Monday, May 30, 2011

After a C-Section

Both of my boys have birthdays within these 2 months, and I have been reflecting on their birthing experiences, which were both very different.  With Micah I had a c-section, and with Jaden I had a V-BAC.  Just today a friend of mine had a c-section, and it brought back my own memories again. I hope that this post is helpful to those of you who have friends having c-sections, as well as those of you who might have just gone through one.  In reading this, please know that not all experiences are like mine or all the same, so this is just from my own experience.

What To Understand About C-Sections

-A mom who has a c-section may be suffering from guilt in the days and weeks after her c-section. It is normal for her to wonder if she did something wrong to have to have a c-section, especially if it was unplanned or she hoped for a natural birth.  It does not help to say things like, "Oh, what a bummer!!  Too bad you had to have a c-section."  Although that sounds... consoling at first, it could make her feel like everyone sees her birthing experience as negative and unfortunate, when in reality, a beautiful baby still was born!

- Here are more things not to say:
   - "I WISH I could've had a c-section. You don't even know how bad it hurts to have a baby the regular way!"

   -"Did you really have to have one?  Wasn't there anything else they could have done?"  Again, not helpful.  You are not a doctor, and neither is she. What's done is done, and the baby is here.

   -"At least you didn't have to wait anymore".  Again, sounds consoling, but many moms would rather wait and have a natural birth than have to have a c-section.

   -Bring up statistics about how you read that way to many hospitals are giving women c-sections who don't really need them. Again, not helpful.

   -It is also important to understand that a woman who's had a c-section may not want visitors for the first day or two (or longer).  She is recovering from major surgery and could be in a lot of pain.  For me, I felt drugged up the entire first day and was shaking uncontrollably from coming out of the anesthesia.  I actually started to get mad that so many people were coming to visit me when I wasn't even...present.  Again, some people may not react like this - but it is best to text first (avoid calling the mom if possible that first day), so that she can have the option to say "no" to visitors.

   -It is also normal for a new mom to be very emotional the first few days, depending on how the anesthesia affected her body.  I was sweating and crying for 3-4 weeks. I remember someone came over to drop us off a meal, and I hid in the bathroom sobbing, and I didn't even know why.

What you CAN do is this:

-DO call or text before visiting to see if it's okay.

-DO bring her a meal.  It is very hard for (many) moms recovering from c-sections to walk around and get in and out of bed.

-Offer to come over and watch the baby so she can just sleep.  Again, moms recovering from c-sections often need more sleep than someone who had a traditional birth, at least for the first 2 weeks (but up to 6 weeks). Everyone is different, but I found this helped me heal more than anything.

-DO ask how she's feeling. Check in with her.  Let her know you are there to listen and help her in any way possible.

-DO focus on the baby, instead of the way she had the baby.

What you Shouldn't Do is this:

-Do NOT - I repeat, do NOT - come visit if you are at ALL sick or someone in your family is sick.  Not only will a new mom freak out about you contaminating her baby, but if she got sick while recovering from a c-section, it could be very bad for her (especially if she gets sick with a cough while healing from her stitches).

-DO NOT come visit her in the hospital if she's not ready.  I know I already mentioned that above, but as I stated, recovery from a c-section is radically different and she may not want visitors seeing her in that state.  Check with her first.

-DO NOT ask to see her scar.  Um, humiliating.  Unless she offers to let you see it.

-DO NOT put expectations on her to be at an event for at least 6 weeks.  Be very understanding of her healing process, and do everything you can as a friend to protect her during that time.

I hope these things are helpful to friends and others who know someone going through a c-section.  While some people have planned c-sections and will respond very differently than this, others will have a very hard time with it.  Now it's your turn - former c-section mommies, did I miss anything?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friday Funnies

It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Funnies post, so I've been saving them up.  Put on your seat belts...this will be a funny ride :)


I asked  Jaden where he wanted to eat on his birthday.  "At the table," he said.  Micah replied, "No, Jaden! Where at a restaurant?"  Jaden said, "In N Out!  And they will be so happy!  They will put party hats on!"

Jaden saw my swimsuit and asked, "Is that your mermaid thing?"

When I picked Jaden up from preschool, I asked him what he had for snack that day.  "Alcohol!" he said.  Later that week, Martin's family was over for lunch and Martin asked what everyone would like to drink. Jaden shocked the whole family when he said, "Alcohol!"

For some reason Jaden was talking about Strawberry Shortcake and he said, "There are crazy girls on there.  That's why I don't watch that cartoon."  He has never seen that cartoon, so I asked where he heard that and he told me one of his friends from school said that :)

We were at a restaurant and Micah said, "Santa Clause is real!"  Jaden shot back, "FAT!"

Jaden keeps telling us that he speaks Spanish.  He adds "L" to every word and says things like, "I wlant leggs for bleakflast.  I spoke Spanish, mommy!"

We were in a Mexican restaurant where they had rap music on (I know, weird).  The first part of the song was just music and Micah asked, "Is this classical music?  Because they aren't singing any words."

In the car we were listening to a rap album of someone who visited our church.  I asked Micah, "Do you like rap music, Micah?"  He said, "I like all music, mom."  Well then!

Micah has been copying his friend Beau's laugh from school.  It gets kindof annoying and I told him, "I like your laugh, Micah.  Just laugh like you."  He replied, "Well, I like all laughs, mommy."

I was wearing a tank top and Jaden sat on my lap and touched the top of my top.  He said, "What is this?  A shirt?" I said yes, and he said, "You need to cover this up mommy.  You need to put another shirt on."   I said, "You don't want people to see that?" (the top of my chest).  He said, "No! Go put another shirt on!" (Interesting what a 4 year old can teach the world about modesty - love it)

We drove by a cop holding a speed gun, and Micah said, "Why does he have that gun?  If people go too fast, he shoots them?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One For The Books

This was so funny that I just had to share this on my blog (for all of you who didn't already see it on Facebook):

The FUNNIEST thing just happened - Jaden was playing outside and came inside to get me. I could tell he was scared about something. He grabbed my hand and quietly led me outside. He pointed to this plant and whispered: "Does this plant grow eyeballs?"

My boy and  his wild imagination!  Jaden just turned 4 and I still need to write a birthday post for him, but this is what life is like every day with him.  He is extremely inquisitive and curious about everything around him.  He says the most hysterical things- I'm just so thankful I have a blog to record them all (to one day show his future wife, of course) :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Checking In...

It's been awhile.

I rarely let 10 days go by without blogging - it is therapy, after all!  Yet these past two weeks have been full.  Full of birthday celebrations for a special 4 year old...

Jaden's open house and preschool performance...

Mother's Day was thrown in there...

Micah's last T-Ball game of the season...

A FUN senior photo shoot...

As well as working and church events.  Martin's 35th birthday is this week, and I am speaking at church next Sunday. So, it may be a few more days before I check in again.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I decided that I am going to do a few posts on breastfeeding, since I haven't addressed that in a LONG time.  Since January I have gotten more calls for assistance than probably ever before, and moms are searching for help and answers.  SO, if you have a question or a topic you'd like me to cover about breastfeeding, please leave me a comment and let me know, and I will work on those very soon!

For a few tips I've already posted about, visit here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Love My Mom.

My mother & I (age 2):

And today...

In honor of Mother's Day, I'm answering some questions from Wendy over at Totally Desperate Mom. These questions triggered some memories of my own, and I hope they bring a smile to my mom's face (and your face, too) :)

1.  What is your best childhood memory with your mom?

I have this one memory that always warms my heart.  When I was little, I remember being in a store and seeing a miniature Christmas tree that I wanted more than anything for my room.  We left the store and my eyes welled up with tears because I was so sad that we couldn't buy it.  When my mom saw me crying, she walked right back into the store and bought me that little Christmas tree.  I will always remember that, because it meant so much to me that she noticed how badly my heart wanted that little tree, and I held onto it for years.  Now my own boys have a miniature Christmas tree of their own that the decorate each year.

Many of my other favorite memories with my mom involve us taking vacations, often to Yosemite or Mammoth.  Those were some long drives, but also gave me an appreciation for family time and vacationing.

My mom  has always been very loving and affectionate, and I appreciate that about her.  She had me at age 21, and was 25 when my brother was born.  Although she was a young mother, I think she did an excellent job.

2.  Did you ever make your mom cry because you were so unruly or disobedient? 

Why, yes, yes I did!  (Thank you for asking) My mom may not even remember this.  When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I got really mad at my mom. I don't remember what for, but she came into my room to try to talk to me, and I threw a baseball at the door, almost hitting her.  (Why I had a baseball in my room full of dollies and Little House on the Prairie books, I do not know).  She left the room in tears.  I never told her, but I felt horrible.  I knew I was going to get it when my dad got home; so, I did what all little girls and boys do who are smart- I pretended to be asleep.  I remember my dad hovering over me, and I could almost read his thoughts.  But he left the room and left me "asleep."  I don't remember what happened the next day; I'm sure I did get punished, but the guilt was more punishment than my 9 year old heart knew what to do with.

I also remember my mom saying, sometime in my teens, "You are so rebellious!"  Now, I knew I was not a rebellious teenager, but I must have done something that drove her to say that.  Not sure what - I have conveniently blocked out everything bad I ever did.

3.  Do you remember any of the special things your mom did for you?

I recall a lot of little things my mom did that were special - she made us dinner every night, and we sat around the table and ate together as a family.  She took me clothes shopping each year for school clothes.  One of my favorite things she did was surprise me by changing my room around when I was at school.  I  remember being in 3rd or 4th grade, coming home from school, and finding my room transformed.  I had my dream bedroom.  She instilled in me a love for reading, for baking, and for making things.  Each year she would enter me in the County Fair for baking, and I would win a ribbon.

My mom worked to put us through Christian school, sewing wedding dresses for a living and then getting a job at a bank.  She made sure we felt safe and loved. I remember her always giving me hugs, which annoyed me as I got older - although I appreciate it now.

One of the BEST things my mom ever did for me was in the hospital after Micah was born.  I was exhausted, drugged, and overwhelmed. She came in, held Micah, and told me to sleep. She sat in that room rocking him while I slept for at least 2 hours. That was the best gift I think she ever gave me!  She also watched the boys for us for an entire weekend so we could go on a cruise.  She is a great "Mimi."  :)

4.  Did she teach you anything really significant?

The biggest thing my mom taught me was to love and serve the Lord.  I remember countless mornings waking up early, and seeing her at the kitchen table with her hot tea and her Bible open.  That planted seeds in my heart that I should do the same thing.  She taught me to work hard, contribute to the family, and use my gifts for the Lord.  She taught me how to be a good mom by her example.  My mom is also really great at finding deals and spending money wisely.  We never had a lot of money (my dad was a pastor), but somehow she found ways to get us what we needed, and we still were able to have fun.  She has passed that gift (of budgeting and finding good deals) on to me, and I am now able to be an example to others.  She also has always loved entertaining in our home and has taught me how to do that well.

So, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of you moms out there, but especially to my own. I'm thankful for you, mom, and love you! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Give Yourself a Gift

When you hear that phrase "Give Yourself a Gift," what do you think of?

-A Massage?
-A nice dinner out?
-Some jewelry?
-A new dress?

I've been thinking about this lately: why is it that I don't do what I know is good for me?  For instance - I know it is good to:

-Eat healthy
-Eat. (Period)
-Eat Less (okay, so most of mine have to do with food.)
-Go to bed early
-Read more
-Sit outside
-Read my Bible
-Spend time in silence
-Spend less time on the internet
-Watch less TV

Yet, when I think of "giving myself a gift," my mind often goes to the first list instead of the second list.  Really, when we do the things we know we ought to do (but don't), then we really are giving ourselves a gift!  We give ourselves a gift when we listen to our bodies, our hearts, our spirits - instead of our task list, our "want" list, or our external needs lists.  When we do the things we ought to do, we end up feeling refreshed, joyful, and at peace.  Yet for some reason we still struggle, and we don't give ourselves gifts, and we feel depleted and angry inside.

So now, instead of going online and adding one more thing to my shopping cart (which has been full for about 6 months now), I will do what my mind and heart are telling me to do - GO TO BED. And rest.  Because doing what I ought to do is a gift; a gift to myself!  

What gift will you give yourself this Mother's Day?