On October 13, 2016, my most precious bundle of joy was born. It feels like just yesterday that I heard the doctor say “Siobhán is out!”. She was so tiny, even her newborn clothes were big. My husband hogged her for the first few weeks. The only thing I would get to do was feed her because I had the breast! Now, all that teeny bop stuff is gonna and I have a full on young lady on my hands. I can’t believe how fast this past year went by. (more…)

When I had my baby, I was starting from ground zero on the knowledge of comfort scale. Most of the women I had giving me advice hadn’t had a baby in at least 10 years, so I kind of had to figure it out on my own as far as small comforts were concerned. So I’ve put together a list of things that helped me.

Pregnancy Pillow

My back pain started pretty early, around four months and is currently ongoing. I decided I wanted to try a pregnancy pillow. Wowzers, the difference it made! The shape I have not only completely alleviated my lower back pain, when my belly got bigger, it provided support and assisted with the pulling weight when I layed on my side. It is also currently functioning as support  (which I can’t do without when I nurse), so that’s another plus.

The drawback? It’s huge and takes up half of a queen size bed. We had to be very creative to  still manage to cuddle. If you know about Jamaica, you know the summer heat, is no joke! It was very uncomfortable when I needed the support but would sweat buckets being cocooned.

Where: I had made up my mind to have my mom make me one when I lucked out. I visited the Ping’s Half Way Tree store, and when I described what I wanted to make, the sales rep said she thought they may have one. She found 3, and I was able to purchase it there for JMD$3000. It was definitely a win!

This is the shape pillow I had, however, there are a wide variation of shapes.


Shea Butter Skin Mixture

I knew that moisture would be essential if I was going to have any hope of limiting stretch marks, but instead of relying on manufactured creams, I made my own. MOISTURE is imperative, not just oil. I bought unrefined Shea  Butter, coconut oil and olive oil and made a mixture that I used everyday on my breasts, belly, sides and lower back. I would encourage you to add your hips to your own regimen.

Where: Olive and coconut oil can be found virtually anywhere on the island. Shea butter a little more scarce. I bought mine on Amazon for USD$14.95 and had it shipped through ShipMe. I paid Shipme around $1000+ to collect. ( They charge per pound.) The good news is I have been using this EVERYDAY since March 2016 and have since made two of the containers (shown below). The second container is not yet finished and I’ve also been using the product in my baby’s hair for a few weeks now (It does wonders for a dry patch her scalp has). I also still have enough Shea Butter left to make another container or two of product.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

This little tube of product saved me from screaming bloody murder while my nipples got used to breastfeeding. I would never attempt to go without it if I had another child. It’s  safe for baby and doesn’t need to be removed before feeding (I removed it anyway and reapplied). It’s also great for chapped lips! It’s now a handbag favorite. It’s only 1.41 oz of product but a little goes a long way. I am still on my first tube though I no longer need it for breastfeeding (3 1/2 months later).

Where:  It costs USD$8.73 on Amazon and will be about $JMD800+ to collect through ShipMe. (Tip: Don’t order it alone. It’s better to order something else you may need to make up the one pound weight ShipMe charges for.)

Lansinoh Stay-Dry Nursing Pads

These are awesome! You can put them in your bra or stick them onto a close fitting top or dress if you want to go braless. They really do keep you dry. I never notice if my breasts have been leaking until I notice the difference in the weight of the pad. It never ever, ever feels wet.

Where: Amazon. It’s USD$9.99 for a box of 100 and like I said, if you don’t leak, or do very little, you can just pop them back in to re-use.

Silicone Breast Pump

So you know when your breasts are engorged and folks casually suggest express by hand? Nope, nope, nope, nope and oh yea… NOPE! It’s PAINFUL! Not to mention you’re there enduring all this pain for two drops of milk to casually drip. Nope! When I tried to find a pump locally, I found myself facing JMD$7000 price tags for single manual pumps. Again, nope! Considering I only pump if I’m engorged or need to go on the road for hours, I wasn’t about that life. I decided to try a silicone pump. This is sooo good! Hassle free and it’s great to take the edge off when engorged. The cap is only good to keep milk covered so watch out. If it turns over, all your milk is gone. I transfer to a bottle immediately so I’ve never had an accident.

Where: Amazon. It cost USD$13 .00 and is light (for ShipMe reference).


Ovia Pregnancy App 

I loved this app. It gives bits  of helpful information everyday and week as well as an update of what you can expect regarding symptoms each coming  week. There are helpful tips for alleviating them (symptoms), a community where you can ask questions and a cute little hand diagram that compares the approximate size of your baby’s hand in relation to the hand size at birth.

Where: Google Play  and Apple Stores. It’s free!

I hope this helps someone and congratulations on your baby!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.

The third semester was daunting as the last stretch. In the beginning, it went by kind of fast, but by the time I had 2 months or so to go, it was as though time became a sloth. A cruel pace. It seemed everyone I knew who was pregnant had their baby and mine was especially comfortable in my tummy. I got bigger, heavier, less mobile. I read as much as I could about labour and delivery and forgot most of it almost instantaneously each time. I looked for signs of impending labour everywhere. I heard every baby’s sound even remotely within earshot. I daydreamed constantly about what she looks like. Who she looks like, what she will be like. How big she’ll be. What her cries sounded like. Even what she smelled like.

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1. My feet grew

As much as I would like to tell you this isn’t something that bothers me, it most definitely does. My feet grew. They hang off all my sandals and my closed up shoes feel like I borrowed them and they’re so tight, even my lungs rebel.  (Young gal wear yuh size!). I was originally a 7, it would appear I am now size 8 and only own 2 pairs of shoes. Someone could have told me growing feet were a thing. I expected swollen, (which, ironically, I haven’t  gotten) , but growth? Well then!

Apparently, I get to blame that on the hormone relaxin for loosening ligaments. I’ll hang on to my shoes a while longer though, see if it’s temporary. A girl can dream, right?

2. Learned 80% of spending wasn’t actually on the baby.

As first time parents, one of the things I quickly realized was that 80% of the preparations we needed to make was not actual baby items or on the baby. (Weird I know). It was lot more costly to get our space ready to include another person permanently than it was buying    the baby stuff. A significant amount of preparations were so that our space would comfortable for us with a baby in it. We needed to ‘make space‘ in our lives if you will. And that ladies and gentlemen, is what’s expensive. Making your space baby friendly when you didn’t have kids prior. How come there aren’t pamphlets with these things?

3. I Lost My Mouth Filter

How do I say this diplomatically,  I don’t give a flying fart. Now, I’ve always been very opinionated and vocal, particularly in the company of peers. (You guys kbow I’m shy and quiet around strangers. Ha!) But I find I have an almost uncontrollable urge to say exactly how I feel when I feel it. That’s not particularly cool when you have to adult and mind the feelings of others, at least feign diplomacy and be cordial and such. I could really take very little crap from folks before, but since being pregnant, It’s been decidedly harder. I’ve certainly verbally lashed a few more folks than I’m used to. Yikes!

4. Pregnancy (Baby) Brain Is A Real Thing

This isn’t even funny. I felt (and continue) to feel so out of socket. There would be days I would do something like completely forget what I’m talking about in the the middle of a conversation. Then there were days when I would search for my phone and locate it in the refrigerator, or find the salt there, or check the garbage because I couldn’t locate a plate a was sure I was supposed to be washing. And then there were more dangerous days, when I would  forget I was cooking or even that I had started and go off to take a nap. The utensils population in my kitchen has suffered a severe decline in forks during this unfortunate time, which I think my husband was all too happy about my realizing I was the cause.


5. Perpetual Sweating

(Eww, I know.) All the time, everywhere, at the slightest movement, my skin gushes water. I had initially thought that was summer’s doing, but it’s not.  Even in air conditioning specific areas of my churn out water for what seems like a absolutely no reason. Never mind a room temperature room. As a person who rarely sweated before, it’s no joy to always be wet in embarrassing patches before you arrive at your destination, no matter where it  is or how short the journey. I may have showered more in the past few months than in my entire life! And it almost just never feels like enough.

Bottom line, there are some things you’ll not hear about until you are having your own experience.

Well, not physically. (Obviously) We are prone to forgetting that while our many symptoms as pregnant women are felt by us first hand,  our partners are experiencing it too and not less strongly, just differently. Be mindful I speak of supportive and committed partners, not ‘baby daddies‘. We may find that we underestimate what a man goes through when the woman he loves goes through this trying time.  (more…)