Tag Archive | baby

5 WAYS TO NATURALLY INDUCE LABOR

11224741_10206608765801416_3816183014202982893_nI have a friend who just recently gave birth, but a week before and after her due date had passed, she asked if I knew of any methods to naturally induce labor as she was ready for the baby to ‘come out’. She was scheduled to be medically induced a week after we spoke, but she didn’t want to wait and at the same time wanted it to happen on its own.  She mentioned she had been walking tons for the past week and cleaning and just staying active overall.  I told her to do some light squats and hip circles on a yoga ball, etc…She said she had done all of that, but would try the squats.  She later asked me if I had ever heard of anyone drinking Castor Oil or Karo Syrup to induce labor…I said no, but that I would find out.

As someone who had a midwife during my pregnancy, I am all for promoting the most natural ways to give birth rather than it being medically induced.  So, I went on a quest to find out from other moms what they’ve done to naturally induce labor. I put up a post asking moms the question and was immediately showered with answers with things that they had done themselves that worked for them.  So for those of you preggos out there who are past their dues dates and are looking for ways to naturally induce labor, here are some of the most common answers I received to my question.

  1. SEX – Have lots of sex
  2. Foot Massage/ Pedicure/Acupuncture/Pre-natal massage/Warm Bath
  3. Walk, walk and walk… a lot (squats and pelvic circles on yoga ball are good too)
  4. Foods that can help: Eat Eggplant Parmesan (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE), Pineapple, Spicy Food, Chinese Food.
  5. Let the baby come out when it wants to (it won’t be in there forever LOL)

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Although, many of the women were against drinking Castor Oil as it causes extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea and meconium (having the baby poop inside; which of course would not be a good thing), some of the women had actually used Castor Oil and claimed that it worked for them (as long as you don’t abuse the dosage).  Of course this post is for informational purposes only and in no way it is to be taken literal.  I am not a professional in this field and your decision to try any of these suggestions would your own responsibility.

I thought it was very interesting finding out what other women claimed help induce their labor process.  Some of the woman said that after doing one or two of the above they were in labor just a few hours later.

So if you are in this situation and are looking for a natural way to induce labor, I think the 5 suggestions in this post are fun to try and non-threatening.

If you do try any of these, I would love to hear if they worked.

Wishing you a happy and healthy labor and baby.

Xoxo Kari
The Honest Company - Safe, Stylish, Convenient

Our Healing Journey-He is genetically perfect!

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So, Jaxson’s neurologist literally just called me about 30 minutes ago to inform me that the spine MRI came back normal, for the exception of the cervical part of the spine which revealed the same enhancements as the brain MRI done in November; because the spinal cord and brain stem are all connected, specifically to this part of the spine (cervical/neck) as per my understanding, this makes absolute sense. I may not be remembering all the details correctly but the bottom line is that the spine MRI was normal.

The neurologist would like to see Jaxson in one month and may request another brain MRI to see if there are any changes, including the resolution of these cranial nerve enhancements. He mentioned that the new MRI may show no more enhancements as these enhancements could have possibly been the result of his body fighting something at the time and not indicative of any disease or anything alarming.

Jaxson has gone to an innumerous amount of specialists the past 1.5 months and has had a remarkable amount of blood work done, including all the genetic testing I previously mentioned, which in the back of my head I was so afraid about. I’m not sure why I was so afraid as I am a huge proponent of epigenetics (have read a couple of Dr. Bruce Lipton’s books on this). Nevertheless, all genetic/blood work came back normal Thank God! Jaxson is genetically perfect!!!

All this new information however, brings me back to my battle with Gentamicin. To be honest, I have not researched Gentamicin extensively and I’ve only come to know about the evils of this antibiotic. I will be fair though and will look up the “pros” of this crazy antibiotic that hospitals love to administer, and which is known to cause sensorineural hearing loss and imbalance, etc., by affecting the 8th cranial nerve/vestibulocochlear system. Mind you, the main enhancements that Jaxson’ s MRI revealed, were to the 7th and 8th cranial nerves which not surprisingly are side by side and which share information to the best of my knowledge; hence if one nerve is affected I’m pretty sure it could impact the other one as well.

Finally, in the span of the past 1.5 months, one of the specialists Jaxson saw was the neurotologist which I mentioned we would be seeing in my previous post, and who seemed surprised and was not happy about the fact that Jaxson had been given Gentamicin as a newborn. The neurotologist did some preliminary testing, including spinning Jaxson in a chair, which did reveal that his vestibular system is compromised which we already know is the main contributor to his lack of sustained balance. Anyway, the neurotologist suspects the issue may be an imbalance of the inner-ear fluid which he will determine through a three hour long test where Jaxson will be given some glycerin. I need to find out the exact details of what this testing entails and what our next options are if this is in fact the issue.

Thank you so much for caring about Jaxson and sending your positive thoughts our way. We will get to the bottom of it and Jaxson is doing great. Getting smarter, stronger, and bigger by the day.

Wishing you all an Amazing New Year!!!

Much Love, Belmax

My favorite time of the year…The Holidays! Gift Guide For The Family 2014

My favorite time of the year is almost here! The Holidays! Thanksgiving, Chanukah/Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc., all revolve around happiness, love and peace for one another.  A time when we focus on all of the blessings we have received throughout the year and take the time to be grateful; a time that is filled with Love, Laughter and Magic! It is a time when we forget the everyday hustle and we focus on celebrating, giving, family and friends.  This time of the year really fills my heart with JOY and it should be like this all year round!

Friends and family find the time out of their busy schedules to see each other and spend some quality time.  Holiday parties all around.  And who can forget the exchanging of gifts to show appreciation for one another.  It’s just a joyful time!  I have always loved giving to my loved ones and this time of the year makes it even more fun!  But I know that it can also take a toll on our pockets which is why I have compiled a few gift ideas that are for every pocket size and can help you in choosing gifts your friends and family will surely love.

Gift ideas for the kids:These handmade crochet items are unique, stylish and one of a kind.  Can be made in the color(s) and size of your choice.  There are hair-ties (crochet balls), hair-clips made with crochet flowers and embellishments, headbands, hats for boys and girls (can be made in any size), blankets for babies or toddlers, and more. Price ranges from $6-$70.  Items such as the hair-clips, hair-ties, headbands make perfect stocking stuffers! You can shop directly through JBlueCreations

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Gift ideas for the women in your life:  When gifting something to your mom, grandma, sister, friend, child’s teacher or any special woman in your life, you can never go wrong with accessories! These crochet essentials (scarves, hats, ear-warmers) will never go out of style and can be made in their favorite color(s).  And jewelry?! You know you’ll make that lady very happy!  With the variety of items Stella & Dot has to offer from beautiful and simple studs, rings, and bracelets to statement pieces, wallets, purses and more… You can also give it a special touch by getting them an engravable necklace and personalizing it with a sweet word or special date. Prices vary from $12-40 for the crochet items and $19 and up for Stella & Dot – There a gift idea for every pocket size.

 

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Gift ideas for the men in your life: Men love accessories too and we have the perfect items! A beautiful and delicate crochet hat, scarf or scarf and hat set in a neutral or bold color, whatever his preference or a beautiful set of personalized cuff-links from Stella and Dot will give him the perfect accessory touch.   Crochet hats, scarves and scarf and hat set range form $15- $40 and cuff-links are $95 (engraved) .

 

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In celebration of the Holidays I would also like to give back to a family I hold dear and have been following for over a year now.  The Halstead family’s then two year old son Tripp was involved in an accident, where a tree limb fell on his head and crushed his skull.  The doctors did not think he would make it, but the strong and brave little boy pulled through. And now two years later he is making progress with the help, love and dedication from his parents.  I have created a Stella & Dot online Trunk Show for which as an independent stylist, I will donate 95% of my commission of the sales to the family, which will contribute to the continuous recovery of Tripp.  So when doing your Holiday shopping please consider shopping through the trunk show as your purchase will make a difference in Tripp’s life this Holiday Season!

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*You can follow Tripp’s journey via his facebook page www.Facebook.com/TrippHalsteadUpdates

Hope this post makes your Holiday Shopping a breeze this year!

 

XOXO

Kari De Jesus

Our Healing Journey: Appointments

Today (11.17.14) we had 3 different appointments. The pediatric orthopedic that we saw last week recommended we see a physiatrist and go for a physical therapy evaluation to see what Jaxson’s needs may be from a physical therapist standpoint. So, our first appointment today was with a physical therapist named Alexandra at Mountainside Children’s Hospital. We are also trying to schedule an appointment with a physiatrist as soon as possible but that takes a little longer as they are booked from what I was told; however, physiatrists  work closely with physical therapists and from meeting Ali today I feel that we are in pretty good hands in that regard.

Ali asked me a bunch of questions and ran several tests on Jaxson, particularly, she tested his vestibular system functioning which I greatly appreciated as I’ve been trying to tell all these specialists (the gazillion ones I feel we’ve already been to) that the problem is coming from his vestibular, inner-ear systems as having been damaged by the gentimicin. They mainly ignore me. What do I know? I’m just a worried mom who has lived with my child from birth and saw the massive unnecessary medical intervention he underwent because I developed a slight maternal fever during labor. Crazy newborn intervention needs to stop.

Crazy interventions during labor in general need to stop as well. The Business of Being Born documentary portrays all that can go wrong when an uninformed mother to be like me at that point in my life, goes into labor. I experienced this first hand. I was strapped to a bed as soon as I got to the hospital and given only ice to eat for almost 20 hours. WTH? I felt great, what was the problem, why was I strapped to a hospital bed from the moment I got there and immediately given pitocin without my knowledge. “Hospital policy” I was told. You can’t walk around because the baby could just fall out. hahahahah!!! Seriously, wouldn’t I have to push?  Anyway, what a nightmare that was. I rather just focus on positive things and not re-live that experience in my mind. Mind you, I was a super healthy 26 year old with a beautiful, perfect pregnancy throughout and just made my way to the hospital because my water broke and excitement told me, “rush to the hospital”. Bad idea, I should have probably stayed home and waited until contractions began at the very least.

They took Jaxson’s temperature rectally about 3 days after he was born as their “routine nurse check up” while doing their rounds (we were scheduled to be in the hospital for 4 days since I ended up with a c-section not surprisingly, although I did request the c-section). Anyway, I specially remember our room being extremely hot on this particular day and I had Jaxson perhaps a little too bundled. The temperature was 100.3 rectally, which is technically not considered a fever by most medical standards, that’s actually right at the cusp, and they should have retested his temperature before hooking him up to an IV again with Gentimicin. The first 3 days he was automatically given gentimicin because of my “slight maternal fever”.  They began running a bunch of test to see if there was an infection. These tests included a spinal tap which his father and I vehemently objected to no avail. Again, all tests results came back within 2-3 days negative but they continued to give my newborn gentimicin for a total of 8 days and wanted to keep him an extra two days on the drug. We refused and had to sign a waiver to release him from the hospital. I often wonder if those extra two days would have made him completely deaf. However, since he passed his newborn hearing screening (as gentimicin can take months to show any side effects) and he met all his milestones on time, Jaxson’s severe hearing loss was not confirmed until he was about 3.5 years old (I began inquiring about his verbal development not being up to par when he was about 2.5 years old, and it took me a year to finally have an audiologist confirm that I was indeed correct, he has hearing loss) and given the fact that he received his hearing aids by the time he was almost 4 years old which is super late, he is verbally almost at age level and continues to improve. I believe my child was born perfectly fine and I hope that all the genetic testing we have to do soon come back clear.

Alright so back to the appointments now that I’ve shared a little newborn medical history. Ali, the physical therapist informed me that his vestibular system was definitely not working to its full potential and that based on the fact that he has sensorineural hearing loss, she already suspected that regarding his balance issues. She explained that he clearly has balance issues but that on top of that, his hamstrings are very tight and so are his heels. He is pronating his feet as he is flat footed, one leg is slightly longer than the other, and he is a little low muscle-toned. Geez! She will have her report ready as soon as possible which will include a recommendation for physical therapy twice a week targeted at strengthening his other senses in order to compensate for the vestibular/inner ear dysfunction which directly affects balance and he needs inserts/orthotics for his feet.

Immediately after this appointment, we headed back down to Princeton and made our way to the chiropractor’s office. He quickly assessed Jaxson, stated that one leg was slightly longer than the other and hence he was not in alignment. He adjusted Jaxson and put his legs back into place. The legs are now symmetrical and I actually did see the difference which made me feel a lot better.

After the chiropractor, we drove down to Jaxson’s school where I had a meeting with his teachers, the school director, case manager from our school district (Jaxson attends a private auditory/oral pre-school for the deaf and hard of hearing- he will transition into the regular school system next Fall), physical therapist and occupational therapists. He has physical and occupational therapy in school once a week for 30 minutes.

I was very grateful for the school meeting. I had sent them a copy of the MRI and expressed all my concerns at the moment although we still do not have a diagnosis. We do not know what the underlying issue may be and a meeting was put in place by the school immediately in order to discuss things with me.  Well, Jaxson’s private school had their radiologist look at the MRI and it is my understanding that the MRI looked normal to him Thank God. The enhancements to some of the cranial nerves may have been there since birth and not necessarily indicative of any disease, especially if there is no basis to compare the MRI to, there is no previous MRI. Then the school’s director asked if his EARS have been check for an inner ear, fluid infection. We already know Jaxson has had a history of fluid in his ears and repeated infections. Ear infections that cause no fever and therefore it’s hard for me to know. I was so worried that my first step was the ER instead of the ENT. Anyway, this gave me a sense of relief and I’m hoping this is the case and not something more serious. If I remember correctly, the Princeton school system also had their own specialist look at the MRI with a similar opinion.

The school director got on the phone immediately with the school audiologist to get her recommendations for my next step in this puzzle. In the meantime, I scheduled an ENT appointment immediately. The school audiologist called me and suggested that Jaxson be seen by a neurotologist to address everything that may be causing the imbalance. I must say though, Jaxson’s balance has stabilized for the most part with a few falls here and there, mainly when he is running fast. However, when the falls were worse, he did have a cold and was pretty congested which could really make sense regarding the fluid in the ears. Aside from making the neurotologist appointment, the audiologist suggested that it could be labyrinthitis and that I need to rule all these things out. I looked up labyrinthitis and that seems very possible as Jaxson has recently complained of nausea, specially while riding in the car. His teachers also expressed that his balance is usually a bit worse when he wakes up from nap and then stabilizes. Could it be because while he is sleeping the fluid builds up more to one side? I also think it has to do with his hamstrings being tight and having to warm up as he wakes up and walks around. Maybe a combination of both?

Thank you for your positive thoughts and support while we figure this all out for the best possible outcome.

Much Love,

Belmax

*You may click on highlighted words for more information.

 

I am guilty of Co-Sleeping with my child: 10 Things I Love and hate about co-sleeping  

While some moms refuse to let their child co-sleep with them and believe it is against all good-parenting habits, I know other moms out there can relate and will understand every reason in this post.  I know I’m not alone.  I am not the first and I can assure you I won’t be the last mom who co-sleeps with their child. Co-sleeping with my child is absolutely a bitter-sweet experience which is why I have compiled my top ten reasons why I love and hate co-sleeping with her.

 

Why I love co-sleeping with my child:

 

  1. FIRST TIME MOM FEARS: As a first time mom I don’t think I slept more than 15 minutes at time at least for the first 3 months (until she was bigger and I felt more secure bringing her to the bed) In fear that I wouldn’t hear her crying if she needed me. So I would startle myself every 15 minutes like a crazy woman to check on her and make sure she was breathing.

 

  1. BREASTFEEDING MADE EASY: My daughter breastfed constantly so if I ever wanted to get just a little bit of rest, laying her right next to me in bed to feed was the only way she could get her feeding every 2 hours and mommy could get some eye-shutting time.   Initially, I did try getting up every 2 hours and getting her from her crib, feeding her for 20-30min, putting her down, and doing it all over again within 1 ½ – 2 hrs.  It was exhausting, especially since I had to get up and go to work in the morning. If I wanted to function at work, this was my best option.  Happy child, happy mom!

 

  1. KNOWING SHE’S SAFE RIGHT NEXT TO ME:When she was a baby I would prop her up on a firm pillow so that I could be slightly lower than her and I would put the little dividers that go by the torso so that she wouldn’t roll over.  With daddy on the other side, I knew she was nice and perfectly cozy.  I could open my eyes and check on her right then and there.

 

  1. GETTING HUGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT:  Now that she’s older she loves to cuddle with mommy or daddy and gives us hugs or kisses in the middle of the night or to wake us up.  They are the best!

 

  1. SEEING HER BEAUTIFUL FACE AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP: Seeing her tiny, gorgeous, peaceful little face right next to you as soon as you wake up totally makes my day.

Why I hate co-sleeping with my child:

 

  1. FEAR I WOULD CRUSH HER (WHEN SHE WAS A BABY) AND NOT SLEEPING NOW THAT SHE’S BIGGER: Although I made sure she was positioned in a way where she had her space and wouldn’t roll over and get crushed by us, there was still that little bit of fear that we could hurt her in any way, so I did put her in her crib most nights, even if I had to get up 3 or 4 times to put her back to sleep. Now that she’s bigger, although I love having her next to me, I can barely sleep through the night because she moves so much.

 

  1. MAKES IT REALLY HARD FOR THE HUBBY AND ME TO HAVE OUR ROMANTIC NIGHTS:  Love nights are essential for mommy and daddy, but making them happen is almost impossible. When you have accustomed your child to sleep with you it’s hard to get her to sleep in her own bed.  So on those miracle nights when she wants to be in her own bed, we definitely take advantage of the opportunity hahaha.

 

  1. GETTING KICKED IN FACE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT:No one likes to get kicked in the face while they are sleeping, but when you have a toddler sleeping next to you, you better be ready for it.

 

  1. BEING AWAKENED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ASKING FOR WATER OR MILK:  Every night I have to hear “mommy I want ‘leche’ (milk)” or “mommy I want ‘agua’ (water). I have to get up and go get her leche or agua.  I have recently started to ignore her and tell her to go back to sleep.  We need to break these bad habits! Anyone else’s child ask for water in the middle of the night, every single night?

 

  1. FEAR OF HER NEVER WANTING HER OWN BEDROOM, EVER!:  We will be moving soon and she will have her own bedroom.  Because we have created this habit of co-sleeping, we are definitely afraid she won’t stay in her own bedroom. I will probably do a follow-up blog post on how this transition goes.  Wish us luck!

 

So there you have it, my love-hate relationship with co-sleeping with my child.  I know some moms out there have gone through the same situation or are going through it.  I want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to make the transition into her own bedroom and bed a fun smooth one.

 

Xoxo

Karintia

Tiny Prints Cyber Monday

Breastfeeding – It does your baby good!

Some moms find breastfeeding to be a difficult task and either choose not to breastfeed or to only breastfeed for the first 3-9 months, while other moms find it to be a blessing and hold on to breastfeeding their child as long as possible.  I am a mom that falls into the latter category.  My breastfeeding story is one that will probably make you cringe.  I say cringe because I went through a lot in order to be able to breastfeed my daughter. Many moms out there would have given up in the first week; so I guess you can say this is also a story of courage and determination.

When I first gave birth I was super excited to see my daughter latch on with no problem.  I did not feel any pain whatsoever, most likely due to my level of excitement or perhaps it was due to my level of exhaustion after 21 hours of excruciating labor. In any event, she latched on, got fed, and fell asleep. The next day however, was a different story.  After breastfeeding her a couple of times, my nipples began to tear and they even bled a bit.  After the 3rd of 4th feeding I could not stand the pain, it was awful, “toe curling” the nurses referred to it.  The lactating consultant provided me with some breastfeeding tips (how to hold the breast, how to latch on the baby, etc.) and told me about the Nipple guard and cream/gel.  The Nipple guard was a lifesaver, although it did not relieve the pain completely, it did so enough to allow me to keep giving it a try and prevented my nipples from tearing more.

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Tips for properly breastfeeding

Two days later I was home from the hospital with my baby girl.  Now, it was all up to me to continue breastfeeding. I read about all of the great benefits of breastfeeding, so I was determined to provide that for my daughter.  Every two hours I endured the worst pain ever (aside from giving birth).  It was just absolutely awful.  I cried every time (no joke).  By the end of the first week I was ready to give up.  I contemplated it every time she latched on and my hubby kept encouraging me to continue and telling me it would get better. One particular day in the 2nd week I decided to pump one breast while feeding my baby on the other breast. Although, not a bad idea to multitask in my opinion, that day I was so exhausted I fell as sleep pressing the pump on my breast.  I must have been out for like 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes made the whole situation even more difficult for me.  When I woke from my 3 minute nap and took off the pump, within seconds my breast became hard as a rock.  I called my midwife immediately and was recommended all sorts of natural in-home remedies.  I had to massage, put cabbage on, soak in warm water, breast feed mainly from that breast, just to name a few. Although, it alleviated the pain, the lump was just too large and was not subsiding.  Again, I called my midwife and made an appointment.  After she saw me I was recommended to a lactation expert.  She was amazing, two hours with her and I learned so much.  With over 20 years experience, she was a master at this.  She encouraged me to continue through the pain as breastfeeding is one of the best things I can do for my child.

After my visits with my midwife and lactation expert, it was determined I had developed mastitis and had to be put on strong antibiotics.  I continued to breastfeed through the pain, one feeding session at a time.  I continued to cry, massage, put cabbage on, take my antibiotics, not sleep due to the sharp needle pains I would feel while sleeping, curled my toes every time my baby latched on, etc.  I kept telling myself it would get better to keep pressing forward. It took over a month for the mastitis to fully dissolve. By the time my mastitis was all gone my nipples were more accustomed to the breastfeeding and I was so glad I no longer had to curl my toes in pain. So I never gave up.  I pushed through and proudly say I would do it all over again if I had to.  I had so many reasons to give up, but just one that made it all worth it to endure the pain.  Today my baby girl is two and a healthy little rascal.  I can’t say her great health is 100% due to breastfeeding and its benefits, but I know breastfeeding has played a huge role in it.  I am so thankful that I am one of those mom who have been blessed with the chance to breastfeed and I am so glad that I was strong enough to push through the pain and not give up.

I know not every mother has the opportunity to nurse their child, but want to badly and so resort to milk banks to be able to provide their child with the benefits breast milk provides. So, for all of the mothers out there that have been blessed with the ability to breastfeed and are struggling with the demands of it, I say, don’t take it for granted and try your best to do at least 1 year of nursing. I know for a fact it can be harder for some mothers than others, but stick with it as much as you can, it does get easier. I know that some babies don’t always latch on well to the breast, if at all; however, are still able to bottle feed, so in that case I suggest pumping and storing the milk if necessary. So don’t give up, breastfeed if you can, your baby deserves the best!

Now, with all that said and this magical story of breastfeeding, today I still breastfeed my two year old daughter.  And although it has been a great experience, I am ready to shoot myself.  Please get her off my breasts!!!

Essentials I recommend from own experience:Nipple guard and breast pump

Stay tuned, I may have another breastfeeding blog soon, about how I stopped. 🙂

xoxo

Karintia