Monday, April 30, 2012

My Birth Story!

After hearing the topic discussed in several of my online groups I decided to share R’s birth story.  It’s not too graphic but does go into some detail.  Read if you want, if not, no biggie! 

At right around 2am on Dec. 19th I woke up with contractions.  I was “2 days overdue” but I honestly didn’t think much of it because I had woke up the 3 or 4 previous nights with the same feeling.  I woke up D and told him I was gonna go down and take a shower (because if you are laying down and your contractions are Braxton-Hicks supposedly getting up with help them), check on me in 30 minutes.  In 30 minutes he TEXTED ME to see if I was ok!  I said yes but I could use some cold water (because supposedly if you are having Braxton-Hicks drinking a lot can stop them).  He brought it and I sent him back to bed.  Well the shower didn’t help so I decided to lay back down.  5 minutes later I was back up and decided maybe I should be timing these.  I decided to walk our hallway (because if its Braxton-Hicks supposedly walking can make them stop, can you tell I did NOT want to go to the hospital on a false alarm?).  I walked and timed for about an hour and a half.  Finally about 5am I decided that since my contractions were getting to be about 4 minutes apart and I wasn’t feeling so good maybe it was the real thing.  I headed downstairs and let the dogs out and called the nurse.  She asked a few questions and when she heard my contractions were about every 3 minutes by that point and they were about every 15 minutes at 3am she said “yes, you should come in, how far away are you?”.  I told her we live about 30 minutes (normal driving) from the hospital, to which she replied “you should come in RIGHT NOW!”.  I woke up D and told him it was time to go!  I kept gathering our stuff, getting stuff ready for D’s parent’s to come pick up the dogs while he got dressed and got the truck out of the shed (we had to take the truck because we were forecasted to get 6-12” of snow that day, it was supposed to start about 9am).  I got sick in the trash can just as he was walking back in the house, which I think made him kind of panic and decide we should hurry. 

We got about 5 minutes down the road and I realized the camera was in my car (I had left it there so it would be ready and then we ended up taking the truck).  I was NOT gonna have my first baby without a camera for D to take pics so we went back!  About half way to the hospital (around 6am) D decided we should time my contractions again…90 seconds start to start, about 30 seconds in duration.  That was the longest (and shortest ;)) that drive had ever been!  D dropped me off at the door at the hospital and went to park the truck.  I got to the L&D desk and there was 1 nurse in sight, she was on the phone.  After about 2 minutes she finally said unconcernedly “I’ll be with you in a little bit”!!!  About 30 seconds later another nurse came down the hall and said “can I help you?”  I said, “well, since I’m having contractions every 90 seconds I was hoping I could get checked-in”.  She said “oh!  Let’s get you to a room”, to which the first nurse said “I haven’t checked her in yet!”  We ignored her!   I got to the room and by that time D had caught up and helped me get in “the gown”. 

Soon our nurse, Abby, came in and checked me.  I was 3cm.   She asked how dilated I was last week at my appointment.  I said I didn’t know, I hadn’t been checked since 36 weeks and to please read my birth plan because I would prefer to not have an unnecessary number of checks from here on out.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  She hooked me up to the heart-rate moniter and I again asked her to read my birth plan and note I would be having intermittent monitoring and would be standing, walking, etc.  She again looked at me like I was crazy.  She then saw my water cup and told me I couldn’t have anything else to drink.  I again said PLEASE READ MY BIRTH PLAN!  She glanced at it and said it didn’t matter what I had in my birth plan I couldn’t drink anything (I’m not sure why I listened to her, what was she gonna do, not let me have my baby?).  She then asked if I was gonna be wanting an epidural.  The first bullet on my birth plan said “PLEASE DON’T TALK ABOUT OR OFFER ME AN EPIDURAL”!  I could tell Abby and I were gonna have to get some things straight! 

An hour later I was “officially” admitted.  At which point I THOUGHT I would be given the all important antibiotics that it had been stressed since I was 14 weeks I needed for Group B Strep.   But they didn’t seem in a hurry to get them started so I asked for a shower.  Abby told me to shower in that room was broken.  I said “I guess you better get my another room then!”.  She “went to check” and came back and started cleaning out the shower.  Turns out they were using it for storage and she didn’t wanna move stuff.  So then D started the water to warm it up.  She quickly said I couldn’t get in the shower until I had another monitor session and got my IV started.  Half an hour later, after 9 am, she finally came back with 3 more people, all to draw some blood and start my IV.  This took 6 pokes, an extra 2 people and me yelling “you better get that thing started or I’m calling my mother and she will SHOW you how to do it” (my mom has been a nurse for over 30 years and thinks its RIDICULOUS when it takes more than 1 to 2 pokes to get an IV started).  At the end of it they told me I was dehydrated!  Which was why I had brought water!  I had not even gotten any ice chips at this point.  Once they finally got the IV in and I decided I still didn’t want an epidural (the IV session made me lose all my relaxation techniques), I asked for a shower again.  Abby now told me I couldn’t take one because I had an IV and I couldn’t get it wet.  I said “You better call the Dr. and get straight what I can and what I can’t do because I WILL be taking a shower!”  She called and came back with a bag and some tape and wrapped up my arm.  The next 3 hours or so I alternated between 20 minute monitoring sessions, showers and standing by the bed leaning on my husband.  About 1:30pm I was 9.5cm and I let them break my water.  The next 10 minutes were EXCRUCIATING and had to do something! I stood up and felt the baby drop and said “You NEED to get the Dr.”  Abby said “No, I have to check you, if you aren’t ready and I call I will get in trouble and you will push for a while anyways”.  I was complete but had just a TINY lip of cervix she said I could push through.  I loudly said “YOU SHOULD CALL THE DR!” But she kept saying I had to push first and frankly I was ready to push.  I pushed once and then started to push again and she said “STOP, STOP, I HAVE TO CALL THE DR!”  I started screaming “I CAN”T STOP, GET THE DR!” over and over.  It took him about 3 minutes to get there and his first comment was “That baby has a lot of hair”.  After just a few pushes, a decelerating heart-rate and an unplanned episiotomy with the threat of “one more push and if he isn’t here I’m forcepping him out” my little R arrived at 2:02pm, right as the (late) snow arrived!  He needed a little oxygen but within 3 or 4 minutes was naked on my bare chest nursing away.  He stayed right there for about an hour until my parents and brother arrived to see him.  We had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours because of the Group B Strep. 

I LOVED that I was brave enough to labor with NO pain drugs!  I was so happy I got my baby skin-to-skin right away. I will never regret nursing my baby immediately. 

Next time I have a baby I will know SOOO much more about what I CAN do when I have a baby!  While labor is NEVER predictable, it CAN happen differently than what has become “textbook” for this country. I will drink if I want, eat if I want, not have an IV unless I need antibiotics again.  I will walk, shower or whatever else I need to manage the pain.  I will push in the position I see best and as long as my baby is healthy I will hold him immediately and we will go home as soon as possible! 

Friday, April 27, 2012


What is a NoseFrida you ask?  It is a Mama (or Daddy or whomever) powered nasal aspirator.  And it is a lifesaver!  We got our NoseFrida when R was about 6 weeks old.  He had gotten a cold and was VERY stuffy.  We had tried the bulb syringe but it didn’t seem to do anything and I always felt like if he moved I would end up jamming it up his nose so far I would do permanent damage.  So I asked around in my online Mom communities and several people recommended this contraption called a NoseFrida.  I googled it and found this website  There was a retailer locator so I typed in our Zip and lo-and-behold our little town, where I can normally not find anything out of the ordinary, had a retailer!  So I left R with D and drove the 30 miles to get one.  When I get home and showed it to D and explained that I was going to use it to suck the snot out of R he looked at me like I was crazy but said “let’s give it a try”.  And oh my goodness!  My little baby had a TON of snot in there!  And after we got all of it out that we could his breathing was SO much clearer.  We had to use the NoseFrida several times that first day and the next few days and have used it on multiple occasions since.  I love it because it is SO effective, you don’t have to worry about it getting jammed up the baby’s nose and while sometimes R gets upset when we use it, I don’t think it hurts him at all like that bulb syringe did.  Now, I don’t really get grossed out very easily so sucking the snot didn’t bother me at all.  But if you do have a bit of an “ick” mentality let me assure you the snot does NOT come anywhere near your mouth.  The little replaceable filter stops any that gets even close to the sucking tube.  The NoseFrida and the filter are very easy to wash.  It is now on my “must-have” list for all moms!   Oh, and if you want to see one in action here is a clip of Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry using the NoseFrida on her son; .  I didn’t see a need to video myself using it when she already did! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Freezing Milk!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we worked very diligently to pay off a large amount of debt in a very short period of time before R was born.  I will share more about that in a later post but today I want to talk about 1 specific way we save money on our grocery bill: buying ahead.  And today’s post is specifically about stocking up on milk. 

I LOVE milk!  D doesn’t really like it just to drink but we still use quite a bit of it between the 2 of us.  While I was pregnant I was literally consuming almost a half of a gallon each day just by myself!   I don’t drink/use nearly that much now but I still like it on my cereal and usually have at least 2 big glasses each day at some point plus whatever I use to cook with. 

The cost of milk can really add up.  Now don’t get me wrong, I KNOW dairy farmers are NOT getting rich!  Many of them are not even breaking even.  And they work LONG, HARD hours!  So the cost, at least the portion that goes to them, is justified.  But if I can find a way to save a little bit of money I will.  So, when my local stores have a sale on milk I buy A LOT!  For example, this week Dillon’s has half gallons of milk 10/$10 with no limit!  That makes it $2/gallon.  The cheapest milk anywhere else in town was over $3/gallon.  So…I bought 30 half gallons yesterday.   I know your initial thought is probably…”SHE”S CRAZY”.  How do I know that’s probably your first thought?  Because all the old ladies at the store tell me so!  I’m not sure why it is any of their business why I’m buying so much milk but they all have to ask. 

So what do I do with it all?  I freeze it!  Milk freezes VERY well.  Some people just stick it right in the freezer.   But I prefer to take a little bit out of each jug first (I take out about a 1/2cup).  Why?  So it has plenty of room to expand when it freezes and doesn’t break the jug.  I just put all the little bits I take out of each jug in a lidded pitcher in the fridge.  I also like to put a little square of press-n-seal under the lid of each jug before I seal it back up.  And then it’s ready to freeze!  Obviously it helps to have a large freezer to do this, but even if you just have a little freezer space to spare you could buy a little extra to put in the freezer and save a little money. 

When I know I will run out of milk in the next 12 hours or so I just go get a jug out, put it in the sink for an hour to start the thawing and then stick it in the fridge.  Shaking it occasionally will help it thaw faster.  It does take quite a while to thaw but you will get the hang of it! 

Stay tuned for more money saving tips!
(My 15 gallons of milk ready to go in the freezer and the pitchers of "extra" I pulled out)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why We Cloth Diaper

One of the parenting choices we made, even before I became pregnant, was to use cloth diapers.  Even though we have had many people think we are crazy for doing it, I am SO glad I was brave enough to give it a try.  I LOVE cloth diapering my baby.  Here are some of the reasons:

*We save money!  Before having R we were a 2 income household and doing pretty well.  In fact, we paid off about $35,000 in student loans, a $10,000 car loan and a few other odds and ends before we had been married for 2 years.  But with R’s arrival we made the decision it was best for our family for me to give up my job and stay home.  This cut our income at least in half.  For disposable diapers most estimates say that for 1 child you will spend $1500-$2000, just on diapers, if they potty train at 2 years old.  Now, you COULD cloth diaper a baby for as little as $150.  We have spent a little more than that but cloth diapers can be used for multiple children AND when we are done with them I can sell them for at least a 25% return.  That's a pretty good investment in my opinion. 

*We burn our trash.  Where we live there are really no options for trash removal services.  So what can’t be recycled we burn.  Have you ever smelled a burning diaper?  It is horrible, and it’s not so great for the environment. 

*They look like they would be SO much more comfortable than a disposable.  And R rarely gets rashes in cloth but if for some reason we have to go 12 or more hours in disposables you can bet his bum will be bright red! 

*I don’t have to worry about running out.   If I run out of cloth diapers it’s my own fault!  No late night trips to Wal-Mart for a package of expensive diapers for this girl! 

*Earlier potty training (hopefully).  Babies who are cloth diapered tend to potty train earlier than those in disposables.  Disposable diapers are designed to pull the wetness away from your baby.  If you were a busy 2 year old who wore a diaper that didn’t make you feel wet would you want to stop playing to go potty?  Doubtful.   But if it was slightly uncomfortable after you pottied in your diaper you might decide taking a break and using the potty was a good idea. 

*They are CUTE and FUN!  Like I said, you CAN cloth diaper a child for very little.  But we decided we are going to be saving money no matter what and why not make it fun?  My baby has some ADORABLE diapers and pretty much at least one of every color.  It makes me happy to put him in his Newspaper RagaBabe on a Sunday morning or a Grape Fuzzibunz when we are getting ready to cheer on our KSU Wildcats.  And I have even made a few!  And since this (God-willing) won’t be our only baby, the money I’m spending on the cuter diapers will stretch over multiple babies and we will most certainly still be saving A LOT of money in the long run. 

*It’s a community!  I’ve “met” so many awesome mamas through my cloth diaper Facebook groups!  They are super helpful, not only with cloth diapering questions, but motherhood and life topics in general.  We support each other and have a great time chatting about our babies.  Honestly, I would be SUPER lonely without them!  I just wish I knew some cloth diapering mamas who lived closer to me!

*And lastly, I do it to spite all those people who said I wouldn’t stick with it or who said it was gross or whatever.  Like I said in my profile, my husband is a farmer/rancher and he works with his father every day.  When my FIL heard we were going to CD he said “that is disgusting, you are gonna wash that baby’s s****y diapers in the same washer as your clothes?”  To which I replied, “I think it’s more disgusting that I’m gonna wash my husband’s cow-crap covered jeans in the same washer as my baby’s diapers!”  So as childish as that might sound, I CD just a LITTLE bit out of spite and stubbornness! 

If you cloth diaper comment and tell me your reasons for making that choice.  If you don’t and would like more info I can help you with that too! 
(R waiting for the pediatrician at his 4 month checkup in a Camo RagaBabe)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

4 Months Old!

My baby is 4 months old today!  I have learned so many things in the 4 months that he has been here and in the time before he was born when I knew he was on the way.  Here are just a few random ones:

*Motherhood is AWESOME!  And HARD.  And painful, blissful, exhausting, rewarding, gross, funny, unexpected, stressful, worrisome, heart-wrenching and heart-melting all at the same time. 

*Mothers' hearts are easily hurt (well, mine anyways).  1) Please don’t ask moms if their baby takes a good nap and then if they say “no” or “not unless I’m holding him” or “not unless he is in the car” tell them to “well you just have to make them” or “just let him cry for a while, he will quit eventually”.  You aren’t there, you don’t know!  How do you “make” a tiny baby do anything?!  2) Please don’t stop by a new mother’s house, when they have told you that you are welcome anytime, and within 30 seconds in the door say “oh, he’s making it pretty tough for you to keep up with things”.  If you think her house is a mess keep it to yourself!  If you came to see the baby, great!  If you came to see her house, make an appointment!  3) Please don’t tell her cloth diapering my baby is “gross”.  Does she ask you to wash his diapers?  NO!  Does she ask you to change his diapers?  NO!  Does she ask you to touch his diapers? NO!  Would you even know her  had a cloth diaper on if she didn’t tell you? NO!  So keep your opinion to yourself!  4) Please don’t constantly compare her baby to other babies in front of her! And please don’t compare her parenting style to anyone else’s!  If her baby is healthy, happy and perfect (even when he’s not!) leave her alone!  She probably weighs and reweighs every decision she make when I comes to that baby, so don’t question it!  I could go on, but you get my point!

*I lose patience with my baby much faster than I ever thought I would, but I’m working on it.  Let me tell you, nothing gets on my nerves faster than a baby who REFUSES to let you put a diaper on him.  He kicks himself out of it, rolls, clamps his legs together and SMILES the whole time.  But, I am working on being patient.  I try to distract him and the whole time I remind myself my baby could be sick, he could have physical impairments, he could not be smart enough to figure out how to keep me from getting it on. 

*Its ok to shut yourself in the bathroom at the other end of the house and let your baby cry for a few minutes.  Sometimes, doing that and coming back and picking him up and snuggling him is the only way to snap him out of a fit!  It doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you human!    

*Poop becomes a mothers’ most dreaded and most loved thing.  I HATE changing poopy diapers.  But you know what?  If my baby goes way longer than normal for him between poops I am ECSTATIC when he has a super blowout!  Poop has become one of my measures of my baby’s health! 

*My baby is the most amazing baby ever!  And so is yours! 

*I’ve learned lots of other things about motherhood, but that will have to do for now because my most amazing baby just got up from his nap!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!  I'm hoping it will enjoyable, informative and entertainig, but if not...oh well! 

A little bit more about me than what is in my profile: 

I'm a stay at home mom with a very active little boy.  He is my world and I wouldn't trade him for any other "boss" out there!  I cloth diaper him (I'm sure MANY of my posts will be about CDing) and LOVE it!  I get to put him in super cute diapers that are saving us money and that don't give him rashes like disposables do!  I hear often that I'm crazy for cloth diapering but I'm so happy I was brave enough to try it.  I also wear him often in woven wraps and other carriers.  Its good for him (more on that in a future post I'm sure) and it helps me get things done!

My husband farms and raises cattle and works for his dad on his parents' farm.  Its a tad stressful sometimes because we live at one end of the area that we farm but the in-laws live at the other end (which might seem like a good thing to many) so my husband drives quite a ways each day and it makes for long days for baby and I home without him.  We try to get to "the farm" to help and hang out occasionally but its still not an ideal situation in my book.  I moved 3 hours from my family to be with my husband so sometimes its a bit lonely.  I'm hoping this blog will help with that. 

I'm crafty and love to cook and bake.  I also love landscaping and my yard and flowerbeds are a work in process.   

This blog is my own.  I have no idea what all topics it will cover.  Some may be boring, some may be TMI, there will probably be a lot of bragging about my little boy and venting about the less pleasant things in my life.  So follow along if you want, if not, that's ok too!