Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why having a doctor that supports your parenting choices is so important

When Emma was born because of the circumstances surrounding her birth I didn't have a pediatrician picked out. Our first one was chosen because of how close he was to our house. We kept him for a few years and through all of Emma's SPD diagnosis because he was supportive and truly cared about Emma. He was also one of the pediatric interns who was present at my birth (I was a 32 week preemie). All of these reasons made us stay with him even though it was a fight every time I wanted to delay a vaccine or bed sharing was brought up.

Then Jack was born, circumcised because I didn't know better and again with the vaccines and bed sharing argument. When jack was 10 months old he had a fever for 48 hours for no apparent reason, I decided to take him to urgent care just to get him checked out since it was Saturday and his fever was around 103-104 and was not going away. That was the day we met our doctor. I will never forget how she walked in the room saw me nursing jack and said how much it made her miss her nursling who was the same age. SOLD! 

The appointment was the best experience I've ever had with any of my 4 kids in 21 years as a mother. She was patient, kind and encouraged us to co sleep and nurse to help him feel better. He did have an ear infection and offered a wait and see with the antibiotics. Which she still does every time. She hugged me and snuggled jack before we left. I cried and asked if she was taking new patients. She said yes but that she was a little farther away from us, I said okay I don't care how far you are and switched immediately. 

Being an attached parent can make dealing with doctors a huge challenge and a lot of AP avoid things like well check ups and routine visits. I would encourage you to research doctors avaliable to you. Here are some questions to ask when finding the right pediatrician. 

1. Do they encourage extended breastfeeding? 

2. Will they support delayed/ selective vaccination? What if you choose no vaccines? 

3. How do they feel about bed sharing? CIO? 

4. What if I don't want to start solids at 4 months, 6 months or even longer? What about BLW? 

5. circumsion is always important to ask about before your child is born ( my biggest mistake )

6. Antibiotics, are they a pill pusher? I hate this term but some doctors are just that.

7. Do they support letting your child develop in his own time? Not stressing you out if you have a late crawler, walker, talker etc..

Are they kind or do they have a matter of fact attitude? So many of the doctors I've met are so business like its hard to get a smile out of them. Having a doctor that supports my choices and offers gentle advice if she disagrees has changed the way we view going to the doctor. We always look forward to seeing her ( which is often with all of jack's ear issues and Emma's SPD ). 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Out of sorts

  My nosy neighbor picked the wrong day to judge my child, my parenting, my life. This neighbor who lives next door to me, she is 73 and has a tendency to come and overstay her welcome in my house. She comes during nap time, breakfast, always for more than an hour. Let me just put this out there, I have told her repeatedly to only come over once a week on Thursday because the rest of the week I have extra kids and we have a schedule/routine that I don't like disrupted. She is constantly telling jack and emma what to do, what not to do and I have told her that Emma has SPD and is very sensitive to other adults correcting her. She also has become attached to one of my daycare kids. A little girl who just turned 2 and is very high energy, curious and can be a little aggressive. This toddler and jack have been hitting and pushing each other all week and I have been dealing with this in a gentle way by just reminding to have nice hands and redirecting one or both of them. Well jack has been sick, tired and just not his usual happy self and this morning after only 5-6 hours of sleep last night he is out of sorts to say the least. I read a blog a few months ago that was great about this So yes toddlers hit, especially toddlers that don't talk yet, they simply cannot put into words their frustrations so they hit, push, etc..

 So this morning she came over while I had one child arriving, jack just waking up needing his boob, and 3 other toddlers waiting for me to make breakfast while I am trying to wake up after my big 3 hours of sleep last night. I can hardly form a sentence much less hold a conversation with anyone older than 5. It was chaos and I was polite for a little while and she played with the kids. Then Jack finished his boob and got down to play, he immediately went over and hit this little girl. I reminded him to have nice hands while she said "don't do that, that's not ok". She then proceeds to tell me he needs a time out to which I respond he's a little young for that and I don't use time outs until about age 3 if needed. I then explain that jack is tired, sick and just reacting to other kids in his space. He usually is much more receptive to the other kids but is not himself. Then I went to make the other kids breakfast and I walk back into the room to her sternly telling jack something I couldn't make out. I picked up Jack, opened my door and asked her to please leave, she said that I didn't know how to raise my children, I was mean to the little girl and that Jack was going to grow up to be an abuser because I just let him hit whenever he wants. Now I have 5 small sets of eyes/ears watching to see if I am going to freak out on her. I simply looked at her and said " Thank you for your opinion but I am sure my children will grow up to love and respect others".  She left and I did slam the door as hard as I could and was so mad I was shaking but was so proud of myself for not losing my shit and telling her what I've wanted to for the past 2 years she has been giving me her unsolicited opinions. We went about our morning and Jack woke up a little more and was almost his usual self. I firmly believe that toddlers need redirection, reminders and assurance that we are hearing the needs they are trying to communicate without words.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

how I'm putting my children at risk..

As a working mother of 4+ there isn't one minute of my day that isn't filled with somebody needing me for something, whether it's a boob or advice on what clothes to buy from 800 miles away. They are my life and I love it, that being said I have a nursing toddler, a extra special 4 year old with a sleep disorder, a 15 year old girl and a 20 year old who needs me to be on demand for her 24/7. Sometimes details slip my mind and somethings just aren't a priority. Over the last 24 hours I have checked every car seat, stroller, high chair, crib, play and pack and most of the toys in my house to make sure that none have been recalled or are expired. This morning I was terrified that someone was going to report me for Jack's car seat being expired. Can I just say that nobody deserves to feel that way. I was hysterical crying worried that my precious loves were at risk because I didn't realize that 1 of my 5 car seats was expired.  I debated deleting my Facebook page, picking up and moving all while trying to get 3 of my kids ready for church. After some kind words from one of my children reminding me that I am not a bad mother and some kind words from some of the mamas on my page I decided not to delete my page. I will however be much more guarded about what I share about my children. I created the Facebook page to be a support page for mamas not a place to be attacked, and saying that I was putting Jack in danger is ridiculous. If you follow me at all you know how much I love all of my children and my job is to protect them. I am grateful that it was pointed out that his car seat was expired and the chest clip was too low. What I didn't say yesterday was that it was my husband who put him in his seat and that I should have noticed the clip. We now have ordered new seats and will pray that emma will transition to a new one without too much resistance. Again thank you to all of you are here to love and support I truly appreciate you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

my AP parenting style

I didn't know what attachment parenting was 20 years ago when I had my daughter. All I knew was that breastfeeding was important, I wanted her close to me and that she was going to sleep with me. Now after being a mom for 20 years my style of AP parenting has changed a little and adjusted with each child. Remember I have a child with SPD who has an aversion to be comforted and while we co slept for the first 2 years she just doesn't sleep much therefore putting my co sleeping belief on hold for a year or so while we just struggled to get any sleep at all. And now with baby jack my attachment belief is very strong and we are co sleeping, breastfeeding on demand at 18 months and baby wearing when he will let us. There was also my 15 year old that breastfed for 39/40 months and co sleeps as a teenager when she needs to. I am going to share the guidelines I believe in and you may or may not agree. Here they are..

1) a gentle and peaceful birth (however you get this is up to you) and immediate breastfeeding at birth
2) breastfeeding on demand for at least the first year, not always an option for everyone and I would never judge a mama who can't or chooses not to breastfeed. it can be very hard and not everyone has a support system
3) co sleeping however much or little you feel like.
4) baby wearing (especially when you have more than one child) and my babies all loved being close when they were tiny, less after age 2 but we switched to a backpack and continued to wear them
5) crying it out is not an option for us (although I have been pressured into trying this)
6) vaccines are a personal choice and I would never judge anyone who does or doesn't! (we delay and do selective vaccines)
7) pacifiers are also a personal choice, my thought is if your breastfeeding and work during the day when your baby is little a paci can help that sucking need while your away. again this is my opinion and it's based on my own experiences.
8)  gentle discipline ( we redirect, figure out the need and try to address)
9) we try to provide a loving, nurturing environment where our children feel secure that we are present and responsive to their needs

these are my guidelines  every day is a new challenge and the best I can do is love my LO's with all I have and be there for them 24/7..they are based on the 8 principles of AP parenting.

I will follow this post up with a more detailed post about each subject. ❤

Sunday, April 14, 2013


After several weekends in a row of a tense household this weeekend has been peaceful and just plain great! I am so grateful for my family getting along and loving each other. Having teenagers and toddlers can cause constant chaos and crankiness on both parts! The neediness of both ages and just plain selfishness can be tiring on this mama and make me feel like I'm being pulled in 4 different directions. So this weekend I am happy that my kids all love each other and are content to just be with each other. So I am going to enjoy this day full of laundry, grocery shopping and baking for the week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

yes please take my appendix but leave the baby..

My pregnancy with jack was a difficult one from the beginning. I suffered a miscarriage in late January early February 2011 and then became pregnant the first time we had sex after the miscarriage (no joke). My doctor was amazed but skeptical that I was actually pregnant. So for almost 6 weeks I had my blood drawn every 48 hours to check that dang hormone level to see if it was rising. It was but the process was ridiculous, I had a toddler that wasn't sleeping and a full time job, I did not have time to drive to the hospital every other day to have my blood taken. Then finally at 6 weeks we had an ultrasound to confirm and there it was my little baby had hung on and was still fighting! My stepdaughter was with me and we were both so excited! I actually ended up being pregnant almost a year consecutive.Yikes! The next few months were busy, easy and just flew by. I felt pretty good, no morning sickness, very tired but I was used to that by this point with Emma. Life was very busy with all of Emma's therapy, speech and endless doctor's appointments. It really helped the weeks go by fast though. When I was 35 weeks and 4 days our car broke and we had to put it in the shop for a few days, not a big deal right? We only have one car because my husband rides the bus  to work. I worked until almost 7pm watching kids that night. At around 8 or so I began having contractions every 3-5 minutes followed by diarrhea. We called L & D and they said we should just come get checked to be safe. Then I started vomiting before we even left, my 19 year old came and picked us up to drive us across town to the hospital that had the NICU not the birth center I was planning on delivering at. I made it the entire car ride without vomiting or shitting my pants.Seriously a miracle! Then we get to labor and delivery and get put in a room with 4-6 beds all surrounded by curtains  I start vomiting again and the pain is unreal, remember this is my 4th pregnancy so I'm not a newbie at the pain of childbirth. This pain was different and wouldn't stop. This goes on for a few hours, I see a OB then another as they try to figure out what is going on. I'm sure I scared a few mamas in labor while they waited to be checked and admitted. They should have put me in a private room to be miserable, nobody wants to vomit every 5 minutes in front of strangers for hours. Finally after 3 hours I get a morphine drip, and a visit from a surgeon. I started to freak out, why did I need a surgeon??? You have to know that I am terrified of surgery and had never had major surgery as an adult.The doctor sent in the ultrasound technician who spent 45 minutes looking around my giant belly before he decided that it was my appendix that was the source of my pain and misery. Not my sweet baby, just my appendix that had never been a problem before. Around 1am the hot surgeon came back (he may not have been hot it could have been the morphine) and said they were going to take my appendix out in a hour. I started to freak a little more, what about the baby? NO they would not be taking the baby out unless something goes wrong during surgery. Why was my question, the answer 35 weeks and 4 days does not make for a done baby. WTF?!?! So I sat there and was just in shock, appendix out, baby in for another 3-4 weeks, I guess your the freaking doctor if you say so. I found out later that this surgery could not be done laparoscopically so they were going to cut me open and take my tiny appendix out without taking my son out??? At this point I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, so as they prepared me for surgery I prayed that everything would go alright and both of us would be safe. I called my mom sobbing and she said she would be there when I woke up. The fear was taking over and thankfully the sedative they gave me calmed my anxiety. Leaving my husband to get wheeled into the scary basement for surgery was hard but I don't remember much of that except he was going to my private room to get some sleep while I was in surgery. The last thing I remember was how many people were in the operating room, I think there was 15+, a team for me and baby if he had to be delivered. 

I woke up surrounded by my husband, mother, pastor and my nurse. The first thing I did was make sure the baby was alright, he was fine. Then I went back to sleep for a few hours. Now this is where it gets ridiculous, they had me on a pain drip, the kind you push yourself. I had never had surgery before so I wasn't sure how much pain I should be in but I was sure it was too much. I woke up the first time around 9am, around 4pm my nurse tried to get me to get out of bed. I cried and screamed in pain. I couldn't move without feeling like I was going to rip in half, and my instincts told me something was wrong. At 5pm my new nurse checked my pain pump and realized that it was broken so I hadn't been getting ANY FUCKING PAIN MEDS!!! My new nurse quickly fixed that and I was finally a little more comfortable. I had some more visitors but don't really remember. The next day my nurse offered me some apple juice, HECK YES couldn't remember the last thing I had eaten or drank. Almost instantly I felt sick again. Then the worst few hours of my life happened, I had an accident in my bed and freaked out! My husband helped me to the bathroom and held me up while I was going to the bathroom (love that man). Then a few hours later when my bitch nurse was helping me and I was crying and just plain exhausted she told me "suck it up you just had surgery not a baby". Then she wiped my ass raw with one of those brown paper towels (DRY) I wish I was joking that this had not happened and I was never treated this way. I should tell you that my mother and ex mother in law both work for this healthcare company. I just cried and felt defeated for hours, my husband was at home with emma and I just wanted to crawl in a hole away from that mean nurse. I didn't ask for any more help to the bathroom just sucked it up and got up myself. Painful and probably not good for me or baby but there was no way I was asking her for anything. This would be the longest 4 days stuck in that awful place.alone while my husband took care of our daughter at home. Finally I was released at 8pm after 5 days and was so glad to be home. I took a week off from my daycare, I know not enough but with my unpaid maternity leave coming I needed the income. So now I am home still pregnant and can I just say that having an 8 pound whatever oz baby inside when you have a surgical incision on one side of your giant belly is ridiculous. He kicked me all the time and I would literally scream out in pain from these kicks I were sure payback for letting him see the light and leaving him in there. The next 3 weeks were miserable and I was scared I would have to have another surgery to get this little man out because I didn't feel strong enough to deliver him. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crappy mom

Having kids, having toddlers and especially having teenagers there are going to be days where you feel like a crappy parent. Today was one of those days for me. Actually this week has been like that. And having the energy to try and pick myself up and know that I'm not a bad parent is the hardest thing I've ever done. It makes me miss the days when I was younger and picked on for being small. That didn't hurt nearly as bad as your teenager telling you your a sucky parent. Maybe she's right? I'm not going to lie that pleasing everyone is a battle I don"t want to fight anymore. It's too hard and making me feel worse everyday. I love them all and will continue to try my best. But I am sure I will continue to disappoint my teenagers. I just hope that they have kids that listen, go to sleep easily and never make them feel like this...

Monday, March 11, 2013

SPD is a real thing..

My 4 year old daughter has SPD/SID (sensory processing disorder/ sensory integration disorder) She also has speech apraxia and a sleep disorder. We have been getting services through early intervention for almost 3 years now for her speech and today was supposed to be our evaluation to test her out of services. Her speech has improved 100% and we are so happy about that. But her sensory issues have been a constant struggle and the school district has told us they don't consider her SPD a "thing". Real nice thing to say to a mother who has spent the last 3 years trying to figure out what my child's deal was. But I didn't say anything each time I was told this just nodded and screamed inside you are so WRONG! Today in great detail explained to these two women what our daily struggles are, how I had to watch my daughter writhe on the floor for a good 5 minutes after I put her pants on. I did break down a little but it was a stressful morning trying to get my kids out of the house by 9 am when they don't usually wake up until almost 10. And to my surprise the ladies were not only sympathetic to Emma's situation but helped put in place a plan going forward that will enable us to meet with 2 schools, both principals and all 6 kindergarten teachers to find the right fit. This is a huge relief and I am so grateful that they think Emma is as amazing as we do! >3

Friday, March 8, 2013

Waiting rooms

After a month of everyone being sick I have spent a few hours in waiting rooms and have seen enough to make me avoid them forever. People are freaks, me included I just try and limit my freaky behavior to my own home and the car with my children. Not even my husband gets to see my freaky side very often. And by freaky I mean weird, goofy, silly sometimes inappropriate self. I save that for my children, it helps get through long car rides, endless errands and boring meetings. That being said when I am in a waiting room and alone please don't feel like you should speak to me as if we have known each other forever. If I am alone (which happens so rarely) I don't want to talk about what is in the magazine that your reading and I don't enjoy the sex noises your making at the food you are clearly not eating right now. And after the first time I ignore you please don't say that you hope I feel better or that i should try the vitamins you are taking.or that they helped your constipation. Really do I look friendly to you? I may not have had very much adult interaction lately but discussing your bodily functions is the last thing I want to hear about. be careful or I will in detail tell you about my son's diaper, daughter's food allergy or my sex life. Maybe I am overacting but all I wanted was the 5-7 minutes I earned by being sick enough to go to the doctor alone ansd instead I got stuck with the waiting room leech that wouldn't get off....

my second and what I thought would be my last birth..

My second pregnancy and what I was sure was my last was for the most part easy. I gained 12 pounds (significantly less than the first time) and had mild morning sickness but that was it. The time went by fast because I was running my daycare and chasing my 4 year old. At 37 weeks I went into labor early and had to be hospitalized overnight. Thankfully the doctor was able to stop the contractions and I was sent home to rest and wait for my little girl. The next 3 weeks went by pretty quickly and then it was time! We did nipple stimulation to get labor going and wow did that work, I was already at 6 cm when we got to the hospital around 9pm. I received an epidural and took a much needed nap, woke up to my doctor saying not to push because she had crowned while I napped. The next hour was a blur of activity, she had to be turned while she was still in because her shoulder was stuck. This I would realize later would be what broke my tailbone. Then a nurse asked if I would let a EMT team watch the birth, I said yes what the heck was a few more people at this point. But all I remember was the cute guy standing behind the mirror, oh the things our brains choose to remember. The rest was easy, one push and she was out and on my chest. She had lots of dark hair and was beautiful. We nursed right away and then I had to give her up so I could be sick for an hour, a drawback to having a quick labor. She went from daddy, grandma and her uncle back to a very tired mama..we were transferred to our room where we actually rested and were able to sleep. She had a little trouble latching and we had to use a shield for a few days but were otherwise off to what would be an extended breastfeeding career. She nursed for 39 months and is still very healthy and a superstar student and has a huge heart!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

my first birth story

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since my first child was born. She was an easy pregnancy and I am glad since I was young and wouldn't have been able to handle a difficult pregnancy. But my labor with her was so hard and lasted so long, almost 36 hours of back labor. Thanks to my mom who never left my side (and reminds me to this day that it was the most tired she's ever been) my birth experience was amazing! There was pain, crying and a lot of frustration because I wanted an epidural and was never able to get one. So the pain was intense but having a natural birth experience was unreal and something I'm glad I experienced. She came out weighing almost 9lbs and was just gorgeous (still is) and happy! She took right to breastfeeding and we co slept until she was 4. I didn't know about attachment parenting then but my instincts knew what was best for both of us. I still believe that those years we bonded so closely have helped us through some rough teenage years and beyond..she recently moved out of state to go to school and we talk several times a day and remain super close. 

crazy mama

For the past 23 days someone in my house has been sick, started with me and spread to my 3 kids at home. With my little ones not sleeping well and me being sick to say I feel crazy is an understatement. My eyes hurt, my brain hurts along with my body from pure exhaustion. I cringe at the sound of someone coughing and most of my furniture is covered in baby snot. We have made trips to the doctor and pharmacy and spent a fortune on the basics like tylenol and tissue. But the thing that has made me the most crazy is not being able to make my babies feel better, yes I know this is part of life but it breaks my heart when they are miserable. I will probably not take for granted them being healthy for at least a week or two..

Monday, February 25, 2013

a little about me

There are many words to describe me, most of them probably not very nice ( I will write more on that another time). But the word that I hope most think of when they hear my name is mom. I have been a mom for 20 years now, not always a good one, I'm sure I could have won "crappy mom of the year" multiple times. At least that's what my older kids have told me on many occasions. My children are 20, 15, 4, and 16 months. My stepchildren are 19 and 14, and while I do consider them my kids they live so far away I feel that they would be offended if they thought that? With so many kids my life is a little chaotic but at the same time not that bad. My 20 year old lives out of state and is in school, my 15 year old lives with her dad during the week ( a hard choice) and is here every day she isn't in school and my 2 babies are with me 24/7. I love being a mom and this time around it has been really great because my husband is a very loving, caring father. He comes home and plays with them and just loves on them, it makes me so grateful. Both times I have had little ones I have had a childcare in my home so that I can be at home with mine and still bring home some income. This time my childcare is focused on children with special needs. It's been great and challenging all at the same time. My 4 year old has SPD/SID (sensory processing disorder) which I will write about in another blog, but it has inspired me to love on little ones with speech delays and sensory issues. So I watch 4 other toddlers monday- friday while getting my daughter to her appointments, not always easy but so worth it. And then my youngest, my sweet sweet love jack. I waited for a boy forever and he is everything and more! He is the love of my life ( no offense babe) and was worth the wait and all the pain his pregnancy brought (another blog about that soon). He and I have been on this journey for 16 months and it's exhausting but there is so much love and joy it's overwhelming at times. So this is a little about my crazy life, there is so much more and I will be sharing it soon. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the fear

I have a almost 5 year old with SPD (sensory processing disorder), it affects her ability to tolerate different sensory inputs. Things such as wearing pants, socks, long sleeves, brushing hair, brushing teeth, and on and on..The biggest issue we have with her is sleep, on a good night she sleeps 6-8 hours. but on a bad night she only sleeps 4-6. Now this can go two ways, she falls asleep around 8pm and wakes up at 2am and is up all night. The other option is her falling asleep around 5pm and sleeping for a few hours and then being up until 4am  Either of these situations suck and we FEAR them happening everyday. This FEAR comes from hundreds of sleepless nights in the past 4 years. You might think I'm exaggerating but sadly I'm not, for 3 years I could count the number of nights I actually had uninterrupted sleep on 1 hand. Thankfully now it's closer to 50 nights. But because of the loss of sleep and possibility of lost sleep always hanging over our heads I have the fear! Okay here is the other thing, I love my husband but he has lost little sleep because of our daughter. I have taken one for the team as far as sleep goes in our family. He is a great support to me and patient when I get a little crazy from lack of sleep.So last week was Valentine's Day and our church was hosting a drop your kids off and go on a date night. Great idea right, not for us and I had to explain to multiple people why we would not participate. Trying to explain THE FEAR to someone who hasn't had a child with a sleep disorder is a lost cause. Why wouldn't we want a break you might wonder? We need a break that's for sure, but at what cost? We try  to NEVER take our kids out after 5pm unless it's an emergency. Again this may seem extreme to some people and downright ridiculous to other. Anyways trying to explain this multiple times this week has left me frustrated and just pissed off at people for making me feel like a crappy wife for not making the most of a free babysitter! Hello I have 3 teenage daughters and free babysitting whenever I feel the need without dragging my little one's out. Consider rant over now!                                                                                                                                        

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Booby eyes

Love these little peek a boo looks while he is nursing

Monday, February 11, 2013

booby sick

As this week starts we are sick again..I have a small childcare in my home so sickness seems to always be present in some form. But the past few weeks it's me that has been sick with of all things mastitis. Its such a non threatening word but brings such misery and PAIN!! Oh my poor boobies have been through the ringer the past month! I want to cry every time he wants to nurse but have been powering through because I know its what we both need. All the people who have told me to wean him can kiss my ass (except my mom) he is not ready! He is my last baby and even though I've spent something like almost 8 years of my life breastfeeding my babies I'm just not ready to stop yet and he certainly is not! I truly believe in child led weaning and will wait until he is ready and yes that means he's 7 then that's what will happen..