Monthly Archives: September 2015

5 Things I Learned About Caffeine & Babies

5 Things I Learned About Caffeine & Babies

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Happy National Coffee Day!!!

Every year on September 29th we celebrate the delicious beverage called coffee. In honor of this day some favorite chains (and probably some small time shops and bakeries, too) are offering free coffee and discounts. Here’s a couple sites to find out where!

http://www.delish.com/food-news/a43963/national-coffee-day-2015/

http://blog.timesunion.com/savings/national-coffee-day-2015-deals-dunkin-donuts-stewarts-whole-foods-mcdonalds-and-more/15682/

Also I thought I would share with you some things I found out about coffee (specifically caffeine) and breastfeeding.

 

So you finally get the baby to sleep and quietly sneak out of the room. You grab your most cherished mug and indulge in your favorite creamer. You sigh as you watch the delicious dark liquid pour in. You savor and relax and enjoy. And then, in about four to six hours, you have a baby that is feisty and then tired but staying up all night long. What happened? Caffeine happened.

Caffeine and babies. Not the best combination. It is no fun having to deal with a newborn or infant that has had “caffeinated milk”. Usually their little bodies have a more intense reaction which usually means that they stay awake for way longer than they want to be–and they tell you so! Here are a few things I learned about caffeine during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

1.Your baby has everything you have. This is true when pregnant and when breastfeeding. You had a power-food packed salad of spinach, grilled chicken and oil and vinegar dressing, so did your baby. Fast-food cheeseburger and fries, so did baby. Ginger tea for your sniffly nose, so did baby. So…caffeinated coffee? That’s right, so did baby.

2.Not all babies react the same to caffeine or the amounts consumed by breastmilk. My third baby has been taking in caffeine through breastfeeding by about the time she takes her nap almost every day for roughly a year now and she is almost 2. She hasn’t really had any problems. Her older brother on the other hand was very sensitive and I had to drink my coffee very early in the morning many hours before nursing him for his nap or he was not able to sleep.

3.The general principle for breastfeeding younger babies is to have caffeine right when breastfeeding. The idea is that the caffeine will be out of your system before the next breastfeeding session. This generally seems to work if you are breastfeeding a newborn (0-6 months old) about every 4 hours. I heard this advice at a Le Leche League meeting.

4.Caffeine is found in many places. I learned that chocolate, green tea (as well as some other teas) and even decaffeinated coffee all have caffeine in them. Be aware to check and find out if you are unsure about certain food or beverages before consuming them. Even Extra Strength Excedrin, Midol and No-Doz have caffeine!

5.Different foods and beverages have different amounts of caffeine. For instance white tea has more than green tea. It takes about 2 shots of espresso ( 2oz.s) or 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to equal the amount of caffeine in an 8 oz. cup of regular coffee.  (found this info at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372)

So I hope this has been helpful! Don’t forget to check out my post Pumpkin Spice Latte…psych! for a delicious alternative to Starbucks. Do you have any tips about caffeine and babies? Leave them below! I would love to hear from you!

The Birth of Miranda

The Birth of Miranda

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We were on our 2 year anniversary in July of 2009 when we found out I was pregnant with Miranda, our first born. IMG_7361We knew about Rosemary Birthing Home by then having researched about a year ago when Ken and I decided we wanted to have a midwife when we were to have children. There is so much about the pregnancy that was new, interesting and wonderful…..but this post is about Miranda’s birth.

So fast forward to March of 2010. At about 204 lbs and 9 lunar months pregnant, I was very ready for this baby to come! We did not have any ultrasounds so we did not know if it was a boy or girl at this point. What I did know was that it was one active baby and we found out later has Daddy’s metabolism and so much energy that she has not napped since she was about two and half or three. So that means I started having sleep deprivation before the baby was even born! I will post more on that another time.

My actual due date was March 25th. But my labor started on the 23rd at about 12:30 that morning. By this time we had been through all of the Birth Education Classes that are “required” at Rosemary Birthing Home. Because of that, I knew to let my husband sleep. But I started timing the contractions which were about 10 minutes apart. They felt much stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been having the last month or so. I just knew that this was it—I was having my baby!

By about 4:30am or so I could not contain my excitement any more and sort of woke Ken to tell him. He immediately prayed over me, the baby and the birth ahead. We checked in with our midwife. After we verified that all was well, Ken then went to work. We did not know how long early labor would take for us. We decided that I would call him when I felt I needed him. I then called my mother who came right over. I did not want to labor alone. When my contractions got to about 7 minutes apart at about 10am, I checked in with the midwife again. This was about 10 hours into my labor and it was verified that I was still in early labor. Around noon it seemed to me that the intensity of the contractions increased and they were about 5 minutes apart. My midwife decided it was time to come and I also called Ken to come home.

This was our midwife for both Miranda and Kaelan.

This was our midwife for both Miranda and Kaelan.

The midwife was in town and was at our house within 20 minutes at the most. Ken was coming from Tampa so he did not arrive until about 1:15pm. He came to be right in front of me as I was going through my first active labor contraction. These contractions had pain and incredible intensity and were 4 minutes apart. Sometime after this, because we had decided to have a water birth, we filled our birthing pool (which was an actual kiddie pool). I went in with my husband to continue my labor.

By the time I was at 2 minutes apart I was fully dilated (10 cm) and it was about 5pm and 14 ½ hours into my labor. That is when I felt my body start pushing the baby out. I was rejoicing! I was more than ready to be done and have my baby in my arms. But that did not take place for another 5 and ½ hours. I would push and feel the baby come down and then seemed to move back up. Or the baby would start moving it’s little head in circles which I really don’t know how to describe. I felt like giving up but didn’t know how. I had so much encouragement during these hours, it was amazing. And my husband and I stayed forehead to forehead the whole time.

I finally gave a push that had the baby crowning. There really aren’t any words for describing this completely. But it is called the “Ring of Fire”.The next push shot the baby all the way out (like a canon) and then we were holding her. But we didn’t know it was a her yet.  During the pushing sometime someone had turned the light in room off and had the hall light and bathroom light on the other side on. We were also given a towel to wrap the baby in. So Ken cut the cord as soon as it was done pulsing and I sort of “felt” for the gender.I put my hand under the towel and touched the cord. Thinking I felt boy parts I said, “It’s a boy!” Well, obviously everyone went onto the social media and announced this to the world. And then the midwife said, “Are you sure?”

So we moved the towel aside and all looked and well—yep, it was a she! Miranda! She spent her first few minutes in the world as a boy.  So the family went back onto all the social media to correct the mistaken gender. Meanwhile, the midwife found a “true knot” in the umbilical cord which we didn’t know about because we had no ultrasounds.  But there were no complications in the pregnancy or the birth. When the midwife checked Miranda out, she was perfect, clinically speaking. Of course, to us she was just perfect—period. 🙂

Miranda’s labor was a total of 22 hours.  She was born at 10:36pm.  She weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz., and was 21 3/4  inches long. She had a head of soft, black hair and actually looked up at us through the water when we saw her for the first time. It was the first time she saw us, too (although technically speaking she couldn’t really see us yet). She almost immediately tried to lift her head when we held her on our shoulder for the first time. She never ever liked being held that way; she always wanted to see what was going on.

As a summery of her life from then to now is practically impossible.  So much has happened.  Being our oldest Ken and I must remind ourselves that she is not the standard to hold to for the progress of our other two. She potty trained by the time she was 2 and it was accomplished in 3 days with about a week or two of still wearing diapers at night. Solid food was introduced at about 6 months and we made our own to feed her for the most part. She breastfed until the age of almost 3.  My Breastfeeding Story includes my whole journey with all three of my children.

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Now at 5 and ½ she seems extremely advanced to me. Ken and I have researched and spoken to many other families as well as our pediatrician and found that, for the most part, girls just develop much more quickly than boys. So she is our analytical artist with a seemingly photographic memory who loves going to the library and making friends. She is somewhere between a tomboy and a girly girl. I say this because she will absolutely have a princess tea party but still play Star Wars given the opportunity. Play with Barbie dolls and climb trees. She enjoys
her ballet class but she enjoys her sports as well.

We just started homeschooling her in Kindergarten.  She is breezing through it, of course!

I am proud to say that I believe she is a very well-rounded child!

Look for our son’s, Kaelan’s, birth story coming soon.

Raising A House of (Nerds!) Star Wars Fans

Raising A House of (Nerds!) Star Wars Fans

Star Wars Fans

 

I just need to share the humor of our household. We are raising Nerds! Fans of Star Wars. We introduced them a few months ago the episodes IV, V, and VI. Then we found some great used toys in excellent condition considering that they are at least a decade old. (And we checked—no money making collectibles in there to protect from our kids.) Fascination with light saber battles, star ship battles in space and the mysteries of moving objects with the force has been intriguing to watch them try to imitate and understand. But my true joy and what makes me laugh the most is the playing involved!

Pool Noodles as Light Sabers

Pool Noodles as Light Sabers

 

Kaelan just turned 4 and I completely understand the obsession. Racing through the house with the shrieks of “chuming” (his sound for shooting) as a stormtrooper with a gun or a tie fighter in battle. Wielding his pool noodle light saber and declaring that he is ready to save the galaxy even though he decides to use his (pretend) electricity on Daddy in the next moment as Darth Sidious. It’s the best.

But Miranda is willingly posing as every single character, no matter how obscure in the storyline, and acting out every scene she possibly can at 5 and half. And I mean every character. Droids, humans, aliens, good guys, bad guys and inconsequential bugs. She has been them all. I absolutely love her creativity and her imagination. She can use a toddler-sized fitted sheet on her head so she can be Darth Vader. A pool noodle originally meant to be a light saber gets pushed into the back of her shirt so she can be Boba Fett. A light pistol from said light saber handle (created by Dad from pvc pipe wrapped in duct tape) completes her character. One of her favorite things to pretend to be are Tauntauns. These are actually creatures that the main characters ride on a planet covered in snow at the beginning of episode V. She will have Kaelan follow her around pretending that she is Luke Skywalker’s ride. It’s hilarious to witness.Star Wars Nerds!

And then there is Sophia. At the age of 18 months she has chosen not to be left out. When there is a light saber battle (usually between Daddy, Kaelan and Miranda) while the kids are calling out, “I’m Luke Skywalker!” or “You’re Mace Windu!” or “We’re defending the GALAXY!”, she is there in the thick of it wielding her own pool noodle, sound effects and all (no, literally, she is saying “woo woo”). And then she usually gets Daddy who dramatically grabs the inflicted “wound” and starts dying immediately so that they can jump on him as he fades away.

All paticipating

All participating

I really must say that watching the movies and how our children play is fun. But even better than that is that we go to the library every week and they have found that it is full of Star Wars books. This has fed their little minds even more. I believe that the continuation of the delight and fascination comes from the fact that they are able to check out books that tell the stories for their level of “wordiness”. What I mean is that they have Star Wars readers available that is Level 1 through 5. So level 1 has sentences that a four or five-year old is better able to understand than level 5 where the child is reading on their own with much more complicated words and sentences.

So I will give a shout out to our Manatee Public Library. To read more about the Manatee Library locations click here. Here is some fun stuff coming in October to Central Library.