Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Card Giveaway

My good friend in real life, Meagan, is hosting a giveaway on her blog. She has been given the chance to giveaway 25 Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I LOVE Shutterfly. We have made books, cards and calendars from them. I'm really excited that she has this opportunity to do this. So head on over to her blog and enter into her contest. It ends this weekend, so you might want to hurry up.

-Caren Link

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I've Given Up

So after almost 8 months of failure to nurse my child, I've decided to give up trying. I'm not giving up pumping until at least a year, so at least he is still getting the very best from me.

After getting his tongue clipped, another round of crainosacral therapy, and visits with Early Childhood Intervention, it has become apparent that Aaron has "outgrown" his instinct to suck, therefore, making nursing very difficult. He has also sprouted 3 teeth and one on the way. With the fact that he bites down on anything that comes in his mouth, I wasn't about to try to nurse him with those things in there. Ouchy!

However, I am still going to continue to pump for him. It still sucks, but at least I know I am giving him 100% of what he needs. I have a goal to make it a year and I think I can do that. I've been told that once I hit a year, it might be hard for me to stop since it has become such apart of my life for 8 months. I will be gaining 3-4 hours a day by stopping, so we'll see how that works out.

I don't see this as failing completely. Even though I've failed at nursing, I have not failed in giving him what he needs. I've learned about sacrifice and love because being an exclusive pumper is a major sacrifice and, frankly, a big pain in the rear. But my child is not starving. He gets everything he needs and it a great eater when it comes to milk. He is still not eating solids right now, but I'm not worried about that. He will when he's ready and I'm not going to push him.

So there it is folks. 8 months of doctors, lactation consultants, sobbing, soreness, and other professionals, I'm ok with not trying anymore. But for people who say, "I couldn't nurse," I'm here to tell ya, neither could I, but that didn't stop me from pumping to provide for Aaron. Thankfully, I have saved our family so much money over the past 8 months because of my refusal to use formula (except for a month or 2 when my supply was super low). I'm excited to see how the next 4 months or so goes now that I've given in and am no longer stressing about whether or not Aaron will ever nurse.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support my decision. Nuge has been such a huge blessing. Without his support, I would not have been able to continue. Also, thank you to Le Leche League of Arlington and For Babies Sake for listening to me, letting me cry, and giving me options and support. I defiantly would have stopped pumping 7 months ago if I hadn't found yall. And to prove that Aaron isn't starving, here is a picture of my sweet little chunkers!

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Step Closer

I am one step closer to nursing my son for the first time.

We had a lactation consultant come out last week and she felt around in Aaron's mouth for like 45 minutes. She concluded that she was about 95% sure that he was tongue tied. He had a very strong gag reflex, a disorganized suck, and a high pallet. I told her that we had already seen an ENT (ears, nose, throat) doctor and he told us Aaron was not tongue tied. When she asked which doctor we saw, it became clear that we saw the wrong doctor. When I made the appointment 4 months ago (when the same LC told me he was tongue tied), the office told me I could get in sooner if I saw the other doctor. So we went in and the other doctor had no clue what type of tongue tie there were. He said that Aaron's mouth was great and there was not a problem. So we tried every other form of "fixin'" we could and nothing seemed to help.

When I called last week to make the 2nd appointment, I told them I wanted to see the other doctor. The nurse asked why and I told her everything that was going on. That we saw the other doctor and he didn't catch the tongue tie and the other one had the experience in what we were looking for. She transferred me to a nurse who promptly told me that she has been in the business for over 30 years and she has never heard of Types 1, 2, 3, or 4 tongue tie and that my LC didn't know what she was talking about and probably couldn't fix the latch so she was pawning me off on someone else. She also told me that some kids just don't nurse and that was probably what was wrong with my kid. I told her that I wanted a 2nd opinion about the tongue tie and tried to remain calm. Inside, I was so upset. How dare her tell me that. I've been struggling for 5 months to get my son to nurse because it is so highly important to me. I just knew it was Satan saying that to me so that I would lose faith in my LC and give up. But I had faith in what Deirdre said and I wasn't going to let that nurse bully me.

Today, Nuge and I drove out to Dallas and saw the correct doctor. He felt around in Aaron's mouth and said that he was, in fact, a little tight. He went ahead and clipped his tongue and that was that. Immediately, Aaron was able to stick his tongue out beyond his lips, which he has never done before. I gave him some breast milk and he calmed down.

So now, we have an appointment with the DO on Thursday to make sure that everything is good to go in Aaron's skull. Once we get that checked out, we will have Deirdre come back out and work with us on his latch.

All of this is working out the way the Lord has planned it. Every step closer that we get is because of His awesomeness. It is because of His strength that I have been able to continue on even though I've been pressured by so many people to give up and just feed Aaron formula. The Lord has carried me emotionally through all of this and I feel that His work is still not done yet. I feel that He will allow my son to nurse! And once he does, all the glory will go to my Lord, Jesus Christ. Because I know that it is not by my own strength that we have made it, but by my Jesus'. So I'm gonna continue to pray for Aaron to nurse and I'd like to ask you to join me. For those of you that know me, this has not been the easiest road. You know my struggles and you know how much this means to me. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FYI: About Breastfeeding Troubles

Just wanted to warn the boys before they read this and heard more than they wanted to hear.

In the past 5 months, I've battled all sorts of nursing problems. It just seems to be one thing after another.

I'm an exclusive pumper. Not by choice, but by necessity. Aaron refuses to latch on. After much heartbreak, tears, sweat, blood, and medication, I've come to terms with it. But it's still something that I am willing to try and praying that the Lord will grant me my heart's desire.

My soreness NEVER went away. I mean never! So anytime I tried to nurse Aaron, it was extremely painful. Pumping was painful showering was painful; shirts were painful; sitting still was painful. I was in constant pain. I had never breastfed before, so I kinda thought it was normal. A lot of people had talked about sore nipples before, so I just thought it was normal.

Aaron also would chomp instead of suck. Not just on me, but on bottles, fingers, pacifiers, or anything else would put in his mouth. That, combined with the soreness was NOT fun!

We tried an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to see if maybe he was tongue tied. He wasn't.

We took Aaron to a chiropractor and he did an adjustment on Aaron and the next day I went to a La Leche League meeting to have support for when I tried to latch him on. He chomped. Chiro didn't work.

I worked with lactation consultants and other nursing moms at LLL and For Babies Sake (another breastfeeding support group). They all were very supportive and gave me things to try. None of it seemed to help.

I showed one of the lactation consultants what was going on with me and she said I probably had staph and needed to see a doctor. So the next day, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. Sure enough, I had severe staph. He treated it. But Aaron still chomped.

I took Aaron to a DO who specializes in cranial sacral therapy. He discovered that Aaron had tension in the side of his skull as well as a jam in the base. He released both of those and the results were immediate. But we still had to wait for me to heal.

Finally I was staph free. When we tried to latch him on again, he freaked out. By this time, he was 3.5 months old and had no idea what those were for. All he knew was that he was hungry and I was trying to present something that wasn't his bottle. So I was going to try a supplemental nursing system. Basically, it's a feeding tube that goes from the bottle and runs next to my nipple so that he gets the idea that "they" are for food. But as soon as I got the feeding tube, I got another infection.

This time, it came with itching, soreness, redness, swelling, etc. I talked to the lactation consultants at my "milk makers anonymous" meeting and they thought it could be either thrush (yeast infection in my nips) or my staph was back. So I used my staph cream and nothing happened. I started to use Monistat 7 per the lactation consultant and nothing happened.
I went back to the doctor today and it turns out, a severe yeast infection. Why does it always have to be "severe"?

So with all that being said and explained, let me encourage the moms that have had similar issues.

I would say, "It gets easier," but with me, it hasn't. It just becomes a part of my life. Painful pump, bottle feeding, bottle cleaning, pump sterilizing, time constraints. I often feel like I'm a slave to my pump. And I guess I am. I pump every 3-4 hours and it takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes. I do power pump sessions which is pump for 15 min, take a break for 15 minutes, repeat for an hour. Take an hour break and do it again. I also wake up in the middle of the night to pump. Aaron has been sleeping through the night since he was about a month and a half old, but I still get up to make sure my supply doesn't diminish. I have pumped in the car on the way to and from Lubbock or after I've been at a certain baseball game for 7 hours. I've taken my pump to my bible studies and have excused myself for 30 minutes to take care of business. I've had to excuse myself at family events and lock myself in a room alone to pump as well. It sucks. It's inconvenient. It's painful. And I hate it!!

But I know that in the end, Aaron is getting everything that is good for him. I am providing him with all the nutrients that he needs. All the antibodies he needs. He is healthy because of what I'm sacrificing.

If you are struggling with breastfeeding issues, I understand. I've been through them. But I can also tell you, don't give up! I've wanted to quit almost every day for the past 5 months, but I'm continuing on. My ultimate goal is 1 year. But right now, my goal is the next pumping session. Through the power of my Lord, I'm able to find the strength to pump one more time. One more day. One more week. I have surrounded myself with people who are supportive of my decision to provide breast milk for my son. I attend meetings with For Babies Sake once a week, every week. I also attend La Leche League meetings and play dates to surround myself with other mommies that share the same ideas that I do about breastfeeding.

It's not easy for everyone. I thought it would be and I think that's why I'm so disappointed in my nursing experience. But because of it, I now want to be able to encourage other moms to continue through the rough patches, infections, and emotional issues that come along with nursing a baby. Maybe I won't be able to be an actual lactation consultant, but I do want to help support other moms that might be on the verge of quitting. Don't quit. Persevere through it and you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly Giveaway

I have never been one for Christmas cards. My thought was always, "I have Facebook, people can look at my pictures on there." But last year, we recieved 10 different Christmas cards from people and it made me wish we had done one. Afterall, we did have big things happen to us in 2009: got a puppy and bought a house.

So now that Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers (apply here), I thought, "Well 2010 has been waaay more exciting in the Nuge house." I made a photobook from them after we got married. One for ourself, one for Nuge's parents and one for my parents. They were a big hit and I was so pleased with them. My mother in law also made us a calender of Gus and gave it to us for Christmas. Now that we have Aaron, I think a calender would be great for the grandparents and my sister and Nuge's brother.

I checked out some of the Christmas cards and Holiday cards and oh. my. goodness! There are too many great ones to choose from. We are having pictures taken of our family here pretty soon, and these would be a great way for our families that don't have access to Facebook to see our whole family.

Here are some of my favorite cards:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why I Choose Natural, Out of Hospital Birth

I’ve had a few people ask why I chose childbirth out of the hospital. There are many reasons for my decision, but these are just 8 of the main ones. Like anything else someone does, it’s a personal decision. Natural childbirth is not for everyone. I was blessed to be able to experience it, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is healthy enough to do it. But as it is, I can’t make someone’s decisions for them. I can just tell them my reasons and try to educate myself enough to be able to back up those reasons.

I want to preface by saying that not all of these reasons might be true to everyone. I was very blessed to have the midwife I do and the care that I received. This is neither a doctor bashing post, nor an anti hospital/medical post. I’m just stating the reasons for my choice in an out of hospital birth and how much of a great experience it was. Not all doctors are bad and not all midwives are good. It comes down to the pregnant mom, what she wants and what she’s comfortable with.

My “OB” is my family doctor. So in order for me to find someone to deliver my baby, I would have had to find a new doctor. I’m not a fan of changing doctors and I am not comfortable with meeting someone for the first time and have them be in such a personal relationship with me right off the bat. It’s not something that I ever wanted to rush into just because I was pregnant. It would have required way too much research that I didn’t really want to do at the time. Plus, I really like my OB. Now, I realize that most people will have to meet a new midwife if that is the route they want to take, but for me, I already knew which one I wanted to use. I feel that the bedside manner of most midwives is something totally different than any doctor I have ever met. I could be wrong, but it’s from my experience and from stories of other people.

Labor how I want
For most women in hospitals, they are required to stay in bed and on their backs while in labor. For most, this isn’t the best way to labor. It doesn’t let gravity work with your body to allow for the baby to come down the birth canal. In fact, it can slow labor. In the birth center, I was able to get up and walk around (which, it just so happened, was not my favorite position to labor), sit on a birth ball, take a hot shower, and pretty much be in any position that was comfortable to me. I was not restricted to a bed. As it was, I was able to get in the tub and have the water birth that I have wanted to have for years.

No pressure for drugs/interventions I don’t want
I knew straight off the bat that I did not want any epidurals, Pitocin, C sections or any other interventions that the hospitals would have wanted me to have. When you are in labor, you really have a hard time making decisions. That’s why it’s important to have someone that knows what you want that can speak for you. If I was at the hospital during my transition period, I would have wanted an epidural. Which they probably would have given me, but it would have been too late for it to give me any relief. If I had gone to the hospital too early, they would have admitted me and if I was still in labor after 12-24 hours (depending on the hospital) they would have given me meds to speed up the labor or told me that I needed to have a c section to get the baby out. It wouldn’t have been necessary as my body knows what it’s doing. God doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to His creation.
An episiotomy was also something I did NOT want. I feel they are unnecessary unless it’s a dire need. But most of the time, it’s not necessary. I feel that most doctors perform them to speed things up. But in reality, if they would take their time and let the process happen naturally, then they can prevent severe tearing and the need for an episiotomy. There are certain circumstances where one is necessary, but I feel that most of the time, it’s the doctor’s impatience that makes them “necessary”.

No hospital protocols
Once you are admitted to most hospitals, they put you in a hospital gown, start an IV (or at least put one in place in your hand), and put an electric fetal monitor on you. All of which restrict your movement. Plus, I hate needles more than anything and the idea of an IV is something I am not a fan of. I would have also been restricted to ice chips and water only. Labor is long and very hard work. How are you supposed to stay energized without food? It’s impossible. The reason they restrict your food intake is because they are preparing for a c section, which is major surgery and you aren’t allowed to eat before major surgery. The C section rate in the United States is 31.8%. The World Health Organization recommends a rate between 10-15%. Most women who end up having to have “emergency c sections” is because they were denied food for their long labors and got worn out and were no longer able to go on. They would have also taken the baby away from me as soon as he was born to do all the check ups and stuff like that. It is so important to have as much skin to skin as possible as soon as possible to promote bonding and breastfeeding. I’m not saying that you can’t bond with your child after a c section or anything like that. I’m just saying that is it recommended by most doctors and midwives, but so many of them make the mother wait. All the weights and measurements and stuff like that can wait. The baby will still weight the same and be the same length after a few hours. As it was, I was able to spend as much time with Aaron as I wanted to before the midwives took him to measure him.

Nurses and doctors are busy
When you go to the hospital, you are not the only patient. There are many other women that nurses and doctors are dividing their time between. Sometimes it gets hectic. So you might not have the same nurse throughout labor. In fact, you might come in a few hours before a shift change and then you have all new nurses that might or might not be up to date on you and your situation. The doctor basically acts as a catcher. He comes in right before the baby comes out to catch him. Then he leaves to deliver another baby. Sure you’ve talked with him during appointments and know him ok enough, but he might not know who you are if you saw him at the mall. He might even want to induce you early because he has a vacation planned. I’m not saying all doctors do this, but I’ve heard of it happening. Or, if something happens and he’s out of town, then you have a whole new doctor to deal with.
From the beginning, Lisa informed me that her best friend was getting married on September 11, 2 days after my due date. So we had a back up midwife in mind and I was ok with that. About 2 weeks before my due date, she wanted to go out of town for the weekend. She called me to make sure that was ok with me. Someone women freak out if their midwives go away a few weeks before they are due. But I thought it was very thoughtful of Lisa to call me to ask if that was ok. What doctor does that?
When I arrived at the birth center, I was the only person there. I was her only priority. She got me anything and everything I wanted or needed. She personally cleaned up my vomit off the carpet. After delivery, she spoon fed me yogurt so I could continue to hold Aaron. She was in no hurry to be anywhere else that day. When I called her at 3am, she cleared her schedule so that she could focus on me. Although I’m not sure how busy her schedule was on a Sunday, but either way, I was her focus. I came first.

Relaxed environment
From the very beginning, Lisa (our midwife) made sure we were comfortable. Not just with her, but with the whole natural birth, out of hospital experience. I never felt rushed during our appointments. On contrary, I felt like she would have kept us there for hours to answer every question we had. I never had to deal with random nurses that I didn’t know. Lisa was always the one we dealt with. She was not above taking my vitals, weight, belly growth, or anything else like that. She did it all herself, or the help of the student midwife that was working under her. She even invited my in laws to the birth center to have a tour and answer any questions they had about her or the birth process. My mother in law had a bad experience with childbirth with her first born and so she had some concerns about not having a baby in the hospital.
When I came in while in labor, it was the same calm atmosphere. We chilled out in the bedroom before we got bored. Then Lisa suggested we watch a movie downstairs so we wouldn’t be so bored. Once it became too hard to concentrate on the movie, we moved back upstairs to the bedroom and I was able to labor in silence. There was no nurse that was coming in every hour to check me. Lisa would wait until I was ready before she did anything. She talked in a soft voice and even quoted me scripture when I felt like I couldn’t go on.
When I got into the tub, it was the same calm environment. Even the other 2 midwives stayed quiet and talked in hushed tones so I wouldn’t be distracted by them. There was no, “PUSH PUSH PUSH”. I was able to push when I felt like it and stop when the desire went away. Lisa tried to help me with relaxing and breathing but wasn’t pushy about it. Nuge was by my side the entire time. He was able to catch Aaron and put him on my belly. He was able to cut the cord and he was the one who found out if Aaron was a boy or a girl. The whole experience was family oriented. When it came to checking how much Aaron weighed, Nuge got to do that too. We were not rushed into anything.
After delivery, Aaron and I took an herbal bath and could stay in there for as long as we wanted. It was a great bonding experience and very relaxing. After the bath, I was able to wash my hair and feel clean again. We were able to stay at the center for as long as we wanted or leave when we wanted. As it was, we decided to leave about 4 hours after giving birth. What kind of rest do people really get in the hospitals? Probably not much. The birth center knows that people rest better at home in their own beds and in their own environment. Of course, they made sure Aaron and I were both ok enough to go home. They also gave us a packet of information on how to care for a newborn and how to take his temperature and other vitals at home to make sure everything stayed great.

Love my midwife
I first met Lisa when she delivered my niece 3 years ago. I also went with my sister to her appointments when she got pregnant with her 2nd baby. So I knew how great Lisa was even before she became my midwife. She was, and still is, very encouraging and filled with knowledge. She loves Aaron and is never shy to hold him and kiss him and talk to him. She has a calm demeanor that was very helpful during labor. She came to the house 2 days after delivery to check on Aaron instead of us having to go to a doctor’s office. She loved on him so much and it was very sweet to watch. You can just tell how much she loves her job. She also came back to the house a few days later when I was having trouble breastfeeding. She worked with me and gave me suggestions and names and numbers of lactation consultants that she knows personally.

7. Drugs CAN do more harm than good.
I’m not naive enough to know that drugs only cause troubles. But for a lot of women that have normal pregnancies and no history of high risk issues in their family history, medications can cause trouble that is unnecessary. If a woman is induced with medication for whatever reason, it makes labor so much harder. The hormones that the medications provide are a lot more than what the body will provide naturally causing the contractions to be so much harder and intense than if the body had gone into labor naturally. This almost always causes the woman to need an epidural. Sometimes, the combination of the medications can cause the labor to slow down. This then requires more medication to help speed it up. Sometimes breaking of the water is “necessary”. But from what I’ve learned, the water bag acts a cushion for both mom and baby. Instead of the baby’s head pushing directly on the pelvic bone of the mother, the bag is used to cushion the push and make it more comfortable for both. Also, the combination of the meds can cause heart rate problems for mom, baby or both. When that happens, it almost always requires an emergency c section because someone is in trouble. But if the mother was able to go into labor on her own, deny the drugs to make it more comfortable for her, then most of the time, emergency surgery isn’t required. Now, of course, there are exceptions to all of these. I have a friend who was 15 days past her due date, her baby wasn’t growing, and her midwife was worried. She was required to go to the hospital to be induced. She had an epidural, and there were heart rate problems with her baby, but by the grace of God, she did not require a c section. And of course, if you are a high risk pregnancy, then none of this applies. I’m talking just about healthy moms, pregnancies, and babies.

I’ve never met someone who had a terrible birth experience at a birth center
In our birth class, most of the moms there were 2nd or 3rd timers, but first time out of hospital. Almost all of them came to the birth center because they had a terrible experience at the hospital. Some of them, it was their 3rd birth with the same midwife. When talking to people, it’s a hit or misses on if they liked the hospital experience. For most of my friends, it was a terrible experience. Some of them liked their doctors, but not the way they were treated at the hospital. Some of them loved every bit of the experience. But, in all the people that I’ve talked to or met who had birth center or home births would not do it any other way. Some of them have used the same midwife for all of their kids. The treatment is so different than at a hospital.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things Nobody Told Me

After you get pregnant, people will tell you all sorts of things. Some good, some bad. When people found out I was having a natural childbirth... at a birth center... with a midwife, a lot of people freaked out and would love to tell me the horror stories they have about such and such almost dying because of this and that. So I can't tell you about other people's stories. I can only tell you about mine. For my friends that are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, remember, these are just MY experiences and things I wish people had told me about so that I could have prepared for them.

Now that I've experienced pregnancy and childbirth and am in the process of experiencing motherhood, when I talk to other mothers about what's going on (the good and the bad) they all say, "Oh yeah the same thing happened to me" or "Yeah, I had a hard time with that too". Really?! Why isn't anyone telling people this stuff? I think it's important to know that you are not alone in your struggles and joys and that there have been other women that have gone before you and have experienced the same things. So here are some things that I've learned that may or may not have been told to me by other mothers before they happened to me:

  • Pregnancy does not always equal morning sickness (or all day sickness), outrageous cravings or massive amounts of stretch marks.
I never once had any bout of sickness in the whole 9 months. I did have some cravings, but nothing that were too out of the ordinary; mainly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eggs (any kind), grapes, and chocolate milk. And although I did have a few stretch marks on my hips, it's nothing that I'm losing sleep over. And, by the way, yes, I did use lotion and it didn't work.
  • I was no longer able to sleep on my stomach or back (not that I was ever a stomach or back sleeper, but just knowing I couldn't made it worse) and sleeping on your sides starts to hurt after awhile.
Sure, it starts out comfortable, but after about 4 months of sleeping on your sides, it starts to get old. Plus, towards the end, you can't roll over very well and so it makes for turning pretty difficult.
  • Towards the end, it starts being uncomfortable.
I gained about 30 pounds while pregnant (I'm not ashamed of it either), and so walking, sitting, standing, laying down, bending over, getting in and out of cars, off of couches, etc, starts to get hard. When I dropped something, I always thought, "Man, do I really need that?".
  • Contractions don't always start from the top of the uterus and work its way down.
Mine felt like massive menstrual cramps...only about 10 times worse.
  • Labor is scary. Delivery is even scarier.
Now since I had a natural birth, I felt everything. And I mean everything. It was the most pain I had ever been in. I was scared through a lot of it. I kept thinking, "I can't do this." "I'm not strong enough." Of course, in the end, I was strong enough. But it didn't make it any less scary. Even now, if I found out I was pregnant, I would be scared of having to do it over again. But it is definitely something I want to experience again, maybe even multiple times over.
  • Breastfeeding is not always easy and does not always come naturally.
Aaron and I are having the hardest time figuring out this whole breastfeeding thing. He won't latch on to me and it's frustrating. It has brought me to sobbing tears on more than one occasion...or maybe even more than half a dozen times. I've been told multiple times over that other women had problems too and it will get better. It will get easier. Or that they weren't able to do it and just went to formula feeding. Why didn't anyone tell me that? My grandmother, mom, aunt, and sister were all able to breastfeed. My sister has recently had 2 kids and made it seem effortless. Come to find out, she had a really hard time with her first child. Why wasn't I informed of that? Aaron will latch on to my sister just fine, but won't latch on to me. Do you know how incredibly sad and heartbreaking that is for a new mom? It hurt me so bad to know that it wasn't was me. He didn't want me. Very sad. Now, we are still working on the latching on, but I've been told by numerous experts that he will need to grow more and then it will get easier. That he has all the right parts to breastfeed, he just needs to figure it out. I still have faith that we will get this, but for now, we are pumping and using my milk to feed him. It's not ideal, but at least he is getting my milk. We will get there.
  • Natural childbirth will make you walk funny for a few days.
I don't think this one needs any explanation. I think it was a good 3 or 4 days before I was walking completely upright. A good week before I was able to sit and stand at a regular pace, put on jeans or other "regular" fitting clothes. I lived in pajamas for a few days. At that point, comfort is everything.
  • Every theory I had about parenting went out the window as soon as we brought Aaron home.
Nuge has taken off work for 4 weeks. That's more than what most men are able to do. So I figured that with him around, we would be able to do a lot of things on our own. But with my labor starting at 2:30am, having Aaron at 5:20pm, and coming home at 9pm, it made for a very long day. Plus with the trials of breastfeeding and Aaron not sleeping in his crib, we were exhausted the next day. My parents came over the next morning, cooked us breakfast and lunch, cleaned our house and watched Aaron while Nuge and I took a nap. The next night, Aaron was up for 13 hours straight, so Nuge and I were dead tired. At about 5am, I caught my mom online and asked if she would come over and watch Aaron for us while we got some sleep. She did and it was amazing! Once again, she cleaned and did our laundry for us. We have also gone over to my parents house to hang out. But secretly, or not so secretly, it has been so we can take naps while the grandparents watch Aaron. It has been a huge blessing and I can't believe I ever thought we could do it completely alone.
  • The meals that people bring over are one of the best gifts anyone can give new parents.
We have been so blessed by the amount of food people have brought over for us. It is really a lifesaver for us. It's so hard to find time to eat and so when our friends have brought food, we've welcomed them in and asked them to join us. It forces us to sit down, take a break, and eat. Plus, it gives us awesome fellowship with our friends and family.
  • You will wake up and check on your baby to make sure he is still alive.
I am guilty of waking up from a dead sleep to check on Aaron. And babies breathe so lightly sometimes that it's hard to see them move. So I have also been guilty of poking him or putting my hand on him so his startle reflex will kick in and I can see that he's still alive. Also, I have been a victim of Satan's scares. He likes to put horrible thoughts about something bad happening to Aaron in my head. It's a terrible feeling of not being in control, but ultimately, Aaron is in God's hands and it is up to Him if He wants to take Aaron from us. I can do everything I can to protect him, but it's the Lord's doing. I just have to trust in my faith in the Lord to know that He will keep my son safe and alive.
  • Parenting is unreal.
It's been over 2 weeks since we had him and I still can't believe he is our son. It's amazing. It's scary. It's nerve wracking. But it's an awesome feeling!
  • Your kid really is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I know we are all guilty of saying, "Yeah, that baby just isn't that cute." Nuge and I were prepared for our child to come out looking like a monkey. Both he and I have massive amounts of hair, so we were certain that our child was going to be covered in hair. We were also surprised that Aaron didn't have eyes in the back of his head or teeth coming out his nose (Nuge and I both have terrible eye sight and our teeth...well we won't go there). But nope, Aaron came out looking so perfect and beautiful. I have never seen such a beautiful baby. Of course, I'm biased and I'm sure all you parents out there feel the exact same way about your kids. That's just the way it is.
  • The nastiest things in adults are the most adorable in your child.
Who ever thought that poop, pee, burping and spit up can be cute? The only time it's not cute is when your son's "area" is not positioned properly and pee comes out the front, side, and back of the diaper and gets all over you. Or when you hear the "dirty diaper" cry, you say (in your cute baby voice), "Did you go poopoo in your diaper? Oh you sure did. Well let's go take care of that so you can be all nice and clean" It's a totally strange thing. But as soon as you change the diaper, they stop crying and all is right in the world. Your child is happy because of something you did.
  • You truly have a better idea of how the Lord sees you as one of His children when you have your own.
I love Aaron so much that it's unreal. It pains me to think of something bad happening to him. But my love for my son is NOTHING compared to the love the Lord has for me and the rest of His children. When Aaron is having trouble latching on, he can taste the milk that is coming out, yet he still refuses to eat it. I get so frustrated with him because it's right there in his face and he is tasting what is good, yet he still refuses to drink from it. How must the Lord feel when over and over we reject what is good and holy? We know the truth. It's right there in front of us, yet we still refuse to drink from His fountain of Life. I just think about how frustrated He must get at His children, yet He still loves us more than anything.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there are more and as I come across them, I'll probably add them to another blog. For my friends out there that are wanting to become parents, I hope this helps and I hope you find comfort in knowing that whatever struggles you may have, you are not alone. Don't be afraid to talk about your struggles with other people, because I'm sure someone, somewhere along the way had the exact same thing happen to them and they might be a great source of comfort, support, and knowledge for you. Parenting is not all rainbows and sunshine all the time. It's hard, it's frustrating, it's heartbreaking, it's rewarding, and it's fun. Hope this helped or gave insight. If not, oh well. It was great therapy for me to get it out.