Tag Archives: baby

Back to My Roots

I’ve always loved writing. I’m not the best speaker and found writing really allows for me to express my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve been somewhat uninspired over the last few years. Sure, I’d write on the blog, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter did I really feel passionate about a topic to write about. You guessed it – everything about being a mommy!

I’m not the most serious of people, but did manage to squeeze out some emotions in my Babble piece about having a preemie. So, I’ve continued to write – sometimes serious, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, and found a great outlet in the Red Tricycle Spoke Contributor Network!

I’m really excited to share my thoughts and experiences on this wonderful platform! Here are my first two pieces:

My Gestational Diabetes Ignorance

Six Reasons It’s Time For Some “Me Time”

Hope you enjoy reading my pieces as much as I enjoy writing them!

Seven Thoughts I Have When I’m Engorged

 

When people asked me during my pregnancy if I was planning to breastfeed I always responded, “I’ll give it a whirl, and if I can’t, I’ll just give her formula.” Brushing it off like it wasn’t a big deal to me.  I’ve heard that breastfeeding was hard, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to do it in case I was not able to.

Well, I’m able to. Not only am I able to…I love it! I love the bonding experience, the angle at which I can see her (and no one else can get that angle!), and the fact that my body can produce the nourishment she needs in order to grow and thrive.

As much as I love it, I’ve learned to deal with some downsides of breastfeeding, in particular: Engorgement!  Here are seven things that go through my mind when I’m engorged:

1) Am I…? Yep!

karen mean girls boobs

It starts out innocent enough. I know it has been a few hours since I last nursed or pumped, so I give the girls a feel. Lumpy? Check! Hurts to move? Check! Hard as rocks? Check…Yikes!

2) I can’t believe my boobs right now!

jennifer garner 13 going on 30

This statement is two-fold: A) I can’t believe how good they look! I’m a member of the itty bitty committee, and to look down and see that cleavage is mind blowing! B) I can’t believe I have two massive boulders on my chest right now. How is this physically possible, and why didn’t anyone warn me?

3) Am I leaking?

breastmilk_leaking

Now that I’ve successfully determined that I’m engorged I need to make sure I’m not leaking. I usually am, but I wear nursing pads regularly so I’m not dripping through my shirt.  Given my “mombie” status as of late, I need to triple check they are there. Those things can really only handle so much, sometimes they get soaked!

4) Maybe I should pump?

chelsea teen mom

When engorgement hits, I urgently think of if I can relieve myself. If I wake up in the middle of the night from the pain, I go back-and-forth in my head about either being too exhausted to pump, or if I get up and start pumping will my baby start wailing because of good old Murphy and his law! Typically, I stay in bed, stay awake because I’m in pain, then baby wakes up shortly.

5) Ugh..I’m done breastfeeding!

sammi jersey shore

I set a goal of breastfeeding for a year, and on days where I’m engorged, and can’t get rid of my clogged ducts, I toy with the idea of waving the white flag. I work full time, and am pumping in the Mothers Room three times a day, which is not as efficient as feeding baby, so more times than not, I’m walking around uncomfortable.

6) Eh, the discomfort is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

that 70s show

Mom guilt really sets in when I start to think about giving up. I think to myself that the discomfort is just a minor sacrifice I can make for her to benefit from breastfeeding.

7) She’s ready!

18233606

Is that a cry I hear? Time to go feed my daughter…And get some relief!

 

Dear 2016…

You sick son of a bitch.

Not only did you claim the coolest celebrities like David Bowie and Prince, but you also turned the United States of America into a trashy reality television show.

You challenged me in ways I never thought possible. You changed my life’s narrative. The dreams I had for this year all took sharp left turns, and am left with lessons and stories to look back on to laugh and cry about.

2015 ended with me newly pregnant and a retired father on the verge of 69. I was elated my parents would be able to enjoy their new grandchild in the new year any day of the week. But 2016 laughed in my face and my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Once she healed from her hysterectomy, she was slated to start chemo a little over a month after that – June 13th.  She’d be smack in the middle of chemo around the time my baby was due, August 1st, and wanted more than anything for my mother to be able to hold my newborn. We were really unsure what her status would be at that point.  Her “last hurrah” so-to-speak was my baby shower on June 11th. She was no longer able to plan it, and was unsure if she would be up to even attend. But she did, and I was thrilled.

In a surprising turn of events, in the early morning hours of June 12th, my water broke and I gave birth to Sloane seven weeks early. You sneaky bastard, 2016. At least mom was able to get in some time with her new granddaughter before starting treatment!

Sloane spent 10 days in the NICU, and mom was not only able to see her the day she was born, but was well enough the next day after chemo to make another visit. Unfortunately that turned out to be the last day she got to see her for about two months. She had a bad reaction to her second day of treatment and became severely dehydrated and almost went into kidney failure. I was in the NICU with Sloane when my dad texted to tell me that mommy was in the hospital.

And there I was in the NICU with my newborn while my mom was in another hospital a few miles away. All I wanted was my mommy, but this was the first time I was a mommy, and my baby needed me. I learned only days into motherhood what my priority was, and my mom was understanding that I didn’t come see her in the hospital, she echoed my sentiments that Sloane is my priority. I called her everyday, though, crying, and giving updates on Sloane and getting updates on her.

As much as I’d like to give the middle finger to 2016, I’d also like to say “thank you.” Thank you for throwing me these situations. While I would have preferred they didn’t overlap, I’m grateful to have walked away from this year knowing my strength.

With that said, I leave you with Christina Aguilera’s Fighter:

 

 

 

Eight Thoughts I Have While Using The NoseFrida

You’re sharing cuddles wth your baby when all of a sudden it sounds like a little piglet entered the room. Upon further investigation, you realize it was your little cutie pie who’s all stuffed up. Time to get the NoseFrida out!

Nose Frida

When a friend of mine first told me about this product that I “had to get” when I was doing my registry, I quickly added it to both my Amazon and Target registries, but then I looked it up. You suck the snot out of your baby’s nose! EW! I was quick to dismiss it, and put on a regular bulb instead.

It wasn’t until my baby shower, a relative of mine actually had hers there and demonstrated on her baby. The boogies don’t come anywhere near your mouth, and it’s way more functionable than the bulb.  I put it back on my registry to remember to purchase it down the road when baby arrived.

Ever since buying it, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it. It gets the job done really well so mommy loves it, but Sloane is a giant wiggle worm.  I’ve turned it into somewhat of a production, telling my six month old that she’s, “getting a visit from Auntie Frida,” and usually follow it up with “because she’s hungry,” or “she wants to eat your boogies!” Yeah, I know, she doesn’t understand what I’m saying, but her face still lights up. By the way, the Aunt Frida reference is because I had a Great Aunt Freida growing up!

Like I said, it’s a production! Here are eight thoughts that go through my head as I’m NoseFrida-ing her:

  1. It’s that time…I hope this goes well! maekg
  2. Please, no wiggling! wiggling baby
  3. And, let’s keep the screaming to a minimum. Pretty little liars aria
  4. OK, so far so good. whew
  5. How have I gotten nothing out so far? louis-c-k
  6. Oh, wait. Here it comes. tumblr_inline_noa26r9rbm1qezleh_500
  7. OMG, look at those boogies! nene leakes
  8. SUCCESS! brush your shoulders off

 

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, with World Prematurity Day taking place November 17th. These two events raise awareness of premature babies, which in the United States, preemies make up 9.6% of all births.

This past June I gave birth to my little preemie, Sloane Raven, and in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, feel strongly to share my story, and everything I’ve learned.  Babble recently published my story, which I hope you will take a minute to read: https://www.babble.com/parenting/6-things-you-dont-know-about-preemies-until-you-have-one/.

Thanks!

 

 

Let’s Get HappiSnappi!

One of the many fun parts of being a mommy to a little girl is dressing her up!  In addition to the frills and tutus, there are headbands. Mommies, you know what I’m talking about – the headbands with the big flowers. There’s a part of me that finds them a little obnoxious, and then there’s a part of me that loves them!  A brand that allows for you to flex your creative muscles, and keep the obnoxious to a minimum is HappiSnappi!

With a simple snap, young girls can choose from a wide variety of snap-on/off floral embellishments that easily attach to the brand’s headbands, knit hats, necklaces, hair clips, and more. Every item has the same snaps, so you can mix and match embellishments with every piece, making the fashion possibilities endless.

happisnappi

 

The brand isn’t just mix and match – it gives back! The company, created by child therapist Karlee Ohm and her nine-year-old daughter Peyton, donates one hat to a children’s hospital for every hat purchased. Additionally, the mommy/daughter duo teamed up with Sadie Keller, a brave and courageous 9-year-old who is fighting leukemia. In an effort to find a cure by bringing attention to the issue and donating proceeds to her cause, HappiSnappi will donate 50% of online sales to the Sadie Keller Foundation for the remainder of the year.

With the holidays just around the corner, this is a great gift for that special little girl in your life, with the added bonus of having proceeds go to charity. Prices range from $3.50 to $22.50.

Etsy: It’s All In The Details

My baby shower back in June turned out to be a big “to-do.” First my mom was going to handle everything, but then was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was scheduled for surgery the month before, so we had to figure out a plan B. Enter my hubby and bestie!

I knew I wanted some level of involvement, so Steve kept me in the loop. Almost daily he would say, “Natascha emailed me things from Etsy again.” As my eyes grew wide with excitement, he would get puzzled. He doesn’t understand why girls love Etsy so much. Here’s my take – the uniqueness of the hand-made items add a personal touch, and I also like the thought of having something not many people have.  It’s all in the details, as they say, and Etsy is king of the details! Here are a few of my favorite Etsy details from the shower:

baby shower cake

This ballerina cake-topper was my FAVORITE! I was so excited when they showed it to me, and couldn’t wait to see it on the cake! Apparently whoever made the cake thought the cake-topper was bigger given how “Welcome Tiny Dancer” (HOW FITTING?!) is written, but it still looks beautiful!

baby shower chair decoration

Guys, this is so cute! I’m not really into the big gaudy chair, but Steve and Tasch wanted my chair to stand out ever so slightly. The pink and gold went with my color scheme, and the cut-out shape is perfectly detailed!

Baby shower photobooth

So this was the most unexpected thing they did – a photobooth! Who doesn’t love a photobooth?! Since there seemed to be an underlying theme of ballerinas, they included the phrasing, “tutu cute” on the back-drop, and got adorable little props!  Steve set up our camera and we all had a blast!