DIY Thank You Gift for your Midwife

I was very lucky, in that I was able to get a Midwife for my second pregnancy.  In Manitoba, Midwives are part of Manitoba Health, and so we don’t have to pay extra for their services.  It’s included in our healthcare.  It’s just really tough to get in.  The stat I’ve heard is that 50% of pregnant mothers who apply for a midwife actually get one.  So I felt really, really lucky that I was able to have one.

And my midwife was pretty amazing.  There were a lot of things I didn’t like about the aftercare in the hospital, and so I wanted to avoid being at the hospital as much as possible.  But that’s a post for a different day.  I loved my midwife so much, her level of care and everything she did for us before, during, and after the birth of my son.  At the 6 week appointment, we say goodbye to our midwife and then continue on with our family doctor.  So, at the 6 week appointment, I decided to give her a little gift to show my appreciation for everything she did for me and for Aiden!

Blank Mug
Ceramic Paint Pens

A mom in my May Babies group on Facebook posted the idea there, and I used it as well! It’s such a cute idea:

DIY Midwife Thank You Gift DIY Midwife Thank You Gift

I also included some chocolates, because her recommendation for getting my milk to come in was to eat chocolate.

I then put it in one of the baby gift bags that I had received for Aiden because I thought that would be a cute way to reuse these little bags!

DIY Midwife Thank You Gift

A few weeks after I gave it to her, she called me to thank me for it! She just loved it, and she said all the other midwives were jealous of her mug and asked her where she got it. 🙂 Total win!

Other things I might have put with the mug:
A gift card for coffee somewhere (Tim’s, Starbucks, etc)
A gift card for a nice dinner out
A variety of tea or a bag of coffee beans

What would you give with a midwife mug?


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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.


Autumn’s Birth Story

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Most Read Posts of 2015

Fort Whyte Alive

I don’t generally do round ups on here, but today felt like a really good time to start!  I didn’t write in my blog as much as I would have liked over the last year, but I still had some posts that were more popular than others.

Here are the top 5 most read blog posts of 2015:

  1. Why to Re-Watch Sex and the City
    This one was really fun to write.  I had just finished re-watching all of Sex and the City, mostly during my late night/early morning nursing sessions with my daughter.  I have all the seasons on DVD (except season 1), so it was really easy to pop them in and press play and start watching (and feeding).  It’s such a great show.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should!
  2. Baby Cereal Muffins
    I had tried giving my daughter baby cereal… and it just looked gross.  Plus, we did baby led weaning, so I was looking for something I could give her and have her feed herself.  I found the original idea for the recipe online, and then altered it and shared it here!  And Autumn LOVED them.  She still does.
  3. Etsy Gift Guide: Bridesmaids
    Basically, if I were to get married now, these are the kinds of things my bridesmaids would receive 😉
  4. Why to watch The Astronaut Wives Club
    This show is so much fun! It was a mini-series that was on a few months ago, but I really enjoyed it.
  5. My Birth Story (Part 2)
    Part two of my birth story was published in 2015, and so it makes the list!  You can read about the rest of the birth story here.

So it looks like my most popular posts have to do with babies or TV shows!  These are two things I’m definitely going to keep writing about.

Is there anything else you’d like to see here? What are your favourite things that I’ve written about?


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My Birth Story – Part Two

I just blinked and another month has gone by.  A month ago, I shared the first half of my birth story.  It’s been another month since Autumn was born, so here is the second half of that story.. including the actual birth!

When I left off, I was heading back to the hospital.  I had laboured at home from about 9am until about 5pm.  In the morning, I had been labouring in bed at home, as well as in the tub (which was super helpful).  After a while, my husband suggested that I get out of the bed, and I think that started to speed things up again.  Something that the nurse who did our prenatal said was getting into the bed was bad, and I didn’t think that applied to my bed at home.  It did though!  Being in the bed really slowed everything down, so once I got back up and started walking around, it started up again.

When we got back to the hospital, it seemed a lot busier than it had been when we had been there first thing in the morning.  I had to wait a minute before getting checked, and when they checked me… I was dilated 9cm.  Which was a huge difference from when I was 4cm that morning.  So, I was able to go into a room at last!!

I had to wait a little bit before we went to the room, but I did not lie down in the bed again.

We were led through some doors and down a hallway.  I vaguely remember the doors (people had to be buzzed in to keep everyone safe, which I really appreciated), but I do not remember the hallway.  When I left the hospital later, I marveled at how nice the hallway was.  I had no memory of it, even right away.

When we got into the room, my doula mentioned that I had said I wanted to try labouring in the tub, so they asked me if I still wanted it.  I said I did, so they filled it for me, but I didn’t end up using it.  I was too far along to have to leave the room again to get to the tub, and the hospital didn’t let you give birth in the tub.  Instead, I got on an exercise ball and bounced through the rest of my contractions until I started feeling like I needed to push.

It was on the exercise ball that I asked for the nitrous oxide (aka, the laughing gas).  I went into it kind of thinking that would be the only thing I would use, and I was glad that I was only able to use it.  I didn’t have it for very long, maybe 15 minutes or so, before I decided that I needed to start pushing.

I started pushing at about 7:30pm.  I remember asking how long people usually push for, because I had read stories about people pushing for like 3 minutes.  They said the average time was between an hour and a half and two hours.

There was a huge wall clock right in front of me as I pushed, and all I could do was stare at it the entire time.  Pushing hurt, which I was expecting, but I also felt like it was going on FOREVER.  I remember clearly that at 8:45, I stared at that clock and I thought to myself “I am having this baby by 9:00”

Autumn was born at 9:07pm!  And she was perfect <3




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My Birth Story – Part One

baby story

I’ve been meaning to write out my birth story for a while, before I forget all of the details.

It really starts November 6th at approximately 5:00 in the morning.  I started having contractions, and I thought they were real because I could feel them (I had been having braxton hicks before that, but nothing that was painful or anything, I’d just notice that my stomach was contracting).  I also thought they were real because I had been resting when they started, and I had been told that resting makes them go away if they’re not real contractions.  I was SO excited that it was starting because it was my dream to go into labour early in the morning and have the baby at like 5:00pm.  That didn’t happen though.  After labouring for a while, I decided that I should try to get some sleep so I would be well rested for birth.  So I went back to bed, and when I woke up the contractions were totally gone.

All that day I was really tired.  I had big plans to do laundry and get some stuff done, but I really didn’t feel up to it and lazed the day away.

At 1:00am on November 7th, I started having contractions again.  I was in and out of the bed, making sure it was really happening and not false labour like the previous day.  After about an hour, it felt like they were getting closer together and more intense, so I woke my husband up.  I hadn’t been keeping track of the contractions, but now that he was awake he was able to.

So we kept track of the contractions for a couple of hours.  The idea is that they need to be 5 minutes apart, and one minute long, and for that to go on for at least an hour before going into the hospital.   By the time it got to that point and we called our Doula to come meet us, it was almost 5am.  We got to the hospital around 5-5:30am.

At the hospital, they checked me and said I was 4-5 cm dilated and probably 75% effaced.  They let you into a room when you’re 5 cm dilated, so we went to the labouring room to hopefully get to that point.  After a while of being in there, I went back for them to check me again, and unfortunately lay down on the bed so they could do it.  They had me attached to a monitor to keep track of baby’s heartbeat and to track contractions.  The bad part about that was that when I got into the bed, the contractions started slowing down.  They weren’t as bad as they had been either, they had gotten less intense.  The nurse helping us said that the only thing she could do at this point was put me on morphine for pain (which I felt was unnecessary, since it wasn’t that painful) or send me home.  So we went back home.

We got home at around 9am.  I was feeling a little disappointed that I wasn’t giving birth just yet, but I was happy to be able to be at home.  We were able to have some rest between 9am and 11am.  I then laboured at home for what felt like foreverrr before I was finally ready to go back to the hospital!

More to come 😉


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