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pregnancy – Frugal & Simple http://frugalandsimple.com living a green, minimal & sustainable life Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:10:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Lunapads Postpartum Cloth Pads http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/02/27/lunapads-postpartum-cloth-pads/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/02/27/lunapads-postpartum-cloth-pads/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:00:35 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7222 As I shared two weeks ago, while preparing for Weston’s birth, I put quite a bit of thought into postpartum recovery and my comfort during that time. Since we were already cloth diapering our toddler and planned to begin cloth diapering our newborn after a week or two, I decided to try out cloth pads for myself during my recovery. I just washed my pads along with the boys diapers!

One of those cloth pads I tried was a Lunapads Heavy Pad:

“With Lunapads, the Liner Inserts sit on top of the Pad Base, so all you have to do is swap out the Liner Insert, which can easily be done as often as you desire throughout the day. This feature also allows you to purchase fewer pads (you’ll need more liners than pads) in the first place, as well as not having to carry as many things around with you.” lunapads.com

Pictured is a Wing Liner, the Heavy Pad and a Tri-Fold Liner Insert. Each of these are 14" long. The Heavy Pad and Wing Liner are $24.99 and you can purchase a Tri-Fold Liner Insert for $16.99.

The Wing Liner is inserted into the Heavy Pad. The rick-rack is what holds the liner in place.

The Tri-Fold Liners are 14" long and 8" wide. As the name implies, they are tri-folded for maximum absorbency. The liner is simply folded and inserted into the Heavy Pad.

At 14" long, the Heavy Pad is very long but provides excellent coverage.

The Heavy Pad is large and long. The Tri-Fold Liner is very, very bulky but it is a postpartum pad! The Wing Liner is not as bulky and the lack of bulk was more comfortable. Of course, both the Tri-Fold Liner and Wing Liner are so much more comfortable than disposable pads and even the Tri-Fold Liner didn’t feel as bulky as some heavy disposable pads!

As far as postpartum pads go, they are really bulky, I was only wearing them at night, from the beginning at 1 week postpartum. However, if you plan on skipping the disposables all together and start wearing cloth pads from the moment your baby is born, this pad would be perfect, especially with the Tri-Fold liner. And they’re useful beyond the postpartum recovery as overnight pads!

Heavy Pad, Maxi Pad and Long Pad

In addition to having the Heavy Pad, Wing Liner and Tri-Fold Liner, I also purchased a Heavy Flow Starter Kit which includes:

2 Long Pads with 2 Long Basic Liners and 2 Long Wing Liners

2 Maxi Pads with 2 Maxi Basic Liners and 2 Maxi Wing Liners

This kit retails for $87.94 but was on sale for $79.14 when I purchased it. I had a 16% off discount code and free shipping, so I only paid $66.48 for the 4 pads and 8 liners!

I really love the Maxi Pad and Long Pad. These two are not nearly as bulky as the Heavy Pad but still provide complete and adequate coverage for postpartum bleeding after the first few days.

About Lunapads:

Lunapads International is a women-owned and operated mission-based business based in Vancouver, Canada. Our mission is to help individuals have healthier and more positive experiences of their menstrual cycles, and by extension, their bodies overall. Our team is made up of a passionate group of women who believe that using natural menstrual products is a creative and empowering way to honor and care for ourselves and the planet.

Giveaway: Win a $50 gift certificate to lunapads.com

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling me if you’re already using reusable menstrual products, if you’re thinking about it or if you didn’t even know such a thing existed!

Additional Entries: {leave a separate comment for each entry}

Giveaway ends Monday, March 5th at 12 pm EST.

*Giveaway restricted to US and Canada.

Disclaimer: I was provided a Lunapads Heavy Pad with Wing Liner and Tri-Fold Liner to review. I personally purchased the Heavy Flow Starter Kit. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own!

This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to commenter #37, Meg!!

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Postpartum Cloth Pads: GladRags http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/02/14/postpartum-cloth-pads-gladrags/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/02/14/postpartum-cloth-pads-gladrags/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:02:42 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7218 While preparing for Weston’s birth, I put quite a bit of thought into postpartum recovery. Since he is my second baby, I knew what to expect and wanted to make my recovery as comfortable as possible. With Paxton, I had a third degree tear and was uncomfortable for weeks post delivery. I also remembered how uncomfortable those huge disposable pads are and how much waste they create! Since I’m  already cloth diapering and know it saves money and how much more comfortable cloth seems over disposable, I decided to try postpartum cloth pads.

I looked at several different brands of cloth pads and purchased samples of the different brands so I could actually see the product before investing in several.

I was also given the opportunity to review a GladRags Night/Postpartum Pad:

This pad comes with 1 Night Holder {approximately 14" long and 3" wide at the middle} and 2 Inserts. It retails for $17.99.

The inserts are placed inside the holder {this side is what touches your underwear}. You snap the pad in place around your underwear.

Once the pad is snapped in place, this is what touches your body.

When this pad came in the mail, I was shocked at the length! It's huge as you can see!It's pictured with a ruler to give you an idea of the length.

My first impression was this thing is huge and there’s no way it will be comfortable. After wearing it the first time, I realized I was wrong! It was so comfortable, so much better than the pads from the hospital. I didn’t feel like I was wearing a diaper, like the disposables feel, even though it was large and provided full coverage. As far as postpartum pads go, this is really bulky, but that is the purpose of a postpartum/overnight pad. I started wearing the cloth pads at 1 week postpartum and by that point, I was only wearing this one at night.  Of course this postpartum pad will make a fabulous overnight pads beyond the postpartum recovery. This one piece pad system with inserts is so easy to use, it’s really no different than disposables, only you wash and reuse instead of throwing away!

How many pads are recommended? I just guessed on how many I would need. I ended up with a total of 11 pads {3 postpartum pads, 4 long/heavy pads and 4 maxi pads} and 4 liners which were more than enough with my wash routine. I would recommend a minimum of 5 pads per day.

How often do you wash them? I washed every day and a half along with the boys diapers. I simply put them in the diaper pail and they were washed along with the diapers which was no extra laundry.

What about staining? I have had no staining issues so far after 5 weeks of use.  I rinsed the pads with cold water and then stored them in the diaper pail to wash with diapers. My current diaper wash routine is cold rinse, hot wash with detergent and another hot wash {to make sure all the detergent residue is gone to prevent build up issues in the diapers.}

Recommendation:

If you’re tired of spending money on pads and exposing your body to chemicals, then look into cloth pads! I invested around $75 into cloth pads which should last 5 years or longer. I’ll save a ton of money and prevent so much waste!

All of the GladRags are made of a comfortable cotton flannel and come in a variety of prints as well as undyed organic cotton.

About GladRags:

Inspired by the simple utility, earth-friendliness, and comfort of cloth diapers, GladRags was founded in 1992 in Portland, Oregon. It began as a home based business that quickly outgrew the extra bedroom and moved to its own building.  Today, GladRags is still a small company but with a big presence, promoting positive attitudes toward menstruation and making the environment a safer, cleaner place. GladRags can be found in health food stores and natural pharmacies nationwide.

Here are some informative links regarding disposable feminine products:

The Shocking Truth About Feminine Hygiene Products

Scary Tampon Recall May Change Your Periods Forever

I’d love to answer any questions you may have  about cloth pads! Either leave a comment or send an e-mail to rachel@frugalandsimple.com. Please don’t leave any rude comments saying this is ‘disgusting’ or ‘extreme’, menstruation is a natural function that is neither disgusting or nasty. Women’s bodies are doing just what God intended for them to do and it’s nothing to be ashamed of or disgusted by!

Disclaimer: I was provided a GladRags Night/Postpartum Pad to review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own!

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Pregnancy from the Eyes of a Single Mama http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/01/24/pregnancy-from-the-eyes-of-a-single-mama/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/01/24/pregnancy-from-the-eyes-of-a-single-mama/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 15:51:01 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7481 This post was written by my sister, Rebekah. It was originally published in August 2010. Since Sanctity of Human Life Sunday was this 2 days ago, I thought this was fitting to share! It’s a beautiful story of God’s forgiveness, grace and love. Not every woman is thrilled to learn it’s positive when they take a pregnancy test but each one of those babies are blessings!

Rebekah and 3-day-old Emerson

I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant.  I had just started my sophomore year in college and it was a nightmare.  Not only was I pregnant, but I was not in a relationship with the baby’s father; this was not exactly an ideal situation.  I was so scared about what my parents and friends would think and say.  I think I was even more nervous about going to church pregnant and unmarried.  I told my parents and they were pretty supportive, upset of course, but supportive.  My mother and I did get into a few arguments and she said some things that really hurt my feelings, but I know she was just as upset about everything as I was.

So many people that I talked to acted like it was no problem at all.  “You can take care of it” or “just get it fixed” were common remarks and an abortion seemed to be a simple “solution” to the problem.  Even though my parents already knew I was pregnant it would be so easy for me to just tell them I had a miscarriage.  But I couldn’t do it.  I had never even considered having an abortion if I got in this situation and now that I was in it an abortion was certainly not an option for me.  I knew things would be hard and some people would think badly of me, but I had made the decision to have sex and this baby was not something I could just get rid of like it never existed.

Each month was difficult for me.  Often I felt like no one cared and that I was a loser and a screw up.  I kept wishing that things would go back to normal, but I knew that realistically this was my life.  I was going to be a single mom and I needed to prepare for it whether I wanted to or not.  During my pregnancy my relationship with the Lord actually improved.  I had been a Christian for several years, although I had made poor decisions on many occasions, but I felt like I was closer to the Lord than ever.  Even though I was in a bad situation I knew that everything would be ok and towards the end of my pregnancy I was actually happier than I had been in a long time.

Emerson Alexandria was born on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 9:54 am.  I couldn’t believe that this little bundle was actually my daughter.  It took a few months for me to realize that I was a mommy and the “unconditional love” didn’t set in for a couple months either.  I felt like something was wrong with me and that I wasn’t going to be a good mom.  After a while, however, I continued to fall more and more in love with my little girl.

Today I don’t know what I would do without her.  I love holding her in my arms and my favorite thing to do now is take naps with her lying on my tummy.  She has made me become a better person and has made me realize that I need to enjoy life and what I have and not take things for granted.  Although my situation is certainly not ideal and what God intended, I know that this happened for a reason.  I am so glad I made the decision to keep my baby and not “fix the problem” like I was encouraged to do.  Babies are not choices, they are a life.  We should not have the decision to terminate a life that God has created.  All people are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and seeing how every person starts off as a baby, this applies to them also.  Emerson is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I know that every other baby can bring just as much joy as she has.

Celebrating Emerson’s First Birthday!


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Weston’s Birth Story http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/12/27/westons-birth-story/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/12/27/westons-birth-story/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 21:24:45 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7399

Weston is definitely our surprise baby! With Paxton, everything was planned, we were trying when we got pregnant with him and he was induced according to our plan. With Weston, from the beginning he’s been a surprise! We weren’t planning on getting pregnant with him {although we were thrilled when we found out} and his entrance into the world was quite a surprise too!

I was due December 31 but hoping I’d be a day or two overdue so he’d be born in 2012 {Paxton was born in 2010 and I liked the thought of even birth years!} I just knew since he was my second baby that I’d be miserable around 32 weeks to the end of the pregnancy but I was wrong! I felt fabulous throughout the entire pregnancy, I had quite a bit of energy and I was still able to do everything as normal with Paxton {including putting a sleeping 20-month-old into his crib at 38 weeks pregnant!}

Since Paxton’s birth was so fast for a first time birth {5 hours from the time they broke my water and started pitocin until the time he was born}, I was convinced that my second baby would come quickly and one of my fears throughout this pregnancy was not making it to the hospital on time!

On Tuesday, December 20, I was 38 weeks 3 days pregnant and I had quite the day! I cleaned our home thoroughly, did some pre-Christmas de-cluttering and a lot of laundry! By the end of the day I was tired from all of the ‘nesting’. That night when I laid down to go to sleep, I felt what could best be described as a burrowing sensation. I could feel his little head moving further down. I had never felt anything like that with Paxton! I didn’t sleep very well that night and then Paxton woke up around 2 am and he slept the rest of the night with us. I had trouble sleeping, I kept tossing and turning and just couldn’t get comfortable.

Wednesday morning I woke up feeling really good especially considering the rough night I’d had. I did decide to take the day easy though since I didn’t want to do anything that could put me into labor, especially since John David was working late that night. Paxton and I stayed in our jammies well into the morning. I updated our finances, scheduling our mortgage payment so we wouldn’t have to worry about that on January 1! The day was pretty typical except for John David being gone all evening. I put Paxton down around 8:00 and I was feeling tired too so I decided to go ahead and get in bed after starting a load of diaper laundry.

I stayed up waiting for John David to get home and he finally arrived around 10. We stayed up talking and playing Words with Friends until 11:30. Once again I felt the burrowing sensation when I laid down. I was having an occasional contraction but they were typical Braxton-Hicks. I went to sleep fairly easily.

Between going to bed at 11:30 and 1:30, I woke up 2 or 3 times having a mild contraction. While I was having the contraction, I’d walk to the bathroom, pee and then walk back to bed and go back to sleep. They were slightly uncomfortable but nothing painful. After the contraction I had around 1:30 I was unable to get comfortable so I got out of bed, went to the bathroom again and then turned on my lamp.

I had another contraction at 1:40 and decided to start timing them since it was appearing that they were getting closer together. I had contractions at 1:40, 1:48, 1:54, 1:58 so they were very quickly getting closer together. I wasn’t incredibly uncomfortable as long as I was standing so I could sway my hips and move around with the contractions. I had a little bit of back labor with Paxton and these contractions were very similar, the contraction would start in my back and move around to my belly and my back hurt more than anything! I decided to run out to the laundry around 2 to run the final rinse on diapers and I came back in and my contractions were still 4 minutes apart.

I still wasn’t sure if I was really in labor or if it was false labor. I knew you were supposed to go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart but I really wasn’t in horrible, unbearable pain. Around 2:30, I woke up John David and started packing the hospital bags. I still wasn’t convinced I was in real labor even though the labor book we were referring to at this point indicated that I was in active labor. Finally, we decided it was labor and we needed to start really preparing to go to the hospital.

John David called my friend Ashley around 3:20 to see if she would come stay with Paxton. While we were waiting on Ashley, I was packing a bag for Paxton and gathering stuff for our bags while John David was loading the car. {I should add here that John David got the clean diapers out of the wash and hung them on the drying rack. I had been very concerned about leaving dirty diapers at home when I went into labor so this was a relief!}

Ashley arrived around 3:35 and we gave her a few instructions for Paxton and we left after I had a contraction while attempting to get into the car. At this point, contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and I had about 3 contractions which were so uncomfortable since I couldn’t move much. Riding in the car made the back labor even worse!

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30 and got a front row spot so I was able to walk in. We went into the registration room where I had 2 more contractions. After I was checked in, they sent us to a waiting area and I had 3 contractions which were very intense and I had the urge to push.

A nurse came out and we went to an admitting room where I changed into a gown through another contraction. I was checked and was dilated to 10 centimeters! I was wheeled into a delivery room while having contractions lying flat on my back which was so uncomfortable. At this point I also was fighting the urge to push.

We got into the delivery room and I was moved onto the bed. I was hooked up to a monitor at 3:58, had my blood drawn and an IV put in. At this point, I had an overwhelming urge to push and was begging to be allowed to push. The nurses kept telling me to just breathe through the contractions and not push because the midwife was not there yet. {I should add that this period of not being able to push was the worst part of the whole labor and delivery. My body was ready to do what it was supposed to do and trying not to was so hard!}

While waiting for the midwife to arrive, John David ran out to the car to grab our camera and while he was gone and as our midwife was arriving, I couldn’t fight the urge to push anymore. I pushed and my water broke. Then John David got back and the midwife was there and I was finally able to start pushing! It was such a relief to be able to push. It didn’t feel good nor was it easy but it was so wonderful to be able to do what my body needed to do.

I pushed about 4 or 5 times in a period of 5 minutes or less and Weston was born at 4:16 am! It was such a relief to feel him come out. I was so excited that I had delivered without any medication but a bit embarrassed at how loud I was while delivering him!

Weston weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and was 20 inches long! {Paxton was 8 pounds 8 ounces, so he was considerably smaller!}

Unfortunately I did rip at the site of my old tear but thankfully it was only a second degree tear instead of a third degree which I had with Paxton. Finally, after stitches {which to me was almost worse than the delivery even though I had local anesthesia} I was able to hold him again and count his fingers and toes.

I unwrapped him for skin to skin and nursing, he latched on perfectly and started nursing right away, it was completely natural for both of us. It was amazing how much more confident I felt nursing him, I suppose 15 months of breastfeeding experience gives a mama confidence! After Weston finished nursing, we moved to our postpartum room around 6:30 am.

We’re still in disbelief that labor started at 1:30 and Weston was born at 4:16! That’s only 2 hours and 45 minutes of labor!

Around 2:30 that afternoon, John David went and got Paxton and brought him back to the hospital to meet his new brother and spend some time with us! He noticed Weston right when he walked in the room and was thrilled to see ‘baby’!

We’re adjusting well as a family of four. Paxton has not acted jealous of Weston and is taking his role as big brother quite seriously!

We feel so blessed that I had a quick and easy labor and delivery and we have another healthy and beautiful son!

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Weston Clark http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/12/25/weston-clark/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/12/25/weston-clark/#comments Mon, 26 Dec 2011 03:28:22 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7394

Weston Clark Boreing

December 22, 2011 at 4:16 am

6 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long

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This Busy Season http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/10/23/this-busy-season/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/10/23/this-busy-season/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2011 01:36:59 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7064 I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s been somewhat quite around here these past few weeks. Other than Our Financial Story and Cloth Diaper videos, there haven’t been any posts!

Honestly, this is a busy season in my life and unfortunately this blog has been neglected. Of course, my family always comes first so I think neglecting the blog for the sake of my family is just fine!

Somehow I’m already 30 weeks pregnant! This pregnancy is absolutely flying by and I suppose I’m in a bit of denial that in 10 weeks or so we’ll have another baby.

Hitting the 3rd trimester caused my energy level to decrease and I’ve been struggling a few weeks with this. I want to get things done, I feel like there is so much to do to prepare for this baby but I really just want to nap or sit and relax. Thankfully, I noticed a slight boost in my energy level over the past week! I’m hoping it stays a few weeks so I can get our home in order and feel somewhat organized before Weston arrives.

Another thing that has kept me busy, after realizing that two cribs, a dresser and a changing table were not going to fit in the nursery, I had the brilliant {or crazy} idea that we’d do some room swapping. So, after talking it over for a few weeks with John David, we decided that we’d move into the master bedroom that was formerly the office/guest room. We moved the nursery to our old room and the office/guest room to the former nursery. Basically we moved, just within our house. We did the major rearranging just last night and still lack some settling in, organizing and decorating but I’m looking forward to some of these little projects!

Of course Paxton has kept me incredibly busy too! He was 18 months last week and is so much fun. He’s learning so much and turning into such a little boy and he has quite the personality {and style…he loves shoes, especially his boots!} I’m savoring our days together, just the two of us since I know they’re numbered. I’m taking time to snuggle and play and give him my undivided attention since I know things will never be the same. This is definitely a bittersweet thought. Just last week he fell asleep while we were reading and I just held him {and then fell asleep myself!} He also has wanted to be rocked the past two nights before bed and I just savored every moment of it.

I’m hoping to share some of my organizing and baby preparations during the course of the next few weeks! Right now we’re planning on building some shelving in our closet, I’m going to be organizing the boys closet and dresser and hopefully figure out a good baby clothing storage system {right now all the newborn-18 month clothes are in one large tub that won’t fit in the closet!} I’m also trying to decide the right number of cloth diapers we need for two and the best diaper pail for us! And of course, some simplifying around our home since I’ve found that the less stuff we have, the easier our home is to maintain and keep clean.

Thank you for continuing to read even through the times when I’m not posting much! I’m so blessed to have such amazing readers!!

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We’re welcoming a… http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/17/were-welcoming-a/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/17/were-welcoming-a/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2011 23:47:08 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6799

We found out last week that we have a healthy baby boy on the way! We’re thrilled to be welcoming our second son and that Paxton is going to have a close in age brother!

Here’s a picture of our son, Weston:

{To read more about Weston and my pregnancy, visit our family blog, The Simple Life of the Boreings!}

 

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Your Postpartum Body http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/17/your-postpartum-body/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/17/your-postpartum-body/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2011 12:36:27 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6789 “At six weeks postpartum, your body is almost back to normal, you’re feeling great, and you can resume being intimate with your husband.”

Before giving birth, I believed this! I really thought 6 weeks was the magic number.

After giving birth to an 8 pound 8 ounce baby boy which resulted in a third degree tear, healing was slow! I remember waking up exactly one week after my son was born and I was hardly able to move and wanted to cry as I was getting out of bed. Thankfully, that was the worst of it and I started progressively getting better after that day but why didn’t anyone tell me that the pain would last over a week!

Continue reading at Amy’s Finer Things where I’m guest posting as part of her Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? series. 

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Our Exciting News http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/20/our-exciting-news/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/20/our-exciting-news/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:56:04 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6671

That’s right!!

Paxton is going to be a big brother!!!

His baby brother or sister is due to arrive December 31st!

After a week of extreme tiredness and a bit of nausea I thought it was possible that I was pregnant. I took my first test on May 4 and we had a ‘faint’ positive! John David wasn’t fully convinced and neither was I! We decided to test again on May 7 and had another positive. I celebrated my second Mother’s Day as a mama to 2 (although the only people who knew were John David and me and we were in disbelief!!)

I had about 6 weeks of nausea and food aversions but have not been sick like I was with Paxton. With him, I was sick from week 6 to 12! I am now 12 weeks 2 days and am starting to feel normal (I finally meal planned this week!)

Being pregnant, dealing with nausea, tiredness and an extremely active toddler is one of the reasons posts have been few and far between here.

We’re thrilled to be adding to our family! We had an ultrasound last Thursday and our new baby looks healthy! We were surprised to see how much of a baby he/she looks like, we weren’t quite 8 weeks when we had our first ultrasound with Paxton and he looked like a little bean!

Now, the big decision ahead of us is do we want to find out the gender! Since Paxton was born, I said I want to wait until the birth to find out with our next one but now that we have one on the way I’m starting to think I want to know! John David wants to know! We will have the next ultrasound around week 18 or 20 which means we have only 6-8 weeks to decide if we want to find out!

If you want to follow along with weekly pregnancy updates, I’ll be sharing those on our family blog, The Simple Life of the Boreings!

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The Importance of Mommy Mentors http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/03/21/the-importance-of-mommy-mentors/ Mon, 21 Mar 2011 15:48:11 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6406

As a new mom, relationships with more experienced moms is crucial. Whether they have 20 years of mothering or just one, they have experience that a new mama just doesn’t have.

Most new moms look to their mothers for guidance, advice and help with everyday things. When you live hours from your mom, mother-in-law or grandmothers, it is important to be connected to women in your church, neighborhood or at work who can serve as a mentor to you and be there for you.

My husband is in ministry and throughout our marriage, we’ve lived away from our families. Thankfully, we have been blessed with close friends who are like family in our churches.

Continue reading at Amy’s Finer Things where I’m guest posting as part of the Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? series.

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Pregnancy http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/04/pregnancy/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/04/pregnancy/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 12:20:19 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5226 Pregnancy is amazing, beautiful and miraculous.

It’s been over 6 months since my son was born. I still look at him and at my body and I am in awe of God and His creation.

I look at pictures taken over the course of the past year and I am simply amazed at what  my body did, how it grew and allowed my son to grow and thrive.

Those first weeks and months of pregnancy there is no visible evidence whatsoever of the growing baby. Then your belly begins to grow and you finally begin feeling a tiny person move. At first there are tiny little flutters. Then there are hard kicks and hiccups.

5 weeks pregnant

The day before delivering

6 months postpartum

Some days I still feel like I should be pregnant and feel him moving. I lay down at night and think I feel a baby kicking.

Other times, I forget that I ever was pregnant and what it feels like to be pregnant- and that scares me, I never want to forget that miraculous feeling!

I’m mostly in awe at my body. I nourished this child for 9 months within my body and then exclusively for the first 6 months of his life and my body continues to nourish his and allow him to grow.

There are still visible marks of pregnancy, I have stretch marks on my lower abdomen and the linea nigra (the black line on my abdomen) remains, although it has faded. They are reminders to me of the beauty of my body- nourishing and growing a new person for the past 15 months- and the beauty and intricacy of God’s creation!

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One Year Later http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/08/one-year-later-2/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/08/one-year-later-2/#comments Wed, 08 Sep 2010 16:04:19 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4487

September 8, 2009

September 8, 2010

It’s amazing how he’s grown from a little bitty “bean” to a (nearly) 17 pound baby boy in just one year!

Linked to: Wordless Wednesday

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A Different Perspective on Pregnancy http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/16/different-perspective/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/16/different-perspective/#comments Mon, 16 Aug 2010 12:30:44 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4384 This post was written by my sister, Rebekah. It’s a beautiful story of God’s forgiveness, grace and love. Not every woman is thrilled to learn it’s positive when they take a pregnancy test but each one of those babies are blessings!

Rebekah and 3-day-old Emerson

I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant.  I had just started my sophomore year in college and it was a nightmare.  Not only was I pregnant, but I was not in a relationship with the baby’s father; this was not exactly an ideal situation.  I was so scared about what my parents and friends would think and say.  I think I was even more nervous about going to church pregnant and unmarried.  I told my parents and they were pretty supportive, upset of course, but supportive.  My mother and I did get into a few arguments and she said some things that really hurt my feelings, but I know she was just as upset about everything as I was.

So many people that I talked to acted like it was no problem at all.  “You can take care of it” or “just get it fixed” were common remarks and an abortion seemed to be a simple “solution” to the problem.  Even though my parents already knew I was pregnant it would be so easy for me to just tell them I had a miscarriage.  But I couldn’t do it.  I had never even considered having an abortion if I got in this situation and now that I was in it an abortion was certainly not an option for me.  I knew things would be hard and some people would think badly of me, but I had made the decision to have sex and this baby was not something I could just get rid of like it never existed.

Each month was difficult for me.  Often I felt like no one cared and that I was a loser and a screw up.  I kept wishing that things would go back to normal, but I knew that realistically this was my life.  I was going to be a single mom and I needed to prepare for it whether I wanted to or not.  During my pregnancy my relationship with the Lord actually improved.  I had been a Christian for several years, although I had made poor decisions on many occasions, but I felt like I was closer to the Lord than ever.  Even though I was in a bad situation I knew that everything would be ok and towards the end of my pregnancy I was actually happier than I had been in a long time.

Emerson Alexandria was born on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 9:54 am.  I couldn’t believe that this little bundle was actually my daughter.  It took a few months for me to realize that I was a mommy and the “unconditional love” didn’t set in for a couple months either.  I felt like something was wrong with me and that I wasn’t going to be a good mom.  After a while, however, I continued to fall more and more in love with my little girl.

Today I don’t know what I would do without her.  I love holding her in my arms and my favorite thing to do now is take naps with her lying on my tummy.  She has made me become a better person and has made me realize that I need to enjoy life and what I have and not take things for granted.  Although my situation is certainly not ideal and what God intended, I know that this happened for a reason.  I am so glad I made the decision to keep my baby and not “fix the problem” like I was encouraged to do.  Babies are not choices, they are a life.  We should not have the decision to terminate a life that God has created.  All people are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and seeing how every person starts off as a baby, this applies to them also.  Emerson is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I know that every other baby can bring just as much joy as she has.

Celebrating Emerson’s First Birthday!

Rebekah is now 21 and is a wonderful mother to her little girl! She graduated with her Associates degree this past May and is starting classes in a few short weeks for her Elementary Education Degree. Emerson is 14 months old and into everything but such a blessing to our family!

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One Year Ago http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/12/one-year-ago-2/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/12/one-year-ago-2/#comments Fri, 13 Aug 2010 03:20:00 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4374

One year ago tonight we found out life changing news, we found out we were expecting!

It’s amazing how much a + symbol means!

We were just thrilled that we were going to become parents but had no idea how amazing it really was going to be!

Today we reflected on the anniversary of finding out we were going to become a family of 3! We celebrated by loving on our son!

Our sweet sleeping blessing one year later!

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My Breastfeeding Experience (So Far) http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/06/my-breastfeeding-experience-so-far/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/06/my-breastfeeding-experience-so-far/#comments Fri, 06 Aug 2010 15:32:38 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4351

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, I’m sharing my breastfeeding experience (so far!)

I’ve always known that  I wanted to nurse my babies, even as a child I would play that I was nursing my dolls!  I’m not sure how I picked up on it since my sister was just 22 months younger and I have no memories of her as a nursing baby.  I suppose it’s one of those natural instincts little girls have since it is such a natural thing!

When I was pregnant with Paxton, I read everything I could to prepare myself: books, magazine articles, and blog posts (one of my favorites: Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms). I talked to moms who had successfully breastfed their babies for months. I also took a Breastfeeding class at our hospital and my fabulous husband went with me since I knew he was going to be my biggest advocate!

I knew some moms and babies have problems breastfeeding and that it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I prepared myself mentally for the potential challenges and was determined to stay with it for weeks even though it could be frustrating or painful.

While I was in labor with my son, one of the lactation consultants at our hospital stopped by and went over nursing basics with me again. ( I was very blessed that our hospital had wonderful lactation consultants.) Within 10 minutes of giving birth, I was nursing my baby! Our wonderful Labor and Delivery Nurse and my husband helped me. We tried the football hold first but I was struggling with the position,  it just didn’t feel natural to me. We decided to try the cradle hold, which felt comfortable and Paxton latched on perfectly and was nursing!

Breastfeeding came naturally to me but there were a few struggles.I worried about my milk coming in the first few days. Then once my milk came in, I had a little engorgement discomfort. I did get slightly frustrated at first because he sometimes did not want to latch and I knew he was hungry, I learned that being calm was the best thing so I could calm him so he could successfully latch.

I’ve been breastfeeding for 3 1/2 months now and love it. My goal is to exclusively breastfed to 6 months and I’d love to  continue nursing to a year.

*I know many women struggle with breastfeeding whether it is horrible pain, a baby who won’t latch or lack of milk supply and these are things they just can’t control. I do not think mothers who formula feed their babies are inferior to those who breastfeed, we all love our babies and do what is best for them! My sister tried to breastfeed her baby girl but had struggles. My niece is a healthy, happy and beautiful formula fed 13-month-old!

Linked to: Finer Things Friday


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Simplified Closet http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/05/18/simplified-closet/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/05/18/simplified-closet/#comments Tue, 18 May 2010 12:30:59 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3940 One month after having a baby, my maternity clothes are way too big and a lot of my pre-pregnancy clothes are too small (especially the pants due to my widened hips!) The result of too big and too small meant that finding clothes that fit was one of the hardest parts of my day!

This Saturday I finally had time (and motivation) to tackle the closet!

  • I packed away my maternity clothes into one box and put it on the top shelf of my closet. (I also got rid of a few items that I never wore or didn’t really like.)
  • I tried on every article of clothing in my closet so I knew exactly what fit and whether or not it was something I wanted to keep.
  • All of the clothing items that fit, I placed on the top rack so I can see exactly what I have to wear!
  • The clothes that I didn’t love  are leaving! I will let my sister look through them and see if she wants anything and whatever she doesn’t want will be donated (about 20 pieces of clothing are leaving!)
  • The clothes that don’t fit right now but I do love were placed on the lower rack. My plan is to try these clothes on at 2 months post partum and do another purge then. I really hope that my hips will shrink a little so I can keep some of my favorite pants! (However, if they don’t in a few months I will say goodbye to those clothes too!)

My wardrobe! Minus 2 outfits in the laundry and the one I’m wearing! I do believe I have accomplished a minimalist wardrobe! It actually is quite nice because every item hanging up is something I love to wear so it actually makes getting dressed easier!

I really am enjoying my simplified closet! I love that it is uncluttered, minimal and organized!

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Preparing for Motherhood http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/29/preparing-for-motherhood/ Thu, 29 Apr 2010 18:26:25 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3796

 

The Preparing for Motherhood series was so helpful to me as I was preparing for the arrival of my son. From packing my hospital bag, to planning to breastfeed, to saving money, wonderful advice was shared from one mother to another!

I firmly believe that asking (and joyfully receiving) advice from other mothers will help me to become a better mother! 13 days ago I had absolutely no experience as a mother, today I have just 13 days experience. There is a lot for me to learn from other mothers – whether they’ve been a mother 6 months, 5 years or 23 years!

Here are all the posts from Preparing for Motherhood:

Introduction

Packing Your Hospital Bag

Stocking the Freezer

Anticipating Labor

Labor & Delivery-The Unexpected

Planning to Breastfeed

Scheduling Newborns

Ways to Save Money

Ways to Save Money, Part 2

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Paxton’s Birth Story http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/23/paxtonsbirth/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/23/paxtonsbirth/#comments Sat, 24 Apr 2010 03:27:44 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3832 On Monday, April 12th, we decided, under the guidance of our OB, that we were going to induce on Friday, April 16. I was 1 centimeter dilated and 70% effaced which my OB said was better than dilation. There wasn’t any medical reason to induce but according to my calculations I would be 40 weeks on the 16th.

I had some friends inquire about our decision to induce and honestly I wondered if we had made the right decision. I prayed about it and asked God to reveal to me through John David or my parents or someone very close to me if we weren’t supposed to induce. Over the next few days no one mentioned it and I had a peace about our decision.

On the 16th, we woke up at 5:00 and got ready to head to the hospital! We arrived around 6:00 and were lead to our room, room 405!

One last belly picture, me at 39 weeks, 2 days!

With our friend Megan who is a Nursery Nurse! She got off shift at 7 a.m. and came for a quick visit and encouraged me!!

As Megan was leaving around 7:10, a nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitors. We were able to hear our sweet boy’s heartbeat.

At 7:30 another L&D nurse came in with our OB and he checked me, at this point I was 70% effaced and a tight 2 centimeters dilated.  Then they broke my water. I was unsure about how this would go, I expected it to be very uncomfortable but it wasn’t that bad at all.

After my water had been broken and before my L&D nurse arrived and I was hooked up to my IV.

I was able to journal throughout the process and I am so glad I did because my memory of all of the events of the morning are somewhat fuzzy now.

Around 9:00 my contractions started picking up and becoming more and more intense. John David and I worked through them. I breathed and he had me count 1, 2, 3…..we got up to 45 a few times! Contractions were so strange, on one hand they were not painful but then they were absolutely horrible! Around 9:30 they were about 2 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds.

Working through one of the contractions. (When this one was over I looked at John David and said “I know you didn’t take a picture of me!” I am glad he did now…this picture truly conveys the way I felt.

At 9:45 my nurse came in to check me and she said, “Oh my goodness, you are 7 centimeters.” We were shocked but it explained the intensity of my contractions. She told me if I was going to have an epidural that I needed to have it done then. She told me she thought I could go natural but I decided that I was going to brave my fear of the needle for some pain relief! She also saw a little meconium in the amniotic fluid and notified the nursery, it actually was very light colored so she thought it happened recently.

Around 10:00 I received my epidural. My anesthesiologist did a wonderful job and my husband did an even better job helping me through contractions while I was getting the epidural. In fact, the anesthesiologist told us John David was the best dad he’s seen!

Losing feeling in my legs was really strange but not feeling my contractions was awesome! I felt completely relaxed and wonderful and was able to enjoy the next 2 hours and continue my journaling (I never would have been able to journal otherwise.) Since things were progressing so quickly we started joking that we’d have a baby by lunchtime! Our doctor had been telling us hopefully you’ll come in and progress quickly and have a baby by lunch! (We thought that sounded wonderful!)

Our last picture as a family of two!

Around 11:50 I was completely dilated and our nurse said we were ready for pushing! We did 3 practice pushes with a contraction and she called my OB.  While we were waiting to start really pushing I asked our nurse what she guessed the baby would weigh, she said I think he is going to be a small baby, about 7 pounds. I told her I was guessing no more than 7.5 pounds.

At 12:05 we started pushing and even stopped for about 5 minutes as the baby was crowning to wait for my OB to arrive. My OB arrived, the nursery nurse came to the room and we started pushing! After 29 minutes of pushing, at 12:34 Paxton Graham arrived crying loudly! Both our OB and L&D nurse said that is a big baby! My OB asked where was I hiding him!! After he was delivered I inquired if I had an episitomy (which I was really hoping to avoid). He told me yes, I had an episitomy and then ripped because baby was so big he had to tug pretty hard on his shoulders.

Seeing my baby boy for the first time! He was the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen and I was overwhelmed with emotion and crying!

Our beautiful baby! His daddy cut the cord and watched him get cleaned off!

Our OB had another patient almost ready to deliver but he waited for Paxton to be weighed before he left because he wanted to see how much he weighed!

Paxton weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces! I think everybody in the delivery room was shocked! I really was expecting a small baby but we got a healthy 8.5 pound baby boy!

Holding my sweet baby boy!

Our first family picture!

We’re now a family of three!

After seeing meconium in the amniotic fluid and delivering an 8.5 pound baby we were confident that inducing was the best thing for us to do. Our OB said if we had waited until our due date he probably would have weighed around 9 pounds and since it was difficult to get him out at 8.5 there is a possibility that I could have had a c-section.

We are so thankful that I had an easy labor and delivery and a completely healthy, perfectly formed baby boy! Now the adventure truly begins, parenting our little miracle!


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40 Weeks http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/22/40-weeks/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/22/40-weeks/#comments Fri, 23 Apr 2010 04:03:07 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3847

Yesterday was my due date! How exciting to have a baby in my arms! Paxton is so wonderful, we are so in love with our baby boy! We just sit and stare at him in awe!

We had a quick and easy labor and delivery and I’m recovering slowly but surely! I’m feeling better but far from back to 100%.

The past 40 weeks have been amazing, with a new person growing in my womb and finally being able to meet him. He is such a blessing from God and we are honored that God has given him to us for the next 18 years to raise into a fine young man!

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Paxton Graham http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/18/paxton-graham/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/18/paxton-graham/#comments Sun, 18 Apr 2010 17:47:39 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3806  

Paxton Graham Boreing

April 16, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.

8 pounds 8 ounces, 21 inches long

Visit our Boreing Family website for pictures, videos & details about his birth until I am able to post more here!

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39 Weeks http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/15/39-weeks/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/15/39-weeks/#comments Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:19:47 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3753

Yesterday marked 39 weeks and it was the first day that I really felt pregnant (you know achy back, unmotivated, tired & big)! I’m just thankful that I’ve made it this far with so much energy!

I’m really in awe that I’m at 39 weeks! I remember all the way  back in August when we found out thinking that April was forever away and then during September when I was dealing with morning sickness I didn’t know how I was going to make it through each day! Yet somehow it’s April already and we’re going to meet baby Paxton soon!

This past week has been good. I’ve felt great for the most part, getting out of bed is a bit trickier and a few nights I woke up about 6 or 7 times but I haven’t been unable to sleep which I’m so thankful for!

We went to the doctor on Monday and had a great visit (all except for the fact that I somehow gained 6 pounds…I think it was partially due to having a steak, mashed potatoes & 3 rolls at Logan’s before my visit, at least that’s what I’ll tell myself!) I was 70% effaced and about 1 centimeter dilated. We also scheduled to go ahead and induce on Friday (tomorrow!) My doctor induces after 39 weeks and doesn’t like pregnancies to go beyond 40 so we decided to go ahead and induce on the 16th (which is John David’s dad’s birthday and also my “due date” according to my calculations!) So unless I go into labor today, we’ll be going in at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning to have baby Paxton! (I know inducing is a controversial issue but we fully trust our doctor and are comfortable with our decision.)

I am dealing with mixed emotions at this point. Last night I had a brief moment of sadness because the realization that John David and I will no longer be “just us” hit me. I know things will change and many will be good changes but I will miss being able to tag along with him at work and just deciding to go do things at the spur of the moment. Even though I have some of those emotions, I’m so thrilled to finally meet this baby boy…I’ve been dreaming of being a mommy since I was 4 years old and playing mommy to my many dolls!

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Frugal & Simple Living-Episode 3: Baby Room Tour http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/07/frugal-simple-living-episode-3-baby-room-tour/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/07/frugal-simple-living-episode-3-baby-room-tour/#comments Wed, 07 Apr 2010 13:00:27 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3633

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Preparing for Motherhood: Scheduling Newborns http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/06/preparing-for-motherhood-scheduling-newborns/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/06/preparing-for-motherhood-scheduling-newborns/#comments Tue, 06 Apr 2010 13:00:53 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3627

Guest post by Mary Jo from Covenant Homemaking

Scheduling babies is a somewhat controversial topic these days. And, at the risk of being controversial, scheduling our baby loosely was one of the best things we did when our (now one-year-old) was a newborn. I loved the predictability that routine gave us and enjoyed the peace of mind knowing my new baby was getting enough milk when I fed her every three hours regardless of whether she “asked” for it. By about a month, Katie went down for naps and bedtime without crying, and she slept seven hours straight at 5 weeks and 2 days. As they say, you know a tree by its fruit–and the fruit of a loose schedule from early on has been very sweet.

One of the key books on infant scheduling is Baby Wise. I had heard several people at our church talking about Baby Wise, but when a lady that I greatly respect advised me to read it at least twice before Katie was born, I got to reading. I don’t think I read it all twice before I gave birth, but I had a basic idea of the principles, and felt comfortable implementing them with my newborn.

These are some basic steps I followed that worked really well for us:

::Nurse at least every two to three hours throughout the day, making sure your baby gets at least 7-10 feedings per day in the early days. If Katie was asleep when it was time to eat, I woke her up. However, if baby gets hungry before sooner, feed her. This is key–you always feed a hungry baby, regardless of when the last time she ate was.

::Work on getting full feedings every time. For a newborn, shoot for at least 20 minutes. Katie was an incredibly sleepy baby, so I had to work hard to keep her awake long enough. There are several reasons this is important, but the main one is that the richest, fattiest milk comes out last. It will keep baby full the longest, and also provide the best nutrition, but she has to nurse long enough to get to it.

::Strive for a routine of eat-wake-sleep. At the beginning, your baby may go right back to sleep after nursing, but by a couple of weeks, try to encourage baby to stay awake for a little while after feedings. At first, it will probably only be a few minutes, but the length will grow over time.

::Avoid sleep props. The skill of putting herself to sleep will have to be learned, but it is so wonderful once it is. Try not to nurse or rock baby to sleep. There may be quite a few tears at first, but if you know baby isn’t hungry, in pain, or wet/dirty, you don’t need to pick her up. She will not be scarred for life by crying. Be sure to snuggle, rock, and sing a lot; just not while baby is going to sleep. I found it helpful to get Katie sleepy and then lay her down.

::Write out your desired schedule and work towards it. Keep in mind that baby needs 11-12 hours of sleep at nighttime, plus naps throughout the day. At the beginning it will probably look somewhat like this (times are only suggestions):

  • 7 AM: Morning feeding, waketime, nap
  • 10 AM: Late morning feeding, waketime, nap
  • 1 PM: Lunchtime feeding, waketime, nap
  • 4 PM: Early evening feeding, waketime, nap
  • 7 PM: Evening feeding, short waketime (optional), bedtime
  • 10 PM: Late night feeding. For us, this was the last predictable feeding of the day.
  • Middle of the night feeding-we let Katie wake up on her own for this, though in the first couple of weeks, I did not let her go longer than 5 hours to make sure my milk supply was adequate. This was the first feeding she dropped–around 6 weeks. Sometimes baby will wake up hungry again before your desired waketime. What I found best was to nurse and put her right back to bed, and then just go ahead and get her up to eat at her waketime.

Keep in mind the importance of being flexible. Once you think you have it all figured out, baby will have growth spurt and want to eat every hour. She’ll get a tooth or a cold and start waking up in the night again. Thankfully, these seasons will pass. Enjoy your newborn, and work towards being able to enjoy a predictable day and a good night’s sleep!

For more information on scheduling, be sure to check out Baby Wise. Another book I found quite helpful was The Moms on Call Guide to Basic Baby Care.

 

Mary Jo blogs at Covenant Homemaking about her “ journey towards being wife, mama, and homemaker unto the glory of God!”

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37 Weeks http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/01/37-weeks/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/04/01/37-weeks/#comments Thu, 01 Apr 2010 20:49:33 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3612

I’m now full term!! It’s hard to believe that I am 37 weeks pregnant and we’ll have a baby in our arms in less than 3 weeks! We are getting more and more excited about Paxton’s arrival every single day!

We went to the doctor Monday, the baby’s head is down (which was the only thing I was concerned about!) I was not checked and he has not estimated Paxton’s weight (two questions that have been frequently asked!) He said he’ll check for dilation at 38 weeks…I go back this coming Monday and will be 37 weeks, 5 days so I’m not sure if he will check or not!

I feel good still! In fact, I’ve had a burst of craftiness this past week! I’ve been making things for Paxton! So far I’ve made a set of 3 cloth blocks, 3 burp cloths, a taggie blanket & 3 “pee pee tee pees“! I hadn’t made him anything so I was glad I had this energy for sewing! (I’ll soon be posting pictures of my projects!)

I’ve been told to expect contractions and my belly has been tightening occasionally but I have yet to experience any pain. The past two nights have been rather sleepless and my hips have been aching and I feel pressure on my pelvis (but I don’t experience these discomforts during the day!) I’m actually looking forward to the contractions picking up and going into labor at this point! I’m just so excited about meeting this baby boy!

His nursery is finished (it is lacking wall decorations but I haven’t had much luck finding things that I really love!) Hopefully sometime this week I will give you a tour of the nursery!

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Preparing for Motherhood: Planning to Breastfeed http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/03/25/preparing-for-motherhood-planning-to-breastfeed/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/03/25/preparing-for-motherhood-planning-to-breastfeed/#comments Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:44:41 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=3546

Guest post by Myra from My Blessed Life

When my son was born, I had academic knowledge of the breastfeeding “how-tos” crammed in my brain, but like so many other life experiences, I was lacking just that – experience.

I firmly believe that breastfeeding is an art. Some babies are born with a natural ability to successfully latch on the first try. Others are born lacking the “on the first try” ability. My baby was in the latter category.

We struggled for days and weeks. It was a huge learning curve for us both. Apparently we finally figured it out because at 14 months my baby is still nursing “part-time.” I never thought I would still be breastfeeding. Never say never!

Because of the difficulties I had starting out, helping women who are facing breastfeeding, or dealing with frustration has become a passion of mine. Two months ago, I posted several practical breastfeeding tips that worked for me. The response was fantastic and the comments were very helpful.

So how can expectant moms prepare to breastfeed?

Have reasonable expectations.

Realize that every baby is different. Some latch on right away, and others are slower. Prepare yourself mentally that just because your baby is hungry and you have milk doesn’t equal an instantly fabulous equation!

Stay calm.

Babies have amazing perceptive abilities! When you get stressed or frustrated because your baby isn’t “getting it” he or she will pick up on it right away. If you can stay calm, breathe deeply and know that everything will be okay. In normal situations the baby will (eventually) nurse, and everything will look brighter.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

The hospital where I delivered had a magnificent lactation consultant. She was wonderful, encouraging and supportive. A lot of nursery nurses are also lactation consultants, so if you are struggling in the middle of the night when a LC may not be there, ask for a nursery nurse to come talk to you. It’s one thing to talk, vent and cry to your husband, but it is SO helpful to talk to another woman who knows what you are talking about.

Determine your support group before the birth.

I’m so thankful that my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law and a dear friend gave me the womanly support that I desperately needed in those early weeks. If you don’t have a group of supportive women (that you feel comfortable around), be sure to contact the La Leche League. You can go to meetings prior to having your baby to meet other like-minded women. If you have questions or need support the LLL has trained women available.

Breastfeeding is sometimes a controversial subject, so decide where you stand on the issue and don’t let anything anyone says hurt your feelings or change your decision.

Prepare for Mommy Guilt.

Recognize that it is real. The thoughts and feelings that precede “mommy guilt” are inherent in us. God brilliantly created women this way. We are elated at the birth of our baby, but then when things aren’t “perfect” to us, we worry. We worry about the number of wet or dirty diapers, that our baby isn’t getting enough milk or that something might be wrong and on and on.

This is a downward spiral you want to avoid. Believe me, I’ve been there.

As moms, we are not perfect. We make mistakes. Some moms can breastfeed, some moms can’t.

Breastfeeding is a natural choice, but it’s not an honor badge that makes one mom superior to another.

You have to do what is best for you and for your baby. It’s doesn’t matter what Grandma or Great-Aunt Sarah think. You have to deal, by God’s grace, with the demons of “mommy-guilt” and make the best decision for you and your baby.

 

Myra enjoys her days as a SAHM and wife to her childhood sweetheart. She blogs at My Blessed Life about various topics to inspire your heart and your home.

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