Home - Life As I Know It
 
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It is here! The day that I never thought would come on nights breastfeeding was not going as planned. Those were the nights that I was tired, frustrated, and when every fiber in my body wanted to give up.

Now, I am a much more rested, at peace, and encourage woman!

My baby boy is amazing! And to celebrate his 6 months I am going to brag a little - it's a momma's right after all, right? :)

Clayton is now 18 pounds. He can pretty much sit up all by himself (he has a few falls). He is days away from crawling. He is fashioning the hover and rock right now. I am just so amazed at how wonderful of a son that I have! Clayton's blue eyes are going to be a lady killer when he grows up.

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Last night, Randy and I were playing on the floor on the eve of his 6 month birthday. I was just sitting back and watching. Clayton was crawling all over his daddy and was smiling and laughing. He has changed SO much in just days. He, for the first time, enjoyed playing on the floor with us! It was the
most incredible feeling. All of the hardwork it takes to raise a little man is totally and completely worth it. Every moment that he smiles, laughs, makes a mess of his food, talks, sings "You are my sunshine" with mommy, nurses, gives kisses (pulling the junk out of mommy's hair, I might add), and so many more things is worth it. We are so in love with this guy!! He is a gift from God. After years and years of praying for a baby - God gives us a baby, the perfect baby - A baby that I could not have made more perfect.

Today is the day that I have started to think about where I was 6 months ago. I was numb, on a hospital bed, exhausted, in love, and enduring an extreme case of baby blues. When I got home I couldn't get up on the bed without a step, looked pregnant plus some, and was even more tired! Being a momma is a lot of work - don't let anyone tell you it is easy.

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Now, I am losing weight, am in MORE love than when I gave birth, and couldn't be happier! This little tiny baby has brought joy that is un measurable into our lives. He is a blessing and I thank God for allowing me to be his momma.

So, really this is a praise to God. Thanking him for 6 months of learning how to have more patience, endurance, strength, and courage. It is also a lesson to me to teach me that I have all of those things when I doubted it before.

When I was pregnant, I told the mid wife that I had no pain tolerance and that I was a wimp. God has taught me a very powerful lesson. I have a high pain tolerance and I am anything BUT a wimp!

Everyday is a celebration day but you would probably abandon me if I wrote a blog each day about Clayton! So, today is a 6 month celebration!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CLAYTON!! :) YOUR MOMMA AND DADDY LOVE YOU!!!! <3

 
There is a saying that states, "The Breast Is Best". I completely agree with this statement.

There is a reason that formula companies are always trying to compare to breastmilk. I recently saw a commerical saying how it has Lutein, which is found in breastmilk. Formula is very convenient but it can't compare to breastmilk.

I want to first start out by stating I am not condemning or putting down anyone who uses formula. But, if I were to pick (and I did) it would be breastmilk 100% no other option. This is my opinion.

I am a very natural person. I make almond milk instead of buying it at the store - it's cheaper and I appreciate it more. I don't go out to eat. I barely eat any salt, except that which comes naturally from vegetables. I make my own baby food, eat organic as much as possible, and try to grow my own food. This is who I am. This is what is important to me and what I want for my family.

And, no, I'm not rich. I just want to live as close to what God created as possible. I believe that natural is the way to go because that is where the beginning of time...well.. began! It's my opinion and if you know me then you know that I do share what I do because I believe in it so much.
 
I realized after I started to write this that you may be wondering why I would share this... Well here's why.

There were so many times that Randy and I were in a "been there, done that" stage. If it was in the area we lived you can bet we had been there. I started to frantically search the internet for new ideas, which some were helpful but others weren't. I learned that often times - we had to make the fun ourselves, which usually was done at home. I'd rather save any other person the trouble and put there for you out in the open because if you are like me searching through sale clothing racks are about as much fun as searching through the internet for fun things to do with your love on the internet. Especially when there really isn't that much there in the first place that you can find on the internet. (Maybe I just stink at searching - who knows!) So, with that said, here are some more ideas!
 
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Having a baby is a lot of work. Each day I have to breast feed Clayton, feed him solid foods, clean up the house, cook, change diapers, and play with him. This takes up so much of Randy and I's time that a lot of times having fun and romantic dates with each other gets put to the wayside. When we were pregnant with our son my biggest fear and thought I fret about most was, "What is going to happen to our marriage, Randy!?" "Are we going to be just as in love now as before?!" "Will you love me when he have a beautiful baby?!" "Will we still have times like this where we can play?!" (Yes, I said play! He is my best friend! If there is a playgroud you can bet that there are two grown adults acting like idiots on the monkey bars! Age is just a number! - that is our story and we are sticking to it!) I was so unbelievably worried that we would grow apart. After spending almost 5 years just with each other I liked where we were.

 
Each day I was in the hospital was almost like a blur. I remember people being
there but it was just all surreal. Days and nights went by and I had no idea
what time it was and I remember one thinking we moved rooms because I thought
our room looked different the day before. Everything was so great the first
night in the hospital. I was fed food and some of it actually wasn't too bad,
had visitors, and so far the nurses were so nice and helpful. Breastfeeding
wasn't all of the horrors that I thought it would be. I read books about how you
would be extremely sore, the baby would have trouble latching on...everything
was peaceful and perfect. We were still mulling over what to call our son - we
had decided on Andrew Clayton Roy but Andrew didn't sound right and sounded
funny calling him that for some reason. A nurse came in and we even talked to
her about it...well, this is where freedoms were not taken as seriously.
 
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This is where it started. It was actually all kind of surreal. Just a few hours earlier I was in a completely different situation. I was enduring contractions, squatting, pushing, it was almost time... It kind of urks me when I think about that, even now. It frustrates me beyond all levels on how everything got so screwed up but regardless, I was determined to make this a positve experience. I didn't want to ruin the birth of my son even though I was filled with anger, frustration, and all sorts of other negative thoughts. I had to put it to the side and focus on my baby. I was going to let the drugs do their job and enjoy the ride! This was a picture of Randy and I before we headed to the surgical part of the hospital. I was inmobile. An epidural is quite an amazing feeling. When they administer the medicine it is like a cool stream that trickles down the back of your spine. I remember when they gave it to me I thought they spilled some of it on my back and was freaking out (I really was very dramatic lol). The nurse assured me she didn't spill it and that, that is how it feels. Pretty cool if you ask me.

 
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While writing this article, I looked up and saw two lizards working on their baby makin' skills! It may be a little....vivid...but a perfect picture for the theme of my blog! Then I came up with the following quote, which went perfectly with the picture! Never said I wasn't crazy...!
"If making a baby is natural, the experience of having one should be too!" - Me

This was definitely an experience. If you read my birth story then you know that I HATE hospitals, but really, that was just on what I heard about them. I read books by Ina May Gaskin (which if you haven't read her books before on midwifery it is a MUST!) and watched a movie called, "The Business of Being Born" which is done by Ricki Lake. Each gave me the worst feeling about hospitals.

I have all kinds of things that I learned...

For example, did you know that the reason women give birth in hospital missionary style now a days (unless you have had a much unwanted c-section like me) is because back long ago when Queen Elizabeth was giving birth to her baby it was un customary for the men to be in the room. Well, the King wanted to see his child being born so they had a sheet in between them and had her lay down so he could see the baby be born. Sick right? I know from experience that I would absoultely DIE if I had to lay down during my whole labor. Everyone is different but most people prefer water, walking, birthing stool, or birthing ball.

Also, long ago in the 50's and 60's they used to tie women to the bed during labor. They would drug them and leave them there sometimes for days while they were in labor.

These are just two examples of what hospitals have done in the past - I could probably write a book just on that subject alone.
 
I'm going to start first by telling you what I envisioned would happen when I went into labor and then tell you reality. You can plan and plan and plan for things but they are going to go however they are going to go and that's it.

I pictured myself huge with a growing baby and all of a sudden I felt labor pains. I would go into labor, naturally, endure the pain and then I would get the sensation to poop, push, and vwa-la a baby comes out!

Reality:

The first time I went into labor was for about 12 hours. I had pains every 4-5 minutes. Water made it worse. I was so unbelievably uncomfortable but excited because this was it. My baby boy was going to be in my arms by the end of the day. Boy, was I wrong. After 12 hours it stopped. Like a tornado demolishing houses and then a beautiful clear sky emerges - that was my first labor. It was heart breaking. I actually didn't even know that could happen, but it did.

The next day I woke up and there it was again. I slept all night and had no pains whatsoever. The difference though was my body was so stinkin sore from being in labor for so long that I could barely move. All I could think was, "How the heck and I am going to push a baby out feeling like this?! Is this how it is supposed to be??????" This time, it lasted 8 hours and then NOTHING.
 
You're at a friends house, sister or brother's house, walking through the mall, looking at the adorable baby clothes on a rack - wherever you are it hits you, as does it in EVERY woman on this planet. You want a baby. I had it and every girlfriend that I have has the same exact feeling. You feel this overwhelming urge to either get a husband or take your husband home immediately and work on having a baby.

My husband and I tried for 5 years to have a baby. The baby fever was so strong inside of my body that I could barely contain myself. When someone I knew had a baby I stalked them so I could live through them. I remember holding my nephew and knew I had to change myself and do something different.

I knew that there was something wrong with me because of the fact that I hadn't become pregnant in 4 years. It was time to make a change in my life, so I did (post to come later), and became pregnant. I was amazed every step of the way of being pregnant. I imagined the most perfect time giving birth to my son, naturally, breastfeeding, and raising him.

WOW... it is SO much different than that! You can read my birth story to see what happened but it was so much different. I remember people would be like it's so much work but let me tell you:

If you are trying to have a child get as much sleep as you can now because YOU WILL NOT GET ANY WHEN YOUR LITTLE BUNDLE OF JOY IS BORN!

Now, I am writing this as my little man, 5 months old now, is jumping around with one sock on because he kicked the other one off, razzing up a storm, staring at me with this absolutely beautiful wet, slobbery smile, and allowing me to write this right now. With that said, it is worth all of the work because he is AMAZING! He is perfect!

I remember though when he was about 3 weeks old asking -- actually sobbing -- that I could do this and he replied, which ticked me off something fierce, "Well? Do you want to return him?!" That's where we were. We were running on about 4 hours of sleep all broken up. I would be breastfeeding and he would kick me when I fell asleep because he would fall asleep if I did and vice versa. That was our days and nights. They were all nights. Dealing with postpartum issues, breastfeeding issues, and no sleep was so stinkin' hard! It was groundhog's day each day for the following 2 months. It was after 2 months that he started sleeping through the night (AHH!! BEST NIGHT EVERRRRR!).

So -- pretty much all I am trying to say is it is SOO much more work than you can ever imagine. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, especially if you have family, which I didn't and still don't, to help. It gets better. I have sleep now, eh's happy, doesn't nurse every 1 1/2 hours. I just am putting it out there that it is a lot of work - not to be depressive but to express that it was hard but it is a challenge that ANYONE can get through.

:) Lauren