Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another progress report

Today I just cried. Pretty much all day. The sadness surrounding our nursing situation is some times so overwhelming. Some days are okay but today is jut hard. It seems sometimes like he is getting worse.

I met with a lactation consultant Jennifer Tow,one of the leading people on tongue ties via Skype. She thinks there may be a few reasons for Lane's issues. First she thinks he may still be compensating by using different facial and neck muscles that haven't yet been released by chiropractic or cranioscaral. I had the cranioscaral lady, who also happens to be a friend who comes to my house to do it ( totally lucked our on this one) talk to jennifer before a session. Jennifer was able to tell the chiropractor what muscles are usually tight and need release on a tongue tie baby. I am hoping this will he him chomp less and suck more. He is very tight on the left side of his neck and jaw. she also had me learn to rub his pterygoid (a muscle of the jaw). She also wants us to be using a at breast supplementer. I bought the lactaid but his suck is still not good enough to draw the milk out of it effectively. Plus it is a pain and I feel like his latch is so bad on it. The next thing she wanted me to try was the medela sns. It runs more on a gravity flow. We are still struggling very very much with it so we have resorted back to finger feeding and squeezing his cheeks at times. I am always fearful he is not getting enough food and I know he is struggling because he is still very sleepy. Some babies deal with not having enough to eat by shutting down.

Jennifer and I also talked about my milk supply and how to increase it. She wants me to continue moringa, goats rue (she said this on was especially important for my grandular tissue), more milk, marshmallow root, and milk thistle. She also wants me to add in shatavari, anise seed, and a pregnancy tea made by a former client of hers.  Yes, it's a lot of pills!

Lastly, we talked about the possibility of his tie reattaching or a submucousal cleft. Either way would be so difficult so I am hoping this is not the case. After ten weeks I am tired!! Unfortunately I am not ready to give up yet. The thought of giving up is too hard. It gives me a sense of anxiety, sadness, and guilt. The thought of giving formula makes me sad and the thought of continuing this way makes me equally sad and anxious. Really it is a no win situation. That little tiny and faded glimmer of hope is keeping me going one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Progress

For those of you wondering about how things are going with the breastfeeding I thought I would give a little update. You can find the first part of the story here.

 We had our appointment with speech therapy this last week. They want me to pump while I feed him with the haberman special needs bottle, then put him to an empty breast. They also recommended a soothie pacifier to strengthen his suck. It scares me to give him a pacifier but I am hopeful it will help not harm his suck. He has been doing great with the finger feeding (suck training) so I decided to do all of his feedings this way instead of using the bottle. I have been doing it since Friday night and I cannot even explain to you the difference in his suck. When we first started he didn't even know how to suck. All he wanted to do was chomp on the finger which of course doesn't get him any milk. I also had to hold his cheeks for him to obtain any suction at all. Now he isn't chomping as much anymore and doesn't always need cheek support. He still however gets overwhelmed at the breast so I am only putting him to an empty breast and feeding him in a reclined or laid back position.



 He still has his good feedings and his awful feedings. The awful feedings are hard for me mentally but I am in a way better place than I was with Scarlett at this point. I am looking at it as a marathon, not a sprint. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. I feel I owe it to Lane to keep going.

 It is A LOT of work but I feel good knowing we are going forward and he is doing great. He is gaining well and I am making enough for him so far thanks to all the herbs. I had to dip a little into my freezer stash this last week due to a bout of mastitis (yeah, I can't seem to catch a break). I was so thankful for a husband who could work from home and my brothers girlfriend who helped out while I was shaking with a fever. My supply dipped a little but is now back to normal. Of course I still have to take all of my supplements.

I have so many things to be thankful for this time around that I have to keep my mind focused on them. Lane is such a good little baby and rarely cries unless he is hungry or wants to be held. He also sleeps great at night going for about 2 four to five hour stretches. Unfortunately, I still have to get up and pump so I am not getting much sleep yet. I am also thankful my milk supply is better this time around. Right now I am making about 28-30 ounces a day plus nursing him a little. I have to take all my herbal supplements but haven't had to take domperidone yet. Lastly, I am so thankful I figured out why Lane had a dysfunctional suck and we are working on it much sooner than I did with Scarlett so there is hope for us yet!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Breastfeeding : Round 2

It's happened again! I did everything right this time. Ate healthy throughout pregnancy, had a homebirth with no intervention, skin to skin with baby for 48 hours and I still got a baby with a dysfunctional suck. I now know the reason for this dysfunctional suck was a wonderful little thing called posterior tongue tie.

Lane's first latch on after birth

After I had Lane I was so so excited and nervous to start breastfeeding. I tried biological nurturing and had him skin to skin for 48 hours and let him self attach. However he would never really do it correctly. He would go down the the nipple and sloup it in. From the start I was feeling something was off. Then one night he started the dreaded chomping. I remember so vividly with Scarlett this action. He would do fine drinking the first letdown all the while flicking my nipple (which I now know means he held it in his high palate and wouldn't bring it back to the soft palate) and then he couldn't get anything more. So he began to use his gums. It is one of the most awful feelings in the world!! My nipples and areola were getting bright red and sore from the dysfunctional suck pattern. He would also gag, choke and gulp on the letdowns. He could not coordinate his suck swallow breathe. After the first week of oversupply and engorgement we started the 3 hour long nursing sessions in the evening along with the fall asleep after 5 minutes at the breast only to be hungry again 5 minutes later. It was exhausting! Plus his poops were continually green which is a sign he was getting too much foremilk and not enough of the fatty hindmilk. He gained fine in the beginning because I had a slight oversupply  to begin with and he got enough on the first letdown. All the while I was trying to keep it together but was failing miserably.  I could feel the anxiety and depression creeping in. It was so reminiscent of Scarlett. Everyone kept reassuring me everything was okay but I knew in my gut it wasn't. They told me maybe I had a lazy baby who was efficient and got what he needed quickly. But I just knew something wasn't right.

 I was doing lots of research to try to find the answer and came up with posterior tongue tie (PTT) and upper lip tie (ULT). I had never heard of it before but all of my struggles with Scarlett and all of Lane's struggles seemed to point to this problem.





The problem with PTT and ULT is that many ENT's are not aware of it or don't feel it is of any benefit to cut it. Many of them also use scissors instead of lasers so sometimes they have to put the baby under general anesthetic to get deep enough. We visited the ENT in our hometown just to see. He told me that Lane did have a minor tie but it would not cause issues because he could stick his tongue out. So being the persistent person I am I found the website of a great dentist, Dr. Kolow who deals a lot with PTT and ULT. I emailed him the best pictures I could take of Lane's tongue and lip tie and told him all of the things we were experiencing. He said based on these symptoms and the pictures he would expect to find a PTT and ULT. So I got on a plane to New York by myself with a 2 week old the day I talked to the doctor. We had to quick book tickets and drive fast to make it to the airport. Thankfully my flight was delayed or I wouldn't have made it in time. I kept thinking that I couldn't believe I was doing this and my anxiety was high. What if I was flying all the way to New York just to be told there was nothing wrong. But I also knew if I didn't I would never have been able to give up breastfeeding without feeling like I had done everything in my power to make it better.

So we arrived  in New York at close to midnight and made our way to the hotel. I barely slept because I was so anxious. The next morning we made our way to the dentist office. I was given a room right away, filled out paperwork, and Dr. Kotlow came in not long after. He did a quick check of Lane's tongue and upper lip and said he definitely had both and lip and tongue tie and couldn't believe the ENT wouldn't cut it. I then was given a video to watch on what they did during the laser surgery and the post op instruction for stretching the site. They then came in and took Lane. My heart was beating so fast watching my little man leave the room with the nurses. Not even 10 minutes later I heard his little cry coming around the corner. They brought him to me to nurse. I was slightly disappointed when I didn't feel much of a difference. I was hoping I would be one of those that I was reading about where things got better right away. However, I knew I had to be patient. After the appointment we were back on the plane home. Lane slept pretty much the whole time and for this I was glad.

Lane is now almost 7 weeks old and I wish, oh how I wish I could say things have gotten better. I have had a few pain free feeds here or there but mostly he is still nursing incorrectly. Also despite stretching the site (so awful to do) it re healed 3 weeks after the surgery and I had to open it back up and start the stretches again. Also he refuses to do suck training (which is basically finger feeding) to help him strengthen his tongue and learn to move it right. I thought by this point we would be nursing well but we are still struggling. My supply decreased a lot at 2 weeks postpartum and Lane didn't gain much weight from weeks 3-5 so we are now supplementing with expressed milk doing "paced feedings" from a Dr. Bronners bottle. The haberman which we used with Scarlett to strengthen her suck is still too difficult for him. He poops out really quick on it. I am mostly pumping and doing the paced feedings. I put him to the breast a few times a day after I pump. I have been working with a lactation consultant online who works with tongue tie babies and she says this is the best way because he is struggling with the suck, swallow, breathe and reverts back to old habits (bunching up tongue in back, flicking nipple into high palate, and chomping) when the letdown is to strong for him and he chokes. I know for sure I definitely don't have oversupply but might have a strong letdown due to the herbs I have to take to keep my supply up. I wonder if I will have to continue them if he ever nurses correctly? However, if his oral motor skills are off even a normal letdown is too much to handle. We have also been doing craniosacral therapy and chiropractic care which is helping so much with his latch and tension. He still has a sensitive gag reflex and won't bring my nipple back to the soft palate but craniosacral is supposed to help with this by helping the high palate to come down.

So at this point in time my nipples are still sore, my milk supply is decreasing, and my baby still isn't nursing correctly. I have my days where I seriously consider giving up. I have had my days where all I do is cry and cry. Where I feel like it is all to much to handle and is affecting my bonding with my son. I so desperately want to give him the best and I so desperately want to just nurse him. To be able to nurse him at night without having to move him to get up and pump afterwards. To throw the pump out the window(I have seriously considered this) and just nurse him to maintain my supply. I am feeling myself slowly falling into the deep dark pit of depression. It is so hard for me to stay optimistic sometimes because of what I experienced with Scarlett. It never got better with her and it is hard for me to think it will with him. The thing that keeps me going are that he got his ties fixed so there is hope for retraining and strengthening his suck. I am hopefully going to get a referral back to the speech therapist and continue to work of suck training. I have to be content now to just keep pumping, feeding him the bottle so he gains weight and strength, and nursing him a couple of times a day.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Introducing Lane Carter Hanson

Introducing Lane Carter Hanson. 9lbs 10oz and 21 in long. Born at home and caught by his Daddy. Birth story hopefully soon to come!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Favorite Maternity Photos

Again Tanya did a incredible job!! I am always so excited to do pictures with her because she is so much fun and always has such fun ideas. I LOVE all of the photos and it was so hard just to choose a few. I can't wait for her to do baby pictures when he arrives! 





















Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thoughts on the 2nd Round of Breastfeeding

I just thought I would write out a few things that have been on my mind lately. With the upcoming birth of little man I am starting to focus on the birth and what will come after. Truthfully, throughout this pregnancy I have been avoiding thinking about it because it tends to make me more anxious. I am not incredibly fearful of the birth because I know now just to give in a let my body do what it was meant to do. I am hoping that I will be able to do that this time around and hopefully baby won't be posterior! However, the closer I get the more anxious I get about what comes after the birth; the breastfeeding part. I think it is fear of the unknown. With Scarlett there were other factors like her weak suck, bad latch, and thrush that affected our nursing relationship and my milk supply. Last time I had to take pretty much every herbal supplement known to increase production and domperidone to even make the very very minimum. Most days the most I got pumping every 2 - 2 1/2 hours for 45 minutes was 20-25 oz. which is not enough and I fear that I did not feed Scarlett enough most days. The most I made one day was 27 oz and I was power pumping all day and ended up with bleeding nipples by the end of the day. I also struggled with Scarlett being colicky (which I now know was due to a dairy sensitivity) and and severe pain while nursing due to thrush, her weak suck/bad latch, and constant pumping sessions.

 I am not sure if I could possibly have mild Insufficient Grandular Tissue (IGT) because I do have some of the signs or if I could possibly just have a low storage capacity and will need to nurse more frequently. After having my hormones tested before this baby I know that I have a luteal phase defect where my progesterone does not rise high enough despite ovulation. There are some studies linking this to IGT. So before this pregnancy I began taking a natural supplement called Symplex F which supports your adrenals and thyroid which would in turn hopefully cause my progesterone to rise naturally. I have continued to take this throughout my pregnancy. Other things I have done to hopefully help my milk supply is continue to drink the pregnancy tea (Red raspberry leaf, dandelion, and nettle) and increase the amount of alfalfa I am taking since 32 weeks. I plan to take goats rue and  Go-lacta (malunggay) after the baby arrives.  After the baby is born I plan to continue with theses supplements and add in More Milk Plus and a lactogenic low GI diet. I took Domperidone (a drug used to increase milk supply which you have to order online) after a bad reaction to Reglan (another medication to increase supply that you can get in the US but it has more side effects) while nursing Scarlett, but don't plan to do either this time because I fear they did some damage to my stomach and hormones. I also plan to get a hospital grade pump again and pump for 5 minutes after each nursing session to provide more stimulation if needed. I met with a lactation consultant who also suggested biological nurturing. Basically this entails you being skin to skin continuously with baby for 48 hours after birth and allow baby to self attach each nursing session while in a semi reclined position. The midwife who uses this in her practice has said she has no issues with latch or soreness for mothers who use this method and less issues with milk supply. She also says babies who are allowed to do this will nurse 12-18 times in the first 24hrs compared to 4-6 times for babies sleeping in bassinet next to mom. This is huge for stimulation to the breasts for milk supply! The concept makes sense to me because I think God created babies with the knowledge of how to nurse and many times we screw it up by intervening when not necessary. The only hard thing will be to be skin to skin when people come to visit. I plan on having just close relatives the first 48 hrs then everyone else can come.

I am hoping these along with all the time spent pumping and nursing with Scarlett will increase my chances of having enough milk this time. I have some hope as I actually had some small changes in breast fullness/sensitivity this pregnancy when I had none with Scarlett.  I am hoping with all these interventions I will not need to supplement. If I did need to supplement this time I would hope to be able to find another donor or I would most likely make my own formula. I have been spending a lot of time reading a wonderful book called Motherfood: A breastfeeding diet guide which I think is by far the best book for someone with low milk supply/ IGT.  This is where I have gotten most of the ideas on what to take and I will use her ideas for a lactogenic diet minus the gluten.

I also occasionally get anxious about the postpartum period. Last time I struggled with depression and hope not to this time around. I have been taking lots of fish oil, vitamin D, and B vitamins to hopefully help. I also plan on getting a sun lamp this winter. I also know things will be more hectic this time because I also will have Scarlett to care for and hope to continue with her healing diet which will mean more work, dishes, and cooking. I am praying for a non colicky baby who actually sleeps this time around and have cut out all dairy indulgences this last month in preparation and have been taking probiotics and eating probitoic containing foods throughout my pregnancy. I also don't eat gluten and plan to not consume cruciferious vegetables for the first few months. I am hoping all of my preparation in freezer cooking will help and Chris will be able to take some time off of work after baby comes to help.

All in all, I have to remember that God has everything in control. Every day I have to remind myself to give my anxiety about the situation to Him and to put my trust in Him. I know He often can use things we have went through to benefit us. I know going through everything I went through with Scarlett has made me have more compassion on those who struggle with nursing difficulties. I understand now it is not black and white and not everyone will have an easy time with it. It has also increased my knowledge on the subject and this time around I won't have to do as much researching to find answers as I did with Scarlett. I also know that I have to be content in knowing that I am doing everything possible to have enough milk.

I am thankful for the sense of peace God has given me throughout this pregnancy. Please pray that I would continue to give this situation to Him so that I can experience His peace these last couple weeks of pregnancy and throughout the birth and postpartum period.

39 weeks!

Okay so I am really bad at documenting things this pregnancy compared to Scarlett! So I thought I better do a quick update before the little one arrives although I am guessing it will be late. I didn't even get a good picture because I keep forgetting to ask my husband to take one for me :)

How far along: 39 weeks

Baby's size: My midwife estimated around 7lbs my last visit

Total weight gain: 20lbs over my starting weight

Stretch marks? Thankfully none have shown up yet

Sleep: Pretty awful!! He sits so low and I am up constantly going to the bathroom and waking up with hip pain (the chiropractor is my best friend these days). 

Best moment this week: A few weeks ago I had a friend's little boy ask me why my belly was so big. I told him it was because there was a baby in there. He asked me "Did you bite (eat) it?". I laughed and said "No, that is just how a baby is made".  He still seemed pretty confused :) 

It was also so much fun to have maternity pictures taken at 34 weeks and the home visit with the midwife and her assistant at 36 weeks. 

Miss anything? SLEEP! Although I am not expecting any for the next few months!

Movement: The only time he is a wild one is when I eat dairy. I have been dairy free wince 36 weeks and I plan on not eating it until baby is at least 4-5 months or even longer because I am going to do everything in my power not to have a colicky baby again! Otherwise he is super quiet and content compared to  how Scarlett was. I have to poke him to make him move for peace of mind sometimes. 

Food cravings: Raw green peppers and cucumbers! Good thing they are in season! I also am craving more carbs here at the end and have been snacking on the treats made with honey and coconut sugar I have been making for the freezer. I also broke down and ate a few pieces of candy corn which surprisingly is my favorite halloween candy (my husband thinks all my candy choices are so disgusting). 

Anything making you queasy or sick? I am having a little bit more nausea now that I am getting towards the end. My midwife says it is just the hormones raging again. Unfortunately this translates into hot flashes too which are not fun.

Gender: Little Boy!

Labor signs: Braxton hicks all the time and baby is super low most of the time although he bobs up and down.

Symptoms: Growing belly, hip pain, braxton hicks, and fatigue

Belly button in or out: Definitely out now!

Maternity Clothes: I have two pair of bigger regular pants that fit and then I just wear skirts and yoga pants. Although mostly it has been yoga pants because I am lazy :) 

Happy or moody most of the time: I am feeling pretty happy most of the time, but season 3 of Downtown Abby definitely had me sobbing last night :) 

Looking forward to: Meeting my little boy face to face! Although I am perfectly content if he comes late because the more time I have to prepare the better! 

All set up for a waterbirth if it works out!! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Healing the gut: part 2

Finally I am getting to finishing this post after a whole month and a half!! For those of you who know us personally, you know it has been a very long journey for us trying to figure out Scarlett's loose stool and gut issues. We started with a dairy/gluten free diet which helped immensely, but did not completely fix the problem. I contemplated for a long time putting her on the GAPS diet, but just wasn't sure if I could keep up something that intense for a long period of time (especially with a new little one coming). Well, we have finally received answers as to why Scarlett has been having loose stools all her life. I was getting frustrated at "fishing in the dark" and trying to find out why she continued to have loose stools despite all the things I was implementing. I talked it over with Chris and we decided to take her to see a naturopath for answers and testing. It was a big decision because it is not cheap to do this and obviously insurance won't cover the visits, although they do cover some of the testing fees. So after explaining Scarlett's history to the naturopath she decided to have us start with two different tests. The first test was the IgG antibody test to see what foods her immune system was reacting too and to indicate if she had a leaky gut or not. The second test was a stool culture to figure out the different things going on inside of her digestive system.

The IgG test is a blood test that they use to indicate how your immune system is reacting to various foods. Since she is so small we were only able to do the regular test without the extra vegetable and spice add on's. I was very surprised at her results. She was reacting to basically all beans (kidney, soy, peanut, and even string bean), some different types of fish we would never eat, and strangely enough chicken. She didn't react at all to dairy or wheat, but the naturopath said it could be because she has been off of them for so long they wouldn't show up on the test. The naturopath said the results were actually good because if she had a rampant leaky gut she would be reacting to many more foods. She did decide to put her on two gut healing supplements just to help. The first is called Endefen by Metagenics. This supplement is a general nutritional supplement for the upper GI tract and helps support good bacteria growth. The second one is called Glutagenics by Metagenics and contains the powerful gut healing L-glutamine. It also contains Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root and aloe leaf extract which both help heal the gut as well. The last piece is to keep Scarlett off all the foods she reacts to for 6 months. Truthfully that part hasn't been too hard except for chicken and green beans. She didn't react to turkey so I have been substituting with that instead. 

The second test was the stool analysis. It turns out that Scarlett had quite a few things in her gut that were causing her some issues. The first thing they found was the H. Pylori bacteria which is one of the main causes of ulcers. To combat this the naturopath put her on Zinc Carnosine which kills the bacteria. The second thing they found was that she had a large amount of yeast in her gut. This didn't surprise me as she still has some cradle cap and because we dealt with so many yeast issues after her birth. To combat this Scarlett is on a modified candida diet. This means only 1 serving of low GI fruit per day, 1 serving of grain, and 1 serving of starchy vegetable. The rest of her diet is basically meat, lentils, non-starchy vegetables, and nuts. This is actually slightly difficult to do with me needing a few more carbs while pregnant. In order to accomplish this I usually make all our lunches grain free and alternate a starchy vegetable or grain for breakfast and supper. I try to get a few more low GI carbs in while she naps or is occupied in another room since I need them while pregnant. The other supplement she ordered to combat the yeast is called Ultraflora Acute Care. This is a probiotic formula which contains a beneficial yeast called S. Bourlardii which kills off the bad yeast. The last two things they found in Scarlett's gut were Camplyobacter and two different animal parasites. The naturopath was very intrigued by this since she said they don't normally see these in a two year old and these could be the main reason she continued to have loose stools. She said normally in a healthy gut these two will just get passed out in the stool, but if they find a hospitable environment in a damaged gut they will stick around. She wanted to wait to start any treatment for these two because she wanted to she if we took care of the H. pylori and yeast if her system would just get rid of the camplyobacter and parasites on it's own. 

We started Scarlett on the Endefen and Glutagenics right away after her first visit. She was on them for around a month before the tests came back. Then we started the zinc carnosine, acute care, and the candida diet. The first few days of it went very well, however then she started to have issues holding her urine. This was very strange for her and she would cry because she felt so bad she couldn't hold it. I think this was her detox reaction because the naturopath had us back down on the probiotic dosage and she began to be able to hold it again. We continued with the supplements for about 3 weeks and her stools were becoming normal! Then a funny thing happened. Despite changing nothing she began to have loose stools again. After talking with the naturopath she decided she wanted to start an anti-parasitic because she thought they might be flaring up as we clear her system out. We then started her on Biocidin (an herbal anti-parasitic and anti-yeast product) and Caproyl (an anti-yeast product which is actually a very concentrated dose of coconut oil). We began with one drop of Biocidin and after a week we were supposed to up it to 2 drops. The first week went good, but after adding two drops she had the same strange reaction as she did when we introduced the zinc and ultraflora. This time she was wetting the bed. The naturopath thinks this may just be her detox reaction. We decided to keep on with it a few days to see if it would improve and it did. Her stools are becoming more regular again and she quit wetting the bed. 

This is the point we are at right now. Her stools are regular. She is still on all the supplements and the candida diet. The naturopath wants to keep her on this diet for another couple months to completely clear out the yeast and she said we may have to switch up the Biocidin with another herbal product to keep the parasites and bacteria from becoming immune. All in all, I am so glad we are doing this and I wish we would have started earlier. With the little one coming in about a month I am feeling slightly overwhelmed especially with the diet. I have been frantically making lots of meals so that I will not have to worry about cooking as much and I plan to sneak more carbs in while she naps or is in the other room. I struggled with milk supply with Scarlett and think I could possibly not have enough grandular tissue so I am not willing to eat lower carbs while nursing for fear it will diminish my supply further. I plan to stick with low GI fruits, 1 serving of grain, a small amount of honey in baked goods, and starchy vegetables. I know I will eventually need gut healing too since most babies born with a damaged gut acquire it from the gut health of their mother. The naturopath said she would have no problem treating me while nursing but to wait until around 3-4 months after having him since the gut does change due to the hormones while pregnant.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summertime Swimming


We don't ever really go to the beach that often so Scarlett hasn't had much experience with swimming and the water. She was hesitant at first, but after some prompting from Daddy she now loves it and has been begging to go there again! That is totally okay with this momma because I can't get enough of the summer sun. I am hoping it warms up again soon because I am not ready for fall yet.






Sunday, August 4, 2013

30 weeks

How far along: 30 weeks

Baby's size: about 3lbs and size of large cabbage

Total weight gain: 10lbs over my starting weight

Stretch marks? None yet, hoping the belly butter will prevent them again 


Sleep: Still hit or miss, but leaning more towards missing it mostly. 

Best moment this week: Scarlett has been so interested in my belly lately and is constantly wanting to touch and tickle her baby brother. She is so cute and pretends she is pregnant sometimes too. She tells me "I have baby in my belly too", then she will proceed to jump back and say "Oh, he kicked me." It is so cute!

Miss anything? Mostly I just miss sleeping right now!

Movement: Yep. He has his days where he moves around a lot and his days where he is pretty quiet. He is most active in the evenings it seems.

Food cravings: Not much except I am still loving kale chips and fruit (especially raspberries and blueberries)

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing if I eat right. 

Gender: Little Boy!

Labor signs: Nothing but braxton hicks every day.

Symptoms: Growing belly, hip pain, braxton hicks, and fatigue

Belly button in or out: Definitely out now!

Maternity Clothes: Still wearing my larger size of regular jeans and some maternity shirts.

Happy or moody most of the time: I am feeling pretty happy most of the time. 

Looking forward to: The rodeo next weekend with my family and my 32 week appointment with my midwife.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Homemade Belly Butter for Pregnancy


This time around I have decided to try to make my own belly butter. Last time around I used BioOil to help prevent stretch marks. And I am not completely sure if it was the product or not but I didn't get any stretch marks with Scarlett. However, after learning what is acutally in BioOil and knowing that everything we put on our skin is absorbed (it is our largest organ) I decided making my own would be the way to go. It is surprisingly easy and kinda gratifying to make something yourself.



The recipe I use is an easy one that many people have already posted online. The basic ingredients are coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and vitamin E oil. I ordered my products through vitacost and amazon.

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup shea butter
1/8 cup vitamin E oil


I mixed them all up on the stove. I don't have a double boiler so I just used a Anchor measuring cup and a small pan with water.
Melting away

After it melted I put it into a short mason jar and it was ready to cool. Super easy! Some people store it is the fridge but I found it got to hard to use so I just leave mine out.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bathroom Remodel and craziness

We just got started with our bathroom remodel last week and are in the process of switching Scarlett to the bigger room and our office to the smaller one. It has been kinda crazy and hectic around here since then. We only have the one bathroom in our old house and it was in desperate need of a remodel. We were also in desperate need of a shower! I am so excited to have it done before the baby comes but it is also causing a little bit of stress for me since I am in full nesting mode already. I want to be more prepared for this baby because I know that things will get even more hectic after he comes. Anyways here are some pictures of the bathroom before and what it is now. Hopefully they will be coming to tile on Monday and then get the shower ring up. My mother in law was kind enough to help my husband paint Scarlett's previous nursery to a more neutral color for an office. The rest of this week will most likely be spent moving all Chris's computer stuff over and figuring out what else I want to do in there. I have also been in the process of cleaning out the basement and hopefully soon can have a garage sale to get rid of things we don't need. I also have been organizing things for the baby. The last few weeks have been pretty good energy wise for me so that is a blessing. I still have to take breaks during the day and am exhausted by the end of the night but hopefully this energy will stay for a little while longer. Now if I could just sleep through the whole night! So if I don't update for awhile I am busy preparing and trying to keep my house somewhat organized and clean which is so hard to do when remodeling. 

Before



In the process


Before - As you can see we desperately needed an update!
In the Process - I am so excited to actually have a vanity.


Scarlett's nursery before the paint job

After the painting 






Sunday, July 14, 2013

Duluth Babymoon




I was so excited to get to plan another babymoon. I call it that because I know after the baby comes it will at least be a year or longer before Chris and I get a full night away. We went to Two Harbors last time and thought it would be fun to actually stay in Duluth this time.

We had a great time just relaxing and enjoying some of the fun attractions Duluth has to offer. Chris jokes we have to go there once when I am not pregnant so we can actually do the white water rafting and rock climbing. We spent some time in canal park, went hiking in Tetaguchee Park, and spent a lot of time eating wonderful food! Surprisingly Duluth actually has many restaurants that offer wonderful gluten free choices. Usually when we go out to eat you ask for the gluten free options and you get to choose from two things or they tell you to order meat and veggies without seasoning. Not so in Duluth. We found a wonderful place called the Duluth Grill that had lots of gluten and vegan/vegetarian options. They also used almost all local and organic ingredients. Plus the food was amazing!! If you ever go to Duluth don't hesitate to stop there. It might not look that fancy from the outside but the food is very good. We ate there many times and were never disappointed.

Our first day we spent hanging out in Canal Park shopping and watching the ships come in
Huge Ships coming in. They look so small out on the water but once they get close you realize how big they are.
The bridge that lifts up to let the ships go through

One of the lighthouses by the bridge.


Chris's yummy fish taco's at Dultuh Grill
I told Chris I would allow myself one Caribou iced coffee this pregnancy, but when I saw an organic iced coffee made with fair trade chocolate, coconut milk, and fresh coconut whipped cream I couldn't resist. And I was glad I didn't, it tasted so good! Better than Caribou and better for me too. 

Spinach and artichoke dip with gluten free bread. Yum!

Thai Chicken Pizza
The pizza was so good. Unfortunately all the dairy upset my stomach :(
Pictures of the crazy and most uncomfortable bathroom I have ever used. I walked in on a guy washing his hands turned beet red and went out the door. Then I realized it was all together. They had separate sides for the stalls but you all met in the middle to wash your hands. It was so strange!
At our tour of the Glensheen Mansion

On the beach


They had some gorgeous bridges and rivers by the Glensheen.

It was so beautiful. We just did the standard tour but I would love to go back and do the extended. It was such a cool house. I love old architecture and am fascinated by history so it was so much fun for me. Surprisingly Chris really enjoyed it too!

Our last day we spent up at Enger Tower. It was the perfect morning for it and the views were incredible. They had awesome gardens and it was free so that was good :)


Enger Tower

Hiking at Tetaguchee. We love Tetaguchee because it is actual hiking along the cliffs. I was nervous how I would do because the last time we hiked I was only 18 weeks along and this time I was 25 weeks. I was definitely tired by the end of the day but surprisingly I made it through our 6 miles of hiking that day! I was also glad I made it through without having to stop and squat behind a tree :)

The views were breathtaking!

We had to take most of the pictures on Chris's phone because it was raining when we first started hiking. Thankfully it quit and didn't start again til we were done with our hiking for the day.


In front of a yummy Italian place we found.
We had a wonderful trip and I was so sad when it was over. I missed Scarlett though and was glad to get home to her. She was glad to see us too, but was sad to leave Grandpa and Grandma's.