Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weaned? Maybe Not...

I had fully intended on nursing Keevia past two years. That was my goal. So I was a little heartbroken when, due both to my supply tanking and her teething, she weaned at 17 months.

Back in September my husbands first cousin gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL little girl. She decided to breastfeed (really, in our family it's not a choice. Everyone does it. It's just what you do. This is why I love my family), and so Keevia got her first real view of nursing.

Let me just state now that I am SO glad that B (Carl's cousin) isn't shy about it, because my kiddo likes to stick her face two inches away from B's boob and be all "What she dooooooooing?" and then I explain how she's eating, and she's nursing her mommy, and do you remember nursing your mommy? And Keevia always answers yes, and continues to stand two centimeters away, kind of just staring in awe.

Well since she's been exposed to it more, she now wants to "nurse" mommy again. Not in the literal sense, but she snuggles down (usually when she's going to sleep) and just presses her face against my breast. She'll even whisper "I nursing mommy" and close her eyes. It's quite possibly the cutest thing in the world.

Earlier this week, on a night when she was fighting sleep particularly hard, we talked about when baby girl comes out, she's going to nurse mommy's boobies. And she was SO excited. She even leaned over and hugged my belly while saying "I love baby ____ SOOOOOOO much!" It's moments like this that I just want to stop time and be in this moment forever. I can't wait to have TWO girls, but I know how drastically my life is going to change -- and how it's going to change my relationship with Kee.

I'm so happy that she remembers nursing (however much she does) and that it's something that still, almost 10 months after we stopped, brings us both such joy. I can't wait to nurse her sister, and any other babies we have.

And if she really does want to nurse when the baby gets here? I think I'd be okay with that too!

32 weeks!


I just wrote that. 32 weeks. That means I have 8 weeks to go. 8 weeks is two months.


Plus, if you take into account the fact that I went at 39 weeks last time.


I still haven't gained much, if any weight (in fact, from 28 weeks to 31 weeks I lost a 1/2 lb (thanks stomach virus). I started this pregnancy out at 245ish (my scale) and now I'm 235ish. My face has slimmed down SO much, as have my ribs and my legs. SO not complaining! I'm hoping to keep it up and actually LOSE weight while breastfeeding this time!

Keevia (or well, my uterus) always measured a week behind (so if I were 30 weeks, my uterus measured 29 weeks). This little lady always measures a week ahead. So, um, I'm 2 weeks bigger than I was with Keevia.

I definitely FEEL bigger. I'm having "issues" right now that I didn't have for at least another month last time (turning over in bed, bending over, picking things up). I also have SO much more shortness of breath this time around, but it gets better if I lay down, so I have a feeling its my uterus pushing against my lungs (that and the fact that neither my asthma inhaler NOR my oregano oil helps). I'm excited for her to drop so I can breath better, NOT excited for her to drop because of that "falling out" feeling!

I'm big on drinking chocolate (Ovaltine) milk right now. Also big on bananas (trying to keep foot cramps at bay) and other fruit. I have a hard time thinking of food to eat (that doesn't have wheat). Meat is still an issue, I really have issues eating it some days.

I have a knee or a foot or a something that likes to try and push out right under my right rib cage, that can be quite painful. She ALWAYS wakes up when I lay down and is extremely active.

Knowing that I'm possibly 5 weeks away from meeting my sweet girl is just mind blowing. I'm not scared about delivery at all, just scared/worried about what we'll do with Keevia. My mom and Carl will (hopefully!) both be at the hospital with me, but I need both of them in the room with me. My dad is going to drive up from his work if I go into labor while he's at work, but that's an hour and a half away. If, for some reason, he waits until we GET to the hospital and then leaves, well, I just hope he makes it. I don't have a problem with Keevia being in the delivery room when I deliver at all, in fact I think it would be pretty awesome... but I don't want her freaking out either. I know my sister will be near, and my mother in law and sister in law will probably come up, as well as friends... it's just I don't know how quickly this labor will go. I hope it's quicker than last time (24+ hrs in the hospital before delivering) but I also hope it's not like SUPER fast (we live an hour and a half from the hospital, and my hubby is, at times, 3 hours away). But as for the actual DELIVERY, I'm not stressed at all! ha!

It's crazy how much our lives will change, but I can't wait. I'm starting to really get into nesting mode though, I can feel it!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Having a miscarriage is hard. When it happens you think that it can never get any better, and you just feel....empty.

But it does get better. It takes time. Sometimes it takes getting pregnant again. Sometimes not. But one day you look up and realize you haven't thought about it that day. Or that you're smiling. And that it's okay.

But, even as you begin to heal, you never FULLY get over it. Just like with any loss.

I'm tainted.

I hate seeing friends announce their pregnancies on facebook, and then in the comments section state that they're only 5 weeks pregnant. My mind AUTOMATICALLY thinks horror thoughts, and I think how they should have waited to announce. Every time I see an update from them I cringe a little. And OH!!! Oh how I pray and stalk their feeds when they go to that first appointment.


Even with this pregnancy, I held out and held out announcing it until we had that first appointment. I NEEDED to see that heartbeat on the screen. And the fear? Oh the fear. No expectant parent should ever have to go into a ultrasound and not really feel excitement, just an overwhelming, heartwrenching fear.

Even now, at almost 32 weeks pregnant, I still feel like I'm holding my breath. And this is my second pregnancy after a loss. I'm actually SO much calmer and more relaxed than I was with Keevia. I've allowed myself to chill out more, and not overanalyze every little symptom... but it's still there in the back of my mind.

I just really wish sometimes, that I could go back. Go back and not have this fear in the back of my throat at every appointment. Not have to go into my first prenatal appointment almost in tears. Just be able to look at pregnancy normal. But I can't. I'm tainted.

And that's okay.

Because now I have a heart for the miscarriage survivors. I have a heart for the baby loss moms. I can minister to those who have lost a baby. I can pray hard for those going into their first appointment. I can honestly tell someone "I know how you feel" as I cry with them, be it over the internet or in person.

I'm tainted, but I'm tainted for a reason.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Basics of Babywearing

I already talk about babywearing on here a lot, so forgive me if you're an experienced baby wearer, or just not interested at all, but it's such a HUGE part of my life and HUGE part of my parenting style, I have to try and share the love!

I'm writing this post because I feel like I've either emailed or facebook messaged this to several of my friends in the past few months, so I thought it would be nice to just direct them here instead of typing it out numerous times! And maybe you can do the same for your friends if asked. :)

If you are pregnant, or have a newborn, go ahead and start reading here. If you have an older baby (15lbs+) skip ahead a paragraph! If you already know about babywearing, but want my money-saving tips, skip to the bottom!

My number one choice for a newborn carrier is a Moby wrap or a Boba wrap (same concept, two different companies).  This wrap is made out of a t-shirt like material. You don't have to treat it special (like you would have to with a non-stretchy woven wrap) and apparently it's perfect for newborn snuggles. I never had one with Keevia (mainly because I'm cheap, and they aren't) but I've managed to score two for this new baby. I love wrapping, and I think a stretchy wrap would be PERFECT for tiny ones! There IS a learning curve for a wrap of any kind, but finding someone who has used it before, or merely spending a few minutes on Youtube can usually help! I tried out one of my wraps at a babywearing meeting this week and I cannot WAIT for my little girl to get here! The only downside to this wrap is that it IS a stretchy wrap. Therefore a lot of moms have complained about it not being comfortable past 15 lbs (although moms I talked to at the meeting were wearing 1 and 2 year olds in them!). You can also use smaller Mei Tei's for newborns (which is what we did with Keevia. She made her babywearing debut in a Wal-Mart at 2 days old in a home-made Mei Tei!). I do NOT recommend using a Bjorn or Snugli style carrier (these carriers have whats called "crotch dangle" which is A) not comfy for mama and B) can be detrimental to baby's spine) nor a pouch sling. I have absolutely no experience with ring slings (something I need to try, ha!).

If you have a bigger baby, a stretchy wrap may not be your best option. If you're looking to transition into baby wearing, or out of a stretchy, you have a TON of options. If you wrapped with your newborn and simply adored it, you may want to look into a woven wrap. While these can be the priciest of carriers, they can also go from birth until the end of your babywearing days. I don't personally own a woven wrap (I would LOVE to, but just don't right now) I have numerous babywearing friends who swear by them. The difference between a woven wrap and a stretchy wrap is simple. Moby and Boba wraps, which are made out of a stretchy t-shirt like material, well, they stretch -- a lot sometimes, and that causes them to be less supportive with an older child. A woven wrap does NOT stretch (or has very minimal stretch) and allows you to wear throughout your toddler years. There are a TON of options with a woven wrap, from brand, to colors, to the material it's made out of. I've heard at a 100% cotton wrap is recommended for beginners. Some brands to look into are Didymos, Girasol and Vatanai. There are also a variety of sizes when it comes to wrapping. It's kind of overwhelming when you first start looking into it... but wrapping is definitely the most versatile of carriers. You can wear the baby on your front, back, or hip, and there are numerous "carries" for each position. Again, youtube is your friend! :)

If wraps are a little too daunting for your taste, then a Asian Inspired or Soft-Structured carrier may be a better choice for you. In my opinion, these are the most user friendly. All of these carriers snap on at your waist (just like, say, a fanny pack) then you sit the baby against your chest (or your back for an older baby) and pull the carrier up over your arms. They wear just like a backpack (if you're doing a back carry), and are very comfy. They all include a "chest clip" that clips to ensure the straps don't slip off your shoulders and also adds more support. I own (or have owned) four of the major brands. They're very similar, but have a lot small differences. The ones I own are the Boba 2g (I now own a 3g, but a review will have to wait until this little lady makes her appearance!), Beco Butterfly 1 (Ahem, I would really like to try out a Gemini....) and a Ergo Carrier. I also own an Onya Baby Carrier, but as of yet haven't really got to use it (I have to purchase the waist extender and just haven't done so yet...). Check out my reviews of the Boba, and the Beco & Ergo. All of these carriers are anywhere from $125-150 when purchased new. With the Boba 3g and the Beco Butterfly 2, you can go from birth (7-8 lbs) through toddlerhood. With the Ergo, you need to purchase an additional infant insert. The Onya is only marketed for 15lbs+ (The Boba 2g is the same way). Onya recommends you use as wrap for the newborn stages. The MAJOR difference between these carriers is the rise (how tall) the carrier is. Onya baby has made up this great, handy little chart that is oh so helpful! That chart also gives you an idea of HOW MANY different SSC's there are. I simply listed the ones I own (or have tried).

The Beco Butterfly (I'm unsure about the Gemini) has a inner harness that allows you to get the baby on your back with less stress. However, if you plan on nursing in the Beco, it is slightly more difficult to do. The Onya has a neat little feature that allows you to use the carrier as a high chair by using certain buckles. The Onya and the Beco Gemini allow you to criss-cross the straps when using a front carry for extra support. The Boba 3g also has a hand dandy purse strap thing that lets you snap your purse/diaper bag straps onto the shoulder of the carrier. SO nice.

I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend either doing a carrier trial (both Heavenly Hold & PAXBaby do this) or finding a baby wearing meeting near you. All of these carriers have their positives and negatives, but honestly, you need to find which one works for YOU and fits YOU the best. The Ergo does NOT work for my body type. The Boba does. I have friends who are the exact opposite. I had HUGE buyers remorse on my Ergo because it fit me so poorly, but they fit other mamas perfectly! It's not a fault with the carrier in any way, it's just that certain carriers fit certain body styles better. So please, before you buy, either do an $8 trial (through Heavenly Hold) or buy through PAX where you can return it within 90 days. Or, like I said, go to a babywearers meeting. I went to my first one earlier this week, and would have been able to try both a Boba and a Beco there. Most places that sell them also let you try them on, HOWEVER, make sure that you put your baby IN it and let them STAY in it for at least 10+ minutes. That's the only way you will know if it works or not. Seriously DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

Now, I realize you're a new mom. And I realize that all these carriers I listed cost $40+. That's if you buy them new. I have purchased one carrier (my Ergo) at full price. The rest of them I have either won (Onya and Boba 3g) bought on sale (Boba 2g from Zulily), or purchased used (Moby and Beco Butterfly). You have to be patient, and you have to be watchful. Stalk your local children's resale places. I scored a Moby at Once Upon a Child for $20 earlier this week. Stalk Craig's List if you live in a city. Stalk Spot's Corner (as of right now there are Beco's and a Ergo on there for around $60, and a Babyhawk Mei Tei for $50).  Join The Baby Wearer and stalk their For Sale or Trade forums. You may not be able to get the EXACT pattern you want (unless you're patient, or lucky), but you probably will get a fantastic deal (half off or better!). Spot's is probably my top choice here. I see Beco's on there ALL the time, and have seen numerous Ergo's and Boba's recently too. There have even been wraps on there. Save up your money ($50-80 or whatever you're willing to spend) and then be ready to POUNCE.

So... that's babywearing in a nutshell. Stay away from Bjorn's and Snugli's. Invest in a good carrier and you will thank yourself SO MANY TIMES OVER! And please, PLEASE email me if you have any questions! Feel free to leave comments as well, but if you want a response, make sure your email is listed in your profile!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Food Fight!

I have a problem. It's something that drives me crazy, and yet its something that is SO changeable.

Everywhere we go, whenever we eat somewhere, I always hear people say "I wish my kid would eat like yours!" which is ALWAYS followed by "My child will only eat chicken nuggets!" I've also heard other foods, but throughout this post I'm using chicken nuggets as an example, because honestly it's what I hear the most.

Well... they could eat as well as mine. Honest.

It just bugs me. I don't feed my daughter an all 100% vegan organic diet. Not by a LONG shot. But she doesn't demand JUST one food either. Why? Because she isn't offered chicken nuggets at every meal. In fact, she MIGHT be offered them once a week. And then she usually eats a few bites and is done.

I think part of it comes from the fact that I don't buy much (if any!) processed food for around the house. I can't. I can't afford it. If she DOES have chicken nuggets at home, it's ones I've made (and by the way, she goes crazy for those!). One of my favorite ways to fix them is to cut of chicken tenders or breasts, dredge them in an egg, then dredge them in a mix of flour (or cornmeal now that I can't eat flour), salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes (until done in the middle and brown on the outside) and viola! Chicken nuggets! It might take, oh, I don't know, 20 minutes tops and is SO MUCH HEALTHIER than processed meat! Plus you control EVERYTHING that goes into them!

You have to OFFER healthy foods for your child to EAT healthy foods. Yes, K eats mac and cheese. Yes she eats carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Yes, sometimes her lunch is a few bites of apple and a string cheese. But you want to know what her favorite food is? What she cries for? Soup. Yes, soup. It doesn't really matter to her if its vegetable beef, chicken or chili. She simply loves soup. And it's so easy to make HEALTHY soup from scratch!

I just don't understand stating "I wish my child would eat like yours" when they WOULD if you simply offered them different things. Stop offering chicken nuggets (unless you make them yourself) and start offering healthy choices. Chicken nuggets and fries can be healthy if you make it yourself and bake both instead of deep frying! Step out of the frozen aisle and start shopping around the outside of the grocery store (dairy, meat, bread, veggies). It usually only takes 10-20 minutes longer to make it from scratch than it does to heat it up in the microwave.

No time for that? Heck! Cereal is healthier than fast food. That's what we had for dinner last night! Even my husband!

Your toddler or child is not going to starve themselves. We have a rule that K has to try ONE bite of something new, if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat any more. It's not about forcing your kid to eat something they hate, but about encouraging them to experience new foods and new flavors. If she turns her nose up what I've fixed, that's fine. But she's not getting junk food fifteen minutes later either. She's welcome to have something else (cheese sandwich, peanut butter, apple, etc), but not candy, chips or the like.

So yes, sometimes my toddler has cheerios and brussel sprouts for dinner. Sometimes she has salsa, chicken and cheese dip. The point I'm trying to make is that she eats a VARIETY of foods. Some super healthy, some not so much. But she'll try foods, because we OFFER foods. She's not stuck on eating ONE thing (other than those little Cutie oranges right now...), but will eat a variety of different foods. She's a toddler, so sometimes a long time love (eggs, oatmeal, peanut butter) suddenly drops from her love cycle.... but we have many other old favorites, and a LOT of new foods to try.

Monday, January 2, 2012

We survived!

This holiday season has kicked our butts.


K came down on Christmas day with a 103.7 fever and vomiting. With the help of my mom, we made it through that night. She felt better the next day, then slowly started declining. Her temp was around 99.1 and she had sinus issues. The drainage would make her throw up, and she just felt SO bad. Also, there was a boil forming in her groin area. On Thursday we headed to the chiropractor (her C2 vertebrae was out) and then we headed to the pediatrician. The pedi wasn't in (holidays), but the nurse practitioner that we saw this time LAST year was. She gave us a round of bactrim (to cover the boil and the sinuses) and some decongestants.

Keevia threw up again that night. The next day she acted like she was feeling better. On Friday evening she fell asleep in our bed, and we stayed up a little bit. She woke up around 10pm coughing. I was having some, shall we say, intestinal difficulties myself. We knew she would end up throwing up (She always coughs before puking) so we didn't try to put her back to bed. I had just went back to the bathroom when Carl had to set her down to get a sippy. She came in to the bathroom with me and started coughing. Next thing I know she's throwing up IN MY HAND. I'm pregnant. I was already having tummy troubles. I turned and started throwing up in the bathtub. She kept throwing up, as did I, and I managed to croak out "call mom!"

Mom came over and sent me to bed shortly after, when it was evident that I had a virus. She slept with K that night and had to change her diaper about 3 times. I stayed in the bathroom all night, and chilled, but never ran a high fever (99.6 was where I topped off). Mom took K back to her house on Saturday for a little while, where SHE started getting sick. We stopped the antibiotic to try and make the diarrehea better (or at least not worse). K started feeling a lot better by Saturday evening, the rest of us (Carl came down with it on Saturday as well) not so much. On Saturday night I ended up pulling her toddler mattress in our bedroom because I desperately wanted to sleep that night, but I didn't want her all the way across the house in case she started throwing up again. It worked WONDERFULLY. She slept on her mattress from midnight until six am, then came in bed with us.

Sunday morning Mom and I woke up feeling bad, but by that afternoon we felt decent. I even did 2-3 loads of laundry and cleaned the living room last night! Carl still feels/felt horrible. My Dad got it VERY mildly (he's been pushing probiotics and vitamin D like crazy for the past week or so though because people at work were so sick).

I brought Keevia over to Mom's this morning (per usual) to have breakfast, and as she was changing her diaper, she said "Bring me a sharp pin and some medicine." Keevia's boil had (PRAISE THE LORD)came to a head! It took me, Mamaw & Papaw to hold her down, but with one little prick she drained it. NO SURGERY!!!!!!! We started the Bactrim back up and started putting Bactriband on it with a small bandaid. I gave her a hot bath and changed the bandaid earlier today (very traumatic). It's not easy, but so much easier than surgery would have been.

Keep the boil in your prayers. It's looking so much better, but it could still flair back up. We're so thankful that we look to be not having to deal with a surgery!

I had to reschedule my 30 week appointment (Um... THAT MEANS I ONLY HAVE 10 WEEKS TO GO!)today because of our sickies, but the positive is that I'll actually be in Lexington on the same day as the babywearing meeting! I've NEVER got to go because of scheduling conflicts and I am SO freaking excited. They're doing newborn carries as well! I'm hoping to get to feel a "real" wrap!

I hope your holiday season was better than ours!!!