Monday, February 27, 2017

Thinx Review

So Thinx...they're something I had been considering for awhile, but couldn't bite the bullet. I just didn't know...you've probably seen them in your Facebook feed as the "period panties."

Backstory, since I've had Remi and got my period back a few months ago, I have not been able to use tampons. I have used them since high school, and suddenly can't use them anymore. So now I feel 12 again having to use pads. Period talk is a little awkward for me, but I feel compelled to share my story, because it may help others.

Ever since I had Remi, my vaginal area has been very sensitive and "sore." I did tear quite bad with Remi and it was at the same exact place that I tore with Hank, so possibly a scar tissue issue? I plan on bringing this up with my doctor at my next appointment. Since my period has come back, the pain has become even worse. I've tried to use tampons and I can literally feel them inside of me and it's the most uncomfortable feeling and frankly HURTS! No matter what kind I use or how/where I insert it, or adjust it, it just doesn't work. My periods are also quite heavy. I do like using the soft cups but on heavy days they aren't practical or convenient because the only place I can change them is in the shower. So I've just been dealing with wearing pads...until this month.

I decided to give Thinx a try. Haven't heard of them? They are period underwear. You can use them on their own or as a backup to a pad, cup or tampon.

From the Thinx website (because they do such a good job explaining what they are): They're made up of four bits of tech that makes them anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. The top layer fights bacteria and absorbs any liquid into the ├╝ber thin layer right beneath it, so you always stay dry. This way, you can wear 'em all day long. And no, they don't feel like diapers, and it's not like sitting in your own blood. Boom.

They make them in different absorbencies and different styles. So you get what works for you. So here is my official review after using them for ONE cycle. At this point I only have 3 pairs of Thinx.

Day 1: Medium Flow: Used pads (because I didn't know exactly when I'd get my period).
Day 2: VERY HEAVY FLOW: Used pads because I only have 3 pairs and wanted to use them when I felt would work the best.
Day 3: Heavy flow. Wore ONLY the Thinx underwear. By about 3 pm, it seemed like they were going to "leak" so I decided to use a soft cup and had no issues the rest of the day.
Day 4: Medium flow. Wore ONLY the Thinx underwear and felt dry all day, no leaking, and frankly it didn't even feel like I had my period, which was awesome!!
Day 5: Light to Medium flow. Again wore ONLY the Thinx underwear and even better experience than the day before. 
Day 6: (Thinx were in the wash): But I plan on ordering more

I would HIGHLY recommend these for ANYONE. They feel dry all day long. You can't see the blood (AT ALL). They make me feel fresh (unlike pads). They're super comfortable!! I plan on ordering a few more pair so I can have them for backup on those first couple days and it'd be nice to have a pair at the end too and not have to worry about scrambling to do wash haha!! At the end of the day, you just rinse them out using cold water, and wash. I chose to wash them with towels, just in case haha. But they say you can wash them with your clothes, but I'll stick with my towels for now. Then you hang dry them (another reason I want more since they take longer to dry).

So if you'd like to give Thinx a try, here is a $10 off coupon for you (that helps me get $10 to use toward an order as well): http://fbuy.me/e2w41

Here's the product video too!! 

Feel free to ask me any questions as well!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Feeding a Newborn Baby Resource Guide

Hey!! So it's been a REALLY long time since I've written a blog post, I apologize for that. Life sure likes to get in the way, doesn't it?! This topic has been on my mind for awhile now, so I figured I'd go ahead and do a blog post about it.

Feeding a newborn baby should be a pretty cut and dry subject one would think...think again!! Feeding a newborn is definitely one of the hardest aspects of parenting. As a breastfeeding Mom you're constantly questioning yourself, mainly because you want the VERY best for your baby!! So I figured I'd put together this awesome resource guide. No matter if you're pregnant, just had a baby, or your baby is older, I'd like to say it's a good guide!

A little bit about my breastfeeding journey, I've collectively nursed my two children for just over 2.5 years. Hank who's now 3.5 nursed until he was 18 months and Remi who's now 14 months old nursed until he was 12.5 months.

Hank's breastfeeding journey started off very rocky as his latch was HORRIBLE causing me extreme pain, bleeding, cracking, you name it!! Once we fixed it (Medela Therashells cough cough, nipple cream, lots of air & making sure his mouth was open wide), it was pretty much smooth sailing all the way until he weaned at 18 months.



Remi's early breastfeeding journey wasn't much better since he was born with a lip tie and has an extremely high palate (the breastfeeding odds were stacked against him). We went through many nursing strikes with him and finally got his lip tie fixed at 6 months (after being told he didn't have one). Don't be like Angie and wonder haha. Go to an IBCLC and have them check it out!! After getting that fixed, he nursed much better! And with him things were *mostly* smooth-sailing until he weaned at 12.5 months.



So seriously, if I can do it with the odds thrown against me, anyone can haha!!

Because I have such passion for breastfeeding, after studying for over a year, in June, 2016, I officially became a Breastfeeding Counselor through Breastfeeding USA! Yay! What do I do? I provide peer support to mothers using evidence based information! It's so rewarding!!



So here's my favorite list of resources, if you have some favorites, please comment and I'll check them out and possibly even update the list!!

1) IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) Directory. IBCLC's are the BEES KNEES when it comes to breastfeeding. They know all when it comes to lactation. And they are GREAT to have on your side for any/all support! They are healthcare professionals specializing in the clinical management of breastfeeding and lactation. You may even have one right in the town you live in, look one up and "put them in your back pocket" http://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc

2) Breastfeeding USA's website! Lots of great articles here: https://breastfeedingusa.org/content/article/breastfeeding-information-articles and to find a breastfeeding counselor near you: https://breastfeedingusa.org/content/breastfeeding-counselor-locations -- I do most of my BC work online so definitely feel free to reach out to me personally as well via our chapter facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BFUSAWNY/ or shoot me an email!

3) Kelly Mom -- Ahh one of my favorite resources!! So much evidence based information on here. Everything from how much should you pump while away, to seeing if your baby has a good latch, to what to do if baby goes through a nursing strike. You name it, you'll find some great information on this website! http://kellymom.com/

4) The Honest Company's Feeding Page. Lots of great supplements here!

  • Their organic nipple balm is awesome and no need to wipe it off before you latch the baby, which is such a plus!! 
  • I really love their whole-food based prenatal. Mama needs to take care of herself in order to take care of her baby. So having the best prenatal is so important (YES, you need to still be taking prenatals even after you have your baby!)
  • Another thing I really loved was their lactation plus! It's made to help support healthy lactation & breastmilk production. It was just the kick in the butt I needed to up my supply for when I was pumping at work while away from baby
  • Check out the page here: https://www.honest.com/feeding

Like I said, I'm still looking for more breastfeeding resources to add to my back pocket so if you have some, please tell me about them!! Haha! I'm very interested in evidence based articles that are non-biased and helpful to mothers just trying to feed their babies! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Healthy Baby Home Party

Seventh Generation is doing their latest round of Healthy Baby Healthy Home parties!! Below is information & how to apply!! You get enough goodies for 10 guests to try all sorts of products!! Seventh Generation is an awesome eco-friendly company with great products!! By posting this on my blog & sharing with all of you earns me an extra entry into getting selected to host a party!



What is a Healthy Baby Home Party? 
Seventh Generation's home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!
Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, Plum Organics and Zarbee's Naturals.
What is the Application Process?
  • Sign up at generationgood.net to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
  • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
  • Applicants will be notified by end of March if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
  • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
  • 1,900 FREE Party Kits will be distributed in this round.
  • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
  • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the "Healthy Baby Home Party Application" offer.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Remi's Birth Story

I've been meaning to post this for awhile. I don't even have any excuses because I had this mostly typed up in the hospital!! Oops!! Anyways, here it is :)


Monday morning 10/26/15
* I woke up with lots of pressure, took Hank to daycare, came home and hung out & watched my newest guilty pleasure, The Real Housewives of Orange County
* Had a lot of Braxton Hicks, that were wrapping around to my back, but they were not intense
* Tracked my "contractions" on & off and they were about 8 minutes apart then I stopped tracking because I got annoyed! LOL
* Chatted with a girlfriend saying we were ready to have our babies and she told me to drink some of my red raspberry leaf tea!
* Picked up Hank from daycare at 12:30 pm & mentioned to the girls that I was feeling "off", I got home and put him down for nap & ate some lunch
* Timed contractions again & they were about 5 minutes apart but a little more intense than they were in the morning, but still not bad by any means (snuggling with Hank when he woke up) 

* Because they were averaging about 5 minutes apart, I called my OB at 2:20 pm and they said to head to L&D to get checked out
* Called Casey to come home from work & told him to take his time because I wasn't sure if I was in actual labor or not. I texted Mary that she needed to take Hank and she sent Marcus over to pick Hank up and we headed to the hospital at 3:20 pm, but not without stopping at Redbox first to drop off my movie (Pitch Perfect 2) 

* Contractions got closer (about every 2.5 minutes) and much more intense on the way to hospital. I think Casey was getting a little nervous as I kept grabbing ahold of the "oh shit handle". Thank goodness we were before rush hour and didn't run into any traffic problems!
* Casey dropped me off while he went to park his car, I went to the ER and got lots of stares and the person on duty brought me up to the L&D unit. 
* Got into triage and was checked and the resident estimated I was around 5 cm, but then the Doctor came in and estimated I was closer to 7 cm. Holy shit! I really was in labor. While waiting to get into a delivery room, I went to the bathroom and saw my bloody show. I also texted my birth photographer, Lisa, to let her know she should head to the hospital. I think I gave her a mini heart attack 
* I was officially admitted at 4:38 pm
* Contractions were getting really intense and I asked for epidural because the back pain was unbearable. At this point I was picturing a long night ahead of us. So, I asked for the epidural at 5:30 pm.
* They started an IV and wanted to get antibiotics started ASAP since I was GBS+. They prefer to have the antibiotics in for at least 4 hours. They were happy I asked for the epidural in hopes it would stall labor a bit so I could have as much of the antibiotic as possible. 

Mid contraction:

In between contractions:

* After the epidural was placed I was feeling the contractions still & at this point the contractions were on top of each other with virtually no break in between them, so the doctor gave me a second dose and it finally started kicking in by probably 7 pm
* I told them I kept feeling pressure in my bum so they decided to have me checked again and I was fully dilated. This was just minutes after the epidural had kicked in. 
* So I started pushing at 7:10 pm 
* I said "maybe baby will be born in the caul!" because at this point my water still had not broken & they said waters bulging, then pop and it broke 
* Since the epidural had just kicked in, I couldn't feel when I was pushing, so it was basically guessing game. It's not something I would recommend. I would rather have that feeling of when to push. Had I realized I was "right there" I wouldn't have gotten the epidural. 
* I got to feel his head as he was crowning, it was the coolest thing!
* I had Remington Scott Astry at 7:50 pm. 7 lb 15 oz, 18 3/4 inches. We were "team green" and Casey told me "Remi has a weiner!" Apparently the OB spilled the beans in the delivery room when I was pushing, but neither of us caught it thankfully!! Haha!

* I needed an episiotomy (again) and had a 3rd degree tear in the same spot as I had with Hank. They told me the healing process would likely be worse this time around but instead I healed much faster and felt much better after this birth than I did with Hank. I had no problem at all moving around!
* I was able to do skin to skin with Remi for probably an hour, during which that time he pooped on me! They said he probably would've been 8 lbs had they weighed him when he was first born haha!! 
* We nursed for the first time in the delivery room when he was about an hour old, he had a VERY strong latch! I told the doctors he was a little piranha!!
Overall, I had an awesome labor and delivery experience! I hope my next labor goes just as fast!! I'm so glad I hired a birth photographer to capture my labor & delivery, if you'd like to see the pictures, here's the link: http://dorkystorkphotography.pixieset.com/remingtonastrybirth/

I also ended up getting my placenta encapsulated this time and I'm so glad I did!! I felt so amazing just days after giving birth & best of all, no PPD!! Hallelujah!! 

First picture as a family of 4: 

Look at that hair!!

Heading home: 


Here's my Detailed contraction history from the "Full Term" app: 


My morning contractions :



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hank Bumps Video


So I realized that I NEVER shared this with you guys!! I can't believe I forgot! I came across it the other day to share with a friend so I wanted to put it on here as well. My brother in law, Tyler, put this together for me last Summer! Casey wanted me to take a picture every day when I was pregnant with Hank, if I'm remembering correctly, I started the pictures around 8 weeks or so. The last picture was taken at 39w5d as I was sent to hospital in the afternoon on 39w6d and had him at 40w.

PS Pay close attention to 20 weeks in ;)

Enjoy! 

8 week update


Soooo, this pregnancy I have been SUPER nauseous!! It's definitely a big change from when I was pregnant with Hank. It's occurring on and off all day long! I'm starting to get used to it though, it started when I was around 4 weeks along!

We announced our pregnancy this week, so that was exciting! I couldn't believe it that the Facebook video had over 4K views! (here's the original post) Insane!! I appreciate everyones thoughts, prayers and support!!

My "bump" is growing SUPER fast. I know they say you show sooner with each subsequent pregnancy, but holy moly! I couldn't hide this baby if I tried haha!! My ovaries are still very swollen but fluid seems to be going down so that's good! Lots of growing going on. I'm feeling it in my uterus and lots of round ligament pain too. Which is normal, it happened super early with me for Hank as well!

Below are some pictures and our flipagram announcement video :D

PS -- in case you haven't "heard" we are NOT finding out the sex of the baby until birth :D

Our Flipagram Announcement video


6 weeks pregnant



7 weeks pregnant

7w1d ultrasound -- released from Buffalo IVF. HB 134 BPM

Due in October :D 7w1d here

8 weeks pregnant

8w1d ultrasound -- 1st OB appointment. HB 174 BPM.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Surprise!

So, it sure has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks!!

Let me back track a little bit. Following the embryo transfer, my OHSS symptoms got stronger (as expected). My ovaries were VERY sore and I was quite bloated. Thankfully the symptoms were very mild!!

Saturday (February 14th), I got a wonderful message from my cycle buddy that was a pregnancy test with a very faint positive!! Of course they got darker each day, it sure was making me want to test, even though I said I wouldn't and I would wait for the beta (blood pregnancy test). On Monday, my ovaries started aching again. Dr. Griffin said OHSS symptoms would come back when the HCG hit my system again. So I took that as a VERY good sign that I was pregnant.

Well, Tuesday morning (February 17th) I was anxious all morning and decided to run to Rite Aid on my lunch break to pickup some pregnancy tests. I was still debating whether I would use them or not. Well of course as soon as I got home. I ripped open a test, read the instructions (haha) and peed and waited what felt like forever!! I saw that 2nd line come up and got so excited. So excited that I wrote on the test wrong. It should say 8dp5dt which means 8 days past 5 day transfer (I switched the p and the d haha). I immediately called Casey and was so glad he answered!! He was excited but couldn't believe I gave in and tested. I never tested with my previous two pregnancies, I always waited for beta. I was so sure I was pregnant though, so I had to do it! Haha! So of course I had to continue testing the following two days, it was so awesome watching it get darker each day. I can't even describe how much more gratification I got out of these tests than I did a beta number haha! And the reason I never tested before was because I've only ever gotten negatives on pregnancy tests, so I literally hated them!! Something came over me!! Haha!!

Anyways, beta was on Friday February 20th and came in at 248, which is great! It was higher than it was with Hank and a day earlier. I had follow up blood work on Tuesday February 24th and that came in at 1169, which is awesome! It should double every 48-72 hours so it more than did this. They scheduled my first ultrasound for Thursday February 26th.




On Wednesday February 25th I took my first bump picture. Because of the OHSS, my ovaries are very swollen which contributes a lot to my "bump" haha!


The first ultrasound showed exactly what we thought it would. One perfect look gestational sac! The doctor thinks he can kind of see a yolk sac in there too but it's a little too early to really see that. The gestational sac is the little black hole in the middle of the picture. Down in the bottom right and bottom left of the picture shows all the free standing fluid. My ovaries are filled with fluid as is the area surrounding my uterus. This is very normal for OHSS. This fluid will start going down over the coming weeks. There is no harm to the baby, just causes discomfort for me. I couldn't hide this bump if I wanted to from all this fluid haha!! 


So on Thursday night we decided we would send Hank to dinner at the hotel in his new big brother tee shirt so we could announce the pregnancy. I handed Hank to Mary to take off Hank's jacket (in hopes she would read his shirt), of course she sat him right down haha!! Casey and I just kept staring at each other wondering when she would notice!! Finally after 10 minutes or so, we couldn't take it anymore. Casey leans over to his Dad and says, "Tell Mary to read Hank's shirt!" So Bob yelled over to Mary and she finally did and started crying and freaked out!! It was so much fun finally being able to do a fun announcement like this as most people didn't know we were doing IVF again. 


I sent the picture below to our close friends and family that weren't at the hotel to announce the pregnancy. Of course everyone was super excited, as are we!! 


Thank you everyone for all the thoughts and prayers during the process, we really appreciate them!! We would appreciate them to be continued over the next 8 months as well. Official due date is October 28, 2015 :)

PS -- This still is not Facebook Official so please no sharing on there! :D