Latest posts

Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Patient sitting on treatment couchOctober 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Recognized in several countries around the world – and in a handful of provinces in Canada – the day aims to destigmatize pregnancy loss, something that will happen to as many as one in three women at least once in their lives, and yet continues to happen in secrecy.

Women who, until now, have suffered in silence with little access to support and resources, are speaking out, sharing their stories of loss, and demanding greater care and compassion from the medical community, friends, family, and workplaces

In this six-article feature, Metro shares the stories of dozens of Canadian women who have lost babies and are now hoping to end the taboo surrounding infant loss, assuring other parents that there is no shame in their experience, and that they no longer need to grieve in silence.

Read these stories here.


— Previous posts —

img-4915Facebook needs your breastfeeding selfies — a.k.a brelfies (Metro)

I have this secret stash of selfies on my laptop that I wish I could post online except they show too much nipple. Or more nipple than I’m used to showing off to Facebook friends. They’re pics I’ve taken of me breastfeeding, snapped in secret because I wanted to capture the moment for posterity, even though I figured it was maybe a weirdo thing to do… Read more


breastfeeding.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoToo old to breastfeed? (Metro)

There’s a large faction of people out there who are pretty grossed out by the idea of breastfeeding toddlers and preschoolers. Opinions range from: “It’s weird and makes me uncomfortable” to “it’s tantamount to pedophilia.” The latter opinion veers well into the realm of crazy. The former, well, I used to see the point there. I now know better… Read more



Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 6.34.09 PMTrudeaus’ breastfeeding tweet an amazing show of support for moms (Metro)

Our prime minister did something really cool this week, and I’m not talking about shirtless photobombs. He tweeted a beautiful pic of his wife nursing their son, Hadrien. The caption read, “Let’s support mothers who breastfeed anytime, anywhere.” He was throwing his support behind World Breastfeeding Week… Read more

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 7.22.03 PMWhy we gave up being landlords to be Airbnb hosts instead (Toronto Star)

They leave us Israeli dates, Dutch cheese graters, homemade Brazilian treats and toys for our kids. Little thank-yous for hosting them in our home, even though it’s not really our home, but an apartment we built in our basement and converted into an Airbnb suite. To say we didn’t get that treatment when we were landlords is an understatement… Read more

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 7.03.34 PMBabylicious welcomes tykes into T.O. eateries (Toronto Star)

Tabülé on Queen St. E. is packed with media moms and their babies. We’re sitting at tables chatting while the kids, strapped into high chairs, suck back food pouches. All the kids, that is, except my 3-year-old. She’s squeezed the contents of her pouch onto a plate and is licking it like a child raised by wolves. She’s eaten almost nothing, and has declared herself “full” and “done.” … Read more

IMG_9105On million dollar families

The house cleaner was dusting around the play kitchen and smiling at the kids. Polly, wearing a blue onesie, was chilling in her swing. “Boy?” she asked, motioning to Polly. “No, she’s a girl,” I responded. “Oh, two girls?” She shook her head with unreserved pity. “That’s too bad.” Too bad she was born a girl, because you already have one of those. And who needs two of the same thing, right?… Read more


DSC_0488To my beautiful second born

It’s quiet in the house and it’s just you and me awake, which means I have a spare minute to watch you sleep in my arms and marvel at the fact that it’s been two months since you came into my life. And wow do I love you… Read more


Time, slow downIMG_3602-1024x768

They were right. Children grow up too fast. Way way way too fast. It’s like a blur. Case in point: my baby is turning three years old in a few months. THREE. I literally cannot fathom this truth. It simply cannot be. I try to hold on to little scraps of evidence that she is still wee: she still naps, she still cries for us when she is scared, she still climbs into bed with us and wraps her arms around our necks, squeezing us closer to her… Read more


A love letter to my city10300078_10154363112220381_2381510031461098031_n

We live in Leslieville, a bustling pocket of Toronto about 5 kilometres from downtown. I share this neighbourhood with more than 25,000 people, and yet I feel none of the anonymity I would have expected when living in a big city. I attribute this, in part, to the small-town friendliness of the people with whom I call this place home… Read more

breastfeedingWe need to end breastfeeding shaming

I can’t believe I’m actually writing this column because this has been said so many times. But, given the recent breastfeeding-shaming incidents at a Winnipeg mall and on a United Airlines flight, I guess it needs to be said again: Breastfeeding is not gross. It’s natural, it’s important and it’s really difficult. So it’s shocking to me that mothers are being shamed for doing it in public — and by other women. I nursed my daughter for 12 months. Sometimes I covered up, sometimes I didn’t, but I was always modest – as our most nursing mothers… Read more


tumblr_inline_n7h7eb9mLS1sp793hMiscarriage: Life after loss

My miscarriage came to me in a dream. I was at a friend’s house and was in her washroom when suddenly piles of blood came gushing from me. I screamed for my husband and he threw open the door and gasped at the site of so much blood. Then I woke up. As it slowly dawned on me that it was all just a terrible dream I lay back in bed, shaken but relieved. So, SO relieved. Later that day, I would begin to bleed… Read more


promo-front-1_0Gentrification can include marginalized people

Something pretty amazing in the world of social outreach happened in Toronto last week, and it’s caught the attention of homeless advocates across the country. A 106-bed shelter for women and children was slated to close at the end of March, but a developer stepped in and offered space in a boutique condo in a trendy neighbourhood.The news was celebrated around the city, especially in the community of Leslieville, where 50,000 people signed a petition demanding the shelter stay open… Read more

Screen shot 2015-02-16 at 5.20.07 PMBoys will be be boys, and girls will be girls?

One of my biggest parenting pet peeves is the insane, almost obsessive propensity for the toy and kids’ clothing industry to market their products toward either girls or boys. Take a stroll down the aisles of big box toy and clothing stores and you’ll see a clear gender divide between the boys’ section and the girls’ section with very little middle-ground. Boy aisles in toy stores are full of toys promoting building or engineering, fighting, vehicle play, and traditionally “male” occupations or pastimes. Girl aisles are full of toys promoting nurturing and home-making… Read more


Screen shot 2015-03-01 at 11.55.10 AM A former Mean Girl on Pink Shirt Day

It’s Pink Shirt Day in Canada — a national day to raise awareness about bullying — so let’s talk. Bullying education has come a long way since I was a kid. Students today learn that bullying takes many forms, from the physical to emotional. It’s a conversation we need to keep having, as it’s easy for children — and adults — to ignore the types of bullying that don’t leave bruises… Read more



vaccineThe case for mandatory vaccinations

Ready for your daily dose of controversy? I believe strongly in childhood vaccinations. Wait, I’m not done. I believe they should be mandatory. I can feel thousands of readers bristling right now. This is a sensitive topic because most of us love our children, and most of us want what is best for them. But that doesn’t mean we are always acting in their best interest. And that’s when the government should step in… Read more


homeless1 What’s wrong with feeding the homeless? When no good deed goes unpunished

I’m your average Canadian — polite, apologetic and law-abiding. I like that rules are in place to maintain order and fairness. But there’s something wrong with a legal system that punishes Good Samaritans — and by extension the people they are trying to help. Take the recent story of a Calgary woman who was fined $250 for giving her transit pass to a man who was down on his luck… Read more


Ban Ki-Moon Meets With Malala Yousafzai At The U.N.The new (baby)face of feminism

There’s a new face to feminism these days. It’s a youthful face, made up of girls fighting for women’s rights before they’ve become women themselves. Consider Malala Yousafzai, who has just become the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She was only 11 years old when she became a vocal activist for the universal right to education. Her rallying cry for children’s and girls’ equality is aimed at policy-makers. But, by virtue of her age, she’s inspiring fellow children. Read more


Ghomeshi Charged 20141126It’s not about Ghomeshi, it’s about sexual violence

Let me inundate you with even more Jian Ghomeshi analysis, because I think it’s important. In fact, I think it’s a matter of life and death. So before we turn the page, hear me out. Jian Ghomeshi has been charged and the case is in the courts, but this isn’t the time to turn our backs on the story. If we do so, it will end an important dialogue about sexual violence, and that puts women in danger… Read more


13This crazy love

It hits me sometimes when I’m not expecting it, washing over me like a tidal wave almost out of the blue. When I’m contemplating the soft brown curls at the nape of her neck, or watching her brow furrow as she tries to put her shoe on her bunny’s foot. Or when she wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes, announcing “hug” in my ear. Sometimes it’s seeing the joy in her face when the dog bounds into the room… Read more


 126The big burnout

There’s this sense of dread – a sort of depression mixed with anxiety and anger – that I haven’t been able to shake lately. The coping mechanisms I’ve traditionally employed when feeling this way (motivational phrases scribbled on our white board, a long snuggle with my daughter, escape into books or wine) aren’t working. It’s the stress of motherhood, of expectations I place on myself, of never feeling like there’s enough time, enough patience, enough money, enough sleep… Read more


Calling-All-Frazzled-Parents-11-2-12Losing control

It’s a ubiquitous image, one that seems to sum up parenthood in all forms of media: the frazzled shell-shocked parent – slightly unkempt, eye twitching, on the verge of melting down as unruly children bounce around a disastrous living room. I understand it finally, that feeling of being frayed. This is parenthood. Being perpetually overwhelmed. So pulled in a million directions at once. All of this frantic near-hysteria, I realize now, comes down to this: a loss of control… Read more


1-e1406220995150Dance like no one is watching

My beautiful girl, You’re only 15 months old, but I’ve never known another person so full of life, so unapologetic, so unabashed. One day you will not live so carefree. You will blush when someone tells you to settle down, keep it down, to speak up, listen up, to be more of one thing, to be less of another. You will look for approval. I’m telling you now, while you’re still young, not to feel ashamed… Read more


giftideasforhimBaby shower gifts – the do’s and the don’ts

Trying to come up with something to buy a friend, family member or co-worker as a baby gift can be daunting. As someone who’s given gifts and received them, here are my top pics for baby shower or baptism gifts, whether you know the person intimately, or just barely. Here are my ideas for the best gifts to get people who are expecting or who have just had a baby… Read more


Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 6.48.18 PMFavourite baby dining gear

Feeding baby: it’s messy, it’s frustrating, and it’s weirdly exciting. Everyone does it differently, and everyone uses different stuff to get that grub in their gullets. I’ve come across some less-than-useful inventions (formula dispenser, bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer), and some head-smackingly brilliant baby feeding whatnots that make life just that little bit easier. Here are my fave baby feeding products so far, from newborn to toddler… Read more


wet-happy-dog-1024x768My horror, for your amusement

Friday night. Dylan’s out tying one on, I’m flying solo with wee ladies – one human, one canine. First order of business: bathe the tiny human. We don’t have a tub so we usually bathe her in a small portable tub on the kitchen counter. Thought I was being smart today by filling it up and putting it on the kitchen floor so she could play and I could ignore her to load the dishwasher. When I’m not looking, tiny human decides to exit the tub and she, tub, toys and bath water spill in every which direction in a slippery, sopping mess on the kitchen floor. Dog comes running in to “help”… Read more


messy-house-620x349Small human getting into big trouble

They’re right. They’re always right: you know should be worried when your usually active and noisy child has suddenly gone quiet – because it means she’s up to something. It only takes a nanosecond. Just enough time for me to get a new roll of paper towel or to let the dog out, and she’s GONE. Plopped down out of sight ripping, gouging, spilling, staining, soaking or upending something she’s not supposed to … Read more


motherdaughter-1To mothers everywhere

Happy Mother’s Day to moms near and far, to moms we get to see everyday, and moms we can only talk to in prayer. Moms whose babies have grown, and moms whose babies are growing inside them. Moms who work, moms who stay home. Moms who are sad, moms who yell, moms who are tired, moms who are overwhelmed. Moms who stay up all night tending to colds, finishing projects, baking cupcakes or worrying by the front door… Read more


DSCF1782-1024x682Advice for myself, one year ago today

A year ago today I was a brand new mother and my world was a jumble of joy and fear. I was both over and under-stimulated. Days were spent doing very little while somehow being horribly chaotic. They were so, so quiet, and yet very, very noisy. Looking back on those tumultuous, exhausting and emotional first weeks – and knowing what I do now a year into motherhood – here’s the advice I would have given that tentative and overwhelmed new mom… Read more


baby-wipes-1Homemade natural baby wipes

I’ve been on a kick, since bringing wee Isla into the world, of trying to make more things from scratch – to be more natural in what we put on and in our bodies and use around the house. It’s a kind of healthy living that is good for the environment, good for our bodies, and good for our bank accounts. With this in mind, I decided this week to try my hand at cloth wipes. The problem I have with conventional baby wipes is that they contain all sorts of chemicals I’ve never heard of and most can’t be flushed or composted… Read more


Five-daycare-problems-solved-Sept2009-iStockBack to work, baby

This has been a big week for Isla and me. The biggest one we’ve had since she came into this world. A week of growth and growing apart. This lump in my throat, I guess, is what motherhood is about. After a year of being attached at the hip (erm, boob), we have taken the first of many small steps away from each other: I’ve gone back to work, and she’s gone to daycare. Eventually we all have to entrust someone else to help us raise and educate our children. I just can’t believe that day has come so soon… Read more


woman-skipping-beachThe curse of vacation envy

I was sitting on the lanai enjoying fruit and coffee on my first morning in Hawaii, watching early-to-rise surfers and breaching whales beyond crashing waves, when my father-in-law turned to me and asked, “Think you could get used to this?” “Of course.” I said without faltering. Who wouldn’t? I thought, with a brief pang of jealousy, of the news that my sister- and brother-in-law would be moving here in a few months, having just accepted a job offer in Honolulu. THIS was going to be their home and their life everyday… Read more


baby_sign_lang-525x700Signs, signs, everywhere are signs

I had a monumental moment with my daughter a few days ago. I was watching TV and she was sitting quietly in my lap on the couch, when suddenly she looked up at me and, without being prompted, gave me the sign for “eat.” We’ve been diligently signing “eat” before presenting her with a boob or bottle since almost day one. At ten months old, Isla is a long way from being able to tell us verbally what she wants. But suddenly, she has found a way to communicate a very pressing need… Read more


DSCF1661-1024x682When your body lets you down

I couldn’t give birth to my daughter. I tried, the midwives tried, the on-call doctor tried, the drugs tried. Even the hippie new-age hypnosis tracks tried. But for some reason, after days of labour, my body just wasn’t going to send my daughter down the birth canal. So I had a C-section. I should feel blessed. I think of all the women who’ve had trouble conceiving, or who had rough deliveries or sick babies. But I’ve come to this realization: it’s okay to feel grief even if you know other peoples’ grief is bigger and badder. You just have to put that grief into perspective… Read more


DSCF5023 How to make a sensory bag

I got this idea for a squishy, fun sensory toy from someone on my mommy Facebook group and was surprised how easy and inexpensive it was to make. I got everything I needed from the Dollar Store… Read more



DSCF4988-682x1024Who’s your daddy? And mommy? And grandma and aunt and puppy?

Isla’s favourite book, hands down, is her Little Book of Family Faces. I got the idea from the wonderful blog A Cup of Jo, after she made a similar book for her son through Pinhole Press. We made our photo book using Blurb, which I’ve used to make photo books in the past. The website is simple to use and books are easy to customize, with a wide variety of templates, colours, fonts and book sizes… Read more


534291_10153276764575381_354244642_n1 Let’s take more photos of moms

There’s a photo of my mother and me that I know by heart. I’m in her arms in my grandparents’ backyard. I’m reaching out and smiling at someone off-camera. My mother’s blonde hair is cut short. She is wearing a lavender blouse and is looking down me, smiling. She looks beautiful. And she looks proud. I want to leave my daughter beautiful photos like this, photos of the two of us together. So I take a lot of selfies. If I didn’t, there wouldn’t be too much to leave her… Read more


cupid-single-love-sex-valentines-day-ecards-someecards Save a tree, don’t buy me a Valentine’s Day Card

When I first told my husband (then-boyfriend) that I didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day, he raised a dubious eyebrow. Was this a trap? Was I one of those women who claimed she hated the holiday but would secretly expect flowers delivered to her office? But I assured him I meant it – and I did… Read more


stroller_on_streetcar.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox  Ride the Rocket – just not with a pram

I managed to make it 10 months before having to take the stroller on the TTC, and that’s only because I was disorganized while leaving the house today. I had just dropped the car off at the dealership and was planning on taking a streetcar home with Isla in her carrier. For anyone who doesn’t live in Toronto, streetcars in this city are ancient and not designed for people with disabilities (or strollers). The only way on and off is up four narrow, steep steps… Read more


DSCF4940-300x300Favourite books – 6 to 12 months

Reading is an important part of downtime in our family, and has become an lovely part of Isla’s bedtime routine. After she’s had her last bottle, her bath and gotten into her PJs, she curls up in our arms in the little reading corner in her nursery, and we delve into the wonderful world of stories. At nine months old, Isla’s favourite books are interactive: the ones with flaps to open and textured pictures to touch. If you are looking for some new books for your little one, or to buy as a gift, here are some great ideas… Read more


shutterstock_498375941 Congratulations! It’s … pink!

We were part of a dying breed of parents-to-be who didn’t find out if we were having a boy or girl. We were willing to sit on pins and needles for nine months and let people guess for us (“you’re carrying high and forward, you are having a boy”). But we still needed to get ready for baby, so we took to the usual stores to get the usual necessities. It should have been fun, but we left most shops empty-handed and frustrated. It seemed, if you were expecting a baby in 2013, you had to know if it was a boy or girl, and you had to shop accordingly… Read more


539148_10153322457440381_2145486215_nWhen social butterflies have babies

Of all the warnings that came my way when I announced I was expecting, the most common – by far – was this: get your sleep now (ya right) – once you have a baby, your life will change forever. Goodbye spontaneity. Hello sweatpants and Netflix. People meant well, but all this did was scare me. I liked my life. A lot. I was already giving up a pretty cool job for a year. I was giving up my sleep, and booze, and non-elastic pants. Did I really need to become a hermit, too? See, I was paranoid that announcing my pregnancy would bring social invites grinding to a halt.  … Read more


 Pregnant and scale Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?

I’m calling magazines out. Us, People, Star, InTouch: congratulations, you are in the lucrative business of making women feel terrible about themselves. You and your sensational cover stories about celebrity pregnancy weight gain. As if this is news. As if it’s our right to gawk and judge. As if what’s happening to their bodies is unnatural… Read more


Movie_i_see_dead_people-769472I hope my kid isn’t one of those children who sees ghosts

I have a lot of hopes for my daughter. Being a spirit medium isn’t one of them. I’d like to say that it’s for her sake, but honestly, it’s for mine. If my kid pointed toward the corner of her room and said “Hi” to nothing, I’d be out of the house before you could say “Boo!” … Read more


gdiapersHow I became a cloth diaper convert

When I was pregnant and we told people we wanted to “try” cloth diapering our baby, we were usually met with a raised eyebrow and a “we’ll just see how long that lasts!” smirk. People are dubious about cloth diapering, and I don’t blame them. The choices are truly overwhelming. It seems gross, too, doesn’t it? Well, first let me arm you with some background on cloth diapers… Read more


Baby-LibraryBuild-a-library baby shower

Reading has always been an important part of my life, and I want to pass on that passion to Isla. So to get her started on the right track, we showered her with books before she was even born. So we had a build-a-library baby shower.
The idea was that each guest bring as their gift their favourite childhood book. Surprisingly, there were no duplicates. We got all the classics… Read more


BE030209 Why won’t my freaking kid eat?

I just spent 20 minutes patiently trying to “persuade” my daughter to eat food, ANY food (and delicious food at that): cheese cubes, toast with peanut butter, blueberry rice puffs, strawberry and apple puree. I tried to feed her from my fingers, from a spoon, from her own fingers. I dipped her beloved Baby MumMum cracker in the mushy food and tried to coax it into her mouth… Read more


1208825_10153177029905381_1024249363_n The bittersweet end to breastfeeding

I remember the first time I put my fresh-from-the-womb newborn on my breast. I was trying to gently coerce my nipple into her tiny mewing mouth and the nurse who was helping me remarked, “Someone’s done this before!” And I laughed because I really didn’t know what I was doing. But maybe, I thought, it’s just like everyone had promised: maybe once baby arrived, these sorts of things really did come naturally… Read more


grocery-bill-receiptHow we slashed our grocery bill

There was a time when we shopped for groceries willy-nilly. When the cupboards seemed bare we went to the store and walked every aisle, picking up stuff that looked good. But we didn’t have a plan for anything we bought, and if we came up with a dinner idea, like tacos, invariably we’d have to dart out for a couple ingredients… Read more


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