Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pregnant and tired

I forgot how tired you get when you are pregnant. I had so many plans this past week for projects I wanted to do around the house; not a single one of them happened. I laid around from one couch to the other. I went from my bed to the floor to the kitchen table to eat and then back to the couch. Sometimes it can be really hard for me to listen to my body and just relax and not worry about the dishes in the sink or the laundry piling up. I have to remind myself that although I am simply lying on my butt my body is busy growing a child and that is an extremely important job to take seriously. I am so blessed that I am able to be home. I do not think I would make it through a day of work. I barely make it to Lochlan’s naptime before passing out.
This is good parenting right here
 I love my two-hour nap in the middle of the day. It is what I look forward to most right now. Luckily for Lochlan there have been a few moments where I had the energy to take him to the library or the park and yesterday we actually went to the pool, which he really enjoyed. Poor kid every morning he comes in my room and says, “Get up Mommy!!” Luckily for me, he loves to color, read books and play with his toys. He is pretty good at entertaining himself, which is such a blessing right now

My symptoms as of now are extreme fatigue and nausea. I have not actually thrown up yet which is a blessing. When I was pregnant with Lochlan I puked every single day the entire 9/10 months I was pregnant. (They say you’re pregnant for 9 months but usually it is more like 10). I feel like being more relaxed this time around has helped my stomach settle. I don’t have the anxiety about what’s to come with this pregnancy. I also have stayed on top of eating small meals and snacking through out the day. Not overeating or waiting to long to eat can mean the difference between keeping down your food or not, at least for me. 
I have become very sensitive to smells. I can’t even be around eggs and I smell maple syrup randomly through out the day. Almost every morning I have woken up and had a whole-wheat waffle with vegan butter and a little jam with a banana and a large glass of water to take my prenatal with. I don’t particularly like eating the same thing for breakfast every day but right now it is enough to feel satiated but not to full and it keeps my stomach calm so I’ll take it. I know soon enough I’ll be able to eat a wider variety for breakfast. Every other meal I am fine. I can usually eat whatever sounds good to me. I have been doing a lot of vegetable sandwiches, hard cheese and crackers, Thai food is my best friend right now, oh and lots of sautéed Kale. I LOVE kale.

This is how I like to eat it; it’s very simple but delicious. 

Heat olive oil in skillet – mine is cast iron. Then I take two huge handfuls and place them in the skillet. I toss the kale around until it is coated with olive oil. I let sit for about a minute. Then, I pour about one to two tablespoons of water over the kale and cover with a lid. I let that steam for maybe 5 minutes, stirring once. I will take the lid off and decide if I want it softer or not but usually I like it a little al dente. Then I take it out of the skillet put a little sea salt on it and top with pumpkin seeds and eat. It’s so yummy, healthy and easy to do.

What’s one of your go to snacks when pregnant? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baby on Board

I found out I was pregnant the other day!!! About 7 weeks ago David and I decided we were going to actively try to conceive a child. I went through one cycle and now I am pregnant. So as most women in my family I am definitely as fertile as I thought I was. 

I feel very blessed that I have been able to do natural family planning and have a child when I want and not have to use birth control. So far, I haven’t had any severe pregnancy symptoms other than fatigue and frequent potty breaks.  I’ve already started needed to pee constantly so I’m slightly scared for what’s to come in the coming months when my uterus just keeps getting bigger and the baby pushes down on my bladder more and more. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to have to put a catheter in and I’m not even 8 weeks pregnant.

Lochlan is so cute already about the baby. He already likes to say Hi and give my belly kisses. He also likes to say that he has a baby in his belly, which I find adorable.

We are extremely excited to have another child. However, I really am trying to enjoy and take in the next nine months with Lochlan and appreciate the last little bit of time we have together with him just being our only son. David and I have gotten really nostalgic about Lochlan being our first-born. We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful, smart, caring, and creative child as our first. He definitely raised the bar for all of our children to come; I’m sure he will be a great brother.

I had my last day of work this past Friday, which was already planned before I found out I was pregnant. It kind of was perfect timing for all of this to happen. I’m lucky that I get to come home and take care of my family.

I am planning on posting my symptoms, thoughts, feelings, research and my meals. So hopefully all my family, friends and those of you I don’t know can find some joy, inspiration or information from my experience.

When I found out I was pregnant with Lochlan I had so much fear and anticipation around that pregnancy and birth because I did not know what to expect. I am definitely more relaxed this pregnancy and feel better prepared for all of what is to come. But even though I’ve been pregnant before and gave birth this is still a new experience and a different baby. I feel like I need to reread everything and educate myself again to ensure that I am doing everything as I’m supposed to.

I am also working on letting go of my fear of the possibility of having another breech baby and the pain of that labor. I am so blessed that I was able to deliver my son at home and have a natural birth and that everything came out right. But, it was definitely painful and my body remembers it so I’m going to do a lot of meditation, relaxation and visualization on having a head down and a calm, peaceful birth; definitely nothing as exciting as the last one was.

I am looking forward to sharing my experience. Here’s to the next nine to ten months of pregnant bliss!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Life your life

Live your life to the fullest - I know everyone has heard this expression a lot but seriously you just never know what can happen. Say I love you to those you care about and don't let negativity infect your life. It's not worth it. Respect that no one is perfect and enjoy the mishaps along the way. We get so caught up in all the drama and what we don't have that we truly miss out and waste so much energy and time. In honor of my dear friend who has passed so unexpectedly I am going to enjoy all the moments and not worry about the next; plan for the future but not get bogged down with the details, and enjoy and cherish my family and friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Mother, a friend, a wife has passed

My dear friend Michelle Platt-Brown passed away yesterday. She was a devoted Mother to 5 beautiful children, a loving wife to Danny Brown and a Las Vegas native. She passed away with no notice. Her husband had gone to bed and woke up around 4am to find her on the floor unresponsive. After trying to revive her himself he rushed her to the hospital where they confirmed she had passed. Danny now has 5 small children to take care of (ages 10-1). He is going to need lots of support and love from the community. I have set up a PayPal account to accept donations to give to him and his family in this time of need. Anything that you can provide will be appreciate. As of right now we are unsure of the reasons behind her passing. All we know is she was taken to soon. My heart goes out to her family and especially all those babies that now have to grow up without the love of their Mother. Thank you to all everyone that has offered to support money, time, food, prayers and more. I am so thankful that we have such a strong community of women that will group together and help each other out. It is truly amazing and special. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know Michelle will have more peace knowing her children will be taken care of and that the community she grew up in and loved is behind her.

Rest in Peace my dear friend

We will watch over your family; I know you would have done the same for me.

I have a link to the PayPal account on the right corner of the main page for donations.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's day to all the Mother's in the world. I am so thankful to be a Mom and to be a part of this incredible "club."

Here are some quotes about Mothers; enjoy and may you truly have a blessed day!!!

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.  ~Washington Irving

A mother is someone who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take - Unknown

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice once for herself and once for her child.- Sophia Loren Women and Beauty

I shall never forget my mother, for it was she who planted and nurtured the first seeds of good within me. She opened my heart to the lasting impressions of nature; she awakened my understanding and extended my horizon and her percepts exerted an everlasting influence upon the course of my life.-Immanuel Kant

There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own.  ~Robert Brault

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love.  It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.  ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters.  ~George Herbert

The phrase "working mother" is redundant.  ~Jane Sellman

The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Who fed me from her gentle breast
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
My Mother.
~Anne Taylor

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In response...

“Every path to success has been littered with doubt, fear, and uncertainty, as well as persistence, calculated risks and repeated action. The difference between someone who fails and someone who succeeds is the courage to act...”

One of the greatest aspects of social media is being able to connect with other people and share your personal stories/experiences and allow others see to see a side of life that they may or may not have experienced or dealt with and may or may not agree with.

I am okay with the fact that others are not agreeing with the choices that I made during my birth. Where would we be in this world if people always agreed with one another and no one was willing to stand away from the "mainstream" and trust in something else.

I am not here to say that my choices in my birth are the only way to go or even the best way to go, or to cast judgment on those that choose different paths than I would. I simply wanted to share my birth story.
In regards to my birth; I believe in trusting ones body and trusting ones instincts. I trust in my beliefs; like many of us do in all sorts of ways. I chose to trust in myself and in my midwives ability to assist me in bringing my son into this world. I chose to accept the consequences for MY actions whether they be good or bad. I do not feel that that was a narcissistic act or even a selfish one for me to make. I feel it was a mindful decision for son and myself because I know that in that moment every ounce in my being was telling me to leave the hospital and I did.  I am NOT saying that that is what all women should do; it is what I chose to do.

My hope in sharing my experience is that all women will learn to trust themselves and do what they feel is best for their bodies and their unborn child, whether that is having a homebirth, delivering vaginally in a hospital, or having a caesarean. I hope that women can take a stand for what they feel to be their best option not because someone told them is was the right thing to do but because they made an educated and thoughtful decision and chose to trust in what they feel to be right and true.

Bad things happen to everyone. Yes, my son could have died but I, too, could have died in the hospital. No one knows what would have happened if I had stayed. The point is that I made a choice for myself and my family, and I believe it was the right choice. I chose not to fear the “what if’s” and am thankful that I did. You all have the right to feel otherwise and I accept your feelings. I appreciate all the thoughts whether they are for me or against me. I am not trying to advocate that all women deliver breech babies at home. I am advocating that women educate themselves on their options in birth and choose according to what they feel most comfortable and confidant in.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

For the love of our planet

Earth Hour is tonight, Saturday, March 31st from 8:30pm-9:30pm; it doesn't matter what time zone you are in. This is not an event that is supposed to cure global warming or fix the energy crisis. The sole purpose of this is to "inspire all of us to make positive environmental changes in our lives." Please take part in this if you can; it is a lot of fun to turn the lights out, even for an hour and sit, read, or even play a board game in candlelight. I love being part of an event that I know people from all over the world (130 countries) are collectively experiencing and participating in. One of the greatest gifts social media has given us is the ability to connect the human race and come together to think, discuss and solve the problems that we all are facing within our world.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Vacation

My family and I will be on vacation in Florida and Georgia for the next two weeks. My honey and I will be celebrating our five year anniversary along with Lochlan's second birthday. I can't believe my baby is already two. Crazy that almost two years ago I was in labor and about to experience the greatest joy and love on earth. I truly feel blessed.

I will not be posting while we are away, unless something HAS to be said. See you in a few weeks!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cesarean Rates

This website has collected data from all 50 states on their hospitals cesarean rates to birth ratio. It's hard to ignore this epidemic when the facts are staring you in the face. Not every cesarean is medically necessary. It's time for women to take birth back into their own hands and stop trusting that Doctor's have our best interest at heart.

Check this link out for Nevada's cesarean rates. It is quite upsetting.

“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”
~ Sheryl Feldman

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weaning Day 6 and 7

During the days Lochlan has been on and off. He has moments of being very upset, throwing himself on the floor, hitting the air, stomping his feet; all things he did not do as much prior to the weaning process. When he's like this I acknowledge his feelings of frustration and ride it out. I go about my business and let him work through it. If he needs me I will come but I don't try to make him stop crying. I tell him if he wants to be upset, he can be upset, he is allowed to have feelings.

Day 6 night was awesome. He woke up three times. The first time he put himself back to sleep without me even going in the room!! Victory! Then the next two times I went into his room after he cried for 15 minutes and was in there for under 20 before he fell asleep again on his own without nursing. This is incredible. I really did not think we would be at this point so soon considering how often he nursed throughout the day and nights prior to the weaning process.

My Mother told me that often times when there are behavioral changes right before it subsides completely there sometimes may be a last minute retreat to the "old ways." Sure enough last night, day 7, he latched himself onto me. Literally.

He fell asleep in the car heading home from a family gathering. When we arrived at the house he woke up and I brought him into his room, changed his diaper, wiped his hands and face and put him into pajamas. He nursed for about 30 minutes and fell asleep at the breast. When I went to lay him down in his bed he woke up and started crying. I sat next time him for 10 minutes while he fussed but then fell asleep. At 10:30 he woke up and cried for under five minutes and went back to bed. He did this again around 11:15 then at 12:30 (which I swear he wakes up on the dot every single night) he cried and cried and I could tell he wasn't going to gown down on his own. So I went into his room and he was sitting on the floor. I pick him up, he stops crying; put him back in his bed and waaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I sat in their for an hour and a half. He kept getting out of bed and I would have to pick him up to put back into his bed. I noticed that every time he would grab hold of him he would squeeze hold so tight. He wanted to be close. Eventually I needed to go to bed. So, I stood him up and said, "Would you like to sleep in Mommy's room?" "yes" "Okay, you may sleep in there but you will not be getting any leche (which is what I call breastmilk). It is time to sleep, not play. Do you understand?" He says, "Yes" and then jumps onto me and squeezes tight. You could tell he was excited this had become an option. We went into my bed and he layed on me with his face pressed as tight as he could get it to mine. Wrapping himself onto me. He never asked for milk once. But he was needing me to be close. It was nice to REALLY snuggle with him without him needing milk. I fell asleep; he woke up a couple hours later and fussed for a minute but then snuggled back up and went to bed. We woke up around 7; he nursed for maybe 10 minutes and got up. A week ago I would have nursed him maybe 4 times in a night for at least 30 minutes each and then in the morning he would nurse roughly from 5:30-7am. THIS is so much better for us/me at this point. I am glad we still have those three to four times a day we nurse before he goes to sleep; to reconnect and be close, but it is nice to not be a constant milk machine. I feel like I have a part of my body back. For so long it did not belong to me.

We still have time to go with the weaning stage but so far I am so pleased with how calm I have stayed through out this. His crying and anger, has definitely brought me to tears, but I am confidant in why I am doing what I'm doing and it has allowed me to have so much more love and grace in the process.

Being a Mom that had tried to wean before but still slightly on the fence; there is NO WAY you can wean if you are not 100% committed to doing so. It is hard to hear your baby cry and get so upset with you. No Mom wants to see their child struggling but it can be a growing process. It can be a time to truly show your child how much love and compassion you have for them. When they are fighting to stay the same you are showing them change is okay; Mommy is going to be here and hold your hand every step of the way.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weaning Day 5

Last night was rough. He only woke up twice but each time it took me over two hours to get him to fall asleep. He asked for everything under the moon: a diaper change, a book, a new shirt, food, his shoes, to color, to go bye-bye, his Papa, Daddy, the dog, new pants...he eventually would realize the only option he had was to drink his water, lay down and fall asleep.

My rule for staying in his room is this; I will sit in there and wait for him to go down if he keeps his head on the pillow. He can not be sitting up. I would ask him, "Do you want Mommy to stay in here while you fall asleep." He would say, "Yes." "Okay, then you need to lay your head down and close your eyes." If he would not do that I would get up and leave. Let him cry for about 5 minutes and then start over again.

In the morning he did great. He did not ask for milk at all until it was time to take his nap. I have noticed that he is very excited and willing to let me know when he is tired and ready to go to sleep because that's now the only time he gets milk.

Every day is different but it seems each day is getting  better and less dramatic for him. I am managing his emotions fairly well and I think a big part is because my body is not in constant demand of milk production. It takes a lot of energy to produce enough milk for a toddler. I am proud of myself for sticking with it this time and I am extremely proud of my son for listening. Yes, he is upset and lets me know but overall he gets what is going on. Growing pains...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

These are so yummy and delicious!!!
Here's how: (I use organic ingredients when possible)

1 1/3 C Flour (I use whole wheat)
1/3 C Sugar
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 C Vegetable oil
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 C Milk
1 1/2 C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 C Flour
1/4 C Oats
1/4 C Butter (softened)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 C Brown Sugar

Mix: flour, sugars, salt and baking powder in medium size bowl
Stir in: oil, eggs and milk
Fold in: blueberries

Mix the topping in separate bowl with hand till it is a crumb type texture. 

Preheat over to 375

You can either insert baking cups in muffin pan or use grease. Fill individual cups till they are almost full; then put the crumb mixture on top.

Cook 20-30 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!!!

Weaning Day 4

So last night went okay. The first time he woke up it took him about an hour to fall asleep on his own without nursing. He did have some water though. He woke up again at 3:30 and I tried to get him to sleep on his own but after 45 minutes I was over it so I nursed him down. At 6am he woke up and I brought him into our room where he nursed and slept until 9am. We woke up and ate breakfast. He asked for milk once and I told him not until nap time. He did not ask again and was completely content. We went to the park and played which made him a happy boy. When we came home around 1pm I nursed him down for his nap. He slept for two hours and when he woke up he had some milk. He was content to play and eat food until bed time. We nursed for 30 minutes and then I put him in his bed; it took another 30 for him to fall asleep.

Today went a lot better than I thought it was going to. I thought he would be even more mad today since the process is continuing and it wasn't a one-time-deal. But, he was great. I am super happy with how it's going already.

So far my tricks have been: distracting him with toys I have put away, lots of time outside, offering water any time he asks for milk and simply saying "not now."

When he cries and gets upset I tell him that I'm sorry I can't give him what he wants and it's okay if he is upset about it. We hug if he lets me.

I hope tonight goes well. Night time is the hardest for me because I don't want to sit in his room for hours while he cries but I refuse to leave him in there alone. This is a hard enough transition as it is. One step at a time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weaning Day 1, 2 and 3

Day 1: I failed miserably. We had a rough night and in the morning I just wanted to rest so I nursed him in bed and relaxed. I continued the rest of the day; planned on having a fresh start in the morning. While I was putting him down for bed I noticed he was warm. I checked him temperature and it was 101.9. I rubbed peppermint oil on his head and feet and nursed him down. He woke up several times that night. Around 5am I brought him into our room where he slept till 9am.

Day 2: Since Lochlan had developed a slight fever the night before I definitely wasn't going to stop so I nursed him all day, rubbed peppermint oil on him and let him rest. His fever was gone by that night. I nursed him to sleep. He woke up several times but I was able to get him to take a sippy cup of water. He was mad and cried so I sat with him until he fell asleep. At one point it took over an hour but he managed. He woke up every 1-2 hours the rest of the night.

Day 3: Around 6am Lochlan woke up. I nursed him once but did not let him nurse again until nap time. He was very, very mad. He cried all morning long until I nursed him for his nap when he woke I let him drain both sides. I told him no more milk until bed time. He was pretty good the rest of the day. He asked a few times, demanded once or twice but I was able to distract him by making playdough and pulling out toys that I had put away earlier in the week for this exact reason. I nursed him down to bed at 8:00, it's 10:53 right now and he is crying. I am going to go in and try to get him to sleep with water again. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To Wean or Not To Wean

I have been thinking about weaning Lochlan for a couple of months now; he is going to be two on March 21st. I was determined to breastfeed for at least one year, two if possible, and like most Mom's I was very tired at a year but not quite ready to quit. I also believed he was still in need of it along with it being comforting and helpful; so I kept going and every six weeks I would reevaluate and see. Now he is 23 months old and I am realizing that as beneficial it is for him it's not benefiting me as much these days. I am very fatigued all the time. I run at about 20-30% on a regular basis. I think this is a result of a couple of things: One - Lochlan has never slept through the night. He slept for eight hours, once, but usually he wakes to feed every 2-4 hours. Two - My body is very petite and I have an extremely fast metabolism. I don't think it is doing a good job keeping up with sustaining a toddler that has a HIGH demand for breastmilk. He would nurse ALL day if I would let him. In fact, he is nursing right now!

I have been trying to get over my guilt. I feel very guilty about wanting to wean him. I really wanted to try to let him wean naturally (I recently wrote a post on how proud I am to nurse a toddler) and I believe in that and think it’s great if you can let that happen. But, I have to come to terms with the fact that I am run down and it's okay that I need to stop because Lochlan sure isn’t going to stop anytime soon on his own. Nursing is a relationship and it's not working for me anymore. I need to accept that. It's been months and months of me thinking about weaning him, talking about weaning him, looking into how to wean but I haven't quite had the energy to do it and there are tons of reasons not to (it's good for him...that's the biggest and best one of all). As tired as I was I could never pull the trigger.

So, I talked to my Mother today (she breastfed her children) who is a Life Coach and she did some coaching with me. She asked me what my fears were about weaning. I told her I thought his personality would change which ultimately it will whether I continue nursing him or not. I talked about him throwing temper tantrums and not being able to soothe him with milk and how that will be difficult. But, he throws tantrums now even though we do nurse and they are difficult to deal with. That's just part of being a parent to a toddler. You can not always do everything they want or give them all that they desire. After several more questions and answers we got to the root of my issues around weaning.  I realized that ultimately I feel sad that my child is growing up. I feel sad that I no longer have a baby. I don't know if I am going to have more children; his Father and I planned on having at least three kids but now his Dad is not sure if that is what he wants anymore and that is very sad to me. If I had known that this could be my only child I may have enjoyed all the little moments more but I can't live in the past. Now all I can do is be the best Mom that I can be and mourn the "loss" of my baby.

It's hard to have a child and have them grow up. It's hard to think you are going to lose that bond with them; that they are going to become their own person and be self-sufficient and not need you as much. I think it's something that a lot of Mom's don't talk about; how hard it is to have a baby turn into a toddler and a toddler turn into a child and a child turn into a teenager and a teenager turn into an adult.  A big part of being a good parent is to know when to let go and let your child find their way in the world.

I have to let go of my nursing relationship with my son because I can longer sustain it.

When I nurse him and this sounds terrible; I get the urge to throw him off of me. I would never do that but nursing him now physically causes strain in my body. My Mom brought up the fact that when dogs and cats wean they actually kick their young and that's how a lot of mammals get their babies to wean; they kick them away, push them away, physically force them off and away from their nipples which is how I feel. I feel like I need to force him off of me. So, I need to recognize that my body is telling me it's time to stop.

Lochlan loves his breastmilk and I know that it benefits him. I am thankful that I have made it this far in nursing my son but I have to listen to my own body and accept that I have done the best I can for my child. I am so proud of myself for making it this far. But now I need to let go and let him grow up. It is really hard to let go and to accept that my son is no longer a baby. However, I need to simply appreciate who he is now and who he is becoming and what our relationship has in store and all the wonderful things that it possesses at this time. I don't know what's going to happen in the future; David and I may end of up having more kids or we may not, but I have a wonderful son and I was able to have a successful nursing relationship with him. I am thankful for that and I am thankful that I have the sense to accept that my body and mind can no longer take this and that that is okay and I shouldn't be mad at myself or feel any sort of anger or regret. This is just part of the process and it's time to accept and move forward.

So, I am going to wean my son and I am sure it is going to be difficult and I am sure I will still be tired but that is what I am going to do. So, cross your fingers, wish me luck and we will see how this goes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Left Hospital to Deliver Breech at Home

It has almost been two years since Lochlan's birth. Looking back on it now I am so thankful I made the choices I did and had the experience that I had. Lochlan is the joy of my life. I am so thankful that I trusted myself and allowed my body to birth him.

Here is his birth story which was published in Squat Magazine's first issue, Summer 2011 seen here.

On March 20th around 10:30pm I had a contraction; having had multiple contractions in the previous weeks I did not think a whole lot about it. However, when it came I said to my body, “Keep it coming.” I had prayed several times that day that my son would be born on March 21st, which is a special day because my little sister Emma was born on that day.  Around 11:30, 12:30, and 1:30 I had more.

David came home around 1:30am from work and I told him I had been having contractions about every hour for the past four hours. He said, “What can we do to keep them coming? I’m ready for our son to be here.” I told him to do some reflexology on my feet, which he did for a little under an hour. At 2:00am I had another contraction that was much stronger than the previous ones.

A little while later I called my Doula Naomi O’ Callaghan to let her know I was having contractions about every twenty minutes. She told me to take a shower or bath, drink a glass of wine and try to get some sleep because if it was time for him to come I would need as much energy as I could get. I got off the phone with her and immediately had an intense contraction. David went and got me a glass of wine that I tried to drink. I could not drink it and ended up throwing up the wine, so then I tried to sleep.

I was so excited and the contractions kept coming every 10 minutes, then every 7 minutes and then they got down to every 5 minutes. I had to have David call Naomi to let her know because I could no longer talk through them. David called Naomi and she decided it was a good time to come over. I got in the shower to relax. I’m not exactly sure what time this was but I think maybe around 5:30 or 6; after my shower I continued laboring in my bedroom.

Naomi showed up at the house around 7:30. She came into our room and I immediately felt more relaxed and excited knowing my son was on his way. She told me her apprentice Stephanie was sick and would not be coming but asked if her other apprentice Sheree Edwards could come; I told her of course. The contractions kept coming on stronger and stronger and the best way for me to relax through them was on my hands and knees spiraling my hips or standing up with Naomi doing hip compression (these made the pain decrease by about 70% it was amazing). After each contraction I allowed myself to relax and enjoy my down time. I thought about the journey my son was taking and reminded myself he needed me to be strong and brave. 

At one point Naomi, David, and I went on a walk around the block to help my labor progress. We passed by a man that was watering his lawn and I had to stop due to a contraction. You could tell he had no idea what was going on; I remember the look on his face…shock and awe. When we got back to the house Naomi checked me and told me I was at a 4. She said if I wanted to get the most use out of the birthing tub that we should head to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 10am. I walked in alone while David parked the car and Naomi got her supplies ready. I was going through the doors when a contraction came; a nurse rushed over to me and yelled for someone to get a wheel chair. I told her I was fine and she insisted. I said, “No! I prefer to walk.” She looked at me and said, “You’re a warrior woman I can respect that.”

I went up to the labor and delivery floor where they checked me in to a triage room to monitor the baby and check my dilation. The nurse had me put on one of those awful hospital gowns and into a bed. I immediately felt nervous and uncomfortable. It was not a welcoming environment. A nurse came in and started asking me all sorts of questions, which was very confusing. I was in labor mode and anyone who has been in labor knows your brain does not work the same as in your “normal” state. The nurse checked my dilation and said she could not feel the head of the baby so she ordered for me to have an ultrasound. Before they did the ultrasound they informed me that my Dr. was out of town and so the on-call Dr. would be doing my delivery and she was not comfortable with water births. I felt so much disappointment at that point I could barely breathe. Then the ultrasound technician came in and discovered the baby was a frank breech, another rush of panic. She immediately said, “Your baby is breech I’m going to order an epidural for your caesarean.” I lost my breath and felt tears swelling in my eyes. I had such a healthy pregnancy and he was turned down the whole time. I could not get my head wrapped around this. I asked her to wait a minute. Then the on-call Dr. came in and said she would be doing the surgery. She then said, “We need to get your epidural going.” I again asked her to wait and she said, “For what?” I responded, “To get my head wrapped around this.” She said, “Your baby is breech do you know what that means?” David and I looked at each other, aggravated that she felt the need to talk to us like we are uninformed parents. David asked me what I wanted to do. I asked him to get Naomi so I could talk to her. I did not want to have a cesarean but was not sure what my options would be. I asked the Dr. if I could get up and move around and try to adjust him myself and she said no I had to stay in the bed.

When Naomi came in I was crying. I could barely think through the contractions and being in the bed was making them so much worse. The nurse had been standing there staring at me, obviously wanting me to get a move on it. David asked Naomi what my options were and told her we did not want to have a cesarean. She saw that I was very upset and started calling Dr.’s to see if any of them would do a vaginal breech delivery at the hospital, none would.

I wanted to run away. I did not want to be at the hospital anymore. I had the strongest urge to get the hell out of there. My maternal instincts kicked in. I felt like if I stayed there my child and I would be in danger. Naomi then started calling midwives to see if any were available that had experience in breech deliveries. She finally was able to get in touch with one, Marvelys Lopez, who had actually delivered Naomi’s last child.

Naomi informed Marvy of the situation and asked her if she felt comfortable and confident in delivering a frank breech. She said yes but wanted to talk to use about the risks. David spoke with her and got all the pros and cons. After weighing them I decided I wanted to leave the hospital and deliver at home. We informed Marvy that we were broke and would not be able to pay her right away and she said, “The most important thing is that this baby is born into the world with love and care.” David and I could not have agreed more.

I told the nurse I was leaving and immediately asked to get unhooked from the machines. I had to sign an against medical advice form to leave. As we were walking out you could have heard a pin hit the floor. The nursing staff was in shock that I was leaving the hospital. I was so sure everything was going to be okay with the delivery. I knew it was a “risk” but I felt in my heart it was the right decision, even if it was against medical advice. As I was walking to the car I had another very strong contraction a nurse that was on break ran up to me and asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said, “No thank you I’m going home.” I will never forget the look on her face. It was priceless, one of complete confusion and disdain.

On the way home David called his parents, Gene and Diana and told them that we were coming home to deliver and that we were going to set up the tub outside. Once we got home everything after that became a blur because I was in active labor, but what I can remember is we arrived at the house and I immediately went outside and laid over a chair to labor while waiting for the midwife. Sheree was rubbing my back and keeping me relaxed while David’s parents and sister were helping David and Naomi move the outside furniture for the tub and getting towels handy. I had a few contractions and all of a sudden the midwife was there along with her assistant Merrijayne Melnyk.  I was so happy when she showed up because I knew the baby could come now.

Even though I had never met Marvy she had a relaxing, soothing and nurturing energy about her. I knew the baby and I were in good hands. A moment later another midwife showed up, Kim Trower, to be of assistance to Marvy. I had five women there to help me deliver my son. Incredible.

The tub was taking a long time to fill up so I asked if I could labor in the Jacuzzi. David came in with me. It was so intimate and loving having him behind me, holding my hips and rubbing my back. While we were in the Jacuzzi the doorbell rang and it was a police officer. The officer said there was a noise complaint and asked if “People were F!@&ing in the back yard?” He informed Gene that the neighbors called and said they thought a porno was being shot because a naked man and women were in a Jacuzzi while people were filming. David’s Dad informed him that it was not a porno that it was in fact a woman in labor. The police officer did not believe Gene so Gene said he could see it for himself.

In the middle of a contraction I look up and a cop is standing there. We made eye contact and he looked a little scared. I smiled at him not quite sure what was going on and went back to laboring. He realized he could leave. A couple minutes later my water broke and I felt the baby drop. I had to get out of the Jacuzzi because it was not a sterile environment. The tub was not ready and the midwife asked what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to be in water because I was scared it would hurt more if I were not. I suggested the master bath and they decided to get it ready for me. In between contractions I got out of the hot tub and rushed upstairs. When I got up there I threw my body over Gene and Diana’s bed because the tub was not ready and I was having a very intense contraction. I had a few more and then the babies’ feet came out.

At that point they realized the baby was not frank breech but in fact footling breech which is a much more complicated type of delivery. David said the midwives and Doula’s looked a little worried at that point. They asked me to get into the tub and might I say walking with feet hanging out of you is a little bizarre. As soon as I got in the tub the baby kept coming faster and faster and the pain kicked in full force. I started pushing as hard as I could with each contraction and with each push I felt my energy level deplete. At one point I could no longer feel contractions and it did not seem like I was getting anywhere. I kept looking down and could see his legs hanging out of me but nothing else.

Naomi kept telling me to push, push, push, which I was but he was stuck. I could feel a slight fear set into the room. Apparently, he had an arm caught by his neck and his cord had collapsed which meant he was no longer getting oxygen. All the midwives were doing what they could while I pushed to help him come out but nothing was working. After a couple minutes Marvy asked me to get me out of the tub. She asked me to lie on my back on the floor. I pulled my legs to my chest and with every ounce of energy in my body I gave one more push and she twisted the baby and he came out; he was very grey. He was not breathing on his own so they immediately began an Ambu bag.

At that point I thought to myself, what the hell did I do? I killed my baby. I am so selfish I should have had a c-section. I was scared but I knew I had to be there for him. I could not give up now. He was lying next to me looking so helpless. I then held his hand and started talking to him. I told him how much I loved him and wanted him to be here. I told him I knew he had just had a hard time but everything was going to be okay. I was so afraid. He did have a heart beat the whole time, which is one thing that kept me calm.

At about five minutes his color had gone from grey to pink. I looked up at David and he had tears in his eyes. As much as I wanted to comfort him I knew I had to stay in the moment with the baby to help him come to. After about 10 minutes he started taking breaths. At 12 minutes he was breathing on his own. I immediately felt happy and relieved. The air in the room got lighter and people started laughing and smiling. I loved him so much and was beyond proud of him for being so strong and brave.

Lochlan Eugene Johngrass was born on March 21st at 1:25pm on the bathroom floor in his Grandparents’ bedroom with the assistance of 2 Doula’s, 3 Midwives and the love of an entire family standing by. He weighed 6lbs and 8oz. A true miracle birth.

I allowed him to do the breast crawl
First family photo

It was so nice to go to bed in my own room and snuggle my beautiful son.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tip of the Week: Smoothie Pops

Smoothie popsicles are wonderful to give your toddler when they are teething or in need of a healthy snack on a hot day. Whenever I make a smoothie I always make a little extra to freeze in my popsicle molds.  Lochlan LOVES them! I never buy popsicles because homemade ones are cheap and healthy!! What gets better than that?

Teething is not fun at all

Easy Recipe: (I use organic ingredients when possible)

Handful of strawberries and blueberries
one banana
handful of peaches
1 C yogurt (I use vanilla)
1 C juice  (I usually use pomegranate, orange or apple)
handful of kale or spinach

add all into a blender and blend. You can add water or ice to alter the consistency to your liking.

Drink, enjoy and freeze some for later!

It's hard to be a good Mom sometimes

I never thought Motherhood would be so lonely.  I feel ashamed to say that I am or to even have something negative to say about it at all.  Yes, there are so many blessings every day when you are a parent.  Lochlan melts my heart and brings joy in a way no other entity on earth can invoke in me.  But with that being said, it can be very lonely...the hours you are awake at night, the many moments of sleep deprivation where you still have to carry on and pay attention to what is going on because your child could get hurt from a falling lamp, or an outlet or the dog jumping on their abdomen or their fingers getting slammed in a door, or whatever else could happen.  You’re just exhausted and the exhaustion takes over you and you can't understand how you can carry on one second longer or survive the rest of the day without losing your mind and in that moment when you are at a loss you look at your child and they smile at you and that smile regenerates you in a way that nothing else can.  It brings this burst of energy of love into your life.  But it is lonely and it is tiring and there are days you realize you haven't spoken to an adult in over eight hours and you realize that you have lost sense of time and you lose your sense of self.  The person you were is no longer there and you have to find your identity all over again.  But there’s this little being constantly in need and you have to take care of your home, your family and then you have to remember to take care of yourself, because if you don’t take care of yourself you’re not going to be any good to anybody.

That has been a really hard lesson for me to learn. 

I am a very giving person, a very nurturing, mothering type of person.  I have always been that way.  When I had my son I knew what type of Mom I wanted to be.  I wanted to be very hands on and at home.  I wanted to be calm and patient and nurturing and educate him and love him for who HE is and leave my expectations at the door, but it’s hard.  It’s hard to be a good Mom sometimes.  It’s hard to be always present.  It’s hard not to take the easy way out and have someone else watch him for me.

When he was a couple of months old I had to go back to work to make money so we could get a place of our own and I realized that it was easier to work out of the house in a lot of aspects than being home with him.  I could get out of the house and not be a Mom for a couple of hours, not be thrown up on, or pooped on or peed on or kicked or scratched.  I could be an adult and sit in an office and have adult conversations and then come home and be with my family.  But then I’d see my baby and realize that he had learned to hold a rattle that day or sat up and I missed it.  And then the money wasn’t worth it to me.  I didn’t want to miss out on all those moments.  I wanted to teach him. I wanted to be there for him.  I didn’t want to have to pay someone else to educate my son and watch him grow.  Luckily, now our family is in a position where I can be home. David brings enough money into the house so I don’t have to work and I am so thankful for that.  But because of the job he has sometimes he is gone for 15 hours a day and we barely get to see him.  We are on opposite schedules.  While Lochlan is up he is sleeping and vice versa.  There are weeks that we go without much interaction.  It’s hard for our relationship but at the end of the day it’s worth it to me, to us.  It’s important for us for me to be able to take care of him.  I do sacrifice aspects of my life. I am not as social as I used to be.  I don’t paint as much anymore.  I barely read books these days but I know that my son is taken care of and happy.  In a couple of months to a year he will have different needs than what I give him right now.  He won’t need me on the level that he does at this point in his life.  I have to remember that a couple of years of sacrifice are worth a lifetime of health and a good foundation.

I still have to remember to take care of myself.  That it’s okay to be selfish and say I need a break and admit that I’m tired and admit that I’m struggling and that it’s hard to be a good mom sometimes and that I don’t have all the answers and to ask for help when I need help.  It’s very hard for me to ask for help and I’m trying to learn to not be so controlling about everything and not to be so scared to fail as a parent because I know I am going to fail.  I am going to make mistakes.  My son will be mad at me and not like me just like I did not always like my parents but that’s okay because that’s part of evolving and learning and growing.  And just like my son is learning to make his way in the world and figuring things out, I too, as a 27 year old woman am trying to figure it all out and make my way and learn how to be a Mother and a friend, a partner and myself all at the same time.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is I can’t let the loneliness overtake me because I have a choice in the matter.  I need to get over my fear of failure and imperfection and step out and make my way as a parent and myself in this world and show my son that even with fear it’s okay to take chances in life but it’s important to remember to take care of your family and be there for them because at the end of the day without them nothing else matters.  So with the loneliness being said my child is worth it all and I am so thankful that I get to be home with him. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Circumcised Dad leaves son INTACT

When David and I found out we were having a son I was beyond happy. Yes, I would have loved having a girl but I REALLY wanted a boy. I knew that I wanted to keep my son intact because I believe that foreskin is there for a reason and that circumcision is an "elective" surgery. However, being that I was the Mom and not the Dad I decided to ultimately leave it up to David (after many days of giving him my point of view, of course!!). David is a circumcised man like most Americans. He was raised with the idea that this was the normal way a penis should be. Once I started showing him my research - botched circumcision, that foreskin has a purpose, that is does cause trauma, even though they say they can't feel it (see video below) and that babies do die from it- he soon realized he had been misinformed and changed his point of view. He actually got quite upset that he was circumcised. He began to feel like something was taken from him, a piece of his body that should have been left intact was not and he got really upset about it. Especially when he found out that uncircumcised men have an increased sense of pleasure during intimacy. What man wouldn't get upset about that? He decided that he wanted his son NOT to be cut and tortured. He wanted to give his son the best life he could and with that comes an intact penis. He believes, we believe, that babies should be left the way they come out. I am so thankful that David chose to keep our son intact even though he will look different from his Father. I asked him what he will tell Lochlan when he asks why he looks different and he said, "I will tell him that I love him and I wanted to give him the happiest life I could. I wasn't given the choice so I am leaving it to YOU to choose." And yes, men can be circumcised later in life if that is THEIR choice.

Here are some wonderful links to sources of information on KEEPING OUR SONS INTACT!! Please join in trying to make this the normal state of being for the future generations.

Peaceful Parenting
Raising Intact Sons
Moms Keeping Sons Intact
Saving Our Sons

Why did you choose or not choose to circumcise your son?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nursing my Toddler

My son, Lochlan is 22 months now and YES I still breastfeed him. And I am proud of it. 

I get asked ALL the time when I am going to stop nursing him and I love saying to people, "Well most likely before he can drive."

Lochlan is a healthy, happy and an extremely well-mannered almost 2 year old. There are tons of benefits to nursing a toddler and two of the major ones, for me, is maintaining his nutrition and mood swings.

Most toddlers are fairly picky eaters, at least Lochlan is. One day he will eat everything I put in front of him, including my food and then the next day all he wants are crackers. Even though Lochlan eats a mostly plant and grain based diet he still does not get all of his daily nutritional needs from his food, which is where my breast milk comes into play. It's almost like how I take a multi-vitamin a day...health reassurance.

When it comes to mood swings those are becoming more and more rampant. It is like he's manic. One second he is laughing hysterically and the next he has hurled himself on to the floor and screaming at the top of his lungs in a language that I can not understand. It's frustrating for both Mom and child to not be able to communicate. Luckily, the use of sign language helps that a bit but there are many moments in the day where I don't know what he wants. But the one thing I know I can do for him when he is very frustrated is pick him up and nurse him. He immediately calms down and goes back to a "normal" state of play. I love it. It also allows my busy toddler to take a break and reconnect with Mom. We get 5, 10, 15 minutes of closeness before he goes back to his daily adventures.

Here are some resources for breastfeeding information along with a few quotes that I love.

La Leche League International has this to say on the benefits of breastfeeding toddlers.

"Breastfeeding a toddler helps with the child's ability to mature. Although some experts say a toddler who is not weaned will have difficulty becoming independent, it's usually the fearful, clingy children that have been pushed into situations requiring too much independence too soon. A breastfeeding toddler is having his dependency needs met. The closeness and availability of the mother through breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help toddlers grow emotionally."

"Just as babies do, toddlers receive health benefits from breastfeeding. Your milk continues to provide immunities and vitamins, and can help protect your toddler from illness and allergies. If your toddler does get sick, nursing will help comfort him. In fact, a toddler with an upset stomach may be able to tolerate nothing but human milk."

Per the World Health Organization , "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."

If you are having issues or concerns with your breastfeeding relationship contact your local La Leche League leader. They are a wonderful free resource of information and support.

Lochlan at 12 months. Photoshoot for Nevada Breastfeeds 2012 Calendar

So, no I am not weird or crazy for nursing my child that is walking around. He is doing exactly what he needs to be doing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Messes happen

So, I have been sick for the past two weeks and having a partner who works 15 hour days almost 7 days a week makes cleaning up after a toddler very hard when you are under the weather. Mom's need help. We can't be perfect on our own. Sometimes you have to let "things" go so you can keep your sanity. Just so all you ladies know you are not in it alone when your house is a mess check out my video here....

Till next time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The First steps

Hello and welcome to Know Mommy. On here we will discuss ways to parent your children naturally with an emphasis on lactation, nutrition, cloth diapering and more.

I want to know what issues or concerns you have been having and together we will find a solution. I hope you find this page to be educational, insightful and a place where you know you are not in it alone.

Thank you for stopping by.