My Glucose Challenge Test Results Are In And They Suck

Well, crap. Check out this miserable result:

Yesterday, after sitting in a stuffy, overcrowded lab on my only day off for an hour and hastily consuming an unpleasant, sugary solution that contained 50 g of sugar, my blood sugar results came back at a staggering 9.9 millimoles per liter – which indicates a possibility of gestational diabetes. As you can see, the normal threshold is 7.8 millimoles per litre, which I blew past at an astonishing rate.

I was hoping that my lab was simply pranking me on account of it being April Fool’s Day, but nobody is joking. As predicted, I have officially – and spectacularly, I might add – failed my initial Glucose Challenge Test (GCT).

The Bad News

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. According to Diabetes Canada, between three and 20 per cent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This makes it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy.

THE Good NEWS

This result doesn’t necessarily mean I have GD. The GCT doesn’t diagnose the condition – rather, it is designed to identify as many women as possible who may be at risk, and who need more testing to find out for sure. According to BabyCenter, only about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screen actually have the condition.

THE BAD NEWS AGAIN

I’m going to have to take another test, called the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). It is a longer (two hours, sometimes three), more definitive test that will tell me for sure whether or not I have GD.

THE EVEN WORSE NEWS

This follow-up test will be the literal worst. It will involve getting blood drawn to establish a baseline, then drinking yet another sugary mixture, containing either 75 g or 100 g of glucose, depending on the length of the test. My blood will then be tested again one, two, and sometimes even three hours after drinking the sugary drink.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sob into a bowl of oatmeal, BECAUSE THAT’S ALL I CAN EAT NOW.

My Fat, Disgusting Pregnant Body Was Tested for Gestational Diabetes Today, and I Live-Blogged The Entire Thing

There comes a time in every fat, disgusting pregnant woman’s life when they have to drink the Kool-Aid.

That’s right, folks: it’s Gestational Diabetes testing time!

I’m blogging to you live from Gamma Dynacare Labs here in beautiful, sunny Ottawa, Ontario. Just kidding. It’s -6 and we are expecting 15 cm of snow today. Ottawa: where happiness comes to die.

For the next hour, you’ll bear witness to my sleep-deprived, sugar-infused ramblings as I yammer on about what I can only predict to be intolerable nonsense, including, but not limited to: pregnancy grievances, general malaise, and petty insults I bestow upon my fellow unsuspecting lab-goers waiting alongside me in this stuffy, overcrowded waiting room.

I’ve been gone for a minute, after suffering an incapacitating virus and an almost inconceivable lack of sleep. But I’m back, and better than ever. (Just kidding, I had less than 4 hours of sleep last night and I’m pretty sure I blacked out on the drive over here).

What exactly is gestational diabetes?

I’m glad you asked. According to The Canadian Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes (GD) occurs when your fat, disgusting pregnant body can’t produce enough insulin to handle the effects of the growing baby and changing hormone levels. If your fat, disgusting pregnant body cannot produce enough insulin, your blood glucose levels will rise, which can pose a health risk to both you and your baby.

Before we get started, I highly recommend you head on over to my previous failed blog, Mandatory Sobriety, to get the low-down on this whole GD thing, and find out what happened to me last time. Then meet me back here.

I’ll wait.

Okay, everyone settled? Bottoms up!

Glucose drink

8:15am: Well, good news. I managed to down my glucose drink without throwing up, which is legitimately no small feat for a significant portion of the pregnant population. As I sat down to consume my sugary breakfast, I was joined by a fellow fat, disgusting pregnant woman who proceeded to challenge me to a drinking contest. Obviously, she had no idea who she was up against. Lady, I’m a former high-functioning alcoholic. You don’t stand a chance. Needless to say, I absolutely destroyed her.

8:30am: My fetus seems to be responding in a rather agitated manner to the elevated amount of sugar I’ve consumed. Frankly, I’m surprised, since a typical breakfast for me includes two Toaster Strudels, a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a bagel, cinnamon sticks, the most sugary fruit I can find and one time I even popped open a can of Coca Cola because when you’ve had less than 4 hours sleep, don’t drink coffee and work full-time, you resort to some desperate measures. My fat, disgusting pregnant compadre is playing Candy Crush.

8:45am: Have you ever had the unfortunate luck of being seated next to a crying baby on a flight? The equivalent of that has to be being seated next to a sniffling adolescent in a blood lab. This kid, who I’ve affectionally labeled Dopey, posted up next to me about 10 minutes ago and I actually counted the amount of sniffles in the span of one minute: it was a staggering 56! Dopey, dude. C’mon. Get a tissue. I’m not playing, and my compatriot over here isn’t, either. We are two pregnant ladies on a mission not to rage-throw up our glucose drink, and I will choke a teenager if that’s what it takes to get a little peace and quiet around here. The court would throw out my case. My companion has closed her eyes and seems to have slipped into a glucose coma.

9:00am: It’s getting down to the wire. My fetus appears to be freaking out, throwing punches and elbows and possibly a butt cheek or two, I don’t know. I’ve been informed that in addition to not being allowed to eat, drink, or even leave the lab for the duration of my test, I’m not even allowed to pee. On the real, if my little womb buddy continues to Riverdance on my bladder, there’s going to be a clean up in aisle 4 situation all up in this Dynacare. My pregnant partner in crime woke up from her trance, but I’ve since discovered that she does not speak English, so we’ve resorted to communicating using elaborate hand gestures and dank memes.

9:15am: What the hell is taking so long? It’s officially been an hour, Dynacare. I’m getting pretty fed up of staring at this waiting room of blank-faced sickos and breathing their contaminated air. I’ve also grown weary of my foreign friend. She seems more interested in crushing candy and less interested in playing a game of Date, Marry or Kill with me and our waiting room population. What a buzzkill.

9:20am: My name has been called! Off to get poked with a needle. PEACE OUT YOU SAD, SICK SACS. And to my fellow gestating glucose buddy, may the odds be ever in your favour.

9:30am: What better way to celebrate the successful completion of yet another gestational diabetes test than a wholesome breakfast at McDonald’s. Stay tuned for Part 2 of my GD journey, as I’m sure to have failed this initial test spectacularly.

To My Newly Pregnant Friend

Image courtesy of Babycentre.

You’ve been waiting for this for so long, and it’s finally here. It probably doesn’t even feel real at this point.

But holy crap, you’re pregnant!

I couldn’t be happier for you, and I am so thrilled you are joining me on this journey. We’ve been on this adventure together before, and we’ve had many since. There have been ups and downs, but today, everything is up. Everything is good. I want to celebrate and shout it from the rooftops. There are so many things I want to say, and there are some that I know I don’t need to.

I don’t need to tell you how exciting this is.
I know how hard it was for you to get here, to this place. How frustrating this journey was, and how much you had to sacrifice. But it paid off, and nothing can compare to that feeling: the joy of a brand new life, the simple thrill of things finally working out, and the quiet anticipation of the days ahead. Hold onto that excitement, because frankly, you are going to need it.

I don’t need to tell you how scary this is, either.
More than anyone, you know the flood of emotions that comes barrelling in the second that line turns pink. For most women, it’s a moment of pure, utter joy. But for women like us, it’s a little more complicated. After the initial shock, there’s a brief moment of happiness, which quickly melts into fear. Overwhelming, crippling fear. Will it happen again? And will I survive, if it does? Let these feelings in, but don’t let them win. Don’t let them stamp out your joy.

I don’t need to tell you that there are going to be some dark days.
Any pregnant woman will tell you that pregnancy isn’t full of sunshine and rainbows. It’s certainly not “glowing” for many of us, and it can be a long, uphill battle physically and mentally. We both know how easily the mind drifts to dark places during those first few weeks, and I won’t sit here and tell you that it won’t happen again–because it will. It will happen many times. But don’t worry — you’ve got this.

I don’t need to tell you that the darkness doesn’t last.
You’ve been down this road before, and you know just as well as I do that there will be days where you feel like you can’t face anything, or anyone. This darkness will come and go, but I promise you it won’t last. Remember that, when you’re in it. When it seems like it’ll never end, remember that it always does. You’re living proof.

I don’t need to tell you that this is going to test your relationships.
Family and friends can be your rock, but they can also make you feel like you’re sinking. It’s not their fault — often, the people who love us the most are the ones who come up short. Lean on the ones you can trust, and leave out all the rest. They will understand. And if they don’t, that’s on them.

I don’t need to tell you this might also affect your work.
At the end of the day, I know you take pride in your career, and care about doing good work. But this is going to test that. In the coming weeks, you’re going to be exhausted, preoccupied, and most of all, careless. You’re going to be frequently absent for appointments and tests, and the worst part is, you’re going to make mistakes and maybe even fall behind. Just remember to take care of yourself, and do the best you can. It’s all we can ever do.

I don’t need to tell you that nothing is guaranteed.
This one hurts the most to write, because we both know how true it is. I promise that I will never be the friend who tells you to “hang in there,” or “it will be okay,” because I don’t know for sure that it will. Nobody does. I do know, however, that today, you are pregnant. Today is a good day. Hold onto that while you wait for tomorrow to get here.

I don’t need to tell you that I get it.
I get it all–every last hope, fear, frustration and sprinkle of joy peppered in between. If anyone gets exactly what you’re feeling in this very moment, it’s me. So whether you’re scared about a loss of symptoms at 6 a.m. on a Thursday morning, or having trouble deciding on names for your new baby the day I go into labour, know that I will be there to answer the phone. I’ll always be in your corner since you’ve been in mine pretty much since the day we met.

And in a few short months, you’ll have another person to look out for.

Lucky kid.

You’re In Hell

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a long time.

Last year, it was too raw. Too new. It was still difficult for me to find the words, even after a full year had passed.

Today marks two years to the day since the worst day of my life.

Two years ago today, I almost lost my son.

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It started a week prior with enough to make any new parent concerned: a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea. But on February 19, 2015, it became dire. My three-month-old was emaciated, dehydrated and in obvious distress. A decision was made, and an invasive emergency procedure was done to save his life.

He was then immediately transported to the ICU, where the nightmare continued.

The next few days and hours are a blur, but there are few moments that stand out, and always will.

The Video

We alternated nights in the hospital – only one parent could stay overnight at a time. On this particular night, my partner was there and I was home. I wrote about what it was like being at home here.

That night, he took a video of our son minutes before everything changed. I didn’t receive it until the next morning, something I have yet to decide was a blessing or a curse. It showed my baby writhing in pain, eyes sunken and darting around wildly, tubes protruding.

I’ve only ever been able to watch it once.

The PICC Line

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Due to a completely destroyed gut due to a severe milk protein allergy, my son couldn’t receive anything orally. A regular IV wasn’t enough, so he had to be given something called a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line – an extremely invasive intravenous line that enters the body midway up the arm and extends to the superior vena cava (a fun little vein above the diaphragm that has the important job of returning deoxygenated blood to the right atrium of the heart).

This was the only way he could receive the nutrients he needed to keep him alive while his body healed.

The Brain Ultrasound

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I’ve never spoken about this one because I’m still not quite sure it was real. A photo exists, so it must have been.

Later that day, a team of neurologists were brought in to perform an ultrasound on my little boy’s brain. The purpose of this, we were told casually, was to assess whether or not there was adequate blood flow to his brain after the crash that sent him to the ICU hours earlier.

In other words, they were checking to see if he’d had a stroke.

Not much more was said. Instead, watched as they huddled over a portable ultrasound machine, whispering quietly amongst themselves. I don’t think I blinked as I observed them move their tiny wand over his tiny head, for what truly seemed like hours. Maybe days. I don’t know.

They didn’t speak to us, or even acknowledge our presence. They were stoic and mechanical; pointing and writing, whispering and analyzing. They left as quickly as they appeared, and it wasn’t until several days later we were told everything was fine.

You’re in Hell

While everyone around us was sending their love and well-meaning but essentially empty platitudes, there was one person who was brave enough to tell me what this really was, and where we actually were.

“You’re in hell,” she said.

It was strange hearing that at the time, because I was so used to being placated by gentle words. I had grown so accustomed to hearing things like “we’re praying for you”, or “things will get better”, that when I was told that I was I hell, it shook me a little.

But through all the noise, her words spoke the loudest. She was a mom who had been through similar trauma, and she wasn’t afraid to cut through the bullshit. She allowed me to acknowledge that this was a place that no parent ever wanted to be, and it was okay to be angry. It was okay to be scared, and it was okay to admit that for the time being, the darkness wasn’t going anywhere.

But in that moment, I understood that one day, it eventually would. I will always be grateful to her for that.

Two years later

Two years later, you would never know that my truculent little fart machine overcame an almost inconceivable trauma. I often look at him and wonder what life would be like if he weren’t here anymore.

I don’t allow myself to push those thoughts away.

I force myself to think them, because I know what it’s like to teeter on the brink. I don’t speak about my gratitude, because I can’t find the words. I remember hell, because we made it through.

And you will too, if you’re there.

I promise.

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Gender Reveal Part 1: I mixed my own urine with baking soda so you don’t have to

Before we begin, I’d just like to state for the record that I am a firm believer in science.

I consider old wives tales – or alternative science – to be thoroughly asinine, which is why I decided to waste my time and energy testing a bunch of them to see if they can predict a baby’s gender. (My guess is a hard ‘no’, but stranger things have happened, like that time my cat decided to go vegetarian).

On Friday, science will confirm whether I’m having a girl fetus or a boy fetus, so in the meantime, let’s screw around with some silly charts, experiments, and good old fashioned folk tale folly to see what they say.

Old Wives Tale #1 – The Chinese Gender Predictor

The Chinese gender predictor calculation is based on the lunar month of conception and the mother’s age (both based on Chinese calendar) at the time of conception. For me, the lunar month – not to be confused with the actual calendar month – was 9,  and my lunar age – not to be confused with my actual age – at conception was 34.

For this one, I wanted to be sure I was doing it right, so I used two different calendars from two different sites. Both gave me the same result: girl.

Here are the results from YourChineseAstrology.com:

chinese-gender-predictor-2016

And here are the results from TheChineseBabyCalendar.com:

calendar-edited

OLD WIVES TALE #2 – THE MAYAN GENDER PREDICTOR

I’m an equal opportunist, so I’m not letting the Chinese take all the credit.

What do those pesky Mayans have to say?

Well, for starters, they keep it simple.  According to TheGenderExperts.com (more on them later), here is their simple predictor:

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-3-47-18-pm

My age at conception was 33 (odd), and the month of conception was October (calendar month 10, even).

Here’s another way to view it:

mayan

The Mayans say boy.

Tie game. Let’s keep going.

OLD WIVES TALE #3 – FETAL HEART RATE

Another popular, yet highly unscientific gender predictor uses heart rate of the fetus. According to this one, a girl will have a consistent heart rate of 140 beats per minute or higher, and a boy will have 140 or less.

At just under nine weeks, I was able to pick up my baby’s heartbeat on my home doppler. Check out that impressive little mini ticker, clocking in at nearly 145 beats per minute:

Most recently, at my midwife appointment on Thursday, my now 18-week-old womb warrior’s beats still came in at a solid 145 bpm.

Let’s call this one girl, but by the skin of her teeth.

OLD WIVES TALE #4 – The baking soda test

That’s right, I peed into a cup of baking soda for the purpose of this blog. I’m not even getting paid to do this – that’s how dedicated I am to my craft.

I PEE FOR FREE, PEOPLE!

The theory behind this one suggests that the gender of the baby changes some of the hormones in the mother’s body, which may then change some of the acid content of her urine. This experiment first instructs you to add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to a glass or cup. Author’s note: I used a disposable paper cup, because I’m not disgusting.

Once you have your baking soda, you’re supposed to pour some of your urine in there. If the combination fizzes, like a soft drink that has been shaken up, then you are having a boy. If there is no reaction at all, you’re having a girl.

There was no fizzing in my cup. A tiny bit of white foam formed, but it stayed flat otherwise.

We’ll say girl for this one too, given the extreme lack of fizz.

OLD WIVES TALE #5 – Nub Theory

Fun fact: did you know that boys and girls both start out with the same little doodad down there?

That’s right – all babies regardless of sex have something called a genital tubercle in the initial stages of development, which is sometimes referred to as a ‘nub’. Gender is determined at conception, however, sometime between 9 and 13 weeks, the sex organs begin to differentiate into male or female. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “in a comparatively late stage of embryonic life, the genital tubercle of male embryos encloses the urethral canal and becomes the penis; in female embryos it remains small and becomes the clitoris.”

In other words, by 13 weeks, a little penis or a tiny clitoris has developed, but will likely not yet be visible on an ultrasound. Most women wait until around 18-20 weeks, where it is fairly unmistakable.

The ‘Nub Theory’ of determining gender states that it is possible between 12 and 14 weeks to accurately predict gender. This is done by analyzing the angle and shape of the nub. The scan must be in profile view, to allow viewing of the spine, and the nub’s relationship to it.

The below example shows how this is “calculated”:

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-9-00-57-pm

This brings me back to TheGenderExperts.com, mentioned earlier. They are a group of self-described “experts” that offer a variety of methods to determine the gender of your baby, even as early as 6 weeks.

Nonsense, right?

Well, for the low low cost of $7.99, I decided to put them to the test. Shortly after my 12 week ultrasound, I submitted my scan (below).

I got the following response less than 12 hours later:

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These self-identifying “experts” say girl, and they do so with a bold 83-92% accuracy claim.

SO, WHAT’S THE TALLY?

Out of my five chosen alternative science gender predictors, four predict girl.

Check back on Friday when I reveal who was right, and who was wrong in the exciting conclusion tentatively titled: GENDER REVEAL PART 2: BUT REALLY THOUGH, SCIENCE.

 

I stopped wearing makeup to work and so should you

Since entering the rat race ten years ago, I have held five full-time jobs.

Now before you try to calculate exactly just how much of a professional flight risk I am, peep this stat: up until this year, I’ve never gone a day without wearing makeup to every single one of those jobs.

Sick as a dog?

Full head of makeup.

Hungover to the point where I probably shouldn’t have even driven to work?

Full head of makeup.

Literally about to give birth right at my desk?

Full head of makeup.

I’m talking the whole gamut – liquid foundation, concealer, powder, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, mascara and lip gloss. At this point, I’ve probably put the founders’ offspring from Shopper’s Drug Mart, Sephora and MAC’s through college.

I get up at six o’clock in the morning just to give myself enough time to shower and put on my predominantly drugstore-brand façade that in theory, is supposed to present me as a human female, but in reality, probably makes me look a lot more like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.

mimi

Screw the extra sleep. Screw breakfast. Time to look club ready as I sit hunched over in a windowless office surrounded by cheap fluorescent lighting for the next eight hours!

When I became a mom, wearing makeup every day to work became harder and harder to justify, but I kept doing it anyway. Force of habit? Maybe. Lack of confidence? Likely. Self-absorption? Most definitely.

I recently started a new job (with a window office!), working for a small communications firm with an all-female roster of unbelievably talented powerhouses. Truthfully, for the longest time, I couldn’t fathom the president’s decision to bring me on board. I felt completely inadequate and legitimately questioned her sanity when it came to the hiring process.

But here’s the rub: when someone takes a chance on you, it’s probably not because they like the way you accent your cheekbones.

And as I got to know these women more and more, they made me realize something about myself that I’m ashamed to admit: I cared far too much about what people thought of my physical appearance, for far too long.

A decade too long, in fact.

See, my new colleagues didn’t care about my uneven skin tone, my blemishes, and oh-so-dark under-eye circles. They didn’t care if I moisturized, powdered my nose, or drew a line across my eyelids. They cared that I showed up, did a good job, and contributed to the company in a meaningful way.

So I stopped.

For the first time in a decade, I actually stopped putting makeup on every morning.

It’s glorious, guys. I’m as free as Alicia Keys, and I only wish I had the confidence – and the courage – to do this sooner.

Now, I get a few extra minutes of blissful slumber each morning. I don’t have to stare at my reflection longer than absolutely required. And the best part is I use the extra time in the morning to eat breakfast with my son before I wrestle him into his coat, pack his bag, and drop him off at daycare for nine consecutive hours.

Look, I’m not against wearing makeup at all – to work, or anywhere else. Not by a long shot. If we’re being honest, I haven’t given up wearing it to work completely: part of my job occasionally requires me to look like I’m not a homeless meth addict, so when duty calls, I’ll run a curling iron through my hair, put on a blazer, and gussy up my drawn, tired-as-all-hell mommy-mug.

And if I get the exceedingly rare opportunity to leave my house for a night out with my partner or my girlfriends, I refuse to subject them or the general public to my blotchy, ghoulish complexion. Besides, wearing makeup makes me feel good – it elevates my mood, and gives me a confidence boost that is so needed during these dark, exhausting pregnancy days.

I’m fortunate. I have the privilege of working somewhere that I’m not required, nor expected, to put on filtered mask every day. Many professional women don’t have this luxury, and I cannot overstate how grateful I am to be part of a team that nurtures this environment.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go let my toddler run his hands all over my face with absolutely no consequences.

Toddler hands don’t have germs, right?

amy-schumer-makeup

Watch Amy Schumer’s “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” here.

Could we maybe just stop rating women like prize pigs at the fair?

If there’s one thing that every pregnant woman has in common, it’s the barrage of unsolicited comments she’s received about her appearance.

“You’re not having twins, are you?”

“You’re so tiny! Are you sure your baby is okay?”

“You look tired!”

It’s not just pregnant women, though. Ask any woman you know about the times she was cat-called, body shamed, or generally made to feel uncomfortable about how she looked, and she will have a handful of stories ranging from amusing, to downright terrifying.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), there isn’t much that phases us these days when it comes to remarks about our physical appearance. Women literally have generations of experience taking all kinds of unsolicited comments (typically from men), so whenever this kind of thing happens, it generally just rolls off our backs and we get on with our day.

Now I know what you’re thinking: is this crazy blogger lady some sort of hypersensitive radical feminist who hates the opposite sex so much that she’s using this platform to launch a verbal tirade against men?

Relax.

I only hate men when they talk.

Look, I know it’s unfair to generalize. Most men are decent human beings who don’t feel the need to gratuitously mouthblast every woman who crosses their path, or spew their inane word vomit all over the comments section of Facebook.

But then I recall the time I announced my first pregnancy on social media, and a man – let’s call him Danny – someone who I would never dream of even sharing a cup of coffee with jumped at the chance to inform me that I “just went from a 9 to a 2”.

GASP!

Say it ain’t so!

Are you telling me that I am not longer on your list of “Women I wish I could skrog but I’m too much of a stubby, trash-talking mouthbreather to even come close”?

I’m truly devastated.

Truly.

And to think, I was considering leaving my incredibly supportive, loving partner of ten years for you.

At the time, it rolled off. I found it both amusing and pathetic, not to mention so completely befitting of an individual who used to drive his convertible around to all the local high schools after he graduated to try and impress the co-eds. I quickly forgot about it – and him – instead, choosing to focus on what mattered: the incredible support from friends and family and the little boy who when he arrived, made every extra pound totally, utterly worth it.

But this past week as I struggled with my own insecurities as it became painfully clear that this pregnancy is being exceptionally unkind to my body, it came flooding back to me, and for the first time – I felt angry.

Angry that up until very recently, part of me actually still cared about what people thought of how I look.

Angry that I was a willing participant in the early 2000s Hot or Not phenomenon, and enjoyed it.

Angry that instead of enjoying breakfast with my son before work, I usually use that time to put on makeup.

Angry that we live in a society where women are still judged and rated like prize pigs at the fair.

Angry that the actual President of the United States literally endorses and makes money off of a degrading, arbitrary contest that quite frankly makes me embarrassed to be a woman.

Angry that someone so insignificant and meaningless still manages to get under my skin, even after all this time.

But then I stopped being angry. Because in three weeks, I might find out that I’m having a girl. And even if it turns out that it’s another boy, instead of being angry, I need to start being better.

And I will.

Danny recently had a baby of his own, and I’ll admit that I was tempted to childishly reciprocate his terrible joke from three years ago.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I decided to stop letting him waste any more of my time, and replace him with some incredible women I know who volunteered to share their similar experiences.

Let’s all be better.

Enjoy.

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Mommy and the terrible, horrible, no good very sad brain

Somehow, I miraculously dodged the postpartum depression bullet like a ninja wearing a giant diaper-pad after the birth of my son.

I’m not sure how I did it, to be honest.

So many things went wrong those first few months that I should have been thrown into a pit of despair, starting with the unplanned c-section I still get choked up talking about.

Maybe I just didn’t have room for PPD.

Maybe something else was in the way.

Unfortunately, we’re all out of PPD at the moment, but would you like to try the suppressed grief instead?

From the unplanned c-section recovery, to the Great Breastfeeding Battle of 2014, to the most terrifying milk protein allergy hospital ordeal of all time, I still wonder how I came out of that first year relatively unscathed.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, a staggering amount of new mothers aren’t quite so lucky.

As many as 20% of new moms experience varying degrees of PPD, and as many as 80% experience a mild form, known as the “baby blues”. Symptoms include overwhelming sadness, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, sleeplessness and trouble bonding with the baby. If these symptoms persist and are left untreated, this type of depression can last for months, or even years after the baby is born. For the handful of women I have personally known to fight this battle openly, I also know that there are just as many, if not more, who choose to fight behind closed doors.

I happen to know a little about the latter.

When my father died, I shoved it all away. I refused to talk to anyone, and the worst part was that the grief I declined to acknowledge was compounded when I experienced recurrent pregnancy loss a short time later.

So if you’re reading this and you’re going through some pretty heavy stuff – PPD, grief, anxiety or literally anything else – I want you to know that you can reach out to me, anytime. Leave a message below, email me at rebecca@rebeccaford.co, or if you know me in real life, get in touch.

But I also want you to know a couple more things, and I’m not going to go easy on you.

1. You are not brave.
I say this with love, because I know what it’s like trying to do this alone. It won’t work, and it won’t get better, I promise. Fighting alone isn’t you being fearless, it’s you being stubborn. Asking for help takes real courage. Reaching out is brave.

2. Burying your feelings isn’t cute.
I wish I sought help a long time ago, when I needed it the most. Instead of dealing with my feelings in a healthy, adult way, I have always been more comfortable burying them, or burying them at the bottom of a box of wine. As you can imagine, it’s been highly ineffective. I know you may be shocked to hear this, but burying your feelings doesn’t actually allow you to feel anything at all. It masks the pain, and until you feel each loss—I mean really feel it—you will always be stuck in that pit I mentioned earlier. Don’t get stuck there. It’s uglier than you could ever imagine.

Don’t tell me to “get over it” unless you want a drop kick to the back of the head

As I sat in my midwife’s office today wiping away tears that seemingly came out of nowhere, I felt completely humiliated.

It’s been two years. Why can’t you get the hell over it? I scolded myself. Crying in front of complete strangers is easily in the top-three most humiliating things to do in public, next to sneeze-farting and getting your period in a white skirt.

I digress.

We’re just constantly told to “get over it”, and I have no idea whyWe are told this so much that today, I was actually angry at myself for not “getting over” a traumatic birth experience that happened to me two years ago. But feelings aren’t simply something you can turn off, like flipping a light switch, or that time I found out that Johnny Depp hit women.

(You’re dead to me, Johnny).

Bad breakup? Get over it.

Stressed out at work? Get over it.

Simply feeling sad about life? Get over it.

“Get over it” and “move on” are the boilerplate poster children of bad advice, and frankly, I’m sick of hearing them. Believe me, if someone could just “get over it”, they would. No one wants to lie in bed all day with the curtains drawn, wallowing in anger, sadness or grief.

So here’s an idea.

How about instead of asking people, women, moms and everyone in between to “get over it” and “move on”, we say, “Hey, let’s talk about it,” instead?

How about that?


January 25th is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a special day each year designed to bring awareness to mental health issues in Canada. To learn more, click here.

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Great, another mommy blogger

If you’ve clicked on the link to this post, I thank you, from the bottom of my tiny, black heart.

No, truly.

The fact that you have made the conscious effort to read this drivel in lieu of any number of infinitely more interesting activities is a testament to how much you value me as a human being, and — hey, where are you going?

For those of you who are left, welcome. You’ve made it a lot further than most people, mainly those who rolled their eyes/ignored my status as I shamelessly plugged this blog on social media.

So let’s get started.

Why unfit-mom.com?

I know what you’re thinking: Becca, what could unfit-mom.com possibly offer me?

First of all, what makes you think I’m doing this for you? Get over yourself.

I write because I love to write and frankly, this blog may be the only legacy I leave my children.

But if we’re being honest, I feel like a complete failure 99% of the time. Sometimes, I seriously believe that I’m breaking the world record for the number of ways I’m botching parenthood. So if I write anything at all here that makes you feel something, commiserate, laugh, fart, or laugh-fart, it will all be worth it.

In conclusion, I really do hope to see you back here, because frankly, I need the exposure.

And maybe a foot rub, if you’re offering.