Twinkle twinkle Little Star – Lyla’s 1st Birthday

We survived our first year of parenthood! To commemorate this special occasion, we celebrated Lyla’s first birthday with our close friends and family. I had no idea how much planning went into organizing a child’s first birthday!

We decided to have her birthday theme as “twinkle twinkle little star” because Moe vetoed my football suggestion! In all honesty, I’d sing twinkle twinkle little star and rub my belly  every since I was 4 months pregnant. When she was born, I continued with the singing, and it kept her calm during those sleepless nights and growth spurts – so there’s a bit of an emotional attachment to her first birthday theme.

Like every 1 year old, Lyla was miserable during her first birthday. She only wanted to be held by ME, which is annoying and sweet in its own way. Nevertheless, we had an amazing time, and our awesome friend captured some magical moments.

The party was organized in our building lounge, and we cooked (by cooked I mean baked or defrosted) food ourselves. The cake was created by a local bakery (Fritz’s) to match the theme of the birthday.

Our food set up was minimal since we arranged for the birthday to be from 2-5pm. We whipped up some homemade chicken salad sliders, baked mini quiches and pigs in a blanket from Costco, and I made a little rainbow veggie platter for the health aspect of course!

The only decor I had were colorful balloons and confetti for the table. Besides that, my friends added the birthday favors and Lyla’s monthly pictures to the decor.

Since Lyla couldn’t cut her cake (sharp objects and all), I did it for her. Yes, I let her try some cake, that sugar rush was necessary since this entire birthday party took place during her nap time! After the cake cutting, we managed to sneak in some family pictures as well.

Here are a few extra snippets from her day of fun. It was tiring doing all the planning, underestimating how long it would take to set up, and the clean up wasn’t a joke – but it was worth it. I have enough beautiful pictures to show Lyla how fabulous her first birthday was, and how cranky she had been! They say parents do the first birthday for themselves, it’s true – but I’m glad we did, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Photo credit – Chet Desai Photography

The Telling of Tales – Part 3

By the fact that I have a baby girl, whose first birthday we just celebrated – this final part should NOT make you cry!

It’s not easy being happy when things have gone wrong before. You’ll always wait for the other shoe to drop, like there’s something bad around the corner waiting to pounce on you. After seeing that faint positive pregnancy test, I placed it on the counter and waited for Moe to come home and see it. I drew on the instruction sheet with red arrows pointing to the positive test example and wrote “we did it – again”! Moe was beyond ecstatic, kept on asking me if I was “sure” – well I hadn’t gotten my period so yes I was sure! We drove to Canada 2 weeks after. My mom figured it out the minute I said no to a glass of wine! Moe had planned a surprise 30th birthday for me, and everyone was so inebriated that they overlooked I was stone cold sober! The day we went in for our first ultrasound, I did not look at the screen. My eyes were shut hard until I heard the technician print an image and said “congratulations”. THAT’S how scared we were. When the doctor saw us, I asked him “anything else you want to tell us?”, he hesitated but said “you have a cyst a bit over 2cm on your right ovary” – of course, that’s the bad news we were waiting for. Of course this wasn’t going to be easy. We came home, worried once again, didn’t tell anyone. I wanted this pregnancy to be different, I wanted to enjoy it, I wanted to be happy.

I made it a point to meditate everyday, to focus on the good, to shun away negativity. I would make it to spin class every other day, I focused on everything being okay. Mid August 2017 we went in for a meeting with our genetic counsellor Mrs. M as we had opted for the NIPS (non invasive prenatal screening) test. She was so happy to see us pregnant once again – and assured us that the ultrasound looked good. A week later Mrs. M called me while I was babysitting a friend’s son, and said “I have the results”. I have to admit, my heart stopped for a second. She asked if I wanted to be with Moe to hear the results, I replied “tell me NOW”. Mrs. M said “the baby is fine, no abnormalities – would you like to know the gender?” I immediately called Moe and he sounded so giddy on the phone! We were expecting a baby girl. When we went in to meet our doctor, he congratulated us again, and told us that the cyst on my ovary disappeared – things were starting to look better.

Days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and I turned into a hippopotamus! We travelled to Italy (a trip booked prior to our pregnancy) and I missed out on all the wine and delicious cheese! Our baby shower came by quickly too, and then the new year was upon us. 2018 was going to be our year – this was IT. My due date was 23rd February 2018, but I kept hoping baby girl would arrive early because the heart burn was intolerable! On my due date, I drove to my OBGYN and I had only dilated 2cm, and there was no indication of me going into labor. The next day at 3am I felt a small gush of water. I woke Moe up but he said it was probably nothing, so I went back to sleep. I woke up in the morning, no contractions, but I was soaking up a pad faster than I should have. We called the doctor and they asked me to come in. I ate waffles for breakfast, had a hot shower, and started prepping for the hospital. Once we got in, they checked me in and told me my water broke, and that I am not leaving until I deliver the baby.

I was induced in the afternoon, and managed to endure the contractions for 12 hours, after which I kicked Moe out of the room and begged for the epidural! With half of my body numb, I slept until the nurse asked me to sit up and let gravity help bring the baby lower. THIS was IT – I had to get ready to push. That’s also when I found out Moe was NOT going to be holding my hand, but that he would be holding my leg, helping me push out baby! I pushed for 40 minutes (ridiculously proud of that number), Moe trying not to freak out, my mom praying and pacing the room – till we saw that head full of hair. It felt like we had to wait forever for that cry, but once we did, Moe and I joined in on the waterworks. Our little girl lay on my chest and I took turns between kissing her and Moe. In my sweaty state, my sleep deprived husband, my daughter with goo all over her – this was my perfect little family, and I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING in the world.

Our journey was not an easy one, but no one’s ever is. The downs make you appreciate the ups, and in turn you become grateful for the smallest things. I like to believe everything happens for a reason, that maybe our first child wasn’t meant to be a boy, that maybe we weren’t ready, but these are all things I imagine to justify what happened in the past. I haven’t forgotten my boy, and I never will. I still have that blue file, filled with test results and sonograms, tucked away in my ottoman. At first I was ashamed of what happened, but I wanted to share my story because now I’m starting to believe it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my fault. It’s not your fault. Have hope, believe in that rainbow, I PROMISE it’s going to be worth it.

The Telling of Tales – Part 2

Guess who’s back – back again! Sorry about the heaviness in Part 1, it gets a bit heavier in this part as well, but I promise there’s a happy ending! For those who stuck around – thank you for your love and support, your messages meant A LOT to me. And for those who are new, warning – you may cry AND you may want to read Part 1 for some context *cough more tears*! Where was I, right – the best day and the worst day of my life.

The next day I went to the hospital by my house, Moe and I were going to meet with a genetic counsellor – Mrs. M. She called us into her office, and pulled out a chunky binder which explained all the chromosome abnormalities. Baby’s NT (Nuchal Translucency) scan measured over 11mm – THAT was not normal. Our next step was to do a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test, which they do by taking a sample of the placenta to test genetic diseases or birth defects. A nurse took me to a tiny room to re-do an ultrasound, and then Dr. R inserted a ginormous needle via my belly to extract a piece of my placenta. Moe held my hand, and Dr. R asked “are you crying because this is this painful, or because you’re sad?” – I can assure you it was the latter. The entire weekend Moe and I were on edge, I stayed home because I was scared and I didn’t want anyone to see me pregnant. On Monday our counsellor called me back, she said that baby did not have the easily detected chromosomal abnormalities, she said they are going to do further testing, she said the baby in my belly was a boy. I sank to the floor, a boy?! I thought I was having a girl all along – but Moe and I were expecting a baby boy! Even though I had tears of joy, we couldn’t celebrate yet – we had to wait till all the results came back.

Over the next 2 weeks, I began stepping out, I would often find myself rubbing my belly, people congratulated me, everything felt like it was going to be okay. Just when I thought Dr. R was wrong, I got the call we all were dreading. I rang Moe and he came running home from NYC to take me to the OBGYN, where our genetic counsellor was waiting. Baby had mosaicism. As he was developing, his genetic makeup of 46XY lost the Y, and he became 45X. We took another peek at him on the ultrasound – that was the last time I saw him. There was fluid in his lungs, he wasn’t going to be okay, nothing was going to be okay, he wasn’t going to make it. THIS was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make – at 16 weeks we had to say goodbye to our baby boy. Even though I remember it clear as ever, I don’t want to discuss the details of that day – you wouldn’t want to read about it. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was just sadness on a whole, but everything made me cry. Two days after my D&E (dilate and evacuate) procedure I started lactating. I was producing milk for my baby that wasn’t there – that’s when I fell down the rabbit hole of depression. I blamed myself for everything. I blamed myself for not being able to carry a healthy baby, I blamed myself even when it wasn’t in my control. I hid from everyone – I skipped events, parties, dinners, I was lost.

Early April 2017 we moved into our 2 bedroom apartment, which lease we had signed at the start of our pregnancy. The spare bedroom remained empty, it was supposed to be a nursery, and I refused for it to be anything else. I needed to fill that emptiness, I wanted a baby. As much as I tried to “relax” (people who are trying to conceive know annoying that word is), I couldn’t. One month passed by, no baby. Second month came around, no baby. By the third month I decided to enjoy life again, to look for happiness in the small things. I was slowly getting back to being my old self. It was a Friday in June, Moe and I had plans to go to the city to meet friends and check out a new restaurant that had opened up in Chelsea (New York). I felt bloated and crappy, and my period hadn’t come, so I took THE test! The second line was so faint but it was there. I was pregnant. This time it was going to be different – THIS time I was going to be positive.

Zoe from Cuddle + Kind

Clown Feet

Moe bought me a pair of shoes for Valentine’s Day – and as much as I love them, I’m thinking of returning them! Why? Because pregnancy got the best of my feet – seriously!

I went out seeking advice from the experts – a Facebook Mama group! I asked “has your shoe size gone up with each pregnancy” and the consensus was ‘f*ck YEAH’. Here’s a little bit of a backstory – my shoe size went up half a size thanks to Miss Lyla! The pregnancy hormone relaxin, the one that loosens up the joints around your pelvis for your little one to make their grand entrance, it can loosen up feet ligaments too – causing your foot bones to spread 😭 Anyhow, I got rid of some of my old shoes in the hopes of replacing them with snazzy new ones. Shopping is always pretty exciting, so I Marie Kondo’d the crap out of my closet to make space for new purchases. Lo and behold, not only am I down a couple pairs of shoes, but I may not be able to buy some nice ones till I’m done having babies! Stretch marks and balding wasn’t enough, having clown feet comes along with the role of motherhood! The sad/funny part is, I attempted to email a shoe company and asked (or begged) them to exchange my new shoes (only purchased 3 years ago) for a bigger size due to the whole pregnancy related clown feet situation. I’m 100% sure customer service laughed their butt off, and then kindly replied “no”! Who could blame them?! If only there was some store policy that allowed moms to find comfort in their new shoe size!

Now that I’ve shared my woes of shoe shopping for moms, I’m coming to terms with living in flip flops and sneakers for life!

Until the next i(ssue/shoe) 😉

Not So Perfect

Truth – I purchased this blog domain 4 months ago. When Lyla caught a cold and threw up all over me at 3am, I felt “I can’t be the ONLY one going through this, right?!”. That’s what cultivated the idea of sharing my interesting journey with everyone out there.

Fast forward to now, an energetic (almost) toddler and a sprained wrist later, I’m writing my first post! Some call it being lazy, some (me!) call it being tired, I am ready to share my delayed journey! Mind you, I’m writing this while my daughter is sitting 4 feet away from our 70 inch television watching Dave and Ava. I’m not a perfect mom, I do what some mothers frown down upon – like letting their 1 year old watch television! As a stay at home mom, I miss having that peace and quiet, I miss talking to adults, I miss mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, I miss spinning and stretching out on my yoga mat. All of the above is being replaced by the endless loads of laundry, hiding tissue boxes from Lyla and cooking food only to be thrown off the highchair. Most people make motherhood look easy – my question is HOW?!

This is me. This is our life. And as cliched as it sounds – I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world (okay maybe a lifetime supply of wine! Kidding). Need to get back to the little one because she found a piece of tissue and would like to taste it even though she had quite a healthy and hearty breakfast!

Until our next (mis)hap 😉