Too Good not to Share…

If you haven’t seen or read this article, it’s a great read.  This is my opinion.  I struggled when our pediatrician recommended “sleep training” via the Ferber Method.  In the end, I decided to trust my “gut,” mommy instincts and do what I had learned and already had been doing since our NICU stay.  After reading other articles and talking to others about it, I’m glad I did.  Enjoy!

Click on link to read article:
Avoid Stressful Sleep Training and Get The Sleep You Need

 

 

All I Want for Christmas is My Reimbursement

What all breastfeeding Moms should know….

Breastfeed Chicago

Breastfeeding is hard work. And sometimes we need help! Prior to joining Breastfeed Chicago I had no idea what a lactation consultant was, let alone an IBCLC – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. So when my little week-old Ruby was leaving me cringing at every hour-long feeding (I’ll spare the gory details), and still not gaining any weight, I was so thankful to be a part of ‘the Facebook group‘. I had seen many moms post about using an IBCLC in their breastfeeding journey, and that insurance was required to cover the costs. Yes. This is what I needed!

Following my IBCLC visit, our nursing improved ten-fold. And my insurance headache increased ten-fold. The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance plans* to cover lactation counseling at 100% with no cost sharing (understand your benefits here). This means no out of pocket costs – like co-pay’s or deductibles…

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What do you say?

What do you say
when words aren’t enough
and the pain they feel
wont go away?

What can you do
when there isn’t a thing
that can bring a child
back to you?

How should we love
when a piece of their heart
has flown away
with the doves?

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It is with deep sadness that I share with you, that Jesse has gone to be with the Lord. He is no longer struggling or feeling pain.  Jesse died in the arms of his mother on December 26th, surrounded by love and comfort.  Please keep his moms in your prayers during this is a devastating time.

 

For my dear friends,
This is something I wrote and sang to myself over and over when I suffered my own loss.  My love to all of you…

Rock Me, Rock Me

Holy Spirit, God Divine
Come and hold this hand of mine.
Rock me, rock me in your peace,
Until my soul can find relief.

Holy Spirit, guide and friend,
With a love that never ends.
Rock me, rock me from above,
Until I feel your endless love.

Holy Spirit, Father God,
Welcomes children from earth’s sod.
Rock me, rock me in your might,
Until I feel you hold me tight.

Holy Spirit’s boundless love,
Fill my soul from up above.
Rock me, rock me in your grace,
Until my heart has found its faith.

We’re all Here

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Almighty God,
bless this dear child,
born before his time,
yet made in your image
and perfect in your sight
and Father, we ask that if it be
Thy will, that this beautiful
infant grow stronger and
healthier with each passing day.
Give us, O Lord, the strength
to entrust to your care,
this precious little one
so very much beloved,
and grant us the grace
to pray as Jesus taught us,
that “Thy will be done”.
by: ukok

Friends,
I’d like to introduce a very special baby. His name is Jesse.

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Jesse was born last Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 4:25am weighing 1lb, 15oz. He only 24 weeks and 6 days to grow and develop inside his Mommy.  Today, Jesse is 1 week old, with a corrected age of 27 weeks and 6 days.  He’s a miracle.  He’s a fighter.  He’s a survivor.  I invite you to continue to pray for this precious baby boy and for those giving him care.

Church of the Holy Nativity, also known as CHN, had a Prayer Vigil for Jesse on Tuesday and we tied prayer knots in this blanket for him.  It now covers his isolette.  Each candle also represents someone praying for this amazing boy.  We want his mommies to know we are lifting them up in prayer as well.  I will update you as I get information, but for now please lift him up in prayer.

My little man is 9 months (6 months corrected age)!!!

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I can’t believe how time has flown!  Jonathan is now 9 months old/6 months corrected age for prematurity.  He is 26 inches long (23%) and weighs in at 15lb 3oz (6%)!  Hooray!  The pediatrician was impressed with Jonathan’s growth!

Jonathan is still hitting all of his targets for development.  We don’t visit the NEST clinic (developmental clinic) until December.  Then he’ll have an updated evaluation from all of the different therapies.  He rolls over.  Loves to babble and has just learned to blow raspberries.  He has a sweet, sweet laugh that I get to hear everyday.

I still haven’t had a first day back to work.  I officially left my full time position, but the hospital kept me on a casual status (relief).  This is great for me to keep my foot in the door.  Right now, I just can’t fathom being away from the baby for 14 hours at a time minimum.  It feels strange not to work, but being at home with a baby is probably the hardest work I’ve ever done….but the most rewarding too.  I would hate to miss seeing my little miracle grow.  Something new seems to happen every day.  Hope all is well in your worlds!  I try to keep everyone updated more frequently!

Jonathan’s 8 Months!

Wow!  I can’t believe how time flies!  Jonathan is 8 months (5 months corrected age) already!  He’s even on the grid for his height and weight (corrected age), 25th percentile for both!  He amazes me every day!

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Jonathan rolls around, army crawls and scoots across the bed and floor, and is quite vocal these days.  He even, most recently, cut his first tooth!

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As soon as I get a better picture, I’ll post it, but this is what I have for now!  At 5 months corrected, that’s pretty great!  He tried peaches most recently and really enjoyed those!  I love our food processor and Vitamix.  Making baby food is so easy with them!  Let me know if any of you need tips or recipes out there.

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Baseball is in the playoffs and we’re rooting for the Cubs!  Here we are showing off our duds!

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People say he looks a lot like me, but he’s got quite a bit of Daddy too!  Most recently they started a Mommy group in our building, which is great.  It’s nice to have other Moms to relate to the life of motherhood!  Here we are at our first get-together in our Park.

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I think I might be the “oldest” one in the group, ha ha! That’s a new one for me! I still feel so young!  On that note, I hope everyone’s having a great fall and enjoying the changing colors, if you’re in such a climate!  More posts to come soon.  I felt the struggle with going back to work deserved it’s own post.  It’s a difficult choice for any parent to make, but hard for me because of me little preemie miracle.  Have a great day friends!

October

Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular Level

For all moms…those who have angel children and those who have living children.  Your children are imprinted in you.  I thought it was beautiful that ALL my children have left blessings in me and each other…

Please enjoy the love and hope of the article below.

Fetal cells persist in mothers, healing them well into old age.

Source: Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular Level

6 Months – We’ve made it!

We’re celebrating!  Jonathan has been with us for 6 months!  It’s been a long road, but he is doing so well!  We went to the pediatrician this week and he is now weighing in at 11lb 8.5oz.  Still a little small for his corrected gestational age, but she was happy with his growth in between visits!

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He’s helping Dr. McCabe by hanging on to her stethoscope!  Besides growing, Jonathan is now teething!  I wasn’t sure at first, but it’s confirmed by his pediatrician.  He has the “all-clear” to begin eating food as soon as he’s ready.  He’s just about there. She thinks he’ll be ready before his next appointment.  I’m actually really looking forward to making his baby food!

We’ve also found that he just loves elephants.  It’s adorable.  He gets so happy when he sees one.  Here he is talking to one of his best buddies…ha ha ha.

We are blessed.

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Diapering Chronicles – Tales of a novice using Cloth Diapers

O.K., O.K.  It has been going over and over in my mind that I need to share my stories of cloth diapering from a novice’s point of view.  So there is the disclaimer.  I am by no means claiming to be an expert or experienced at cloth diapering.  I just thought those of you who are thinking about it may want to hear another’s experiences and point of view.

If you don’t already know, I gave birth to a micro preemie who was 27 weeks gestation, in February.  So my little one was less that 6 pounds when he came home.  His first diaper, that fit a lime sized bum, was too big and folded in half…

Diaper1Obviously, at this point we, were still in the NICU.  I knew in my mind from the beginning of pregnancy we were going to plan on cloth-diapering.  Though I care very much for our earth, my biggest concern was genetic predisposition for very sensitive skin from both sides of the family.  Yes, I was the pain in the petushki (technical term), and everything from seams to the wrong fabric caused my skin to break out in welts, and at times, still do.  Knowing this, I told my husband it was going to be likely that we would have to cloth anyway, so we were planning on it from the get-go.  Then we had a preemie and that solidified it.

So, here is the skinny on what is working for us.  We came home with a baby that was less than 6 pounds.  None of the one-size diapers would fit him.  So, trying to be economical, I started looking for cloth diapers that weren’t as expensive for his first few months.  I should tell you, I did try pre-folds and that was a No Go.  Yikes!  They were way too big for his tiny butt and pinning a  cloth diaper is down right dangerous with a squirmy 5 pound baby, for both me and him!  I don’t recommend trying it unless you’re very brave and the child is comatose…ha ha ha.  I can’t believe that’s all they had back in the day!  Thank goodness for new technology.  Anyway, I digress.  The first thing you need is diapers, right?  I found these IMAGINE all-in-one Newborn cloth diapers that I love.  They are good for 5-13 pounds.  At approximately $10/each, you can’t do better than that.  If you’re not familiar with all-in-one diapers, have a look.  I absolutely love them.  They lesson the work load and it feels like you’re changing a regular old diaper, so it’s less of a learning curve.  I have tried others with velcro and with my little one’s skin, it was a no-go, but the snaps are great.  Another important aspect for me was the manufacturers recommendations for washing are super easy and exactly right.

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We have now graduated to the regular one-size diapers.  Again, I bought the IMAGINE product as I had such good luck with them and they are working out great.  I actually do tumble dry on low and they have kept up just fine.  I also already had Rumparooz one-size pocket cloth diaper, bumGenius Freetime, and Charlie Banana 2 in 1 diapers.  Though I use them all and for the most part, like them all, I think the IMAGINEs give you the most bang for your buck!  So there’s the diapers.

My Routines

Well Obviously I use the diapers as I would any other diaper.  I do take a break from the cloth diapers when we are out and about.  It’s too much a pain to carry that many cloth diapers and a wet bag if I am planning to be gone for an extended period of time.  Someone was kind enough to buy us a HUGE box of Huggies, and my son is allergic to them.  He immediately gets red in the creases from the elastic or the cut of the diaper.  OUCH.  So, no Huggies.

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As I’m sure you’d imagine, I did my own research prior to coming home from the hospital for my little preemie’s bottom, and the one diaper that seems to get the best reviews both for sensitivity and eco-friendliness are the Bambo Nature diapers.  These are the ones we had purchased prior to Jonathan coming home from the NICU and true to reviews, he has no issue with these diapers.  They’re great!  In a pinch, we are able to use Pampers Sensitive, but I do notice after a while, those can irritate as well.  I’ve yet to find a store that sells the Bambos, so it’s good to know an alternative if you need one.

That said for cleaning the bottom and changing, we also only use water and washcloths.  Yep, you read right.  Washcloths.

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You can purchase big package of washcloths at any store at a fairly minimal cost.  This bowl, designated for diapering, is the one I used to use at the hospital for his baths, but any bowl will do.  I wash the washcloths with and when I wash the diapers.  You will note that most cloth diapers say not to use diaper creams with their product, but I always put a little Vaseline on his bottom as a precaution and preventive care for skin.  This has not caused any problems with my diapers.  Think of it this way…Vaseline is a barrier between direct contact with the skin for urine and stool, which can only help babies with sensitive skin.  If absorbed before that, it’s a great lubricant.  To me it’s a win-win all the way around.

When I put the last cloth diaper on my little one, I start the wash of the diapers.  For detergent, I use plain regular TIDE original powder only.  For a list of appropriate diaper washing detergents and comparisons click here.  I do a quick wash on cold with water only and then regular long cycle hot/cold with detergent afterwards.  Then an extra rinse.  When diapers start to get smelly (only about once a month for me), I do a quick wash with water only, then I wash with baking soda 1/2 cup and a Downy ball filled with vinegar.

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Extra Rinse.  Finally, wash with detergent followed by an extra rinse.  It has always made the diapers smell great and it’s so easy.  If you’re worried about smells while using cloth diapers, I’ve had great luck with my Dekor Plus hands free diaper pail.

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There you have it world! This process works really well for me.  If you’re wondering why I don’t use a diaper service, I’ll toss that in too.  Bringing a preemie home, one can never be sure what products are used through the service.  Also, when you are using a service, you are basically sharing underwear that gets soiled by a bunch of other babies that you don’t know.  I know it goes through the laundry, but for my own peace of mind, I just couldn’t do it.  Not only for potential exposure to another child’s body fluids while mine was so vulnerable, but also because I wasn’t sure what laundering process or detergents would be used and my child, has my skin.  Just food for thought.  I hope this helps people out there thinking about cloth diapering!  Questions and comments are welcome.

Happy Diapering!!!

5 months! ….but it’s really 11 weeks

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This little guy is eating, eating eating…which means he’s growing, growing, growing!!!  His colic seems to be slowing improving.  It’s usually a 1 hour window in the evenings instead of 6 hours like it was in the beginning.  I pray none of you having babies in these next few months have to wrestle with it, but if you do….give a shout.  It’s more about trying different things until you find what works, but the emotional toil it takes on Mommy and Daddy is huge.  I didn’t realize how much it was also affecting my spouse until we both had meltdowns.  I’ve decided they make babies cute so that you can’t help but smile and LOVE when you look at them!

There is a lot to love about my child though.  Here are my favorite moments, in no particular order….

I love when he purrs (coos) that little sound while nursing.

I love that cheeky grin he gives me when he can see I’m coming.

I love that he currently behaves at church.

I love how he just looks for the boob in his sleep and sometimes gets a mouthful of shirt…but keeps sucking (ha ha ha)

I love how much joy others get just by knowing his story and seeing him in person.  This makes me feel so blessed and like my child is anointed.  He has given many so much faith…including Mommy & Daddy.

Jonathan has such a personality, it’s so fun and to think he’s not even 3 months old (corrected age) yet!  Thank you all for your outpouring of love and support.  We don’t have official measurements, but he’s more than 10 pounds and is measuring at least 22 inches.  I’ll give you an update after he sees his pediatrician next month.

In the meantime, Jonathan had his first pool party this week, so I thought I’d share a few pictures!

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