Wife, Mummy, Nurse: May 2015

22 May 2015

Catch the Moment: Week 20

Even though I am WAY behind posting Catch the Moment, I decided to start posting again and not worry about the previous 16 weeks pictures. If you want to check out my comings and goings, follow me on Instagram.

21 May 2015

Learning about Menstrual Periods before Punctuation Marks

In March, my daughter, son, and I went to a friend's wedding. At one point I needed to go to the bathroom. I left my son with my sister. Charis decided she needed to go potty as well-but did not tell me she was following me to the restroom. I went in the stall, locked the door, and breathed a sigh of relief, "Peace at last." Then I noticed Charis doing to arm crawl to get in my stall. I was about to make her go to her own stall... until I heard a handful of college students come into the bathroom, laughing and chatting.

19 May 2015

Curly Purly

Reading the book-Butterfly, Butterfly-
to my children.
Knitting has been on hold. The weather has been HOT.

Instead of knitting, I have been trying to stay cool by drinking lots of water, going to the park (if it's hot inside, what's the difference going out), making sun herbal tea and iced coffee, reading to my children (it's an activity that does not require too much movement), and preventing my children from climbing all over their mother. Both of them, especially my daughter, think I am a human jungle gym.

Thankfully, our air conditioning did not come on until Monday afternoon. I plan to resume the Curly Purly soaker pattern today.

Herbal sun tea.
What are you reading or knitting? How are you keeping cool? Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

15 May 2015

Thirsties Duo Wrap & IKEA Flats #Giveaway

The 2nd annual Cuckoo for Cloth giveaway event, hosted by Zephyr Hill Blog and ConservaMom, starts today! It's a fun way to visit lots of different cloth diapering bloggers and enter to win some wonderful prizes. The grand prize package is worth over $150 and includes items from Funky Fluff, GroVia, Wink Diapers, Margaux & May, Zookabo and Geffen Baby!

With the flats challenge going on, I decided to giveaway Blackbird Thirsties duo wrap size 2 ($13.25) & IKEA flat "diapers" ($2.99). You may be thinking, "What? IKEA has flat diapers?" Technically, they were sold under the name as "vandring" and are 27 1/2" X 27 1/2". They come in packets of two. When I first bought a packet of flats from IKEA, I thought, "They're thin. Will these absorb enough?" With each wash and dry, they get thicker and quilt up. Unfortunately, IKEA no longer sells these diapers.

The Zephyr Hill and ConservaMom blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please refer to the terms and conditions particular to each giveaway. Good luck and have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 May 2015

Going Out and About with Flats

Today, we walked to the park. I needed to get the children OUT of the apartment and have them run off energy. We were away for 2 1/2 hours, and better yet, when we arrived home, the children were exhausted and fell asleep quickly.

13 May 2015

My Yarn Stash Mountain

When I knit something new, I'm thrilled when I use yarn from my stash, but I almost never show pictures of my yarn stash. Why? Because it forces me to see that that I have too much yarn (as if there's such a thing). On the other side, I find it motivating. When it's together in one place, it forces me to better organize it and plan future projects.

How much do you have in your yarn stash?

No Sew T-Shirt Flat Diaper

Confession: I sometimes have great ideas about making various upcycled crafts, but I've had a stack of t-shirts in our entry way closet. But this challenge, I dug out the closet and found a shirt that I was willing to make into a flat diaper. I decided to make a no sew t-shirt diaper. Who wants to get out the sewing machine just to sew an over lock stitch around two squares.

Justin's Birth Story {Part 4}

Around 7:00 PM, I was transferred up to the Mother and Baby unit. Every time I got up during the night, I still felt dizzy and weak. At 5:00 AM, my blood was drawn. Before shift change, my nurse came in the room and said, "Your hemoglobin is 7; it was 11.5. You might need a transfusion today. If you feel that you're getting worse, let me know." I thought, "That explains why I still feel so dizzy and weak." I made sure to drink lots of water and eat food high in iron. As the day went on, I felt my strength returning. When Dr. S. came to see me at 12:00 PM, she offered to order a transfusion, but did not push it. I decided to decline since:
  1. I felt stronger than I had the night before.
  2. My bleeding was decreasing.
  3. Drew's mom was in town to help out for the next 2 1/2-3 weeks, allowing me to focus on resting and recovering and taking care of Justin. Plus, I did not have to cook, do laundry, or take care of Charis.
  4. I did not feel it was necessary and did not want to potential reactions. (Remember, I'm a nurse and nurses can be difficult patients.) 
Dr. S. was okay with my decision, and told me to walk around the floor, if I decided I wanted a transfusion later to let the nurse know. Drew and I walked around the floor with Justin, and I did not feel dizzy. My nurse finally allowed me to take a shower (I should have hopped in without asking her permission), and I was fine. My strength slowly came back. During the afternoon, Charis came by with Grandma to meet Justin. Charis was very unsure, but thought it was fun to sit on mommy's bed. Grandma had the fun job of holding the baby. By the end of the day, I was sitting up in a chair. 

Did I regret my decision to be induced? Short answer, NO! Unlike my Charis's birth, the decision was completely mine. Dr. S. did not pressure me, and she would have been fine waiting a few more days. Dr. S. also respected me as a person and did not push for interventions. I'm NOT against interventions, but with every additional one, there are risks. I was also thrilled that I had an epidural, especially since they were trying to get it out for awhile after the birth. If we have another child and if we still live in this area, I plan on going back to the same doctor that I had with Justin.

Did you allow for things with your birth that you did not plan on letting happen? How did it turn out?

12 May 2015

All About Me #6KCBWDAY2

This is weird for the knitting & crochet blog week, were are not supposed to be taking about knitting.

Today's prompt: It's All About You.

Gulp. I already did this back in January. On my birthday, I posted 31 random facts about me. Today, I'm posting a list of a few things I said I'd never do (that I ended up doing anyway):

  1. Marry Drew. In college, one of my friends would ask, "Well, what about Drew? You could marry him." To which I replied, "I'm NOT marrying Drew. We're just friends." Sometimes I still laugh and think, "I gave birth to Drew's children, and I would not have it any other way."
  2. Become a nurse. When I started at college, I thought I was going to be an elementary education major, but I realized teaching was not something I wanted to do. Someone asked, "Well, have you considered nursing?" I laughed at the thought, "No, I'm not good at science or math. Bodily fluids.. bleh." (Yes, I'm kind of like Sarah in the Old Testament.)
  3. Move to the DC Metro area. I'm a small town girl and had no desire to move to DC. The biggest place I wanted to live was in Pittsburgh, but then I became engaged to a grad student studying at a university in Washington D.C. The rest is history. I still have not lived in Pittsburgh.
As you can tell, I should take the advice of Henri in An American Tail, "Never say never again."

What about you? Is there anything you said you'd never do and then that thing happened?

My Flat Diaper Stash

When I first did this challenge four years ago, I only had 12 OsoCozy flats-6 bleached and 6 unbleached. As the years have gone by, I have slowly had more diapers added to the 12 flats. I will blog what I paid out of pocket for my stash.

The year my flats consist of:

  • 12 OsoCozy flats (now they have been dyed) - Free (check out my review here)
  • 6 IKEA flats - $3/2 pack (total out of pocket expense $9)
  • 1 DiaperRite flat - Free (I won from Change-Diapers)
  • 1 Hemp Babies flat - $9.95 (I thought I paid $7.50 for it, but that was 2 1/2-3 years ago)
  • 1 Orange Diaper Company flat diaper - $14 (my favorite, but compared to all the others, it is expensive)
  • 3 Receiving blankets - Free (given to me as baby gifts)
  • 3 Handmade by made flats
My covers are:
  • Flip cover ($14.95)
  • Buttons diaper cover - Free (I won from The Parenting Patch)
  • AppleCheeks envelope cover - Free (another Change Diapers win-thanks Maria!)
  • Thirsties duo wrap - Free (given to me by a friend)
  • Disana wool soaker - $27.50
  • Various wool soakers made by me
My total out of pocket expense: $77.40-$80. I did not factor in the costs it took to make the diapers and covers because they were made from leftover items I used on other projects I have knit or sewn. Could I have spent less? Yes. As much as I like the orange company diaper flat, I do NOT need it; instead I could just double or trip up on cotton flats. I also did not need to buy the Disana wool soaker, especially since I know how to knit and sew, but it has been bulletproof for night time use, so I'm happy with the purchase I made when Charis was 1 year old.

You may also notice that at least three of the items were things I won. If you want to enter cloth diaper giveaways, I highly recommend going over to Change-Diapers cloth diaper giveaway round up every Friday and enter. No, there is no guarantee that you'll win, since winning is random.

How did day 1 go? Nothing out of the ordinary happened. My son did not poop! (Thankfully). Since it was his birthday, he had cake and was VERY messy, so the hardest part of handwashing was making sure the chocolate and peanut butter were not on the cover. One downside is, since it's so humid, the diapers are slightly damp.

How much did your stash cost? 

Justin's Birth Story {Part 3}

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

At 12:45 PM, the Stadol started wearing off and contractions were getting harder again. I woke up and told Drew they were getting harder. Right after telling him this, my nurse came back with the anesthesiologist and the epidural kit. She assisted me into a sitting position at the side of the bed. She told the doctor my labs, and I responded, "Oh, that's good. The platelets are a little on the low side, but it should still be fine having the epidural." (I have no recollection of the platelet count.) I heard Carrie tell the anesthesiologist, "She's a nurse and has worked in critical care."  The epidural went in quickly and without difficulty. Contractions became less difficult. I could still feel them, but the intensity was decreased. Around 2:30 PM, I could NOT get comfortable-contractions were horrible. My back was killing me. I asked Drew to apply pressure to my lower back, which he did, but at 2:45 PM, I rolled on to my back and started crying, "My back hurts. It hurts. I want the pain to stop. I don't like labor. I feel like I need to push." (Yes, I fell very much like I'm a baby when I'm in labor.) The nurse came in, checked me, and called Dr. S. to let her know we were ready to push. Carrie started getting my bed ready so I could push. 

I starting pushing around 3:00 PM. I as not thrilled to find out, I was NOT numb and definitely felt the ring of fire. I definitely cried out, "Ow! Ow! I can't do this! It burns! Help me God!"-a handful of times. I definitely have the same sentiments as Lorelei Girlmore in "Rory's Birthday Parties":  
And while some have called it the most meaningful experience of your life, to me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.
Thankfully, my doctor, nurse, and Drew were supportive and encouraging. At one point, I remember the nurse telling Dr. S. that the baby's heart rate was dropping as I pushed and the NICU team was called. I thought back to Charis's birth and remembered that I did not want an episiotomy, so the next contraction, I pushed as hard as I could with everything I had and Justin was born at 3:33 PM. The first words out of my mouth, "How much does he weigh?" There were a few laughs and someone replied, "We haven't weighed him yet." The doctor handed Justin to me, and I kissed him.

Unfortunately, I was feeling weak and stated, "I feel like I'm going to pass out." My head was lowered, and Justin was taken away from me and given to Drew. The nurse and doctor were looking at my placenta, but the doctor stated that it did not come out intact. She inserted her hand into my vagina and compressed my lower abdomen. This was done for at least 10 minutes. When she was finally satisfied, she started stitching me (I had a small tear; thank God it was not an episiotomy). I remember feeling like I was so cold; I kept shaking and asked for warm blankets to be put on me. It wasn't until Drew was listening to a Psalm (I forget which one) that the shaking stopped. 

I slowly felt like my strength was returning and asked for food. Labor makes me HUNGRY. Carrie said she called the kitchen for a tray, and it would be up soon. Justin was given back to me, and I breastfed him. 

Part 4 to be continued tomorrow.

11 May 2015

If I Was Yarn: Donegal Tweed #6KCBWDAY1

Last year, I planned on writing and preparing posts (in advance) for the 5th Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, but I found other things (spending time with my daughter before the birth of my son) more important.

This year, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. For those who are new to reading this blog, I am a knitter. I post pictures of things I have knit, and occasionally I post pictures of projects I have sewed.

Today's prompt: If You Were Yarn.

I would be Donegal Tweed by Tahki Yarns. Why? Part of my heart will always be in Londonderry, Northern Ireland and Donegal, Ireland. My grandparents lived in Northern Ireland, but we could see Donegal from their family. Every time I went over to visit my grandparents, I would take a trip to the Stone Fort of Grianán of Aileach. (Sadly the last time I was in Northern Ireland, I did not go see it because I was not feeling well.) It's made in Ireland and is 100% wool. Since the yarn ranges from thin to thick at times, it reminds me of how my life sometimes turns out to be, I don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Check out the rest of the prompts over at Eskimimi Makes.
What yarn would you be?

Why I'm Participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Four years ago, I participated in the 1st Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. I also participated the second year... and the third year participated just for nap and night time (my daughter wore regular underwear when she was awake). The fourth year, I just had a baby and there was NO way I was going to worry about handwashing diapers while I was recovering from childbirth.

But this year, I am once again participating. Throughout the last year, I have made excuses (more than I should have) about using disposable items which leads to more money shelled out. I am a grad student's wife and a mother to two children. We don't have the discretionary income to constantly throw away on disposable products. Note: I'm not saying it's wrong to use disposable products, but I need to wisely use the things that God has given us and entrusted to our care.

What am I not looking forward to? Handwashing the poopy diapers. My son is no longer exclusively on breastmilk. The simple fact is, solids=yuckier diapers. I just have to tell myself, "It's just one week. No washer. No dryer. No problem."

Will you participate in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?
Linking up at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

Justin's Birth Story {Part 2}

Part 1 was posted yesterday.

Even though I was scheduled to be induced May 11, I slept wonderfully the night of May 10! On Mother's Day 2014, Drew and I woke up around 5:45 AM. I took a quick shower. After all if I'm going to do heavy labor and have no idea when my next shower will be, I want to be as clean as possible. Our hotel actually had a fairly decent breakfast. I had slices of bacon, a large spoon of scrambled eggs, and half a Belgian waffle. I took a whole waffle, but after eating everything else, I gave half of it to Drew. We checked out and drove to the hospital where I had to be at 7:00 AM. I checked in and was led to my room.

My nurse, Carrie, was AWESOME!! I hate being stuck for IVs, so much so, that I always dread the IV more than labor itself. She got my IV in on the first try. Since I was positive for group B strep, they wanted to start my first antibiotic infused and wait for at least two hours before starting the Pitocin. My antibiotic was hung around 8 AM. She left, which allowed me to get some rest before labor started. Drew fell asleep on the couch in the room.

At 10:30 AM, Dr. S did not internal examination. Afterwards, Pitocin was started. Thankfully, Dr. S did not perform an amniotomy. (With Charis, immediately after Pitocin was started, the doctor broke my water, and contractions were immediately intense.) With Justin, it was much more gradual with the intensity and frequency on contractions. (I continued letting Drew sleep, until I needed his support.)

At 11:30 AM, the contractions were every 3-4 minutes and they were lasting about 60-90 seconds. Carrie offered to call the anesthesiologist about an epidural, but I declined and stated, "I'm still able to breathe through them." 11:45 AM, I regretted that decision. I called my nurse and asked her to get the anesthesiologist for my epidural. She told me he was just called to an emergency c-section. I was then offered Stadol through my IV. I said, "Yes, please give it to me!" Carrie went to get the Stadol, but another patient was needing her, so a different nurse-Phylis-came in to give my medication. Within 1 minute after receiving Stadol through my IV, I told Drew, "I feel like I'm going to pass out." He came over and lowered the head of my bed. I "slept" well (sedated). I could hear people talking in the background and could respond. Stadol definitely help decrease my pain.

Part 3 to continue tomorrow. 

Were you induced with any of your children?

10 May 2015

This Time a Year Ago {Birth Story Part 1}

Happy Mother's Day!

This time a year ago, I was massively pregnant. My "due" date was April 30, but it came and went without any signs of labor. Believe it or not, I was not disappointed. Yes, I wanted my son to be born and to be able to hold him, but we lived (still live) in a one bedroom apartment. When I announced my pregnancy, I told most people my due date was "around May 8." I was "late" and induced with Charis.

After Charis was born, I decided that I did NOT want to be induced. When I found out I was pregnant, I called the midwife office that my friends spoke highly about, but when talking with the receptionist, they were business like, there was little warmth. I still scheduled an appointment with them, but asked my pastor's wife who her OB-GYN was. She gave me her OB's name and number. I called her office and the secretary was warm and friendly. Plus, I liked the fact that it was a practice with one doctor. I was able to see Dr. S. my entire pregnancy. I was upfront with her about not wanting to be induced I was assured that she would offer-but not force the issue (unless there was a medical concern). Thankfully, my doctor was true to her word.

04 May 2015

Currently {May 4, 2015}

This morning I had my annual gynecological check up. Fun, fun... Last night, Drew said he would prefer if Charis came with me (which is understandable) since it's crunch time with his dissertation and all his "free" time needs to be devoted to it. I e-mailed a friend last night to see if she would be willing to watch Charis for 1-2 hours. I was thrilled when she replied, "Sure! The more the merrier." She has a daughter who is about 20 months older than Charis and another daughter who is 6 months older than Charis. Plus, she has two younger children. Charis was SO excited I had a doctor's appointment. I wish I could have shared in her excitement-having a speculum inserted is sooooo much fun.

On the plus side, I went to Trader Joe's. We live less than 10 miles from one, but it's in a direction we almost never go. The other one "close" to our house is in Annapolis, less than 1/2 a mile from my OB-GYN. While there, I bought a few items, plus a small thank you gift for my friend.

03 May 2015

Wild Blueberry Cheese Ball #Recipe

This is a sponsored post.

The warmer days let me know that summer is coming. I find myself eating more fruits and vegetables this time of year. One of my favorite fruits are wild blueberries, and even better, I can enjoy them year round.

What are wild blueberries? How are they different than blueberries?

  • Wild blueberries have a more intense flavor than regular blueberries. 
  • Wild blueberries have two times the antioxidant capacity of the larger cultivated blueberries.
  • 99% of the Wild Blueberry crop is frozen fresh at harvest, which locks in their nutrition and taste.
  • This may come as a shock to you. Wild blueberries are called "Wild" because they are not planted. 

At first I had no clue where to purchase the wild blueberries, but after consulting the where to buy on the Wild Blueberries site, I found my local super Wal-Mart carries them. Wyman's is the brand that Wal-Mart carries. Since I was not sure of what the bag would look like, I walked by it not once, but three times. Thank God for the helpful Wal-Mart employee who took me to the freezer section where the wild blueberries were.

While shopping, I was thinking of wild blueberries, wine, and cheese. Wal-Mart did not carry wine, but they had cream cheese and feta cheese. I finally decided to make a wild blueberry cheese ball. It is so easy to make the cheese ball and would be a wonderful addition to Memorial Day or Independence Day picnics.

Ingredients needed:
  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 4 oz. feta cheese
  3. 5.3 oz. Dannon Triple Zero mixed berry yogurt
  4. 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  5. 1-2 cups slivered almonds
In mixer, mix cream cheese, feta cheese, and yogurt together, until creamy.

Fold in 1 cup frozen wild blueberries.

Cover and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Shape cheese mixture into ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll the cheese ball in slivered almonds right before serving.

Serve with bread or crackers.

Have you ever tried wild blueberries?
How would you eat them?

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this post my opinions.. I received a $25 gift card to purchase 1-2 bags of frozen Wildblueberries and other ingredients needed to create the above recipe.

01 May 2015

Dial® and the Importance of Washing Your Hands

I have encouraged my daughter to wash her hands every time after she goes to the bathroom, blows her nose, coughs, and anytime her hands are dirty. She obeyed and did it because "mama told her to", but now, she has been asking, "Why do I need to wash my hands?" I replied, "We need to wash our hands because microbes make us sick." Which led to the question, "What are microbes? Why do they make us sick? How do they make us sick?" Mama decided to go to our local library and borrow books on washing hands and microbes to help her better understand the importance of hand washing.