Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guest Post: "Nursing in Public at the House of Mouse"

Now that summertime is here, vacations are on everyone’s minds.  And if you are living in Florida with children, Disney World is probably on your radar.  If you’re planning to visit Disney with a nursing child, here is my experience on our first trip there with a toddler.

Nursing for us hasn’t always been a walk in the park, but it has been the single best thing for my relationship with my son, now 19 months.   Nursing in public has been something that I have had to grow into doing.  The first couple of outings when he was still a newborn, I was nervous and hesitant to nurse while out, fearful of someone making a comment or gawking.  I came prepared with a blanket that I could cover him with, but found that I rarely felt the need to use it.  As I became more and more comfortable with nursing in general, nursing in public came easier to us both.  Now I have no qualms about where I nurse him or who may be watching.  I am being a parent the best way I know how by meeting my child’s needs and if anything, I hope that NIP will bring some normalcy to breastfeeding in our culture.  Luckily. I have never experienced any negativity while NIP, though I always am thinking of a few one-liners in case I need to keep any naysayers in check ;)

We decided, spur of the moment, do take a trip to Disney World for a few days in early June.   A few things you should know about my son; one, he doesn’t like long car rides, two, he doesn’t like sitting in a stroller and three, though he is eating solids, he nurses frequently (5-6 times a day).  We were most nervous about the car ride, how many stops we’d have to make to accommodate him, how to keep him entertained, etc.  But surprisingly, he did very well.  We packed some new toys to keep his interest and only found the need to stop once at Ft. Pierce for a snack and a diaper change.  He did get very cranky towards the end of the ride, probably because he needed a nap but rarely will fall asleep in the car.  For babies that don’t like car rides, I would just advise to keep a very lax schedule and agenda.  We didn’t have any time expectations and even anticipated making many stops along the way.  Don’t stress yourself out with strict deadlines if you don’t need to.  During our trip, we also didn’t put the pressure of time lines on ourselves.  We stayed at one of the resorts, so transportation in and out of the parks was easy by bus.  We had hoped he would take some sort of mini nap while being worn in a carrier, but it didn’t turn out as planned (like everything else with children!)  So around 3pm every day, we would return to our hotel room for naptime.  This actually worked in our favor, because since he took a later nap than usual, we were able to stay out later than his at-home schedule.  It’s vacation after all; try not to worry about keeping a rigid schedule (unless the baby needs that, of course).  We found it easier to just run by his cues, rather than making plans.

I also mentioned that my son does not like being in a stroller.  Since we baby wear regularly and he likes walking a lot, we decided not to bring ours.  In hindsight, we probably could have used it, if only to hold our bags, had he decided not to sit in it.  I carried a medium sized purse and my husband carried a backpack, so between those, we fit everything we needed. We carried him for the majority of the time, which was a definite workout.  We used our Tula soft structured carrier, making the frequent up and downs easy.  If your baby will sit in a stroller, by all means bring one.  If they don’t, I would suggest bringing or renting anyways.  The only challenge we saw to families that had strollers was the frequent closing and opening of it to get on buses, trolleys, etc.  With that being said, almost every family there had a stroller, so for the most part Disney World accommodates them in all other settings.

Now onto the nursing.  It was definitely not anything that I saw other mothers doing.  In fact, I can’t remember ever noticing another mama nursing her child (not to say it wasn’t happening, just that I didn’t witness it).  However, we had no problems nursing in the park, and did it frequently.  Disney World is definitely a sensory overload for little ones, with gigantic sights and sounds around every turn.  My son was able to find comfort at my breast whenever he felt overwhelmed.  I nursed primarily while wearing him and no one around knew the wiser.  It was very discreet, so if you have a carrier and are hesitant to NIP, I would recommend using one.  It will make your life easier.  On some of the rides, It’s A Small World in Magic Kingdom, and The Great Movie Tour in Hollywood Studios, I nursed him during the ride on my lap as well.  He eats most of the food that we eat, so we didn’t pack any additional snacks for him, but I did see some other families who had packed foods for their kids without problem.  Another obvious perk to breastfeeding is no need to pack any bottles!
After we returned from our trip, I heard that all the theme parks actually have baby centers, which even have nursing rooms with rocking chairs.  I didn’t have the opportunity to experience these facilities, but what a great idea to take a breather and relax with your baby amidst all wonderful new chaos.  I would definitely recommend looking up those locations on your map during your next trip to Disney World.

Overall, our experience was great and we had no problems with any staff or other vacationers.   My son loved his time there and was able to experience many new things, all while still having the comfort of having his “milky” whenever he needed it.

Christine a mother of one from Florida. She is also a consultant with Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, please check out her business page here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest Post: "Adoptive Breastfeeding is Possible!!!"

From a very young age I knew that my heart, my home, and my family were in Africa. Two years ago I found my heart and home in Uganda and shortly after that I found my family in my (at that time) 12 year old daughter Eva and at the beginning of this year my second daughter Lilly who was just 10 days old. Lilly was abandoned by her birth mother and fed milk straight from a cow for the first 10 (we are guessing) days of her life, this caused her to be severely lactose intolerant and give her severe GI issues. So I began giving her lactose free formula, this helps but she has major tummy issues. I began researching and asking questions and found out the coolest thing ever, adoptive breastfeeding is possible!!!

 So I crazy researched and talked to some awesome moms and decided that Dr. Jack Newman's protocol would be the best for us. I started really tightening up my diet to eat mostly foods that help make milk!

At first baby girl was not interested in trying the breast and got super frustrated every time I tried to nurse her. I would put her to the breast and and she would fuss and cry. This was a hard hit for me, I was feeling rejected and discouraged and some one shared with me something beautiful that honestly may be the only reason I continued trying she said "that is where a baby belongs and is supposed to feel safest, I think it is just where she feels most at peace to let her frustration out" and I thought how true that is and it gave me the strength to keep trying! 

I was told eating garlic encourages babies to latch so I thought why not give it a shot and so I made some super garlic hummus ate it for a snack that afternoon and that night she latched!!!
About 8 days after I started the protocol me and baby girl were getting in the shower I looked down and realized I had milk!!! It was more of a clear milky looking stuff but I knew this was a great sign that this is working!

We still have issues with her latching, my milk is very small but we are learning and loving it and the bond and getting to give my baby amazing nutrition is worth not having my coffee in the morning (I am and addict) and worth every hard moment and every feeling of rejection and every weird look! Mamas you can do this, mamas with low milk supply and mamas of babies that came to them in ways other than from their belly, you have got this! I am in your corner and your biggest cheerleader! Love your babies well!!!

Now here is the logistics of making this work!
 *I am in no way endorsing these particular brands or products they are just what is working for us! Also I am by no means a professional this is just all from personal research and trial and error. 

As previously stated we live in Uganda so we are waiting on our Medela pump and SNS to get here. I highly recommend these two products if you have low milk supply or are re-lactating or inducing lactation. The SNS is a bottle with a small tube that attaches to your breast you fill bottle with formula/donated milk so baby is getting everything she needs right at your breast even if you can not provide it your self, and you are stimulating your body to tell it to make more milk all at the same time!

I would recommend renting a hospital grade pump, that was not an option for us but will be your best bet! Pump at least every 3 hours and once during 1-5 am as that is when your milk production is at its highest, and power pump at least once a day. 

How to power pump:
Pump 20 min
Rest 10 min
Pump 10 
Rest 10
Pump 10

I am also going to be doing the following supplements
Blessed Thistle 
Motherslove More Milk Special Blend
Mothers Milk Tea

The following diet is my personal one and excludes a lot of good things because we don't have access to them here. But you can search Pinterest "breastfeeding food" and find some awesome stuff!

What I try to include in my daily diet: 
~Non-instant oatmeal with either honey, banana, or apples and cinnamon. Keep it interesting as oatmeal is your best friend right now and you don't want to get sick of it! 
~We have a very strong ginger ale here so I try to drink a few a week as ginger is great for supply!
~LOTS of water!!!! Hydration is you bestest best friend! Love the water!!
~Half of a dark beer (I hate it but they say it helps...)
~Lots of carrots as they are one of the few milk helpers available here and I love them! 
~Hummus with LOTS of garlic and cumin as chick peas and cumin are good for milk and garlic encourages her to latch! 
~Green Papaya
~I add garlic to everything! Cause we are all about the latch!
~Rice (we live in Africa so this is a given!)

-Strong herbs or seasonings
-Antihistamines as they are meant to dry you up and this can also effect your 

Like I said I am no professional this is just one mommy to another. Good luck! Ask questions, don't be ashamed, love your babies! Know that at least one person is out there supporting you and cheering you on! 
Much much love, Emily

Emily is the 22 year old mama of 2 beautiful daughters through the blessing of adoption and foster mommy to two more. She is originally from South Carolina but now lives in Uganda, East Africa where she is the founder and executive director of Salvation Ministries and Kwagala Baby Home. She also serves in the local hospital as a midwife and is in the process of opening a birthing center and maternity home. You can read more about Emily, her daughters and their ministry at http://salvationinuganda.blogspot.com/ and find out more about the ministry at http://www.salvationministriesinuganda.com/

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Post: "Our Cannot-Live-Withouts"

I asked mommas on Instagram to tell me what their day-to-day must haves are in their home...here I share Katia's response. What are some of the things you and your little ones simply can't be without on a daily basis? Email me at MommaFriendly@gmail.com to #ShareYourStory! -MommaFriendly

  Motherhood can be quite overwhelming. These days there are so many products out there that can make it even more challenging. You just never know what to expect. As a mom of two there are definitely things that I thought I would need with my first that I didn't care to use with my second. Every child is also different. What one child enjoyed may not be what another enjoys.

  These days I cant possibly function without three things:
-our carrier
-our stroller 
-lavender essential oil

  Our carrier and stroller are lifesavers. We have an Infantino sash meitai carrier. It can be used front, back and hip carry until 35lbs. At the time of purchase it was $30, and it has worked so well for us that I always recommend it. Considering Infantino's not so great carrier reputation this is a good option for parent who cant afford the fancy Baby Hawk meitai for example. Because of the carrier we didn't start using a stroller until recently. We were blessed with a Chicco lightweight aluminum stroller. Its is so easy to maneuver and our son is very comfortable in it. It holds children from 6 months until they reach 3 years old or 50lbs. As our son becomes heavier out carrier gets used for short trips or to help me get things done around the house. Our stroller especially because of the 3 year old gets used for longer family outings or family grocery trips because the 3 year old always wants the cart.

  Essential oils are miracle workers as is. Lavender really showed me the power of them. When we first were given lavender I was skeptical. Our 18 month old was about 15 months at the time and still not sleeping through the night. From the first night we used lavender he slept through the night. It is also so great for teething. To help with sleeping we apply 2 drops to the bottom of each foot before bedtime and put socks on him, and for teething we apply 2 drops to each cheek near the jaw line or area where the teething are cutting. We've also noticed that applying it to the forehead helps to relax even ourselves when we are on edge. 

  As a second time mom there are definitely things I can do without. I see so many pointless things being sold these days. Money goes to waste because you just never get around to using them. The pack and play being one of those. While functional for some moms  and their littles it never really worked for us past 3 months. My boys wanted to be all over the place from really young and hated being enclosed in that thing. I thought they would outgrow it, but it is still just a place to throw things into or make a clubhouse with. 

  While there are things I thought I needed and didn't use; there are also things I never thought I would use, but considered. I was the mom who judged the moms using the harness on their children. Mostly because they called them leashes and dragged their children around like puppies. My first may not have been as mischievous as my second is, but the second time around I am seriously wanting to get one. My 18 month old now is very sneaky. He disappears in
2.5 and won't respond to you calling him. He's already been lost once in a store while we were getting pictures taken. I looked away for one second literally just blinked, and he was gone. Thankfully, he was found safe and sound behind the dressing rooms playing with the mirrors, but it could have been bad. 

  When it comes down to baby items at this age or any age really my advice would be to keep it to a minimum. Buy things as you need them. Don't overwhelm yourself with items that your baby may not even like. Give yourself enough room to try things and see if baby adjusts to them enough to like them. 

My name is Katia, I am 23 years old, and a mom of two boys. The boys are 3 and 18 months. We currently live in the Orlando, FL area, but are from the state of Connecticut. We love it down here as it is so family oriented. Our days are spent swimming, playing at the park, or watching turtles at the pond. That's when we're not working of course. I created my blog as a way to cope with how overwhelmed I was having two under 2 years old. Its not based on anything except my real life, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I brag about the good days and others I rant about a bad day. You can follow me on Instagram under @katiaxo__0601 or follow my blog.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Guest Post: "How I Met My Littlest Valentine"

At 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant around 6:30pm on Thursday February 13 I changed positions on the sofa and felt some type of liquid come out of me. Assuming that I peed myself I headed into the bathroom but there wasn’t the smell of pee. I sat back down and went onto my online pregnancy support group asking if they thought it was pee or amniotic fluid. I called my doula and she said to call the midwife and figure out what to do. I put another pair of underwear on to see if I was still leaking and sure enough I was. I woke up Evan and said “My water broke. I think this is it. I think we’re having a baby today.” Evan shot right up and got out of bed in a total panic. He had to shower, his bag wasn’t totally packed, the house was a mess. I called the midwife and she said to head to the hospital. My plan was the birth center so I was a bit panicked. I was terrified of not laboring fast enough, being pumped with drugs, and getting forced into a cesarean. Evan kept telling me everything would be okay and we were probably just going to the hospital because the birth center had closed that day due to the snow and the parking lot was most likely not plowed. I called my Mom and told her I thought my water broke and I needed to go in to get the fluid tested. 

My parents came over as quickly as they could. Fitting the four of us, our bags, and my birth ball in my Dad’s truck was not an easy task. On top of that my mother thought I would be cold so she had the heat up. I was sweating my butt off and asked them to open the windows. There was some where between 6 to 12 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing when we were on the road.  We got to the hospital and I totally forgot how to get to the maternity ward so I waited in line at the front desk and got directions. We got checked in and Evan sat with me in a room waiting for someone to come in to check me. The woman who came in was very ill mannered and seemed annoyed that I had questions. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen because I didn’t have a hospital birth in my mind and I was confused about being Group B Strep positive and having my water break before labor. The woman told me I needed to be checked in and that it was amniotic fluid and we had to start an induction. Tears immediately began for the fear of needles, air bubbles in the line, medical interventions leading to cesarean. I felt so rushed from the doctor, nurses, the millions of questions my parents had, and the amount of emotions I was feeling on top of worrying about how Evan was. After arriving in the delivery room the nurses came in for the antibiotic IV and pitocin. My midwife was in the room and told the nurses that my veins are hard to find and they would need the IV team but the nurse was convinced she could do it herself. She couldn’t. It hurt quite a bit while she wiggled the needle around in my arm trying to figure out where it needed to go. She finally gave up and called the IV team. Another nurse catalogued my belongings and asked if all my jewelry could be easily removed in case there was a cause for a cesarean. That made my mind race even more than it already was. During all this time I was crying and trying to remember to stay calm and breathe. After being hooked up to everything the midwife checked me for dilation and I was about one and a half centimeters. 

Once everything settled I called my doula who was upset that she wasn’t able to be there from the very beginning of everything. She arrived sometime around midnight and told me what to expect. She suggested I try to get some sleep but since Evan works nights I was sort of on his schedule and he was wide awake. We watched Mob Wives and Couples Therapy and then the local news. Evan and my doula eventually fell asleep and I tried to sleep as well. I was hooked up to a blood pressure cuff that had to go off every 15 minutes. Because I’m fat I need an adult thigh cuff for an accurate reading. I was constantly woken up from the machine going off on top of the fact that the cuff didn’t fit and made my arm twitch and go numb. A nurse periodically came in because the readings were off and I tried to explain what size cuff I needed. The nurse told me that size didn’t exist and moved the cuff to my forearm which didn’t really make a difference. I’m not sure how much sleep I got but I did sleep a little bit. 

On Friday February 14 we woke up sometime around 7:00am. At 9:00am I was checked and was 4 centimeters dilated. Evan left to get breakfast while I was with my doula. I sat on a birth ball bouncing up and down waiting for a nurse to come in so I could get on wireless monitoring. After being on wireless monitoring I was able to walk around the room, sit in different positions on the bed, lean against the wall, and do whatever I needed to manage the pain. Evan came back from breakfast with some juice and a rose for Valentine’s Day. He must have spent a fortune in the gift shop but he didn’t want Valentine’s Day to pass without giving me a rose. Laboring was much different than I hoped it would be. The IV was annoying and the wireless monitors kept moving plus I had to get my blood pressure checked every half hour. Luckily the nurses that came with the shift change were so much more pleasant than the ones from overnight. They let me go longer in-between blood pressure checks to not stop my concentration and stopped readjusting the wireless monitors as often as they should have. They even informed every one of my birth plan and wrote a note on my door specifying quiet voices, natural lighting, and to keep the door shut at all times. The midwife came in I think around lunch time and asked if I wanted to be checked. I told her no because I was worried if I wasn’t as far as I had imagined that labor would stall due to my mental state. During breaks between contractions I read birth affirmations and listened to a hip hop play list, I had a classical music playlist but it didn’t distract me enough. My doula told me to turn on whatever music I normally listened to or else I wouldn’t be able to block out the pain. Evan stood behind me massaging my lower back while I was on the birth ball, then my doula would fill in with different massages and suggest other positions. I decided I wanted to walk the hallway. Walking was terrible. I had to stop walking during contractions so I gave up that idea and headed back to my room. 

At 4:00pm I asked to be checked. At that point I was on my birth ball and in a world of pain. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could do it. When the midwife came in and checked she told me I was at 7 centimeters. I laid on the bed thinking there was no way in hell I would have been able to stay at home until this point like I had planned. I had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and head to the birth center around 7 or 8 centimeters. I think I would have panicked long before this point if I had been at home. I remember telling anyone in the room that would listen that I couldn’t do it much longer. I repeatedly said that it hurt really badly and I couldn’t do it. Evan was behind me in a chair and I was on the birth ball. I leaned back onto him during each contraction. I don’t know if I looked like I was having a difficult time or if it was because I kept saying I couldn’t do it but with every lean back he would whisper in my ear and tell me how strong I was. Hearing him tell me I was doing well was what I needed. It was still awful but I thought if Evan believed in me then I must be able to do it. I asked how long they thought I would be in labor and my doula told me at least two more hours. I looked up at the clock and cried. Contractions came and went and I looked at the clock again. It had only been ten minutes. I thought  to myself “Shit. It’s been ten minutes how the hell can I do this for two more hours?!.”  

After spending almost two hours on the birth ball I decided to go on my hands and knees on the hospital bed. The hospital bed had a setting where the bottom part dropped down and you could sit on the top part with your feet on the bottom part sort of like a chair if that makes sense. So on all fours my knees were on the lower part of the bed while I leaned over the top. I asked Evan for the ultrasound picture of our daughter. I laid that picture on the pillow in front of me and with every contraction I kept telling myself this was all for her. If I could just make it through this contraction I would be one step closer to meeting the sweet baby in the picture. I’m not sure how long I was in this position before I told them I felt like I had to push. My doula told me to wait for the midwife. There was a shift change. I heard them whispering the name of the midwife that was on her way. The second I heard her name I felt so defeated. I knew I was going to end up getting a cesarean. This midwife was the only one during my pregnancy who brought up complications that were going to happen because of my weight. She never spoke to me as though they could happen, it was always they will happen. I had proven her to be wrong up until this point. I was so worried that with the first little thing to go wrong she would tell me I was done and I would have to go to surgery. After those fleeting negative thoughts I remembered the picture on my desk top. It said “Wake up every morning and tell yourself you’re a bad ass bitch from hell and no one can fuck with you. And then don’t let anyone fuck with you.” I pushed all the negativity out and said to myself “You are a bad ass bitch from hell. Do not let her fuck with you. You can do this. Suck it up and do it.” When the midwife came in she checked me and told me I wasn’t ready to push but I told her I had to. She asked me to wait and I was there on the bed wondering how to stop myself from pushing without totally screwing up the labor process. I didn’t understand and I still don’t understand. I don’t get how you can just hold in a baby as if you’re holding in your pee. I pushed. I said it again “I seriously have to push. I can’t not do it.” I heard my doula say “Okay then push.” With her support I started pushing with each contraction. I looked at the clock and it was 6:00pm. I was mad. They told me it would be at least two hours. I had it in my head that by this time I would be holding my baby. I pushed as hard as I possibly could and my God did it hurt. I was pushing, and pushing, and pushing and I finally started yelling at everyone. I yelled “CUT HER OUR OF ME.” I screamed. I screamed and my doula told me to focus. She said “Bring it back in. Control it.” Evan remembered something I had researched. I read that loud noises contract everything tight and low noises open everything up. I heard him say “Growl, Felicia. Get low.” So I did. I made super weird low growling sounds I have never made in my life. I tried to practice these sounds a few weeks earlier but I felt stupid so I gave up on it. I took a deep breath as I felt the contraction growing and as it peaked I pushed my body toward the midwife and growled. I heard the nurses sounding happy with their chatter and my doula said “Yes!! Get mad at it. That’s it.” I continued growling and pushing for what seemed like an eternity.  Evan left to get me more water and when he left I started screaming again. He told me he could hear me from the nurses station, which was pretty far from our room. Again and at least twenty other times I yelled “JUST CUT HER OUT!!” I kept telling them I couldn’t do it and every time I said “This really hurts!” the midwife would say “Well yeah Felicia, it does hurt.” When Evan came back I told him I needed medication and that I couldn’t do it any more. He and my doula both told me I had to be the one to ask. I didn’t want to ask. I didn’t want to be the one to give up. I told them again that it hurt and I couldn’t do it. My doula said “You’re scared. Stop being scared. Stop fighting it. You can do it, you’re just scared.” I realized she was right. I was scared. I was never in labor before. I never felt contractions before. I never pushed out a baby before. I prepared myself for every part of labor and delivery. I researched terminology and knew almost every procedure they would try to do. I remembered I had a right to say no and that they were not in charge of my birth. It was MY birth. What I didn’t prepare for was the pain. But how do you even prepare for something you can’t even begin to comprehend? I had never even broken a bone before. I had no idea how badly labor would hurt. I was scared and I had a right to be. I thought back to my desk top. “You’re a bad ass bitch from hell. You are a bad ass. You can do this.” The growling continued and I got back into my groove. I was doing well but I was totally exhausted. I fell asleep between every contraction and I only opened my eyes to look at Evan. I remember I looked over at him because I couldn’t take it anymore. Evan must have seen in my eyes that I was ready to give up. He grabbed my face and said “You are so strong. You can do this. I’m so proud of you.”

I was doing well until I thought I was going to poop. The midwife told me it was fine and all the nurses said it wasn’t a big deal but I was on all fours and I thought if I pooped it was going to go everywhere. Worrying about pooping hindered me and I needed to switch positions. I layed on my left side while Evan held my right leg up. When I was in this position the midwife told me she had to move my cervix because it was in the way. She told me it would feel like being checked for dilation and that she had to wait for a contraction. With the next contraction she put her hand inside me and moved my cervix. It hurt a lot worse than being checked for dilation. I remember looking at her straight in the eye and saying “OW!” as if my whining would make her stop. I laid there on my side and continued to push like that for an unknown amount of time until I heard the midwife say “I can see a head and there’s a lot of hair.” I yelled “WHAT?! You see the baby?! Am I seriously about to have a baby?!” I looked at Evan and he was crying. Later he told me that once someone could actually see her he realized it was real. You know that saying that women become mothers the moment they are pregnant but men don’t become dads until they hold their child. Evan became a Dad at that moment. He was so happy. I don’t think I have ever seen him that happy. The nurse on my left told me I could reach down to touch the head. This was in my birth plan and I was glad she asked but I said no. She said this was my only chance and I could do it but it grossed me out too much to actually feel a baby down there. I pushed so many times . I was sick of waiting to have my baby in my arms. I felt the burning and I knew it was almost time. I knew the burning was her head coming out and I knew that the moment I felt like I couldn’t continue was the moment she would be out. I have no clue how many more times I pushed but eventually she was lifted out and placed on my stomach. She was perfect. I asked if it was a girl and once they said yes I counted her fingers and toes and told her happy birthday. I kissed her on the head and said “We did it, baby girl. We did it.” Coraline Paige was born at 8:14pm on Valentine’s Day. I was in the hospital and had to have antibiotics and pitocin but I didn’t get anything for the pain and it was an overall positive experience. Pushing for two hours sucked but in the end I got my Valentine’s baby.

The rest was a total blur. Evan cut the cord, my doula took pictures, I was in complete shock. I remember that they said my body had taken over and I wasn’t on pitocin but they turned it back on to deliver the placenta. I told them to make sure no one took the placenta because I was taking it home to be encapsulated. At some point they took my baby to be measured and weighed and I think that’s when I was getting stitched up. They gave her back to me and covered us up. I think they tried to clean the floor a little bit while Evan went out to tell our family that she was here.

Things that happened but I don’t know where they fit in:
-At some point during labor the wireless monitors were not picking anything up and there was trouble with my daughter’s heart beat. I was asked if I wanted internal monitoring and I had remembered that I didn’t but I couldn’t remember why so I just agreed because I thought a cord inside me would be much more tolerable than those annoying plastic circles and a huge piece of gauze around my stomach. I think this was when I was on all fours but I don’t quite remember the time line of everything.
-I threw up twice once I was on my side pushing but I don’t know if it was towards the beginning or end.
-The antibiotics for GBS burned so badly I was in tears until my arm was covered with a wet wash cloth. 
-When it was all over I opened my eyes and realized how many people were in the room. I think there was Evan, the midwife, Doula, and three nurses. I said hello to all of them and apologized for not paying attention to them during the labor process.
-The entire time I was in labor I asked Evan if he was okay and if he needed anything. I was worried about him passing out or not being able to take seeing me in pain. He surpassed every expectation and was completely amazing. 
-The first set of numbing shots before getting stitched up didn’t work and I felt the first few stitches. After telling her to stop and trying to wiggle away the midwife gave me three more shots of numbing stuff and then continued.
-I didn’t realize how warm the amniotic fluid would be or how much there was. My water breaking was a little trickle so as it gushed down my legs during labor I was completely disgusted. I remember the nurses laughing at me because I sat there saying “Ew” over and over again. 

There it is. My birth story. The hospital wasn’t what I wanted but it wasn't the total hell I had imagined. After being in a delivery room in the birth center for my postpartum check up I realized I probably wouldn’t have been able to deliver there. With my anxiety I think I would have panicked and needed the hospital because my pessimist mind wouldn’t have felt safe. I think for our next child, if we’re blessed to have another baby, I will plan on a hospital birth from the begging. I think having the midwives and a doula helped me get the birth I wanted. I’m about 90% sure that if I had an OB there’s no way I would have been allowed to labor and push for as long as I did. 

Written by Felicia T., momma of a beautiful little girl from Reading, Pennsylvania. She is a Domestic Goddess for a living and a human rights activist. Today, Coraline Paige is 5 months old!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Autism, ABA and Gentle Parenting

The first of (hopefully weekly) progress videos for Bu...

I probably won't be posting the weekly videos here unless they deal specifically with a parenting issue, so if you'd like to follow these updates, please join the All For Bu facebook page or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

This vlog is about how ABA (behavior therapy) conflicts with my gentle parenting instincts and how I'm struggling with that...I'd love some input from like-minded parents!

If you can't see the video posted above, you can watch it HERE on YouTube.

Also, if you aren't already, please follow @MommaFriendly on Instagram, where I'm posting about guest post contributions and other random daily tips and funnies as related to pregnancy and parenting.