Adapted from The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth © 1999 by Henci Goer
For the last 10 months I've struggled with whether to acknowledge that we were trying to conceive. Everytime someone asks me if we plan to have another, I cringe inside, force a smile and say yes but we aren't sure when.
Whether you just got that positive pregnancy test or you have been discussing and debating whether to start trying to conceive, you've probably wondered how much having a baby is going to cost you and if you really can afford it. When we decided to start our family, we were a single income family with all intentions of staying that way. Fortunately we had experience living simply and weren't afraid to break the norms of what baby "must have" in order to be good parents. That's why we knew we could do it. So I'm here to tell you, that you can in fact raise a baby with little money to your name. In fact my following list rakes in at only $600 for everything you realistically need to get through the first year and a half of your child's life. If you start budgeting in your 3rd month of pregnancy, that breaks down to less than $25/month!
No matter where you decide to give birth (even at home) it's a good idea to have a bag put together with some basic essentials that will help you in the immediate postpartum. What you should have ready to go by 36 weeks is:
Are you guys done with my breastfeeding series yet? As you know by now, breastfeeding my son was not a successful endeavor. In the year since we stopped, I’ve learned so much about what might have helped or I could have done or tried differently to improve the situation. So if I could start over here is my list of what I would have tried differently:
1. Started using lanolin immediately. Because I have a wool sensitivity I was terrified of trying lanolin for fear of breaking out in hives in an already tender location. It took 2 weeks before I broke down in the middle of the night and had the clarity of mind to try a test swatch on my inner wrist. If only I had thought of that sooner, I would have saved myself so much pain.
2. Used a supplemental nursing system before offering a bottle. I only recently learned about a SNS but I think this would have been a total game changer. Our son genuinely had issues latching (even with bottles) so a tube system would have been fantastic and this one is designed to help stimulate milk production and encourage future latching at the same time.
My mother has always been militant about breastfeeding. She raised me to believe that there was no excuse for a woman not to breastfeed her baby until at least teeth. So I always knew I was going to exclusively breastfeed and would silently judge women who didn't.
As a birth worker, it is my mission to work my way through every pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood documentary I can. So when I saw Breastmilk available on Netflix it was a must see. I have to say the film did not disappoint and helped me work through many of my own personal views and emotions towards breastfeeding.
Yesterday I got to volunteer with the Blissful Baby's BIG Baby Shower event here in McAllen. This was the first event I got to work as a doula and the experience was so wonderful. When I came home, my husband could see I was tired after the 10 hour shift but that I was also so jazzed from the time spent interacting with so many pregnant women.
I worked the door prize table all day and we arranged it in a fun way where everybody who entered won something on the spot. We ended up giving out around $5000 in prizes which was such a fun privilege to see the faces of these expecting parents light up when they saw what they won.
I especially loved talking about the products and explaining their uses to each winner. Many were first time parents and the world of baby products is a new experience for them. They might know they want to breastfeed, but not all the tools that are available to them to help them be successful. A big part of why I wanted to become a doula, was to provide informational support to families. Yesterday was a small sampling of that on a large scale as regards numbers of couples assisted. I look forward to working many similar events focused on helping expectant parents in the coming months/years.
Reposted from Mismikado Down the Sidewalk
You are in a busy but quiet restaurant
It's 105° outside because it's June in Texas
Try as they might the air conditioners just can't quite keep up
You try to maintain some level of modesty by wearing a poncho style cover
Your child is screaming under it
Sweat is pooling in your cleavage and on your sons brow
He thrashes his head back and forth
Pulling the nipple shield he refuses to eat without with him
You struggle to get everything back in place although it's difficult with the cover and the heat
His crying intensifies because of the hunger
You feel heads turning your way
Hear whispers pointed in your direction
You try to stay calm to help soothe him and get a successful latch
It's not working
Finally you ask your companion to mix up the emergency bottle you have in the emergency diaper bag
The second that bottle nipple his your child's lips his crying stops and he peacefully eats
This is our new daily norm albeit not always in public. From the beginning breastfeeding has been a struggle for us. I have sat down to write about it so many times but each time I'm ready to post, our situation has changed and my words are outdated.
Reposted from Mismikado Down the Sidewalk
Originally written 4 days after delivery
Based on my cycle charting and his conception, I knew I would hit the 40 week mark on March 26th. Based on the average cycle compared to mine, my official due date was slated between March 28 & 30. But of the 3 sonograms we had, he always measured ahead of schedule. So somehow I got it in my mind that he would come early or be really big.