posted by Julie Claveau | Wednesday, 29 July 2015
I was going through my saved posts and I realized I never posted the birth story of my second child. It was over a year ago, but I really wanted to share it because it was such a beautiful and positive experience that I feel it can reassure future moms out there.
Let's get one thing straight before I get started though. Giving birth is giving birth. Even though my experience was positive, it wasn't easy and required a lot of strength, dedication and self-motivation (much like anything of value in life).
It all started on a Monday night. I had only just stopped working the previous Friday and I was looking forward to having a couple of weeks to pack my bags, get the baby's room ready, spend some quality alone time with my first son and relax a bit. It turns out my little bundle of joy had another plan for us.
At exactly 37 weeks of pregnancy, Z decided to make a surprise appearance into the world. I was excited to meet him but at the same time I was a bit scared. I think that's normal though, doesn't every mom panic when she goes into labor? I was actually pretty worried I'd deliver on the side of street midway to the hospital seeing as my first delivery went so fast.
I had an appointment with my OBGYN earlier that day, at around 5pm. After doing an internal exam (you know the one), she confirmed that I was neither dilated or effaced; as in, ZERO. Pretty normal for 37 weeks of pregnancy. I returned home completely oblivious to what was about to happen. I quickly cooked supper for my family and rushed to my prenatal yoga class on an empty stomach. When I returned home, I was pretty tired, so I went to relax in bed a few minutes as I checked social media on my iPhone. My husband walked in to bring me supper, so I moved over to sit up and that's when I felt it, this weird kind of "mini explosion" in my stomach, sort of like a balloon popping. My first thought: "Um, that's not normal."
Then it happened; as I stood up to get out of bed, water leaked between my legs. I was freaking out, I was like: "Oh my god, am I peeing? Wait, no, I can't be... I can't hold it in!! Oh my god oh my god is that what it's like to lose your water? That's so weird!" So I quickly made my way to the bathroom as water was literally gushing out of me. I never lost my water during my first delivery, so I had no idea!
Since we had absolutely nothing ready, my husband rushed around trying to wipe water off the floor and pack as quickly as he could. I couldn't help because every time I tried to move, more water came gushing out and we had to clean it up, so I just sat on the toilet and handled the panicking and the phone calls.
I called our babysitter so she could watch over my older son (who was sleeping for the night, thank god!) until my father arrived. After notifying my dad, I gave my mom a call. She was with my grand-mother taking care of my very sick grand-father. She was supposed to be part of my delivery team, but she was so far away that by the time she arrived, the baby was born. Boo-urns. Anyway, I remember giving my sister a call because I needed someone to talk to that could calm me down and help me focus.
The babysitter arrived and Antonio (my husband) had finished packing the car. I ended up having to put a dress on so that I could put a big rolled up towel between my legs to absorb the water which would not stop coming out! I'm pretty sure I scared our poor 11yo babysitter with that towel.
So we're in the car and I don't really have contractions, some mild discomfort, yes, but nothing too wild. Panic attacks though? Um, yes. I was so worried I would die in labor. I know, ridiculous in this day and age, but I'm a worry bug when it comes to things like that. We arrived at the hospital, parked the car relatively far since the parking lot is quite small and there's rarely any space available. I had no trouble walking all the way to the maternity ward.
We arrived and the nurse gave some forms to my husband and asked me to come in. She wanted me to sit so that she could plug me to a machine which would monitor the baby's heart. I was like, plug? Sure. Sit? Hell no. She was not happy because she couldn't watch the baby's heart rate if I wasn't sitting. Um, you can use your stethoscope lady, or some other tool. I know it's harder, but I don't care about your comfort, I care about my well being and the safe delivery of my child.
At this point I started having mild contractions, maybe every 2 or 3 minutes? Nothing unbearable. I kept telling her to bring me into a birthing room, that it wouldn't take long, but she wouldn't listen and she kept telling me to calm down. I think she was annoyed at me but I knew how my first delivery went and I didn't want to deliver in the hallway.
After about a half hour, she finally took me into a birthing room and since she hadn't offered a hospital robe, I took off all my clothes (one less thing to worry about). She sent another nurse and a student to take care of me, both of which had no idea what to do.
I asked for a birthing ball because I remembered how good it felt with my first. Sadly, it didn't work this time. When I tried to sit on it, the pressure on my pelvic area was unbearable. I had no clue how to position myself so I just stood up, placed my hands on the side of the bed and put my weight on my hands.
Contractions started to be a bit more intense at this point. I swayed from side to side between contractions and during contractions I squatted like a frog while doing my disturbingly long and low-pitched "ohm" sound. My husband was trying to massage my lower back and do pressure points like the nurse had shown him during my first delivery. Alas, he didn't remember where, or how, and it was doing more harm than good, so he stopped. He rubbed my back instead and brought me as many cold compresses as he could.
I remember the nurse asking me if I wanted laughing gas at one point and I'm pretty sure I gave her a death stare. I kept asking for things like ice and a massage and she didn't budge. I was seriously disappointed in the service she offered. To top it off, my mom hadn't arrived yet. I was doing it all alone. Next time I'm getting a Doula for sure.
Anyway, after a while I thought: "If this is anything like the first, I must be at around 7cm dilated now. It hurts so much and I have no help! I'm never going to make it to the end." I should have remembered that usually when you start wanting to give up, it's because the end is near...
Low and behold, it starts to push. I was in complete disbelief. I was like: "It's pushing, it's pushing!" I struggled to get onto the bed as the nurse said: "That's not possible, let's see how much you're dilated." As I got onto the bed on 4 legs, my body pushed a second time (note: my body, not me) and the head came out.
After that, all I remember is the doctor rushing in while putting her gloves on and asking: "Are you really going to deliver like that?" I starred. Enough said. She said push, I pushed once and the baby came out. He was born at 3 past midnight.
I turned, they put his little naked body on my chest and he pushed with his little arms to look up at me. It was magical. I let him snuggled with me a bit before helping him to my breast to eat. But that's another story...
posted by Julie Claveau | Wednesday, 22 July 2015
As some of you may know, last year at around this time, I gave birth to a second beautiful baby boy. It's been a true blessing to be surrounded by so much pure joy and love. Alas my return to work was inevitable, and so a new life has begun.
Other than my return to full time employment, a lot has happened since I last posted. We planted our garden and worked on our yard a lot. We visited the zoo and spent some quality alone time together as a family. I also had to slowly integrate my 1yo to daycare (my heart just shattered right there), we took turns being sick (ugh!) and dealt with loss. It's just been a rough few months and we're not out of the woods yet.
On a happier note, both of my boys celebrated their birthday this month, so I spent a lot of time in decor & food projects. As I'm sure a lot of you can relate, not all of my projects worked out quite as planned.
First, there was the beach look-alike cake I tried to make. I made a white cake and crumbled it so it would look like sand. I put the pieces in a cake mold to cover half the space, then I added a cookie sheet to put blue jello on the other side (you know... water). The cake ended up super dense because I pressed it too much, and the jello ended up soaking the edges of the cake. Anyway, it was a complete failure, but we ate it anyway!
Then there was the fire mantle which I thought would look awesome painted gold. It does not. I mean, it doesn't look bad, per se, but it sure as hell don't look like I thought it would. It just looks too gold. You know? Anyway, it's going to stay like that for a while because with my full time job, amongst everything else, I just don't have time for the details.
I also made a kind of starfish/flower birthday crown for my baby. It looks OK, but it's not fabulous. To be honest, I probably tried to be too fancy with my ideas. Sometimes simple is best.
I made a ton of other things with random materials and props, like fabric, cardboard, flowers, paint, shells, faux starfish, glitter, glue... and I will be sharing those which I had time to photograph.
For the projects that didn't plan out, I'll be posting some of them anyway since they technically still are good ideas. I might give them an update in the future, see if I can make it work better. Who knows, it might inspire someone!
Without further ado, here is how I made faux starfish with polymer clay for my littlest's beach themed party.
MaterialsPolymer clay (I used Sculpey, but I prefer Fimo)
Steps1. Warm up you clay by working it with your hands.
2. Make a ball then flatten it.
3. With an exacto, make 5 triangle incisions & remove the extra clay.
4. Round off the edges with your warm hands.
5. Using a toothpick poke little holes over the surface of your faux starfish.
6. If you plan on hanging them, push a hold through one of the arms. (Optional)
7. Bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.
8. Paint as you see fit; I mixed white and orange together to make my starfish a pale orange-y color.
There you have it! Beautiful starfish using clay.
I used these in a number of projects so stay tuned, in coming posts, I'll be showing you a few things you can make with your beautiful faux starfish!
posted by Julie Claveau | Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Ok guys. I'm so proud of myself right now it's actually kind of sad. How adorable is this animal head succulent planter I made?
DIY - Make this adorable clay animal planter for your mini succulents. Click to tweet.
Quite some time ago, I saw this super cute felt planter on Etsy and I really wanted to try making one with polymer clay. Last weekend, I finally found a plant, or succulent I should say, that resembles hair and I just knew I wanted to give the clay pot a shot.
So last night, I took out my polymer clay (which has been sitting around waiting to be used for much too long...) and made this super adorable bear head planter.
Have you ever tried making your own planter?
I also have some good news... I made my first Etsy shop sale this week! Yay! I'm so happy right now. I'm in the process of making more prints, some more elaborate than others so keep your eyes open and keep checking back. I'm really excited about this new development and it makes me want to branch out even more... so many possibilities!
Polymer clay (I used Sculpey original)
A little spoon (to scoop out excess clay)
Bake & bond (clay glue)
1. Warm up your clay by working it with your hands.
2. Make a large ball; slightly bigger than the pot you want to put in it.
3. Using a small spoon, lightly scoop out the excess clay from the top. I tried pressing and sculpting a hole into the ball but it got all squished and weirdly shaped. I strongly suggest scooping. Yes, it takes a bit longer, but the results are much nicer.
4. Roll a small ball of clay, flatten it and cut it in half. These pieces will be the ears of the bear.
5. Apply a bit of glue to the edge, place in on the vase and lightly scrape it in place.
6. Bake according to instructions.
7. Paint, seal with glaze and add your plant. Voila! c:
posted by Julie Claveau | Thursday, 30 April 2015
Buckwheat is such an interesting and nutritious ingredient. Did you know it's packed with iron? In my books, it's a super food.
When I was little, my grand mother often made us buckwheat crepes. As children, we didn't really care for them so she would drown them in maple syrup. Growing up, I developed a finer taste in things, and so buckwheat has become on of my flours of choice.
You make the buckwheat crepes, add a bit of salty butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and you've got yourself a little party in your mouth. Maple syrup is just so out-of-this world delicious that I want to spread it over everything I eat. Oh wait, I already do. That's a fact.
Oh, and this crepe recipe is egg free! So if you need to make some for a person with allergies, this is a perfect choice. :)
Do you like maple syrup or are you more of a honey person?
2 cups of buckwheat flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of Oil (I use canola)
This recipe makes about 12 small sized crepes or 6 big ones.
1. I use the my Kitchen Aid blender to mix everything together. I just dump all the ingredients in and blend. I find the mix easy to pour into the pan that way.
2. Before I start making the crepes, I make sure the pan is already hot (heat on medium). I don't know why but when I pour the mix into the pan as it's heating up, my first crepe always ends up sticking to the pan. Annoying. Trust me.