Six-Month Vaccine Day – How Sweet Pea avoided the needle and got a ride in an ambulance.

sweetpea_paramedicsSome of you might have remembered this post about Sweet Pea’s two-month vaccine day, the truck driver hitting our car, the projectile bagel and the police ending up at my doorstep…


Just when I thought nothing could top two-month vaccine day, enter six-month vaccine day! We were in the car driving to our local clinic when BAM, an SUV speeding down the alleyway sideswiped our car. (Who drives that fast down an alley? – people in our neighborhood apparently!) The front passenger wheel well of our car was completely smashed in.

Thankfully both Sweet Pea and I were safe in the back. (He was sleeping in his car seat and didn’t even awaken when we were hit.) Adamant about not missing the vaccine appointment, I un-clicked Sweet Pea’s bucket seat from the car and took him around the corner into the clinic leaving my husband to deal with the insurance, police and our “speedy” neighbour.

Sweet Pea was fast asleep in his car seat when the firemen arrived. Next came the police, and then the paramedics. The people in the clinic’s waiting room must have been wondering what the hell was going on.

The Paramedics checked Sweet Pea’s vital signs and made sure all was fine. But per protocol they had to suggest we take him to the local children’s hospital to be checked and cleared by a doctor.

I’m not one to take any chances so we agreed to have them drive him there in the Ambulance. Sweet Pea was definitely going to miss his vaccine appointment!

To get Sweet Pea to the hospital as soon as possible, the paramedics had to first clear my husband and myself. They checked my husband; he signed a personal release and then went off with the police to deal with the tow truck driver and insurance people.

When it came time for them to check my vital signs, my blood pressure read very low. I’ve always had low blood pressure (I’m borderline anemic and had to be put on iron pills while I was pregnant) so I informed the paramedics that the low reading was “normal” for me.

Still the paramedics, who were clearly fresh out of school and looked more like a pair of teenagers than first responders, insisted on doing everything by the book. They called their boss to discuss my “case”.

This is where the situation started to get absurd…

“My Boss wants to know if you’re on your period?” the young paramedic asked me.

I informed him that I haven’t had my period since Sweet Pea was born 6 months ago.

He looked very perplexed and then returned to the phone call with his boss.

Sweet Pea lay on the clinic bed chewing the blood pressure monitor that was still wrapped around his leg and waiting for his ride in the ambulance.

Moments later the paramedic came bursting into the room again. “My boss says you need to go to the hospital right away and have your abdomen x-rayed!” he told me.

“What!?” I thought – these men are clearly not aware of the fact that most women (especially those who are breastfeeding) don’t get their periods for several months after giving birth. It’s a hormonal thing.

I had to call in the public health nurse who worked at the clinic to explain to the paramedics that me not having my period was completely normal.

After another half hour of discussing my monthly cycle with the two green paramedics and an old man on the phone, I was finally cleared to accompany my son to the children’s hospital.

Off we went. It was Sweet Pea and my first ride in an Ambulance. (Hopefully our last!)

A couple hours later, Sweet Pea was cleared by the doctor. He avoided the needle that day and, thanks to the insurance company, got a new car seat to boot.


How to Build a Nursing-Mom Wardrobe on a Budget

Nursing wardrobe on a budgetAfter giving birth and shedding 30 or so pounds I was really stoked to get back into my regular (non maternity) clothing again… except I forgot one thing – now that I’m nursing I can’t wear any of my tops and dresses that aren’t easy access to the all-you-can-drink milk buffet. (of course you can just lift your shirt up exposing your midriff… but I live in a cold climate so this wouldn’t work for me – especially with winter around the corner!)

I’m hoping to nurse for a year so this essentially means that I need a new wardrobe. I’m not willing to break the bank to do this for numerous reasons  1) I won’t be nursing forever – these clothes are short-term investments. 2) A lot of nursing clothing is really ugly! (You’re only one nursing-T away from graduating to “mom jeans”!) 3) I don’t have oodles of money to spend on new clothes.

Fashion wise, I’m a vintage girl with a second-hand budget. Many of my favourite frocks were procured from the local frippery, Salvation Army, or my grandma’s closet. I love clothing with classic 1940s lines and styling, or modern brand names with second-hand price tags!

When it came to maternity clothing, I scoured the local thrift shops for inexpensive but unique and stylish tops and empire-cut dresses that could get me through pregnancy without breaking the budget.

For nursing, there are a few items (like nursing bras) that you can’t get around purchasing – but when I saw boring and often ugly nursing tops going for 45$ + at my local maternity/ nursing store… I vowed to try the same thrift-store approach to finding breastfeeding clothing.

photo 1

This top is still on the racks at the maternity store – selling for 39$. I got mine at the thrift store for 5$.

If your local second hand store has a maternity section head there first. Here you’ll often find nursing tops for a fraction of the price of the maternity store…and as people don’t nurse for very long, these tops are often in great shape and still in style. I scored two of the maternity store brand tops at my local thrift shop for 5$ each. One of the tops I got was so current it was actually still on the rack at the maternity store. I spent 10$ for two tops instead of 90$ (you can buy a lot of diapers for 90$!)

After scouring the maternity section of the thrift shop, I head to the regular tops section and look for shirts that can be converted into nursing clothing.


This v-neck shirt works fine for nursing

This v-neck shirt works fine for nursing

Any type of deep v-neck, button down, or wrap top could work for breastfeeding. I also got a couple shawl-style cardigans that I could use to throw over my shoulders for privacy when feeding in public. These tops set me back 5-7$ each.

photo 4

Another maternity store shirt bought for 5$


Shirt inside-out: bib has holes cut into sides for nursing

Shirt inside-out: bib has holes cut into sides for nursing

The construction of most nursing tops from the maternity store consists of a v-neck top with a bib or cowl-neck panel that has either hidden holes or slits cut into it for easy breast access. Once I understood how nursing tops worked, I realized I could easily make my own.

Take an old tank-top, cut wider arm holes into it and then wear this under any button down, v-neck or wide neck shirt and PRESTO you have several new nursing shirts.

elegant cowl neck shirt

elegant cowl neck shirt – 5$ thrift store find

photo 2

cut two hidden slits to make it nursing-frinendly

I also found a cowl-neck top at the thrift ship that I could cut hidden access slits into.





A third option is to buy a long/loose blouse in a sheer or light material, cut an access slit in the middle of the chest and cover this with a loose crop-style t-shirt.

photo 2

Ebay find for 15$

photo 3

Sheer under shirt has access panel cut in centre.







photo 4

The tank inside of this deep v-neck shirt has wide enough arm holes to use for nursing.

I did buy a couple new and inexpensive items for my nursing wardrobe: A black and a white nursing camisole/tank top with clip-down sides that I could wear with my existing blazers or cardigans. I also found a really funky top from Hong Kong (on ebay) that cost me 15$ shipping included. I get compliments on it all the time and like it so much I’ll wear it when I’m not nursing too. My biggest splurges were a 30$ nursing shirt on the liquidation rack at the maternity store, and a Calvin Klein deep V shirt that needed no alteration to work as a nursing top that I got at an outlet centre for 20$.

In all I built a nursing wardrobe of over 13 different tops, sweaters and camisoles that can be combined to make 30+ looks for under 130$ (or the price of 4 shirts from the maternity store)

With a keen eye, some patience, and some scissors, you too can build a stylish and inexpensive nursing mother wardrobe.