Grace Prevails with Fearless Trust

 photo PicsArt_1405673278972_zpsb1hbx0dr.jpg

I did not have any attachment to my own mother at all.  She had some serious hurt and issues she did not want to deal with and it really prevented a healthy relationship between the two of us.  What I took from that is that when it came time for me to have my own family, I wanted things to be different.  I wanted to have an incredible relationship and attachment to my kids, in every way possible.

It was a surprise to find out I was pregnant in the summer of 2010, and I set out to do all kinds of research possible.  I wanted to know what all of my options were.  I was blessed to not have any distractions such as working a typical job, and I really threw myself into preparing for my pregnancy.

Some of my dear friends told me about breastfeeding and I was all ears.  As I started to my research and I heard about all the wonderful benefits, some physical and health related for both mama and baby, but also the relationship benefits and attachment that can occur, I was thrilled.  But I had no concept of what I was in for.

We birthed unassisted from home and was able to start breastfeeding within the hour at home.  We did lotus birthing and never cut the cord.  All very new things to us, but we just went with what we felt led to.  We are very outside of the box people, and her name reflects that.  Our daughter’s first name is Fearless Trust, taken from Psalm 27.

That first night, of her sleeping on my chest, us tummy to tummy, was just heaven on earth.  I had never known such joy.

I was not truly prepared about the after effects of birth.  I felt like a truck had hit me physically.  I felt so awesome pregnant, and so horrible not being pregnant.  No one told me that breastfeeding could be painful.  I was not prepared that my nipples needed to adjust to being latched on, I was not prepared that getting the right latch was necessary or it would hurt both of us in different ways, I was not prepared that with every session, it would cause my uterus to clamp down and that was a natural process after birth.  And worse, I had no one in my family to reach out to, no real friends to be that open and honest with about what we were going through, so I just started researching on the internet, and listening to my instincts, which has always led me to good things.

I took a ton of arnica.  I diffused a lot of Frankincense and Myrrh, which seemed to soothe both of us.  And I really worked on getting to know this little one and developing our communication right from the get-go.

I started noticing different positions helped her and myself.  Stacks of pillows around me became my best friend.  We virtually lived on the couch or the bed the first few weeks.  I was blessed to have an incredible MIL who brought me food and let me and her rest and bond.  I could not believe how hungry and thirsty I was, nor how tired I was breastfeeding.  Many naps occurred for us both.

I had read stories of mothers in various cultures who basically stayed in for 90 days after birth and I gave myself and this little one permission to do the same.  I did not worry about attendance to anything, going shopping, anything like that, and outside of few walks close to home, the little one and I just stayed and rested and bonded.  I totally credit this one particular thing in helping our breastfeeding journey, and also our relationship.  It made for very low stress for both of us.  It is a privilege that I know few get to experience, but rest at this stage is so vital for both mama and baby.  Not everyone may need 90 days of that, nor do I remember if we were exact on that number or not, but what was significant is that I felt that any competition to show or prove that her and I were back up and running at full speed, going out and running errands and making public appearances — I just felt none of that was necessary at all.

In my history, my gut health was horrible and had caused a lot of problems for me.  In researching breastfeeding and introducing solids, it was awesome to see how breastmilk helped prepare their gut for LIFE.  And also to find out that there is a time that the gut seals itself, and that sealing can happen anywhere from 6-10 months old of age. I was very interested in helping her get ultimate gut health so that she would not have to struggle like I had or try to rebuild her gut health.  I also watched her for interest in solids.  She really did not have any and was totally satisfied by milk.  So we went almost a full year exactly in breastmilk alone.  I never pushed solids on her, but really waited until she was ready.  Her first solids were homemade chicken bone broth with a pastured egg yolk in it. And we took our time with solids.

I know by this time, many mamas wean or look into weaning.  I kept researching, but I felt I did not want to force anything.  As she got older, it seemed that the breastfeeding was not just a nutritional thing for her, there was this huge emotional aspect that it brought her in calming her emotions.  She never did want a pacifier or bottle, she just wanted me.  Or I should say, she wanted what we referred to as “milk-milk time.”  I can tell you that breastfeeding through the emotional two-year old time and through teething, and having that available to help with those meltdowns was just incredible for both of us.  

Yes, some adjustments had to be made.  As she got older, at times her latch would get lazy.  Or you go through they want to breastfeed in “olympic” positions, even upside down.  Or you go through being very “touched out” as a mama, and you really don’t feel like breastfeeding right now, or because you’re working on something.  We had to constantly upgrade our relationship overall, and our breastfeeding relationship.

We just hit the age of three and a half years.  And we are still breastfeeding very strongly.  Right now, she likes it at night sometimes, while we sleep, and in the mornings when she wakes up, or still she uses it if she ever gets really upset and it is her way of calming herself down.  She has had to adjust to different positions since she is so big now. And I have had to make some adjustments too, in various ways. But overall, we have worked together on this and the benefits of that have spread throughout our entire relationship. There is a trust level and communication level we have that is hugely significant to us both.  

In addition, she has never been sick yet. We have not had to deal with a cold, ear infection, none of that.  Of course, there are other elements in play to that process.  But I do believe breastfeeding has played a huge part in this, in giving her gut time to seal, and giving her immune system a huge jump start, etc.  Also, she is off the charts in how tall she is, which again, other elements affect that of course, but I do believe that extended breastfeeding has played a huge part in that.  

Whenever she is ready for this process to end, I am fine with that.  But for as long as she feels this is something she needs, I want to partner with her in that way.  I never expected our journey to be like this, but it has been an absolutely amazing journey.  And I love that my dream of having an awesome connection and relationship with her has come true, and that we have breastfeeding to thank in helping that to be all that it is today.  

Cherieann Riley  

Breastfeeding with Breast Implants

With my first child, in 1996, I attempted to breastfeed and had zero support, no means to really research breastfeeding, so naturally this was a complete failure.

With my second child I nursed for approximately 8 months, but I was still very uneducated about the whole process. I made many mistakes. I ended up weaning due to the belief that I wasn’t producing enough milk based off one factor. Engorgement. I was no longer feeling engorged so I thought I had an inadequate supply.

I’ve had breast implants for about 10 years now. During this time, people who have known, come to know or noticed have always felt the need to voice their opinion on my choices.

I’ve heard everything from “You were fine the way you were”, and “You should have loved the way you were” and “You looked better without them” to remarks about my self esteem and self confidence. I made this choice for myself. I reseached my Surgeon. I worked to earn the money. I saved my money. I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. I didnt do it to please anyone else. And at the end of the day, It was my choice to create the image I wanted to see in the mirror.

image

I chose to have my implants placed Sub Muscular, often referred to as behind the muscle, however the implant is technically placed between the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor in a pocket created to hold the implant.

I chose a Periareolar Incision, which is essentially an incision that is made around the bottom edge of the areola. I chose this incision over the Inframammory Fold Incision (the crease under the breast), the Transubumbilical incision (incision made in the belly button) and the Transaxillary Incision (in the armpit) because I would have a shorter recovery time granted the type of placement that I had chosen. Recovery was lengthy with an “Behind the Muscle” placement. I expected to be sore and tender as you would expect with any invasive surgery. I knew I would need help but the one thing I dont think I completely understood was, You use your Pectoral Muscles for just about every movement your body makes, whether you know it or not. This wasn’t a breast Augmentation that would have a 3 day recovery.

I did not plan to have more children at the time and felt my family was pretty complete. About 5 years later, that all changed. We decided we wanted to have more children.

 photo PicsArt_1405675143708_zps93jxbc27.jpg

We were fortune to have twins and I fully planned to breastfeed. Yes, with implants. Initially I was told this was impossible and not to waste my time trying. However, after some research I learned that there was information that indicated that the “impossibility” of breastfeeding wasn’t as “impossible” as I was initially told. This made me very happy.

The birth of the twins was quite traumatic, they arrived 5 weeks ahead of schedule and I had an emergency C-Section that wasnt as much of an emergency as I was led to believe. Both of my babies had some medical concerns and difficulty feeding and keeping milk down. Baby A recovered with me in my room, Baby B was taken to Intensive Care and I did not see her for 12 hours. I didn’t have a proper support network, accurate information and again constantly had someone in my ear saying “You can’t breastfeed (with implants)” for every reason imaginable from “it’ll wreck your body” to “they will pop” and “Silicone will leak into your baby and they will die” . Nearly every bit of information was nonfactual and based off no fact whatsoever. The thing that bothered me the most was they were repeating this to me and it was obviously something they believed too. We faced alot of issues. Over Engorgement, Poor Latch, Soreness, Overactive Letdown, Lip Tie, Tongue Tie, Dietary Concerns, Both were on Reflux Prescriptions. By approximately 6 weeks both were formula fed.

We were almost immediately blessed with another pregnancy, a baby girl. Again, I wanted to breastfeed her. I was determined. I was going to do it. Her delivery was complicated and we ended up staying in the hospital for 5 days. During that time I had some great, very supportive lactation certified nurses. It was sort of a relief to have the help because I needed it.

After I got home, I met a WIC Lactation Consultant named Sarah at the Casa Grande WIC Office and the Eloy WIC Office. Had it not been for Sarah and the information, help and encouragement, I don’t think our Breastfeeding relationship would have been such a strong relationship. I was one of the first women she had worked with that has breast implants, but she was incredibly knowledgable. If she didn’t have the answers, she would find them. Not only was she helpful in keeping our Breastfeeding strong during her 9-5 business hours, she was there for me at 10pm on a Sunday night when I just didn’t think I could do it one more time. Sarah went out of her way to provide me accurate information about medications and the safety and impact on breastmilk. She moved on from WIC and I was never able to thank her. My daughter and I shared almost a 3 year long breastfeeding relationship. An amazing lifelong bond was built between Azari and I.

 photo PicsArt_1405675941451_zpsu0sgubnr.jpg

Fact is, breastfeeding with implants can be done. Not everyone can do it. Chosen placement may effect your ability, your incision location might be a comfort factor. But to blindy walk into the situation thinking you cannot do it is not much different than saying “My sister had a C-Section because her baby was breech, so I will also have a C-Section” when this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just as every birth and pregnancy is unique, so is every Breastfeeding Relationship, including those with implants.

Breastfeed with Pride

 photo PicsArt_1405672608795_zpscqfp8xue.jpg

I am a 28 year old woman with three beautiful, yet difficult children. I gave birth to my first at 19 years old. Even being young and uneducated on many aspects of parenting, I still pumped my breastmilk for a little while.  My first born, who is now 9, has severe ADHD, ODD and mild depression.  He was born at about 38 weeks gestation. These days, I often wonder had I made more of an effort to breastfeed, if that would have impacted the struggles he faces today?  While I try not to dwell on the “what if’s”, I do believe it would have.  I was young, and yes… naive. I made bad choices and didn’t have the best parental figures to learn from. I gave birth to my second child when I was 27.  I still had a lot of learning to do, but at this point, I understood just how important breastfeeding was. To be perfectly honest, the first few weeks were heartbreaking and painful. I struggled with engorgement and latch issues.  I tried a nipple shield to help with her latch and also my discomfort.  Sometimes it helped, but sometimes it didn’t.  I supplemented with formula when my daughter was still very young. I cried many times over what, at the time, I thought was a failure. I got back on track and my sweet daughter was nursing and doing great.  Around 10 months old, her teething began. Oh, how my sweet girl would bite! Once again, I found myself crying. I thought was a failure, yet again. I resorted back to formula and by the time she was 11 months, she wasn’t breastfeeding at all. I was so disappointed in myself. Now, I realize how great I actually did.  I did the best I could, and that’s all anyone could ask for.

I am now 28 years old and my youngest is 9 months old.  I didn’t mention this before because it is off topic, but my first two children were c- sections.  My first 3lbs 14oz and my second 5lbs 11oz.  Since then, I have educated myself about vbac’s and was attempting a vba2c (vaginal birth after 2 cesarian sections). I remained pregnant until 41 weeks and 3 days. My body did not progress, so I opted for a repeat c-section. He was delivered at 8lbs 11oz! This was a huge difference for me. I was very nervous when it came to breastfeeding.  Could I really provide nourishment for a child who was so much bigger than my first two failed attempts at trying to make it to one year nursing? The answer is YES!  My little guy is currently 9 months old and exclusively breastfed! We practice baby led weaning, which basically means he still relies on the breast, but samples table foods he is interested in for fun. I am confident we will easily make it past one year breastfeeding!

The way I see it, there are two morals to the story. The first one being; when you know better, you do better. The second being; practice makes perfect. Well, at least as perfect as humanly possible. Being a Lactavist ranks top priority above all my other causes. My personal breastfeeding journey, like most women, has been full of trials and tribulations. But, at the end of the day, when I look back at my children and our breastfeeding journeys, I feel one thing… PRIDE.

Ring Slings By Miranda Giveaway

 photo 20140731001822293-picsay_zpsuqrngjyp.jpg

Miranda of Ring Slings by Miranda makes beautiful, handcrafted Ring Slings. She graciously sponsoring a Giveaway of a beautiful, hand dyed Ring Sling for one lucky person at the end of World Breastfeeding Week.

Entry is a piece of cake.

RULES

This giveaway has ended

• Entry Available to US Participants only, who are Active Registered Users of Facebook.

• Standard Shipping is Included. If you you want a specific method of shipping, you will be responsible for paying for the shipping.

• You must be over the age of 18 to enter.

• You must have a valid Email Address.

• You must complete the information required for leaving a comment (on the comment form below).

• Your entry will be based upon visiting the Facebook Pages Ring Slings by Miranda http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda and Generally Crispy http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy and “LIKING” both of them.

• You must be in good standing with both Facebook pages.

AFTER you have completed this task, you will leave a Comment in the Comment Section (Below) indicating you have completed the required tasks.

If you have already ‘Liked’ one or both of the indicated pages, you are half way there!

Winner will be announced on or about August 7th, 2014 (5pm MST-Arizona Time) on Ring Slings by Miranda Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda and Generally Crispy Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Winner has 48 hours from the announcement of the winner to contact Miranda of Ring Slings by Miranda http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda to claim their sling. In the event that a winner has not claimed their prize within 48 hours of the announcement, the original winner will be discarded and a new winner will be selected. Initiation of Winning/Winner Contact is the responsibility of the contestant within specified time frame.

We will verify that the tasks have been completed. Comments will be approved (Yes, we do moderate) in the order they were received.
If we the selected winner did not meet the requirements upon the drawing, their entry will be discarded and a new winner will be selected. So play honestly and fairly.

Go LIKE…
Ring Slings By Miranda’s Facebook Page
and
Generally Cripsy’s Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda

http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Generally Crispy will be hosting several other Giveaways following the conclusion of World Breastfeeding Week. Be sure to Follow us to receive notification of new posts and notifications…you wouldn’t want to miss out!

Be sure to leave Miranda a comment on her Facebook page thanking her for sponsoring such an awesome giveaway. Also, be sure you check out her Breastfeeding Story,  Breastfeeding with Pride!

This is the part where you leave your comment after you’ve finished “LIKING”  Rings Slings By Miranda and Generally Crispy

 photo received_m_mid_1406699968117_a9ce40ceec2c02ba00_0-picsay_zpsbmta87sf.jpeg

UPDATE: There has been a notification that some of the links may not be working. I have added typed URLs to the post to help make finding the appropriate pages easier in the event that a link does not work.

http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda

http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Be sure to check out The Necklace Pendant Giveaway too! And Subscribe to the website to receive notification of additional Giveaways, Posts, Information or Specials! We will be having more giveaway announcements in the coming Hours, Days and Weeks! Be sure to share our website and Facebook Pages, the more fans/followers…the more Goodies get given away!!!

World Breastfeeding Week 2014

Submissions for this event have closed! Be sure to check back next summer for entry information!!

Be sure to Subscribe and receive notification of new posts, events and giveaways!

 photo wbw2014-objectives_zpstzhleu4m.png

Each year we run a series of guest submitted breastfeeding stories as an effort to help normalize breastfeeding, share experiences and come together to support women and families in their choice to feed their children as nature has intended.

What is World Breastfeeding Week?

Over the last few years we have collected and shared stories and accounts of breastfeeding relationships of all types. Helping normalize breastfeeding by bringing  mothers together with support, sharing knowledge and information has ultimately been the primary goal.

As we enter into the summer months and see World Breastfeeding Week is approaching we find ourselves delighted that we are able to play a small role in helping normalize the vital function of nourishment in such an amazing global movement, such as such as World Breastfeeding Week.

As many already know, breastfeeding is a topic that is very near and dear to our hearts for countless reasons and because of this, we would like to do things a little differently this year. In addition to bringing wonderful stories from real mothers, real babies/children and their journey through breastfeeding, we will be hosting some fantastic giveaways as well.

If you are interested in sharing your candid experience breastfeeding, we would love to hear from you. What we mean by ‘candid’ is that we are not looking for scripted stories. We understand that each breastfeeding experience,  from birth to birth and woman to woman is incredibly unique, we welcome all types of submissions including stories of complete success, stories involving Complications, Milk Sharing, Milk Donation, Wet Nursing, SNS/Tube Feeding, Exclusive Pumping, etc. We are also delightfully accepting information based submissions as well.

We invite you to check out our World Breastfeeding Week stories from previous years and hope that you will be a part of our present WBW and our future WBW Adventures.

If you are interested in a story submission, you may Contact Us by email at:  GenerallyCrispy@gmail.com and be sure to visit our Facebook Page and say hello!

Why World Breastfeeding Week is Important
 photo wbw2014-goals_zpscuwqyeqq.png

The Letter, Part One – You have no right to refuse the following.

I am flabbergasted.

One Arizona Midwife Speaks

In mid May, all licensed midwives in the state of Arizona received a letter attached to an email from the Arizona Department of Health (AzDHS). This letter was a reminder that we midwives best be certain we are adhering to the rules or there will be consequences. It was a formal warning of the prosecutory process that has already begun.  There are so many pieces to this communication that need to be addressed, such as the threatening tone via statements like “in an effort to make sure you are all in compliance…,” or the importance placed on submitting timely reports (which in the past AzDHS stuffed in a box, or used for poor data analysis, or used as they are now doing to regulate midwives) or the way in which the letter implies that AzDHS is looking out for the safety and well being of parents and babies by…

View original post 961 more words

Amazing Orthotic Helmet Artistry

 photo Paula-Strawn-00_zpsjmuirm9k.jpeg
©Lazardo Art

Rarely do I come across something that absolutely blows my mind and leaves me in a state of awe. As some know, my youngest Son Hurricane was born with a Congenital Cranial Malformation called Plagiocephaly and Torticollis. There are other medical conditions that could require infants, children or adults to benefit from the use of a cranial helmet as well.

In a Nutshell, Plagiocephaly is a condition where there is flattening of a babys head. Often when there is a flat spot on a babys head, the head will have a protrusion on the other side of the head. Plagiocephaly can have effects on the head beyond just the shape of the head which can include dental structure, ear concerns, ocular concerns or any number of other concerns. Torticollis is a condition where the babys neck muscle is short on one side causing the babys head to be tipped/turned/tilted abnormally. Torticollis and Plagiocephaly go hand in hand.

When Hurricane was delivered we heard all kinds of scary terms being thrown around the operating room like “Malformed” “Deformities” and it was very upsetting because I/We couldn’t see what was happening. Once we were able to see what was going on we were told that Hurricanes head was malformed as a result of Eclipse (Baby B) being positioned in the Frank Breach position and sitting on the back of his head from 22 weeks and on during the pregnancy. We weren’t given terminology for his head being misshapen. Around 3 weeks old while going thru photos of Hurricane on the computer I noticed he was always in the same position and I thought it was peculiar. I began trying to gently turn his head and his range of motion was very limited and it seemed like his head had an “AutoReturn” because his head always immediately returned back to the same position. We ended up seeing a specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and going thru Physical Therapy from about 6 weeks old to 8 months old. I was told to avoid laying him on his head, so I held him all the time in addition to his Physical Therapy and his at home therapy. He was a candidate for a Cranial Orthotic Helmet. This idea was something that really bothered me because I knew people would stare at him and wonder what was “wrong” with him and I didn’t want my child to experience that type of thing regardless of whether he was capable of remembering it or not. In the long run he ended up not needing to be fitted for a helmet but we still continue with the stretching to help maintain a good range of motion for him.

Today a friend shared something with me on Facebook that I thought was absolutely amazing and think every parent facing the possibility of having their child needing an orthotic helmet should know about. Her name is Paula Strawn of Lazardo Art. She is an absolutely amazing artist with talent that is truly, just Wow. You really must see what she is doing to truly appreciate her work. Not only is her artwork beautiful, vibrant…did I say amazing already? But she isn’t limited to just painting helmets, she also paints other medical devices such as Leg Braces too. With talent like hers, the sky really is the limit. What better way to take a clinical looking device and personalizing it. She has been doing this for 12 years now and has painted somewhere in the range of 1300 helmets. Her turn around time is exceptional as well. Knowing the sensitive nature of cranial formation, she is able to receive the helmet, paint it and have it returned to the family in just 2-3 days. That is a sign of a truly talented artist.

Please visit her website at Lazardo Art to see more of her talent and be sure to stop by Lazardo Art Facebook Page and see what she is working on next.

 photo cheshire cat 2-XL_zpsczxd53ou.jpeg
Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland ©Lazardo Art

 photo Paula-Strawn-16_zpsm5tdy5cf.jpeg
©Lazardo Art

 photo Paula-Strawn-15_zpsqtcfaloc.jpeg
Lego Star Wars ©Lazardo Art

 photo Paula-Strawn-11_zpsfjwloak1.jpeg
Snoopy ©Lazardo Art
 photo Paula-Strawn-03_zpsmhghhw8t.jpeg
©Lazardo Art

 photo helmet 2-XL-1_zps8huqu99c.jpeg
©Lazardo Art

 photo slide_341842_3530518_free_zpskkjfh3vj.jpeg
©Lazardo Art

 photo slide_341842_3530520_free_zpsgmvy2avc.jpeg
©Lazado Art

 photo slide_341842_3530522_free_zpspt65zeci.jpeg
©Lazardo Art