Uncategorized

Ten Month Update and Cloth Diapering

So, it has been a while since I have updated.  I started a YouTube channel and thought it would be easier to update through a video.  Well, a couple of attempts later and lost photage I was finally able to get this video up.  I do a 10 month postpartum/baby update and talk about the very beginning stages we’re going through in this journey now.  A lot of research was done on the cloth diapers and so far I am actually enjoying it and Bella seems to like it better too. 

10 Month Update and Cloth Diapers
Here also is the banner I briefly mentioned in the video.  It is an affiliate link so I get a small commission on anything purchased through this link which would help me out. ūüė≥.  Just click on the banner below if you are interested.

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Week 13 Postpartum: Breastfeeding Rollercoaster Ride

 

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Taken at 13 Weeks which was August 1st and our wedding anniversary!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not much happened on this day. ¬†I will say that I love how Bella’s hair is just long enough now to stick straight up in certain places. ¬†It is just so cute to me.

I have suddenly developed these small puss filled blisters in between some of my fingers that itch terribly. ¬†I think it is eczema. ¬†The only thing that has helped is the Copaiba essential oil. ¬†It didn’t make it go away but it has helped relieve the intense itching that has accompanied the blisters which was amazing.

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No, my husband’s eyes aren’t actually shut. ¬†He is looking down and sideways at me as he usually does when he realizes that I am looking at him. ūüėÄ

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We were finally able to get out for a walk today for a brief period of time before Bella got too hot and fussy and we turned right around and went home.

Today we utilized the new chair and play gym that my husband bought for her.  She will sit in the chair for a short time before getting fussy but the gym with all the dangling toys really had her enthralled for a good stretch of time which is nice because when she is not eating or sleeping she wants us carrying her, pacing the floor, which gets exhausting after a while.

Today, I had some bleeding and I thought I was starting my period for the first time since having Bella but then it stopped again.

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On our way to see the movie Wonder Woman after dinner.  I had just whipped out the camera to reapply my lipstick (no mirror on that side of the car) and took this pic.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

We were able to get out for another walk before it got too hot.  We were kept company on the way home by a white crane that kept flying off and landing a few yards ahead of us.  Eventually, I stopped and sat on a bench and watched him hunt for a while before continuing the rest of the way home.  Bella slept during much of the walk.

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White crane that kept us company as we walked

We have a fairly nice routine down now.  She goes to bed around 9:30 or 10 (sometimes a little earlier or later) and she stirs a little around 4 am for a diaper change.  We change her place and she never really fully wakes up.  She wakes up around 7 am to eat and around 8:30 or 9:00 we leave for our walk.  She sleeps around this time in the stroller.  We get back and cool off and she eats again.  Naps are sporadic from here until bed time and usually only last about 20-30 minutes.  That is the basics of her schedule.

We also got Josh’s salary offer from the company he will be working for. ¬†It was a fairly decent offer and more money than we have ever had as a married couple so we’re excited. ¬†He’ll be starting no later than August 11th.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Today was a bit of a rougher day for me. ¬†My cycle has officially arrived I believe. ¬†It keeps taking several hours off at a time and then returning with a vengeance. ¬†I’ve had quite a bit of cramping with it too.

I also think I finally figured out what the weird, itchy, puss filled blisters that suddenly showed up between my fingers this past week are.  I believe it is eczema.  Never really had eczema until around the time I gave birth to Bella.  Guess this is just a change I am going to have to deal with now.

Bella fell asleep before I could get her into the stroller so, since Josh has not started work yet, I went for a walk alone this morning and let her stay home with her Papa.  It turned out to be good call because when I left it was nice and cool and over cast but about halfway through the sun came out and it heated up quickly from then on.  On my way back home, I saw a turtle swimming in the water and then bumped into a mama duck with her duckling.  Her duckling was curious about me and was waddling towards me on the trail.  I decided to keep moving quickly by though because Mama duck was definitely not happy with me being so near her baby.  I completely understood her though!

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One of the silicone breast pumps that arrived today!

The last couple of days Bella has been really fussy at my right breast when feeding and has been taking it less and less.  I am not sure why that is but I have received Moringa powder and two silicone breast pumps in the mail today so I hope that will help with my supply.  The silicone breast pumps are all one piece of silicone and you suction one on the opposite breast from the one your baby is feeding on and it catches and actually suctions out the let down on that side.  I seem to get 2-3 mL of let down on each side which is actually just about what my electric pump gets out of me so I would say it is doing a great job for a piece of silicone that is hands free and easy clean up.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Today was the saddest day for me ever!  Today, Bella officially rejected my right breast.  She screamed and just would not take it.  She still will take the left one but she is being fussy on it now like she was with the right.  I know that if she rejects the left one also the breastfeeding is most likely over for us.  I am glad to have the silicone breast pump now to help me keep my supply up as much as possible in the right breast.

I was so upset and today was the first time in a while that I cried about the breastfeeding situation.  I was in great despair so since both of our two year wedding anniversary gifts had arrived we decided to open our gifts to each other early and start our celebration a little early.  I got him a vest he had been wanting and he got me some of the makeup I had been wanting.  It is called Savvy Minerals and it launched last  month and is the purest and best mineral makeup you can get I believe.  It is actually sold through Young Living so I can hardly wait to be distributing this makeup goodness to people.  I already love it from what I have seen of the blush and the lipstick that Josh bought me.

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Playing around with the makeup my husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

We both enjoyed playing around with our gifts and being distracted for a little bit while Bella slept for a while.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bella once again refused the right breast today.  Otherwise, today was a fairly good day.  We all went for a walk together in the evening which was really nice.  The weather seems to be cooling down a bit now which is a nice reprieve for us.

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I love that you can see the back as well in this picture.

Monday, July 31, 2017

We had a very successful day today. ¬†Bella took the right breast again after two days of completely rejecting it. ¬†The first time she reluctantly took it and I praised her, even though she didn’t stay on for very long. ¬†For her evening meal though she stayed on and she fell asleep suckling and continued to eat in her sleep for several minutes. ¬†I was just so happy and shocked that she took that breast again. ¬†I thought we were nearing the end of the breastfeeding journey but not anymore. ¬†We’re back in business again! ūüôā

Shalom ūüôā

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Week 12 Postpartum: Amazing Bella Keeps Surprising Us

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12 Weeks Postpartum and still trying to lose the baby weight but making progress I think

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We had a wonderful day today!  We took Bella for a walk down to the lake near our home in the morning before the heat got too oppressive.  When we got back I read to Bella about Ester in the Bible while she ate.  I want her to grow up hearing about strong and amazing women of the Bible who should be role models for us today.  I thought Ester was a good person to start with.

Later on we got news that my husband had gotten the job!  We are so excited!  It will be hard to have him gone during the day but we have been working on transitioning into this new chapter in our lives for a while now.  It has been a lovely luxury to have him home with us for this long though.

Another lovely thing that happened today was that our cat, Tzipporah (Zippi for short) decided to snuggle with Bella while she was in my husband’s lap. ¬†Zippi seems to think of her as her own kitten and is very fond of Bella. ¬†It is so sweet! ¬†Our other cat Samson seems to have accepted Bella now as well which is a relief. ¬† Zippi loved Bella almost since she came through the door but it took a little longer for Samson to get on board. ¬†Now, he is extremely protective of her and checks on her frequently throughout the day when she is in the main living area with me.

So, as you can see, this is the new blog format. ¬†I think it will be easier to write a little every day than one big blog post about the week. ¬†I think I am less likely to forget things too and you will see more in depth about what is happening. ¬†Obviously, some days will probably have more to them than other days. ¬†The weeks worth of journalling will be posted weekly still, even though I am writing a little each day. ¬†We’ll try this for a while and see how it goes.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not a whole lot of interest happened today. ¬†We didn’t get out for our morning walk this morning because it was too hot. ¬†One thing I would like to know though, from the Mama’s reading this, when you had your first child did any of you have crazy scary dreams. ¬†I have been plagued with nightmares lately. ¬†If you did have crazy dreams, how did you deal with them? ¬†Thanks in advance!

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

It is another extremely hot day so we had to skip the walk again.  Looks like it will be same through Saturday.

Today, Bella was being changed and my husband said “mama” when she looked at me. ¬†Eventually, she looked back at him and he said, “Papa.”. Then she looked back at me and he said, “mama” again. ¬†Then she looked back at him and he said “papa” again. ¬†At this point she started to look back and forth between the two of us and we could almost see the wheels turning and the connections being made in her little brain. ¬†I bet it won’t be long before we hear a mama or papa from her. ¬†So excited! ūüôā

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Friday, July 21, 2017

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This is not the best pic of her holding the bottle but it is what I was able to capture before she was done holding it

Today, Bella grasped a hold of the bottle with both hands during her feeding session. ¬†She was not strong enough to hold it up by herself but she did attempt to keep it upright. ¬†She also has grabbed the ribbons on her favorite toy “Mr. Owl,” for brief periods of time. ¬†She often kisses him as well.

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Mr. Owl- her favorite toy

I am not sure if I mentioned this in a past blog but she was kissing me at 8 weeks I believe.  Mr. Owl will make her happy even when she is being fussy.  She is also getting close to being able to roll over during tummy time.  She will be there soon I think.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today, Bella once again grabbed Mr. Owl but this time she brought him up to her mouth herself (no help from me) and said, “mwah” and then repeated the action a couple more times. ¬†Any doubt about it being kisses has been eliminated. ¬†She is so amazing to me! ¬†She is such a loving girl already!

She was once again very close to kicking herself over from her stomach to her back during tummy time.  She just needs a little more arm strength and coordination and she will be there.

Otherwise, not much else happened today.  Just a really good rest day for our Sabbath.

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I’m really liking this veil wrap with a tail. ¬†It’s actually a very lightweight and cool wrap for a hot day! ¬†But it is still too hot to take Bella for a walk. ¬†92 degrees at 9:50 in the morning ūüė¶

Sunday, July 23, 2017

So, today I was down for the count most of the day.  I had horrible cramping most of the day.  I have been having this occasionally off and on since I gave birth to her.  I think it has something to do with the breastfeeding since it always begins directly after I feed her.  There is not a whole lot to report since my husband took care of her most of the day.  She did very well for him though.

We do believe she is teething right now as well since she is always wanting to chew on things and drooling A LOT!  Otherwise, nothing new to report.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

When Bella woke up this morning she was all smiles and happy.  She slept through the night except for a diaper change at 4:00 am and I thought she would have be screaming for food but that was not the case.  She let us know she was up and then patiently waited for us to get set up to feed her, smiling at us the whole time.

Today we spent a good part of the day at a birthday party for a friend of our family at my parents house.  Many people there were meeting Bella for the first time and she made quite the impression on them.  She was so well behaved the entire time and everyone loved her.

After all the party guests left we stayed behind to visit with my parents for a while.  Eventually, she got a bit fussy and then I got a migraine so we had to leave but it was a good day for us all and we all had fun and got to fellowship with people which was really nice!

So that ends this week’s blog. ¬†I hope you all had a wonderful week!

Shalom ūüôā

 

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Labor and Delivery Story: Traumatic After Birth Complication

So, it has been nearly 3 months since I had my baby and it is about time I finished my labor and delivery post.  I am glad I started and wrote most of it before now because I had forgotten some of the details.  I basically stopped writing at the traumatic part of the events.  So, here it is:  I delivered my beautiful and healthy daughter on Tuesday, May 2nd at 7:50 pm.

My contractions began around 4:30 am. ¬†The whole night prior I had been experiencing stronger than usual contractions but they were still painless until around 4:30 in the morning. ¬†I very quickly found myself starting to vocalize through them and that’s when I woke up my husband telling him that I thought I was in labor. ¬†At that point the contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart. ¬†By an hour later they were approximately 2 minutes apart and extremely intense and even vomited at this point. ¬†My husband decided it was time to go to the hospital based off the recommendation of the doctor to come in when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.

As we got closer to the hospital and then brought into triage my contractions started to slow down.  When I was checked I was at 2 cm dialated and 90% effaced.  However, when they checked me again an hour later nothing had changed and my contractions had slowed to every 5 minutes.  They sent us home saying that I was not in labor.  I was shocked because the pain was so bad and I wondered how I would cope in true labor.

We went home feeling discouraged but as soon as I got home I immediately started to contract more intensely again.  I could not move during contractions or speak except to make loud vocalizations.  I was sweating and sleeping in between contractions.

I knew I had to be in labor, no matter what the hospital said and if I wasn’t I started having thoughts of being induced early because I knew I couldn’t handle this pain for days on end. ¬†Not only were my contractions very close together but they were also long. ¬†Some of my contractions were lasting 2-3 minutes long.

My husband helped me get into the tub after an hour or so of being home. ¬†As I was about to get in the tub I had another long contraction and I remember saying to my husband, “What was I thinking?!”. ¬†Honestly, I am not sure what I was thinking as I said it but I guess it is better than blaming my husband for doing this to me, right?

I labored in the tub for a loooong time. ¬†My husband timed my contractions‚Äč for me as I was longer able to focus on anything else. ¬†My contractions felt totally different than what I had been expecting. ¬†Much of the pain was in my pelvis and lower back with milder pain in the very lowest part of my abdomen. ¬†This combined with the fact of how long each one was, all the coping skills I had learned went out the window. ¬†All I could do was moan and vocalize through them.

Eventually, my husband got me out of the tub. ¬†As I was exiting the tub I had another even stronger contraction and once again vomited rather violently. ¬†I remember saying to my husband, “Help me!” and once again he was whisking me off to the hospital.

Once again in triage my cervix was checked. ¬†When the nurse was done checking she came out with my mucus plug. ¬†She said it generally doesn’t mean anything but that she though it was very interesting when that happened. ¬†She then proceeded to say they were admitting me. ¬†I was surprised as I was expecting to have to wait another hour and be checked again so I asked how far along I was. ¬†She told me I was 6 cm and 100% effaced.

I was almost all the way through active labor after 4 hours of laboring at home and about to enter transition. ¬†She asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes. ¬†That had not been part of my birth plan but I had just been mentally defeated already by how long each contraction was, how different they were to what I had been expecting and how I had been told I wasn’t in labor to begin with. ¬†As they were wheeling me out of triage I again vomited violently and it just confirmed in my mind that the epidural was in fact necessary for me.

Even so it took about an hour and a half for me to get the epidural after arriving in my delivery room and my labor had stalled out by this point once again.  I got to the hospital and labor came to a grinding halt even though I was still having strong, painful contractions.

I stayed at 6 cm for about two and half hours.  They wanted to put me on pitocin but I said I really wanted that to be a last resort so they broke my water instead but an hour later and there still was no change.  At this point, I spoke to the nurse and consented to the smallest possible dose of pitocin they could give me.  The nurse had sat down and spoken to me about my fears of using that drug and how it might affect the baby.  She assured me that Bella was showing only positive signs during this labor and that she did not think a small dose would affect her negatively in any way and she was right in the end.

Just as shift change was about to happen (which was about‚Äč 30 minutes after the pitocin was administered) the nurse checked me one last time and I had finally moved to 7 cm and was finally in transition. ¬†She said, I would definitely dialate a centimeter an hour now.

About 15 minutes later we met with my new nurse and she decided to check my cervix for herself.  After a moment she seemed surprised and she came out saying I was complete.  She called my doctor and told him I was at a nine in order to give me time to sit up and allow gravity to do more of the work before I started pushing.  My parents who had been there for a while, quietly left so that Josh and I could be alone together for a few minutes before everything began.

My nurse came back in and explained to me that there was a nursing student who had never seen a woman who was completely dialated yet and asked if I would mind if she came and checked me and saw how everything went from this point on. ¬†Being a teacher and knowing that experience is a great thing for learning I was happy to help. ¬†She checked me and then we did some practice pushes before the doctor arrived. ¬†Even with the epidural I was still able to feel a lot of what was going on. ¬†Because, I had gotten the epidural so late in my labor, it didn’t have time to take full effect before I started pushing. ¬†It took them a long time to get the epidural in me after I arrived at the hospital. ¬†So, the senior nurse showed her techniques for helping a woman know where to push during these practice pushes. ¬†It almost was more practice for her than for me. ¬†During this time they started to take my temperature more frequently and blood pressure and such like. ¬†I started to run a low grade fever at this point in the labor.

It was around this time that I started to feel the urge to push but my doctor wasn’t there yet. ¬†I did my first real push before the doctor was even in the room. ¬†By the end of the push though, when I opened my eyes he was suddenly there. ¬†They didn’t have to tell me when to push, I just did but they coached me through it.

After that first push, when the doctor saw how big her head was, he said he needed to do an episiotomy because her head was not going to fit and I would tear really badly if he didn’t. ¬†Apparently, this happened during the second push. ¬†The third push and her head came out followed quickly by the rest of her. ¬†Her head was so large that I didn’t need to push out her shoulders, which they say is the worst part. ¬†For me, the head was the worst part and then she was out. ¬†Three pushes and she was born. ¬†They immediately put her on my chest and she just cried her little lungs out. ¬†I then started to speak to her and as soon as she heard me she seemed to recognize me and stopped crying and looked straight at me. ¬†That was one of the most beautiful moments of my life!

My husband cut the cord and after a little while, my doctor told me to give one more good push to birth the placenta. ¬†Shortly after this it became apparent that something had gone wrong. ¬†The nurses took her from me to weigh her and asked my husband to come with them to “take pictures” of her. ¬†We figured out later that this was to get him away from me and distract him. ¬†While they were doing this I suddenly realized that my doctor was elbow deep in my uterus. ¬†I will tell you, even with the epidural, that was extremely uncomfortable. ¬†He was in there grabbing the fragments of my placenta that had basically disintegrated and had been left behind in my uterus. ¬†He went in several times to make sure he had gotten everything. ¬†It was during this procedure that my temperature suddenly spiked to 100.4. ¬†I heard the nurses telling the doctor that my temperature was up, that my pulse was raising and my blood pressure was dropping. ¬†One even asked, “should we prep her?”. ¬†During the pause from my doctor at this moment, I remember turning to look and take in my husband and daughter because it sounded bad and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me. ¬†Finally, my doctor responded with, “No, I think I got it all now.”. He then began vigorously massaging my uterus and clamping it shut over his fist. ¬†He would be sewing me up and then stop to massage and clamp. ¬†He was extremely uncomfortable and my doctor even apologized and said he knew that it hurt, to which I responded by thanking him. ¬†I didn’t know what he was doing or why but I knew it was necessary. ¬†It turned out that I was hemorrhaging and it had taken all the interventions they could do on the spot plus a couple medications through my IV to bring it under control again before they would have needed to give my a blood transfusion. ¬†I also ended up tearing also, even with the episiotomy so that was another aspect that I needed to heal from afterwards.

So, apparently, there are different ways that doctors count how long your labor was. ¬†Some count from your first painful contractions that increase in intensity and change your cervix. ¬†This is a little hard to judge on me since I was having contractions that were slowly dialating my cervix for a while (I had measured 1 cm a week or so previous to this) but we’re not very painful like what started at 4:30 that morning or increasing in intensity. ¬†When I went into the hospital I was only 2 cm dialated which could have happened even before the contractions started and the hospital told me I was not in labor. ¬†But if you count those first painful and increasing in intensity contractions at 4:30 I was in labor 15 hours.

The next way that doctors count the amount of time in labor is from 4 cm and on. ¬†Well there is the issue that I didn’t go back to the hospital until I was 6 cm dialated so there is no real way to know when I reached 4 cm. ¬†However, things kicked up a notch after I returned from the hospital the first time and we waited 4 hours before returning so that would be 8 hours. ¬†If I were to estimate dialation as a cm an hour then it would roughly be 6 hours of labor from when I possibly hit 4 cm. ¬†If however, you want to go from when they admitted me as officially being in labor by the hospitals standards my labor would have been 4 hours long.

There are apparently some doctors that only count the labor as when you start pushing in which case that would be 15 minutes. ¬†I don’t really hold to that one though. ¬†I am more inclined to go with the 6 to 8 hours. ¬†What are your thoughts and how did you count your labor if you have had a baby?

In the end, I have my beautiful daughter.  She was born at 6 lbs 7 oz in weight and was 19 inches long and she is healthy, strong and thriving.

Shalom ūüôā

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Weeks 9, 10 and 11 Postpartum: First Word and Doctor’s Appointment

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Week 9 and the 4th of July, hence, my red, white and blue outfit! ūüôā

So, life has been so chaotic here the last few weeks but here is an update on everything that has been happening in the last few weeks.

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Week 9 was by far among the most exciting! ¬†It started off with her suddenly saying her first verbal word, “hello” followed quickly by “hi,” “okay” and “wow.”. She also is immitating a lot of sounds.

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We also had her doctors appointment during this week.  She weighed in at 9 lbs 3 oz and she measured 22 inches long.  She is in the 9th percentile for weight, 33 percentile for length and 67th percentile for head size.  She also had her first round of vaccinations which made her cranky and she ran a temp for a while as well, just in time for the 4th of July celebration.  Even so, I think she had a good first Independence Day celebration.

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Week 10 Postpartum

In week 10 there was not a whole lot that happened but she has officially outgrown her newborn clothes.  We are now dressing her in 0-3 month size and 3 month.  Amazingly enough, 3 month fits her better than 0-3 month.

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This week my husband also had an interview for a job so he spent a lot of time preparing for that.  This has been good though, because it has helped to start to figure out how I will do things while he is back at work and I am home alone with Bella.

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Week 11 Postpartum

This past week (week 11) was again, more transitioning towards being alone with Bella and setting up new routines to compensate for Josh going back to work.  Josh also had his final interviews with the company and they seemed to go quite well.

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This week Bella suddenly went from eating 4 to 6 oz of formula, after being on me first of course, to 10-12 oz overnight. ¬†We think she must be going through a growth spurt because she never eat more than what she needs and will often stop herself when she is full. ¬†It was amazing to see her downing that much formula in such a small body. ¬†We are now using bigger bottles that hold more and the nipples that came with them. ¬†She seems to be doing quite well with these nipples and bottles. ¬†She hasn’t been as gassy and hasn’t been spitting up as much anymore either.

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Also, this week we had a lovely visit from Bella’s Grandma and Grandpa who were passing through. ¬†It was lovely to get to see them again and have Bella be around them. ¬†I hope that they will be around frequently so Bella can grow up knowing them well.

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My husband making jokes behind the camera. ¬†He’s so funny! ūüôā

So, there will be some changes happening with the blog in the next few posts but I will explain more about that in my next post.  There will still be weekly updates but I will be doing it in a different way that will hopefully make it more manageable so that the updates get posted on time.  So be checking back next week for the new blog format and explanation.

I hope you are all doing well and as always, Shalom! ūüôā

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Week 8 Postpartum: She Is Growing So Much

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Hello to all of my dear readers! ¬†I can hardly believe that Bella is almost two months old now. ¬†She has grown so much. ¬†She can basically sit up on her own now for several seconds before losing her balance again. ¬†She holds her head remarkably still when she does this and we are always right there to catch her. ¬†Our hands never leave her completely of course. ¬†She also holds up her own weight when we hold her in the standing position and she stomps her little feet like she’s try to walk which is the cutest thing ever, in my opinion lol.

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She also has used her first word “milk”. ¬†We have been using some sign language with her and the biggest word we have been focusing on is milk. ¬†She does use this sign now, from time to time, however, not always accurately. ¬† She definitely has made the sign though and in reference to actually wanting milk. ¬†I think she is just experiementing to figure out what it really means still.

She is also sleeping less during the day and interacting more with us now.  She has her adorable social smile down pat and she babbles back at us when we talk to her.

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Also, this past week I accomplished filling my first storage bag of milk to begin my milk stash.  It takes several pumping sessions to fill a bag, but at least I am able to fill them now.

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I also finished my Reglan medication this week which was prescribed to increase my milk supply. ¬†I believe it did help. ¬†It wasn’t necessarily the miracle I was hoping for but it does appear to have made a difference. ¬†We are now only giving her about 6 oz of formula three times a day instead of after every nursing session like we had been until now. ¬†This is an improvement!

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One thing I had noticed though this past week, is that when I use the Basil essential oil (2 drops neat on each breast) about 20-30 minutes before pumping, I will pump about a half ounce of milk. ¬†When I don’t use the oil I literally only get drops, if that much, when pumping. ¬†So glad I have these oils! :-). ¬†If you’re interested you can learn more about essential oils¬†here.

Also, this past week, the business my husband has been working on for the last six months has finally launched and is open for customers and also looking for affiliates to spread the word.  It is a program designed specifically to help children who are struggling with math.  We are very excited to be a part of this program that is helping these children increase and develop their math skills.  You can find out more here, in my blog post about it.  They are called BetterMathGrades.com

Life is good here!  I hope you all are doing well also!

Shalom:-)

Better Math Grades

Better Math Grades for Your Child

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So, the business my husband has been working so hard on these past six months has finally launched and I am so excited to finally be able to introduce to you, my dear readers, BetterMathGrades.com

 

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“We have a simple¬†philosophy. Our desire is to partner with parents/guardians¬†to¬†help their children¬†become confident and successful in math, regardless of past experiences.”

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BetterMathGrades.com is a service of Math Lab and More, founded as a brick and mortar location in St. Joseph, Missouri in the fall of 2015.  Since that time, the owner and creator has seen many children who were struggling in math come through his program and become confident in their mathematical abilities afterwards.  Now, the owner decided, after seeing the success of so many children, that they wanted to expand to be able to help children all over the country and ultimately the world, grow and become confident in mathematics.  This is when he reached out to my husband, a software engineer, to create a program that could potentially reach thousands of children with this need through the internet.  Thus, BetterMathGrades.com was born.

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BetterMathGrades.com is a completely online and automated program that uses Common Core State Standards to evaluate and pin point areas of need in the subject of mathematics.  It uses the Common Core State Standards from 1st through 12th grades to evaluate, through an assessment that is given upon signing up, both the strengths and needs of the individual child. This allows the focus to be completely on building up those specific areas the child needs help in, through the drills provided, without getting bogged down in what they already know.  There are also videos and games provided to give additional assistance as needed.

Here is a video made by the owner and creator of this system where he explains everything in his own words:

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If you have a child who is struggling in math you can click here to start seeing your child grow and become confident in this subject area now.

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If you don’t have a child who needs help in math but would like to be a part of this amazing program, you can become an affiliate with us. ¬†To find out more you can click here¬†now.

Shalom! ūüėÄ

 

 

Essential Oils

Introduction to Essential Oils: Journey to Wellness, Purpose and Abundance

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Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  I am a mama and independent distributor of essential oils who has a passion for achieving wellness in life and sharing it with others.  None of the information provided below is meant to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any medical conditions.  Please use caution and common sense when using any mentioned products.  Read all labels on the products before use. This post is educational in nature.

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“Shalom Mama is devoted to creating a life of shalom (nothing missing, nothing broken, peace) for the people she can reach and touch.”

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“Young Living Essential Oils honors its stewardship to champion nature’s living energy–essential oils–by fostering a community of healing and discovery while inspiring individuals to wellness, purpose, and abundance.”

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Essential oils are volatile oils that retain the scent of the plant they came from. ¬†They are harvested from the roots, stems, leaves, petals, bark etc. and are the life’s blood of the plant. ¬†It defends, protects and heals the plant that it comes from. ¬†When properly cultivated and used, it can have a similar affect of wellness on the human body, supporting‚Äč many different areas to create an overall wellness for the person using them.

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There are three ways in which one can use essential oils:  topically, internally and aromatically.

Most oils are safe for topical use and in fact, this is a very effective way to use them for many people because the molecules within the oils are small enough to be easily absorbed through the skin. ¬†I would recommend doing a spot check to see how your skin reacts to the oil first. ¬†If your skin has a reaction to any oil that is generally safe for topical use, you can try to dilute it, or dilute it further depending on the case, in a carrier oil to make it easier for your skin to tolerate. ¬†This does not affect the oils potency, only slows down it’s absorption of it more manageable amount for your skin and body.

When taking essential oils internally, a nice aspect about Young Living’s essential oils, is that you will clearly know an oil that is safe for consumption because it will have a white label on the bottle, which is unique to their Vitality line. ¬†This takes the guess work out of figuring out which oils that are safe when used in this way.

The third, and my personal favorite, way to use these oils is aromatically, either by opening the bottle and taking a whiff or defusing it into the air.  In this way the oils break the blood/brain barrier and can very affectively target specific areas of need.

Always read the instructions on the labels for the best use of these oils.

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A safe carrier oil for the skin would be something like jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil etc.

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The purity of essential oils is extremely important in the effectiveness they will have in helping you.  There are four grades of oils that are found in essential oils on the market today.

The first is Therapeutic which is what Young Living Essential Oils are categorized as. ¬†All the goodness from the plants is maintained through the careful extraction of the oils from the plants in the appropriate fashion at the appropriate time through steam distillation, resin tapping and cold pressing their plants. ¬†There are no added chemicals, such as pesticides, used on the crops at any time. ¬†It is important that no extra chemicals have been used throughout the entire process from Seed to Seal (the Young Living’s company commitment) because of the potency and concentration of the essential oils.

For example, it takes 160 pounds of rose petals to create a 5 mL bottle of essential oils.  Can you imagine how toxic that would be, if there had been pesticides or other chemicals used on the plant at any time throughout the process of the plants growth?!  This is why purity is so important.

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There are also three other grades of essential oils that you will see out there.  The second grade is the Natural grade, however, these essential oils only need to be 5% essential oil in order to be considered pure in the United States.  So the oil can be watered down and still be considered natural, and the method of distillation may be destroying the oil and any benefits it would have had for you in the process.  Pesticides and other chemicals are also more likely to be found within these products because of the lack of standards enforced upon them.

The third grade is Aromatic essential oils, in which basically all benefits of the plant are destroyed except for the scent of the plant.

The fourth grade is synthetically created oils which are likely less effective than the actual plant compounds that are found in nature.

So, as you can see, the first grade of Therapeutic oils is the best option and has the best benefits for you in the long run.

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Young Living Essential Oils is one of the only companies in the United States that actually strives to produce 100% pure, therapeutic grade, essential oils and essential oil infused products.  As briefly mentioned above, they have a Seed to Seal commitment on all their products.  This means that from the selection of the heirloom seeds to when they bottle the oil and ship it out, they have strict standards that the company and their partners adhere to.  They test each batch of oils in their own labs as well as send them out to third parties for testing, and if the oils do not meet their standards they reject that batch.

seed-to-seal-infographicIt is this high integrity of imposing strict standards upon themselves and their products, when nobody else will, that I love about this company.  They also strive to be completely transparent and will allow people to visit their farms at any time to see the process in action.  They own many of their own farms both in the United States and in countries around the world.  They will only buy land that was ranch land and not land that was previously farmed.  They also constantly check the pH levels of the soil to insure the best environment for their plants.

Young Living suppliers are also held to the same high standards and even have to sign a legally binding agreement before they can work with Young Living.  This ensures the best possible essential oils with the most benefits for their customers.

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My decision to become an essential oils distributor, pure and simple, is to improve the lives of others through education about essential oils and their benefits for a life of health and wellness, and to share the opportunities they can create of an exciting journey in purpose and abundance as well.

Whether or not you decide to take up the business aspect of essential oils, when you become a member you are starting an amazing journey and will receive products that I feel confident are changing lives.

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Not only does this company provide high quality products that you can trust, but they also provide opportunities for any members that opt to buy the Premium Starter Kit to have the ability to start their own business (if they would like) selling these essential oils as an independent distributor with a 24% commission rate on any members they sign up directly.  So, the financial opportunities spread on and on to many more people through you and the people who sign up under you and then the people who sign up under them etc.  You also are compensated for the success of everyone in your downline so it behooves everyone to help each other and work as a team so everyone can enjoy success.  Talk about sharing the wealth!

The Premium Starter Kit (whether you use it for business or just yourself and your family) is where I would begin and here is why.  There are so many oils and products to choose from it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start.

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Here is the box in the sleeve that it comes in, the 11 oils and a diffuser that you get in this Premium Starter Kit.  There are more goodies still inside the box which are not shown here.

 

The Premium Starter Kit (which is the one that  provides the most opportunities) gives you that place to start with eleven 5 mL bottles of essential oils that cover a multitude of areas of need that a person may have.

The oils included in this Starter Kit are:  Lavender, Lemon Vitality, Copaiba Vitality, Peppermint Vitality, Thieves Vitality, DiGize Vitality, PanAway, Stress Away, R.C., Frankincense and Purification.  Some of these, such as Stress Away, are oil blends, while others, such as  Lavender are singles.  The company does reserve the right to swap out an oil if their crop was not good for another oil of equal value, but in general these oils stated above are the ones you can expect when you order your kit.

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This is the top panel of oils you will see when you first open the box.  The panel comes out to reveal more goodies in the compartment underneath.

Also, included the kit is a 2017 Young Living catalogue‚Äč, literature about the oils and delicious samples of NingXia Red which is an amazing drink blend, filled with antioxidants and many benefits to help boost your energy throughout the day in a purely healthy way.

Not only do you receive all this, you also receive a diffuser, and once you are a member through this method of buying this Premium Starter Kit you will be able to buy everything else you order from now on at wholesale price instead of retail price.  This is why I encourage people get the Starter Kit, because it is a great place to start, gives you the opportunity to have your own business (should you choose to accept it) and you get any other purchases you make at wholesale prices.

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Here is the box without the sleeve. ¬†It looks just as amazing without the sleeve. ¬†The packaging is high quality and I just love it! ūüôā

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What this is, is basically a monthly subscription. ¬†However, you choose the products you want to receive and you can change this order from month to month or leave it as a recurring order depending on your needs at the time. ¬†You must have a minimum order of $50 (or 50 “PV”) to meet the monthly requirement of this plan. ¬†It is free to sign up and free to cancel. ¬†However, before you cancel you will want to use up any rewards you received or you will lose them. ¬†This program allows you to test out various products and expand your business or to just to use to enrich your own life.

Now, if you are part of this reward program, for the first three months you will earn 10% back of your total order in redeemable points towards free Young Living products.  In months 4-24 you get 20% back and for months 25+ you will get 25% back.

On top of all that, Young Living will also be giving Essential Rewards members gifts at months 3, 6, 9 and 12.  The gifts are unknown so they will be a surprise when you receive them.

You must make sure that you are NOT ordering through “quick order” or you will not receive your points towards free products or your shipping discount that is also a perk of this program. ¬†If you are using this as a business then you should go for the 100 PV plan in order to receive your compensations and all your bonuses.

This is an amazingly generous rewards program which is why I encourage people to sign up early so they can start reaping the rewards early. ¬†Once you are in your fourth month, you can start redeeming your points so the sooner you start the sooner you start getting your points‚Äč.

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If you feel ready to take the leap after reading this post you can sign up under me here:  Sign Up

In case there are any issues with the link my sponsor and enroller number is:  12166903

If you would like to learn more about this or you have just joined the team please send me an email at Shalom.Mama3@gmail.com.  I would love to talk to you, answer your questions and/or welcome you to the team.  Remember I am always here to help you in this journey.

Shalom ūüôā

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Week 7 Postpartum: Doctor’s Appointment & Breastfeeding Medication

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7 Weeks Postpartum!!!

It is amazing that it’s been 7 weeks since Bella first entered the world. ¬†Since then it has been an interesting and exciting journey. ¬†Bella is growing but still as cute as ever! ¬†She went to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s for a couple hours on Thursday while my husband and I went to my 6 week’s postpartum doctors appointment.

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The appointment itself went well. ¬†I felt a little discouraged when I stepped on the scale and weighed 159 lbs. ¬†That means I have lost a grand total of one pound since the last time I stepped on the scale a month ago. ¬†Oh well! ¬†After the examination we started discussing the breastfeeding issues. ¬†She listened to my concerns, asked questions and then immediately prescribed Reglan. ¬†She said if the Reglan didn’t work to increase my supply in 10 days that nothing would. ¬†However, she did not say whether this was a one and done event or if I should could continue after the 10 days if my milk did increase. ¬†Do any of you know the answer to this?

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Meanwhile, back at my parents house, Bella was hard at work charming them. ¬†My dad was playing her and had to leave the room for a few minutes. ¬†My mom took over holding her over her shoulder. ¬†When my dad reentered the room and started talking she twisted herself around and searched for him. ¬†She has been able to hold her head up for several weeks now but this is the exact same thing I did as an infant with my dad. ¬†She is her mother’s daughter! ūüôā

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After we picked her up from there and took her home, I immediately took my first dose of the medicine. ¬†(Btw, yes we looked it up and it is safe for Bella). ¬†An hour and a half later I also put my usual blend of 3 drops Fennel oil and 2 drops Basil oil neat per breast. ¬†Within 5 minutes I let down in dramatic fashion, causing us to scramble to get me into the pump. ¬†The remarkable thing wasn’t so much the let down, that happened consistently on application of the oils, the thing that made it so different was how much let down and how much I pumped. ¬†I was able to pump 14 mL on one side. ¬†Now, considering that, that very morning I had pumped 15 mL from both sides together, this was a vast improvement. ¬†And might I add that the 15 mL in the morning was also double what I had been producing thanks to tbe essential oils. ¬†All this was the first dose of medication to even out my hormones which tells me that there was a hormone issue there that needed to be corrected before production could really begin.

 

Before and after (at the moment) of milk production

Currently, what I am doing to boost my supply even with the medication is continuing to drink 3-4 liters of water a day, eating oats and lots of protein, 2-3 drops neat of Basil oil per breast (the Fennel oil should only be used for 10 days at a time and yesterday was my 10th day), and power pumping again.  I am currently doing the power pumping boot camp which is 8 sessions of power pumping in 48 hours.  I have seen improvements using all of these now.  Overall, I am feeling encouraged about breastfeeding again and hopeful that I can make it work now.

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First fully breast milk bottle for Bella! ¬†These 3 ounces took me 5-7 pumping sessions (I lost track) but I am fairly proud of this! ūüôā

Shalom ūüôā

 

 

 

Beauty · Hair Covering

Look What I Won!

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So, much to my amazement, I won a give away that was being done by another beautiful head covering woman named Emily Fay Bingham on her beauty YouTube channel.  Her channel is amazing and I encourage you to go check it out for yourself.

So, let’s dive in to the beautiful things that I received in my package.

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The note she sent on was sooooo lovely!  She is a sweet gal. 

These earrings are beautiful!!

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This scarf is stunning also!  It has subtle gold glitter throughout the entire scarf.
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This gorgeous pin goes perfectly with the scarf as well as most of my other scarves in my collection.

This was the first time wearing the scarf and the pin.  They go perfectly together and I loved how the different widths of stripes throughout the scarf made such a lovely pattern when wrapped upon my head.

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But wait…there’s more! ¬†
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This was also in the box and is amazing for prepping your face before makeup.  I especially liked it for moisturizing under my eyes and on my lips.
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This lipstick is a deep rich red and is lovely on the lips
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This is a wonderful under eye concealer as well as a great highlighter.
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My cat was curious about all my goodies too!  This eye powder does a perfect job of setting your under eye consealer.  But I would recommend using a different brush than the one they send in the package.  
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This gave me a sultry, smokey eye with no fuss or effort at all. ūüôā
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This is a lovely little pallette.  I use the golden brown shade in the upper right hand corner for contour and the other three colors mixed together for my blush and it works out great! 

And now here are several pictures of me wearing everything together.  It all went together so beautifully!

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I really felt so much better than I had in a long time once I was all dolled up with everything that first time.  I very much needed that boost with how sick I had been during that pregnancy and I continue to enjoy now!

Thank you to Emily Bingham for her generous and lovely giveaway!  Be sure to check out her channel if you get the chance.  Here is a link:  https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6AoVeTa7P-PVCwmA6kym5w

Shalom! ūüôā

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Week 6 Postpartum: Breastfeeding frustrations and rant. Plus, taking votes on hair color

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6 Weeks Postpartum

Can you believe six weeks have past already since our little Bella was born?! ¬†Time is flying and she has grown. ¬†She is now 8 lbs 3 oz and we were told by a lactation consultant that we are over feeding her now with the formula ¬†We took her to see this lactation consultant about the breastfeeding and I feel like every time I go and see anyone about this I lay out my concerns and they never get addressed or they get brushes aside. ¬†I will tell them that when I pump I only extract about 5-10 mL from both sides; not even from each side. ¬†The response I ALWAYS get is that some women do not respond well to the pump. ¬†Even if I am not responding‚Äč well to the pump, my understanding is I should be pumping at least half of what I am actually producing in the worst case scenario. ¬†So, this automated, brush it under the rug, response has really started to bother me. ¬†When I mention that there was trouble with birthing the placenta and that it basically shattered inside me and the doctor had to manually extract it, the basic response I get is that that was an unfortunate way to start the breastfeeding journey. ¬†There is no mention of the fact that if even a small piece was left behind it could be hindering my milk production and that I should talk to my doctor about it. ¬†I think I have seen 4 or 5 different lactation consultants since Bella was born and the best information I have gotten was from my husband’s family, my family and friends. ¬†So, thank you to all you ladies who have pitched in to give advice and counsel‚Äč through this whole journey so far and those of you who will in the future.

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I went to visit my sister today and we talked for a few hours about this breastfeeding topic. ¬†It turns out the reason she did not breastfeed her children exclusively and sometimes at all was because she had medically diagnosed low milk supply. ¬†This is different from just low milk supply in that when she got a blood test to check if she was producing milk her numbers were extremely below the average range they expect for this test. ¬†Regular low milk supply would be if your numbers fell at the bottom of this average range. ¬†By the way, this is the first I am hearing about a test to see if you are able to produce enough milk. ¬†Why was this never mentioned by any of the consultants‚Äč I went to see?!

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Bella loves these flour sack towels and holds them like a security blanket. ¬†So cute! ūüôā

Anyway, now I know there is a family history, more than what I already knew, of women having low milk supply in my family. ¬†I already knew my mom never got her milk in with her first child and now my sister had low supply with ALL of hers. ¬†Knowing these facts gives me a stronger case to have my actual milk supply tested tomorrow at my 6 weeks doctors appointment. ¬†I feel that this test can only have a positive effect on me. ¬†If it comes back normal, I can have confidence that I can provide milk for my child. ¬†But if it comes back abnormal, I’ll finally have an answer and we can look at options from there.

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Bella can now hold her head up on her own while being held in sitting position

So now to the fun part of this blog. ¬†Now, that Bella’s hair is starting to grow in more we are trying to determine her hair color. ¬† There are times I am sure she is brunette and then there are times I absolutely convinced she has red hair growing in. ¬†What is your vote?

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What color do you think her hair is?

Shalom! ūüôā

 

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Weeks 4 & 5 Postpartum and One Month Update: Exciting News for our Little Family

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Week 4 Postpartum

So, Bella is now a month old and doing really well. ¬†We had a weight check for her and she had gained 11 oz since the last appointment which had been 14 days before that. ¬†They said they like to see babies gain a 1/2 ounce to a full ounce a day so she is right on track. ¬†We are still having to feed her from both the breast and formula from the bottle. ¬†This still gets me seriously down but we are trying some natural remedies to help with my supply. ¬†I have been drinking at least 3 cups of Mother’s Milk tea a day which seems to have helped a little bit, power pumping for an hour a day a long with pumping after each feeding but the one I am most excited to try is Fennel essential oil from Young Living which I am currently starting my own business under because their products have really worked for me and for people around me.

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So this leads me into our exciting news. ¬†Both my husband and I are starting businesses this month. ¬†My husband has been working with his father to start a business that will help children who are struggling with math in school. ¬†My husband has been working on the back end for several months now, creating the complex programming‚Äč to make this online business work while my father-in-law has been working the front end that everyone will see and the details of how the business will run. ¬†They both have been working so hard to make this something that will really be beneficial for children, parents and teachers a like. ¬†Honestly, as a teacher myself and someone who has struggled with math my entire life, after I saw how this will assess students and help them to focus on their areas of need in this subject area I became very excited about it and wish there had been something like that for me when I was growing up. ¬†When they launch I will put up a specific post about it for any of you that might have a child who is struggling in math and might be interested.

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I am also starting up my own business under my mother-in-law using Young Living Essential Oils. ¬†These are some of the purest and best oils you can find in the United States which makes them more effective than the ones you might find in the store which claim to be 100% pure but really aren’t. ¬†The standards for being able to put 100% pure on your label in the US is 5% oil and the way they destill their products damages the product and makes it less effective, if not actually toxic for us. ¬†Young Living is dedicated to being the purest essential oil possible from seed to seal. ¬†They have their own farms and hold themselves to strict standards. ¬†So this is a product I feel I can get behind and support. ¬†My mother-in-law and father-in-law came down to visit us this week and she brought her oils with her from her starter kit. ¬†We defused an oil blend called Stress Away and at Bella’s next feeding I had my first really good let down EVER! ¬†She didn’t‚Äč need the bottle afterwards and slept for several hours afterwards. ¬†Then the next day she was fussy all day and wouldn’t go down to sleep even that night. ¬†Finally we pulled out the Lavender essential oil and defused that and within 10 minutes she was sleeping soundly. ¬†After these successes I am looking forward to my starter kit and the extra Fennel and Basil oils I ordered to come in either tomorrow or Tuesday. ¬†The Fennel especially but also the Basil are supposed to be really good for increasing milk production. ¬†I will let you know how it goes. ¬†I am also excited to share these products and opportunity with anyone who is interested. ¬†If you are interested in learning more I am more than happy to tell you all about it so feel free to ask me. ¬†This is more of an education business than a selling business. ¬†Sales are just a perk for me, as I really believe that true and pure essential oils are natural remedies for just about anything; which G-d put on this Earth for our use and health.

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This also has given me a new focus which has helped me with any remaining Baby Blues.  My mother-in-law got me out of the house for a while too this past week which helped to give me something of a break and a change of scenery which has helped.  It was a very nice visit with them both!

So I know this post is late for week 4 and a little early for week 5 but I wanted to get them done while I had the opportunity. ¬†I hope everyone is doing well! ¬†Shalom! ūüôā