Good to Know

Mail TIME!

 

SLXLM
During pregnancy most first time moms, second time moms and I believe, any amount of time moms, worry and think about their babies birth.
The truth is, we never know. 
Every baby, pregnancy and birth is different. But before we rush off to stress about birth scenarios, our options for it and “what could be” let’s take a moment and fully embrace the beauty of birth.
Society can make us feel as though happiness is finding out you’re pregnant, sharing with your loved ones, taking photos of the growing belly and then it’s cut short while waiting for this horrible process of birth before the happiness returns with the true miracle of meeting our newborn.
What?! Birth is part of this beautiful process! Not some horrible incident in the middle.
The miracle of life doesn’t happen without birth. No matter how it happens or the way a mother chooses to birth her child, it’s still a glorious and beautiful process. Our bodies create this amazing life and then delivers it to us as we need. Why look at that as a terrifying process instead of the beautiful gift and delivery it is?
I know mail delivery is truly no comparison to birth but there’s excitement seeing the mail being delivered when we are anticipating an Amazon order. Right, ladies?
That pile of mail may include some not-so-splendid pieces and might even have some ugly horrible bills to emotionally contend with. However, at the end of that stack, I get a beautiful full box of Amazon goodies. I chose those goodies for myself and they have been delivered directly to me to cherish for a lifetime. Even through the ugly process of opening mail I still get the happiness at the end of the day. Bills are paid, lights remain on, and life continues in bliss.
I want my clients to see their birth experiences as a beautiful process they get to experience however they wish. On their own terms, in the conditions they choose and while making their choices without judgment. Judgment-free is most important.
My mail has different envelopes, magazines and advertisements than yours, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable to me.
Same goes for birth. All are different, all women can see their birth as a success or failure, and no one should judge them for that. Instead let’s celebrate the birth and snuggle that adorable newborn that is here because of it.
originally published October 19, 2016

 

Good to Know

Where is your line?

I refer to it as “drawing the line.”
We all have a line we draw in the hypothetical sand on what we will/will not do or participate in. Some might think of it subconsiously, but I’m more of a visual thinker, so I think of it as a line drawn in the sand that defines my “will” and “will not.” I think this goes for every area of life, but today’s focus is on breastfeeding.
   The first time I was made aware that we all draw lines on our comfort level to breast milk was when my husband was feeding my first born with a bottle of breastmilk. My son innocently spit up some milk on my husband’s arm and the reaction he produced shocked me. You’d think my son just spit up acid as quickly as my husband put him down and ran – yes ran – to the sink to wash “that stuff off.” I stared in shock as he vigorously scrubbed his hands, wrists and arms as if he was prepping for brain surgery. I mean, didn’t he realize how much hard work it was to produce such a vital thing for our son to thrive and grow healthy with? Why was this substance so detested by him when I was excited and proud of every drop that came out of my body?
SMXLL
     I never confronted him about this event, but he has now been made aware of it while reading this blog post. At the time I was so focused on simply picking up my newborn son and wiping his sweet face and neck of the regurgitated breastmilk that I simply forgot to react to my husband’s rudeness. However, from that feeding on I would cringe from shame every time my son spit up anywhere on my husband. Let’s be clear: my first son had violent reflux, so there was a whole lot of cringing going on for me.
   Weeks later, after the initial incident, I was telling a close friend about it. She also happened to be breastfeeding and started to tell me how her husband had a disturbed reaction to her breastmilk – when he saw her taste it. She had simply tasted some breastmilk to be sure it wasn’t spoiled before feeding it to her daughter and her husband had jumped up and snatched the bottle from her hand. I had to use every strength of my willpower to control my facial features to not show how shocked, disturbed and grossed out I was. At that moment I realized my hypocrisy in this breastmilk discussion. Clearly she was comfortable tasting breastmilk as much as I was rubbing it into my skin.
I decided then that I would do my best to never judge someone else on where they draw their line in the sand. This stigma goes with every level of parenting. We all have different lines drawn in sporadic distances from one another. Judging the way a mother shows love, disciplines, feeds or communicates with her kids is only hypocritical of how you do tho
 
se same items. There is no “one size fits all” parenting style. If there was, that would make life real easy and boring. Kids are meant to keep us on our toes, to show us the strength and durability we have. Let’s be honest, every moment of the day, we are striving to keep someone alive to the best of our abilities. Who’s to judge that?
Let’s all just draw our lines and respect all the others we cross, or don’t, along the way.
originally published August 16, 2016
Midweek Meltdown

Body parts that fall out

Here I go, Midweek Meltdown, for your viewing pleasure.
I believe, that as humans, we all have an area we cannot tolerate. The “ick factor” I speak of is when an area of life brings up that familiar disgusting bile rising in the back of your throat. This is my confession regarding my “ick factor” and some important areas of questions for other parents to consider. Discuss this with me, let me know I’m not alone and judge how I’m handling the tooth fairy scenario thus far.
originally published July 27, 2016
Flash Forward Friday

To only wipe myse

Here I sit dreaming about my future with Flash Forward Friday.
This weeks dream is about a day when I don’t have a small child screaming “I’m done”. This is the finale as they anticipate my arrival to wipe away left over fecal matter. I’ve been on a trip away from my loving boys for a little while now and I miss them horribly. However, this is one duty I’m not eager to get back too. My nails have grown beautifully and my hands have become smooth while my time away has allowed for less hand washing and household chores.
I used to dream about a day without diaper changing being an almost hourly task. I just never thought that poop removal would still be something I’d handle well after all the diapers were removed from our household. I always question parents with older children on when their offspring began wiping themselves. Answers always vary since boys seem to be less enthused at accomplishing this on their own at any given age. Don’t get me wrong, some girls have no issue allowing this task to be handled but most seem to become much more independent in this area prior to boys. Possibly because, as females, we have to get used to wiping at every potty break whereas males clearly have an easier time ignoring the issue to wipe consistently.
I’ve put my adoring husband in charge of teaching wiping techniques to our boys and he says he has done so sufficiently with our now 6 year old. However, smells tell otherwise.
SMLXL

Since we are on the topic of bathrooms habits and what the future holds, let’s discuss hand washing. Is this something kids grasp at some point? I mean, I have to remind my own husband to wash his hands when he is making a meal or after he leaves the bathroom. His routine reply is “I didn’t get pee on my hands.” Right, but you’ve touched the toilet handle, door handle and body extremities!  Plus lets point out the fact that you’re 30 years old and need to come to terms that as an adult, washing hands is appropriate.
Maybe this Flash Forward Friday dream is truly that….a dream. I might need to come to the realization that my boys will follow along with their dad and I will be the hand washing reminder, poop sniff checking mother well into when they leave home with families of their own.
So I ask you now friends, did you wash your hands?
originally published July 15, 2016
Good to Know, TMI Tuesday

My uterus is MAD

Thats right, I’m a female, hear me ROAR!!
I hate to be cliche and discuss menstrual cycles like most women feel prone to talk, blog, post, write or even comedically open up about. However, with my line of work as a Certified Lactation Counselor and Postpartum Doula this is an important topic that is continually questioned. Plus as a female I think this is a topic we can all learn more about.
Lets start from the beginning, what is a period? Why do we have one?
Easy answer, your body is mad that you didn’t get it pregnant. I personally love this meme that demonstrates to my simple self as to what is happening within me.
SLXLM

For those of you who are more appropriate and prefer “adult” answers here is the National Health Services explanation, “A period is part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of a woman’s period to the day before her next period. A period is a bleed from the womb (uterus) that is released through the vagina. It happens approximately every 28 days, although anywhere between 24 and 35 days is common.”
Now that we know why this happens lets discuss what is considered normal. Do you or have you ever thought how much blood loss during your period is “normal”? It’s not an everyday thought but as we painfully survive this monthly occurrence it might cross your mind, is this a normal amount? Do I even have enough blood in my body to loose this much? According to the experts, “the average amount of blood lost during a period is 30-40 millilitres (ml), with 9 out of 10 women losing less than 80ml. Heavy menstrual bleeding is considered to be 60-80ml or more in each cycle. However, it is rarely necessary to measure blood loss. Most women have a good idea about how much bleeding is normal for them during their period and can tell when this amount increases or decreases.”*
Thanks for the milliliters but I’m a visual learning so approximately 30-40 ml or around 1.5 oz is a little less then a full shot glass.
SLXLM

So doesn’t seem like a large amount until it’s secreting from your body. Just saying males, you have it pretty easy when it comes to the period/menstrual necessities of life.
Next area to give some insight to is how do we as females contain this disaster? You might not realize how many options are out here, most of us are only made aware of pads/panty liners or tampons. In the pads/panty liner department you even have multiple choices. Do you go disposable or reusable? Yes, there are options ladies. If you are into the organic natural or just thrifty then go investigate some reusable menstrual pads. I hear there are some gorgeous ones sold on Etsy.
Now tampons are pretty straight forward, I’m personally not aware of additional choices in that line except the brands, styles and amount of coverage. However, an option that sort of mimics the place of a tampon, literally, is the menstrual cup. Yes, menstrual CUP. It’s an item I was only made aware of when I was in my late 20’s. No, I haven’t personally tried this method but the explanation of how it works seems fairly simple. Wikipedias overview is “a menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood).”
With all these options being given to you please keep in mind that I’m no professional medical gal here. You need to research whats best for you and even speak with your doctor about these items. I know personally, from being part of the female gender, that we are all different and that goes for every part of our bodies. One thing might work great for one of us gals but not for another.
So do what works for you!
SLXLM

Also please note that after giving birth and during breastfeeding menstrual cycles can be completely different then you’ve ever experienced or not occur at all during breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding your menstrual cycle. As much as we complain, moan, groan, cry and plead for it to stop our menstrual cycles are extremely important to our overall health as females. Please be aware of your body and always contact a doctor immediately with concerns.
*http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Periods-heavy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
originally published June28, 2016