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​ 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​, 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! 🙂

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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​.

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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 🙂

 

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! 🙂

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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! 🙂

Shalom 🙂

 

 

 

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. 🙂
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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! 🙂

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​ 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​ 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​ I went to see?!

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

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! 🙂

 

 

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​ 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​ 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! 🙂

Pregnancy/Postpartum

Weeks 2 & 3 Postpartum: Breastfeeding Woes and First Mother’s Day

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Two weeks postpartum

Well, I decided to put weeks 2 & 3 together since things became so hectic around here.

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Week two was an interesting week as we continued to try and adjust and baby blues began to set in, mostly centered around the struggles with breastfeeding.  My husband’s mother came to visit and stayed with us for several days to help us which was so amazing!  My parents also have dropped by almost every day with meals which has also been a big help.

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We celebrated mother’s day this week as well which was lovely.  My family had a big get together for the mother’s and my brother’s birthday combined.  It was nice to get out of the house for a bit and spend time with loved ones.

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At Bella’s two week doctors appointment we got the all clear to stop supplementing since she was now 4 oz over her birth weight which is better than they usually hope for and they were very pleased.  At the appointment, her umbilical cord stump fell off so the doctor was able to look in and inspect it also.

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Three weeks postpartum

Week three was full of firsts too.  We took her for her first walk and gave her first bath (which was nerve wracking to say the least).  I also have begun to feel myself coming out of the baby blues.  I feel that my mood has improved over all and I am not quite so teary eyed this past week.  I had another doctor’s appointment for me, the last one with my doctor, as he is moving to another state.  I was his second to last delivery.  My score on the baby blues evaluation was still not great but he said it would probably improve in the next few days and it did.  Also, everything else looks great healing wise for me.  I am dropping the pounds I had gained rapidly (155 lbs I believe on their scale).  IMG_20170523_194201

We finally broke down this week and bought a nipple shield.  Because of being introduced to the bottle in the first few days of her life, she has learned some very bad habits which were leading to some major damage to my nipples.  I got to the point I couldn’t even wear clothing against my nipples because of the constant pain and it was affecting how well I was able to connect with her.  With the nipple shield I have been able to continue breastfeeding and even so, it is still painful but better.  I am now able to enjoy it more and continue to build that bond with her during nursing.

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We also bought a special Medela bottle which is teaching her to suckle properly we hope.  It seems to have made a difference from what I can tell.  I think I will know better once I take off the shield this week and go back to feeding her as I had been previously.  So, she is still on the formula but we are gradually reducing the amount we give her.

We give her a little more formula at night because she will sleep 4-6 hours straight at night this way.  Also, by the end of the day I have basically very little left to give her.  A normal feeding for her right now takes about 2 hours which is exhausting and makes me wonder why that is happening as that does not seem like an appropriate amount of time.  It seems excessively long to me to be occuring at every nursing session.  I hope that once I remove the shield this will also improve.

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I will try to be better about updates but we’re still struggling to figure this all out so there may be joined weeks here and there but I will do my best to keep them weekly whenever​ possible.

Thank you for your patience.  Shalom!

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum

One Week Postpartum Update: Bella’s Blood Sugar Complication & Recovering from Traumatic Birth

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One Week Postpartum!

So, I have decided to do a weekly update on how we are all doing post birth.  Sorry, this post is late but we’ve been working on adjusting to our new life.  We have made the decision to not show pictures of Bella’s face at this time for privacy reasons and we hope you all will be understanding of this.  I will try however to post a Postpartum picture of me each week.

I will have a dedicated post for my labor and delivery story but in order to understand some of this past week you need to know that I had a very serious complication when it came to birthing the placenta.  Bella’s birth though was relatively uncomplicated​ and went smoothly.

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Because of this complication with the placenta I was held an extra night to monitor my bleeding and other vital signs.  It was during this extra time that Bella started to have problems with keeping her blood sugar levels up.  The nurses even had to whisk her away to the nursery and give her glucose drops a couple of times.  We eventually figured out that the energy it was taking for her to breastfeed was causing her sugar levels to drop.  We therefore were forced to supplement with formula which was rather heartbreaking but it was best for Bella.  Even so, she continued to struggle and one night they had me not feed her at all and took her to the nursery the entire night to feed her formula and get her sugar levels to where they needed to be.  It was at this point that I was discharged from the hospital and she was admitted.  They allowed us to sleep in with her that night and then it looked like they weren’t going to let us stay with her if she had to stay another night.  However, they talked about it and decided to let us stay in that eventuality but we were able to establish a routine that kept her sugar levels where they needed to be and she was discharged that night.

We were admitted into the hospital on Tuesday in the afternoon and left on Friday night around 10 pm.  It was an ordeal with much stress and tears from both mom and dad.  Bringing her home from the hospital felt like a huge relief and victory.  We had gotten her stable but now she is more dependent on the bottle than me for her food.  I have struggled to get my milk supply up and it feels like we’re more supplementing with my milk than with the formula.  However, she is still latching really well as she has been from day one and I am pumping every two hours day and night.  As you can imagine there really isn’t a whole lot of sleep happening right now.

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Saturday morning we took Bella to a doctors appointment.  They weighed her and she had only lost 6% of her birth weight which was good and her sugar levels were perfect.  She was given a clean bill of health at this appointment and now we will see the doctor again in two weeks.

As for me, I am still experiencing quite a bit of soreness and after birth pains.  I am currently on two strong painkillers because of the severity of my pain because of the difficult after birth.  I also have this awful postpartum rash on my thighs that is itching like crazy.  My feet have also been extremely swollen this week.  They are swollen way worse than they ever were through the entire pregnancy.

Emotionally, I am loving being a mama but I am also struggling with the fact that breastfeeding is not going as well as I had hoped it would.  We went and spoke to a nurse about the situation today and she said that the trauma of having had the life threatening complication after the birth as well as the stress of having Bella be on the cusp of being in the NICU and taken away for a whole night for medical intervention and everything else that went along with that situation could be affecting how well my milk is coming in.  It definitely is having an affect on my emotional health as I scored a 10 on their baby blues evaluation and a 12 is where they have the mama talk to a counselor but most of my answers were focused around how I am feeling about the breastfeeding​ situation.

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On the bright side though, we got Bella weighed and she is back to her birth weight already.  I also was weighed and I am now down to 162 lbs myself since giving birth.  I had been at 171 before giving birth.  I gained a total of 36 lbs during this pregnancy and I managed to get away with no stretch marks, yay!

I hope everyone is doing well!  Shalom!