Mom, Say Cheese! Photo Challenge: Week 17

Mom Say Cheese Blog Link UpIf you’re anything like me, you’re constantly taking pictures of your kids and possibly your kids with your partner, but the number of pictures of your kids and you are few and far between.

I started the Mom, Say Cheese! Photo Challenge in hopes that mothers would get out from behind the camera and into pictures with their children more often. I’d love for moms everywhere to challenge themselves to at least one picture a week that includes them and their children.

If you’re a blogger and happen to include said picture(s) in a blog post, feel free to link up below by using the linky form or pasting your link in the comment sections. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to!

And don’t forget, you can always post your pictures on other forms of social media using hashtag #MomSayCheese!

The Mom, Say Cheese! Photo Challenge is pretty simple:

  • Have fun!
  • Take a picture of yourself and your kid(s). Or get someone else to do it for you.
  • Be creative. Your faces don’t have to be in the pictures.
  • Link up below (Link-up will be open every Thursday thru Saturday). I’d love for you to link back to this post to help spread the word, though it’s not necessary
  • Share your pictures on other social media with #MomSayCheese throughout the week!

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Placenta Encapsulation: Part One (I did it)

Something I wanted to do, but “couldn’t” after G was born was encapsulate my placenta.

I say “couldn’t” because it sounded like I’d have to jump through hoops at the hospital he was born at in order to keep it. I didn’t want to deal with that and as it turned out, I wasn’t mentally or physically able to anyway.

When we were interviewing doulas, one of them raved about it. She was honest in saying she couldn’t be 100% positive that the pills really worked, but when she had taken them before her period they seemed to alleviate the premenstrual moodiness she experienced.

She was able to get Hubby on board with the idea after recounting her experiences with postpartum depression and not having much of an issue with it after the birth of her last child – the one she did placenta encapsulation with. So I found a midwife-in-training who was willing to pick the placenta up from the hospital and have it delivered to my home by the time I was discharged. I reminded my midwife during the last moments of L’s labor that we wanted to keep the placenta (no hoops at this hospital!)

The pills were delivered in a cute little jar in a cute little gift bag. The midwife-in-training even saved part of the umbilical cord, which was an interesting added bonus (I really don’t know what to do with it). She told me she was able to make a little more than the normal amount of pills from my placenta.

But still. The instructions said to take 1-2 pills three times a day for two weeks postpartum and then as needed after that. Those suckers would run out at some point. I was scared terrified of that despite not knowing for sure they’d help me.

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encapsulated placenta and dehydrated umbilical cord

To be honest I didn’t see a real need to be taking them when I was taking my Happy Pills. My original plan was to take them as I tried weaning off my Happy Pills at 3 months postpartum, because I was told by previous doctors to try weaning off them every three months. I knew I’d need some help during that process. But after speaking with my therapist and midwife, we’ve decided it’s best I stay on the Happy Pills for at least a year. So I didn’t take them diligently. Then I stopped. I stuck the jar in the freezer to give them a longer shelf life and forgot about them, only to be reminded of them if I was (am) having a bad day and Hubby asks, “Well, have you taken your $250 placenta pills?”

I considered taking the pills in lieu of increasing my Happy Pill dosage. But I was still scared of running out if they worked.

When I started having extreme anxiety before my first postpartum period, I began taking two at night. Mostly, I was feeling desperate and was worried I was going crazy. I did feel a difference when I got into bed. I could take a deep breath. I could sleep. I also noticed that my milk was coming in a lot more than usual. Or I was feeling it more than usual. I remembered with G my milk supply would tank right before my period.

I still haven’t taken my pills diligently. But since they seemed to help ease my unexplained panic and possibly boosted my milk supply in the days leading up to my period I will probably at least use them around that time of the month.

Hubby and I really never had to do anything with the placenta. The nurses at the hospital wrapped it up and put it on ice in the cooler we brought with us. Hubby took the cooler down to the lobby the next day and handed it to the midwife-in-training. Then she arrived at our house a few days later with the placenta in pill form. Easy peasy. No mess. Nothing to look at to weird us out.

The pills are big (or what I consider big), but they haven’t been difficult to swallow. They don’t taste like anything going down. I haven’t had any negative side effects that I’m aware of. I read that keeping them in the freezer prolongs shelf-life so that’s where they’re hanging out.

I honestly had high hopes for this post. I think that’s why I’ve put off writing it. I wanted to give people insight into the awesomeness (or lack there of) of encapsulating the placenta. I wanted to write a great post about it, no matter what the outcome. But I can’t do that if I haven’t given them a real chance. I don’t even feel right writing this post, but placenta encapsulation was something I wanted to do so badly and ended up being a big-ish part of my birth wishes as a whole that I wanted to share what I could. I guess I’ll be writing an update at some point, especially if I start taking them more consistently at That Time of the Month.

Labor Day = Sale Time!

This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive compensation if you make a purchase using any links contained in it. All opinions are my own.

Since G’s baby clothes are a little out of season for L, I’m finding that I have to buy him new clothes to dress him properly for the weather. Right now my ideal place to buy clothes for the boys is at consignment stores. However, when major holidays come around I eagerly flip through catalogs and pay more attention to my inbox for notifications of clothing sales. I do like to buy new when I can!

I’m finding that a lot of the Gymboree clothes fit L rather well. I’ve bought most of our Gymboree clothes second-hand, but they’ve lasted through G and at least one child before him. I gulp at the idea of spending $20 on a shirt for a six month old, but knowing it should last through multiple washings and multiple children makes me feel a little better when the need arises.

Today I received an email letting me know Gymboree is having a 40% Off Everything During Labor Day Sale, so I decided to see what they had to offer.

Much to the dismay of certain family members, I’m not one who likes to dress her boys in super-cutesy outfits. I’ve been drawn to polos, cargo shorts/pants, overalls (before potty training), and jeans mostly. Pieces that should stay in style for a long time and that others would be happy dressing their kids in should I pass my children’s clothes onto someone else. I love that Gymboree has the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, I was hoping to find one piece footie pajamas for L as the Gymboree ones he wears now fit him the best out of the other brands he has in the same size. Unfortunately, they didn’t have his size in the styles I liked. Bummer.

However, they did have Halloween outfits on sale. This made my day because the ones G used are already too small for L to wear. So my attention got diverted from pajamas to pumpkins. I was doing my best to only buy one thing. But, that’s the trouble with baby clothes, right? It’s hard to buy just one thing. I ended up with these:

I also bought this, despite it being white and cute (L really is a happy baby and planes are his theme, so):

Gymboree's 40% Off Everything Labor Day Sale lasts a limited time. Orders over $75 get free shipping!

Another Trip to the ER

I have been told that boys get hurt much more often than girls. Unfortunately, G is proving that point to be true (I certainly didn’t get hurt as much as he has by this age).

He loves to tumble, climb, jump, and run. Add the occasional clumsiness phase and you have an equation for bumps, scrapes, and bruises. Sometimes we find blood on this child and have no idea where it came from.

During the last week or two G has had a bout of clumsiness. On Wednesday he managed to fall off his scooter and bang his chin, which left a lovely bruise. Luckily that was all he did. Thursday, he wasn’t so lucky. As I was in the kitchen washing dishes, I heard a crash. Then crying.

“What did you do!?” I called out as I walked around the corner. This child has been clumsy so much lately, and crying over the slightest inconvenience, I was a little annoyed.

But then it came. The cry with no sound. Then came sounds between the no sounds that I have never heard before in my life. G was really hurt.

He wouldn’t let me see. And in times like this, I really didn’t want to. I tend to feel dizzy and faint when I see blood, but I reminded myself that I’m “Mommy” and I had to look. I managed to peel his hand away from his eye long enough to see a decent cut just above his eyebrow — and blood.

Oh the blood! Suddenly it seemed to be everywhere. All over the left side of his face. All over me. All over his white shirt. Splattering onto the floor. The world spun a bit. I needed back up. Luckily Hubby had just gotten home, so I sat G on our bed and called to him to come out of the bathroom. G wasn’t letting me peel his hand off to get him cleaned up and I was scared to see just how deep the cut was.

Hubby emerged from the bathroom, talked G into a band-aid while I walked around like a crazy person trying to be calm, but not really doing well at it (as I do!).

We decided we’d need to have a doctor look at it. So while Hubby took a quick shower, I looked up whether we could go to urgent care since it’d be cheaper or the ER (go to the ER if you think you need stitches) and called the studio where I’m taking pole classes to let them know I wouldn’t make it to class.

Hubby and I differed on whether or not we should all go. He thought it would be best for one of us to stay home with L. I was going to comply, but I really wanted to go too. If we received instructions on how to care for the wound, I wanted to hear them for myself. I was sure I’d end up receiving texts asking who our pediatrician was and what time the incident occurred and what happened exactly? I didn’t really want to leave L not knowing how long I’d be away and not being in a situation where it’d be convenient to pump.

So we all went. We got the to the ER and it was packed. I filled out forms, noting “mother” on the line asking for my relationship to the patient, just as I had seen my own mom do numerous times, and feeling like I am not old enough for this. When I turned them in I asked how long the wait was. Two hours.

I started regretting my decision to come along with L. However, he was a trooper, as he has always been when we are out and about (so far). It was dinner time, and he was clearly hungry, but he wouldn’t nurse. He was too interested in his new surroundings. And the M&Ms G was eating.

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M&Ms for dinner? Yes, please!

G surprised us by telling us twice he had to use the potty. (I didn’t know it at the time, but Hubby didn’t even change him into a pull up for this excursion!) He was also quite taken with the buttons on the Coke machine. Of course, playing games on our phones helped keep him quiet as well.

G was called back just after Hubby took him to the bathroom for the second time, so we had to wait about five minutes before the nurse came back for us. Once we were put in a triage room, the nurse fastened an ID bracelet on Hubby and took G’s blood pressure using the finger cuff. G wanted a bracelet too, so the nurse put the allergy bracelet on him. Then the nurse took a quick peek at G’s cut and another nurse entered. She took G’s medical history and took notes on what occurred that led us to the ER. G wanted to sit in the big chair by himself, but would only sit patiently if Hubby pretended to take his blood pressure using the finger cuff. Again and again and again… Luckily the nurse was cool with it.

Once G’s history was taken, we were moved to another, even smaller, area behind a curtain. We were cramped, especially with L’s stroller in with us. I had a chair to sit in so I decided to try and nurse L again. He hated the cover, so I said screw it and nursed without (yay for having confidence to do so!). Then another nurse arrrived, saw me nursing, and quickly shut the curtain and apologized for interrupting. I told her it was no problem, and since L still didn’t seem interested in eating, I put him back in the stroller and we were moved to a larger room.

I was glad we didn’t have to wait too long to see a doctor. An added bonus was that there was a TV in the room, which kept G and L occupied for a little bit. For some reason G insisted on watching Spongebob Squarepants, but it wasn’t on. G decided to make himself comfortable on the bed and then wanted to put the “pajamas” on (hospital gown — adult size).

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Watching some TV show none of us had seen before

The “pajamas” didn’t stay on too long, but he had fun being cozy under the blanket. At this point L was also zoning out since it was his bedtime, so I didn’t bother trying to nurse him again. I figured if he got really hungry he’d let everyone know. I decided to push the stroller gently back and forth in hopes it would help him fall asleep.

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The doctor came in and took the band-aid off G’s forehead and said she could glue it together to avoid stitches. This made me feel better because I wasn’t sure how I’d handle an active two year old with stitches on his face. She left and we waited for a bit for another nurse to come in to clean G’s wound. While we waited Hubby showed L how some of the med gas devices on the wall behind him worked (Hubby installs these for work so I didn’t flip out too much that he was messing with important medical things instead of rubber gloves like we did when we were younger). G got a kick out of it and it kept him occupied until the nurse came in and said he’d need to see G’s cut.

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This didn’t go over well. Hubby managed to hold G for most of it, but towards the end G was fighting the nurse and crying that he wanted to go home, so Hubby had to lay him on the bed and hold him down so the nurse could finish cleaning him up. G’s face didn’t look so bad once the area around the cut was clean, but it was clear that it wouldn’t stop bleeding unless we had something more than a band-aid to keep it closed.

While we waited for the doctor to come back G made Hubby put the “pajamas” on. Then he started asking if it was time to go home yet. When we’d say we had to see the doctor again he’d get upset. It was heartbreaking.

When the doctor arrived, she and Hubby wrapped G up in the blanket like a burrito, which he didn’t find too amusing. He kicked, cried, and tried fighting both of them off when the doctor started applying the glue. Between cries he’d say, “Nonono! Go home yet?”

My boys hate it when the other cries, so G’s crying started setting L off. This made my anxiety rise even more than it already was seeing G pinned down on the bed.

The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than five minutes, but I was so thankful when it was over. As I’m sure G was.

Of course, just as we were leaving Spongebob came on.

G’s been sporting a Cars band-aid all day. Tonight he was admiring it in the mirror and was super excited to show it off to me (I don’t know what was so different about this band-aid, but he’s two so…). I had to take the scooter away from him, which was was not happy about. Other than saying he is tired and doesn’t feel well, he’s acting like there is nothing wrong with him and continues to bounce, run, jump, and tumble. I was worried I was overreacting whenever I’d tell him to stop, but I heard Hubby tell him the same thing when G started climbing on him, so I guess I’m not overreacting too badly. It’s hard keeping G calm because he’s two and just too little to understand that he has to be careful right now.

The doctor gave us a prescription for an antibiotic, which we couldn’t pick up until Friday evening and which Hubby didn’t want to administer until Saturday morning in case G had some kind of reaction to it. It’s the pink stuff I loved as a kid! We also have to try and keep the area dry for the next five days, so baths will be interesting.

So yeah. Exciting times. Now if Hubby ends up needing a trip to the ER we’ll all have had to go there for something this year. Hopefully not though!

I’m Not Ready

For the past couple of months I’ve been feeling like I’m about to get my period. Not so much the moodiness that comes with PMS, bit the mild pelvic discomfort. It’s been enough for me to bring along pads when I am planning on being away from home for an extended period of time.

In the last couple of weeks I have been exhausted to the point of nodding off during nursing sessions and cuddle time on the couch.

In the past week I have felt like I’ve been about to have a panic attack. My anxiety has been horrible. I thought I was going crazy. I started popping my placenta pills (which I need to blog about!!). They worked enough to help me fall asleep so I wasn’t up all night panicking over the fact I couldn’t take a deep breath.

Then it finally happened. My period came back. Six and a half months postpartum. I haven’t missed it.

Tracking it. Buying tampons and pads. I haven’t missed any of it.

As quickly as it appeared, it was gone again. It was probably the shortest period I’ve ever had — about two days. I have no idea if that’s what the norm is going to be now. I can handle a two day period, but the anxiety was horrible. I don’t want that to be the norm.

I got my period back around 12 week postpartum after G was born. I blame that on having to go back to work. I’m happy that I didn’t have to worry (much) about a period for six and a half months (just two weeks after we started introducing solids).

But I still wish it had waited until closer to one year to come back. Mentally, I’m not ready to keep on top of this too.