Friday, June 27, 2008

Mommies doing everyday tasks that amaze me

Was at HEB buying groceries this afternoon. Victoria was with me. In the parking lot, loading the trunk with the groceries I had purchased, I saw a mommy that also had finished grocery shopping. In the front of the shopping cart was one of her daughters, I'm guessing around three or four years old. Another, older daughter situated herself in the car. A HEB employee was helping the gal load her groceries in the rear of the vehicle. The mom was visibly pregnant. She didn't look huge or anything like that, but I'd guess she's somewhere in her second trimester. Five months pregnant? I saw her awkwardly pick up the daughter out of the shopping cart seat. What a mommy, braving the South Texas heat, shopping with two girls, pregnant.

I haven't tried venturing out with our two girls without Troy. We'll see what that is like next week, as I take the girls to Katia's for a play date.

A 65 year old woman gives birth to a baby, here, in South Texas

One of my friends who works at a hospital, here, in South Texas, told me on the phone today that four months ago, a 65 year old woman gave birth to a baby. Um, wow. SIXTY-FIVE years old. I didn't know that was possible. . .

Wanting what someone else wants

Yesterday (Thursday night), Nathan (a former student of mine) and his family (Maribel & Elizabeth) came over. They brought over some delicious spaghetti & meatballs. Surprisingly, I liked the HEB whole wheat spaghetti.

Anyways, towards the end of the evening, all the babies had had their share of crying or screaming. Made for a very interesting time. Told Maribel that she was more than welcome to give Elizabeth some puffs, which is what the girls are eating below.

Isabella usually doesn't take much interest in puffs and hasn't for some time. But, she was shoving them in her mouth, seeing Elizabeth enjoy them.

Isn't Elizabeth a cutie? You'd never be able to tell, from this picture, that she's very shy with strangers. She's a sweet, sweet toddler.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The legal happy drug of choiced seemed like such a good idea at the time

This morning (well, technically it was yesterday morning), Troy and I had a coffee date at Moon Beans. I got a huge iced mocha. The manager thought it was a great idea to put four shots of espresso in it. Great. I drank it at a leisurely pace, waiting for the ice to dilute the potent drink.

For the time being, I was riding high. This is good, especially considering the fact that I've been experiencing a combination of moving blues and post-partum depression. Troy and I had some pretty good conversation, despite the fact that Isabella was taking center stage by crawling and walking all over the place. We haven't had a chance to chitter chatter like that in some time, now. Seriously, I was feeling really good.

Later in the afternoon, a friend told me that two things can cause a newborn to spit up even more: coffee and chocolate. Crap. My drink had both. Victoria already spits up after every "meal." I don't need to induce more up-chuck. More bad news? It's nearly 2 o'clock in the morning and I'm wide awake and we have to be at church by 8:30 in the morning.

Like I said, drinking the legal happy drug of choice seemed like such a good idea at the time. Well, I'm going to take a shower and attempt to wind down and go to sleep.

"One, two, three, four, five"

I'm still up, unfortunately, for a good reason though. I'm working on life group stuff for tomorrow. I'm not sure what the afternoon, between church and life group, is going to look like, so I want most of the preparation for it done before I'm in bed. We'll be headed to life group a bit earlier than usual for one. Also, I don't know what our girls will be up to in the afternoon. And, I need to call some people who had voiced interest in coming, to see whether they're still planning on attending.

At any rate, while I was working on the stuff, I suddenly hear some sweet voice coming from Isabella's room. She said "one, two, three, four, five" quite clearly and carefully. She repeated it again. Wow! Usually when she says the numbers, she skips a number here and there, especially "four." Cool!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Victoria is 1 month old today!


Had to work fast in taking these pictures. Though Troy was watching over the girls carefully, as I quickly took these pictures, Victoria leaned rather easily and Isabella didn't want to sit still. Oops, Victoria's onesie isn't even fastened at the bottom. Oh well.

Victoria is 1 month old today. Can't believe how quickly time has passed. I am glad that d-day is over, especially when I saw a bunch of pregnant women at my old obstetrician's office, when I took a friend there today.

In other news, Victoria's stump fell off tonight. Her belly button is exposed, finally.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Breastfeeding a Baby Bracelet for SALE!

I made the nursing bracelet you see Martha modeling. There are several different variations and a couple of colors I'm working with at this point. The goal is to have a fashionable piece of jewelry that moms can use to keep track of when they last nursed. Other than keeping one at a local Pickles and Ice Cream store (along with business cards and instruction cards), I haven't done much to promote the bracelet. A bit busy with mommy and wife stuff.

Below is some portion of the instruction card I made. This doesn't capture the diagram or the tightness of the presentation.

3B by Lily

Breastfeeding a Baby Bracelet

Every woman needs a 3B!


Keep track of when you last nursed, by wearing the bracelet on the wrist of the side on which you last nursed and placing the charm to mark the hour you last nursed. Each bead represents an hour.

Why a 3B?

Though very functional, the bracelet is also an exquisite piece of jewelry. Anyone can wear these bracelets, not just nursing moms. The bracelet is made of sterling silver beads, sterling silver clasps, Swarovski crystal for the charm, and foil glass beads.

Martha Carbajal, the awesome lactation consultant who held my hand until I successfully breastfed Isabella, came for a visit

When I was pregnant with Isabella, Troy and I attended a 1-day crash course at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, for new parents-to-be. The morning was a session on birth and delivery. The afternoon session, ran by Martha Carbajal, was on breastfeeding. After the afternoon session, I went up to Martha and we chatted up a storm. She ended up giving me her cell phone number and promising me to help with breastfeeding once I delivered.

Very much true to her word, she was. I had an emergency C-section with Isabella. The morning after I delivered, Martha came by to show me how to use the hospital's breast pump. Isabella was in the NICU and wasn't taking any form of food, other than through the I.V., for several days. I was so out of it from the pain medication they were sending through the I.V., I had no idea what she had told me or showed me.

She was kind enough to return the next day to show me, again, how to use the pump. Thanks to Martha's instruction and encouragement, I was able to pump colostrum on the first attempt. Isabella's first sustenance, after she was off I.V. fluids, was my milk!

Martha's wonderful assistance didn't stop there. Once the NICU allowed me to try breasfeeding Isabella, Martha was there on two occasions to help with latching. I'll admit, this breastfeeding thing didn't come at all easy for me. Even by the time Isabella was three months old, I was thinking to myself, I'd be amazed if I survived six months of breastfeeding. At one point, Martha went above and beyond the call of duty and made a house call. I was desperate for help. And look, Isabella nursed for 15 months! Probably wouldn't have stopped there, had I not been pregnant.

I hadn't seen Martha since Isabella was under one year of age. I was so excited to see her that that was enough of a present, but she came bearing a few other gifts. One is this denim sling Isabella's enjoying. Once she was in it and I was moving, she didn't want out!

Here's Martha, the wonder woman. She truly has a heart for helping mommies and their newborn babies. Definitely motivated by heart, not money. Our family has been truly blessed by this woman and her encouragements.

The second time around? Well, breastfeeding was much easier. Victoria had a chance to breastfeed very soon after birth, and she latched on her own! My job? Eat, eat, eat, rest, rest, rest, eat, eat, eat, rest, rest, rest. You get the picture.

Martha loving on our newest edition to the family.

On the far right is Martha's friend, Gabby, who seems to have just as warm a personality.

People nurse their little ones in slings. Didn't know that was possible! I don't think I'm coordinated enough to do that.

More kisses and wanting to be close to Mommy



Isabella, known for her sweetness, is trying to love on her sister these days. She's more at ease and affectionate when her mommy has spent time with her.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

The other side of pregnancy

One of my local friends, who had her baby two days before I did, had been complaining since the end of her second trimester that she couldn't wait until her baby was born. She wasn't sleeping much, if at all, because she was so uncomfortable. She had carpal tunnel. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Especially because she was a veteran mom, a mother of 7-year-old twins, I was especially surprised, shocked, that she wanted her baby to be out in the world as soon as possible.

So eager to have her little one in the world she was, she told me she hoped her C-section would be scheduled three weeks to a month before her due date. What?! Um, C-sections aren't normally scheduled that early for pregnancies without complications.

I was shocked for other reasons. Perhaps the situation of the birth of our firstborn was unique. It was an induction gone wrong, ending in an emergency C-section. Isabella was in the NICU for the first seven days of her life. She was colicky for the first three full months of her life, sleeping no more than six hours in a 24-hour period. . .

Our personal experience aside, there's much to be said about not being in a super huge hurry for the baby to come. There's discomfort with birth and post-partum recovery, too. For those who have a C-section, recovery from a serious surgery takes awhile. For those who have a vaginal delivery, well, the delivery itself can cause those dreaded and hated hemorrhoids. Post-partum, for vaginal deliveries, may also include a period of adjustment and training the body to strengthen those floor muscles. Incontinence folks, incontinence. Regardless of the method of delivery, it takes a little bit of time for the body to put all the organs back in the right places and put them all in working order. Yup, gas and bowel movements are an issue for all mommies. In fact the pain from those things not working properly is, well, not very fun. Sleep? Well, the lack of sleep in the latter part of pregnancy is simply training for the beginning days of the babe in the world.

I'm not trying to paint an excessively bleak picture. I love having Isabella and Victoria out here in the world, where we can all enjoy their movements and changes. They bring so much joy and exuberance to our lives. But, when I was pregnant, I was in no hurry to reach that delivery date - gas, stretch marks, breathing problems, soreness (from being kicked in the ribs), sleeplessness, uncomfortableness - and all.

But, I'm also in no hurry to be pregnant again. Each pregnancy, noticeably this one, has wreaked havoc on my body. On top of gingivitis, having to get a root canal and crown during the most recent pregnancy was no cup of tea.

I feel like I'm just rambling. Off to bed, I go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too bad I'm not a camel

Wow, I struggling to drink enough water to ward away a dry mouth and not-drinking-enough-water-headache. I'm drinking as much, if not more, water than the end of my pregnancy (mid-May). The pay-off? Victoria's definitely getting something. She's longer, more filled out. And, she's filling plenty of diapers.