Wife, Mummy, Nurse: August 2011

31 August 2011

A Soaker and Reading About the Advantage of Doulas {Yarn Along}

I'm still knitting the soaker I blogged about last week, but we were out of electricity this weekend (the pattern was downloaded onto my computer, not printed out-oops!!), and I could not knit at night easily since my eyes would strain by the candlelight.  But, I'm back to knitting it and hoping it will fit my daughter.  The last Curly Purly soaker I made for my daughter was FAR TO BIG.  That may have been because I quickly got bored of it, and it took me a few months to finish, well by that time my daughter had lost a few inches around her waist.

I'm also reading The Doula Advantage.  So far, it's a great book, but I'm only on chapter 2.  Chapter 1 informed the reader about doulas and why they are necessary during labor.
A doula is a professional who provides emotional, physical, informational, and practical support for the expectant, laboring, or postpartum mother.  She does not perform any medical tasks but actually complements the medical birth team. (p. 6-Italics were placed by me for emphasis.  I have often heard people saying they thought doulas performed medical tasks-checked a cervix, etc.  They are their for support.)
There are three types of doulas:

  1. Antepartum
  2. Labor
  3. Postpartum
If you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant, or have already had children, I'd encourage you to read this book.

Did you have a doula for your pregnancy and/or labor?
What was your experience like?  Are you a doula?
What are you knitting this week?  What are you reading?
If you like knitting and reading, 
don't forget to join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

30 August 2011


I have a confession.  I LOVE Etsy.  I go on there often JUST TO LOOK; I don't have any intention of buying, but like looking at what others have made.  Often, I don't buy because I think, "I can make that for this much money instead of paying that much."  (I'm very much like my mum that way.)

Tonight, I made a treasury of items-Under the Sea Nursery.  You can find so many creative things people have made.  Sometimes I toy with the idea of opening up an Etsy store; it would most likely be items I've knit (or items made from wool-both knit and upcycled), especially for babies and children.  I go back and forth though.  Sometimes, I'm all for it, but other times, I couldn't be bothered.

What do you think of Etsy?  Do you have an Etsy store?  
If so, are you happy with it?  
What would you recommend to somebody 
who is thinking of having one?

25 August 2011

Charis' Birth Story Cont. {Part 2}

If you did not read Part 1 of Charis' birth story, click here.

The nurse came into the room and asked if she could do anything and if I wanted an Epidural.  Note: Before going into labor, I told my husband that if I had to have Pitocin, I'd most likely want an Epidural to help control the pain (and the nurse knew this as well).  So, in my case, I honestly don't think she was trying to be pushing medication on me.  She knew that I had planned on getting an Epidural.  I said, "Yes."  My husband thanked her because I was much more agreeable about getting the Epidural to her than I was with him.  The nurse then called the anesthesiologist and told him that she had a patient who wanted an Epidural and that her platelets are ___.  I forgot what she told the doctor my platelets were.  He said he'd be there shortly.

5 minutes later in walks Dr. Nicodemus.  Now, I started singing to myself, "Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he..."  I know WRONG Bible story, but for some reason, that's what I was thinking.  :-D  I had already signed the informed consent that morning as they were going through the admission paperwork.

The nurse had me sit up at the edge of the bed, leaning onto the tray table, and the nurse was standing opposite from me.  They had Drew sit down in a chair.  Dr. Nicodemus had a bit of a hard time putting it in.  He asked, if I had ever been told I had scoliosis.  I told him no.  He then told me that he believed I have a mild case of it.  I didn't care one bit.  All I cared about was getting on top of the pain and trying to stay there. He had to try 2 or 3 times.  Too be honest, I didn't care (and still don't).  The contractions were worse than the attempts.  I had been given medication to help numb the area.  So, it felt more like a pressure going in, instead of pain.  After the Epidural was in, the nurse told me to lie down on my back and stay there for 5-10 minutes so that the medication could disperse easily.  After 10 minutes, I rolled onto me side.  That was the worse part about labor for me-lying on my back.

For the next 1-2 hours, I felt nice.  Drew was able to go to the cafeteria and eat in the room.  Note: I told him to eat in the room.  I wanted him with me, but at the same time, I realized he needed to eat, especially since he had not eaten breakfast.  I had 2 small containers of Italian ice-DELICIOUS and refreshing.  I was able to rest (and occasionally fall asleep) between contractions...

But then I started "losing it" again

24 August 2011

Hats, Soakers, and Birdie's Lighthouse {Yarn Along}

It seems like forever that I have linked up to Ginny's Yarn Along.  If you like knitting and reading, then you'll want to participate.

Right now, I'm knitting a soaker (diaper cover) for my daughter using the Curly Purly pattern.  Sorry, I did not take any pictures yet, but I'm only on Row 3.  So, there's not much to show yet.  I'm also reading Birdie's Lighthouse by Deborah Hopkinson to my daughter; though we just finished page 1.  I like reading to my daughter, but don't want to memorize whole books (such as Brown bear, brown bear: What do you see? Yes, I have that memorized word for word.), so I also read things that aren't for babies.

I FINALLY finished this hat.  I'll be giving it to my brother as a late Christmas present.  :)  I love the how the yarn just self striped.  Here are a few pictures of the completed item.

Mummy, I LIKE this.  There's
blue and brown and...
Can you make
me one?
Well, if I can't keep it, I'll at least
try it on.

Linking up to Yarn Along.

21 August 2011

Our Second Anniversary is Today!!

2 years ago: My husband and I were newlyweds.  We had only been married for a few hours.  We had the privilege of being married by my Uncle Blair from Northern Ireland.  The dress I wore was made with love by my mummy.  We were surrounded by many friends and family and had a wonderful day.

Leaving to go on our mini honeymoon.  SOMEDAY, we
hope to go to Prince Edward Island, but I
have NO idea when that will be.
1 year ago: We had an early anniversary present-our daughter.  My first 24 hour day home from the hospital was on our anniversary.  I remember crying with my mum at our dining room table around 6:00 am.  I did not get any sleep the night before because my daughter realized she wasn't in a warm, cozy environment-my womb-any more.

NOT my best picture, after all I did have a baby 3 days
before, but it was taken on our anniversary.
Today: I went to church with my husband and daughter this morning and hope and pray my husband and I have MANY more years together.

20 August 2011

I need some HELP and ADVICE with my tomato plants

This summer I decided to plant a small balcony container garden.  I planted one Roma tomato plant and one Beefsteak tomato plant.  After getting back from Pennsylvania, I asked my husband if he remembered to water the plants and if they were looking good.  He replied, "Yes, I watered them, but there are a few tomatoes that look like something ate half of them."  So, I went outside to investigate.  Sure enough, he was right.  This was the case only with the Beefsteak tomatoes.  I then went to get my camera and take a few pictures.  Then, I picked the tomatoes that have bites in them off.  Just now, I saw a bird right next to MY tomato plant.  So, now I'm wondering if he is the culprit.

So here's where you come in: I want this fixed, but I'm not sure what to do.  What have you done to prevent birds and other small creatures from getting to your various plants?  Comments (or an e-mail) would be appreciated.

For those who are wondering, the other plants-oregano, basil, and pepper plant-seem to be doing well.

19 August 2011

Charis is One Year Old and Her Birth Story!!

I realized that I have never written down my daughter's birth story and figured I'd do it today, especially since yesterday was her FIRST birthday!!  Wow, time FLIES!!  So, for those of you who are not interested in birth stories, you might want to move on someplace else.

My "due date" was August 10, 2010, but as with most women, my baby was not born on her "due date."  I saw a group of Obstetricians.  Note: I wanted to go to a midwife group, but the hospital I gave birth at, does not grant privileges to midwifes, and since I worked at the hospital and had my insurance through the hospital, we decided to give birth there.  Had I gone to another hospital we would have paid WAY MORE money than we wanted.  I went with this group of doctors because they had two midwives at their practice who saw patients.  Thankfully, everything was great during my pregnancy, and I was not threatened to be induced on (or before) my due date.  I was told that they didn't usually induce patients until 1 week after their due date.

It was decided August 12th, that if the baby didn't come before August 18th, I would be induced that day.  I SO WANTED her to come before that.  I received a few comments when I went places, "Oh, I wish you weren't here.  I wish you were in the hospital having your baby girl."  I don't know why people think those types of comments are necessary, but they were made.  I wanted to scream, "YOU THINK I WANT TO BE HERE.  I HAVE AN THERMAL RESOURCE UNIT ATTACHED TO ME.  IT'S 90+ DEGREES OUT."  But, I didn't; instead, I tried to shrug it off, but often being a ball full of hormones, I cried with my husband.

On August 17, my husband and I went out to Cold Stone Creamery in celebration of the upcoming birth of our daughter, plus we weren't sure when we'd be able to go out again as the two of us.  I received at least 3 calls from different ladies in the church letting me know that they were praying for me.  Isn't it wonderful having Christian friends who will lift you up before God in prayer?  I did not sleep well that night, woke up around 5:00 AM, took a shower, ate toast with peanut butter, drank orange juice, called my parents, prayed, and gathered a few last minute things before heading to the hospital.  We had to be there at 7:00 AM.  Contractions started at 6:20 AM, on the way to the hospital.  They were coming about every 15 minutes.  After getting to the hospital, they were coming every 10 minutes.  At this point, I was hoping they would not induce me.  Looking back, I now realize I should have been walking around the hall, instead of in sitting down, but I was tired and did not sleep the night before.

After what seemed like FOREVER, I was finally seen by the receptionist and went back to triage, where I changed into a hospital gown, had an IV inserted into my arm, blood drawn, and IV fluids hung.  In came the doctor who said, "We're going to send her home.  She'll have to come back in tomorrow to be induced."  At this pointed I ALMOST cried.  My husband remembers the situation with his humor.  I remember it with disgust.  The nurse asked, "Why are you sending her home?"  "We don't have enough beds back there."  The nurse was frustrated with that, and they spoke back and forth.  Dr. E. left, came back about 10 minutes later, and told me that I was being admitted.  Sometimes, I wish I could have left in order for labor to progress on its own, instead of having Pitocin.

Dr. E. broke my water around 9:40, and Pitocin was then started.  Before the Pitocin was started, my contractions were about 5-10 minutes apart and tolerable, THAT QUICKLY CHANGED.  I was writhing in pain from the Pitocin immediately.  I very much DISLIKE Pitocin and want to AVOID it next time.  My husband did not like seeing me in pain and wanted to do something.  I thought it was "too soon" for an Epidural, never mind the fact that the doctor said I could have one at any time.  My husband soon pressed the call button because I was not getting through the contractions.


16 August 2011

Rigatoni with Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes and Zucchini

Here's another recipe from my Buying local-Buying fresh experience on Saturday.

  1. Begin heating water on the stove and bring to boil.  Cook 1 lb. of rigatoni in water, as directed on package.
  2. Slice one zucchini and four tomatoes.  Pour 1 Tbsp. olive oil on baking sheet and layer the zucchini and tomato pieces.  Sprinkle garlic powder, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper over the tomatoes and zucchini.  Sprinkle 1 cup Parmesan cheese over the zucchini and tomatoes.  Broil until the cheese for approximately 5 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.
  3. Add tomato and zucchini mixture to rigatoni and gently stir together.
  4. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

15 August 2011

Buying Fresh, Buying Local, and Zucchini Spice Muffins {Muffin Monday}

On Saturday, I went up to Eastern Pennsylvania in Amish land and found out if I lived up there, I could "Buy local, Buy fresh" without a problem.  We went to an Amish farm (my friends lives less than a mile from their farm, and I came home with 13 tomatoes, 4 red peppers, 1 yellow pepper, 5 zucchini, 6 peaches, 4 onions, and 4 garlic bulbs for $10.75!!  The peaches are AMAZING; they are SO JUICY, and my husband may not get any peaches because at this rate, I'm eating them all!!  I made zucchini muffins and just enjoyed eating one just now.  Everything I have eaten so far-tomatoes, peppers, peaches, and zucchini-is GREAT.

Here's the recipe for the Zucchini Spice Muffins I made:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine and stir together:
2 cups whole wheat flower
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt

Cut in 1/2 coconut oil into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.

Make a well in the center, and pour in:
6 oz. Greek yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fill muffin cups 2/3-3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Cool before eating (if you are patient enough) and enjoy!!

Note: My husband who claims he does not like zucchini and does not like zucchini bread/muffins, ate THREE, yes THREE muffins.  Next time, I hope to cut back on the sugar even more.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of white sugar and an additional 1/4 cup brown sugar sprinkled on the top of the muffins.  If I had done that, they would have been FAR TOO SWEET.  As it was, I still think they're a little too sweet.

11 August 2011

Missed Posting on Ginny's Yarn Along Because...

This past week has been a whirlwind of traveling and activities!  Last Thursday, after my husband got off work, we drove out to Western PA to see our families and attend a friend's wedding on Saturday.  My husband came home on Sabbath, but I arrived back home in Maryland around 8:45PM.  My MIL and FIL were so kind to drive Charis and me back home and watch Charis this morning while I went to the hospital for a mandatory computer class.  Our computer charting is being upgraded-AGAIN.  We will be scanning our patient's medications now before giving them.  I plan on posting some pictures from our trip West, but for now, I'll just leave you with a knitting photograph of what I am knitting.

Unfortunately, I missed linking up to Yarn Along this week for the reasons mentioned above, but I plan on returning next week.  I am still knitting the hat I blogged about in Warm Bread and Hats {Yarn Along} post; I am about ready to start knitting the decreases and shaping the crown.  Hopefully with the hat finished and a new project started!!

04 August 2011

My Breastfeeding Challenges in the Early Weeks {Nipple pain, Leaking, Cracked nipples, and Mastiits}

I just finished nursing my baby and enjoyed every minute of it.  I enjoy holding her, nourishing her, and spending time with her.  Breastfeeding was not always easy though, especially the first 3-4 weeks.  When I was in the hospital I had nipple pain every time she ate, but brushed it off because I was not used to somebody wanting to place her mouth on my nipple 24/7.  On August 21, I was crying with my mum (she was calm) and started leaking everywhere.  I thought, "What is this?  I'm leaking.  I just had a baby, and I'm supposed to be happy.  "  About 5 days after my daughter's birth, I noticed a crack on my left nipple. Breastfeeding was NOT pleasant then, but I continued to do so.

One week after Charis was born, I was breastfeeding her at 3:00 AM and was not feeling well.  I had left breast pain (no redness), aches, fever (>101.5 degrees), chills, and felt run down.  I woke my husband up and was crying.  He told me I should call the on call doctor (which I did).  The physician told he thought I had mastitis, to call when the office opened and set up an appointment, and in the meantime to alternate taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  Drew stayed up with the pumpkin and read to her out of his Spanish Bible, while I tried to get some rest and felt like a failure as a mother because I could not be the one up with her.  We were able to go in and see the OB-GYN where I was officially diagnosed with mastitis and placed on an antibiotic. The next day, I felt 100% better.  We also had our daughter's first Pediatrician appointment that day, and he wanted me to see a lactation consultant, which I did a week later.  The lactation consultant told me my daughter was not latching on correctly and was able to help me correct this.  PTL!!

Here are a few things I have since learned (and remembered from reading articles and books before my daughter was born):

  • Nipple pain is NOT normal.  It is a sign that something is not right.
  • Breast pads help wonderfully with leaking.  There are still times I put them on and am SO THANKFUL I did.  I only wish I had invested in cloth breast pads earlier.
  • A few things and products that helped my cracked nipple were:
    • Breast milk has anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties in it.  After you nurse your baby, rub some breast milk into your nipple and let it dry.
    • Lanolin helps keep cells from drying out.
    • Hydrogel pads do not stick to wounds (like my cracked nipple) and protect the moisture balance.
  • Mastitis is inflammation of the breast tissue.
    • Signs and symptoms
      • Breast pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling
      • Malaise
      • Fever/chills
    • Risk factors
      • Cracked nipple
      • Not emptying your breasts completely
      • Using only one position to nurse the baby
    • Treatment
      • Antibiotics-take as directed and complete the course of treatment! 
      • Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and continue to breastfeed on both sides.  Applying  treatments can also help.
      • Don't be afraid to seek a lactation consultant who will try to help and discover what the problem is.
    • If you have these symptoms, seek you midwife, nurse practitioner, or physician to let them know.  They will most likely want you to come in and examine you.
    • Prevention
      • While breastfeeding, fully drain the milk from one side before transferring your baby to the other side.
      • Nurse using different positions.
      • See a lactation consultant who will be able to help you.
What difficulties did you have with nursing your children?
What did you do to help?  What would you have done differently?

03 August 2011

Warm Bread and Hats {Yarn Along}

Two things I like are baking bread and knitting hats.  The smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven is WONDERFUL and knitting a hat is actually relaxing, once I get past joining the round and have done it correctly.

One of the books I checked out of the library and am perusing through is Warm Bread and Honey Cake.  I don't think I would buy this book for myself, but I have come across two recipes which I MUST try: simple brown bread (70) and coconut milk bread (79).  I WILL NOT bake the bread until the humidity decreases.  I think it's a bit wasteful to have the air conditioner on while I bake bread, so for now, I'll have to be content using the bread maker.

The soaker (not pictured) is slowly coming along, but it's coming.  I'll post a picture when it's complete.

The hat that I'm currently knitting is for my brother.  I have not even finished casting on.  I found the pattern on Ravelry ("Turn A Square" by Jared Flood).  Hopefully, I'll finish it before the weekend, but if I don't, I'll just mail his VERY BELATED Christmas present.

This is going to be posted at Small Things Yarn Along.  She writes, "Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us!"

02 August 2011

Small Praises for the Last Week {Gratituesday}

I have plenty to be thankful for, but here's a surface list.  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011: Charis and I went to the beach with a group of ladies (and their children) from church.  We had a delightful time.  Charis did not get a sunburn!!  Mission accomplished.  Unfortunately, I did, and I'm thankful for my husband because he went to the store TWICE in search of Aloe.  (Note: I did not ask him to do this.)  First, he came back with something completely wrong, but he realized it and went back to the store and came home with the right thing.  Then, he put the Aloe linden flower after sun soother on my sunburn.  (No, he still could not find aloe at the store, and neither could I when I went there on Saturday.)
July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011: I was able to sleep and rest during the day.  Praise God!!  (Especially since I worked on Friday.)

Friday, July 29, 2011: I worked at the hospital, and unlike the week before, I did not feel like I wanted to turn my three week notice in.  It was a nice slow, "smooth" day.  And I got out at 7:30PM and fell asleep by 9:15PM.

Saturday, July 30, 2011: Drew worked, and I was able to rest and get some NEEDED cleaning accomplished in the apartment.

Sunday, July 31, 2011: We were able to go to church and worship God.  Afterwards, we had three friends (J, M, and D) over.  This Saturday is M and D's wedding!!  We had a Psalm sing in the evening and were able to fellowship with others there.

Monday, August 1, 2011: My daughter napped, and I was able to get some knitting done.
August 1, 2011

01 August 2011

World Breastfeeding Week

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week.  In honor of it, I am going to write about 2-3 posts this week on breastfeeding, my experiences, and recommendations.  I have been nursing my daughter everyday since she was born [August 18, 2011], and she shows no signs of stopping.  There have been a few trials, but MANY more joys along the way.

To start off, I want to list a few people and items that are necessary (in my mind).

  1. A supportive husband (or partner).  My husband has been GREAT.  In the early days, when I would nurse Charis, he would fill my glass with water, get something for me to eat, help clean and do dishes (so that I could get my rest), and was/is generally helpful.  
  2. Supportive friends and family.  Our church friends (family) brought MANY meals over the first two weeks; they would have brought more meals, but my in-laws came out the following two weeks to help (and did much cooking) and even took us to Olive Garden one night.
  3. Supportive environment.  People generally need to be supportive of breastfeeding and not look down on it.  Unfortunately, some tend to see it as gross.  Others think it should be done someplace else (away from everybody).  What people need to realize is that, breast milk is the BEST nutrition a baby can have.  There are SO MANY benefits of breast milk over formula.
  4. Items that I think are necessary (or at least make breastfeeding "easier": lanolin cream, breast pads (I wish I had invested more in cloth than disposable), breast pillow (I have a Boppy pillow), nursing bras/camis (especially this one from Motherhood), nursing cover or blanket, etc.
Are you currently breastfeeding?  Who or what has helped you along the way?
I am linking up at World Breastfeeding Week on NPN.