December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

From our home to yours, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve! Wrap up 2011 in whatever style is perfect for you. Here's hoping 2012 is your best year yet. Always remember to keep your dreams and goals in your sights. Our friends just popped by for some pre-party drinks and now Craig, Stella and I are cozying up for the evening with some wine and a movie. I wouldn't want it any other way. xoxo 

December 30, 2011

life so far.....

Tomorrow we will hit the two week mark of being parents to this little munchkin. I just thought I'd let you know some things we've discovered during these past few weeks:

Biggest transition: How little we get done in a day. Between feeds and diaper changes, if I get a load of dishes done or laundry done - it's an awesome day. Seriously. 

Best thing you can do for a new family: Drop off meals. We've had delicious lunches and dinners dropped off to us in the hospital and at home. I can't tell you how amazing this is. I will definitely do this for my next friend to have a baby. 

Dumbest mistake so far: Forgetting to put a diaper on the baby. Friends were over, she pooped in her onesie.  It wasn't pretty. Mom's reputation is quickly tanking.

Coolest gift: Little Stella library of books. My friend's mom gave us this collection. I didn't even know these existed. A series of books about a little redheaded girl named Stella - such a great find. 

Best Discovery: The soother. She loves it. We love that she loves it. Thank you clever creator of the soother, you mad genius. 

Best tip: Although my milk is still struggling to come in because of the labour I had, the best cure for sore nipples/boobs for new moms is lanolin cream and cabbage leaves. Cover nipples in pure lanolin.  Peel off a few cabbage leaves and place them in your bra. Ignore the fact your bra looks like a portable salad container. It works. Trust me. 

Biggest laugh so far: We were driving by to see what movies were playing at our theatre. We just turned to each other and laughed at how it really doesn't matter. Oh how quickly we forgot our new lifestyle. 

Peace and love amazing friends!! I hope you had a great holiday season. xoxo

December 27, 2011

Stella's Birth Story

I wanted to write about Stella's journey into this world, even though it is emotionally difficult and raw for me to write about.
I started feeling contractions at 4 am on Saturday, Dec. 17th (4 hours after getting home from the Prince concert). The contractions weren't too painful and I thought I was going to be a champion at labour. Bring it on! Once they were five minutes apart and gaining momentum, I called the hospital to see if it was time to come in. The maternity ward nurse said it would be good to come in for an assessment. In the assessment room, they determined that I was only 1 cm dilated and would have to send me home. As soon as I stood up from the hospital bed, I started to vomit. As I was vomiting, my water broke. (Clean up in aisle five!) I was lucky because only 15% of women have their water naturally break before labour.  (Most women have to have the doctors break their water for them).
In seeing my water break, the nurse said, "Well, forget what I just said, you are staying now, we're checking you in." Suddenly I was brought into my own private room and was preparing for labour. The contractions came fast and furious. I tried every breathing technique under the sun:  fast short breaths, deep long breaths, yoga breathing- you name it - I tried it. I counted backwards, did the alphabet backwards, anything to try and keep my mind off the pain. Eventually, I just couldn't stay on top of the pain and kept turning to Craig, begging for him to make it stop. I asked the nurse if it was possible at this point to get an epidural. She checked and because I was 4 cm dilated, they called in the Anesthesiologist (or as I like to refer to him, a God in a smock.) When he put the needle in my back, I instantly felt like a new woman. Suddenly I was able to talk, to laugh, to rest - I was even considering naming our child epidural. At that point in time, it was THE BEST decision I had ever made in my entire life. I was so happy. The on call doctor swung through in a cavalier fashion. I wasn't impressed by how little he seemed to care about my labour. He went out Christmas tree shopping and the nurses were trying their hardest to get him back to the hospital. When he returned, he determined that I was already 10 cm dilated. It was showtime. At 4 pm, he got me to start pushing. I gave it everything I had. I was so excited because he said that most first time moms give birth within two hours. I was so thrilled that we'd have a baby in our arms by 6 pm.  Everytime I pushed, I had to hoist myself upright using a towel slung over a railing. I had to push for 30 seconds every two minutes. It quickly became exhausting, and as the epidural wore off, quickly became painful. Craig helped lift me during my contractions so that I could push. The doctor kept encouraging me, "You're so close, don't give up, think of your baby!" Even when I had nothing left in me, I kept going. (I was also vomiting water every second or third contraction). After four hours of pushing, yes, four hours, the on call doctor finally got the OB/GYN to examine me. Within 20 seconds of feeling inside, she said that I should never have been pushing in the first place, that the baby was stuck far up in my pelvis. She immediately called for an emergency C section without hesitation. She said that the baby was too far up inside of me for forceps or a vacuum. By 9 pm, I was having a spinal and getting strapped to a gurney. Stella was born at 9:15 pm. The OB/GYN said it was the most difficult C section she had performed. After four hours of pushing, my uterus ruptured as soon as they opened me. The OB/GYN was able to salvage it quickly, enabling me to have children again if we so choose. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of blood and was a borderline case for getting a transfusion. As soon as they lifted Stella in the air, and I heard her cry, I burst into tears, so happy that she was safe and sound. They quickly checked her over and wrapped her up snuggly, resting her in our arms. I went into convulsions as a side effect from the spinal, and had to have Craig take Stella away, in fear that I would drop her. Craig went with Stella and the nurses up to the maternity ward and I stayed for a few hours of post op. On Sunday morning, the OB/GYN checked the bag hooked up to my catheter and was alarmed that it only contained blood, no urine. She called in a urologist who broke the news to me that I would have to have surgery that afternoon. He rushed me downstairs for some cat scans and bladder examinations. They were worried that the ureter (the tube connecting the kidneys to the bladder) was damaged from all the pushing. I wept when he told me about the surgery. I felt like I was constantly being pulled away from Stella, and physically I felt that I had nothing left in me to give. I hadn't had anything other than water since Friday, and they told me I couldn't have anything because it would delay the surgery. They wanted to put a shunt through my ureter to see if it was blocked, and if it was blocked, they were going to have to re-open my C section incision and reconnect my ureter to another part of my bowel. Luckily, the doctor was able to get a shunt successfully through the ureter and vacuumed out blood clots that were taking up my bladder. By Sunday night, I was back in the ward with Stella and Craig and on the road to recovery.
I am happy to report that the OB/GYN is launching an investigation against the on-call doctor, who she said should never had had me push in the first place, let alone for four hours. The hospital is doing an audit on him and wants me to write them a letter about everything. It gets me upset to speak about because I feel that he needlessly put my baby's life in jeopardy, and has no idea how long our road was to get to her. I am so thrilled she's happy, healthy and at home safe in our arms. Our little Stella has proven to be a real trooper. xo

December 24, 2011

all I ever wanted for Christmas

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas! This photo sums up my wildest dreams come true. Here's hoping yours do too. xoxo

December 23, 2011

Stella's first friends

This afternoon Stella (pictured right) got to meet Elle Portia Lebrun-Forbes (left)  and Alexa Quinn Caldwell (middle), her new little mates. My heart almost burst seeing them all together. They were all born within two months of one another. Their mothers and I worked together for years and have stayed close ever since. We can't believe our luck. Charlie's Angels watch out!

December 21, 2011

Introducing Stella Ruby Williams

Notice how she's flipping the bird in this shot? That's our baby girl! 

She's finally here. After all the months of wondering who was growing inside my belly, we finally got to meet our beautiful little girl Stella Ruby Williams on Dec. 17th at 9:15 pm, weighing in at 8 lbs 8 ounces.  When I saw the doctors hoist her in the air, my heart absolutely burst. We are head over heels in love. I will write more in days to come and take some photos.  Promise. It's our first day at home and we are busy setting up our little new life together. Here are a few photos of our new family. Peace and love. xoxo 

December 16, 2011

Let's Go Crazy!

It's pretty funny that the Prince concert has arrived. I knew it was a long shot when we bought the tickets last month - I thought either the baby would come quite early and hoped that my parents could babysit while we had our first evening out, or there was always the off chance the baby would be quite late and we could go. A lot of people thought I was crazy and would be selling the tickets at a big loss. I have to admit, as this week has unfolded with many sleepless nights full of sporadic contractions, I thought labour would have unfolded by now too. But now that it's here, I'm really pumped to share in this concert with my hubby. Maybe a night with the master of funk will get this baby dancing all the way out of the womb. I know that Prince isn't everyone's cup of tea. I fully appreciate that everyone has different musical taste. For myself, he was one of those ground breaking artists whose music instantly resonated with me and shaped a lot of my musical taste growing up. I remember being 10, spinning the 1999 album on my dad's turntable and being blown completely away. The funky beats, the jangling guitar, the sexy lyrics - I was instantly hooked. Over the years I have caught him twice live and marvelled in his talent. His endless library of hits, his extreme musical ability (for his debut album, he played all 27 instruments on the recording), his crazy funky dance moves that speak volumes of his James Brown, Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix influences. These days you don't see too many performers who can just command a stage and put on a full out show like he does. I better go rest in case the show really does bring on labour :) Have a great night!!

December 13, 2011

the waiting game

I honestly feel like a little kid who is trying their hardest to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, but is too ramped up with excitement about what is to come. I toss and turn all night - I really can't wait to meet this little baby, to finally see them and to hold him or her for the first time. I keep envisioning everything - hearing Craig announce if it's a boy or a girl, seeing him hold our baby for the first time and knowing this is finally our time- our baby that we get to keep. I can't wait to introduce the baby to our parents, siblings and friends. The waiting is tough. It shouldn't be. I should be basking in these quieter moments before this little one bursts on the scene. But, I have definitely come to realize I'm not good at simply relaxing. I'm not a feet up kind of gal. TV doesn't really interest me much (with the exception of Breaking Bad, which blows my mind). Reading during the day is tough, it feels like too much of a luxury, I'm constantly distracted, itching to go out and visit friends. I don't know if it's from working on a fast paced trade floor for so long or if it's just part of my make up - but even when we travel, I prefer to load up a jeep and hit the road to explore remote locations instead of simply lying on a beach. So having the doctor tell me to just take it easy has been anything but. Do you find it easy to relax? Are you good at just having a day in? 

December 11, 2011


Have you ever checked out It's an amazing free series of lectures by riveting speakers. This afternoon, I checked out Ken Robinson's talk on how school kills creativity - insightful, absolutely hilarious and inspiring. I highly recommend taking 20 minutes out of your day to watch it. As educators, why is more emphasis placed on mathematics and sciences and less clout given to the arts? Why are we always encouraging our children to pursue careers in business and technology and steering them clear of a future in writing or music? Ken Robinson gives an in-depth portrait on his philosophies as to how education should help discover children's passions instead of squander them. Why, when we become older, are we more afraid - more afraid of being wrong, of taking chances? Do you consider yourself a creative soul? Some people almost feel ashamed to admit it, like it's a flakey trait to possess. I have always loved the arts- my life's biggest passions are writing, photography, music, dancing, cooking, movies, painting, design - I am drawn to all things that tap into my deepest emotions or provide visual stimulation. My English Literature degree might not be held in as high esteem with my co-workers as their MBAs, PHDs, CMAs, etc...but I know that I am just as bright as they are, but my learning style is just rooted more deeply in creativity. I love discussing people's hobbies that they are most passionate about - because it is often something that has nothing to do with their day jobs. Let's face it, whether it's through parental suggestion or education, we are often encouraged to pursue occupations that provide a safe trail, steady income and gainful employment - a reliable paycheque so that we can pay our bills and sleep at night. What if we really took chances in our pursuits? What would the world look like then? A few years ago I went through occupational testing at UBC, just out of interest's sake to see what it came up with after a series of questionnaires and tests. The top five jobs? Musician, Photographer, Art Teacher, Advertising manager and Broadcast Journalist. Creative pursuits prevailed. I wasn't surprised. I just felt a little disappointed that I have never felt confident enough to take a chance on a trail that often feels so uncertain. That's why I honestly love writing this blog. Whether one person reads it or 100 people read it, it is an endeavour that lets me channel my photography and writing at once. If you pop in to read this, you are paying me the highest compliment because you are taking a moment to get to know the real me. Thank you so much valued readers. I hope you always try to make time for your passions. xo

December 10, 2011

o Christmas tree, o Christmas tree

Last night we put up the tree. I am so happy we got a tree in place before the baby comes. It's my favourite part of the Christmas season - sitting by the fire at night with the tree plugged in, listening to music. We found a great service at Art & Knapps this year - you pick out your tree, they will bag it, cut if if necessary and will tie it up to your car/truck for you. It was so wonderfully easy. Do you prefer real or fake trees? Do you decorate yours the same each year or change it up? I love how diverse people are with their choices. We saw white trees, hot pink ones, you name it, it was being sold yesterday. Some people still order their trees to be sprayed with fake snow. Whatever makes you happy, go for it. Tis the season for classy or full out, over the top blinking light cheesy. 

December 6, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Hello Friends! Sorry for the delay between posts. We've been frantically trying to wrap up our kitchen reno before the baby comes. I think they call these situations shotgun renos - which will arrive first, the contractions or the appliances, the countertops or the baby? The race is on. Today is officially day two of my mat leave. I know already that I'm going to miss all of the wonderful people that I work alongside - you take for granted how many social interactions you have in a typical day at work. That being said, it'll be nice to have the time to focus on getting the house renos done, getting ready for the baby's arrival and getting into the Christmas spirit. Have you decorated your home for Christmas already? Do you prefer the fake tree or the real deal? Do you have any favourite Christmas traditions that you have set up for your family? Some of our favourite traditions include riding the Stanley Park Christmas Train and walking around the Van Dusen Gardens Festival of Lights with a hot delicious drink in hand. We also try to take in a cheesy local Christmas pantomime play each year, it's pretty fun to see the variety of acting abilities unfold on stage. What puts you in the Christmas mood? Setting up your tree? Baking delicious short bread? Hoisting egg nog with friends who are decked out in awesome reindeer sweaters? I hope you're starting to feel the magic in the air!