These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and….

 

Ohhh, you already know that song. Got it. Well here are a few of my favorite things this week (well, that I’m talking about this week. They are actually my favorite things all of the time and I want to share)!

The first one I’m going to talk about is Skinny & Company. I LOVE this brand. It is the only chemical free coconut oil on the market. It is not even comparable to your store bought organic brands (even your Whole Foods approved brands) because it is just that much better. A whopping 19% of the ingredients don’t even have to be listed on the labels of those brands. Do you want diesel fuel going on your skin or into your body? I don’t and that’s why I am a huge proponent of Skinny & Co. and want all of you coconut oil lovers to get on board with it. Not only do they make the cooking oil which has an added digestive enzyme in it, but they also have a beauty segment with balms and cleansers that have essential oils that serve a purpose. For instance the clarifying cleansing balm helps with skin issues like acne while the rejuvenating balm has anti-aging properties. Since this is such a high grade coconut oil your skin soaks it up and you can automatically notice a difference. Trust me and try it by clicking on my link below.

Coconut Oil – 16oz
from: Skinnyandcompany.com

My favorite products are the pure baby, peppermint oil pull, Coconut Oil (for cooking), Rejuvenating cleansing balm, and Lavender deodorant.

 

Next, if you’re expecting (a baby, that is) or still learning the ropes as a new mommy check out the Mellow Mama on youtube. Most of her philosophies on child rearing are right up my alley. I’ve watched her episodes from the beginning but I just recently binged on the ones I missed like the new season of Game of Thrones had just been released. She really embraces everything that being a mother is. She shows her vulnerable side and is strong at the same time. She chooses a path and sticks to it, even if people don’t agree with it.
With my daughter Cosette, I’ve chosen to do some things that I get weird looks for. It doesn’t matter though because I choose to do these things because she’s my only daughter and I only have this one chance to raise her. I want to do it in the smartest way possible. I used to think the only thing I was or am good at is being an actor, but now I know I’m good at being a mom too. I don’t judge anyone and their choices in raising their children. I believe that most of us do the very best we can. I’m not super strict as I believe some things are ok in moderation. I feel that if I were super strict that she would rebel later on. When I am strict, even though she’s only 8 months old, I explain to her why we are making a certain choice whether it has to do with food, trying to play with something that can hurt her, etc…
I want her to want to make healthy choices and good decisions. I believe that the more I teach Coco good values and how to live in a healthy and happy way that it will follow her into adulthood. It’s what I’ve tried to do in my own life before becoming a mom. I can’t change anyone’s opinion by writing it on facebook, I can lead by example and hope that someone learns from it.  The Mellow Mama puts a lot of things into perspective and often I find myself following her lead or thinking about something important that I’ve never taken into consideration. Oh and her real name is Kaitlyn! Follow her on instagram @themellowmama and click here to subscribe to her youtube channel.

Finally, this week I want to mention My Serenity Kids. Click here to check out their website. I learned about this brand of child friendly pouches on the Whole Mama’s podcast. Take a listen to that too if you have the time! Often I buy baby food from the store to keep in the diaper bag or to send with Coco when she’s at daycare or at her Grandparent’s and sometimes when I’m lazy and don’t have the best dinner prepared I’ll give her one too. Lately when I’m in a bind like that I just cut an avocado in half and that’s been the perfect solution. However after learning more about My Serenity Kids, I found that the amount of sugar that are in the baby pouches appropriate for Cosette’s age is unreal! Plus it’s hard to find any pure organic veggies or protien options. You’d expect that it would be easy but it’s not. The only way to give your child a healthy option is to puree it yourself or give her real foods when baby led weaning (which is what we are doing). Here is where My Serenity Kid saves the day. All of their combos are packed with protein, have no additional sugars, and are super baby/kid friendly. They are paleo approved and are the best option when you are in a pinch. They are now available in some Whole Foods markets, but if you go online and get a bundle there is a huge savings. Coco has tried all three flavors and loves them. They are grass fed and pastured meats mixed with organic veggies and healthy fats. Breast milk is the best milk and the most nutrient dense at this point for us (as we are willing and able – I know it’s not an option all of the time), but these are great options. Here is link to their about-us page so you can take a look yourself!

Push it, push it real good.

I didn’t have the best pregnancy. It’s so interesting how pregnancies differ from woman to woman. My first trimester was filled with 24/7 morning sickness, I craved sweets, and often couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded good and seemed nutritious enough to feed my growing baby. From the very beginning my baby seemed to measure a little small from check up to check up. However, she remained healthy and there wasn’t anything that seemed out of the ordinary. Although, my pregnancy was considered “high-risk” because of my age (37), there wasn’t anything special I had to pay attention to. 

My second trimester was much better compared to the first, even though I had bouts of different symptoms. I started eating a little better, working out when I could and then before I knew it, those feel good sporadic moments ended and I entered my third trimester. 

During the third trimester you start going into check ups weekly with your doctor just to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as she should be. It was at one of these appointments that the doctor raised her eyebrows and noticed that the measurements were smaller than they should be, especially this late in the game. We scheduled a follow up appointment for a sonogram the next week so they could get a more accurate picture. Following that next appointment it was determined that the baby was much smaller than she should be at this stage so I was sent to the high risk doctor. At first they though it was just her belly that seemed small, but the high risk doctor found that she was small in every aspect.

After my visit to the high risk doctor, we decided that it would be better to be induced a couple of weeks early. My pregnancy was considered an IUGR pregnancy (Intrauterine Growth Restriction)…. Basically my placenta wasn’t feeding her enough nutrients in order for her to grow at the rate she needed to. I was originally due on June 20th and we scheduled an induction for June 8th. From what I understand, IUGR can cause major complications, but since it occurred later in my pregnancy there wasn’t as much risk as long as we induced a little early. At 38 weeks, I was still full term. 

On June 7th I went into my schedule appointment and I hadn’t dilated at all at this point. Swollen from head to toe and as uncomfortable as a penguin in the desert, I was more than ready to have this baby. My husband and I checked into the maternity ward around 3:00 p.m. and got settled in for what would be a very long night. As soon as I was given the cervidil to help with dilation I started having more contractions. I always had the worst cramping growing up during my cycle, and this felt like the the worst of those cramps time and time again. Around midnight they gave me some medication to dull the pain so I could try to get some sleep. Getting sleep is hard when someone comes in every 30 minutes to an hour to check on you or get some piece of paperwork signed. 

After what seemed like such a long night I was excited that morning had come because I was anxious and ready. Being so uncomfortable, I was just ready for the next step. My doctor came in around 8 and gave me the lowdown. The nurse had previously checked my cervix and informed us that it didn’t seem like I had dilated at all. The doctor confirmed that I was half a centimeter to 1 centimeter, if that. She said that she’d try to see if there was a chance she could break my water but made sure that I knew it was a slight chance, given where my body was at in the process. She and the nurse both told us that it was highly likely that I would have to have a c-section the next day if the circumstances didn’t improve. 

Low and behold, it hurt like crazy (LIKE CRAZY), but she broke my water! I had told the nurse earlier that morning that I thought my water might have broken when I was in the shower. I guess I had no idea what that flood would feel like!! It was like a warm rush of liquid that seemed never ending at the time. 

The Doctor told me that she’d be back to check on me after her rounds. Her last appointment in her office next to the hospital was at 2:00 p.m. She said I probably wouldn’t go into labor until the evening and possibly the next day. Little did she know, baby girl wanted to arrive a bit more quickly. 

An hour later I had already gotten my epidural and was dilated to 4 centimeters. The nurse had asked when I wanted my epidural and I told her that I wanted it is soon as I could get it. As soon as my water had broken I was already having very painful contractions (and I thought the night before was bad, who knew?). My husband helped me through that process and once the epidural was in place I felt much better.

The next time she checked in on me nothing had changed. My mom got there and we gave her the updates and told her we’d be playing the waiting game for quite a while. The nurse turned me onto my right side to see if that would help move things around a bit.

The next thing I know, I’m talking to my mom and husband and I have a very painful contraction. Gripping the sides of the bed and crying, I just know that I’ve opened up a little. The nurse comes in and I tell her so, so she checks to see how much I’ve dilated at this point. Her head is coming out!!

Deep breaths.

The nurse calls the doctor on her radio to let her know this is happening and happening now and the doctor says she just had to finish up one quick appointment. Then the nurse reiterated that this was something that couldn’t wait. She really meant that the baby was coming NOW.

My nurse seriously took charge and started running the show. If the doctor wasn’t going to be on time, then we were going to have the baby without her. I never trusted anyone more than my nurse and am so grateful that she was the one in the room with us. All of a sudden there was a team of people in the room.

My mom and husband were both on my right side holding my hand and I was uncontrollably shaking and crying. My bodies reaction to the pain and circumstances was more than I could have imagined. 

The nurse instructed me on breathing and pushing in intervals and the baby slowly started making its way. My doctor flew in just in time to take over and my baby was delivered in the next several minutes. She told my mom and husband not to worry, and that my reaction was just hormones. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around the her foot so had to be cut loose and she was immediately taken by the nurses. While I was getting stitched up they were working on the baby. I didn’t know what was going on, but my husband kept staring in her direction watching it all. I looked up at him and it didn’t seem like all was ok. I’ll never forget seeing the image of her when she was delivered. So dark and tiny and still. She was born at 11:05am.

With so much going on it was hard to focus and understand anything, but I remember being a little worried. More so because the look on his face, trying not to worry but knowing that he was. My mom there, telling me everything was fine and that I did such a good job. After what seemed like forever, we heard the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard in my life and I started crying. It turns out that she wasn’t breathing and they had to unclog her little throat. 

We weren’t able to hold her and I wasn’t able to see her closely for about an hour. She measured in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces so could not keep her body temperature up. When she was finally warm enough, they wrapped her up and put two stocking hats on to keep her head warm and finally handed her to me. 

What a feeling. 

Shortly after, my Dad, Sister, Mother and Father In-law arrived.

Cosette Isabela had her eyes wide open, taking everything in and all of a sudden was our little girl who stole our whole hearts in such a short amount of time.

I hope this is an experience I’ll never forget. It was the hardest experience I’ve ever had, and also the best. 

It showed me how strong I am and it was also something that brought me and my husband even closer. I was so lucky that my mom was there too. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without them.