Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade Deodorant

I was watching Kourtney & Kim Take Miami (okay you've probably already decided to stop reading) and I saw that Kourtney doesn't use deodorant when she is breastfeeding because she is afraid of the chemicals. I had never thought of that. Later, I saw a commercial for a Testosterone-Booster for men that is applied to the underarms. I got to thinking (uh-oh) ...and I decided that if a prescription can be absorbed through the pits..well I'm sure my deodorant is as well. While I have no idea if it can get to my breastmilk this way, I don't want those chemicals floatin around in my body. But a girl can't walk around with stinky pits. Gross.

I researched some all-natural deodorants but I didn't want to spend the money unless I knew it worked.  I checked out some recipes on Pinterest and I decided to try my hand at making my own.

1/8 c Corn Starch
1/8 c Baking Soda
1/8 c Coconut Oil
5-10 drops of Jasmine Oil

I mixed these up and put them in this travel size Dove deodorant container. I then put it in the freezer (where I'm currently keeping it). After I let it get hard, I tried it out, and guess what?! It Worked!! It lasted through the day and even lasted after my afternoon walk. I love the smell of Jasmine and I didn't even feel the need for perfume since I kept smelling it all day. I was pretty surprised that this worked for me because the Dove deodorant that was previously in there did not and the only deodorant I found that does work is Secret Clinical Strength. So there you go..all natural without being too Au Natural if you know what I mean. ;)

1 Month

Whew! Wow, has this been a month? I don't know why all the one month updates I read say it goes by so fast because honestly, this has been one looong month. I'm going to attempt to write an organized post instead of one ridiculous run-on sentence like I usually do.

This has gone much better than I thought it would. She latched on right away and aside from some VERY sore/bleeding nipples that first week, this has been the easiest part. For the first week or two I used the Medela nipple shields and the Hydrogel pads. Both of those were lifesavers!

I started pumping about two weeks ago and I'm finally able to get a few oz out at a time. I am so proud when I fill up those bags. I've attempted to get lil miss to take a bottle in hopes her daddy can help out with feeding when he is home but she just chews on the tip and then shoves it off like I'm trying to poison her. Maybe the hubs will have more success with this, after all, she will only take a paci from him.

We definitely do not have any sort of set schedule. The "90 Minute Sleep Cycle" book has been amazing for us. It doesn't tell me how long she will sleep but I do know that she will sleep exactly 90 mins from when she wakes up, and that is true every. single. time. Sometimes, knowing that is the only thing that keeps me sane when she is screaming and freaking out (80 more mins...50 more mins...). Also, the Happiest Baby on the Block has been very helpful. At first, I wasn't sure if it would work for us because she hated being swaddled, but around week 3 I tried the swaddle again and it worked. When she is really fussy and I run out of all other options, I swaddle her, go in the bathroom and turn on the blow dryer. It always works. In fact, using the 5 S's I can always soothe her. Exhausting? Yes.. but if she is happy I am happy...and I will pat and rub and rock until my arms fall off.

Typically, she wakes up around 5 or 6 am and eats then is cranky. I can hear her tummy rumbling and I do everything I can to help her out (tummy massages, patting, rocking, froggy-style burping, tummy down across my lap burping) but most of the time she is fussy for the next 90 mins until its time to sleep again. Her next nap is around 7-8 am and she usually sleeps until 10 am. After I put her down, I go pump and eat breakfast. She naps pretty good most of the time and her naps usually range between 1.5-2.5 hours each. I do the laundry, watch some tv and research baby stuff.

We basically continue that cycle all day: wake up, diaper change, eat, play (or try to console her), eat again, swaddle, rock in the chair with the Sleep Sheep until she is out again.

The afternoons have been easier and she is usually happy. We go for a walk every day for about 20-30 mins. We just walk around the apartment complex where we live (Im not brave enough to go back to the park just yet) and check the mail. Lately, after our walks she has been sleeping 4.5-5 hours! Yayy!! Unfortunately, she goes to bed around 5:30-6:30 pm and I use some of that time to eat dinner, wash the dishes and tidy up the house. So, I only get to take advantage of 3 of those hours. I usually go to bed around 8 or 9.

It has been very challenging at times but I know that this phase won't last forever. I absolutely love this little girl more than anything! I get so excited when I hear her waking up from a nap and even when she wakes me up at 1 am, I smile when I pick her up. It's the craziest thing!

She gave me her first real smile this week. I had just finished feeding her and I leaned in towards her face and gave her a big grin and said "Hi!!", and she smiled back!! It was the most heart-melting beautiful thing I've seen! Of course there was no camera around. I spent the rest of the day trying to get her to do it again but nothing worked. Then yesterday, it happened again. I was talking to her and putting my smiling mug up in her face and she smiled back..a few times! There is nothing more rewarding than your baby's first smile. It says, "I do like you Mom, I know you are trying your best and I love you" :)

She has also been babbling quite a bit. I used to think she had woken up from her nap but I noticed that if I leave her alone, she will blab herself back to sleep. Just like her daddy (he is a notorious sleep-talker). :)

Wow this is a long post already! I know you are probably not interested in all this but I write these mostly for me, just so I can remember.

I decided to do monthly measurements to track any weight loss progress and here are my first month stats:

Left Arm: 11.5"
Right Arm: 11.2"
True Waist: 30.7"
Belly: 35"
Hips: 39.6"
Right Thigh: 23.1"
Left Thigh: 22.8"

Weight: 135.2 (25 lbs down, 20 to go and yes, I bought a scale)

 I haven't been really exercising other than my walks every day. I am going to wait until after my 6 week checkup just to be safe. I did try my Tracy Anderson Post-Pregnancy Workout dvd and I only made it 9 mins in.

This is probably an area that has changed the most for me since giving birth. Prior to Avelyn, I ate because the food tasted good and I was craving it. Yes, I was hungry, but I also ate because I was bored or just wanted something yummy. Now, I think about the nutrition in everything I eat. I always make sure I'm getting enough healthy fats, carbs and protein. I've been religious with my vitamins as well. Here is a sample of what I usually eat:
Breakfast: Sprouted Cinn Raisin Bread with Almond Butter and Sliced Strawberries on top with an Emergen-C
Lunch: Quinoa & Tofu in Corn Tortillas with Avocado or a Fake Bologna sandwich with Avo and Tomato
Snack: Peanut Butter filled Pretzels or a handful or Walnuts/Almond with some Berries
Dinner: Baked Salmon w/ Quinoa and Avocado or a bowl of whole grain cereal with strawberries

I am 95% vegan..obviously the fish is not..and I think it really helps keep my energy up without sleep. I've noticed my sugar cravings have really diminished. I drink some orange juice or coconut water during the day on top of 3 liters of water. Most importantly, I try not to let myself get hungry. I know I need fuel for breastfeeding and I don't want my milk to dry up. It's hard to find time to cook with a newborn so when I do have time I make a large batch and keep it in the fridge. I've also started taking my prenatals and dha throughout the day instead of all at once at night. I think doing this has helped things stay "regular" and not get plugged up from the iron.

Okay, there is way more info here than anyone wants or needs to know. I have been typing this off and on all day so if it doesn't make sense, oh well.

Here are our pics!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Avelyn's Newborn Photos

Be prepared for CUTENESS overload! It was so hard to only pic a few to post.

FYI: These pics were taken by Abby G Photography :) She's the best!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

First Bath

Avelyn got her first bath this week. We were sad that her daddy is at work and couldn't be here. She was a rock star and loved the warm water and lotion rub down. I've recently heard that J&j products can be cancer causing and have given babies skin problems. What's your experience? We used Aveeno. :)

Week 3

We are starting to get the hang of things here. We have good days and tough days and I assume that's normal. Her tummy issues seem to be hit or miss and I've been on a vegan diet as well. I'm going to keep it up and see what happens.

Today I got the bright idea that I would take baby A for a walk at Brushy Creek park. That was a BAD idea! She was sound asleep in her carseat but when I went to snap it into the stroller I heard a poop explosion. I tried best as I could to change her without waking her up but that required the car door to be open. The cold air on her bum sure woke her up. I put her back in her carseat and she suddenly decided it was a torture device! She started screaming! This girl Really found her lungs today!

So, I took her out, coo her, rock her, tried to put her back in...SCREAM! I got back in the car and nursed her to sleep, tried to put her back in...scream! Suffice to say, I tried this over and over for about 45 mins. I even walked in a quick loop while carrying her but she wouldn't fall asleep. I finally realized we were not going to go for a walk after all. I tried to collapse the snap-and- go but was having a hard time...a nice older couple saw me and helped. I got her carseat back in the car and of course she screamed and screamed when i tried to put her in. So, I nurse and nurse, try again, more screaming! I decide to buckle her in and start driving but we didn't make it out of the parking lot...very very horrific screaming!

So, I pulled over, nursed her some more ( its the only thing that calms her down) ...this time I left the car running and got it really warm in the back seat...finally she passed out long enough to not realize she was back in the torture device and I made it home. This whole process took two hours and I only managed to walk in a quick loop while carrying her. Next time we will try to walk around close to home first...I thought I would never leave that parking lot!

Last night was rough as well. She woke up at 12 and wouldn't go back to sleep. She finally puked at 2 am, fed again, and passed out. I am one tired mama this week!

Today was the first time I've really had to deal with screaming. I guess we are pretty lucky here.. She really doesn't cry too much. She just grunts and whines when she is hungry and I never make her wait.

Okay this is long enough, here are some pics!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 2

My lil baby is 2 weeks old already! She changes every day. It's pretty amazing how fast babies grow. So what's new in the past week?

Breastfeeding has gotten alot easier. She prefers one side over the other though and that boob is about twice the size of the other one. I'm trying to get her to even them out. haha

She has started having some tummy troubles. She has thrown up a few times and sometimes after she eats she balls her fists up and pulls her knees to her chest. I can tell she is in alot of pain. I feel so helpless. It is the worst feeling in the world. She cries and looks at me with the saddest eyes. I've tried gripe water and gas drops. My dr. told me to eliminate Im basically a vegan right now. I've just started the diet change so we'll see if it helps. Poor sweet baby girl.

She eats exactly every two hours at night. You can set a clock by her! I'm happy to report that she has gained another pound. She now weighs 8 lbs 2 oz and her newborn onesies are too tight.

How's mama? Well, besides my heart being ripped out when she is in pain for hours on end...I'm doing well. It really makes me treasure the time she is okay. Right now she is snoozing away in her swing and I got to wash my hair for the first time in a week (gross...I know). I'm tired but its a manageable tiredness. We aren't doing much and we are definitely not trying to leave the house with this flu epidemic going around so life is pretty easy.

B goes back to work tomorrow though and I am feeling a little anxious about that. He has been doing everything for us! He cooks, cleans, grocery shops, has been so great. I'm really nervous about the first time I have to leave the house with Baby A. Im doing my best to ensure we won't have to! :)

Oh and yesterday I weighed myself at our Ped's office...I know I said I wouldn't but I was just curious. Here are the stats:
Pre-preg: 115 lbs
Delivery Day: 160 lbs
2 Weeks PP: 137 lbs

So that's -23 lbs down and 22 left to go! I think that's reasonable. I went for two walks last week. Not to try to exercise because I walked slower than a snail..but mainly to get out of the house. It felt great! It's so funny because right after I gave birth I would swear I had a 6-pack! I felt light as air after she was out..then you look in a mirror or try to squeeze into some old clothes. HA! I am most definitely still needing to wear maternity clothes. Though really all I wear right now is pajama pants and a nursing bra. I have forgotten what a shirt is...

Okay, this post seems totally all over the place and I do apologize. Please keep in mind that I haven't slept more than 90 mins at a time in weeks! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Birth Story

***Warning*** Lots of TMI

Dunn Dunn Duuunnnnnn!! I've really been putting off writing this since it wasn't at all what I thought/wanted it to be..but I realize I just need to suck it up and write it out..and never think of it again! haha so here goes:

It started on Thursday, December 28th when I thought I might be "leaking" my water. I wasn't sure and I didn't want to go to the hospital only to be told I was peeing my pants or something so I called up there instead. The nurse I spoke with told me it was most like discharge but if I was truly concerned I could come. I had a dr. appt the next morning anyway so I figured I would just wait and ask the dr in the morning. He checked me and had me cough while he was doing that, no fluid leaked and his office didnt have any of the paper amnio test strips so he said to not worry but go to L&D that night if I was still having the problem.

We spent the day in Wimberley visiting B's family for the 2nd day in a row and the rides to and from were excrutiating. I wasn't sure if I was contracting or if she was sitting on a nerve. The pain was relieved once I could get out of the car and walk around. There didn't seem to be much of pattern to the pain so I didn't worry about it. It seems like I've been having painful contractions since 30 weeks so I assumed it was my irritable uterus. By the end of the day, I was still concerned with the amount of leakage so I called the hospital and was told I should come and get checked. We went straight there and once again I was in horrible pain the whole way in the car.

We arrived in Georgetown in record time and got checked in. I was pretty positive it was my water and I had been telling everyone my baby would arrive on the 28th. B told me he would bet 1 million dollars that it was just discharge and we would be sent home in an hour. The nurse came in and swabbed me and then promptly left. I heard her talking to my dr. outside my door but when he asked for the results I couldn't hear her answer. I knew it was postive. Sure enough, he came in and said it looks like we're having a baby! I experienced so many emotions..JOY..anxiousness...excitement. B kinda freaked out and kept saying he needed to leave to get stuff fromt he house. Seriously, it took all I had to nail him down there until I got hooked up to my IV. The dr. warned that because I was still 0 cm dialated, it would likely be a long and hard two days until delivery. He told us not to start calling people or anything, just relax and settle in.

They hooked up my IV and inserted Cervadil to help me dialate. B went home to get our bags. About 30 minutes after he left, the pain hit me like a mack truck! It wasn't so much in waves as one constant wave. I was getting scared. I tried calling B about a thousand times but he had left the phone in the car. I called my friend holly and my sis Maile but couldnt really talk because the pain was getting intense. Oh, I had no idea just how bad it would be.

When the pain hit 9/10 the nurse suggested I receive Stadol (not sure if that's how its spelled) so I could get some rest. I thought rest sounded great so I said yes. As soon as they gave it to me, Baby A's heart stopped beating. The nurse had me get on hands and knees and tried to find her heartbeat. She finally did but it was SO SLOW. The nurse freaked out..started calling people. I freaked out. At this point, I was pretty sure B had wrecked the car and my baby was dying. It was a truly scary moment. I wish I could say I prayed in this moment but I was so stunned I couldnt really think. Soon, Baby A's heart returned to normal. Whew!

B came back and I was pretty drugged up from the Stadol. I was so relieved to see him but showed that by cursing him out and demanding to know what took so long (it was over 2 hours!). A nurse came in and told me to keep it down. Ooops, not my proudest moment. But this is the raw, unedited version.

The nurse came back in and gave me Ambien to try to get me to sleep. Again, they kept assuring me it was going to be at least 24-48 hours. B got comfy on his little couch and we both slept. About 2 hours later I woke up in pure agony. I was in so much pain I couldn't talk or move. I was trying to wake B up to get a nurse but he was totally out and I could barely say his name. Eventually, he woke up. The nurse came in and suggested Nubane (again, not sure if thats how its spelled). I was okay with anything at that point. Sadly, the Nubane did absolutely nothing. I couldn't even tell they had given me something.

I was puking and as I was puking my water would gush out. It was nasty. B would have to unhook my monitors and drag my IV to the bathroom about every 5 mins. I felt like I need to go #2 and the nurse was nowhere to be found. This is where it all went to hell. There was stuff coming out of every hole in my body, I couldn't stop shaking, and there were absolutely no breaks in the contractions. The monitor showed a spike and then it just never went down. I was cursing and crying and screaming.

At one point, the alarms were going off on the machines and I called the nurse. She asked if it was an emergency (apparently this was the busiest night to have a baby in Georgetown). Uh, how the heck should I know if it's an emergency..that is your job. Ugh, that nurse was so horrible. She kept promising me pain relief and it would never come. She didn't answer our calls. B was pretty much my nurse and we both hadn't prepared for that. Poor guy!

I wish I could relate the level of pain but there are no words for it. I couldn't open my eyes and I felt like I had left Earth and was living in some hellish planet full of pain and torture. It never stopped. Not even for a second. I think I could've handled it better if I had even a 10 second break between contractions but for hours and hours it was non stop. I was screaming (another embarrassment), crying, cussing...I was holding on to the side of the bed for dear life. I felt like every single bone in my back was being crushed at the same time. Oh was so bad! The nurse came in at one point and yelled that I needed to relax. Oh gee, ya think? She was such a biatch. I was also so boiling hot. Poor B had his clothes on with his heavy jacket over that and all the blankets and was still cold. I was sweating and shaking at the same time. He kept asking if I was cold. Seriously, giving birth is no joke.

In between my cursing tirade I asked B to pray. I thought I would die and I welcomed it over the pain.

Around 7 am I got a new nurse (answered prayer!). I was writhing there on the bed and felt a cool hand hold my hand. She said her name was Erin and she was my new nurse. She started directing me on how to breathe. She breathed with me and counted. I wish I had prepared more for the birth but I thought as long as I was getting an epidural I wouldn't need to. Wrong-O! Even though the pain was the same, Erin was like an angel. She kept me from screaming though I was still crying and cussing and chewing my pillow.

Around that time, I was 2 cm dialated. They needed me at 4 to give me the epidural. At 7:30 I hit 4 cms and relief was coming. Carol did my epidural. It was all I could do to keep still long enough. Like I said, there were no breaks in the contractions so there wasn't a safe point to do it. I just grabbed the nurse and the bed rail and held on tight. I barely felt the epidural and what I felt wasn't pain. Seriously, I have a whole new pain scale now and nothing will ever be more than a 4/10. The epidural kicked in pretty fast but the back pain didn't stop for about 20-30 mins. In that amount of time I progressed from the 4 to a 10. It was time to push!!

I did a couple practice pushes with Erin who told me to act like I'm trying to poop. Easy peasy. The doc came in a little bit later and I started pushing with all I had.

After three big pushes the doc said her head was out and asked if I wanted to feel it. B and I both said "NO!" ..haha we just wanted her out. Two more pushes and she came out! Wow! Another feeling that is hard to describe. I looked at B right away and his face was red with tears in his eyes. He kissed me and I was crying. I kept saying OH MY GOD Oh my God I love you I love you I love you! I will never forget that moment.

She was wet so they wiped her off and B cut the cord. They immediately put her on me and I breastfed her for an hour. She has a very strong latch and she was pretty hungry! I was in such a daze between the pain of labor and the drugs but even in that, I fell in hard! She was/is so beautiful and perfect. I adore her chubby cheeks and finger-like toes. She was definitely fearfully and wonderfully made! I thanked God for trusting me to take care of her for him.

Okay, Im done. this was crazy long but Im hoping now thats its all on paper I can forget it. They say you forget the pain right away but there aren't enough years for me to forget that. My doc said that in over 6,000 births he had never seen what happened to me happen. oh, joy. So to sum up, she was delivered within 12 hours of arriving at the hospital and it was horrible but in the end I was given this beautiful gift. I am so grateful and so happy to be her mommy.

We just took her newborn pics with Abby (Abby G Photography). Here is a sneak peak:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week 1

Wow! I cannot believe Avelyn is one week old today!! I still catch myself staring at her in amazement. I cannot believe this beautiful little baby is mine. She is so perfect and I am so in love!
Im sure she will wake up out of her sleepy newborn perfectness but, for now, I am just soaking in every second of her.

So what have we been up to this week? Avelyn sleeps in two to three hour increments at night. She wakes up, gets her diaper changed, eats, and passes out again. I try to sleep in those time slots as well but Im pretty sure I haven't slept more than 10-20 hours all week. I didnt sleep at all for the first 5 days of her life. I just held her. Seriously, I am that in love.

Brandon has been amazing at cleaning the house and cooking for us. I had no idea he could do the housework this well! He has been holding out on me. I feel bad for him though because he wants so bad to hold her and she is always either sleeping or nursing. The few times he got her in between, she was pooping :) Maybe next time he is home she will be more awake and ready to have her daddy time. For now, she isnt that interested unless you make milk.

We have been so blessed by our church family. We have been showered with meals and love all week. We are so lucky to have found Crossroads!

Im also uploading a pic of me today. I know its not pretty but I always liked to read blogs that show how the mom is recovering as well. So, Im going to be honest about post partumness. I have been lucky to have escaped the baby blues thus far. I was pretty worried about it. Ive heard it doesnt really kick in for a few weeks so Im trying to prepare myself just in case. My body is healing..slowly. Giving birth is like getting in a car wreck. You dont feel that bad at first but it really hits you a few days later. My body feels like its been hit by a mack truck. Everything hurts and I get exhausted walking across the apartment. My scale at home is broken and I won't be weighed at the dr until my 6 week check up. Im not going to worry about my weight or body shape until after that appointment. It seriously is the last thing on my mind.

I want to write the birth story but it was actually really traumatic for me and still makes me cry when I think about it, so that may or may not happen. We'll see.

So that's it for us. We are doing so well and being a mommy is the best gift I have ever been given. :)