Monthly ‘to do’ list for a happy pregnancy

Becoming a new mom can be overwhelming. So many things to do and get ready. Where do you begin? What do you need to do? Try to stop stressing (easier said than done, I know!) and know that it will all get done when it get’s done. You are pregnant make the time to just enjoy your pregnancy and all that comes with it.  

Overwhelmed with all that you have to do during your pregnancy? So was I. That is why I followed this monthly to do list to help get me organized.

Month 1

Many soon to be moms don’t even know they are pregnant in this month!! Rejoice in your little secret!  Smile more, download the pregnancy app of choice (I used Baby Center) and just continue living as normal, only with a sweet secret growing inside of you!!

Month 2

Morning sickness may have hit by now if it hasn’t already. Stock up on plain crackers and ginger related items. Give yourself permission to be annoyed. Yes, you wanted this baby more then anything, yes you are eternally grateful to be pregnant. But yes, morning sickness is the worst. Just keep in mind, being sick means the baby is still there. Wondering how to beat morning sickness? Check out my post here.

Month 3

Start thinking about, if you haven’t already, how you want to tell the world you are pregnant!! Pinterest has some great ideas! Maybe you are announcing around a holiday or celebration and you could tie it in that way! I hit my 3rd month around Halloween. I special ordered a shirt that had a skeleton and a skeleton baby on it. Similar to this one. I made sure that I told everyone in person that I wanted too and then I wore the shirt to school on Halloween and then made a Facebook post about it.  It was super cute if I do say so myself!

Month 4

Hopefully, your morning sickness is gone and you are feeling better, getting that second wind so to speak! Look into some local classes around your area. Maybe try prenatal yoga, or see if there is a mom to be group that gets together.  A friend mentioned The Womb in Milton that she says has been a saving grace for her. It is a place that is for like-minded moms all going through the same types of things. A place to go and chat and feel like you belong.

http://www.thewomb.ca

Month 5

Look into taking prenatal classes as they fill up quickly!! The info was interesting and I did learn a few new things! If you haven’t been around babies much it’s a great place to ask those burning questions! I brought my mom with me as my support, but they were open to you bringing whoever you needed.  I actually had another SMBC in my class!

Month 6

Search out travel systems or car seats if you haven’t.  Go ‘test’ out a few strollers and see what you like. I was stuck between two, and the thing that cinched it for me was one of the strollers had a large plastic button in the middle of the handlebar. I tended to try to push the stroller with one hand there and it drove me crazy!!  Just keep in mind most strollers do the same things, it really isn’t as huge a decision as I made it out to be!!  ALSO book the car seat clinic now. I waited and the only day they had available was my daughter’s due date… and as she came early that wouldn’t have worked out too well. Thank goodness there was a cancellation!  They were wonderful and put the car seat in for me and showed me what to do! Bring your user manual with you!

Month 7

Buy diapers. Buy boxes and boxes. You are probably working right now so you have more income to spend! Diapers are expensive, it is easier to buy them now and eat at home one night, then it will be on maternity leave.  I purchased 3 boxes of newborns and 4 boxes of size 1. I wish I had purchased more! I looked for sales and used coupons. If you don’t open the boxes, a certain big box store that shall not be named will exchange sizes for you if you buy too many of one size.  While storing this many diapers made me look like a hoarder, I was super happy to have them on hand!

Month 8

Nesting. It is a thing. Just accept that you will want to clean all the things and fold all the teeny tiny cute little baby clothes. You will want to put away (and probably smell) the super small diapers and get your nursery ready if it isn’t already.  Nest away! Don’t use harsh cleaners though! Ask a friend or parent to do that part for you. Stay safe while making your home ready for baby!

Month 9

Take some time for yourself. Get a pedi, I am sure if you were like me, you haven’t seen your toes in a while! If you can, book a prenatal massage (if midwife/doctor says it’s okay!). Take the time off work, again if you are able to, and just do nothing. Binge watch a new show on Netflix, have a pyjama day and do nothing but eat chips, drink water and watch old movies. Whatever makes you happy! Enjoy some solitude and enjoy feeling your baby move inside of you!

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

 

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First time pregnant? Here are some great month by month tips for having a great pregnancy!

Early appointments, blood tests, results, oh my!

Wondering what it takes to become a single mom? Lots of early appointments and blood tests to start! Read on to find out what is involved in becoming a Single Mom By Choice. After that first appointment, I was excited! I couldn’t wait for it all to happen and I have zero patience for waiting for things I want, so this entire process seemed like it would take forever!!!

There are many doctors appointments. And mine were all in the morning. I am so NOT a morning person. Getting up extra early, to be at an appointment for 7 am, when I am usually not even up at 7 am, was hard for me (even with the excitement of what I was doing). I would LOVE to say I got used to it, and waking up got easier and was a delight, but no. It sucked. The whole time. Yes, I loved it because it was going to make me a mom.  But early mornings are not my jam. (Yes the irony of me hating to get up in the morning and wanting a baby that gets up in the morning is not lost on me.)

The first few appointments are all about asking questions, finding out what you need, why you are doing it, and getting referrals for blood work. A lot of blood work. I don’t like needles so this was a treat. I also had to make an appointment with one of their counsellors on staff to talk about what I was doing, to see what my support network would be like (spoiler alert – it’s awesome). Bring something to take notes. If you can, bring someone with you to these appointments (other than the counsellor one for obvious reasons). It helps to have someone there when the doctor is talking to you about everything. My mom came to a few appointments, but I wish she was able to come to more.

I was told that having insemination is the same as having regular sex, in that the chance of pregnancy is the same. This I found very interesting. I kind of thought it would be higher because it is by passing a lot of swim space and getting straight into the uterus. That and they wash the sperm so all the little not so great guys don’t make it!

So with this new information I went and got my blood work done STI tests and I paid to get my AMH test done. Typically they don’t do this test until you are close to or over 40.  But my with my family history of fertility and early menopause, I asked for this test anyway.

Good thing I did.

I suggest EVERYONE should get this test. Push for it if they say you don’t need it. Say you want to cover all your bases, that you want to know everything about your fertility right away. Pay for the test.

Basically, this test tells you how many eggs you have. Now it isn’t going to tell you that you have 5 left, but it gives you a number range.  If I remember correctly,

40-60 (I have no idea what the unit of measure is…) is Excellent

21-40 is Satisfactory

0-21 is low.

Well, I was 8.

Yes, single digit, lucky number 8. (Literally.This is my lucky number….)

This was disheartening of course.

However, I did come back STI free! (not that there was a concern) but I had to celebrate something right?

So in April when I got my results, my doctor and I spoke about what would be best for me.  Now remember, I was older, 36, and had low fertility. I had hoped to start the process sometime in September and asked if I could wait to start. The doctor said, and I quote,

“You could wait a few months, but I wouldn’t wait a year.”

Well with news like that, waiting went out the window.

I decided to try an unmedicated round first, and then I would do medication after if that didn’t work.

So it was time for me to go home and find a donor.

 

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The day I decided to be a single mom

I have always wanted to be a mom. The 'normal' way didn't work out for me, so I chose to go the Single Mom By Choice route. Come check us out and follow along on my journey in single motherhood.

I have always wanted to be a mom.  Not in the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” kind of way. (And power to you if that was you! You do you girl!) But I have always known that being a mom was on the horizon for me.

Things didn’t work out the way that I thought they should.  We are taught, consciously or not, that we go to school, date someone, get engaged, get married, buy a house, have kids.  Bam.  Life.

I started out on the “right” path, I finished high school, went to college and university.  I dated two guys seriously (not at the same time!) Then it came time for me to finish my schooling.  In 2005 I made the decision to go to Australia for 2006. It was hard, it ended an already dying relationship, but it was the best decision I made!  I had a fabulous time. I finished my education, I travelled, I experienced new things. It was the best.

My Career

When I came home I was focused on my career. Or lack of career… I worked at a sports store while volunteering in a classroom and living at home.  It wasn’t easy and didn’t leave much time for me to date.  But it paid off.  In 2008 I got accepted as a supply teacher! I continued to work part-time on top of this. Talk about busy. But my dreams were coming true!

I was very lucky, I only supplied a few months before I landed my first LTO (long-term occasional for you non-teachers). I hopped from LTO to LTO until I snagged a half time, permanent position in 2010 at a small school in the country.

Now that I was permanent, I stopped the part-time work (not so smart now that I look back on that! Hello extra money is great!) but was still busy with the planning and organizing that comes with teaching a new grade. I dated a bit, but nothing serious.

single mom by choice

Dating

During this time most, if not basically all, my friends were married or engaged or having babies, or some sort of combination of all three. So I decided to join a dating website to see who was out there.  

Not a lot. Maybe I was just being picky. Scratch that, I know I was being picky.  When one is still single after 30 odd years of living, you don’t just settle now! Dating sucks. People who say otherwise are married and crazy.  Dating is like having another full-time job.  But it is kind of like the movie Groundhog Day.  In that you are repeating the same day or in this case, the first date over again, but with a different guy!

This was frustrating on so many levels. I wanted a to be in a relationship so that I could eventually fall in love, get married, travel and see the world. Then start a family. It was incredibly frustrating that it just wasn’t happening to me.  I cried many a tear for this, in what I like to refer to as a pity party for one.

Relationships

Now don’t get me wrong, I did have relationships during this time.  I met guys through friends and through online dating but nothing ‘stuck’ so to speak.

So I began to think I was going to be single forever. This was hard. I didn’t want to to be single forever, I wanted to find someone. I kept thinking:

   ‘What is WRONG with me!!??’

   ‘What am I doing wrong?’

   ‘Why am I so undateable?’

Well-meaning friends kept telling me that it would happen. I would find the one… well, you can only hear that for so many years before you start to doubt them….

Now, I like myself. I think I am pretty neat. I don’t need anyone to complete me. I’m not looking for my better half, I am a whole person, by myself, I complete me.  What I am looking for someone to compliment me.  So while being single was (and to a point still is) upsetting, I have come to accept it. It is not the end of the world. My life is pretty sweet and I am pretty happy.  I have travelled quite a bit. I own a house, I have a car, I love my job, and my friends and family are simply the best. EVER. I have a great life!

But something was missing.

I still wanted to be a mom. That never changed.

I had always joked that I would do it by myself at 30, become a single mom.  Well, 30 came and went. I thought, maybe I will meet someone now, 30 is still young. If I am single by 35…

35 came and went.

single mom by choice
Tick, tock

I was dating someone, I thought maybe…

pweft… who was I kidding. He was NOT the right person for me. I ended that, dated someone else, but just wasn’t into it.  

Becoming a Single Mom

36 was coming up fast and I had a decision to make.  So I broke it off with the guy I was seeing (faded out, pulled away.. ghosted…whatever…) and took the first step to becoming a single mom by choice.

I told a few of my friends that I was serious and was going become a single mom (they were all incredibly supportive). I then found a clinic, printed off the referral form, made an appointment with my doctors and decided it is time to tell my parents about my plan.

Telling my Parents

I was frightened of their reaction. Would they be disappointed in me? Would they want me to wait to find “the one.” I had a myriad of thoughts and questions running through my mind of what they might say. After all, this isn’t how it is supposed to be! I was supposed to be married THEN have a baby!

Well, it turns out that I really had nothing to worry about. My parents were and still are, 100% on board with what my becoming a single mom. They were supportive and even excited! My mom wanted to be involved in the process; my dad was happy for me. I was delighted!

So, the day after I turned 36 I had my first appointment at the fertility clinic. My life as I knew it was about to change forever (so cliche but so true).

March 30th, 2016 was the first day of my journey to becoming a single mother by choice.

 

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