Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Breastfeeding Journey

Eleven years ago I was 6 months pregnant with my first baby. I knew absolutely nothing about breastfeeding. I had not been breastfed as a baby and I didn’t know anyone who had breastfed a baby. I read a lot of books about pregnancy but nothing specifically about breastfeeding. From the books that I read I discarded my past ideas that breastfeeding was weird. It was what would be best for my little girl and a lot less expensive (yes, this was a huge deciding factor). I took a class thru my hospital about breastfeeding and thought I was prepared. That was my very first mistake.

When I had my first baby I also thought not having pain medication was crazy. I was lucky enough to have a pretty fast, easy labor although I was given pitocin to kick start things after my water broke. I ended up having both narcotic pain meds and an epidural. My sweet, tiny little Emma, just 6 pounds 5 ounces was born just before 5pm, just 8 hours after my water broke. They wanted to weigh, measure, and vaccinate her right away and I didn't know enough to ask them to wait. Within the first hour after she was born they whisked her off to the nursery for her first bath. I was still numb from my epidural so I didn't get to go. I hadn't even gotten to really try to breastfeed. After her bath she got cold so they kept her under the warmers in the nursery. Again, I didn't know enough to ask for something different. How I gave birth was the very first of many "booby traps" in our breastfeeding relationship.

Emma had a terrible latch and by Sunday, two days after she was born, my poor nipples were cracked and bleeding. No one had explained cluster feeding to me or talked to me about a poor/shallow latch. Because I gave birth in the evening on a Friday and went home on Sunday I never saw a hospital lactation consultant. Where I had given birth they didn’t have any one staff on the weekend. I was in tears because I was in so much pain every time I fed her so I took my mom’s (well meant) advie and gave her a pacifier. I had no idea this could cause issues down the road with my supply. Eventually my nipples healed and I felt like we had figured out breastfeeding for the most part. I had what I would now consider over supply. Emma came home weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces. At her two week checkup she had gained a whole 2 pounds! I would leak so much at each feeding that my clothes would be drenched. If she unlatched milk would shoot across the room in a huge fountain. If I missed a feeding by even a small amount of time I would get engorged. Unfortunately my oversupply did not last.

When Emma was 12 weeks old I had to go back to work. I was a waitress and wasn't allowed breaks during my 6-8 hour shifts to pump. I would pump at night to have milk for the next day. I rented a pump from a local medical supply pharmacy. I had no idea about pumps and assumed for my $75 a month I was getting a great pump. I was sadly mistaken. The pump I was renting was an old school Medela Lactina. It’s basically a motor that pulls the old style manual pump for you. I could only pump one side at a time. As time went by I started getting less and less. Because I wasn't getting much when pumping I assumed Emma wasn't getting enough either. I contacted her pediatrician and my obgyn. My OB had me start Reglan. It didn't do anything for my supply but it made me feel awful. I personally believe it is one of the worst things you can give to a post-partum mother. Emma's pediatrician told me to supplement with formula. Of course, the more I supplemented the less milk I made. It was a vicious cycle. By the time Emma was 4 months old I was doing 100% formula. I still tried to pump for a couple weeks at night but I got such a little amount I quickly gave up. No one ever suggested I see an IBCLC or seek help from a Le Leche League meeting or that I had any options other than supplementation. I was heartbroken that my body had failed me. That was really what I believed, for years, that my body had failed me in providing this amazing source of nourishment for my daughter.

3 years later we got pregnant with our second baby, another little girl. I was determined to breastfeed and to make it to a year this time. I read more books and gained a lot more knowledge about breastfeeding and giving birth. I bought a top of the line Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric breast pump. I planned to continue being a stay at home mom. I even attended a Le Leche League meeting. Unfortunately I was so uncomfortable and felt like such a failure with my first, that I never went back. I switched to a midwife and was determined to go without pain medications this time. Unfortunately this pregnancy didn’t go as smoothly as my first. There were major concerns about my little girls growth in utero, or lack thereof. I was scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks bc she had stopped growing and they thought she would be better off out than in. I was disappointed bc I did not want pitocin, narcotics or an epidural again. Just 5 hours before my induction I went into labor. Less than 3 hours later my sweet baby girl, Ella, was born weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces, quite a bit bigger than her estimated under 5 pounds. No pain meds, no pitocin, no nursery, no warmers. She never left my side from the moment she gave birth. I wish I could say that being better informed, having a better birth experience, etc. made a difference and that we reached my goal of breastfeeding for a year. Sadly, that was not the case.

By the time Ella was a week old, on top of latch issues and sore, cracked nipples we were dealing with reflux, inconsolable crying for hours, and blood and mucous in her stools. Ella's weight gain was poor and she didn’t get back to birth weight until she was a month old. Her pediatrician thought that she most likely had food intolerances, which are common in my family. I started out doing the MSPI elimination diet (Milk & Soy Protein Intolerance) when she was just a couple weeks old. When she was a month old she had a sigmoidoscopy done. They took a couple biopsies and noted intestinal inflammation. Her diagnosis of food intolerance/allergy was confirmed. After a couple months doing the MSPI with little to no improvement and continued poor weight gain I started doing the TED diet (total elimination diet). It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I could only eat a few foods. Turkey, rice, potatoes, pears, olive oil and salt and pepper. By the time she was 4 months old I had lost over 60 pounds. I was determined to do whatever I had to do to breastfeed. Unfortunately her pediatrician and her Gastroenterologist were no longer confident that my milk quality was good enough to help her gain the weight that was needed. I did not want to give up so I drove 45 minutes away to get help at an amazing place called Milkworks. They have a staff of IBCLC's and are a wonderful resource for breastfeeding moms. The Pediatrician/IBCLC tried really hard to help me continue to breastfeed. She got me set up with an SNS so that I could supplement Ella with the milk I was able to pump while she was also eating at the breast. Her weight gain was still poor so her GI doctor pushed for me to try supplementing with formula.

Ella would take a bottle of breast milk with no problem but refused to take a bottle of formula. They pushed and pushed and we tried everything to get her to drink the formula. I even dropped her off with a nurse at the local feeding clinic to see if she would take it from someone else. All this did was cause her to refuse to take a bottle of anything. Not breast milk, not formula. At this point Ella also lost weight and it was decided, at 5 months, that she would have to have an NG (nasal gastric) feeding tube placed. After she got her feeding tube I was only "allowed" to breastfeed her twice a day. I pumped every 4 hours when I couldn’t put her to breast. Ella did not tolerate the bolus feeds and was quickly switched to receiving 1 ounce per hour 24 hours a day. While at the hospital Ella and I were both diagnosed with thrush, which I had asked her pediatrician about several times. Not long after this she refused to take the breast at all. I was still determined, that someday she would get my milk again and continued the TED diet and pumping every 4 hours round the clock. Ella still gained weight slowly with her feeding tube but she gained. She had it for 7 months. It was the end of our breastfeeding relationship. I tried to console myself with the fact that I had breastfed longer than with my first and exclusively pumped for 3 whole months before finally giving up. To add insult to injury Ella never drank any of that pumped milk. I have excess lipase and my frozen milk tastes soapy. I had this same issue with Emma but thought it was a fluke until it happened with Ella too. Many babies don’t mind that change in taste but both of mine did. All that milk I had starved myself to pump was thrown into the trash. I had "failed" again.

Fast forward to 2010. I decided to become a birth doula and my breastfeeding knowledge grew exponentially. I read a ton of books specifically about breastfeeding. I did lots of research on all the different things that contributed to my struggles with my daughters. I wanted to be able to offer support to new moms and help them avoid the things I hadn’t been able to. I learned about lip ties and tongue ties and their effects on breastfeeding (Ella definitely had a missed tongue and lip tie; it was diagnosed when she was 18 months by our dentist and I suspect Emma did as well). I learned about excess lipase. I learned about the effects pain medication on breastfeeding, the importance of uninterrupted skin to skin contact between mom and baby. I found tons of amazing resources and support options. I was amazed with all that I had learned. I began teaching childbirth education for Baby Love Birth Services in 2012. I started teaching a breastfeeding class. I kept educating myself and learning as much as I could. In 2012 my husband and I decided we wanted to have another baby. In April 2013 we found out we were expecting our 3rd baby, another little girl who I was determined to breastfeed.

I now knew that one of the vital things I had been missing with my first two was support. I was determined to change that. I had become friends with an IBCLC who was also a doula named Kristen. She was wonderful and reassured me and answered questions for me all during my pregnancy. I also decided, after 10 years, to make the switch to a new pediatrician. One who would actually know how to support and help me and my breastfeeding goals. A wonderful pediatrician, Dr. Laura Wilwerding was recommended to me by several moms. Dr. Wilwerding is also and IBCLC and has a passion for breastfeeding. I felt so much more prepared after meeting with her and talking during my pregnancy.

December 12, 2013, one day before she was due, my sweet Eliza was born in an unmedicated, beautiful water birth. She was an entire pound bigger than my last baby! Dr. Wilwerding came to see us that evening. She noticed right away that Eliza was tongue tied but said we would wait to see if clipping was necessary. Breastfeeding was going ok. My nipples were getting pretty sore but not cracked or bleeding. Dr. Wilwerding had told me on Thursday that she would be out of town until the following week. I knew that Eliza's tongue was going to need clipped to help our latch but decided to wait until we saw Dr. Wilwerding that Tuesday. Saturday night I started having trouble getting Eliza to latch on my right breast. By late Sunday morning I was unable to get her to latch on either breast. I tried calling the hospital lactation consultant but since it was Sunday no one got back to me right away. By Sunday evening I had to send my husband out to by formula. Eliza hadn’t had any wet diaper all day and I was concerned about her getting dehydrated. I had been trying to pump (thank you again Britani D. for lending me, a virtual stranger, your breast pump) but was getting very little. I was in tears when my husband left to buy the formula. I couldn’t believe, after all my hard work, I was going to fail again and after only a few days!

Tuesday morning we went in to see Dr. Wilwerding. My nipples were a disaster at this point and I was desperate for help. She clipped Eliza tongue and tried to help me get her to latch. Each time we would put her to breast she would be in a kind of frenzy. We kept working at it for over and hour (can you believe the wonderful patience of this pediatrician?) and finally got her to latch on my left side. I continued to try at home but was still really struggling. I decided to give a nipple shield a go. Eliza would finally latch on both sides with the help of the nipple shield! We saw Dr. Wilwerding again on Friday and I shared my excitement that she was latching better but I was still struggling with the right side which now seemed to be quite engorged with milk and uncomfortable. Dr. Wilwerding massaged and massaged while I had Eliza at the breast to help her not get frustrated quickly. I left feeling like this wasn’t the end and that I still might be able to succeed. That evening, while Christmas shopping with my husband and 3 girls I began to feel poorly. I thought either I was coming down with a cold or I was just extremely tired. I get achy body when I don’t get enough sleep so I chocked it up to that. My breasts were both very sensitive to the cold, especially my right but I just figured it was my poor damaged nipples. I didn’t put two and two together that this might be something more serious. Saturday I noticed that I had a very small red area on my right breast and an area that felt hard. I felt much better after a good night sleep, no aches, fever, etc. so I thought it was probably a plugged duct. I spent the weekend trying a variety of remedies for plugged ducts but nothing seemed to help. It actually seemed to be getting worse and worse. I had an appointment that Thursday with Dr. Wilwerding for Eliza's 2 week check and with Christmas I didn’t think she would be able to see me before than anyway. By the time my appointment came around things were much worse.

When I finally got in to see Dr. Wilwerding the inner half of my breast was an angry red and warm to the touch. I had a large hard area as well. Dr. Wilwerding was concerned that I had mastitis and possibly an abscess! She started me on antibiotics that day. The next day I had my 2 week follow up with my midwife and she was shocked when I showed her my breast. She was positive that I had mastitis. By the following Monday my breast had showed little improvement. The redness was less but the lump had gotten much larger. It was about the size of a small orange now! I called Dr. Wilwerding and she switched me to a different, stronger antibiotic. The redness finally went completely away as well as the pain but I still had a huge, hard lump. I also had some much fluid buildup that I had pitting edema around that whole half of my breast. Dr. Wilwerding wanted me to see a breast specialist at a local hospital. Unfortunately the doctor she wanted me to see was out of town and so I had to see someone else. The appointment was very frustrating for me. The doctor came in. Looked at my breast for 1-2 minutes and said he wanted to give the antibiotics 2 more weeks to work. I really felt like, at this point, if they were going to work it would have already happened. I kept breastfeeding with the nipple shield on both sides and, with Dr. Wilwerding’s encouragement, I stopped supplementing almost completely. Eliza got one 1 ounce bottle at night so that I could give her probiotics to, hopefully, avoid thrush. Thank you to Ashley C for donating milk to us so that had to supplement with formula very little!

January 24th, over a month after my symptoms of mastitis had first appeared I was able to see Dr. Griffin Miller, the specialist Dr. Wilwerding had wanted me to see originally. I still had a large lump but it had shrunk down to the size of a cutie orange. I had an ultrasound done and it was confirmed that I had an abscess. Dr. Griffin tried needle aspiration of the lump first but was able to get out virtually nothing. It was decided that I would have to have my abscess surgically drained. I did not want them to cut my breast open and deal with all the challenges that come with that. I had read about catheter draining on the wonderful Dr. Jack Newman’s website and asked to have the abscess drained that way. The interventional radiology department agreed to try it. I asked to only have local anesthetic so that I wouldn’t have to worry about not breastfeeding immediately after the procedure. The catheter draining was a success. The amount of super thick puss that was drained was pretty disgusting. I also had to have a drain left in for 5 days to let any remaining infection drain out. I still kept on breastfeeding on that breast, even with the drain in! When I got my drain out the lump was virtually gone! It was maybe the size of a dime! I was on Bactrim at this point, a very strong antibiotic, and continued that for a few weeks after my procedure was done. I had a little scare about a week after my drain was removed when my lump grew slightly. I was terrified my abscess was returning. I had an ultrasound and it showed that I did not have an abscess! After 8 weeks of dealing with mastitis I was finally cured and Eliza and I had managed to avoid thrush thru all those weeks of antibiotics! I had never had a fever and actually felt pretty great during those 8 months and I was very thankful of that but I wish I had gotten help sooner! I am still kicking myself for waiting until after Christmas to see anyone and for not pushing for treatment when I saw the first specialist!

When Eliza was around 4 months old we were able to wean off the nipple shield! It was an adjustment and we dealt with sore nipples again, temporarily, while she learned to latch without it. I also ended up doing a course of Dom Peridone to help boost my supply in my right breast bc it had been decreased by my long battle against mastitis. It worked wonderfully and we haven’t supplemented a bottle of donor milk or formula since Eliza was about 3 months old! We worked thru Eliza refusing to take a bottle when I started teaching childbirth education again. I discovered the wonders of the manual breast pump and use that exclusively to pump even though I have both a Medela and Hygeia breast pump! I can get more milk in less time with the manual pump! I’m using the Medela Harmony. We are rocking a dairy, soy, peanut, treenut, strawberry, pumpkin, banana and avacado free diet. Its really hard and I desperately miss regular chocolate, Nutella and Ben & Jerry's but I have discovered some amazing alternative foods along the way! Thru my friendship with Kristen I fell in love with Le Leche League and attend not one but two groups! Eliza is 8 ½ months old and we are breastfeeding rock stars now! I never really believed I could make it this far! I am almost to my next goal of 9 months and have no plans to wean anytime in the foreseeable future!

Breastfeeding is the normal, natural way to feed a baby but that doesn’t mean its not hard. It doesn’t mean that it comes naturally to everyone. Breastfeeding is something moms learn from seeing other moms breastfeed and hearing other moms experiences. It’s something that we really need to have a network of amazing support for. Every mother deserves to have the help and support she needs to successfully breastfeed. Set yourself up for success by getting good solid information, find a pediatrician who really supports breastfeeding, an IBCLC that you love and have a strong support system in place.

Thank you to my amazing breastfeeding support system; Kristen T., Dr. Wilwerding, Britani D., Ashley C., my midwife Heather Ramsey, Dr. Griffin-Miller, all my lovely LLL ladies and my amazing husband Eric. Without all of you I wouldn’t be where I am! I finally feel like I've got this breastfeeding thing down! I know now that I didnt "fail" with my first two babies. I just didnt have the right support or resources. I am so thankful that I do now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much the help and support from each one of you really meant to me.

To celebrate my journey and 8 months of exclusive breastfeeding Eliza and I had breastfeeding photos done by an Amazing photographer, Meri Valentin. Enjoy!

All three of my gorgeous girls compliments of Penny Lane Photography

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lasagna Roll Ups

Let me start off by saying I LOVE Pinterest! Best invention EVER!! Yesterday, during the freezing cold snow day here, I spent about an hour pinning recipes and ideas for redoing the girls bedrooms (a post for a later date)! I stumbled across a recipe for little lasagna rolls ups that another friend had pinned and HAD to make them!! They just looked too delicious! I should preface the following by reiterating that I did not come up with this recipe! The link to the recipe will be posted at the end of this post and give credit to the original recipe poster! Anyhow...back to me making lasagna roll up. The recipe I found was for spinach and cheese roll ups but I decided to add a bit of ground beef to them, bc I like meat lasagna. Next time I think I will add shredded chicken. is the recipe how I made it... Ingredients 1 pound lasagna noodles 1/3 pound lean ground beef 15 ounces light ricotta cheese 1 cup Italian Blend cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 egg 10 ounces frozen spinach 15 ounces pasta sauce of your choice...I uesd Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa salt and pepper (to taste) non stick spray (as needed) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Brown ground beef and drain off any fat. Set aside. 3. Get a large pot of water boiling with a dash of salt. When it comes to a full boil add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente (soft but not soggy...about 12 minutes). When they are done boiling drain in a strainer. 4. While the noodles are boiling...Prepare the filling. Thaw the package of frozen spinach in the microwave, then squeeze out as much excess fluid as possible. Combine the spinach, ricotta, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan, egg, ground beef, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. 5. Spray your baking dish with non stick spray. 6. On a clean surface lay out a sheet of parchment paper (it keeps the counter clean and the noodles are sticky!) Lay out a few noodles at a time (I did 4 at a time). Place a couple tablespoons of filling on each noodle and spread out to all the edges. The filling doesnt need to be thick bc when its rolled up it will be compounded! (I put bit too much on my first 4 but still had enough for 12 noodles) 7. Roll up each noodle and place in your baking dish. Repeat until your filling is gone. I had enough filling and room for 12 roll ups so I had some noodles left over, which is may need spares if noodles rip/break during boiling or rolling. 8. Top roll ups with your sauce, covering completely. The sauce will help the noodles stay moist during baking. 9. Cover your baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Recipe found here on Pinterest! The original blog is apparently no longer available though :(

Friday, July 26, 2013

Baby #3!!!

Here are the latest ultrasound pics of baby#3!!
Also...find the December Group on Facebook by clicking HERE !!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday Card Heaven

Some of you may have seen my post on the awesome Christmas Cards I got from Shutterfly 2 years ago.  After all the exciting new changes to my family this year I figured photo holiday cards were a must.  You can only imagine how excited I was when Shutterfly contacted me to blog about the awesome new collection of cards they have for the upcoming holiday season.  They have traditional cards with traditional red/green/gold/silver coloring and non traditional cards with fun, funky colors and designs!  It took me about an hour to decide on a card design.  They just have so many amazing cards to choose from!  Luckily they make it easy for you by letting you narrow down your choices based on color preference or number of pictures, flat or folded cards, etc!  I finally decided on this one...Falling Snow Frames Holiday Card...

No, that is not my will have to stay tuned for the final card design.  I have the pictures all picked out and now I just have to decide what to put on the inside.  One of my very favorite features is that you can have them print your holiday message inside and then you don't even have to hand write all 200 of you Holiday Cards!!  Honestly, I don't know what I would do without Shutterfly for holiday cards and photo books   My parents and Eric's mom are getting Wedding Photo Books for Christmas this year!  I think I might make a photo gift of some kind for the hubby and an ornament or two for the Christmas Tree!  Designing and ordering on Shutterfly saves me so much time during the Holidays!  I want to make so many creative gifts but I just never seem to have as much time as I would like to hand make them all on my own.  This way I get to use my creative side in a time efficient manner!  Its a win/win scenario!  Be sure to check out all the amazing special offers Shutterfly has to offer and order some photo gifts or your own!  Show your creative side without having to bust out your Cricut and glue gun this Christmas!  Be sure to follow Shutterfly on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and check out their blog for fun ideas for pictures, cards, photo gifts and more!  

*This post was sponsored by Shutterfly and I did receive compensation for writing this post!  My opinions are my own and I love Shutterfly even without the compensation!*

Monday, July 30, 2012

Photo Contest!

Two posts in one lucky are you guys!

I recently was asked to blog about a contest being run by my favorite photo site, Shutterfly!  I have blogged about them before, back when I shared our Photo Holiday Cards, and will again when we order all our Wedding photo gifts for family & friends!  They offer so many amazing products and services and have some of the best prices on the web!  Be sure to check them out for all your photo printing needs!  Now, on to the contest...

You can win a trip for 4 to the BAHAMAS and get a professional photo shoot to help you remember this awesome vacation forever!  All you have to do is go here and upload your favorite photo and caption based on this weeks theme!  You can get a gift just for entering and you can enter at any point over the 5-week sweepstakes!  How awesome is that?!  You still have time to submit a photo for the Sports & Activities theme for Week 4 and for the Parties and Celebrations theme for Week5!  Make sure to check it out and enter!

•       Week 1(7/9): Americana - ended
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors - ended
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun – current week
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

*Disclaimer:  All opinions about Shutterfly are my own personal opinion and were not facilitated by gifts or offers from Shutterfly.  I was offered a photo book promotion for sharing the contest information but that is all.

I'm back!

Okay, I don't even really know where to start!  I haven't blogged in ages!  So much has happened since the my last post!  I will try to sum it up quickly...

The biggest news I have to share is that I GOT MARRIED seventeen days ago!  It was HOT but wonderful!  Eric and I are very happy to be together again and raising our girls as a family, after being apart for 5 years.  The girls are loving it as well.  You can look forward to a post of wedding pics with more details as soon as I get more from our photographer!

Last week we got some very exciting news, Eric has been hired as a paid Fireman by one of our local departments, which is wonderful.  It would be even better if said department would go full time paid.  For now they are only part time which means Eric will have to continue working 60+ hours a week, which sucks, but its a HUGE step in the right direction.

In January I started teaching childbirth education and breastfeeding education for Baby Love Birth Services, to go along with all my doula stuff.  I am LOVING it.  I also help organize/run a HUGE baby fair that happens twice a year, Baby Love Essentials!  We have had 2 events so far with our 3rd coming up this September.

Since January I have had the honor of attending two different twin births as a doula.  One was a home-birth and one a hospital birth, both were vaginal deliveries!  Both babies were born breech at the home-birth, one complete breech and one footling breech.  Baby B was born breech at the hospital birth!  Both were truly amazing experiences and I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of them!

I stopped homeschooling in January this year and sent "M" to school for the very first time ever.  I felt like I was not able to devote enough time to school with "M" & "L" bc at the time I was working, teaching and organizing the baby fair on top of doing school. She started right after winter break ended at a local public elementary school.  She started in 2nd grade and it went WONDERFULLY!  Her teacher was AMAZING and not at all your typical elementary school teacher.  She was very laid back and relaxed about everything. She even told me that I can opt "M" out of the standardized testing in the future if I want to.  She is very liberal and a "hippy" so we got along really well ;)  "M" loved her and absolutely LOVES school.

"L" will be starting kindergarten in the fall!  I am sad and excited at the same time.  I am really happy that she got into the class we requested.  They are trying out a program at the school where the kids stay with the same teacher for both kindergarten and first grade.  I really wanted her to be in the classroom where they do this.  We got our teacher assignments over the weekend and she will be in that class!  Both girls are so excited for school to start in a couple weeks!

Eric and I are very excited to start TTC after the girls are back to school!  We both know for sure we want to have another baby and would love to have one next summer.  I am getting ready to start the exciting journey of temping and charting my cycles.  I am hoping and praying we get pregnant right away bc I am such an obsessive control freak the TTC is extremely stressful for everyone involved or not involved really (not that it isn't for many couples...its just stressful for me in a different way, not bc I've had a hard time getting pregnant but bc I obsess over my temps/charts/ovulation etc and make Eric do the deed twice a day for a week surrounding my ovulation and try to control getting pregnant like I do everything else!  Maybe this time will be different...don't hold your breath though!)

I am hoping to try and get at least one blog post up a week starting now and then we shall see how it goes.  I have so much to share, I just haven't been making time to do it.  I guess I will have plenty in couple weeks with Eric working days and the girls both in school all day!  I am not going to know what to do with myself!  I haven't been home without a child in over 8 years!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Cutest Most Amazing New Baby Swaddler! The Woombie!

If you have ever seen/read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" you know that swaddling is amazingly helpful and wonderful with a tiny new baby.  I could never get the hang of swaddling, it was never tight enough or they cried so I gave up & I did not end up swaddling either one of my girls.  Who knows, if I had, it may have led to a lot less sleepless nights for me!  When I have another baby I plan to swaddle the heck out of them and when I do I aboslutely will be buying a bunch of the cutest new swaddling item on the market, the Woombie!! 

I know, even the name is cute and wait until you see how absolutely adorable your little one looks all Woombie'd up!  One of my favorite blogs, Make it and Love it, had a post and giveaway about the Woombie and that is how I found out about it! You can enter her giveaway here to win your very own Woombie or Woombie Donut!  She always has the absolutely cutest products and ideas on her blog!  Don't believe me?  Check out these adorable felt hair accessories or this super cute shrug!  I know, adorable and amazing right!?  Anyhow...back to the Woombie...

It comes in a couple wonderful, practical different styles for different point in your little darlings swaddling life.  The first style is the Original Woombie.
The Woombie site says "The Woombie is the safest & most NATURAL way to Swaddle your baby, encouraging baby to softly stretch extremities as needed, just like in the womb. The Woombie comforts, softly confines arms & gently compresses baby's unique curves to hug baby... helping baby sleep better, preventing Startling issues, face scratching, overheating and also preventing dangerous loose unraveled blankets from covering baby's face."  

This is what I needed for my girls!  They hated not being able to move their little arms at all.  This lets them move but not enough to startle them!  Its PERFECT!  The picture to the left is the standard Woombie, the starter for you baby, made in the style of your typical sleep sack with a zipper up the front but with no arm holes. They come in all different colors and patterns so you will be sure to find just the right one for you little prince or princess!
The next style is the Convertible Woombie, made basically the same as the original Woombie but with the option of having arms out if baby is awake, etc!  I know, great thinking right!  You can swaddle and unswaddle baby in seconds!

The next style is the Leggies Woombie.  The top portion is the same as the Original but the bottom has two separate legs!  Another great benefit of the all the Woombies, and especially the Leggies, is that you don't have to worry about babies legs being swaddled too tight, or in the wrong position, which can cause problems like hip dysplasia.  I have been reading about this a lot lately and I'm ecstatic to have a product to recommend to my friends and doula clients so they wont even have to worry!
The 4th and final Woombie is the Convertible Leggie, an absolute must for every mom.  It allows baby to ride safely buckled in their carseat and you can still easily swaddle and unswaddle them to put them in or get them out of the carseat!  I know, you are absolutely dying to get one or ten of these as soon as possible for your little one and every pregnant friend you have!  Its okay, I feel the same way!  Don't forget to visit the Make It and Love It blog for a chance to win your very own Woombie and make sure to visit the Woombie sight to order and see their other amazing products like the Woombie Donut and Mo'Mo Blankie!  Make sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think!