Friday, July 25, 2014

Between Testimonies

I have always had a testimony of God. I've always just known deep inside of me that He exists and that he loves everyone and that He made this beautiful earth for all of us to live on and enjoy. I've never once questioned that. Whether Jesus Christ lived and died for me is a different story. Whether the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is true is a very different story.And whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet, well that is a very very different story.
Right now things are changing on a rapid scale and everything seems to be screaming out at you from every social media, internet article, newscast, family member and friend saying, "pick your side---no fence sitting allowed. Oh yeah, and also you're wrong and I'm right." After reading articles like this, I spend my day stressing out about my life and my religion and who I am and who I'm not and what I believe and what I don't. After reading articles like that one I get angry, frustrated and stressed out. Why? Because I have heard the same things they have about the church. I have had the same questions as they have. I have had the same thoughts as they have. I  have NEVER had an easy time being a member of the church and obeying all of its guidelines and rules and I have NEVER had all of my questions answered. I get angry and frustrated and stressed because I read what these people write and I relate to it, and then it ends with them leaving the church and/or being anti-Mormon. Then I have this weight on my shoulders that feels like it is forcing me to decide, forcing me to discover and get an an
swer to that question or that doubt right then or right now, and if not, I am a blind follower. A lemming following the crowd I was born into and throwing myself over a cliff because of my ignorance and refusal to believe the truth in front of me.
In the church they always compare your testimony to a muscle. Once you get your testimony you need to exercise it and continue to build it and work it out everyday. You do this by bearing your testimony, reading scriptures, praying, keeping your covenants, and trying to be more Christ-like. I gained a testimony once of Jesus Christ and that He is my Savior. I gained a testimony of the Atonement. I think that our church has the fully restored gospel on this earth. But sometimes, I feel like I lose that testimony. Not completely, but I question it. It becomes weak, just like a muscle that has not been utilized and exercised....sometimes when it has really been a long time since I last worked out. I feel shaky. My body is physically asking me for exercise. My testimony is the same, it gets shaky and is asking me to feed it and strengthen it, but I get too busy or too distracted. It is always at that time that I hear stories about someone I know or some random person leaving the church because of their doubts or disbelief. I feel like I have to leave the church because I am "between testimonies" at that time, meaning, I'm at a low point with some of the things the church teaches, and I am not sure if they are true.
Who has a place in the church that doesn't know how they feel about Joseph Smith? I have discovered that I DO. I have a place in this church, regardless how I feel about its members or some of its teachings. Because truthfully I love its gospel. We lived before we were born. We came to earth to learn, challenge ourselves and become better and stronger and happier and to return to the Heavenly Father that loves us. There is life after death, and most importantly we can be with our families forever. No "until death do we part." I am willing and I WANT to give the church the benefit of the doubt. I want to give Joseph Smith the benefit of the doubt. Who would ever want somebody to read everything bad they had done in their life and base their character and who they are off of it? I wouldn't. I would want people to look at the righteous labors I had done and the FRUITS of those labors. This doesn't make me blind and it doesn't make me ignorant.
I want to stay a member of the church and continue to work for my answers and not be so demanding of God. And solely because of the fact that  I want to be a member of this church, I can be, whether I'm between testimonies at the time or not. God still loves me and I know that Christ does too. And as long as they are willing to work with me on my questions and doubts, I will be a member of this church.



                                                                                       

Thursday, July 17, 2014

NATURAL BIRTH W/ MIDWIFE v. EPIDURAL IN HOSPITAL


I hope this post is helpful to someone out there who is debating between a natural birth or a medicated one and who also might feel nervous about delivering with a midwife outside of a hospital. All I am going to do is tell my two birth experiences and you can take from them what you want or need.

First Labor and Birth: Aida Mariana Klein

A few hours after delivery
I wanted to do a natural birth for my first child. Everyone is my family does natural labor and are pros at it, so I thought I would naturally be good at it too. I also try to keep my body healthy and stay in shape which they say makes natural labor much easier and go a lot faster, so NATURALLY I thought I had it in the basket without much work. I signed up to take Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method because it was MUCH cheaper than the popular Hypnobabies classes and teaches much of the same thing.
Hypnosis Birthing Classes
These turned out much differently than I had originally thought they were going to be, and though there were a lot of things I really liked about the classes, I can honestly say they didn't help me at all in being able to deliver naturally. I know that for some people they work really great, but for me they didn't. It's kind of the same thing as when your at a show with a real hypnotist and random people go up on the stage. He goes through a series of things to find out who there is actually prone to hypnosis, the ones who aren't are asked to leave the stage. I think it is the same with women and birth. Some people can go into that deep hypnosis (an extreme state of relaxation and peace) when qued by their parenter or themselves, and some people might have a harder time. Some people feel more pain during labor and some people feel less. The things that I did like about hypnosis birthing classes were all informational lectures. They teach you about your body and about how labor and delivery work and about how it is a natural and perfect process and about how you can control yourself and your emotions and your pain to do it naturally. Today, labor and birth are talked about like you will never survive them without that oh so stealthy yet painful insertion of the plastic epidural tube into your spinal chord. But guess what? You can. Women have been doing it for ages and continue to do so around the world. Most women can give birth naturally without any life or death problems. But, the medical world has brainwashed us into thinking that our bodies either can't do it without problems, or that it is just to plain painful to go through and survive. At the same time, there are many people who are blessed regularly with the modern technologies of the medical world. Some people suffer from health problems that can't allow their bodies to work as they should and sometimes it is the baby that is having the problem. In those cases, a hospital is definitely the place to deliver a baby.Anyways, I was saying that what I loved about the classes is that they teach you the truth: your body was meant for this and you can do it. What I didn't love about the classes is all of the stories about the women who sneeze and their baby comes out (I didn't actually hear that in the classes, but a lot of the stories are like that) and the scripts and CDs given. They are just not my thing, but maybe they might be yours.

Now for the actual labor and birth story. Aida was due the 15th and was two days late. I went into labor at midnight on the 17th of May. I had eaten lentil bean soup for dinner (don't do that if your near your due date) and went to bed at about 11:45. Obviously I was NOT preparing to have my baby. After taking the courses I was convinced I would feel light contractions start and they would be ten minutes apart. I'd throw in my CD of birth affirmations that I got from my class and float pain free through my labor and delivery. That didn't happen. I laugh even thinking about the fact that I could have believed that. I felt my first contraction around midnight and woke up to what I like to call pain. It wasn't pressure. I didn't wake up from pressure, it was definitely pain. The next one came on just a few short minutes after. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was in very bad pain. I would try walking through them but would pretty much just collapse onto the thing nearest to me. The walking didn't help me that much. I stayed home until about two and then we decided to go to the hospital. Contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart (which is exhausting). We got to the hospital and right before going in I puked into the hospital's plants outside the door. Lentil soup straight up my nose. I couldn't get all the lentils out. Yeah......So I was admitted. They put the IV tip into my hand(I forget what it's called but you have to at least have that in your hand if you deliver in Provo, its annoying but still allows you to move around freely. My nurse was really nice at the beginning but it was the end of her shift. I sat there on the bed writhing in pain. She said, “so you took hypno-birthing classes I'm guessing because of the list of things you want and don't want? My sister did that. It worked for her but it didn't work for me.”
“Yeah. I took them” I said still writhing in pain.
“Well it looks like you aren't using the techniques right? I know you don't want anyone to ask you if you want it. But just so you know, you can ask for it whenever you want.”
She was talking about an epidural. It was two hours later that I asked for it. Contractions still 2 minutes apart and they stayed that way the entire labor. I finally got to go to sleep which was amazing. But I definitely couldn't move around anywhere and by that time I had more than one thing that I was plugged up to. My legs were so numb I could not feel ANYTHING from the waist down. When it came time to deliver my husband had to come hold my legs while the nurse sat there silent with us (she had been in a nasty mood the entire time) and right before my baby came out my doctor came in (who is so freakin' awesome....Shelly Savage in Provo. Go to her.) and caught the baby. I got to hold her right after they wiped her off and she pooped and peed all over my arms. I loved it! She immediately started sucking her little fist and cuddled me. Then they took her away for all of her cleaning and shots and tests. Staying in the hospital sucked. Husbands, don't plan on staying with your wives. It's really boring. I really wanted to get the needle tip out of my hand for the I.V. because it was aching. Something had hit it and moved it around my hand. It was aching bad! They told me they would take it out in an hour.....take it out when they switched my rooms....take it out after I take some medicine...etc....I had it in for probably four hours after I had delivered her. Super annoying. One really awesome pro of delivering in the hospital is the nursery. They take your baby away and let you sleep all you want and bring them back whenever you want or when they want to eat. The first couple of nights are always hard with a newborn. At least for me they are. The total labor and delivery was 13 hours and I don't regret getting that epidural at all. I was not prepared at all mentally for what labor and delivery actually was. I decided to get it because I decided I cared more about being happy throughout my laboring process and happy when my baby came instead of exhausted and depressed about everything that I had just gone through. I loved getting the epidural, even though there was still a lot of things I didn't like about that day (nurses, my hand, throwing up, the hospital in general,etc.)
Second Labor and Birth: Cypress Sky Klein
Cypress just born
0 birthdays are the best!
We moved south, so I was in St. George for this baby. I decided to deliver with a Certified Nurse Midwife, Liz Smith, who runs a birth suite with another Certified Nurse Midwife. Liz is awesome. I decided to go with them because they are literally 5 minutes away from the hospital AND as certified nurse midwives they are able to administer drugs that a traditional midwife can't in case of emergency (i.e. petocin in case of hemorrhaging...numbing meds for stitching if you tear badly). The big reason I chose Liz is because I told her I needed a lot of help throughout the laboring process with actively trying to move it along and help me through the pain. This time, I was going to be prepared. With my first baby I thought it was a lot like doing weights or running. You give it all you got and just push through the pain and give it more power. In movies when women are delivering naturally they are always beat red and screaming and same thing for going through labor. That's how I thought of it....push through power through. That does NOT work. Its quite the opposite. It's still very mental like any workout that is pushing you. But, you do the opposite, you are not supposed to exert at all...this is “hypnosis” for me. And it was still painful.
I wasn't due until the 23 of March and luckily I ended up going to St. George earlier than I had planned ( we had moved up North and I had planned on going up a week before my due date). Never think you can know when your baby is going to come.We got into Parowan on Saturday night and I woke up Monday morning a few times through the night thinking I had peed the bed. I changed pants. It happened again. I changed again. Then it happened while I was awake so I decided I definitely wasn't wetting the bed (haha. I was depressed when I thought I kept wetting the bed). I called my midwife and she was at a different delivery. She said to call her when I started feeling mild contractions and head to St. George. At that point I had no pain at all. Half an hour later the contractions started coming. They were 3-5 minutes apart each time and that was SOOOOOOO nice to have a little more time inbetween them. My husband got our little girl and everything loaded and ready into the car...and he heated it up (which is nice cause it sucks being cold and in labor). All the while I just laid on the bed and tried to relax completely and breathe through each contraction. No way I was trying to walk through them like the last time. I still felt the same but I wasn't falling all over everything. After a contraction would end I'd concentrate how there wasn't any pain. Id close my eyes and relax my head, my neck my shoulders, my chest, my arms my fingers, and everything else all the way down to the toes. Then another contraction would come. Same routine over and over, but boy did it help. I wasn't powering through anything, I was pretending that I was flubber melting onto the bed or something. The hour drive to St. George was a bit rough but overall pretty great. When I got to the birth suite the other midwife let us in and helped set me up because Liz was still at the other delivery. The other midwife was great and helped me as much as she could for the short time she was there. I laid on the floor. I laid on the bed. Throughout this my husband would massage my legs and arms (that helps take your mind off of the contractions while going through them). My midwife got there and I got into the bathtub with hot water. That is great. Some people call it a water-dural or aqua-dural. My sister told me when she was going through transition she got in the water and her contractions almost completely subsided. My didn't do that, but the warmth definitely helped me to relax. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. If you hear a story, don't expect it will happen for you. It creates a lot of disappointment which makes it harder. My midwife thought I was going to drown cause I was getting water in my mouth while breathing through contractions. It felt so good in there. My husband would poor warm water over my belly the whole time. One of the things I was most grateful for was that when I would go through a hard contraction, my midwife would tell me what to do to make the best of that contraction....how to make the most progress. She would remind me verbally of what my body was doing and how that pain was good and it meant everything was right and productive. When in the hospital you are left by yourself. No one is there to talk you through it or help you. You end up on the bed writhing in pain just thinking you are going to die. You forget there is a whole purpose to the labor and to the pain. Having someone remind you that your baby is coming and that there is purpose to the pain is TREMENDOUSLY helpful. It gives you a huge mental break. I got out of the tub when I finally dilated to a ten and began to push, first squatting and then laying on my back on the bed. I delivered my baby perfectly posterior. It was amazing and fast and awesome and she bawled and bawled, but she didn't pee and poop on me. My midwife made us blueberry smoothies and egg croissant sandwiches and sat with us and talked with us while we all ate. My husband and her took the baby while I slept for a couple of hours. Bam! We left. Cypress Sky Klein attended her 0 birthday party with about 11 people at a house having a St. Patricks Day celebration. Music blasting, kids dancing around and holding her, and me feeling great, not groggy or drained.

I enjoyed both of my labor and deliveries. I enjoyed my first because I brought Aida into the world and she is one spunky, playful, loving, helpful, intense, dramamama, touchy little girl(does that make sense? She makes it work.) She blew my mind and my world into pieces and helped me realize I needed to shape a new one. And she is patient with me and my process in doing that every single day. She is amazing. I'm thankful for the modern medicine that helped me get through my lack of preparation and utter despair(that's what it was). I enjoyed my second labor because it was awesome! I love Cypress. She is so different than Aida. For starters she is mild. She is sensitive and cuddly and loving and a bit of a scaredy cat. She is smiley and happy.I loved that my labor was only four hours(due to her being posterior. My midwife said if she hadn't had been I would have delivered on the road...blessings in disguise). I loved everything that I went through for her and that I was able to do it. People make it seem impossible and it is completely possible. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father to deliver our babies. Labor and delivery is only the beginning of pains and trials we will experience in raising them and I don't want to numb myself through those experiences either. I think there are certain things in life that have to be experienced. Traveling to Paris or the Bahamas is not one of them. Delivering a child that you created from love and that is being lent to you to teach from your Heavenly Father definitely is one of those things. Harder things bring greater rewards. I have experienced natural labor and loved it and that I did it, but who knows. Maybe on number six I'll do the epidural as my celebration? Haha.

I also want to make it clear. I'm not anti-epidural. Even just the beginning of labor is hard. And even if I had known what labor was going to be like, no way I would want to go through that for 13 hours. I bet I'd still choose an epidural for my first one.That is some tough stuff. Four hours is a completely different story. But, I loved everything about a natural labor, more. I enjoyed it more and I bet you would too.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Perfectly Picturesque Pregnancy

YEAH. RIGHT. Let's cut the crap ladies. Okay okay, so it's not really crap for some women. I know women who don't ache, don't feel sick,  and in fact they feel more healthy and energetic than normal, but I have quickly come to terms with the fact that I am not one of those women. Making a baby for me is like...like...creating some little alien monster that is destroying me from the inside out and taking away all of my imunity! I'm pregnant with my second now and it really was a lot different from my first pregnancy in a lot of ways. Most of all, I don't feel like barfing every morning and have to tilt my head backwards while walking around my school breathing in and out telling myself "I'm fine, I don't feel anything coming up my throat". I also don't have as superman-ish smelling senses which is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Hello ability of public restroom usage (is that good or bad, though?) This post is going to be somewhat similar to my Breastfeeding post that I did a while back. I'm here to lay it out. My mom and sisters (bless their hearts) never told me anything about what pregnancy does to your body. I don't blame them though, who would want to talk about it? Plus, before ever being pregnant I doubt I would have been too excited to converse with either of my sisters had the conversation started, "So, this morning I like could hardly walk and I am pretty sure that something is falling out of my butt..."Yeah. I'da given no response. So, I guess thank you to my sisters.
But, ALAS, I am not them. I am here to give you THE LIST. And honestly, I could care less what people think about this list because its reality and if you don't like it, well then just pray that you're one of the women we talked about in the beginning of this entry who glows about pregnancy.Plus, there are going to be plenty of things missing from this list and since I've never experienced or heard of those things, I wouldn't know about them.
THE LIST
-Hyper sensitive smelling ability---have you ever read the book Perfume? I hated it. But, after being pregnant with Yogurt Drop I felt deeply connected in a very strange way to the main character.
-Nausea...this comes at all different levels for different women. Never feeling sick to barfing a couple of times a day. That's one way to keep baby weight off (totally just kidding. Gain that weight!)
-Exhaustion...no not feeling tired. I'm talking fully knocked out and drooling on the public sofas of your university or just all over the comfort of your husbands pillow (because his just is that much more comfy during nap times)
-Hemroids...yeah.Not pretty. Not comfy. Not anything but your baby trying to push his/her way out of your bum hole instead of the other one. And no, this isn't just at the end. I got these pretty puppies within about two months of my first pregnancy. Depending on where you carry highly impacts whether or not you'll be spending your hang out time with these or not.
-Back pain...this comes at different levels for everyone as well. Mine led me to find out that I actually have a bulging disc in the lowest vertebrae that you have, right before you tail bone begins, which just happens to be where my babies usually chill. That leads to all sorts of unbearable bearable pain.
-Varicose veins...I'm 24 and yeah they are there. Magically appearing all over my legs sporadically and whenever they want. They didn't hurt at the beginning but now they do and they just keep on coming! More and more.
-Vulvar Varicosities...You think you feel pressure down there? Unless you have these things, yeah.YOU DON'T.
-Bed wetting...You might be joining your two year old for potty training. I like to tell myself that its the deadly combo of trying to stay hydrated, having a squished bladder and being so knocked out at night that a dam breaking wouldn't wake you. Because obviously, it doesn't.
-Sensitive breasts...Bra? Not happening.

-Gallbladder attacks...this is the first one on the list I haven't experienced, but know about from a couple of people. Apparently EXTREMELY painful and happens a lot when pregnancy sneaks up on you. Most people get it taken out.
-Diabetes...this is the only other thing on the list I haven't experienced. But, you can get it while you are pregnant and then it goes away after you deliver. Can be pretty dangerous.

That's all I can think of now off of the top of my head as far as my list goes. Now, just to cheer you up a little glimpse into pregnancy with a story. Go ahead and share one of yours! We all need to not feel alone. And, boy I hope I am not alone. Maybe I am though, and that would be depressing.

I had just spent a great day and evening at a friends house with my husband and Aida. I ate this delicious tomato basil soup which was my favorite and felt great. We played cards and talked. Then my stomach started feeling a little bit sick so I told my husband that I wanted to go. By the time we reached the house we were staying at (my sister-in-law's(we were on a trip)) I was NOT feeling okay. I just went straight to my make-shift bed and laid down. But, little baby girl down under would not stop kicking my everywhere and making me feel even more sick! I knew I was going to throw up and just wanted to get it over with. Finally, the time came. I felt it coming up and and I ran like a cheetah to that shiny white bowl. Perfect timing. Too bad I had to pee like no other once I got up and ran to that bathroom. But, puking and using the bathroom at the same time is a talent not anyone in the world has, at least that I know of. PRESSURE. It all had to do with the pressure. Too much of it I tell you! With every cup of warmed tomato basil soup that shot out of my mouth, something warm shot out as well. Yep. Peed my pants, little by little. By the time I finally felt better because absolutely nothing was in my stomach, I was completely wet. Good thing there was a shower right next to me, eh?
I got teary eyed.
But, at the end of the day, my husband still loves me, Yogurt Drop still loves me, and I got one other little cocoa bean growing inside of me that will love me, and I already love her. THAT and only that is what makes pregnancy perfect and picturesque. At least for me :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

LOVE SCENES CAN EAT IT

Growing up, every time a scene came on, my parents would say "don't look!" and all of us kids would turn our heads and cover our eyes and go "eww!grossss!". Now, I'm not much different. If I'm sitting in a movie theater or at home watching something on my own, my reaction remains the same. Well, kinda. Maybe subtracting the "eww" and "gross", but sometimes not! There is some nasty stuff out there people! Sometimes I just end up skipping that scene. It wouldn't have been worth my time anyways.

And yet, when I turn my head at the movie theater or cover my eyes at home while watching movies with other friends or family, people react like I am immature, or "prude" as one person put it. Well guess what world, I don't like watching people making out or be stripping their way into heated sex! If someone was making out in public(which actually happens quite often...high school anyone?), would you stop and stare at them? Or, turn your head and walk away? And, if people were having sex in public, well, that would just be an OUTRAGE. As it should be. At least our society hasn't lost all of its sense. So, what is the difference between watching it on a big screen or on your computer at home than watching it in public? There is no difference. I see it becoming more and more common, people gluing their eyes to the screen during a sensual scene, and the thing is, you can FEEL that they don't want to watch it either. But, they don't want to be the one that turns their head and gets labeled as "childish" or "immature". Immaturity is not being able to see your natural morals and help strengthen them, but instead try to wish them into non-existence.

So, what does this all have to do with family and motherhood? Teaching your children. I believe that my parents taught me well. I believe that even one kiss is something intimate, but that can properly show affection in public. I believe that making out is definitely not something even adults should want to be "mature" enough to watch. Why would we want to? Most PG-13 movies have heated scenes that, in all honesty, are too much for 13 year old's to see. They are already losing their innocence at a rate that blows each past generation out of the water. And, there are plenty of children under the age of 13 watching those movies, and they DEFINITELY don't need to be thinking that is what is normal for a relationship between a man and a woman. Especially when that man and woman don't even have a relationship.

My point? Let's teach our children morals. Let's teach our children what real relationships are made of. Let's teach our children that physicality is definitely a big part in important relationships, but NOT the only part of it. And, that it is something that does not need to be publicized. Once again, if we wouldn't feel comfortable behaving that way in public with our significant other, why do we need to feel okay about watching a different couple do it? Even if it is just for a movie? Let's teach our children to cover their eyes, turn their heads, skip the scene, or WALK OUT OF THE MOVIE. I believe that each time they do that on their own, they are protecting their maturity, their morals, and their God-given innocence that all of us adults say we apparently admire and love. Then, when they get their first boyfriend/girlfriend and they are alone together, maybe they will be romantic. Maybe they will just hold hands for the first time instead of mounting each other because that's what they think they are supposed to do in relationships.

GROSS.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Truth About Breastfeeding

Yes, let's talk about it. I want to get this out there. This post is one that is going to be very close to me. BREASTFEEDING. To new mother's and even seasoned ones, it can sound dreadful and bring on a panic session of crying. At least that is what it did to me after little Yogurt Drop was born.

There were always amazing women that would come to me once that they saw that I was pregnant and say, "I'm going to tell you what I wish someone had told me." Boy, am I forever grateful for all of that information. But, it turns out that the one thing no one ever told me about turned out to be my greatest struggle for the first few months of being a new mother.

After Yogurt Drop was born, they put her on my chest and said, "She needs to be fed, now. Feed her." And I did just that. I just stuck her on my chest and she sucked away! I didn't feel any pain in the hospital from feeding her, which I thought was odd because everyone told me that feeding makes you pretty sore. After my first feeding, they told me that a lactation specialist would be sent into my recovery room to help me learn how to feed her properly. I fed my baby a few times before the specialist actually came in, and luck would have it that I was feeding her just as she entered.

She watched me feed her for a little bit and said something about how her jaw was moving up and down so she knew I was doing it correctly and then she left.
                             

                                    but guess what? I WASN'T.I was not doing it correctly.

It was only a day later that I could not STAND anything touching my chest. It was too painful to wear a bra, even with the gel pads that the hospital had given me. So, I spent a few days walking around like a person with TERRIBLE posture just so that my shirt wouldn't touch my cracked bleeding nipples. After about a week, my girls looked like THE PLANET MARS!!! They had crevices and were swollen to like triple their size(ok, maybe not triple. That'd be weird). I had been doing what everyone said to. After every feeding I was LATHERING them up with Lanolin oil. Everyone said that stuff is magical and will keep anything bad from happening. That was a lie. If you are feeding wrong, Lanolin won't do anything for you. But, I kept telling myself the pain would go away and that it was normal, because everyone said that it is supposed to hurt at the beginning.

But, it wasn't getting easier as the days went on, only worse.One day, I was so desperate that I went to a friend for some help. I was literally going insane. Having to go through extreme pain every two hours to feed your baby is NO BUENO. My armpits would literally be dripping sweat while I fed her. I went to my friend in hopes of comfort. But, I kind of got the exact opposite. I thought my nipples were going to fall off. No joke. The cuts were so deep and it was so swollen with so much dead skin everywhere, I thought they were just going to fall off. So, I told her that. She then went on to tell me a story about how she actually has a friend that it happened to.

I kept a straight face and listened, but inside I was DYING. I didn't need a horror story about it. I just needed help and understanding.

I called my best friend the next day telling her all of my troubles and how I just couldn't do it anymore, and just her listening and relating to me helped me out a lot. I was 95% ready to call it quits and become a formula momma. I had never wanted to do that. I don't think that it is bad to use formula. Formula is great for those who can't produce enough milk or for children who spit up everything they drink, only to be starving 3 minutes after it all comes up. But, I had no problems with my milk supply. I wanted to nurse my baby because I heard it was amazing, not to mention pretty dang convenient. But, I was at my breaking point. It wasn't until around then that I remembered that a nurse had given me a discount coupon for a lactation specialist clinic.

I remember that I was so angry while sitting and waiting to go into my appointment. On every wall there were posters that showed pictures of a baby and its mother together, nursing. All of the posters made feeding look SO EASY, so natural, so calming, so loving. YEAH FREAKING RIGHT! Nursing was what caused me to have a complete mental and emotional break down, which really does not happen very often. Nursing is what made my husband think I was a psychopath(not really, though.) It was the bane of my existence. At that point, I hated it. I wanted to never try to feed again. I was then called into the back room.

The specialist was exactly what I needed. She listened to me and told me she knew it was hard and she told me that yes, the pain and severity of cracks that I was experiencing was NOT normal. She helped show me easier ways to latch for beginners and prescribed me medication called Newton's Nipple Ointment(heaven on earth!) and after the appointment I went straight to Target and bought the Lanolin brand double pump(best price for quality). After only like 3 days of using the prescription and the pump, my girls were looking like normal again. They were healed enough that I could handle the little bit of pain to try latching and feeding her correctly. I discovered that the cradle position works best for me.

About ten months down the road and I am remembering how I told myself I'd have her weened by one. WHAT!?!? It came up so fast. She did it beautifully though and was totally ready. Two weeks later and she was drinking two sippy cups of banana milk a day. AWESOME. The truth is, it was harder for me than for her to ween. I missed her and I missed cuddling her and I missed her needing me in a way that I would never be needed again. I wanted to cry when I could tell that she wanted to nurse and then be totally fine with a glass of milk. Now two months later and we're both doing awesome. I will always nurse my children. What a truly magnificent and unique our Father in heaven has given us as mothers to be able to feed our own children from our bodies. WHOA.

So here it is, the TRUTH about breastfeeding. It is definitely one of the hardest things that some mother's will ever have to go through, but in the end, it is also one of the biggest paybacks of motherhood.
This is kind of like the pictures in the lobby of the lactation specialist's office I went to.
My baby yogurt drop during our most difficult nursing experience. We made it through, together!




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mothers Going To Work---The Kids Are Alright...So, Who Isn't?

My baby. HECK YES.She's awesome.
There's been a lot of talk about this. People are saying that women going to work and the men staying home is going to ruin families. It is going to destroy the generations to come. It's interesting to hear all of the different opinions and ideas on it...and just like with most everything else. I have an opinion.

When I was younger, my dad was the provider for our family and my mom stayed home full-time to raise me and my other siblings. Let me tell you, my mom did not have it easy. Either did my dad. Both parents experienced high levels of stress, but very different kinds. After the 9/11 terrorist attack my dad was laid-off. He was jobless for a very long time. I don't remember how long, but it was long. Luckily, all of us kids were already old enough to be home on our own. My youngest brother was in middle school. So, my mom went back to work. She first worked at our local elementary school and then got a better job working for a financial planning company. My dad became the stay at home parent for a while. And I felt no lack of love. My life was not ruined. In fact, I was happy I actually got to spend time with him. It took him staying home for me to finally realize that he actually DID care about my happiness and that he wasn't just an overly restrictive, scary man.I'm GRATEFUL there was a time when he stayed at home. Some people might say, "Well, you were already grown. If he had been raising you as a child the results would be different." Yeah, well....I would have to say I disagree. I probably would have felt distant from my mom just like I did my dad, but both parents love their children and care about them and want them to succeed...they just have different ways of showing it. Does this mean that I would have rather had my mom go to work when I was younger? NO. BIG NO. HECK NO.

Why not? Why not, if she could have earned more and I would have been loved and raised the same?
Because my mom needed that time to feel connected to us as her children.

I do think that children are affected by their mothers going to work, but I don't think mothers going to work is ruining their children's lives. I DO believe that it is affecting THE MOTHERS in a bad way, though.

Some research shows that women speak more words/day than men, while others say it's not really true. The difference between the average words/day between the man and woman is hardly significant. Whether or not women speak more than men, I do know that most women need communication to feel connected. This does not mean that EVERY woman in the whole world needs a lot of communication and that EVERY man in the world doesn't need it. I'm saying that from personal experience(dating, friendships, general communication with thousands of people, and family) women need to feel that they can express themselves. They need to feel that the person who they care about, cares about them too. Girls get together with friends and just talk. If I'm starting to miss my husband, I want to sit somewhere and just TALK to him. That's all. And, talking takes time, and caring takes time. Time that, if the mother is away from home until 5 or later every day, is non-existent. It is the time that she does not get to spend bathing and breast feeding her baby, cuddling her crying toddler, taking her kids to the park, or helping her child learn how to read. It is time that she does not get to help talk her little girl through "We like to share with others." It is time that she does not get to see her 1 year old running into her arms over and over again, just because she/he wants to. The dad gets to experience this. I don't think it is bad that he does---but I think that the dad can feel a connection easier with his kids than a mother can.

My husband told me once about a girl he was dating. He really liked her, and they would have the greatest dates. He made sure to plan out AWESOME group dates and to pack in every fun thing he could within the allotted amount of time. He thought everything was going great with her and that they were building a great relationship. Soon enough, the girl didn't really want to go out anymore. After asking a friend of hers what happened, he learned it was because she didn't feel like they were "communicating". He had been spending too much time on doing activities instead of just talking with her and building a relationship. To him, he felt that doing activities with this girl was building a relationship. To her, there was nothing there except fun dates.

I think that this is kind of the same thing with fathers and their children. They do activities and projects with them, and they feel connected to them. Does that mean that the children are feeling connected to their father? Not necessarily. Like I said earlier, I was scared of my dad most of the time when I was younger. I had fun with him, when he was in a fun mood. But, I didn't feel connected to him...for a solution to this I say...FATHERS: TAKE TIME TO TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN...WORK LESS.

My mom needed that extra time with us to feel connected to us and to not feel left out of our lives. Had it been my dad staying home with us, my mom would have felt disconnected and somewhat alien to her own children. I know I would feel that way, along with hundreds of other women.

So, do I think the mom's primary work is within the home? YES.
Do I think that means I can't do anything outside of the home? NO. I would go crazy. I believe in progress, education, diplomas, fitness, fun, reading, charity, HARD WORK.

I believe girls should graduate from college. I believe girls should be active in hobbies/learning outside of the home. Work a night shift? Sure. Work from home? Sure. Volunteer for something you are passionate about. Just DO WORK. Feel alive. Feel progress. Witness learning. Raising children does not have to be the only thing you do, unless you want it to be. And it definitely is a lot of work in and of itself.

Do I think that fathers staying home is affecting their children in a very bad way? HECK NO. The children love it.
Do I think that fathers staying home and the mothers being primary bread winners is affecting the fathers in a bad way? Not necessarily. I do believe that men should preside over the family and that involves providing for the family, and I think that men naturally have the desire to provide for their family just as a mother has the natural desire to care for and raise the baby that she held for 9 months. But, I also believe that fathers being with their children is also affecting them in a magnificent and awesome way that would not happen if they didn't have that time (which the children really need). I think they can do both. Provide and BE THERE.
Do I think that the mothers are being affected by going to work? YES. Whether they want to admit it or not, I really think they are. I think the time granted by being a stay-at-home mom is vital to the mother feeling connected and loved in a healthy way to their children. It brings fulfillment that nothing else does.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tasty Tuesday---Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad

So today was one of those days where I needed to make dinner quickly, and for a lot of people...11 to be exact. Everyone had been gone all day, and then my husband walks in the door STARVING, not to mention there is an awesome linky party today! What to do??? I got this idea from my awesome sister-in-law who cooks everyday the way that I wish I could pull off on special occasions. This one didn't turn out completely like hers, but it definitely was a hit and good enough for me to want to make at least once a week! YUMMMMMM. The cashews just top this thing off. Seriously...I'm nuts for nuts. What can I say?

Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad
1 12. 0z bag of bowtie pasta
1 handful raisins/craisins
1 can mandarin oranges
1 bag of spinach
Cashews
3 chicken breasts

Dressing
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c rice vinegar
1/3 soy sauce
6 TBS sugar
Dash of pepper

First, start thawing out the chicken. Then, start cooking the pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water. Let it drain out, again. Throw it into a big bowl and add however much spinach you would like ( I used about 3-4 handfuls). Fold these two ingredients together. Start cooking your chicken in its own pan. Next, throw in the desired amount of cashews (I did two handfuls), raisins (I did one handful) and mandarin oranges (one small can) with the spinach and pasta mixture. Pour all of the dressing on top and fold everything together, remember to try to not take break up the pasta and mandarin oranges. Cut up the cooked chicken into cubes and fold it in. Eat with a slice of buttered bread of grilled cheese for a light, healthy and delicious dinner!

Check out even more delicious dinner/dessert recipes like this that I linked up with at www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com!