Friday, December 31, 2010

What I have learned this year . . .

This has been a hard year but a year full of lessons.  I've grown as a woman as I've learned to be a mother.  I've lost my rose-colored glasses but am wiser.  I've lost a friend but I'm grateful for the ones in my life.
I feel like my lesson this year was to be grateful.  Grateful for each moment.  Life is short and my next moment is not promised.  I won't let this lesson go.  I'll hold it next to my heart always.
Even when I'm tried from lack of sleep.  Even when I'm exhausted and my daughter wants to play instead of sleep.  Even when I want sex but am too tired, I know I'm blessed.  God has blessed me in so many ways.
Do I have money?  No.  Am I in lots of debt? Yes.  Do I have a car built in this century? No.  Do I own my own house? No.  Am I happy?  Yes.  Am I healthy? Yes.  Am I in love with my husband of 9 years? Yes.  Is my daughter the light of my life? Yes.
God has blessed me in so many ways and I've really learned to be grateful for all of this.  Life is good.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Late Wordless Wednesday: From Start to now

 This one is blurry but it's the first picture of Audrey.  I'm not even sure we knew it was Audrey yet.  It took us awhile to check.
Audrey's first day and right after her second time on the breast.
This is Miss Audrey's official birthday picture.  I can't believe she's one!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

48 hours and . . .

So at 6pm Wed Dec 16, I was offically 48 hrs post water breaking.  It was time for some decision to be made.  So far the baby was doing well and I was doing just fine.  I had had a few false starts to a full on active labor.  Tuesday from 12 am -2 am had me walking the floor and watching Love Actually just knowing that Bud was going to be born on Dec 16th.  No such luck, labor stopped and I headed to bed.

Apparently I was the talk of the school Christmas party.  There was much debate if my waiting at home instead of heading to the hospital was really a good idea.  I think there were a couple of times that some of my friends actually threaten to forcible take me.  But we decided to trust Debbie and to trust Bud.

Debbie was over at the house at about 6pm and talked to us.  As long as everyone was doing well and resting we could just stay at home and wait.  If I couldn't handle it anymore or if infection set in then we had to head to the hospital.  She left a doppler with us so we could check the baby's heartbeat.  Anything weird, any signs of stress and we were to head to the hospital.  I think my labor really started during that visit.  There were several times that I had to get onto my knees and breath thur the contractions.

I knew that even if my labor was really starting that there was no point to panic and for all of us to get to sleep if we could.  Debbie headed home.  We headed to bed at 9pm to sleep.  I was so tired and ready for a good nights rest.  Baby Bud had a different plan . . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

24 hours and

Okay so at the 24 hour point after my water broke I have to admit I was worried. I wasn't in pain. I had had just a few contractions but nothing that would make me think I was about to have a baby. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and I knew if I went in I would end up on pitocen.

24 hours seems to be the thresh hold for broken bag of waters. At least that is what I thought. Debbie our midwife said that as long as no infection set in then I could just wait for Bud to come on out on Bud's schedule. So I called the doctor, cancelled the appointment and waited. Oh yea and she confinded me to my house, to lessen the chance of infection. Nothing left to do but rest and wait and listen everyone try to talk me into going to the hospital.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

how it all started/ended

So today at 6 pm EST one year ago my water broke. Did I panic? Did I head to the hospital? Nope I headed to Target! God what was I thinking?

So I was all of 37 weeks and a days and I was headed to Target to finish getting ready for the baby. I figured I still had a good two weeks and I had just been on the monitors at the hospital that morning and outside of a sleeping baby that won't move for the monitors everything was good. DH got home and we were headed to Target to finish getting things for the birth, waterhose and the such. I got up and headed to the bathroom and as soon as I stepped on the bathroom floor, I felt gush of water!

I didn't panic. I called DH and told him that my water broke call the midwife! Little did I know it would 60 hours before Bud showed her face to world and became Audrey,



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sons

Okay so I have a daughter but I still want a son.  I was so convinced that I was going to have a boy!  I love my Audrey and God knew what he was doing since DH and I are currently at battle over circumcision.  Before joining the world of parents, I never thought too much about to cut or not to cut.  As far as I knew circumcision was what you did.  But now that I'm a mom and member of the crunchy community, I've started to change my mind on the whole circumcision debate.

I've talked to DH about it.  Why do we need to cut?  Research shows you don't need to do it.  We are born perfect so why chop off something immediately?  He comes down the the side of cut.  He has known many men that have had issues later in life and had to be circumcised in their teen years.  He argues that we should do it while our son is a baby and won't remember anything.  It is better to get it done now or our son will pay for it later. 

I understand that argument.  I should spare my child the pain of a adult circumcision and just do it while he is small but does every man have a problem with their uncircumcised penis?  I would think as a man of science that DH would do more research and come back to the question of circumcision but he has his mind set.  If we have a son then we will cut.  I want a son but I know the birth of a son would about world war three in my marriage. 

I can't image allowing someone to come in and cut on my son for no reason other than in the future he might could have an issue.  It feels like we should just got ahead and chop Audrey's breast buds off cause in the future she might develop breast cancer.  Or better yet lets not have anymore children since in the future they might be serial killers or work for the government.  A lot can happen in the future.  Why cause my child pain now?  Why allow for my son to be scarred for the rest of his life for something that might or might not happen?  Why not let nature takes it's course and if in the future my son needs a circumcision then we'll deal with it then?  Not sure what to do on this one. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas do over

So we are coming up on Audrey's first birthday, which is 7 days before Christmas. So this won't be her first Christmas. But I want a do-over! Her first Christmas was spent running from the NICU to the local hospital. It should have been fun and full of love not spent under a bili-light! We were unhappy last Christmas. We had a beautiful baby girl and had a wonderful homebirth only to end up in the hospital anyways! To make matters worse, we had lost our heat when after Audrey's birth out boiler caught fire. Audrey was the only reason we got out of the house. She was less than a day old and she saved us!

But back to Christmas, there aren't any baby's second Christmas shirts and cute outfits to celebrate the happiness around bring with our family for the first time in like 5 years. I don't think Audrey will remember this Christmas either but I know I will. I'll get to hold my baby while celebrating Christmas with my mom and dad and the in-laws. It won't be her first and maybe won't be her bestest ever but I can't wait to open presents with her on Christmas day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm a bad mom and just little late to the crunch party

Okay so the bad mom thing.  Tuesday I took Audrey to the doctor.  I had to run to pick her up and then run to doctor's office.  There was no time for lunch.  After a good doctor's visit (I think we have finally found a decent doctor!), I was starving and needed to return to work so I decided to eat on the run.  It is almost impossible to eat on the run and be wheat-free.  I broke down and bought a hamburger.  To be very honest it was so good!  I have missed bread and sandwich items the most.  Audrey did okay that night.  Her eczema did flare up but no screaming!  I got lucky and then I got stupid. 

My mom made homemade flour tortillas on Friday.  It had been like 4 years since I had had my mom's tortillas!  I had to have one.  What could one little tortilla do?  God did I pay for that tortilla.  I let Audrey have a bite, literally one baby bite, of a tortilla and ate the rest.  Audrey was a bit sluggish that day but nothing too extreme but that night.  DH and I put Audrey to bed but as DH rocked her Audrey began to scream.  She was asleep but would suddenly scream.  My poor baby was in pain from the wheat.  I had honestly forgotten just how bad the allergy reaction is.  Once Audrey was finally able to rest, DH had to hold me while I cried.  I am a bad mom.  I know the allergy is there and I know that I have to be wheat-free but I ate it anyways.  She was in pain because of me.  That is the definition of a bad mom.

On another topic, I finally made and am using cloth wipes!  I found a great deal on french terry cloth at Hobby Lobby, 50% off!  So I bought 2 yards and cut my wipes out, so far I have made 26 and still have 8 more to make.  They are 6X9 with the wrong sides sewn together.  They were super easy to make and I found a great site for wipe solutions and mixed up a batch of Lavender 'n' Tea Tree.  For once Audrey isn't running from the changing table.  We are using them to clean her face too.  So far so good!  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

So I just read a book that changed the way I look at breastfeeding.  Once I started it,  it was hard to put it down.  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League was just such an excellent read and had so much information about being a mom.  Totally didn't expect all the tips on child raising and child birthing.

So I'm not writing to promote the book for anyone.  I'm not being paid for my opinion just sharing, like I always do.  After the read, I really wish I had read the previous edition BEFORE I had Audrey.  So many things I would have known off the bat instead of learning the hard way. 

But the thing that has blown my mind was something that the book said early on.  The book points out that there are NO BENEFITS to breastfeeding!  All the research starts with the breastfed baby at the experiment.  The formula fed baby as the control.  If you reverse that and make the breastfed baby the control, which he/she should be since breastfeeding the natural/normal way to feed a child then instead of benefits to breastfeeding we would be talking about the dangers of formula.  The things that formula fed babies lack rather than the benefits of breastfeeding.  Being that DH is a scientist, you would think I would have looked at the research more careful and found the control and thus the correct conclusion myself but I totally see everything different now.  EVERY DROP COUNTS!  I just don't think I'll every look at baby-feeding research the same way.  Audrey is the normal not the experiment.  She's not big for her age.  She is what a normal fucking baby should be.  Gerber has no clue what a normal baby is.  That Gerber baby  is being denied his right to nature's perfect food. 

This realization also makes me very sad for the babies who have no choice but to have formula.  Baby J comes to mind.  B was so looking forward to breastfeeding Baby J and giving her the best start possible.  Formula has its place.  Not all moms make it thur to hold and raise their babies.  Not all babies are born at 9 months ready to latch.  Some moms are breast cancer survivors and have no way to make milk.  I wish we could make milk bank for babies in need that are affordable.  I hope that more moms that can breastfeed will breastfeed if even for just a few days.  Every drop counts.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things I never thought I would do but . . .

Audrey has taught me so much that now I just do them.  So here is the list in no particular order:
1.  Talk about poop, alot!
2.  Use cloth diapers
3.  Talk very freely about breastfeeding and encourage other woman to get their boobs out
4.  Look for shirts that allow for easy boob access
5.  Want to delay vax
6.  Bedshare/co-sleep
7.  Have to stop myself from grabbing crying babies so that I can give them boob
8.  Hate disposable diapers
9.  Not own a stroller/wear my baby
10.  Not buy baby food
11.  Describe labor as not that bad
12.  Wash cloth diapers/rinse poop off of a diaper (see what I mean about the poop)
13.  Describe myself as crunchy/granola/counterculture
14. Have a sidecar/know what the hate a sidecar is
15. Still have my placenta in the freezer (actually be thinking about consuming after the next birth!)
16.  Try to EC/know what the hell EC is
17.  Think that travel systems are from the devil
18.  Go wheat-free
19.  Loath a Baby Story for distorting the true about birth/yell at TV OB for causing a C-section
20.  Cry over losing a friend in childbirth/Cry with a friend over the loss of a baby

I've learned a lot over the last nearly 11-month since Audrey's birth.  I can't wait to see what else she has in store for me.  I can't wait to see if God has more babies in store for me.  Mother is quite the adventure and I would hate to think I won't have at least one more to learn from.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lactivist leanings

So why do I still breastfeed after 10 months?  I remember watching a show a long time ago, maybe Oprah or something similar, and it featured a breastfeeding mother.  She said that she was so thankful for breastfeeding because it allowed her to discover her child's allergies.  She could eat only boiled white rice and plain boiled chicken.  If she ate anything else her child would react.  I can't even image having to go to that extreme!  But it always stuck with me the power of breastfeeding.  The baby eats what I eat.  I can control what I eat.  Similac, Nestle, Target don't get to feed my baby whatever is in their factory. 

I  wonder how Audrey would be different if I formula fed.  I'll never forget that realization that wheat was the issue.  How different she was after I cut out the wheat.  How much happier she was.  What if I had chosen formula?  I would have just thought she was a colicly baby, a fussy baby, a baby that no one could make happy.  How wrong would I have been?  I know that I"m lucky to know that wheat could be a problem.  DH has an allergy so I knew to be on the look out.  I hate to think of all of the people who never get a diagnoses and just suffer.  I hate to think of all of the suffering moms and babies.  I can't even image how hard it would be to have  child that can't be comforted.

So I breastfeed 'cause frankly I'm a control freak.  I need to know what my child is eating.  I can control my mouth so I can control her diet.  I breastfeed 'cause it is the best thing for Audrey.  She's a happy healthy baby.  Sure I'm off wheat til she weans but what is a few years without bread when I can see her happy and thriving. 

There are other women that may need help, who may need a helping hand, and who just need to know that breastfeeding is normal.  So I want to be there for them.  I want to be their support.  So the journey begins, how am I going to help women?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Chili

She is in a chili pot.  Dad thought it would be funny.  Audrey doesn't seem amused.  She tried to escape.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twitter

I'm learning to use Twitter.  I'm actually having fun.  There are so many neat moms on there.  So anyways, this is a short blog post.  Just saying that I'm doing the twitter thing.  You can follow me at @hollinsgirl7

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

wordless wednesday - fun in cloth

Audrey in her GoodMama cloth diaper.

Caught eating paper.

I don't care I'll eat what I want to.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting over the American dream

So I bought the dream the whole damn hamburgs worth.  You know the one, where you buy the house, have the dogs, have the new car, have debt to your ears and don't bother to save.  I did it.  I thought at the time that it meant I was a real American.  I was finally an American.  Growing up Mexican in American in the 80s meant alot of name calling and taunting from both sides.  I was never enough of either so I picked one and went for it. 

It's funny how you gain perspective after you have a child.  It's not about me.  It's about doing the best for Audrey.  So that means paying off bills.  First things first, we lost the house then we moved to Texas so I had to give up my wonderful job and just last night they repoed the car.  I'm not upset.  Audrey is healthy and happy.  I have everything I need.  God has blessed me.  So I give.  No more American dream now I just want to focus on Audrey.  If that makes me unAmerican then screw it, we'll move to Africa and hang with the !Kung.  I wonder how long it would take for me to learn that language?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

!Kung babies

Okay so DH and I were talking today about our parenting style and the job we are doing with Audrey.  It was all prompted by a bad trip to the Dairy Queen after which both DH and Audrey got unintended wheat exposure.  Audrey suffer alot for our lack of research.  Lesson learned! 

But anyways, but to !Kung babies.  As part of this talk, DH reminded me of a time when we were back in high school, about 17 or so and he told me all about the way the !Kung people of Africa raised their children.  He was very impressed that they would put their babies on their backs and go on about their day.  I remember looking at him and saying that is crazy and I'll never do that!  Famous last words since of course I'm all into babywearing.  I toss Audrey on my back and move about my day.

I think the funny part is that I had shot the idea down without knowing anything about it.  It makes me so glad that I was 30 before I had children.  I was a stupid teenage and I don't think I would have been any better as a mom at in my 20s.  Having lived a little and met so many people has allowed my world to expand and for me to research and get to see the best practices of baby/child rearing. 

DH was saying today that he can totally see what that article the !Kung meant about babywearing and raising.  I think part of the reason I laughed it off back in the day was his whole love of the idea of a baby that can face down a lion.  That was his whole reason for wanting to raise a !Kung baby, so it can face down a lion!  But I understand it know.  Audrey is confident and happy.  She is a little too fearless for my taste.  She climbs on top of boxes and stands up.  She climbs to the edge of the bed to peek over and manages to just hold on and not fall over.  She crawls right into the middle of our dogs playing and expects them to part and they do!  I honestly think she could face down a lion.  It's kind of incredible. 

Without meaning to I'm raising a !Kung baby.  I'm raising a confident woman that can face down lions.  I think DH was right, the !Kungs have it going on!  Well played DH.  I guess I finally have to put a mark in your "WAS RIGHT" column.   

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big plans for a little baby

So Audrey is all of 9 months old but already people are asking about her birthday.  What are you going to do?  Where are you going to have her party? 

I am unsure of how to handle this.  She is going to be a year old.  She doesn't really have friends so who do you invite?  This lack of friends is beginning to be a problem for Audrey.  She wants to interact with other kids.  She wants to do this during mass, not exactly the best time.  I took her to my aunt's house so she could play with my cousin's son.  He was willing to play but he is about 5 months old and got tired of waiting for Audrey to get going.  But at least she met someone new. 

I want her to have friends.  I don't want to hold her back from becoming the social butterfly she seems to want to be but how do I get her new friends when I don't have any here?  Either I'm finding moms who stay at home and therefore have daytime playdates or it's women with no children.  I really am at a loss.  I know part of the reason I'm holding back on making/finding local friends is that I have one foot out of the door.  The plan is to move to Austin in a couple of years so that Ray can work on his PhD.  Once I decided to stop planning for the future I know I'll find people but I just don't want to.  The last time I finally let my guard down and starting looking for friends, I found group of incredible woman (the Triad Tot Totters).  They were wonderful and I could relate to them and we could hang but then as soon as I found them we moved to Texas.  So I"m a little gunshy.  I want friends, I hate being by myself all day but I'm making friends just to leave them.  What is the best thing for Audrey?  I know the answer is to get off my ass and find some friends so I guess that is my next task.  Anyone in the deep East Texas area want to hang?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fear of birth

I have a friend that has entered the anyday now phase of pregnancy.  Well really she's not due for about 5 more weeks but babies have their own plans.  So anyways, I find myself praying for her and fearing the phone call.  I still feel so raw from the shock of B's death, I can't help but to fear the next phone call.  Also in fairness, I also had a friend lose a baby about three weeks ago, which is also still floating around in my head.

You know I had a homebirth.  You know I worry about going to hospital no matter what the cause.  After B's death the fear of birthing in the hospital is so on the surface.  I know K is ready and willing and begging for a c-section.  She also knows quite well my feelings on cutting.  But above all I believe in anyone's choice to birth or not as they please.  I think I've just has the rose-colored glasses removed from my eyes when it come to the hospital birth.  I guess part if just naivety on my part.  I have always felt that good people deserve good things and that God will protect them.  But honest to goodness B was as close to a saint as I had met and she didn't make it thur child birth.  I know good people die.  I know that good vs bad doesn't really matter to death.  So if my faith in fairness is shaken and smaller then what has filled the space and the cracks, fear. 

I love K, much like I did B.  I want to hear/read on her facebook all about the wonderful surgery and how her gallbladder scar and c-section scar make a smiley face.  But I'm afraid I'll be receiving a call from Leann letting me that things are not good.  I'm afraid too for my other friend who will giving birth in the same hospital and with the same practice as B.  That hospital has a reputation for death, especially maternal death.  So I guess all I can do is pray and celebrate and gift like everyone will be there for me to see in the summer when I finally return to Southside Virginia.

Baby J will be a year old, B will not be there.  Baby A will be close to 10 months old, I have faith K will be there to tell me all about the horrible things that Baby A has done.  D will have a 5-month old Baby B and tell me all about how I worry too much and to get advice on breastfeeding a baby with teeth.  A lot can happen between here and there.  I guess I could end up dead, only God knows.  Hopefully we'll be going up there to celebrate a wedding for Leann and a second baby for me.  Only time will tell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Real Men

So the other day on Mothering.com I read an article entitled "Real Men Co-sleep."  It was interesting.  I like that the father was trying to pin down what a real man is.  That a real man is a man that tries to be a good dad.

Back when I was working as a teacher on the detention home I heard a guard tell a kid that he considered him a man since he had a kid.  Does the ability to reproduce make you a man?  Does having sex make a boy a man?  I think we are suffering from a real lack of real men in our world.  If we had more examples of real men then we would have less punks out there making babies and running away.

DH is working late a few nights a week now.  It really makes me appreciate when I have him around.  I can't believe that there are women that do it alone.  It is so hard just for a few hours.  I'm glad I have a real man by my side.  I'm glad my dad stood up and showed me what a real man was so that could spot one.  Where have all the real men gone?  I know there are some out there.  My friends seem to be catching the last few.  I hope my Audrey will be able to find one when her time comes.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Return to wheat exile

So after much debate and looking at several poopy diapers, I have to admit my daughter is wheat sensitive if not out right allergic.  Back when Audrey was about 3 weeks old, I noticed she would spit up alot and have horrible crying fits of painful gas.  At the time we deduced it was wheat since, she was still very little and DH has a confirmed allergy to wheat, among many many other foods.  Once I went wheat free Audrey was so much better.  We even put up the gas drops.  After about a month, I slowly started to let wheat back into my diet.  A cracker here, a burger there and she seems to be okay so I thought I was in the clear.

Because DH is allergic to wheat, it has been a small part of our diet.  He has never phased it out completely but we try to allergy free meals a few time a week and minimal allergy meals the rest.  Audrey seem to do fine but once we moved back to Texas, we stopped being careful.  Since we live with my parents and they always have bread and flour tortillas in the house, I've just stuffed my face.  This has also been the start of Audrey's move to solids.  I say that because I"m trying to remember when I first noticed a big change in her poop. 

I know solids poop and EBF poop are different from each other and in general it seems that people say as long as there is poop the color, texture and smell will vary so don't worry.  But I noticed that her poop was starting to have a jello like texture.  The color was very dark even if she didn't have anything dark to eat and the super green poop was uber weird.  It smelled awful.  She was clearing the room.  Audrey is eating solids but I would say that about 80% of her diet is till breastmilk.  So why the changes? 

Well it all came to a head this week.  Two nights we had to find gas drops because she was in so much pain.  She was asleep but doubled over and crying.  She had also been diagnosed with eczema, which can be caused by allergies.  The light bulb went off.  The wheat!  I hit the wheat hard over labor day weekend.  Hot dogs for like 3 meals a day for 3 days straight.  I love hot dogs!  I couldn't ignore it anymore.  So I went off the wheat Thursday and Friday and the change was huge.  The first night she was a bit fitful but not screaming gas pain.  The second night, she only cried to eat.  Her poop went from dark brown and jelloy to yellow and just slightly thicker than her EBF poop has been.

I guess she had been suffering this whole time :(  I feel like an awful mother.  How could I hurt my baby like that?  I should have known better.  So I am returned to wheat exile.  Now we start experimenting.  How much wheat can she tolerate?  Does she have any of Ray's other allergies?  I think we're going to skip the allergist for now and just kinda try stuff on our own.  I'm going to miss bread but it's either give up the bread or give up the breastfeeding.  Strangely I never even considered the last option. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I like cloth diapers

Okay so I'm the first to admit that I was late to the cloth diaper game.  My Audrey was 4 months old before I ever bought a cloth diaper and it wasn't until we moved to Texas that we switched her full-time.  I wish I had switched her earlier!  She seems to be more comfortable in her cloth diapers, like she can feel the softness on her tush instead of the faux-cotteny feel of the disposable.

Our switch has not been without perils.  First was the seemingly never ending rash, which turned out to be the fault of the soap I was using.  Then was the never ending laundry, which I cured by going on a buying spree.  People were not kidding about the whole addiction thing.  While I'm far from addicted, I do like to "window shop" on the diaperswappers FSOT boards.  Goodmama's are so cute and I just want to keep buying!  While I would still like to buy about 5 more Goodmama's to help rotate my stash, we are able to wash every other day, which helps this mama out a lot.

Our latest issue has been thrush but I think finally getting the diagnoses of eczema will help out a lot.  It helps to treat the right issue rather than thinking it is one thing and getting no results.  Turns out Audrey has sensitive skin like her daddy.  It was amazing the difference just from switching her to the Aveeno lotion.  Her skin is so soft and clear!  While we thought we were dealing with thrush we kept switching to disposables.  The number of blow outs sky-rocketed!  Why do they blow so much?  My GM's just seem to hold and hold. 

I'm thinking I need to buy a diaper sprayer to finish rounding out my cloth diapering world.  My parents (who watch Audrey during the day) and Ray leave all of the laundry for me.  That was part of the compromise for the switch, they would be supportive as long as I did the laundry.  I'm happy to do it but I'm finding it is much hard to clean the poopy ones now that she's getting in a far amount of solids and then everyone just mixes the diapers up so I can't tell which ones are wet vs poop.  I think the sprayer might help with the removal of the extra. 

So I like cloth diapers.  Audrey likes cloth diapers.  The amount of baby trash I put out is less than half of what it use to be under the disposable regime.    Now if I can just find a good deal on a few more GM's. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Girlfriends

One of things I'm learning about motherhood is that it can be very isolating.  If your friends are living the sex and city life then they don't really have time for talks on birthing/breastfeeding/or baby poop.  I don't blame them one bit.  But I am also finding that I can find new moms to connect with too.  I have about 5 blogs I read faithfully.  They are blogs from moms that are just doing the best they can and sharing their experiences along the way.  I had also found a wonderful group in Greensboro called Triad Tot Toters that was amazing but now that we living in Texas, I'm back to being by myself again. :(

This weekend I was finally able to go see my bestest friends in the whole world.  One has been my BFF since 7th grade, so like almost 20 years!  The other has been a BFF since college so only about 10 years.  They finally got to meet Audrey and Miss Audrey of course charmed them.  It was fun to talk to the girls about their lives, see their new homes, share how my life has changed in the time since I saw them last.  We laughted, we cried, we shared and we made promises to see each other real soon.  I can't wait to see them again. 

I miss having people I can just go out with.  I think you can see a theme for me, loniness.  I wish the girls lived closer, they are both still about 5 hours away.  I take a weekend and go down there but I still wish I could just show up and go and have a fun girls night and then sleep in my own bed.  Just plan a last minute nail appointment or something simple like just picking them up and head to the movies. 

Does that life even exist for me anymore?  Now I have to make sure that someone can watch Audrey.  No more just running off.  While I miss the girlfriends, I think my trade off for Audrey has been worth it.  Maybe I can't just jet off to Paris but to be honest I never did before so why would I now?  I think I really need to just get a new cell phone with unlimited text and email so my girls and I can keep in better contact.  We have all gotten so busy we can't even find time to talk.  But I think the occasional, "You're awesome" text might be kinda nice.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fever dreams

Audrey was released from the hospital yesterday.  We finally saw her pedi after she ran a fever for 3 days straight.  Her highest was 104.6 but the pedi's answering service recommended just staying home and giving Tylenol.  When we finally saw the doc, she sent us straight to the hospital.  It was a bit scary.  She was talking about spinal taps and how we should have been to the emergency room.
The doc ordered so many tests and procedures.  Honestly it was very difficult to watch them hurt my baby to try to make her better.  I know I should be happy that Audrey is better but I really wonder how much was really necessary.  As I write I'm listening to her breath and think she might be wheezing a little but I'm too scared of the doctor to really considering going just a for quick follow up.  We need a new doctor for Audrey.
We have talked to several people in the area and we get the same thing, well all the doctors around here are the same, they all suck.  Surely that can't be true.  There has to be one decent doctor in the Lufkin, Tx area!  I hope. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weaning

Today's topic at La Leche League meeting was weaning.  We wrote weaning stories for our children.  Some from experience, some of us for the future and others with stars in their eyes and babies in their bellies.  They were beautiful and touching.  You could hear the pain in the stories.  The acceptance of letting their children grown up and ending the breastfeeding relationship.

I dread the idea of weaning Audrey.  I love breastfeeding her.  The closeness and bond we share.  The private mommy and baby time that no one else can ever have with her.  I'm hoping we'll make it to 2 year for Audrey.  DH and I have talked about trying to have another baby after Audrey turns one, which would mean tandum (sp?) feeding and bfing during pregnancy, two things I had never thought about doing.  Feed two babies at one time when they are different ages the thought had never crossed my mind.  I had always thought breastfeeding during pregnancy was dangerous.  So many things to think about! 

For now Audrey and I are dealing with thrush.  I hate thrush.  I honestly think it hurts worse than childbirth!  so we'll continue treating with Grapefruit Seed Extract.  It is clearing up just not gone all the way.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birth stories vs Baby Stories

Ever since B died a few weeks back I've been thinking alot about something she said to me.  We were talking about where to give birth.  I was about 8 months and she was maybe 2 months along.  I was going the whole home birth route and just in general talking about how I had changed doctors out of the practice she was using because the doc I met with just didn't jive with me and I didn't want to go to the local hospital.  It had a high maternal death rate, high c-section rate, and high infant morality rate (not sure offically but I had heard enough around town).  B said, "I won't get the birth I want but as long as I get a healthy baby."

Her words haunt me.  She got a healthy baby, after Baby J's week in the NICU.  But she didn't make it home.  I'm sure B would thought the trade off was ok.  I'm sure I would have been happy with the trade off too.  If I had died by Audrey was a health baby, well then I had done my duty. 

I read alot of homebirth forums and blogs.  One time a person made the comment on one of the forums, "Women are going to die.  Not everyone will survive birth.  Whether at home or at the hospital, women are going to die.  It is just a part of birth that not all of us will make it."  I remember reading that thinking how true, we don't all survive birth.  Funny, I read it, I understood it but I still didn't think it would happen to me.  My sister-in-law nearly died in childbirth about a 7 months before Audrey was born, I figure that would be a close as anyone I knew would get to dying in childbirth.

I'm second guessing decisions that had nothing to do with me.  I wonder if B would still be alive if she had been at home under the care of a midwife?  Did the hospital kill her or was it just her time?  Women die during childbirth, it is a fact.  The hospital pushes c-sections to save babies and moms but sometimes they still die.  You can have a natural childbirth and still die.  It is just a matter of luck or your time being up.  I have to admit I had a level of survivors guilt.  I had my baby at home with a midwife.  My water had been broken for 60 hours before Audrey was finally born.  In some people's minds I deserved to die from complications, I did all the wrong things.  B did everything right, she went in for an induction at 41 weeks, just like a good patient.  She agreed to the c-section when the doc said the baby was in distress, Baby J needed CPR as soon as she was born and then a week in the NICU so the doc was right.  But was the induction the cause of everything?  What if they had just let Baby J have one more week?  Having a baby at 42 weeks use to be normal now it's late.  It's hard to see normal in a hospital.  I made the decisions that were right for me.  B made the decisions that were right for her.  We both met our goal, a healthy baby.  But did we get the same outcome? 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Warning there will be boob . . .

I know it's not Wednesday but with DH laid up due to a stress fracture and of course being the mother of a 7-month-old I never got to the computer to post my World Breastfeeding Week pics.
There were taken just before we moved from VA to TX so Miss Audrey was about 6 months old.

You can see just how active Audrey is while she eats now.  Kicking, grabbing, sometimes biting.  It is an adventure!  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

Just want to wish everyone a Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Just a week to celebrate breastfeeding and to encourage woman, who can, to breastfeed.

Facebook was a buzz about Giselle Bunchen (I think that's how you spell it) wanted there to be a law requiring all women in the world to breastfeed for at least 6 months.  I stopped to think about it.  It sounds good.  Yes I want all babies to be breastfeed, if not by their own mom's then at least with donor breastmilk.  It's the best thing for them and it's nature's food for babies but it doesn't take into account that sometimes things happen.  I'm not pro-formula.  But I know there are mom who have to use it.  Whether it be by choice or circumstance, sometimes a baby will not get to breastfeed.  Sometimes it's baby that has an issue which won't allow for breastfeeding.

I think Best for Babes makes a very good point about there being booby traps.  Our American world is not set up for breastfeeding success.  Many of us moms have to work outside the home and work places are not always ready or willing to help with pumping.  Good pumps are expensive and the bad ones which are cheap won't do for a long-term commitment to breastfeeding.  It seems that for every doctor that is pro-BF, there are many more that don't understand the basics and get down right negative about BFing.  Many of us are just set up to fail.  So how can we call for a law when so many have real obstacles in their way.

I love breastfeeding Audrey.  It's our special time.  Especially now that she's all over that place, I loving having those breaks in her day that are just for us.  No else can help.  No one else can do it.  It's the two of us.  I feel for woman who can't/won't/weren't supported or baby couldn't.  Even now as I see my daughter growing and eating more food and drinking less BM, I'm alittle sad.  I don't want her to wean.  I kinda of want to take away all solids and make her my newborn again.  I am glad that we have been able to breastfeed for these 7 months and God willing we'll make it until she's 2. 

Rather than barring formula, let's work to make breastfeeding the norm again.  Rather than making laws, lets live our lives as breastfeeding mothers and show people that we can live like normal people and still breastfeed.  Breast isn't best, Breast is normal.
(Please forgive the typos.)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cloth diapers

Okay, so yesterdays post was sad.  I don't want to depress anyone but I had to get it out.  It's amazing the healing power of just expressing yourself. 
So I'm moving the blog on.  Today's topic cloth diapers.  I indulged in a little retail therapy yesterday.  We've moved to full-time cloth and it's going well but I'm getting a little tired of washing everyday.  I'm also worried that it will wear out my diapers faster so I went on to diaperswappers.com and thebabywear.com and searched the forums for some good deals on some fitted diapers and covers.  I love Goodmama diapers but they cost about $30 brand-new so shop the forums looking for good deals.  I found 2!  That will bring my stash up to 12 GMs!!!!  I'm excited.  I also bought some Mother-Ease Sandy diapers (4) and (3) Clover OS diapers.  I've read some pretty good stuff on them and the price was right so we're going to try them.  I also snagged some Thirsties covers.  I even broke down and bought a few pre-fold (which are the old fashion pin-up diapers).  I can't wait for my new stuff to come in!  I'll post pics.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grief and birth

I lost a good friend yesterday.  She died after having an emergency c-section.  The baby ended up in the NICU but is doing well.  I'm still feeling a bit numb.  I understand that she is gone but I can't concieve a world without her and I'm overcome with saddness for the baby.  She'll never know that wonderful woman that gave birth to her. 

I know that women die during childbirth.  Death is a fact of life.  I've looked at the stats but B was not a number she was a friend.  The numbers, the odds, the facts don't make me feel any better. In fact I think I'm more scared.  I have two friends awaiting babies and now I'm scared they won't make it through. 

DH has decided to become a doula. He is convinced it was a cascade of interventions that killed B.  I don't think we know enough to say.  He has been talking about it since we started our research on birth after we found out we were pregnant and now with B's death he feels that is something he should do to help out women. 

I don't know how to take it all in.  We just had dinner with B and her husband last month as we were moving.  We were talking about raising babies and both of us planning second babies.  Now she's gone.  We now live so far away we can't do anything to help.  I want to help.  I want to feel useful.  I want to feel something besides sad.  Even moving to anger would be good.  That I can work with.  Saddness is daining and I need my strenght to work and more importantly take care of Audrey.

I know life goes on.  I know Baby J will grow up and her daddy will tell her all about her wonderful momma.  Maybe I'll still get a chance to see her sometime.  But it's not fair.  All B wanted to do is watch her daughter grow up and to have more babies and be a good mom.  She would have been a fabulous mom.  I want an explanation.  I want a reason.  I want to blame someone. 

I know God has a plan but I can't see it.  I know things happen for a reason but I don't feel it.  I know but I'm not sure I can accept.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Time in Texarkana

Just a few pictures from our arrival in Texas, almost a month ago!  Finally found that card reader!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Audrey you can't catch!

So Audrey is now crawling!  She's only been at it for about 2 weeks but she is moving fast.  I knew there would come a day when she would be moving so fast she would be hard to catch but I didn't think that would be so soon.  She is also standing up on her own. 

It's exciting to see her grow and learn new skills but so sad at the same time. I want to freeze her in time and keep my little newborn.  I'm even taking to swaddling her again!  I'm really treasuring the times we sit and breastfeed.  I feel like time is flying.  I guess all moms have that feeling.  You no sooner have the baby and then it's time to plan their wedding. 

All this growing and moving has me thinking about having another baby.  I know that Audrey will grow up (God willing) no matter what I do.  Having another baby won't freeze this one, it just means another baby to grow up.  Is it sad that I"m missing that little newborn?  DH and I do want more kids but I've always wanted to put about 2 years between them so that Audrey and I can max out our nursing for the full two years and so that she has the chance to be the only one.  With only 15 months between me and my brothers I always felt cheated of my #1 status.  I didn't like to share. LOL!  We'll see about #2.  I guess much like Audrey, we'll just leave it in God's hands.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Audrey up the mini-stairs

video
I happen to be video taping Audrey crawling around the den and manage to catch her crawling up the mini-stairs in the den for the first-time on July 20th.  Also today Audrey stood up for the first time.  She just push down on a baby chair and she was up on both feet.  She did it twice!  I can't believe how fast she is growing up.  I miss my newborn.

Audrey is crawling

video
Since we've moved I've been very far behind on blogging.  So I'm hoping this video of my Audrey crawling will make up for some of it.  I missed announcing that Audrey is now a crawler.  According to DH, she started crawling so she could steal the iPad away from her cousin, that was back on Friday the 9th.  She's only gotten faster and faster!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who works harder?

Okay so DH is still a stay at home dad but now that we live with my parents, my mom is also taking care of Audrey.  They split the day about half and half so that mom can take over when Ray starts grad school in a month.  I'm pulling a 9-6, which is a bit longer of a day than I use to do.  I come home and spend the rest of the day with Audrey.  I sleep with Audrey and even if I can sneek away she wakes up so I'm with her for the rest of the night.

The other day I asked DH for 10 minutes of baby-free/work-free time.  He told me that no mother gets and to get over it.  Needless to say that was the start of a fight.  I use to feel guilty about leaving him home all day with the baby.  He was the main care takers for 6 months.   I know that was hard but he has help now, the baby is older and I'm working my ass off, can I please have 10 minutes to myself?  After pointing out today that he was getting 10 minutes to himself to do nothing but read for fun and that I too deserve at least that much, he finally took Audrey and I'm spending my 10 minutes writing a blog about the baby.  So maybe not so baby-free but I don't think my life will ever be baby-free again.  I'm a mom, that's life.  I wonder if I'll be able to run off and have a mani-pedi, that would take well over 10 minutes!  We'll see.  I don't think this fight is over yet . . .

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We have a side-car

I need to post the pics since it is Wenesday but who knows when I'll have time!  So we added the crib to our bed as a sidecar.  It was a bit tricky to get everything lined up correctly but I think we did a pretty good job.  Audrey will sleep in it but she won't stay all night.  We have always switched sides in the middle of the night for nursing so the fact that we switch out to the bed in the middle of the night it's a very big deal.
But there is a bit of a problem going on at night.  Audrey is waking up more than ever.  Right before we moved she was only nursing twice a night and now she's on like 7 times.  She'll wake up around 4 and act like it is super normal to be up and is ready to play!  Then she'll nurse, roll over, then roll back to nurse, then roll away, you get the picture.  We do this for about an hour.  Around 5am she decides it is in fact still night time and goes to sleep!  It's not that hard to deal with but considering that we got use to sleeping just about all night, this change in schedule is not fun!  She's a baby so runs the show but I miss the nights of almost sleeping the whole night thur.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

cloth diaper irony

okay so I've have a cloth diaper issue.  Audrey developed a rash after we switched to cloth.  As you know, or don't know, part of the reason I switched to cloth was to avoid rashes.  Audrey has never had an issue with rashes but after the reports of chemical burns with Pampers, I decided I wasn't going to take any chances.   "Isn't it ironic, don't you think?  A little too ironic!"  Sorry, had a 90's moment.

But yes I do think it is ironic that I switched to cloth and got a rash when I was switching to cloth to avoid rashes.  So we got a rash from the detergent we were using.  Thanks to the wonderful people at Pinstripes and Polkadots, I was able to figure it out.  So I'm including the link to their cloth diaper basics.  It was a wonderful resource.  I would also suggest joining diaperswappers.com and/or thebabywearer.com for forums about cloth diapering and buying cloth diapers.  My entire stash is made up of used CDs.  Mostly Goodmamas because they fit Audrey so wonderfully.  I was lucky I was able to ask the mama's at Triad Tot Toters for recommendations and they let me try them on Audrey.

So anyways, I didn't do quite enough research before switching.  Detergents do matter.  You live you learn.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another word-filled Wednesday

We have now moved to Texas.  I started my new job yesterday and things are going well.  Audrey is loving living with my parents.  She gets all the attention and interacting she can handle.  In fact she is napping more now since I think she is actually worn out from all of the playtime and talking with my parents. 
I am adjusting to the whole thing.  First we've gone full-time to cloth diapers so now part of my daily routine is to wash and dry the diapers before I go to bed.  Despite the daily washing, I"m loving the cloth diapers.  I'm thinking I might go ahead and buy a few more so that I can wash everyother day.  Strangely, DH is liking the switch too. 
Second big change for me has been the return of my period.  After having is gone for 15 months, I'm not happy to see it's return.  It also means a return to strict charting since we're trying to put about a 15 month space between Audrey and getting pregnant with another baby.  We'll see how it goes.
So far all signs point to the move being a very good thing.  I haven't been able to catch up with any of my friends yet but once we're more settled in we'll be taking a trip to San Marco/San Antonio area to visit my besties. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

many thoughts, no pictures

Wednesdays are usually wordless but not so today.  Not sure if I've blogged about this but today is moving day.  After 7 years of living in Virginia, we are moving back to Texas. 

It feels bittersweet to leave.  I feel like we've finally hit our stride.  We have friends, a house, two dogs, a baby but we don't have family here.  I don't want Audrey to grow up without her family.  I always felt cheated to only see my grandparents twice a year (well my mother's parents, my dad's parents were in town).  I want Audrey to have family around.  Between both sides of the family she has 8 cousins!  She deserves to grow up with them around. 

I love my life in Virginia but I'm ready to move on.  I never expected to live in Danville for 7 years.  I always expected to move to the big city, Roanoke or Greensboro.  I guess I always had one foot out the door with Danville.  But of course once I decided to leave, God put some incredible people in my life.  It's harder to leave than I thought and I'm trying to not feel the feelings or I"m afraid I'll totally breakdown and refuse to leave.  I know we've made the right decision but it is hard to go into the unknown. 

Lufkin is my hometown but like Thomas Wolf wrote, "You can't go home again."  Lufkin is a different place and I'm a different person.  I hope we get along.  I hope I find some local friends.  I have my bestest friends in Texas but they will be about 4 hours away.  I hope I find some crunchy mammas to hang with so that I don't feel like a freak.  I hope that I can learn to let go and let God take my life in the direction that is right for me.  Being a parent means making decisions that are best for someone besides yourself.  I know I'm doing the right thing and I'm at peace with it but it's still hard. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

First time solids

So Friday we gave Audrey solids for the first time.  We gave her bananas, well a banana.  Since we are doing baby-led weaning, I knew that this first time would be more about play than actual eating.  I wasn't worried about her filling up on banana or trying to get her to eat half or anything like that.  I just cut it up into strips and let her have at it.

Just like we expected she didn't eat very much.  She did seem to have lots of fun touching it and smashing it.  She was covered in banana!  She seemed very hesitant to put it in her mouth, which surprised me.  I mean the child had been putting everything in her mouth as soon as possible and now that I wanted her to put it in her mouth she was acting shy!  But I had to remind myself that it was about her needs and if touching was as far as she wanted to go that was ok.  She did eventually put some of it in her mouth.  I don't think banana is her favorite food but we'll see.  By the end she was a bit more willing to put it in her mouth.  I don't think very much was actually consumed but it was fun.  Guess what wordless Wednesday will be!

So we are jumping into solids now.  We've let her try carrots.  Again not much was eaten but when she spit it out the dogs jumped to the rescue and ate it.  So kind of them to clean up after Audrey!  I have noticed that she is much more into her booby time.  She seems happier and hungrier.  She latches right on and gets to work.  She is eating less frequently but where she was only eating out of one boob, she is not finishing both off.  I guess the world is just a little to interesting to be snacking all day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - First time in Texas

Audrey as we cross into Texas!

Audrey as we cross into Angelina County!

Babywearing at the Mississippi rest area (this is actually before the previous 2)

Just some pics from the recent trip "home" to Texas.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baby-led weaning

So Audrey is almost 6-month-old.  Only a few days left of EBF (Exclusive Breast Feeding).  On the 17th, we plan to introduce solids.  I'm not sure how I feel about this new stage of her life.  Up until now all 17 lbs of Audrey have come from me.  Every little roll, chunky toe, and double chin have come from me. 

I'm not sure I'm ready to share her with others.  I have taken her meal times as mommy and me time.  We talk and I get her all to myself.  But I know it's time.  To be honest, it's been time.  She's shown interest in "real food" at like 5 months but I wanted to hit the 6-months of EBF mark.  With all of the food allergies that DH has I wanted to give her the best chance at living allergy-free.  I hope the EBF helps. 

We are doing baby-led weaning so no baby-food.  We will start with some cut up banana.  I'll post pictures.  I also plan to video.  It is a new phase and here we go.

Friday, June 4, 2010

EC - 2nd week

Okay so first I owe DH an apology.  In my last EC posting I made him sound very unsupportive of the whole EC thing but this week he has actually been trying it!  Tuesday, I got Audrey to poop in her new Baby Bjorn potty!  Then later that day, DH put her on the potty again and she peed!  We are still just occasional ECers but at least we are trying.  We aren't pushing her just giving her a chance.  If I put her on the potty and nothing happens, it's cool.  It's not about training her, it's about learning how to communicate with her.  When does she go potty?  What are her signs?  Not sure just how far we are going to take it.  I think the occasional potty trip is plenty here.  I think anytime we save a diaper we are doing well.

We are also starting to cloth diaper.  Again nothing big just the occasional cloth diaper here and there.  I'm beginning to build a stash.  I have 6 GoodMamas and 3 TotBots but only one wool skirty :( We are also in the middle of moving and still don't have a washer so we are nowhere ready for full-time cloth.  But I'm hoping with a little more stash building that I'll be able to save the disposibles for the rare occasion rather than the everyday.  We'll see.  Back to packing  . . .

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Even after 5 months I'm still a Breastfeeding Newbie

So the other day I noticed that my afternoon pumping session was yielding a lot less milk, like down almost 2 oz.  I freaked out.  My baby!  She's going to starve!  I starting thinking what could be going on!  I emailed my Breastfeeding mentor but she's out of town so it could be a bit before I get a reply.

So I kept thinking, what is different?  What did I do before that I'm not doing now?  I think I've got it.  I stopped eating my mid-morning snack!  Ever since I was pregnant I had to get in the habit of eating breakfast and a mid-morning snack.  I"m usually on of those eat lunch and huge dinner people but that wasn't going to work for Audrey inutero or out in the real world.  I have to eat.  Maybe all the smaller meals is why I've lost 20 lbs on top of my "baby" weight, but anyways.

Yesterday I made sure to eat a mid-morning snack and guess what, I pumped back at my usual total.  I guess it's not just how many calories I eat but also when I eat them.  Most mornings I am hungry for breakfast, so that habit is easy but I'm usually not so hungry for a mid-morning snack.  That is going to take a little bit of effort on my part but in the end Audrey is worth it and if I get a smaller waistline too that isn't a bad thing.  So despite all of my knowledge, I still feel like a breastfeeding newbie.  I bet that is why groups like La Leche League exists.  Sometimes we need a little help even after the 6-week postpartum check.

Moral of the story: If you need help then ask for it.  While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn't always come naturally.  Never be afraid to ask for help and to ask questions.  No one knows it all and people are always willing to help if they know you need it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - EC Action

Sorry for the crappy pic, took it with the MacBook webcam.  For the record she is 5-months-old and on a Baby Bjorn Smart Potty.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Babies, Boobies, Mei Tais, Ring Slings and Wraps - OH MY!

So on Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the first meeting of the Triad Tot Toters.  I had a blast.  This was actually the third meeting for the group but the first as an official group.  So what is TTT?  It's a group of people, men and women, that wear their babies.  It is nice to meet up with a group of people who share my philosophy of baby raising.  Not everyone in the group believes in raising their children the same but we all agree that babywearing is where it's at!

One of the nice things about the group is that you can find someone that shares your issues, concerns, and or beliefs.  Many of us breastfeed and luckily being in a group makes me brave enough to just pull my boob out and feed Audrey in public.  Some cloth diaper and since I'm interested in moving to cloth, it gives me the chance to ask questions.  A couple EC so again I pick some brains.  One of the ladies even used the same midwife as me!  I love the Triad Tot Toters.  They give me support in all facets of child rearing not just babywearing.

I hate that now that I have 'mommy' friends I'm going to be moving.  Where will I ever find a group like this again.  I've already looked.  There is no such group in Lufkin.  The closest is a group in Houston, but I'm not sure I want to drive over 90 mins.  We'll see how it goes.  I know that I will miss them when I move.  I'll be able to keep up with them via Facebook and the webpage but I won't be able to see them in person and watch the babies grow. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

EC

Okay I admit it, the first time I ever heard about a 2-day-old baby using a potty instead of a diaper, I thought it was a load of crap (pardon the pun).  I had never heard of such a thing and had never known anyone who did elimination communication or was diaper-free.  I was intrigued so I looked it up and thought well I work so I'll never have time for that.  Once we decided for DH to become a SAHD, I knew he would never go for it.  Who potty trains a child that can't even walk?

Okay then I met 'T' at a babywearers meeting and she kinda explained it to me.  I also looked it up on TheBabyWearer.com and found some good advice.  I think the number one thing I found out is that it is not all or nothing.  I can part-time EC.  I can use a diaper as a safeguard and just take it off when I think Audrey needs to go to the bathroom.  In other words, you can EC as much as you can fit in.

So that bit of info made me brave.  I can do this.  Audrey is smart.  I'm smart.  Peeing is natural and keeping your pee on you is not.  Besides I hate using disposable diapers and again DH is not going for cloth.  One day I just decided to see what Audrey would do.  I took her diaper off and I put her on the potty.  I thought she needed to go but nothing.  So I went back to the changing table about to put on a diaper and feeling a little defeated and then I got a bright idea to hold her over the trashcan.  After all she has seen us put dirty diapers in the trashcan all of her life, maybe she thinks we peed in the trashcan.  So I held her over the trashcan and started saying 'PSSSSSSS' and she peed!  My first successful attempt to ED, not in the toilet but I got the trashcan.  I was able to have her do it once more and then last night was a break thur, she peed on the potty!  We sat there for a few minutes so she could get more comfortable and I was making my "PSSSS" sound and she peed.  I gave her lots of praise and kisses and announced it on Facebook, like a good mommy.

So I'm working on switching to cloth diapers for nighttime, DH is not convinced, and ECing when I'm with her, DH is not going to try.  I've been told Baby Bjorn makes a great baby potty and for only $20 or so from Amazon, I think it's worth the money.  Besides we'll need it once we do "potty train."  So that's my adventure into EC for now. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Breastfeeding & Pumping - Making it work

First let me say that I know I am very lucky to work in education where the majority of the workforce is women and therefore tends to be more breastfeeding/pumping friendly than most industries.  I am also very lucky to have a wonderful principal and assistant principal who are both super supportive so I can always feel free to talk to them about issues and who to resolve them.  I am also a librarian at the high school level so I have an incredible amount of freedom with my schedule.  Okay that's my disclaimer.

So the purpose of today's blog is how I make breastfeeding & pumping at work work.  I hear that is the number one reason that mom's wean once they return to work, don't have time to do it anymore.  While it was scary to pump at work at first, now I don't even think about it.  Put up sign, close and lock door, boobs out, pump on, time for facebook!

Here is my typical (well as typical as a day with a 5-month-old gets) workday schedule:

6am - Wake up, bathroom, put on pot of hot water and pump (I use the hot water to wash my pump parts.  I think it saves time over running the water until it gets hot.)
6:30am - get dressed, clean pump, pack lunch
6:50am - get baby up, change diaper, dress her (DH also gets up and follows his routine)
7am or so-Drive to work (we only have one car so DH drives me in, I also live about 35 mins away from my job) baby naps on the drive
7:45 am - Arrive at work
9:30 am - Pump
12:30 pm - Pump and have lunch
3:45 pm - go home
4:20 pm - Nurse Audrey
8pm - Nurse Audrey
Between 9 - 10pm - Get ready go to bed (shower, brush teeth, change baby's diaper, you know the night stuff)
We co-sleep/bedshare so I nurse Audrey through out the night, she usually eats to go to sleep (9:30 or so), eats again around 1 am and then again at 5am or so.  Each night is a little different.

I am a pretty successful pumper.  I average about 10 oz a day (at work) and Audrey will usually only eat about 10 oz so I'm pretty set there.  But I also pump and leave a fresh bottle each morning (average 4oz) so I do usually end up freezing about 20 oz a week.  My freezer currently has over 100 oz of breastmilk so if I couldn't pump or miss a session I would still be okay for the next day (this has happened so even with all of my flexibility, I don't always get my pumping in). 

I use to pump 3 times at work but Audrey preferring to nurse rather than take the bottle, I found it better to drop the 3pm pumping and just nurse as soon as I got home.  On days I know I won't see Audrey until after 5pm I go ahead and do the 3pm pump.

So that's my day in a nutshell.  Not perfect but it works.  Hope that provides some help in the making it work while working.

Oh, I have a Medela Pump'N Style Advance, use the Playtex drop-in system milk collecting set, and have a hands-free pumping bra.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2 teeth

Audrey now has 2 teeth! The last two weekends, she has been fussy followed by a brand new tooth on Monday. These little teeth are sharp! They hurt when she bites down on your finger. They hurt when she bites down on the boobies.

I find myself getting all sentimental. She is growing so fast. It hardly seems possible that she already has teeth. I feel like I just found out I was going to have a baby and now she has teeth! It is also exciting watching her grow. She's about 17 pounds and 25 inches tall. She looks like her daddy with just a hint of me thrown in. She is the most beautiful shade of caramel and it looks like she is going to have her Abulita's hair, curly, thick, and just a little coarse. All in all I would say I have a real beauty on my hands.

She also has a strong personality. She likes to be tickled. She loves music videos. She wants the doggies to play with her but once she's done she lets them know it. She is also strong for a baby. You can actually see her 6-pack abs! The doctor commented that she must be strong since she held her head off the table for most of her appointment.

I am amazed by her. I'm truly humbled that God has given me this awesome task. I know my journey into motherhood is still in the beginning stages. I have a lifetime of learning still to do. But for now, I'll enjoy those 2 little teeth. Boobs heal so I'll try not to focus on the new found pain. I'll just wait for each new tooth and remember fondly when she didn't have any. Man, people were not joking when they said they grow up so quickly.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some people suck

at reading other people. I'm a sucky person reader. Seriously, Jeffery Dahmer would have been my best friend. I would be the person on tv, "Like he seemed really nice. Quiet but nice. We would talk and he seemed normal. I guess you just never know." Dude I never know!

DH would say I collect crazies. I say I just like to talk to people. I very rarely meet a person I don't like. I trust everyone. I'm surprized I'm not dead yet. I know that there are people in this world that are out to hurt others but I guess I just believe that God will keep them away.

I don't really have a problem with my lack of character judgement. Like I said I just trust God is putting people into my life for whatever reason and go with the flow. But I'm beginning to wonder if this is a good trait to pass on to Audrey. DH is a good judge of character. He can always tell when someone is about to turn on me; he knows how a friendship will end; he tries to keep the bad people out of my life. So I hope that Audrey takes on some of his skills. I don't want anyone to hurt my Audrey but DH is also mistrustful of just about everyone and I'm not sure that is good for Audrey either. I don't want her to think that everyone is out to get her. I don't think everyone is out to get people. So how do I help strike the right balance? Teach her to trust people but keep her safe. Teach her to be cautions without teaching her to be afraid of everyone.

I'm a horrible judge of character. Some people just suck at reading other's intentions. All the way back to middle school, I've had trouble picking friends. I have one best friend that dates back to 7th grade, I think she's another reason I've made it so far. She tended to keep the bad folks out of my life too. I think she has the right balance. She has lots of friends but knows how to keep the "crazies" out of her life. Maybe with the move back to Texas, Miss Audrey will have a good model afterall.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do you need a man?

I was reading a blog this morning that really pointed out the difficulties for breastfeeding mothers. This blog focused on one mother's struggle in Iowa. It was sad to hear that a woman was harassed for breastfeeding her 5-week old at the mall. The mall was bad enough but once the media got a hold of the story the comments from the public were horrible and people were harassing her.

That was all really bad stuff but then I got to talking to my husband and I said something I never would have thought I would have said. "I bet if her husband was with her, no one would have said anything." Which got me to thinking, do you really need a man to protect you if you are breastfeeding?

I'm not usually one of those I need a man to survive sort of woman. I've gone clubbing by myself. I'm the main bread winner in the family. I can survive on my own. Now that I'm a mother I find myself needing a man, well my man. I have so much respect for women who do this on their own, being a married mother with good backup is hard, I can't even image the stress for single mothers!

When I breastfeed in public I try to be discreet. Using covers and the such when needed but there is a part of me that really prays that no one says anything. I don't want to fight. I'll be super passive-aggressive but I'm not one to look for fights, I usually run and usually fold just to avoid confrontation. I like to talk about other peoples drama but I don't want any myself. So the idea of being told to quit breastfeeding really kinda scares me.

I have to be strong for my daughter. Breast is best. Breast is normal. So why do I feel the need to have Ray with me? Why do I think that I'm more powerful with my man? It wasn't til I thought it, "they wouldn't any say anything if her man were there" that I realized just how weak I am or at least how weak I feel. I know there is power in numbers. The more people who seem to accept something then the more likely other will accept it too. But should women feel like breastfeeding is a strange thing? What is there to accept? Breastfeeding is normal. People don't harass mothers that are bottle feeding. Do I really need a man to protect me while I feed my baby? As you can see this just brought up some weird thoughts and issues for me. Maybe I do need man, does that make me less of a woman?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Censorship

I did a bad thing. I censored speech. I've censored comments on my Facebook and even on my blog. I try to be open to whatever someone has to say to me but screw them, it's my blog and Facebook, I decide.

With that said, I'm a librarian by trade so censorship is a touchy issue for me. I want people to express themselves. Good, bad, ugly, everyone has the right to express their thoughts. But in a school, I have to censor. I can't let kids call each other "bad" names and I hate to hear them refer to each other as the "F" word. Where does censorship end?

I censor myself alot. I think many things but express few. Sometimes is about other people (good thing to keep to oneself), sometimes its about myself (might should express those so I can change) and sometimes its just conversation I don't dare have (mostly with DH). I try to own whatever I say. I hate it when people hide behind their words. I think blogs are a really good place for it. You can just get on, write what you please, and hide. I try not to hide but I'm sure that I do. Hiding is just so easy these days.

I read lots of "mommy" site and "anti-mommy" sites. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to raising Audrey. She's my first child so I know nothing. I more or less parent on instinct. I didn't really decide to co-sleep, it just happened. There are some hateful anti-homebirth site out there. It's scary to me the hate you can find. People are passionate. I guess it's good that people believe so strongly in things. I've heard it said that there is alot of apathy in the world but I think kids tend to bring out the passion in people.

I'm crunchy but I try to understand creamies too. I know that a homebirth isn't for everyone. Sometimes breastfeeding doesn't work out. Co-sleeping in the wrong situation can be deadly. So I try to be open and understand that other people are different from me. I try not to attack others for what they do or think since I don't want others to do it to me. But it is hard to be nice all the time. Sometimes people just suck. Sometimes I can't help but to think that a person shouldn't have child while other people who would be great parents don't have any children at all.

It's hard to censor. I want to support everyone even the people I don't believe in. But it is so much easier said than done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babies and pregnacy talk

So I watched a show a few weeks back about a model becoming a mom. I was struck by one thing she said, "I'm still the same person. The baby didn't change me. I'm still going to do what I did before the baby." Is that possible?

I mean really can you have/adopt/acquire a child and not change anything? Since I gave birth to a child I can only talk from that perspective, I know adoption and fostering are different so I can't say anything about those experiences. So it's not that nothing about me is the same but so much is different. I mean even my body is different. Now I have stretch marks and make milk! I assume that "private area" is different as well. So I'm not the same person physically. At work, I make time to pump. So work life is not the same. At home, I have a baby to take care of so home is definitely not the same! How can anybody have a child and be same after?

Is the baby all I talk about? No, trust me I still bitch about work and things outside of Audrey. But strangely nobody wants to hear that. Before baby people would ask how I was doing now the question is how is the baby. As other mothers warned me, once the baby is here nobody cares how you are doing. While I was pregnant people would ask about the baby and the preparations so the question is do we as mothers get conditioned to talk about the baby by other people or is it just something that we do ourselves?

I have been accused of having nothing to talk about besides the baby. That I'm obsessed with pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Yes I am. I've learned a lot about those topics in recent months. It is my current area of research but if I were researching and talking up Slave Era music and talked about it 24/7 would you have a problem with that?

My husband loves to research, he picks a topic and learning everything he can about it. Then he proceeds to teach me about it. While it can be boring to learn about buckeye balls and some kind of condensate, I know that he is excited to learn and to teach so I'm excited to learn and hear him. I don't get in his face and talk about how he's changed and now he's boring. There are people who make their living talking and learning about only one thing, Stephen Hawking comes to mind. People don't get in their faces and tell them they are boring but yet people feel justified in doing that to mothers!

Audrey is my research topic. She is my life's work. Sorry that doesn't fulfill your needs for interesting conversation. But at the same time if you want to know my thoughts on Obama's health care reform then ask me. I also have opinions on Virginia's new governor. I can always talk about Steeler football. And have you watch RuPaul's Drag Race, ask me! Don't blame me when you find the conversation boring, maybe you need to ask more interesting questions.

Mothers aren't boring. We have a research topic that is ALWAYS changing so we always have something new to share. You want to know about other things then ask. I don't always know what is going on in the world outside of Audrey but that doesn't mean I don't care, I just don't have time. Ask, share, and be patient if I'm a little out of date. At least somethings never change. Tiger Woods is still a loving faithful husband and Izzy Stevens is still running the halls of Seattle Grace. Oh wait! I think I heard something on the news about both of those!

Monday, April 26, 2010

1 year since

I have been working on a movie of Audrey for my family. It's been fun to go back over the last year of pictures to see the changes in my life. On Saturday 4/26, was exactly one year that we found out we were pregnant. I still remember that pink plus sign like it was yesterday. I also have a picture of it so I can still look at it! It really doesn't seem that long ago and yet I have a four-month old daughter.

I've also been thinking a lot about the people in my life and out of my life. Audrey's birth has really shaken up my circle of friends. I've been able to reconnect with several college friends thanks to the momma connection. And yet even with a wider circle of friends I feel like I've lost a very important friend along the way. This friend was hurt by my carelessness. I have to admit that my actions weren't fair and were thoughtless. She was newly married and had bought a new house and I should have taken the time to acknowledge it. I know that a simple card was all that I needed but at the same time now that I've had time to process and grieve the lost of friendship I'm kinda glad. I took ownership of the failure and now I'm trying to make sure I don't lose other people that are important to me. I don't think I'll ever get over the attack on my husband, she said he would be a horrible father, nice thing to say to a woman that is 8 months pregnant. But again, if that is how she felt I'm glad she expressed herself rather than continue being my friend and feeling that way. Right?

I miss having friends that are close by. Talking to my best college friend last night reminded me of just how far apart everyone is. The internet makes everything seem close. I have 24hr access to people and yet I don't have anyone to get a pedicure with. It's amazing how lonely I feel sometimes. I'm not overwhelmed by motherhood but I feel physically isolated. I know that I can email with other mommas, I can "chat" with them but I don't have one to just hang with. I'm looking forward to returning to Texas because at least I'll have my family around.

Anyways sorry for the downer of a blog today but it's been on my mind and I just need to write it out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My left boob is an overachiever

I like to come with funny titles for my blogs. It's almost the best part. Maybe that is why people use Tweeter. Its short and sweet.
Anyways on to today's topic. So I'm pumping and noticing a huge increase in production. Okay so like 2 oz doesn't seem huge but it is. I've gone from 10 oz a day to 12 + oz a day. I'm not sure if Audrey is ramping me up for a growth spurt or if I need to put away the Milky Tea.
It doesn't seem that I have much extra milk since Audrey is eating thur everything I leave for her but I want to reach my goal of 150 oz in the freezer so I can donate and so far I'm at 130. The problem I'm having is that only my left boob is ramping up. I don't think I'm too lopsided yet but I'm starting to get a little self-conscience about it. I can't produce an extra 2 oz out of one boob and it not be noticeable, right?
I'm not sure if that means anything that lefty is out producing righty. I try to feed her off both in a normal switching rotation. I drink my Milky Tea on both sides of my mouth. Both boobs are in a bra. I have no clue why the change! But if I start leaning to one side when I walk I'll blog about it!