Minivan Mama

I officially gained my “soccer mom” status this summer when we traded in my little blue SUV for a MINIVAN. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! It’s true love. I knew I 17194_600always wanted a minivan someday, because I grew up with my parents always having one, and it always just seemed like the most practical with kiddos. What I didn’t know is how much I would not miss my old car and absolutely love this van!

My husband I had been talking about them for a while and finally buckled down and started researching them after we had our second child. We were tired of not having a lot of room in the car especially if we needed to take any extra people anywhere. Two car seats take up a lot of space. We looked at several minivans on the market, but narrowed it down to the Toyota and Honda. We did have a rental Chrysler that we were happy with as well. After test driving, we were actually surprised at how easy the decision was with the Honda Odyssey. The vans were priced roughly the same, but the Honda just felt like it was made better. We didn’t dislike the Toyota (my hubby drives a Toyota Tundra), but the Honda was just better.

 

 

We waited several weeks for the specific model and color to come in that we wanted, but once it arrived, it was love at first sight. I was so anxious and excited that Saturday morning we were able to go and pick it up with the kids. Our 3 year old was excited for the “new van!” too. It was bittersweet leaving our old SUV, but there are new reasons every day why I am so thankful to be a minivan mama now . . .

Here’s a few of them . . .

1.       The automatic sliding side doors… need I say more?! I don’t have to worry about my kids or I banging any cars parked next to us with our doors. You know how loading and unloading our kiddos goes, these door make it a dream come true!! Because of the sliding doors, the opening is so much bigger than an average car door – WONDERFUL! The doors also open and close by the simple push of a button from either the key fob, by the driver’s seat, or on the inside of the sliding doors themselves.

 

2.       Not only is there more room in the doorways, there’s more room EVERYWHERE in this car. I can honestly say I’ve been a passenger in every seat and never once did I feel like I had no space to move. And if you need more room . . . You can MAKE more room . . .

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3.       . . . You can make that extra space because of the movable seats. I know this is typical with most minivans and vehicles with a third row of seats, but the way the Honda was set up was another big selling point for me. Our Odyssey has the option to have an eighth seat. All of the seats are removable (except the front), but with the Odyssey you can have an eighth seat in the middle of the second row. You can easily remove that middle seat of the second row to have 2 captains chairs and an aisle way to the back row, or you can leave it in place to complete the row and have an extra seat. The seat also folds down as an arm rest if it’s left in place. The third row of seats EASILY folds down into the trunk of the van. When we drove to the beach this summer, we opted to fold the third row down so we had TONS of room for luggage and could still see out the back window.

 

4.       Handles on the high way – We drove the minivan on the West Virginia turnpike on our way to Myrtle Beach this past summer, and it handled so much better than my husband’s truck the year before. We could set the cruise control and not have to waver and hit the brake on those winding highway turns.

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5.       Good on gas – I know the gas tank in the minivan is bigger than my tank was in my SUV, but I swear still that the van gets better gas mileage. According to Honda, the Odyssey gets 19 mpg on city streets and 27 mpg highway. Either way, its way better on gas than a huge SUV would be!

 

6.        Does NOT ride like a bus – I traded in a small SUV for my minivan. I had driven it for 5 years. I will say that I was the most anxious that the minivan was going to feel like I was driving a bus after driving my little SUV. I was so wrong. The van does not feel any bigger to me. I would say it sits up off the road the same height as my old car. Even though the van is significantly longer, I really haven’t noticed other than making sure I pull in the garage far enough. The back-up camera has made this easier as well!

 

7.       Bang for the Buck – I’m telling you, you cannot beat a minivan. Even if you have a small family like we do, it is worth considering. For some reason, they get a bad rap, but I can’t think of one negative thing to say about mine. Maybe I don’t look the “coolest” driving the minivan around, but that is the last thing I’m worried about. Most companies offer all the bells and whistles you can find in luxury cars and SUVs, so don’t think those options aren’t available in a van. It’s convenient, affordable, and I know my kids are safe – that’s what matters to me.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your new family, growing family, or just want more seats/space, take a look at a minivan. Check out all the options. Take them for a test drive. I think you’ll love it! And if you take the plunge like we did and buy one, you won’t regret it!

-Megan

 

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Milestone™ Mini Cards {Review}

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If you ask my husband what my most prized possessions are (besides my children), the only two things I would make sure to grab in case of a fire – he would even go as far to say I would try to run back into the burning house for them, would be my daughters’ baby books. I write down everything; measurements, doctor visits, trips, every single milestone and first you can think of, I add lots of pictures and little notes, it’s all written down. Everyone said my 2nd daughter’s baby book would be blank, but I’ve made sure that wasn’t the case just because she’s the youngest. I make sure to write card5everything down for my girls so they know everything from when they were little in case anything happens to me. My mom passed away when I was 23, before I ever got pregnant, and I don’t have her here to ask when I got my first tooth or what day I started walking (my dad doesn’t have any idea). So when I find a company and products that make it easier for me to keep track of things for my kids (I love organization) and make it more convenient for me to write down the memories, I have to share it!

I recently had the opportunity to try out the cutest cards from the awesome company Milestone. Milestone makes sets of photo cards to capture and remember those special moments that made you smile. The first sets of Baby Cards by Milestone were printed in May 2012. Today, they’re sold in 22 languages in over 40 countries with new parents enjoying them every day, all over the card2world. Milestone offers several different cards, Baby’s First Year – Original and Limited Edition, Twins First  Year, Pregnancy and First Weeks, Fun Activities, The Early Years (0-4), Mini Cards – First Words and Quotes and even a Wedding Set to capture your big day! All of the cards are of great quality and are beautifully illustrated with adorable little animals and patterns. They’re designed in Holland and printed in Belgium.

Milestone is kind enough to offer free printable cards from their website! There are holiday cards for baby’s first Christmas or Hanukkah, Back to School cards, and even a card for My First Trip to the Grocery Store! Check them all out here and to print your own. Another amazing printable set Milestone offers is their free Premature Cards, available in 8 languages. With milestones like “I weigh 2.2lbs” and “I stopped using the ventilator,” these are huge milestones for8_5-milestone_product_mtc_packshotsmall little babies and need documented and celebrated! Download and print yours here.

I chose to try the Milestone Mini Cards ($19), which can be used to write down just about anything. First words and quotes, 100 small cards that I can use to write down all of the silly things my 4 year old daughter says. I had been writing down things (that I can remember) in her baby book, but this is much more convenient! On the inside of the box, you can right your child’s name and each child can have his or her own box of cards. I will be getting my youngest her own box once she’s older! You can put the cards in the box, in scrapbooks or take pictures of your little one holding the card, too. I jutwinsmainpicst keep her box on her top shelf in her closet and anytime she says something funny or something I want to remember, I just grab a card, jot it down, and I’m done. These cards are a game changer for me. I just wish I found them sooner! Check out all of the Milestone products to document your little one growing up here and visit Milestone’s global shop here!

Follow Milestone on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to stay updated on new products and sales! Make sure you tag your photos using Milestone cards with #milestonebaby and #milestonewedding on social media.

– Casey
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**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Freida’s Pantry is now available in the US!

Like most new moms, I hardly had the time and energy to eat when my first daughter was born. I quite literally lived on a couple cans of Redbull a day. I got back to my pre-baby weight super fast, and even lost about 15 pounds more on top of that. I hadn’t been so small since my freshman year of high school and it happened in a really unhealthy way. When you have a newborn, finding the time and energy to eat just doesn’t happen. Instead of eating when you get free time, you choose to do the dishes, laundry, or if you’re smart, you’ll take a nap. I can’t image if I had been breastfeeding. You burn so many calories when you nurse, so you have to eat. That’s where Freida’s Pantry comes in! I recently found out this UK company is launching in the US today and I had to share their delicious nutritional bars with our readers!

Freida’s Pantry bars contain a mix of grains, nuts, and super seeds that are rich in vitamin B that help with energy production. The bars provide protein which keeps you feeling fuller, longer, and is a quick and convenient snack that’s also good for you. For breastfeeding mamas, they’re also rich in Omega 3 and “good fats” that have been shown to increase the fat content in breastmilk. The unique blend of seeds and nuts provide a variety of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. The bars are wheat, soy, and dairy-free and are suitable for vegans.

  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Non GMO
  • All ingredients are ethically sourced

Three bars are coming to the US today, and they’re all so good!

Freida’s Pantry Feeding Food Snack Bar is perfect for postpartum and breastfeeding moms. It’s packed with superfoods and full of nutrients and good fats that help with energy levels (that we all know new moms need help with) and they keep you full longer. I love how convenient a snack bar is and the fact that it helps nursing moms fight hunger and tiredness and supports lactation makes it even more awesome! Ingredients: Oats, Almonds, Pistachios, lin seeds, Quinoa, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, fennel seed, raisins, golden syrup and sunflower oilfriedaspantry2Freida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Goji & Fennel is so delicious! It’s super dense in several super foods that keeps energy up and provides much needed nutrients. It’s made up of 9 different super seeds, nuts, grains, and fruits. It’s the perfect start to your morning, whether you’re an expectant mom, a tired parent, working on your fitness, or just a busy, active person. Ingredients: Oats, Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Almonds, Quinoa, Pistachios, Goji Berries, RaisinsbarrrrFreida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Maca & Chia is equally delicious, but I didn’t try it. My husband got to it first and devoured it! He loved it! It’s made of a unique mix of superfoods that support fertility as well as energy levels and vitality. Again, it’s perfect the perfect snack for new moms and those in the pre-pregnancy stage. Ingredients: Oats, Quinoa, Almonds, Linseeds, Brazil nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, Maca, Goji berries, Golden Syrup, Sunflower OilbarFreida’s Pantry bars are available in packs of 12 for $31.20, making each bar $2.60 which is comparable to other seed and nut bars on the market, but Freida’s Pantry bars pack such a big punch! The fact that they’re made for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women makes them an even better deal at that price! Check out Freida’s Pantry website for more nutritional information, FAQs, and you can also order yourself a pack of bars and have them delivered right to your door!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with all things Freida’s Pantry!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

I Am The 1-In-4

“I’ll see you in my dreams tonight.
I’ll kiss your cheek and hold you tight.
I have no more tears left to cry.
You’ve flown away, my butterfly.”

This is not going to be a typical BurritoBuzz blog post. Typically we’re reviewing products, being sarcastic, writing about Lego’s and organization. We’re making our readers laugh and living the happy mommy dream one post at a time. However, I am sharing with you today about a topic that isn’t talked about, taboo in a sense; people aren’t made aware of it because no one talks about it and it’s heartbreaking: pregnancy loss. This is going to be real and this is going to be tear-jerking, but not only do I want others to be able to try to understand, I want other moms who have experienced loss to know that the moms here at BurritoBuzz sympathize with you, can relate and are here for you. 

**Please keep in mind that this is my experience. If you have cramping, bleeding, back pain or another out-of-the-norm symptom, please call your doctor or visit your nearest ER as soon as possible. **

I couldn’t even think of a witty typical BurritoBuzz title for this post and I’m sure that has to do with the fact I simply can’t think at all right now. It’s like a blurred shade has been pulled over my eyes and I just go through the motions to make it through the day.

Nothing I can put into words will truthfully help anyone understand. It’s one of those situations, that if you haven’t been there, you can’t even begin to imagine the pain. It’s one of the worst things I have experienced in my entire life, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it from day to day. I promise I’m not being overly dramatic, it absolutely f*cking sucks. a27c0fe7949608c3784b2b824e541dd3

The wounds are fresh and very, very new. Not even a week ago, I was being rushed to the ER via ambulance with my 10 week old fetus in a tiny little container on my lap. I had suffered a spontaneous complete miscarriage at home at 9:42pm on Thursday, September 8th, 2016.

Let me start from the beginning. Here’s how it all happened:

Sunday, September 4th – I was seen in the ER for minor spotting with no accompanied cramps. An ultrasound was done and we were told our baby was fine, growing right on schedule, strong heartbeat and the spotting was from a subchorionic hematoma and there was nothing to worry about. Given the positive news, Danny (my husband) left for a funeral in California.

Tuesday, September 6th – I was back in the ER, as the blood had increased, still no cramping. Given the same information as before in regards to the baby being healthy and everything looking perfect.

Wednesday, September 7th – I was seen by an OB. I had yet another ultrasound where she told me everything was perfect, the baby looked great. I still had the subchorionic hematoma, but there was no harm to me or the baby. She told me I had a less than 2% chance of pregnancy loss. I was told to expect some minor (if any) cramping while the bleed cleared itself out. She then reiterated the “low, low risk of loss.” I remember hugging her as I left and thanking her because she put my mind at ease. I immediately called Danny and told him the great news.

Thursday, September 8th – Typical day at home. No bleeding. Few twingy cramps here and there, but nothing worrisome, all to “be expected.” I laid down in bed with C (he sleeps in my bed when Danny is out of town). I felt a peculiar “pop” right above my pelvic bone and vaguely remembering Googling “can you feel you baby move at 10 weeks?” While reading about how chances are extremely slim, I felt more wetness than normal. I figured I was spotting again. I had light panty liner on, so no worries. However, felt the urge to go pee. I stood up out of bed and from there to the hospital is a huge blur. I remember barely making it to my tile floor before the amount of blood became alarming, as it pooled around my feet. I remember trying to stay calm since my 3 year old son was still awake. I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom on the phone with Danny telling him I had a miscarriage and was holding our 10 week old fetus in my hands. He didn’t want to believe me, swore I was mistaken because less than 36 hours prior I was told everything was perfect. I called my mother-in-law to come stay with C and I sat on the bathroom floor, in a huge puddle of blood, clots and tissue, with our baby, crying hysterically. I remember intermittently answering and making phone calls to my husband and listened to his beg and plea for me to be okay and get to the hospital. I remember trying to clean up the floor before my mother-in-law got there. I suppose this was out of embarrassment and instinct. I don’t remember her coming over and I don’t remember calling 911, but now know the reason I did was the amount of blood I lost. I don’t remember how my baby got placed into a tiny Tupperware container. I don’t remember the ambulance ride or getting to the hospital. I was in such a daze. A blank stare daze. I didn’t speak. I didn’t think. I didn’t move. I laid in the hospital bed, still hemorrhaging severely while the doctors did whatever they needed to. There were so many people, so many questions, gowns, blankets and IVs. My heart rate was through the roof and my blood pressure was low.  I had lost a significant amount of blood, to the point they were hanging bags of blood to give me (which I guess I refused until 100% medically necessary). They estimated from 9:42pm to the time I had gotten to the hospital, I lost between 550-575 ml of blood. I don’t remember anything else past that point. I was discharged roughly 8 hours later with instructions, narcotics and an empty womb.

September 9th-12th – Bleeding, mild cramping, exhaustion and still emotionally numb.

Monday, September 12th – I followed up with OB today and it was horrible. I walked down the hallway of the Women’s Health Clinic as the sound of fetal heart monitors echoed out of the rooms and into the hallway. The doctor came in, did an ultrasound and said that aside from some average clots and a thick uterine lining, my body had expelled everything itself, as if I was somehow unaware of this. She prescribed Cytotec to re-induce labor, Percocet and Ibuprofen for pain. The Cytotec will “shorten the rest of the process to 1-2 days”. I can’t write about my experience with the Cytotec because I haven’t began taking it yet and haven’t decided if I will. If I chose to take it, I will write about it. My body is naturally doing what it is supposed to do and the doctor said everything will resolve itself. I did not need and as of right now, will not need a D&C. This appointment was extremely hard. Not only did I see the same doctor who told me the day before I miscarried that everything was “perfect,” but I also saw my barren uterus. The same uterus that was so full of life, kicking feet and a beating heart last week. It really took a bigger toll on my already fragile emotional state.

Emotionally, I’m still not sure what is going through my head. The “Stages of Grief Cycle” is  a universal kinda thing but what is all true is that we all grieve differently and this cycle is a bunch of bullshit. Just because I’m choosing to share my story doesn’t mean I am in the “Dialogue and Bargaining” stage and given how I’m feeling, I am image011_0somewhere between my personally improvised grief cycle categories of “not wanting to get out of bed in the morning” and “sitting on the couch in a daze all day.” What has truthfully helped me a teeny tiny bit, is the outreaching of my family and friends who have been there and experienced a loss. The support of my husband is outstanding and people have come out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their stories. They’ve offered “tips and tricks” for what has helped them, links to websites, books, songs, blogs, etc. Does it heal the pain? Absolutely not. Does it help by surrounding yourself with others who can truthfully relate? Absolutely. Surround yourself with anyone and everyone you feel comfortable with and bask in the love and support you’ll receive. There have been moments when I want to be 100% alone and just be able to cry and scream without anyone consoling me. There have been moments when I want someone around because I won’t breakdown around others and it’s nice to be able to feel “normal” in the sense of having a casual conversation. It’s a crazy mixture of wanting people around, but wanting to be alone. I’ve found myself locked in my bedroom with a house full of people just to keep myself from having a panic attack. There are other days when I have been at my mother-in-law’s house, laughing and interacting with other members of the family. I do want to take an extra moment and touch on my wonderful husband. Even from over 2000 miles away he has been my rock through all of this. He answers the phone no matter what time of day, he calls numerous times a day to make sure I’m okay and he knows how to make me laugh even through all of this. He even sent me a dozen red roses to ensure I knew he was here for me. I have never doubted his support and do not fault him for being away. If we received even a slight bit of hesitant news on that Sunday, he wouldn’t have left. I strongly encourage you to take comfort in your spouse or significant other. They may not show it as emotionally as you will but trust me, they’re hurting just as bad.
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I can’t tell you how to grieve and I can’t give you a timeline as to when the pain will subside because frankly, I don’t think it ever will completely. What I can provide is a support system and the ability for you to reach out to someone who has been there, understands what you’re going through and can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

I’m here for you, mama. We’re here for you. You’re not just a 1-in-4 statistic like the world labels you as. You’re a grieving mom to an Angel Baby. 

– Kirstyn

 

Feeling Green: A Guide to Morning Sickness

What is the mantra? “It will all be worth it in the end.” Instead of puking, you’re getting puked on. Seems like a fair trade.


**I am not a doctor, nor will any of this solve morning sickness entirely. If you feel your morning sickness is not able to be managed, contact your doctor.**

Statistics say 70% of women experience nausea while only 50% actually vomit with pregnancy and the term “morning” is a bunch of bull because I personally know people who are sick all day, everyday for their entire pregnancy.

So what can you do?

  1. Always keep a full tummy. I’ve heard of people taking a few sips of juice during in middle of the night (when you get up to pee 59 times), even have a snack. However, eating saltine crackers before your feet hit the floor in the morning is a problem solver for most.
  2. Ginger. Drink a glass of ginger tea or ginger infused water first thing in the morning. Ginger is a natural stomach soother which is why it helps.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Mild dehydration can make you feel sick even when you’re not pregnant. Add in “growing a human” into the mix of daily activities, hydration is quite important.
  4. Graze. Not like a cow in a field of grass, but in the kitchen! Eat 4-6 small meals a day instead of 3 large meals. Hunger brings on nauseousness.

I’m lucky enough to not be in the “actually vomit” percentage, but the extreme nauseousness makes me want to vomit about 99% of mornings. I have noticed a huge difference if I eat dinner at 5pm and don’t eat a bedtime snack and the other times when I eat dinner and then a snack. I still feel blah, just not as bad.

Just remember Mama, this too shall pass and it will all be worth it in the end.

– Kirstyn

Should I Ask For Help When Trying to Conceive?

How long is too long to TTC without a doctor’s help? Obviously I am no doctor, but if you’re asking yourself this question, maybe my opinion will help ease your mind!

A simple Google search will probably lead you to an answer like these:

  • 1 year of trying if you’re under the age of 35
  • 6 months if you’re over the age of 35

Your OB/GYN might also stick to those guidelines. This might be very good advice too; I normally like to assume that doctors know what they’re talking about more than I do. For me though, I made my first “family planning” appointment with an OB/GYN after about 8 months of trying.

I did this because I wasn’t having regular periods. It’s extremely hard to chart your cycle when you don’t cycle (and a lot of wasted pregnancy tests.. and man, they expensive!). So my husband finally convinced me to go. They ended up offering us help and treatments right off the bat due to this. Turns out not having periods is very unhealthy and can lead to cancer. So if you’re reading this and haven’t had a period in over 90 days, please go see a doctor whether or not you’re trying to conceive.

I can’t say whether or not you’ll be offered help before a year, but I can say it doesn’t hurt to ask and be proactive. Especially if you truly think something is wrong. I’ve learned in this infertility journey that it really pays off to be well informed and to advocate for yourself. But you also need to trust your doctor and if you don’t, you need to find a new doctor that you can trust. There’s nothing wrong with going and asking for help! You’re not alone and needing a little help is nothing to be ashamed of. ❤

– Chelsea

Egg Retrieval Tips and Tricks

My husband and I recently went through our first round of IVF. Eventually I will be writing about the whole process more thoroughly, but I had a good friend have her egg retrieval surgery today, and as I was giving her some advice, I realized I should write all this down while I’m thinking about it!

Leading up to your egg retrieval surgery, you’re on a lot of really fun hormones and shots! We call this ‘stimming’ in the TTC world. I think the average length of stimming is around 8-10 days, but I’ve personally known girls who have had to stim for up to 15 days! Not fun. I was lucky and responded quickly to my drugs and only had to stim for 8 days.

Since egg retrieval is a surgery, you can’t eat or drink before the procedure. Because of this, they generally try to do retrieval early in the morning. The whole process is fairly quick. I suggest wearing sweatpants or something comfortable and easy to get on and off (honestly, after stimming for so many days, you’re probably bloated and sore and happy to wear sweats where ever you can!). My IVF nurse had me bring a snack so I could take pain medication right after surgery for the ride home but more on this later.

I was most anxious about the IV, and I have no clue why. I’d been giving myself multiple shots a day for days. But for me, that was the worst part! Before I knew it, I was waking up in recovery. I think the whole procedure took maybe 15 minutes.

I’ve only been through this once, so I’m sure there are more experienced people who may have different advice, but here is mine:

  • You will (obviously?) need someone with you to drive you home. If you’re doing IVF, that will be your husband/partner most likely because the clinic will need their “sample” that morning to fertilize your eggs! It’s conception day!
  • Dress comfortably! I put on only enough makeup to look human, and wore my comfiest clothes.
  • That being said, wear your hair down. You have to wear a scrub cap, and it’s much easier and more comfortable to lay down without a ponytail bulge in there.
  • BRING A DRINK FOR AFTER! Holy crap was my mouth dry afterwards. No one warned me of that! It was insane, like having to put water in my mouth while chewing so that I could swallow.
  • Don’t bring a salty snack. See last bullet point. I took pretzels.
  • I took the day of retrieval and the following day off from work and highly recommend it. Obviously you can’t work the day of retrieval, but the next day is still hard. I was still taking pain medication as needed.
  • The heating pad is your friend, use it!
  • Don’t delay taking stool softener. I never said this was glamorous. Constipation and trapped gas are painful after surgery, and you’re already in pain.
  • Treat yourself well! Your body just went through a lot. Relax and let someone take care of you. My husband stayed home both days with me and he was awesome. I even got pizza after a nice nap the day of retrieval! I love pizza!
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Me looking fabulous after egg retrieval, and so excited they were able to get 10 eggs!!

Like I said earlier, I have a lot more to share from my IVF experience, but these are just a few random things I learned about egg retrieval that I think are useful! To anyone who may be going through this soon, baby dust to you!

– Chelsea

Noodle & Boo Skin Care {Review}

If you haven’t noticed (or are a first time reader, in that case – hello!), BurritoBuzz loves finding and sharing new skin care products for baby. I look for products that are hypoallergenic for baby’s delicate skin and with no harmful chemicals. I recently found a fantastic, luxurious skin care line for babies and for mamas that I have to share! Noodle & Boo sent me several samples to try with my four month old and I am in love with every single one of them!

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Noodle & Boo is a skin care line designed developed specifically for ultra-sensitive skin. The founder Christine Burger worked with holistic and natural healthcare providers to create products that nourish, protect and replenish delicate and sensitive skin. The ingredients used in Noodle & Boo products are certified organic and derived from natural resources. I love that the products are made in the USA and are manufactured in a pharmaceutical-like environment so the quality is superb. Noodle & Boo also has a complete line just for those with super sensitive skin and eczema.

You can rest easy knowing the products are free from a slew of harmful ingredients:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • PPG’
  • Dyes
  • GMO’s
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde Donors
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Essential Oilsgift_newborn_deluxe_detail

The first thing I noticed (and loved) was the smell of the products. It’s the epitome of what a baby smells like. They somehow bottled the smell of a newborn and it is fantastic. I received four amazing samples, Noodle & Boo Newborn 2-in-1 Hair & Bodywash (8oz for $14), Super Soft Lotion (8oz for $14), Ultimate Ointment (2.5oz for $15) and Baby Balm (4.5oz for $16). I love all of the products I got to try. The hair and body wash gets my little babe clean, even in all of her rolls (and there are a lot!) and keeps her smelling great. The lotion keeps her skin hydrated, soft and smooth all day. She’s had a few dry patches on her elbows, I’m really hoping it’s not eczema (it’s not bad, so I don’t know if it is or not) and I applied the Baby Balm which provides long-lasting moisture and comforts irritated skin. I love that it’s super thick and after using for a few days, the dry patches have subsided for the most part! The Ultimate Ointment is perfect for diaper rashes, dry skin or eczema as gift_big_sister_brother_detailwell. It creates a moisture repellant to promote natural healing of rashes. I use it for the rash on my little one’s neck. Her rolls are trapping moisture and the Ohio heat has caused a heat rash. The ointment has helped tremendously.

I love Noodle & Boo products and I would love to try more, especially products for mama! The only issue, is the price. This is a luxury brand (so many celebrities swear by Noodle & Boo, check out their testimonials and who loves Noodle & Boo here!) so the cost is a little high but totally doable if you want high quality products. Be sure to check out Noodle & Boo’s website here. They seriously have so many awesome products to offer for both baby and mom!super_soft_lotion_detail

Don’t forget to follow Noodle & Boo on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for new releases and sales!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of product review. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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Grocery shopping is the errand that all parents dread (I do at least). It never seems to go smoothly, there are always crying children (sometimes mine), and it’s just overall stressful. It’s like there are set scenarios that always play out: the toddler falls asleep one red light from the store parking lot, a diaper explodes in aisle 9, or there is a choir performance from the older kids full of repetition of “I’m bored”, “can I get this?”, “can I go to the toy section?” or “are we almost done?” It can never be a simple, quick trip to the grocery store. Until now.

I saw a posting about Walmart and their new online grocery pickup on Facebook and had no feelings toward it either way. I didn’t see myself grocery shopping online and then have someone else load my groceries into my car for me. I don’t even let the baggers at Publix or the Commissary take my bags to my car, so why would I let someone else do my grocery shopping, bag all of my stuff and bring it out and load them in my car? It seemed like the lazy easy way out. But then it clicked. It’s not lazy, it’s convenient. I work 40 hours a week, get off at 5:30pm and have a 40 minute drive home every single day during the week. If I stop to grab groceries on my way home, I typically don’t get home until almost 7:45 – 8:00pm on a good day.

They don’t offer online pick up at the store in my town yet, but they do in the town where I work and where my mother-in-law lives. We just so happened to be heading to her house on a Sunday and I happened to need groceries, so why not give it a try?

Let me start by saving you $10 off your first order. Use promo code RCMUR0YA (that’s a zero not an “o”) at checkout on your purchase of $50 or more and you will automatically save $10! 1

It was a rather simple process. I went to Walmart Grocery online, put in my zip code, signed into my walmart.com account and viola! It allowed me to choose my store, secure a time slot to pick up and then add items to my cart. You can search through the “store” by department,

2 or search for the items you know you need by name. I quickly added items to my cart (it shows the total in the corner and there is a $30 minimum) and when you’re ready to check out, you simply put in a credit or debit card number, check out and then you receive a detailed list of your order and pick-up instructions via email.

The instructions were quite simple. In short, “Go to the grocery pickup location. We will call you 15 minutes prior. Call us back 10 minutes prior to your arrival and again when you get here.” It even showed me a cute little map of the store and where the parking locations were in the parking lot which were marked as well.15469435 It was that simple.

So I called 10 minutes before and again when I got there. Not even 5 minutes later, two sweet young ladies brought me my groceries and I never even had to get my kids out of the vehicle. I received a “Welcome” bag containing some grocery and health care full size samples such as After-Sun Aloe wipes, Sea Salt Covered Raisins, Cucumber Ranch and some other goodies. They loaded the items into my car, I signed the delivery receipt and I was quickly on my way. I hesitantly added produce and eggs to my list and surprisingly had no issues. They showed me my eggs before placing them in my car and my bananas were handled with care and not bruised.

I did figure out that if the store is out of stock with the item you want, they will offer you a substitution at no extra cost, if available. I wanted a 1lb bag of Gala Apples, but since they were out of stock, they gave me a 3lb bag of Gala Apples for no additional cost. Also, if they don’t have the item or a substitution, they immediately issue you a refund for that item.

Overall, if I had to give a star rating, it would be a 5 out of 5. Quick, easy, convenient and so worth it. I would definitely recommend it to busy moms if it’s available at your local Walmart!

– Kirstyn

Cake Maternity Nursing Bra {Review}

Maternity and nursing apparel can be fun and exciting to shop for, but I have always found it inevitably frustrating. Nothing I found ever fit the way I really wanted it to or it wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been. I started transitioning into nursing bras about halfway through my pregnancies for a few reasons. My milk came in super early, so I needed something that would clean up easily and with that, I grew very quickly. My bras now needed to be a little more comfortable.

After two babies I have found that nursing bras either are functional or they are cute, never both. I was always frustrated that I could never find a bra that was supportive enough for my surprise DD’s and not frumpy. Anything that was lacy and pretty ended up being too thin and not giving enough support, or had super stiff underwire making it extremely uncomfortable. Some companies have cute “demi” styles which I quickly found out that a leaking nip creeping out the top of your bra is not fun! The comfortable ones are basically rectangle cotton sports bras. But you can’t classify them as sports bras because they are not supportive at all. I found myself buying every nursing bra I saw, in hopes it would be a new favorite.

I have a ridiculously large stash of horrible bras. It’s sad, really.

Cake Maternity and I started working together about a month ago. I was honored when they wanted to collaborate to get some breastfeeding education out there, and even more excited when they wanted me to try out their nursing bra. But I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes.  The bras looked awesome, they have done a lot of research and cater to women so well, but I had been stuck with my comfy-frumpy bra for so long that I didn’t think I would find something.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

You know the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”?  Well you can if you are wearing “Cake”!  Happy boobs are making me corny.

I tried the Cake Lingerie Plunge Maternity Nursing Fig Mousse Non-wire Padded Bra,Slate,36D UK/36D US  IMG_20160612_081107.jpg and Cake Lingerie Maternity Nursing Croissant Smoothing Seamfree Flexi-wire Bra,Nude,36F UK/36G US k2-_3a563fc3-a693-445a-ae5c-1b126adc4156.v1

Pros:

So comfortable while also attractive. Even though they are simple bras, I didn’t feel like I was wearing a nursing bra. My husband even said “If I didn’t see the snaps you would never know if was a nursing bra!”

It’s supportive. You will notice that in the picture of the first bra (wire free), the bottom band is wide to support you, and even though the neckline plunges, the cup still gives you adequate coverage. The is no worry of a nip slip or a nursing pad slipping out because the cups are too small.

Full Coverage. I cannot stand a bra that gives me side boob. I just want them both in there snug, and nothing trying to come out the sides. Cake’s bras have a full coverage cup without looking like you are wearing your grandma’s bra. These are the first bras that I have worn that I am comfortable ALL DAY LONG. At bedtime, I’m not rushing to rip it off because I have a permanent indent.

They’re so soft. Both bras’s fabric are extremely soft and did not rub at all. cake-smoothing-seamfree-flexi-wire-nursring-bra-dark-croissant3

13453441_1177002645697360_423632523_o.jpgThe snaps are large and there is a double inside connection instead of just one strap. Believe me, this is worth noting. At 3 am it is extremely frustrating to turn on a light just so you can get your bra situated. I can get baby latched, fed, burped, and back in his bassinet in the pitch black, but I can’t even tell you how many times I have tip -toed to the bathroom to get my bra straps situated. Some bras have one continuous strap that you just unclasp the cup from, but inside it is a triangle shape making it impossible for them to tangle.

There are more adjustments than most bras. Standard hooks are usually 3 or 4 rows, but these have 6! This makes it well worth your money, as it can grow with you.

Flex underwire. Unlike other underwire bras, there was absolutely zero poking or rubbing.

In the underwire bra, the straps had little ridges. The straps helped keep the height adjustment from sliding down the silky strap.

Cons: Not all of the bras have the same design straps. I wish the ridges were on all of them. It would definitely help with comfort.IMG_20160612_080548081

They aren’t machine washable. You have to wash by hand and line dry.  This was a major disappointment. I am a busy mom, and I don’t have time to hand wash my bras. If you have ever had a leak in the middle of the night, you will understand. I do not want to be scrubbing milky bras. Most machines have a delicate setting, and a higher end bra should be durable enough to go through a cold delicate cycle. That brings me to my next point.

It is a little pricey. They all tend to be priced in the $50 range. But you get what you pay for. I really wish I would have found Cake Maternity 2 years ago! I would have much rather purchased a couple higher end nursing bras that actually worked than 20 different bras from maternity stores that didn’t work nearly as well.

Cake only makes maternity so it’s their specialty. The quality is amazing and it really goes above and beyond my Victoria’s Secret bras. I wish they had a sister company for non- maternity undergarments. This isn’t really a downside to the bras, just something I found while learning about the company.

Cake Maternity is a brand I will be definitely recommend to my pregnant and nursing friends and I will be gifting to close friends and family. They have a huge line of clothes and underwear for pregnancy and postpartum. Check out their entire line out here.

Cake also has a lot of helpful education on their website. I found this graphic extremely helpful! bras-for-stages-infographic

Have fun shopping mamas!

~Amanda

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Cake Maternity – Finding a Bra for Every Stage of Motherhood

As a mother who breastfeeds, I find myself constantly searching for new bras and a solution to my ever-changing chest. With my first child, I was so frustrated with finding the bra that would work with pregnancy, postpartum and nursing. I never really understood what was going on with my body, so I just stayed frustrated and kept buying new bras every time one was uncomfortable.

Cake Maternity contacted me about research they were doing and I wanted to share it with our readers! I definitely learned a few things and I hope it helps all our pregnant and nursing mamas!

If you want to shop or learn more go to CakeMaternity.com

~ Amanda

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Two Under Two. Tips and Tricks

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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people ask me “How do you do it?”

My answer is usually “Lots of patience and love”.

While that is true, we have a pretty regimented life. I am a stay at home mom  while my DH works night. I HAVE to keeps all my ducks in a row or it will just be pure chaos.  Two under two is not for the faint of heart. You learn so much more than you ever thought possible, and it almost hurts how much you can love two little babies at one time!

Planning on “Baby bunching”? Found yourself Pregnant 8 months after your first birth, like me? I am 10 months in now, and I have to share some of the things that just get you through your day-to-day life!

I hope it helps! I am sure I will come back and add more in a few months since the babies are always changing…

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Order Diapers and Wipes online

freeshippingI use Target.com with my Red card, and I get free shipping, but  there are TONS of other options! AmazonFamily, Amazon Prime, Diapers.com <<, Just to name a few.  I never did it with BK#1, but a month or so after BK#2 came along I found out that I could order diapers with no shipping with my Red card. It is seriously the best thing ever, and eliminates the extra trip because you forgot about opening the last pack of diapers. Seriously, diapers at your doorstep! Now if I could only train the post man to leave the box and back away quietly……

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The schedule that you make will change because of feedings, diaper blow-outs, meltdowns, the end of the world, and ya know pretty much anything. I have found that being able to tell BK#1 what is going to happen next and reminding her of her day to day activities grounds her and helps her feel like she is in control.

 

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If your child isn’t ready and not even interested, don’t sweat it. I introduced it pretty young with BK#1 but didn’t start making it a regular and consistent thing until she was around 2, and it has been pretty impossible. It never fails every time I sit down to nurse BK#2,  finally get him asleep, or I have him in the bath and she is gated in her room that she will holler “Mommyyy potty!!” Better yet BK#1 crawling through an accident that you didn’t know existed until you bend down to pick him up…….

 

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When I was around five months pregnant I un-boxed the baby swing, pack n play, changing table etc. I wanted her to get used things that were not hers, and not only not hers, but she was not allowed to touch. It didn’t totally eliminate her pushing on the swing when he was in it, or trying to see over the pack n play edge, but it certainly started the communication early. She was very aware of “ Only for baby” ,  “Very gentle” , and “Be careful” way before there was even a baby in the gear.

 

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imagesBIZZSE10Baby gear is pretty bulky, and I tried my hardest not to have double of everything! For example: We transitioned into a booster seat instead of using the high chair, to conserve space. Another item that we started transitioning out of was the binky. We didn’t completely take it away, but it was no longer anywhere but her bed. We did it for a lot of reasons, but mostly to make it as easy as possible when she saw her baby brother with one. When it was time to get rid of it completely it really wasn’t a huge deal, thankfully!

 

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I know some people can’t because of their backs, or just don’t chose to because they feel it is “babying and spoiling your child” when you carry a toddler. I will tell you that wearing my toddler has seriously saved my sanity. If you don’t already have one get a soft structured carrier or wrap and start putting that baby on your back! Your toddler needs to feel special and close to you too, and it is seriously the easiest way to do just that. Even if you hand the carrier to your DH when he is heading out to rake leaves, I promise your toddler will be calmer and you will have a lot more hair on your head.

Don’t know how?

I pretty much taught myself how with youtube videos! I will link a good one below for you. It looks a littler awkward, and takes practice to do alone, but its worth it.

** She is going a little slower than you normally would to show steps…..

Wrapyouinlove.com is a great resource for tutorials and BabyWearing Education, if you need more info!

 

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Okay, so I am a little back and forth on the topic of baby monitors. I think they are essential to get things done while the babies are sleeping, but we had a video monitor with BK#1 and I made a horrible habit of getting her way too soon if she woke in the middle of the night. She had a horrible time teaching herself to go back to sleep, because I would see her sit up and I would rush in to get her. We transitioned to a simple radio monitor to get away from seeing her and relying on knowing her cries and letting her sleep! Well when BK#2 came along I thought I was losing my mind with the radio one! Once the newborn cry was gone it was so hard to distinguish between the two children’s noises. They are siblings and they sound A LOT alike! Not only that, but I was so paranoid! Was BK#1 silently climbing out of her crib? Is BK#2 still breathing? Is he standing and trying to climb out too??? Bk#2 is nicknamed “Monkey” because he is way ahead of the game when it comes to moving. He’s 10 month old and can climb stairs, is trying to walk, and can just about pull himself up on the couch.gebaby

This is the GE Monitor system that we have right now. It’s really nice, but I am always looking for better, because I have yet to find the PERFECT set.

{If you have one you LOVE and have zero issues feel free to share!}

So sanity, parents. Save. Your. Sanity.

 

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This isn’t essential, but purposeful play with dolls gave BK#1 and idea of what was to come. I believe it truly helped with our smooth transition. 140545_0000.jpgBaby Stella is the current favorite!

 

 

 

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Do you carry your toddler up the stairs most of the time? Do you have every single entry way gated off? Do you always carry in parking lots? Does your toddler understand the word ‘patience’ and actively use it/ talk about using patience?b3f0a99d9292dfc4c41ccb3f89efeb91

Toddler –Proof an area.

13971309.jpgWe actually have multiple places that I can leave BK#1, with a gate on the door, and not worry about her hurting herself. Her bedroom is absolutely her space, and there’s nothing she can hurt herself on, and the same with the play room. If you don’t have the space I really encourage you to do this. You will need to get a shower, get the mail, take the dogs out, and make a phone call, etc. without a toddler trying to get your attention and without worrying about what they are getting into.

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Just start out with one and get a system down. Don’t try and have a bag for both kids. I felt like I still needed all the essentials for BK#1, and in reality you just need a diaper and a change of clothes. Don’t overdo it and cause yourself unnecessary stress. You can read more about what I put in my diaper bag here.

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cea8ff434961f0508ea09cec8b90711dBefore baby number two arrives set up stations around the house to keep essentials ready for quick access.  I have a basket or storage solution for diapering, lunch items, bottles, breast pump accessories, and snacks. Not only does it make the day go smoother, it makes it easier for DH or babysitters.

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Have a pack n play, swing, bouncy seat, or whatever floats your fancy set up in multiple areas of your house. Speaking from experience, there will be many times you will be casually canoodling the newborn and the toddler will spill a bottle of water everywhere, or knock something down, need a diaper change, and or just make a disaster of your house. There will be no time to run a baby to the next room to the swing, you will need SAFE places to leave the baby. Not only for toddler disasters, but just to do normal things. Ya know, like peeing.

 

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Eventually you will turn on Daniel flipping Tiger, put the baby in the saucer, and hide in the kitchen to drink your (hot)coffee in 5 minutes of quiet. If you say you don’t (or you won’t) then you’re in denial/lying.join-daniel-tiger-image.png

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FindingRest1You’re going to be sleep deprived, and just plain crazy some days. I promise you will forget to call someone, pay a bill, buy a gift, or even put pants on if there weren’t bright pink Post-its plastered all over your house. Let’s be honest…that last one is purely optional.

 

 

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Get the baby on a nap schedulewith the toddler as soon as possible. My 12:30pm nap is when I get 80% of my housework done. Seriously, it’s probably the best thing I did!

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I promise it really is okay to let friends and family help you. Learn how to ask for it, and learn how to accept it. It makes a huge difference to have a good go-to list when you are at your wits end and the toddler just needs to get out of the house.

 

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However this works into your day be sure to do it. It can be as simple as story time.

Husband time!

 

871c1aff5a1234e86739aa1a0ace466bI try really hard to leave my evenings for my DH. Even if things aren’t done I tend to leave them for the next day, so that when the babies are in bed I am actively and consciously spending time with him. It’s so easy to spend your days throwing everything into two babies, and then just shutting down the second there is silence. Don’t forget that he still needs you too.

 

BurritoBuzzBK#2Two under two has been such a blessing, and really more fun than I can even describe. Even with all of these things, I will tell you your kitchen won’t be perfect, laundry is always going to need washed, toys are always everywhere.

Chill out! It will get easier and less messy some day!

Do you have two under two? Do you do something that I don’t? What else can I be doing to save my sanity?!?!?

 ~Amanda

 

 

 

Pregnancy For The Control Freak: Part One

*I am not a medical professional. All of this information has come from my own experience and research. If you have any serious questions please, consult a physician.*

 

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OBGYN/ Midwife – Facts/ Questions/ To know

  • Level of Education- this is the major difference between the two. Midwives are typically a NP with around 6 years of school, whereas OBGYN’s have their PHD’s and have had somewhere around 10 years. They are trained on different things, and have different methods of doing thing. Read more on the difference of education here.

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  • Birth Experience- What do you want your baby’s birthday to look like? It might end up completely opposite of what you planned, but are you a “Give me the drugs” woman or are you a “Lets breathe through this” woman? 
    •  Midwives are known for “Low tech High Touch”
    • OBGYN’s can intervene in the birth. {C-section, forceps, vacuum etc.} AND they are more likely to intervene sooner.

 

  • Pain ManagementDo you want drugs? How are you planning to deal with the pain? Do you want someone to administer drugs or propose some other techniques first? Chances are an OBGYN isn’t going to massage your back during contractions.

 

  • Do you want to move around, or do you want to stay in bed? – Midwives are more apt to let you go without consistent monitoring. 

 

  • Are you high risk? – High blood pressure, epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. If you are high risk chances are you want a doc present 24/7

 

  • Do you already have a doctor that you love, and have been going to since you were 16? – If you do then they know you pretty well, and will no doubt give you a great birth experience.

    Ryan-Gosling-No-Arbitrary-Measurements.jpg
    …..I had to

 

  • AppointmentsCNM’s (certified mid wife) tend to have more time allotted for their appointments to chat, get to know you, and answer questions, but most importantly ASK the questions that are important!

 

  • Go with your gut! – If you are scared to death of needles, and have zero pain tolerance than chances are you aren’t going to want a natural birth and a midwife. But, if you want to have a natural birth, or even a medicated birth, but want someone there to help you and support you through it the whole time, then a midwife is perfect for you.

 

 

 

Why I chose a midwife…….

I wanted a natural birth, completely un-medicated. “I can do this, I was made for this” was my typical answer when people asked me why!bd428dcbabf4518480804289205714e6.jpg

Vaginal birth was a priority! There is a high percentage that you will have a c-section with OBGYN. This article has a lot of great comparisons!

I wanted a care giver, not someone who was going to get pulled to another room while I was in the middle of intense labor. It depends on your practice, and midwife, but my midwife was able to stay with me (or near my room….she left for bathroom breaks, food, paperwork etc) during my entire labor! There was no “Don’t push we are waiting for the doctor”!

I did NOT want medication or any type of IV. I had all the tools I needed to manage my pain, my baby and I were healthy, I was eating and drinking up until I got the hospital, and I had a water bottle that I was continually drinking from after…..there was no need for an immediate IV for fluids, Pitocin, or anything else! My midwife supported me in my decision and never encouraged me otherwise. She was always looking out for my best interest! We went over my birth plan well before labor was a possibility and she knew what I wanted. She was running the show, but on MY terms! If anything was medically necessary then it happened, but otherwise it was my body and I getting my baby into the world!

A midwife gave me the ability to have the birth I wanted, but I was in the safety of a hospital in case something went wrong. AND she worked alongside my OBGYN! I met with him a few times during my pregnancy to monitor my thyroid function’s effects on my baby.ccb241615d1ab231e64dca64eabf4159.jpg

~Amanda

 

…Pregnancy For the Control Freak will be continued…..

Pregnancy For The Control Freak: Intro

thingstodo.jpg*I am not a medical professional. All of this information has come from my own experience and research. If you have any serious questions please, consult a physician.*

Trying to get pregnant? Already pregnant? Are you asking yourself “Why isn’t there a list of EVERYTHING I need to know/get ready?”

I was there! I read about 500 million articles, sifted through the nonsense, made about 20 lists a day, and drove my DH and family crazy!

I am a planner, but more than that I am an anxious planner. Those lists I made, not only did I stress about what was on them, I stressed about what to put on them! What am I going to forget? What order should I do things in?47044dab88aec127f9c2e335fbbb1bdc

Fast forward 2 ½ years, and I feel like I am removed enough from pregnancy and the post-partum hormones to share some of my lists with you! Yes, my precious lists of articles, topics, products, and resources at your fingertips. And, don’t you worry I will add a PDF version at the end of these posts without all of my commentary for you to print if you wish.

These are the lists that I had in my notebook that I carried around. They are most definitely not everything you need to know, nor do you need to stress about everything that I did. I just always felt like the more I read, and understood the less anxiety that I had! Everyone has their own opinion about things, and you can find about 50 different opinions about every topic, but at least I was aware, and not completely clueless.

You might think I am completely outside my mind making lists for everything, but if it helped me, I am hoping it helps someone else!

 

~Amanda

***Be sure to check the blog for updates! This series will post over the course of a few days!

Let’s get this out in the open…

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I’ve struggled with writing this post for more than half a year now. Wondering what words are right, fearing the emotions that would come with it, and being utterly ashamed of the way I felt, even if only briefly.

I struggled to get pregnant. TTC (trying to conceive, for anyone unfamiliar with the infertility world,) for 1.5 years. I had a hard pregnancy, where my OB thought my son might come early (too early.) My labor was straight from a dramatic scene you would see in Grey’s Anatomy, where my son’s heart rate was dropping low because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. And post partum? Sheesh. My son had bad reflux– the kind where they choke on their own spit up and you’re terrified that they could do it in the middle of the night and you can’t get to them quickly enough.

My first week home was fine. No major problems. Typical insomnia, but OH so much love for that tiny human of mine. I cried happy tears, because the outcome of my labor could have been vastly different. I came home with a happy, healthy little baby. I was beyond thankful.

After a week or so I noticed my hormones tanking. I was upset all the time. I was sleep deprived to the point of psychosis. I didn’t eat. I didn’t do anything. I was paralyzed with the crippling fear of keeping my son happy and healthy. He ate all the time, slept on a crazy schedule. He spit up more than he ate. I had lost interest in everything other than taking care of my guy.

I lost my identity completely.

I went from being this strong, independent woman… to being afraid to leave the house for fear of strangers with germs, car accidents, my child throwing a fit in the store, etc etc etc. There was so much unknown.

And while I can say that I never had thoughts of harming my child, I did sit rocking him with tears flowing (often on him,) wondering what I was doing wrong. Googling all hours of the night ways to help him sleep, and feel content and not be so refluxy. Untitled.png

I didn’t want company. I didn’t want to talk, hang, let other people hold him. I didn’t want their germs, their advice, their opinions. I didn’t want it.

My mom helped often, and I went to check-ups with my OB to make sure my hormones were getting balanced out. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

Dealing with the baby blues and postpartum depression absolutely does not correlate with whether or not you love your child. Anyone that knows me can tell you that my world revolves around my little boy. I love him more than I could ever put into words. I would do anything for him. I need him all the time, and I miss him when I’m away from him for even a few minutes.

But PPD takes over your mind completely. Thoughts become irrational and finite, and looking past the temporary situation is near impossible. There is an immense struggle to adapt, because it all happens so quickly.

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Post partum depression is still a taboo topic. If you have a happy, healthy baby… then you should just be happy. But the brain doesn’t understand that. It just doesn’t. And while PPD usually subsides within a few months when hormones level out, sometimes it requires medication and lasts a much longer span of time (a really amazing crusader that has spoken out about her long battle with PPD is Hayden Panettiere. Also, Brooke Shields wrote a great book on her PPD.) Not saying that it takes a celebrity to realize that this is a problem, but I’m glad that a few celebrities are using their fame to open up about their struggles.)

Realizing that there is a problem is important. Letting people know that you need a support system is the best way through it. Go to your doctor and get a check-up. Talk to other women that have had PPD and the baby blues. Get out. Seriously… don’t worry about strangers at Target when you’re waltzing through in your yoga pants, mom bun, and your child is screaming. And baby wear— baby wearing helped me SO much. I felt like I gained some independence back when I started wearing my son around everywhere. It’s great bonding, and allows you to move around freely.

If you have a spouse/significant other, make sure you explain to them how you are feeling so that they know when and where they can help. Take all the help you can get. Make parenting a bonding experience, and try to avoid frustration in times of chaos. This is a learning experience for him as much as it is for you. My husband was a wonderful support. And while he wasn’t always as quick to run to our crying baby, he helped and he really stepped up when I asked for extra support with taking care of our newborn. I am forever thankful to him for being such a wonderful dad.

And lastly… don’t be ashamed. As moms we are entirely too hard on ourselves. We created and gave life, and we’re putting another human’s needs above our own. Most of us have insane hormonal imbalances after having our little ones, so we need to give ourselves some credit. Take care of yourself! You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

I’d also like to reach out to adoptive parents here, because it’s totally possible to have PPD as an adoptive parent! There are a ton of articles out there on this, but here is one that I liked.

If you have a severe form of PPD that leads to unusual anger/rage, I encourage you to get help as soon as possible. There are all kinds of agencies that specialize in getting women with PPD the help that they need.

PPD/Baby Blues lasted roughly 3 months for me. After which point, I noticed my hormones leveling back out. I was able to resume normal life activities, and being a mother finally felt natural. I have a happy one year old son who is my everything. “This too shall pass” was my happy motto, and I’m so glad that I was right. Life has never been better.

-Katie

Will She Remember?

As I near the end of my pregnancy (she’ll be here in 3 weeks!), I can’t help but be flooded with all sorts of emotions. I’m anxious about having another c-section and how I will recover with a newborn and a three and a half year old. I’m worried about getting PPD. Although I didn’t get it with my oldest, I never had anxiety like I do now until I had a panic attack when she was 9 months old so it worries me that I will get more than the normal baby blues this time around. I’m excited to meet this little goober who’s been kicking the shit out of me for months and who has been using my bladder as a comfy pillow. But the one thing that’s been getting me lately is guilt.

Over the past 9 months, my daughter’s life has changed. She’s gone from having a mommy that was always go-go-go and lots of fun to a mommy who has been too sick to play or to go outside and enjoy a beautiful day. She’s watched her mommy’s belly get ‘bigger and bigger’ in her words and watched mommy’s energy dwindle over the months. I’m worried how her new sister will impact her and how the relationship between the two of us will change. But I also wonder how much of these past 9 months she will remember..img_3561

Will she remember her summer being cut short because mommy was too nauseous to play outside in the heat?

Will she remember mommy laying on the couch instead of building a castle with her out of Legos?

Will she remember eating peanut butter sandwhiches several nights in a row because making anything else for dinner made mommy sick?

Will she remember all of the times mommy yelled and lost her temper because her hormones have been crazy?

Will she remember all of the TV and movies she watched so mommy could rest?

Will she remember mommy crying because she was so miserable from growing her little sister?

imageWill she remember the naps we would take together every day in
mommy’s bed?

Will she remember the laughs & giggles as we laid in mommy’s bed when we woke up from our naps?

Will she remember that she’ll always be my baby?

Will she remember that mommy will always, always be her bestfriend?

Will she remember that she is mommy’s first child and our bond can never be broken?

Will she remember that no matter what, mommy will always love her?

I’m sure it’s normal to feel guilty when having another child but I can’t help but be excited for my daughter as well. She’s going to be a big sister! A great one at that. So although I have a lot of guilt, I know that her new little sister will change her life for the better. I can’t wait to see them grow up together. To witness their fights over toys and the TV, the fights over clothes, who img_7001gets the car and of course boys when they’re older. Sisters are built in bestfriends and I couldn’t be happier to be able to give my daughter a friend for life. I hope she remembers that.

– Casey

My Birth Control Journey/Paraguard {Product review}

**I am definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experience. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

“The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among women who are sexually active is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently……..”

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BK#1 was conceived with combined oral contraceptive. That “typical failure rate of 9%”, yeah that is me. I took my pill daily, and had alarm set on my phone so even if I was busy, I couldn’t forget. She is a blessing, we adore her, and in no way is she an “oops”, “accident” or many other things I have heard. The pill simply didn’t work for me.

After she was born I went on a progestin only pill (because I was nursing BK#1) AND we used condoms!

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8 months later I found out I was pregnant with BK#2!! >>> Insert chaos here<<<<

Okay CDC I got you…I am the 9% and apparently in the 18% also?!?!

Our babies are our WORLD and we wouldn’t have it any other way!! Birth control, in general, just infuriates me and scares me. Why spend all this money, if planning your life for your children doesn’t work! God obviously wanted these babies, and they better become lawyers or the president or something.

For those who have a very hard time TTC, or can’t I am truly sorry. This post is not to make you feel bad, but to make woman aware of the stats, and the reality of birth control failure.

After BK#2 was born we made the decision that I would get an IUD. We were not ready to get anything permanent, and make the decision to be done having babies, but SOMETHING had to be done! My body is still recovering 6 months later. A pregnancy a year is not easy on the body, at all. Doctors say it takes a woman’s body 18 months to completely heal…..well BK#1 and BK#2 are only 17 months apart. So, even though I was scared of getting an IUD because of the risk factors, I chose to get one for my health, and sanity!

After months of talking with my  DH, doctor,  and midwife, we decided that I would get a Paragard.BurritoBuzz Paragard2

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Pros: Its more than 99% effective! I like those odds a little better. The string is a cotton string unlike most IUD’s. It is still stiff at first, but it does soften up after a few weeks. Even though it caused a little discomfort at first with my husband, after a week or so it was fine! It lasts for 10 years.  No more alarms going off to take my pill, no more counting days and checking the calendar to see if I missed a day, or if the pack is right, and no more taking pills!!!! YES PLEASE.

There are no hormones, because it is a copper device. >>> No weight gain, mood swings, etc. that come along with a hormone based birth control.

I have had no spotting, or periods since the initial spotting after insertion. I don’t know if that is due to still breastfeeding, or the IUD.

I had no “adjustment time”. No cramping or pain later. BUrritoBuzz Paragard.png

6 months after being pregnant, and I’m not pregnant!!!!!!

My insurance paid for it in FULL! We don’t have that great of insurance either, so be sure to contact them first!

Cons: It hurt like you wouldn’t believe getting it put in! I had two natural births , and I was crying while it was getting put in, I almost passed out, I puked after she was done, and I sat in the office for 30 minutes after it was done to calm down so I could leave.

There are a lot of horror stories about IUD implanting in the uterus etc., but never did I read anything about how I felt that day.

When you get it put in after birth you have to wait a month or so. I scheduled my insertion promptly after delivery, and my midwife and OBGYN insured me that it would be super easy to insert, because of just delivering a huge baby.

IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EASY FOR THEM!

Honestly, I felt bad for my doctor. I was a mess, but I couldn’t help it! When they dilated my cervix and inserted it I could have swore she was trying to rip out my uterus.

I suggest asking to be numbed, and some valium if you are getting it!

There are the horror stories of IUDs, but that comes with anything. There are even  horror stories for the pill. Its really how you take care of yourself, and making sure you go for your regular checks, and are checking yourself!

The pain of insertion is the only bad thing I have to say about Paragard!

Would I do it again?  Maybe? If they could drug me up, or knock me out! I think its worth it for 10 years.

Be sure to talk about all of your options with your doctor, and educate yourself before putting anything into your body! I hope my experiences can help you!!

~Amanda~

 

 

 

 

What you Didn’t Expect, when you were Expecting

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Here’s the truth: You can read every pregnancy/labor & delivery book out there, and there will STILL be something that surprises you or catches you off-guard. Guaranteed.

Bringing a child into the world is a mix of beautiful, unbelievable, and disgusting. So, here are just a few of the things that I wish someone would have prepared me for (not necessarily all that will happen to you, but that definitely could happen!):

  1. Nosebleeds. Most women know about the nausea, headaches, sore boobs, etc. (the more well-known side-effects of growing a human.) What people won’t tell you is that other things can also happen that are pretty out-of-the-ordinary: Nosebleeds. Floaters in your eyes. Spots and skin tags. Tailbone pain. Round-ligament pain. Tender gums (and restrictions at the dentist. Most require you to have written and signed consent from your OB before performing any procedures, including routine cleanings.)
  2. Old Wives Tales: Most aren’t true. One that is, however, is the concept of heartburn meaning your child will have hair. So, try not to take too much stock in most old-wives tales, but this one is a good one to pay attention to.
  3. You won’t have as many ultrasounds as you want. Most often, your insurance will pay for two. Unless you have an unusual circumstance around your pregnancy, you’ll likely only see your little one on the screen twice.
  4. Hunger, and Lack of Hunger: Pregnancy is often portrayed the same way, all the time. Women that have insane appetites, and binge on whatever craving they have that day. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Some women are sick for so long that the idea of food is the farthest thing from their minds. In fact, some women struggle to keep on the needed weight for pregnancy. For these women, medication is often required so that you can continue to have a healthy pregnancy.
  5. Not all testing is required. Some OBs will try to convince you that all testing is mandatory, but often this isn’t the case. Do your research and decide what is best for you. I did all the testing of my own volition, but some parents would prefer to avoid some of these tests.
  6. You may not have the same OB your entire pregnancy. I was shocked to find that most clinics have OBs on a rotation, so you may see a different doctor every time. It makes sense; doctors are busy people. But, it was important to me to have the same OB my entire pregnancy and at the birth of my child. I spent a significant amount of time trying to find a clinic that allowed this, and was thrilled when I finally did. If this is important to you, be prepared to do some digging to find the right obstetrician for you.
  7. Most doctors will not let you go past 41 weeks. Most of us want to wait for our babies to come on their own, but a great many doctors will absolutely put their foot down. Why? There are some risks, which you can read about here.
  8. When you’re ready to deliver: be prepared to be examined by 10 or more nurses, a handful of doctors, and possibly some medical students. If this isn’t what you want, make sure you talk to your hospital in advance.
  9. Labor and Delivery might not be what you expected, in a variety of ways. If you’re like me, I expected to have the cinema-style birthing experience where the actress has her water break, and baby arrives in a dramatic scene within a few hours. More often, your water will leak all day, and all through your labor, you’ll spend hours bored, in pain, eating popsicles and watching reruns of Friends.
  10. If you have an epidural, you’ll likely have a catheter at some point. Some hospitals keep them in, others just use them periodically. Most often, too much is going on for you to even care.uventet1.png
  11. Be prepared to be unprepared. You can plan for nine months how your labor is going to happen, but most often you’ll have to do what your doctor or midwife thinks is best. If this means a cesarean, episiotomy, etc., sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And sometimes, like with my labor and delivery, things can get complicated QUICKLY. Ask your nurses and doctors to explain fully what is happening instead of tip-toeing around you. My son was both face-up, and had the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck. This meant that I had a positioning specialist, internal monitors, and saline injected back into my uterus. I wish I had known more about things that can go wrong in L&D, though I think many people might want the opposite: to not know at all, and not worry about it (I’m just not that person.)
  12. enhanced-buzz-7951-1440537069-6Things like the “husband stitch” still exist. Sex after childbirth is usually fairly unpleasant the first few times for most people. This will make it worse, so ensure that you have a doctor that doesn’t practice this.
  13. Post-partum. OH post-partum. It can be a crazy ride, that’s for sure. If anything, know what to expect. Knowing now to care for yourself both physically and mentally are crucial to both your well-being and your child’s. Know the signs of post-partum depression and don’t be afraid to talk about it and ask for help. Accept help. Also, know that post-partum pain and bleeding can last a decently long time. Be prepared for it so that you aren’t trying to run to the store last-minute toting a newborn with you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. What shocked you about your own pregnancy and labor & delivery?

-Katie

I have a Large Family: Stop the Judgement!

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Guest Blogger Kelsey Burrows, on her Family and Judgments Surrounding it:

Hi, my name is Kelsey.

I’m twenty-nine years old and I’m a mom. I am a mom of five living, breathing, beautiful monsters. They leave their clothes on the floor, and toothpaste spit in the sink. They forget to turn off lights, or just don’t care about the electric bill. They leave messes just about everywhere they go, and generally don’t pick them up without being asked at least twice. They fight with each other constantly, over practically nothing. I rarely get to sit down and eat a meal with them because I’m too busy helping the younger ones get their plates, cutting up their meat, pouring drinks, cleaning up spills, and getting out some random condiment that I inadvertently forgot. By the time I get done shoveling food down my throat, they’re all done and I’m reminding them to clean up their plates, finish homework, get ready for volleyball or soccer, or whatever extracurricular activity is going on. It’s generally pure chaos in my house from dinner until bedtime. At the end of the day, I wonder how I managed to survive their waking hours. Let’s not even start on the damage they do to the bank account with all their wants, and “needs”, and actual necessities. That alone can drive a person over the edge.

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Kelsey with 5 of her Children

Looking back fifteen years ago, if you would have told me that I would have five kids and be divorced by the time I was thirty, I’d have looked at you like you were out of your mind. I wanted to go to college, maybe get married, travel a little, and then maybe settle down and have a baby or two. But yet, this is my life. I rarely go into public with all five of my kids without getting some kind of look insinuating that I am a crazy person. But guess what? I am a crazy person. My kids drive me to the brink of insanity, multiple times a day. It’s amazing to me that I have any hair left on my head. So often in a day, I’m frustrated enough that I could probably pull it out without a second thought. You haven’t lived life until you’re trying to cook dinner while a whiny two year old asks for a fruit snack, and his seven and eight year old sisters fight over whose turn on the computer it is. And then, my favorite is the “MOM! He just shot me in the eye with a Nerf dart!”. Yes, this is my life.

Occasionally though, there are times when we go out in public when my kids behave. Quite honestly, they behave most of the time when we have to go places. That’s not to say that one or two of them don’t cop an attitude over wanting candy or to look in the toy aisles, but they’re generally good kids. While we’re at it, my kids are pretty awesome. They’re smart, they’re caring, they’re mostly hilarious. I have some of the best times with them, even if it can be a little stressful. So when you see me with my kids while I’m out in public with that look of pity in your eyes, I’m generally looking at you like you’ve lost your mind. You’re judging me, someone you don’t even know, because of how many kids I have? Don’t you have anything better to do with your life? Both of my grandparents come from families where they had several siblings, and by several, I mean upwards of five. It only seems natural that I have a large family too. Some days, I question my life choices. Most days though, I thank God that He has blessed me with these five kids who are daily reminders of why I’m here on earth.

I’ve been asked so many times, “Are all these kids yours?”, while I’m grocery shopping. Let me ask you, do you routinely suggest that your kids bring their friends along to run your errands? I don’t either. So yes, to my knowledge, all these kids I have with me while shopping the aisles of Walmart are in fact my children. The sandy blonde hair and fair complexion doesn’t give it away I guess. I understand that your questions are not necessarily intended to be judgmental or rude. Your questions, though, cause me to question my worth as a parent. Is there a reason you’re asking me if all these kids are mine? Why did you ask if I’m planning on having more? Should I not? Am I not a good enough parent to have five kids? What if I want six, or seven kids? Surely you’d really judge me then.

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Well actually, I don’t have five kids. I have six. I gave birth to an angel baby in June, at only twenty-nine weeks pregnant. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. I wonder what her smile would have looked like, or if she would have had any hair or teeth yet. I think about what an awesome set of older siblings she would have had. She was taken from me before I even got to hear her cry. It was a devastating blow, one that I feel the effects of everyday. When you ask someone if they’re done having kids, or jokingly ask if they know how babies are made, be sensitive. There are people like me out there who thought their families were complete, and then a surprise came along that rocked their world. People like me, who fell in love with the baby they were carrying inside them. People who dreamed about what their baby would look like, sound like, what their personality would be like. Would they cry 24/7 and make me want to smack my head against a wall in frustration? I’d give anything to be able to be up all night with a crying seven month old right now.

I no longer feel like my family is complete. My heart grew to accommodate that sixth little being, and now there is a void where her tiny little smile should be. So while my five kids are sometimes brats, they’re sometimes mouthy, and they fight all the time, they are here with me. I can hold them close, and kiss them goodnight, and tell them I love them whenever I so choose. It isn’t right to look at someone and make assumptions about their lives based on the number of kids they have. If you only have one child by choice, good for you. You knew your family was complete. If you have two kids, or ten kids, good for you. If you chose not to have kids at all, I understand that too. But, don’t judge other people because of their choices in procreation. Some of us have experienced losses greater than what you could ever imagine. Those losses sometimes effect our choices.

I hear, “Wow, you really have your hands full”, at some point during almost every outing with my kids. Most of the time, I just ignore it. Sometimes people jokingly ask me if I know how babies are made, or if I’m planning on having more. I love my kids. You don’t have to, because they aren’t your kids. So yes, all these kids are mine. Yes, I’m a little crazy. Yes, I’d love to have another baby. Yes, I know how that happens. Yes, I know my hands are full, but my heart is too. The love you feel from a child is unlike any other love you will experience in your life. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

-Kelsey

Try & Get Some Damn Sleep

As a first time mom, you’re constantly told ‘make sure you sleep before the baby comes!’ and ‘sleep as much as you can because once baby is here you won’t be sleeping at all!’. It’s common sense to get sleep before baby comes, right? If it were only that simple.  Within days or weeks of conception, you’ll notice how frequently you have to pee. How is it possible that something that can hardly be seen under a microscope can cause you have to pee 10+ times a night? It’s mind blowing but true and the peeing only gets more frequent at the end when baby is using your bladder as a trampoline. Baby also seems most active at night because you’re not moving around (trying to relax, ha!) and you’re noticing the movements more which makes it so fun to try and fall asleep when you have a tiny human using your organs as a punching bag or practicing his or her kicks into your ribs. As baby gets bigger, you may experience awful back pain related to pressure baby puts on the sciatic nerve. It makes laying flat or in any position really painful. It’s so fun trying to get comfortable every time you get in and out of bed from the 10+ times a night you have to pee. Also, beware of charley horses. You’ll wake up thinking it’s Shark Week and Jaws is gnawing on your calves. There’s not much you can do to stop them once they come, you just have to wait out the 30-45 seconds of excruciating pain. And then there are the dreams. Pregnancy brings on the craziest dreams. You’ll have a blast trying to think of reasons why in the hell you’re dreaming about having an affair with Jimmy Fallon. So you’ll stare at the ceiling dissecting each bizarre dream and feeling super guilty while your husband sleeps like a baby next to you which makes you want to smother him with a pillow, but you can’t because you have to pee. Again.  So my advice for sleep is this: invest in adult diapers so you can just pee when you have to go, find a chiropractor that is trained to adjust pregnant women and don’t kill your husband for actually getting a full night’s sleep. He’s only half to blame for the position you’re in.

Here are some tips to sleep better while pregnant:

  1. Buy a pregnancy or body pillow to put between your legs to help with back pain.
  2. Elevate your head to relieve acid reflux.
  3. Sleeping on the left side is best for baby, blood flow and for circulation. 
  4. Limit your fluid intake in the evening.
  5. Keep your body moving during the day to stay healthy and burn off energy.
  6. To help with charley horses, message your calves when the cramp starts. Be sure to strerch and stay hydrated during the day. Also, some say that pulling your foot fat or standing on it will make it dissipate a little faster.
  7. If your sleeplessness turns into insomnia, speak with your doctor. 

Becoming Mother: Book Review

As I sit here with my 10 month old son, who is currently whining non-stop due to a sinus infection, I think back to my days before being a mother. Did they exist? I barely remember them now. Though, that wasn’t always the case. While pregnant I just went through the motions. Once my tiny human arrived into the world I was in a total state of shock by how suddenly and immensely my life had changed. I thought about my days before being a mother frequently, and sometimes lustfully. Longing for days of quiet, missing the boredom that I used to complain of.

The parenting books that I had skimmed merely told me the motions that I was already going through. What to plan for in pregnancy and labor and delivery, how to care for my new baby, various milestones and expectations. Some of these books I could barely relate to, and quite frankly seemed like they were written by men who have obviously never been pregnant or dealt with labor and delivery or post-partum hormones.

51+8Ctf3yjL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI was thrilled when Sharon sent me her book, Becoming Mother. The title alone gave me comfort– and reassured me that being a mother is actually a process for most. I identified closely with Sharon’s journey into motherhood, including the discomforts of pregnancy and trying to stay active, to the disappointments of care in labor and delivery, and, as she puts it “Just the plain, messy truth of what it’s like for one to become two.”

Becoming Mother isn’t candy-coated. It’s the simple truth of her story of bringing her child into the world. In its rawest form, motherhood is full of decisions that can be questioned by both yourself and others. Sharon talks about various choices that she made, including natural childbirth and the empowerment that comes from it, to the necessity of formula-feeding and the judgement that she initially put upon herself (I myself formula fed, and identified so well with feeling like you have to justify your decision to others. The truth is, you don’t, and it’s not anyone else’s business.) What’s best for one mother, or baby, may not be best for another.

I admire her reflections in this book because she portrays her experience with all of the blemishes, mishaps, and frustrations that come with becoming a mother. We live in a generation where a perfect life can be contrived on Facebook through simple statuses and photos; we can eliminate the bad and only portray the good. When, in fact, motherhood is full of ups and downs. While I personally was SO in love with my new tiny human, I was exhausted, frustrated at my labor experience, and definitely suffering from some post baby blues and hormone imbalances. I was in a foreign land, from a life previously filled with only my own needs. It was hard to adjust at first, but here, nearly a year later with my son, we have found our new normal. He brings so much love an joy into our lives. It’s important for new moms to know that it gets easier.

Thank you to Sharon for an accurate portrayal of what it’s really like to become a mother. Your candid writing gave me comfort in knowing that there are others with stories just like mine. I highly recommend this read to any new mother or soon to be mother.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

Bio Oil {Review for the Mommas!}

I got through 38 weeks of pregnancy without a single stretch mark. Oh man was I proud of it. Like hey, look… no stretch marks! My skin is so awesome and hydrated. I thought my skin just had supernatural powers. Until, one morning I woke up with an entire little colony of stretch marks. Just BAM. Went to bed without them, and overnight those little jerks just colonized my lower stomach and sides. 

I had a meltdown.

Full on, tantrum style.

Then I remembered: I’M MAKING A PERSON! I decided to give myself 24 hours to mope about it, and then I was going to shut up and deal with it. There were bigger things happening in the universe.

So that’s what I did. I pouted for a full 24 hours, and then stopped. After the birth of my tiny human I couldn’t possibly care less about my stretch marks (because let’s be honest here ladies, there are vastly worse things happening post-partum…)

I decided I would do some research and at least try to reclaim the territory that was once my flat-stomach. After entirely too many hours of Google searching and reading through forums, I ordered Bio Oil. I ordered the 2 ounce bottle for right around $9. 2 ounces doesn’t sound like much, but I applied it pretty graciously for 3 months before it ran out.

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Bio oil is dense. The smell isn’t very fragrant, but that isn’t really the purpose. It sticks to your skin, and that’s the important point. Buying an oil to eradicate stretch marks is only helpful if the oil stays on your skin.

I applied twice a day. The first few weeks I didn’t notice a huge change, but over the course of a few months the changes to my skin were almost unbelievable. I felt like some kind of unrealistic TV commercial where they show off results that have actually been photoshopped and aren’t true to life.

My stretch marks largely disappeared. The ones on my sides vanished more than the ones on my stomach. You can tell that they’re still there if you look closely, but really… this stuff impressed me more than I ever expected. (As a side note, I had tried most other oils and lotions that you can easily purchase in the store, and none of them did much of anything for me.)

In reality, I know that my stretch marks will always be there to some extent. While they may not be nearly as visible as they once were, I wear them as a badge of honor. I’m so blessed to have been able to carry a child. It’s not something I take for granted. This exterior was the home for my child for 9 months. It nurtured him and kept him warm. For that reason alone, I can’t hate my body.

-Katie

Work it.


13 Jan 2010, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA --- Pregnant Hispanic woman lifting dumbells --- Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

I’ve never been the most athletic, the most fit, or the most motivated. I have, however, tried to work on fitness most of my life. In high school I played tennis a lot, went to the gym a few times a week. College came around and my focus shifted mostly to beer, but I still managed to workout a few times a week. Before I found out I was pregnant I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week and felt pretty good about it. One of my first pregnancy symptoms was major dizziness, which started at the gym. I found myself working out less, and my crippling five months of morning sickness made it nearly impossible to work out. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was still going, but mostly walking my large cankles around tracks and doing slow cardio on Arc machines and ellipticals.

After having Lucas I really was anxious to get back to the gym. I got the okay, and started back up. But in all honesty, I had no energy. Lucas didn’t sleep much, I was working, running a business, and trying to keep up with all of the other household chores.

My YMCA membership has been severely neglected.

And working out at home? Not happening. It’s not that I don’t try, but I get about a solid three minutes of exercise in before Lucas is hungry, in to something he shouldn’t be, or needs a diaper changed.

I love being his mom. It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my entire life. I would give up all of my gym trips for the rest of eternity for him.

Now that there is very little “me” time, including going to the gym, I’m sitting here now thinking “how do I get fit again?”

Dropping the lbs. and being fit are two different things, my friends. I dropped all those baby lbs within weeks of having Lucas. Now the muscles I used to have? They’re mostly gone, and that can only be cured by some good weight training.

I am the person totally skeeved out by the thought of child care at the gym. I’m sure they’re all very capable individuals, but with my little guy not being able to talk yet and verbalize what his needs are, I’m just uncomfortable. That, and I’m a total germ-a-phobe with trying to keep him healthy. Because let’s face it, as a working mom I don’t have the time to take days off. I decided that around a year old I’ll hopefully be willing to take him there for an hour or two…

My husband and I have tried to set up schedules so that both of us can get to the gym. They’ve mostly failed, because life happens. 

So my game plan: keep trying. Keep trying, and try not to beat myself up on the days that I don’t workout. Because being a parent is HARD and 24/7. Those tiny humans always come first. As much as I want to go do some major sweating on the Arc trainer while watching HGTV, it’s vastly less important to have nice triceps than it is to spend time with my guy.

So for now, my 3 minute workouts will have to cut it. The nights I get to the gym? Great. The nights I don’t? Fine. I’ll snuggle my sweet boy and know that soon enough he’ll be able to work out alongside me.

Some things that I’ve found to be successful:baby-plank

  1. Go on a walk/jog with your baby. Most little ones are totally thrilled to be outside in the stroller.
  2. Do some baby-wearing while you workout. We do squats, lunges, Zumba, etc. Chances are good that your little one will fall asleep from all of the movement.
  3. Find some exercises that can incorporate baby. Planks, arm raises, sit-ups. There are plenty of YouTube videos with instructions on how to work out with your baby.
  4. Make chasing your baby into a workout for you. Do some leg raises while you’re crawling around chasing that speedster around.

Good luck, mommas! Take care of yourselves and those little ones!

-Katie

Product Review: Mirena

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**I am most definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experiences. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

I have had a lot, a LOT of issues with BC. I have tried several different brands and forms with mostly negative results. Before I was married and interested in having children, I wanted a BC that treated strong cramps and heavy, long-lasting cycles. The types of BC I tried before TTC include:

  • Yaz– This daily pill made me feel like my heart was racing and have spells of lightheadedness at random times (the pill was later found to cause severe blood clots and actually does not treat any symptoms of PMS like it claimed).
  • Lo Loestrine Fe– Also a daily pill. This did not treat my heavy, long-lasting cycle and painful cramps.

At this point, my gyno decided I need a constant stream of hormones with no placebo time (like many pills have) So then I tried..

  • Ortho Evra– This is a patch that you place on your waistline, back or rear. It was disgusting. It was like a band aid you wore for one week and then replaced. It left a nasty ring of stickiness (like a band aid) and skin irritation wherever I placed it. It also would come off occasionally in the shower, which left me in constant fear that I was not being protected. I
  • NuvaRing– This is a vaginal ring you replace yourself after 3 weeks in and one week off. This was by far, the worst of all BC I tried. It slipped out constantly and was very gross to put back in myself. But worst of all, it gave me a SEVERE vaginal infection that took two drs (one of which was a urogynocologist) to diagnose and treat. Horrible. Just horrible.

After that horrendous experience, I just dealt with my discomfort and we used the trusty ol’ condom until we were TTC. So after the birth of my LO, I was extremely hesitant to go back on BC but knew it was necessary because I conceived very, very easily and we were certainly not ready for another LO. My gyno suggested Mirena.

Mirena is an intra-uterine device that can stay in for up to 5 years. It slowly releases low levels of progestin into the uterus. The device is inserted by your gyno and small strings are left hanging that are supposed to allow you to check and make sure it is still correctly in place. This BC is recommended for women that have had a child.

imagePROS: When I had mine inserted, my gyno said to me, “pick a four letter word to say now because you’re going to need it when I put it in.” I honestly had to ask her if she was done because I felt nothing other than the usual discomfort of her messing around in that area. It didn’t hurt me in the slightest. I love not having to worry about taking a pill everyday. I have heard some people say that they can feel the strings that are left hanging. I have never had any discomfort. I’ve had the device in for over a year now and (now) I can say that my cycles are short and very light. I still have some cramping, but nothing like I’ve experienced in the past.

CONS: I bled. I bled every single day for almost 5 months. I’m talking several heavy flow pads per day. Mind you, I had a C-section. So this was strictly related to the BC, not from giving birth (I had no bleeding in the 6 weeks after giving birth and before getting Mirena). It was horrible. My poor DH. Not only was my last trimester a painful nightmare, I finally have the baby and we still can’t be intimate because I’m disgusting. Sexy.

It finally got so bad that I was concerned it was not inserted correctly, so I went back to my gyno. She did a full exam and said it was inserted correctly and to just hang in there. My symptoms were not uncommon and if I held out for one more month, it could go away. And she was right. A few weeks after that, my bleeding subsided and I finally began to have a recognizable cycle again. Still, it was quite the ordeal.

In the relatively near future, my DH and I will be TTC again. I am planning an extensive article series on TTC and (God willing) my subsequent pregnancy. I do have a fear of having difficulty conceiving after removing my Mirena. DrugWatch.com states that 80% of women can successfully conceive within one year of removal. Fingers crossed.

I hope my experiences can help you make a better choice on what is right for your body. I can’t say I am a strong proponent of BC after my dreadful experiences, however, it’s a necessary evil in my personal opinion. I’m constantly doing research on what is safest and best for my body. I strongly encourage every woman do the same. Meanwhile, I’ll be continuing my earnest prayers for the development of the male BC pill… *please Jesus, please*

-Chelsea