About Me

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DFW, Texas, United States
I am a new mom navigating the world of baby wearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and becoming a parent. And we do all this while living on the llama farm. These are my random writings, rants, raves, and ramblings.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Power of Oxytocin

Wow, it has been a really long time since I posted. Beside the fact I haven't had a whole lot of interesting things to say, it has been a really rough summer on the llama farm.
But, of all things, I felt compelled to write about me smashing the SHIT out of my finger tonight. Yes, SMASHING THE SHIT out of my finger. I gave birth completely unmedicated and I can say that this was probably some of the worst pain I have ever been in.
We were out to dinner when I experienced a major chair malfunction that left me in some excruciating pain. Of course while I'm trying to avoid puking my guts out / totally passing out, Reagan starts getting upset and fussing. I tell Mark to get him away because his cries were stressing me out.
While writhing in pain, I start flipping through my mental folder of natural remedies and remember that breastfeeding = oxytocin = happy feel good hormones. So I motion Mark over and grab Reagan and put a booby in his mouth. Beside him quieting down, the pain immediately subsided. I could breathe again and the nausea quickly went away.
Fortunately, (with the help of a large glass of wine and my finger in ice) I was able to eat dinner without puking. Not to mention my friends were impressed that I was nursing my child while in the throes of pain.
My finger is jacked, but at least I can maintain my superhero mom status.

Warning - graphic pic

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Llama Shearing Day - 2011

Wow, I did abandon post for a while, but it's been kinda busy here on the farm.  A week and half ago we went about getting all of the llamas sheared (well, all but one of them).  It was a long, busy day, but I think we did kind of enjoy ourselves.  Reagan was a real trooper.   He slept through most of it, and just kind of observed the rest.  The morning started off cool and crisp, but by afternoon it had gotten pretty hot.

We usually don't shear until sometime in May, but I really pushed to get it done in April this year, and I'm glad I did.  We've already had some 90 + degree days.  Along with the heat, we've had some pretty crazy storms roll through as well.  There have been winds around 40 mph, hail, and quite a few tornado watches (nothing that's actually come through here, luckily).  Last weekend we were out rehanging the barn doors, which is no small task, because the wind nearly took them away.  I also noticed yesterday that some of the high winds had damaged some metal roofing on both the barn and the shop.  I guess that's what we'll be doing this weekend.
Titty Baby has decided to move into our front porch - I caught her laying in one of the truck's shadow the other day.  And anytime I open the garage door, she tries to come in.

By the way, Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Bread Recipe Posted!

If you'd like an alternative to the lactation cookies, give this recipe a try!  It turned out pretty well, and even Mark liked it.  Feel free to use and make it your own.  Please let me know what changes you make to the recipe - I'm always interested in variations!

Milk Makin' Mamas

I've been meaning to sit down and write this post for awhile now, but being sick and having a sick kiddo have sidelined it for a bit.
Recently, I've had a lot of friends with babies ask me about milk supply - certainly not because I know anything more than what the internet lends, but that we're all trying to bounce ideas off of each other.  Around a month post partum, nursng was well established for us, and supply was maintaining really well; so much that I was fortunate enough to donate around 60 or 70 ounces.  But a few months ago I ended up with a nasty case of mastitis that all but killed my milk supply.
Since then I've been fighting plugged ducts and working like crazy to re-establish a supply.  I tried to nurse, and nurse, drink lots of water, nurse some more, and always have a stash of lactation cookies on hand.  I started back on the fenugreek and watched my food (calorie) intake.  I felt like I was just barely making it, but I kept trying to "trust my body".
Reagan's nursing behavior was getting really bad.  He would tug, pull away, turn his head, and kick.  I didn't know why he was nursing this way, but I kept thinking something was wrong.
The other night at the TCBN meeting, I was fortunate enough to briefly talk with Mellanie Sheppard, an IBCLC, about Reagan's vicious nursing behavior.  She said that between 3 or 4 months post partum, milk production will even out and his behavior could be due to a slower let down or decreased supply.  Since then I've made it my mission to find something that worked.
My midwife suggested a supplement by Mountain Meadow Herbs called Maxi Milk that seemed to make a difference.  It tastes awful, but whatever works, right?
A friend wrote me and said that her La Leche League contact suggested a hospital grade pump, which sounded like great advice to me, so I thought I'd give it a try as well.
So, if you're curious, or in need of suggestions, this has become my milk-makin' repertoire:
Maxi Milk -  3x's a day, as directed
Prenatal vitamins
Fenugreek caplets - either 3 caplets 2x's a day or 2 caplets 3x's a day
Echinacea caplets
Pumping with the Medela Symphony pump
Lactation cookies, bread, or smoothies

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kacie's Birth Story is Posted!

Take a look at the birth story of Keller Ryan!  A beautiful birth of a beautiful boy!

Coming soon ~ Breastmilk supply issues and remedies...

What problems have you experienced?  What has worked for you?

Recently, I've had quite a few people ask me about these issues and solutions.  I've certainly experienced my own supply problems.  I've been doing some work on some remedies and should have a post up in a few days, so please comment so we can address all of our booby issues!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writing your birth story

A few months ago I stumbled upon BOLD of Fort Worth's The Art of Birth web page.  They had asked people to submit their birth stories for an anthology that will be published and shown at their mixed media art project April 30th, so I decided to spend the afternoon putting into words my birth experience (or at least what I remembered of it) and submit it.  A few nights ago I received an email saying that they had chosen it to be published, and I have to say that I'm pretty excited about it and can't wait to see the final product.
Mostly, I was happy to explain why we chose to have a home birth and how rewarding the experience was.  I hope that it will encourage others to consider their birthing options.
I had a lot of fun writing our birth story so I would like to encourage you to do the same.  I've created a page on my blog where I will be publishing them and hopefully you all will be reading them.  I have also posted our birth story that is to be published.
Please email me your birth story at vljessen01@gmail.com  There is no deadline and I am happy to continue posting them as long as I receive them.
Also, please check out BOLD of Fort Worth's page.  Their organization benefits the Tarrant County Birth Network.