Tag Archives: babymama

Grateful But Miserable

Yesterday I gave myself a Mother’s’ Day treat, attending Birth Without Fear Conference in Portland toddler-free. I attended last year and loved it. I really hoped to return this year pregant, and I was lucky enough for that to happen. But this is not quite the pregnancy I expected to come with at all. First of all, I never expected to be carrying a rainbow baby. Second, I never expected to be this miserable pregnant.

In November, I posted about how I had a miscarriage. As I mentioned, this totally blindsided me. I have no issues getting pregnant and already had a healthy baby. I never had much time to deal with what happened, I had to leave for babywearing training in Seattle the next day and was very busy after that. I became determined to get pregnant again as soon as possible, so I focused on that more than dealing with the loss. Two cycles later we got pregnant with this baby and I was happy…for the most part. I was happy but afraid. I waited for the 6 weeks 5 days mark (as far as I got with the miscarriage) to pass before I accepted mentally it was for real.

But do you know what also happened about this time? Hyperemesis kicked in.  There was no way I could get excited now. I was too busy trying not to throw up and die every day for months. I thought it will get better when I get to the second trimester—just get to 12 weeks I told myself. I thought all the nausea will go away and my chances of miscarriage drop way down, so I will be able to relax. Nope.

Guess what happened next? Shortly after I wrote my hyperemesis post, I went in for my another ER visit. I was having horrible stomach pain and they were concerned I had appendicitis. I got two bags of fluids, a Benadryl shot to calm my horrible headache, and a Zofran shot. Then an ultrasound to check baby and my appendix. But, she couldn’t find my appendix, so I got an MRI. Do you know how fun an MRI at 2 AM when you are exhausted and loopy from Benadryl?!?! I ended up just having extreme intestinal distress and I was told to just drink more water….great advice to someone who can’t hold down much.

A few weeks later, something really scary happened. I started to have slightly painful cramps. They were more than menstrual cramps, but less than contractions. It reminded me of the cramps I had the night my water broke with Jack, so I worried. I called my midwife who told me to rest and drink water to see if they stop. If I stayed laying down, they stopped. But as soon as I got up, they came back.

Jack assisting my midwife check my cervix

This went on for 2 days my midwife had me come in.  She became a bit concerned because I was 1cm dilated and had a lot of discharge she didn’t like. She took a vaginal swab and sent me for a ultrasound that day. I was so afraid. I had Jack with me so I needed to keep it together for him. I rushed to drop Jack with my mom and picked up Michael. I am one of those people who will totally lose it I panic so I just stayed calm and didn’t make it out to be a big deal to everyone. But I was so afraid. Terrified.

The ultrasound ended up being okay. I was very dehydrated so she couldn’t get all the pictures she needed. But my cervix was closed internally and high. I had a plenty of amniotic fluid and baby looked good. They could not confirm gender (we did genetic testing so we know it’s a boy). My midwife called a few days later to say I had a vaginosis and an irritable uterus. Neither is necessarily bad, but both can lead to preterm labor if untreated.Several more days of bed rest and more cramps plus antibiotics. And my parents went out of town so I couldn’t really rest like I needed because I had to chase Jack.

So, at 19 weeks pregnant , I spent an evening at my birthing center getting rehydrated for the FIFTH time this pregnancy. They couldn’t get a vein on me so they had to do it the other way. That’s right, they gave  me an enema. Took the needle off the IV and inserted the catheter right in my butt. I didn’t care though. My cramps stopped within minutes and I felt so much better. I’m in my second trimester, I’m supposed to be feeling the best my whole pregnancy right now and it’s only getting worse. And I am still worried that this constant getting dehydrated is going to cause real preterm labor. Now I am telling myself just get to 24 weeks, when most babies born early care considered viable. Then I can relax, hopefully.

I started to say to myself “I wish I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I am so miserable. I just want this over.” Then I realized the horror in what I said. I wished no longer be carrying my rainbow baby. I know this is not what  really meant, but even implying losing this baby was horrible to me. At this time, my best friend was afraid she would never be able to have children. She had just undergone exploratory surgery with fears should would lose both her ovaries and fallopian tubes (ended up only losing one of each). How could I say such things when she might never be able to have children period?!?!? I want to be clear that I want this baby with all my heart. I needed this baby. I am not ungrateful for this baby, I know how lucky I am to be pregnant and be able to have children. But I am miserable and still afraid.

At Birth Without Fear, there was a speaker on pregnancy loss. I debated the whole train ride to the convention center if I wanted to listen to it. I didn’t want to face my fears. I didn’t want to hear stories of babies who didn’t make it for fear I would actually lose this baby. I didn’t want to admit the horrible thing I said when I am lucky enough to be carrying my rainbow baby. Once I got there, and saw how many other women went into that session, I knew I needed to go. The speaker was Jessica Daggett, a Doula and a mom who has experienced two losses herself. She and other mom’s shared their stories. It was hard to hear at times and ramped up my fears, but it was also healing. It was healing to know she was afraid with her pregnancies after her losses.

Then later on in the afternoon was the harmony circle. I decided to sit at the loss group. Five other women, including Jessica, sat at the table. Each shared their stories, each one a little different, but all the feelings were the same. One mom was her in second trimester but afraid to enjoy it because she lost twin baby girls due to preterm labor. One had lost her baby in March. One was struggling with IV after having her one working tube wrongfully removed after a miscarriage.  One had a miscarriage from preeclampsia when she didn’t know she was even pregnant. But all of us felt fear, guilt, and sadness.

The greatest part was to hear them all say I was not a bad mother for not enjoying my pregnancy, and even hating it. And it’s okay for me to be afraid of losing my baby. The fact that I care enough to care that I hate it is proof. I want to repeat this:

It’s okay to not enjoy your pregnancy. Especially if you have hyperemesis or other complications.

It’s okay to fear loss. Especially if you have lost before.

But you need to deal with your emotions and not let them consume you forever. Please seek help from a professional if these feelings are interfering with your daily life. I have not gotten to that point, but it’s nice to know it’s okay to have these thoughts.

I am beyond grateful to have an amazing two-year-old and be pregnant with my rainbow baby on this Mother’s day. But I can’t wait until I am done being miserable.  Thank you Birth Without Fear, Jessica, and the other moms at my table for giving me the courage to write this post.

Washing Cloth Diapers

After some trial and error, we have a cloth diaper washing routine that works great for our family. This post is intended as a guide, not a strict code. Feel free to try any or all, maybe something will work for you. But don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t, you just have different circumstances.

IMG_2989

Right now I wash my diapers approximately every 3 days. Enough time that I don’t let the diapers pile up too much nor I feel overwhelmed washing all the time.

IMG_3158

The routine starts with the diaper change. Wet diapers get liners pulled out from the covers and everything tossed into a hamper with a pail liner. Dirty diapers get the poop dumped into the toilet and I remove the liners, then put into the hamper.  If they are really messy, I take the liners out and then swish the cover around the toilet a few times to get as much poop off as possible. I know there are fancy diaper sprayers and shields, but I personally find them unnecessary. Just another thing to spend money on and take up space in my bathroom. Check out this link for more info on removing poop.

Rinse

Once I have enough diapers to wash (or I realized I am about to run out), I wash. I start by soaking them in hot water with a little tea tree oil. I set it a large load when soaking, this adds plenty of water and room for the diapers to soak freely.

IMG_3169

Since my washer doesn’t have a soak cycle, I start it on a normal wash and stop it once it starts to agitate. I usually let it soak an hour…but a lot of times I forget and it soaks longer…maybe overnight a few times…no big deal.

tto

I know a lot of people will say tea tree oil every time this is unnecessary to do every time and there are better oils for antibacterial cleaning. Or to not use oils at all (more info here). I find it makes a big difference in my diapers. They feel cleaner and come out with a neutral clean smell. I tried other oils and Oxyclean, but it wasn’t the same for me. I add maybe two or three drops at the most. I start the water and let it fill up a few inches, then add the drops to the cap and hold it under the running water. Then I start adding the diapers as it fills.

IMG_3174

After the soak, I set the dial to rinse. It drains the water and gives it a good rinse. Next the actual washing. I set the machine to normal wash,which for my machine is a HOT/Warm/Cold cycle. I add 3/4 of a cap of free and clear detergent and the machine do it’s thing. Lastly, I do one final rinse cycle.

IMG_2980

Not cool. It ripped the snap off.

My dryer is kind of evil. It likes to eat clothes, especially diaper covers. No matter how far you push them back, they work their way to the front and get caught on the lip between the door and barrel. I have lost three snaps and got some weird black/red marks on several liners. It even tried to eat a hemp liner! So I never put covers in my dryer. And I check liners every 5 minutes if I put them in.

IMG_3168

Michael made me a clotheslines so I hang them up to dry. Works great. I plan to sun them on the patio in the summer.

And that’s it. If I am paying attention, I can have them washed in 1-2 hours (including soaking). They are dry in the next morning on the line or in a few hours if I hang the covers and stick the liners in the dryer. Easy and works great for us.

 

 

One Year of Cloth Diapers

One year ago, we made the jump to cloth diapers. I talked about it in a previous post when we started, but I figured it was time for recap of how it went. I can honestly say with confidence it’s been wonderful. Best decision, no plans on going back to disposables full time.  When Jack has a bad rash on his butt from food allergies, we use disposables because the prescription cream is not cloth diaper safe (see here why). And my mom doesn’t like washing diapers and dealing with all the snaps, so she uses disposables when she watches him. I wish she didn’t, but she’s the free babysitter so I don’t argue anymore.

IMG_0630

Like I said in my original post, I selected Alva All In Two (AI2) diapers because of the great price and reasonable reviews. They are often referred to as “China cheapies” and people have concerns about a their quality and origins. I haven’t seen any hard evidence against their business ethics, so I am not too concerned personally. What I can say is they have worked great. The covers have held up great. The elastic did not stretch out, the Polyurethane Laminate (PUL, the waterproof outer layer) has not pulled away or warped. The snaps have kept their snap and did not leak. I have not noticed any fading either, the bright colors are still bright!

I liked them so much, I decided to try some Pocket diapers. Most are Alvas. Some are LBB, which are rumored to be rebranded Alvas. They look and feel exactly the same. I bought some off the Cloth Diaper Swap and some off Amazon. I have some super cute patterns, they always make me smile.

That being said, the microfiber and hemp inserts they came with suck on their own. One liner of either material does not absorb even a light peeing. I double up with of the Alva inserts plus a Charcoal Bamboo insert. The microfiber absorbs quickly, getting it away from Jack’s skin, then soaks it into the slow but high absorbing bamboo. Works great for us.

IMG_7255

Didn’t want to lug diapers around the beach, so just used the one cover and new inserts all day.

What’s nice about AI2 and Pocket covers if they do not stink or have poop on them, you can use them again. Just remove the wet liners, insert clean ones and put the same cover back on. However, I hardly ever do this. Jack has no patience to lay still while I take off the diaper, unstuff, restuff, and put it back on. I usually have 5 seconds to change before he runs off, pants or no pants. So I just put a new, already stuff diaper on each time. Thus, I use them more like All In One (AIO) diapers, but oh well. I know a lot of people also do this.

IMG_7811

Recovering from a tummy bug, was so grateful for the snug fit to keep the blowouts contained.

We do have some organic cotton AIOs from Villababies. They are super cute and work WONDERFUL for containing poop blowouts. I was happy to have them when Jack had a stomach bug a while ago. They are trim, fit snuggly around the waist, and no gapping around the thighs on Jack. But, they are not the best for long term wearing. Jack can soak through one after just one pee. He isn’t that heavy of a wetter either. We had several leaks using them. Well, more like soaks.

IMG_3793

No pants at a restaurant because he SOAKED through in 10 minutes.

They just don’t high absorbency. I haven’t sold them because they are a nice filler diaper in my stash. If I need a trim diaper, we are just going to be home and I can change him often, or he’s got the runs. But they are not the first ones I grab each day.

At night, we use a Pocket with one microfiber, one charcoal bamboo, and one hemp. I know some are going to read that and be like WHAT? YOU USE THREE INSERTS? JUST BUY SOME NIGHT SOAKERS AND SAVE YOURSELF THE BULK!

IMG_5904

This leak was a result of forgetting to add the hemp insert.

Yeah, I don’t have extra money to spare and my method works just fine. I am big fan of using what you got on hand in any situation. I can only think of two or three leaks we’ve had all year, and those were mainly from not getting the diaper snug enough.

And to answer a few questions I get asked a lot:

  • No, dumping the poop in the toilet first is not that gross. You have to see it anyway when you change it, what’s an extra 10 seconds? Even toddler poop isn’t so horrible. You signed up for gross when you had a baby.
  • No, the diaper pail we store them the dirty ones between washes does not stink. Get a good container, a good cloth liner bag, and keep it away from the heat—can’t even tell it’s there.
  • Yes, it can be annoying to stuff diapers twice a week. Especially with a toddler who throws them in the air and screams “THROW THE BUTTS!” every two minutes. But it’s not that big of a deal. I just sort them all out, and go on autopilot while watching TV. Michael stuff them a lot of the time, he’s really good at it!
  •  Yes, they work great out and about. We put the dirty ones in a wet bag (a zipper, odor and waterproof bag) and put them in the pail when we get home. They do take up a little more bulk my diaper bag/purse, but it’s not that big of a deal. If I’m really tight on space, I just bring liners and reuse the cover.  Jack doesn’t poop out in public that often anymore, so this usually works well. We even took them hotel rooms, day road trips, and hiking. No issues so far.
  • Yes, we have saved money. A LOT of money. I spent about $300 total on my cloth stash. We paid $35 to $45 for an economy box of diapers every 3 weeks. So that’s about $70 to $90 a month. So about $840 to $1080 in a year. Essentially the diapers paid for themselves in 2.5 months. And we never saw a significant increase in our water or electricity bill.

Check out my washing routine post and journey into newborn cloth diapering coming up next.

Night Weaned My Toddler

In June, I wrote about how I needed to night wean Jack for my own health. In September I posted how we made some good progress, only nursing to sleep and a little cluster feeding towards the morning. I am happy to report now that he is night weaned and sleeps in his own bed. Has been for a month now. It took nearly 9 months, but we did it.

I kept up with my plan. Nursing to sleepy, not offering my breast first when he wakes up, and only giving him milk when he is about to be really upset. I figured out quickly he still really needed morning milk for awhile. I could hear his tummy growling and his lips were dry with thirst. We were still getting his food allergies under control so he wasn’t meeting all his caloric needs during the day. I let the morning cluster feeds go on for months, until  December when I suspected I was pregnant. I knew morning sickness would set-in soon and I was going to be in rough shape. It was going to be hard enough to eat or drink anything, let alone with a toddler sucking it out of me. I needed to fully night wean him in order to be a good mom to both babies.

Every other night or so, he would sleep through the night. His food allergies were doing great. And he wasn’t nursing as long as before in the morning but still waking often during them. I concluded it was probably more habit than need at this point.  One morning he cluster fed from 5-8 AM….so I drew my line in the sand. We had a chat the next day. I explained that the milkies need to sleep all night long or else they would be too tired to make any milk. So that night when he awoke at 4 AM,  I refused him my breast. And yeah…it did not go well. He screamed and screamed, I started to cry. Michael snuggled him and I went to the couch. An hour later, I heard silence and went back into the room. He was snuggled up on Michael, so I got back in the bed and felt horrible. I kept telling myself I did not let him cry it out. Michael rocked him and soothed him the whole time, we did not abandon him. He was just working through his feeling in this difficult time.

Rough night=clingy toddler

The next night wasn’t much better. He nursed on the couch with me after his bath, but then Michael took him into the bedroom without me. Jack was very upset again. Michael brought him out three times to show him mommy was still here, just in the other room. Nearly two hours later he went down, Michael stayed patience and just loved him through it. I went to sleep feeling horrible, and it only got worse. He awoke at 5 AM demanding milk. I had on a high collar sweater with no boob access at all, which made Jack furious. I just kept snuggling him and telling him it would be okay. I hardly got any sleep that night and still felt horrible. I started reading “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler,” and was assured I wasn’t doing anything horribly wrong. I was doing very reasonable techniques, and I just needed to listen to my heart for what was best for my family.

If I can’t have milk tonight, guess I’ll clean my plate.

But things changed the next day. He ate a lot more food during the day. He asked for more water, too. When my mom put him down for a nap without me, he did so happily. When he woke up, he asked for milk. I said yes, and he nursed eagerly for only a few minutes. He didn’t ask again until bedtime. And then didn’t protest when I said milkies needed to go to sleep. He just flipped over and went to sleep! He didn’t wake up until 7 AM, had some milk and went back to sleep until 9 AM! We both woke up happy and had a lovely day.

He likes daddy putting him to bed now

This went on for a month or so. Maybe milk to sleep, maybe not, depending on how bad my hyperemesis was that day. Some small protest, but usually would go sleep with a few books and some snuggles. When he did wake up at night, I would ask him what he needed. Most of the time it was a pat on the back to go back to sleep. Sometimes it was a glass of water (I started keeping one by the bed each night). A few times it was some cereal because he was hungry. Usually he would be back to sleep within 15 minutes and not wake again until morning. He could have milk if it was 7 AM or later. It was a huge lifesaver, more sleep helped me cope with hyperemesis.

Then one day in February, all signs pointed to move him into his own bed. My mom complained that his crib mattress was taking up too much room in the closet and I need to come get it. I read passage in “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler” on putting a big kid bed next to your bed is a great way to transition toddler out of your bed. And Michael complained Jack kicks him all night long.  I asked Jack if he wanted to try sleeping in his own bed (explaining that he is ALWAYS welcome in our bed, no questions asked). He said sure.
So, we got the mattress from my parents’ house, took Jack to the store to pick out some big boy sheets, and set-up the bed at the foot of our bed. That night we talked about how he should stay in his bed as long as possible, but he can always come to the big bed if he needs to. He nursed a little, we read some books, turned the light out and turned on his glow worm. He was out within minutes and stay asleep till 7 AM. He crawled up to us, had a little milk and slept another hour!

This pattern has continued for a month now.  A few nights we have a fight to go to sleep or he wakes up several times.On occasion, he still needs a pat on the back or some water. But 99% of the time, he goes down easily and sleeps 7 or 8 hours straight and sleeps another 2-3 hours in the bed with us without any milk. And most mornings he doesn’t even ask for milk when we get up. And at least once weeks, he sleeps totally through the night.

Loves his Avengers sheets , Foxy and Glowy .

Maybe in a few months if he’s sleeping longer, we will move the bed farther away from ours or encourage him to stay in his bed if he wakes. After the new baby comes, I am expecting a little relapse due to stress of all the change,  so I am in no rush.

So my advice to encourage night weaning? Love. Like what I said about Sleep Regressions, just love them and help them through it. Also I suggest:

  • Keep reading “Nursies when the Sunshines”.  I suggested this in my last night weaning update, too. It takes awhile for kids to comprehend, so just keep reading it. One night when I said the milkies need to sleep, Jack answered “No sunshine, milkies sleep”.
  • Make a new (flexible) bedtime routine that doesn’t revolve around nursing. If it’s bath night, we play up the bath. Otherwise we make bedtime stories a big deal. “Hurry baby! Daddy is waiting to read to you! Go pick your books and get in bed! Oh, looks! This book has trucks!” At my parents’ house, he gets very excited to watch TV with grandma until he’s sleepy. I say flexible because if he’s had a rough day—like skipped his nap or had an allergy issue— he may need some extra love and gets nursed to sleep.
  • Be patience.  This is a big step for a toddler. How many adults still have trouble putting themselves to sleep? Jack usually needs a full hour to unwind and go to sleep, regardless of who puts him down and if he nursed or not. I know one day I will be able to kiss him and turn the light out as I leave. But that day is not today, he’s still learning to control his body. I got greedy when dropping night feedings started to work months ago and pushed him too far. All my progress fell apart and I learned my lesson.
  • Follow your heart. If you try night weaning and something doesn’t feel right, stop. Maybe you aren’t ready and feel forced into it. Maybe your toddler isn’t ready and is feeling abandoned. Maybe there is another issue going on and ignoring it will make it worse (like Jack’s food allergies and him needed my milk for calories at night). You have the ability to be best mom possible for your child, don’t ever forget that. If Jack had one more night of truly upset and making me feel horrible, I would have thrown in the towel and waited a few months.
  • Find a Lovie. Something they can snuggle and love to find comfort. It can be anything. A blanket, a pacifier, a toy, mommy’s shirt, daddy’s sock—anything! Jack has two, his stuff fox named Foxy and a glow worm named Glowy. Glowy sings him to sleep and he likes the feel Foxy’s soft fur next to him. He sees them in the bed and knows it’s his secure space to rest.
  • Along those lines…Make their own bed special.  Your bed was special because you were in it. Now they have to sleep in a strange bed without your warmth? Help them by making it their own space. Let them pick out their own favorite sheets. Let them help set-up the bed. Lay down in it with them for awhile so it’s not scary. Make it comfy and happy.
  • Don’t expect perfection. At first it might be 1 step forward and 10 steps back. One night of easy sleep, and several night of crying in mommy’s arms. That one night of sleep was GREAT progress, don’t dismiss it. Wouldn’t it be nice if toddlers just slept through the night as soon as told them to and never relapsed?It’s a great dream, but don’t hold this in your mind as the ultimate goal. Focus on helping them learn how to listen to their body and relax to sleep.

 

 

Dealing with Hyperemesis 

As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time, I braced myself for the horrible, horrible morning sickness again. But two weeks went by and nothing really happened. I

I reread my Dealing with Morning Sickness post from when I was pregnant with Jack.  I made electrolyte ice cubes, bought ginger tea, started taking a probiotic in preparation. I though I was on top of it and had it totally under control.

I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong….

Six-and-half-weeks along and it hit me like a freight train. All day nausea. I managed to throw up very little, but only because I couldn’t eat much. I tried to drink as much as I could keep down, which wasn’t a lot. The only thing I could do was lay on the couch and rest. I spent a lot at my mom’s, mainly so she could take care of Jack for me.  It was just miserable, but manageable. I thought just a few more weeks likes this, it won’t be so bad. This was similar to what I had with Jack and I survived all alone most days.

Then one evening I got bad diarrhea that lasted into the next day. I felt weak and tired. I knew this was not good, so I went to Urgent Care. I was badly dehydrated—like after two full bags of fluids I didn’t even have to pee. Doctor said I had Hyperemesis and a stomach virus.I should have been diagnosed with Hyperemesis with Jack, but never told the doctor because I didn’t know any better. The doctor said I needed to rest and stay hydrated, and the virus should pass on its own. She also prescribed Zofran so I could start eating again. There are some warnings that Zofran causes birth defects, but I was so sick I knew for the baby’s and my health, I needed it.

I also tested positive for a UTI, but I had no symptoms at the time. My midwife said to keep an eye out but the test came back so high, it might be a false positive. A few days later, the stomach virus went away but I still felt awful. Then my lower abdomen started to hurt, so I called my midwife. She told me try a homeopathic method first since it seemed mild. It really helped the first day, but a few days later it started it hurt when I peed. So antibiotics. I felt less weak and the pain went away the next day.

I started to feel pretty good after that. I was 9.5 weeks—about the time my morning sickness cleared with Jack— so I thought I was in the clear! Wrong. Wrong again.

One afternoon at my mom’s house, I got the worse headache of my life. I had thrown up that morning, the first time in over a week, and just fell apart after that. I spent most of the day laying on the couch and feeling horrible that my mom had to care for my child yet again. My head just kept getting worse and worse. Nothing was helping. Not Tylenol, tea, heating pad, ice pack, or lavender oil.

About 8 PM, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I called Michael at work (he works nights) and he took me to Emergency room. The only plus side to this visit was we got an ultrasound. The doctor wanted to make sure these were not symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. We say a very active healthy baby inside the uterus where it should be—even measuring a little big! But I was still in rough shape. Dehydrated again, so another IV of fluids. They also gave me a Zofran shot in the IV so I could keep some water down too. And some extra strength Tylenol at a higher dose to curb my headache. The doctor also prescribed Diclegis, a nausea medication designed for pregnancy. He told me to take that daily until I feel better, and take the Zofran for breakthrough nausea only. I didn’t get home until 1 AM that night and was exhausted. My parents kept Jack the next day so I could rest.

But man, Diclegis works wonders. I actually wanted to go out for brunch the next day! And I ate most of my meal! That hadn’t happened in over a month. I thought for sure I was done with being ridiculously sick. The next few days went pretty good, I was very tired but very little nausea. Wrong again

I woke up one morning and new I was going to puke. I asked Michael to bring me a Zofran in bed, but as soon as it hit my lips I threw up. A lot. I just started crying and went back to bed. I felt horrible. A little while later I went to the couch and forced some water down. Then something weird happened. Every face on TV went all blurry. I looked away, and realized it wasn’t the TV. Everything was blurry in my left eye. It looked like static feedback. It really scared me. I told Michael and he said it sounded like a migraine, he gets them every so often. I called my midwife, she said it sounded like a ocular migraine too, but I still go get checked out at an Urgent Care.

So my parents came to pick up Jack and off we went again. On the car ride over, my head started pounding again and I became sensitive to light. Doctor pretty quickly said it was indeed a migraine, pregnancy often induces migraines on people who have never had them in their life before. Good news was I was not dehydrated and did not need an IV. But she said to take Tylenol every day until the headache goes away, so I can eat and drink normally and not end up dehydrated again. So also prescribed me Codeine to take if my migraine became unbearable. Codeine is Category C pregnancy drug, meaning its not totally unsafe, but there is no good evidence to prove it is safe. I took one later that night to help me sleep since my head was still killing me, but I haven’t taken one since. I am glad I have them, but understand the risks and will take them only if really needed.

I am 11.5 weeks today and feeling mostly better. The nausea is starting to go down, but I am still taking the Diclegis. I hope to be able to stop it sometime next week or the week  after. I haven’t taken any zofran in several days–knock on wood. I am still getting moderate headaches, but no full blown migraines in a week or so. I had an acupuncture session yesterday for migraines and it helped A LOT.

This whole first trimester knocked me on my ass in ways I never imagined. I was prepared for Hyperemesis to be bad like with Jack, but not for all the other crap. Seriously, extreme nausea, stomach virus, UTI, and migraines all in 5 weeks? Why! That’s just cruel an unusual punishment. The only thing I learned from this is that every pregnancy really is different. I heard people say that over and over, and didn’t believe it. But it’s so true.  I have my fingers crossed that there will be no more crazy surprises this pregnancy. I am preparing myself for the horrible acid reflux and the low blood pressure fainting I had with Jack, but cross your fingers nothing else happen!

 

 

 

I Never Thought I Would Need A Rainbow Baby

This is not the post I wanted to write. I was hoping to announce that we are expecting our second child. I was hoping to talk about morning sickness, sore boobs, and how much it sucks to chase a toddler when exhausted. But I am not. Instead I am writing about having a miscarriage.

I know it sounds cliche, but I really never thought this would happened to me. I know that even though many women chose not to talk about it, it is a fairly common. I recall learning somewhere that as many as 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, majority of women walking around on the planet experienced a pregnancy loss in their life. But this really blindsided me.

Jack was a surprise, we didn’t even have to try.  I had no major complications, everything went pretty good. I figured I wouldn’t have any issues having another baby. We got pregnant the first month we tried and it all seemed to go according to plan. I was so happy, so ready to have another baby. I was so happy to tell Michael, he was so happy too. I was happy to tell my two best friends. And, a few other friends and family as well. I figured we would do a big cute reveal in a few weeks to everyone else.

The day after telling people, I started spotting. I didn’t know that to do. I Googled “spotting in early pregnancy” and read that is was most likely a normal pregnancy symptom. So I took a bath and tried to stay calm. But something felt wrong. I woke up Michael (he works night shift now and sleeps during the day) and asked my mom to watch Jack.

We went to the ER. It felt like an out of body experience. This was not happening to me. I was seen quickly. Everyone was nice and took good care of me. But I was terrified.

I didn’t know what was happening. The doctor came in and asked several questions that I don’t remember. Then she said it. “Your pregnancy test was negative. You are most likely having a very early miscarriage. Probably a chemical pregnancy.” And I don’t really remember anything else she said after that. I didn’t need to know anything else at that moment. I was already devastated.

She handed me information on miscarriages and they discharge me. I think she told me to rest and take ibuprofen if I needed it. I was shaking so bad Michael had to help me get dressed. We drove home in silence. I felt very numb, I could not believe this as happening to me.

Mom hugged me when we got home and told me to go take a nap with Jack. I took him to our bed and nursed him to sleep. I held him tight and kiss his head. I tried to tell myself to be grateful to have a beautiful, healthy child. But that just made me feel more numb. I just went about the rest of my day—I didn’t know what else to do.

I hoped maybe the bleeding would stop and it was all not true, but I knew in my heart it was. I just wasn’t ready to deal with it yet. This was just horrible timing, I was leaving the next day for babywearing training in Seattle. I didn’t have time for this right now.

Michael asked if I wanted to still go, I said yes. I shelled out a lot of money for this training and needed this certification for my future career goals. Michael would have let me cancel the whole thing, no questions asked— even if it meant we couldn’t get our money back. But I knew I needed to go. If I stayed home I would have just moped around the house. Being around educated, strong women was what I needed. So I left bright and early the next morning.

About half way into my drive the worst possible song came on the radio. Sarah McLachlan, ” In The Arms of The Angel.” I lost it. I started bawling my eyes out and had to pull over for a while. Later, I arrived, got lunch, and went to my training. I tried so hard to pay attention and act normal, but inside I still felt numb.

That night I was excited to actually get a full night’s rest. But when got into bed, I felt so lonely without my husband and son.

I tried hard the next day to pay attention again, but I kept thinking about it. And thinking about it. And that night when I got home it was all I could think about. I went to work on some homework from the training and pulled out a wrap—the worst possible wrap. I have been eyeing  this Vanamo for months now, I loved it the moment I saw it. I got to borrow it for the night. I have been putting off getting it until I had more money.

But when I pulled it out, I realized it was covered in rainbows. A “rainbow baby” is a baby born after a miscarriage. Like the beauty that comes after a storm. Needless to say I finally accepted what had happened. I lost a baby. Yes, I was barely 5 weeks pregnant, but it was still my baby. A baby I really really wanted. I cried. I cried and cried.

I took the rest of the night to have some “me” time. Do some non-mom things.  I watched some Hulu, got a glass of wine, and took a long hot shower. I reflected on everything that happened in the past week.

I am glad that I told the people I did. I needed these people. I needed my mom to tell me it was okay to be hurt. I needed my best friends to ask me how I was feeling. I needed my other friends to tell me they are sorry. This is hard for me to get through, and it would have been crippling without others to lean on.

The rest of the training was easier to get through. I was so glad I went. I needed to company of compassionate, understanding women. Even though they had no idea what I was going through, listening to their stories and lives helped me more than they can understand.

I ended up buying the rainbow wrap. I kept it next to me in the front seat as I drove home, just in case a hard song came on the radio again, I had something to wipe my tears this time. I kept looking at it thinking how lovely it will look on Jack and I. And how lovely it would have been to wrap that lost baby in it. But most importantly, how lovely it will look on my rainbow baby.

It is important I mourn and deal with my emotions properly, but I need to remember that this is not the end of line. Majority of women go on to have healthy babies after a loss. Hopefully soon I will sharing the happy news that we will having another baby.

Wrapsody Weekly Wrap Challenge

11111911_10102021416262516_4242354883282891449_nFor the past 20 weeks, I’ve been hosting the Wrapsody Weekly Wrap Challenge along with fellow Brand Ambassador Nicolette. It’s a little idea I came up with to help promote the brand on social media. It is was inspired by a challenge I did from BWI of The Bay Area.  I learned so much from that challenge, it honestly made me a better wrapper. So I decided to spread idea and help others build up their skills.

So I designed a challenge that could be done over time, so no one left rushed or got frustrated. A week to work on a carry and ask for help. It started with basic carriers that a novice could handle. Then move on to a new, more advanced carry the next week. And the carriers would build off each other, the skill learned one week would be needed for the next week. That way the wrapper gets the fundamentals of how to build a good carry.  I also needed to do carriers that can be done with longer wraps, since most Wrapsodys are size 6+.

Thus, I came up with this list. Twenty weeks to help you go from a novice to a back wrapper.

After some consulting with fellow ambassadors, I came up with this list. Nicolette and I decided to alternate each week. Post a 360 degree photo collage and a tutorial video on Sunday. A reminder on Wednesday. And a Feature Friday to encourage participation. We also offered help and answers questions when we could. Other ambassadors helped too.

But let’s talk about the carries and how they help you learn.

Week 1: Pocket Wrap Cross Carry. A front carry with two cross passes, and torso pass over top. A very basic carry to help you learn the feel for wrapping. A pre-tied carry, meaning you tie the wrap on yourself before you place baby.

Week 2: Front Wrap Cross Carry. A front carry with a torso pass, and two cross passes over top. Another basic carry to help you get comfortable with your wrap. This is a step up from the PWCC as it is not pre-tied and the torso pass is underneath. This means you need to learn how to make a good seat for baby and his to tighten the whole carry properly.

Week 3: Front Cross Carry. A front carry a horizontal pass, and two rebozo passes. This is a pre-tied carry like the PWCC, but is a step up from the FWCC because there is no torso pass to provide extra support.  This means you need to place baby in a good, deep seat in the X of the rebozo passes.

Week 4: Kangaroo Carry. A front carry with ruck pass, two shoulder flips, and two bunched passes.  A wonderful carry for newborns or any sleeping baby, Just in untie and gently place them down without cross passes to get in the way. The shoulder flip can be a bit tricky, but makes this carry very comfortable long term.

Week 5: Front Double Hammock. Front carry with a ruck pass, a torso pass, two shoulder flips. A step up from a Kangaroo carry as it has two layers for support and starts off center. Several other carries going forward start off center, so it’s good to practice that now. This also wonderful prep for the ever so comfortable back Double Hammock later on. Helps you visual what will be going on behind you.

*Please do not attempt hip carries until your baby can sit up unassisted.*

Week 6: Hip Rebozo.  A hip carry with one rebozo pass tied with a slip knot.  Time for hip carries! This carry is normally done in a short wrap so there is not a lot of tail, so I almost left it off the list. But it is the base for several other carries up next so I left it on. Nicolette just reinforced it to get rid of the extra tail. Slip knots can be tricky to learn, so take your time and go slow. But they are a great tool for to tie a carry at the shoulder without a big bulky double knot.

Week 7: Robbin’s Hip Carry. A hip carry with a rebozo pass, shoulder loop, and two bunched passes. A step up from a rebozo with the very comfy shoulder loop and two bunched passes to reinforce the seat. The key to get it right is the placement of the shoulder loop. Too high will dig into your shoulder. Too low will put pressure on your back. Aim for the corsage position.

Week 8: Poppin’s Hip Carry. A hip carry with one rebozo pass, and poppin’s pass. Think of this as a Robin’s Hip Carry, but with the loop going the other way. The lovely poppin’s pass adds support and reinforces the rebozo. Plus it is a great way to showcase the opposite side of the wrap.

Week 9: Hip Cross Carry. A hip carry with two cross passes. This is essentially a Front Cross Carry, but on your hip. The key is to get baby knee-to-knee supported and make sure the X is hitting high on their back. This poppable hip carry is great for a day at the park. Baby wants to run around but needs a quick uppy for a breather once and awhile.

Week 10: Coolest Hip Cross Carry. A hip carry with a torso pass and a rebozo pass tied with a slip knot. This carry can be tricky to place baby in correctly, so go slow and make sure you get a good, deep seat. The slip knot makes it very easy to tighten and loosen for nursing.

*Please do not attempt back carries until your baby can sit up unassisted if you are new to wrapping. Practice against a wall, over a bed, or with a spotter until you are confident. 

Week 11: Secure High Back Carry. Back carry with a chest knot, rebozo pass, a spread pass, and a bunched pass. Time for back carries!  This carry is the main reason I left a rebozo on the list. Starting with a good pre-tied hip rebozo then scooting it on to you back helps you gain confidence with back carries. You baby is safe with the pre-tied chest belt pinning them in place. You already have a good seat, so no worries about their comfort. This way you can focus on how to spread the passes behind your back and get them in the correct position without fear of baby falling. You can feel how the rebozo pass provides the seat, the cross pass reinforces with support, and the bunched pass helps lock the seat in place. The foundation of a great back carry!

Week 12: Back Wrap Cross Carry. A back carry with a chest knot, horizontal, and two cross passes. Another great beginner back carry due to the chest belt to secure baby before you fiddle with the rest of the passes. To help you visual what’s going on, think of this carry as everything you do in a FWCC, but on your back (hence the name).

Week 13: Ruck. A back carry with one ruck pass. No more pre-ties, it’s time to learn how to get baby up on your own. This is the most basic back carry and often the hardest to get right. A ruck is the base for several of back carries, so it’s so important to get this one right before moving on.

Week 14: Double Hammock. Back carry with a rebozo pass, a torso pass, horizontal pass, two cross , and two bunched passes. The ultimate multiple pass carry, so supportive and comfortable. A torso pass in a back carry can be tricky to master, so take your time. Tighten tighten tighten, a loose torso pass will make this carry uncomfortable. Make sure the horizontal pass goes high over baby’s back as well, this will add support and keep them from leaning back.

We also had some fun with this week and showed off all the variations.

11953149_10102158584885496_2614529336707647208_n


11960061_10102159987983676_2281908966044233780_n

11947576_10102161450118546_1416905972890389595_n

11059921_10102164366913266_4931961546372978671_n

11949471_10102162962412896_4261697145820440855_n

11923236_10102165700605536_6152342834150414036_n

11953033_10102167245429696_234591801623924628_n

Week 15: Christina’s Ruckless. A back carry with a rebozo pass, torso pass, ruckless chest belt, and two cross passes. A step up from a Double Hammock as the chest belt is a little more complicated. This a a great carry to take pressure of your back and shoulder, as the V holds all the tension. Make sure it it tighten properly if you are experiencing any discomfort.

Week 16: Giselle’s Back Carry. A back carry with a rebozo pass, a cross pass, shoulder flip, another cross pass. Another carry that starts off center and requires some skills to get the wrap spread high over baby’s back to ensure enough support. The shoulder flip in a back carrier is the same principal as in front carries, but can be tricker since you can’t see behind you. It’s essentially a way to make ruck straps in a rebozo.

Week 17: Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder. A back carry with two rebozo passes and a shoulder to shoulder chest belt. Similar to the Secure High Back Carry with the hip scoot rebozo as the base, but a little more tricky as there are no bunched passes to keep the seat secure. You really need a good seat in this carry, so I put it farther down on the list to give you time to work on it. A shallow seat will most likely pop, leaving baby unsecured. And even if it does stay in place, it might be uncomfortable in the long run. But once you get it right, this a great carry to do quickly or in a crowded place where you don’t have room to spread out your tails.

Week 18: Jordan’s Back Carry. A back carry with one rebozo pass, a shoulder flip, another rebozo pass, and a horizontal pass. A great carry for leg straightening babies, as the rebozo pass and the horozinral pass lock baby’s leg gently in place, making it hard for them to push up. They aren’t going anywhere!

Week 19: Wiggleproof Back Carry. A back carry with a ruck, two unpoppable passes. Some kids are just leaners, seat poppers, and leg straighteners no matter what you do. Before you give up on wrapping, give this carry a try. There are two unpoppable passes to lock both of baby’s legs down, making it almost impossible for them to mess-up your carry. It’s far down on the list because it takes skill to get these passes right.They can be very tricky to get high up on baby’s back. But keep it at it and you will be rewarded with a very comfy carry!

Week 20: Taiwanese Carry. A back carry with a rebozo pass, a poppin’s pass, a rebozo pass, another poppin’s pass, and a horizontal pass. We made it to the end! By now you should have a good foundation of wrapping skills, most of which you will need for this carry (hence why it’s the end!). A good seat, measuring correctly for an off center start, tightening and keeping the tension as you go, a poppin’s pass, a shoulder flip, and a supportive horizontal pass.  Once you get that all down, this carry is AMAZING! No pressure and so supportive.

We did it! You now understand how to wrap your baby. This does not make you an expert yet, but it’s a great start. Keep working on these carries, even the most advanced wearer still learns something new everyday.

Check out these other great resources as well:

1 2 10