Aside

Honest To Blog: Should I Go For An Au Naturel Birth?

28 Aug

Until this afternoon, the thought of me going through labor and delivery without medication, just wasn’t happening. With my first, I was given an epidural eventually (which was the plan), and I was happy with it. I almost laughed my daughter out (literally)! I was calm and collected while pushing, which lasted a very short time (maybe 5 pushes). Of course I was expecting to go for the epidural this go ’round as well. But there were many things I had already planned to do differently.

I definitely wanted to go without an epidural as long as I could…..but sticking that thing in RIGHT when I request it. I also would prefer to move about as much as I can, but how can I do that with the God awful IV in which is required if getting an epidural? I also really would like to try the tub for pain relief before epidural time. But upon my research (I love my research), I found most second time births go a lot quicker than the first time. Most women even cut the time in half! Now, how can I have my freedom to try what I’d like without running out of time for my lovely net of pain relief when the going gets too tough? It makes me feel like I have to have either-or. 

I really don’t want to spend my whole labor with everything hooked on to me, while I feel nothing. Main reason being: I’m a pride seeking person. I want to be proud of myself and push myself and come out the other end accomplished. I know I would feel like a whimpy loser if I didn’t let myself go to my limit. Not that there is anything wrong with that method. It’s just not something I want for my experience.

I was, dare I say, semi proud after giving birth to Rayne. I did experience pain. I was upset that I was pressured into being drugged up, but it didn’t stop the pain. I remember a moment after whatever they had given me had worn off, and I was laying on my side being prepped for the epidural. A strong contraction came on and I just thought to myself, “Breathe, focus.”, and that I did. I held tightly to the bed railing and controlled my breathing, and worked with the contraction that also brought the breaking of my water. After the contraction, the nurse gave me a “Good girl!”. I felt controlled, and calmly said, “My water broke.”, she checked, and was surprised to see I was right (I think I know when it feels like a water balloon had popped inside me).

That one memory is what fuels me to believe I CAN do it without medication. Throughout this pregnancy my main excuse for an epidural wasn’t the contractions, it was the fear of what comes with pushing and delivering. I’ve watched those baby story shows, labor videos, etc. “Ahhh! It burns, it burns!”, I don’t want to feel any burning, or ripping in half! It’s a very scary thought. And not only that, but I was so calm while I pushed with Rayne. What if I’m out of control and traumatized or something?? Would I be just as happy right after? Or would I be in complete shock?

What made me consider a natural birth? My mom. She told me how she had me and most of my sisters, naturally. She said she was fine right after and forgot about the pain. It gave me a new view on natural birth. My mom can do it. Why can’t I? I picture myself fighting through labor and ending in victory and the feeling of “I rock” overwhelming me. How empowering to experience real natural birth?! I want to be empowered and victorious. Could I really do a natural birth and make it out alive, or maybe even sane?

Did you have a natural birth?? Any advice?

Aside

My Biggest Fear As Of Now.

21 Aug

It’s no secret that I could be qualified as a worry wort. I have always suffered from anxiety. I have my calm times, when I manage to control any worry I have. But, then I have times when my worries tend to pile up and stress becomes overwhelming. This entire pregnancy I have bounced back and forth between being strangely calm, almost numb, to worrying about every little difference between this pregnancy and my last. For the most part I’ve been able to conquer them all. However, the stress and worry that comes with the third trimester is definitely too big and pressuring to stifle. So much so, that they continue to show themselves in my dreams.

My biggest fear as of now, is that I wont be successful at breastfeeding

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When I had Rayne, breastfeeding was important to me, but I didn’t have the information, resources or the support to succeed. I tried and had a hard time with having no experience, not a good latcher, no one to help me or encourage me, and the first night home, ended up giving her formula. I spent a month pumping and giving her formula. It hurt me because, well, as they say, breast IS best. I couldn’t give my baby the best. What was suppose to come so natural. I failed. I am glad she was able to get as much as she did in the first 6 weeks from my pumping, but I always beat myself up about not succeeding in giving her what she deserved, the best.
With another chance to succeed on the way, I fear I’ll have the same (if not worse) disappointing failure. It’s so important to me to breastfeed, that I refuse to even buy bottles or formula. I don’t even want to give myself the option, because I know there will be a long period of weakness accompanied by exhaustion, stress, etc. And I refuse to give up, again. The difference now, is I have been opened up to the world of mom/breastfeeding blogs, forums, support groups, etc. I may not have breastfeeding support in my daily life, but I do online (which is to not be underestimated). I read about, speak with, and see photos of countless moms succeeding at breastfeeding and making it the big deal it should be. Not in the “Oh my God, she’s really breastfeeding in public?!” Kind of big deal, but “We are woman, hear us roar!” Kind of big deal. And that’s inspiring.
But honestly, I’m pretty much shaking in my boots about the impending and inevitable attempt at my own success. I want to be one of those moms. I want to inspire someone else to have the confidence to succeed at breastfeeding. But what if I fall flat on my ass and wind up being nothing but another breastfeeding horror story, scaring women away from it? And even worse, having to deal with another round of mom guilt…?
The other night I dreamt I had my baby and suddenly had no idea how to even care for a baby, I couldn’t even hold her right, and definitely couldn’t breastfeed. I just stood there, watching her cry, thinking “What do I do!?“. But that wasn’t my first nightmare. I’m constantly dreaming I’m trying to breastfeed and it just isn’t working! She wont latch or I have no milk. It’s horrifying.
I spend hours online reading tips and other mother’s stories. But they give very little hope, as most stories have many scary parts, implying the impossible struggle, stress and pain of breastfeeding.
I’m trying my best to stay positive and gather information that will do me good when the time comes. But to be honest, I’m officially in full on freak out mode.
Help?!

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5 Awesome TV Shows for Toddlers/PreSchoolers.

6 Feb

TELEVISION. Brain rotter, time waster, key component in lack of exercise. Blah blah blah. I know most people don’t want their children watching TV. And I agree, to an extent. I agree with watching TV only in moderation. I don’t want my kid spending all day with her eyes glued to a TV screen. But, I don’t think it’s all that bad either. This may come off as selfish, but get over it: TV is a great distraction when you’re looking for a break or have to get stuff done and don’t want a toddler under your feet. AND as I found when I became a parent, there are actually A LOT of educational shows for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. I was actually pretty surprised and impressed with the selection, especially if you have cable TV. When I was little PBS/OPB was thee channel. Barney, Sesame Street, Wishbone, Arthur. Those were the IT shows for me. When Rayne was born (2010), I found most of those shows were STILL on. As awkward as it was for her to catch me singing along to children shows that she didn’t even know, I was pretty excited that I could feel comfortable with her watching TV. Eventually we ended up getting DISH and having way more channels to choose from. Which also came with a lot of shows I didn’t want her watching. There are more than enough children’s channels, but only a couple who host educational shows. This may sound overbearing, but I didn’t want her watching just any cartoons. I didn’t even want her to watch SpongeBob (I read somewhere in a study that children who watched it opposed to educational shows had more difficulty in problem solving). I was really uptight about the whole thing. Needless to say, I eventually eased up and now allow occasional “stupid shows” as I call them, but naturally she prefers the more educational shows. A lot of the educational shows these days emphasize on making the child feel involved. They ask questions and invite them to participate instead of just sitting there. And I’ve witnessed Rayne learning while she watches, which is awesome! I don’t have to feel guilty about her watching TV, or like it’s rotting her brain (not to say I let her watch it all day).

I know it’s every parent’s nightmare to hear those ridiculous songs and squeaky voices all day everyday. But there are actually a few shows I enjoy watching with her (as silly as that sounds). Besides my good ol Arthur, there are a lot of new shows I’m actually impressed by. I’ve compiled a list of shows that I find entertaining AND educational in many areas, for any parents that may like to check them out.

THE SHOWS

1. Little Einsteins.

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I LOVE this show. I’m really big on art and music. As a child they didn’t have any shows that taught you Beethoven’s Symphony 9 or Picasso’s ‘Starry Night’. They didn’t teach you about different instruments or how to read music. This show does all of that. The whole show revolves around famous art and classical music while also encouraging the child’s participation. She learns things they don’t teach you in other shows or school, and I learn a lot about the art I love as well. It’s something other shows don’t offer and I think it’s awesome. Little Einsteins is on Disney Channel weekdays at 9am.

2. Yo Gabba Gabba.

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I know a lot of people think this show is weird, but I think it’s actually really cool and poses as a good example. Besides the usual teachings of colors, counting, etc. It also teaches children lessons in life if you will. Things like “Don’t Bite Your Friends” and “Try it, You’ll like it“. It opens children up to the ideas of eating healthy, being kind and compassionate, listening to their parents, and accepting people without judgement. The show is structured with many characters who are all different in looks and personality, but all accept each other for who they are. It shows children it’s okay to be different, and it’s actually cool! They encourage kids to not be afraid to wash their hair or try veggies. They also go on to teach them to give people their space, and not get in their face. Besides the fact that they explain the importance of naps, eating healthy and being kind, they also teach kids to have fun with dancing being one of the main themes. They always have celebrity guests whom the parents will recognize, new dances to learn and tons of awesome bands parents like. Rayne particularly likes the beat-boxing lessons with Biz Markie. I love that they teach kids to embrace their uniqueness while also teaching compassion and lessons in day to day life. Yo Gabba Gabba is on NickJr, and plays sporadically throughout the day. They also have an awesome website with games! http://yogabbagabba.com/#

3. Team Umizoomi.

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This fun show is all about math. Teaching numbers, shapes, counting, measurements, and patterns. You don’t get that anywhere else! I never thought I’d watch my daughter shout out the number of units wide an object is, or where the polygon is. It’s a fun way to learn a tough subject (one I was never great in). And it’s great that they can get started this early and save themselves from a struggle in school. Team Umizoomi is on NickJr in the morning and evening.

4. Olivia.

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I love Olivia because this show is full of imagination. This sassy little pig is always dreaming up different crazy cool situations. And she’s always so confident. I love this show because it encourages kids to use their imagination and be confident about themselves and what they’re capable of. Olivia wants to do everything and be everything. From a mommy to an astronaut to a queen of her own planet. She wants to try a little of everything and has no doubt in her mind about it. It teaches children to “go for it” and to keep their minds open about where life can take them. Her adventures are always a lot of fun for both child and parent to watch. Olivia is on NickJr everyday and she has a ton of books! AND she has an awesome website.  http://www.oliviathepiglet.com/

5. Franklin.

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Franklin is all about friendship and character. It teaches how to be honest and a good friend while also encouraging imagination while Franklin and his friends pretend to be superheros and solve mysteries! It’s entertaining and has some really great lessons in being considerate. Franklin is on NickJr everyday!

Those are my top 5 favorite children’s shows. Not only do I trust them in teaching my daughter (and sometimes me), but they’re fun to watch with her as well.

And, if you have just a little baby and would like something to put on for them, Baby First TV is awesome.

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I used to put it on in the middle of the night when Rayne woke up. It plays classical music and shows comforting and calming images all night, while showing baby friendly programs during the day to meet your baby’s sensory development needs.

I hope this helps someone looking for television advice! All of these shows are awesome in my book. Do you have any shows to add to the list?

Aside

Being a mommy never looked so good…right?

4 Feb

Being a mommy, any kind of mommy, is exhausting to say the least. You wake up to fully give yourself to this mini person who needs your help, protection, guidance and love. That leaves very little time for yourself. No more spending an hour getting ready in the morning. No more long showers where you can stand in the warm comforting water, wake up a bit, and shave your legs correctly. It’s more like, co-shower, come out with your legs looking like you took a chainsaw to them, throw on whatever is clean or has the least amount of baby mess, and hair? Ponytail or wash and go. It’s not easy holding onto yourself while having to do everything for your little one. A lot of the time, you forget about yourself all together. We get this mentality of “I have more important things to give my attention to than myself“. Although it’s not true and we really should be giving ourselves daily attention, we really believe it’s not important at the time. Not in a martyr kind of way, just a busy, tired kind of way. It’s about time we give up this sad way of thinking, but I know as a mother myself, that’s easier said than done. So I’m not going to urge you to buy that fancy black dress and strap on some sexy pumps and a full face of make-up every morning. I’m just going to tell you what I do that helps me feel good about myself. Maybe it’ll help you too.

MAKE UP

As a mom you don’t usually have time for all the fixin’s of make-up. A smokey eye is now a rare event. But, there are simple, quick ways to touch up your tired face for an ego boost.

1. Moisturizer. I have sensitive skin so I can’t use a lot of products and I have dry skin so moisturizing is a must. I do it right before make-up and after I wash my face at the end of the day. I use Aveeno.

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http://www.aveeno.com/skincare/products/daily-moisturizing-lotion  It works great and lasts all day. AND doesn’t irritate my skin.

2. If you need to cover spots or dark circles under your sleep deprived eyes, I suggest a coverstick. I get a cheap brand that works great. When lightly blending it in, it turns into a soft almost powder. And matches to your skin tone. I use the Essence coverstick.

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http://www.essence.eu/us/usa/products/face/concealercoverstick.htm

3. Foundation. I love pressed powder foundation (or loose powder). I NEVER use liquid. I prefer a mineral powder, but that stuff can get expensive. I use Fit Me by Maybelline (I use 110).

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http://www.maybelline.com/Products/Face-Makeup/Foundation/Fit-Me-Foundation.aspx  They have so many shades to match you and having sensitive skin myself, I have to be careful what I use and this works great.

4. If you have time for a little eyeliner, go for it (If not, skip to 5). I put it inside my eyelids on the top lid along my lash line (like if you were to do it on the bottom lid, but up top instead),

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(Like so ^)

 this makes your lash line look thicker. If I have time I’ll put a little in the corner of my eyes (mini cat eye look), elongating the eyes.

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(Kinda like this ^)

5. I usually don’t have the time or patience for eye shadow. So I go straight for the mascara. A great mascara can do wonders.

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If you were to splurge on any make-up products, foundation and mascara. Mascara makes it all better. If you use nothing else, use mascara.

6. A little light blush on your cheek bones will take away from the zombie look us mommies usually sport.

ChristopherKaneSpring2012

7. Throw on some chapstick and voila!

Original is my favorite.

Original is my favorite.

With 6-7 steps, it seems long but it takes me about 5 minutes. And yes, it is a more natural look. But come on, ladies. Natural is the way to go. The less the better.

OUTFIT

I know for stay at home moms (I am one myself), pajamas are the most comfortable and it takes quite a bit of coaxing to get out of them. But when we do, we wind up in worn out jeans, a baggy shirt and maybe a hoodie.

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Now, there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re comfortable with it. But don’t be afraid to spice up your casual jean and t-shirt look. I LOVE getting tight jeans that fit like a glove and a shirt that expresses my personality (usually something with a skull or a band I love). And nothing beats a cute boot. Skinny jeans, cute shirt, boots.

My style.

My go-to look. And for outings, I throw on a pair of sassy sunglasses

Like these.

Like these.

(I like to rock a pair of black Nine West cat eye shades). Simplicity is about quality over quantity. You’re clothes can be simple, but putting your own personality in what you wear adds quality. When you wear what YOU like, you’ll feel good. So, I’m not saying go buy some expensive outfit. I’m saying put thought into what you wear. Ask yourself, “Is this me?”Do I even like this?” When you like what you’re putting on, you feel a whole lot more confident.

I don’t know if these things will work for you. All I know is it’s what works for me as a busy, tired, stay at home mom. It all may sound vain and superficial. But it’s about confidence, not “being pretty“. The truth is, most moms struggle with confidence in SO MANY areas. How we look shouldn’t be one of them. I hope this helps someone!

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