My little girl just discovered her dancer's pose! I love seeing how she progresses through her own little practice and I am always amazed at how close she really pays attention. Now every time I go to take a picture of her she wants to strike a pose and show off her new trick!
Having a child on the autism spectrum is so hard. From the looks of my little girl, she seems totally normal. Yet she still sleeps in a crib, she still has a pacifier, is not potty trained, her vocabulary consists of maybe 40 clearly audible words, and really, that is only the beginning.
Every now and then, this all starts to weigh on me. I think, what am I doing wrong? Why can’t we pick up on the potty training thing, why can’t we just get rid of that nasty pacifier, and isn't it really time to get out of the crib? What would/does other moms think of me? Why am I such a failure? That's when the heavy #momguilt starts to set in.
Soon after the battle with myself has simmered down a bit, I realize (again) that she is different and that I need to be more patient with myself, her, and our situation. I need to remember that she is a sweet, delicate little human being that is growing at her own pace (and really every child is - autistic or not). Because my little girl is behind in her speech, she lacks communication skills and she also doesn't understand the concept of danger. Her crib is there to protect her at night so she doesn’t go wandering around without supervision. Her pacifier is there to help soothe her and minimize the sores that she creates in her mouth due to stress and anxiety. I could go on and on regarding each of these 'concerns'. One day we will get there, but today isn't the day.
But really, when it comes down to it, the reasons don’t matter. What matters is that I am doing what’s best for her just like we all should for our children. We are our children’s advocates. We are here to stand up and protect them and give them the peace and comfort they need in order to grow up and become the adults they need to become. We should do what we think is best for our children, regardless of what others say or what we may think they will/would say. We shouldn’t let others and their opinions get in the way of parenting to the best of our ability.
And last, but not least, we shouldn't let that #momguilt get in the way either. We can be so hard on ourselves. But we need to remember that we are doing our best and there is no 'handbook' that comes along with raising a child. No matter our situation, being a parent is hard! We can only learn from others, do the best we know how to do, and stick together to help each other out when we need it the most.
I am currently recovering from #momguilt, and striving to become a #guiltfreemom everyday.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS,
My little man is now one year old and my goal was to nurse him for the full year like I did my first. I am at the point now where we are ready to wean (like we had promised)... but I am really struggling with it! Not because he is resisting the wean... but because I don't want it to happen yet! I have been loving it so much with this little guy that I am really going to miss it when that time does come.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
My little man just turned one! I can't believe it! In honor of his first birthday I am posting about his birth story. I haven't shared this information before and this isn't like normal birth stories. This is more like the 'raw footage'.
When I started going into labor, I began to take notes in my phone every chance I could get about what was going on. That way I could remember every detail and not forget. These are those personal notes, with the actual times and the bullet points from those three days.
Around 8:00pm I want this little boy to come early. I took castor oil and took a tbps every half hour up to 2 tbsp today - I want to shoot for the doc on-call today, but I think I missed it. I still want him to come earlier though, because Rich only has next week at home due to our move to California. He will have to go back to work in Cali after that.
11:00pm Went to bed
12:15am Moved from our bed to the couch due to feeling very nauseous, hot and dizzy. Fell asleep.
1:20am Started to feel cramps
2:00am Started to time contractions on my app
2:30am Rich got up to take Advil for his headache and checked on me and then went back to bed
3:00am Contractions still going strong and getting stronger... moved around and changed positions to test if they continue... and they do.
Trying to focus more on baby movement - knowing the contractions will come by themselves if it's true labor and switching my attention to the baby moving in between. He is moving well. He actually makes a big move right before a contraction. Poor little guy feels it before I do.
3:15am Contractions about every 4 mins and about 1 min long and my breathing is starting to get heavy in between. Think it's time to wake up rich.
3:30am Tried to wait out a few more... but getting too intense and making me dizzy. Now I'm unable to talk during a contraction. Woke up rich and called mom to come over to babysit.
3:45am I've started bleeding. Very grateful for the breaks in between contractions. What a blessing!!!
4:30am Got to the hospital. Dilated to a 4 and 90% effaced. Nurse said baby is right there. Have to wait for an hour before she comes and checks me again to be admitted and have the doc called. Still having very strong contractions and bleeding a little bit.
5:25am Was in too much pain and getting nauseous so we called the nurse in. dilated to a 5.5 Moving rooms and being admitted.
6:30am Epidural, IV and catheter finished. IV was rough. Tried my left arm a few times, then my right, then settled on my left hand. Blood on the bed and arm made me a little nervous. (Tender mercy: the moon was outside the window and was so pretty). Took a bit for the epidural to get in because of my scoliosis but it worked and feels so much better. Rich got a little wheezy and had to sit down as the epidural was being finished. Contractions were getting extremely bad. But the epidural kicked in quickly. Just about peed my pants (due to the pressure) but the catheter made it all better. After the nurse finished the catheter she checked my cervix and I was dilated to a 7. She will be back in a half hour to check again. Got a big window in our new room and the sun is coming up! It is beautiful with the Utah mountains there.
Feeling a little dizzy and having some heart flutters. Feeling pressure where the baby is but not wanting any more meds... just feels like I have to pee really really bad when there is a contraction. And the poor little baby's heart rate changes when the contraction happens.
7:10am The doc came in to say hi (he is the doc I wanted!! YAY!). Said he could break my water now but there is no rush. Also Doctor said the next doc on call will be in soon and will be taking over the on-call. He is doing a C-section then will come break my water after. That'll be in about 3.5-4 hours. That'll give me enough time for my antibiotic that I need for my strep to get into my system. For now... we shall sleep. :)
7:30am Feeling lots of pressure and burning. Called the nurse. She checked me and I'm at a 10! Doc came in and set me all up!! He was about to leave because it was past his shift but he stayed to deliver me!! YAYYY!! I started to push and it was really hard and painful. It was so painful and burning so bad I didn't think I could do it. I felt everything and pushed only a few times. The meds helped a lot because I couldn't feel most of the pain but the pressure and the burning was enough. I wanted to be able to feel some of it this time and I was able to. It was intense but great at the same time.
7:45am He was out! I pushed for maybe 5 mins. I saw (and felt) him as the doc pulled his body out and then placed him right on my stomach as they cleaned him off. It was the most beautiful moment I have ever been apart of. I will NEVER forget it.
Then Rich cut the umbilical cord and then they put him on my chest for skin to skin contact. Doctor said everything looked great and I didn't tear at all! "Just a skid mark" is what he said. We cuddled for a bit then they took him to weigh him and measure him. He weighted in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and measured at 20 inches long.
Then they brought him back to me and I tried to nurse him. He latched on right away and nursed for 15 mins each side!! It was amazing!
8:45am There was an earthquake! The ceiling and walls cracked and swayed as if the wind blew it a bit. The earth was welcoming him.
9:30am Nursing is going great. Resting a lot. We love this hospital so much more than the last one. The nurses are a lot more personable and their procedures are tons better. (Ex: they like to see the baby feed twice before the give them a bath...stuff like that)
6:00pm Last night went fine. I let Rich sleep and I wheeled the little guy (no name yet) in his bed close to me and nursed him every time he woke up which was about every hour or so. I was really tired in the morning but made up for it later in the day.
We had a great lactation specialist come talk to us for a bit and I wish she had helped us back with my first... she could have helped me a lot then.
A massage therapist came and gave me a foot massage for a bit too. That was fabulous!!
Our nurse for the most of the day today was my mom's friend Melinda from the gym.
I have been feeling great! Just some aches and pains and really the stomach cramping during nursing is the worst pain so far. I get up and walk every now and then and I feel fine.
Nursing is going great. Just a bit tender but ok.
They want me to stay in the hospital until Tomorrow morning, but we would like to be home tonight.
They are sending dinner to us now and my mom and BIG SISTER :):) will be here soon to bring the baby's car seat. Then we will be going home!!! Yay!!
9:00pm I seriously feel so blessed for the way everything has gone the last few days. I have been praying and praying the baby would come before Rich needed to go back to Cali for work. I wanted to have Rich home for a bit with me after the baby came and now we have all next week. It has all worked out so well and I have really felt God's hand in it every step of the way. Especially with how fast he came and when he arrived. I was even able to get the doctor I wanted and felt the most comfortable with. It gave me strength when things got hard or painful. And now I still feel the strength and comfort and confidence in all that is coming our way as far as the recovery, moving to California, packing, Rich being gone, etc. I can do this. I can do hard things.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I have never been the entertainer or someone that one would even consider ‘funny’. In reality, I don’t like a lot of attention and I usually stray away from anything that will put me in the spot light. Because of his I really look up to people who are outgoing and can make others laugh. I really enjoy being around those types of people, because really they make me happier!
In my sociology class back in college we studied about a term called ‘facial feedback’. It’s basically the idea that if you smile, your brain thinks you’re smiling because you are happy, and then it sends triggers to the rest of your body saying, “Yes! I am happy!” I wouldn’t consider this lying to myself... it’s more like ‘faking it until I make it’ or just staying positive, finding hope, and being optimistic. I know that happiness is contagious and laughing really is the best medicine. When we are happy and optimistic it sends messages to our brain helping us to become happier in our situation no matter what the situation may be.
Now, like I said before, I love to be around people who are positive and make others laugh because their positivity rubs off on me! When we are happy, that positive energy rubs off on those around us. This then creatives a positive and uplifting environment. Now why wouldn’t we want to live in an environment like that?
Even though I may not be the class clown or find it easy to put a smile on someone’s face, I can always strive to find ways to be happy and uplifting. And if I am able to lift someone’s spirit by doing so, then that’s totally worth it!
I want to create a happy, hopeful, uplifting environment for my kids to grow up in. I want them to then take this philosophy into the world and help others find happiness as well. This is just one simple way to make the world a better place. And really the most simplest ways can be the most powerful.
Nursing my second was a ton easier. I learned a lot about nursing and was able to overcome some fears that I had. I also asked other moms what they found successful and I read up on nursing in books and on the internet. After much study and then implementing what I learned with my little man, I feel like I have had so much more success with him than I did with my first. The difference has been drastic.
If there were two tips to choose to pass onto other moms-to-be about nursing it would be these:
1- Nurse your baby right when they are born.
2- Find a good nursing cover (if you choose to cover).
I hadn't heard about nursing right after the baby is born until AFTER I had my first baby. When I heard that you should put them to your chest and help them latch right when they come out of the womb, I cried. Literally, I cried. I felt like I had totally missed the window of opportunity to make it a successful nursing experience for my daughter. That could have helped and I felt like all the tears and hard times we had would have been gone if I had known this. I was devastated. But I knew all I could do was make it happen with the babies to come. So I did with my son. He latched on right away and hasn't had any problems! I know every baby is different so it may not be that way for every other child I have from here on out, but it was a success with him and I have become a believer!
Now, as far as covering goes... honestly... I wish I could just get it done and not worry about covering. But I am not that brave. I have to cover. I have had multiple nursing covers and have honestly hated everyone of them... until I found this one that wraps completely around me. With a cover like this, I don't have to do much and it has been a game changer for me! I get completely underneath it and move around freely without feeling claustrophobic or worried that it may fall or open unexpectedly. It is light-weight so it isn't a pain to carry around. It breathes easy so I am not sweating each time I nurse during hot summer days (like the ones we have been having lately). My favorite part is that I can use it as a blanket for my boy, a cover for his car seat, a cover while I nurse, or even throw it over my head and wear it around my neck as an infinity scarf.
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IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
This little man started sleeping through the night a little while ago and it has been heaven for me! I didn't realize how much having 'no sleep' can affect me until I had my first child. I can handle anything that comes my way if I have had a good night sleep. But if I haven't... I easily fall apart.
I am a BabyWise mom. I have read a lot of books on having kids and the BabyWise theory stuck out to me the most, so we decided to fully commit to it from the beginning. It has a bit of a reputation for being 'too strict' or 'too schedule based', but we stuck to it and it has worked like a charm... both times!
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Here are five things I have learned from BabyWise:
1 - The 'Eat, Wake, Sleep' cycle is golden! Feed them right when they wake up so they don't become reliant on their feeding to put themselves to sleep.
2 - Consistency is key. Nothing will happen if you are not consistent. No progress will be made.
3 - 'Begin as you mean to go', meaning start from the very beginning and begin how you want things to turn out in the end.
4 - Having a schedule can make life with a baby easier and even predictable (yes... I said predictable)! PLUS, schedules come easily for them... if you implement a schedule, they will naturally follow it.
5 - Putting your baby down in their bed awake and walking away to help them put themselves to sleep can actually change your world... and theirs.
I am not saying it was easy. I have had my fair share of frustrating nights and have experienced that 'crippling fatigue'. But there is one thing that has made it a ton easier. The key is BabyWise ...and your commitment to it. It isn't easy, but it is oh so worth it!
If you want to talk to me more about BabyWise please contact me. I would love to discuss the book if you have read it OR if you are interested in reading it. I have made a document full of personal notes that I would be willing to share for free. I have even included a detailed breakdown of the BabyWise schedule and when each merge takes place. I hope to hear from you!