About Me

Alberta, Canada
What's My Deal? - - - There is so much to say, but I will give you the basics in regards to this blog. I am a Canadian 20 something woman married to a wonderful man, and we are the parents to our wondeful son who was born in the fall of 2010. As you will read, I am a supporter of breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, and so much more, but mostly learning about babies! Oh, and I also love reading blogs and playing jigsaw online!!! I blog to share things that I have learned, read, heard and experienced.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

'No Cry Sleep Solution' Book Review

As mentioned in an earlier post, I had started reading the book 'No Cry Sleep Solution'.  I had really started to enjoy the book, but hadn't yet got into the "how to" section.  As I was reading I knew this was going to be a lot of work, as everything involving parenthood is. As the book progressed, I had to start the logs, this is where the challenge came in.  When I started this book, Sutton was sleeping the first half of the night in his swing, and the second half in our bed.  I was supposed to write down what time he woke, how long he nursed, and what time he fell back asleep.  This was almost impossible for me to do, because in order for me to write it down, I would have to turn over to the bed side table, risking waking Sutton.  I also would have to stay awake.  Sometimes I cannot tell if Sutton is comfort sucking or if in fact he is nursing.  (I know, 5 months in, and I still don't always know!)

The thing I love about co-sleeping, is that I get a full nights sleep...for the most part.  This may seem selfish or lazy, but sleeping is important for me, Sutton and Alan.  Alan doesn't wake at all, but is very aware of Sutton's presence in the bed.  We do what works, and this is the best decision for our family.

For 5 months now I have gotten much "advice" about how to get Sutton to sleep in his crib.  Some advice is from friends or family or people who genuinely care, this is fine.  But  many people tell me that he will never sleep in his crib if we don't make him do it now.  We all know this is not true...don't we?  Am I the first person to ever co-sleep?  What about cultures where co-sleeping is the norm?  What about large families in small houses?   Why are some people so oblivious to the fact that I am not crazy or making bad decisions?  We all judge I guess, but it's no fun when people judge me.

Alan and I decided that co-sleeping was good for us, it was something that worked, and something that we felt Sutton needed.  We have been trying the crib on and off the last couple weeks, and it is going really well.  He falls asleep at the breast as usual, and then we place him in his crib, he always lies on his tummy, looks around, then cries.  Instantly I pick him up and hold him chest to chest.  He quickly falls back to sleep, and then after a minute or 2 I place him back into his crib on his tummy and pat his little bum.  He settles just fine, and sleeps for about 4 hours.  At this point, he comes into our bed, and I nurse him and he stays the rest of the night. 

I am aware that I should sit up, nurse him and put him back in his crib, but we have come so far with him sleeping for any amount of time in his crib, that we will slowly progress to the full night.

The most important part of all of this is that every morning I wake up to little hand in my face.  To smiles and kicks and little chatter!  Sutton obviously has slept well, and is well rested.  That is key, Sutton gets the sleep and comfort that he needs and is entitled too.

However....I really really wanted to read the entire book, and apply the techniques.  In the meantime though, we have found a technique that works for us.  I will read the rest of the book, but not do any of the logs.  We have already established a good nighttime routine and are getting our baby to sleep without crying it out!

I cannot upload a picture of Sutton sleeping in his crib, because I do not dare go in there and risk him waking to the startling "bright lights of heaven" of a flash I have on my camera!  Another good parenting move on my part!!!  Yeah!!!!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cool We Are!

My little sister Brittany just flew in from Ontario tonight.  My mom from Ontario is also here, but she arrived a few days ago.  Anyway, it is 12am, or almost 2am for Britt, and we are both sitting here writing blog posts.

Anyway, I am just sitting here at the kitchen table enjoying my tea and the music from Sutton's swing.  Then she mentions my pantry door, I had no idea what she was talking about, I looked at her, and I realized what "pantry" door she meant.  I looked at her again, and held my head in shame and said "That isn't a pantry, that's the junk closet!"

This is what she saw when she opened it......then she says "Wow, lots of good stuff in here!!!"
She is clearly the greatest person to ever walk this planet!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I love Spring!!!!

I love spring.  I think it might be my favourite season.  The snow melts, the weather warms, and everyone is so happy.  I do love the fall too but everyone is always so negative awaiting the first snowfall, and the first COLD day.  We also pack up our patio furniture and prepare the house and yard for the next few miserable months.  It's just a feeling of ending, dying even.  But the spring signals new life, and a new outlook.

Oh, and it is also my birthday month!!!!

Here are some photos of Spring so far for us!

I need some new baby approved sunglasses for The Butt!

A lovely walk!!

I have feet!!! Yay!

Time to clean the car...I mean minivan!!!  Waiting in line for the car wash gave us time for a quick nurse and bum change!

Got all the ice off finally!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Milk Maid Tea Experiment

I must start this post by mentioning I am VERY pro breastfeeding.  I do not look down on mothers who use formula, but I always wonder why.  If it comes up in conversation, it is always the same thing "I wasn't producing enough milk"  What does that even mean?  Breastfeeding works best if you do it.  I know it can be hard to wait it out; especially, if you feel your baby isn't getting enough milk, usually they are though, but if you continue to feed the baby it will work out, and if your supply is still low, there is much you can do to increase it.  Assess your lifestyle, your diet, your stress level, your determination. 

I must also mention, I am not in the medical field and do not in any way possess a medical degree except for the one I issued myself in the ability to 'Self Diagnose'.  I am also not a Lactation Consultant.  I am not going to provide any studies or research in this post, I will simply speak from experience and conversations I have had with others. 

My son has been exclusively breastfed for 4 and a half months....his entire precious life.  At first I wondered if I wasn't producing enough milk.  Now I think that maybe I just don't store a lot, I have small storage tanks maybe!!!  My milk came in right away which was wonderful.  At our 1 week check up I mentioned to my doctor that I was concerned I had a low milk supply,
and she was not at all concerned as Sutton was back up to his birth weight in less than a week, on average they say it takes up to 2 weeks.  She did give me a prescription for a medication which can aid in more milk supply.  In fact, she said she had a patient who adopted, and was able to breastfeed because of this medication.  I did not fill the prescription as when talking with a friend about my concerns, she basically told me that my body knows what to do, and if the baby doesn't suck the body doesn't produce.  Tough it out, hang in there, and most importantly to keep at it.  I consider her a hero in my breastfeeding adventures.  Another thing she told me was to not have any formula on hand, it will only make me want to use it when I am struggling the most.  I had to follow my instinct, by body and my son.

Here, almost 5 months later, I still wonder.  I think just because I cannot pump very well.  It takes me at least 2 days and 4 pumping sessions to get a 5oz bottle.  Everyone knows though that a baby sucking at the breast is far more effective than a breast pump ever will be.

Regardless of the fact that I KNOW I am producing enough milk, I still regularly eat oatmeal as it does enhance my supply, and it is so healthy and yummy too, and I get to eat copious amounts of brown sugar! 

I was at one of my favourite children's boutiques when I came across the Earth Mama Angel Baby Products.  They had a 'Milk Maid Tea' for breastfeeding mothers.  I figured I would give it a shot. It contained 16 tea bags for $9.99.  That works out to $0.62 a cup. 

Man oh man does it ever work.  I was going to try it for 10 days, but I just quit last night and did it for 6 days.  It really does work.  My breasts were definitely larger, huge even.  Alan and I pointed and laughed that I was going to topple over.  I was also able to pump more than usual.  I was slightly engorged, but not too engorged that I was in complete discomfort.

As I mentioned in a previous post....all (or close to all) women can breastfeed.  I often hear people say that they cannot, as they didn't have enough milk.  How did they know?  One cannot determine how many ounces of milk they have.  The more you feed the more you produce, and a pump can never replace a baby. 

For the first month or so, Sutton was ALWAYS on the breast.  Several people told me he was comfort sucking and to put an end to it immediately.  I didn't want to to deprive him comfort at all, and I wanted to wait it out.  I now truly believe that he was increasing my supply.  My son and my body worked together.  There are still times when Sutton 'comfort sucks' and sometimes I know he is just needing comfort and other times I think he is increasing my supply.  Breastfeeding is a 'Supply and Demand' business after all.  The more the baby sucks, the more you produce.  Just as your body can conceive a child, carry a child and deliver a child, it can also nourish a child.  I am sure there are some circumstances where mothers cannot or do not produce enough milk, but I also believe that determination plays a huge role.  If a doctor says you aren't producing enough milk do you believe them?  How do they know?  Their medical degree doesn't enable them to see through your skin and into your milk ducts.  As long as your child is healthy, content and gaining weight properly that is indication that you ARE producing enough milk.  Never trust a pump alone.  Had I have done this, it means that my son is only getting 2 oz of milk per day.  I know this isn't true.  I make sure my breast is emptied as much as possible to aid in my body's ability to continue the supply and demand.

So, to conclude my experiment, the Earth Mama Angel Baby Tea is very effective.  Please see the ingredients below.  I am sure the main ingredient of Fenugreek is the reason it is so effective.  I have heard of doctors who prescribe Fenugreek pills as well for the reason of increasing milk supply.  I will use this tea again if I want to quickly enhance my supply to be able to pump a few bottles.  It seemed to work very quickly.  I noticed by the next day for sure.  The taste wasn't bad.  I could smell and taste the peppermint most. 
It also states not to use if you are Pregnant.  I am not sure why.  I assume it has something to do with the Red Raspberry Leaf in it, or maybe because you do not want to stimulate milk supply too early in your pregnancy.  I am not sure why, but I wasn't concerned as I am not pregnant.  As with anything, do your research and ask a professional.  Most places who sell these products are very well informed as well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Funny Boy!

Sutton is so funny!!!!  He makes me laugh every single day, many times a day!  Watching him learn and grow and discover new things makes me want to have 20 kids to I can watch it for the rest of my life! 

We are on a regular schedule now, and I love that.  It has variances of course, but we are up at the same time every day and his naps are at about the same time, and the same length.  Frees up my day a bit, but I find myself waiting for him to wake up.  I could nap, but I would much rather use his time sleeping as time for me to do what I want.  Which is often just sitting, or being on the computer.

This week, I was changing Sutton, and I let him air out while I was going through his clothes.  I noticed he started to pee.  I covered it with my hand, and thought he was finished, so I grabbed a cloth, he then continued to pee and it went in his eye, nose and ear.  And of course it went all over his arm, leg and bum.  It was so funny.  Then a couple days later, he did #2 while I was changing him again.

Sutton loves naked time, and he uses that time to roll around.  He feels so free and kicks like mad!  Rolling is really his new favourite thing to do.  At play group yesterday, we had a demonstrator there for baby massage and Sutton was too busy rolling around to be masssaged!  haha  He still prefers to stand as much as possible.  He enjoys playing in his back as well.  He is able to roll both ways but prefers to go from back to tummy.  Tummy time is also much more fun now than it used to be.  He no longer has to be bribed with a mirror!  He also gets less frustrated!  Thank god, seeing him struggle was hard, but he was learning at the same time.  He is so strong.  Everyone comments that for 4 months he has incredible strength!

Sutton smiles all the time, and he has a few different smiles.  They are so cute.  My eyes still water when Sutton smiles at Alan.  Sutton has started to laugh a little.  I think he is copying me more than truly laughing, and I can't wait for the day when he laughs a real laugh at something real.

A few days ago I put Sutton in his Exersaucer for the first time since he has been big enough for it.  I put the 1000 batteries in it, and he was so suprised at all the sounds, and motion.  So much to see, listen to and touch.  He just looked at everything with amazment.  He didn't know what to do, it was so overwhelming. 

Sutton and I cook or bake together several times a day.  He watches me do everything, and I explain it all to him while wiping up his constant stream of drool!  He will happily sit in his Bumbo and just watch and look around the kitchen!

Playing with toys is now much more fun.  He can grab things well, and shake them.  He of course loves to put them in his mouth.  He has toys that he prefers over others.  He likes Gus (Sophie The Giraffe), his Kindermusik rattle, his lovey (stuffed giraffe) and the thing we bought in Texas.

We went to the Health Centre the other day and Sutton weighs 12lbs 10oz.  He is 24 inches long.  He is perfectly healthy and is growing at a good rate.  It shocks me that he is double his birth weight now.  I can't believe that he was half the weight he was!  My oh my, do they ever grow quickly.  I made the mistake of blinking, and here he is growing. 

Sutton is the light of my life.  He brings me joy like I have never experienced before.  I love when I am out and people stop me to tell me how cute he is.  He then smiles at them, and his little dimples poke through, and instead of speaking or thanking the person, I agree with them, and stare at Sutton!  hahahaha

Sticking his tongue out while being changed!

Chewing in his lovey!  You can see in his eyes he really is chewing!

He has discovered his thumb.  He mostly chews on it rather than suck it though!


Breastfeeding...it is for EVERYONE!!!

Question: "Will you breastfeed?"

Answer: "Gross, no!  Why would I do that?  They make formula you know, and I was formula fed, and I am smart-ish, and am rarely sick.  Besides, it seems like such an inconvenience.  And then the Dad doesn't have to do anything, and everything will be left onto me.  And my boobs will be hangy and saggy and ugly.  And like as if I want my boob hanging out all the time.  And leakage, I hear horrible stories about this, and never want to deal with that.  It freaks me out that my child will be sucking on my tit, sick, boobs are for sex, and sex only."

Who would say something so foul...ME, a couple years ago.  Anyone who knows me knows I do not think this way anymore!!!  I am so ashamed it brings me to tears!!!  I cannot believe that I almost deprived my son of what is best for him.

I remember the day I decided breastfeeding was for ME and should be for EVERYONE!  I was visiting friends on Ontario a few years ago and I saw my friend breastfeeding her daughter.  I stared in amazement.  You could see their bond and their love, and their naturalism.  Then, that same day a friend told me she was pregnant.  I looked at her, looked at my friend with her boob out and I was so jealous.  These bitches...they have what I want.  I want a baby, and I want to breastfeed...like, immediately.  I will remember this day forever, it was one of my greatest days.  Of course the day I got married, found out I was pregnant and delivered my son are also high ranked.  But this day I feel was the most important, it was the day that my life changed so much.  This is the day I think I fully acquired my mothering gene.  I was surrounded by friends and  without their knowing it, they helped me make the decision that I wanted to be a mother, and wanted to give my child the best start in life by breastfeeding.

I have had several moments in my life that I think "okay, NOW I get it."  But why did something so natural like breastfeeding do this for me?  I think about this often. 

I often nurse my son and talk to him.  I pet his little head, touch and kiss his hand, pat his bum and just talk to him.  I love how when he is stressed, I can nurse him, and his whimpering slows down and his body relaxes.  His heartbeat slows down and he is at peace.  He is held, loved, warmed and nourished.  But above all that, be is being nurtured, naturally.

I love breastfeeding for so many reasons.  The cost...its free, its easy, I never have to prepare bottles or clean them, I never have to listen to my baby scream while I prepare formula, and of course it is best for baby.  The health benefits are truly amazing!  Have you ever noticed that all ads for formula state that breastmilk is best. There are studies that support this, and really, in this day in age, who is going to argue this anyway?

The health reasons why we should all breastfeed are countless.  I often get so discouraged when people say that they cannot breastfeed.  I do not believe this.  I know I may offend some people here, but I truly believe that we can all breastfeed.  If your body can conceive, grow a baby and deliver a baby, you can also provide natural nourishment.

I was talking to a friend one day, and she is my friend (if I can label her) who is the most knowledgeable on everything, she is well educated, and truly is an amazing person.  She is constantly learning things, and with everything she says she can show you references and studies based on the facts.  I said to her one day "If I hear one more person say they CANNOT breastfeed, I will punch them in the face!"  She replied "I think you are being a little hard on people."  I almost died.  I have read so much, but often cannot relay these facts and studies back to someone.  I have also been exclusively breastfeeding for almost 5 months now.  I have experience, and what is better than experience.  I know she didn't mean to stun me like she did, but I felt horrible that I couldn't back that up with some actual REAL information.  So many moms put too many faith in doctors.  Doctors are just people.  They have flaws, and just because they can prescribe medications and perform surgery, doesn't mean that they are supportive or knowledgeable in natural things. 

While I was pregnant, I was seen by several doctors about a genetic health issue.  There were concerns that my baby and myself would be in danger.  I did a lot of research, got my health records from birth to now, and did my own diagnosis.  I decided to terminate myself as their patient.  I felt like I was being treated as a case study and not as mother who wanted a natural childbirth.  If I continued my care with them as a "high risk pregnancy" I knew I would be seen by an OB/GYN and would have to have a c-section and blood thinners. With these blood thinners I wouldn't be able to nurse my son.  In the end I made the right decision.  I figured that following my own instinct was best, after all, I was a mother at this point, and mother knows best when it comes to their child. 

There are many women who have problems breastfeeding.  I am one of these women.  We all go through the pain, the inexperience and the sleepless nights that make us want to give up.  Determination is key...so is my husband.  He knows how important nursing is for me, and this became important to him as well.  There were days at the beginning of Sutton's life when I sat there crying.  My baby was covered and soaking wet with my tears.  But we came through.  I had to remember that minutes after Sutton was born, I was nursing him.  I had no idea what to do, so I just put him up to my nipple and he suckled away, not the most effective way, but he knew what to do.  I have also had to deal with a low milk supply.  I don't even know if I do have a low milk supply.  I nurse Sutton so often, but I think it is because he doesn't get a "full feeding" in one session, so I just nurse him more often.  My son is happy, healthy, gaining weight, and developing as he should be.  I do drink special tea and eat oatmeal daily to enhance my milk supply.  Should that have not worked, I would have gone on medications to help me.  I also had latch problems and positioning problems.  but after a couple visits with a lactation consultant, and again determination, and of course continuation, Sutton and I worked through it.  It took us about 6 weeks to fully know how to breastfeed more efficiently.

I would live to go into more details as to why we can all breastfeed, and touch on some of the misinformation out there.  At this moment, I cannot, I must get ready to nurse my son, as I see he is starting to wake!  I did come across this website though on low milk supply.  It is very informative.  As always my research will continue.  I want to look more into a mothers diet and babies having problems with nursing because of lactose issues and such.  Is this fact or fiction?  I will find out, and not to prove to anyone, but because knowledge is power, and maybe the more we all know can help ourselves, and help others. 

I breastfeed my son everywhere!  Whenever and wherever he is hungry or needs comfort I nurse him. (I have even pulled the car over to nurse him in a parking lot.) 

When breastfeeding; support is so important.  If it weren't for friends, and my husband, I may have given up.  I will never know for sure though, as this wasn't my case.  Again, I was determined, and my determination paid off!  I plan on continuing to breastfed well after a year.  I know many people may think this is irrelevant and gross, but it isn't.  Even though Sutton will be getting nourishment from solid foods, breastmilk still has benefits, even after the first 12 months.  Research it!  In many cultures extended breastfeeding is normal.  They however, may not have access to formula....point proven once again!  If friends and family cannot support you or provide assistance, there are several health centres with lactation consultants and of course there is the Le Leche League for support as well.

I will state that I wish I could write this better.  I wish I could express my feelings and beliefs with facts and studies, and in a better mind set to relate these facts.  I do not want to offend anyone who doesn't breastfeed, or believes they cannot do so.  I just want to express my love of breastfeeding.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Thoughts on CIO

I've recently came across a new blog that I love.  It s a blog about Attachment Parenting, and I came across this post that I really meant a lot to me.

I have copied only part of the post below, but please read their entire post to fully understand who these woman are and their style of parenting to get the ideas they intended.  In this same post they do provide 10 alternatives to crying it out, and of course link their previous posts on the subject and also back up their writing with experience and published articles, books, etc.  Again, I really do LOVE this blog!

Here is the portion of the post that hit me the hardest:

I see it all the time on facebook pages and message boards - moms lamenting the torture of listening to their babies cry it out. Nine times out of ten the mom is hating it. Sadly, I occasionally see a mom happy to say the CIO worked and baby is "finally asleep." What tends to happen is that most moms I know hate CIO, but eventually it seems to work. Baby seems to cry less and less when he is left in his crib. And to an extent the trick has worked. Baby has slowly learned his crying won't work to draw his mom back in the room. He's been conditioned to understand his crying won't elicit the attention he needs or wants. He has learned helplessness.

As a parent with a supportive husband who doesn't and will not let her baby cry it out, the last few sentences of the above paragraph really helped me to know that Alan and I are doing the right thing.  Sometimes we loose sight of this because of the comments other people make.  I do a lot of research on babies and compare my style of parenting to others.  I have friends and family who do things their own way, and some are similar to Alan and I and some are not.  I think at the end of the day we do what works for us, but also what we believe to be best for our children and family. 

As always I continue to research topics about parenting and child development.  I am currently reading 'No-Cry Sleep Solution' by Elizabeth Pantley.  So far it is good, I have only just started this book, but am enjoying it so far, and learning about babies sleep habits, and a SOLUTION to sleeping through the night.  We do fairly well with Sutton actually.  Sleeping through the night is cconsidered to be a stretch of 5 hours or more.  This often happens in our house, so I am not at my wits end, walking into walls because I am completely sleep deprived.  I do find this subject fascinating though.  Even though Alan and I are comfortable with Sutton's night time sleep schedule, which is nursing him to sleep, placing him in his swing and then bringing him to our bed for his night time nurse then sleeping the rest of the night together.  Again, we are okay with this, especially the part about him sleeping in our bed, but ideally, we would like to place him in his crib and wake up 12 hours later.  I also understand that parenting doesn't stop between the hours of 8pm and 8am.  I am perfectly okay with this,  in fact, I love seeing Sutton when I go to get him out of his swing in the middle of the night, and then snuggling with him as he nurses.  After this, we both drift back to sleep, and wake up hours later.

Once we let Sutton cry it out, and we will never do this again.  I ended up picking him up after almost an hour, and he was too distraught to even nurse, his body was tense, and he was shaking.  Alan and I looked at each other and felt so bad for him.  I felt horrible that I had let Sutton suffer like he did.   I watched him in his crib as he was struggling, and knew we would never do this again.  Alan and I both agreed that this was not the method for us.  In fact, we knew this beforehand, but because of other peoples pressures, and curiosity, we caved, and we tried it for the first and last time!

I did come across this portion of her book.  She is quoting Jean Liedloff's 'The Continuum Concept' (Addison-Wesley, 1977).  Here, she describes a baby waking in the middle of the night:

He awakes in a mindless terror of silence, the motionlessness.  He screams.  He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience.  He gasps for breath and screams until his head is filled and throbbing with the sound.  He screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore.  He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside.  He listens.  He opens and closes his fists.  He rolls his head from side to side.  Nothing helps.  It is unbearable.  He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops.  He waves his hands and kicks his feet.  He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope.  He listens.  Then he falls asleep again.

I cried as I read this.  That is exactly what it was like with Sutton the one time we let him cry it out.  Babies know how to sleep, but they do not know how to sleep like older children and adults.  Of course not, they cannot do anything for themselves, why must we force them into sleeping like adults in this method.  The above breaks me heart, but this is what it was like for Sutton.  Even though he cannot speak to us and tell us what he feels, we both saw what was happening.  We both looked at each other with that look of fear and question. And this method of sleep will not be practiced in our family again.

I am eager to continue reading this book, and when I am finished and have tried her methods I will post about our experiences.