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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/

Mistakes Were Made ARC Book Review

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 ⭐️

I was super excited to read this book…the taboo trope of being with your best friends mom was soo different! I think that I unfortunately prejudged the storyline and was left feeling a little disappointed. Funny enough, I thought this book was too happy! I loved the spice and need between Cassie and Erin but I did crave a little more. I think the forbidden aspect of their relationship ended too quickly.

I did enjoy seeing how their relationship evolved, and the epilogue was 🥰. I don’t think I would consider Cassie and Parker “best friends” though based on how their relationship was portrayed so it wasn’t a big issue for me throughout the book. I do think Parker could have played a bigger role if that’s what made their relationship forbidden. They definitely focused more on that rather than on their age gap, which was nice but didn’t really make sense for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed Erin’s perspective, I think we all need to “fuck should” a little more often! Her best friend Rachel was a great side character, we all need a friend like that in our lives. She was super relatable, and I kept looking forward to the parts in the book that she was included in. The other side characters were ok, though I did like that there was no male figure that made a difference in any of their decisions.

Overall, I think this is a good book to read if you’re looking for something a little spicy and different but still makes you smile. The spice starts a few pages in so be ready!

Mark your calendars, this book will be released on October 11th, 2022.

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

xo,

Julie

2 Months Later

Adilyn is 2 months old! Okay she’s a little older than that now but it’s fine. Here’s a 2 month update and the 3 month one will be coming soon too!

Adilyn is sleeping alright in her crib. We have it in our room but have been working on transitioning her out of her swaddle! There were a couple of nights where she slept a whole 6 hours straight! That’s not happening anymore but those were nice.

She smiles at us more now, and it’s not just has anymore. She likes to make cute sounds and she’s so cute I want to cry. I actually have cried because I couldn’t handle how cute she is.

I saw my OB for my postpartum checkup and I’m all good! I did speak to her about still crying a lot and she said baby blues can last up to three months. I know it’s going to go longer than that for me and that I’ll probably end up needing to to get help but we will see what happens.

I finally got her in to see a paediatrician and I had no idea what was in store for us. The fontanel in the front of her head is measuring small. The dr said it might just be small and that’s fine but if it is closing we have a problem and will need to go for all kinds of tests. We are going back soon for another measurement. Adilyn has Torticollis and needs to see a physiotherapist. I made the appointment and it was canceled the day of because they have covid so I’ve rescheduled elsewhere but still have to wait 2 more weeks. She also has something going on with her lower back/spine and we were sent for an ultrasound. Now we wait on that to see what’s going on but I will have more info in her 3 month update.

We got her two month vaccines and oh man that sucked. Getting them done was okay, she cried a little bit I didn’t (which is impressive). That night Julie came to visit us as I was staying at my parents place alone and I am oh so thankful that she did. Adilyn was fussy, sleeping more, and crying in her sleep. It was breaking my heart and that’s when I started crying. Julie got us some medication, Tempra for the baby and chocolate for me.

Likes: Nemo play mat, contact naps, pulling hair, and bath time.

Dislikes: Being put down for naps, when her pacifier falls out, and being cold.

xo

Brittany

Talking as Fast as I Can Book Review

I’m not going to lie, I got this book simply because I love Gilmore Girls. As soon as I noticed it, I wanted to read it. I saw it for the first time when I was on the Indigo site looking for more books. I’ve owned it for like a year because my To Be Read pile is way to long but I finally got around to reading it this month! I’m attempting to read more of the ones I own before buying more but we will see how long that lasts.

I’m not sure how to explain it but I like and dislike this book for the same reason. Or I guess I should say that’s one reason as overall I did like it. I will forever associate Lauren Graham with Lorelai Gilmore. The way she writes reminds me of how Lorelai talks. It’s fast paced, jumps around a lot, and covers a lot of topics in a short span. I love that but it feels like there are so many extra, needless words included which made me skip around the page more. I feel like this would have been so much better as an audio book! Of course it would have to be read by Lauren Graham though.

I loved seeing how her career developed and moved forward. There were pictures included too which obviously made it better. This was written around the time when they released Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I like being able to see how she felt about them all getting back together. I also liked that she suspects there might be more to the show because I definitely want there to be more.

I also liked seeing her view on love and dating in Hollywood. How she became vegan just to impress Ellen Degeneres, and her different work experiences.

All in all I did like the book but I won’t be reading it again. Some books I love enough to reread even when I know what’s going to happen but not this one. I do recommend it though if you like Lauren Graham. It’s still worth a read.

4/5 stars

xo

Brittany

One Month for Adilyn

Just like that our little bean is already a month old! It feels like maybe two weeks have gone by but maybe that’s the sleep depravation talking. Okay it hasn’t been that bad… most nights.

The first week and a half or so were really hard. Adilyn lost way too much weight so we were back and forth with nurses for about a week. Thankfully my milk came in after about 3 days and her weight started increasing. I learned a lot from those nurses about different breast feeding positions and tricks to get the milk flowing better for her. I worn sugar coat it, I was an absolute wreck. I had more than one breakdown in that short period as I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t keep my baby fed and she must be starving. It got to the point that we said after our next meeting with the nurse, if her weight didn’t go up at all we would switch to formula because I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Kyle and I were rotating who got to sleep and even then, it was for very short periods. I could barely do anything for almost three weeks because I was in so much pain. All I did was bleed, cry, and attempt to breastfeed. One thing that really stuck with us was actually something Julies fiancé said. You work on their schedule. It made a difference for me at least. Now instead of trying to get her down for the night at like 7 or 8. She goes down around 10 or 11 but she’ll sleep a 3-4 hour stretch. I’ll go to bed at the same time so I can get a good amount of sleep too.

Our swaddle is an absolute life saver. I know we won’t be able to use it forever and I’m already dreading when we stop. She loves being wrapped up like a little burrito. The cozier she is, the better she sleeps.

I’ve never used Google so much in my life. She got a bad diaper rash so we spent a lot of time googling that. Her umbilical cord fell off when she was like a week old but we didn’t know that could lead to her belly button bleeding a little a week or so later. She also had vaginal bleeding which is normal. It’s all my hormones leaving her. I had heard of that before but again, we still googled it to make sure.

I know there’s still so much to learn, and way more googling to do, but I’m trying to just take it all in. One day at a time. She won’t be this small forever and I want to soak in every moment. She’s already getting so big and outgrowing her clothes. She also has way more clothes than she can wear but still.

I have my 6 week postpartum appointment coming up soon, though mine is at 7 weeks. I’m still hunting for a paediatrician for Adi but fingers crossed, I might have found one! Hopefully I will have by her two month update.

Favourite Things: Snuggles, baths, swaddle, and her Nemo play mat.

Dislikes: Getting out of the bath and being cold.

xo

Brittany

Adilyn’s Birth Story

I’m writing this as I’m going through labour so I don’t forget anything! Obviously I’ll have to come back and add in some info as I won’t be sitting here writing while pushing but close enough.

So the procedure we did was with Cervidil. It’s a tampon they insert for 12 hours which is just to soften the cervix. My cervix was hard and completely closed which obviously isn’t ideal for induction. Only about 5% of women will go into labour with it. Usually it softens the cervix and then they do something else to get the labour going. They inserted it at about 7pm and by 7:30pm I started getting some contractions. They got progressively worse. They ended up removing the tampon around 1:30am as my water broke at around 1:15am.

The nurse was in the room when it happened and I just blurted out that I either pissed myself or my water broke and then I burst into tears.

I didn’t get the epidural until almost 7am so we were up all night. As of 7am I was 2cm dilated. Once I had the epidural we kind of dozed on and off a little but the nurses were in and out constantly so we didn’t sleep much. At 9 I told the nurse that I was feeling a lot of pressure and it was really hurting. They checked me again and I was already at 8cm. They upped my epidural dosage as much as they could but I was feeling everything at that point.

The day nurse was super nice and it wasn’t my first time seeing her. I hit 9cm so she went to check with the dr to make sure I could start pushing. She came right back in and told Kyle to grab a leg cause we were doing this now. Poor Kyle was not expecting that and neither was I! I pushed until they could see the top of her head and then the dr came in for the rest.

I don’t even know how to describe the experience other than saying it was surreal. I pushed on my own time when I was ready. I think that made a huge difference for me since it was all on my time and when it felt right fo me. Towards the end they asked if I wanted a break and I just wanted her out at that point so we kept going. All in all I pushed for a little under an hour.

Adilyn was born at 10:44am on December 5th. She weighed 8lbs 11oz and was about 53cm long so around 20 inches. She had a full head of hair that has gotten much lighter since.

She’s almost three weeks now but I’ll post about our first two weeks soon! I’m trying to stay on top of the things but the struggle is real.

I feel like compared to my pregnancy, I had a relatively easy labour. I still needed stitches as I had second degree tearing and a lot of blood lose. I’ve always heard really bad labour stories. It’s hard hearing about all the horror stories because it freaked me out and I was so nervous. I listened to countless podcasts and read all about it and so many of them said not to listen to the traumatic stories because it would make things harder. I’m hoping anyone reading this and going into labour in the future, that maybe this will help.

xo

Brittany

40 Weeks – 5 Days Overdue

Well, Adilyn clearly doesn’t want to come out and at this point none of the ‘natural’ ways to start labour have worked. As of last week I still wasn’t dilated. Surprise, surprise, I’m still not dilated. Nothing at all, no difference from last week.

I’m sore, I’m tired, and okay I might be a little bit grumpy. Christmas shopping is officially done, I’ve done all my maternity leave paperwork, and we had to go out and buy more puzzles because I just don’t know what to do any more. I also repacked the hospital bag because I have nothing else going on. Kyle and I have gone out twice to drive around and look at Christmas lights which was nice but I’m still so restless!

My blood pressure went back up again so my dr sent me to the hospital with my induction papers and a form to get a bunch of tests done so we can try to figure out what’s going on. She called labour and delivery so they knew I was coming. They took urine, blood, my blood pressure, and hooked me up for the NST to monitor the baby.

My blood pressure went back down and they debated keeping me to do the induction but they were insanely busy. I spoke to them again this morning and they had five other women in active labour so they couldn’t confirm my induction until they see how it goes there because they can’t safely monitor me. I should find out later today if we will be heading in tonight or if we will be bumped yet again.

I REALLY hope they take us today because it sounds like it’s going to be a long process since I’m not dilated. I really don’t want this to end in an emergency c-section if I just won’t dilated or if I start and then don’t continue but I know it’s all just waiting at this point. We have to take it step by step because who knows what will happen.

Now the waiting game isn’t just waiting for baby because I don’t think she’ll come on her own but now waiting for the phone call instead.

xo

Brittany

Toddler (age 3-4) Christmas Gift Guide 🎄

I haven’t posted in awhile but I’m here to share a quick toddler gift guide! Lots of people have been asking so here are our latest favourite toys.

1. PicassoTiles

These will always be the first toy I’ll recommend to anyone with toddlers. These magnet tiles have been played with non stop for the past year. They promote so much creativity.

Click here for the Amazon link.

2. Coco Village Pretend Play Food

As much as I’d like to recommend ALL of Coco Village’s products, I must admit their play food is by far my kid’s favourite. These items were recently gifted to us and both of them have been having soo much fun!

Coco Village is currently having a HUGE Black Friday sale so click here to shop it now. You can also use our code: beautybrainsxo10 to save an additional 10% on your order.

You can visit their Instagram here!

#cocovillage #getcocozy

3. Playmobil

My son is still constantly playing with véhicules but he has recently taking a liking to Playmobil. He has both the recycling and the fire truck and loves acting out scenes with both of them. Click here for the Amazon link

4. Polly Pocket

I swear all my kids do is pretend play haha but my daughter is loving her Polly Pockets right now. So many ways to incorporate them into her scenes and she brings them everywhere with her. Click here for one of her favs!

5. Art Easel

Very excited to gift this to my toddlers for Christmas! I love the new design they came out with this year. It folds up for easy storage which might have been what convinced me to get this one. Click here to buy it now before it goes out of stock again!

What are toddlers favourite toys right now? We still need a few ideas for the upcoming holiday!

xo,

Julie

39 Weeks – Still Not Dilated

You guys! I just had my dr appointment and I’m still not dilated at all. Nothing! What the Hell? I’m scheduled to see my dr again next week but hopefully I’ll go into labour before then.

I’ll see her Thursday and if still no baby, we are going to talk about induction. Well we talked about it a bit today but we will actually schedule it. I asked what the process is because I don’t have high hopes about dilating. She said they’d insert a tampon with something on it (I can’t remember the name) for 12 hours which will help soften the cervix so I’d dilate. I’d then go into the hospital the Friday morning which is when she’s on call so they can remove it and see how my cervix is doing. Then there are drugs and all to help move things along but it is all very we will see what happens.

Also, my blood pressure has gone back down so it’s not borderline anymore. I have no idea what made it change but I’m happy about that! One less thing to be worried about. Baby’s heartbeat is strong and she still wiggles around pretty often! She’s gotten so big that sometimes those wiggles hurt though, especially when her feet are in my ribs and I have to push them back out. That part isn’t so fun.

Currently me

As of this weekend Kyle will be staying in Montréal with me while we wait for Bean to decide she’s ready to come out! Im definitely looking forward to that because I’ve been feeling so paranoid. Any time I feel anything I’m like oh man, what if it’s labour? Will he make it in time? It has been stressing me out. I’m doing research on what will help start natural labour though in hopes that I won’t have to wait all the way until next weekend.

Current to do List: Still need to wrap the Christmas gifts. Finish my current puzzle, and the dishcloth I’m knitting.

Mood: Hormonal AF. I cried at a video of Adele reuniting with her teacher. Also at a proposal video. I’m feeling extra sensitive.

Cravings: Iced peppermint mocha with no whip cream from Starbucks. So good! Also General Tao all the time.

Dislikes: Not knowing when this baby is going to make her grand arrival. Also the green mint jelly beans. I had one the other day and YUCK. I’m also not liking how uncomfortable it is to try to sleep.

xo

Brittany

38 Weeks – Another Hospital Visit

This kid is stressing me out already. Last week my dr said my blood pressure was borderline and to watch for headaches, dizziness, etc. Well Friday night I got a headache, I popped a Tylenol and went to bed. Unfortunately I woke up Saturday with the headache so I called Labour and Delivery, they had me go in so they could run some tests.

I did blood tests, urine samples, a cervix check, blood pressure tests, and they hooked me up to the monitors. There was protein in my urine which is a sign of preeclampsia but it was low enough that they had me pee in a jug for 24hrs so they could test that instead. My cervix was also close so that’s not favourable for induction and the on call OB said we would wait until I saw my dr that week.

I saw my OB on Wednesday and while my blood pressure was still borderline, the protein levels hadn’t gone up so we are still waiting. My cervix is STILL closed. I asked her if she thought I’d go past my due date and she said she isn’t sure because of my blood pressure. If it creeps up then induction is on the table but we will see next week! I’m hoping my cervix will be at least a little dilated by then.

In other news, a lot of my maternity shirts don’t even fit me anymore. Some are fine but some are too short now that my stomach is sitting so much lower. I have a dinner to go to and I have no idea what I’m supposed to wear. I can’t exactly show up in my pyjamas which is basically what I live in now. I’m basically done all of my Christmas shopping! I have one person left and I bought part of they gift already so I’m not too worried about that.

Current to do List: Finish wrapping Christmas gifts. Add snacks to the hospital bag.

Cravings: Popcorn, Iced Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks, and General Tao.

Mood: Honestly a bit stressed, i hate not knowing things so not knowing when I’ll go into labour is stressing me out.

Dislikes: The unknown and how I can’t get comfortable anymore.

xo

Brittany

37 Weeks – Are We There Yet?

I feel like a child on a VERY long road trip. All I keep thinking is are we there yet? Am I dilated yet? Is that a contraction yet or still Braxton Hicks? My doctor told me at this point it could be any day. I don’t know if that was helpful or made me more anxious to get this baby here. I keep thinking sure, today is a good day to have the baby and she just stays all cozy in there like no thank you.

I know I’m only in the 37th week and I could still have like 3 more weeks but I can’t help but want this baby out. I think it’s because the farther I get, the more pain I’m in with this SPD thing. Everything is so painful, I can’t sit for long, stand too much, or even lay down for too long. I’m beyond restless at this point.

I saw the dr yesterday and apparently everything is still all good but my blood pressure is now borderline. She took me off the pills I was on for blood pressure so I guess we will see. As of next week she will start checking if I am dilated or not so I’m just looking for easy things to do to kill time.

Knitting has been one thing I’ve stepped up on again. I’m on a bit of a roll with that. I finished a puzzle, and now I don’t really know what else to do. I also wrapped all the Christmas gifts I’ve gotten so far! I’m so close to being done with my shopping which I think is the earliest I’ve ever done it!

Current to do List: Finish off the Christmas shopping. Organize baby clothes.

Mood: Restless and anxious. I don’t really know what else to do with myself any more.

Cravings: Ice water. Iced peppermint mochas from Starbucks! They taste like the After Eight chocolates.

Dislikes: Onions. I smelt some raw ones this weekend and yuck! Also Braxton Hicks. I hate sitting here trying to figure out if I’m in labour or not.

I’m open to any recommendations on what to do with myself! I guess I need more hobbies.

xo

Brittany