Saturday, January 28, 2012

I know I said I would be writing again...

But my life has become to difficult to talk about without being way too far out of my comfort zone. Maybe if things pick up and I feel less depressed. Sorry to anyone who might actually read this thing.
~Mama D

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'm back... Part two

The entire time my mom was visiting I was really busy with school. "Morning" sickness had started to kick in but only small waves of nausea. I tried to plan somethings to do with her and Serenity, we went to the zoo and to a baby signing group play class but then Serenity got the stomach flu. Oh my word, it was awful! My little baby had never been so sick and it was hard to know how to help her. I had a stack of towels and blankets and just held her while she threw up and then cleaned up and cuddled till it happened again. She threw up most of the day and finally started nursing in the afternoon and it was the only thing she could keep down for 24 hours after. I think my mom and hubby got a touch of it but not as extreme as baby and luckily I avoided it completely. Just before my mom went home we were able to go out to a movie and I got her pumpkin pie (her favorite) for a late birthday celebration.
School trucked on and became more difficult as the 1st trimester fatigue really set in and the nausea got worse. I tried to be thankful I wasn't throwing up all day, every day, like I did with Serenity. It was all a crazy first for me tho, chasing a one year old, taking difficult classes at night, on little sleep, all while pregnant. Normally, I am an A student and my grades were slipping a little.
As November rolled around nursing suddenly became so painful and I had to do it less and less so my milk supply dropped. This had to be one of the most heart breaking things for Serenity and I both. She deserved to be breast-fed for at least 2 years and here I was pregnant and drying up when she was only 1! She would get pretty mad at me when I started denying her the breast and offering food or a bottle of goats milk formula. It has gotten so bad that I can't put her to sleep at night. She gets so worked up about wanted to nurse that she screams and shakes uncontrollably. Hubby has done a pretty good job at settling her and she goes right down for him now. But he's at work most days and that means I am on my own for naps and in the middle of the night! I found that if I keep her busy and feed her a good lunch, she goes down a lot easier without the breast. There have been a few times at her night waking were she got so worked up and emotional that we both sat there crying.
Thanksgiving came and thanks to a gift certificate I won from PDX Kids Calendar, we had dinner (all but the turkey) and dessert delivered to our door. It was nice, and just the three of us cuddled up for some good eats. The day after was the huz and I's anniversary and he made me a super yummy breakfast!
By now school and pregnancy were completely kicking my butt and poor Serenity wasn't getting enough mama time either. She was down to only nursing in the morning and 1-2 very short times during the day.

To be continued...

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm back! Here is what's been going on... Part one.

So wow! Where has the time gone? It's December 30th and I am looking into the dawn of 2012, realizing my life has changed so much, so fast and on a road to unfamiliar territory.
My last post in September, talked about autumn, kids, and pregnancy.... more specifically why I was having weird dreams and thoughts about getting pregnant again. WELL, it turns out that my body was gearing up to be fertile again; unknown to me (until the day after Serenity's 1st birthday) I would get pregnant again the following week. Wow. whoa. whaaaa? Yup, I came face to face with what I had been pondering and realized, oMFGAwd I actually do NOT want to be pregnant right now... my daughter is only 1 and the center of our life, I am still in school and my husband's work is not stable. But the universe has had other plans. Today I am 15 weeks pregnant and I will catch you up a little more on what happen in those 15 weeks I haven't blogged.
I started school again for Fall term. Anatomy & Physiology (part 2 of 3). This is a 3 hour lecture class and a 3 hour lab class, one on Monday and one on Wednesday. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but when school ended for summer I took my daughter off the goat's milk formula ( I will do a post about this later) that I make myself and on only breast full time. She was only drinking a bottle at night and sometimes during the day if I wasn't home, so it was rather easy for my body to pick up the slack when I was home all the time. I took my Mother Love Herbals, More Milk Plus and ate a lot of oatmeal. So, when school returned for Fall, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, I knew that I really didn't get much from pumping and pretty much hated everything about the damn thing. So the first month, I painstakingly did a combo of pump and hand expression so I could give her papa a bottle for her bedtime. It seems to work fine as long as I did it right after class ( I a couple of sessions to get enough for that first week).
As it rolled into October, our breastfeeding relationship starting getting stressed. She took up biting me and getting really frustrated and I had no idea what was going on. About a week and a half before her birthday, I took a pregnancy test... I'm still not sure what compelled me to do so, other than there was one sitting in the cupboard when I grabbed some TP. After seeing the results, I climbed back into bed and cuddled with hubby. He said "so?" I said "nope" he said "oh" and I said "are you sad?" he said "a little" and I said "ya me too, but its better this way" and he said "ya I know."
We went on with birthday plans; creating an enchanted party for Serenity was one of the greatest joys of my life. My mother was coming into town for the party and stayed for 10 days after. We rented the family room at Milagros Boutique on NE 30th and filled it with balloons, a bubble machine, brightly colored butterflies, a playdough table, a playhouse you could color on, a little music station and a pinata full of sugar free organic suckers, finger puppets and bubbles. We had an amazing time and Serenity was glowing. Our friends did an awesome job helping set up and clean (and even running across the street and getting coffee for everyone). The kids had a blast, we had a face painter and as a party gift we gave different colored fairy wings and even the boys loved them! Here are some photos of the fun:

My sweet girl. 

       My man, filling up balloons for his lil lady


Have I mentioned she looves music (that alligator is a piano). I got these lovely wings for her on Amazon!

Jude (left) enjoying a muffin in the playhouse with purple wings.  
Darby (right) playing with playdough in his green wings

More playdough with Jude and Tegan

Serenity's smash cake. I made it from scratch and its a gluten free, sugar free carrot cake with coconut nectar icing. It was amazing and thank you to my Aunt Jill for giving me the original recipe.

Her birthday ring and caterpillar candle were cute additions!

Smash cakes rock mama!

The gang watching her eat

Here she is telling us that she is ONE!    

Skylar gets her face painted (she's wearing pink wings) and Cyrus finds a balloon (and looks so cute in those blue wings)

Amber and cute little Anneliese

The Pinata was a big hit (no pun intended, it was the pull string kind).

Cyrus in bliss! And Tegan and Serenity jamming out on the pianos.

Present time! Amber made this awesome headband... she loved it!

From Jude: a Shrink-a-dink bracelet and cloth ball.

From Skylar and Tegan: a book of animals.

Overall, I did a good job at not being sad that my baby had grown so fast. She promptly passed out on the car ride home, woke up hungry, a little dazed and excited about new toys. My mom spent the night with her friends at a hotel, who had come down from Washington for the party. Hubby and I cuddled up and chilled out with a movie... I'm pretty sure I passed out way before it was over.

So, the next day I woke up and I looked again in the bathroom cupboard, saw the last pregnancy test and this time I started to think about the week: I had been nauseous, I kept telling hubby that it was this bad food I ate, or this thing must have had sugar in it or it was all the stress of planning a big party and having an A & P exam coming up. Nope, I realized it right there... I was pregnant. That's why Serenity had been biting me and not nursing well. That's why I was emotional and nauseous. As I peed on that stick, I thought about the negative one from before. I didn't have to wait long... it was positive. I sat there for a second and then climbed back in bed with hubby and Serenity. I cuddled her to my breast, looked at him and said "I'm pregnant."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn is here and more than leaves are changing.

Today is the first day of Autumn! It has crept up on me and I find myself wondering where summer went. Well, if you're in the Pacific NW like we are, you know that it rained much of this summer and has only been hot the last few weeks. Hmmm weird and a bit troubling considering all the climate change talk that has been going on. Not that I have much time to dwell on the what-if's of the world.
On my personal front, I have school starting next week, term 2 of the 3 term series of Anatomy & Physiology. By far the hardest class I have ever taken. Lecture is almost 3 hours Monday nights and Lab is almost 3 hours Wednesday nights. I am also taking an online class called Child Health, Safety & Nutrition, which other than the inevitable vaccine discussion, looks promising. Gypsy (and myself) are a bit nervous about the reintroduction of the bottle to Serenity. She hasn't had one since July and I always nurse before bed. I know she will be fine with milk in a cup during the evening but the bed time routine calls for a bottle. I'm not sure how to go about this, I don't make much extra milk and can't really pump. I have been hand expressing but it takes 3-4 times to get enough for a feeding. Hubby thinks I should try giving her a bottle a few times this weekend before I nurse to get her used to the idea. I'm sure she'll be fine, she's never been one to turn down food, lol.
The last weekend of this month, Gypsy will be traveling to Colorado to get the last of our possessions from a storage unit. A friend of ours there, used to live in Portland and has stuff here, so they are doing a swap of sorts. I am excited to get all my crystals and minerals back, as we had only brought with us the most precious (and smaller) ones. Also, my kitchen gear! It's been bare minimum in Mama's kitchen but soon I will have all my gadgets back including the bread machine! This will be very helpful, as I want to start making fresh gluten free bread for the little one. Store bought is expensive and goes quick!
Finally the really big day is happening in October.... yup little Serenity Ann is turning 1 year old! WHAT! WHERE did ALL the time go? I can't believe she's grown up so fast *sob* she's not my baby anymore, she's a toddler and I can't deny it. I keep wanting to go back in time and slow down, enjoy more, worry less and spend every waking moment engaged with her. For some reason I feel some tremendous guilt over a bunch of things: I didn't spend enough quality time with her, I was online too much when she was little, I didn't take enough pictures or video, I didn't document her milestones down to the last detail. Okay, so really I am obsessing because I did the best I could, I was home with her everyday and other than study times, she was my whole world. Sure, I could have done this or that better but I think I did a pretty good job. But there is one thing I didn't do well and that was write her birth story. I was sooo busy with school when she was born and was totally side swiped by her feeding/frenulum issues that I felt totally consumed. And after the 3 tragic deaths in my life when she was 6 weeks old, I am lucky I came away without PPD. I did try to tell the story a lot and I started to write it, so I think I am going to make an effort to get down what I can. But I know that some details are lost and I can't help but feel this sense of "missing". Like not only am I missing some details of her birth and first few months but that I also miss her being small and new and all the amazing senses that a newborn provides, smell, the soft coos, the gentle squeeze of their tiny little fingers. Now know why some women has so many children, they are trying to recapture all the joy of the first year that flies by and leaves them wondering if they savored it enough, gave enough, loved enough.
I can't believe I am saying this but I want another baby. I mean of course we want to have one more, we have always wanted at least 2 children. But I mean my hormones and mama brain are telling my heart and body that I want one NOW! This is soooo off the plan, sooo crazy and unattainable in our current life path. But damn, I really miss being pregnant, loved giving birth and just want to lay around cuddling a newborn again. I really want a chance to enjoy breastfeeding and not just baring through it out of obligation. Funny thing tho, I keep wishing I could just go through it again with Serenity again, because I am not ready to be giving my time to anyone else. I love having her as the center of my world, but I am really having a hard time adjusting to it moving so fast.
I know I don't have a lot of readers out there right now, I'm a bit of a newbie. But if you are reading please give me some support, tell me how you cope with these feelings of worry, regret and longing. How to you reconcile your brain knowing its not the time for another baby and your body, heart and soul wanting to get pregnant again?
Thanks in advance friends!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The grass is not always greener.

My dear husband, the love of my life, father of my child and truly my best friend, has been off work all week. It has been an interesting dance between him getting in my way, being really helpful, annoying the crap of me and making Serenity very happy. We always talk about how nice it would be if both of us could be home and somehow juggle childcare and a work at home business. What I learned this week is that we would really need to perfect our team work and have a master plan.
Working as a team has been a struggle of ours. We both have gone through periods of unemployment while the other slaved away making ends meet. We both have spent hours cleaning the house, puppy messes, gardening and checking the oil on the car. We were raised in a similar way, however,  I have devoted myself to feminism and he (in unintentional way) sometimes falls back on the idea that certain things are my responsibility because I "choose" to stay at home. After all, his mom stayed home and she did everything. Well, thats not the case with me, I stay at home because its the best option for our child, even if it makes money tight and given my chosen career in Early Education, I can't justify putting her in preschool so I can teach other kids. I also go to school at night, after 10 hours of chasing a toddler, caring for two dogs and attempting to keep the house, bills and car in working order. When do I find time to study you ask? Usually between midnight and before my daughter wakes up to nurse around 3 or 4 am. So, to say the least, I am busy and overworked and I have been trying to explain this to my husband who actually gets to sleep through the night. Okay, so he is stuck in an office 9 hours a day and commutes 45 minutes each way. Yes, I do understand that sucks too, its draining to slave away for some faceless business and spend so much time in traffic and away from the ones you love. And YES, I do "choose" to go to school and "get" to stay at home with the baby BUT its still hard work. 
Now here we are together, most of the day, for 9 days in a row (for the first time since she was a newborn) and its a little awkward. Serenity has enjoyed her extra time with Papa and thats the best part. She loves having free access to both parents and I love being able to call to him when she is pushing me to my limit physically or emotionally. He loves being with her and thats awesome. But he has also been in my way, distracted me from being productive and was less than productive himself. I should say that its been getting better every day. He has been having an easier time putting her to sleep than me and washing a lot of dishes, staying on top of the trash and doing his fair share of potty time and poopie diapers. I'm trying to find time for myself, not nag about dirty socks on the bathroom floor and remember to enjoy all the little things I love about my family.
I guess in the long run, I know that we could make it work. Our love has always been beautifully synchronistic and we just need to learn how to apply it to parenthood. The grass may not alway be greener but its far from brown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Toxins In Disposable Diapers

In case you already don't know the dangers of disposable diapers, you can read about here:
Toxins In Disposable Diapers: Dioxin and Sodium Polyacrylate:

Climate Reality

Climate Reality: “24 Hours of Reality will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis. To remove the doubt. Reveal the deniers. And catalyze urgency around an issue that affects every one of us.”

Interesting! Will you watch?