Tag Archives: whats breast for you

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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Save a Life: 3 Ways to Remember Your Baby In the Car

We all want our children to be safe. Safety is sadly often inspired by horror stories about why we do the things we do- cover light sockets, throw away plastic wrappers, no sharp corners. As a parent those stories keep you awake and your heart pounding through the morning news.  My motivation for sharing these particle important tips is to prevent devastation in other’s lives, not create fear. I do not want any person to experience a loss just because they were not informed.

“My people parish from a lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

Most of us know to have our infant buckled, rear facing, and the car clean enough to where nothing can fall on them. Before driving off we mentally check off all the things we need to do or don’t want to forget. There is one thing, the most important thing that we must never forget. The baby. How could that possibly happen? All of us have heard stories of mothers forgetting their babies in the car as they run of to the groceries, work, or into their home. Some people scoff and wonder how anyone could be so idiotic. I don’t wonder. I know exactly how.

Eowyn asleep on a road trip

Eowyn asleep on a road trip

If you have a baby and are up all hours of the night you are often sleep deprived. You can barely keep it together. If you are a working parent you have so many things on your mind and the baby!

I didn’t have children when I was sleep deprived, but if I had it could have cost both of our lives. When I was a high schooler I was working over 20 hours a week and attending a private school (after being in public all my life.) The adjustment to the workload and evening job left me exhausted.  I was also going through a very emotionally exhausting time as well. (Which as a parent most people can relate being emotionally drained too.) I drove home at night on country roads. Out in the middle of nowhere was a dinky four-way stop light. I ran it, not just one night, but for several nights.  Some nights I pulled into the drive and could not for the life of me remember anything about how I got there. I’m so grateful and lucky that I never got hit or hurt someone else.

Routine can trap us as well. Let’s say you are driving to work but first need to drop of your kiddo at the day care or sitters, your child falls asleep and doesn’t make any noise. You may drive past the daycare and into work without even making the connection. When you think of it in these terms it is much easier to understand how this could happen.

Here are helpful suggestions to avoid this:

1. The best thing to do when going out (especially if you are going to work and need to drop them off first) is put your purse or lunch in the back seat next to your child. You will have to look back to get your things and will notice if your baby is still in the back seat!

2. Mirrors. Many companies now make mirrors that allow you to glance back and see your child.  This is ingenious as you can also see their expression. Just make sure to look at the road instead of getting wrapped up in how cute your baby is. This should be helpful since you will end up being in the habit of glancing into that mirror to see your baby. You can buy the car mirrors at a local Wal-Mart or Target.

3. Have an alarm on your cell phone go off around the time you drop them off in the morning. Have it read, Check your baby’s car seat or baby dropped off? A small thing, but it could make a huge difference.

Please feel free to add other suggestions and tips for remembering babies in the car. I encourage everyone to repost and share with others. It is summer and way too hot for any child to be forgotten inside a car.

Happy Mothering!

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Why I Don’t Call My Children’s Privates by Fake Names

I’ve laughed with other girls as we discussed the names we called our privates growing up: the tink, cookie jar, nucker, pee pee- the list goes on. Those areas of the body were shrouded with mystery when they were hesitantly discussed. My mother would answer questions and give us plenty of reading material. Still, I felt strange about these areas. If I had to discuss my own body I would have felt humiliated and very confused about how. Luckily, being a reader and being supplied with the correct books, I was able to identify that I had a urethra, vagina, and anus. Sadly, there are girls who become adults who are not aware what area does what: Do I urinate from my vagina? Where do I menstruate? Where do I have sex?

What God says about our bodies

The importance of calling privates by the proper name is instrumental to how a person will view their body and perhaps their own sexuality. It may sound silly, but not sillier than telling your child their arm is called a body noodle, or their face the expression platform. Calling things by their proper name isn’t just for the sake of being politically correct. It has much to do with knowledge being power. Knowledge gives a child confidence. For example- If they are lost they are taught to look for a woman with children, or a cop- you establish early that cops are mommy and daddy’s friends. This gives your child a safety net.

When your child’s arm hurts they are able to express that, “My arm is hurt.” This should be the same with their privates, “My penis hurts.” See how giving something the correct name gives them ownership? That is their penis. That is their vagina. (I typically call it the vulva since calling everything the vagina isn’t accurate either.) This ownership means they don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed. Our gender is a huge part of our identity and not something to be embarrassed of. These parts aren’t “unspeakable.” They are a part of their body and as such if they are hurt or someone is making them uncomfortable, they are able to express that.

Telling your child about their body is a process. Many think, the talk is a one-time deal; it isn’t and shouldn’t be. As your child grows so should the discussions. The start should be the correct names for their body parts, or at least saying they are private. Eventually you tell them how their body is theirs; as such no one should be touching their privates. Also, if someone is making them uncomfortable they can talk to you no matter what!

I have known too many children, friends, and family members who have been hurt by predators to not take the safety of children seriously. I don’t teach my children out of fear, but as a preventive measure- not just against predators, but shame as well. I find it sad that too many people think talking about the body or sex to their children is vulgar. Someone is going to tell them and that information will most likely be incorrect and harmful. Most children have an idea of what sex is by the age of five whether you choose to talk or not. Take the initiative. Be the parent. How you discuss or don’t discuss something will dictate how a child will perceive that part of their life even as adults.

Happy Mothering!

The picture is from the store UnchainedBracelets on etsy.com You can actually buy this print! Click on the Link below.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/154933360/psalm-13914-i-am-fearfully-wonderfully?ref=exp_listing

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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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My Home Birth

I had two natural births. My first was in the hospital and my last one at home. Frankly, I much prefer a home birth. A lot of people have looked at me like I’m crazy or tell me how extremely brave I am for going natural. I have to be honest; it isn’t about bravery or even intelligence. As a woman, the body is designed a certain way. It is designed with hips, breast, a uterus, and instincts. (I will do a post soon going more into the decision process and information that I took to make my choice.) For now, this is my story.

My wonderful midwife checking his chest size.

My labor started out like Braxton Hicks, those early contractions that help your body get ready for labor. Around seven p.m. my midwife came over for me to meet another midwife who would like to attend the birth. I was hesitant having more people then needed and planned on politely declining another person; our apartment is small and I didn’t want distractions. During the meeting the contractions began to get closer and closer together. I mentioned this to them but tried not to think more about it since I had Braxton Hicks frequently. If it was labor the last thing I wanted to do was psyche myself out.

After they left I relaxed and went about my evening until bedtime. Eowyn was in her crib asleep. I had Emanuel, my husband, turn off the lamp, light a candle, and put on my Hypno Birthing CD. We also covered the TV with a towel so the light wasn’t shining. The ladies droning voice soothingly instructed me to breath and go inside my own head to that peaceful place. It was so calming in comparison to my first hospital birth. I just relaxed and labored alone without being monitored and checked. If I wanted to walk around, shower, or eat I was able to without anyone telling me otherwise.

Emanuel fell asleep and I continued to labor peacefully in the quiet room as the waves got closer and longer. Around midnight I called my mother to inform her that I was probably in labor, but I was fine and she could start driving in an hour if it still persisted. After a while I had her head over then called my midwife to tell her I was in labor but she could wait a little longer.

When my mother arrived we moved to the living room. We sat on the couch, me on a towel just in case my water released, chatting quietly as Eowyn’s soft breathing filled the background. We whispered until I couldn’t anymore. My waves started to be more intense as we moved toward transition, the most intense and thankfully shortest part of labor. During a contraction I would often nod my head letting it roll around until it ceased.

We called the midwife and she headed over, not being able to get a hold of her assistant we actually called the other midwife that was interviewed just hours before! Which was a real blessing.

My midwife arrived alert in her T-shirt and comfy shorts carrying her birth bag. We went in the bedroom and awoke Emanuel. After my midwife took my vitals I sat in my nightgown on the bed and Emanuel sleepily sat next to me. When the other midwife, in scrubs and with her own bag, arrived I was deeper into labor and was now grabbing a hand and making it quite white before releasing. The back labor, that I gratefully didn’t have with my first, was a knife like pain in my lower back.

I knew it should be over soon, but something wasn’t quite right with the baby’s position. My midwife informed me the baby was posterior, meaning the head was on my backbone, verses anterior where the face is toward your backbone. It isn’t a “bad” position it just can create some very intense back labor.

I flopped around on the bed like a cat chasing its tale, at this point stark naked and taking each contraction as it came. None of the positions felt comfortable. I could see the window was getting much lighter and the morning sun was awake. Ready to be done, I began praying in tongues, telling my body through clenched teeth to line up with the word of God and for the waves to cease.

Though I felt the desire to push I couldn’t knowing the baby was not down far enough. Finally, the second midwife asked me to get on my hands and knees for two contractions to try to move the baby down. Shakily I got on my hands and knees, it didn’t make the contractions easier, but I noticed a difference in the positioning. I asked to be moved to the bathroom subconsciously knowing something had shifted.

Between contractions we moved toward the small bathroom until I was sitting on the toilet, actually the best place to labor. Your body immediately knows in the bathroom that this is a place for release and will loosen up enough for this to happen. When a contraction began I would push into my hand (when a woman feels for the head with her hand it prevents tearing!) Once a contraction would cease I stood up and used my arms to push against the wall. After only a couple of these pushes something exciting happened!

I stood up and pushed against the wall leaning slightly forward, evoking the fetal ejection response. The baby slid out in a woosh of water, crying and full of life. I was shocked, as I didn’t know the gender to see that he was a he! Hands reached to grab him but he was so slippery my husband barely was able to catch him before he hit the floor. “It’s a boy!” he said. Relieved and smiling I was handed my baby boy and shuffled to the bed.

At this point I began to lose a fair amount of blood. They clamped his cord (originally I asked for delayed clamping since the cord blood is very good for the baby,) and the second midwife began massaging my belly and it hurt. More blood began coming out as my uterus didn’t clamp down. The placenta had detached tearing some of the wall inside.

I remained calm and fully aware talking to make sure they would notice if there were any major changes. The second midwife gave me a series of herbs- Mistletoe, Angelica root, and Shepherd’s Purse. They were the bitterest things I had ever tasted and burned as I held them in my mouth before swallowing. Thankfully, the bleeding finally stopped, but we had to continue to massage the uterus so that it could shrink and go back into place. I drank a lot of chlorophyll, which is almost as good as a blood transfusion. Though it was serious I never felt scared or worried. If I had to be transferred to a hospital the last thing that would do any good was to be scared.

This took most of the morning, but after plenty of fluids I was able to get a shower in and nurse my baby! In the comfort and privacy of my own bed with my own family. It was such an energized and amazing birth. Though it was tough, the experience is one I reflect on with great joy and love.

Holding Emanuel IV after he was born!

For my midwife’s facebook page on her services and general awesome birth thoughts go here!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Right-of-Passage-Midwife-and-Birth-Nerd/110074232368894?ref=ts&fref=ts

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