Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pregnancy +/- Productivity

I can't explain how nice it is to no longer be pregnant. With Emery I had a little nesting and could clean, I was able to do stuff around the house or go shopping and go to bed around 9 or 10 each night.

I guess chasing around a little rascal who isn't wasn't quite two had me exhausted this go round. I would put Emery to bed at 7pm and off to bed I went and would sleep a full 12 hours. The next day I was just so tired but could never nap and by the time daddy went to work I was ready for bed. I would literally count down until 6:30 to start putting Emery to bed so I could take a bath and go to bed.

The guilt was rough, I knew that another day had passed and I was too tired and anxious for bed that I was missing out on those precious nights alone with just him. Yes he needed sleep and if he didn't go to bed on time he was a hellion the next day, but those would be the final nights of my first baby snuggles. Now she is here and he's suddenly this big boy.

I always felt horrible because Jake did most of the cleaning then. My belly would hurt so bad bending over that I had a hard time unloading the dishwasher. Loading it would make sick because I hate slimy dishes and it was so much worse being pregnant. Making any meal was a chore and Jake did a lot of that too. It seems any activity just made my belly ache, the muscles literally felt like they were ripping apart and it hurt to move. Add in a stiff sore back and a pelvis that desperately needed a chiropractic adjustment and I wanted to do nothing but just sit and relax. I felt like the laziest thing in the world and I hated every minute of it.

Now that Abby is here things are much easier. I have been cleaning, baking, cooking. I feel productive and it's wonderful. I love being able to throw some bread in the oven, bake some treats, load the dishwasher, get a couple loads of laundry washed and dried, the kitchen cleaned up, the bathroom cleaned up, the kids bathed. I sit down and feel like superwoman for having been productive. Seems though that even those days are few and far between. I have this little miss who is nothing like her brother. She loves mama time and just wants to be held and nurse. I try to put her down but after a few minutes she is crying. I'm not hardcore into AP but I do know that letting her cry isn't going to help. She doesn't seem to be the kind who will fuss it out and even then she is still too young.

So this mama sucks it up. I know the dishes can wait till the next morning, the bread isn't necessary because Emery and I are the only ones who will eat it and treats, yup they head straight to my rear end and with 5lbs to go to pre-pregnancy weight I certainly don't need to be baking. I have a Moby and I wear her but sometimes it just doesn't work to wear her. I'm trying to eliminate chemical loaded cleaning products but until I can buy a big stash of Essential Oils I have the yucky stuff. I can't wear her while I clean the bathroom with that crap floating in the air, I can't wear her while cooking something hot and certainly not bending over to load the dishwasher so I'm not smacking her head on the drawers. I just miss feeling productive. I have to set that all aside, sit and have a pep talk that I AM BEING PRODUCTIVE.

I am nourishing my baby. I am her one and only source of nourishment and I am making her grow big and healthy. All those snuggles are building up that bond that she can trust her mama and know that I will always be there to meet her needs. These days will be gone by so quickly, 6 weeks has flown by already. So I will savor that soft fuzzy head, her smacking her lips for the good stuff, laying her hand on my chest as she suckles away and the way her little toes curl when I stroke her skin as she nurses. I won't get these days back and I have the entire future to clean and cook.

I love looking back to the beginning and to where I am now. I am so much happier to have her out of that big ol' belly and be able to smooch on her.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wearing the shirt that Pamma had made for daddy back when he was little. So crazy to see my little guy wearing a shirt that has been around for 28+ years. It was interesting to see how much difference there were in sizing. That was a 2T and Emery wasn't even 2 and it was pretty much too small. Oh how the times change! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An effort to change our lives and health {Part 1}

I like to say I'm a little bit of a hippy at heart. I think maybe it started with my childhood obsession of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted to be her, I wanted to live her life where they lived with simplicity. They farmed, they cooked, they crafted and they mothered. I would pretend I was her and play house...and then puberty hit and I was out of that phase.

Now as a mama it is back in full force. My mom is into chiropractic care and after knowing personally the benefits I am all for it. I honestly tell people about it allll the time. That and probiotics. I'm preaching that alllll day long.

I just laugh at the stuff my mom gets into. Cleanses, making her own kefir water and the list goes on. I get this kind of crazy from my mother. Thanks mama!

My most recent interest is essential oils. I knew of a few benefits before this class. I mean I went to Cosmetology school and one of the first things you learn is that Tea Tree Oil can deter lice, it can help cure up a nail fungus or psoriasis of the scalp etc.

I myself put tea tree oil in coconut oil, mix a little with baking soda and use that as a face scrub. Gently exfoliates, moisturizes with the coconut oil and the tea tree oil fought off those awful breakouts I would get when I was pregnant. Now I use it to keep the black heads at bay. I even used it on Emery who was getting a weird little rash started and everyone said "NOOO IT LOOKS LIKE RINGWORM." That word alone disgusted me and I was running for my little container of Tea Tree and Coconut oil on day 2 of it being there. GONE the next morning.

I just recently went to a class that a friends mom hosted. HOOKED! Did you know that TTO on a cotton ball in your ear a few times a day can cure an ear infection? Nope I sure didn't and I wish I knew a year and a half ago. Back when Emery literally had an ear infection once a month. It took us 5 months of stupid antibiotics which I hate but nothing was helping until...chiropractic. 3 adjustments and he's never had another one since and we avoided tubes.

Peppermint oil on your hands and held cupped over eyes infected with pink eye can clear up the pink eye.

Lavender can be used on cuts, scrapes, burns etc.

Eucalyptus can be used on the feet to stop coughing in a kiddo.

Essential oils are the ONLY thing that can kill a virus. Viral illness, well the doctors tell ya "sorry, gotta wait it out." Uh nope, just invest in some high grade essential oils and there is one for everything out there! Kill that nasty little virus with a few drops of EO.

I've been putting Lavender oil on Abby's feet and temples at night time. The girl falls asleep so much quicker and sleeps more soundly.

My allergies? OUT. OF. CONTROL. I have been taking my allergy medicine for 3 weeks now. My nose is so dry inside that it hurts to breathe. I thought it was from the air and allergies. It's really from the allergy medicine drying out the mucous membranes. Ya know, to prevent that allergy nasal drip. YICK. My nose seriously hurts to rub and it itches SO BAD. My eyes, itch like crazy. I wake myself up "clucking" as I call it. Ya know that trick where you try to itch the back of your throat with your tongue? Please tell me I'm not the only one? I know I'm not because I catch Jake doing it all the time and have to tell him he's clucking and to go take some medicine.

Well the wonderful lady who taught the class saw my complaint on facebook and brought me some samples. She brought me lavender, lemon and peppermint and gave me the dosing instructions. I'm not messing with these allergies so I decided to skip rubbing the oils on my feet and take them internally to get it going faster. {note: do not ingest essential oils unless you have a high grade one that is safe. ie: doTERRA}. I am going to see how well this works. I guarantee it will and I'm excited about it. The less chemicals I'm putting into my body the better.

In fact, the peppermint tasted so good and felt amazing on my lips to the point I was immediately about to mix some up in some coconut oil and make a lip balm. I decided to forgo that as I need the oils for my allergies, much more important than amazingly cool and tingly lips.

So this is the start of my journey on EO. I will hopefully be using them for more things...such as making my own tooth paste, my own soap (since I knew triclosan was horrible but the fact that the FDA is now worried...that right there shows how bad it is when the money hungry FDA shows concern), making our own cleaning supplies and ridding our home of the chemicals, etc. I have a couple classes that I will go to such as how to empty out your medicine cabinet and use EO instead of pills. How to make your own homemade cleaners and all that safe stuff.

So here is to Part 1. Follow along if you like.

My question: has anyone used EO and had good results? I love hearing stories of the things I'm into :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Breastfeeding: Before and Now

When I had Emery I knew for sure I was going to breastfeed and my goal was a year. However when the boys were home I felt like I had to cover up. Like it was going to make them uncomfortable. I took a cover everywhere and fought that damn thing. Emery hated being covered, he would yank on the blanket or under the cover he would get hot and sweaty and not eat as well.

Along with worrying about not offending others and being modest I screwed myself, or him mostly by eventually supplementing. I was diligent about feeding him the first few weeks/months but I doubted how much he was getting. The nurses in the hospital were so helpful in helping me with positions and latching but no one ever educated me on how much little they need the first couple days and weeks.

I didn't realize how tiny a babies stomach is. It's the size of a marble! I felt like he wasn't getting enough so we gave him a premixed bottle of similac. Like the 4oz you see where this is going? He guzzled it. Don't they put slow nipples on those things?! Cue the projectile vomiting. It scared me. I didn't realize what was going on. I was a first time mama frantically flipping him over to pat his back, suction out his poor drowned nose and strip him down... and yet I didn't realize what the issue was. Talk about uneducated. I thought that growing up around all my little cousins, babysitting, nannying and families daycares etc that I was experienced with babies.

Looking back I was experienced with them just not with breastfeeding so I just didn't know all the little details like that. Jake was supportive of breastfeeding but didn't realize things like supplementing were undermining me.

I didn't realize that supplementing would affect my milk supply, even with pumping. I wasn't told that pumping is not as effective as a nursing baby. You will get some milk, but not as much as a nursing baby does. So as I pumped and didn't see a lot of milk I was certain he just wasn't getting enough milk.  I regret thinking that it was just easier to take a bottle while we were out running around because it was more convenient for everyone. I hated thinking that I was inconveniencing people by sitting in the car to feed him before we could go in the store or go somewhere. Selfish. I hated that I felt like I had to cover up in my own home because of the boys or I had to go in another room. By 6 months I was basically done breastfeeding because we were just using so much formula and my supply had taken a huge hit due to that.

I tried to prepare Jake for breastfeeding again this time. I set out what my goals were. However he was concerned about nursing in front of the boys. He felt that it was inappropriate for them to see, that they would tell "mom of the year" and she would take us to court over it. I disagreed with inappropriate but I felt his concern over MOTY just because how freaking psycho she is and the fact that the judge ALWAYS sides with her no matter how much evidence is presented against her.

I told him that breasts were made for nourishing babies and that I wasn't going to act like they were anything but normal. I'm so sick of america thinking that breasts are only for sexual satisfaction. I was so frustrated and sad. It made me really emotional to think that I was going to have to cover up in MY OWN HOME, feed her only in our room or send the boys to their room every time I had to feed her. What happens when she cluster feeds? I can't just ban them to their room for the day, that isn't fair for them, Abby or myself. How would that make breastfeeding look then, and how much would they resent her.

Thankfully I presented my concerns to mommy friends in a local facebook group and got some great feed back. In Washington it is legal to breastfeed anywhere! If I can feed her in public in front of anyone and their children why can't I nurse the boys' sister in front of them.

I told Jake that I would explain to the boys about nursing and that we would not make it seem like something to cover up and avoid. That would only make them think there was something naughty goingon that had to be hidden and therefore be more interested and have that be where our problems started with MOTY. Jake said we would give it a shot and see how it goes. So that was settled.

With that out of the way I educated myself this time around. My goal with Abby is a year minimum. I told Jake absolutely NO FORMULA. It won't be in the house and we won't buy any, I am doing this no matter what. I know I can make loads of milk as Emery vomited from such a heavy let down numerous times in which and I had to change our sheets in the middle of the night because they were SOAKED.

A couple weeks before she arrived we got a can of Enfamil newborn formula in the mail. I am proud to say it hasn't been opened. She has only been fed from a bottle maybe 5 times and thatbeing due to me having to go into the Spa to do an appointment. I try to feed her as much as possible before I leave and as soon as I get home. If she couldn't hold out and Jake had to thaw a baggy of breastmilk then I just pump and freeze that to replenish that used bag. Plus she despises the bottle, it takes Jake quite awhile to get her to take it he says. I think she just likes mama's warmth and smell. Not some cold hard bottle nipple. It makes me happy to know my girl prefers mama as her food of choice :)

We are 6 weeks and going strong. This girl loves her liquid gold. I try to breastfeed her as much as possible rather than pumping. In the middle of the night I feed her from my right breast which I get the most milk from and then get up and pump from the left which is then put in the freezer to use for when I'm working.

I gave up the cover. The only time I have covered up is at Jake's parents, as I don't know how it would make his dad feel and inside chili's when we went to dinner. What a hassle. I HATE not being able to see her, my breast and get her latched on.

We went shopping at Sears and she was starting to get fussy and hungry in the Moby. I told Jake I would be over by the patio furniture and went and sat down. I lifted one side of the Moby, rotated her so she was laying down a bit and latched her on. I was able to adjust the Moby and my nursing shirt to keep myself mostly covered but not so much that it interfered with her eating. No one seemed to notice except one lady with a little boy and a baby. She smiled and said that she was glad they had places to rest, that she does it all the time. I smiled back and said I felt the same. Jake walked up and asked "is she feeding?" I had to laugh because it made her sound like a little animal and not a baby...then again she is an animal when it comes to her milk. If she doesn't get it right away she starts a little tantrum where she starts kicking her legs all impatient.

I absolutely love watching her nurse. We have that snuggle time. I can touch her, talk to her, sing to her and be all she needs in that moment. With Emery I felt I had to rush through it and get stuff done. This is for sure our last baby and I have made myself settle down. I sit and enjoy nursing her. I try to get Emery what he may need before we start so that I'm not having to make him wait and resent her that his needs aren't being met. I love that we are getting that important bonding...I know she will be a daddy's girl, she already is so I need all I can get ;)

The boys? For about a week there were no questions, nothing awkward. Ethan would come up even while I was nursing and give her a kiss on the head and run off to play. One night playing card games I

had to nurse her. Ethan says "mom, why is she sucking on your boob?" I casually explained that they are made for mama's to nurse their babies. That breasts make milk and that is how babies eat. Some mom's use bottles and powdered milk and other's use milk from their breast. That was the end of that, he shrugged said ok and went on with the game.

A week or so ago something came up about breastfeeding and I was able to tell the boys that when she gets germs on her mouth and nurses that my body can automatically create antibodies to keep her from getting sick so breastfeeding is a very good thing for her.

I am proud of my girl and myself. We have made it this far. It takes 6 weeks to establish your supply and I feel as if we have done great. Jake is supportive and we know what I did wrong. She is first. We need to go to the store ASAP? Yea well if it's almost her time to eat, she eats first and then we go. I'm not taking a bottle because it's "easier". It really isn't because then I'm engorged, screwing with my supply and having to pump.

I am happy with where we are at. MOTY hasn't pulled any crap, the boys don't think anything of it, Emery knows what she's doing and loves watching the pump work when I have to pump, I am not embarrassed to nurse my child in public and if it bother's anyone else, screw them basically. I try to keep covered as much as possible with clothing and my babe, but I won't stick some hot awkward cloth over her head. We have a stash of milk in the freezer and I'm trying to figure out how else to store it as it starts to take up a lot of room and we don't have a deep freeze (darn apartment living!). I also love how supportive WIC is. I got a pump for nursing up to 6 months with Emery and going back to work so they gave me a $300 pump. I am so thankful to have that. The LC there even told me if I ever needed more bags than what they gave me to let her know and she would get me more. I was getting low on what I had leftover from Emery and looked at the price at walmart. 20 bags for almost $20. INSANITY! I called her up to ask if the offer still stood and she said absolutely! I went in, she gave me 3 boxes of baggies, a nursing tank they got in and washable nursing pads.

I am so glad that they exist to help encourage other mama's. I hope others look for help before they supplement. Educate yourself mama's, you were made to do this. In most cases you CAN breastfeed, it's not always an easy start but if you persevere you will make it. Very few are unable to so give it a shot and make sure you have a support system!