Jacks Growing Independence

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My little Jack is turning 10 months on Aug 14th. That is only a measly 2 months from being a whole year old, and I for one am sad. Why should I be sad? My son is growing and thriving, he is happy and playful. Over the last few weeks, Jack has gotten his first tooth, taken his first steps, starting sleeping in his own bed (well not the whole night), & started to wean himself from breast feeding.

While all of those things I just mentioned seem like good things, and they are good, they are also terrible. Terrible because they all lead to independence from ME. My baby is turning into a boy, and boys grow up to be teenagers and then when they are about 40, they turn into adult men… I’m kidding about the last part, well kind of. And adult men do not and should not cuddle with their mothers.

Until the last few weeks, Jack has needed me in every single part of his daily life. In fact for the first 10 months in utero and much of his infancy thus far, he has needed me to stay alive. So his growing independence is bitter sweet. I am having so much fun playing with him, reading him books and finding new ways to make him laugh. But I am also finding myself missing my baby, he is in the same apartment, even the same room sometimes and I will start to cry. He has only begun to wean so he is still nursing a few times a day but it still saddens me. Sometimes I will offer to nurse him and he will slide off my lap to retrieve his noonie or a toy. REJECTED! That is the only way to describe what I feel when he would rather do other things when I am offering him the milk I have worked so hard to produce.

I am sure that this is just the natural progression of things and that my feelings toward these changes are normal. I can see why people tend to get pregnant again so soon after the weaning of a child. There is a longing in the heart of a mother for her baby to be snuggled up against her in the dead of the night where in those moments, they are the only 2 who exist.

 

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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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Hiding In The Bathroom Pretending To Poop

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I love being a mom. It is a blessing and a privilege to be Jacks mother. He is so full of life, learns new things everyday and keeps me laughing.

BUT…

He never sleeps, has the energy of an atomic blast and cannot function without me unless I am within 10 feet of his person.

While all of that is well and good, I am a human. And humans get TIRED, and STRESSED. So when I need a minute to myself to gather my thoughts (or blog), I go to the bathroom and pretend I’m popping.

Jack nor his dad want anything to do with that situation. That leaves me in a room by myself with no one asking me questions, or pulling my hair, pinching my neck or screaming and crying (unless I am). And that is marvelous!

A few minutes to breathe and relax alone, is enough to unwind from the day and reset for tomorrow.

Of course I realize that when Jack gets older and can bang on the door and scream my name, all the serenity will come to an end. But for now, when I need a moment of peace- pretending to poop will be my solace.

Where do you go when you need that break?

Poop Belongs In The Toilet! Bummis Liners Review

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Poop Belongs In The Toilet! Bummis Diaper Liners Review

What is it?

A liner used in cloth diapers to catch fecal matter in order to help prevent stains and facilitate disposal.

Features:

Soft Viscose Rayon
Biodegradable
Flushable ( in most septic systems)
Inexpensive
Pre-cut perforated sheets
100 per roll

Summary:

Bummis diaper liners are thin and allow the moisture to escape into the cloth diaper while catching the “crap”. They are easy to use and perforated to tear from the roll easily during nappy changes. You simply lay the liner inside the diaper against baby’s bottom and remove when diaper has been soiled. If only urine is present, dispose in a trash receptacle. If doody has been dropped, pick it up by the corners and flush it down the toilet where it belongs! This makes the fecal matter much easier to dispose of and saves your diapers many times from nasty stains.

We use these liners on an inconsistent basis. I have to say, when Jack poops in a liner, and I don’t have to wash out that diaper, I am a happy mama!

The only drawback is with runny poop. If the liner is too far toward the front and the poop is too runny, the product is useless. Placement is important and not for EBF babies. This product works best for babies that have started solid foods.

These are totally unnecessary but for 8.99, I find them affordably convenient! And i reccomend you give them a try if poop tends to gross you out. I give this product a 4/5.

You can buy these locally in Baton Rouge at Angel Britches.

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.”

No One Told Me…

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No One Told Me…

Everyone that I encountered in the natural birth community told me about the wonderful experience child birth could be. You know… about the power within me, the rush of love hormones immediately after and the great sense of accomplishment that would come with delivering my own baby.

While all of those wonderful things turned out to be true, there were a few other “experiences” that went unmentioned.

No one told me:

1. That after the love hormones subsided, I would feel like a freight train hit me.

– I mean come on, that would’ve been use information! I could have prepared differently to aid the recovery process.

2. The painful swelling of my nether regions after birth.

– No one and I mean no one talks about this. And why would they? It’s horrifying especially if You end up with stitches like I did (19). But again, had I realized this, I could be invested in some site bath herbs or numbing spray ahead of time.

3. That my body would transform into something resembling a tube sock filled with lumpy sausage gravy.

-This one was unavoidable so even if I had known, I could not have prevented this. But no one told me nonetheless…

4. My libido would become non existent and the thought (let alone the act) of “relations” would cause such pain.

-This is a biggie. I only have 2 thoughts on the matter. Ouch & my poor patient husband, God Bless him.

5. That Breastfeeding may not be easy. Or that I would continue to have contractions every time I fed the baby.

-Set proper expectations people! I have actually written a whole post about my traumatizing Breastfeeding experience. You can read it by clicking here.

I know we should focus on the positives of every situation instead of the negatives. BUT! I feel that setting proper expectations are vital to an overall fulfilling experience and necessary for adequate preparation.

If you are a mother reading this- what did you find surprising after birth that NO ONE TOLD YOU?

Me at 37 weeks pregnant with Jackson

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The Mighty Elderberry! Andi Lynn’s Elderberries Review

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Andi Lynn’s Elderberry Syrup

What is it?

A syrup made from elderberries and honey used to aid in immune support and promote overall health.

Read this excellent article about all the benefits of the might elderberry!
Click Here!!!!

Summary:

Andi Lynn’s elderberries come in several forms.

Original syrup in mason jar- 96 tsp servings:
Pure blend
Spring blend
Winter blend

2 oz dropper bottles:
Baby Glycerite
Mista Hista Glycerite
On The Go Tincture

I personally love the pure blend, it’s especially delightful on vanilla ice cream!

People have seen improvement in allergies, asthma, eczema and many other health concerns.

This winter my husband came down with the flu, and the same week I had oral surgery so not helping take care of Jack was not an option. My husband was so sick and even though he continued to hold, bathe and change him, Jack didn’t get sick. I certainly attribute that to the 3 daily doses of elderberry he was receiving everyday.

The original syrups had honey in them so they are not recommended for infants under 1 year of age. The baby blend is specifically formulated for infants and uses vegetable glycerin to preserve it instead of honey. The convenient dropper bottle can go wherever you go without refrigeration.

The newest offering is Mista Hista. This is especially good for springtime allergies and colds. It contains nettle leaf and anise seed along with elderberry in a dropper bottle and does not require refrigeration.

I am giving away a 1 oz dropper bottle of Mista Hista on this blog. to be entered you must follow this blog, like Andi Lynn’s Elderberries on FB and comment below.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”