Mom-Day Interview ~ Trying to Conceive

This week on our Mom-Day Interview I talk with someone about a subject that can be hard. For some it may even be taboo. It is a very emotionally charged subject so please read on with some compassion. As with all the interviews this is just what worked for this particular couple. I hope it brings some encouragement and light to those who may be experiencing something similar.

If you have an idea for a topic for the Mom-Day interviews please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me on any of the social media platforms.

Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy reading, baking and decorating.

What sort of things do you like to decorate?
 I’ve been decorating our house slowly. We are continuously adding small touches to make the house more homey. I’ve also been re-doing old furniture. So far I’ve done the table and desk. Now I’m working on an old dresser.
What is your favorite genre of book?
I like fantasy action books, some romance books but the romance books have to have action (like fighting or adventure) in them otherwise I get bored quick.
Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?
I have a great banana bread recipe:

How long have you and you husband been married?

We’ve been married 3 years

How long have you been trying to conceive?

We’ve been trying for 2.5 years going on 3.

What did you try to help with TTCing before seeing a specialist?

We tried timed intercourse and keeping track of my ovulation.

How long were you TTCing before seeing a specialist?

We only tried for a year before seeking a specialist.

What are you doing differently now to TTC?

The things I’m doing differently: I was previously on a slew of medication for other health problems and I’ve changed the prescriptions out for safe medication. I was never a big drinker, but when we started trying I didn’t drink at all to try and help. I initially cut out most of my caffeine based on research.

Are you trying any specific diets or avoiding certain products or foods?

I haven’t tried specific diets yet. However, I did add more whole grain starches to my everyday intake. I was never a big pasta or bread eater but I’ve been trying add more into my diet.

Have you joined any support groups either online or in person?

I haven’t joined support groups. I will vent about struggling with my friends. My boss went through this years ago and she’s been great to talk to about it.

Do you use any special apps or are reading specific books?

I use a period tracker. It keeps up with my cycle, including ovulation and the best days to try. I also use the app to help track my fertility treatments. I try to avoid books and blogs as much as I can. While TTC, my doctor recommends that I not stress. Reading the how’s and whys actually stresses me out more mostly because it’s something I can’t control so I try to avoid stressors.

What are some things you like to do to help keep your emotional and mental health up during this time?

I lean on my husband who has been wonderful throughout the whole process. I spend time with friends and their kiddos to keep me sane. I also do my best not to focus on the negatives. When I get into a funk emotionally, my husband and I will take a day just for us whether it’s shopping for the house or goofing off and it takes my mind off everything.

Once you are pregnant do you have any special plans for announcing the pregnancy?

I haven’t thought about an announcement for pregnancy too terribly much since we haven’t made it that far. I do know I want it to be something special to us.

Are you going to wait a specified time before sharing the pregnancy news or tell right away?

I won’t be able to hide the pregnancy from friends and co-workers around me. Everyone know I’m doing treatments and that I’m on a specific schedule so it’ll be hard to keep it quiet. We do live away from all our close friends and family and my husband and I would prefer to wait 3 months before officially announcing to everyone.

What advice or encouragement would you give those who are TTCing?

Hmm, try not to stress it. My husband and I fall into the category of nothing is wrong with either of us but we still can’t get pregnant. I’m guilty of thinking it’s my fault for not getting pregnant and it’s not healthy. Just know that it’s not you and stay positive.

BabyM The Sprite-ling

BabyM has been forging a new path for herself. Distinguishing herself from her brothers quite thoroughly. There is one thing that she followed in their footsteps though. Slow weight gain. She was 7 pounds 4 ounces when she was born. She is now 13 pounds 3 ounces at 6 months old. She is my little sprite-ling. She has almost grown out of the last of her 0-3 month clothes. She also has several family members that are on the thin side or were very thin as kids. Elfin boys and Sprite-ling girls run in the family.

BabyM has been dropping off on the percentile charts since the day she was born. Some may find this extremely concerning but it can take a couple months for a baby to establish their growth curve. She has also continued to gain weight at each appointment, never lose.  I’ve been down a similar road with BigM. They did all the testing and had me supplement with NeoSure. It didn’t anything for him. For those unfamiliar with NeoSure it is a special formula for premature babies. It has a much higher fat count that typical formulas.

What we will end up doing for her I am not sure. I am having her development tested to be sure that her lack of weight gain isn’t causing other problems, or indicative of other problems. The doctor may want to conduct testing to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause and if they go there we will get the testing done. We did have her evaluated for a tongue tie and had it clipped. More on that later.

In the meantime, I am still nursing on demand and giving her baby puffs in the morning and baby puree’s in the evening. We have been using an app to track when she eats and how many wet diapers she has. I’ve also been meeting with an IBCLC to keep up the nursing relationship and try to avoid needing to supplement. Of course, there may be nothing wrong with her at all and that is OK. As a friend told me when all of this started, “Someone has to be at the bottom of the curve.”

Mom-Day Interview ~ First-Time Mom of Multiples

For the second in my Mom-Day Interview series I talked to a Momma who is currently expecting triplets. This will be her first delivery too! As a first-time mom that I am acquainted with I have been enjoying the chance to talk to her and walk beside her on this journey. She has some pretty helpful tips for moms expecting multiples so read on and find out how her pregnancy has gone!

How many children do you have? Ages?
We don’t have any children except our 2 dogs but have 3 on the way in December. 😊

What do you appreciate most about your children?What I appreciate most is what a miracle having a child is and the blessings we’ve been given.

What is a struggle you have regarding motherhood? No struggle yet but I’m very nervous about getting them on a sleep schedule and nursing.

Do you have any hobbies?
Pre-pregnancy I was a runner and training for my second half marathon. I also loved Zumba. Another hobby is going riding and camping in the sand dunes.

Do multiples run in your family?
No

Were you trying or hoping for multiples?
We were trying to get pregnant for a while but not trying for multiples. I thought twins could be fun but was very shocked when we found out there’s 3.

Was this pregnancy planned? Yes

Did you do anything to prepare for pregnancy?
I took prenatal vitamins for a year as advised by my doctor and was in the best shape of my life which I think has greatly helped.

When did you find out you were carrying multiples?
Since we had been trying and have family risk of miscarriage we had an early ultrasound at 6 weeks which is when we found out.

What has been the biggest help during this pregnancy?
My mom has been an amazing support. Also, my husband has been so incredible. He has done so much and continues to do so much to help me especially since I can do less and less on my own now. There is also a triplets board on Facebook with moms of or pregnant with triplets this year. It’s been a great help. I also have an awesome high risk doctor and nurses who are always there to help.

What is something you will miss about being pregnant?
The excitement of such miracles growing inside me.

What is something you won’t miss about being pregnant? Having a hard time finding comfy clothes, shortness of breath, and lack of energy.

What are /were some of your go-to clothes during each trimester? First trimester I was small so I still fit in my clothes I normally wore just a bit baggier for work so no one noticed. About 16/18 weeks I started getting maternity pants. Now I live in leggings and maternity shirts and at night grants T-shirts. Sketchers go walks are the most amazing shoes I’d highly recommend them to anyone pregnant.

Do you plan to breast or bottle feed?
I plan to do a mix of both.

What are you doing to prepare for that? Not much yet other than asking about which bottles everyone recommends. I’m waiting to get advice from the NICU staff and lactation specialist.

What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is not knowing I’m in labor I just want to make it to 34 weeks or close so our babies are healthy and strong.

How have you prepared for the stay in the NICU?
We have toured the NICU and asked many questions as well as talked with the social worker. I’m now getting hospital bags ready.

What advice would you have for other moms of multiples?
See a high risk doctor as soon as possible, the further you get in pregnancy be sure to take it easy and listen to your body. Don’t work after 20 weeks. Join a support group like the ones on Facebook. Have your baby shower early on when you feel good (mine was 18 weeks). Join local mom boards to get freebies and cheap items so you don’t spend too much money.

How have you kept busy while on bed-rest? I’m not officially on bed rest but can’t do much anymore without being exhausted. I watch a lot of TV and make weekly lists. I try to accomplish 2-3 things a day. I also play Sudoku a lot.

Berry Picking

Not long after I was a SAHM once again, HomemadeDady and I took the younger three kids out to an orchard to go fruit picking. Needless to say it was an experience!

Our first stop was raspberry picking. We found golden raspberries, black raspberries and red raspberries. We had BabyM in the stroller enjoying some sunshine while HD and I each took one of the boys. Each boy had their own bucket as well. The red raspberries were the hardest despite being the most plentiful because we had to lift the branches off the ground to find the good clusters of berries.

My kids are also afraid of anything that moves that isn’t human. They screamed and hid behind me at all the little bugs, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars and bees. The black raspberries were easier since they were up off the ground but by the time we reached the backs the boys were ready to move on and made sure to let us know! They both had pretty full baskets of raspberries so we packed everyone up and moved on to the apples.

The apples were difficult because so many had fallen off the trees and attracted all the fruit bees the kids weren’t willing to stay in the orchard for more than a minute or two. So HD picked a couple apples and we posed LittleM and PirateM for apple picking pictures and off we went, into a giant mud puddle. Thankfully we were able to get out fairly easily.

On the way home we stopped at our favorite Hawaiian restaurant for lunch and got smoothies from Tropical Smoothie. Since my anxiety was still pretty high there were many ways this trip could have gone sour but thankfully everyone had a good time and we got some really good berries!

 

 

Mom-day Interview ~ Cesarean Birth

To kick off my Mom-day interview series I turned to a dear friend of mine who I knew would be candid and real with ya’ll. Boy did she prove me right! We talked about what her birth experiences were like from having an emergency cesarean birth to having a planned one. Read on and lets break the stigma and mom-shaming together!

How many children do you have? Ages?

I have 2.  One is 3.5 and the other is 3 months.

What do you appreciate most about your children?

The love and joy they have for everything.  Everything is new and exciting to them and its wonderful seeing things through their eyes.

What is a struggle you have regarding motherhood?

Worrying if I’m good enough, and doing a good job.

Do you have any hobbies?

Baking.

Do you have a favorite recipe?

I like to bake recipes from the Pioneer Woman cookbooks.

What was the biggest difference between your two births?

The biggest difference was being more educated and more prepared for the second c-section.  I didn’t pay any attention in birthing class to the part about c-sections because I was so sure on a natural birth.  I then had to have one, and was totally clueless on what they were doing.  The second time around I felt more in charge and knew what I wanted and didn’t want.

What did you do differently to prepare for the second birth?

To prepare for the second birth I read about “soft c-section” or “family c-section”.  I also talked to my doctor about doing things differently this time.  She understood that my first c-section caused my post partum depression so she understood and agreed to do things differently this time.

What were some recovery lifesavers for you?

Big pants (and underwear!)  When you have a c-section the scare is basically where your underwear hits, and you don’t want anything touching it.  Underwear and pants that you can pull up like grandma are a must.  Sleeping on a recliner is also a must because you can’t get in and out of bed.  You don’t realize how much you use your abdominal muscles until you have surgery on them.  

Why did you request skin-to-skin in the OR?

I talked to my doctor about this at my first ob appointment.  She already knew that my first c-section caused my ppd, and that things needed to be different this time.  Being able to see your baby right after they pull them out and being able to “hold” them immediately is the most amazing feeling.  When I had my first they pulled her out, cleaned her off, wrapped her in a blanket, put a hat on her and handed her to my husband.  All I got to see was her face and then they left to the nursery and I was wheeled to the recovery room.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was awful.  That is not the way anyone should give birth.  The second time they lifted him above the curtain so I could see him and then they laid him on me skin to skin so I could hold him and feel him.  It changed everything.  I finally had “that moment” that was taken from me with my first birth.  I finally had the bonding moment I desperately needed.  I blame myself for not researching anything the first time, but I also blamed my doctor and the hospital for the way they acted.  My doctor told me when I was pregnant the second time that herself and the hospital where working together to do more immediate skin to skin.  Now I tell everyone I know that’s pregnant, do your research!!

If you were to become pregnant again would you do anything differently i.e. VBAC, mother assisted delivery etc.?

I wanted to do a vbac with my second but the only hospital that does them is 40 minutes away and has a horrible reputation.  I don’t think I’m comfortable trying for a vbac if I have a third, I would have another c section.

How long was your recovery?

I was moving around and pretty much pain free by 2 weeks.  I had to be careful though, too much walking would make things sore.

What do you wish you had known the first time?

I wish I would have known all my options.  I should have researched c-sections and been prepared just in case.

Can you tell a little bit of what the delivery was like for you? Pain, feelings, process?

You want to know what c-sections are like?  They suck.  The doctors make you walk into the operating room.  Once they give you the numbing shot in your spine (I will never forget that pain) they lay you on a table that has places where they strap your arms down.  You are stressed out worrying that you will feel everything and that they will start before your body goes numb.  You can feel all the pushing and pulling they are doing, it just doesn’t hurt.  It’s the most uncomfortable feeling.

 

Circling the Drain

Yes, this title seems a bit dreary but this was a phrased used in a conversation with some family recently and it struck a chord with me. I’m sure that everyone has noticed how long it has been since my last blog post. Needless to say there has been quite a bit going on in these last 2+ months.

I am not going to go into details about it here right now. The one thing that I will say is that it all led to multiple medical diagnosis that I am having to manage. Nothing is life threatening thankfully. I am lucky in that regard. A result of everything going on has been me quitting my full-time job.  This has taken time to come to terms with. I have also had to learn how be a Momy to these 4 wonderful littles, again.

A few weeks have passed since all this went down. We are starting to hit a rhythm as a family. This means that I am now ready to start working on blogging on a regular basis as well. You can expect to see weekly posts from me on here. Don’t forget to check out my social media as well! I will slowly be adding in Twitter and Instagram and the Facebook page in addition to writing on a regular basis.

What are some topics you would like to see on here?

BabyM: 2 Month Update

BabyM has been developing so quickly! I say developing instead of growing because I don’t see much of the growth right now. At her 2 month checkup she had gained 3 pounds and 1 inch. When BigM was a baby, his Grandpa used to call him little elfin boy. Well, I think we have our little elfin girl now. BabyM is the sweetest little thing though, so petite. Don’t let her size fool you though. She has enough personality and attitude to make up for it. We could see her personality coming out when she was just 4-6 weeks old.

Surprisingly she doesn’t mind tummy time now. BabyM will happily spend time on the floor by herself with a mirror to look at. She does prefer to have someone there talking to her. She especially loves to interact with her big brothers. BabyM has also started vocalizing A LOT the past couple weeks. She will lie in your arms and stare at you and hold a rather lengthy conversation. Little Miss is also full of smiles now. She will smile when she sees mom or dad but not quite for her brothers yet.

She has a weird relationship with nursing. She prefers one side but when she nurses on that side she does not have the best latch. This isn’t something new that developed when she started taking a bottle it has been there from day one. Bottle feeding is going much better this week than last. She will now take 8-10 ounces in a day which is about double what she started at. The doctor isn’t too worried about her refusing to eat much from a bottle at this point. We are all just happy that she is eating something!

The reflux and gas problems she was having have mostly gone away. Poor baby can still have some bad gassy periods but they aren’t nearly what they were a few weeks ago. She is sleeping a longer stretch during the night but isn’t sleeping through the night yet. We are up to 4-6 hours at a time which is fine with me! There is no reason to rush her sleeping any longer at this point.

Bucket List Trip

We all have a bucket list. If you don’t you really should make one. My bucket list has evolved over the years, when I was in high school in included things like graduate from Yale and go to medical school. While I was enlisted in the military my bucket list included making a certain rank and getting a specialized position. In Alaska visiting Nome and Barrow topped my list.

One item that has stayed on my list through all variations has been to visit the Mall of America. While I was on maternity leave we made a trip north and I got to cross another item off my bucket list. I’m grateful that we live close enough that we made the trip an overnight one and did it easily. We left mid-morning after our chiropractor appointments and made it to our hotel by mid-afternoon. I had packed lots of food and snacks in the car so we stopped at a rest stop that had a playground and picnic benches for lunch. This allowed the boys to run around a bit and eat lunch about half way through the trip. It was a very nice little area. The only downside was that it was windy and BabyM did NOT appreciate the strong breeze while she was trying to eat. Instead I got to sit in the car to feed her and then walked around inside the restroom and vending machine area to get her to sleep.

The hotel we stayed in was a bust. The carpets were disgusting, there were pipes showing in the ceiling that made me feel like we were in a basement and the TV guide pamphlet did not match the actual channels on the television. I know that last bit is a first world problem but when you have crying kids because you promised them cartoons but now you can’t find any, it becomes a point of frustration. The final straw for the hotel doom? The chains’ famous continental breakfast was rather lacking at this location. It was limited with one type of fruit and two types of cereal plus toast, eggs and waffles. This was not the type of breakfast we were used to from this chain. In fact the sketchy, off-brand hotel in the middle of nowhere South Dakota had a better breakfast and had half the serving space!

Our first evening there we checked out Mall of America. Our plan that night was to eat at a restaurant and scope out the mall for any must see stores or attractions. We were able to take the kids to Rainforest Café for dinner. It turned out to be a little bit too much for them. The simulated thunderstorms made LittleM cry to leave after the third one and still upset PirateM although he was starting to get used to them.

We had made plans to go to the aquarium at the mall but the kids lost the opportunity to go and so HomemadeMomy and HomemadeDady had to suffer as well. May be next time we can make it. We checked out the amusement park in the middle of the mall and visited several stores. On the second day we made a stop at Ikea in the morning. I had never been to Ikea before and while it wasn’t all it is hyped up to be it was pretty cool to see. I do foresee another trip in our future sometime soon. We returned to the mall for a second round of walking the mall after eating a packed lunch.

Some of the stores we visited were the Disney store, American Girl store, Lego Store, Peeps store, board game store, Toll House cookie store and a few clothing stores. We have plans to go to Jamba Juice when we go back and possibly the Crayola experience. When I first looked at the Crayola Experience it didn’t appear to be worth the entrance fee but we may at least go to the store portion next time we visit.

Cooking with Kids

BigM will be six soon. In my Mom’s family, by the time the kids were his age they were in the kitchen helping to cook. I decided that it was time for BigM to learn as well. I didn’t want him to just learn to cook though. We have ended up raising him without much appreciation of where things come from. To help with this I wanted him to go through the entire process. This is how the idea of having him take over one meal per week was born.

We sit down with BigM and help him use the computer to find a recipe to cook. Eventually I may pick up a kids cooking recipe book for him but for now Pinterest is working. I let him decide everything. He is very visual and that is why Pinterest works so well for him, I can scroll through pictures of dishes and he can pick which one he wants to use. Once he has picked a dish we save the recipe and work with him to go through the ingredient list to see what we have and what we need. While doing this he writes up a shopping list. When we go grocery shopping we take him with us and he shops for what he needs for his two meals. I usually try to do this at the store that has the kid sized shopping carts so he can put the foods for his stuff in his cart. When it comes time to do his meal plan he helps to prep and cook the meal.

I did put some limitations and rules on this whole process. When making his menu he has to choose a meat, carbohydrate and a vegetable. Having fruit or a dessert is up to him. Surprisingly he hasn’t planned a dessert or fruit with any of his meals so far. When it comes to prepping and cooking he isn’t allowed to use anything sharper than a table knife, can’t take items in and out of the oven and has to have close supervision and limited activities at the stove. We let him do things like pour rice into a pan but HD does most of the stirring and flipping. We are teaching him how to start the oven pre-heating.

His first two meals have gone over very well. He chose 40 garlic baked chicken with Spanish rice and broccoli for one meal. The second meal he chose Greek meatballs with cheesy zucchini rice and baby carrots. Everyone loved the chicken and rice and had seconds. We may just introduce that meal into our normal rotation. The greek meatballs ended up not happening when we ran out of ground meat but he did make the cheesy zucchini rice. That side dish wasn’t as good and we probably won’t make it again. That’s ok though because these were all new recipes that we hadn’t tried cooking before.

We do plan on continuing this on a weekly basis. The first two tries were super successful and maybe with time BigM will come to appreciate the effort it takes to plan a meal and cook it. Now if only we could do something similar with toys.