Message 2 my Kids #38

Mama Mama

Ava girl, you stink.

Your poopy diapers are the worst. Probably because your Daddy is who keeps pooping in them.

I’m going to have to have a talk with that Daddy.

(Every time I ask Avaley if she’s pooped, she flat out says “no…Dada” which is both adorable, and hilarious, but still, no less stinky.)

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Progesterone and Specialists

Mama Mama

My husband and I had just gotten to Gold Beach the night before our baby shower, Friday January 31st, 2014 when we ran into a friend at the store and I started feeling slightly crampy around my lower belly. Our friend noticed and asked in a joking manner, “Are you having your baby now!?”  We laughed, shrugged it off, and returned to my father-in-laws house for the remainder of the night.

Sometime shortly after Javin and I both fell asleep, I was in and out of the bathroom, uncomfortable, on my knees, curled in a ball…nothing made me feel better so I dozed when I could but spent the majority of the night in pain.

In the morning, my father-in-law saw my behavior and called the hospital to see if a doctor would be available to see me, he insisted we go get checked out. I mean, I was bending over the couch and could hardly move, but being as this was our first child, and we still had 10 more weeks until our due date, being in labor wasn’t even an option. Was it?!

At this time, the hospital in our tiny little home town wasn’t delivering babies, they were not staffed or prepared for it. But being as I came in and was already 6 cm dilated and progressing quickly, they made an exception. Yes we were ahead of schedule, and yes, I had a baby shower planned, but we were also having a baby.

Though the circumstances were not ideal, I remember feeling so calm, while I sensed everyone around me was a ball of nerves. My husband and both our moms were emotional, and there was nothing I could do at this point besides play things out.

Labor and delivery was tough for me. My body had began labor the night before (I know now) and when I got to the hospital they gave me I believe indomethacin to attempt to slow/stop labor. They would not fly me because I was already progressed further than they would have like, and so our only option was to wait for a team to fly in from Medford, to assist with the baby and take him to the NICU there once he was born. Because the doctors were trying to somewhat regulate and keep my labor on their schedule, my body was confused when they then broke my water to begin labor again.

Once I began to push, it wasn’t long at all until our son, Parker, was born. 10 weeks early, breathing on his own, and 3lb 12oz of all our love. After I delivered the placenta the doctors then saw there had been an abruption, and I had a large blood clot that worried them enough that they insisted I stay the night for monitoring. The most difficult night in my life was this night. My first born had just been flown 3 and a half hours away and I didn’t get to hold, admire, or nurture him. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since this was NOT a part of our birth plan.

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Long story short, we spent 6 weeks in the hospital, allowing Parker to mature. I lived in the hospital with him, while my husband continued schooling and working full time back home on the coast. I was his advocate, and I am so thankful I could be there to stand up for him and what I felt was appropriate. I saw many other babies have multiple set-backs during our stay, and we were so blessed to be able to bring our baby home even weeks before his original due date.

Once Parker turned one, we knew we would want to start trying for another baby soon. And when we got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I actually was pregnant with our daughter while I attended a bikini competition and as lean and strong as I’ve ever been.

Our journey with Avaley’s pregnancy was much different than Parkers. I changed midwifes, and knew I wanted a more natural approach to birth this time around. My midwives suggested I go see a specialist and discuss progesterone shots to possibly help prevent preterm birth with this pregnancy since the placental abruption I had with Parker was from an unknown cause.

So I did, and we came to the conclusion that we would begin shots at 20 weeks, and continue them once a week for 17 weeks until I reached “full term”.

These shots sucked. They were a pain in the ass, literally.

Every Friday my husband would stick a large needle into my rear-end muscle, and have to slowly inject a thick, oily, hormone-filled shot over 60 seconds. For two days after each shot I could hardly sit, lay, or touch near the injection site. Down my leg ached, and felt as though I had been injected with cement. I grew moody and grouchy, partly because I was in pain, and partly because of the extra hormones I am sure. Because I was even more uncomfortable, and even more moody, I had less sex-drive. After each shot my stomach would turn, and I’d be in the bathroom the following day more frequently than I would have liked. I also remember having headaches frequently following the shots.

The truth of the matter was, I was scared to have another preemie. We were blessed with Parker, he had no significant issues from being born so early, where in many preterm births, that is not the case. I also felt obligated to follow the recommendations of my midwives because I didn’t want another hospital birth either, and I needed them happy with the choices I was making. So we toughed it out and took the shots.

In addition to taking these shots, I had multiple additional ultrasounds to determine if my cervix ever shortened, which it never did. And it never was short before beginning the shots as well.

Come 37+ weeks, I had no more shots, and I lost my mucus plug. After this, I began very inconsistent contractions. I was so hopeful for a baby on my birthday, or even on Christmas, but that didn’t happen. December 29th, my water broke at about 11:00 at night. True, more consistent contractions began almost instantly and we grabbed our bag and headed to the birthing center. I was so thankful we were to term, I was free of any medical intervention, and I could do as I pleased while I labored. Shower, ball, and bath. Avaley was born in the water at just after 2:00 am and we had a healthy baby girl whom I carried for 38+ weeks. Her daddy got to cut the umbilical cord, and I got to hold her first thing. It was magical. Everything I had hoped for.

Now, here we are, 14 weeks pregnant with our third child, and we’ve arrived at the dreaded progesterone dilemma again.

This time around, I’ve done more research, asked more questions, and discussed more with my husband about what we should do as far as taking progesterone shots goes.

My midwives again are sending me to another specialist. My husband and I will see them in a couple days. I was adamant about Javin coming with me this time, because I didn’t want to forget anything, or feel pressured without him being there. Part of me also knows Javin doesn’t want me to take the shots, and has had strong opinions about that from the beginning. So it will be good for both of us to be a part of this meeting and doctors appointment. I don’t want to take the shots either, not just because they hurt, and are incredibly expensive, but as I said, I’ve done my research. 

During my second pregnancy I received 17 Makena hydroxyprogesterone caporate injections. I began my research at the source, the Makena website. The “negative side-affects” list is never-ending, and many quite severe. Blood clots, yellowing of skin and eyes (which indicated liver complications) etc. However, I already knew how my body reacted so I wasn’t going to spend my time there.

Ingredients: Man-made and chemical form of progresterone (which only makes up 25% of each injection), sesame oil, and preservatives.

Stress level officially through the roof! So, 75% of each injection is actually GMO sesame and preservative junk?!

Okay…moving on.

In a clinical study, certain complications or events associated with pregnancy occurred more often in women who received Makena. These included miscarriage (pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of pregnancy), stillbirth (fetal death occurring during or after the 20th week of pregnancy), hospital admission for preterm labor, preeclampsia (high blood pressure and too much protein in your urine), gestational hypertension (high blood pressure caused by pregnancy), gestational diabetes, and oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid levels).

This was taken directly from the Makena website. I re-read that paragraph multiple times, and even had Javin read it to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.

“complications occurred MORE OFTEN in women who recieved Makena.”

I realize that clinical studies are very difficult to utilize for true results, because each individual is so different that there is no way to actually compare these women properly. So I began a full-on obsession with digging deeper into this. To spare you all the never-ending data, I’ll just say I came out of this feeling frustrated, and discouraged more than anything. I know my brain and my heart say these shots aren’t necessary, and there’s absolutely NO WAY of telling if they did or didn’t play a part in Avaley’s full-term pregnancy. Pharmaceuticals scare me for a lot of reasons, and I chose to use them as little as possible in our lives. (We don’t even take ibuprofen.) And where are the studies showing that these shots are not affecting the babies, and that down the road there wont be learning complications or some other negative side-effect because of the progesterone shots?!

There’s no way of truly knowing these things. The only thing we can do is pray for guidance, and trust God’s plan.

So we are meeting with a doctor at Maternal Fetal Medicine in just a few days, and after that appointment, I’m not going to trust a specialist or anyone else. I am going to follow my gut.

It has gotten me this far. 

 

 

 

 

Bless Our Home

Mama Mama, Our Homely Farm

This last week and a half the tension and chaos has been through the roof. We spent a full 7 nights away from our home, 3 being on a mandatory evacuation because of an out of control forest fire, the others because I didn’t want to return with the kids if my husband wasn’t going to be with us, just in case the fire grew our way more.

The Chetco Bar Fire, it’s growing daily and is still after all this time, 0% contained, and it is waaaayyy too close to home.

So, since Javin has this week off for hunting season, we came home to check on things and clean up a bit.

While we were home we got a call that the drywaller was going to be coming, so I felt it was time we do something to really make this home ours while we had studs opened up. It was time to do something that could help bless this house and those who live in it.

In almost every room there are walls opened up and no flooring. So I grabbed a sharpie and list of bible verses I’ve had stashed aways and went to work.

The kids’ bedroom, their playroom, our bedroom, the kitchen, the kids’ bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room all have verses within them. They will be covered up, yes, but they will always be a part of the house now.

It’s actually pretty amazing how good a small project like this can make you feel even in a mess of emotions.

 

Park Workout with the Kiddos

Workin' Out

Welp, I got my workout in. It wasn’t as structered as I had hoped, but it got done.

It only took until nearly dark, and a family trip to the park after yet another busy day, but that’s alright.

Even though the actual workout was a bit scattered, my muscles now feel fatigued and I’m certain I’ll be slightly sore come morning. Mostly because I haven’t worked out in a week!

Each exercise I did between 12-20 reps. Somewheres around 3 rounds of everything. To be honest, I lost track and just kept jumping into different exercises as I went along while the kids and Javin were playing.

Playgrounds actually make really good gyms. Just have to get creative.

And, it’s another way for the kids to see Mama live an active lifestyle.

 

A Healthy, yet Comforting, Family Meal

Nutrition & Good Eats

You know those days when the only dinner that really sounds good is a comfort meal? Something warm, and hearty, and just feels like home. Growing up I hated meatloaf, but it was a common “comfort” food in our house. As my cooking has evolved, I’ve adapted to find ways that I actually enjoy meatloaf. The secret is, no bread, no large and soggy loaf, and add veggies when at all possible.

Last night the kids and I stayed at my father-in-law’s since my husband was on call and I decided I should invite Grandma and Grandpa over as well so we could all share a meal together and they could play with the great grandkids. Grandma and Grandpa also make for extra hands so that Mama has a better chance of preparing dinner without too many interuptions.

Anyways, the dinner menu looked as such:

Bacon wrapped mini meatloaves, greenbeans and onions, mashed potatoes, and homemade elk and onion gravy. Our side salads would be spinach, strawberries, cranberries and a tiny sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

From just the name, you might think bacon wrapped meat loaf doesn’t sound healthy, am I right?

Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit different from your typical meatloaf. Remember, it has to be in order for me to like it.

(The recipe was doubled last night since we had a total of six adults and two kids eating)

1 package organic, ground turkey

1 package ground elk burger

1 large carrot grated

2 eggs

A combination of spices

Uncured, nitrate/nitrite free turkey bacon

And that’s it. Hand mix that all together, form into large patties, wrap with the turkey bacon, and set onto a foiled cookie sheet (or use a broiler pan) and bake at 425 degrees. Depending on the size of the patties, cook for about 15 minutes, flip over and cook another 15. If you want to add a lititle crisp to the edges, broil the last couple minutes.

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Now, for the sides.

Who doesn’t love green beans cooked with onions?! I had some freshly frozen green beans that needed to be used, so I sauted a full yellow onion and a little garlic until tender and beginning to turn translucent, and added the green beans. Seasoned only with a little garlic powder and black pepper, I put a lid on these guys and let them cook a little while.

The potatoes can be where healthy turns to unhealthy, so whenever we have potatoes it’s more about portion control for me than anything. Simple mashed potatoes, a little butter a little milk, and salt and pepper. (I like to leave the skin on my potatoes if they are red or yukon gold)

The gravy base was leftover from a roast we just made a couple days ago so the flavor was full and spectacular. Full of onions and garlic already, all I had to do was thicken it. I didn’t have any organic corn starch here at my father-in-law’s so I used a pack of organic brown gravy mix.

And there you have it, a comfort meal for a family event that won’t leave you over full and feeling guilty about over eating. Unless of course to go for seconds, but that would be your fault, not mine. 🙂

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Natural Wasp Killer/Repellent

Our Homely Farm

We love bees and are teaching our children to respect and care for them as well. I believe they are necesary for our environment, they help pollinate our food, and so much more.

And then there are wasps.

Gnarly, ugly, just plain mean!!!

We knew we had a wasp nest in the ground behind our goat’s pen, and had every intention to take care of it but got busy and realized since it was out of the way, it wasn’t high on our priorities. And then a few days ago, we were working the property, and our son started screaming and we had no idea why. He wasn’t using his words or explaining anything to us (as I don’t think he knew exactly what happened) and it finally hit us that maybe he got stung!

Sure enough, we had a second wasp nest! This one closer to the house, under a wood pile we started digging into.

I picked up Parker and ran with him around the front and up the stairs and across the deck and into the house and those suckers followed us, chasing us down the whole way! It wasn’t until we got inside and Parker was still crazy that I realized there might be a dang wasp inside his clothes!

There was.

Poor guy got a total of 5 stings, I got 2 and Javin got 1. Thank goodness little Avaley didn’t get any because it was quite the fiasco at our house for about an hour trying to calm down after the sting. The thing was, we knew Parker wasn’t overreacting because the stings hurt! They hurt bad!

Okay, Mama was officially on a mission. Those things had to die!!! They hurt my baby.

Initially my husband wanted to dump gasoline over the first nest we found but I had told him I never liked that idea. So I researched effective ways to get rid of wasps and really wanted to be as natural as possible while still getting the job done. I came across something that seemed easy enough. So we tried it.

Instructions are as follows:

Boil a large pot of water, or even two, depending on how large you suspect the nest to be. (We had no idea how big the nests were, but since we had two nests, we made two big pots.)

Right after the water is done boiling, add peppermint essential oil.

Pour the boiling water with oil directly on top and into the wasps nest and remove yourself from the area quickly in case they come a flyin’!

***Note: don’t attempt to poor the water unless the wasps aren’t swarming or flying in and out. We chose to do this whole thing just before dark, the wasps were in bed at the time.***

(In our personal experience, no wasps flew out after we poured the water.)

The next day we kept observing the area and never witnessed any wasps flying around. So when evening came, we decided to poke at the area a bit. After we saw no signs of life, we dug up the ground a bit to destroy whatever nest was left.

Oh, what a relief!!! We were able to kill both nests, and do so in a manner that did no harm to our land and without using chemicals.

That’s a win in my book!

Sight Words to Learn

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Sight words.

What are they, and what are the importance of them?

Sight words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. 

The level before reading, that’s where sight words come in handy.

Many kids learn sight words best through memorization rather than phonics. I plan to play it by ear and see how Parker takes on this challenge. If he shows me he should advance a little, we will add more phonics into our daily sight word lessons. Either way, I believe that for early readers, memorizing sight words is invaluable for literacy.

There are many words our son already knows, can recognize, spell, and write himself. However, in order to help encourage growth we are beginning a list of sight words once we start home-schooling in a few weeks. The list of words I have put together are ones that are small enough so that they are not overwhelming, but common enough to be used frequently in stories, and workbooks he may use and come across. I also added words that tie easily into biblical teachings, because for our family, that is important as well.

This is a rough list of the words I put together this morning. I say “rough” because I am sure I will adjust, and add at some point in our lessons. I am sure I have forgotten or not thought of a few important words, so those will be added in as necessary. My plan for the words is to split them up evenly through out the school year, a new letter every week. Because the school year is 43 weeks long, and there are only 26 letters, we will repeat them for review.

Parker wont be four until February, so again, the fact that I get to do these lessons with him already just blows my mind. The kid has a brain for learning. 

 

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*Note that there are not many “x” words, so I added a couple that still use the letter, just not at the beginning. *

I am uncertain as to how I will utilize all the words. I have a few ideas. Either I will make flash cards, use dry erase boards, use magnet letters, or one of the many other creative ideas I will pull out of my hat! To be honest, I am sure each week will be a different strategy, to keep interest.

 

Message 2 my Kids # 52

Mama Mama

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While you were away for the night at Grammy’s, Mama cleaned up all your toys, all your crayons, all the mess, swept and organized. An hour after you came home it looks as though the mess was never gone.

How can two tiny humans possibly be as destructive as a hurricane!?

No Such Thing as Super Mom

Mama Mama

Some days I feel like I am on fire! Chores get done, kids are fed full and balanced meals, animals around the farm are happy, one or more of the many projects around the construction zone got checked off, we did arts and crafts, and even took a nature walk, and I made it through the day alive.

Then are are days and nights like yesterday.

My threenager would not listen, and every time I either asked or told him to do something I heard “I don’t want to” or there was a gigantic break down. Then, my youngest, Avaley, she could not for the life of her sit with Daddy, snuggle Daddy, or sleep in her own bed. She had to be on mama at all times, or kicking me, or touching my face or poking at any part of me she could. And for some reason, from the hours of 1:30 am – 3:00 am she was awake and tossing and turning in bed. Half dozing, half smiley. Which means I was awake, doing the same, because she was in my bed. No cries, or discomfort, just being a turd.

My weakness comes with my overactive brain. Definitely not a super power.

Once I was awake because I was so frustrated that she was not only in my space, but wouldn’t stop moving…I irritated myself to the point I was fully awake and then my mind wouldn’t shut off. I began thinking about all the things causing stress in my life right now.

  1. House construction. If we could just get the drywall done, we could paint, and we could get moved into the bedrooms upstairs, and if the kids had their own room it would be easier to MAKE them sleep in their own beds. Then this would not be happening.
  2. Money. Everything we are doing is costing too much money.
  3. Our third baby we are growing inside me right now. I was doubting ever fiber of my being last night because this new baby means another many years of not being able to sleep next to my husband, and more chaos and more cleaning up after, and more head butting and body slamming toss and turns at night.
  4. Back to the third baby. I saw the midwife yesterday and all day I worried about everything we talked about. I am going to have to go see a specialist again, to determine whether or not I should take progesterone shots with this pregnancy since Avaley was to term. There are so many questions, factors, and honestly, I don’t even think the specialist knows, but progesterone is really THE ONLY “option” for women who have had a preterm birth in the past. I’ve been doing my research myself, and I am at a lost for how I feel about it. I am praying my gut gives me some sort of sign sometime soon.
  5. Then I began thinking about today…what should our day look like? This is Javin’s ONE DAY OFF he has with us here at the house, so I know we are going to try to cram too many projects into too little time. We will start with banana pancakes, swimming lessons, picking up the durango while we are in town because it’s been in the shop (another cost we can’t afford). We will need to go to Freddie’s because we are out of fruits and vegetables, I’d like to organize the garage enough so that I can get my gym equipment in there and out of the living room, which means I need to get that slider out! So maybe I’ll try to sell that, then the crib and a few other things can be moved upstairs to the bedrooms for storage for now, the insulation needs finished, the dining room/craft table needs cleaned, and at some point, I need to prep and put together the meatballs we are having for dinner. Which reminds me, I need to take that meat out to thaw!
  6. After this shitstorm, I realized I needed to breathe and pray. So in order to not wake Javin and Parker, who were managing to sleep through the majority of Avaley’s craziness, I whispered calm thoughts to God.
  7. I got up to pee for the second time, checked the clock, it was 3:47. Crawled into bed and FINALLY fell asleep.

And though I got VERY. LITTLE. SLEEP. last night, and woke up before the sun did this morning, the first thing I wanted to put on my list of to-dos, was a workout.

Taking care of me, is more important some days than anything else because If i don’t take care of Mom, Mom can’t properly take care of everyone else. So even though there’s a list of to-dos a mile long that I made mental note of in the middle of the night, I am changing the game plan and making me a priority today so that I can feel my best and hopefully be as productive as possible. That’s how I have to do it.

And I remind myself:

supermom

There’s no such thing as super mom. And today, I’m going to wing it like every other day.