Monday, March 10, 2014

Who's your Midwife?

It's the question that many people have been asking me and I can't wait to tell you all about her! If you have been following my blog for any extended amount of time then you may have heard of her, because she delivered our sweet Eleanor at Birthways. I loved my entire experience at Birthways and Kristen Schuchmann was the midwife that delivered. 


She now has her own practice - LifeSong Midwifery - in Northport, FL which is about 45 minutes away from us. She's such an amazing midwife and teacher. She is the Executive Director of Charis Childbirth, an international school for midwives, childbirth educators, doulas, and lactation counselors that she founded in January of 2003. Her heart is not only for the women in her own backyard, but GLOBALLY! She trains and equips birth professionals to go out and positively impact women and families! 
I adore her, her heart, and hope to one day attend her trainings (future midwife...possibly)! Woo hoo! 

Today, we had our first appointment with her and while it was uneventful on the baby front, it was really great to see her practice. She has quite the setup! She practices out of her home and has a really cool "office" setup. It feels like you're going to a trusted friends home who happens to deliver babies, ha!-So different from what I assume a Dr.'s office to be like. 

It's so amazing to be afforded the opportunity to experience birth and pregnancy like this. So many women don't get this chance-maybe out of medical necessity, fear, unavailability or even partner/spouse request. I feel blessed to enter this experience with a trusted midwife like Kristen. 

I'll never forget the day that she gave me a piece of advice that I apply to my life and business daily. During one of our prenatal appointments with Eleanor she spoke to me about her philosophy of midwifery care and her past experiences; she said to me that in order to touch someone's life, you have to "earn that right" and to this day I apply it to my interaction with mothers. So often health care professionals, birth workers and, even other mothers tell you things that "they think you should know," never having earned that right to do so. It's only through our actions and kindness that you earn that right to speak into someone. It's only through training and designation, that we gain the knowledge to lovingly lead and guide these beautiful creations called, Mother.

I leave you with more photos of Kristen doing what she does best!






xoxo

Friday, February 21, 2014

A very very sweet ending

I'm sorry for the delay in follow-up regarding my Ulcerative Colitis post. I've had a few people coming into the store asking what's happened so, I figured that I'd share it one post. I'll make it snappy though because we have lots and lots of good stuff to talk about! 

I saw the doctor and she confirmed my UC flare-up, prescribed me tons of medication to get me into remission; steroids, daily meds, etc. 
I had informed her that we were trying for baby #2 and she wanted me to cease my baby making because the medication that I "would" be taking isn't safe for pregnancy (this made me sad..) she suggested that I go home and take a pregnancy test...before taking any meds. 

Turns out...I'M PREGNANT!!!! 




We couldn't be more happy and excited! In the appt with my GI I was informed that pregnancy could be good for my UC because pregnancy slows auto-immune response and UC is an auto-immune disorder. So we'll see how my body responds but not gonna lie, on the way home from the appt I was praying I was pregnant!

Now...onto the good stuff..we are very happy and excited to welcome our new little person in! I'm between 9-10 weeks along and my "due" date is at the end of September! I'm feeling pretty good! I found out i was pregnant really early and had a very rough first month. We actually had to close the store a few days because I was so nauseated! I'm much much better now! I have a little energy back but I'm still pretty sleepy! Ha!

Ella gets it. It's so weird and amazing! I've told her about the new baby and she kisses my belly. It's so cute! I feel so blessed.


I can't wait to nurse them both! I've always thought tandem nursing is super rad. Speaking of nursing and pregnancy, my milk is different and I can really tell. It's so funny like two weeks agoI could SMELL my milk and either my pregnant nose was lying to me or it smelled weird!

Well...can't wait to keep you up to date! 

I leave you with beautiful photography by my awesome friend Cassie Leah! I actually saw her a few days after we found out and she was so excited to shoot these! You should check her out! I can't wait for her to do my newborn photos! Her newborn portfolio makes me ovulatewellMADE me ovulate! Haha! 











I love you guys! You're the best! 
XOXOX

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mothering the Mother: Supporting and Loving Our Young Mamas!


I am very excited to announce The partnership that has been created between Cyesis and Everyday Baby! 

Let me tell you a little bit about the Cyesis program! 

"The CYESIS Program goes back to 1978 when a group of concerned citizens and community agencies saw the need for an educational program for pregnant and parenting teens. Students are able to stay in school, knowing their babies are in a safe environment. The CYESIS Program influenced the State of Florida's decision to guarantee all teen parents the right to an education with additional services available to assist them in the health and care of raising a child.
Today, Sarasota County offers a strong teen parent program with on-site childcare at the Riverview High School campus and at the North Port High School campus."

Being the daughter of a teen mother, I know and understand the struggle firsthand. I watched my mother as she strived for her education. When she was in high school, they did not have a program like this and as a result she had to drop out of school. 

I am excited to have the opportunity to mentor, teach and assist these young mothers!

We need your help! As you can imagine, running a program like this is very costly. Some of the young ladies have a real needs and "even $5 is a LOT to some of these mamas"! 

How can you help? We are going to be coming up with a few creative ways but in the meantime the current needs are; any double strollers, any used baby carriers and lastly any donations for breast pumps! 

If you are interested in assisting us or partnering, please let us know! 

You can contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast to become a mentor or volunteer! These young ladies need positive people in their lives. Why not you? 

Xoxo

An Adoptive Mamas Journey "You're Nursing Your Baby!"

Did you know that human lactation is not limited to just women given who have given birth? That's right! You can induce lactation and my sweet friend Kathy is proving it! 

I met Kathy at our Cloth Diapering 101 class. She had just adopted a new baby and was excited about this new journey. 
Her commitment to feeding her baby breastmilk was brought up during class and as a result I mentioned inducing lactation. Given her previous medical history, she was weary about pursuing..so we just continued on talking about cloth diapers! 

A few days later I got a message from Kathy about possibly inducing lactation and using a supplemental nursing device. I was thrilled at the opportunity to help her and knew that the moment her baby nursed for the first time, she was going to be hooked! 


I was right! 

She is now nursing her baby and loving it. As I've told her "this has made my day, year and century!" Being a newly trained CLC I feel so blessed to have been a part of it! 

We could use your help! Kathy is still using an SNS with expressed breastmilk until her supply has built up! Any donations are greatly appreciated and if you contact me I can connect the two of you.

**DISCLAIMER** 
As a CLC I do not condone the use of unpasteurized breastmilk from mother to mother.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Truth: I Have Ulcerative Colitis Part 2

So.
I have received an official diagnosis and I have no clue why it was sooo important for me to hear the Doctor say it, but it really was. I think a lot of it had to do with needing someone to confirm what I already knew was the truth. Someone that had some type of "authority". The other reason (that I'm realizing now) is because when my body is healed through diet, I can say that I HAD ulcerative colitis a "non-curable" auto-immune disease.

On the way to the doctors office, Nate and I discussed what our expectation from the appointment would be. Its been 1 year since I have seen this specialist and I was wondering if I'd have to get more testing done. 

All that I wanted was a confirmation of diagnosis and to start an open relationship with a specialist. Thats it.

The last time I saw her; I had a colonoscopy done, blood work and was prescribed medications. Mind you, at this time Ella was only 5 months old and I wasn't wanting to take any medications that would interfere with my breastfeeding relationship but at the time I was open to try. Last year, I tried a few of the medications that she prescribed and within days, my milk supply was drastically lower and I quit taking them…I Have't seen her since.

When we arrived at this appointment I was super nervous. I hate talking about my symptoms, my difficulties, my reality. I like to pretend that my reality is what I share with others; look at my Instagram feed, it's full of healthy food and smiles but that isn't my reality.

She walks into the exam room and says to me with ease, "so you're here to talk about your colitis?" I looked at her stunned and said "I have colitis?" She looked at me like I had three eyes and said "most definitely.." She continues on about how all of my symptoms were in fact UC related, and that I should have followed up with her so that she could have prescribed me other medications last year. 

By the end of the appointment she has prescribed me with three medications to try and clear things up, informs me that if I want to gain remission I must take the medications and suggests that I wean Ellabird as a precautionary measure. If these medications don't help me the IV infusion therapy is definitely not safe for breastfeeding,
nor is it safe for a fetus-so I must stop trying for baby #2.

I left feeling hopeless.  

The Truth: I have Ulcerative Colitis


I don't think I'm going to post this.

I live in agony. 
Thats sort of weird to admit but it's the truth. It's the truth that I have been hiding for a long time. I'd say I have been hiding and sweeping it under the rug for about 3 years. I don't like to tell anyone or talk about it. It's a mixture of being in denial, embarrassed and sad. It's caused me so much pain and embarrassment that I have lost relationships over it, I've had to quit activities that I enjoy and sometimes I can't/don't want to leave my house. Its weird how much it has effected me and I haven't even been able to admit it. 

I don't think I'm going to post this.

I have ulcerative colitis.
Ughhh. Thats the first time I have ever typed that out. Not the "ulcerative colitis" part, I have typed out those words far too many times in the Google search engine. It's the "I have" part that I have never typed out. I also haven't been officially diagnosed with it (that happens tomorrow) but I know that I have it. 

If you don't know what ulcerative colitis is, I can try to explain it. It basically means that the lining of my lower GI has been damaged because of an auto-immune response. There is no "cure" for it but there are "management" measures that can be taken. The symptoms of UC can be pretty nasty and I'd rather not get into it. You can Google it if you'd like to…I pretty much have all of it. Sucks. It's embarrassing. 

I'm not in the midst of a flare-up right now (thank God) but I was a few weeks ago. I don't know how long I'll be ok, how long a flare-up will last or what causes either of these two events. All that I know is that it's a roller coaster. It's probably really hard for you to understand how difficult this situation is and I'd love the opportunity to put into perspective but I can't. If you're looking for perspective on this monster there are a few great bloggers that have written about this subject that have really…"captured the essence?"

The treatment plan (possibly) looks like this; IV steroids, medications that aren't safe for pregnancy and frequent medications to relieve the symptoms associated with this incurable disease. NO THANK YOU!

I'm a healthy person (at least I try). 
I eat consciously, organic and clean. 

I am so mad.
I don't know what to do.
I know how to eat. 
I preach health/wellness yet I'm not well...

I am posting this because I need your help! 

Tomorrow at 9AM I'm going to see my GI Specialist and I need to figure out what to do. Do you know anyone with UC? I spoke to someone briefly that has it and it was a breath of fresh air, she understood exactly what I'm going through but she wasn't local to Sarasota.

**UPDATE: I went to the doctor after this was written and got my "official" diagnoses. I'll be writing about my experience soon.**

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I don't do New Year's resolutions.


I have the most difficult time staying inspired when it comes to blogging. It comes in spurts and when it does I should just write all day and get it over with. I think that this will be the very first post that I don't proof read and change. Even after I said that, I just re-read what I wrote and changed something (doh!).  

Lets have real talk. I used to blog, blog often and love it. I still enjoy writing and creating connection but having the store  has really limited my time! I just finished getting my certified lactation counselor certification, I'm finishing my Wee Hands certification (to teach baby ASL) and I'm still working on my Kindermusik classes…all while; cooking dinners, cleaning cloth diapers, nursing my sweet girl, ordering products, running the store, being a wife, etc etc etc.

This blog has taken a back seat..but NOT for long! I'm feeling good. A lot of "need to do" items have been checked off my list and I have a mile long list of blog topics I'd like to talk about.

I don't do "New Years Resolutions" I don't believe in them. I do believe in seasons though, I think that we go through phases. I am currently coming out of my "nose to the grind/unsocial season" I feel like one of those horses when they're in training and they have those weird things on the sides of their head, it's actually so they stay focused. They are called blinders. Some say that blinders were invented when a preacher had a wager with one of his friends. The preacher bet that his horse could walk up the stairs in his home, which the horse did with no problem at all. But, when he tried to coax the horse down again, it wouldn’t budge! So, the preacher covered the horses head and lead him down. He realized that covering all or part of the horse’s vision could encourage the horse to take chances it would not normally take. So my year of "chances" is over and now I embrace a new year of.wellwe'll see. I'll let you know when I know!

So with all of that being said…what season are you in? What kind of year has this been for you?