I am FED UP!

Have you heard about the documentary Fed Up? I just got done watching it with Joel. Lately I have not been so great about my sugar intake, and I have actually been craving it! The thing is, I know it is bad…and WOW! was that a great reminder about how bad sugar can be for our bodies. I suggest if you have any problems with sugar, or food cravings at all, to watch Fed UP. Seriously, I am urging you! This documentary points out just how messed up our food system has gotten. I mean did you know that there was actually an add featuring the Flintstones smoking cigarettes at one point? Well guess what?! That same cartoon family markets for your children’s cereal, vitamins (which are a joke by the way), and other various snacks. Have you ever considered the stimuli these big food companies use not only on adults but also on our children? Sometimes I can run into a store for one thing that I needed to complete a meal for my family and end up buying many other “snacks” that we don’t need and totally shouldn’t be eating. Now consider what a child sees when they enter that same store…their favorite cartoon characters all over these boxes of “food”. Their sweet little brains sending signals to the rest of their body that they NEED that! The poor kiddos cannot handle saying no to the sugar laden food covered with bright colors and cartoons. We as parents need to say NO! to foods that are harming our children. Please, (I beg of you!!!!) teach them how to enjoy real food. Give them a veggie, and if they reject it a few times don’t give up. Eventually you will be glad they didn’t get diabetes or heart disease at twelve years old. Okay, rant over…………for now!

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Hello Again!

I know, I know….I have been gone forever. Can I just say, “I’m sorry!”? Let’s just not talk about my very long hiatus, okay?

The last few months I have been going around and around trying to figure out what this blog should really be about. I am in the trenches of motherhood right now, I am a Christian, being a good wife is important to me, I like being crafty, and I feel very strongly that my family eats well, oh and I like natural birthing and some natural mothering things too. Although I am not great at everything I love to do and learn about, I do desire to get better. All of that said, in the upcoming posts there will most likely be more variety than I originally intended.

P.S. If you don’t know me personally, I am an introvert and putting things out there for people to read is not really my style. I would, however, like to be a blessing if possible to some family and friends of mine.

Thanks for reading!

Maddox

This is the birth of our third boy and fourth pregnancy (I had an early miscarriage between Kolter and Maddox). While I was pregnant with Maddox it was all pretty uneventful, at this point I was comfortable with my midwives, and saw them on a regular basis as normal. I was much more tired of course having to chase down Kolter, but oh how I actually enjoyed the days of just hanging out with him at home waiting for his little brother to make an appearance. I got into a good first time mom routine with Kolter. That all changed once we went from one child to two in the house….

My birthing experience was however quite different with Maddox. I remember not being in any rush, but just feeling excited to meet him. I literally have BH contractions throughout my pregnancies starting around the halfway marker. That said we went to church like normal on Thursday night, I had been due that Monday. I felt pretty normal, maybe a little uncomfortable and had a few BH’s again, which was so normal for me I didn’t think much of it. We grabbed something to eat afterwards(I had a craving for chipotle), and went home. I was so pregnant I really didn’t eat much, and I told Joel this might be the night because I was still having a few contractions. They were pretty hit or miss though until around midnight. (Why must it always get intense at night haha) So we called my midwife, and she told me to come on in to the birth center. I distinctly remember on the way there we had some traffic because there was work being done on the roads, and I was pretty concerned since my contractions were getting slightly more intense. We did make it though, and once there she told me to get settled in, I was dilated to a seven. Then the craziest thing happened….my contractions and labor stalled….completely. I mean, really?! She asked us if we wanted to stay the night or go home after a while of literally nothing happening. I was unsure about going home because once I am in full blown labor it doesn’t take much for me to push the baby out. So we stayed, and we waited and waited…Finally the next morning we walked around outside and my contractions picked up a little but we had discussed breaking my water again. Joel and I decided we would go for it and have Tonya break the bag. Honestly, looking back on it, I should have probably went home and relaxed and let Maddy come. I was a little selfish though, and really wanted that particular midwife to be there. (Her shift was almost over.) Once she broke my water, I went into what I like to call insta-labor. I got my clothes off and into the tub I went; it’s my favorite for labor pains. I had about three terribly strong contractions, and felt an urge to push. Tonya looked at me like, already, then told me to go ahead and try. I think I started pushing his head out pretty quickly because she told me to slow down, but there was no stopping him. After his head was out his shoulders got stuck, I had no idea that was what had happened, I just remember hearing, “okay we need you out of the tub.”

*a little graphic here*………………………………….

I in a little bit of confusion, stood up with his head hanging out, got onto the floor on all fours, and pushed his shoulders out with a little bit of coaching of course. He kind of slid the rest of the way out and I managed to guide him down onto the blanket they laid on the floor. It really is something to think back on…..

Phew, with that long story coming to an end. We were both fine! I didn’t tear or have any problems. He was literally our champion baby. Nine pounds and three ounces, and lifting his head up as soon as we got settled into the bed. He just looked right at me with huge eyes, and then right at Joel. He just stared at his daddy for a good minute as to say, Oh, hi daddy. I was shocked a newborn baby could do that! In my mind his birth which was a little rushed in the end has made him a bit more high strung, but he is also very sweet and loving.

Should I eat that?

IMG_0519 I have struggled with this subject for a while now. There are thousands of doctors, nutritionists, and bloggers out there with all of their own opinions which can make it quite complicated to come up with your own way of doing things. After many years of eating ramen noodles and mac and cheese from a box, I decided there has to be better things to eat than all the junk listed in the labels of many of those foods I had enjoyed most of my life. I read a few blog posts from some foodies, watched a few documentaries about how disgusting our food system is and I was hooked. It has really been life changing for me, I convinced my husband we needed to try a vegetarian diet, eat all organic, and now where I think we should finally be, just eating REAL food as locally sourced as possible. I think the only things I do buy with labels are yogurt, tortilla chips, butter, and cheeses. Mostly because one, I am a procrastinator, oh no my secret is out, and two I have not yet learned how to make them myself….I know, tell me how easy it is to do those things, or don’t that would be nice…. Oh and I guess there are the things that I literally can’t make myself, such as maple syrup, honey, and oils. So some things I have started making at home are things like kefir, kombucha, just tried making gelatin-literally about a half hour ago, sauerkraut, and most meals are things I cook from scratch.  This is just the start though, I really want to try doing yogurt or butter (most likely both) and the list goes on, trust me it does. Anyway, back to should I be eating that?? Well, do a simple search on Google when you think something might not be that great for you, such as “how bad are potato chips for me?”. I guarantee you will find some things you will not like, and if it isn’t about the chips then it will most certainly be about the rancid oil they are cooked in. And before you tune me out because I just ruined your favorite snack, I am not here to get on anybody’s case. I truly care for the people in my life, and who I can help through what I am learning in this journey. Some simple rules I try to stick with when shopping are as follows (and these are not new when it comes to “being healthy” or whole but they may be new to you):

1. Take a peek at those labels on the back of that can of ravioli  you are about to feed to your kiddo, not the nutritional values but the ingredients list. Can you pronounce what’s in it? If I can’t then I avoid it! PS many of those things are preservatives or GMO’s that we shouldn’t be ingesting. (more on that later…)

2. While looking at that list of various ingredients, count how many there are. I bet you could cut out a lot of junk if you just stuck to the products that have a very minimal list of ingredients, think five for a goal. I know that this does not always mean it is a great product, but it may be better.

3. Eat a colorful diet, and I am not talking food dyes here (watch out for those by the way). I like the saying eat the rainbow, it is helpful to me to remember what I need to add in to the meals I am preparing. If I don’t see something green there is a problem!

4. Location, location, location, for your food that is….do you know where your food is from? Did it travel to you from a thousand miles away or another country maybe? Try one thing local this week! Go check out a farmer’s market, it is fun I promise!!!

5. Last but not least try avoiding packages and labels all together, this is a good one….at least I think it is!

These are just a few things that I try to keep in mind when shopping and meal planning for the week. I would like to add many more things to the list to help you out but these are hard enough to start with. Just remember start slow, look for things you can replace in your meals with better options. Try a new fruit or veggie this week or try preparing something a little differently than usual. Even if it is a complete fail remember it takes time and effort to get to a healthier lifestyle, I mean, how long did it take you to get set in your unhealthy ways? You can do it!

Kolter

This is the story of our rainbow baby, a common term for the baby you have after losing a baby. He truly is my sunshine and like a rainbow after a rainfall. The first time I had an idea we might be expecting again was during the week of my younger sister’s wedding, and it was not something I had anticipated. We lost Aiden May 22nd, and my sister’s wedding was August second….I know some people, after losing a child, can have a hard time with even the thought of trying again. I totally understand that, but I believe that God knew we needed Kolter in our lives. So after the excitement of the wedding, I believe it was a week later or so, I told Joel we needed to buy some tests. I know he was very excited, and I was as well but nervous, scared, unsure….all of those feelings too. The test obviously showed YES! we were pregnant. I wanted to wait to tell everyone, and Joel wanted everyone and their brother to know. I guess that is where our personalities differ completely (introvert vs. extrovert). Well word got out, and I don’t even know how many people were praying for us. I know there were many! I was still going to my obgyn as I did with Aiden, but I started to get burnt out on the long waits in the sitting room. I started to wonder about better options than the typical hospital birth. I watched several documentaries on the corruptness of many hospital births. I Google searched midwife in my area, and found it, the place I would deliver my next baby, and I was over half way at this point too! If you do decide to go with a midwife, you will quickly find out you make the rules for the most part. Being a still newish mom I thought, this baby is going to come out soon, right around the 39 week mark. Ha! I was ready, he had to be ready, right?! Wrong, I forgot to mention the midwives I went with did not induce with Pitocin which was not something I wanted anyway. In all honesty, I was fine with Kolter taking his time, I like taking my time (my nickname in school was turtle…). The problem was my family flew in, and had to extend their tickets, whoops! Oh are you still wondering how long we waited? It was 42 weeks to the day, and he actually still had to be asked to come out. My midwife called me on Friday afternoon and we chatted about trying a few options and decided on breaking my water that night. I was just so relieved, because after 42 weeks you are forced to go back to the hospital and induced. That evening we arrived at the birthing center, we all got prepared (let me just say I was completely nervous, adrenalin pumping, etc.), and my midwife told me it would probably take a little time for labor to pick up after breaking my water. Well, it did take a LITTLE time about a half hour or so, and then I was in full labor. I mean I said get me in that tub! My mom was there, as well as my hubby, and the midwife and a midwife in training. What I remember most is just going to a place of concentration and prayer to the Lord to get me and my little one through labor safely. I honestly also had been praying fervently for Him to take as much pain away as possible, I know that can sound silly but I knew he could answer my prayer. I know he did too, because Kolter Joel came out pretty quickly and with all the help around me to this day I think it wasn’t all that bad. The birth was the easy part compared to what came next; the memory is so vivid to me. I lifted him up out of the water onto my chest, and he was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, literally just gorgeous. Plump cheeks, perfect face, just the right size, but why wasn’t he crying or moving. I looked around, my midwife was right next to me rubbing Kolter’s back, the other midwife was counting, but why is she counting? I don’t remember anything else except Tonya’s steady voice saying he will be alright but I need to take him to the bed. I prayed in my head, Lord you can’t do this to me again, I literally thought we might lose him. In those terrifying moments Tonya had picked Kolter up off of my chest, and as she started to turn towards the bed he coughed and started crying. I am almost in tears as I am writing this. The Lord took care of us all, he steadied my wonderful midwife to know what she needed to do, and she was so capable of caring for my son. I believe that without our midwife being calm and using common sense we may have had other results. Kolter was such an alert little man, and has been the most wonderful blessing to us.

Why I love midwives

This is somewhat of a sensitive subject to say the least…I will begin by saying I have had a hospital birth with obgyns and two birthing center births with midwives. I know most people would say well you had a bad experience with the hospital because you lost your son, but I have more than that for my reasons of never desiring to have another birth at a hospital if the Lord wills. Have you ever gone to your prenatal appointment ten minutes early only to wait for a half hour (or more) to see your doc? I have, and then the ever so important doctor would rush in ask a few questions, measure my belly, poke at me a little, and rush out of the room. Let me tell you, your pregnancy experience does NOT have to be that way. Well, you might say, I have already been with my obgyn for a while now, and they are nice. That is good they are supposed to be, but are they telling you what all that jargon and important doctor language actually means? Oh, and did I mention we were well into our second son’s pregnancy when I decided enough is enough; I called that birthing center when I was over the halfway mark of my pregnancy. I think the last straw was the fact that I was tired of being just another patient, and the fact that I was uncomfortable with MY doctor not calling my first son by a name or even acting like he lived. She kept calling it a “situation” that happened to us. Our first appointment with our wonderful midwives was the best experience we have ever had with somebody in the medical field. The birthing center was like a small day spa with homey rooms that included huge jetted tubs and comfy couches. The appointment lasted close to an hour, we talked about the baby, how I was doing, and they even asked Joel how he was doing with everything. The best part was when we had to go over the details of what had happened to Aiden our midwife called him our angel baby. After that initial consultation I had already decided in my head that was where I knew we needed to have our second baby. Once in the car Joel told me he was feeling the same way, and so that is where we continued to have our appointments.

The reasons I love midwives:

  1.  We were spending time at each appointment getting to know the people (we had three available ladies) on a personal level who would deliver our baby. We could sit and just chat about every ache or pain and if they were normal; or maybe just talk about how antsy I was getting to meet our little one. It was great!
  2. During labor I was able to get up, walk around outside, eat a snack, and get into the tub (which I did end up delivering in- just amazing).
  3. If anything were to go wrong for some strange reason the hospital was a block away, and actually I will include later what happened with Kolter’s birth and how capable my midwife was in taking care of him.

I could literally go on and on about this subject but I am starting to get tired. Goodnight!

Aiden Samuel- my little fire

Here we go folks, this is going to be a long journey so bear with me….All my natural and healthy searching started with one very upsetting ultrasound. At twenty something weeks we went to get that very exciting sonogram that would tell us the gender of our tiny baby. We had what we thought was a normal pregnancy up until that point minus my belly looking a little on the smaller side. Normal appointments, normal morning sickness, normal, normal, normal. Right? No, on that day we were told the fluid in utero was low. We were told we would need to see a specialist, and have extra testing done. BUT WHY!? I called the obgyn who was not in the office that fateful day (I had to track her down). I asked for more details, and she slipped up…The fluid was not just low, there was no fluid. Wait what do you mean, low or no fluid? (I had already been looking up everything I possibly could online) The difference between no fluid or low fluid was my baby’s life or being put on bed rest for a while….two more days of testing, one heart rate test, and then a super strong ultrasound with a specialist. These are the snippets of things you remember as if it is all a dream, no a nightmare. After seeing the specialist for the u.s. they did one more small test, to see if I was leaking fluid. I remember being laid on an exam table, Joel looking at me from across the room, worried. I will never forget it, he was trying to be strong for me. That final test told them something, but it required more waiting, waiting that felt like an eternity. Dr so and so came back, sat down and broke the awful news to us that our son had Potter’s Syndrome. There was no fluid to keep him safe in my smallish belly, he had no kidneys, no bladder, problems with his lungs, and finally some back up of fluid around his heart. WHY!? I wanted to scream at that doctor like it was his fault, the tears wouldn’t stop flowing, somebody handed me a box of tissues. I just remember the room being so full of sunshine, on one of the most beautiful days in Washington all I could think was this is not happening, this is a nightmare, I want to go back to sleep, and start over. And through it, the Lord gave me strength to get back to the car with my husband by my side, make calls to family, and get back home. We had ultrasounds every week, you can ask me later why I think that was unnecessary, although it was nice to see him. I carried Aiden (his name means little fire) for about eight more weeks, oh how thinking his name makes me ache. His birth was conventional minus me taking anything or getting an epidural (more details on that later). But nonetheless beautiful, and though we were told not to expect him to be born alive, HE WAS! We were told we may not hear his voice, but WE DID! He was complete and perfect on the outside, and stayed with us for two unimaginable hours. Looking back on it now, I don’t believe changing my diet or health could have changed our circumstances, but it is what drove us to choose midwives for our next births (we have two more sons, Amen!). Our experience is what brought me to look at how my health can help with growing babies, and staying strong physically and spiritually while growing our family. Aiden put a fire in my heart for helping others with doing right by the body you have been blessed with. If you find yourself in a similar situation I would personally love to hear about it, so comment or send me a message.