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Caitlin Melvin | Caitlinalisonmelvin@gmail.com | Toronto, Ontario

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FROM BRYON AND I

October 15, 2018

 

I know my blog has been a little choppy for a few months, and I also haven't posted a blog post since AUGUST! I haven't been posting regularly but that is for sure going to change.

 

Without giving away too much just yet...I do have have a HUGE announcement to share with my readers who have stuck around for my choppy content. I am a bit of an adventure seeker. I've made a point to call different journeys and milestones an adventure. It makes things more exciting. Bryon has adapted to my lifestyle, joining along with all my proposed adventures and enjoying it just as much as I do. Some we have done together, and some we do alone or without one another so we can be with our friends too. One special adventure we have decided to start is happening this spring.

 

In spring, 2019 we will have our biggest adventure yet:

 

BABY MCKAY!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yes, it's true. We are going to have a baby this spring and we are beyond excited.

 

Every woman is different when it comes to getting pregnant, being pregnant and having children in general. Because we are so different, I thought some of you might find it interesting to hear about mine and Bryon's story and I can tell you a little bit about my hellish but very exciting first trimester and how i've been coping. 

 

 

(Miscarriage and infertility is a serious, sad and tragic situation. I am extremely thankful to be able to experience a healthy pregnancy. I am so SO excited to have a baby with Bryon and raise her/him together. I'm excited to see what our baby will look like, what their personalty will be like and where their life journey takes them in life. With all this in mind, I genuinely feel for the women who are struggling to conceive, going through IVF treatments and keeping faith. I can't imagine how discouraging it would be. More importantly, I think it's great that so many women have started to publicly speak about their infertility and fertility struggles/experiences to normalize it. Please know that if there is ever a moment where my thoughts on pregnancy come off as a complaint - i.e. nausea etc...know that it doesn't mean I am ungrateful. I do think it's good to speak about the good and the "bad" that comes with being pregnant so other women can learn more about the experience of being pregnant.)

 

 

Here is our story from my point of view...It's a long one. So if you can't read it all, you can skip to the parts you want. I also included a few common questions friends have been asking me at the end, so you can always skip to those. 

 

Some women dream of getting married and having babies as little girls. They have focused tunnel vision: married, be a mommy. And that's awesome. I am not like these women. Don't get me wrong, I've always thought babies were cute and funny and amazing, and in my early twenties, marriage seemed like a cool idea, but for the later half of my twenties I wasn't so sure. Marriage sounded scary and felt like being on lock-down. And having a baby...I just didn't think I could be responsible enough let alone have a human dependant on me 24/7, and I also wasn't even sure if I could have children. There was no particular reason for me thinking I couldn't, I just anticipated that if I were to have children it was either not going to be in the cards for me, or I was really going to struggle. Not to mention, I was so caught up in fulfilling a heft list of places I wanted to travel to. However, then I met Bryon and nearly instantly my perceptions changed. I could see myself marrying him and that idea of having a (ONE) baby felt amazing and perfect. 

 

Most of you who read my blog know that Bryon is a medical resident specializing in Ophthalmology (eye surgery, retina detachments etc). He still has another 3 years of residency to go, and he plans on doing a fellowship as well. I'm 33 and he's 36, so we both decided at this point in our lives/careers and for the next 5 years, no time is going to be a good time to have a baby. While I have no problem with the idea of having a baby after 35 (I'm fit, and healthy and my reproductive organs are doing a-okay) I didn't really WANT to wait until after 35. So we removed the goalie and said whatever happens happens. No pressure, no expectations. I figured we'd be engaged and married by the time we would have to start considering IVF etc.  Well, I didn't even get to have a proper goodbye to wine before I was late and taking a pregnancy test that turned positive before I finished washing my hands (literally. I looked over for fun while I was washing my hands after taking my test). It was very shocking and very weird. I was shocked that it happened so quickly, and mostly shocked that it was happening at all. I was 4 weeks! It was actually B who "KNEW" I was pregnant like a week before I even took the test. I was sooooo crampy, super grumpy, my breasts hurt more than usual and really I just thought I was in for the mother of all periods. I do get painful periods (really happy I have 9 months sans period btw) so I just figured it was one of those. But it just wasn't coming lol. Bryon ended up picking up a test on his way home from work - it was a digital test, but it was broken. So that was annoying. The next night I went to the gym and I was more gassed than usual. I'm pretty fit and I have good endurance, but I was dragging on with my workout and that's when I started to wonder if maybe I was pregnant. So on my way home I grabbed a two-pack Life brand pregnancy test and trotted back to the condo. B was obviously correct. (the moral of this story - don't splurge on the fancy digital ones)

 

 

 

We knew we had to finish out the summer and keep this a secret. It was really important to Bryon and I that we make sure I was within the weeks where the chance of a miscarriage drops significantly (because miscarriages are SO common) and we also wanted to test for genetic diseases and neutral tube defects as well. So we didn't feel comfortable telling anyone - including our families, until we had dealt with all that (I plan on doing a post about genetic testing). All of this takes anywhere from 8-16 weeks to sort out depending on test results. 

 

The nausea set in immediately for me. Bryon took to calling me McGagger because I was literally gagging ALL the time. And I somehow made it through our weekend getaways throughout August and a wedding without giving it away. Having two weekends away with his sister was the hardest because Bryon had told her how much fun I was when I 'partied' and I had to pretend to drink gin and gingers (my relationship with gingerale is now broken) and pretend to be drunk. She was for sure skeptical - because I "wasn't drunk enough" lol. Visiting my family on one of the weekends where I felt most exhausted and nauseated was embarrassing - they thought I was extremely hungover and told me I needed to really start taking it easy on the booze. When my mom served a dessert with a blueberry/brandy sauce I immediately spit it out. The taste of alcohol was so strong, I quickly asked what was in it, and when she mentioned brandy without thinking I said, " I can't eat this." and put it down. My mother then went to tell my dad that I couldn't even eat an alcohol-based dessert sauce because I WAS SOOOOO hungover." Bryon just sat there laughing so hard there were tears coming down his eyes. It was tough, I will say that! My food aversion was hamburgers and my craving was (is) sushi - something I couldn't satisfy given that pregnant women can't eat raw fish. While we went away the weekend after we found out, I had passed a blood clot at the cottage. Bryon and I were certain it was the embryo and I had miscarried. I wanted to know for sure so badly, but I had to wait. In the end, my blood test showed I was still pregnant and I was brought in for an earlier than normal ultrasound which showed us what looked like a little bug in my uterus with a rapid heartbeat. The coolest thing I've ever seen! 

 

 

 

The nausea was awful. I have to honestly say, there were moments that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to continue - as horrible as that sounds. But I couldn't catch a break. I either had mild nausea or full on gagging in public places (without actually getting sick) nausea for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, I started vomiting. I was cleared to take Gravol as needed and another prescribed medication, but it only made me feel tired and worse than I already felt, so I had to deal with it. On top of that, my prenatal vitamins were making my situation even worse (no matter what time of day I took them). I would have to be full all the time in order to kick it. Carbs were the most satisfying, which caused me to gain weight a lot faster than I should have. Needless to say, I was looking a little fluffy without a baby bump to show for it. Sometimes I would eat ginger candies or Gravol ginger chews, but they really didn't help. I switched to a prenatal vitamin that was more gentle on my stomach around 8/9 weeks and things started to look up. I went to Fort Lauderdale with Bryon and primarily endured nausea and vomiting and deep naps on the beach and the following weekend I went to New York to visit my friend and was a little tired, but not as sick. I felt like things were getting better, until after my plane ride back to Toronto: I got the flu. A really really bad flu that consisted of an insanely congested nose, sore throat, bad cough and complete exhaustion - all this, and there was nothing I could safely take to relieve my symptoms. I missed three days of work. Couldn't get off the couch or even attempt to do any work and worst of all, I couldn't take any medication to relieve my symptoms. I went to the doctor to get a referral for the genetic test and had him check me out, and he sort of chuckled at how sick I was, mentioning what bad timing it was. He was right. It was awful timing. Those were some dark days. HOWEVER, after the two week mark of getting the flu, I emerged feeling like my old self again. I feel like I could probably eat a hamburger now, and smelling them might not be so bad either. My cravings for sushi were satisfied with yam tempura rolls and cucumber avocado rolls from a trusted sushi place. I no longer feel nauseous, I'm not McGagger anymore, I have energy and I just feel normal aside from regular bloating. My second ultrasound revealed an actual fetus. There's a legit human in there with little arms, hands, legs, feet, a big head and good little heart. Knowing that there is a human in there is just the coolest freaking thing ever!

 

 

 

I am really excited for the massive change ahead and I can't wait to have this little baby (not the birthing part, though. I'm not excited to push a human out of my vagina. I will say that.)

 

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

 

Do You Know If It's A Boy Or  A Girl?

 

Noppers! Not yet. We hopefully (fingers crossed) will find out by the end of the month at my next OBGYN appointment. Neither of us are into those cute-sy gender reveals and gender reveal parties, so we'll just let everyone know when we find out. But the name is going to be kept a secret until the baby is born. The last thing I want to hear is everyone's opinion on the name. 

 

 

What Do I Eat In A Day?

 

In the mornings I usually have a cup of coffee, though I only end up drinking about half of it (and yes, i am allowed two cups of coffee a day, but really I just have half a cup). I only recently started drinking coffee again because for most of August and September I wanted nothing to do with it. Then I'll either have scrambled eggs or toast with almond butter and jam and a sprinkle of hemp seeds or sometimes just cereal when I'm in a rush and always a cup of yogurt on the side.

 

At work I bring LOTS of snacks and a good lunch with protein because the hunger is real. Bananas, apples, granola bars, chicken/turkey spinach salads, lots of water, rice crackers or just crackers...any kind, yogurt, cheese...honestly, whatever I can get my hands on lol. If i haven't had eggs already, sometimes I get the egg bites from Starbucks as a treat. They're really filling and super tasty. If I do buy lunch it's always something with carbs and protein lol, like pizza or I'll get a protein and two sides from Mary Be Kitchen on St. Clair. 

 

At dinner, it really depends. Mostly protein and a side though. 

 

If I wake up in the night with an insatiable hunger (it happens) I usually eat a banana or have a yogurt cup with a glass of water.

 

I'm not really a smoothie/shake person, so I haven't done that, but I've read other bloggers doing this each day. Not really my thing and I get enough nutrients otherwise.

 

 

Cravings and Aversions?

 

I haven't really had those typical pregnancy cravings like pickles etc. During the first 8-9 weeks, things were pretty rough. I hated the idea of drinking coffee, Gingerale and a few other random things, but hamburger and any thing BBQ'd was honest to God the worst aversion of all. The smell was enough to ruin my whole day and make my nausea reach its peak. The only real craving I've had is sushi, grapefruit and buffalo chicken. I learned to satisfy my sushi cravings with vegetable sushi and there's a restaurant near my work that makes awesome buffalo chicken tacos. But otherwise, I'm just generally always hungry and any food sounds good to me lol. 

 

 

Have I Been Working Out?

 

YES! I am a Classpass member and I've been going to a class once a week rather than two-three times a week, which is what I was formally doing. Because my first 9 weeks were really hard I barely had enough energy to make it home from work let alone go to the gym, I didn't work out a ton those weeks and it showed in my body. I was so self conscious of the fluff my body was collecting. But now that I feel better and I'm in my second trimester, the flu is gone...I've started working out more. It feels great too. Now, there are a lot of classes I can't do such as HIIT classes, but there's still a lot of options for me. Barre is great, and there's a class at BOLO called TRX/BOSU that I can modify for low impact and still get a KILLER workout. I do have a gym in my building, but if i'm being honest, I need to get new headphones and I don't want to do a solo workout without them lol. We also have a pool, which I'll probably start using for a little workout. I've been listening to my body - things that I'm not comfortable with I don't do and I modify them.

 

I plan on working out throughout my pregnancy. I have not gone to any prenatal workout classes, but I likely will. For now I've been doing my usual classes and modifying some of the movements. I also ran a 5k on September 30th with my cousin for #CIBCrunforthecure - they key is staying hydrated. Staying active during pregnancy is important for preventing gestational diabetes, keeping your baby healthy and it can also make for an easier birth. I have not been instructed by my OBGYN to not workout, so I'm going to continue doing so :)

 

Do I Miss Alcohol?

 

Again, during the first 9 weeks absolutely not. Bryon had bought me non-alcoholic wine at the beginning of August  - like the week we found out, and I didn't even want that. I was too sick. But around the 10 week mark I started to miss it a little. Seeing a nice glass of red wine on another guest's table at a restaurant, or the thought of a cold glass of sangria or tasty cocktail on the patio...I would miss it a bit. But it's not THAT bad. I know some women crave wine or alcohol while their pregnant...I have not. But once and I while I think, hm, a glass of wine would be nice right now. But the thought doesn't linger. In terms of social settings, I've been totally fine without it. I don't feel left out or awkward. I still have a really great time with friends - so it's really not that bad. And Bryon will have a beer with dinner after work, or a beer at restaurant and I'm totally fine with that and I don't feel resentful or bummed lol. In fact I encourage he has a drink - might as well take advantage of the 9 month DD. He says he has no desire to drink wine without me, but sometimes I wish he would so I could live vicariously through him and hear about what the wine tastes like hahaha. I think I'll try the non-alocholic wine if Bryon and I make a nice dinner at home one night. I feel like I could stomach it now. 

 

 

How Am I Feeling?

 

Now? I feel fucking fantastic lol. My skin looks incredible, my hair looks full and shiny even though I desperately need a haircut and I feel like I have more energy than I did before I got pregnant (Although around 5:30pm if I haven't gone to the gym I get a little tired). Once and a while my nerves get the best of me and I'll have mild anxiety. Nothing like the anxiety attacks I've gotten in the past, but I would call it mild anxiety. I've had dreams about a crying baby and not knowing what to do. I'm probably not the most maternal woman either, so I'm sure people have snickered about how I'm going to become a mom (rude). But my biggest fear has nothing to do with raising a newborn or a toddler...I am terrified of my child becoming a teenager and the choices they will make that will impact the rest of their life. It's honestly terrifying. I sincerely hope our child takes after Bryon. He's so smart and from the stories he's told me, he was a lot more level-headed in his teens and his twenties. I was just a wild woman - all over the place, living life to the fullest, which was fun, but probably a little nerve-wracking for my parents. In my twenties they sort of stopped questioning most of my choices lol.

 

Otherwise, I get lots of weird vivid dreams about very strange things. No nightmares yet, just odd situations. I'm ALWAYS hungry. Any food looks good to me. I'm stating to feel more comfortable with the changes in my body even though I'm still in the awkward I look super bloated and not pregnant stage. Like, no one is going to give up their seat for me on the subway yet lol. 

 

 

Do You Have  A Bump Yet?

 

Not really! Bryon and friends who found out early - because they had to otherwise they would really start to question why I wasn't getting a glass of wine with dinner (there was only two friends who knew) ask to see if I have a bump every once and a while. I just look a little fluffy and bloated in the middle right now lol. I'm a pretty small person, so my stomach doesn't really fill out, whereas an average person, or someone who is just a little bigger might show a bit earlier. I've gained about 6lbs but I chalk that up to the amount of carbs I was eating and my reduced exercise routine in the first trimester because of my nausea. I suspect in a couple weeks I'll start to pop a bit :) I am having a really tough time finding items in my closet to wear right now lol. I use the elastic trick with fly pants - but it's not really that comfortable. I'm not ready for maternity clothes and I'm not about to buy smaller clothing because they won't fit at all in a few weeks. Mostly I've stuck to shift dresses, stretchy pencil skirts and loose-fitting tops and oversized sweaters. (Leggings and track pants at home LOL. Sorry, Bryon!)

 

 

Are You Still Going To Travel?

 

While I'm pregnant, likely not. We may go somewhere in the winter for a quick trip, but to be honest, we will probably not go to many places as we need to save money (There is SO MUCH STUFF TO BUY!!). After the baby is born and she/he gets old enough that we feel comfortable traveling with them, they will be coming on all our adventures. I want my child to experience how awesome this world is and to know that there are so many amazing cultures, foods, landscapes and experiences in the world we get to live in. They're going to be my little travel bug. We plan on getting a heavy-duty hiking baby carrier so we can hike with her/him and travel comfortably. I've read SO many blogs about parents who travel with their babies/children. Both Bryon and I are pretty ambitious, and I know to some parents the idea of traveling with a baby or small child seems hectic and crazy, but for me, I've envisioned having this little one attached to me no matter where I go, so I'm already prepared. 

 

 

Are You Taking A Mat Leave?

 

In Canada (ontario) you can take a one-year or 18-months mat leave, but you collect EI, which means your paycheque gets cut by almost 40% or more. That's a HUGE cut. I actually plan on working during my mat leave - not just for financial reasons, but mostly for sanity reasons. The thought of staying at home with a baby and doing nothing else gives me A LOT of anxiety. And before the momma's chime in and say "I'll be so busy with the new baby..." I've spoken with a few other like-minded career-focused women like me who said having some work to focus on was vital to getting them through mat leave. For some, the idea of taking a year off sounds like a dream. I'm sure it's great - but I really love my job and what I do and I don't want to give it up. I'll change my workload a bit (maybe) but aside from hours being different than 9-5 because of the nature of a baby's sleeping pattern (or not sleeping sleep pattern lol), I'll working during nap times. And yes, I will also nap, clean, do laundry, go to the park too. 

 

 

That's it for now, lol! Every once and a while I'll do an update like this. But I am going to try and do more fashion and beauty-related posts again!

 

<3 Caitlin

 

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Caitlin Melvin lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Bryon,their son, Huxley and two cats Finnigan and Lucca. A marketing manager by day, blogger on the side, freelance social media specialist and a lover of travel and new experiences