28 Nov 2011

Guest Post: Latorsha from Life is Hard, Laugh Anyway

Weight Loss after Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, I was 125 pounds and just knew I would follow in the footsteps of my sisters and mom and gain less than twenty pounds throughout pregnancy.

Well, it didn’t quite go as I had hoped. I gained and gained. I exercised, I gained. I stopped snacking so much, I gained.

My mom who lived in another state would ask how much weight I had gained, and I lied. I told her I gained about twenty pounds. I knew that she would not see me before the birth of our son.

I even hid my full term weight from my husband, he knew once I stopped answering him it was time he stopped asking.

One of the first questions that I was asked when I checked in to the labour and delivery triage was how much do you weigh? I remember feeling so embarrassed because I wanted to be one of those moms who remained teeny tiny during pregnancy and left the hospital wearing their pre-pregnancy jeans.

With contractions already at five minutes apart, later learning I was already at seven centimetres dilated, I mustered up enough confidence to confess I had gained forty two pounds.

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Fast forward a few weeks.

The first twenty pounds pretty much fell off; I contribute much of this to breast feeding.

But that left another twenty pounds to go. So about a month later, I started walking. Where you ask? I walked at the mall and the park pushing my son around in the stroller. We also have a home tread mill, but I rarely could use it because my son needed me every min. I am pretty sure he waited for the exact moment I put my sneakers on to cry.

When my husband was home, I was able to do some and work very briefly. It wasn’t easy. Being new to motherhood, nothing seemed easy any more.

I tried to drink lots of water and eat healthy for myself and for my son, but often I confess many meals were skipped and replaced with quick and easy junk food.

By the time I went back to work 12 weeks after giving birth, I still had about ten pounds to get off. I worked in a large hospital and my role required lots of walking, so I was active.

However, I still had to put extra work in when I could. Sometimes it was a thirty minute work out when my son went to bed (before waking for a night time feeding).

I don’t remember the exact day, but within four months or so I had got rid of those forty two pounds. I can tell you at some point I actually began weighing less than before I got pregnant.

I know some of you moms are already mumbling under your breathe that it isn’t that easy for everyone, while the rest of you were at your pre- pregnancy weight at your six week checkup. My experience may not be your experience.

Honestly, I don’t have any magic secrets to share with you. I wish that I did. I’ll just share a few words that I hope might inspire you to hang in there:

  • There is no formula and everyone is different.
  • Know that you can obtain your weight loss goals.
  • Don’t give up and work at it.
  • Discuss a weight loss plan with health care provider.
  • Find an exercise buddy.
  • Join a support group or online forum.
  • Sweat pants are not your friend; they allow you to get too comfortable with the extra weight.
  • Don’t lose sight of that favourite pair of jeans, they can be motivation.
  • Water is not the enemy.
  • It is not easy to lose weight, but it is worth the effort. I’m not talking just appearance either. You need to be healthy for your child and that includes a healthy weight.

Best wishes to TOI and all new moms on the weight loss journey after pregnancy. Remember, you are beautiful and always will be. Your worth and value are not measured on a scale. Take it one day at a time and you can achieve your goals.

Do you have a secret to weight loss after pregnancy? Well go ahead and share it in the comments.

_________________________

Latorsha, is the blogger of Life is Hard, Laugh Anyway, a place where she tries to remain optimistic by any means necessary, mostly laughter. She especially loves connecting with new people. On twitter you can follow her at @AnOptimisticMom. You can check out her blog Here.

25 Nov 2011

Week 1

Darling AOI,
i am writing this entry while you sleep in the swing. AOIswing
In just a week you’ve grown so much.
Every time i look at you I catch my breathe, because it feels like dreaming, just a week ago you were dancing down from my womb. You are such a beautiful dream transformed into reality. I will never stop saying this because IT IS TRUE.
I still have to write your birth story, it was the most beautiful and empowering experience in my entire life to date. I can’t wait to put it into words.
Welcoming you into the world the way I envisage it was a blessing. Having you in our arms at the end of Friday 18th November was speechless. 8.32 pm is the time you were born. We never thought it was going to be an easy ride as it was. You are enriching our lives very much.
We are learning how to care for another human being who doesn’t have a say yet and we hope we are doing it right. God gave you to us and we promise to protect and guide you with all our might.
I am taking everything day with an open heart, even the challenges. Last night you found it difficult to sleep easily but in the end we managed to sooth you to sleep. I don’t see it as a bad night but just another turning curve. As crazy as it may sound I will enjoy the sleepless nights as a mother because they are worth it. I want to enjoy each minute of this journey.
When you cry I console you by speaking a mix of Ghanaian and English. I kiss your tender sweet cheeks. You are delicate and innocent and you make my heart melt. AOImummy Daddy is very helpful, he does everything to help. He cleans you, soothes you to sleep and plays with you. He cannot take his eyes off you for a minute. AOIdaddy I love to watch him watch you, it fills and calms my heart to know that you have such a wonderful father. He is enchanted by you. I feel blessed to have both of you in my life.
We love your silky and smooth hair, it reminds us of superman’s curl.
Just like daddy, I love watching you sleep. Your little arms stretching in the air tells me your strength. Your cooing in your sleep tells me you enjoy your sleep.
You are very clever. As soon as you came from my womb you breathed out without any help. Within minutes from there you learnt how to eat from me and your body is releasing all the necessary waste.
There is so much more I want to write but we have the whole time in this world.
I love you dearly,
Mummy TOI.

24 Nov 2011

Guest Post: Trina from Baby Shopaholic

Mummy and Baby Fashion

I am honoured that TOI asked me to do a guest post while she is taking care of you new little lady bug! 

I decided that I would put together an easy look for TOI and little Berry! I know after having a baby picking out clothes is the last thing you want to do!  It takes time to adjust to your new body.  I think these looks would be easy for Mom and baby to hit the town during the Holidays!

 
  • Jackets are your best friend after having a baby!  I had my baby in the summer!  Go for a cape / poncho style to hide that left over baby bump. 
  • Add a fabulous infinity scarf.  
  • My legs were the only thing that looked normal on me so I would go for some good stretchy skinny jeans that come up high on the waist to hold down that bump!
  • Comfy boots!  Uggs are my BFF!
  • A brilliant nursing top!  How cute is this one!  I would wear it now!
  • A fabulous diaper bag! Diaper bags are your new purse so make sure you have a fly one. 
Babies are easy!  They look adorable in anything and have way more clothes then you!
  • I am a fan of a fantastic baby hat! You have to keep the head covered while out. 
  • Of course Baby Uggs! 
  • Great snow suit they will fit in the car seat.  You need one that is easy to get them in and out of.
Thanks TOI for having me!  Can't wait to hear about the little one!

*****

Thank you Trina, Miss AOI and I are grateful for the fashion tips. Below I link your page. Ladies, don’t be shy and forget to stop by Baby Shopaholic and say hello!

23 Nov 2011

Coming Soon To Entertain You!

Hello my ladies!
first thing first, thank you all SOOO much for your lovely comments you left on my last poorly written post :D! I promise I will post Miss AOI’s birth story, how nursing is going and much more sometime in the near future. For now we want everyone to know that we are doing well. AOI is feeding well (the latch is good and I have some tips on how to sooth sore nipples :). She sleeps well and does her private business beautifully.

AMI and I both feel so blessed to have AOI and to know that her arrival is celebrated by many people over the world is another bonus. She's grateful for all the love you are sending her way.

We love to hold her, we can’t let her off our sight for a second. AO1We are loving parenthood very much. Hubby is the best daddy ever, you should see how doting he is with Miss AOI. Looking at her gives us fresh of breathe air each time.

As Miss AOI and I are getting ready to meet-and-greet, I have some fabulous blog friends to take my blog-house.

You're going to enjoy them because these ladies are some of my favourite on the web... many of them are mums, some others are newlyweds but have some experience with children. Trust me, they won't get too preachy on you, just ladies sharing some experiences. So, please welcome my ladies and check out their blogs if you haven't already.

I will pop over now and then to give updates BUT most of the time I will be  savouring our sublime, our pure love, our true breathe, our dream daughter.AO2

I am just behind the scenes :)!

19 Nov 2011

She Is Here…

…thanks to Almighty we have our little angel in our arms after 39 weeks + 4days. we are doing well…day1pic

and we are SO MUCH in love"!

16 Nov 2011

A Quickie

What are you thinking?

Naaa, I am talking about a quick post to update you on what is going on here in our casa.

Let’s me start from yesterday.

After I posted my update on X Factor I went to hand-wash more baby items (call me mad). While I was putting them to dry the post man came and gave me thisPB165649 really? wow, what else am I going to receive next I asked myself. Receiving food for my baby, food which I intend to give from my body made me think about the business behind formulas.

And I was so tempted to drink that milk, because I am into some type of baby food and I wouldn’t mind trying this one. Don’t worrying ladies, I am resisting!

The hours flew, and by the time I realised it was lunch time and I had to eat quickly and then dash out of the house for my appointment with the chiropractor.

My body needed some bone adjustments. Also, hopefully, going to the chiropractor will help my pelvic gain more room for the baby to come out easily cut down the time of labour. I have another appointment on Friday.

After the chiropractor I went to see the massage therapist, it was not as great I wished for. The lady was talking too much instead of letting me lay there and fall asleep in the process of pampering. Plus, I had to lay on my side instead of my stomach and my doula told me they have a hole in the massage bench, but apparently they don’t! Maybe it will be better to have body massages after Berry is born.

In the evening we went for a AW burger (I feel very bad about this. that was my last burger for a long time. My hips are getting too big – and it is not just because I am pregnancy, we have to start eating healthy again). While hubby was parking I saw a car parked worse than Mrs Pancakes’ parking style, LOL (wish I had my camera with me)!

We then went to watchcontagion_poster a good movie. Close to reality thriller – no sex scenes, I like that.

But we were impressed by two scenes not related to the movie.

  1. a 7days overdue pregnant woman and her husband sitting in front of us, enjoying their last few days before baby {maybe their baby is coming as I write this post}.
  2. In front of the 7days overdue pregnant woman, were sitting a mother, a father and their two months old baby. The baby was very good throughout the movie.

Hubby and I considered if it was appropriate to bring a little child to such movie. I think having a baby should not stop one from doing certain things, among which going to watch a thriller. But is it good parenting?

This morning while catching up with X Factor UK, the post man came to give me thisPB165651 I am happy to know that little Berry is not going to be famished IF it happens that I don’t have ENOUGH body milk (please Lord give me load of body milk :).

This is my quickie for you ladies :).

Questions: What did you do yesterday? Would you ever take your two months old baby to watch a thriller? Did you receive any infant products near your due date?

15 Nov 2011

X Factor Update

Poor Paula, I felt for her last week. She is finding it hard to lose her acts one after the other. But we all know that not many can relate to groups. Just few groups make it at X Factor, even when they got the factor, like The Stereo Hogzz did.
I know she really wanted The Stereo Hogzz to do well, but I think her song choices were so wrong for them. Also I didn’t like the fact that there is only one lead singer.
During the show, I made my list.
GREAT NIGHTastro
Astro = who doesn’t like this guy. He is very talented, he can write songs and I still remember the first audition, the song {Stop Looking At My Mum} will be a hit if he ever release it, which I think he will even if he doesn’t win, LA will definitely give him a contract. Watch out JZ.
When he comes on stage it feels like he already famous and in his own concert. That’s how he treats the show, he is own concert each week. Which is very good.
GOOD NIGHT
Josh, Lakoda Rayne, Marcus Canty, LeRoy,
Melanie Amaro = She reminds me of Beyonce so much.
Chris Rene = I like Chris, and I was glad he sung that song, and wrote some part of the lyrics. He is talented like that and he should keep on write some part of the songs LA gives him to sing.rachelcrow{LOVE THIS PHOTO} 
Rachel Crow = I like her voice, so vintage yet modern. I think Adele’s music suits her voice – hope she stays in the show as long as possible. 
BAD NIGHT
Drew = I didn’t like her as much as the first night. Plus, I asked myself the same question as LA asked “In which film Fix You appears.” I remember the song in The O.C. (do you remember Seth, Summer, Brian and Vanessa? I used to love that TV drama), but I am sure they are many films which feature the song which I don’t remember.
Stereo Hogzz = I like the way they can put on a show. The outfits, the dancing but I didn’t like the song choices.
Stacy = I love her voice, I really do and that red dress she wore was hulala! But I didn’t know the song so I didn’t connect.
 Which act did you like? Which didn’t you?
____________________

Related link: Online-Degree.net is a great
resource with information on music classes.

14 Nov 2011

Like On Holiday

Yes, today I felt as if I was on holiday.

I went to have my manicure and pedicure done. It felt good sitting on the massage chair and have my feet rubbed and hand massaged. red

So good!

Once back home I ironed our clothes, among which these little cute thingsPB145617

I am so excited. I am not counting the days anymore but just looking forward to see the little one’s face. A face we’ve imagined for 9months. A face that we’ve fallen in love with before we see it.

OMGodesss, LOVE can be blind for sure!

How was your day?

11 Nov 2011

Week 38 – Beauty vs Strength

Darling Berry AO,

Today I feel like being short in my entry, just because sometimes words cannot describe the feelings one has inside. But before I go I want to I dedicate to you a quote this quote I found in The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill which is so true

Beauty comes and goes. Strength, you keep forever.`

beautyBerry always wish for strength because it is the most important thing we need to live in this world. Throughout my  life/pregnancy I pray for fitness and strength. I am praying for strength as we approach labour – few more days and you will be in our arms. Daddy read that pregnancy doesn’t last forever. I am glad to hear that because we want you in our life and not just in my womb :). PB115551

A quick update on the progress of you in my belly. You are still moving and it is easy to feel your feet and hand swimming like front crawl in the belly. Such funny sweet sensation. The belly is bigger than ever, my you want to come out soon ;). At night, when I have to get up and go to the bathroom I feel like a drunken zombie. I think it would be funny to see myself.

Yesterday the doula came over to check the items we already have. She said we are all set for you. We have the playpen next to our bed. I feel so emotional thinking about all the little and cute things that are yours. I better go before tears start to appear.

So Emotional by Whitney Houston on Grooveshark

OMG, OMG, OMG, I am so emosh {=emotional, two Essex girls came up with the term, you will understand if you watched X Factor UK 2011}.

A big belly hug my sweet angel. All my love to you,

Mummy

 

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P.S: to light my mood we are watching Coming To America (we love that film :)!

10 Nov 2011

Rambling of A Pregnant Woman

This post is going to be nonsense. I am not going to make sense and I might contradict myself as I am sure it has happened before. But I feel like rambling today. I am tired to hear the question:

Are you ready?

This the last question people are bombarding me with.

I know labour is like a marathon and I need to be prepared but how can one be ready for something that she doesn’t know when exactly will happen? The dates are indicative, and the more people ask me are you ready the more I want to see my baby now. That question doesn’t help me keep calm. It stresses me out. The question puts me off, because I don’t know what they want to hear.

It is a close question which can mean a lot.

Are you ready physically, emotionally or mentally? Are you ready to push? Are you ready with the baby items?

My paranoid self believes they want to hear me say I am scared, but I am NOT SCARED. In fact as strange as I may sound I can’t wait to to feel each contraction, the strong ones. Because, although I don’t know how drugs affect someone, it will feel like natural drug to me. Each contraction will take me into a state of sublime.

But I answer “I hope I won’t forget how to breathe.” that’s the only thing I can prepare for because breathing is essential in that moment.

But based on the same question I can say that I am not ready! No, no don’t get me wrong; I mean, I am ready to see my baby – but I haven’t decorated the nursery although that’s the one thing I can actually prepare.

I am ready/not ready but more questioning leads to more stress. Because I don’t know exactly when baby will be here, it make sense to have scheduled c-section (kidding). I am counting the days but that doesn’t mean I want to hear people asking the are you ready? question.

I know I am not making sense, but try to understand me.

I feel like I am going to sit an exam which I don’t know when it will be and everyone asking me: did you study enough? do you think you can make it? are you ready? Just like when I was a student, I’ve been reading how to prepare myself for labour, but when it is time I will not remember one word of what I read because the questions will be different from what I imagined to answer. All I can do is to keep calm and breathe…

keep calm {via} edited by TOI

…forgetting about the many questions and in that moment giving all my best in hope for a good result.

Questions: Did you have to answer to similar question when you were close to labour? How did you react to that?

9 Nov 2011

X Factor The Result: update

OMG, I am shocked.

I liked Intensity, they reminded me of High School Musical/Glee it would would have been nice to see them grow in the show. Last week their song was so much fun, so I don’t get it why they were in the bottom two. Their survival song was very nice although a little bit over the place in some points.

I am glad The Stereo Hoggz are still in the show, because they can put on a show. The song they sung last week was not my cup of tea but I like the fact that they can sing and dance well. I would like to see more than one person sing. The last song choice was not great, but the lead singer can deliver.

Well, good luck to all the other contestants!

Until next week’s X Factor Update  I am going to the library :).

X Factor The Result: 6 days later

I am watching X Factor the result right now.

I know I am late but I can’t watch it directly on tv, I have to wait until it is transmitted in UK (Thursday and Friday). Right now, I don’t who was voted off last week – just few more minutes.

I am just telling you who are my favourite contestants so far in the X Factor?

Astro, Rachel Crow, Drew, Tracey, Marcus Canty, Leroy, Chris Rene, Intensity, The Stereo Hoggz, Melanie Amaro, Josh…

It is possible that Melanie Amaro will win the show!

Who do you favour to win the show?

7 Nov 2011

Strange Dreams Related To Breastfeeding

During the second trimester of my pregnancy I had some strange dreams, the frequent ones were related to breastfeeding.

Dream #1:

I was still pregnant with Berry. I was in my current house but the layout was different. My mother and her friend’s daughter came to visit me. They came in the house and as a sign of affection the young woman said “Oh, I can’t wait for Berry to be here, so I can give my breast milk.”

I was furious, I thought about telling them to go. I was afraid my mother would ask me to have her friend’s daughter over to help me with Berry. I was annoyed about her suggestion to feed my baby for me. Did she want to take my child away from me?

Dream # 2:

Berry was freshly born. I believe I fell asleep after the birth so my mother-in-law gave Berry some of her breast milk. When I woke up – in the dream – I was very cross with her. I told her “How dare you take my daughter away from me?”

I went to talk to my sister-in-law, who had her baby in January, and she agreed that it was unfair of her mother to feed Berry for me.

I love all the benefits of breastfeeding  - bonding between baby and mother, increased immunity, lower incidence allergies… Maybe I was worried that I may not have enough milk because throughout my pregnancy I’ve been lucky not to have sore nipples – but now I know that not having painful nipples doesn’t mean I will not have milk.

Also talking to my midwife at one of my prenatal visits I came to know that every mother is able to produce milk, although sometimes it is not enough, every mother can produce milk. That tranquilised me, because my goal is to breastfeed Berry for as long as is possible.

I also discovered that there are products which help breastfeeding women enrich their milk. I am going to use this natural breastfeeding supplement, by Fairhaven Health. At my last prenatal class we watched an interesting breastfeeding video in which the lady talked about how to prevent nipple soreness while breastfeeding. She pointed out that there are many creams out there but the best ones have to be lanolin free. In the Fairhaven Health products there is the perfect nipple nurture balm for me, it is organic and lanolin free.PB045486These two products are in my bedside drawer and as soon as Berry come into the world I will be using them. Until then I am reading more about breastfeeding and will be going to some of the breastfeeding classes hosted by my local La Leche League. I am so excited for everything – the count down is going FAST :)!

Questions: Did you prepare yourself before starting breastfeeding? Was it difficult to breastfeed? Which products did you use to facilitate the experience?

4 Nov 2011

Week 37 – Happiness Is Real Only When Shared

Sweet Berry AO,
I feel like not writing anything about the title, because it is so self-explanatory. But I want to share something with you. {play the music Society}
Last night daddy and I watched a lovely movie, Into The Wild.into-the-wild Such a beautiful and moving film. It is based on a true story. I hope you will watch it one day. {I love horses and I will take you horse riding as often as possible}
In the film the main character, Christopher (aka Alexander Supertramp) decides to give up all his life savings and depart on an adventure. He is running away from his parents who he doesn’t like, because their lives is materialistic. But most of all his parents are deceitful towards one another. On the journey he meets lovely people, who live simple life but he wants to go into the wild, away from society.
There is so much to learn from the movie. It touched me because it made me think about how I used to love solitude. I used to feel so good when I was by myself – even these days I don’t mind solitude.
I’ve written many times that I love being surrounded by nature, because it gives me inner peace. I love going to places where I can touch water, smell fresh air and listen to trees chatting with the wind. But I don’t think I can live by myself in the wildness without sharing it with someone I love. After I met your father I realised that happiness is real when is share with someone you love. I love sharing experiences with your dad, because we can recall something exciting together. I’ve experienced many beautiful moments surrounded by nature and I still love exploring different places with daddy and soon with you too.
Nowadays, I like to know that at the end of the day the one I love will be there to share the evening with me. To tell me how his day was and him to ask me how our {you and I} day was.week 37
I believe it was summer 2004, I wanted to go away from everyone. Take my bag and without telling anyone where I was headed go for an adventure. After thinking about going to the Alps, I decided to Rome, because it is one of the places that has taught me many lessons in life. I arrived in city in the middle of the night. I didn’t know where I was, but I wanted to participate in a talent show Amici. I found a hotel, but that night, alone in the big hotel room,  I realised how much I wanted to share that experience with your father. I realised that solitude is not everything I wanted in life. I wanted to share my life with him, I wanted to share my happiness with him. When he proposed the second time that Christmas, I accepted.
But Christopher, the main character in Into The Wild, didn’t have the second chance, he died before he could go home and tell his parents that he has forgiven them and he accepts them with their defects. 
I once thought that having a child is the inner desire of mankind to portrait their egotistic side. But now I know that when two become one, the best way to share their real happiness it through their offspring. Having children is not keeping a marriage going or showing one’s egotistic side; having children is sharing real happiness with the one you love
All the ramble above just to thank you for choosing me as your mother to share the journey of this life. And to tell you that I am happy each day because I am sharing my happiness with you and daddy, and I love you both so much.thankyou
I love you dearly – and I CAN’T wait to meet you in few more weeks.
All my LOVE,
Mummy.
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P.S: My ladies, thank you so much for the advice yesterday. I bought the thank you cards {see above pic.}. I will write them this weekend, so is out of the way. Thank you again!

3 Nov 2011

Berry’s First Party

Sunday we had our baby shower – at which hubby’s boss gave a speech and said “This is the first time I am attending a party for a person I haven’t met yet.” he is from UK too, his wife is American so she organised the party with his secretary.

It was a success.

We were surrounded by people whom made us feel  welcome on day one of our arrival in Canada. The party confirmed how we feel so at home already. Berry brings us more blessing each day. Also the party made us realise how quick time flies. We can’t believe we’ve been here for 8 months. I didn’t have my camera to document every detail, just few pictures on hubby’s iPhone. But once we got home I took some snaps of the items Berry received. This super cool stroller was a big cherry on top of the cake:PA305459We were overwhelmed by all the kindness and best wishes, I  shed tears. We feel blessed beyond belief. I give thanks to Almighty.

We have to buy something for the hostesses – is that how it works?

We also thought to wait till Berry is born before writing thank you cards to everyone who bought Berry something – or shall we write the thank you card before?

Questions: What would be the best gift to buy for the person who hosts a baby shower for you? When would be appropriate to write a thank you card for the people who bought a gift for your baby?

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