Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Post Partum

It's been 7 days now since little Brooklyn came into our lives. What a joy it is having a new little baby around the house. Even though I thoroughly enjoy this stage, It does take some adjusting. Figuring out a new schedule, finding time to sleep, getting quality time with each child as well as still finding time to do some things I like to do, like blogging :) Also, I'm already feeling the urge to start working out. I know I need to take it slow, but to be honest, I'm feeling pretty good. Why wouldn't I, look at this cute belly Brooklyn left me with :)
Haha, yah, that's a joke. I'm afraid to go out in public in case I got one of those dreadful comments, "when are you due"? in which I'll have to respond with, um, I'm not pregnant, but thanks for asking.

I just wanted to share this picture because I'm trying to embrace every part of pregnancy this time around, post baby belly and all. So now instead of sharing pictures of my belly growing, I'll share pictures of my belly shrinking :) I gained about 45 lbs with this pregnancy, I don't know, it could have been more. I actually was less worried about my weight this time and hardly ever weighed myself (midwives don't check your weight at appointments either, so that helps). The last time I weighed I was about 36 weeks and I had gained 40 lbs at that point. So I weighed myself last night, and yay I'm down to 140. My goal is 110 since that's where I started out at.

I pumped my first bottle of milk for Lily and Sean to get the chance to feed baby. Lily thought that was pretty awesome.
So, feeling pretty good. Walking up the stairs is not so hard anymore, sleeping is luxurious, bending over to put my shoes on is no longer a chore. Back pain, heartburn, leg cramps... all gone. Feels so nice not to be pregnant anymore.

I did have one day, I think it was day 4, where I felt a little depressed. Not even sure why, but I just felt like crying. So I did... and afterwards I felt much better. Cabin fever was probably part of it, so I decided to get out of the house and spent a little time just walking around KMart. It was so nice.

One thing I always worry about at this point is postpartum depression. I don't think I've had it that bad in the past, but I do remember feeling those baby blues soon after giving birth both times. Hormones can sure do a number on us women. So I'm always looking into ways to prevent it. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating nutritious food, ect. Recently I learned about a new method. Well, I guess it's not really new, it's actually very common in other parts of the world. What I'm about to say may gross you out a bit, but hear me out okay...

Eating the placenta...

I know I know, sounds totally gross right? Well, lately I've been open to all sorts of new ideas. So when my midwife told me about placenta encapsulation, I have to say I was a little intrigued by the idea. There is absolutely no way I'd ever actually EAT the placenta, but I sure don't mind swallowing it in pill form, especially considering all the benefits.

So anyway, studies have shown that eating the placenta can prevent postpartum depression, replenish nutrients, increase milk production, balance hormones and slow postpartum bleeding.

"The placenta contains high levels of various vitamins, such as B6, which can help curb postpartum depression. Eating the placenta enables the mother to "reclaim" these vitamins and put them to use in her own body. Human placenta is rich in various essential nutrients such as iron and protein. Placentophagia can help replenish these nutrients, which are often depleted during childbirth due to blood loss. This benefit of placentophagia may be especially important for vegetarian or vegan mothers, who may have slightly lower blood iron levels to begin with. (Many animals also practice placentophagia, presumably for this reason.)"

Information from Yahoo Voices

With my last pregnancy, after delivery I noticed my hair becoming so thin and breaking off. I also ended up getting mastitis, a UTI, and even lost my milk completely after only 3 months. I was a complete mess and so sad about not being able to nurse Oliver longer. So when they talk about replenishing the nutrients lost giving birth, it totally made sense to me.

I decided to go for it. We sent my placenta off to the specialist and received the capsules in less than two days. I've been taking them for a few days now and I think it's really working. I'm feeling great, energy is up, bleeding is very minimal, my skin is clear and I feel happy and healthy.
Here it is... my placenta...
Here's the umbilical cord dried into a heart shape :)
I hope that wasn't too much for you to handle. But hey, desperate times calles for desperate measures. I'm willing to do pretty much anything to avoid depression, low energy, and loss of my milk which I like to call liquid gold. I want my baby getting as much of that as possible.
If you're here locally and would like to look into placenta encapsulation then you can contact Tiffany at tiffanyom@yahoo.com

Brooklyn's Birth Story

It all started Tuesday Nov. 29th at my prenatal appointment. I was 3 days past due and asked my midwife if she could help move things along. So she did the usual stripping of the membranes and gave me some black and blue kohosh to take and told me to go for a 30 minute walk. I'm not sure what did it, or if it was simply the combination of it all, but soon after I got off the treadmill I began having contractions. I was so excited, but still a little skeptical as to whether or not I was really in labor. I continued to have light contractions that evening but didn't think to time them yet because they didn't seem too strong. I sent a text to my midwives and doula around 10:00 pm just giving them a heads up, then started to keep track of the frequency of my contractions. At that point they were about 10 minutes apart. I took some melatonin and began listening to my hypnobirthing audios to help me relax and hoping to get a little sleep in before the contractions got worse...

Well, that didn't exactly happen. I laid in bed for about two hours until deciding to go downstairs to sit in the recliner. At about 2 am the contractions were coming about every 6 or 7 minutes so I decided to call my midwife. I was afraid to call her in case it was a false alarm. I didn't want to wake her up or make her come over unless I was sure things were progressing. She said she'd come over and see how far dilated I was. After I got off the phone with her I called my doula and photographer and told them to come over. I went upstairs to tell Sean, he had only been asleep for about an hour so I told him to try to sleep longer and I'd let him know what Melissa (my midwife) said when she got there. So of course Sean couldn't sleep after that and ended up coming down stairs anyway.

Melissa arrived with all her gear, she then gave me a quick examination and was shocked to find I was already 7 centimeters dilated. I was shocked too because I didn't think the contractions were that bad. At that point I was thinking, this is going to be easier than I thought.

Sean and Melissa quickly started filling up the birthing tub thinking I'd probably want to get in soon.

After everyone arrived I think the labor progression slowed down a bit. Probably because I felt bad about them being there on little or no sleep and felt pressure to be fully dilated and pushing out a baby as soon as possible.

We sat around and talked for a while, my awesome doula gave me like a two hour massage using essential oils which was so nice. I went upstairs to take a hot shower, drank some calming tea, listened to more of my hypnobirthing audios. Then around 4am Oliver woke up. We were afraid this was going to happen because he went to bed so early that night. He came down all wide awake, wondering what the heck was going on. Especially when he saw the birthing tub all full of water in the middle of our living room. He was pretty excited about that.

Sean decided to call his mom over to come help with Oliver. When she arrived my contractions suddenly became very intense. I started shaking like crazy and finally broke down in tears. My thoughts that this was going to be easy quickly became thoughts of, WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING!!!

I got into the birthing tub knowing I was getting close. We promised Lily that she could be there to watch her sister being born. So Sean went up to get her. The first thing she said when Sean woke her up was, "BABY"!
Photography by the amazing Crystal Pickering at Pure Photography and Design
Soon after that I felt the huge pop and gushing fluid of my water breaking. The contractions continued to intensify and I was getting very weak and overcome with the immense pain. I began to wonder why I had chosen to do this. The pain was much worse than I ever expected. I prayed over and over in my mind that it would be over soon. I kept my eyes closed the whole time and couldn't even muster up the energy to respond to anyone when they asked me questions or gave me guidance. I felt like any movement at all, even just to open my eyes was too much to bear. At this point I felt I should probably try pushing even though the thought of it seemed impossible. I couldn't imagine using all my muscles to push at the very moment the pain was at it's highest. I screamed and wailed, which is funny to me now because when I watched all the birthing videos on youtube I thought for sure I wouldn't scream. I kind of laughed at the way some of the women reacted in these videos. But here I was making all the funny noises I swore I wouldn't. Anyway, I'm not sure how long I pushed, but pretty soon her head was half way out and I remember screaming, "can't you just pull her out now"! I had to wait for the next contraction to push again with the burning pain of her head stuck half way. A couple more pushes and out she came at 6:59am. I had never felt more relieved. I took one look at this little baby and couldn't believe my eyes. What a miracle this was.
Photography by the amazing Crystal Pickering at Pure Photography and Design
I felt like I was on top of the world. I couldn't believe I did it! Although, I did actually make a comment about not ever wanting to do it again... but that was before the amnesia set in. Already I've seem to have forgotten exactly how painful it was. Probably because the feeling I have now makes it all worth it. I said something about the next baby to Lily yesterday and she said, "but you said you didn't ever want to do this again". Well, maybe not anytime soon, but I think I could definitely do it again. The best part of the whole thing was getting to be at home and the fact that Lily got to be there to welcome her little sister into this world. I loved how calm and relaxed everything was when Brooklyn came out. I got to sit and hold her as long as I wanted and also nursed her before we even cut the chord. This was the most amazing experience I've ever had and couldn't be more grateful to my midwives, doula, photographer, and especially my husband. He was absolutely amazing! He only got one hour of sleep that night and stayed up all the next day with the kids while I rested. He's been catering to my every need, doing the dishes, laundry, and taking care of the kids. He's such a wonderful husband and dad. I couldn't be happier and more content than I am now.

I've got lots more pictures and even a video I'm putting together. So stay tuned for more!

Brooklyn Star

Brooklyn Star was born at 7am this morning. She's a beautiful healthy 8 lb 4 oz. baby. I've got lots more pics and video to share, plus I'll be sharing the whole birth story with you. It was an incredible experience having a home birth. It's so nice to be here in the comfort of my own home with all three of my kids and my wonderful husband.
As of now, we're all just trying to catch up on sleep.

A Little Update

I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful holiday weekend. I just wanted to give you a quick update on my status. As of now I've not had the baby, but hopefully soon :) I guess my due date is actually Nov. 26th instead of Dec. 5th. So we'll just have to see how it goes. I haven't been having any contractions yet, but feeling quite a bit of cramping down there. I'm about ready to pop!
Look at that thing, it's huge!
I'm not sure if you can tell, but this picture actually captured a little kick. Do you see the little bump right in the middle? She just happened to kick right when the camera went off. Pretty cool I thought.
So these days I've been keeping busy with the whole nesting syndrome. I've just about got every drawer and closet in my house organized.
I talked Sean into putting up the Christmas tree, yay!
Can you tell who did the decorating?
After the kids put ALL the ornaments at the bottom of the tree I finished it up later :) What do you think?
In the past I haven't really done much decorating anywhere else in the house, but this year I felt like taking the next step. I decorated the front entry way using glass vases and ornaments from Walmart.
Since I'm not sleeping much lately I've been doing a ton of projects and DIY crafts using ideas I've found on pinterest.
Here is one brilliant idea I had to copy.
Hiding all your chords in a shoe box. LOVE it! (just cut holes and used a little spray paint)
Here is a fun and pretty easy Christmas decor idea.
Just hot glued these flowers and tinsel onto kleenex boxes.
And I made this cute flower for one of Brooklyn's newborn hats.
And I just LOVE this idea for organizing all your computer and camera chords. I've already started collecting empty toilet paper rolls for my huge stash of chords I have stuffed in a cabinet.
I tell ya, some people just have incredible imaginations and think up some pretty amazing things. Thank goodness for Pinterest right :)

5 Fun Fall Activities

1. Turkey Shaped Pancakes

We just used some green and yellow food coloring for the feathers, chocolate chips for the eyes, orange frosting for the beak and a piece of red fruit roll up for that little thing turkeys have, don't know what they're called :).

2. Thankful Leaves

One day we went outside and collected a bunch of cool fall leaves. Unfortunately we couldn't find any red ones. We brought them in, laminated them, punched holes in the tops, tied some string to them, then wrote different things we were thankful for on each one. Then we taped them under our little wall hanging bookshelf. By the way, I got my little laminator for $25 at Walmart, it's been really nice to have.

3. Silly Pumpkins

These awesome pumpkins came straight from my garden. My first year ever growing them, so I'm pretty proud. We found a box of random hardware in our garage and we put them to use, then added the zippers for the mouth and pipe cleaners and cotton for the hair.

4. Sponge Painted Fall Trees

We just cut up a sponge into little squares then used them to pain some fall trees.

5. Free Printables

Take advantage of all the free Thanksgiving printouts online. Here's a great website that has a ton to choose from.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Homeschool Room

Since making the decision to homeschool, I've been putting together this little school room for the kids. It's been so much fun! Here are a bunch of pictures for ya :)

Also, I've recently joined the ever addicting Pinterest. I've already spent way too much time on that thing, but I'm loving all the great homeschooling ideas I've found. Go check out my little collection and follow me if you'd like :) I've got lots of my own stuff I want to share on there soon.
We got the bookshelves from Ikea, the round chair from Ashley Furniture, the round school table from Lakeshore Learning, the rug from Target and the desk from Pottery Barn.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Birth

Most of you all know by now that I’m planning to deliver this baby NATURAL for my first time. That’s right, no drugs with this childbirth. What you may NOT know is that I’m also planning to have this baby in the comfort of my own home.

I know what you’re thinking…

WHAT! YOU’RE CRAZY! That’s not safe.

Well, before you get all judgmental on me, let me explain my reasoning’s
First of all, I literally live 5 minutes from a hospital, and second of all, I’m not opposed to going to the hospital if complications arise. My midwives come prepared with an emergency back-up plan. Items they bring: include oxygen, IV, suturing materials, drugs to control hemorrhage, and neonatal resuscitation equipment.

That being said, I really don’t expect anything to go wrong. I’m visualizing a safe, and beautiful natural homebirth.

In the past I have really enjoyed my hospital stay after giving birth. Seemed to be a nice place to relax and recover. It was also nice having help with the baby from the nurses at night. But I’ve just decided that a homebirth is the best way for me to go this time around. Probably the main reasons include:

• I won’t be tempted to get the epidural if I’m at home. I won’t have that option, and I REALLY want to have this baby natural.

• I can have a water birth and I have the choice to deliver in any position I choose, instead of being confined to a bed laying flat on my back. I’ve read that squatting is a more natural position for childbirth and lying on your back is one of the worst. Makes labor more intense and pushing even harder, but it’s the best position for the doctor so that’s why it’s being done this way.

• I won’t have to be away from my kids and they can be more a part of the whole experience. I’m not planning on having them in the room when I deliver, but I’d love to have them there as much as possible after baby arrives. Also, my husband won’t have to leave me to take the kids home for the night. We can all stay together the whole time.

• Less risk of germs and infections. Even though I’m sure they take all sorts of precautions at the hospital. I can’t help but think of all the different people who come in and out of each room, the blood, ew! I never dared walk barefoot in my hospital room. I always had socks on, but then when I’d get back in bed I would think of all the germs on my socks that I’m putting into my own bed. Then to use the bathroom and the shower… I just felt like I was using a gas station bathroom. Maybe I’m just a bit of a germ freak.

“Homebirth is safer because the infection rate at homebirths is less than half of that at hospital births. There are several reasons for this: the baby is born with antibodies that were passed from the mother to the placenta. This includes immunity to the family's household germs. Your new baby is protected from hospital-acquired infections at home. In addition, because mothers and babies are kept together all the time, the baby's immature immune system functions optimally. Also, this constant mother-baby interaction fosters successful breastfeeding, which is your baby's best protection against infection. Since midwives provide continuity of care and comprehensive mother/baby care, they can provide a level of care that is not possible with the assembly-line care provided in hospitals.”
Information from www.gentlebirth.org

• I’ll be able to relax more being in my own home. Don’t have to worry about what I’ll need to bring to the hospital. I’ll have everything I might need here with me. I’ll have more privacy and less random people coming in and out of my room every 15 minutes.

“In childbirth education classes, you learn about the fear-tension-pain cycle, where fear increases the tension, which increases the pain, which increases the fear, etc. until a woman is in terrible pain. The opposite cycle could be called the confidence-relaxation-comfort cycle where the more confident you are, the better able you are to relax and the more comfortable you'll be, which increases your confidence, etc. This allows your body to take advantage of endorphins, which are the natural pain relief that your body provides in natural childbirth. As a laboring woman's body produces more oxytocin to increase the contractions, she also produces more endorphins for pain relief. I've seen women become more and more relaxed as their labor progresses and their endorphin levels climb to provide wonderful pain relief. Being in your own home increases your confidence and allows you to relax into your labor very nicely. And, of course, if you have one of the beautiful birthing tubs set up, that provides marvelous pain relief.”
Information from www.gentlebirth.org

• It will just be a more intimate experience. It’s a much more relaxed setting and everything goes slower after birth. The baby isn’t whisked away for unnecessary bathing, weighing, ect. You get the time for immediate bonding and breastfeeding without any disruptions.

Tamron Lens

I know most us moms want to better our photography skills in some way, even if we're not actually trying to become professionals at it. We all want to be able to take great pictures of our kids and capture those precious moments in a more artistic way. That's what has motivated me to invest in a nicer camera and take the time to learn how to use it.

I splurged a little and got myself a new lens. I actually didn't splurge as much as I could have because I chose to get the Tamron lens instead of the Canon. I've been doing a little research on the Tamron because I've heard they are pretty much the same, but almost half the price.

I've been wanting a nice wide angle zoom lens. I was about to spend $800 on a Canon one, but then decided to read some reviews on the Tamron. Come to find out these Tamron lenses are pretty comparable. Most reviews said they were very happy with the quality of Tamron, and very few even noticed much of a difference. The ones who did notice a difference were big time professional photographers. So since I'm no where near professional I decided to go this route. I bought it on Amazon and even bought a gently used one and saved another $100. Usually I won't buy electronics used because you never know how well they've been treated, but since returning items to Amazon is so easy (you just print off the shipping label and they even pay the shipping), I decided I didn't have much to lose.

Here's the lens I chose.

Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

I love it because I can take WAY better pictures of rooms in my house or lanscapes. I love that you can get MORE in the shot.
See what I mean? With all my other lenses I'd only be able to get the entertainment center in this shot (I took this picture at night so the lighting wasn't the best).
Here's my entry way. It's actually a pretty small space, but with this lens you can see the whole space. Usually I'd have to take like 4 different shots just for you to get an idea of what the area looks like.
Isn't that cool!!!

36 Weeks Of Pregnancy

Here I am...

36 weeks pregnant and still tryin to look sexy :)

This is actually very rare that I get all dressed up and do my hair. It was date night and I just got my hair done. Most days I'm in sweats with my hair pulled back because I'm just too tired to do anything else.
Here's a little poem I wrote about being 36 weeks pregnant.
Feels like an eternity
since I've been wearing maternity
And although the end is drawing near
I still feel like I'm dying here
My hormones are out of wack
There's constant pain in back
Can't even see my swollen feet
and all I want to do is eat
Sleeping at night is such a joke
Can't even have my diet coke
Sweaty hot everyday
Can't cool off when I'm this way
45 lbs of extra weight
is the price you pay to procreate
The days are long
Discomfort strong...
But when I think about this child
I just can't help but want to smile
One day I'll look back and say
Boy I miss those baby days
I recognize this special gift
With a little attitude shift
9 months is not so easy
But it wasn't meant to be breezy
WORTH IT is what He said
When on the cross for us he bled