Night Weaning The Beast!

Jackson just turned a year old on October 14th and is of course still nursing. I really do not mind the fact that he is still nursing but I decided that I would really like to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time at night. Good nights, he would wake to nurse 2-3 times, bad nights Brad and I were up 6+ times. Exhaustion had ruled my life for far too long.

Starting last friday, I started sending Brad in to Jackson every time he woke up. He would give him a drink of water, pat his back, give kisses and hugs and then leave the room. There was a fair amount of anger and rage emitting from his room that night. He wanted nothing to do with Brad. I felt bad but I really needed rest, real rest. I had done nothing but nurse him for an entire year and it was time. I felt Jackson was finally mature enough to understand that I was just in the next room and that he was okay.

Night two, he only woke up ONCE! And not until 4:30 ish in the morning. Success!

Night three, he also only woke up ONCE! and not until 6:45 am! BOOYAH!

He has yet to sleep until 8:30 straight through but I am way okay with that. I have gotten more rest in the last few nights, than I have in the last year and it is pretty great indeed!

Every morning around 8:30 I go into his room and get him once he awakens for the day. We then return to my bed for snuggles and nursing. He is so happy to see me and I am just as happy to see him!

Hes almost 13 months, we did not rush “sleep training” or whatever you want to call it. I think each child should be considered as an individual and not shoved into a cookie cutter moulding of what they “should do at ___ age”. I waited for the right timing and it was a smooth transition.

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Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

THE 2 WINNERS OF THE MOMMY NECKLACES $10 OFF COUPON GIVEAWAY ARE:

#1 Hannah Birchman

#2 Wendy Little

Congratulations! I will contact you shortly with the coupon information and instructions.

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included.

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

If you have never heard of Mommy Necklaces, check out my review below and make sure to visit the Mommy Necklace website by clicking here.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included. 

Mommy Necklaces Review

What is it?

A necklace made with non-toxic beads, and a safety clasp for Mothers to wear with young children.

Features:

Affordable
Stylish colors and designs
Safety breakaway clasp
Non- toxic beads
Extra strong cord- can withstand 300 lbs of pressure

Summary:

The reason that I personally purchased a Mommy necklace is because Jack was doing too much damage. And by damage I mean digging and pinching with his fingernails into my neck and chest, many times breaking the skin. It hurt no matter how often I clipped his nails. Plus when he would nurse, he liked to put his hand in my mouth and hang his fingers from by bottom teeth! Disgusting! I needed something to keep his busy little hands occupied.

I purchased my necklace from Angel Britches locally here in Baton Rouge. It came with two donut rings that make a rattling noise when Jack shakes the necklace. He really enjoys it when I remember to wear it! It has pretty colors blue, green, red and orange and seems to match almost everything I wear. It’s not a teething necklace but I don’t worry about him biting it once in a while since the beads are non-toxic.

I would rate the Mommy Necklace a 5/5.

To visit the Mommy Necklaces web page Click here!

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

I thought that Breastfeeding would come naturally to me. I thought it would be easy because our bodies were created to nourish our offspring. I thought it would be this beautiful bonding experience. Everything I thought, turned out to be wrong.

I read lots of books about pregnancy, labor, birth and breastfeeding while pregnant with Jack. It was not even a question in my mind as to if I would nurse my baby. Of course I would, I was not going to give him an imitation when I had the real thing free and readily available in my very own body. I would never drink baby formula myself or even the first two ingredients – corn syrup & vegetable oil so why would I give that to my baby? So the decision to breastfeed for me was an easy one. What was not so easy, was actually doing it!

I had Jackson on a beautiful warm morning in October. My labor was a short but intense 6.5 hours resulting in a medicine free natural water birth. It seemed so easy and natural and as soon as I took my slippery pink son into my arms, he immediately began to root searching for my breast. I put him to breast before even getting out of the tub. I thought WOW! He’s already nursing like a champ, this is going to be great! We nursed a few more times before leaving the birth center to return home.

That evening it was my husband, myself and our new baby all alone. We had no idea what we were doing, and panic started to set in. Our baby cried all night long, he awakened every 30 minutes to an 1 hour around the clock. I nursed him on demand just like the book had said, and changed sides, just like the book had said. But something was just not working.

The evening of day four, my husband brought me a diaper and said “hey this looks kinda weird”. I looked at the diaper and saw my worst nightmare. A light red rust like substance lay there revealing the hard truth, my son was dehydrated. He wasn’t getting enough colostrum and my milk still had not come in. I felt defeated and totally lost. The next morning Jack had another diaper laced with urinate crystals and I was grief stricken. He was still crying day and night, hungry no doubt and it was all my fault. I contacted my friend Brigid who was nursing her sweet baby girl at that time. I asked her if she would be willing to give me some of her breast milk to feed my son, since I was not able to at that time. She brought milk over right away and even tried to nurse him herself, but he would not latch. We filled a small medicine syringe with breast milk and slowly filled his mouth. His face and whole body relaxed in satisfaction and he instantly fell asleep.

I pondered what I would do next? Would I start formula? Would I try to obtain more donor milk? What was wrong with me? Where was my milk?

Another friend visited me that afternoon to comfort and console me. As we were talking she looked over and asked me, “what is that on your nipple? IS THAT MILK?” Sure enough my milk had come just shy of 5:00pm on the 5th day after birth. What a relief! I could finally feed my son like I needed to. But my problems were far from over.

Over the following weeks, I continued struggling to feed my darling son. I suffered extreme nipple damage. Both sides were bruised, cracked and bloody despite the creams, soothie pads, and air drying, I was in constant pain. I cried every time I fed him, tears would stream down my face. It was so unbearable, I dreaded nursing him and he ate so often. Unknowingly I battled nursing a baby with a thick upper lip tie and light tongue tie. I was made aware of this after reaching out to a lactation consultant at a local hospital. Getting it surgically corrected at that time was out of the question. I was not in a proper emotional state to deal with that, so we waited.

And waited, and waited. I waited for it to get better like the ladies at the La leche league said it would. For the constant shooting pain to go away, and i waited to not HATE feeding my baby whom I loved with all my heart.

For two months straight, I took it day by day & nursing session by nursing session trying to keep our breastfeeding relationship alive. I stayed active on the local la leche league Facebook page and attended meetings for support. Finally around the 3rd month, I felt like things were getting better.

I practiced all the healthy habits to protect my milk supply. I never supplemented with formula to sleep, I drank water like crazy, took fenugreek, and ate a million lactation cookies. I also stopped eating dairy in an effort to help Jacks horrible tummy aches and extreme gas.

Jack is 6 months old now and he’s still nursing. It’s easy now and I don’t have any pain. The only problem I have is the occasional love bite, I say love bite because he’s always smiling when he clamps down on me. I’m proud of myself for enduring the pain and fighting for our nursing relationship. I am so grateful to be able to provide the best nourishment for him.

It’s hard for me to think on my breast feeding journey. I feel angry, robbed and ashamed. I feel angry because I wasn’t prepared like maybe I could have been. Angry because things did not happen like I wanted. Robbed because I did not get the deep intimate bonding that I thought I would have. Robbed of the enjoyment of my newborn son. Precious, unrecoverable time spent exhausted, in pain and constant despair. I had waited so long for him and then could not enjoy him, how sad?! Last of all I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I ignorantly allowed my son to get dehydrated before reaching out to someone for help. Ashamed because I hated nursing my baby, that I didn’t even want to look at him sometimes because of the pain I was in.

I do not have birth trauma, I have nursing trauma. This experience has scarred my heart and makes me question having more children. I hope that my heart will heal over time and that one day I will be able to let go and forgive myself.

If you have trouble with nursing please reach out to other wise women who have nursed children, your local La Leche league and lactation consultants in your local area. Know you aren’t alone in your struggle and you can get through it!

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Mommy Necklaces Review

Mommy Necklaces Review

What is it?

A necklace made with non-toxic beads, and a safety clasp for Mothers to wear with young children.

Features:

Affordable
Stylish colors and designs
Safety breakaway clasp
Non- toxic beads
Extra strong cord- can withstand 300 lbs of pressure

Summary:

The reason that I personally purchased a Mommy necklace is because Jack was doing too much damage. And by damage I mean digging and pinching with his fingernails into my neck and chest, many times breaking the skin. It hurt no matter how often I clipped his nails. Plus when he would nurse, he liked to put his hand in my mouth and hang his fingers from by bottom teeth! Disgusting! I needed something to keep his busy little hands occupied.

I purchased my necklace from Angel Britches locally here in Baton Rouge. It came with two donut rings that make a rattling noise when Jack shakes the necklace. He really enjoys it when I remember to wear it! It has pretty colors blue, green, red and orange and seems to match almost everything I wear. It’s not a teething necklace but I don’t worry about him biting it once in a while since the beads are non-toxic.

I would rate the Mommy Necklace a 5/5.

To visit the Mommy Necklaces web page Click here!

20130620-134557.jpg
This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

You Are Doing What With Your Placenta?

While I was pregnant with Jack, I decided to look into placenta encapsulation. I cannot remember which book I came across it in first, I just remember feeling intrigued by the idea.

I was open to anything that would help my transition from pregnant to mother. I feel like it served to be extremely beneficial to me the first few weeks after delivery and the only negative thing for me was that I had a small placenta. So I only had a small amount of pills, many days I wish I had some left over when I needed a “pick me up”.

A local midwifery student and doula, Nicki Pugh, provided this excellent explanation for my blog. If you are pregnant and are interested in her services please contact her through the link at the bottom of the post.

Here’s a totally awesome picture of one of her placentas. It’s amazing, it is the life source for our babies as we grow them.

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Encapsulation:

Placenta encapsulation has really hit the mainstream in the past year or so. While there is a lack in current research regarding consuming the placenta, there does exist ample anecdotal evidence that women who encapsulate and consume have less emotional distress, have more energy and have a quicker, more pleasant postpartum recovery.

Numerous benefits including:
Improved mood and energy
Increased milk supply
Balancing of hormones
While these benefits are wonderful during the immediate postpartum weeks, the capsules can continue to be of benefit for months and years into the future for a variety of hormone-related issues.

The process includes adhering to strict sanitary guidelines during the process of preparing, drying, grinding, and encapsulating the placenta. The capsules can be placed in the freezer for long term storage. In addition to capsules, the placenta may also be used to create a tincture, which is highly shelf stable and can remain potent until menopausal years.
Ideally, the placenta is encapsulated within 48 hours after delivery. To facilitate this process, families are provided with information about how to properly store the placenta until the encapsulator arrives.

Most hospitals have policies in place to accommodate those that are planning to utilize the placenta. While your encapsulator can advise regarding local hospital, it is always best to discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to the birth, as well as include as part of a birth plan.

Placentas that have been properly frozen can be encapsulated up to 6 months or longer after delivery.
For more information about placenta encapsulation, contact Nicki Solomito Pugh via facebook at ‘Old River Doula-Nicki Solomito’ Click Here!!
Nicki Solomito Pugh, MS, student midwife at Midwives College of Utah and homeschooling mama to three girls.

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When Breast Feeding Doesn’t Fit Into Your Plans.

When Breast Feeding Doesn’t Fit Into Your Plans.

If you have been reading my blog then you know that my breast feeding experience has been anything but easy. But I want to address something else today- selfishness when it comes to giving our all to our kids.

Disclaimer: I can be, have been and certainly will in the future- be selfish. I am a human and am not perfect.

At 7 months old, Jack still nurses almost all night while sleeping. During the day time hours, he is unpredictable. Sometimes he nurses every 2-3 hours but some days, Jack will nurse every hour. This was not my plan!

My plan was that my life would mostly continue as before except for the diaper changes every 2 hours and feedings every 3 hours and progressively longer intervals as time passed. Boy was I wrong!!!!!

I want to nurse my baby, I want to keep him satisfied and healthy but I do not want to be glued to my couch with my son glued to my boob. But breast feeding was and is important to me so that’s exactly what I did and still do some days.

I do not produce tons of milk. I have struggled since he was born despite doing all the ABC’s and 123’s of nursing tips and tricks. So my son has to eat more often to grow, and to keep my supply up enough to sustain him.

This means I didn’t leave my house hardly ever for the first 3 months postpartum, that I had to be comfortable nursing in public right away and that I had to continue eating as if I was pregnant to keep my milk calorie dense- fatty.

I didn’t really want to do any of that. I wanted to return to Taekwondo and get my pre-pregnancy body back right away, I wanted to be able to sleep at least 1/2 the night and I wanted Jack to fit around my needs and schedule.

I was pretty miserable until I thought all of this through. Just as I had given in and over to the birth process, I had to give in to this becoming a mother process. What a relief! My burden had become blessing and my sacrifice a privilege!

Some babies sleep through the night and keep a decent schedule of eating and napping during the day, but mine didn’t, doesn’t and probably never will. He is the definition of a free spirit for sure. And that is actually a wonderful thing.

Be open to the process mamas. Accept your babies as they are and give them your all. One day, they will need that example of dedication to succeed in their own lives.