluttered these tanning products because I just never use them. I know I decluttered an eyeliner too but I guess I didn’t take a picture of it.

I’m hoping I’ll finish off a couple more things before the year ends but I won’t be upset if I don’t. I’ll also try to keep track of them better too!

What products do you find are the easiest to finish.

xo

Brittany

34 Weeks – Ya Girls Sore

Y’all I am hurting. This SPD thing is no joke. After sitting for a long period of time because of multiple Thanksgiving meals, I was out of commission for a couple of days! It’s like I need to plan one thing a week or else I’m too sore for anything else. It’s so frustrating. It’s just making me even more stressed. We went to Pumpkinferno the night before my shower and then sitting for hours at my shower had me suffering for almost the whole week.

These emotions are also wild. I literally laughed so hard at something with Kyle that I ended up sitting there and sobbing. It went from laughing so hard I could cry to legit just crying. What is up with that? It’s so draining. I’ve also been sick again a couple of times which makes me upset too. There’s no winning over here. I also cry so much over some things that it makes me throw up so it’s kind of a vicious cycle.

Baby Bean is doing well, she moves whenever her dad talks to her which is just rude cause I think she’s playing favourites. Kyle lovingly made me eat apple crisp in the middle of the night because the baby had to have it. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not mad about it! I’m so grateful for Kyle and how loving he has already been. And oh so patient with me! I know he’s going to be an amazing dad and I can’t wait to watch them together.

I took a bump picture on Thanksgiving. I thought I looked great and was really happy with how it turned out. A few hours later I took another one with Kyle and I was so upset. I look huge, my face is so much bigger. It genuinely looks like I gained at least 20 pounds in the small amount of time. My stretch marks are still coming in and I’m having a really hard time staying positive about it all. How could I love my body for such a brief period, see another picture and feel so gutted? How could something so small send me spiralling so quickly? I know it’s all an adjustment and I need to accept the changes happening to me but I’m struggling hard. I don’t think it helps when someone recently told me to say good bye to bikinis and get used to one pieces. Why on earth do I have to do that? So other people will be more comfortable about my body? Absolutely not. I was so affected, I don’t want my baby girl growing up hearing such negativity about bodies but it’s so hard when it’s all around us.

I want to work hard on setting a good example for her and if there’s something I don’t like about my body, it’s not something I would ever say in front of her. I need to work on loving myself so I can help her do the same. It’s all just very hard and such a long work in progress.

Current to do List: Pack our hospital bag, I packed the baby one though! It’s all in her diaper bag so thats progress. Work on Christmas shopping because it’s coming up fast and I won’t want to do it later!

Mood: Discouraged but hopeful? The picture really upset me but I’m working on being better! Also tired, I’m back to napping almost everyday.

Cravings: Fruit punch, Hot chocolate, ice water, and Indian food. Especially butter chicken.

Dislikes: Feeling restless and useless. The amount of pain I’m in and all the negativity I’ve been feeling. Going to get back into meditating and try to be more optimistic.

Any tips on how to be more positive, including being positive about my body, please share!

xo

Brittany

32 Weeks – So Close but so Far

Officially due next month, which sounds insane to me when I put it that way. About 8 more weeks to go! I still don’t know if it’s going by fast or not. I still have a million and one things to do and not much motivation to do any of them. It’s like I’m stressed because I don’t have a lot of time left but on the other hand I have no motivation to get stuff done because I keep telling myself I have lots of time left.

On the bright side, we had our Ottawa baby shower with Kyle’s side of the family so we got a bunch of stuff we needed and now I’m free to buy without the restriction of having to wait! I think the only big purchases we have left are the car seat/stroller and a glider/rocking chair. Otherwise we need to get diapers and all that kind of stuff. It definitely makes me feel a little less stressed.

I had my growth scan this week and little Bean is currently weighing in at about 4lbs! I had my Dr’s appointment that same day and she didn’t have the information yet but hopefully everything is all good. She still has a strong heartbeat and moves around fairly regularly.

I’m still an emotional rollercoaster and seem to cry way more often again. It’s really frustrating, especially when I’m feeling sad but I don’t know why I’m feeling that way so I just cry. Poor Kyle has experienced multiple breakdowns, I have to say, he handles them really well!

I’ve also been getting Braxton Hicks contractions. Man, they suck. I seem to have about 2-3 a day at this point. Sometimes more and they make me so achy. My stomach gets rock hard and it’s just so strange! I don’t think those will be going away at this point. I think I’ll have them until I get the real ones.

Current to do list: Get a car seat is pretty high at the top. That and pack our hospital bag. Notice I said pack and not make the list? PROGRESS!

Mood: Sore. Is that a mood? I’m sore at all times and it makes me so tired. Okay maybe a little irritable too. Restless too!

Cravings: Those Pillsbury sugar cookies, apple juice, fruit punch, and apple crisp. I’ve been rotating through those lately.

Dislikes: Leaving the house! I think it’s because I get so sore. Also anyone with a cold, it’s not that I dislike them but I’m avoiding them as much as possible! I REALLY don’t want to be getting sick right now.

xo

Brittany

30 weeks – The Countdown is on

Another day another Dr’s appointment, or blood test, or shot, it’s always something. I’m actually writing this while I sit in the hospital waiting room. I just had a blood test and I need to wait for the blood bank. Because of my blood type I need to get the WinRho shot. I figured now would be the perfect time to write an update as I’ll be sitting here for like an hour and a half.

At about 28 weeks we had another trip the the hospital because I couldn’t get the baby to move. After about 7 hours she started moving again but man she stressed me out! They hooked me up to monitors and of course within like 30 minutes of being there she started moving. She’s stubborn already! We learned about kick counts and what to watch for. Music was one of the things that supposedly gets them moving and seems like our little Bean is an ABBA fan!

She also seems to recognize Kyle voice cause she starts moving around when she can hear him! He now serenades her with Dancing Queen which I absolutely love! Now when we FaceTime she starts moving around too which makes me happy. He usually ends up resting his hand on my tummy when he’s sleeping and I’m not sure if he even realizes it.

As of Monday I am officially back to work on reduced hours. I’ll be doing half shifts. It’s weird to think in about 10 or so weeks I’ll be having a baby. It seems so close but somehow so far away. I have a million things to do but as usual, I’m doing some serious procrastinating! On the bright side, Kyle has the crib built! Do I have the mattress for it yet? No, but I have the sheets! I’m working on it haha.

I finally gained a little bit of weight which is honestly making me feel torn between I can’t believe I’m gaining weight and thankful because I know I needed to! It’s weird to think that I went most of my life thinking about my weight and how I struggled with the fluctuating numbers. Now when I see it’s gone up I still have an initial panicked reaction before I remind myself that no, this is important. My baby needs this and it’s perfectly normal.

I got a prescription for something to help with the heartburn. I also got a belly band to use if I know I’ll be on the move a lot because of the pelvic pain I have. I talked to my dr about it and she says she believes it SPD (Symphysis pubis dysfunction). She says there are a few things I can do to help it but it won’t go away so I’m going to try those things anyways! Anything that will help, I’m down to try.

Current to do list: Still have to make the hospital bag list (oops). Get a crib mattress. Buy a new office chair.

Mood: All of them. I’m so emotional again so I cry a lot. Poor Kyle, we will be having a normal conversation but then I burst into tears cause I feel sad.

Cravings: Fruit by the foot and apple juice. Yum! Not together though. Once in a while hot chocolate but not if it’s hot out.

Dislikes: Still coffee. I tried an iced coffee and had so many regrets. Also, heartburn. Everything gives me heartburn!

xo

Brittany

Pieces of Her Book Review

Another book done and this one falls under the list of ones I recommend! Apparently a lot of other people liked it too because it’s going to be a show on Netflix. I can’t seem to find an exact release date but filming started in early 2021 from what I can tell. It falls under the thriller/drama category and is definitely a page turner. I flew through it pretty quickly and plan on checking out the author to see what else she has written.

One of the things I loved about this book was that it flashed from the present to the past and that’s how we slowly piece together what’s happening. It starts out with a young woman, Andrea, out to eat with her mom, Laura, when a gunman shows up. He thinks Andrea is a cop because of her uniform and targets her. The mom takes him down with insane precision, like I’m talking about being some kind of professional and everyone is sort of like what just happened. Someone recorded it and it was all over the news, the cops are suspicious because of the way the takedown happened.

A few more weird things happen, which I’m trying not to say because I don’t want to ruin anything but Andrea catches a man torturing her mom for information. After that encounter, Andrea ends up on the run trying to figure out who her mom is and why she can do these insane self defence things. People are after them and the stories we get to see in the past start making a lot of sense.

There were a few dull parts that I wanted to skip through but everything is all connected so you can’t exactly skip forward or else you might miss a key part. I’ll definitely be watching this on Netflix because I think it has the potential to be a pretty good show. I’m curious to see how they pull it all off.

Would you rather read the book or watch the show?

xo

Brittany

27 Week Update

Well! A lot has happened since my last update at 20 weeks. I was on bed rest, off bed rest, had a baby shower, and packed up my condo to move out in the next few days.

First up is bed rest. I noticed I was leaking a watery substance and thought it might be my amniotic fluid. I called labour & delivery at the hospital my OB is associated at and they told me to head on in. They took a pee sample and the OB on call did an ultrasound. That’s it. He thought I might have a small tear which was causing the leaking so he put me on bed rest until my next appointment with my regular OB. I met with her and she had me meet her at the hospital the following day so she can figure out what was going on. Leaking water is not something that should have been so easily brushed off.

I’m so grateful to her because she ran all kinds of tests only to find out it was a really bad yeast infection! I had no symptoms and the watery discharge is less common. Apparently yeast infections are extremely common during pregnancy and we have no idea why the first dr didn’t check for more possibilities. It was like a huge weight was lifted off our shoulders and I couldn’t be more relieved.

Now I’ve just had bad pelvic pain that I need to talk to my dr about next week. I did my glucose test and will see if all is good next week and I have another round of blood tests to do for my endocrinologist to see if we’ve found the right dosage for the thyroid pills he prescribed me.

We had my Montreal baby shower and the theme was Winnie the Pooh! I say my Montreal one because my boyfriends family is all in Ottawa and I’ll be heading there for an October shower! We got so many of our must have items and I’m doing my best not to go into a shopping frenzy until after the Ottawa shower but let me tell you, the struggle is very real.

Now for my condo! I can’t remember but I think I mentioned that I had sold it. Well moving time is almost here so my boyfriend and I will finish the rest of the packing this upcoming weekend so everything will be good to go! I feel like there is just so much left to do and only so much time left. I’m doing my very best not to stress out about everything all the time but I’m definitely the type of person that worries a lot!

My current to do list: more blood tests, finish packing, and make my hospital bag list.

Mood: Tired and emotional.

Cravings: Haven’t really been having any to be honest. Ice water is still amazing.

Dislikes: I’m trying to stop saying people. Still the smell of coffee and hot drinks. But I also kind of want a hot chocolate so I don’t know about that.

xo

Brittany

Half Baked – 20 Week Update

Well, we have officially reached the halfway mark. I have my ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow so we can find out the gender and they will do the anatomy scan. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I just want everything to be okay, I don’t really care what the gender will be but I still think little Bean is a boy so we will see if I am right!

I still stand by my previous post, pregnancy sucks. I’ve made it a full 9 days without throwing up so I’m really excited about that. I mean, I’m still getting nauseous and dry heaving to the point that I just want to throw up but I guess it is progress. These hormones are absolutely wild though. I’m taking everything personally and looking way into what people say to me. I legit spent a whole morning crying because someone hurt my feelings and I was just so upset by it. I don’t think they meant to hurt me but that doesn’t mean I didn’t cry my heart out over it. I’ve now gone for three rounds of multiple kinds of blood tests. The second blood test picked up on antibodies that indicate that I have Hashimotos disease. That basically means my immune system attacks my thyroid. As long as I take my pills everything should be okay but it puts me at a higher risk of having preeclampsia. I’m being followed by an endocrinologist so we will see! I lost weight at my last appointment so my doctor so instead of going every four weeks, she wants to see me every three weeks so she can watch me to see if it happens again.

I still have a million things to do but I did sell my condo! I also mostly finished my registry! I would like to add in a couple of gender specific things to it when we find out but otherwise its all done and one less thing for me to stress about. Next I need to get my license and car switched over to Ontario. I also have to get a doctor all lined up for when I move and I have to look into a photographer for newborn pictures.

On the bright side, I think I started feeling the baby move! it kind of feels like.. a weird twitching feeling? I’m not 100% sure that is what I’m feeling still but it makes sense. It sort of feels like how people describe it and it isn’t consistent yet because it is too early for that still.

Mood: Tired, Sensitive, and lonely.

Cravings: Fruit by the foot, don’t judge me! The baby likes it and they usually move around after I eat one.

Dislikes: People. Am I allowed to say that? I’m lonely yet I don’t want to be around all the people offering my support. There are very few people I actually want to see, including my boyfriend. I can’t seem to spend enough time with him as I am still in Montreal and he is in Ottawa.

Here’s hoping things will get better..

xo

Brittany

Stranger in the Lake Book Review

Ahh to be on vacation again! My boyfriend and I spent a week at the cottage and not only did I do some serious napping but I also got some reading done! First up was Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle.

Kimberly Belle is known for her thrillers and Stranger in the Lake is no exception! I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but this book actually kept me guessing. It took me some time to solve part of it but even then, there was a twist I didn’t see coming! Those are my favourite.

The book follows our main character, Charlotte. She grew up in the trailer park, basically raising her little brother. She sends the small town gossips into a tizzy when she marries a very wealthy widow named Paul. His first wife died of a drowning in the lake behind their house and washed up at the dock. She was a great swimmer so people were immediately suspicious but it ended up being ruled an accident. A lot of the towns people still think he’s responsible and they can’t believe that Charlotte married him. A few years later, another woman is also found dead under that same dock. Weird coincidence right?

Charlotte notices her husband has started acted weird and slowly tries to piece together what she does know. She also realizes that her husband is full of secrets and she doesn’t actually know all that much about him. Not only does a lot of the town suspect Paul but she is starting to as well.

I definitely recommend checking this one out if you like mysteries that you don’t actually solve within the first few pages. I flew through this one and plan on looking for more books by the author.

What are you currently reading?

xo

Brittany

Surprise! I’m Pregnant this Time

Y’all I don’t know who is more surprised by this pregnancy but let me tell you, its been rough. Though it may have taken us by surprise, the excitement has been growing with each week that goes by. I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it but I was terrified when I found out. Okay, I still am but it is getting better as I get some things done. A lot of people talk about how beautiful pregnancy is and its all magic and rainbows but I don’t feel like that. I’m finally getting over the point of being exhausted at all times but I am still so sick. I’ve been throwing up so hard that I’ve burst blood vessels under the skin on my face. Here’s hoping that gets better too but as each week goes by, I’m losing hope about that.

I think one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far has been telling people. They didn’t exactly have the reactions one would hope for and I guess I can’t blame them because neither did we. Don’t get me wrong, they have all been supportive and now they all seem to be excited but my over hormonal self has definitely cried about it. Some people were immediately excited which was actually reassuring to me.

I know I have so much to do that I don’t even know where to start. Not only am I having a baby but I’m going to be moving to another province to live with my boyfriend. At some point we will need to find a place to buy together but that will wait until after the baby is here. I need to sell my condo, which I have listed so that is progress. We have started our registry but I know we still have so much to add. I feel like this post has been all over the place but I have been too so you guys will have to bare with me until I get into the swing of things.

At this point I’m 16 weeks so here are some things I want to add after my posts because I loved it when Julie did!

Mood: Tired, Stressed, and ready for a break

Cravings: Coke and ice water

Dislikes: The smell of coffee

xo

Brittany

Our Favourite Podcasts

I’m always trying to find new podcasts to listen to as I’ve been binge listening to a few for a while and I’m looking for something new. I thought I’d share some of our favourites for anyone looking to try some new ones! I’m not too sure how to break these down so you’ll have to bare with me.

My Favorite Murder:

I’ve been listening to this one since the beginning. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark launched My Favorite Murder in 2016 and it has taken off. I’m talking 2 books (one is in the works), global Murderinos, live shows in North America and Europe, as well as their very own podcast network. If you’ve been listening then you know that the fans are called Murderinos and that you can join their fan cult. They’ve released all kinds of merch with some of their funny advice. It may be funny but also extremely practical, some include not having to be polite to strange men talking to you, staying out of the forest, and calling your dad if you get caught up in a cult. Their podcast is true crime/comedy, though they often talk about mental health and highly recommend therapy. At this point they’ve even started up the Exactly Right network which hosts multiple podcasts. They were doing their live shows before the pandemic but obviously those are on hold now. You get a mini episode on Mondays, this is where they read out our hometown stories. The full episodes come out on Thursdays and this is where the full true crime stories come in.

The Papaya Podcast:

Sarah Nicole Landry is a fellow Canadian. She is currently living in Ontario and often promotes a lot of small businesses. She Launched The Papaya Podcast in 2019 and releases episodes every Monday. She does have solo episodes but more often than not, she has a guest in to talk about their stories. This one falls under the mental health genre. The episodes are always inspiring and bringing in guests to speak on things she doesn’t necessarily know about makes it even better. I’ve learned a lot from her and she’s great to follow on Instagram too! She has four kids and talks about motherhood. Her oldest is a teenager and her youngest is just a couple of months old. Her content is so real which makes her all the more relatable. Her baby is too cute, and she often share the reality of motherhood, and postpartum realness. Everything from leaky boobs, to diaper blowouts, to just being touched out.

Unruffled with Janet Lansbury

The podcast started in 2015 and is still going today. Janet Lansbury is an advisor, an author, and has her own site. She promotes respectful parenting which helps create relationships of respect, love, and trust between children and caregivers. She doesn’t just cover babies and toddlers but deals with up to teenagers too which I feel isn’t as common. One thing that is pretty great is that she discusses topics from other parents. It makes it feel more relatable knowing others are going through it too. The podcast is informative and so inspiring. There is so much to learn and its great that she brings guests onto the show too. It always brings in another prospective which is nice. You can also book a private consultation with Janet or her associate Lisa, though that was put on hold for now. It seems like the plan is to have some recorded (with permission of course) and then posted on the podcast which I think is a pretty great idea. I can’t wait to see more from her!

What podcasts do you recommend? We are always looking for more!

xo

Brittany