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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Earth Mama Angel Baby Review and Giveaway!

37 Weeks Pregnant With Jackson

37 Weeks Pregnant With Jackson

The product I am reviewing today is “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be” by Earth Mama Angel Baby. This is a mini kit of trial sized products for pregnancy including Organic Morning Wellness Tea, Earth Mama Body Butter, Happy Mama Wash, Happy Mama Spray and Natural Stretch Oil.

First of all I would like to say that this company is amazing and I would like for you to read their mission statement:

Earth Mama believes in the natural process of birth, and the healing power of nature. Our mission is to provide safe, herbal alternatives for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and babies of all ages, and to help educate people about traditional plant medicine and safe personal care. We manufacture natural and organic products that work, combining generations of women’s wisdom and traditional plant medicine with the safety and assurances of contemporary evidence based research. If it doesn’t measure up to Mama’s standards, it doesn’t leave the building. That’sMama’s PromiseĀ®.

Read Mamas Promise by clicking here!

When I was pregnant with Jack, I used a variety of of products from Earth Mama Angel Baby and still use some of the baby care line for Jack now. I have tried almost all of the herbal teas from EMAB and they are all delicious. My favorite tea was the Third Trimester Tea. It is super yummy and made me feel relaxed and at ease in my last anxious few weeks. But lets talk about the products in the kit…

Organic Morning Wellness Tea:

This tea is caffeine free, contains ginger and mint so it soothes those rolling waves in the pit of your stomach during those early weeks of pregnancy. It is tasty all on its own but I like to add a tsp of honey to mine. I prefer it hot but when made into iced tea, it becomes a refreshing treat in the hot summer months.

Earth Mama Body Butter:

I hate to feel greasy after applying lotion or any kind of body product. I actually avoid body butters in general because I do not want to feel like a greased pig after a bath. BUT this body butter is like a thin layer of velvet all over your skin. It does not leave a sticky or unpleasant residue and has a light fragrance. The fragrance is a slightly sweet aroma with vanilla and orange. Love it!

Happy Mama Hand to Toe Wash:

This is a foaming wash that is scented with grapefruit and ginger. The one word that came to my mind while using it was ZING! This is an exhilarating fragrance in my opinion, refreshing and yummy. It is a foam wash, lathers well and rinses clean. And since this product is in the citrus family, it wont smell funny when you follow with the Body Butter above.

Happy Mama Spray:

I have to say, this was my favorite product in this kit. I had not tried this one before receiving this sampler and I was surprised when it was my favorite. When I am having a stressful day, I reach for it right away. The bottle says, “Naturally Uplifting Aromatherapy Mist”, and I could not agree more… UPLIFTING is the best word to describe this product. Just like the Butter and the Wash, it has a citrus aroma. All three products smell different but complimentary, so they work well together.

Natural Stretch Oil:

I used this product religiously when I was pregnant with Jack. I cannot say that I have 0 stretch marks but I can say that I did not have any until 38 weeks and I gained 64lbs. I feel like this product definitely helped my skin stretch with my growing baby and it also helped with the itching I had as my skin stretched. This is an oil and again where most will make you feel slippery and greasy, this one absorbs really well. Especially when applied immediately after a hot bath or shower. There is a smell to this product but it is faint. In fact I cannot even tell you what it smells like because it is so mild. Of all of the products in this kit and listed above, this would be my highest recommended during pregnancy.

This kit would be a perfect gift for any expectant mother and if you would like to order one of these or any of the other great products, please visit the Earth Mama website by clicking here.

Of course you could just get one of these “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be” for FREE! That’s right Jacks Crunchy Mama and Earth Mama Angel Baby is doing a GIVE-A-WAY! 1 US or Canadian Winner will recieve “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be”. Drawing will be held August 9th, 2013 at 6PM CST.

To enter the giveaway you must complete the following:

1. Be a follower of Jacks Crunchy Mama. (To follow this blog, look for a small +follow button at the bottom right corner of the screen from a desktop, or include your email in a comment and I will send you a direct link.)

2. Like Earth Mama on Facebook.

3. Comment below confirming that you have done the previous 2 requirements.

Like Earth Mama Angel Baby on Facebook by clicking this LINK!

Follow Earth Mama’s Blog

Follow Earth Mama Angel Baby on Twitter

Not Pregnant? Breastfeeding? Earth Mama has a whole line of nursing friendly products as well.

Earth Mama Angel Baby also offers a free e-book on their webpage “Herbs and Breastfeeding” so make sure and check that out as well.

“Disclaimer: Earth Mama Angel Baby provided this product for my review at no cost.”

Verse of the (SUN)DAY!

Today in church we were singing a song that said,

He raised the dead, oh yes, 5000 souls he fed, oh yes! Oh oh oh what a mighty God we serve!

The bible says in Matthew:

Matthew 14:13-21 KJV

13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

18 He said, Bring them hither to me.

19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Looking around the sanctuary as I sang along, I realized our church held about 5000 people and then it hit me. The magnitude of what was done. He was able to feed all of those people with such a seemingly small amount of food. And we say he fed the 5000 but when you read it, he actually fed 5000 men and there were children and women beside the 5000.

Tears streamed down my face as the reality washed over me, Jesus can do anything. It’s one thing to say it, and another thing altogether to believe it.

When it becomes real- it’s truly amazing. I thank The Lord that he touched me this morning and renewed my spirit.

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Fresh Avocado Salsa

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Fresh Avacodo Salsa

If you are looking for a fresh alternative to a traditional salsa or guacamole to serve at an upcoming gathering, consider this recipe for Avocado Feta Salsa. This chunky salsa is fresh and bright with creamy feta and tangy lime.

This is one of my husbands favorite recipes, he actually discovered this and I adapted the original to suit his tastes. Never be afraid to change a recipe, play with your food and discover for yourself what tastes good or not so good!

Remember to buy local, fresh and organic if possible!

Ingredients:

2 large avocados
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 small lime
4-6 oz of crumbled feta cheese

Now it’s really simple roughly chop tomatoes, parsley and shallot and place into bowl. Add minced garlic and oil stir gently to combine. Cube your avocados and add them along with the feta cheese. You want to do this last to preserve the size and consistency of these ingredients. This is a chunky salsa not a creamy dip. Squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top and fold with a spoon to evenly distribute all ingredients. Taste and add the other 1/2 lime if needed. Place the avocado pits in dish to help keep fresh.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita or crackers. Enjoy!

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Natural Birth Resources in Louisiana

Louisiana natural birth link

Most women think that they do not have many options when it comes to the birth experience but even more commonly than that, women do not even give it a thought at all.

The standard practice in the US is that a woman gets pregnant, schedules an appointment with an obstetrician, goes through a series of vaginal exams, ultrasounds and if she’s lucky escapes with a medicated vaginal birth. I say lucky because 1/3 of the women in the US will give birth via cesarean section. Which is necessary in some few cases. This has become the “normal” birth. But what is/ should be “normal” birth?
That is something that every mother must ask herself.

Do your research, know your options and decide for yourself what you want, are comfortable with and how you will feel about each choice. The only wrong choice is not choosing at all but relinquishing your body to a medical provider that many times does not practice informed consent.

Below is a list of natural birth educators, doulas, midwives and written resources. Most of these women will talk with you free of charge and help you discover what it is that you truly need and want for your birth experience.

Midwives

Emmy Trammell 985-974-2724

Alina Gardner Brmidwife@gmail.com

Sally Acosta 985-259-3557

Sherri Daigle 225-293-5836

Lynette Robinson at Gentle Choices birthing center 337-501-2916

Anne Lastrapes 337-278-4354

Doula/educational services

Lacey Hebert http://tolbirth.com/index.php/about

Nicki Pugh 225-819-7977 or visit her on Facebook at Old River Doula

Nola Nesting 504-655-1819 or visit them online by clicking here.

Jenny Dickerson 985-320-0016

Kira Smith 337-366-0303 http://www.motherbirthla.com/#2755

Rene Johnson Birth Help http://www.birthhelp.com/

My recommended reading list:

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
Pushed by Jennifer Block
Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

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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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Verse of the (SUN)DAY!

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These KJV Bible verses are about patience.

Psalm 37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 40:1
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Ecclesiastes 7:8
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

2 Thessalonians 3:5
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

When we face adversity, often times we go into panic mode instantly. Why? We have nothing to panic about. The Lord is with us, he’s never left us and he never will. Nothing can separate us from his love, so why do we fall apart at the first sign of trouble? Be patient! Wait on him!

Ask yourself, has he ever not shown up? Has he ever let you down? Not I, not ever. Now there has been times where I wondered when he would come and what was going on. What was the plan after all? But he was faithful and is faithful to come through for us.

I will rest in this today. I have security in him, Christ Jesus and him alone.