I Made it to Full Term!

I am happy to report that I made it to full term this time (38 weeks) and delivered a happy and healthy baby girl. I am not going to lie; this pregnancy was a nerve racking experience! Back in January, I had started to feel some pressure in my pelvis so I went to the hospital for a check up and was admitted. They monitored me and decided to do a cervical cerclage (stitch) to keep the cervix closed. I was taken down to the ER for the procedure and given spinal anaesthetic. I was very nervous as I had never been in the ER before and there was a slight chance that the procedure could trigger early labour. Luckily it was a fast procedure and the only bad part was having to be upside down for the duration of it.

My doctor was amazing. He put me in the high risk clinic, although he told me that I am “low-high risk”. I had to go for appointments every 2 weeks and have an external and internal ultrasound. My walking was limited to household distances, which was the hardest part. I was sitting on a couch or chair all day and walking minimally for 4 months. Gosh was it ever hard to sit still! I missed going grocery shopping, meeting people for social outings, friend’s birthdays, trips and more.. but it was for a good reason, I was growing a baby. I had wished for this baby for such a long time that I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize this pregnancy. So, I was a good girl and followed strict doctor’s orders.

The downside from my modified bed rest, or “house arrest” as I called it, was that I got so many ailments from not being able to walk or exercise. I had sciatica, sacral issues, swelling in my legs, pulled muscles and knots in my upper back, and I gained almost 40 lbs. Another downside was the constant fear that with every stomach pain, gas pain or ligament stretch, the same thing would happen as last time and I would lose the baby. Although I remained positive throughout this pregnancy and gave myself lots of reiki, there was always that fear in the back of my mind that I would go into early labour. Luckily that didn’t happen and I gave birth to a healthy full term baby girl, who we have affectionately named Squeakers because of the cute squeaky noises that she makes.

The birth of Squeakers was like something out of a sitcom. I spent the night before she was born attempting to sleep in my reclining patio chair in my bedroom. However, despite changing positions, walking around the house, and feeling exhausted, I was unable to sleep all night. I felt a lot of cramping in my stomach; but chalked it up to my usual digestive disturbances. Cubby came to sleep in my bed around 5:30 a.m, so I thought that perhaps I could get some sleep in her bed. At around 5:45 a.m I felt a “pop” and a gush of fluid down both legs and realized that my water had broke. I ran upstairs to wake up my husband, and told him to call our doula and the hospital downtown Toronto where I was supposed to deliver.

While he ran around the house frantically calling his brother to come and watch Cubby, I felt intense cramping and my contractions started. I timed them and they were 5 minutes apart. I was yelling to my husband to call an ambulance as I didn’t think that we could make it downtown as morning rush hour was starting. My husband called 911 and the dispatcher was speaking to me as I was attempting to pack my toiletries and last minute items in my hospital bag. She was timing my contractions and soon they were 3 minutes apart. She asked my husband to get towels and put them on my bathroom floor. She asked me to lay down on my bathroom floor, to which I replied “I am not having this baby on my bathroom floor!” As I continued packing, the voice on the phone kept saying: “I need you to lie down on the floor. I can hear you moving around”. I refused to lie down on my bathroom floor and thankfully, the paramedics arrived.

My contractions continued to get closer together as we were leaving the house and I was gathering last minute items like coconut water, energy bars, fruits, filtered water, and healthy snacks for the hospital. The paramedics emphasized that the baby was coming soon and I needed to get to the hospital. I was loaded into the ambulance with onlookers in my neighbourhood peeking out of their windows at me. The siren started and the race was on to the hospital. During the ride I called my parents and my manager in between intense contractions to let them know that I had gone into labour. Luckily I was taken to the nearest hospital and within 15 minutes, I was on the labour and delivery floor and in an examination room. My doula found her way to the hospital and met me there. The nurse checked how far I was dilated and I was already 8 cm. She informed me that there was no time to get an epidural as the baby would arrive in 15 to 20 minutes. Squeakers arrived at 7:31 a.m.

Although Squeaker’s birth was fast and my labour was short, I quickly learned why they call it the “ring of fire”. At one point I remember screaming “I am going to die!” However, when they placed little Squeakers into my arms and I looked at her little face, I was instantly in love. I had forgotten about the “ring of fire” and the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. On a side note, my doula was absolutely wonderful and was a great coach and source of support throughout my delivery. I would highly recommend a doula!

Squeakers has been doing great. I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old and weighs almost 10 lbs. She is feeding constantly and growing. We couldn’t be happier. Our little family has now grown to four people. It has been an adjustment for Cubby, which is to be expected, but she is enjoying her little sister and exclaiming “she is so cute!” about 100 times a day. I look forward to the adventures of Cubby and Squeakers!




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My New Bed for the Next 2 Months

This pregnancy has been quite different than the last. I don’t know if it’s because I am 5 years older than last time or just out of shape. I have gained a lot more weight than I did with Cubby and there have been some complications along the way, making me less mobile. This time around I have had numerous ailments such as sciatica, SI joint pain, back pain, strained back muscles, swollen legs, dry skin and hair, heartburn, and digestive disturbances. (Pregnancy can be so glamorous!). I have been seeing numerous professionals to address my various ailments including a naturopath, osteopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor and massage therapist.

I haven’t been able to sleep at all as I cannot lie in a bed due to the pain. This is causing insomnia, and me wandering around the house trying to find things to do at 4 a.m. I have washed dishes, organized, done work on my computer and even called my sister in law in England at 4:30 a.m. Needless to say, I am exhausted during the daytime. It got to the point that I hadn’t slept in 2 months and something needed to be done. My chiropractor showed me a chair that she had called a zero gravity chair. I tried it out and I was sold!

I had my husband go to Home Depot and purchase the zero gravity chair, which is like a patio chair version of the Lazy Boy recliner. You sit on it and push back and it goes into a reclined position, which takes the weight off of your back. I have loaded it with blankets and pillows and have been sleeping for 3-4 hour periods at a time. It’s a god send for pregnant women who cannot sleep in a bed. I would highly recommend it! And afterwards, you can use it on your patio, deck or in your backyard. Even my husband, who is 6’3″ finds it extremely comfortable. zero gravity chair

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Getting Pregnant Naturally

Hi everyone! It has been an extremely long time since I last posted on my blog (over a year, I think!). Life has been very busy and as usual, lots of changes have taken place. Let me try to recap the past year:

  • I had been working from home as a case manager allocating home care services to patients and families in Mississauga; however during that time an amazing job opportunity opened up downtown Toronto that I immediately accepted.
  • To simplify my life, I had decided not to pursue a second Masters degree (the one that I had initially started).
  • To practice more self care and to be able to help my family and others, I completed my level 1, 2 (Advanced), and Masters level training in Usui Tibetan Reiki. I am now a Reiki master.
  • My husband’s real estate career has been going really well with him changing brokers to join Keller Williams Realty Solutions and with the creation of his “Buy With Me, Fly With Me” program (imagine the stresses of buying or selling a home and then being gifted a free trip for 2! Who wouldn’t want that??!) https://www.facebook.com/meshmistryrealty/.
  • Cubby has been growing tall and thin and is now 4 1/2 years old. She is outspoken, loves singing and dancing, colouring, and is attending junior kindergarten.

I believe that those are the major changes that have happened in the past year. On another note, I see how independent and outgoing that Cubby has become; and I also see how lonely she is at home. It has been frustrating not being able to give Cubby a sibling as I have been trying since the loss of Baby Strawberry. It has been quite a journey and I was referred to a fertility clinic in the process. I underwent panels and panels of testing that revealed that nothing was wrong with me; however the consistency of my cervical mucous was preventing a successful pregnancy. The fertility clinic offered IUF treatment to bypass the cervical mucous; but I could not bring myself to do the treatment. Firstly, I knew that my body had gotten pregnant by itself before and that this was still a possibility. Secondly, I did not feel comfortable injecting myself with hormones and medication. While I firmly believe that fertility treatment has helped millions of couples conceive and that it is a valid option, I just didn’t believe that it was the right fit for me.

So, I did a lot of research, self reflection and determined that the right path to get my body ready for pregnancy was a fertility diet, reiki treatments, visualization and manifestation techniques, positive affirmations, and treatments from a magical man who practices biomagnetism. I know it sounds like an unconventional method to get pregnant, but it made so much sense to me. I will describe the methods below:

  1. Fertility diet: After having found out that my cervical mucous was the issue due to its acidity, I knew that I had not been eating well and had to turn to a diet that would allow my body to become more alkaline. I found a great fertility diet online at: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-diet?utm_source=Pages-Posts&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=Fertility-Diet&utm_campaign=NFI-Ads by Hethir Rodriguez C.H., C.M.T. I also had numerous visits with my naturopath who I have been seeing since 2006, and added additional supplements such as flax oil capsules, zinc, B12, and magnesium.
  2. Reiki treatments: While I have been doing my own reiki treatments and picturing myself enveloped in a white healing light every morning, I also turned to my reiki teacher, Theresa for healing and energizing reiki treatments. Although, she has since moved away, these treatments were very beneficial.
  3. Visualization and manifestation: Since having Cubby and since the loss of Baby Strawberry, the nursery room in our house has not been changed. Every day, I have gone into the nursery to get Cubby’s clothes, looked at the empty crib and basinett, and felt sad that the room was unchanged and stagnant. Losing a baby and having to stare at an empty nursery is not a healthy process to do every day! My reiki teacher as well as others had told me that I needed to start visualizing a baby in the crib, feel the energy of a baby in the room, and sit on my glider chair and picture holding a newborn baby. So, instead of moping around sadly in the nursery, I started to do these things.
  4. Positive affirmations: I have been doing positive affirmations for a long time and have noticed that they have helped with my anxiety and to set the intention of the day. I found some websites with positive affirmations for fertility and pregnancy and printed them out and read them a few times each day until all of the doubt about being able to get pregnant left my mind. A good website I found was: http://www.natural-health-for-fertility.com/positive-affirmations.html. I also read daily from a great Louise Hay book called Heal Your Body: http://www.amazon.ca/Heal-Your-Body-New-Cover/dp/0937611352/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454005803&sr=1-1&keywords=heal+your+body.
  5. Biomagnetism: I happened to run into a friend, and was explaining my struggle with getting pregnant and she told me of a man who practices reiki and biomagnetism. I had three treatments with him, which were interesting and relaxing. Here is a website that explains how biomagnetism works: https://innovativemedicine.com/biomagnetic-therapy/. I firmly believe that he helped me to prepare my body for being able to get pregnant and to maintain the pregnancy.

So after doing all of that work and self reflection and after starting a new job last October, I was very surprised and enthralled to find out that I was pregnant! I took many pregnancy tests to confirm and was in awe as I had been told that I couldn’t get pregnant naturally without IUF treatment. I firmly believe in the mind-body connection and that your health and body are greatly affected by your thoughts. I believe that it took all of these things for my pregnancy to come to fruition.

Needless to say, little Cubby is overjoyed at the news and is anxiously waiting to be a big sister.

I know the process of trying to get pregnant can be frustrating, defeating, and depressing; but there are ways to change your way of thinking and to change your body so that it is more alkaline and able to sustain a pregnancy.

Good luck to those women out there who are currently trying! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to talk.

Warm Regards,

New Mommy


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The Thin Line Between Being Mom and Your Career

As life continues to ebb and flow around me and I learn to traverse the sometimes choppy waters, I keep returning to the same spot. It is as if I am swimming in the middle of the ocean and in front of me I see a beautiful tropical island (my goals for myself and what I genuinely want to do in life), but then there are two smaller islands; one to the left of me (my role as mommy) and one to the right of me (my career) and I am treading water longing to swim straight toward the large beautiful island. But the waves are pounding me laterally from both directions and I tire not knowing which direction to swim in. If I swim to the left, I engulf myself in my mommy role wanting to do everything and anything to be the best mom that I can be to my beautiful Cubby. If I swim to the right, I am submersed into the employee role where I want to excel and further my career. If I were to swim straight ahead, I would feel horribly guilty knowing that other areas of my life have suffered. And there lies the conundrum of how to balance it all and how to be good at everything.

The older I become, I realize that I am getting stuck in my ways and have “OCD”, as my husband and I like to call it. I used to be really laid back and relaxed. I was a procrastinator who excelled in school, got many subject awards, had a straight A average in OT school along with scholarships and awards. I never once thought that I would not be good at something. After graduating, I joined the working world and devoted time and effort into my jobs getting glowing references from employers and managers. I had great self-esteem and thought that I could do anything that I wanted. Then along came marriage and learning how to compromise and support another person. This did not seem like an easy task as I had always been concentrating on myself and what my next steps were. So it took some learning, practice and a lot of patience. Then along came pregnancy and my daughter, Cubby and everything that I knew up until that point was out of the window. Here was a situation that was unstructured, unpredictable, and lacked boundaries and familiar routines. I was thrown off balance. And there began my journey into self doubt, anxiety, and undiagnosed OCD.

This week was particularly challenging. As the winter season is upon us in Canada, it brings cold weather, snow and of course the dreaded daycare sicknesses. Cubby came down with a fever, sore throat and horrible cough the day before my husband was leaving for New York for four days. Compounding that was the fact that my parents were on a vacation in Cuba. And compounding that was the fact that I am at a new job and on probation. So in summary, Cubby and I were not sleeping, I was worried about her progressively worse cough and bloody nose, and I had to go to work. Thankfully my mother in law was available to watch her for a day while I went to work; however, all day I felt so guilty. It was difficult to concentrate as I felt that I should be taking care of my sick child. It was a tough situation to be in and so spurred this blog post about the thin line between being a mom and being an employee. How do you choose? And more importantly, how do you excel at both? This is something that I am still learning. There have been some tough lessons learned along the way and of course, as any mom knows, there have been some sacrifices and items that had to be put on the back burner for a later date.

I am certain that I am not the only mom who has gone through this. This is probably the plight of every working mother. I welcome any thoughts or advice from those of you out there who have mastered the balancing act.

And with that I am off to bed, unable to keep my heavy eyelids from closing. Goodnight!


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Thanksgiving and Forgiving

As it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I thought that I would take the time to reflect on everything that I am thankful for: my Cubby, my husband, my family and friends, my health, my home, my intellect, my exceptional dancing abilities (lol!).. I could go on and on as there is so much to be grateful for. However, while I am giving thanks for all of the good things in my life, I also wanted to reflect on the idea of being forgiving. In particularly, us women being forgiving of ourselves. I know this may seem like a strange topic, but it has been particularly prevalent in my life recently and it has led me to see how unforgiving I have been towards myself. It has been six months since the miscarriage of Baby Strawberry. About a month after it occurred, I got to the point where I felt disgusted with my physical appearance and my health. I had extra weight on me (from the pregnancy), looked tired and rundown, I had developed a stye in my left eye (which I later discovered was an infection called blepharitis), I had a chronic cough, sinusitis, and was having difficulty digesting foods as my hormones and digestive system had been thrown off. I felt depressed and anxious (understandably due to the experience I had gone through coupled with the “wonky” hormone situation).

Instead of being forgiving towards myself, I was looking in the mirror and hating who I was seeing. I was extremely hard on myself and wanted to bounce back to looking as I did before I had gotten pregnant. I had given myself a four month deadline to lose the weight and start feeling better. Of course, that was not realistic (though I did not realize it at the time). I hired a personal trainer and was seeing her for an hour five days a week. Although I did start to feel stronger, my weight and size did not change. Once again, I was upset and frustrated as to why I was not losing any weight thinking: “If I work out harder”, “If I do more cardio”, “If I wake up earlier and start exercising”.. many “If I’s” went through my mind. I did not realize that my hormones were all over the place and no matter how hard I tried, the weight was not going to go anywhere. But an even greater realization that I only made recently was WHO CARES? I know that sounds funny, but seriously WHO CARES? Was my husband going around telling people that I was fat and disgusting? (Not that I am aware of). Was my daughter going to her daycare and telling her teachers that I was fat and disgusting? (Not that I am aware of). Were my friends and family telling me that I was fat and disgusting? (Again, not one of them verbally told me that). Instead, everyone was very supportive and encouraging and they were telling me to give myself time, be gentle with myself, and to relax and heal from the ordeal that I had just gone through.

I know at the time that they were telling me this and I could hear them saying it, but it did not sink in. All I kept hearing was my voice, the negative voice telling me that I was gross and I needed to lose the weight and that if I did not have a baby, then there was no reason to keep the extra pounds. It was a horrible place to be in both mentally and physically. Although the miscarriage did cause some great life changes such as my being able to spend uninterrupted time with my daughter, my changing jobs, my re-evaluation of my schooling and Masters program (which has been put on hold for a year), it also lead me into a downward spiral of despair, anxiety and fear. Why had this happened? Why had my body failed me? Did I cause it to happen?

During the past month, changes have continued to occur. I had started the new job as a contractor for a private company and while I loved the company, I was grappling with the balance of working for myself and spending time with my daughter. My clients, lawyers and adjusters were calling and emailing all of the time, even during evenings and weekends. While I was trying to separate my work and home life and maintain some sort of balance, I was starting to fail at both. This was causing more anxiety and making me feel utterly incompetent. I know that it was only a month and that the first month of any job can be overwhelming, but I wondered if I would ever be able to turn work off at home and not look at my phone or respond to emails and voicemails. Then it happened. I was driving to go see a client one day when my phone rang. It was an HR representative from a company that I had applied to quite some time ago. They had contacted me when they had a temporary position; however I had only been interested in a full time permanent one. So, they ended up calling me and telling me that a full time permanent position had opened up and the best part of it all is that it is on my street, literally a 6 or 7 minute drive away!

I went for an interview, was offered the position three days later and agreed to it five days later. I know that some people who I have talked to have thought that I was crazy and unstable for switching jobs after only a month of being in a new position, but this one is set hours, no evenings or weekends, reasonable pay, and it is on my street. This is the first time that I will not have to commute to a job; I could actually walk there in the summer! I am feeling great about this decision and not to mention that I now have 5 weeks off until I begin this new job.

Getting back to the topic of being forgiving of yourself, this concept did not come to me easily or naturally. It came to me by listening to someone else critique herself. I have been doing some self development and taking a seminar series on Wednesday nights in Toronto. I have a great group and we do group calls once a week and support and coach each other through calls and emails. I went this past Wednesday and was sitting beside one of my group members. We were completing an exercise on what was working and not working in our lives and setting a new possibility for that area of our life. She had chosen health, wellness and nutrition and was talking about how she has let herself go since she had her daughter and how out of shape and disgusted she felt with herself. I was shocked. The person who she was describing was not the person who I saw or who I thought she was. I was frustrated that she was being so hard on herself. She had given birth and been caring for her daughter for the past year! So she did not have the time to exercise. But then she made this beautiful possibility for herself of accepting her body for having a baby and for being forgiving towards herself. It hit me like a ton of bricks. SHE WAS ME. I WAS HER. I had not seen this about myself prior to this interaction. I was so caught up in my own weight and health issues that I did not see how hard I had been on myself and my own body.

This insight has been amazing and transformative. It has led me to create new possibilities for myself and my life:

– Accepting my body for having a baby.

– Forgiving my body post miscarriage.

– Living a simplified life where I have ample time to spend with my daughter and pursue my creative interests.

– Being a creative and excited individual who is not bound by rules or traditions and is “unleashed” in life.

I know that there will still be good days and bad days and there will likely be some level of uncertainty and stress starting yet another new job in November, but I am feeling better prepared for dealing with my life. I know one thing is for sure, I will definitely be easier on myself and learn to become my own champion, instead of my biggest critic.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and practice being more forgiving of ourselves!

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4 months after the loss of Baby Strawberry

Tomorrow marks four months since the loss of our precious Baby Strawberry. Thank God for the good healthcare system in Ontario and for recognizing that having a miscarriage after 20 weeks gestation is like the death of a child, and you truly need time to heal mentally and physically. I have come a long way in the past four months, and while it hasn’t been easy, it has gotten easier. It was amazing to me the number of people who contacted me and told me their stories of how miscarriages had affected their lives. So many people do not openly discuss the topic, I wonder why it is so taboo?

This experience has changed my life in many ways. The first one being that I am so much more appreciative of my Cubby and the joy and purpose that she brings to my life. Secondly, I see that children are gifts and not to be taken for granted. The number of people who cannot have children today and who would be amazing parents is astronomical. Thirdly, I see the importance of doing things today and not waiting for “the day when I have more money”, or “the day when I am retired”, or “the day when I leave this job”. Life is full of surprises and those days may never come. I do not want to be retired and thinking back saying “if only I had enjoyed my life” or “if only I had taken my daughter here or there”. It is for that reason that I travelled twice in the past four months: on our family trip to Jamaica in May and my girls weekend to New York to visit my school friends.

Lastly, this experience has lead me to re-evaluate my life and determine what is important to me. I determined that having a job that allowed for more flexibility so that I could see my daughter in the morning and drop her to school and pick her up from school was important to me. This past year has been extremely busy and I have not spent as much quality time with her as I would have liked to. As the years are passing by so fast, I realize that I will not get this time back. I want her to remember the time spent with me and not the fact that I was never around because I was always working. This has lead to me to resign from my job at the hospital that I have worked at for 6 years and find a new one for a private company in the community. This decision has not been an easy one and has led to some anxiety, but I know that it is better in the long run.

I start my new job next Monday and it feels really strange to not be returning to the hospital and to not see my co-workers on a daily basis. I have had some negative feedback from other people as to why I would leave a salaried job with benefits and pension to work in the community for a private company that pays hourly (no benefits or pension). First, I got a really good feeling from the directors of the company who spoke very highly of their reputation and their vision and mission. Secondly, I left the two interviews with a gut feeling that I needed to be a part of this company and that if I said no to the opportunity I would always regret it. Thirdly, I have always wanted to work from home and set my own schedule, and this new job is allowing this flexibility. On the downside, my anxiety is stemming from the fact that I am nervous about being able to juggle my time between this new job where I am setting my own hours, completing the second year of my Masters program in health management and taking care of Cubby. I know that I am an organized, competent person so I will be able to do it; however, dealing with change has never been one of my strong suits.

Returning to Cubby, she continues to impress me with her strong vocabulary, her singing and dancing skills and her amazing memory. I speak to her like she is an adult because she is already using large words and inquiring about everything and anything. She can sing to any song on the radio and remember the words after only hearing it once or twice, which is a strange gift that I also have. And I must say that I am utterly impressed with her rhythm and dancing abilities. I know that I love to dance, but I have not taught her any of her moves; they are all Cubby original moves that she made up. I showed my friends in New York a video of her dancing to music and one of my friends was convinced that I taught her the dance routine. LOL!

I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and perhaps having this miscarriage was a way to allow me to have four months off of work to re-examine my life and see what was important to me. If this experience had not occurred, I would still be at the hospital complaining that I am not spending time with Cubby and remaining unhappy. As my due date was August 14, I am going to get the urn of Baby Strawberry’s ashes from the funeral home and release them into a free flowing river so that I can have one last bit of closure. Although she didn’t get to come into this world alive, she remains alive in my heart and mind.


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The loss of Baby Strawberry

This sad post comes on the heels of such a great day, Mother’s Day, when we acknowledge our own mothers and feel great about being the mother that we have come to be. I was going to be a mother of two children, two girls to be exact, but that all changed about a month ago. April 13, 2014 is a day that I will never forget, the day that I lost my Baby Strawberry.

I was five and a half months pregnant (almost 23 weeks), and things were going well. I admit that I was the busiest that I have ever been, with a full time job, looking after my daughter, and working on a part time Masters, but I didn’t see it coming. I was really nervous this time. I know so many friends and family members who suffered miscarriages during their second pregnancy. I waited until around 3 1/2 months to start telling people, and then after five months, I thought I was safe. I didn’t see it happening any other way. I had already started to plan for her arrival. I was working on making a toddler room for Cubby. I had prepped Cubby so that she knew what to expect and she was excited about becoming a big sister. I had started thinking about the date that I would put in for my maternity leave at work. I had gotten all of my previous maternity clothes out of our garage and borrowed some new ones from friends. Everything was going as planned. Baby Strawberry was due August 15 (during the only month that I had a break from school).

As they say, life throws you curve balls just when you think that you have it all planned and organized. I remember waking up on that Sunday morning with a sharp cramp in my abdomen. I had bought tickets to take Cubby to Dora live on stage in downtown Toronto. She was so excited that we were going to see Dora. I felt the cramps, but thought that it was something I had eaten the previous night. During the Dora show, the cramps became sharp and I went to the bathroom and noticed some light blood. I started to worry and realized that I didn’t have my midwife’s phone number or pager number with me. I spoke to my husband and wondered if I should go to the ER. We decided that it was better if I went home and paged the midwife first.

We got home and I immediately paged the midwife. I explained what was happening and she said that she wanted me on bed rest. My husband took Cubby to his parents’ house and I laid down to rest. Within an hour, I had severe cramps and when I went to the bathroom, there was bright red blood. I knew something was not right. I paged the midwife and she told me to meet her immediately at the hospital. My husband had gone to work and was far so I called him in a panic as I could not drive myself to the hospital. He rushed home and we were at the hospital within half an hour.

When we arrived at the hospital, the midwife was waiting for us. She hooked up the fetal monitoring and I was happy to hear a strong heart beat, but still nervous about the intense cramping. Luckily, the OB/GYN on-call was the chief of obstetrics. He came to check me and as soon as I saw his gloved hand dripping with blood, I knew that this story would not end well. There was still a part of me that hoped for the best and thought that because I was in a hospital, they could do anything to save the baby.

The doctor called in a team to consult about my case and within minutes, I was surrounded by residents and other doctors. They were whispering back and forth and I could see the urgency on their faces. He informed me that for some reason I was already 2 cm dilated and that Baby Strawberry was coming. I was in shock. It was like someone hit me over the head with a brick. What the heck is he saying? How was the baby coming when it wasn’t her time to come? I still had 3 1/2 months left! Again, some rational side of me thought that they could do something to stop the contractions or that I could somehow keep the baby in for another 3 or 4 weeks when she would be more developed.

The doctors discussed transferring me to another downtown hospital. They explained the possibilities to my husband and I, none of which sounded like a positive outcome. I could have an emergency C-section, where they would have to make a vertical cut and I could risk the chance of not being able to conceive again; because the baby was only between 22 and 23 weeks, the chances of survival were slim; the baby could have developmental delays or defects as it was too early. My head was spinning from the brutal options. All the while, my contractions were getting more intense and closer together. The doctor informed me that I was in active labour and that Baby Strawberry was coming.

I was moved to a delivery room where the doctor checked the monitor and the baby’s heart beat was still there. Thank God I thought. The doctor explained to my husband and I that the outcome may not be good and that even if they performed extreme measures on the baby, she may not live. My contractions were becoming agonizing and it was hard to absorb what the doctor was saying. I wasn’t going to get the epidural, but with the stress of the situation and the extreme pain, I decided to get it. By the time the anaesthesiologist arrived, I was dying of pain. The nurse had to lift me to the side of the bed. I sat as still as I could while I felt the cold needle going into my back. When I returned to supine, the doctor checked the monitor and the heartbeat was gone. I was stunned, in a state of shock. He explained that the stress of labour was too much and Baby Strawberry was gone. I held onto my husband’s hands and we both broke down and sobbed tears of frustration and sorrow. Within a minute, all of my hopes and dreams for my family and for Baby Strawberry has disintegrated. There was not going to be a Baby Strawberry. Cubby would not be a big sister. All of it was too overwhelming. I begged the doctor to take the baby out, but he said that since I was in active labour, I had to deliver the baby.

Within three hours, I felt a rush and Baby Strawberry was out. The doctor asked me if I wanted to hold her. I refused. I couldn’t even bear to look. I wanted to remember what she had looked like on the ultrasound and what she could have looked like; not remember this tiny baby that only weighed 450 grams. I broke down again and sobbed tears of exhaustion and utter disappointment. Baby Strawberry was gone. I would never get to hold her, I would never get to see her as a toddler, I would never get to take pictures of her and Cubby together holding hands and doing sisterly things together. Why was life so unfair? Why had God taken her so soon?

I stayed overnight at the hospital and the nurse came to check on me every hour. The staff was so nice and supportive. The social worker came to see me in the morning and sat with me and gave me a box filled with the baby hospital bracelet, a journal, a poem about losing a baby, and Baby Strawberry’s actual footprints stamped onto a piece of paper. Again my husband and I broke down and sobbed thinking of what could have been. All of our hopes and dreams for Baby Strawberry had been crushed. I felt like my heart had broken into a thousand pieces. I asked the doctor if it was something that I had done. Maybe if I had rested more? Maybe if I had gone to the hospital early in the morning instead of taking Cubby to see Dora? A million “maybes” went through my mind. The doctor said that it was nothing that I had done.

As my husband and I tried to process what had happened we both came to the conclusion that this was life and it wasn’t meant to be. It wasn’t Baby Strawberry’s time to come. She had chosen me for 5 1/2 months and had formed a bond with me through her movements in my tummy, but it just wasn’t her time. I started to be at peace knowing that she was in a better place, in Heaven playing with Caesar (my Maltese who we had lost over a year ago).

We were informed that we had to arrange a funeral for Baby Strawberry as she was over 20 weeks gestation and was considered a stillborn baby, not a fetus. My husband and I made the necessary arrangements and had a small funeral the following Thursday with immediate family. It was a beautiful sunny day and the service was perfect. I had found a poem about the loss of a baby and had planned to read it, but knew that I wouldn’t have been able to even read the second line without breaking down so I had the funeral director read it. My family said their good bye’s to Baby Strawberry and my husband and I had one final goodbye. Then she was cremated.

It’s been a month, but it feels like yesterday. It was such a difficult adjustment. One minute you are 5 1/2 months pregnant feeling the baby move, planning for the future, and the next minute, you are empty and bruised and in pain emotionally and physically. It took a while to process. There were a lot of tears and questions as to why this had happened. I tried not to be sad when Cubby was home. I didn’t want her to feel stressed or see me crying. We worked with the social worker at the hospital who told us to talk to Cubby and tell her what had happened. She said that children were very smart and it would be better to be honest with her. We told Cubby that Baby Strawberry was sick and that God needed her in Heaven. We told her that she was gone and that mommy was no longer having a baby. She took the news well and seemed to process it. Over the next week, she constantly asked me: “do you have another baby yet?” Each day, I told her “no” and that I would inform her when I did.

She still asks about Baby Strawberry. She asked me to draw a picture of our family with mom, dad, Cubby and her baby sister with God. It was touching to see how smart she is and that she is still referring to Baby Strawberry as her baby sister. As for me, I’m doing better now. We just returned from a five day family vacation to Jamaica that we had planned from before. It was a much needed vacation and a great time to spend uninterrupted time as a family. This experience has taught me not to take anything for granted, your life can literally change and turn upside down in one day. It has also given me a new appreciation for my little Cubby, including being more patient with her. Ironically, since I am off of work for a while, it has given me unlimited time to spend with Cubby and my husband. It has also taught me that no matter how much you try to plan out your life, God has a bigger plan.

Hopefully one day Cubby will be blessed with a sibling and will get the chance to be the big sister that she wanted to be. I’m sure I will heal and return to work. I will not forget Baby Strawberry and know in my heart that I will meet her one day. This event was another chapter in this story called life.


O precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure, and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and of your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.

We never had the chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.

I’ll always be your mother.
He’ll always be your dad.
You will always be our child,
The child that we had.

But now you’re gone…but yet you’re here.
We sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy.
There’s love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong.
We’ll forget you never–
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.
Author: C.P.


Posted in Dealing with Miscarriage, The Cubby Chronicles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment