“Busyness is the New Black” — Guest post on Addminit

As a freelance content writer, I have had the opportunity to explore so many different topics and industries. Recently I wrote a post for a company called Addminit about the shift in social norms, and how suddenly we are all yearning to become even more busy. Why? Because “busyness” means success. You can find this blog article, and others here.

Gone are the days of aspiring for that Gatsby lifestyle. Leisure, and luxury are a thing of the past. Now, the lack of down time and leisure is the new status symbol — you know you’ve made it, if you have no life. North Americans are finding themselves in their offices more hours than not, with downtime being the very last on their list of priorities. Surprisingly, no complaints are made — because lack of leisure is a status symbol for success. Marketers are honing in on the rise of busyness, and using it to their advantage, but at who’s cost?

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Busyness Business

Marketers are playing into this rising status symbol of busyness and using it to their advantage. Take a moment and think about recent ads you may have seen. They all pose the same sentiment, how valuable your time is. They know that time is the luxury to the mass majority. With taglines and slogans like “people who dont have time make time to read the Wall Street Journal” or services like Fresh City Farms — who send you the ingredients for recipes, so you don’t have to waste your time at a grocery store. Marketers are feeding into the obsession of being “so busy” and providing more reasons to stay that way. Convienance, and cutting corners on leisure.

What’s the appeal?

Why is it that we have been consumed with being and staying busy? Today, it is common for North Americans to have several different forms of business. Working 9 – 5 is more commonly found in history books than it is in today’s culture. What is the appeal? Aside from the status symbol. Why are marketers encouraging the obsession with busyness? Especially when recent studies suggest the alternative. Anat Keinan research suggests that for the short term most people feel a level of guilt for taking time off for leisure, but long term they would feel a greater sense of guilt for not taking the time for leisure, travel, family and hobbies.

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Know the Worth of Your Time

The value of your time should encourage you to work smarter not harder. With this rising trend of busyness, there are smart ways to add time to your day. Long term happiness and overall fulfillment is important.  Outsourcing tasks, and hiring a virtual team member will not only add time, but lessen your workload. Bring back Gatsby aspirations, take time to enjoy your luxuries and leisure.
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired” F.Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

Lessons from my one year old: Postpartum Anxiety was part of my journey

You haven’t lived. A man once told me after I told him I didn’t have any children. I didn’t really understand what he meant, I smiled and told him, one day. Well, it’s now ‘one day’. And I get it, I am alive, I am living and I am humbled.

My son Ben, turned one year today. And in his one year on this earth, he has taught me more about myself than I could ever imagine possible. I have traveled, lived oceans away from home, won some and lost huge. And my one-year-old has now shown me what life is all about.  He peeled off the layers I had built up over my 31 years right down to my seed. I’ve learned that nothing is as it seems, nothing is easy and the best things come out of our darkest moments.

One thing that I have kept close, is my struggle with Postpartum Anxiety and OCD. I didn’t even know it was a thing. About two months after Ben was born I started loosing control, and entered into a dark anxious place. I felt lost, alone and cheated. I struggled trying to get pregnant, and after wanting something so much for so long, I was riddled with terrible anxiety and darkness. Silently I worried, until one day I sat up in bed with a sleeping husband to my left and a sleeping newborn on my right and I just couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t even know why. It was past the typical baby blues period, it was far beyond hormones. So I started googling, because you know that’s the best thing to do in the middle of the night. I started reading horror posts on forums about postpartum psychosis, depression and anxiety. All negative posts, all things that made me feel even worse than I already had. I slammed my phone down. Got up and had a shower. I leveled with myself, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. I saw my doctor that week and she confirmed that I had Postpartum Anxiety and OCD.. She told me if I felt I needed it I could take a prescribed medication. I wanted to sleep on it. I have felt so strongly about staying natural, and I didn’t want anything getting through my milk to Ben. I knew though, that if I didn’t do something I would have to take the prescription, I needed something. This crying, dark anxious mess, was not me. That night I got a notice for a baby yoga class just down the street at Yoga Mamas. I had been too anxious to almost leave my home most days, but knew getting a pass might force me out. It did.

My very first class, Ben stayed sleeping in his bucket seat and I entered the lavender scented studio, I parked us at a mat by the window. Sun flooded in, shined on Ben and for the first time in months I wasn’t in the dark. I felt hopeful again just by being there and I took a deep breath. Other mom’s and babies started filing in, with top knots, bucket seats and exhausted looks in tow. The yoga instructor started the class with a radiating smile, and asked us to each share what we were thankful for that day. “Coffee” one mom said, “5 hours of sleep” said another, I don’t remember what I said that day, but today, I would tell you “that class”.

I went every single week, sometimes every day– you could say I found a new thing to obsess over,  instead of anxiety. We went for months until Ben started crawling and we were too busy making messes and play-dates. But those months at Yoga Mamas, being in a room filled with my tribe, having my downward dogs and my Shavasana is where I found my footing again. Where I took the time to take a deep breath, let it out and really look at my son to appreciate the lessons he was teaching me. I slowed life down. I stopped trying to control, I stopped worrying and I let go. For me, yoga was enough.

For the longest time I felt cheapened, like my first months as a mom were tainted, and that maybe I cheated Ben a little. Then I look back, and realized that it was my journey to becoming the mom I am, and the mom I will be. I needed that struggle, just as I needed the struggle to become pregnant. Life’s a journey, no one said it’s a smooth ride without bumps and detours.

Ben is our spirited boy. He makes me want to be more like him. He wakes up with a smile on his face, and something say. I’m not sure what he’s saying yet, but I’m sure soon enough he’ll let me know. He takes chances, explores every angle, and knows what he likes. His belly laugh is reserved for Sammie Dog, his smile is contagiously for everyone and anyone. He is smart, dances like no one’s watching and has a fierce temper – easily tamed with blueberries. His hug washes away any doubt I have ever had, ever. He makes me love harder, smile wider and wait longer.

You know what they say, time flies. And as cliché as it is, it is true. This was the longest and shortest year of my life. Some days felt like decades, while most months felt like they didn’t even happen. Without me even noticing my tiny seed has grown into a beautiful boy, filled with wonder and possibilities. I can’t wait to find out what other lessons he has in store. Until then, every day I try to wake up with a smile knowing, that I have lived. I have Ben.

 

Happy Birthday My Sweet Boy, Love Mama.

Little Finch Dresses!

When my blog posts start to lag, it usually means two things. 1. My Benny boy is keeping me busy and 2. I’m working on lots of dress orders! Dress Orders? You ask. Well, that’s how this blog came to be. A little Etsy Shop that could, watercolour painting my way to the hearts of brides across North America (and some worldwide)!

Brad and Katie - Custom Pair - www.littlefinchdesigns.com

Being creative is the reason my heart pumps, without it I’m not sure where I would be or what type of person I would be.  I am also not really sure how it turned into an Etsy shop or an ongoing concept, but I’m glad it happened. I like to think it’s the universe’s way of forcing me to slow life down, sit with a paint brush and let it all out. If i get to help commemorate someone’s special day, or get that teary eyed reaction from a special bride the morning of her big day — then that’s an amazing bonus!

I can’t always share my latest orders, either because they have been requested to remain a secret, or because they are a gift. Here is one that I recently did for my friend who has an AMAZING Say Yes to the Dress Story to go along with it, that I will share shortly as an entire blog post.

Jenn's Dress.
I love when the dress comes with a special story, or a request. One dress request came with a picture of a crown passed down from two generations, that was added under the dress. Another came with a picture of her mother’s dress, and asked if her dress and her mothers could be side by side — as a special mother of the bride gift.  Every order is so different, individual and special. I am so lucky to share in so many special moments.

Winnie Dress - Custom Watercolour www.littlefinchdesigns.com

 

I am always open to requests, you can email me charlene@littlefinchdesigns.com or visit my shop or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. I am always up for new orders, and challenges so lay your special requests on me! Nap time is over and I gotta run!

Happy Wedding!
Char

Momming Monday: Why You Should Be Kind To Postpartum Mamas

I think this subject isn’t spoken about enough. I am going to come right out and say, early days postpartum were some of the most challenging days of my adult life. Hormones as I mentioned in my last post, are an intense roller-coaster. Not to mention lack of sleep, which only adds to your roller-coaster demeanor. One minute you are empowered She-Goddess, conqueror of childbirth, creator of the worlds cutest newborn—and the next, you’re a puddle of all the emotions, while you embark on the worlds most challenging job. You and your newborn cry because you’re tired, because you’re happy, because you just don’t know why.

Why You Should Be Kind to Postpartum Mamas

The first step of becoming a parent is taking your needs that sat comfortably on the first peg, and without realizing it, putting them on the second peg. It happens before your baby is even earth-side, when they are but a mere tiny seed. You begin to sacrifice things, not just because you have to, but because you can’t imagine causing any kind of harm to your growing human. Sacrifices continue the second your baby is born. What do they need, rather than what do we need. Things that were once second nature are suddenly something you have to schedule – sleep, showers, eating. And the things that helped you unwind? Manicures, Pedicures, a big cup of tea and a good book? They are suddenly at the end of your list of things to fit in. All postpartum mamas need is a reminder, and sometimes a hand.

The first months after having your baby, you forget about your life before. You shed the layers of who you were and embark on a journey. Your search for survival, growth and discovery. You have to loose yourself in order to find the new you. And in order to find the new you, the better you, you have to start from the beginning – just like your newborn.

Postpartum hormones help with this..sortof, your skin gets angry and breaks out like a 13 year old on picture day. Your hair eventually falls out in handfuls, you are still squishy and resting your hand on your belly that was so recently the comfty home for your babe—but a part of you thought that you’d be close to back to “normal” – the new normal will come with time. You shed your layers, in more way than one.
You have visitors coming out of the woodwork to meet your little miracle, with suggestions and comments that in your exhausted hormonal state you will over-analyze. Without knowing it, your visitors will inadvertently send you down the rabbit hole of self doubt. Am I doing this right? Are they big enough? Am I cut out to being a Parent? All part of the journey mama, and the answer is yes. Yes, you are doing great.

Suddenly, things like taking your dog for a walk will seem like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Will I take the dog out first? Or the stroller? How will I lock the door and have the baby and dog secured at the same time? Overthinking, it happens. Take a deep breath, you will figure it out, and it will then become second nature. Everything becomes part of your daily rhythm, slow at first, a few dips in tempo, then suddenly you are conducting your symphony– like you’ve been doing it your whole life.

Once you gain your rhythm, with your babe and your partner. You realize how far you’ve come. How proud of yourself you are, and how badly you need time for you. You may not feel comfortable taking that time away from babe. You will find time, because you have to. I found Mommy and Me Yoga, and I was reborn there. I went every single day some weeks, Ben would sleep in his bucket-seat next to my mat and I would breathe into my new body. Exhaling my doubt, my anxiety, and exhaustion – inhaling the beauty that is motherhood, my newfound appreciation for myself and my most beautiful creation. Yoga not your jam? Explore options to take time for you. You’ll be glad you did.

The journey is never ending, I’m still discovering new things about myself and overcoming new obstacles. Beginnings are always hardest though, so be kind to new mama’s. Its easy to be on the outside looking in – join them on the inside, offer them a hand in their journey, it’s as simple as bringing them a meat pie for dinner, putting away the dishes in their sink and giving them a hug.

Happy Baby, Happy Mama!

xo
Char

Contest Winners!

Thank You to everyone who entered! This will not be the last contest, so keep your eyes and ears pealed! If you are following Little Finch on Instagram or Facebook, you know that the winners have been announced! Can’t wait to start the wedding dresses! Happy Friday Friends!

Little Finch WINNERS!!

Thank you to all that entered! Congratulations to Carmen Chan, Michelle Par, @jessicalovesjordan You’ve won a 9 X 12 custom wedding watercolour!here is one bonus win! Natalie Juneau, you’ve won a 5 x 7 custom wedding Watercolour!
Email me charlene@littlefinchdesigns.com to get the process started!
 
 
 

YAY!

xo
Char

Momming Monday: What I learned My First Weeks as Mama.

Moments after the initial excitement, after they had measured and wrapped up my little guy, they placed him back on my chest, as they had the moment he came earthside. I remember as all the doctors and nurses left the room, I was left gazing into the tiny squishy face of my Ben and suddenly it hit me, “what do I do now?!” Its true what they say, babies don’t come with instruction manuals – but in that moment, I sort of looked around the room for one. Should I feed him? Is he warm enough? Do I need to do something right now? Mike and I just looked at each other, looked at Ben, and waited for answers.

Doctors and nurses came in and gave a brief 411. But parenting you learn on the job. You don’t get to test out the parenting pool first by dipping your foot in, you are pushed off the deck. Answers come with time and experience. You are constantly learning, and discovering just how to be the new you.

What I Learned My First Weeks As Mama.

Here is a list of a few things I learned in the first weeks of being Ben’s mom:

You go from being exhausted, to being so tired that you don’t remember what normal tired feels like.

Patience. I always thought I was a pretty patient person, and it was not until becoming a mom did I actually learn the meaning of patience.

Walking up and down the hall while rhythmically chanting “shh, shh, shhhhh” is the norm.

You will dose off on the couch and wake yourself up frantically thinking you dropped the baby, the baby is the bassinet. Go back to sleep.

Realizing that a shower is no longer a necessity and it is in fact, a vacation.

You never have too many pairs of yoga tights.

Your feet might swell for a week after giving birth, like elephant swell.. its gross. But it will go away.

Breastfeeding is hard. Hot showers and cold compresses help.

An evening stroll, is like a reset button.

You may not know how to ask for help, but you can. It takes a village.

Phantom Kicks are a thing.

Everyone will tell you to “sleep when baby sleeps”– you wont want to. You’ll want to try to tackle the mountain of laundry or put the dishes away. Just sleep. Sleep trumps mess.

You will have good friends who told you they would be there every day to help, and they wont. But you will have a great friend who will come every day just to drop off a Tupperware of chicken fried rice, a hug and a “you’re doing great mama” and you will forget about the friends who didn’t come.

Visitors will not ask you how you’re doing. Don’t take it personally, they are distracted by your beautiful squishy creation.

Colic is the devil.

People will say “You should be breastfeeding more” or “You should switch to formula, your baby is so small” – listen to your doctors, every baby is different and you will make the right choice for them.

Every single person in your family will tell you that the baby looks exactly like them.

Newborn’s are unpredictably predictable. They wait until you have a pattern on lock, and change it up. They can be jerks.

Your dog will snuggle up to your baby and you will melt.

Post Partum hormones are like a rollercoaster you’ve been waiting in line for 9 months. It’s a super scary ride, but it ends pretty quick.

You’ll be glad you took the stool softeners.

Late night feedings make you feel very lonely, you’ll look out your window and see the desolate street and think not another soul is awake. You are not alone, there’s another hungry newborn a street over.

You will have a newfound appreciation for your parents, your grandparents and your friends with kids.

Your friends without kids will give you parenting advice and exhaustion will make you loathe them. They are only trying to help.

You will think back on the dumb things you said to your friends with kids and give yourself a good ol’ facepalm.

You will learn that your Husband (partner, co-parent) is actually your hero. Whether its letting you sleep that extra hour, or tagging in when they hear you on the brink of another homone-coaster meltdown.

Strangers will give you parenting advice. Smile and walk away.

Breastfeeding get’s easier, YouTube is your friend and if your baby is hungry, feed them – no matter where you are.

You’ve become the person on Facebook to only post pictures of their baby.

Give yourself a break. You just had a baby. Do NOT try on any of your pre pregnancy clothes. Stick to the forgiving tights and the flowy shirts. You look great.

You will get frustrated, and you will want to cry. So cry.

Dance. When in doubt, dance break! Newborns love it.

You will be pooped on. Maybe more than once. Sorry.

Find your tribe. Whether it’s online, or a weekly mom group. Talking to other mom’s will make you feel so much better, and not so alone.

Swings are a magic sleeping machines. But beware, one day they will stop being the magic sleeping machine.

You will have friends tell you they know exactly what you’re going through, that they only had 7 hours of sleep last night. You only had four.. but who’s counting.

You will constantly second guess yourself, you will listen to the opinions of others too much and you will wonder if you are doing this whole parenting thing right. Is your baby fed? Check. Is your baby clean? Check. Has your baby did the number ones and the twos? Check. Have you eaten? Check. Then you’re doing just great.

People will ask you “Are they sleeping through the night yet?” and if they aren’t – smile and hold back the rage. (For the record, Ben STILL doesn’t sleep through the night).

Have faith in yourself. Trust your instincts and give your husband a break – they are new at this too.

You will realize your baby won’t stay tiny and squishy forever, and you’ll stay on the couch and snuggle instead of putting them down.

You will never have enough pictures of your baby and you are glad you bought that extra iCloud storage.

You can happily spend an entire afternoon staring at your baby.

You didn’t know what love was.

You do now.

Happy Momming!
xo

Want to read more Momming Monday? Check Out More!

How to Get Your Wedding Guest Book Signed By Everyone!

It’s the day after your wedding, you sit down in with your love in front of the fireplace at your Honeymoon suite. You grab a glass of champagne and grab your guest book — hoping to grasp on to the fleeting strings left of the biggest day of your life so far.  You open the book and see sparse pages — with a few “congrats!”  Frantically, you start to  flip through the mainly empty book, Where are all the comments?! Did no one see this?!

HOW TO Get your Wedding Guest Book Signed by Everyone!

 

Hop into this time machine, lets go back you get those signatures, inside jokes and words of wisdom from your 100+ guests. Even the kids that screamed through your ceremony. Lets make some memories people!

  1. Appearance. What does your guest book look like? Is it bright and colourful or camouflaging? Small, medium or large?
    Ensure that your guest book is colourful, or has a picture of you and your partner on the cover — time to put those 100 engagement pictures to use! In a non- vom sort of way. Continue with pictures on the inside, guests love to look at pictures. Make sure that your book is a substantial size, a 4 x 6 inch is going to get lost, I would suggest 8 X 10 and up.
  2. Location. Where is the book in your venue? At the front door? On the gift table? Off in a corner for no rhyme or reason?
    Location is key in guest book signage. Make sure its present at the cocktail hour in a location outside the doors to the dining area — perhaps next to the seating chart, if you have a seating chart. Give your guest book it’s own table with numerous writing utensils — pens, sharpies, markers, crayons, pencils, stickers. Make it an activity that anyone would be attracted to — even the kids!
  3. Change locations. Maybe it sounds confusing, but moving your guest book along with your guests – from cocktail room to dining room, this will ensure it doesn’t get forgotten. Make sure to continue visibility — next to the bar.. not ON the bar — you don’t want to remember spilled red wine. Maybe have it so the entire guest signing station moves. Make it attractive, with sequins and neon lights — only half joking.
    Sign My Wedding Guestbook -- without being lame
  4. Announcement. Have your MC announce that there will be a prize for the person who signs the guestbook on a certain page, or that the bride and groom will award the most memorable quote a prize. People love winning, and coming in first. If you aren’t first, you’re last!
  5. .Assignment. Assign one or several of your groomsmen to go around table by table and ask everyone to sign. Wedding dinners last forever sometimes, this gives your guests something to occupy themselves while the bar is closed.
  6. Forget the book, make a video guestbook! Have your videographer go around to each table and either have them “sign” as a group or as individuals. You know what, scratch the videographer  get yourself a GoPRo and headband attach it to your hilarious MC and give them a huge responsibility!
  7. Don’t sweat it. If you go through your book after your wedding has come and gone and you have missing signatures — do you know who didn’t sign? Are they are a good friend? Are you type A? — It’s okay, I suffer from type A blackouts too.  Next time their over for a wine night, get them to sign it.
    OR have a city hall wedding with 10 guests, less fuss getting 10 people to sign.
  8. Alternatives. Instead of a guest book, have a  guest quilt, or a massive poster sized picture of you two love birds under plexi to be signed, little wooden hearts to be signed and put in a glass frame — be creative!

If you still aren’t sure where to even start making a guest book, feel free to drop me a line at charlene@littlefinchdesigns.com I’d be happy to help! Or subscribe to receive notifications of new posts, upcoming offers and giveaways!

Did you know that Little Finch is having a contest??! Don’t miss out on a great chance to win a custom watercolour of your wedding dress, to find out how to enter, and details visit here.

 

Happy Wedding!
Char

Momming Monday: Giving Birth and Unleashing Your Inner Warrior.

What Giving Birth is Really LikeI was going to walk through my entire birth/labour experience – but to be honest as I was typing all I thought was, this is so long winded and do people need to know I threw up my entire dinner in between contractions? You can read about my First Trimester here, Second and third here.

Instead, I thought I would answer the questions I wondered about leading up to the birth of my son. Based on my experience, because every pregnancy, labour and birth are never the same, here are the questions I wondered about and how it went down for me.
Feel free to comment with other questions or email me charlene@littlefinchdesigns.com I am happy to share other information and symptoms I had with you.

Also, if you don’t feel like going through all the questions, please skip down to the wrap up, I include words of strength my dear friend sent me a week or two before giving birth and it was so incredibly empowering – I wanted to share my strong (Room reference).

Will I know the difference between Braxton Hicks and Contractions?

Yes. I remember asking my friend, will I know when I go into labour? She answered with an undeviating “You’ll know.” Of course I have heard of certain women not knowing it does happen, and I wouldn’t even say they were lucky – because giving birth without warning, no thanks!

I however, knew. It started as a dull but sharp back pain. It then started to radiate and come in waves. Then Contractions started. It felt completely different from Braxton Hicks, it wasn’t the same kind of tightening.

What do contractions feel like?

It started out feeling similar to a mild period cramp, then it grew. It grew with my journey through labour, getting a bit more intense wave. It sort of started out as a conversation piece, you have it, you breath through it then you look up at your partner and say “huh, that wasn’t too bad” or “that one was pretty intense.” Then when you get to Active Labour you start asking where are the drugs?? I laboured at home all night long and as I stood in my shower I kept thinking “you’ll have relief soon, you’ll get the drugs” I never got those drugs, I got to the hospital pushing and fully dilated. But telling yourself you will have that relief helped a lot.

Will my water break like in the movies?

Mine broke in the car with an involuntary push as my husband Mike paid for parking. I luckily was sitting on a retirement home pee pad — not joking. I was also wearing a super pad, which absorbed I think the majority. It however, was the least of my worries and I barely remember it happening. I was too concentrated on not having my baby in the car.

How will I know when to go to the hospital?

I think I should have headed to the hospital a lot sooner, as I mentioned I was involuntarily pushing on the car ride there. It was a scary drive – we luckily only live about 8 minutes away.

I should have gone in when the contractions started to get really bad, 1min 20 seconds in between each ( the hospital told me I could still hold off on coming in when Mike called – my contractions started really close together). We waited a bit and eventually I couldn’t speak during my contractions and my breathing started to get thrown off, and I felt like there was a geared up chainsaw inside of me. I got there fully dialed and Ben was almost born in the wheelchair on the way to the birthing suite.

Side note: When I was in very active labour my dog Sammie instinctively curled up behind me in between and tried to comfort me in a way. Mike snapped a pic, and I’m going to share it here—in all my exhausted glory – because why not?

What Giving Birth Is really like.

Will I feel constant pain?

It all depends on how you look at it. For me, I kept remembering that each surge or contraction wouldn’t last forever – it wasn’t infinite. Birth isn’t infinite and relief is in sight for contractions and for labour. When the contractions got stronger I would remind myself that I as much as it hurt, its one step closer to being done. I had an extremely fast labour, and I have friends who were in labour for days–like I said, everyone is so different. I would suggest listen to yourself and your body, go as far as you can then a little bit further, and then look for other options for relief. Counter-pressure saved me at home, that and a hot shower. Remember that women are actually made for this, physically made for this. No matter what happens, you are a warrior for bringing life into this world!

Does induction always mean Pitocin? Does it lead to other interventions?

Due to my high blood pressure, my doctor wanted to get that baby out of my belly before it got worse. I was given a single dose of a gel induction. I researched the induction type, and it was a step before Pitocin. Results seemed to vary, some had no change in their dilation and had to go back for second and sometimes third doses. For me, it worked incredibly quick. My OB administered the gel and I laid flat for an hour then I was allowed to go home. They told me that I would get my second dose the next morning at 8am. It wasn’t two hours before I started to feel a dull ache in my back.

As I had mentioned my labour was extremely fast, I laboured at home from 7pm until 6am and left right when I started pushing. I got to the hospital, as I said, JUST in time. So for me, I guess the gel induction worked like draino on my cervix. I didn’t have time for additional interventions aside from the use of a vacuum to apply counter pressure for my son who would get sucked back in after each push.

What does pushing a baby out feel like?

In all honesty, after contractions pushing a baby out was a fraction of pain. It may be the fact that you know it’s the end of your labouring journey, or the fact that you are numb to the pain at that point. I felt everything, and it was amazing. I can still remember feeling my son’s shoulders and arms enter into this world and it was nothing short of miraculous. They kind of just slid out swiftly, which just ended all the pain. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the moment you bring a human into this world you feel empowered like a warrior on top of the world. We as women are so incredible for having the ability to bring life into this world.

Does the pain continue after giving birth?

The second I pushed my son all the way out, the contractions stopped. No pain, just relief, sweet relief, joy, and exhaustion. Mike said that after the final push I flung my head back, closed my eyes, and took a giant breath in. Before I knew it the nurse who caught Ben put him on my chest.

The only discomfort that I felt right after was the stitching up part – not comfortable, but just sort of a stinging feeling. They conveniently do that while you are completely preoccupied with your tiny miracle – so its done before you know it.

www.littlefinchdesigns.com

Wrapping it up

I should say that, all the pain, discomfort, worry, the marathon of contractions and uncertainty are all worth it the second you get to hold your tiny little human. The moment they put Ben on my chest, I was overwhelmed. A stranger I’ve known his whole life, my little growing sidekick for the past nine months, and he’s here in my arms. I had no idea then, how much my life would change. How the world as I knew it would be completely different and how I would suddenly see the world with a new set of eyes. In that moment, all I thought about was how soft he was, and how could he possibly be ours.

I want to leave you with something that brought me strength the weeks leading up to giving birth. I was ready to give birth, but at the same time I was incredibly apprehensive and nervous. There was no turning back, but there was no way to be certain about what was ahead. On the day I went on maternity leave, I came home to a card in my mailbox from a dear friend.

On the front it said:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matter compared to what lies within us – Emerson”

In the card was an excerpt from Hello, My Name is Mommy by Sheri Lynch – this is exactly how I felt and still feel about the first moments with my son. This excerpt gave me a new kind of empowerment.

“Then it is time for your very first snuggle with your very own baby.

Savour that moment. It’s one of the most magical moments you’ll ever know, and once it passes, its gone, never to be duplicated.

You may be weary and shaking or wired and floating as you gaze for the first time into the eyes of this tiny stranger whose heart has been beating in concert with your own for the past nine months.

Your baby knows you, your voice, your smell and wants nothing more than to be cradles close in your arms, held snugly to your breast. Lying with your newborn, there is no pressure to perform, while, this too – brief moment, you can finally rest and allow yourself to simply be.

The person you were, the woman who didn’t know her own strength and doubted her capacity for love is slipping away now, though it may be a while before you truly believe that she’s gone. Try to catch her eye s she leaves, and thank her for taking you this far. Everything you’d dreamed and all that you feared is behind you and in front of you.

You’re a mommy for real now. You’re a warrior. And this is what it means to be reborn.”

You got this,
xo
Char

WIN!! GIVEAWAY TIME!

GIVAWAY! 3 Chances to win!!

 

It’s your chance to win a custom watercolour wedding dress from Little Finch Designs!  There is no expiry date on the prize and you can totally give it as a gift! Learn more about the custom watercolours by checking out The Dress and my Etsy shop!

There are three ways to enter and therefore, three chances to win!
1. Subscribe to www.littlefinchdesigns.com2. Follow char_little_finch on instagram and comment under the post with the name of a friend who may also want to enter.
3. Like Little Finch Designs Wedding on Facebook, and tag a friend!

Winners will be announced March 11th and will receive a 9 x 12 wedding watercolour gift certificate, which can be redeemed at any point — no expiry! So don’t delay, and enter today!

 

Happy Winning!
Char

Winnie Dress - Custom Watercolour www.littlefinchdesigns.com

 

 

 

How to Achieve Less is More Wedding Decor

Something that I’ve noticed in wedding decor trends is that less is more! You know what that means? Staying on budget!Less is More in Wedding Trends I mentioned one way to achieve statement decor with over-sized weather balloons in, Back to the Future with Wedding Trends.  It is actually a perfect example of achieving a very beautiful wedding decor style, without having to a)break the bank and b)overbuy or overpowering your venue with stuff — loosing site of what the day is about.

Remember this beautiful Wedding?  I absolutely love the new dimension the balloons bring to a

Purple Tree Photography

Purple Tree Photography

space without cluttering the love (aka the venue which is to act as a frame for the couple).
The venue was embellished by the balloons, drawing attention to the already classic details — the chandelier, wall sconces and high ceilings. While at the same time tying in the blush of the bridesmaid dresses and brightening up the white tablecloths and window dressings.

 

I have found that a lot of couples are making a statement by having a focal piece at their

www.stylemepretty.comgallerypicture1455904

wedding. Instead of having flowers, lights, fabrics, vintage pieces, banners — the whole nine yards — couples are opting for one or two items and giving it their all. For example, a statement runner at their ceremony, instead of having flowers down the aisle, and flowers on the  chairs and flowers at the alter, just a simple yet intricate runner to act as  a backdrop to compliment the bride and the groom, along with their wedding party.

Another example is greenery or foliage. Baby’s breath and greenery are taking over the scene this wedding season.  Over doorways, lining tables, draped on chairs. It can be done well and on budget.  Green can go a long way and the best part about it is that it matches pretty much all color choices. So rather than selecting perfectly matching flowers for your table centerpieces you can keep it simple, go with lush greenery, succulents, even simple baby’s breath and bring a natural classic look to your day. Wedding Decor - Keeping it Simple

Colour, pick your colours wisely and find large key pieces to bring into your venue. Maybe you have stark white linens, sequin table runners and simple floral centerpieces. Or maybe you have a specific pattern you love– like  chevron and you get a great deal at a fabric store for an entire roll of your colour in chevron, you take that and run with it. Table runners, or place settings,  banners or ties on your chairs. Pick one thing and run with it. Little details can be added to the one large item. Even if you aren’t a wiz with a sewing machine or a hot glue gun, call out for talent (see How to get your wedding decor for less) and make it happen.

Actually, while we are on the colour/color theme, do you know the colour’s for Spring 2016? wedding 2016 coloursI am in love with serenity. Serenity table cloths and some Iced Coffee sequins and we have ourselves a party!

Have trouble choosing just one decor element? Don’t know where to begin? I’m a huge visual person, so time for vision boards. Go through a bridal magazine, cut out the things that jump out at you and lay them out. By laying it out in front of you might help you decide what pairs well and what looks like a hodge podge parade. If you lay them out and are unsure what suits your style best, if you haven’t already consult your partner! See what they think. Then go to your backup–your bridal party. You may have  few members who are incredible stylish or decor savvy who might show you a combo you didn’t. As my grade two teacher always said, a little dab will do ya! Don’t go crazy, show your style without going overboard. Things that compliment you, your partner and bridal party with little details here and there go a long way!

Happy Wedding,
Char!