saditycents











We went walking on some trails near our home, as we do often. Only this time baby girl wakes up halfway through (which is unusual) and decides nothing will comfort her but nursing. Only problem? We’re on a dirt path with trees on both side and an incline on both sides. There’s no where to sit as far as the eye can see and the sun is starting to go down. So what did I do? I mommed it and nursed while finishing the evening trek. LOL! And I didn’t even have the baby carrier!

Now I’m sure there are veteran moms out there who would say this is no big deal, but right now I feel like I should get a wilderness badge and be a leader in the zombie apocalypse because I have now mastered not just nursing and walking, but nursing and hiking. 😂

Sorry I didn’t get a picture. I was too busy nursing. 🤦🏾‍♀️

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If you are like me when I became pregnant I made an extensive registry list of all the cute and posh items that I just knew I needed for my new baby… I didn’t use half of them, but one thing I did was ask veteran moms to buy me some of their go to items. This was an awesome idea because I received so many tried and true products rather than the latest fad. Here are some of my absolute favorite gifts that I received based purely on utility. I had other items that I thought were extremely fashionable but these are the items that have helped (and are still helping me) through the nitty gritty of first-time parenting.

Note: You’ll notice some items, I name specific brands while others I focus more on the product type. Certain items I love that brand specifically, other items (like the leg warmers) I just like the product concept and I am not partial to a particular brand.

Also, here is a video with more detailed descriptions of each of the items listed below.

 

  1. WabbaNub  WubbaNub Green Frog Pacifier
  2. Bandana BibsSilly Billyz Toweling Bandana Bibs - Pink 3-Pack (Fuchsia, Pale Pink, Purple)
  3. Victoria Beckham Bibs (They no longer sell them at Target)  Image result for victoria beckham baby bibs target
  4. Silicone Bibs  CB EAT by Chewbeads Baby Silicone Bib (2 Pack), 100% Safe Silicone-Foodie Yellow
  5. Smock Bib  Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib, Bloom (6-24 Months)
  6. Carter’s Zip Up Sleeper  Carter's Baby Girls' Cotton Sleep and Play
  7. Halo Sleepsack 
  8. Car Seat Canopy Image result for car seat canopy
  9. Moby Wrap Moby Wrap Baby Carrier for Newborns + Toddlers Soft Baby Sling Baby Wrap, Ideal for Baby Wearing, Breastfeeding, and Keeping Baby Close - Slate
  10. Baby K’Tan Breeze Baby K’tan BREEZE Cotton Mesh Wrap style Baby Carrier, Charcoal, Small
  11. Lillebaby Complete Carrier  SIX-Position, 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier by LILLEbaby – The COMPLETE Original (Black)
  12. Baby Warmers  juDanzy 3 Pair Baby Boy And Girl Leg Warmers Black, white Neutral Colors
  13. Safety 1st Stock Up for Baby Kit 
  14. BONUS: Pacifier Clips Baby Pacifier Clip by Upsimples - 6 Pack - Pacifier Holder for Baby Girls, Premium Quality Soothies Teething Ring Holder with Modern Design |Universal Fit


After having the baby there are a few inappropriate yet nevertheless persistent questions people feel obliged to ask:

  • How was labor?
  • Did you have an epidural?
  • Are you going to have more?
  • Have you lost the baby weight?

Of all the questions I find the last one the most insidious. Probably because I feel like it’s an undercover jab. It’s no secret I’m on the chubbier side and to me the underlying question I’m really being asked is, “Were you fat before the baby?”

It’s a tough question because you just want to enjoy this moment in life without being dogged by the insecurities and pressures of societies obsession with weight. Often I say, “No I still have more to lose.” But the truth is I only gained about 20-odd pounds with my pregnancy (granted there was weight from a precious unrealized pregnancy as well, but even that doesn’t account for it all) and most of it is gone. But I just call it all “baby weight.”

It certainly stops the judgement because many slim women gain 40 and even 60 pounds and are their trim selves in a respectable time after birth. My sister is one, on a bad day she might be a size 6 (and I’ve seen those jeans sagging on her). She gained about 60 pounds with her last pregnancy and lost it with nothing more than breastfeeding. So no one bats an eye at my fib. But while my exaggeration rids me of the pressure and judgment of the moment, it does nothing for the looming challenge to actually lose my so called baby weight.

I’ve scoured YouTube, blogs, and articles and the voice consistently lacking is that of the plus-sized new mother trying to lose weight. So where do you go for that support? Where do you find the gentle minded weight loss advice that tells you to love your body because it just gave life? That voice that says slow and steady is the way and to avoid taxing your body too much. After all it’s still supporting life via breastfeeding for some and in general as a round the clock caretaker. Yet, as a plus-sized mom I’m not afforded that. One, I’m looked at as a something that needs to be fixed. My entire mothering experience is centered around my weight:

  • Complications are assumed because I’m overweight.
  • Breastfeeding is encouraged to help me lose the weight more than nourish my baby.
  • Exercise is pushed far earlier than is necessary. Just because you can exercise at 6 weeks doesn’t mean you should go full throttle with all the needs your body has and is attending to for your baby.

I’ve said it before on this blog, I’m no expert, so the truth is, I don’t know where that voice is in the sea of opinions. I know YouTube videos feature previously fit women returning to their prepregnacy weight. News flash! Your body works to return to its normal weight one way or the other. That means your slim body fights to stay slim and it also means a plump body fights to stay plump. So skinny Minnie’s tips aren’t as salient to me because we don’t have the same starting place. Maybe I can be one small voice out there for several reasons:

  • The diversity of voices and experiences is lacking.
  • If I need the support someone else does too.
  • If I’m a voice of any worth it means I’ve succeeded in my own weight loss quest.

Until then, we’ll just keep calling it baby weight.



Seriously this is about to be my slogan. I am blessed that this week I have had many random and not so random people help me and I am so thankful!
 
1. At the pharmacy, I went in to grab one thing and ended up buying several things (you know how it is). First, the store gave me free bags (they charge per bag where I live), because I didn’t intend to need a bag. Then the manager carried my stuff to the car so I wouldn’t have to juggle the baby and my purchases. Thanks Walgreens!
 
2. At the Chinese restaurant I ordered a meals to go. I told the cashier I was going to sit in the car with the baby and I would be back to check on the food. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll bring the food out to you.” Thank you!
 
3. My sister wakes me up for important appointments, knowing I sleep at random hours now. Thanks Sissy Charity Moore.
 
4.Finally, my husband insisted I take a nap while he took care of the baby, did laundry, and cleaned… just because (hence why I’m awake at 3 am LOL). Thanks Dadrick Johnson.
 
There were even more acts of kindness that I’ve appreciated. These are just a few. I can’t help, but think other moms could use the same help…
So, have you helped a mom today?


Mommy and Daddy decided to give my first festival a try, complete with fireworks but that didn’t exactly work out how we planned. 

Everything was going great. We walked along the water and enjoyed the sights and sounds. 


Just as we found the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display something happened…

That half-decaf latte mommy had earlier kicked in; I didn’t mean to, it was a complete accident. Daddy lifted me so I could see the water and well, a wave of a different sort broke through, all over his white cargo shorts!

Needless to say we ended the night early and missed the fireworks. I guess we’ll try again next year. 😦

It was a long night!



One thing I am amazed by is how many decisions must be made in preparation for a new life. This list actually comes from my own preparation. I made a running tally (or tried to) of all the decisions, major and mundane that had to be made. These are just the ones I took time to research and really way my options.  Even with all of this I still felt under prepared. The bottom line is you will never be completely ready for a baby.  But if you are a list lover like me this may help you get started when you don’t know where to start. This list is in no particular order, just how they came up in my pregnancy. 

  1. Cloth or disposable diapers
  2. Breast feed or formula
  3. Gender reveal or surprise
  4. Midwife or Doctor
  5. Ultrasounds or No Ultrasounds
  6. Prenatal Vitamins – Deciding on whether to take them at all and whether natural nutrition is a better fit. Also deciding on the brand of vitamins.
  7. Delivery in a hospital, birth center, or home
  8. Decide on what to drink: Alcohol once a week or none at all. Quit caffeine cold turkey or just limit consumption.
  9. Exercise routine – if you are able to exercise. Otherwise setting a date to start again in the second trimester.
  10. Diet changes, if any at all.
  11. All natural remedies for nausea or medication.
  12. When and how you will announce the pregnancy
  13. Baby name – you think it’s easy but it isn’t. We had a boy and girl name picked out and still changed it once the baby was born. 
  14. Continue working or become a stay at home parent
  15. Journal or not to journal – most mom’s want some way to commemorate this life changing event. The decision comes in when you have to decide how you are going to track your changes; pictures, memory book, social media, etc.
  16. Crib, cradle, Co-sleep. Sleeping arrangements: Co-sleeping, allowing the baby to sleep in-room, or starting the baby out in a nursery from the very beginning.
  17. Whether or not to have testing done. There are so many tests now, glucose tests, screening tests, screening tests or amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, and neural tube defects. Believe it or not, all of these are optional and there are pros and cons to each.
  18. Doula or no doula.
  19. Baby moon, Staycation, or nothing at all.
  20. Baby shower or Diaper pounding
  21. Method for preventing stretch marks
  22. Childbirth class or not
  23. Permissible interventions. Making a baby plan is so essential. Not so much because care providers will read it, but so you can think through all of your options before the big day. That way you and your partner can advocate for your informed choices.
  24. How you will budget for a baby.
  25. How you will prepare your pets.
  26. How you will prepare your older children.
  27. Dental care. Will you continue using floride tooth paste, will you see the dentist, how will you avoid the increase of tooth decay that occurs with pregnancy?
  28. Postpartum recovery plan
  29. Baby registry items
  30. Maternity leave, paternity leave, extended break
  31. Childproof your home or making home improvements
  32. Breastfeeding or formula
  33. Fetal kicks counting  or no. I chose not to until the very end. It just added stress to an already apprehensive mama. As long as baby moved at regular intervals I called it good. 
  34. Additional classes: CPR, breastfeeding, hypnosis, etc. 
  35. Therapy or no: Sometimes you have unresolved issues you want to handle before becoming a parent.
  36. Pediatrician – Who, what, and where. Who are you looking for, what’s their practice philosophy. Where are you willing to travel. 
  37. Vaccinations, partial vaccinations, delayed vaccinations or no vaccinations
  38. Circumcision or no circumcision
  39. Nursery decor
  40. Preparations for the babies future; i.e. Life insurance or no, will or trust, college fund now or later. 

 

Resources:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ultimate-pregnancy-to-do-list-third-trimester_10341209.bc

 

 

 



I have gone through most of this pregnancy as natural as possible and I figured the 4th Trimester was no exception. I had a lot of recommendations for different store brand aids to help with recovery, but I decided to go the natural and home made route. Not to mention that since I had a natural home birth, most of the items were not provided for me like they would have been in a hospital.

After birth the main focus for recover is to heal you nether regions, which have just been through a life changing experience so most of these items focus on that.

  • Peri Bottle – My midwife did provide this for me and told me to fill it with witch hazel and water to help soothe me as I used the restroom. I suggest you have one in every bathroom for easy access.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm — I like the company in general and had heard amazing things about this particular product as a substitute to Dermoplast. It soothes after birth.
  • Witch Hazel and soft paper towels – Some people use Tucks Pads, but this is essentially the same thing. Have a large stock prepared either way you go. Layer them on you pads.
  • Pads – I bought Depends underwear at the recommendation of veteran moms. I later downgraded to very thick pads, and then later thinner pads.
  • Ibuprofen – It helps with pain and swelling without interfering with nursing.
  • Padsicles – I made mine out of aloe Vera, lavender essential oil, and witch hazel. I then froze a few and had them ready immediately for after birth. Here is a good post with instructions on how to make padsicles.

 

 

 



It’s getting close to the end, so that means its time to finally complete the home birth kit. Meaning, everything I will need to give birth to our little one needs to be in a central location for my birth team. There’s actually quite a bit that needs to be gathered. We’ve also prepped our birth space. For us that mean beautiful blue Christmas lights strung up so that when the lights are off, just a soft glow will exist. We also added candles and an aromatherapy machine. I made birth affirmations using my husbands art and photography. He is my calming force and I love his photography, so it seems appropriate. I actually have two birth spaces. One in our dining room to accommodate the birth pool. Another in my bedroom. The dining room is centrally located, it allows space for me to walk, pace, or engage in a range of movements. While the bedroom is intimate and my safe space. Depending on how labor is going and how I am feeling I have prepared both locations to accommodate my labor. As a first time mom, I’m not sure which I’ll prefer, so I’d rather be safe than sorry.

As far as my supply kit, my midwife has already dropped off the pool I will use and we bought an adapter for the sink. I bought a tub to hold all of the items I would need for the birth. Here is the list of items:

  • Birthing Clothes — I have two lose fitting gowns that I bought on sale and are comfortable to walk in.
    • Warm Socks — I personally hate wearing socks so I did not include this, but it was on the list.
  • Music – I have a Hypnobirth affirmation CD a friend provided me with as well as a nature CD. I also made a YouTube play list of songs I find inspirational. Mine list is filled with Christian, Gospel, and Neo Soul songs. I made sure most do not have much of a beat. I can imagine that that would be distracting during intense contractions.
  • Focal Point — For me this is the affirmation art I created using my husbands photography. Each on also has Bible verses to help underscore whatever affirmation I was highlighting. I will create a post about creating the ambiance for the birth which will include creating affirmation posters.
  • Hair Bands
  • Snack Foods (high in protein)
  • Juice and Electrolyte drinks – I have coconut water and popsicles
  • Coffee and Snacks for the Birth Team
  • Water Bottle
  • Lip Balm
  • Hot/ Cold Packs – I made rice packs with mismatched socks, essential oils, and a cheap bag of rice.
  • Aromatherapy spray and oils
  • Super absorbent maxi pads
  • Regular absorbent maxi pads
  • Depends underwear – This was actually recommended to me by several moms in a natural birth Facebook group I’m apart of, so I added it here.
  • Old sheets and clean sheets
  • 2 Bed protectors or plastic drop cloths or shower curtains
  • 8-10 towels and 5 washcloths (preferably old, so they can get dirty)
  • Crock pot for warming washcloths
  • A jar of Tucks, or witch hazel and towels – I also included Preparation H towels and wipes
    • 1 can of Dermaplast – I chose to skip this
  • 2 bowls or buckets for the placenta and vomiting
  • 2-3 Large Garbage Bags
  • 1 gallon zip bag for placenta
  • a Digital Thermometer
  • Phone list to call relatives
  • Camera/ Video Camera
  • Extra Batteries for Camera(s)
  • Nursing or Sports Bra
  • Ibuprofen
  • Padsicles – Maxi pads wet with witch hazel (and essential oils if desired) for after the birth, frozen.

For Baby

  • Baby clothes, hat, socks, mittens
  • Receiving blankets (a lot)
  • Car seat (in case of emergency transfer)
  • Baby book ( to record information immediately)

Miscellaneous

  • Knee Pads – For extended kneeling
  • Yoga mat
  • Exercise ball
  • Back massager – in case hubby’s hand gets tired

 

Do you have any more tips or items that were nice to have during your home birth?



Once nausea subsided from the first trimester, heartburn kicked in. I am having a hard time not relying the go to over-the-counter medicines for relief. Most contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate which really isn’t healthy for pregnant women.  The go to advice is to avoid acidic foods, eat smaller meals, and avoid eating before bed. But I already do all of that. The other day, I ordered tea at a cafe. There was nothing to eat there except pastries and bread. I’m trying to reduce my sugar and anyways, bread give me heartburn. I literally had nothing but tea and… (you guest it) heartburn. So what’s a gal to do?

Here are some natural suggestions for heartburn. I’ve also added whether they worked for me:

  • Water – Basically this is the cure for everything in life. Pregnancy makes the consumption of water both necessary and difficult for me. I drink my water best in large gulps throughout the day, except when you have a growing person inside and hormones raging, consuming anything in large amounts just doesn’t happen. I sip water all day, but apparently not enough to reduce the fire in my chest.

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

  • Fresh lemon in water- This made my heartburn feel worse in my opinion.

  • Ginger tea

  • Coconut water

  • Fennel seeds

  • Peppermint

  • Yogurt or Milk

  • High Enzyme Foods

  • Fermented foods

  • HCL & Pepsin

  • Bentonite Clay – Now this is an old remedy from the south. The fact that it sells in health food stores for $10/ ounce is ridiculous to me. Especially since poor black women have been using it for years, and its use is consider low-end and almost witch crafty or superstitious. But whatever, it really does work and is good for adding nutrients to the body.

  • Aloe Vera – This is the best solution I have found. It last longer than anything else. Before aloe vera, I literally had been sleeping at. 90-degree angle. Anything less cause severe burning in my chest. I have been hard to avoid prescriptions so I am glad I finally discovered the drink I enjoyed in Korea actually is useful for my pregnancy. 

  • Almonds

 

Resources:

https://www.mamanatural.com/pregnancy-heartburn/

http://www.myhealthtips.in/2014/04/natural-cures-for-heartburn-in-pregnant-women.html



Ok so the title isn’t exactly proper English but you get the reference right?

This isn’t a long post I just figured I’d share my pregnant decision making process when deciding to go somewhere.  This literally was my thought pattern about five minutes ago. Maybe others can relate?

Responsible Me: Ok, you said you’d get up after your nap. So get up! You have to be there in half hour and you already said you were going. 

Pregnant Me: Yes but I’m pregnant I’m sure they will understand if I don’t show up. 

Responsible Me: Really do you want to be that person who uses the baby as an excuse? Be a person of you word and get up. 

Pregnant Me: Ok but I have to put on make up… Ugh… And real pants… Yuck!

Responsible Me: This is why you should go, you haven’t left the house in two days. You need to actually get dressed at some point this week.

Pregnant Me: This is true. Once I get there I’ll probably be happy I went. Ok. I’m getting up. 

Responsible Me: Good girl!

Pregnant Me: I’m going to the event. 

Responsible Me: That’s right!

Pregnant Me: But wait I have to find a bra that fits…

Responsible Me: We’re not going…

THE END



et cetera