My new running partner and our Chariot Cougar 1

I have a lot of awesome running buddies but this one is definitely tops the charts (sorry friends)! Baby R has joined me for a few stroller runs now and so far she loves it. Or I assume so because she basically just sleeps the whole time.

It is important to note that its recommended to wait 6 or more months before running with a baby. However, I consulted our doctor, a chiropractor, and an athletic therapist about how to run safely with her at 3.5 months. I’m a very cautious person but I am comfortable with our setup. I’ve made sure her head and neck are stable, we stick to running on smooth surfaces at a leisurely pace, and I keep a close eye on her through our runs. Please do your own research this subject and consult your doctor if you plan to run with your baby.

Before purchasing a running stroller, I polled my Facebook friends and researched models online. There were two clear favourites, the BOB and the Chariot. Based on testimonials and Craigslist ads, both the BOB and the Chariot seem to have very long lifespans and good resale value.

The major pros to the BOB are people love it as a regular stroller and you can switch between fixed or non-fixed front wheel (on some models). The fixed wheel is great for running in straight-ish lines, but I think the non-fixed wheel would be more maneuverable on trails.

What appealed to me about the Chariot is that it sits lower to the ground and is easier to see in and over. It also has built-in mesh and rain covers as well as a sun visor flap. With the mesh cover zipped up, your child’s toys and snacks won’t fly out. Despite being mostly waterproof, it still has a mesh back and some mesh in the sides for air flow (phew!). You can also get bike and even ski attachments for it, however I didn’t want to base my decision on that because I’m not sure that I would use it for those purposes.

My husband and I checked out both strollers in stores, gave them a push around, and decided to go for the Chariot. We made the mistake of looking at new models of Chariots (now made by Thule) at the store. They were amazing but also more expensive than our first car (a lot of things are though – it was only $400 and lasted only slightly longer than you would expect).

I perused Craigslist for a while but when i saw this one posted, we snatched it up right away! It is an older model that was brand new with tags still on it. I felt a bit bad that the reason the previous owner was selling it was that she tore or ACL right after buying it a couple years ago – I also hoped it wasn’t jinxed!

So far I am loving it! The only downside is the attachments are fairly expensive. A friend had given us the bivvy that fits smaller babies and keeps them in a horizontal position. I’ve also already purchased the infant sling and baby support to use as she grows.

Do you have a running stroller? Which one?

How long did you wait before running with your baby?

Back on my feet

I was itching to get out and about after Baby R was born. I had been on bed rest for most of the last trimester of my pregnancy and although I could start moving more once she was term, it’s not exactly easy at that point!

Despite recovering from a c-section, we went for our first walk at one week old. I’ve heard some activity is actually good for the healing process. It was short, just around the neighbourhood to test out our stroller (a used Uppababy Vista we bought from Craigslist) and get some fresh air.

Over the first few months we walked to the park, the store, and a couple doctors appointments. We even managed a couple short hikes.

In addition to the stroller, we tried out our Moby wrap and the Ergobaby 360. The wrap was nice when she was a tiny newborn but I much prefer the Ergobaby now. It’s easier to get on and off and adjust. It also has better head and neck support for the little one.

I absolutely love baby wearing. It’s so nice to have them snuggled close plus you don’t have to manoeuvre a big stroller around. The downside is you can’t carry as much. I wear the Skip Hop diaper backpack if I’ll be gone away and/or need to carry anything.

My friend Courtney and her baby as well as a few friends that have Fridays off started a Friday walking group. It was great to get out and socialize with running friends after being out of the running loop for so long.

Recovering from birth whether you had a c-section or not is very different for everyone. Moving felt good for my body and mind, however it was slow and exhausting. I can’t remember exactly when I felt fully recovered but it’s been a while now. I’m currently 4.5 months out and feeling great!

The best day of my life

I sort of fell out of the blogosphere for a while there (sorry!) so for those who don’t follow me on social media, we gave birth to a healthy baby girl in October, just a couple days before her due date. I’m nearly three months into motherhood and I’ve been meaning to write this post about my child birth experience for a while. It may be a bit scattered as so much happened in such a short time frame.

Our baby was breech (head up rather than the usual head down position) so we were scheduled for a c-section. The day before, we took our dog to her favourite dog park and then dropped her off at my parents for a few days. We went for dinner that evening at our favourite restaurant. The one where we had our wedding reception and where we often celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other life events.

Final bump photo (39 weeks + 5 days)!
Selfie before my c-section

The birth

Jesse and I woke up early the next morning and went to the hospital for something like 6:45am. After a short wait, a nurse took us into the triage area where they asked me a zillion questions and prepped me for surgery. Everyone wanted us to guess the gender but we told them we had no clue. The obstetrician did a quick ultrasound to double check if baby was still breech but I was certain it was since I could feel its head jammed into my ribs.

They took me into the operating room, which was freezing cold, but Jesse had to wait outside while they gave me the spinal block. My midwife was with me which was comforting. The needle wasn’t bad since they numbed the area first. They repeatedly asked me if I could move my feet. Yes, yes, still yes. Meanwhile a nurse was putting a catheter in and while it didn’t hurt, I could still feel something (sorry TMI, I know). I guess I jumped a bit and my midwife, a bit shocked, asked if I felt that. Yes, and I can still move my feet.

The anesthetist gave me another spinal block stating “Better too much than not enough!” After that I could not feel anything from my ribs down. My legs were totally and utterly useless.

My midwife had given me advice to let the anesthetist know if I wasn’t feeling well because there were anti-nausea medications he could give me. I’m glad she said this because I likely would have suffered silently but instead I did mention this to him a couple times and he was able to help. He also warned me up with some hot blankets and even a tube blowing warm air into my blanket pile.

Jesse was brought into the room for the surgery. I tried not to listen to what the medical team were doing – I didn’t want to hear an “Oh no!” or “That’s strange.” It was all a bit odd feeling. While I wasn’t in any pain, I could still feel the pressure of what was happening. I had been warned about this so it wasn’t too bad, however, my arms were straight out to the side for the surgery and for some reason my shoulders started cramping up and made me very uncomfortable.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, the doctor announced we had a baby girl. He lifted her up so we could see her face over the curtain and then turned her around and said, “Here’s her bum!” It was an amazing and hilarious moment.

The moment I met my baby
Dad and baby R in the recovery room

Jesse got whisked off with her to cut the cord and weigh her. They quickly brought her back wrapped in a thick blanket so we could meet. He brought her right up to my face and gave me little kisses (she was rooting but I’m going with kisses). I am so so so glad that my midwife offered to take a photo of us. It is my favourite photo of such a raw, beautiful, amazing moment. After a few minutes, they were sent to the recovery room to keep warm while I was stitched up.

Having to wait for the surgery to finish while my baby was waiting for me next door just seemed cruel. I was so impatient! Plus I really wanted off the uncomfortable operating table.

After they finally finished (maybe 30 minutes?), the nurses had to get me on a stretcher, roll me to the recovery room, and lift me into my bed. I felt so useless as most of my body was dead weight. It was the strangest feeling.

As they moved me around, I saw a canister of blood and whatnot that had been sucked out of me during the surgery. It was actually in plain sight but I hadn’t noticed it because I was looking at Jesse the whole time. It looked like a lot but I guess that is normal!

Once in the recovery room, R was given to me and I was able to feed her right away. She looked hungry and latched on right away. The midwife said, “Well you won’t have any problems feeding!” or something to that effect. I was so relieved.

We stayed there for about an hour just mesmerized by this adorable little creature that was ours now.

Well at least dad's getting some sleep ...
Me as a baby (left) compared to R (right) ... so no I wasn't surprised she had lots of hair!

The hospital stay

We were moved into our room where we would stay for the next 48 hours. It’s all a bit of a blur already so here are some of my thoughts, experiences, and observations.

Our parents came for a quick visit right away to meet their grand baby, the first for both sets. They came back later that day and the next day as well. They just couldn’t get enough! Jesse’s brother and his girlfriend visited that night and a couple of my friends stopped by the next day.

Breakfast was delivered and I was so hungry since I had not eaten since about 8pm the night before. I asked the nurse if I could eat it. She said it’s probably not a good idea because a lot of people feel nauseous after surgery but that I could try to eat the apricots and see how it went. No sooner had I swallowed a bite of apricot than it came up again. I randomly puked one more time that day with no warning signs or even feeling nauseous – I barely had time to tell Jesse to get a bucket.

I tried to nap that day but I’d just barely drift off then suddenly wake up again repeatedly. Jesse didn’t seem to have a problem though! I had difficultly sleeping that night too which is very uncharacteristic for me.

By the evening, feeling had returned to my legs and my catheter was taken out. A nurse got me out of bed and I was able to stand up and move around a bit.

I think right after the surgery I was given some stronger medications but was soon only taking Tylenol and Advil religiously. It doesn’t seem like much considering I had just been cut open!

At first I was instructed to feed my baby every 3 hours. When they weighed her, they found she had lost 8% of her weight which is still within a normal range but they were a bit concerned. The paediatrician gave me the choice of supplementing with formula or feeding every 1.5 hours for the next day. I chose the latter. If she lost any more weight, they might keep us there another day. She gained a little so we were discharged on schedule.

They say that babies should poop once in the first 24 hours. Well R exceeded expectations! Jesse did all the diaper changes while we were in the hospital since getting in and out of bed was difficult for me.

We were discharged on the Thursday around noon and were excited to sleep in our own bed that night.

While I waited in the lobby for Jesse to get the car, a lady, seeing our newborn, initiated conversation with me. Apparently babies are huge signs that say, “Hey stranger, please talk to me.”

I don’t remember much of that day other than my mom dropped off food for us and my brother came for a visit.