Tuesday, March 31, 2015

our life lately

Life around here has been nothing short of a mad house. About three weeks after having Sophia via c-section and spending four days in the NICU, Austen had major shoulder surgery which left him unable to use his right hand. Oh, and he's right-handed. His mom came out for his surgery and stayed for a week, and his sister came out the last two days she was in town to visit, too. On top of all of this, unsats go home on Friday at work so I still have to be grading and entering grades, and Austen's finishing up two classes before a month long baby-break. 

Sophia is a total joy, and a total mess. Little pea has some tummy troubles, so we have a few good days in a row, and then a few rough days of colic symptoms. She'll be really uncomfortable, fuss a lot, and just all around be upset on her rough days. We have consistent problems with her spitting up, and even went to the pediatrician to see if there's something anything we could do. They told us to basically keep doing what we've been doing, so they were no help. She's also had a little bout with cradle cap and baby acne, but thanks to Young Living lavender oil, we've tackled them both pretty well. 

I wish I could say I don't live in yoga pants...but I do. At least I have re-found some cute tanks to layer underneath some denim jackets I have so it has an I'm-a-new-mom-but-still-trying sort of look happening. And my hair is typically in a top knot, but I do still curl it if I'm going to be out in public. Those pictures up above? I was in my pajamas. Don't hate.

My doctor put me on a beta blocker for the first few months postpartum, since I'm at an increased risk of having a cardiac episode. Especially after going into v-tach at 28 weeks pregnant, I'd like to avoid that again. I was completely enjoying coffee again since I gave it up for the remainder of my pregnancy in December, but with Sophia's tummy issues, I went without to see if that helped. It really didn't, so am thinking I'll go back to coffee. It just makes everything a little bit better in the morning.

Really though, I completely love being a mom. I love watching Austen with her, I love giggling with her when she's making silly faces as she wakes up and falls asleep. I love when Lilly and Shiloh go cuddle next to her. Even on the rough days, I still wouldn't trade any of it. 

With that being said, for baby number two, someone remind me to make sure we have family living within 30 minutes of driving time, and for no one to have surgery within a month or two following the birth. Really, we did not plan that surgery date well... K, thanks. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

one month

age: one month as of March 19th (insert the bawling eyes emoji)
stats: 8lbs 2oz and 21 inches long (at one month, six days)
clothes: some newborn, some 0-3 month

favorite foods: breast milk, all the way. she literally face plants into my boob when she's really hungry.
favorite words: no words, but lots of baby jibberish lately!
favorite activities: eating, being in the bathtub, having her diaper changed, and walks in the stroller
least favorite activities: getting out of the bathtub, being put in her car seat, and tummy aches
favorite things: I want to do a full post about first month favorites, soon. ;) basically, she just loves the boob and her soothie pacifiers.
signature moves: she naps with her hands up by her face still and flings her arms and legs around when she's excited (or really pissed off) and we sing, "Everybody was kung-fu fighting! Ha! Ha! My chops were fast as lightening! Ha! Ha!"

dad's proudest moment: He had pretty major shoulder surgery when she was just about 2 weeks old, so he's basically just been able to hold her. No real chances to have any funny I-screwed-that-up stories...yet.
momma's proudest moment: We went to the pediatrician to figure out if there was something we could do about her tummy troubles and spitting up (and the answer: nothing.). As I was setting down her car seat in the room, I dropped my phone on her. It was just her leg and she startled then gave me the stink eye before going back to sleep, but the nurse looked at me like I'd just won "mom of the year" award. Hey, at least it was just her leg.

other milestones: She can hold her head up and move it from side to side during tummy time. She also sleeps long stretches at night (usually from 9:00pm to around 2:00am, and then through the morning until around 7:00am - praise the Lord!).

Friday, March 13, 2015

essential oils during labor and after

Young Living essential oils have been so beneficial to me that I knew I wanted to bring some to the hospital for Sophia's delivery. I brought three oils: frankincense, fennel, and peace & calming and used all of them. During my postpartum stay, the nurses would actually joke during shift change that we were the oily room that smelt so good. ;)

fennel - I brought this one along because I had read that it can encourage labor along and is also helpful in breast milk production. When my labor stopped progressing, my mom rubbed some on the insides of my ankles. We tried a few different all-natural approaches to encourage my labor since pitocin was not an option, and while overall we saw an increase in my contraction strength and frequency, they didn't actually cause me to progress at all. Fennel might work to help some women with their labor progression, but nothing was working for me. However, I did use it almost religiously after Sophia was taken to the NICU for breast milk production! I was producing so little at first (like all women do) and since I had no option but to solely pump less than 12 hours after she was born, I used fennel to help get my breast milk production up. After I'd pump, I'd simply rub a drop on each breast, avoiding the nipple. I do think it helped because the lactation specialist came by to give me advice and was shocked at how much colostrum I was producing, especially for someone who didn't have the baby actually nursing. I'd like to thank fennel for that help! It also was nice because it smells like licorice, so the nurses loved that one. ;)

frankincense - The morning after Sophia was born (before she went to the NICU), I rubbed a couple of drops on my hands and then onto her head. I read that frankincense helps with alignment of the body, and figured since they brought it to baby Jesus, it can't hurt to use on my new baby, too!

peace & calming - I had loved p&c since before Sophia was born, as it was my little nighttime sleep miracle worker during those restless last several weeks of pregnancy. I stopped using it the last couple of weeks, because someone had said it can halt early labor. I really wanted Sophia to make her appearance, so went without for a couple of weeks. After Sophia was born and taken to the NICU, I was a complete and total mess. I was utterly exhausted, completely overwhelmed, and almost inconsolable once we were left alone in the room. I just wanted our baby back. I couldn't stop crying, and they were those big heaving sorts of sobs. My mom didn't even ask, she just grabbed p&c and started putting it on me. She first put it on my neck, then my wrists, and then rubbed it on the bottoms of my feet. She and Austen kissed me, then they went to the NICU and told me to get some sleep. I cried for a couple more minutes, and then was out. I slept for about 4 hours, waking up once to hear my mom argue with a nurse (there was only 1 nurse in my postpartum stay I didn't like, and go figure it was the day Sophia was taken to the NICU so we were all high strung!). The rest of our time in the hospital, I used p&c on my feet just to help me stay calm. On her third day in the NICU, we were able to talk with the children's electrophysiologist whom I had met with once during pregnancy, and he was the one making all the calls on Sophia's cardiac care. My momma got me a necklace with a stone in the center that you put a drop of essential oil on for a "push present", so before our meeting with him, I put a drop of p&c on it and wore it to our meeting in the NICU. Austen and my momma laughed because I kept telling them, "Peace and calming, peace and calming - we're keeping everyone calm in this meeting so he'll tell us she can go home!" The funny thing was it worked. Not the p&c, but her EKGs were looking completely normal and he gave her the a-okay to go home (then it was just a waiting game with NICU regulations...ugh.). In all seriousness though, p&c was my go-to in the hospital. It's still my favorite essential oil. 

Our stay in the hospital was the complete opposite of what I pictured my labor and delivery, and postpartum stay to look like. A part of me even feels jealous when I see people have a normal delivery and postpartum stay. I wanted that so badly, but that's not what ours looked like. I am so thankful that my momma encouraged me to start using Young Living eo's because, for me, they really did make a difference in the quality of our six days in the hospital. 

If you have any questions about essential oils, Young Living, or want to get started using oils in your home, shoot me an email at: katie.sweetpeas@gmail.com. I'd love to chat with you more about it!

disclaimer -- Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

march goals

As cheesy as this is going to sound, February was literally one of the happiest months of my life. We were so blessed to have my mom here for 2 weeks, as she came in Monday and I went into labor with Sophia that Wednesday, then delivered on Thursday. Being a mom brings me so much joy, I absolutely love it! Watching Austen with her makes me love him even more.

February made my heart so full. I'm excited for March so that our little family can really settle into this new "us" and find a schedule and rhythm.

Here's how my February goals panned out:

1. Read through Make It Happen by Lara Casey with The Influence Network book study. I'm still working my way through this, and absolutely loving it!! I recommend it to anyone who needs a good book to really dig into.
2. When my mom comes in town, attempt homemade Polish pierogis and Italian pizelle cookies (#28 on my 30 before 30 list). Homemade...no. But we did get cheese and potato pierogis from the Polish Deli that Austen is already telling me I need to go buy more of. They were delicious. 
3. Sew swoon Euro pillow covers for our master bedroom before our lifestyle photo shoot with Mary Lynn. Nope. I was too busy, and that's okay! I'm hoping to do them over my maternity leave, or maybe the beginning of summer break so that our bedroom set is complete. 

My March goals are:

1. Finish reading through Make It Happen, and start reading Baby Wise.
2. Find Young Living essential oils that are going to be really useful with Sophia (I started my Essential Rewards this month, so am excited to put in my April order for what Sophia might use the most of!)
3. Go for a walk 4x a week, even if it's a short one while I continue to heal from my c-section.
4. Celebrate turning 26!!! And Shiloh turning 4!

I am so excited for March. I really just can't wait for a full month of snuggling Sophia and the boogs on the couch. Our hydrangeas and tulips are starting to come back, which I absolutely love. March brings on the beginning of spring and I'm excited to welcome warmer weather as a little family of 3!
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