Monday, October 28, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Hey y'all Shannon here sorry it's been a while since my last post life has been Crazy (with a capital C!) I have been running around with a chicken like my head cut off lately :) My daddy very recently had a heart attack and had to have a quadruple bypass and is healing and on the long road to recovery. I, being hugely prego with two littles in tow, am unable to travel up there to see him so you can imagine I have been quite a distracted woman lately. But he is doing better and I am encouraged to hear about his progress and positive updates! My family has received such an outpouring of love and kindness from so many people I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your prayers, kind words, to the friends and family who have been there with my mama and brothers, and a special thank you to the nurses and doctors that have been amazing and so kind while helping him through this!
Here on our little homefront we are still trying to prepare our home and our family for our soon to be here Baby M. We are officially 30 weeks along today!! Can you believe how fast the time flies?!? Anyhow I recently realized that most of my baby stuff from when the boys were babies has since gone on to other families so I have been bargain hunting and finding some pretty good deals and it makes me laugh as I think of how with our first Baby we wanted the latest and greatest baby gear and how much stuff we bought and were given for our first son and now, about to have my third son, I am happy to craigslist certain items and am definitely not turning away any hand me downs! I have done this a few times now and have learned a few valuable mommy lessons and what works best for our family. I have come up with my personal Top 10 must haves for baby:
1. A durable adjustable pack n play!
I had the same pack n play for both of my first two babies and it was invaluable!! We used it all the time!! It was able to be raised and lowered so the first approx 3-4 months we used it as a portable bassinet and it migrated from the living room to our bedroom quite frequently and when my second baby came it was yet again irreplaceable and helped to corral my rowdy toddler when daddy was deployed and mommy had her hands full with the new baby! :) our pack n play was also amazing when we traveled it was a Godsend in several hotels and relatives houses and I used it in our back yard when Big M was old enough to walk around I would put Middle M in his pack n play with some fun baby toys so mommy could run and chase Big M toddling around and then even when my boys outgrew the beloved pack n play we used it as a stuffed animal corral for a bit. Our old pack n play has since been passed on to another family but you can bet that for our new Baby M it is the first thing on my list!!
2. Must have some sort of baby sling/baby carrier!!
in my personal experience there is nothing that calms a fussy baby more than snuggling them right close to mama and sometimes being a mama of more than one you dont always have a free minute to just sit and snuggle baby close (especially while the oldest is busily rearranging your pantry and devouring a brand new box of nilla wafers *true story*) so being able to slip baby into a nice secure sling or carrier is perfect you and baby get nice close snuggles and you can at the same time chase big brother out of the pilfered cookies! Win win! I have several lg scarves that I have used as a very comfortable baby sling in a pinch and even on a few plane trips. I love being able to snuggle my sweet baby on the go! Baby carrier/sling is a definite MUST HAVE!
3. Travel system! Car seat and stroller combo pack! First of all we know you need a car seat to take baby home from the hospital but trust me when I say there is nothing more convenient than taking that carseat out and attaching it to your easy fold out stroller when baby is still sleepin and you have errands to run or a doctors appointment to get to and dont want to wake baby! Also as baby grows into toddler that same stroller is usable without the car seat so it grows with baby! I am all about multi purpose and adjustable when it comes to baby supplies! To me it makes sense to use something as long as you can and get the most for your hard earned money! So my #3 must have is a sturdy travel system!
4. Lg. Diaper Bag with comfortable handle!!
Inevitably as a mommy you start carrying a mini nursery in your bag (especially if you have multiple kiddos) so my advice is to shop around ladies sure walmart has that sweet insulated polkadot diaper bag with extra pockets BUT have you seen how small those puppies are inside?!!? Seriously not cool, even more so when you are toting around baby wipes, diapers, bottles, favorite blankie, little toys, and possibly snacks and distractions for other siblings! And no one wants to try and juggle a purse AND a diaper bag all while carrying your precious baby! So I learned early that my diaper bag has to carry a small selection of mommys treasures as well so lack of space is a serious no go! Look around find a lg bag that has comfy straps for your weary shoulders and sinve you are going to be carrying this bag everyday for a long while invest in something that suits you. My theory is if its something you enjoy carrying you will forget it less ;) I am still on the hunt for my new diaper bag but the good news is there are some good options out there! So find you a good size comfy diaper bag that suits you!
5. Boppy Pillow!!
This soft horseshoe shaped pillow is a treasure for any mama it is such a simple invention but it is beyond incredible!! I used mine to help keep baby supported and snuggly in the pack and play I used it to help support baby while breastfeeding and then as baby gets older and starts sitting it assists them like a mini lounge chair. I also used it when I wanted some at home pictures I covered it with a blankie and posed baby laying down but propped up ever so slightly to get those big baby blues on camera :) Boppy pillows are fantastic and extremely useful and I loved having it for my other babies and used it all the time!
6. Receiving blankets!! These are perfect for swaddling baby, for wiping up messes, for throwing over your shoulder as a burp cloth, shade for the stroller or in your car, and using as a nursing cover, using as a make shift bib, for throwing down on those disgusting public bathroom changing tables, or even in a pinch fold and wrap it into a makeshift cloth diaper (when you realize you forgot to refill your diaper bag and are on an outing and left your wallet at home because sometimes that sleep deprivation catches up to you ;) but receiving blankets are essential and can be so multipurpose and oh so perfect!!
7. Beauxdreau's butt cream! This is a real thing and it was my cure all for diaper rash and heat rash on little bums and legs found this gem when we lived back in Louisiana and it worked so amazing I will never go back to another diaper cream!
8. Baby bedtime bath wash with lavendar not only is it gentle and get your baby squeaky clean but the lavendar is very soothing and really does help baby sleep in my experience!
9. Lanolin and mini ice packs!!
This one is more for mama... but breastfeeding isnt always easy and as my fellow mommy bloggers can relate, sorry but but the truth is dry, cracked nips happen (I know TMI but its true) and lanolin is the only thing that made breastfeeding bearable for me after the first week or so (I had double mastitis with both my boys and it was crazy painful and then my supply just dried right up) but lanolin is amazing and those mini ice packs you can find at walmart or the dollar store that look like little animals or characters (you know the kid booboo cold paks) are absolutely perfect to soothe sore aching boobies all you do is slip that bad boy in your nursing bra or a comfy sports bra with a lanolin greased nursing pad and just enjoy the cooling relief! Trust me its fantastic!!
10. And the number 10 must have on Shannon's list of must haves... Love!
♥Love♥ is the most important thing you can give to your baby! It's not easy getting up for late night/early morning feedings, sleepless nights are hard especially when you have to get up and try to function the next day! It is hard to give all of your energy to caring for your baby and taking care of the rest of your family when you are absolutely exhausted but if you lead with love you will find it becomes easier to be mommy and more enjoyable to give of yourself for your family. Babies cry and toddlers whine and there will always be a to do list a mile long but the love in your heart for your baby will overcome the hard times and remind you that when you are sacrificing sleep to feed your precious little one you are investing into a tiny person the tiny person that God has blessed you with!
My favorite verse of all time as I have said before is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" When I get frustrated I try to remind myself that even if I feel all alone or am up in the wee hours by myself soothing a crying baby I am NEVER alone and I remember how truly blessed I am to have a savior who loves me and cares for me every moment of every day just as I love and care for my baby every moment of every day! Love your baby, love your husband, love your kiddos show your family your love and they won't see the unfinished to do list, the times you fail and say things you shouldn't, or when you are feeling worn out and just done all they will see is that you love them and you care about them so much that you are willing to give all of your energy and your whole heart to them because you love them so!!
I am sure there are things we could add to this must haves list but these are my must haves when it comes to baby there are so many things you can get, so much stuff you can fill your house with but I believe the more simplified your wants and needs list is the less stressed you will be and more able you are to be the best mama you can be! Don't stress over the nursery luxury items women back in the day did not have the latest techno baby gadget they did the best they could with what they had and lavished their sweet babies with love! Our parents didn't have some of the baby latest and greatests available to us now and guess what we still survived. What's important is that you find what works for you but remember that your love is what really takes care of your baby not the gadgets!! I absolutely cannot wait to hold and snuggle my precious Baby M and breathe in his fresh baby sweetness! I know there will be late nights and some sleepless nights but I know that God is always faithful He will never give me more than I can handle and He is always with me! I also know that I love my family more than life itself and every little kick I feel throughout the day is a precious reminder of the sweet baby boy that I will be holding in a few more weeks!! I can't wait!!! I am so excited I can barely contain myself!! I love yall and hope that you have a wonderful day and that you hug your sweet families close!
Great big hugs and super excited about baby loves from my crazy house to yours... Shannon :) Sorry, I
Monday, October 7, 2013
This week I'm going to talk a little bit more about my EDS. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I've talked about it before, and have given a brief overview about what exactly it is, but I'll give another brief explanation before I move on, just in case anyone missed it or was confused before. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, type III. This is the hyper-mobile type, which means I'm very... "bendy". My ligaments are very, very loose, resulting in instability in my joints, which causes frequent subluxations (slipping of the joint) and dislocations.
*This is a VERY brief description
If you remember, about a month and a half ago, I talked about dislocating my shoulder. All I had done was wake up that morning, roll over and reach my right arm across my body to scratch my left arm... POP! Everything went hot and numb and the pain, though familiar, was gradually increasing and intense. And then I stood up. I shouldn't have stood up, but I had to get C out of his crib. I walked in front of my mirror and my shoulder was slumping and I realized I couldn't really move my arm and it was pretty much completely numb. Long story short, I ended up in the ER after getting my shoulder back in and feeling it slip back out. Because of the ER doctor, I did end up seeing my Primary Care Physician (PCP) and seeking a referral to an Orthopedist. My PCP confirmed that my shoulder seemed pretty damaged and she could see some "nasty, extra movement... even more than normal for you".
So... last week, I finally got to see an Ortho. And she.is.awesome!!!! I love her! She has not only heard of EDS, she is actually knowledgeable on the subject. I can tell you (and my EDS friends can confirm) for a fact that finding a doctor who is actually knowledgeable about EDS, as well compassionate toward the patient is so incredibly rare, we expect to need to show up to appointments with definitions, ready to provide a demonstration and still walk away feeling dissatisfied. In fact, the last time I met a doctor who had heard of EDS, was when I dislocated my left shoulder last year. This one was a much more "normal" EDS dislocation. (I will explain later.) This doctor told me that I seemed to have gotten my shoulder back in and should be fine, but how was my pain? I told him that my pain was awful. I had just dislocated and reduced my shoulder all on my own! He said "well, if you really do have EDS, you would be used to this kind of pain. Take some tylenol when you get home." I was floored. I felt like a crazy hypochondriac and as though I was just being pathetic. But no... I really was in pain. I detested that doctor for what he did to my confidence level, so when I met my Ortho last week, I was on cloud nine! My usual "test" to see if a doctor knows anything about EDS is as follows...
Doc: "What's going on today?"
Me: "Well, I have EDS. Do you know what that is?"
Doc: "No. I don't think so. Tell me about it. What does EDS stand for?" (typical response)
Me: "Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome." And then I go on to explain what it is and how it impacts my life, to which I have gotten my share of non-believing looks and doubtful glances. This is when I know that I have just wasted my time.
But my ortho... this is what SHE said...
Ortho: "So, you hurt your shoulder? How did you injure it?"
Me: "Well, I have EDS. Do you know what that is?"
Ortho: "I don't... wait... you mean Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?"
Ortho: "Okay... what type are you?"
Me: "III... Hyper-mobile."
I tell you, I could have kissed her in that moment! Although my PCP did not know what EDS was when I first saw her, I called ahead to warn her about my POTS and EDS, and when I showed up for my first appointment, she walked into the room with books and all kinds of research. I knew I'd be keeping her forever. :) But this Ortho... she is just awesome. I have never talked face to face with any health care professionals, or really anyone at all, who I didn't have to stop talking to every few seconds to offer an explanation or definition.
So, anyway... the Ortho did an exam and tested my mobility and range of motion for different types of potential damage. Before I could even finish the test - and in fact, I couldn't - she said that I gave her a positive for labrum damage. The labrum is the cartilage that is inside of the shoulder joint itself. She suspects that I tore my labrum when my shoulder dislocated. However, she did say that in examining my shoulder blade movement, both were bad, but my left was still worse. What's so bizarre about my situation this time around, is that my right shoulder is acting abnormally both for having suffered a dislocation, but also for an EDSer who has just had a dislocation. In a non-EDSer who has suffered a dislocation, the "typical" additional injury that is expected, is to the major ligament in the shoulder; in an EDSer, additional injury is actually not expected in any typical case, mostly because everything is so "stretchy" and usually allows for everything to move back into place without much fight. But this time, I sincerely did have a much harder time getting my shoulder back in. I never had dislocated my right shoulder before, so I'm not sure if this has anything to do with that, although I have had it slip several times in my life. So, the next step for me is to head back to physical therapy (I'm great with it since I get to keep my old physical therapist!), and then to an MRI. After we've gotten a better look at my labrum, we will be able to tell for sure if there is a tear or not. If it's torn, it would most certainly be a surgical issue. However, if it's not, it could or could not be a surgical issue and my Ortho is open to seeing what my PT has to say about what could be done for me as well as how much could be done for me in physical therapy. So, I'm a bit anxious to get this all figured out so I can start to feel better. At this point, I'm just frustrated. It's so hard to lift things, and having baby C by myself is a challenge. Though, at this point I am a little thankful that he's such a peanut! ;)
Speaking of Baby C... He had a check up today... a bit late, but that's just how it goes sometimes! So, even though he's 10 months old this week, it was still his 9 month well-baby check up. Like I said, he's a peanut! But he is growing consistently! He's currently a whopping 16lbs, 7oz and 27 inches long with a 17 inch head! Kid's got a melon on those shoulders. hehe! He also got the first half of his first flu shot. We have to take him back next month to get the second half. I also got the shot today, and it always makes me sleepy! Poor C had a rough afternoon. Yesterday, he cut a new tooth, today he's constipated, AND he got a shot! Poor buddy! He handled the shot well, though. He just got mad for a few seconds and then he was fine. But he was pretty grumpy all afternoon and I can't blame him. I just feel bad, because this time, he is constipated enough that we're going to need to do a suppository. I feel badly for him and for myself.
Well, that's all I have the energy for today! Next week I want to talk to you all about the other side of EDS: The caregiver's (for lack of a better term) story.
I hope you all have a beautiful evening and a wonderful Tuesday!
Zebra love and hugs,