Tag Archives: babies

Being Fired: Keeping Things in Perspective

I have never been fired- until yesterday.

Recently, I picked up a job as an independent contractor performing dispatch. It was really great. Our friend ran most of the business, I got to stay at home answer the phone, and put in orders. Super easy and since I’m a stay at home mom, no need for daycare. The work was just to make some extra spending money $50-100 a week. Still, to a mom who is very spend-thrifty it seemed to have endless possibilities.

I was shocked when I received a call from my friend’s son, he is very sweet, informing me that his dad was thinking of firing me. His dad was not in the car and didn’t realize his worried son even called. I laughed and told him he was being very kind to think of me, but not to be concerned about it. I quickly went through a list in my head of reasons why I would be fired. Perhaps the company was too small to consistently pay me, or maybe I wasn’t doing a very good job? (I was only trained in 30 minutes.) Surprisingly, when I called my friend, he said, “Yes,” they were going to let me go. But, not for reasons I would have thought. Some clients had complained about the children in the background.

Eowyn, Baby Dee, and Me

After being fired I found myself disheartened, but also bemused by the reasoning. Children have always been a way of life for me. My mother owns 51% of the successful company my parents share together. My mother has five- now grown- children.  When we were younger she was taking a million calls from people and running the business. She did it at home-with five kids (sometimes 6.) I didn’t really think of children as an annoyance or hindrance, but a way of life. She made business and kids somehow work. (Of course she would get frustrated on occasion.)

This being said, I do not blame the business or my friend for letting me go. I honestly understand why they would need someone more professional and available to catch every single call perfectly.

It would appear my children were a drawback in this ares. I do think, however, that children should not be looked as a hindrance to your dreams- financially, spiritually, or physically. It would be easy for me to get upset with my children, not just in this matter, but in others as well. Many parents know what it is like to be denied something or for plans not to work the way we wish because of our kids. I have found myself occasionally thinking about being a journalist, whisking myself away to Europe, or owning a beautiful house and being a little disgruntled with my children. Which is ridiculous! All these dreams and more are still possible whether I have kids or not. In fact, the greatest thing I will ever accomplish in my life is them. If you have had to delay plans or change them because of your kids I encourage you to not grow in bitterness. Children are a blessing of God and when you feel that way, confess it! My children are a blessing to me. I can even say my kids have opened more doors for me than they could possibly ever close. Sometimes I just need the reminder.

Happy Mothering!

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Hesitate to Vaccinate?

In recent years the safety of vaccinations for young children has been repeatedly questioned. Can multiple shots, on such a young child- often a baby, create side effects perhaps worse than what is trying to be prevented?

Some parents do not vaccinate due to views on the health effects a vaccination may have on their child. There has been continuous suspicion of some vaccinations being linked to autism, and even SIDS, however, I cannot find reliable sources to agree or disagree with such statements. For a small group, vaccinations are against their religious views.

My four siblings and I weren’t vaccinated until we reached school, due to the urgings of a school nurse. My mother’s reason had primarily to do with faith and the counter argument from the nurse was, “Don’t you have to believe, in faith, for your children’s health whether they are vaccinated or not?” Which to me is a good point for that argument. I urge you, however,  to seek your own couscous on that matter. (You are free to refuse immunizations due to religious purposes, except in the states West Virginia and Mississippi.)

Personally, I fall into that first category. Does it negatively affect the health of my child? I have nothing against vaccinations in general, just an uneasiness on the timing in which we do them.

My daughter, Eowyn after her first set of shots.

Dr. Sears, almost the only Dr to speak on delaying immunizations, is not against vaccines but the lack of research that has been performed on infants for the side effects of the vaccines. Some of these vaccinations contain Mercury. A pregnant woman is advised to stay away from fish and other foods that may contain trace amounts of Mercury. Magically when the child is born, you can inject trace amounts of Mercury into the baby’s body, and it is considered safe?

In high amounts Mercury is a neurotoxin and can have adverse effects on our nervous system. What is a high amount for an infant? This study has not been performed and is the main reason I do not like the multiple vaccinations given so early to a child. (Not to mention the aluminum and animal tissue in some of the vaccinations as well!)

I must stress though that I am not an expert.

Every Child By Two, a group that believes strongly for early vaccinations states on their website, “Polio, for example, paralyzed millions of children worldwide before the vaccine was created. In the U.S. and the world, measles infects nearly 23 million people each year. In 2005, measles killed about 345,000 people (311,000 of which were children under the age of five).”*

A valid point, and though I may have my concerns on vaccinations and believe there could be massive improvements, I do not wish to do completely without them. With my first-born, Eowyn, I was so uneasy about the vaccinations that I waited until she was over 3 months to begin giving her vaccinations. I didn’t research the matter as much as I wished I had. For my son, I will be spreading them further part and asking my doctor for as many Mercury free options as possible. Starting with what I think to be very important, such as the preventative for the whooping cough. If you feel spacing out the vaccinations is what you should do, I would suggest Dr. Sears book, “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child.” He has perhaps one of the most unbiased view points on the matter.

I truly believe it is up to parents to research the matter for themselves. Weigh the risks, do the research. You are the parent and ultimately no one- not a Doctor, Preacher, or Family member can care more for yourself and your baby than you!

Happy Mothering!

Link for Dr. Sear’s Book on Vaccines:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316180521/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316180521&linkCode=as2&tag=askdcom0c-20

Sources:

http://www.mercuryanswers.org/health.htm

* http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/why/index.cfm

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228

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Thoughts on the Pot

Are western babies behind the times? Back in the 1950s, 95% of US children were potty trained by 18 months, now it is a mere 4%. Recently I decided to potty train my 18-month daughter and find it interesting that by this older standard, she is actually late in training! It is even stranger that in the US we potty train by age 3, yet worldwide the average age is 2. Why is this? Are babies less capable than they used to be? I would say no. I believe there are a couple of reasons to the delay in toilet training.

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  • Babies used cloth diapers. Statistically children who use cloth potty train faster than when using disposable. I’m not exactly sure why this is, but my theory is that the baby watches you dump the fecal matter into the toilet and makes the connection- waste goes in the potty. Not only that, but they can feel the wetness in cloth while in disposables the gel absorbs so they don’t notice. I would also say a mother is much more driven to potty train if she has to wash all those nasty diapers.
  • Pampers had a “qualified speaker” insist that training children should be up to the child when they are “ready.” To push them would hurt their psyche. Having this said by the people who profit most by the continuance of a non-potty trained child is suspicious at best.  The the campaigns of using disposable until a child is ready- pushed a whole society from potty training until the child is at least 2.
  • Mothers train a child to use the bathroom considerably more than the father. Most mothers also work out of the home cutting into the potty training time. This isn’t necessarily a negative it is simply a fact. This creates a void though since a mother is now expected to work and balance potty training. A day care is not usually the ones to train so a mother is left with few hours to establish training. It becomes easier to wait until the child can be quickly and easily trained.

All this being said, I really can’t say that children should be pushed earlier or later to potty train. We live in a very different era than the 1950s. However, I do believe it isn’t an issue of capability, but perhaps lack of time and resources to train a child. It is has been one week of potty training and I have been putting Eowyn on the toilet frequently. She mostly walks around naked or in underwear during the day. Yes, she does pee on the floor a fair amount, but she also notices the wetness and isn’t fond of it. She has successfully peed in the toilet at least once every day. This to me is a huge success and though it may take time, I look forward to the day that I will only be changing my son’s diapers.

Some Facts

http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/A-History-of-Potty-Training.html

The link below-interesting story of mother’s who potty train super early. Not saying whistling works-but wow these children can be trained really early.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/Pages/Parents-can-potty-train-babies-by-whistling.aspx

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Postpartum: A Journey to Recovery

Everyone gets caught up in preparing for the baby- the clothes, the nursery, and the diapers, that you can easily neglect the mama! Whether you had a baby vaginally or by C-section you still have a recovery.  This recovery isn’t a, “Halleluiah, the birth is complete, let us celebrate and run everywhere to show off this cute baby!” It is a process. My own mother told me frequently through my labor; “labor is like a marathon not a race.” This applies to postpartum as well. The days and weeks after the birth leave many feeling vulnerable, emotional, and tired. I believe women relate more to the elderly, sick, and mentally ill because we go through such an intense time with our bodies during birth and postpartum. You just did one of the most amazing things on earth, you had a baby, and unfortunately it feels like it too.

Here are my tips and products I used to ease myself through recovery

  • Place a sign on the door of your home. My sweet midwife did this for me with my second birth and I am so grateful she did. It said the weight, gender, and measurements of the baby. It then went on to say, “Hello friends and family, the midwife has asked for short, helpful visits. Please find some laundry or dishes to clean so we can focus on family time, which is very sacred in these first few days.” I left it up for 2 weeks.
  • Accept as much help as possible and don’t be afraid to ask for it. My mother came over quite a bit after both my children’s births. She would do laundry, bring groceries, and do dishes. (I was pretty spoiled.) I believe every woman, after having a baby, should be spoiled. Getting this help will let your body heal faster. If you have had a C-section this is very important. Even when you feel like you can do things yourselves don’t turn down help when it is offered.
  • If you have another young child, try to have someone take them during the day or even for just a couple hours of the day. My sister-in-law was amazing at taking my daughter Eowyn for the first week throughout the day and occasionally at night. It allowed me to focus on the baby and take care of myself instead of trying to balance a toddler and a baby. (If you can’t get family help some doulas offer help specifically for postpartum.)

Here were the best tools and products in caring for my battle worn mom parts.

  • Padsicles- huge menstrual pads that are soaked in water, (you can even squirt witch hazel on them for some extra relief.) Then placed in the freezer. These will be like glorious ice packs for your perineum.
  • A Peri Bottle- this is like a must. It is a squirt bottle. Most hospitals will send you home with one. If you have a home birth buy a water bottle with a squirt top in advance. Toilet paper should not go near you if you’ve had a vaginal delivery! Instead, after you use the bathroom, or just want to feel clean, squirt down there with your new bathroom buddy, Peri.
  • Witch Hazel Pads- if you had the un-fortune of acquiring hemorrhoids through pregnancy, birth, or both, these are very nice. You can make your own or just buy them at any pharmacy. They sell bottles of witch hazel there as well and it is very inexpensive.
  • Nature’s Way Chlorophyll- I bought this at Whole Foods and would highly recommend every mother buy this. You can mix it in a fruit smoothie or just drink it straight, if you do buy the mint flavored one. There is no better blood cleaner or blood builder (For more information on Chlorophyll look for the link at the bottom)
  • Earth Mama products- I hate Dermoplast, the spray hospitals give for numbing your lady parts. The taste of the chemicals got in my mouth, and it tasted gross. This wouldn’t be so bad, but you have to use it a lot. With my second I decided that was enough of that. I bought Earth Mama, Angel Baby organics for postpartum. (The link is at the bottom.) They also have organic products for breastfeeding, babies, pregnancy, C-sections, baby loss and soaps for anyone. I highly recommend them.

    Earth Mama organics for postpartum

      • Mama Bottom Balm- was worth its weight in gold. I could put it on my perineum, and my hemorrhoids. It is specifically for those pesky hemorrhoids though, so whether you are a mom or not, I would recommend this for those. It was so soothing and didn’t smell weird! I used it almost every time I used the bathroom. Out of everything I had this was the very best.
      • New Mama Bottom Spray- it smells like cucumbers and works wonders. It is a fresh cooling spray that can even be used as a facial toner, once you don’t need it for your mama parts. If your torn, had an episiotomy, hemorrhoids or just swelling- it feels very nice.
      • New Mama Post Partum Bath Herbs- these little packs of herbs are heavenly once you boil it, allow to cool, and then place it on a pad against your perineum. It reduces swelling and seriously feels fantastic. You can even use the water that you boiled it in for a nice sitz bath later.

Happy Mothering!

The link for Earth Mama and Angel Baby Products:

http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/

Information for Chlorophyll:

http://sacredsourcenutrition.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-chlorophyll/#

Photo Source:

http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/gift/postpartum-essentials-bundle.html

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Introducing Big sister to Little Brother

IMAG0186_BURST010_COVERMy extended basketball belly was pushed out from my t-shirt as my daughter, Eowyn slapped her little hands on it as if hitting a drum. “That is your sibling,” I would tell her. To which she would pause and then go back to yelling and slapping the belly. Sometimes, it was like she knew there was a person in there. She’d put her head on my belly and talk quietly. In my mind I would imagine their relationship; would it be a sister, or brother? And, would they like one another?

She would be 16 months when he was born and still a baby. I needed her to be patient with the new baby. I wanted to teach her kindness-how to think and care for someone or something outside of herself. Her cute stuffed animal bunnies took part in my experiment. I would take one and pretend to nurse it, to which she would grab the bunny and throw it on the floor. After a time I would kiss it and say, “Eowyn kiss the baby!” and she would kiss it. And I would make it a big deal- praising her and telling her what a great job she was doing. Soon, she was bringing the bunny to me with a diaper. I’d put the diaper on the bunny and let her play the role of mama, patting the baby and kissing it.

When she did meet her brother, she was very indifferent.  She wasn’t even jealous; in fact Imageshe was just not impressed at all! I would try to make her imitate me kissing or hugging him and she would look down at him like he was the most disgusting thing in the world then go back to playing. Despite this, I was persistent in including her and eventually it clicked. While doing diaper changes she started handing the wipes to me, or bringing me a diaper.  Sometimes, she even tried to help wipe. It could get pretty messy, but I wanted to let her be the big sister.

Being the big sister doesn’t mean she has doesn’t get babied or put on the back burner. We have special mommy and Eowyn time every day where she is the center of my attention. I baby her and love on her to let her know she is very important to me. Interestingly, if we don’t have this alone time she is often difficult and whiny for the rest of the day.

It is easy to be scared of your older child hurting the new baby or getting short with them as your attention is being pulled in so many directions.  Despite these concerns try to be patient. I would encourage you to find a way to let your older child help. Too often one child or all the children can easily become the center of the family verses a part of the family. How can we make our children feel a part of the family? By giving them a purpose and a way to contribute. Be consistent in having them help you. Even at 16 months a toddler can pick up a little, help give you wipes and diapers, kiss and pat the baby, and so much more. It is never too early to teach kindness and helpfulness.

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Milk and Honey: The Promise Land of Breasts

As a new mom I remember being shocked at the new role my breasts had taken. No longer were my breasts just aesthetically pleasing or sexually appealing, they now nourished as well.  Its astounding that just as a woman has many roles in life-daughter, sister, wife, and mother; our breasts do as well!

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Breastfeeding Eowyn

Breast milk has unreal benefits for children and mothers, not just as babies, but later in life too. Babies immune systems are better, less likely to be obese, higher intelligence, and for a mother she is less likely to develop breast cancer. (It also helps shed those baby pounds!) These are just a few of the wonderful workings that breastfeeding does.

I will not, however, pretend that it isn’t messy, time-consuming and sometimes down right frustrating. When I began breastfeeding my daughter, for the first couple months, I had to use a nipple shield to get her to latch. It could be disheartening to find, clean, and correctly place that silicone nipple over mine every time there was a feeding, especially at night! Despite this, she gained weight and looked healthy so I knew she was getting enough milk.

Currently, I have chosen to tandem nurse, meaning to nurse more than one child at a time. Not that I nurse my eighteen month old daughter and one month old son simultaneously, but I do nurse them both daily; my daughter 1-3 times a day and my son every 2-3 hours.

The hardest time for breastfeeding is often during a growth spurt. When your child seems constantly hungry. I remember my daughter clawing at my breast and nursing to the point that I would cry from my nipples becoming so sore. It can be a lot of work during this time, but don’t worry the frequent feedings will make your milk supply level out to what they need.

Here are a couple of things I did to increase my supply through a growth spurt:

  • Frequent feedings. In the start of breastfeeding, both my daughter and son, I noticed the more I nursed in a day the more milk I would have. (Sometimes resulting in a wet t-shirt if I didn’t get one of them quick enough.)
  • Skin to skin. Take your babies clothes off, and press him or her to your belly while you nurse. For me this would always do the trick, it helps that milk flow easily and naturally. Even hugging my husband or taking a relaxing bath can make my milk let down.
  • Offering both breasts. Nurse that baby until they unlatch then try the other breast as well. This goes with the first suggestion but often times it can be forgotten. With my first I had one breast I nursed the most with so it became noticeably larger! To balance it out I had to start switching the sides more at night.
  • Visualization. Our minds are the strongest tools we have. When you imagine your child and your milk coming down, it often will! When I was in labor I visualized the waves of the ocean breaking and swelling; this helped with the pain. The same goes for women who struggle to conceive; it is helpful to imagine your ovaries blossoming!
  • Speaking over your body. Tell it to produce milk. Look at your breast in a mirror of when breastfeeding and say, “You are bountifully full of milk. Overflowing with promise. Nurturing my child to satisfaction!” if you need a verse stand on, look at Genesis 49:25 this blessing is yours:

The God of your father—may he help you!
And may The Strong God—may he give you his blessings,
Blessings tumbling out of the skies,
blessings bursting up from the Earth—
blessings of breasts and womb.

Happy Mothering!

The verse is supplied from the Message Bible and biblegateway:

http://www.biblegateway.com

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