This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:29 AM | claire (Administrator)

    When we first decided to visit BC, I was looking at a brochure about the town of Golden, and I saw an image of a hiker standing over in front of a glacier with the heading "Not all those who wander are lost." I knew then I had to make a stop that was a bit off the beaten path.

    When I think of our visit to Golden, BC the phrase Nothing Ordinary comes to mind. Located in a sweet spot where it's close to 6 National Parks you have a lot of options if you are making Golden, BC your base for a few days.


    There are lots of accommodation options from the large Kicking Horse resort to cozy family cottages. We stayed at the Hillside Lodge & Chalets located 13 kilometres west of Golden in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Hillside is known for friendly hospitality and spectacular views with 20 acres of quiet, pristine wilderness to enjoy. Be sure to take the trail directly off the property and explore along the river.

    Whether you are strolling around downtown, mountain biking at Kicking Horse Resort, or paddling the Columbia Wetlands the options in this area really do feel limitless. Some of our favourite things to do with the kids are listed below.


    Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

    Get your favourite treat and stroll around downtown Golden. The town square is very picturesque. We walked along the trail that led to the Kicking Horse River Pedestrian Bridge, the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada. In the summer there is often a free concert in the square on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Go to the movie theatre and get the most delicious ice cream! Yum.



    The World's Largest Paddle & Columbia Wetlands

    With many paddle options to choose from, you can explore the beauty of the Columbia River with the Columbia Wetlands Adventures. From self-guided canoe or kayak trips to a guided float tours, you can explore the heart of the wetlands. The fave here was the dock with interpretative boardwalk, suspension bridge, and pirate ship. We all spent over an hour just exploring this little area.




    Kicking Horse Resort

    You really have to allocate at least 6 hours to exploring at Kicking Horse Resort. If you we had more time in the area we would have spent the whole day.

    We started the day off with an early morning guided visit to see Boo, the resident Grizzly bear who lives in the Grizzly Habitat the resort. The habitat is the largest in the world with over 20 acres and was created to prevent the orphaned bear named Boo from getting euthanized, as that was the custom for orphaned bears at the time. The interpretive tour was a one of a kind opportunity to see Boo up close in his habitat and learn more about grizzlies.



    After our tour, we took the Golden Eagle Express Gondola to the top of the mountain. At 7,700 feet above sea level, we stepped off the Gondola to another world. One that is definitely off the beaten path. Here you will see gorgeous panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies looking over five National Parks. We explored at our own pace soaking in the majesty of the place and explored along the CPR Ridge Trail. There are many hiking options, and if we had more time, we would have done the Via Ferrata. Lots of very safe and easy walks for families with little ones.




    After giving our camera a workout and exploring as much as we could with the kids, we stopped in at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant for lunch. The food was delicious to the point of our five-year-old licking his bowl. On the menu, you'll find Salmon, Buffalo, Elk and other native specialties. We had the Chef's special for the day which was a Buffalo sandwich and Bison vegetable soup. The views from the restaurant are spectacular, and you'll find yourself lingering.  



    Eventually, and very reluctantly we took the Gondola back down as we were looking forward to hiking the afternoon away.  There are many options for hiking close to Golden; we decided to Yoho National Park as it's often described as a hiker's paradise. With over 400km of trails, it was hard to choose, but we decided to Explore Wapta Falls. With a 5 and 9-year-old traveling with us, we felt it was the best fit. The highlight is the at 98 feet high and 490 feet wide it's quite impressive and well worth the 2-hour hike.


    Golden, British Columbia exceeded all our expectations.  While summer is a gorgeous time to visit, the kicking horse mountain is known as a gem for snow lovers as well. 

  • Friday, April 14, 2017 1:48 PM | claire (Administrator)

    This is guest post written by Iryna Zlobin, retired Grandma of 2 little ones. 

    Traveling the world is a passion of ours as it gets us to experience other cultures and new things. It's been a dream of ours to go to Malaysia, Philippines, Bali, Hong Kong, and Australia for quite some time. Every time we attempted to put the trip together there was always something. Too much time, too many flights, too expensive and then we thought - why not a cruise. Cruising was new to us, and we did not know what to expect. Would we be bored? Would the rooms feel claustrophobic, would the food be good? There were four of us traveling, on vegan, one vegetarian, and one with a variety of food sensitivities. In the past, we traveled for a week or so at a time, and in total this trip was 24 days. Naturally, what to eat was a big concern.




    Luckily we had booked with Royal Caribbean "Legend of the Seas." From the moment we entered our worries went away. The ship is enormous and gorgeous. We purchased the outside cabin with ocean view, and it was perfect. Lots of natural light, beautiful room that was maintained 3-4 times a day.


    The food options were very varied. There was more than enough of anything that we wanted. Everything was delicious, fresh tasting, and presented in a pleasing manner. The staff were always very friendly and accommodated our dietary restrictions as if they had already anticipated our needs. It didn't matter what we asked for; they provided it with a smile.


    The entertainment on the ship was excellent. On the days that you were at see, you didn't even notice because of the amount of things that were available to try: golf, climbing wall, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, to name a few.

    In addition to the on board entertainment, the wonderful welcome that we received at each port was a joy. There was always some entertainment from the country we were visiting upon arrival and departure.


    We loved cruising with Royal Caribbean "Legend of the Seas, " and it gave us the opportunity to see many beautiful places without the constant going from airport to airport. All four in our party would highly recommend cruising as an option if you want to explore many countries on one trip.



  • Friday, April 07, 2017 10:27 AM | claire (Administrator)

    We spent three days and two nights at Viamede Resort in earlier this year. The resort is right on beautiful Stoney Lake.  If you love being outdoors with 165 acres of unspoiled wilderness, you won't be disappointed. There is 6 km of private forest trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a working on-site farm, and a play structure.




    For your accommodations, you can choose from an inn type room or the lovely cottages that give you gorgeous views of Stoney Lake. You have direct access to the small beach where kayaks, canoes, and in the summer months, the water trampoline is easily accessible.



    The jewel of the resort is Mount Julian Restaurant. Let all foodies rejoice - this is your spot! Mount Julian is a fine dining restaurant housed in the original Inn where the chef creates incredible gourmet tasting menus or a-la-carte dinner options. We went for the 7-course tasting menu and were not disappointed. We would have chosen the 9-course menu, but since we went with the kids, we were conscious of the time.



    We had debated going to the Boat House restaurant again instead of Mount Julian because children under age 12 are not allowed at this restaurant, but luckily they had a kid's Pizza and Movie night on Friday and, we were able to leave the kids for 2 hours. If you go to this resort, you must try Mount Julian.



    Let's talk relaxation. The new addition of the indoor/outdoor pool is gorgeous. It offers stunning views of the lake and includes both a wet and dry sauna, as well as a gym. There isn't a spa on the property, but you can pre-book massage treatments that can be done in your room.


    Overall we enjoyed our stay at Viamede Resort. The only downside was the housekeeping could have been better, but it wouldn't deter us from going back since everything else more than made up for it.


  • Monday, April 03, 2017 11:50 AM | claire (Administrator)

    I recently visited the Intergrated Kindergarten Program at Bloorview School Authority. The program was created by Dr. Eric Jackman Laboratory School (University of Toronto) and Bloorview School Authority more than 20 years ago.

    The IKP program is unique in that it's made up of a class of typically developing JK/SK students enrolled in the Jackman Institute of Child Study and a class of JK/SK students with disabilities from the Bloorview Integrated Education and Therapy Program.

    The goals of this program are to promote confidence, self-esteem, and self-advocacy, to address inclusion, stereotyping and discriminatory behaviour, and to prepare students with physical disabilities for successful integration.

    This program is focused on helping children to advocate for themselves, to be inclusive, and an early immersion in understanding people who are different from them.



    Even though, I only spent 2 hours in the classroom, I could see that this program is fulfilling their goals. I love that the school offers a real play based learning but was still equipped with some of the latest technologies like smart boards and iPads. The day I visited the kids were performing a play. They had been fully immersed in what goes on with a play, from putting together the set, learning lines, helping with the costumes. The week before was the Dino Fair where the classroom was turned into an excavation site, and the children could be scientists exploring all things dinosaurs.

    I absolutely LOVED how this program lives and breathes inclusivity. The program is teaching children how to see the difference and embrace it. From an early age the program teaches children that regardless of our abilities and our differences we can all take part in a project, or a game, or society. While the focus of the program is on how to be inclusive of children with different abilities, in the long run these children will be ones who are inclusive of different race, ethnicity, culture, and gender. These kids will grow up into adults with the traits that we want out future generations to hold.



    "The IKP classroom has been a transforming experience for my son Gabriel, who has cerebral palsy. All learning is hands on, and through play, he is building self-confidence. The uniqueness of the program is the integration of typically developing children, who learn from a very young age to respect the differences and experience true inclusion. This program has been creating human beings who are compassionate and able to truly make a difference in our communities" Said Fabiana Bacchini, parent

    My kids are too old for this program, but I wished I had known about it earlier. While it's not free to participate in, it is a lower fee that most private schools. You can find out more about this incredible program here. And check out the feature on Global News Making A Difference show


  • Monday, April 03, 2017 9:28 AM | claire (Administrator)

    You may have seen the news!!! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping his campaign promise of extending parenting leave to 18 months! That means if you qualify and can afford to stay home with your little one for 18 months your job will be secured and your benefits will be allocated over 18 months instead of 12. This will not be effective right away; there still needs to be some changes to the Employment Insurance Act. Unless something drastically changes, you should see the changes in about a year.

    Here are the key points.

    Parental leave (yes, it applies to dads) is now 18 months instead of 12. Maternity leave benefits can start 12 weeks before the baby is born instead of 8 weeks.

    What to expect when it comes to payment?  With the 12-month plan you would be eligible for 55% of your income (up to a maximum of $543 per week). The payments under the new plan, because it is stretched out over a longer time, will be lower. The first 15 weeks, you will still receive the 55%, but after that, it will be reduced to 33%.

    Which begs the question, will parents be able to choose to do 12 months and have the regular top up? Or will the be forced to do the longer plan?

    Qualification requirements still stay the same. To qualify, you need to have worked at least 600 hours in the last year.

    What does this mean for you? Could you afford to stay home for 18 months? Will you want to?


  • Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:07 AM | claire (Administrator)

    So, the snow is back with a ferocity and you and wondering what to do with for Spring vacation. Should you go south to the sunshine? Should you explore some unique places not too far from the GTA?

    Well, with the rising exchange rate you may want to explore some places in your own backyard.

    These are my top 5 places to consider spending Spring vacation this year. Why these places? These are places where you can go on a vacation without feeling like you are stuck with your kids.



    Blue Mountain Resort

    From the picturesque village to the slopes, to Plunge! This is a great place about 2 hours drive from the GTA where the whole family can explore. Don't ski? There is Iwa Spa for relaxation including yoga classes. Have little ones? There is tons of activities and places to explore like Crock A Doodle, Glama Gal Tween Spa, lots of family friendly restaurant and my favourite. Snow School! You may not want to be on the slopes, but I guarantee you that your kids will want to be out playing in the snow.


    Kingston, ON

    I used to live in Ottawa and do the drive from Toronto to Ottawa about four times a year to see family and friend and I never knew what I was missing in Kingston. We had a chance to explore this city, and it is glorious! If you love food, who doesn't? You will be happy to hear that Kingston has the most restaurants per capita in Canada. Honestly, there is a new and wonderful place ever few feet. From the eclectic to the historic, you will love exploring this city with your family.

    There really is so much to do including a visit to the theatre, a visit to Lumina Borealis - which is a MUST! Go, you will not be disappointed.


    Fern Resort

    They had me at all inclusive. Pack the kids up and go for a relaxing trip to Fern Resort for Spring Break. The list of activities that are available with their daily programing is impressive. What I love most about Fern is their children programming. My kids always want to go which leaves me with some guilt-free time to enjoy the adult programming. Whether that is Yoga, painting, snowmobiling, or enjoying a visit to the spa.

    This is a truly a place where you can have a relaxing family vacation. With tons of activities, you can do together including dogsledding, bingo, ice fishing, indoor pool, curling, really the list does go on. Find our more about their programming here.



    Mont-Tremblant Resort

    This is ski lovers paradise! Similar to Blue Mountain resort, the village is very picturesque, they are lots of things to do with the family. The kids will love Aqua Club. The snow school is honestly one of the best I've seen so far. Both my kids stayed outside all day in -20 weather and even saw me on the slopes and didn't ask to go in or stay with me. My kids are 9 & 5.

    What I love the most about Tremblant is the Nansen run on the south side. It is the longest run on the mountain (around 6k) but also the easiest green run. This means that if you are not a strong skier and you want to practice getting those turns and improving your skiing, you have lots of turns before you get to the bottom.

    Ottawa, ON

    Canada's capital city is a must to visit in winter. Whether it's walking the Byward market, exploring the many museums, cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park. 2017 is a particularly great year to visit Ottawa because it is the home of the Canada 150 celebrations. Whatever month you go, there will be something unique and exciting happening for you to explore. Many of these events during the Canada 150 celebrations are free.


  • Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:14 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    Continued from our post about RIU Montego Baby

    Again, as is the standard with RIU Hotels and Resorts, we were greeted with a cold and refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade upon or arrival at the front desk for check in which again went as smoothly as before.  Once our suitcases were brought to our Deluxe room with a magnificent pool facing/ocean facing view, we prepared for dinner at one the 5 a-la-carte restaurants at this location.  Tonight, we decided to experience Japanese cuisine complete with sushi, sashimi, tempura, and a teriyaki steak entrée.  The evenings’ entertainment consisted of live music, followed by a performance that chronicled the history of Jamaican music from merengue to dancehall and everything in between.  After that, the dancefloor opened up and the more adventurous and energetic of us (namely our 22 year old adult daughter) spent the night at club, our 16 year old stayed in the room with the younger children giving us a chance to try our luck at the on site Casino.



    The next day began early with a full breakfast on the patio to replenish our energy, followed by an excursion through the Jamaican countryside to visit the Bob Marley Mausoleum in 9 Miles which is the birthplace and final resting place of the late great Reggae Music icon.  It was quite a fascinating place to learn about the early family life of the Robert Nesta Marley whose family maintains and curates the mausoleum.



    On our final day, we took the time to say goodbye to our home away from home for the duration of our trip, the fabulous RIU Ocho Rios.  We had just about enough time for one final excursion and ventured to the famous Duns River Falls where we got the chance to climb the falls and traverse the rocks, the rushing waters as it makes it way from higher elevations to the mouth of the river as it returns to the sea.  It was the experience of a lifetime which we all thoroughly enjoyed. 



    We bid Jamaica a fond adieu as our vacation had come to an end; however what I think we’ll miss most is our luxury 5 star accommodations provided by the RIU Montego Bay and the RIU Ocho Rios.  I can truly say that the staff of the RIU Hotels and Resorts took excellent care of our family and I thank them for going above and beyond in making sure our family trip to Jamaica was a joyous and memorable experience all round.  One day hopefully (and without the kids) we would love to experience the RIU Negril which we hear is fabulous.


    Written by Roger Grubb. Husband, and father of four kids. 

  • Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:07 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    Our family (all 6 of us) embarked on a whirlwind trip to Jamaica for a 6 day getaway over the winter break.  Granted 6 days is hardly enough time to take in the many varied sights, sounds, tastes and thrills of this tropical paradise, but given the fact that we had to plan our activities to coincide with the winter school break as many parents with school aged children have to, we did our utmost to make sure we incorporated as many experiences as possible in the short amount of time we had. 

    Our family consists of my wife and myself, our adult daughter who is 22 years old, our teenage son who is 16 years old, our 9 year old daughter and our 7 year old son.  In planning what may be our last trip where we all travel together, we wanted to make sure that we found a resort that not only offered A-1 accommodations, but amenities and activates on the property that is engaging, enjoyable and entertaining for ALL of us.

    We had the opportunity to stay at the RIU Hotels and Resorts and boy, what an experience it was!  We split our time between the RIU in Montego Bay and the RIU in Ocho Rios and we received first class service at BOTH properties.



    Upon our arrival at the RIU Montego Bay on January 02, 2017, we were welcomed with a cold refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade while engaging with the attendant at the front desk who helped make the process a breeze.  The staff was knowledgeable, courteous and was willing to accommodate our request.  We arrived several hours earlier than the regular check-in time and no problem.  Our luggage was marked and brought up to our room once it was ready.  In the interim, we made our way to the Mobae Café where we enjoyed a lunch and started to unwind enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather from the 2nd floor patio.  I was especially fond of the Red Strip on tap.

    After lunch and when our suitcase arrived, we changed and hit the beach, which was a mere 50 feet across a white sandy beach from the building housing our double room (again, family of 6) for a dip in the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Although (or maybe because) we were in the section of the property designated for families, there was plenty to do.  From the kids club which entertained the younger ones in the clubhouse with crafts, activities, games and water fun in the shallow pool and poolside games.  Adjacent to the shallow pool, was the deeper pool with the customary swim up bar; which helped lift everyone’s spirits.  If lounging poolside soaking up the rays of the Jamaican golden sun is not to your taste, then how about poolside entertainment presented by the RIU staff or a relaxing massage at the Renova Spa?  Work up a sweat with an aerobic workout in a RIU Fit class or a game of beach volleyball? If you’re into watersports then there are activities galore from paddle boats, to wind surfing, to SCUBA diving (there is a certification course that’s offered to help to get you familiar with breathing with the equipment before you can be taken out into the ocean).  There are also Catamarans tours that takes you further out into to waters of the Caribbean Sea where it stops and the adventurous have opportunity to go snorkeling and see up close, the many and varied species of fish and coral that inhabit the waters of the Caribbean up close.



    The activities don’t end there, in addition to the Café’s, Grills, and Bars abound, the space is transformed at night for a-la-carte dining where depending on your taste (Steak, Chinese and Italian), you can enjoy fine dining before adjourning to the main stage and for nightly entertainment consisting of dancing, bands, choreography and more artfully presented by the entrainment staff of the RIU on a rotating basis to keep things fresh.  The entertainment team goes all out to make sure that the energy level is high and the guest truly enjoy themselves.  If that wasn’t enough, the dancefloor opens up and the resident DJ spins the latest hits until the wee hours of the night/morning to help you dance the night away.

    On this trip, we were able to take advantage of much of the properties on site amenities; however, we also wanted to venture out and experience more of the local culture.  Thanks to the on-site travel consultant, we were able to arrange several outside excursions effortlessly.  From the RIU Montego Bay we arranged an excursion to Montpelier in the hills of St. James parish where we engaged in a thrilling Zip Lining adventure through the trees and about 3,000 feet about sea level.  Wow….what a rush!



    From the resort, we arranged for a taxi (Neville was our driver) who took us to local open air seaside restaurant in nearby Hopewell where we enjoyed the most delicious and mouthwatering Escovitch fish dinner.  We selected the fish (a Red Snapper) which was freshly caught and it was cooked to perfection on the spot with locally grown herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and tasted in a word, delectable.

    Our stay at the RIU Montego Bay came to an end on January 4th, 2017 but resumed at the RIU Ocho Rios later that day.  As we drove onto the property in Ocho Rios with it majestic palm trees lining the long drive to the main building from the gate on both sides, we know we were entering into a world of tranquility.  The grounds, full of lush greenery, and meticulously manicured lawns and gardens was quite stunning by day but by night it is illuminated for romantic walks and picturesque backgrounds straight from a postcard.  


    Written By Roger Grubb, Husband and Father of 4.

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2017 3:52 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    I’ve only been a mother for five months. But I already feel like I’ve changed so much as a person. The lessons I’ve learned in this short time could fill a book.

    I know what you’re thinking. Talk to me when you potty train, send your kid to school, or he talks back to you. I haven’t experienced any of those things yet (the last one, I hope I never have to), and I’m sure that when I do, the lessons I learn could fill subsequent books!

    Still, each day I experience something new – the first time my baby smiled, grabbed my finger or rolled over. I’ve battled sleep deprivation, missed meals, missed showers, and experienced zero privacy or “me time.”

    Being a mother has taught me how to be unselfish and put someone else’s needs before my own, laugh when I feel like crying, and not to sweat the small stuff. The laundry didn’t get done today -a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to sleep, staying up until it was done. Now I know that tomorrow is another day and another chance to tackle that task.

    But above all else, being a mother has taught me patience. And this virtue is one that I can honestly say I’ve lacked all of my life. I recall as a kid, teenager, and even young adult, my mom would always warn me to have patience. I’d be in line at the grocery store, begging my mom to open the chocolate bar we had yet to pay for so I could eat it now. “Patience,” she’d say. “The chocolate bar isn’t going to disappear.”

    As a teen, I would scarf down dinner because I was in a hurry to meet friends. “Patience,” my mom would say. “Eat slowly. Your friends can wait.”

    And as a young adult, I’d be driving over the speed limit, in a rush to get to wherever I was going. My mom, in the passenger seat, would put her hand on my arm and say, “Patience. If you’re late, it’s not the end of the world.”

    I didn’t understand back then why she would always remind me that my lack of patience would be a huge obstacle for me later. I know now. Those days when my baby kept me up all night, I needed patience the next day so that I could properly care for him. The times when he spit up all over both of us, I needed patience as I cleaned us up. And I also need to be patient as he learns new things. He can finally roll over with support, but it took him weeks to get there. He’s now learning how to eat solids. I obviously can’t rush him through a meal. It takes him time to eat each bite, and I relish each of those tiny spoonfuls he takes.

    As a mother, I appreciate my own mom more than ever. The challenges she faced and experiences she had are ones that I couldn’t understand until I went through them on my own. And it heartens me to say that I’ve finally learned the one thing she was always trying to teach me.

    By Suzanne Yar Khan

    Suzanne Yar Khan blogs about her adventures as a mom in her spare time. Visit www.mission-mom.com for more. 


  • Monday, February 06, 2017 9:52 AM | LWAB (Administrator)

    When I found out I was expecting my first child, I had no idea how important breastfeeding would become to me. I knew very little about it, no one in my family had breastfed. My grandma told me once she didn’t "believe in it," as though it were Santa Claus. But as all new mothers do, I read all the baby books to educate myself the best I could for our impending bundle of joy. I learned, to my surprise, that apparently "breast was best" and that was an actual saying! My midwife backed this up telling me all the benefits of breast milk and all the wonderful things it can do. So I decided to be blindly optimistic and take a leap of faith, I also secretly stocked up on formula samples.

    I swear my son was born hungry. At a whopping 8.10 pounds, he came into this world via c-section and immediately tried to latch onto my face while the doctors were stitching me up. I remember thinking how natural breastfeeding seemed, and I remember wondering how anyone had a hard time doing this- it was so easy! Ha!

    Fast forward to about a week later when we had our first check-up at the midwife office. My midwife told me that my son had dropped a dangerous amount of weight, in fact, if he lost any more weight he might have to be hospitalized. I was devastated. I felt like I had unintentionally failed my newborn. I couldn’t believe my body was letting me down. After a brief sobbing meltdown in the car I called everyone and anyone who might be able to help. Doctors, Lactation consultants, etc. I joined every breastfeeding group on Facebook; I read every article; I went to meet-ups. The more knowledgeable I became, the more determined I was to make this work. And so it started. I threw out my secret formula stash and became a passionate advocate for something I had known nothing about only a few months earlier.



    After parading my son from appointment to appointment we learned, we were dealing with a variety of issues: lazy latch, cracked nipples, low milk supply, overactive letdown, the list goes on. For months I tried  anything and everything anyone recommended: pumping, prescriptions, supplements, lactogenic foods and even donated milk. By six months I was exhausted, mentally and physically. I obsessed over my son’s weight constantly; I found myself googling wet nurses at 3 am! My bewildered family watched all of this unfold and “not so gently” suggested I try formula. I scoffed their ideas many times before, but this time, I was defeated. My well-meaning grandmother dropped off some formula at the house, and I made up a bottle. Before I knew it our breastfeeding journey was over. Again I felt like a complete failure. And yet…so relieved. Being exclusively responsible for a tiny human’s substance is a major responsibility, and to be honest, I wasn't handling it very well.

    When I found out I was expecting again, I immediately began to have anxiety about breastfeeding. Why? I was much more knowledgeable, I had all the tools to be successful this time, but I couldn’t shake the feeling.

    Ready or not, 19 months after giving birth to our son we welcomed our daughter. It wasn't long before I found myself falling back into my old pattern of daily weigh-ins and the flurry of lactation appointments. The doctors weren't concerned about her weight - but I was. I was becoming consumed with it. When she didn't settle immediately, my first thought was "she's starving, I don't have enough milk." This was the only way I knew how to breastfeed – with worry. My mental health was taking a toll.

    I wish I could say I had a very clear "A-HA" moment, but I didn't. Somewhere along the line, I came to the realization I had to stop my anxious behaviour. I was missing out on so many sweet moments with my daughter, who may realistically be my last baby. I still have to remind myself of this daily; it’s still something I am working on. Despite what the books said, I realized that ultimately "fed is best." Formula is amazing. It saves babies lives when a mom can’t (or chooses not to) breastfeed. It wasn’t the enemy I was making it out to be. I wish I had realized with my son that I could both breastfeed and give formula. It didn’t have to be all or nothing. I don’t believe this option is presented enough to new moms.

    My baby girl is four months old now, and we are still exclusively breastfeeding. My goal is to make it to one year. We are facing many of the same challenges we did with our son so we may not make it. Not exclusively anyways, and that's okay.

    Breastfeeding is hard. It might be the hardest thing I have ever done. I am hoping by sharing my story I might offer some peace to another mom who is up searching for answers at 3 am.

    Whether a baby is formula-fed or breastfed all that matters is that their tummy is full. 






 

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