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Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Childbirth, Children, Choices, Education, Family, Fatherhood, Homeschool, infant, Life, Lifestyle, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Childbirth, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Potty Training, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, Terrible Twos, Toddler Challenges, Toddler Naps, Toddlers | 1 comment

Patience Is Key

Patience Is Key

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Several times throughout my time as a mother, conversations have come up regarding different parenting styles. Should you co-sleep or cry it out? Should you breast-feed or bottle feed? Should you go natural or have a medicated birth? When it’s time for potty training, do we try boot camp or let them learn on their own? The list goes on…

It has been my experience that I always choose the long road. I’ve had three natural births (including two decently long labors lasting over 24 hours and a shoulder dystocia baby), we co-sleep, I’ve breastfed each of our three babies until they were at least one year old, and we homeschool. We let our kids potty ‘train’ in their own time (which we have really lucked out at so far!) & our discipline methods are few. It seems as though we have created work for ourselves, but I truly believe it will make a difference in the long run.

Everything requires patience. It takes longer to learn how to breastfeed your baby than it does to mix a bottle. It takes more time to sleep with your baby or rock your baby to sleep each night than it does to cry it out. Natural birth takes more work and waiting patiently for that baby to come may take longer than you would like, but it’s worth it! It’s always worth it. Your children are worth it.

Patience doesn’t come easily around our home these days. Juggling all life has to offer while raising children is hard work.

Hopefully our children will, in turn, learn that patience. Patience is a very important quality to hold throughout life. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have much. However, what I do have is most often spent on our children, and I have to remind myself of this on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I realize this post will fire up some defensive parents, but relax. I’m not judging those who don’t do what I do. We are all unique and to each his own. The only difference between you & I is a little patience.

I would like to show my experiences, that what you think may be harder at first glance may actually be easier in the long run.

You see, natural birth often leads to healthy babies, which often lead to healthy bonding, which also often means successful breastfeeding which often leads to a sleepy baby. Don’t you think this is a good start to life, if you can help it? Wouldn’t you imagine children are much more likely to have happy childhoods if this is the way they begin? It seems like so much less frustration and annoyance if the anxiety is lessened by living this way.

It doesn’t stop there (And here is where I need to be reminded most these days). Remaining patient while raising our children hopefully teaches them to be kind and gentle, patient and understanding.

Once again, obviously we will all live how we need to live. And we all will love the way we need to love. A little patience certainly has never hurt anyone. In fact, patience is key.

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Childbirth, Children, Family, Life, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Philosophy, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom | 0 comments

Flashback:  The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy:  36 Weeks + Counting

Flashback: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy: 36 Weeks + Counting

I found this written & ready to post in my ‘drafts’ folder. Oops! Pregnancy brain struck again! Ten weeks later, I have to say this summed up how I was feeling at the time. And going from two to three? That will be a whole other blog…

Tick, tock.  Tick, tock.

As I approach 36 weeks, I gain a little more confidence and a little less sleep.

Let’s get one thing out of the way:  I am ready to birth this baby.  My anxiety has turned into confidence & my fears have changed to hope.  All will be well.

The sleepless nights, well, that’s a different story.  I missed my acupuncture appointment last week and definitely noticed a difference.  Luckily she got me in for a treatment recently & everything is better so far.

Here’s some random thoughts from my random brain:

I was folding baby girl clothes and it hit me.

WE REALLY ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

Why is it so hard to grasp this time?  I feel her every move – hiccup, kick, stretch.  She responds to my voice, singing and talking.  I know she’s in there.  It just doesn’t seem real yet.

Oh, I know it will feel real really soon.  I like to plan ahead sometimes, it would be nice to get a sneak peek into what life will be like as a family of five.  Everyone says the shift from having two to three is easier than going from none to one or from one to two.  That is reassuring.  We keep telling ourselves we got this!  I know in my heart that we do.  We are feeling so blessed, so fortunate to be the parents of such amazing children.  And we get to do it again!  So fantastic!

I’ve outgrown most of my maternity clothes in the belly.  It’s stretch pants & comfy shirts from here on out!  I can live with that ;).

I went and bought some yarn today.  Some really nice yarn.  Some really, really nice yarn.  I figured this baby should get a really nice blanket, and hopefully a hat.  It’s beautiful, colorful merino wool…soooo soft.  I enjoy making things from love and this will be no exception.  I’m sure the blanket will not be finished before the baby arrives but you never know!

We think we’ve decided on a name.  This one hasn’t changed in about 10 weeks, that’s a long time in pregnancy weeks!  We will still keep it private until we know for sure which will be when we meet the little Sweet.  It’s been fun with both of our children to see who they are before we decided on a name.  Good thing, too.  Tavia was almost Tallulah.  Marsden would’ve been Leighton.  Interesting how things end up the way they are.

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Bradley Friends, Breastfeeding, Childbirth, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth | 3 comments

Introducing…

Introducing…

Hadley Domenica!!!

The newest Sweet arrived on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 3:05 in the afternoon!  Mom & Baby are doing REALLY well and siblings and Daddy are falling more & more in love with each passing hour.

Between her super fast delivery & full head of black hair, she has surprised us from conception to birth.  We chose her name after a few days to make sure we got to know her a bit.  Appropriately, we chose Domenica as her middle name after my paternal Grandmother as we feel she has a presence in this baby.

I will post the birth story as soon as I have a minute to recall the few days before she arrived.  It was an eventful birth with a fantastic ending.  In short, I labored for about 22 hours & once again was able to go au natural, with lots of thanks to my amazing support team.  I couldn’t feel more proud & definitely feel the best post-partum than with any other of my births (aside from a little bout of mastitis which I’m working on getting over).

Hadley is a wonderful baby thus far.  She nurses like a champ (has even nursed her jaundice away in good time), sleeps well, is very alert when awake, and has already smiled real smiles for us!  She makes some pretty silly faces & is amazingly cute regardless.  She is so relaxed and comfortable here, and that says a lot when her siblings are spreading their energy, constantly running & yelling around her.

We feel fortunate that everyone is happy, healthy & thriving!  Sometimes it feels like a dream, three beautiful, healthy children and love all around.  We will never take even one second for granted.

With love from The Sweets-

The photos aren’t the best quality, they’re all taken with my phone.  Soon enough I will get some better photos…

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Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Childbirth, Children, Family, Life, Moderation, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Passion, Philosophy, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth | 5 comments

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy:  OVERDUE + Counting!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy: OVERDUE + Counting!

40 Weeks

Forty weeks came & went.  I’m not surprised, I was late with my first two babies as well.

I am taking this time to embrace the wonder of it all.

When I got married, I thought, “I want to have lots of children.  Will I be able to have children?”

Then I got pregnant.

Then I wondered, “Will this baby be healthy?  Will it be a boy or a girl?  Will she/he look like us?  Will she/he act like us?”

Then we found out it was a girl.  And she appeared to be healthy.

Then I wondered, “When will she come?  How will it happen?  Will she be big/small/perfect?”

Then she was born.  It happened naturally, when she was ready.  And she was perfect.

These, among other questions that run through the mind of a new Mom, are some of the unanswerable questions in life.  Here I am, faced with the “When will she come?” question all over again.  Rather than be up in arms about going past my “due date” (believe me, I have my moments!), I’m trying instead to embrace it and especially not take this wondrous time for granted.

We are truly blessed.  We feel it every day.  We are so thankful, ever-so grateful for the life we have been given.  We promise to never take it for granted.

And so I wait.  My husband waits.  Our children wait.  And everyone waiting with us waits!

As I put my oldest, very wise “baby” to sleep tonight, I told her we may or may not be here in the morning, as I have been experiencing some pretty strong signs of early labor.  She asked if the baby was going to come tonight, as she had guessed earlier in the day.  I answered her by saying, “Well, it’s one of the sweet mysteries of life, Sweetie.  We get to be surprised as to when the baby comes!”  She answered with a gigantic, genuine grin, “I’m so inxcited!”

So are we, little girl.  So are we.

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2012 in Childbirth, Family, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Philosophy, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Symptoms, Stay At Home Mom, The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth | 2 comments

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy:  38 Weeks And Counting!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy: 38 Weeks And Counting!

So I missed a few posts.  Too many, if you ask me.  I planned on keeping a regular journal of this pregnancy, but, well, here we are in week 39 & I can’t seem to get my act together.  Life is a little busy these days, to say the least!

A three-and-a-half year-old and an almost-two year-old require full-time care.  That’s me!  Fortunately I have an amazing husband who surpasses any role of father I ever anticipated.  He picks up the pieces I drop.  We’ve been doing pretty well at this.

I had an ultrasound at 35-ish weeks and the baby was measuring around 7 pounds.  Not that this number is accurate, but it was good news since my midwife & team were expecting a big baby.  This keeps them off my back through delivery time :).  Now we can focus on prayers for a smooth delivery & a happy, healthy little girl.  My mind is preparing & my body, definitely preparing.

A sneak peek!

It feels like this baby is going to burst out of here at any given moment!  The pressure is unreal.  I recall slight pressure with my first pregnancy, quite a bit more with my second, and the third is incredible!  I can’t believe she’s in there, nice & tidy, waiting patiently to come out.  It will never cease to amaze me, the wonder of pregnancy & birth.  My husband & I constantly say to each other, “Can you believe I’m growing a baby in there?!”  What a wonderful gift.

There have been some signs of labor.  Early labor.  Our Bradley instructor would say, “Click!  Another piece of the puzzle!”  We always utter those words when something happens.  I won’t get into details, as these puzzle pieces may be a little TMI, but you get the picture!  This time, as with my other pregnancies, I can’t tell if labor is right around the corner or weeks off.  I’m always a little hopeful that our baby will come “early” but the likelihood of going “post-dates” is pretty good.  We may even make it to April.  Yikes!

Today happens to be a positive mind day despite a nasty cold I caught.  If I don’t stay positive, I know what happens to my mental state.  Positive thoughts = positive results!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

37 Weeks, Photo by TKS

The kids are getting sooooo excited for their little sister’s arrival.  Tavia, our 3 1/2 year-old, seems to comprehend it all.  She seems to grasp that there really is a baby growing inside Mommy’s belly & she will be coming out someday soon.  She has decided on a name:  Dumpling Flower.  We think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you?!  She gladly packed a bag for her overnight with my parents (which she is also very excited about) & made sure to include every little piece of clothing, undergarment, etc. she could get her hands on.  Little Miss Independence!  So fun to watch!  Our almost two year-old, Marsden, may be a little more perplexed by the situation.  I’m pretty sure he thinks the Babyinthebelly is the belly itself!  He’s very loving, kissing & hugging my belly constantly, sharing food, toys and the like.  Although I’m not sure if he realizes there is a live human being inside.  Only time will tell!  Either way, we think they are both going to be fantastic siblings, eventually.

Onward & upward.  Bring on this baby!  We are so excited to meet her, to hold her, to smell her & hear her.  To name her.  This adventure has been so fantastic & we are so grateful.  Blessings-

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Childbirth, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth | 8 comments

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy:  34 Weeks And Counting

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy: 34 Weeks And Counting

Time is moving right along here…

I can’t say that I’m thrilled with that.  I’m trying so very hard to enjoy every moment.  Each moment of the pregnancy – each kick, hiccup, roll, sensation, feeling.  Each moment with each of the kids while there are only still two of them.  Each moment with my adoring husband while we still can sneak in just a little quiet time together.  Each second.  Each minute.  Each hour.  Each day.  Why is it that life moves faster as we get older?  I still don’t get it.

I went to the last midwife-scheduled appointment solo .  Usually my husband comes with me, to ask questions, for support & because he’s amazing.  (Did I mention he’s perfect in every way?!)  This time, however, he had to hang back with our sick toddler as our babysitters-on-call (A.K.A. Mom & Sister) were otherwise occupied (and also sick!).  Figures that things would be a little different this time.

I arrived at my appointment early for once.  Instead of my fun-loving midwife, in walks the OB of the practice.  I could tell right away that she was buttering me up for something.  She wanted to talk about how “big” my babyinthebelly was.  I’ve been consistently measuring 3-4 weeks ahead, or “big” throughout the pregnancy.  She wanted me to know she was anxious, with my history, about delivering such a big baby.  She then hit me with the words “Planned C-Section”.  Not something I have ever heard from a practitioner in all 3 of my pregnancies.  I was taken aback, to say the very least.  Fortunately she wasn’t telling me I had to have one, just suggesting.

Here lies the quandary.  My last baby was a big boy.  That isn’t just the problem though.  The reason they are concerned is because he had shoulder dystocia during delivery.  (What is shoulder dystocia?)  Although it didn’t seem like it at the time, we’re learning that it was a pretty big deal that his shoulders got stuck during delivery.  He eventually came out and we are grateful that he suffered no long-term injuries.  When a baby’s shoulders get stuck, it becomes a delivery emergency.  Our midwife handled things very well, followed exactly the steps needed to help him out.  That being said, I don’t think my midwife wants to go through that again, nor do I!  It’s pretty safe to say no one in the room wants to endure that emergency again.

I wasn’t worried about it this time around.  Since we are having a girl this time, I feel she will be a little more petite.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

I am not concerned enough to switch practices.  They will most likely let me give vaginal birth a go.  Heck, I’ve delivered two healthy babies safely before.  (But how safe was the last?)  I love my midwife, I really do.  Unfortunately I am not 100% on a homebirth, because of the risk in my specific case, or that is the route we would go.

Shoulder Dystocia is a legitimate reason for having intervention.  One of the few, but it is.  I am not opposed to a c-section in case of emergency but I would like to avoid one if possible.  I am also not opposed to induction if absolutely necessary.  I am still on board for a natural birth and feel as though it is worth a try without doing any harm to the baby or myself.

I have confidence in myself, my body, that it has created a being which it can deliver.  The question is, will my pelvis deliver?  Pun intended.

Different positions for delivery are a must.  Lucky for me, I have an amazingly strong & supportive team who will help out in this case.  My acupuncturist will be on board to open my chi, allowing me to birth when the baby is ready.  The midwife & her team are hoping that takes place between 37 & 38 weeks, even earlier if possible.  Everything is in place for this to happen, naturally.

My issue with this quandary?  I don’t want a c-section (who does, right?!) and I would prefer not to be induced by any method.  I strongly believe in the power of nature to take its course, and that when the baby is ready, she will come.

The trouble is, my body truly may not be able to handle it.

With a dose of hope, I’m trying to be realistically optimistic.  Birth in itself is a lot of mind-over-matter.  I am mentally prepared for this birth, but doubt is starting to sneak in, making the last few days very restless and anxiety-ridden.  We don’t want to ever put our baby in jeopardy, nor would I want to risk my own health.  All of these circumstances come with risk.  There is no one clear answer here.

I could use a few words of encouragement.  Any advice and/or information regarding subsequent deliveries with shoulder dystocia would be very welcome.  I am open to suggestions.  Simply trying to “knowledge up” in preparation for this birth.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support and your words.

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