Part One: Breastfeeding Series

I’ve sustained life in three children for months.

Each time got a little easier but each time got harder to stop.

With my first I breastfed until he was about 4 months, and pumped until he was 6 months. I had such a weird experience with him as I didn’t have proper coaching or connections for help. I could have lasted or done better if I would have known about tongue or lip ties. For months, I had the hardest time getting him to latch and not have stabbing pain. Now I’m convinced he had to of had either of the two. With him I also battled thrush terribly as well and we kept passing it back and forth. After about two weeks I switched to pumping and it eventually went away by itself, and some herbal help, for both of us.

With my second I had even better luck nursing and was able to nurse until 6 months, and pump for about month longer. Right around the time I went back to work a little more than part-time, my supply dropped dramatically. I tried doing home remedies to increase supply (which worked) but I wouldn’t be able to extract it as often as needed during a working shift. I ended up getting mastitis 4 times. Ho-ly buckets, I thought thrush was bad.. ha! Mastitis was a whole other ball game. After the 4th time I threw my arms up and ended my journey. It’s kind of like a cat and mouse game with supply and demand. They say that your body will produce enough milk to feed your baby if your exclusively breastfeeding, and to pump after a feeding to get a storage if that’s what you wish to do. I couldn’t find that fine line between producing just enough to get a good stock and over producing.

So with my third little, I had every intention to go up until a year. I mean, I had yet the chance to get that far, so why not?! The first few weeks he had a hard time latching and getting a good latch to stay. But once we got over that hump it became the most successful, joyful breastfeeding experience I’ve ever had. I was nursing on demand, and really didn’t have a chance to stock up storage breast milk but would pump when I could here and there. I’m not sure if I mentioned in previous posts but Kase, my last one, was really colicky the first 3.5-4 months of his life. It was the hardest newborn stage I had ever endured. We cried together many times. So nursing on demand all hours of the day and night worked to keep everyone sane. I also didn’t have time to stress about getting a milk stock. With that being said I really didn’t do anything to keep supply up or increase it more. All I did was drink Mother’s Milk tea by Traditional Medicinal’s almost daily, and really made sure I was drinking enough water and electrolyte drinks.

Breast milk is incredible to watch in stages of your baby’s growth. Sometimes your milk is really fatty, other times it’s really thin and hydrating. When I first gave birth I was doing well in the IBD department. I really was craving avocados and ate at least one a day if not two some days. As things started to go south with my IBD my milk nutrient density also started to drop as well. Looking back at the milk I had stored from the beginning it was so thick and creamy looking, compared to the thin, watery milk I was getting just a couple of weeks ago.

Obviously when a mother is pregnant, all of her nutrients goes to the baby. Whatever is extra gets back to mom. The same goes for when mom’s breastfeeding as well. It’s part of the divine design to make sure that the milk as nutrient dense as possible to make sure babe is growing strong and healthy. I already started behind the 8-ball having Crohn’s, which is a nutrient absorption disease. I already don’t take in enough nutrients as is, but now I’m dumping all that I have left into a milk supply. As I got sicker and sicker my milk became weaker and weaker. My little was getting up almost every two hours because he wasn’t full enough. Now mind you, he has been in the 90th percentile for weight almost his entire little baby life. So he was not being shorted on the calorie scale what-so-ever, he just wasn’t full enough to sleep. through. the. night.

It was the best breastfeeding journey I’ve had with any of my children, but I had to end it.

The last time I nursed, I tried not to make a big deal about it. Now, looking back I wish I took it in a little bit more. When I did decide to end officially I had only a couple of days with discomfort and luckily I didn’t have any bouts with mastitis. I did have to pump a few times here and there just to relieve the discomfort but I have now officially packed the Medela away. Which I am planning to donate to another young mom in need, local to me.

I am so blessed to be able to talk about this topic. I am thankful every single day that I was able to carry 3 beautiful babies to term, with pretty normal deliveries, and I could nurse… all with an IBD. I am a firm believer in a fed baby is best. I also believe the Colostrum that is produced for the first few feedings is so dang important for development and immune support. I wish every mother was able to nurse their babies at least for the first few days of life. I was never breastfed, so it was a first time experience for my mom to witness as well. Who knows what the Colostrum would have done to my immune system? Would I be were I am today if I was? I think any amount of time a baby can get mothers milk is an achievement, whether from the breast or a pump. Every length of time is a celebration. Even for moms who can’t breastfeed, a fed baby is something to celebrate. I will say the ease of just being able to feed where ever, whenever will certainly be missed. As mixing bottles and constantly making sure we have formula on hand is a bit of a pain. I’ve nursed in some of the weirdest places and luckily never had any shame.

I was anticipating on publishing this post last Tuesday, but I ended up holding it back and making a little mini series of it. So make sure to stay tuned for next weeks post about things I’ve endured during my breastfeeding journey and how I overcame them. I know during my breastfeeding journey I googled E V E R Y T H I N G, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to tell you what did work and what didn’t work. I’ll make sure to link to products I found that worked best, which nursing cover I loved and still can’t part with, and exactly which pump lasted me all 7 years!

Chao for now

-Heather

So Here’s the Deal…

I have made a revelation in the recent days, I suck as consistency. I need to commit to myself and my dreams and STAY CONSISTENT. Tuesday’s blog day! I have a few posts loaded up in the drafts waiting media… I just keep pushing it off. I have so much to say I really just need to start publishing them.

No mud. No lotus.

I use this platform to track my mental health and emotional health with my chronic IBD, Crohn’s disease. To inspire and educate on nutrition, spiritual grow, personal growth, and healthy living DAILY techniques and tricks. I love challenges, I love triumphs, I love come backs. I’m a mom who strives for healthy snacks and binges in flaming hot Cheetos every so often. We don’t have cable, I’m sick of comparing on Insta, and I unplug my WiFi at night. I miss reading articles that move me, so I’ll start creating them.

I love and aspire to create content on motherhood✨parenting ✨marriage✨ wellness✨ functional medicine ✨ nutrition ✨ homesteading ✨ gardening ✨digestive health ✨ IBD ✨ skincare ✨ fashion ✨ personal csre✨ books✨ mindful living ✨ spiritual growth ✨ personal growth ✨ inspiration ✨

I like to call myself the glam hippie, I’ll show up with pink lipstick, lashes and chat about gut health and supplements for hours. I’m thinking a new name for the blog, any ideas? Comment below!

Boom. Let’s go!

Confidence

Confidence.

The opposite of fear.

The word that has boosted me through the first 4 months of 2019. My mantra to continue out through the year.

“Self confidence is the result of surviving a risk” – Jack Canfield

Fear, if I let it, would sit in the drivers seat of my entire life.

I actively work to better my life and spirituality in all aspects with numerous techniques. And I have come to the conclusion that fear is the base of most of my triggers.

Fear will not control my happiness.

There is so much joy to be had this year and I want to soak in it all.

What’s Next?!

We’re coming up to a year of my big health scare last year.

Well actually we are just about 2 months out to an exact year.

When I went through everything I unexpectedly found out that I was expecting! So from that point on I spent 9 months in a stagnant health state. Not really healing but not really flaring. Here I am 3 months postpartum and I am about a month deep in a flare. Nothing too out of control, thankfully, but enough to run me down.

I have been dealing with IBD symptoms and pain for almost three years straight and I’ve had enough!

My GI is actually prescribing me another biologic. My heart pounds with anxiety thinking about it. The reason the abscess happened last time is because of the biologic I was on. I am so desperate I agreed to another drug.. Entyvio. However I’m currently still breastfeeding and there is evidence of the medication traveling through milk- to the baby. An immunosuppressant traveling to my already immune compromised infant. I haven’t fully grasped what the hell I’m doing here.

Obviously I need to be healthy to take care of my kiddos. But something about this entire situation doesn’t sit well with me. So much so, I have two 2nd opinions lines up at two different facilities. (Thank you Jesus for insurance). Tell me I’m not crazy, I should follow this gut feeling right?!

Flares are sometimes out “out of my control” but a lot of time they are because of something I’m doing, ingesting, or stressing about. Ironically the fact that I’m flaring is stressing me out!

The hardest part about coping with this disease is that it doesn’t go away. It just lingers and springs up, sometimes out of nowhere. What I don’t understand about autoimmune diseases is how my body decided one day it’s going to start attacking itself. I know the biologically, and physiologically why it happens but on a more simpler context… why?

I have my first post MRI in a few weeks. And many very anticipated appointments coming up which I’m hoping to get promising news at least one of them. As the saga unveils I’ll be sure to post, as I decide what’s next for my IBD journey.

-Heather

6 Podcasts I am Currently Listening to.

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I’ll be completely honest I LOVE listening to audio books more than I like to listen to podcasts. I have however found a few that I’m currently obsessed with. In no particular order here are the 6 podcasts I’m loving right now.

1

Oh Rachel, aka Yoga Girl, you have influenced my life in so many ways. I love you and everything you represent. Her instagram is where I was first introduced to her and her insanely raw content. Right around the time she lost her best friend in a car accident. It was incredibly heartbreaking watching her posts unravel the true emotions of loosing a soulmate. Her vulnerability and authenticity to her emotions and heartbreak made me realize so many things I could change in my life to make it better and more authentic to my beliefs. More importantly to be kind and love, always come from a place of love. But since then she has blossomed into a true influencer and her words have stretched farther and farther from her instagram. She is the founder of Yoga Girl the company, Sargent Peppers animal rescue and foundation, and there has been word of an orphanage!! She is all about representing companies with good intentions, and mindful of the impact they have on the Earth, humans, and animals alike. Her podcast is sooo good to listen to. I can connect with her on soo many levels. If you need some spiritual uplifting, positive influence, real/raw content check out her podcast From the Heart Conversations with Yoga Girl.

2.

Jenna Kutcher’s podcast The Goal Digger has been so great to listen to. More ideas on how to grow social media, my blog, and myself flourish on her podcast. I also follow Jenna’s instagram and love watching her beautiful family shine. She recently welcomed her first baby girl right around the same time we welcomed our newest member. She is a huge advocate for self love, shining bright in the body you have been blessed with, and to be kind towards everyone. I love her content but I have to support a sconi girl when I can 🙌🏼 Head on over to her podcast and give it a listen.

 

3.

This one may not be the best option for the baseball carpool, but it sure will spice up your day. I love listening to Emily talk about tricks to spice it up a bit- the good ol’ fashioned way- in the dinning room. Or the bathroom, hallway, kitchen, bedroom, whatever. Listening to her talk about other issues couples have makes you feel super normal in marriage. It takes effort and it’s important to show intimacy and to receive it as well. You will love the guests she has on her show and the crazy things they talk about. Head on over and give Sex with Emily a listen!

 

4. 

Dave Ramsey has changed my life in so many ways. He has opened up the door to financial freedom in so many aspects in our life. I love his book The Total Money Makeover. He has a step by step guide on how to get rid of debt and if you follow it, your debt will slowly melt away. We are currently on the Debt Snowball stage of his program and watching our payments melt away has been so motivating. On his podcast he has people call in asking questions about their finances and whats the best move to make. Can anybody say free financial advice?! If you have any sort of debt or want to finally reach financial freedom I highly recommend listening to his podcast The Dave Ramsey Show.

5.

Doctor Mark Hyman is such a ball of knowledge. I love getting my health-spiration from his podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you have any interest in the power of nutrition and wellness and how it works head on over now and give it a listen. He gives healing and wellness tips and advice from a functional medicine point of view. Given he is a Medical Doctor turned functional I take his advice heavily. I’m a huge advocate for taking control of your health and doing everything in your power to heal your body with real nutritious foods. I also am a huge advocate for mediation and the power of thought. Head on over at get educated.

 

6.

I love Melissa Ambrosini!!! I fell in love reading her first book Mastering Your Mean Girl. It’s such an easy read but packed full of so many good tid bits on not letting that mean inner voice drag you down. Her podcast is just as good. She has so many special knowledgeable guests who thrive on health and healing. She is an inspirational women who has taken her life from surviving, to thriving. Eating whole, organic foods, essential oils, meditation, self-love and self-care. There are many day to day things I now implement into my life because of her influence. Go check out her podcast now, The Melissa Ambrosini Show. 

What podcasts are you listening to right now? Fill me in below: I would love to add some new ones to my list!

-Heather

3 Months Postpartum

It’s crazy to me how much a tiny little human can impact your life. Yea sure labor is hard but the weeks after that combined, are much more challenging (at least for me). Kase came screaming into this world mid-day and it sometimes feels like he’s never stopped. We’ve been previously blessed with very “easy” babies who were easy to sooth and were overall very content.

I knew my world had been tipped on a new axis when Kase came out and screamed blood murder for a solid 30 minutes. So much so I even asked the nurses if he was alright and if he should really be crying for that long, they all reassured me it was completely normal. I know it’s healthy for them to cry, to build and strengthen their lungs, but my mommy instincts kicked in.

That first night in the hospital I spent the whole night with my screaming newborn thinking he was in pain. About 4 am he finally pooped out and fell asleep in my arms. I sighed and thought, “Alright, we made it through that, how could it get any worse?”

Day’s, weeks, and even months later our little KP is still making it known that he may be the youngest but he can by far be the loudest one in the house.

Colic. My baby is a victim of colic. There were long nights walking up and down the hallways bouncing and patting, until his tired little body would tucker out and he’d fall asleep. We did all the routine checks, food elimination (for myself – since I am breast feeding), chiropractic adjustments, homeopathic sprays, gas drops, gripe water, baths, essential oils… then to just letting him get it out while we hold him and sooth him to sleep.

Now we are headed into our 4th month with our little guy and things finally seem to be evening out. There are still some nights of colic but some without. (Thankfully).

Eating has never been an issue for Kase. He took to the boob just like a champ along with the occasional bottle. I’ve had issues in the past with breast feeding, I fought through it but not without some complications. Thrush, mastitis, clogged milk ducts, over production – you name it. This go around, I had a couple adjusting periods with milk production but they seemed to sort themselves out on their own.

Just as most babies, Kase does have some food sensitivities that I had to remove from my diet. The biggest culprit being dairy, then caffeine. I’ve been having IBD issues for about a month now so removing dairy has actually helped me anyway. The caffeine thing.. has been the biggest change. Not so much as me not being able to drink coffee daily, but I usually like to go that rout as a “treat” to myself here and there. But man, I miss my FIZZIES.

Postpartum IBD has been good up until month two. Then things started to flare up again. Being pregnant almost all of my symptoms seemed to be put at bay. But once he came out- things started to come back quite quickly. I had the normally flare symptoms, thankfully no blockages. It’s hard taking care of a newborn and two other children but it’s even more challenging doing it with an IBD flare. It also made me long for health like never before. It’s been 3 years that I’ve had active Crohn’s symptoms or flares and I’m ready to put all of it away for a new, active life. I will be heartbroken having another summer sitting on the sidelines, opting out of everything fun – again. So I have a few appointments coming up with some doctors to assess the situation and see what options I have. I’m not too sure on how well they will go, as the abscess ‘pocket’ is still there, and I’m not sure what needs to be done about it. (A subject that hurts my pride, but I’m handling it with grace and postivity).

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Reed absolutely adores his baby brother and has adjusted to the newest addition very well. His reading levels have gone up each month and his curiosity to learn has also increased. This boy amazes me, he remembers the littlest details of the most random events. He is always the first one to offer help, apologizes for a wrong doing without a fuss, and completes anything he puts his mind to. He begs to hold his litter brother all the time. A great way to practice reading is reading to his baby brother. Baby brother likes it just as much as him. Hey two birds one stone?!

I finally understand the term “middle child syndrome”. Brooks, my beautiful, lively, spunky, loveable bear. You will always be my chocolate loving snuggle bear. He has had a good transition with a few road bumps. Just getting used to being a big brother and sharing his mom 3 ways now. Reed is still his best friend in the entire world.

Luna has had the biggest change. Poor girl. It’s hard when there’s a new baby- the dog usually gets the leftovers. Although she is listening really well, and loving her new home. We still call her our pocket lab even though she is now a full 54 pounds.

The house. Sigh, my beautiful home. We made it through our first winter, and now we are anxiously awaiting our first summer. The creaky floors, really do bring joy to my heart. I have quite a lot incisions for this house, I just hope I am good at documenting it. Pictures of where we’re at are soon to come. I have to constantly remind myself of where we came from. Because I don’t have enough decor to fill this house. We came from a 900 square foot cottage next to a lake to a 3500 square food farm house. I must say though, it has come with it’s very extensive “friends” list. As in varmints. This is all going to be explained in a blog post soon to come.

These next few months I’m actually going to be taking some time to just focus on my health, my house, my husband, and raising my boys. I can’t wait to spend a little me time being creative. Here’s to 2019 and the best year yet!

Raising THREE BOYS

I was meant to be a boymom.

Baby K is a BOY!

I had maybe a small sense that it could be a girl, but in the back of my mind I knew I would have another boy. We really couldn’t be more excited!

Another sweet boy added to our family 💙

As excited as we are, we would like you’re help….. we NEED boy name ideas. I have three and we can’t decide on something together. So send your suggestions my way!

 

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STOP Comparing on Instagram

Ya’ll know I love me some Instagram, and if you didn’t you do now. I think I post more on that account than I do any other. (I have TWO accounts!) You can follow the blog account @ Rich In Love Blog. I’m still contemplating combining the two….any advice on that?

Talk about a time waster, which is a whole post in itself, there are day’s where I scroll through and just envy so many people’s lives, relationships, careers, trips, skin, hair, their adorable outrageously priced wardrobes… Really the list could go on.. and it totally puts me in a slump. I used to get really bent out of shape about getting so down on myself, but the more I talk with girlfriends the more I realize I’m not alone.

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I follow some truly inspirational women that send out raw, real, truth about life and motherhood and it fills my cup. Some days I read captions with words I really do need to hear. Little reminders, “what goes around comes around”, and that each day is a gift. It’s so simple and so cheesy but someday’s we really need the reminder.

I love social media and I hate it. I love connecting with loved ones and seeing my best friends pictures from her trip, most of all being inspired, but I hate the negative news. I know it’s out there, and I know it’s happening, but I choose to unfollow certain things due to the negative daily posts. I choose to “hide” some of my friends who I do still talk to, but choose to share political nonsense and every single warped news article they see.

I get such bad anxiety from the news and the negative things happening in our world. As anyone would, there’s some scary things happening out there. I have sat for hours just worrying about the “what if’s”. I tend to go “worst case scenario” on some things and I’ve worked very hard to train my mind NOT to do that anymore. I watch the news when I want to watch the news. Do I engage in current relevant news topics, absolutely, but I choose not to use it on my social media.

Comparing ourselves to others on Instagram has got to change.

I’m here to tell you STOP!

Stop wondering what people you used to hang out with are up to now. Who cares what car they drive, and what new designer bag she’s holding in her picture. You don’t know how they acquired those things. You don’t even know if it’s truly theirs!

What people post on Instagram is just the best scenario of their life in snap shots. It’s not the full story, and you shouldn’t envy the life they are portraying to you.

Instead focus on your life and your goals. Remember those New Years resolutions you made 8 months ago?? Where ya at with those??

[[If you didn’t make a New Years resolutions list I suggest you put together a list of goals to strive for heading into fall and the end of the year.]]

Everyone has a story they aren’t willing to share. When we look at people on social media they have a way to portray exactly what they want us to believe. Pictures can be so deceiving we don’t even realize we’re comparing ourselves with a photo-shopped, staged picture. Because that’s what most of it is, filters, photo-shop, and angles.

You’re worth soooo much more than that. You’re worth more than the stress and energy you put into comparing your life to some persons online. You are special, share your authentic thoughts, ideas and creativity- don’t follow suit. You’re made to be exactly who you are.

I try my hardest to portray my true authentic self through my blog, and my Instagram. I’ve shared staged pictures of my family, myself, and of things I love and I’ve posted less than flattering stories and pictures to my Instagram. I’ve shared true, vulnerable stories about myself, and I don’t care what people think!

If you do decide to get back to your New Years Resolutions list, maybe add one more thing to it. Decide today that you’re going to stop comparing yourself to other people and their lives.

Go out and make your life count.

-Heather