Monday, June 30, 2014

What do I Teach Her?

So today the Supreme Court basically ruled that women's health and rights are not only second to men's but that they are lesser than corporation's rights to discriminate against them. Women have always been second class in this country but now our rights are being actively stripped away from us. Rights we fought hard to gain. Yet women are the majority in this country, not only the majority but we make up most of the students graduating with degrees in this country and the majority of the workforce currently. We are overwhelmingly taking over this nation and yet we still make much less per dollar than a man makes, and all our rights are being stripped from us. We have to work 10 times harder than a man and get half the respect. Look at Hillary Clinton. She is one of the most driven and intelligent and strong minded politicians out there right now, and what does everyone talk about in the news? Her looks, her age and her upcoming grandchild. Really????
So here is my question as the new mother to a little girl... what do I teach her? What do I say when she asks why her brother makes more money than her. What do I teach her when she works twice as hard as her male classmates and her teachers overlook her? What do I teach her when she applies to a engineering college and gets passed over for a boy, or worse given the placement BECAUSE they need more women to look good? What do I tell her when  boys look at her for her chest or her behind and not because she has read more books than they ever will? What do I teach her when she asks why congress keeps taking away her rights?
Before now I only had a son. That in itself has been an interesting road because as you all know from previous posts he is a sweet sensitive boy who loves dolls and ponies and tea sets etc. I have spent 5 years fighting for gender equality as far as boys being able to wear pink or dresses or be who they want to be. Yet the gender discrimination against women goes much higher because it's not just that we push girls to wear pink or play with dolls.. it's that as a nation we have systematically over the last 10 years undone all the progress women had gained and rewound us almost back to the 1950's.
Now I have a daughter and right now she is a bundle or sweet breastmilk breath and soft downy fluff hair and the softest pink skin, but soon very soon she will be 10 or 15 or 20 and she will be asking me.. Mom why are women not as good as men? You always taught me that I am the same as my brother but why don't I have the same rights? What will I tell her then. What do I tell myself and women like me?
I guess I will say what I say to women friends and family. VOTE! Get involved and fight! Your sisters of the past were jailed, raped, starved and murdered to win you the right to vote. So use it. JUST VOTE! There may come a day when I will have to march for my rights along side my sisters and I hope that my sweet baby girl will march along side me. What's more I hope my son will too, because it is not just women that need to begin standing up for our rights, our brothers and husbands and fathers need to start standing by our sides as well.
Today the Supreme Court ruled that companies can deny women contraception, what rights will be gone tomorrow? Will you stand by and let it happen? What will you teach her?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Updated Look at Cloth Diapers

Well here we are. Our rainbow girl is 1 month old today. Who would have thought we would ever get here! So I thought now that we are 1 month back into the world of fluff buttedness and that the last time I had a kid in cloth dipes was spring of 2012, that maybe things have changed a bit.
This time around we have a lot more variety of diapers. We are using prefolds and covers, pockets in a variety of brands (baby coon, bumgenius, kawaii, alvababy, sunbaby, happy flute...etc...), fitteds, g diapers (borrowed because she was so small at first), and a few nb sized all in ones. So far although pockets are always going to be my favorites, since she is so small the g diapers actually have been a life saver. They are rather annoying to wash though. Having to unsnap and resnap all those diapers is a pain. Each diaper has three separate parts. The bumgenius dipes we have now are snap ones and I most definitely think they have changed them for the better. I hated that they used to be velcro. Alvababy and sunbaby are still my favorites. This time around though we have a ton of the knotty bums, which were created by my friend the owner of Coopadilly Creations. These are fleece covers that knot around a diaper. They are a lifesaver on leaks and are so cute too. I think the biggest thing I am learning this time around is no one type or brand of diaper that can handle a baby from birth to potty training. I am glad to have built up such a large collection from when Bug potty trained to now. As she grows though I am sure I will have favorites. Right now though I love anything that can adjust from nb size and grow with them. Any diaper that can do double and even triple duty is a good diaper!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Breastfeeding and Bedsharing

Well they say the best made plans of mice and men...
That was me with both kids. With Bug I was sure he was going to co sleep in a cradle next to our bed. On day 2 of being home he began bedsharing with us. It just felt right. I didn't know anyone else who did it and has read all the info on why it was "sure death" for your baby, so I didn't know what to do. Then I started doing to research and found out bedsharing is better for over all family heath, breastfeeding successfully, and reduces baby stress and regulates breathing of both Mom and baby which can stop SIDS. We successfully and safely bedshared until 9 months and then as needed until Bug was 4.5.
Then I was determined again that despite our good experience with Bug, River would sleep in a bassinet by our bed. Every night was a battle. She would scream as soon as I would lay her down. It went against everything I felt as a Mom, against everything my instincts told me to do. So I started to bedshare. Bug was sleeping in his own bed now so I knew she would be safe, but still I slept in spurts. Now at almost 1 month old she sleeps next to me almost all night every night. It just feels RIGHT. I don't tell anyone to bedshare unless they feel it is right for them. Co sleeping (in the same room) is enough to help keep a baby happy and calm usually. I am very against babies sleeping by themselves in a crib in another room but I feel co sleeping is generally enough for most people. However for us bedsharing is the way we live. It just works for our family.
Another aspect of baby life we have been working on has been breastfeeding. It has been a battle this time around but I think after all my hard work and determination we have finally started to fix the latching issue and I even have started saving milk. I am so proud. This is my freezer right now. Each bag has between 5 and 10 ounces in it and there are currently 7 bags. I am so proud of myself.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Siblings: Bringing Home Number 2

Bug is almost 5. This means that our children are almost 5 years apart in age. That is a pretty massive age gap. It's not as big as like 7-10 years apart but for a first and second child to be just under 5 years apart is still a pretty significant age gap. This means that for 5 years we have been a threesome more than a family. For five years Bug has been a fellow traveler in this thing we have called our lives. He taught us to be parents and boy howdy did we make mistakes along the way. We were doing everything through massive research with a lot of trial and error. He did everything with us and we loved just being with him all the time.
Then on his 4th birthday we found out what he already knew and had told us weeks before hand. We were pregnant. Now for those who don't know, Bug began asking for a baby sister around his 2nd birthday. We began trying for a baby sister (or brother) around his 3rd birthday. Two devastating losses and another year later and we were pregnant again. I didn't know how to even attempt to talk to Bug about it. Would his heart be broken again? Would he ever get his baby sister?
So we decided to be open and honest with him. Let him know right from the beginning that we did not know how this would end, that we would all as a family take it one day at a time. Everyday I stayed pregnant was one day closer to his sister being born. He was over the moon, but understood that we had to take it slowly.
Then she was born, and I worried about what he would think, how would we really mesh together as a family, how would a five yr old really take to suddenly not being the only child anymore?
My son is amazing. That is all I can say. He has been better than I could have ever hoped. He loves his sister more than anything and has instantaneously become the best little helper and big brother any little girl could ever have. His immense joy and love for his little sister has just warmed our hearts and made our home even brighter. We are truly now a family. We finally were able to give him the gift he has asked for for 3 years, he is finally a big brother to the luckiest little sister ever.
Here is Bug getting to see her for the first time in the hospital through the waiting room window. We had to hold her up to see him, since due to a flu outbreak that resulted in some nb deaths in a few NY hospitals many NY hospitals have implemented a ban on anyone under 13 visiting the maternity wards. So sadly this was how he first glimpsed his baby sister face to face. He finally got to see her when we had checked out and were first headed home.

This was him holding her for the very first time. The joy on his face is wonderful to see.
The other pic here is our first walk out together. We took the stroller mostly because I was still pretty sore but I still baby wore most of it.

This picture I took today. It is my favorite of the two of them so far. I love that she is staring at him with as much love in this one (or at least curiosity) as he has for her. I know these two will be close their whole lives. My beautiful kids.

Bringing Home Baby: The First 2 Weeks

So River is currently 11 days old. So far having two children has been a wonderful, amazing, frustrating, and tiring experience. As a Green Mommy there were many aspects of parenting that were very important to me with our son, and I hoped would work out as well or better with our daughter.
The first and most important of course was breastfeeding. With Bug breastfeeding went amazingly. Almost from the start he latched like a pro. He cluster fed his second night of life in the hospital and by morning my milk had come in. I never had pain, or sore nipples or even really ever had to use nipple creams. He fed constantly but my supply seemed to keep up. I was a first time breastfeeding diva. I stopped using covers right away almost within a few months of him being born. I was bold and courageous.
I just assumed with my baby girl it would go equally smoothly. So far it has not. Though she also cluster fed the second  night and brought my milk in, breastfeeding with River has been painful. Only now at 11 days old is she finally starting to latch right, after 11 days of latch, pull off and relatch, pull off and relatch. 11 days of sore nipples, painful almost to the point of being afraid to feed because of the pain. 11 days of cluster feeding at night. 11 days of answering the question "how is breastfeeding going?" with "we are working on it." And we are. River and I are a team and soon hopefully very soon we will master this. She already is doing so much better and my nipples are slowly starting to harden up enough so it doesn't hurt so much. I know that this is the most important thing I can do for her and I would do anything to make sure she gets breastmilk. I just have to get back into the swing of this. I am slowly learning though that though she may be the spitting image of her brother she is very much her own person.
Another aspect of Green parenting that I was actually hoping would go better than it did with Bug was baby wearing. So far with River this has been going amazing. She took to it right away and though she is still a tad too small for a ring sling or even really the mai tai wrap, we have been using a newborn sling wrap and she loves it. With Bug it took me until he was about 6 or 7 months old to really start liking baby wearing and carrying, with River we have been baby wearing almost everywhere and every day since I recovered enough from the c section to do so. If anything I have learned the second time around the same thing I learned later on with Bug, that given the choice between a carseat or stroller or a sling... I would choose sling every time.
The last big aspect of green parenting that was very important to me was cloth diapering. Bug was cloth diapered from the day we brought him home. This time around though I found she is really a bit too small for anything. We had 2 nb fitteds that actually fit her, 5 nb fitteds that are just a bit too big, 5 sunbaby pockets that fit ok but are a bit big also, and another 7 various pockets that are really much too big but kind of fit well enough to use in a pinch. Even prefolds are massive on her and we have no covers small enough to use yet. So our solution has been to simply wash her diapers every day. Once she is a little bigger (8-9 lbs) she will easily fit in many of the pockets as well as prefolds and covers. I am just hoping that day comes soon. I love being a cloth mommy, I love everything about cloth diapers, I just never imagined we would ever bring home a baby so small that she couldn't fit into them.
 So there you have it... our first 2 weeks as parents of two. I was going to go into the dynamics of the siblings interactions but I think I am going to do a whole separate post about that. All in all despite the breastfeeding frustrations, and the lack of small enough dipes, I am loving being the Mommy to two. I love everything about my daughter from her tiny nose to her tiny toes. Bringing home my rainbow baby at last is the best feeling in the world. Knowing my family is complete is just wonderful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

She Is Here!!!!

Well after so many years, an early loss, months of TTC, conceiving Asya Rose, the grief and pain of losing her, months of miscarrying, surgery, months of TTC, conceiving River Anne, and a very long, very nerve wracking pregnancy. River Anne is here! Our sweet rainbow baby girl is here. She is beautiful and amazing. In true contrast to her big brother she turned out to be just barely over 7 lbs. Now she is just over 6.5 lbs. Bug is in love! We all are! I never thought that we would actually be bringing her home.
In true greenmommy/green baby fashion she is already in cloth diapers and breastfeeding like a champion. She took to breastfeeding so well and like her brother she cluster fed on her second night of life and successfully brought my milk in by the next morning. With both of my kids my milk was in by the 2nd morning after the day of my c section. Well I could go on and on about everything but I am sure you want to see pictures so without further ado... River!

Total Pageviews