And then there were four – My Birth Story

 

A photo posted by Alysa Friesen (@alysalovely) on

I’ve been thinking about writing out my birth story for a while, and just haven’t been able to.. mostly due to the fact that I’d like to type it with two hands and it’s hard to do that when also holding a baby.  But here it is!

As you know, my due date came and went.  The Friday after my due date, she checked me and I was 0 cm dilated.  The Wednesday after that, I was still 0 cm.  It was pretty sad.  This baby did not want to come!  He was perfectly comfortable right where he was.

The second Saturday after my due date, we had a fairly busy day.  We had a graduation party, and a first birthday party to attend.  I was SURE that because we had a full day of activities, that this little guy would want to come so then we couldn’t go to any of them.  But that wasn’t the case.  And so, when we got home from the second party and put our daughter to bed, I kind of took over.  There’s this magical cocktail that a bunch of moms told me about called the Midwives Cocktail.  I drank that at about 9:45pm, and then we went to bed.

I had been told that it CAN work as fast as 1 hour after drinking it, but that wasn’t the case with me.  I got a few hours of sleep and then at 1:00am, May 29th, I went into labour.  It was so similar to how things went with my daughter, I was feeling pretty excited.  We came downstairs and I started listening to some Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys and we started tracking the contractions.

They weren’t really getting more intense or getting closer together, but I was definitely in labour.  After a few hours of this, I called my midwife and she said we could head over to the birth centre in about an hour.  So we got everything ready for our daughter, and our friends who were coming over to take care of her, and as soon as they got there we left.

The birth centre was AMAZING.  We showed up and were escorted right to our beautiful giant private room immediately.  There was someone there who told us that if we needed anything, we should ask for it.  It was perfect.  At this point, it was about 6:30am and I was still having regular contractions.  Again, not really getting more intense or more frequent, but still going.  So I went to a garden room they have there, and I walked around and around.  I drank water. I drank juice, I walked and walked and walked.  Still having contractions and still in labour.

After a while, my midwife checked me again and said I was about 3-4cm.. which wasn’t very encouraging.  So I walked some more.  At about 10am, I was SO tired.  I didn’t have very much sleep the night before, and I was just exhausted.  So they closed the blinds in our room, and turned off the lights and I was able to have a little nap.  It was SO lovely to be able to take a rest in the middle of it.  I fell asleep immediately and was about to get about an hour and a half of sleep.

When I woke up, I got up and started walking again.  My contractions hadn’t really slowed down, but they were still about the same frequency and intensity.  AKA not very often, and not very intense.  At that point, I got really discouraged by this.  I had expected that taking the midwives cocktail would mean I would be holding my baby within a few hours, and that wasn’t happening that way for me at all.  So my midwife started talking about the options I had.  I could go home, and continue to labour there, and then see.. maybe come back, maybe go to the hospital the next day to be induced.  Or, I could start pumping with a breast pump because sometimes that helps with labour, and she would do another sweep.  She went into more detail about my specific options for being induced… but because the next day I was going to be 42 weeks pregnant, my care would be transferred over to an OB and I wouldn’t have my midwife anymore.

I did not want to go home, especially not without my baby.  So I said specifically that, “I am NOT going home without my baby!!”  And I started pumping, and I got some colostrum! Which was really encouraging.  Plus, as I was pumping, my husband reminded me about how things went when I was in labour with my daughter, and at that point when I was labouring with her, I was at home and my contractions were doing about the same thing they were at that moment.  It was a good reminder for me, because even though it was a different pregnancy and different labour, I was still progressing. Then my midwife did another sweep, and then she sent me out to the hallway of the birth centre to do a couple of laps.

We went around the hallways twice, and as I was coming back around, I got a couple of really intense contractions really close together.  Horray!!  After we got back into the room, I got into the tub.  The tub was the best thing ever.  They keep the temperature at a nice toasty 37*C, and keep checking to make sure that it stays that nice and toasty.  My goal was to give birth in the tub, and they keep it at that temperature because then the baby is already used to the temperature when he’s born.  It’s not a shock on his little system.

I laboured for a while in the tub, and it was so great to be in there.  It made everything more relaxing and calm.  Plus, it’s a pretty giant tub and I was able to move around a lot in there.  I was able to eat and drink whenever I wanted as well.  It was nice. After labouring for a while, I got out of the tub so that my midwife could check me and break my water.  It had been a few hours in the tub, and I was getting pretty tired again.  Though I had wanted to be in the water to give birth, getting out of the tub and onto the bed tired me out and I couldn’t move again.. so I ended up pushing on the bed.

I pushed for a while while I was lying on my back, but that seemed to slow my contractions, so I got on my hands and knees and pushed that way.  After an hour of pushing, my little boy was finally here!! Only 13 days late, and 15 hours of labour.  He was LONG, and he was big, and he is beautiful.  He was born at 4:10pm, and we were at home in our own comfortable house by 7:30pm.

All in all, it was pretty much exactly what I wanted my labour and delivery to be.  At the birth centre, in the water, it was great.

xoxo,
Alysa

Autumn’s Birth Story

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Secrets for Surviving 2 Under 2

Secrets for Surviving 2 under 2

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks! I expected things to be different, and I expected being in survival mode.  So I’ve been looking around for some secrets and tips from real life moms on how to make the transition from one to two children that much easier.  Here are some of the tips I’ve found super helpful:

How I Get Things Done with 2 Under 2” by One Hoolie Mama – this is a major tip, and one I’ve definitely done, too.

Surviving Life with a Newborn and a Toddler” by The Stay-at-home Life – this is part one of a series, with lots of amazing ideas for staying sane.

Dorothy Nada offers some insight on what it’s like to have three under three, which is definitely helpful if you’ve only got two under two – “On being a Mama of three

Mom on the Side writes about what “The First Year With Twins” is like, which definitely has some crossover into two under two.

These “10 Mumma Hacks for Surviving a Newborn and a Toddler” are so fantastic.  I especially love the one about getting the older sibling to show the little baby how to do things. Excellent Mumma Hacks

Mind, Body & Soul After Baby is a wealth of knowledge on surviving 2 under 2.  There are so many posts on there worth checking out for tips 🙂

Motherly Adventures shares “My first two weeks of being a mom of two“, which has some ups and downs of having a newborn and a toddler in the first two weeks.

What are your tips for surviving two under two? Feel free to share them in the comments!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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Introducing…

new baby

Our son, Aiden James <3

He was born almost 2 weeks past his due date at 4:10pm! I will share my birth story in a few days as well.  I’m just so excited that Aiden is finally finally here! It’s been so great getting to know him over the last couple of weeks and I’m so excited to see the little person he grows up to be.

xoxo,
Alysa

Autumn’s announcement <3

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Happy Day: what’s the up?

flowering tree

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d do a little catch up!  It’s been a really busy few days, too.  Of waiting, of celebrating, of waiting more…

  1. I had two fetal assessments last week, and they measured my baby at 8lb 11oz. Which isn’t too bad! And good fluid levels.  What was nice was that Andrew got to come and see the baby in the ultrasound, since he hadn’t seen him yet.
  2. We celebrated all day Saturday, pretty much.  We had a first birthday party to attend, and then a graduation party! It was a great day filled with friends and family.
  3. On Sunday, I laboured all day and gave birth!! This is definitely the biggest thing that happened in the last few days haha.  But he’s here, he’s wonderful, he’s healthy & I love him so much.  I’ll post more details later.
  4. Getting settled as a family of 4 has been good so far.  Looking forward to seeing how my two children get along with each other as they grow <3

Hope your weekend was excellent as well!

xoxo,
Alysa

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what’s in my garden?

So, I finally got around to planting some things in my garden!  Last year, we planted a few different things to pretty great success.. so this year we’re (mostly) planting different things.

Here are a few of the things I have in my garden:

gardening

MINT!! We had a mint plant last year, and it was AWESOME! I loved being able to have mojitos whenever we wanted.  We had them quite a bit, and used a lot of our mint.  I hope that this mint plant thrives like it did last year.  We were even able to share a bit with our friends so they could re-plant it in their garden.  It didn’t survive the winter because we had it in a planter box and the area it was planted in froze.  I’m already excited about this one though.

gardening

This year we’re trying our hands at a tomato plant!  We’ll see if we get anything.  If we do, great. If we don’t.. well, that’s ok, too!  It’s a little bit of a learning curve.  Considering I killed all the plants we had the first summer in the house, that should tell you about the state of my thumb (aka not so green) but we figured we’d give it a go.  Wish us luck with these, I’ve heard that tomatoes are a little more difficult.

in the garden

A hanging plant, we received this as a gift for our 4th anniversary, because apparently the gift for your fourth year of marriage is a plant.  Really crossing my fingers that I can keep this one alive, because the hanging plants we had our first year of living in the house were the first to go.  Did you know that they need to be watered daily?? I didn’t.  I learned that after we received this plant.  I’m trying my best to actually water them though, so we’ll see 😉

in the garden

Marigolds and Alyssums!  So far, these are looking a little worse for wear.  I’ve been watering them every day and I hope I can turn it around.. but we’ll see.  Taking care of plants is HARD!!

Not pictured: BEE plants!  I signed up for free seeds from a couple of places that are trying to save the bees.  I’ve planted the seeds, and have been watering the area lots.. so hopefully something will sprout up soon and I’ll be able to share those pictures, too.

What are you planting in your garden this year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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waiting is the hardest part…

maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump

dress: Plato’s Closet // shoes: Target // hairband: Aldo Accessories

maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump

Welp. I’m officially one week overdue.  Which is weird.  I never made it this far when I was pregnant with Autumn, so I’ve never been this pregnant before.  I’m totally and completely done though, it just seems like this little guy just hasn’t gotten that memo.  Hoping that he comes quick quick quick! I’m ready to hold him in my arms and snuggle him, and introduce him to Autumn, and show him off!

I’ve been basically living in maxi dresses lately.  I’m at the point of the pregnancy where I can’t be bothered to put lots of effort into what I’m wearing or makeup or things.  It’s tiring.  Plus, Autumn seems to be in a state where she constantly wants to be held.  Not that I mind, but it makes putting on makeup quite difficult.  I think she knows that a big change is coming!  I’m excited for her to be a big sister.

Wish me luck this week/keep us in your prayers!! I’m hoping this baby comes sooner rather than later 😉

xoxo,
Alysa

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Our Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our fourth anniversary! I usually share pictures from our wedding on or around our anniversary, but I thought I’d switch it up this year and share some of our engagement photos instead.

We had our engagement photos taken in the middle of February, so no beautiful fields, or lush trees, or anything outdoors at all.  It was just too cold!  Instead, we chose to go to the Manitoba Museum and have our photos taken there.  It was one of our favourite places to go when we were dating, and it was fun to be able to go back there for the photos.  We’ve gone at least once a year since we started dating, definitely one of our favourite places in the city.  Plus, it’s super unique and has some interesting backgrounds.

Here are our photos:

engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos

These photos were taken by Denley Thiessen.  Make sure you check out his website here!

xoxo,
Alysa

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How to Go Church Shopping

How To Go Church Shopping

Very recently, my husband and I came to the conclusion that the church we were attending was not the right fit for us anymore.  It was pretty disappointing for us.  He had been attending that church his entire life, and that had been my grown up home church.  We were both baptized there, we were married there, and we dedicated our child there.  It was a blow that we no longer felt welcome in a place that had always been our home away from home.  But it happens, and when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.  I haven’t talked about it too much just because it was such a complicated situation, but it is what it is.  We needed to go church shopping!  At this point, we have found a new home church that we just love, and I’m so happy to have found something, especially before the new baby comes.  It’s hard to move around a lot with a fresh little one, so having a home base church is going to be a huge help.

Here are the steps we took in deciding on our new church:

  1. Sit down and discuss what you’re looking for
    My husband and I sat down together to talk about the specific things we wanted when we were looking for a new church.  Among the things on the list, we wanted to find something with only one service, was small-medium sized, and had children’s programming/children’s ministry.  These were the top three things that were most important to us when finding something.  It could be different for you, but it’s so important to talk it out first so you each know what the other wants in a church.. and so that you know that you’re both on the same page.
    If you’re church shopping by yourself, maybe it’s writing down what is most important to you.  As long as you have some ideas of what you want before you start really looking, then you won’t pick one just because.
  2. Research, research, research
    My husband and I each did our own research and came up with our own lists of churches we were interested in going to look at.  We didn’t outright cross anything off our list, but we compared lists and started with the ones that we both had on our own lists.
    In doing our research, it was important to us that the churches we were looking at have a website, and that they had some kind of mission statement or values on their website.  We wanted to find something that aligned, at least a little bit, with what we believe in.  If a church didn’t have a website, it made it harder for us to select that for the next part of the process, in part because then we couldn’t find out when their services were.
  3. Start shopping
    We started by going to a couple of the churches that made both of our lists, and ended up finding one from there.  Another thing that was important was how welcome we felt when we were at the church.  We went to a church with someone and the only people there who talked to us were the people we were with.  Whereas, at the church we chose, we made friends right away.  It made a huge difference to us if people were actually welcoming, and if people noticed we were new.
  4. Go a few times
    I don’t think it’s fair to pick a church based on ONE Sunday, so we went to the church we ended up choosing a few times to get a good feel for it.  For example, one of the churches we went to had a guest speaker the first time we went.  It wouldn’t have been fair to pick that church based on that particular Sunday, because it wasn’t even the main speaker!  It was a very good service and everything, but if the speaker isn’t going to be there all the time, that’s not a good indicator of what the church will be like on a regular basis.
  5. Pick!
    This is the fairly easy part.  After a few Sunday’s at our new church, my husband and I sat down and fully decided that this was going to be our home church.  We then started giving, and we signed up for the nursery programming for our daughter.  We also prayed about it before fully deciding.  It felt right.

How do you pick where your home church would be?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Bump Update: 40 weeks!!

40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

dress: Sammydress // shoes: Plato’s Closet // shirt: Bluenotes // scarf: thrifted

40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

I usually post my bump day update on Wednesday (because it’s hump day/bump day), but since today is my actual due date, I thought I’d post a little bit early!  Maybe, and with any lucky, I’m giving birth as you read this. What!! Could be! I’m really hoping so 😉

I am officially totally full term, 40 weeks pregnant.  But it could go over, definitely can’t come early now.  At this point, this little bean is about the size of a pikachu!! I’ve been waiting weeks to say that haha He’s been moving a lot still, definitely running out of room in there.  I’m really excited to see the little feet that keep kicking me.  <3

I feel pretty ready to be done!  But, in the very least, I’m hoping I don’t go over too much… but it’s not really up to me.  I’m as ready as I can be, but it all depends on how ready he is! We’ll just have to see how the next few days go.. but your continued thoughts and prayers are so very appreciated! And wish me luck <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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My Favourite Leggings for Pregnancy and Post-Partum

week 38 bump update // alysalovely

A few years ago (perhaps even 10 years ago), I bought some high waisted leggings so I could be bad Sandy from Grease for Halloween! They were perfect leggings because they looked like the leather pants that she wore in the movie.  What I didn’t know at the time was that these leggings are ALSO perfect for pregnancy!

Shiny High-Waist Leggings from American Apparel!

Here is why these leggings are perfect for pregnancy:

  1. They stretch perfectly
    These leggings fit me so well, they stretch just right.  Not ever uncomfortable, not ever too small or too big.  These leggings are my goldilocks.  They’re just right!
  2. They stretch BACK perfectly
    One of the things that worries a lot of moms about wearing their regular clothes for pregnancy is stretching them out after they give birth.  These leggings are perfect on me when I’m pregnant, and they still fit perfect postpartum as well!  They’re amazing.
  3. The high-waist is so comfortable for my bump
    I get frustrated by my maternity pants.  They have the panel to hold in the bump, but it NEVER stays up!  The fact that these leggings have a high-waist means that I get the maternity style, without having to actually go out and purchase expensive maternity leggings.  It is so comfortable on my bump, I love wearing them.

To sum up, these leggings are amazing and everyone should own a pair.

xoxo,
Alysa

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