Posts Tagged With: baby

Friday Fitness #12 – Downward facing baby!

Remember when you were little and you could do the splits, or at least touch your toes? When it comes to flexibility, one thing is a guarantee, if you don’t use it… you lose it!

I’ve started back to working out (look for some weight lifting posts soon!) which means soreness and tighter muscles. By “tighter” I don’t necessarily mean less cellulite, I mean less flexibility. I sat on the floor in a straddle to play with my little girl and could barely reach in front of me past my feet. Eek! I used to be able to lay my stomach to the ground!

Today’s fitness suggestion is to get back in the routine of elongating your body. It’s been proven time and time again that being flexible is good for your health, beyond just being bendy.

  • Corrects and maintains proper posture.
  • Prevents injury (it helps when you can bend verses snap)
  • Increases blood flow
  • Healthier state of mind
  • Boosts balance
  • I believe it also provides a sound body for better sleep. But that’s just me.

We all know yoga is the prime way to connect with our breath and stretch out, but we also know that not all of us are amped on going to a studio with a few dozen yogis at 4am on a Saturday. Just sayin. So why not do it in the comfort of your own home!

There’s several online instructors that you can put on your device that will guide you through a proper session. Orrrrr you can just get on the floor and stretch. Try reaching for things you haven’t touched in awhile. Fingers to your back, hands to your feet, what about making the bottoms of your feet touch? To give you a visual I thought I’d find the most flexible person in our house to be my model.

Nailed it!

Here are some of our attempts (and excuse to show off Shanti).

Straddle sit with forward stretch.

Cobra pose

(Almost) Pressing the bottom of ones feet together.

(Assisted) reach to touch the toes.

Mom trying to get daughter to touch both feet at the same time (that’s me laughing in failure).

Categories: Fitness, Fitness Friday’s!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Well Bless Your Heart

So there I was, Shanti with a full diaper and giving me the hunger cues. Like most airport bathrooms, the line was out the door with a stretch of women holding an impatient fake smile. I squeezed by everyone with hope in finding a spotless changing table with our names on it. Let me prep this with informing you that it would be my first changing-table experience. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it’s obvious when seasoned moms are on their hundredth changing-table routine, one hand here, sanitary wipe there, here a diaper, there a leg, all while balancing the edge of a broken hinge with a knee. I was up for the challenge until I rounded the corner and saw what I was working with. A dirty table with a woman already gagging her way through it with her little one. I could have stepped up and done the same but I’ll have to be honest with you, I wasn’t in the mood to battle it especially with a dozen women standing there watching. Chicken. So at this point, I have no choice but to join the herd in line and comfort Shanti to the best of my ability.

We finally got to the front and I see the size of the claustrophobic mini stalls in which I doubt we’d both fit in with her car seat in hand. I wave the others on as I patiently wait for the only large stall offered. Finally! It opens.

I got to the end and closed the door. I laid out my makeshift sanitation station on the ground and don’t have the guts to lay her there, so on my lap it is. I semi successfully get her clean and in a new diaper when she starts back in with the hunger signs, an excited whimper, not yet a cry and the side mouth reach. Trying to prevent her full on hungry holler, I get out my boob and she latches quickly as if she’d gone days without food. Typical.

Less than a minute into it, I hear a conversation outside the stall. A young woman says, “M’am are you waiting for this one?”, the answer comes from a fragile petite voice directly outside my stall that says, “No, I’m waiting for the large one. I can’t use the toilet without a handrail”. I hopelessly gaze at the handrail I was resting my knee on as Shanti gulps away.

“Are you waiting for my stall M’am?” I ask, selfishly hoping there was another one I wasn’t aware of. “Yes, yes I am”.

So with Shanti still devouring her lunch, I packed up my mess on the floor with one hand and proceeded to shove it under the door with one foot while attempting to cover her head with my free hand (just in case there’d be someone offended by my half breast). I open the door and hip bump it open and smile at the ancient woman waiting for us. She smiled back with the sincerity of someone who had been there, done that and truly appreciated my effort.

Then she said the one line that all southerners have said or heard at least one time in their life, “Well bless your heart”.

She went about her business and there I was, my back physically against the back wall with my diaper bag at my feet (half packed and spilling over), her car seat at my other side and her in my arms with no clue of the episode.

I looked up to find every single eye in the room locked in on the free entertainment I had been providing. I’d like to think I gave a confident stunning smile back at the crowd but in reality it must of been a squished eyebrow of wishing I could just disappear. I put my focus back down on Shanti and as I was wrapping up, a kind voice walks by me, leans in and says, “You’re doing a great job momma”. This small sentence gave me the encouragement I needed to gather my things, snap my shirt and waddle to the sinks with baby in arm, diaper bag over the shoulder and the car seat swaying from my lose grip.

Note to all humans: Take time to be kind, you never know how a few words can change an entire day for someone.

Fast forward to the end of the trip. 2 flights, no fits and a journey that’d I claim as a success for a solo parent and a 2 1/2 month old. I fed her on the final landing to help her ears pop and gave myself an imaginary pat on the back knowing she was never in discomfort nor did anyone on the flight know there was even a baby on board.

As I’m leaving the flight we got all kinds of kind comments on her cuteness, my bravery (as if millions of others had never done this) and “such a good baby”! As we walked through the terminal I continued to get smiles, except now they were a little awkward. I was so high on mom mode that I didn’t think into people’s expressions as my final goal was to collect our things and find daddy outside waiting for us. It wasn’t until I sat down to strap her into the car seat that I glanced below and realized what everyone had been smiling at while trying to avoid staring at. Call me genius over here, but I never zipped up the breastfeeding flap on my hoodie! Luckily I had a bra that matched, but hello… it’s still open and goods were hanging out.

To give you a visual, below is the exact sweatshirt I wore on the flight with the same zipper flap open. I’d like to think every mom has a photo like the one below! (Thanks to my mother for snapping this nap time pic).

You can imagine the exhaustion driven laughter I tried to hold back as I zipped up my shirt, tucked her in and moved along. What a day.

Here’s a quick video I shot right before we left the terminal. Our happy little (75 day old) girl after a thousand mile road trip and an entire day of flying. What a champ!

Categories: Baby Talk, Not-so-happy trails, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why this post took a month to write…

In the last article called Welcome to the world Shanti Mae, I ended with “Next up, surviving the first week with a newborn!”

Ha. Ha. Ha. How cute I was thinking I’d have all the time in the world to describe (with pictures) the glory of having a new little human in our home. A small adorable creature that is solely dependent on us for every… single… thing except taking her every breath.

Here she is all bundled up (clearly thrilled) with Daddy ready to leave the birthing center and come home with us.

Well, a few weeks later I’m finally sitting down with one eye open, one hand typing (photo bellow is the current situation) and enough energy to throw together this post.Let’s talk about Sleep (or lack there of) – a well known sacrifice of a new parent. Inexperience had me assuming it’d be the crying that would steal our precious Z’s, however that’s been the least of the causes!

Reasons that new parents look and live in zombie status for the first month:

Breastfeeding I will start by saying I fully understand that this is a choice. I have chosen to exclusively breastfeed with no bottles to substitute in between. Yes, I pump for future needs or emergencies, but baby only gets the boob… for now. This means no matter what time of day, no matter how many hours or minutes I’ve closed my eyes, when it’s eatin time, I’m awake. For those of you that don’t know, most newborns eat about every 2-3 hours unless of course they’re cluster feeding in which they want to feed several sessions in that span of time.

Getting things done- They say “sleep when they sleep”. What!? You finally have both arms free! House chores, emails, hair clients, food prep, maybe even a shower! You haul tail to get as much done as possible before their sweet little eyes open again.

Time with your partner- I’m not even hinting about sexy time. I’m talking about Netflix, dinner at a table with utensils and plates, a game of cards… fill in the blank with what used to be so easy to do together. So when the baby finally sleeps and it’s you two alone, the last thing you want to do is sleep and miss out on an hour of connection. #Truth- we usually end up falling asleep no matter what we attempt to do.

Visitors We’ve been so fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family that adore our little one. I’m aware not every person gets to experience this kind of affection and support and for this we are truly grateful. With that said, there hasn’t been a day (literally) since we got home that we didn’t have someone come over or “swing by”. Again, I LOVE the love and would rather have this than the latter, however it still requires our attention, aka to be awake.

Watching their chest move- So your chores are done, nobody is visiting, hubbies at work, baby is fed and sleeping and you’re thinking you can finally rest… so you think. You lay down with them in perfect site and close your eyes with the intention of sleeping. Jokes on you! There’s an involuntary maternal reflex that bounces your eyes open every 8-10 minutes to make sure they’re still bundled and breathing. So although you may be horizontal and not fully awake, you’re far from sleeping.

I’ll give you one guess on who’s getting all the sleep around here…

… with animated dreams included!

I’ll leave you with a short clip of Matts go-to way of calming her down. Oh how I love this man!

Categories: Baby Talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Welcome to the world Shanti Mae!

Before now, my personal experience with labor and delivery hadn’t really extended beyond hearing “She had the baby, it was a boy!” Or “It was a tough delivery, but mom and baby girl are doing just fine”. Of course I understood that a stork didn’t just swing by and drop them a newborn child, but the comprehension of what a woman must endure to be able to make the special announcement was beyond me.

You can google birthing documentaries or watch You Tube videos and you’ll hear such a variety of experiences. I was once told by one of my hair clients, “I’d be pregnant forever if I just didn’t have to deliver them, while her sister standing next to her said, I’d deliver 10 more if I just didn’t have to be pregnant again.” Proving the extreme differences in this miracle of a journey.

If you’re more keen to watch our week long adventure Click Here for the video!

This is our birthing story.

Waddling into my last days of the pregnancy, I had full intentions of going into labor naturally and arriving to the birthing center with no expectations. I went to my doctors a few days prior to my due date to hear some news I wasn’t expecting. I was aware that when a mother is over 35 years old, they label her as “advanced maternal age”, meaning medically too old, wrinkly, elderly and brittle to have a non risk pregnancy (enter eyes rolling here). What I didn’t know is that they rarely like an older woman to go over her due date as it increases the chance of a high risk labor resulting in still birth (baby who has died in the womb). As a person who generally lives a natural lifestyle with little to no western medicine, I struggled with the idea of forcing something that would eventually happen on its own. I was nervous about it but I feel they all truly had our best intentions in mind, inducing was the safest route.

I’ll have to admit that starting at 38 weeks I had fun with old wives tales to encourage an on time delivery, if not a little early. I figured naturally trying to induce would be much better than medically induced. I ate my fair share of pineapple and dates, drank gallons of red raspberry leaf tea, enjoyed plenty of “quality time” with Matt, rubbed essential oils on certain pressure point and even went as far as taking a shot of good ol castor oil. There’s a possibility that all of these things contributed to me dilating to 2 with 80% effacement, but still not enough to send me into labor.

Here’s Matt prepping to paint my toes after the pressure point ankle massage. #besthusbandever

After a lot of thought and discussion, we decided to go past my due date with hopes she’d come first, but keep the induction date the doctor booked as a back up. Time came and gone so we found ourselves packing up for a midnight inducement at the Sacred Heart Birthing Center.

I feel like I could write an entire book on what the next 24 hours entailed, but I’ll let the video show you those details.

Midnight to 1am- paperwork, room organization and me changing into my gown.

1:00 am – They gave me Cytotec, a drug that’s used as a ripening agent to soften the cervix. At this point I was barely 2cm and feeling random dull contractions.

1-5:00 am – I laid in bed, eyes closed with my mind wide open.

5:15 am – They checked again and I was at 3cm still with minimal contractions.

6:00 am – Started the Oxytocin (Aka “Pitocin” – causes and/or strengthens labor contractions during childbirth).

Here’s a fake smile while working through a small contraction.

7:15 amAn amniotomy was performed (rupturing of the water sac) in hopes of strengthening contractions and speeding up labor. Not fun… at all.

8:00 am – With the Pitocin and amniotomy combination I had dilated to 5cm and this is when I went from slightly uncomfortable, to on my hands and knees. I was now breathing through what seemed to be an almost intolerable series of contractions. I had no time to recover between each uterus stabbing pain and only had the ability to catch just enough air to prevent me from passing out.8-1:30pm – for over 5 hours I endured these Pitocin induced contractions and watched in horror every time the nurse would come in to increase the dosage. I did my best to change positions, relax my face and breath to the deepest of my core in order to make it through.

1:30 pm – The nurses informed me that because the contractions were so close together with much intensity, that an epidural may benefit the situation. An epidural is a type of anesthesia that doctors give you to numb your spinal nerves and prevent pain signals from traveling to your brain. They said it’d invite my body to relax and allow for more dilation as well as provide me with rest before the pushing began…

…I declined.

1:32 pm – I asked for the epidural.

1:45-9:45 pm – For the following 8 hours I was bound to the bed due to the numbing in my lower half. Everyone watched a movie as I closed my eyes for small moments at a time and I was finally able to express what I was feeling without reaching for a breath. Although I like to do things naturally, I have to admit, this was wonderful. Well, all was wonderful except the one side effect I had NO idea was even a possibility. Uncontrollable shaking. Like when you get a chill and your teeth chatter, except this was throughout my entire upper body, jaw to core and down my arms. My amazing husband and mother took turns attempting to calm the shake or at least provide relief by rubbing my joints. It wasn’t so much painful, but exhausting! My muscular structure felt like I had been running a marathon for hours.

9:45-10:45 pm– The time had finally come and the room was getting ready. My doctor was on her way and the nurses started to prep the area for delivery. I was still shaking so you can imagine us trying to keep me warm with layers of blankets and rubbing techniques. Little did we know this was a mistake. I’m not quite sure if the covers were totally to blame, but at this point I had acquired a high fever. Adults can handle big temperatures but think of my little oven overheating and what it can do to the unborn baby. Although the staff didn’t seem too worried, there was definitely a shift in energy when the fever continued to climb.

10:45-11:07pm – Go time! Legs spread eagle, no shame… my husband was on my left, mom on my right and Dr. Ellen Esses directly in my forward vision. My best friend Katie and Matts mom Terri were also there in support with cameras in hand.

I had always heard of other women’s stories describing lengthily pushing episodes extending hours into weariness, babies getting stuck in the canal and other unattractive things during the delivery. I did my best to push these concerns far from my reality and focus on my journey, the present moment. I was so pleasantly surprised when only 15 minutes into pushing the doctor called the team in for our little girls arrival.

11:08 pm – Only 20 minutes after my first push, they were placing her in front of me. Overwhelmed and almost in disbelief, there I was, looking into the eyes of our daughter.

As soon as it was cleared that Shanti was healthy (although born with a fever, it dropped on its own) I asked everybody, excluding staff, to clear the room except me and Matt. This was our time to bond as a new family, to surround our little girl with the welcoming peaceful energy that we’ll carry home with us. It was priceless to lay in my husbands arms, yes he climbed into the tiny hospital bed with me, while holding Shanti Mae on my chest.

Next up, surviving the first week with a newborn!

I invite you to click the link below to watch our entertaining and personal experience!

Birth week Vlog – SHE IS COMING DOWN AND OUT!!

Categories: Baby Talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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