Monday, September 19, 2011

Smashing Success

Tonight, I write about a subject that is natural. Beautiful. Moving. Nurturing.

Yet to some, what I write about tonight is argued as risque, taboo, to be kept behind the nursery door.


There, I said it. And if it freaks you out or makes you squeamish, than this post is probably not for you. But if you were one of those who wants to know how things are going, read on. :)

Tonight, I write about what so many of my friends and family have asked about, skirted around, been curious about, or been snide about over the last few months. Are you still nursing? Why? How is it going? Is it hard? Does it hurt? Let's get it out in the open- because it's awesome!

I had every intention of nursing my first son, Micah, four years prior to our newest addition. I was working 25 hours a week, taking 5 classes a semester, trying to be superwoman and my body just did not cooperate. I gave in to so many "booby traps" (pun intended) that sabotaged me. From the git-go, Micah had a horribly recessed jaw and I was a little, er, misshapen, so he was physically unable to latch. No lactation consultant saw me for almost 24 hours, and the nurses were no help. Micah had to end up using a nipple shield to nurse, which was humiliating. Then, I decided to follow BabyWise, a method of scheduling when to breastfeed your baby, instead of feeding on cue. I got a mediocre breast pump that could in NO way maintain my supply. I introduced formula in the beginning- one bottle a night, before bed- because I thought it would help him sleep through the night, and Jose could be involved. I went back to work when he was 4 weeks old, and back to school when he was 8 weeks old. I had to pump in the car or in the college's bathroom. So many things added up to me abandoning breastfeeding when Micah was 9 weeks old, my milk supply was nil, and I was an emotional wreck. I felt like a failure as a woman- unable to do what women for centuries have done for their children. I sabotaged myself by being misinformed, having no support base, and not asking for help in the beginning when I had the chance.

When I became pregnant this time around, I knew from day one that I was breastfeeding, and conquering this skeleton in my closet. I had unfinished boob business. I wanted the absolute best for my baby, and for myself. I read through a book that I strongly urge any mom wanting to breastfeed to read:

I talked to my husband about my goals, and he was amazingly supportive. He understood that this was something that so affected me after our first son was born, and the fact that he was on board really cemented my decision to breastfeed this time around, no matter what obstacles came my way.

Many women take a laissez-faire approach to deciding if they want to nurse. "I'll try it"can easily turn into "I'll try it in the hospital, but I don't care if someone gives the baby a bottle, and when I see that it's hard at first, I am bailing." Breastfeeding, if you want to be successful, is a decision that needs good support, educated parents (NOT just moms) and sound resources.

I was armed with my supportive husband, my informative booby bible, and my research, but there is one more thing that I brought in to play, that was the game-changer: prayer. I am a firm believer that God delights in us even when we come to Him with the tiniest things-things we don't think He could possibly have time to care about. But I know that if we don't ask, we don't receive (Matthew 21:21-23) and that God knows the most intimate desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). So I without inhibition laid it at God's feet and asked that He make it possible. After praying about it, I came up with my goals, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommendations: six months of exclusive breastfeeding (no other liquids or foods), and continued breastfeeding through the first year after introducing foods as being a main source of nourishment. After that, to continue breastfeeding as long as baby and I are still content with it.

Levi was born on January 28th at 0158 that morning. Levi latched and successfully nurse for more than 40 minutes within an hour after birth- the "magic hour" (Babies nursed within an hour after birth recieve so many benefits, and it solidifies baby and mom's decision to breastfeed.) No shield, no nurses helping, nothing but mom, dad, and baby working as a team. Nothing short of a miracle!
In the beginning, it was definitely difficult. I nursed on demand, or "cue feeding", whenever Levi was hungry in order to build my milk supply. I had to make it through having a crack for close to two weeks- one of the worst pains in my entire life, and I can handle pain. Pshhh, I had two kids with no epidurals. I had to be meticulous about my nutrition and vitamin intake in the beginning. I have hypocalcemia, so it's already hard for by body to make milk, but it's been harder keeping up with a hippo like Levi! I have had to drink like a camel. I take a lot of herbal supplements to maintain my supply that are in tinctures (highly concentrated in alcohol), and burn like the dickens but work like nothing else has. And perhaps the most uncomfortable for some, we room-shared with Levi for the first 5 months until he was sleeping through the night consistently. For me, it was awesome and all worth it. I am so giddy and gracious about being able to do it that I have an album of nursing pics on my computer to remember it by :)

We made it to our first goal of six months exclusive breastfeeding on July 28, 2011. Levi is now almost 8 months old and we are going strong. He nurse about 7 times a day, and is sleeping through the night pretty regularly. He goes to bed at 8:30 when Micah does, fills up his tank about 11ish before I settle down for bed, and sleeps until about 6:30-7. PLENTY of sleep, compared to what I was getting a few months ago. He also takes 2 naps a day, each about 1-2 hours or longer.

One of the greatest things for me, that I did not expect, was how much of a bond it has created with Levi. I am obviously bonded with my first son, Micah, but having to give up nursing and go back to work and school when he was so young definitely affected how attached he was to me in the beginning. This time around, nursing has become a time that Levi and I so enjoy. He is so in love with his mommy, and I am amazed at the difference between our early relationship and Micah's. It was not one of the reasons I was driven to wanting to breastfeed, but is one of the most amazing benefits.

I have also had the privilege of becoming quite the lactivist. Since successfully nursing, I have had the honor of helping two close friends with problems early on in nursing. I am thinking of becoming a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and continuing to advance breastfeeding awareness in our community. The more society is made aware of benefits, the less of a stigma nursing moms face, and the better care our babes get!

That's the long version. The short is, I love it, and if you want to nurse, get educated and have lots of support. Don't give up, because it's not always easy, and if you can make it through the first 4 weeks, you will be golden. Yes, it will hurt in the beginning, but it doesn't after a little while. No getting up to make bottles, no extra dishes, no gross smelling formula spit up or gross smelling poo (breastmilk poo has almost no smell to it). You never have to check the temperature, and you can do it lying down in bed and snuggle after. So perfect, even Jesus did it (ha!).

Now, off to my nursling. He has one last stop on the milk train before the clock strikes midnight. Ciao to you and chow for him!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


There have been many a change in the Molinuevo household over the last two weeks since I blogged; hence, there have been no posts! Here are a few tidbits to get you through until I get to the nitty gritty later in the week.

Micah started kindergarten. This was a major leap of faith on our part as parents. Micah does not turn 5 until December, and we had him signed up for VPK this fall. However, we looked at the curriculum and Micah already knew it, in its entirety, for the entire year. I know my child, and if he is not being challenged, he acts out. We decided to start him privately with a good friend of the family who does homeschool-tutoring in a group atmosphere- almost like a schoolhouse setting from way back when. While Micah seems to be doing well (he memorizes everything, spits out his vowels and consonants, Bible verses, and so on, it is raising new battles in the parenting arena. My child is a very social child, who loves to be with other kids, and apparently thinks that is the only reason for school. So while the other children are busy doing there seat work like good little children do, my child is dawdling through everything. One coloring sheet took him 25 minutes, and he had to take it outside and finish while everyone else had recess. You would have thought the world was ending. He just cannot seem to make him self concentrate on the task at hand. And it's carrying over into everything at home. An hour to eat dinner. Brushing his teeth is suddenly a daunting task. He can't seem to get motivated to do anything, because he cannot focus. To write his name 6 times took him almost an hour, because he writes it once...and looks at his pencil...and looks at the dog...and then the ceiling...and asks me a question...and... and... and... He says he gets to distracted with the other students and wanting to play. "All I can think about is playing, Mom." He knows everything they are doing so far. It's not that it's too hard, it's that he just doesn't want to.  Oi vey, it's going to be a long year. I know we were doing the right thing by challenging him intellectually, and getting him socialized with other kids, but it's just going to be a lot of dragging of feet along the way.

Jose has started working as a charge nurse. This has been scary but exciting for him. He has been a nurse at LRMC for a little over a year, and was injured by a patient back in March, so he has been on light duty and hasn't been allowed to do regular RN duties since because he had to have surgery. Surgery was August 8th, and since then he has been charge nurse a few times, but it's becoming more and more frequent. He said a few months ago he wanted to see how far he can go, and now it's time!

Levi is hitting milestones. He is doing a modified crawl like an inchworm: stretch out, get on all fours, stretch out, get on all fours. He is starting to pull up on things on a regular basis. He pulled up on Micah's school desk leg, slipped, and bashed his head into it. Poor baby! He is also eating like a champ. We are doing Baby Led Weaning (BLW)- very common with breastfed babies. It really is amazing. He is 7 1/2 months old, and eating whole steamed veggies, cheerios, maria cookies, cut up fruits, avocados, whole beans, pancakes, small pieces of chicken or fish...all with NO TEETH. He has completely bypassed purees and cereals (which for the most part, have NO nutritional value). BLW allows for parents to be responsible for providing nutritious food for the baby to eat, and allows the baby to be independent in deciding how much to eat and independent in feeding themselves. Levi hates utensils, and for the most part, we don't push it. He eats with his hands until his belly is full, eats what he likes, and meal times are enjoyable- not a fight to get a spoon in a baby's mouth. Breastfed babies use different muscles in their jaw to nurse than a bottle fed baby does. It is easier for them to learn to mash with their jaws and eat whole foods than purees; whereas the opposite is true for bottle fed babies. The have to learn to use their jaws to chew since bottle feeding is no real work; they do better with purees at first. The whole process is truly amazing. I highly recommend learning more here at the BLW website.

Micah told one of his first public, real lies. And boy, was I livid. I had been up SUPER early with Levi, about 5, to nurse/let the dog out. He fell back asleep as the sun was rising, and Jose knew I was really tired, so he was kind enough to let me sleep in a while and offered to take Micah to school. Levi slept until 8:15, shortly after Jose left with Micah for school, and we got up and got the day started. I was so grateful...until I picked Micah up from school. I arrived, Micah said hi, and another student promptly asked me what time I get up in the morning. Not thinking anything of it, I answered "usually before 7, why?" I was then told by 3 students that "Micah said all you do is sleep all day."  Oh really... Is that what he said... Later in the car, I confronted him about it. He said that he knew I didn't sleep all day, he didn't know why he said it, and on and on as kids do. The next morning, he told his teacher and classmates the truth and all was fine. A little sliver of me wishes there was a shred of truth to that. One day to sleep, ALL DAY, would be amazing. But who would cook? clean? take care of Levi? be home work help? take the dog out?..... in my dreams.

 As you can see, life is busy. A few friends of mine have asked me how the cloth diapering and breastfeeding are going, if I am still doing it, etc, and there will be a long and short answer. The short: Yes, still doing both! Yes, still loving both! I will do a post dedicated to each later in the week.

And now, for a hot bath and sleep. My pillow calls...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Snapshots from my life over the last week...

Mama. Levi said his first word, and I was so stoked about it because Micah would only say Dada for the longest time. Levi will only say it if he is crying and frustrated because I am not picking him up. He has said it three times so far, and every time he says it I get ever so giddy. Definitely one of the best tings about being a mom- the first time your child says your name, says "I love you", and kisses you are some of the sweetest things in life.

Micah flipping off the WIC waiting room. It was way more innocent than it sounds, but all the moms thought it was hilarious nonetheless. Micah and I had to get our hemoglobin checked, and it's just a finger prick. Micah was so good, sat on my lap and held his finger out even though he was scared. The lady picked his middle finger, of course. When he was done, the lady put a small band aid on his finger, and then decided that what he really needed was a giant band aid on his tiny finger. And then she drew a happy face on the band aid. So naturally, when we got to the waiting room, Micah proudly held up his middle finger to the ladies and their children and announced, "LOOK AT MY BLOOD SURGERY, EVERYONE!"

My heart was bursting with pride for my husband.  The nutritionist we saw immediately commented when she looked at my file and then looked at my baby that he was a gorgeous, healthy, perfect gem...commended me on my efforts to exclusively breastfeed, which of all the clients she sees, is extremely rare...she then asked how my experience with nursing has been and what support I have had...and then looked at my hubby, and said the following: "Dad, I just want to commend you on how supportive you have been. I mean it- you are great. More moms would breastfeed if they just had support from their husbands. Seriously, you are doing a great job, and your beautiful baby shows." It was a rare moment for my hub to have a little praise, feel included with the breastfeeding, and it just made me so content with the choices we have made to feed naturally despite the roadblocks in the early weeks.

Poop. Levi has decided that every time we are in the car, he will poop. I don't understand it; Jose is convinced that the vibration from the car seat induces it. He says we should make jiggly seats for constipated patients in the hospital to shake it out of 'em. In other news, Micah has regressed since we added Levi to the family. He has been fully potty trained since about 2, and since Levi arrived, he started going in his pants again. I am pretty sure it is to get attention, and boy does it get my attention but not in a good way. It is something we are working through, and from what I understand, when Micah hits his next big developmental milestone, it should resolve itself... Which brings us to our next point.

School. My first born with not be with me every day for the first time in his life, other than an occasional mission trip. He starts Sept. 6th, and I don't know whether to laugh, dance for joy, cry, or try and take a nap every morning while he is gone.

Hosanna vs. Jose. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest... Micah blurts out during worship in Sunday morning church, "Why are they singing about Daddy?  They keep saying Jose." Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest... Oh well. At least he is making an effort to listen. I had to stifle the laugh and then explain why we call Jesus another name sometimes.

I absolutely love my life since deciding to be obedient to the Lord, making the plunge, and deciding to stay home. Every day is a new adventure. Most of them involve some off-the-wall incidents, way too many bodily functions, moments where we laugh, moments where I am at the end of my rope and ready to let go...but all in all, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not money, not fame, not retiring early, not a night of full sleep, not getting dressed up to hit the town. I heard a funny expression this week, and it was "baby rabies". And yes, I think I have been bitten.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Songs of the Madre

I don't know how to do much in life, but I do know what to do when I don't know what to do.


How in the world does that make sense? It doesn't. At least, not to the one who must have their ducks perfectly in line, their 401(k)s ready and waiting, their collars ironed and their children washed behind the ears.

Songs speak differently to me (and to all you other music junkies) than those simply looking for a catchy melody on the radio to dance to. I can hear three notes and be instantly taken back to a moment in high school, swaying in my future husband's arms. Or remembering what my grandfather smelled like. Or  to being in elementary school, having the words changed to "Baby Beluga" in the school music class to taunt me.

I have made it thus far, somewhat sanely, by having an outlet: music. I can sit at the piano when I am stressed and just play for hours. The chord progressions start out melancholy, dark, distressed. They quickly progress to rapid, unrelenting, angry, tumultuous progressions, and build and build and build into....

The resolve. Finally, a joyful note breaks through. A lightening in the tone, a quickening of the fingers and a quickening of the heart. The mood of the impromptu piece changes, and so does my posture, my countenance, and finally, my attitude.

I have noticed that when I am stressed with the kids, I sing as well. Tonight, I share with you the lullabies that I sing to my to children, Micah and Levi. Each have their special songs that they settle in to, one written just for them. Micah (4 and a half) requests his when he is feeling sick or can't sleep or is scared. Levi (6 months) requests his by crying, but a mother knows when a song is needed nonetheless.

knocked out cold, sweating up a storm like his father, with his best friend snuggled up

Micah's Song
Besame mucho,
con tu nariz feliz
Besame mucho,
con tus ojos pequeños
Besame mucho,
con tu boca muy loca
Besame mucho,
mi corazon

Loosely translated, this means "Kiss me many times with your happy nose. Kiss me many times with your little eyes. Kiss me many times with your crazy mouth, Kiss me many times, my heart (or my darling). This has been his song from day one.

I cannot get over this view. So in love with my nene!

Levi's Song 
Go to sleep my baby boy, let me whisper in your ear
Go to sleep my baby boy, the night is drawing near
Go to sleep my baby boy, lay down your sweet head
And in the morning, dear, the sun will rise again

Go to sleep, go to sleep
close your eyes
go to sleep, go to sleep
the sun again will rise

This last day has been a doozy, but I know that having a familiar tune to rock to provides just as much comfort to them as it does to me. I am a mom who has a bed time routine for the kids- usually bath time for them both, a snack, brush teeth and potty time, a book, then prayers and lights out for the big one. Then it's changing the baby one last time, nursing him til his tank is full, and putting him down awake.

But sometimes, mommy needs a song just as much as they do.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Psycho in a Hospital Gown

Last night, someone tried to kill me.

Or at least, I thought someone did. It was so real, that I did something I have never done before. Let me set the scene for you...

Hubby Jose and I hit the sack around 10:45 pm last night. I was physically and mentally whooped. Jose had surgery Monday morning, and due to the law that light skinned males are, in fact, the wimpiest ever after surgery, I have been making my self a little crazy trying to take care of the baby, entertain the 4 year old, and the patient. Not an easy task when you are breastfeeding, cloth diapering, have a puppy, and started a new diet the day after hubby had surgery.

But none the less, we (and by we, I mean me and Jesus. Jose was not a help at all lol) made it through the day. The house might have been a disaster, but everyone had a hot dinner, the kids were both bathed, a story was read, kiddo was tucked in after prayers. Levi was dressed, changed, nursed, and put down. Mommy and Daddy had a little time to watch a few episodes of The Office. Good thing for that, because it's the only thing lifting his spirits. Shortly before 11, I let the dog out, put her in bed, and told Jose I had to hit the sack.

Lights out, and 45 minutes later the scariest thing ever happened. I opened my eyes to see, out of the corner of my eye, a large man standing next to my bed in a hospital gown. The next thing I knew, he jumped on our bed and was standing over both of us, arms rearing back with a knife.

Imagine this man, with longish hair, holding a knife...
I let out three blood curdling screams. Jose jolted awake, grabbed me, and said "What's wrong?"

I, apparently, was dreaming. Or having a night terror. This has never, EVER, in my life, happened. I have nightmares all the time. It is something that plagues me- I have them at least once a week, especially when I am stressed or overly tired. Usually it is someone trying to kill me, violently, and it is usually my father (another story for another day). Almost all of my dreams are vividly real- I can practically taste, smell, touch when I am dreaming.

This time, however, was very different. I opened my eyes and it was like he was right in front of me. And I screamed- LOUD. And long. Like in the movies. So loud, and so long, that my throat hurts this morning and I woke up hoarse. I have never sleep-talked, sleep-walked, nothing. The worst I do is occasionally spaz when I am falling asleep- like you have a quick dream you are falling and jerk awake. It took me a long time to fall back asleep, since I was convinced there was a psycho loose in our house, ready to kill me as soon as I went back to sleep. Never in my life has something been so real. And never have I scared the bodily fluids out of my husband like that.

Hoping today (and tonight) go better. The dream and fitful sleep have made me a little on edge; this stupid diet is making me even edgier- I just want some friggin chocolate. And since everyone is so demanding of me today, I just want to crawl into my bed tonight and have someone hold me. Stroke my hair, tell me it's going to be okay, rub my head until I fall asleep.

Just as long as it's not a psycho in a hospital gown.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Big Latch On... Or not.

He was not having any of this...

When I heard about The Big Latch On a few months ago, I absolutely knew I wanted to go.

I have become such a lactavist (I love that new word, hehe) over the last few months, and in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I naturally wanted to be a part of it. The Big Latch On is an event in which breast feeding women come together at the same time, in different locations across the globe, and nurse at the same time- 10:30 am- in an attempt to break the previous Guinness World Record for most women nursing at one time. It is truly empowering. That being said, with my goal in sight, I have been planning for weeks that this would be a great way to celebrate my 6 month goal of nursing.

I should have know it would not exactly go as planned. Levi had his shots yesterday, which set the tone for the next 24 hours. Let me give you my time line of last night:
9:00pm- Kids bathed, bedtime routine finished, Micah conked out. Levi nursed, and snoozing.
12:30am- I stumble to bed after finishing up my cloth diapers and laundry for the night. Can't sleep because Jose is working, and I don't sleep in the bed well alone.
1:00am: Levi wakes up to nurse, mad as a hornet, and HOT. Thank you, vaccines, for giving him a fever. 
1:45am: Baby changed, tylenol'd up, nursed, but fussy because his fever is breaking.
2:30am: Levi falls asleep. I move him to the crib, where he freaks out.
3:30am: Levi nurses again, falls asleep, and I move him successfully. Now, I finally hit the sack.
5:30am: Levi wakes to nurse, I put him in bed with me and snooze while he nurses. He falls asleep as the sun is rising.
6:30am: Micah wakes me up.

Yikes is right. Jose let me sleep about an hour and a half once he got home, but of course woke me up a half hour late to leave for the event. Luckily it's right down the road, and I got my self gussied up and left.

So there I am, Levi wrapped up in my Moby, getting my goody bag and registering for the event. I joined about 50-60 other moms at the event, most with their entire families in tow. The air is charged with excitement. A record is breaking around the world! We are part of it! The 5 minute warning sounds: get settled with your babies, find a quiet spot, and get ready to latch. Basically the breastfeeding mom's version of start your engines. Then, one minute and counting. Latch your babies and raise your hand when they are latched so we can count...

Babies are excited everywhere. FOOD TIME! Nursing bras coming unhooked, skin out everywhere, the clock is ticking...And does Levi have any interest in nursing?  NO! OF COURSE NOT! Not when his mom is so excited about being part of this. He is quite content to look around at all the OTHER mom's milk makers, smile and laugh, and have nothing to do with mine.

The minute is up, the count is done. My hand never raised. My baby never latched. But I still felt so awesome to have been there, supported, and witnessed so many moms doing what is the best for their babies.

And so what if it didn't all go as planned. I won a raffle :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oh, to be home again.

This is how I feel, sitting here at the keyboard, ready to pick up one of my favorite pastimes again that I never have time for. There are so many friends that I have to thank for kicking my rear into gear and saying "HELLLLOOOOOO! Start doing it again because we need a laugh!" So this is for you.

This is also for my munchkins. My boogers. My reasons number 3 and 4 for living, respectively (1 and 2 are Savior and Husband). There is so much craziness, absolute insanity, laughing till you want to pee, tearing my hair out, bill stress, and everything else that goes on in this house that I figure it must be documented. It will be my therapy (I cannot afford it, so this will HAVE to suffice). It will also, someday, be my form of payback on paper. When my children come to me at 30 and say they have not had a vacation since their honeymoon, they got pooped on all day, their favorite pillowcase got eaten by the dog, and they realized that they can't remember the day they last showered, let alone had adult contact with any one, I will just giggle.

And when they ask how I did it, I will silently hand them three books. One will be the Bible. Two, a copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. Thirdly, a printed form of this blog.

So tonight, a smattering of what has happened in the last 6 months (sheesh! pathetic!) since I sat here and vented last....get your popcorn, people.

I completed one of my New Years Resolutions. This was probably the most meaningful resolution I have ever made.And I make resolutions every year, but never keep them- so this was big for me. If I was a 15 year old boy, I would dare say it's EPIC.  I breastfed Levi until 6 months, not a drop of formula. This was a huge success for me! After such a horrible experience with Micah, I knew I was going to this time around. I was prepared, educated, and determined. And boy did it pay off. Levi's 6 month well check was today, and he is 27 inches long and 20 pounds even. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one :)

I am growing out my hair. I have not cut it since the first week of January in an attempt to grow it out. Micah told me all the beautiful princesses have long hair, and I caved. How can you not, when phrased like that by a 4 year old?! Honestly, it's starting to make me itch because I have not had hair this long in 2 years, when I chopped it off to donate it and haven't let it grow since.

I am starting the 4 Hour Body diet with Jose on Sunday.  And I am serious about this. I made up a chart today to put on the fridge, complete with start weight, arm/thigh/waist/hip measurements, body fat percentages, and goal weights. Since I am being frank, I will tell you what I want out of this: to get back into my size 16 Ann Taylor jeans. I have had them since I was 17, and the are the most amazing pair of jeans ever. Think Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants worthy. I know what you are thinking- a size 16? What is she now? Well, the previous title of this blog was "A Day in the Life of a Pregnant Heifer." Figure it out yourself. I looked DANG good in those jeans, and dangit, I am going to wear them again.

I became a stay at home mom. Quite possibly the most risky move I have EVER made in life, seeing as how I like to have my proverbial ducks in their rows. I went back to work after Levi was 9 weeks old. That lasted for 2 months. I would come home from a 12 (or 13 or 14) hour shift at the hospital, missing my babies the whole time, boobs ginormous because I hadn't pumped in 6 or 8 hours (no help meant no breaks), and utterly exhausted....only to find that my poor husband was drowning. I was barely keeping up my milk supply to pump and go to work, he could never manage to keep the cats fed, the dog happy, the kid happy, the baby satisfied, and the house in somewhat decent shape all at once. I came home one night crying after a horrible day at the hospital, it was 8pm and Jose had not fed Micah dinner yet or given him a bath, and he said something magical... "Baby, I never realized how hard this was. I can't do it. If you want to stay home, I will gladly pick up an extra shift." And the next shift I worked, I have my notice. I had been praying for a way out, and the door swung wide open.

Not only am I staying at home with 2 kids, I decided to get a puppy when Levi was 2 months old. I know, I know, call me crazy... but, yeah, call me crazy. We got Charlie, a black Lab, when Levi teeny tiny. She was 12 weeks old, he was 8 weeks old, it would all be gravy! They could grow up together! Micah wanted a dog! And now, we are still loving her...just doing lots of obedience training with our 60 pound dog. I wouldn't ever have changed a thing. I always said our life was kind of like Cheaper by the Dozen, and this move just facilitated making it a little more like that.

I am hooked on cloth diapering.  It is the most easy, cheap, cute, bum saving thing I have ever done. Levi is 6 months old and has never had a real diaper rash. There are not nasty chemicals all over his skin. In 6 months, we have had ONE blowout diaper. With Micah, his diaper rash was so bad his skin would peel off and bleed, and he probably had a blow out a day. This is just fantastic. I wish that Jose and I had more money to get fancy schmancy diapers, because there are some awesome ones out there, but the truth is I think I am getting a little obsessed with how amazing they are. We have 26 diapers that are one sized, will last him from birth until potty training, and we have even taken them on trips with us. I will never buy disposables again if I have to!

I am considering going back to school. This is going to have to wait a while due to fundage, but I have two goals in sight: Becoming an MSN/CNM (Nurse Midwife) and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Eventually, I want to do home births. I can't wait! For now, research alone has to sate my craving...

So hang on, gang. It's going to be a wild one. Now that there is a bed time routine and I can actually have a grown up life again after 9pm, the blog is on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

She's Back!!!

Alright, I am finally settling down and making time, a couple of days a week, to pick this dusty blog up again where I started off. Our little Goober is almost 7 weeks old, and it's about I started getting back to reality, and the fact that things like going back to work are closing in. It has been amazing staying home with no stressors- no school looming over me, no work to think about. The biggest things I have had to worry about have been what I am going to occupy Micah (our 4 year old) with during the day while his daddy is sleeping, and when I have to breastfeed next.

Speaking of work and nursing, I have to be brutally honest. I for the LIFE of me cannot be dragging my feet more about going back to work. I do have pretty cool directors that are letting me come back to work basically any days I want (too bad that's none) so I am only committing to one day a week. The pathetic thing is that I am only doing one day a week, and I still don't want to! I am mainly going back so that I can keep my nursing license active and be in practice. When we are done having kids and the last one is going to school, I am most likely going to want to go back to work full time just so I don't go stir crazy.(The money would be nice too, hah!)

I think the main reason I am bucking wanting to go back is that I am relishing being at home. With Micah, I was in the middle of getting my RN. I tried to go back when he was 3 weeks old to not miss a semester; I was severely anemic from the birth, and felt like I had been hit by a truck. It was too early, so I waited another 6 weeks, and went back when he was barely 2 months old. This was school 5 days a week, clinicals at 6:30 am, and working 15-25 hours a week on top of that. I never really had time to just stop, take it all in, and be a mom. Or a housewife, much less.

Granted, Jose and I have had to be extremely choosy about where our money has gone the last 7 weeks with me being at home. I am proud to say that between gas, groceries, and other stuff, we have survived the last 10 days on $100- for a family of four- but it hasn't been easy or fun.

I am learning to be a little more content with what I have, and a little less greedy. To be honest, material things really got to me after Levi was born. I didn't end up having a baby shower- people asked if they could throw one and never did, and then my sister was going to but it was so late in my pregnancy I told her not to worry about it, because we had just broken down and bought most of what we needed. But deep inside, I was hurt that I didn't get a shower, and that I didn't have the "stuff." But was that what I was really, truly upset about?

I got my answer about three weeks after Levi was born. Jose had just started back to work. The calls stopped coming to see how Levi was. Jose was working at night, and sleeping during the day, so I had basically no adult contact at all. Micah was extremely rowdy, and adjusting to the baby. And I was upset that no one I was close to had come to see me. Not to see the baby, not to check up, but to really stop and see how I was. How I was coping. Had gotten me anything.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 
he refreshes my soul"
Psalm 23 1-3a

How selfish was I!!! I read that and realized that I didn't need anything; I had everything I needed! A husband providing for us, two healthy children, and a roof over our heads... I didn't need any one to come see me; God was trying to refresh me without having other people distract me. What I had done was allow jealousy, greed, selfishness and anger to take hold of me so much that I couldn't even see what was all around me. Even more, I was letting it affect how I was parenting, and how I was treating my husband.

I have had almost 10 amazing weeks off work, and am taking a trip to Nashville to see my sister before I go back. Levi is healthy. Micah is getting ready to start Pre K. Jose has been an amazing provider for us. And yeah, I am sleep deprived and nursing all the time, but it has been so great for me to kick back and just be a mom for once. 

I guess me dragging my feet to go back isn't so pathetic, after all. Maybe I could go so far as to say it's noble. I know careers are great, and it's been great having one the last few years, but being a mom is so much better. I commend all you stay-at-home-moms. The 24 hour service you provide is incredible.So I guess I will go back one day a week, keep my license, and consider my self a stay at home mom 85% of the time. I am blessed to do it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Birth Story...For those of you who know I want a home birth, and think I am crazy, here is why...

So today, two weeks later, I am finally able to sit down at the computer and share with you my birth story. Things did not go as planned, and I am glad that we were able to keep our minds open and just go with it. Being a nurse who often floats to the floor I delivered on, I am well aware of the complications that can happen, and am so thankful that things didn't end up how I thought they would- God was in control the whole time, He just wanted to make sure I knew that! PS-I am not sharing the doc's name or gender, because some of you know who they are, and it was the exact doc that I did not want :)

Thursday morning, 1/27, I woke up to contractions about 5:30 am. I laid in bed, and realized after waking up consistently every so often, that I might be in early labor. I grabbed my phone and started timing- about every 7 minutes apart. I stayed in bed, thinking  "today could be the day", but didn't get Jose up. With our first born, I was in labor thirty something hours. I knew it could take a while. Besides, I had my OB checkup that morning at 9:45.

I got up to use the restroom when the sun came up, was still having contractions every 7 minutes, and decided to get Jose up. We started packing some last minute things, throwing in laundry, and got all the dishes out of the sink. Micah had spent the night at my parent's the night before because I knew they were going to check me, and that's a little uncomfortable with him sitting there :)

We got to the doc a little early, and they put me on the monitor. Of course, my contractions hardly showed up, and as soon as I laid down on the table, they significantly slowed down. The PA checked me, and I was 3cm- "Alright, I'm going to send you over!" I thought she was crazy. Send me to L&D at 3cm?!? Every 7 minutes apart?! I knew my body, and I knew this was going to take a while, so I bargained with her. "Please, I live 15 minutes from Lawnwood. I know I have to have antibiotics during labor. My water has not broken. I PROMISE, if any things changes with my contractions or my water breaks, I will go straight there." She said okay, and told me to head there after lunch if nothing changed. Riiiiiiight. Fat chance of that happening. I wanted a natural labor, and the doctor that was on call was the only one that I did not like, and happens to be quite strict about being in bed, and on the monitor, pretty much the whole time. If I was going to be in labor for hours, I would much rather have been at home in my shower or in my bed, and allowed to eat and drink.

We got some Chipotle for lunch, and headed to the house. I took a bath, sat on my birthing ball, rocked, and tried to relax. My contractions increased to about every 3 minutes apart, and Jose started getting squirrly. By 1-2 pm he did seem like he wanted me staying home much longer, so I agreed to start packing up. We got in the car, and started driving towards Lawnwood, but in the car my contractions slowed again- ever 7-9 minutes or so. I told Jose to head to the ball fields near Lawnwood, and we got out and walked. After about 20 minutes, they were back up to every 3 minutes. We decided I should probably go get checked, but I had a feeling that I was not as far as every one thought. Jose thought my contractions were too close together, and my mom kept telling me that second babies are faster than first ones, so I caved.

After all that walking, we get to the hospital, head upstairs, and there are no clean rooms because so many women are in labor or just delivered. They were cleaning my room, and I was talking to my MD at the nurse's station, and then we decided to go visit my girls on 4th floor. It was so fun to chat with all my coworkers! My PCC was timing my contractions at the desk, and all my friends were there to wish me luck. We headed back downstairs, and at 3:30 the room was finally ready. I got in my gown and got checked- only 3-4 cm! I KNEW I should have stayed home. The doc would not let me leave, wanted me to stay on the monitor for half an hour and watch the baby, and then walk for an hour and see if I progressed. We got a salad (once I was admitted, I knew I would not be allowed anything other than ice chips), and proceeded outside to walk.

We booked around the hospital and all the surrounding streets for an hour, the sun going down, and freezing our butts off (about 55 degrees out). By the time we got upstairs to be checked again at 6:30pm, my nose was running, I was freezing, and contracting every 3 minutes. The doc had left to go home, and the nurse checked my vitals. BP was 130/86, heart rate was 110, and I was 4-5 cm. She called him, and he was concerned about my blood pressure. OF COURSE it was elevated, I had been charging around the hospital, I was freezing, and in the middle of a contraction! Because of that, and the fact that she said I was close to 5 cm, I bought myself a room for the night. And the worst part was- the doc said they were concerned about my blood pressure, and that I was on strict bed rest; and if I didn't start progressing soon, that they were augmenting my labor with Pitocin.

I, at this point, am thoroughly enraged. I basically tell the nurse to recheck my pressure- which was 110/70 after chilling in the room for a while- and ask her to call the doc and see if I can walk. When I was stationary, my contractions slowed way down, and I knew if I could not be up, that I would for sure not progress to "their" standards, and end up on Pitocin, and then end up with an epidural because of the pain. Everything I did NOT want. The doc, after being called back, did not budge, and I was left with the choice of either signing out AMA (against medical advice) and ticking off my doctor, or staying admitted, in the bed, on the monitor, with no freedom to labor as I wished. We ended up staying, because I knew I could not sign out AMA and then face my doc when I came back in- I would end up having a C section because they wanted to smite me :)

I got an IV in after 3 tries, and then I got  my new nurse after shift change, and she had absolutely no personality. She had been there 20+ years, and did not like the fact that other nurses were coming to check on me, that the super knew I was there, and that my husband was a Trauma nurse, and that I was a nurse.  Then the lab came in and blew more veins. My blood hemolyzed, and the lab had to come and draw me again. At this point, it's about 8pm and I am crying like a baby. My contractions have all but stopped, my beautiful labor plan is out the window, my husband is getting angry at my doctor and my nurse. I texted my family with the update, and to please pray that my body would take over and start contracting again so that I would not have to end up with an augmented labor. Jose and I turned down the lights, put on some worship music, and I tried to relax. The nurse gave me until midnight, when she would check me again, as my limit for the Pitocin to start if I had not progressed. I was supposed to be having a friend come watch the birth because she wants to be a midwife, but I had Jose text her and politely tell her no. I only wanted him there, not even my mother, because everything was going wrong.

About 10pm, I started having contractions again about every 5-7 minutes apart. Over the next hour, Jose helped me get up to the restroom about every half hour because I was on fluids (I secretly tried to get up a lot because every  time I was out of bed my contractions sped way up). He fed me ice chips, and rubbed my back, but I knew he was getting tired. He dozed between contractions, and I just woke him up when they got bad. I laid in bed and prayed and prayed and prayed. They were getting stronger- but not strong enough

All of the sudden, about 11pm, I started contracting every 2 minutes, and HARD. Jose was not being much help because he was exhausted, and I was having a really hard time coping with the pain- it was much stronger than with Micah. I was still only about 5-6 cm, and I was starting to cave and possibly want an epidural. I would have never in my life wanted one, but the contractions were every 2 minutes, lasting about 100 seconds, I was getting about a 15-20 second break in between. Then the nurse told me that my white count was too elevated for an epidural. I was ticked, not about the epidural, but because hours before I had asked her how my labs were and she said "everything was fine". I threw up in the bathroom because of the pain, and then asked for some Stadol (an IV pain medication), I asked for only half of the dose (1mg) because I don't do well with pain meds, and had her give me some Zofran with it. The pain medication did nothing for the pain, only made the room spin so bad I had to keep my eyes physically closed. Then it made me start seeing things with my eyes closed- weird colors, like I was inside a kaleidoscope.

Midnight came, and the nurse checked me. I was 6 cm, maybe a hair more. She would run it by the doc, who was there for an emergency C-section of another patient, but she said that my body had progressed enough and they would continue to monitor my pressure, but no Pitocin for now. Thank God! About 12:30, the contractions got really hard. Backtobacktobacktoback. Absolutely no break in between. Jose cut the music, I couldn't stand it any more. I was gritting my teeth and biting my pillow to keep from screaming. Polar opposite from Micah, which was much slower and more controlled. I made fun of women who were vocal during labor because mine was so silent and focused the first time. Now that I look back at this labor, I knew it was because I was in transition, and it was going FAST. I knew about 1 am that I would get a break for about 30 seconds from a contraction, and I asked Jose to help me to the bathroom because I had to go so bad. I sat on the toilet, shaking from the pain, and felt the intense urge to push. I pushed the bathroom door open, and told Jose to get the nurse. "Why?" "Just get the nurse now. I feel like I have to push."

He runs out and gets her, and by then I am already maneuvering back to the bed. He grabs the IV pole, and I get back in. Ms. No Personality nurse waltzed in, and says "I just checked you 40 minutes ago, you can't be ready yet." I retorted back that I was not stupid, and I knew I was ready to push. She checked me, and SURE ENOUGH, I had went from 6-10 cm in about 40 minutes. This is why my pain was so bad, why I was so unable to focus, and so vocal. Then she tells me- "You'll have to blow, the doc is still in the emergency C-section. So I blow. And moan. And blow. And accidentally push, then catch my self and make my self blow. After 15 minutes, I tell her that I can't blow any more, this baby is coming. She gowns up, gets everything ready, and thank God, another nurse walks in to see if the first one needs help. In about 2 minutes, I have Jose holding a leg, the new nurse holding a leg, and No Personality sterile-d up and ready to catch a baby. I am pushing, and Levi is crowning, and lo and behold, the doc walks in, and says "STOP PUSHING!" so that they could gown up and help.

I saw the doc walk in, and grunted "Thanks for joining the party!" Now, I know I should have responded with grace and courtesy, but REALLY? You screw up my whole labor, leave and go home for most of it, and then waltz in at the last possible second and tell me to stop pushing?! Are you crazy?!

No one will tell me what is going on or is speaking at this point, but I know, I just know, that I am probably pooping all over the place. I am pushing with reckless abandon, because I feel like it's the biggest BM of my life. Then, the doc says to stop pushing again, but I can't, and then Jose and the nurses are telling me too, STOP PUSHING! I ask why, and Jose says the head is out. WELL WHY DIDN"T ANY ONE TELL ME?! Of course I would have stopped pushing- I thought I was going to the bathroom everywhere and that's why everyone was silent! I give one final push when asked to, and then Levi is placed on my belly. That cry was the most beautiful sound in the world. I didn't care about pushing for the placenta. Or being sewn up with not enough Lidocaine. Or Ms. No Personality. Or the fact that my ideal birth had been so far from what actually happened. All that mattered was that Levi was there, healthy, and Jose and I had made it. In the end, everything worked out- No Pitocin, No Epidural, Natural birth! It was just in a round about way, and God's hand was over it the whole time.

Levi Mateo: 8 lbs, 5.5oz; Born 1/28/11 at 0158
Levi Mateo Molinuevo was born at 0158 on 1/28/2011, which is his Abuelo's birthday (Jose's dad!) He was a very healthy 8 lbs, 5.5 oz, and 20.5 inches long. We were able to go home the next day and add him to our family!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stuff I Love

So there are some things that I think are totally, insanely cool that I have picked up for Levi that I didn't have last time around...

Who in the world wants to squeeze diaper rash cream out of a tube, slather it all over a butt, and then have that french-manicure-from-desitin look? With cloth diapers, you can't use traditional diaper rash creams because they repel the water from the cloth. Introducing the Grovia Magic Stick!
It's a cloth diaper friendly, organic, all natural diaper rash ointment in a STICK form! It's just like a glue stick, screws up from the bottom, that you rub on the baby's bottom. No poopy hands, no salve under your fingernails, safe for cloth, and smells delish!

Next, a way to breastfeed in public, sexy fabric, and be able to see your baby at the same time...
an Udder Cover!
A one-size-fits-all cloth diaper that is ubersoft, easy to use, and will last from birth to potty training...FuzziBunz!
Besides, how much cuter is that than a regular diaper?!
The Balboa Baby Sling
We were big time baby wearers with Micah. He had colic and would just scream, but putting him in the sling soothed him so fast! We went out to dinner for my sister's birthday the day I was released from the hospital, and our son came with us in the sling. A lady asked what Jose had in there, and he politely said "books", and went right back to eating his pad thai.

37 Weeks Down, about 19 days to go...

Sorry for all you squirmies! This update has some body changes that are a little "nurse-y". If you can't handle it, don't read it :)

How Far Am I: 37 weeks, 2 days today. Only 19 days out from my "due" date. Micah was 5 days early, and I think I am going to be a little early rather than a little late just from the way my body is changing. Don't want to get my hopes up though!

Baby's Gender: 100% Boy

How Much Weight Have I Gained: I have actually went backwards the last week or so. I had put on those few pounds because of holding on to a lot of fluid. I decided to go on leave a little earlier than expected because of my blood pressure and a couple of other things, and because of not being on my feet as much and the stress, I lost that weight. As of yesterday, I am officially 7 pounds heavier than before I got pregnant. Assuming I will lose about 15-20 pounds the first couple of days from baby/fluids/etc., I will actually be thinner after the baby than before I got pregnant. Works for me!

Baby Movement: He is becoming much more cramped. No more grandiose movements. Now, it's just squirmy, can't-get-comfy movements, which makes me have squirmy, can't-get-comfy movements. He is pretty darn low- I told Jose yesterday that I feel like he is either going to crawl out or I am going to pee everywhere. Let's hope for the crawl out situation :)

Body Changes:  SO many! Last week, I was 50% effaced, a fingertip dilated, and -2 station. Basically, that meant my cervix was halfway ready, opening a little, and Levi's head is at the top of the canal and on it's way to engaging. She didn't check me yesterday, but when she pushed on his rump and asked if I had pelvic pressure, the answer was written all over my face. She said if I don't deliver by next week that she will check me again then. I am also starting to make colostrum. I don't have the full on waddle-walk yet, but I am definitely getting there.

Sleep Habits: Jose and I have slept horribly the last week, but strangely not because of the baby. We are both sick- head cold, coughing all night, snot every where...I am praying that we get better before I deliver because I don't want a sick baby!

Labor Cues: I have been having contractions off and on. Usually they start at night- go figure. The other night, it went on for about an hour and a half of 7 minutes apart, strong, and about 30 seconds or longer. I was so excited, and then they quit! I told my midwife that I have been taking the evening primrose oil, and she said to keep that up, and then also told me to start taking red raspberry leaf tea. This promotes uterine tone- it can bring on contractions if your cervix is ready, and can intensify them if you are already contracting but it's not really going any where. I do NOT want to be induced- I made that perfectly clear when they asked if I wanted it, but I am totally open to trying herbal remedies. I will not be one of those women that gets desperate and takes Castor oil. The whole idea of having massive diarrhea to go into labor makes me sick. Why would you want to make something that is already uncomfortable even WORSE?! That, and if you don't have the diarrhea during labor, you run the risk of pushing the baby out and shooting the person catching the baby with way more than they bargained for. NOT my idea of fun. 

What Micah Thinks of the Baby:  He is getting ready! I am going to get him a "big brother" shirt, because he wants to wear one to church and tell everyone when Levi comes. I think we are going to get him a little "big brother" present from Levi to give him at the hospital, so he doesn't feel left out with all the new baby stuff.

Baby Prep So Far: Down to the wire! Cloth diapers are all prepped, our room is moved all around to accommodate a little extra furniture and our big rocker, and we are ordering the last of our needed baby supplies this week hopefully. Our insurance changed, so we are trying to see what needs ordered now and what can wait a little, because we are being hit with a $900 deductible that we were not expecting, and it has to be paid before the insurance company will pick up their 75% of the hospital bill. Yuck :(

Plus Sized and Pregnant: Realllllly feeling like a heifer right now. It is nice to see my belly moving all around, and seeing how my body is preparing for our little one, but I know this time is rapidly coming to an end. I was able to paint my toenails last week (took me almost half an hour) and I shaved my legs, but it's getting ridiculous to tie my Nike's or pick stuff up off the floor. I am definitely feeling more ready. Not miserable and "wanting this baby out," but ready.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Finally! An Update!

Disclaimer: For all of you who were following this regularly, my deepest apologies for not updating in 6 weeks, but if you know me and my family, you know what there have been some things that have taken precedence which I will blog about later today or tomorrow. Here are the updates-- 6 weeks have gone by; so much has changed since the last time!

Christmas Day
How Far Am I: Exactly 36 weeks today. I am due in 28 days! Micah came a little on the early side, and I am hoping that this baby knows that to be early is to be on time...Started taking some evening primrose oil to help with this :)

Baby's Gender: All boy! Jose and I have started reading some boy parenting books that our parents got us for Christmas, and I am realizing how different this is going to be than growing up in a house of all girls. It's going to be a rowdy house, and I will probably never buy new furniture again, but that's all good :) We already know that we aren't stopping having kids here unless there is some medical reason why I can't, so we can always try for a niña later. We're young!

How Much Weight Have I Gained: In 36 weeks of pregnancy, I am proud to say that last Wednesday at the doctor, I had totalled 12 pounds of weight gain so far. I think most of this is fluid, because from my knees down are swollen. We'll get to that...

Baby Movement: Constantly moving, except for when Jose's poor aunts from Spain try and feel. He has been head down since about 28 weeks, and it is so funny because I always know he is head down when the hiccups are in my pelvis. He really favors the right side of my belly, and I try to lay on the right side to get him to move over. He does NOT like this, and kicks me back. I don't have elbows or feet up under my ribs this time, but his little tush is always pokin' out.

Body Changes:  You'd think that with as horrible as my skin with stretch marks from the last pregnancy, I wouldn't have gotten any this time because it was already stretched. Good in theory, I guess. I only have a couple new ones this time, on my upper abdomen. Otherwise, not much has changed except for my lower legs. I bought some compression stockings to wear at work (they help a little) but lately I have gotten used to the fact that my toes look like little sausages.

Sleep Habits: Sleep is becoming impossible at this point. I remember when I was pregnant with Micah, a friend told me that you don't sleep the whole last month because God is preparing you to get up every hour or two with a newborn. She was so right. I am never able to get comfortable until about midnight, and have to shift every hour or so to the other side (can't sleep on your back). I have taken to sleeping in the rocking chair some nights because my heart burn has gotten so bad that I can't lie down very well. It's actually quite comfortable, even though I feel like a total old woman sleeping in a rocker. It's okay- I am going to be using that rocker all the time when Levi gets here to nurse!

Labor Cues: Braxton Hicks are pretty much a daily occurance. Sometimes I have them fairly regularly (every 10-12 minutes apart) for an hour or so, and then they disappear. I sang on Saturday night at church, and the whole last 2 songs I was contracting. Jose and I ended up heading out after music because I was so uncomfortable with them, and they kept up for a good hour or so. Someday soon, they will turn into the real thing! It's crazy to think that on Wednesday, I have my first pelvic exam to see if I am dilating/effaced at all. I started taking some evening primrose oil, which is chock full of prostaglandins. Those help to thin the cervix out so it can dilate. Can't hurt :)

What Micah Thinks of the Baby: Lately, he has good days and bad days. There are days where he says he can not wait until his brother is here so he can teach him things, and then there are days where he is super rebellious and is starting to regress. The other day he went #2 in his pants (the 4 year old who has been potty trained for 2 years). He wants to "be a baby again". We are taking it one day at a time, and trying to find ways to make him feel special too. It's got to be difficult for him, because he has been the only one in the limelight for 4 years. I know Jose and I had to wait for our next child because of Nursing school, etc, but I really regret that they couldn't have been closer. Hopefully they will be what Levi's name means- "joined in harmony," which is why we picked it.

Baby Prep So Far:  I went from having NOTHING prepped to having most of it done. I never had a shower thrown or anything, and realized that we were really winding down on time, so the last 3 weeks have been total insanity. We have (prepare yourselves): Moved furniture. Vacummed under furniture. Washed all our cloth diapers. Gotten the baby room ready. I sewed our cloth wipes on the sewing machine. Put together a playpen/bassinette to use as a changing station in our room. Washed all the linens from the Moses' basket. Read the entire book "The Nursing Mother's Companion." Researched more of the Bradley method of childbirth. I started working on my squats and butterflies to open my pelvis up a little and get stretched. I don't want to get into the middle of labor and not be flexible enough to push- THAT would be humerous later but not at the time! Tonight, I went through all our music and made a labor mix that is 3 1/2 hours long- everything from Flyleaf to Coldplay to Crowder to Switchfoot to Mumford. The last few things we need to do are get our room totally cleaned out (it's the last room in the house we have not attacked), and pack my bag. Last time, I refused to pack a "baby bag" for the hospital a month early like everyone else. To me, it was exciting to run around the house, grabbing cameras and pajamas and toothbrushes and stuff. Jose and I are way to spontaneous to have a bag ready and waiting. Besides, with Micah I was in labor for 30-something hours. I am SURE I will probably have 20 minutes to throw a bag together before we head to Lawnwood, 15 minutes from our house. I am not one of those women who has babies in the car because her labor goes so fast.

Plus Sized and Pregnant: So far, things are swell. No complications really to shake a stick at as of yet. My body is doing exactly what God intended it to do, and hopefully that will continue all the way through delivery. I know I will not be leaving the hospital in skinny jeans. Or feeding my baby with overly perky bikini worthy boobs. Or showing off my post baby belly in June at the beach- lets be realistic, they make coverups for a reason (for me it's all the time, not after a baby). But I am so thankful that God has kept me healthy, and is letting me journey into being a mom for a second time. It's scary, but awesome at the same time :)