My Dear Daughter

So much has happened in the last year. Life and Death … fun and not so fun times, even stolen dining room tables. Over the next week I will be spending the time catching everyone up on the craziness . Lets first start with the very good … The official announcement of Willow!

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Willow Olivia Naomi  6 pounds 1 ounce and pure badassness

I GOT MY GIRL!!!

Lets also pretend that she is brand new and NOT four months old.

“Nate” as I call her is just pure bliss, she has been the calm in the storm. We all know babies can calm the stormiest of storms. I am just over the moon with her. The boys are too!

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They fight over her

I also have to throw in all the Mom and me outfits

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With this excitement has come some worries:

HOW DO I RAISE A GIRL!! 

Boys I am use too … and society has shaped boys to know

  • You can be bossy   Assertive
  • Aggressive, arrogant   I mean be a leader
  • You can be anything you want to be …. as long as you have children, take care of them, keep a clean home, and be perfect

Everything stroked out is what society will expect from willow or describe her as, if things do not change.

I cannot change society. I can raise her knowing she is enough.

 

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My mom made the quilt used as a back ground … by hand

My Dear Daughter,

 Remember always you come from a legacy of women. The very quilt you lay on was made by the hands of your great – grandmother. A strong woman. One who raised 12 children in the Deep South during Jim Crow days in a cabin on the farm. A praying woman a loving woman. One who’s mother before her picked cotton. My mother your grandmother was strong, kind, and beautiful – inside and out. She was also a praying women. 6 am every morning. A women who grew up during Jim Crow , participated in the civil rights movement and wore an Afro no one could match.

 

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Your Grandmother

You my daughter are part of a legacy, and don’t let anyone tell you other wise.

 

My now youngest my only daughter. My love you are a queen and nothing less. You are surrounded by so much love close and far. You caught by your fathers hands. My sweet girl stay sweet but also strong.

 

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Wrap by Attachedmommies

Babies Calm the Stormiest of Storms

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We may Differ Skin wise, But Yes He is Mine

I have been warned by friends that the day will come when I will be asked if my youngest is really mine or if I am the nanny. I brushed if off as that will not happen the year is 2013. Well a few days ago I was asked the dreaded question. I was shocked and a bit hurt. Yet wrote this as my dream response to that lady.

“Is he yours? I only ask because of the blonde hair and his light skin.”

Asked the woman in our community laundry room as I had both my boys with to check if a washer was open (the downfall of community washers.)

I wished she had stopped at is he yours. A question I have grown use to hearing seeing I did do child care and would have 3 kids with me at a time. Though those questions were usually “are ALL three of those kids yours?” Yet if she had just stopped at asking if he was mine I could have ignored the real reason she was asking.

I could have just said yes he is we have such a busy household. Yet it was the adding of what color Lyams hair was and his skin that she so anxious to point out.

Now don’t get me wrong the topic of our boys and the their skin and hair color has come up among friends. Usually though it’s predicting what they will look like when they get older or if Lyams hair will ever curl like his brothers. We point out how Cadden with his beautiful tanned skin and tight curly hair looks just like me when I was a child, and how Lyam with his lighter but sun kissed skin and brown/blonde straight hair is a spitting image of his father. Yet it’s just talk in our world tucked behind closed doors. Talk that’s spoken between friends and out of love. So I was thrown off my track when she asked this.

She did not know me other than a quick hi in the hallways. I wanted so much to respond with more than a yes in fantasy land with all the time in the world I so wanted to say:

Yes he is mine the news of his coming was just another added gift to the holiday season. You see he is the rainbow baby our baby after the storm. The storm being an ectopic suffered right before the holiday season kicked off. Yes to I did carry him for nine months. In those nine months we had morning sickness, heartburn that could have destroyed a small town. Sleepless nights, a scare of preterm labor, oh and did I mention the having to pee like a race horse?. Then on to his birth… It was beautiful. As my doula and close friend walk around the neighborhood and did lounges up a hill all day hoping we would encourage the child you are questioning to be mine to show his face.

Our prayers answered later that night when my water broke. As my husband sped to the birth center worrying me on whether he would get pulled over and I would have to hitch a ride with our doula who drove cautiously behind. As we walked into the birthing center that rainy night… And I labored on the edge of the bed then in a tub ( which felt soo good). As we joked about why the heck I was drinking zero calorie Gatorade , or how I was floating away in the tub. As we searched for a pushing position that fit for me and my needs, and how my husband who was convinced before our child’s birth to catch him….caught Lyam as he was making his entrance into this world. Yes this child that I am holding is mine but if you need convincing I have pictures of him making his entrance into this world from my vagina to prove it.

Yet that is not how I responded… My response was ” yes he is mine, I tend not to have the habit of breastfeeding other babies unless asked.” then walked away. Well more like dragging my toddler along due to a tantrum while trying to get away as quick as possible.

Brotherly Love

When time came near for Lyam to be born I had a huge fear. It didn’t involve going into labor or even how his birth would go, it was going from one child to two. Cadden had Chad and I all to himself for a good 18 months. Though he did have to share my attention during the day as I did childcare, he knew at the end of the day those kids went back home to their families. OK well he didn’t know where they went, but he did know they were not staying the night.  He was not used to also having to share me during the evening hours.

Yet we tried to prepare him. We bought him the doll of his choice and called it the baby. We told him to that he had to feed the baby and be nice to the baby. Though instead this baby ended up in a plastic bag as a carrier, and was use as a road bump for his cars and trucks. I would also tell him that a baby was in my tummy. That he warmed up to even more so when a friend was pregnant at the same time and had her little guy before I did. So Cadden was getting use to the idea. Yet bringing Lyam into this world with Cadden terrified me enough to the point I got super nervous during labor and had a mini breakdown.

Well My fears didn’t keep Lyam from being born ….. Nor did it keep me from hiding out at the birth center he was born at we eventually had to go home.

As you can see Cadden wasn’t too sure but he was very quick on wanting to hold his new brother. Yes we allowed our 18 month old to hold our newborn.

     

Well after about a good hour the newness of his little brother wore off and it was now time to see what he could do to the scrunched up little guy.  This resulted in hitting and pulling hair… not fun at all but has finally stopped 8 months later.  Lyam has been toilet baptized by his brother. I tell myself he will have a great immune system from this.

Yet Cadden does really care about his brother …

He now shoves food in his mouth

tells me Lyam needs to be nursed

sits on his tummy and bounces ( because little brother make great bounce toys)

pats his butt

…..and his newest trick….picking Lyam up and carrying him over to me.

Such a proud big brother

Recently now that Lyam can sit and stand along with scream when he is upset the boys have grown on each other. Along with getting in trouble with each other…

smashing grapes all over the floor
smashing grapes all over the floor

Eight months later I am seeing two boys who love each other. Though they may not be able to say it you can see it. Whether it’s the way Lyams eyes light up when he sees Cadden enter the room or the way Cadden says ” hi eyam” when Lyam first wakes up in the morning the love is there. I can only hope as the get older that their relationship only gets stronger. No matter how many arguments they get into or how many toys they take from each other. I also hope that they become each others closest friends. Yet as for now I only hope I can stay sane as these two continue to “explore” with each other.

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“Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other. ”
~ Leonardo Dicaprio

The diaper that changed my life

If you know me You know I love cloth diapers ( more of an obsession but whatever same thing). If you don’t know me I am letting you know I love cloth diapers. Along with being very passionate about informed birth choices, babywearing, co-sleeping and gentle parenting. Yet would you believe me if I said that the passion for the topics listed would have never been if it wasn’t for my first cloth diaper? Yes cloth diapering introduced me to the world of birth, babywearing and more.

You see when Cadden was about three months we hit the point of either we pay for the car or we buy diapers for the baby. I told my husband that we could do without the diapers and just put him on the toilet ( I later learned this was elimination communication). My husband was not for that so off for answers I went. I typed in the Google search bar how to save money on diapers and up popped the world of cloth diapering!

Caddens first ever cloth diaper... yeah didn't realize a cover was needed and yes pins were used.
Caddens first ever cloth diaper… yeah didn’t realize a cover was needed and yes pins were used.

I never turned back ( OK we use a sposie here and there). At the moment my obsession is with G  diapers ( No they didn’t pay me to say that).

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Yes I proudly take pictures of my kids butts.

So how did cloth diapering make everything else roll into place?

Well when I first started cloth diapering I joined a open cloth diapering group here I met my now friend Leticia who made Cadden his first set of diapers. They were so damn cute. Well meeting her led me to the Minnesota cloth diapering group that I now admin with her and two other great ladies. Here I was introduced to the idea that you can give birth outside the hospital. I was introduced to what a doula is and their role… I actually met my doula who is also now a friend from this group. Without this knowledge I would have never had my youngest at a birthing center. I would have never met the awesome midwives who attended his birth. My husband would have never became such a huge supporter of births in birth centers and the use of doulas ( we are still working on a home-birth).

If cloth never showed up in that Google search the moms who gave donor milk to my oldest would have never existed in my life. The words yes its OK to sleep with your baby ( that baby is now two years old and still in our bed along with his 8 month old brother) would have never been read as I sat sleep deprived begging for help. My first “proper” baby carrier which was a ring sling made by a great mom wouldn’t exist well with me anyway. Maybe the fabric would have sat there waiting to be turned into the sanity saving carrier for another mom who couldn’t get anything done due to her baby wanting to be held 24/7.

As for breastfeeding… I would have never had the much-needed advice of moms who had been through the struggles I was facing trying to feed my first. Nor would they be the great support I have now with my second ( 8 months strong). I would not be completing the training I need to do to become a Certified Lactation Educator.

You see it might seem a little crazy to others for me to say this… Yet I would not be the crazy babywearing, pro breastfeeding, informed birth choicer, cloth diaper hoarder I am today if it was for the search on Google that landed my 3 month old in a cheaper gerber prefold with safety pins on the side.

yes I have a problem ... Cloth diaper rehab anyone?
yes I have a problem … Cloth diaper rehab anyone?

Why my non medicated vaginal births were/are better than yours….

My first Cadden… I was induced at 41 weeks and delivered him in about 5 to 6 hours after my water breaking with 3 pushes no epidural at a hospital.

My Second- Water broke 2 days after my guess date after walking up a hill all day thanks to my doula. Labored in the water about 4 hours at a birth center with my midwives and husband. My husband caught our child and again no epidural.

And because of this my two births are better than yours and if you used and epidural or had a c section you have ruined your kids for life……..

At this moment you probably want to slap the living crap out of me.  I want to slap myself for even writing that.

Yet… I have seen things like this written on the internet on forums.  Here are some examples:

MOM1: Baby is breech so having a c-section

Crazy mom 1: Don’t listen to the doctor listen to your body … You know c sections are horrible and a breech baby is not a reason for one!

Crazy mom 2: You know you could “forget” to go in for the c-section and do an unassisted birth

Crazy mom 3: I know a mom who died during a c section.

I have actually seen this written and none of these answers help the mom nor put her at ease.  Yes you can have a vaginal breech birth its very possible yet non of these responses portray that and by the time it comes up in the thread the mom – to – be has shut down and doesn’t want to hear anything else.

I would love to sit here and say I have never been any of the crazy moms who have responded … yet I cannot I am guilty of crazy mom responses. Yet one day I was responding to a thread an received a pm. The mom to pm’ed asked me straight out ” Do you hate moms who have c sections?” That question hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. I never at that moment hated any way of giving birth so why would someone even ask me? It was the way I delivered my message. The way it came across to other moms.

It never occurred to me that my passion for having a very informed birth was actually putting moms off. It made it seemed like I was only for a vaginal birth extra points if you went without an epidural. When in all reality I am for all births. Whether they be c section, vaginal, water birth, bed birth, lotus birth, hands and knees birth, any birth in which a baby is born is a birth I am for. Yet what ever way baby is born I want mama and dad to be informed walking in and have the support of their doctors and nurses.

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Very good point brought up by Erin a friend

“I always wonder who gets to decide when a mom is “informed” enough? As a C-Section mom, I always get told that I would have made different/ better decisions had I been more informed. But I was very well informed (not to mention completely happy with my decisions). It always seems like if someone makes a different choice, she is labeled “uninformed”. How is anyone really uninformed these days?

There are no informed police walking around yet

My  Personal Informed meaning-  knowing the side effects of certain procedures and medicines. Knowing you can question your doctor or midwife. Research!! Even if all you may want to go in and do is have a baby. Being informed may not be  the final solution to healthier moms and babies but it is a start in the right direction!

Another thought while I am at this … I AM TIRED OF THE BIRTHING COMPETITION BETWEEN MOMS!!!!!!!!

If you don’t know what a birthing competition is here is one I see all the time

Mom1: Gave birth to Joe who was 7 pounds … hard work but worth it. Loving mommy-hood!

Mom2: Congrats but hard work is giving birth to a 9 pounder

mom3: My friend have birth naturally to a 11 pounder baby no meds!!

Before you know it someones moms friends dogs owner is giving birth to a 20 pound baby with no meds out in the woods somewhere and then made an awesome tasting placenta soup.

As women we need to uplift each other. Help support the mothers having a hard time. Laugh with the ones who want to laugh and stop the judging, stop the competition stop  the harsh words.

Lets help improve all births!

Nationally

Locally