Category Archives: Birth

Breastmilk or Formula?

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Today is another rant post. I am so sick of the breast milk versus formula argument. People just need to chill out and let parents do whatever they think is best. If someone decides to formula feed because she just feels so awkward breastfeeding, why would people care? Or if someone decides to formula feed because of medication (like me), then you definitely shouldn’t care. If someone decides to still breastfeed their toddler until he or she is 3, you shouldn’t care (but breastfeeding a 12-year-old, in a story I read before, is just too much).

When I was pregnant with my son, I tried to get off of my medications, but I couldn’t. My body needs them to regulate my blood pressure and my heart rate. At one point in my pregnancy, the doctors were debating on whether or not taking him out at 31 or 34 weeks because his body was being affected by medication. By the grace of God, my son beat what they thought was wrong and is perfectly healthy. However, I was not going to breastfeed him and make my medications still be introduced into his body. I was literally afraid of something happening to him. So, after discussing it with my husband, we decided that formula would be the best route for him. He is healthy, he is smart, and he is way ahead of other babies his age and some babies even older than him. Other people have asked why I didn’t get breast milk from one of those storage banks. There was no way I would allow a strangers breast milk to enter my son’s body, that’s just how I am.

Honestly, I felt like a horrible mom for feeding him formula. All I ever heard while pregnant was how awful moms are who feed their babies formula, how dare I not feed him at least someone’s breast milk, or how I am basically killing my son and making him exposed to so many diseases by not breastfeeding him. I’m sorry, I think it’s more important for me to not re-introduce my medicines to his system. Breastfeeding would take so much more out of me like hydration, energy (that I couldn’t hardly spare anyways), etc. Being a mom is hard, kudos to those who breastfeed. Honestly, I probably would have breastfed, at least a while, were it not for my medicines.

But being berated and others trying to make me and other moms who formula feed feel like crap because we don’t breastfeed is uncalled for. Likewise, moms who are berated for breastfeeding is awful. The bottom line is that you don’t know why a mom chooses to breastfeed or formula feed, and you shouldn’t care. Babies still get the nutrients they need either way and are healthy either way. Yes, babies who are fed formula do get sick and have problems, but so do breastfed babies. Let’s all act like the adults we are and respect one another’s parenting, especially if there is no harm to the child or children. – End rant. (Any degrading comments will not be approved.)

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9 Things I Would Have Never Thought Before Becoming a Mom

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Listed below is..well um…a list…of things I would never have thought before becoming a mom:

  1. How much an extra 5 minutes of sleep is really worth. An extra 5 minutes of sleep means the difference between waking up with birds chirping, the sun shining brightly and nicely through the curtains, and hearing pleasant music as you stretch (you know, the kind of music on Looney Tunes when someone wakes up) as opposed to barely making it to the royal swirly throne because you are stumbling all over the place trying to wake yourself up, rushing to the kitchen to get your child’s breakfast ready to get him to stop crying, and trying to be all smiley and crap when your husband gets home. There is a MAJOR difference, trust me.
  2. How awesome it would be if your baby would just forgo the temper tantrum for one day. There is only so much a person can take of her baby throwing a fit over not being able to chew on and play with cords before it becomes really old really fast.
  3. The mom look is powerful. You know that look a mom gets when you’re doing something wrong and she either hasn’t yet or can’t say something to you? Yeah, that look works even on babies (it worked on my son last night). It makes you feel like, “I am Mommy! Hear me roar!” Rawr.
  4. That it was possible to take privacy in the bathroom for granted. It’s true. I have written about this before, but there is a little more to it. Sure, you think that you can give them payback from the smell when you are making poopy and they break in, but no. Oh no. You’re like, “Smell my poopy and tremble! I said TREMBLE! Not keep coming in, examine the tub, grab my leg, and smile!”
  5. That going to a doctor’s appointment would be a vacation. It is a vacation. I hate going to the doctor, but if my husband can watch him while I go or I can put him in daycare for that amount of time, then it is a vacation. Mommy can go somewhere without a little munchkin attached to her! Let’s have a party!
  6. I never thought, in a million years, that I would make up rhymes and sing them to my son to get him to eat, to take a bath, and to go to bed. These will never be heard by another person’s ears as long as I live! I hope.
  7. How much a person would go through to keep him from crying. From carrying him around on your stomach all day and night to running the dryer without clothes in it to letting him gnaw on your hand when he was teething, you would do just about anything (within reason) to stop that crying. Especially when he’s been crying for over 3 hours without a break. (Note to self: If another baby comes along buy ear plugs so you don’t have to hear the crying of the newborn while you walk him all over your home on your belly. Don’t get cheap ones either, get some really big and nice Bose headphones, and be sure to keep the Traitor in your sights at all times. Yes, I am extremely specific, but you need to be specific when that mom brain comes on.)
  8. That Mom brain is real. No, seriously, it IS real. You can only focus on making sure everything is right for your baby that you can’t remember if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean and you try to store your clothes in the pantry because it has shelves. Eh, stuff happens.
  9. That window blinds wouldn’t even be targeted by the dog, but would be by the baby. So long, intact window blinds. I knew thee well.

What are some things that you never thought you would do before becoming a mom?

Pregnant with P.O.T.S.

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Being pregnant in general is very exhausting and it is work. Now throw something in as life changing as P.O.T.S. and you are in for a ride. My husband and I had wanted to wait for a while before we had children in order to give me some time to see if I would get better and have a surgery that could have possibly helped me, but my son was a complete surprise. In fact, when I found out I was pregnant, I was just using a box of pregnancy tests before I threw them away. I had no inclination of being with child, but each pregnancy test I took came up quickly positive every single time. So shocking.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I stopped taking my meds for P.O.T.S. However, even though I tried not being on any medication, that simply wasn’t happening. I had to take my medicine throughout my entire pregnancy and still had problems. At one point, my son was in danger of being taken out around 31 or 32 weeks pregnant because of him seemingly being affected by the medicine I was on. Thankfully, and only by the grace of God, my son beat the odds that were against him. He was still undersized for a while, all the way up until a month before I had him. He started getting around the normal growth stages and then surpassing them.

Labor was something I was dreading, but not for the usual reasons. I didn’t really care about all the pain that was about to come my way, I was more worried about being able to give birth to my son without any complications, such as fainting. At first, I wanted a cesarean section, or C-section, birth. But, my doctor helped me to see that it was probably going to be safer to give birth through vaginal delivery. When the day came to be medically induced (to read about that adventure read my other post titled Football and Birthing a Baby) at 39 weeks, I was extremely scared. Even though my husband doesn’t see how he helped me by being there, if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know how I could have gone through it without freaking the crap out. The staff at the hospital had me lay on one of my sides, because my vitals would only be in an okay range by laying on my side.

When I got to 6 cm dilated, I was able to receive an epidural. The anesthesiologist that did the epidural stayed with me for a couple of hours to make sure nothing bad happened. Normally, the anesthesiologists at the hospital I went to don’t stay with the mom. Later on in the evening, it was time to push. I did have a little issue here. They had to give me oxygen while I was pushing, because I wasn’t getting enough in my system. My baby’s head was crowning, his cord was wrapped around his neck a couple of times, and I thought my body was about to give up. He wound up being delivered with a vacuum to suction him out of me.

The breastfeeding lady at the hospital wanted me to breastfeed my baby. However, after doing some research online about my medicines being transferred through breast milk and after the scare of him being so far behind before in the womb, I decided to formula feed him. I did not want the medicines I had to take being in his system anymore, and I needed the medicines to be better able to take care of him. My baby was and is fine. The only thing that is wrong with him is some stomach problems. He does take medicine to help with his reflux, but it is not uncommon for babies to have these issues.

After all of that, he was fine and I was fine (all things considered). My P.O.T.S. did begin to get worse, but I am on medications, a special diet, and an exercise program to help with it. It is hard being a mom with P.O.T.S., but it is doable. If you want to get pregnant and have P.O.T.S. and have any questions that I could help you with, or you would like to just have someone to talk to about this stuff that has gone through it, please let me know. I’m here to help!

The Not-So-Glorious Things When You are Pregnant/Give Birth

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I didn’t really know too much about how pregnancy affects a woman’s body until I became pregnant. For the most part, I had only heard of the glow that pregnant women have and how it is such a glorious thing. Everything I had heard of about pregnancy was that it was this amazing process and butterflies here and rainbows there blah blah blah blah blah. When dealing with people and in all of my relationships I prefer a painful truth to a nice little lie. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard of some women having just the best time while they are pregnant; however, I am not one of those women. Listed below are some facts about pregnancy and how a woman’s body might be afterwards. (If you think this might be gross, then you may want to stop reading my posts like this, Dad.)

  1. Morning sickness sucks. Not to mention it can last all day and night. Mine kicked in when I hit week number six of being pregnant. I couldn’t really eat anything and I worried some of my family members. It took me a while to learn that I could eat lemons. Surprisingly, lemons, or anything citrus, actually help nausea. Sadly, for some this is not true. There are a few women I know that have such an awful time with morning sickness that literally nothing helps and they just have to deal with it.
  2. Mood swings. I’ll admit, I used to believe that pregnant women who burst out into different moods and cry at the drop of a hat were just seeking attention and could truly control their emotions. I was dead wrong. The slightest thing could make me cry, especially food. For instance, one evening I heated some spaghetti up in the microwave (it was covered, thank you very much) and it exploded. There was hardly a clean surface in the microwave and it took me the better part of an hour to clean it up. It was that bad. Also, it probably didn’t help that I started crying like I was trying to fill a swimming pool. While this was going on (and since I couldn’t call my husband since he was deployed) I had to talk to my grandpa and a friend to calm down. Occasionally, my husband will remember me freaking out over this and still makes fun of me for it. I look at him with tears in my eyes and say, “Too soon.” To this day, if a recipe doesn’t go right or doesn’t look how it’s supposed to look, I tear up a bit. My husband thinks this is funny. Jerk.
  3. Bladder control. I knew that I would pee a lot while I was pregnant, what I didn’t know is that it is extremely hard to control your bladder while being pregnant. You may have times where you have to change clothes (or take a shower or two) because of the lack of control of said bladder. This gets worse after you have your kid.
  4. Food cravings. Not every pregnant woman craves pickles and peanut butter. Some of us crave dipping beef jerky into vanilla ice cream (hey, when you crave salty and sweet foods, this works). Once a food craving is satisfied, it is absolutely amazing. True story.
  5. Rib cage. Babies do get stuck in rib cages. They also can twist your ribs so much that your OB may have to put them back in line. This is painful. It becomes painful to do anything. You may or may not have to twist around in some weird positions to get temporary relief.
  6. Hips. They are never the same. Can you say wide load ahead?
  7. Labor. It hurts. I don’t care what the doctors, nurses, and midwives say. It’s not just pressure.
  8. Epidural. If you get an epidural, it may not stop all of the pain you feel. In fact, it may just work on one side and not on the other, or it may even not work on the pelvic region like it should. Awesome, right?
  9. Bowel movements. You may or may not poop when you are pushing out your kid. It is actually a good thing if you poop while pushing, because it means that you are pushing correctly. This might be one of those things your husband blocks out of his memory.
  10. Birth canal. Your baby can twist and turn in the birth canal and get his cord wrapped around his neck a couple of times. This might result in having a vacuum assisted birth. Yes, those exist. It also may lead to a tear that takes an hour for the doctor to stop the bleeding.
  11. Bleeding. So much bleeding. It will go on for few weeks.
  12. Down there. Yeah, it’ll be swollen like a balloon. You will seriously think it will deflate if you poke it. True story.
  13. Pain medication. When I was at the hospital, they gave me a cooling spray and a foam thing to put in my undies. These two things were AWESOME, but they won’t last forever. Warm water does help ease it a bit. Good luck getting anything effective (vicodin) after birth, though. Remember, you have a little, tiny human being to take care of now.
  14. Bladder control part 2. Hehe, what bladder control?
  15. Lasting pain. It may hurt for several months after birth to have relations with your husband. This is apparently normal. However, you may have so much persisting pain because of some scar tissue. Scar tissue may require you to have some awkward physical therapy. They do indeed have physical therapy for that.
  16. Baby behavior. Remember that little peanut you grew in your belly, that you popped out, that peanut that you couldn’t believe the nurses trusted you to take care of all by yourself without them when they sent you home? Yeah, that baby may be colic. So much awesomeness.
  17. Exhaustion. While you are dealing with healing after giving birth, you now have a little one that you are in charge of for your entire life, or until he or she turns 18. You will be sleep deprived, short-tempered (your hormones are still off for a while after birth), and you are the owner of a body that looks entirely different from how it looked before getting pregnant.

Through all of the pains of growing a baby, having a baby, and taking care of a baby everything will be different. You won’t really get a good night’s sleep for a while, you have a little person that you have to take with you everywhere you go, and you always have to plan ahead for trips. No more spontaneous, “Hey, let’s go to California,” trips. Babies are very expensive, they are hard work, and you don’t have to act like everything is all perfect after he or she is born. If people ask me how pregnancy is and how it is to give birth, I won’t sugar-coat it. You feel miserable through both and you get not sympathy from anyone about all of the pain you are in. However, even though you feel awful a lot and just would like one night where you don’t have to worry about taking care of the baby, you wouldn’t change it for the world.

My Son, the Traitor

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My enitre life I have heard that boys are attached to their moms. I have to admit, I was really looking forward to that when my little boy was born. Sadly, my son is a traitior. He likes everyone else more than me. The traitor was colic during the first four months of his life.

During the first four months, my husband was still deployed. He got to miss all of the awesome goodness from our son’s crying. My husband got to miss all of the late nights bouncing the traitor and carrying him around the apartment so he’ll sleep and driving at 4 A.M. for a couple of hours to get him to sleep. Lucky.

When my son was born, I wasn’t the first one to get to hold him like it was planned. Because there were some issues when he came out, one of the doctors took him to check him out. Once he was cleared, I still didn’t get to hold him (due to me having some issues as well). Nope, I didn’t. The first one to hold him besides the pediatrician was my husband. I was all like, “Dude, give me my baby. I want to hold him.” Since my husband held him first, and for a little while before I got him, our son wound up bonding with him.

Now, all of this would have been okay if my husband would have been able to stay and help me take care of him more than a week and a half, but he had to go back to Afghanistan. The day my husband left was the first day my little traitor started crying. A lot.

I know what babies do best is cry, but he cried ALL THE TIME. Day and night, night and day. Nothing would calm him down. Nothing except seeing my husband on Skype. Yep, as soon as he saw his daddy he was okay. This is when I first realized that I am indeed chopped liver.

It didn’t stop there, whenever I had friends over or if I went to visit friends, my son was perfectly fine. I remember one night talking on the phone to my friend, Jamie, and crying to her about the traitor not stopping his crying. She invited me over to her house so that I could get some sleep and she would take care of the little booger. As soon as I gave him to her, he was fine. FINE. Of course, whenever there was someone else around, he was okay.

To this day, whenever the traitor starts to cry and either daddy comes home or a friend comes over, or if I’m even with him at the grocery store, my son is the picture of a well-behaved, cute little boy. Of course. But as soon as he realizes I’m the only one around, and he gets bored, let the crying games begin.

This is all okay. I love my little boy and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. Besides, when he’s a teenager and he wonders why I like to embarass him so much in front of his friends or his girlfriends, I will refer him to my blog. He can read about how awesome a traitor he was when he was a little baby. Mommy will get her revenge. Mwahahahahaha!

Football and Birthing a Baby

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I grew up being a fan of football, college football to be precise. Even more specifically, the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Being from Alabama, and not wanting to be a traitor to my state by being a fan of Auburn University, my loyalty lies to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide). It just so happened that the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) football game for the 2011-2012 season was scheduled on January 9, 2012.

Since I am such a fan of football, it was surprising to some of my friends that I didn’t pay much attention later on in the season (especially since Alabama was having a pretty darn good season). You see, my husband had deployed earlier in 2011, and we found out that I was pregnant two weeks before he left [which explained why I cried at Applebee’s when my husband ordered traditional buffalo wings (I had told him to get boneless, I went to the restroom and came back to find he got traditional)]. So I was very pregnant by this time and didn’t care much about football at this point. Also, I learned by then that I got very emotional with food, as my friend, Jamie, can tell you.

My pregnancy was not so awesome at times. Before I got to the halfway point (20 weeks) I was put on bedrest for 22 hours a day. Not fun. I was supposed to squeeze eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom into two hours a day. If you know anything about pregnancy, then you will know that pregnant women pee. A lot. I also had morning sickness that lasted all day and night for about half of my pregnancy (I lost 14 pounds by the time the morning sickness went away). Football was definitely not on my mind. If it wasn’t for the support system from my husband even though he was away, the support system I had here (thanks, Jamie and Amber), the support system of my friends I made in Texas (thanks, Caitlin, Jess, Phatsy, Sarah, and Tracey), and the support system of my family and friends back home (thanks, Shawna), I would have not only lost my mind, but wouldn’t have been able to find it again.

I was coming to the end of my pregnancy and found out that I was going to be induced at 39 weeks (this was for a few different reasons). Thankfully, it happened to fall at the exact same time that my husband would be home for his two weeks of R&R. In fact, he arrived just a few days before we had our first baby. My induction date was on January 9, 2012. Towards the end of the year in 2011, I found out that Alabama might just make it to the BCS championship game. My family, especially my brother, were excited at the possibility that my baby would be born on game day and that Alabama would win.

January 8, 2012 came around before I knew it. My husband and I went to the hospital that night to start the induction process. How they started the process with me was to insert a balloon type thing that would do some stuff and start the labor process. They had issues with getting it inserted and, about two hours later, we were on our way home. Because I was in so much pain, my husband drove about 20 m.p.h. the entire way home. They told me that it would probably be a couple of hours before my balloon came out, and they also told me to get something to eat and to just relax until I saw them the next morning (relax, yeah…right). As soon as I got home I had to go pee. Of course. Well, the balloon came out right then and there, and something clicked in my head that I was having labor pains. Yes, I am a smart one.

The next morning, January 9, 2012, my husband and I arrived at the hospital. A little while later my friend, Jamie, arrived as well. Even with the labor inducing drugs, things were moving slowly. It turned out that my nurse was from Louisiana and that he was a big time Louisiana State University (LSU) football fan (his wife would later be my nurse in the maternity ward). Talk about a small world, because Alabama and LSU were playing each other in the championship game. You had better believe that the game was definitely on in my delivery room. Good times, but, sadly, no buffalo wings. Siiiiiiiigh.

From the time I got there to soon before the game started not only did my water break, but, becuase I threw up my apple juice, it was time to push. Sadly, it was also time for my nurse to go home. After 50 minutes of trying to push and then having a vacuum suction to get my baby out (he had turned in the birth canal and got his cord wrapped around his neck a couple of times) and trying my hardest not to yell at my doctor, my baby was born. Just before halftime in the Alabama game. There were some issues afterwards, including my doc and the other staff watching the game while all of this was going on (can’t say that I blame them, even though we weren’t/aren’t even in the South), and it was at then end of the 4th quarter when I realized that Alabama was not only winning, but had won the championship game. (I may or may not have rubbed it into my nurse from the previous day when I saw him again, but he was a really great nurse and so was his wife.)

As much as I didn’t want my son’s birth to be associated with the game, he is now forever connected with it. Roll Tide!