Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Difficult Morning

What do you do when your toddler perceives everything as being wrong when you're just trying to get him to school and yourself off to work? When The Hubs already left for work and you're already late? This was our morning.

I wake Buddy up, he pops up.
Buddy: Mommy milk in mommy bed!
Runs into our bedroom, searching for daddy around the corner and in the bathroom.
Buddy: Daddy not here. I want daddy! (Whimpers just a little.)
Me: I'm sorry sweetie. Daddy already went to work. You'll get to see him again after you get home from school and have dinner.
I wrangle on Buddy's clothes, including his bug collector shirt, and he (thankfully) takes his waffle to eat for breakfast.
Buddy: Shirt broken! Points at a slightly darker gray spot on his gray shirt, about the size of a pin head.
Me: That's just a little stain, it doesn't come off.
Buddy: Off peal! Peal hurts! (I adjust the sock around his heal.)
Buddy: Sock broken! (Starts to cry.)
I try rearranging his sock, the seam is bothering him. Eventually, I take off his sock and put it back on and he's ok with that.
Buddy: More bugs! Not 2, more! Bugs on back? (There aren't enough bugs on his shirt, there are none on the back of his shirt.)
Me: Well... There's a TICKLE-BUG on your shirt! (I tickle Buddy to laughter.)
I think we're ready to go, heading downstairs.
Buddy: No pants! No! (Starts to cry. I pull up his pants past his belly button so the leg of his pants doesn't even touch his foot.)
In the car Buddy wanted another waffle, chex were ok.

On mornings when nothing seems to be going the way your toddler wants it to go, remember to be patient and loving. He isn't trying to make you late to work. To him, the world isn't right. He was probably still tired since I had to wake him up and he was hungry because who isn't when we wake up in the morning? It can be frustrating, but keep in mind that a toddler is just like us. We have our bad mornings when we complain about everything, why aren't they allowed to as well? We expect people to give us a little space and extra patience, a toddler should be afforded the same respect. That little gray spot may not mean anything to you, but it certainly means something to Buddy and I will respect that.

How do you handle your toddler meltdowns when you're in a hurry?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Where's Yo Kenny and Other Shenanigans

Buddy's vocabulary gets bigger every day. It's amazing what he knows and sometimes surprises us. Here is a small glimpse into his life recently.

Buddy: Where's yo kenny?
The Hubs: What's yo kenny?
Buddy: Yo kenny! Where's yo kenny?
The Hubs: Is it a toy or a book?
Buddy: NO!
The Hubs: Can you point to where you think it is?
Buddy points outside. The Hubs let's him out. Buddy goes to the stroller, pulls out the bag and starts looking.
Buddy: Where's yo kenny?! I need yo kenny!
Then it dawned on me. Buddy found a lollipop in the stroller that morning. He is not allowed to have candy, let alone lollipops (HUGE choking hazard!) so I said it's daddy's candy and he'll get it when he gets home later. Mystery solved! I put it away hoping Buddy would forget about it, but he wanted to make sure daddy got his candy.
yo kenny = your candy

There is a house down the street that is for sale. They made it nice with fall-colored flowers and a bunch of pumpkins. Taking a walk one day:
Me: I like pumpkins, do you?
Buddy: I like pancakes!

Buddy: I ate my broccoli all up! I ate my salmon all up! More broccoli pease!

Jewish law says we have to wait 6 hours between eating meat and dairy. With all of the holidays recently, a lot of meat is served so at home we don't eat much meat. Prayer services often run late, which means having a late lunch so a dairy dinner has to be eaten fairly late. Since Buddy is only 2, he doesn't have to wait 6 hours. We served his dinner and we ate challah (sweet bread) until our 6 hours was up.
Buddy (eating): Want some salmon daddy?
The Hubs: No thanks. I'll get some later.
Buddy: Want some mommy?
Such a caring little man already!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Did You Just Say?

Buddy is very talkative and we have been so lucky that he speaks so well already. But he is just 2 years old so not everything he says is intelligible. Sometimes we think we hear something that raises an eyebrow. Here are the recent ones.

"I'm gonna kill mommy."

"I shot daddy."

And some that we actually did hear correctly, but they still raise an eyebrow.

"I pee on mommy?"

"I poop in drain?"

We're still working on that potty training thing...

What are the most eyebrow raising comments you thought you heard your little one say?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Have a Dream - Black Breastfeeding Week

August is breastfeeding awareness month because although the US has come a long way in supporting mothers, there is still a long road ahead of us. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants and is good for the new mother as well. This year, nearly 77% of infants were ever breastfed. At 6 months, 49% were still breastfeeding and only 27% at 12 months.(a) Not a bad start, but not a very good one a year later.

Today, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, I wish I could say his dream has been reached. As of 2008, although nearly three quarters of US babies have ever been breastfed, only 59% of black babies have.(b) That compares to 75% of white and 80% of Hispanic (non-white or black) babies. I'm not going to pretend I know why black communities aren't supporting each other to breastfeed or don't have the support from lactation consultants. I think it's a complicated issue that could pull many reasons from many ideas. Whatever the underlying cause, it's a fact. Black babies are not getting as good of a start as their white and Hispanic counterparts. We need a month for breastfeeding awareness, how much more so do we need this week to help black babies and their mothers increase the support and knowledge to give all Americans a better start?

Kimberly Seals Aller over at proposed such a week. This week, the last week of August, breastfeeding awareness month, that happens to coincide with Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech. While I don't necessarily agree with everything she wrote, you should definitely check it out and think about what she has to say. Why do so few black women choose to breastfeed?

From my limited personal experience, I can tell you it is harder for most black women than for us white women to start and continue breastfeeding. Growing up in an area that was more than 50% black, riding the bus every day to work with mostly black people and attending a breastfeeding support group for months when only 1 black women attended, and only a couple of sessions at that, I am positive the support is not there. The black woman who did attend two or three classes came with her questions and looking for support from the other mothers. Her husband didn't even want her to nurse. She said he kept asking her when she was going to stop because it's gross, not natural, those aren't for the baby. Although she had a pretty good response ("When formula is free!"), it shows what is most important for some. What if formula was free? Breast is still best for more reasons than the cost.

I dream of the day when we don't need a Black Breastfeeding Week. When all new mothers have the support they need to successfully breastfeed if they want to and have the knowledge and understanding of why it is so important to do so.

How are you going to support ALL mothers in their quest to give their babies the best start possible?

(a) CDC Breastfeeding Report Card 2013
(b) CDC Report. February 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Birth Story - Part 3

In fact, all night long, I walked, lunged and plie-ed. Happy Sunday! My first full day of labor…

Monday morning came and went while I continued to walk the halls, get checked only to hear there is no more progress and then continue walking.

I mentioned previously that I wanted to meet every midwife in the practice before going into labor and managed to do so for 6 out of 8 of them. The midwife on duty when I got there was one of the women I had not met yet. There was a staff change while I was walking the halls and a new midwife came on duty then. She was the other one I had not yet met. Good timing on my part I guess! Both of them were nice, understanding and good at their job so that all worked out fine.

Sometime in the late morning or early afternoon the midwife started to suggest getting pitocin to get things moving. My contractions would be 3-4 minutes apart for a while and then slow down. I wasn’t progressing very much. I did not want pitocin. It doesn't always work, increases ones risk for a c-section and can cause very intense contractions that are not always productive. I just kept walking.

The midwife finally told me that they either have to do something or they’ll send me home. I was a little worried that if I went all the way home, then getting close to rush hour, that I wouldn't make it back to the hospital in time. I allowed them to break my water.

I got back up to walk, made it to one end of the hall and felt an immediate need to vomit. I just made it back to my room and got sick several times in the next hour (or 2? I didn’t look at a clock and didn’t really have much sense of time by then). My contractions very quickly got closer together and they hurt a lot more. I tried different positions that I learned in my Hypnobirthing class and that my mom and midwife suggested. Some of the ones that are supposed to be better for back labor just made it worse.

I was pretty nauseous and in pain during this transition period and then I felt like I had to push. They brought in the midwife and it was time to go! My mom said it took about 25 minutes to breathe out the baby. I listened to my body. When it told me to push, I pushed.

The midwife caught the baby, showed The Hubs and he exclaimed, “It’s a BOY!” We had a perfect little boy, 6 lbs, 9 oz. 20 in. long. I was able to do kangaroo care immediately and he latched on right away. The Hubs and I got a few minutes alone with our new little Buddy before being transferred from the birthing room.

After some time with all 4 grandparents, The Hubs’ brother and my sisters, we were finally alone for the night. As The Hubs got freshened up in the bathroom, he yelled to get the nurse. The faucet broke and there was water everywhere! I asked for the maintenance staff to be sent in and we needed towels and a mop. A nurse came in with a towel or two. The water was already creeping into the room so she ran out to get more help. Baby Boy was rushed to the nursery, I was rushed into a wheelchair and The Hubs grabbed all of our stuff and we sloshed out the door. Lucky for us, this meant instead of our small single room, we had a double room to ourselves. The Hubs got his own bed and we had our little Buddy back with us and he never left our side again.

I am so happy I brought my 3 support people into the birthing room with me. They all brought something different to help. Thank you mom for helping me find different positions to make the pain less intense and for rubbing my back through the contractions. Thank you to my older sister for walking the halls with me for hours, doing plies and lunges for hours and being my voice so I could focus on giving birth. And thank you especially to The Hubs for being with me throughout my entire pregnancy, supporting me and making sure I had everything I needed. Thank you for being my rock through the entire process and for helping me bring our precious little man into our lives. I could not have done it this well without any of you.

Blogger Support!

One of my favorite blogs is i am baker. She has so many amazing ideas for cakes, cookies, cupcakes and other delicious desserts. I have used this blog for inspiration for many of my treats. The author also happens to be a very sweet woman.

She posted a blog about lactation cookies that she made and got a lot of flack for it. I think posting about lactation cookies, that can be eaten by anyone and are actually relatively healthy as cookies go (they contain oatmeal, flaxseed, cinnamon and cocoa), is perfect for this blog. It's also a cookie that happens to help lactating mothers. And as any woman who has breastfed knows, it is hard work, frustrating, painful at times and we all need support every once in a while.

When baking meets motherhood we should all support each other. Please head over to i am baker and leave some love and support! There is nothing gross, perverse or negative about nursing one's child or blogging about a cookie that could help increase one's milk supply.

Click here to show your support!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buddy's Birth Story - Part 2

The contractions started coming closer together as the night wore on. They were 7-8 minutes apart by 2 am Sunday July 24. I tried to sleep in between each one and was fairly successful using my Hypnobirthing techniques. By 8 am my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart so I called my mom. I asked her to leave soon so she would make it in time for the birth. She lives just over 3 hours away so I was hoping I would make it that long. Little did I know at the time, that wouldn't be a problem. I called my older sister just after that and convinced her to start driving as well, also from 3 hours away after dropping off the kids for whom she was the nanny for the weekend. My contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart when my mom, dad, older sister and younger sister arrived about 4 hours later.

I started to get a little nauseous but wanted to keep up my strength so I snacked on Cheerios and water as much as I could stomach. I brought my yoga/birthing ball into the living room to help ease the contractions. I didn't find it very helpful. I walked around, a lot. My sisters walked me around the block. I felt pretty silly stopping every so often to have a contraction outside on a sunny Sunday. They were encouraging and worked as my stabilizers as I held onto them and breathed through each contraction.

My older sister diligently wrote down the time and length of every contraction. They seemed to be getting a little closer, though they never got very intense. I called my midwife, she told me to stay at home for a little while longer. She couldn't hear me screaming so I must not be close yet. After hours and hours of slight progress, the fear of having an unplanned home birth crept in. Both my mother and mother-in-law (over the phone to The Hubs) made me feel like this baby was coming any minute. I let my fear get to me and told everyone it was time to head to the hospital. It was a 25-30 minute drive, depending on lights and traffic, so I didn't want to be stuck at home or in the car if the baby decided to make a sudden appearance. My mom folded a towel on my seat, just in case, and The Hubs tried his best to avoid the copious number of potholes on the way there.

Once we arrived at the hospital, we had to figure out the expecting mother parking and valet service. Lucky for us, it was the front desk guy’s first day. He had no idea what was going on. Finally making our way toward the maternity ward, the elevators were busy. I climbed the 3 flights of stairs and got a nice welcome from the reception desk staff.

During my pregnancy I wanted to meet all 8 midwives in the practice because I would get whoever was on duty when I came in. I successfully met 6 of them; another one didn't take regular patients and I had to cancel my appointment for something for the other. Turns out, the first midwife on duty when I got there was one of the ones I hadn't met.

I checked in around 6 pm. They gave me a room, a hospital gown and then I got checked out (only 4 cm) and walked.

And walked…

And walked…

Then my older sister suggested plies and lunges. So we lunged and plie-ed the maternity ward hallway for hours. We heard at least 2 other babies being born. My mom, sister and The Hubs took turns walking the halls with me. My sister found the popsicles, which were really gross and artificial. But thank you sis for trying.

Then I walked…

And walked…

My sister fell asleep in the pull-out chair. I think my mom dosed off in one of the other chairs. So did The Hubs at various times. They helped me hold onto the railing that lined the walls during each contraction. During the more intense ones my mom rubbed my back. And then I walked.

Every so often the nurse or midwife would come in and check me. Not much was happening and my contractions were slowing down. So much for walking making things progress!

The anesthesiologist came in and said he wanted to meet me. My sister told him, in her very stern, authoritative, but polite voice, that we don’t need him and led him out of my room. He seemed taken aback so I guess he doesn't get many women who want natural birth! I remember being asked a couple of times about getting an epidural, but my sister always took care of the more forceful responses. That is why I wanted her there. She could put into words what I could not and people listen to her. Another reason I am so happy she was there was because she was my voice for everything. I am a quiet person in nearly everything I do. Turns out, I’m also quiet while in the process of giving birth. During every contraction I pulled my thoughts inward, thinking about the baby that would soon enter the world, focusing a lot on my breathing, trying the techniques where I focused on counting and peaceful images. With my focus also came utter silence. I closed my eyes and blocked out my surroundings. I did such a good job that the nurses and midwife would be talking to me, a contraction would come on and they wouldn't even notice. My sister had to keep telling them to wait because I was having one.

So as my birthing “staff” took turns trying to get a little sleep throughout the night, I kept walking.

And walking…

I did manage to get a few minutes of sleep here and there between contractions, especially when they had me hooked up to the fetal monitor.

And then I walked…

And walked…

In fact, all night long, I walked, lunged and plie-ed. Happy Sunday! My first full day of labor.