Monday, August 6, 2012

The Long Drive Home

I first should apologize. It has been waaaay too long since I have last posted a blog. I can blame that on my little tornado, Liam, and school work.
We have spent the summer/deployment in Georgia. This is where my parents and my in laws live. It has been a wonderful chance to see family that we usually do not see very often. And of course everyone has gotten to see Liam and play with him and even witness his first birthday. Although its bittersweet. This is all only happening because my husband is deployed and he has missed these things. It breaks my heart, because I know he is sad about missing Liam's birthday. But just as summer is coming to a close so is the deployment. And in a few weeks my mom, Liam and I will be making the long drive back to our desert home.
But first I must say good bye to my sister (and other best friend). She leaves tomorrow for college. I am so proud of her! But I am going to miss her so much! I have just loved spending so much time with her. Once again it's bittersweet. I don't want to drop her off in a town 4 hours away tomorrow, but I know that going through that puts me one step closer to homecoming with the hubby.
It's time to pack up and get ready to go. So many exciting things are in the near future.
Here's to first steps, my long drive home has already begun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Healthier Pancakes

2/3 cup water
1 cup fiber one pancake mix
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen mixed berries
Fat free cool whip (if desired)

Make pancakes as directed on box.
Meanwhile take frozen berries and ass about a tablespoon of sugar. Place them in microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes or until hot.
Cut up banana in slices over pancakes.
Then pour berry mixture over pancakes and bananas.
Garnish with whipped cream if desired

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fried Banana & Nutella Pastry

1 Banana
1 tube of seamless crescent roll
about 2 cups of canola oil

slice banana. roll out seamless crescent roll. take a pizza cutter and cut the dough into little squares (about 2in x 2in). in each square place about a half teaspoon of nutella. then on every other square place a slice of banana.  put oil in a pot and heat to 350 degrees.  while oil heats place a dough square on one with a banana and push down around the edges to seal in the banana and nutella.  then place them in the oil until golden on both sides.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What Not to Say to a Marine Wife

I've actually seen a few of these going around. I think it's a popular milspouse blogger thing to do. I read them and usually laugh at them or totally agree with them. But in general they come off a bit snobby I think. So as I sat to write this I originally intended to list my own 10 Things Not to Say to the Wife of a Deployed Marine. I couldn't come up with 5 much less 10! I didn't want to use ones that have already been used. Like, "aren't you worried he's going to die?" or "at least he's only gone for 7 months" or the long list of a million other ones. Also I didnt want to come across as mean in my response (impossible). So I shortened my list. Here it is:

The One Thing Not to Say to the Wife of a Deployed Marine
1. Anything

The truth is there is absolutely nothing that you will say that we won't find fault in. I am very proud of my milspouse community and love the bonds that we share without even knowing each other. But it makes me sad that we see ourselves as so special that we think we deserve to make other people feel stupid for trying to be nice, or just trying to get an idea of how we live through this. I think as wives we should be more like ambassadors of this life. We should never make people feel dumb for saying something that they thought was encouraging. Now of course I'm not talking about those jerks who spit at us and call our husbands baby killers. I mean the average civilian that thinks they're saying something nice or asking a simple question not realizing that it's hurtful or silly. If we really think that we are special and elite compared to civilians, then perhaps we should act like it by being more understanding. I do realize that some of these things are said by family, but some are said by strangers. If you don't want a stranger to say anything, don't tell them! And let's work on a more positive list:

10 Things to Say to a Wife of a Deployed Marine
10. Thank you and your husband
9. You are going through this so well
8. If there's anything I can help with...
7. how's your hubby doing?
1. Hello (most importantly! I think some friends avoid us because they don't know what to say. Anything is good! We don't have to talk about only USMC stuff)
I'm still working on this list. But it's much easier to come up with than the other.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Thank God for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I have truly learned a lot (mostly the hard way) since we moved to 29 Palms, CA. One of the biggest things I've learned is that you have to be your own health care advocate! When I say that it sounds like its going to get political, it could, but I'm not going there. You need to educate yourself, but most importantly stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
So about 3 months ago I had been having the WORST pain ever in both of my breasts. It hurt the whole time I nursed and even after. My poor nipples were cracked, and bleeding and just down right beat up. I can't blame it on Liam, because he has always latched perfectly. But I didn't know what to do. I was maxing out on my pain meds and they weren't helping. I had been told by a lactation consultant, "it's normal, it's your first time, it'll get better". I wanted to quit. I felt so ashamed. I just knew i couldnt go on like that for much longer. I would have rather pushed out another baby without an epidural than endure any more of that pain. I dreaded Liam getting hungry and would be in tears through out the entire feeding. So After weeks without improvement, I went to the doctor. Once again I got the same story. Of course two docs came and looked and oooh'd and awww'd at how cracked, weirdly whitish and swollen my nipples looked (which was kind of humiliating, "hey look at how horrible this chick's nipples are!") I told them I was sure there was some kind of infection. They said, "no. They're just cracked. You need a nipple shield" So we got a nipple shield. Oh how I hate and am thankful for that thing. The horrible pain cleared up and I began to think it WAS a me and Liam problem. But I began to read, and every book I read said nipple shields were a bad idea. It can mess up your baby's latch, and can even cause your baby to lose weight. We had been having weight problems and I knew immediately we needed to get off the shield. So after a month on the shield we weaned off of it. Which was amazing since I had read that some babies don't ever go back to the breast from a shield. And Li was already older in breastfed baby terms, 4 months (at the time). Oh how did I get in this mess? I thought I was taking medical advice!
Within a week the shield was gone an Liam was so happy. He wouldn't use the shield now if I tried. I'm so lucky. So we have an entire month of pure, simple, easy breastfeeding bliss. Maybe that's all it was, my boobs just weren't used to the abuse. And then 4 days ago it starts again. The pain! As soon as he latches the entire time he nurses and even when he's not. But! This time, I know something isn't right. My nipples AREN'T cracked, Li IS latching correctly, we've had MONTHS of pain free nursing, and it's only on ONE side! So I scour my med surg books and trusted breastfeeding websites. My only symptom is this awful pain. But I had noticed a week earlier that Liam had developed a fungal rash on his chest. I didn't worry about it too much, he's teething and drooling a lot, plus he had a well check up the next week. But as I'm reading the nursing student in me comes out and I put two and two together. Why would he have a fungal rash instead of just skin irritation? There's no lesions in his mouth. But then I read this, "often severe pain is the only symptom of thrush for the nursing mother". And it hits me, I have thrush. I feel relieved for a second. It's not me or Liam. I make an appointment. The doc doesn't seem real decisive on what's going on with my right breast. In the end I talk him into it. Sad huh? So he gives me the diflucan. By the time I come home the tell-tell white patches pop up on my nipple. It was like God saying, "see you're right!". Then I realize, oh my gosh, these white patches look like the discoloration I had months ago. How did those docs miss it?! There were two of them! They were sitting there staring at my boobs and wincing in sympathetic pain! How did they over look that! I became so angry at the Naval Hospital. This isn't the first time they've failed me. I thought about all those months of unnecessary pain, I was so upset that I couldn't get those months back. What if I had given up breastfeeding? What if the nipple shield is the root of all Liam's weight issues? This could've all been avoided if they would've seen what was staring them in the face. I begin to wonder how I suffered through 8 weeks of the worst pain I've ever felt. Then I wondered how could God let me suffer? And I realize he didn't let me or make me. He gave me William, who supported and encouraged me to continue breastfeeding and not give up. He also gave me strength, to feed my son even though it hurt. Then he took the infection away for awhile, He gave me time. Time to figure out how to take care of me. He waited until he knew Liam and I were secure in our breastfeeding relationship. And then he gave me olive oil (which contains lanoleic acid, a natural anti-fungal, and a moisturizer). He even sent my hubby to get it for me after a 22 hour work day at 6:30am with a smile on his face, He even threw in some flowers! Talk about service! This morning while I waited for my tired hubby to come back with the liquid gold I began to appreciate the sacrifices we make for our children. Yes, it hurts like hell to feed Liam on my right side, but I'll do it because its good for him. I'm sure it hurt more than I could ever imagine to watch your only son die, but He sacrificed him for us, His children. I know now I can do this. Its the least I can do.
I could be upset that the Naval Hospital screwed up. But they screw up all the time. Instead I've chosen to use this experience to help me next time. Next time I'll push harder when i know something is wrong. Maybe with my next baby, I'll know what to look for. Maybe if I go back to work in OB/Gyn I'll be able to help my breastfeeding patients better. Maybe I should get it together and become a lactation consultant.

Now for fall Liam pictures!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yes, He Sleeps In Our Bed

I really dont like to tell people that the baby sleeps with us. My husband has no problem with telling anyone, I
cringed when i heard him tell his mother. Not that she would say anything. But I'm for some reason expecting this flood of people telling me it's a bad idea and I'll be sorry or that I'm spoiling him.
I'll be the first to say that before I had my son, I swore that no kids were going to be sleeping in our bed, much less our room. And for a couple of months none did. Liam slept in his pack n play when he was born and then moved on to his crib once he was 2 months old. And there he slept at night for about another month. So why the change?
I was exhausted! So tired that I was beginning to sleep through his cries on the baby monitor. I'm breastfeeding. So Liam wakes up more often at night to eat than formula fed babies. And it got to the point where I was so worried about not hearing him that I wasn't sleeping. So I brought him back in our room into his pack n play when he was about 3 months old. That worked great. But I was still feeling pretty tired when he would wake up to eat. So my hubby suggested just feeding Li in the bed instead of going to his room. So that led to side lying nursing. Which led to us falling asleep after he ate and him spending the rest of the night in our bed. And it was glorious. We learned a few things about this new arrangement. 1. We all sleep better. 2. Liam doesn't wake up crying. Usually he wakes up grabs my arm then goes back to sleep. If he's hungry he will whimper and nuzzle up to me. 3. I usually wake up before he does. Did I mention we all get more sleep? And Liam doesn't cry? And after doing a lot of reading on Dr Sears' website I truly believe that this is just better for us. I'm not sorry he sleeps with us. I don't feel he is ready to sleep in his bed yet alone. And I'm sure once he is, we will have no problem transitioning to that. It's very obvious our sleep cycles have synced, so I'm not out of my mind exhausted when he wakes up to eat. I'm not sorry. This has worked out wonderfully. The only down side is we have a queen size bed. We have just purchased a king bed and are waiting for it to arrive. If I had known better I would've bought it sooner. By the way, did you know breastfed babies breathe better when sleeping with their mothers at night?
Aside from all that my four month old is trying to crawl. He gets on his hands and knees and rocks. Hes so close! He also has a new fascination with touching the cat. Of course i only allow him to do so under my very close supervision.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Little Boy is 4 Months Old

And already I've begun to get the question, "so when are you going to stop breastfeeding?". Stop? I feel like I just started! And I even more recently just began to actually enjoy it! I'm sure these questions are well meaning. One person who asked me was a fellow member of the breastfeeding group I attend. When I go to answer this question I never feel like I'm giving the "right" answer. I'm pretty sure I'm not giving most people the one they want to hear anyway. I think some people have a hard time visualizing a walking and somewhat talking 15 month old still breastfeeding. But from four months of breastfeeding experience I've found that most people (unless they are also breastfeeding moms or their husbands) seem to be uncomfortable with it no matter what the age. Which is difficult on a new mom, it took this whole four months for me to get the confidence I now have to breastfeed comfortably in public.
I think most people are just uninformed. Nutrition is not the only reason for breastfeeding. There are very strong and important bonds that take place between mother and baby during this time. So there is a need for BF after one year. It helps the infant to develop emotionally by forming this strong attachment with its mother. And if you want to get technical, the World Health Organization recommend BF until 2 years of age. Most babies don't even begin weaning on their own before this age.
The other remark I get is, "what about when he gets teeth?!". Babies don't suck with their teeth, they suck with their tongues. <-- there! Squashed!
So what's my answer? I don't know. Thats what I tell everyone. I enjoy doing it. It's the only time my little monkey is calm and cuddly while he's awake. It's our special time to relax and connect. And the best part is it solves everything! He's tired? Nurse him. He's fussy? Nurse him. He's upset, scared, hurt, lonely, or hungry(duh)? Nurse him! The truth is (despite what some people think) I wouldn't consider extended nursing just for me, because I can't let go. This is a partnership between me and Liam. To make him stop before he's ready would be cruel. My goal is to BF for the first 12 months. Anything after that is up to Liam (and a bonus in my opinion). A little sensitivity should be called on when tackling this subject with a breastfeeding mother. Remember that when you suggest she should stop at (insert random number here) months, you are telling her she should give up that special time with her child where she holds him and comforts him and provides him with everything he needs. It's a very emotional thing you are messing with here! Plus, formula is expensive! And I'd never get to see this precious sleeping face in my lap on my boppy pillow. I've talked to grown women, women with grandchildren, who breastfed their children decades ago. The one thing they've all told me when they see me feed Liam, "oh I miss breastfeeding! I remember feeding my kids, i miss it!". And I understand, it makes me sad to know that the day when he won't BF anymore will be here soon. My heart actually aches a little when I think about it.