Childbirth Recovery and Post Partum Care: After a Natural Delivery

I was scared to death to deliver Bella, mostly because everyone had told me nothing but horror stories... in the end though I have to admit, it really wasn't that bad! I felt pretty much back to normal around 2 weeks after delivery. But then again I had a little help with the use of some wonderful products. Even though this might get a little personal, I decided to share, because I'd rather share from my experience and leave you ladies informed instead of like me and not knowing what in the world it will be like or what to do afterwards.

From my experience...
After you give birth you're so overcome with joy and emotion from the birth of your child that you really don't feel a whole lot for a couple hours honestly, afterwards you slowly start to get sore. One thing (well two things actually) that they used at the hospital that were ah-may-zing (I cannot stress the amazing part enough haha) were the ugly mesh panties, seriously ladies, they are beyond Victoria's Secret comfy, if I had to do over I'd be like "gimme aaaaaalll the mesh panties"... lol. And the other thing... an opened up pampers diaper that had been soaked in water and frozen. Talk about heavenly. Just try it.

A few other items that I found useful and especially beneficial in my recovery were the peri-bottle they gave me at the hospital, tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil! These provide some comfort but they are most useful in healing and keeping infections away.
For 3 weeks after childbirth every trip I made to the bathroom I would fill the peri-bottle with warm water (not cold, not too hot, because you'll be pretty sensitive during that time) and add around 3 drops tea tree oil and 5 drops lavender, and shake it up before using. Its so soothing, the lavender and tea tree both working to heal and comfort, it'll feel a tiny bit like menthol... and it also helps keep you smelling fresh which is a plus as well!

But childbirth recovery starts before you're technically post partum, it starts even before you start pushing. It starts with this stuff I liked to call "green goop" (lol) But its really known as "Prescription for Nutritional Healing", it's the reason I didn't have to be cut and the reason I didn't tear badly at all (only 2 tiny stitches). And the great thing is that it's completely all natural! Use the recipe below and have your obstetrician or midwife coat the entire area around the birth canal and also around the edges inside the birth canal! I got the recipe from my Lamaze instructor and she said that she's known women who have pushed 9+ lb. babies out and not had to be cut or have many stitches when using this stuff, and it has also be known to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy!

Recipe for Prescription for Nutritional Healing
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 c. Aloe Vera Gel
6 capsules Vitamin E Oil
4 Capsules Vitamin A Oil
Add Olive Oil and Aloe Vera gel to a jar, cut vitamin oil capsules open and squeeze into jar, close and shake, mixing well, refrigerate. :)

Helps with elasticity and also used for prevention of stretch marks.

These are just some things that helped me and I wish I had known before giving birth so I could have been a little more prepared and I hope you can find useful as well.

What are some things that helped you all recover from childbirth?


Baby and New Mom Series: 5 Must Have Baby Products

This is the first post in my new Baby and New Mom Series, a new ongoing series I'm starting on the blog. In this and posts to come, you will find informative info on what products are lifesavers and what products you really just don't need, all from the perspective of a new mom. this week I'm sharing a few items that have been amazing for us!

1. The Boppy Pillow.
This pillow is amazing! Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed (or both) this is a lifesaver. Puts less pressure on your back and arms and keeps them at a nice "breast level" for breastfeeding which is also a comfortable level for bottle feeding.
2. A Changing Table.
Some people might say that this isn't a necessity, but let me tell you, it's a lifesaver! So nice not having to bend down or get on the floor (which is hard to do for the first few weeks of postpartum anyhow) to change a diaper and I know for a fact that our bedspread would have been ruined by now if I had ever made a habit of changing her on our bed.
3. A & D Ointment and Desitin.
This stuff is a little trick we learned in the hospital. They told us we really only needed to use it for the first month or so but it's 5 months and we're still going strong. We still use it after EVERY diaper change and I'm happy to report that Bella has never had a diaper rash. Also if you do notice a little redness (usually after a bowel movement) use Desitin, we only use the maximum strength desitin and after one diaper change are able to go back to the a & d because it soothes it that fast!
4. The Bumbo Seat.
Wow, this thing... it's amazing! It's made of a soft foam type stuff and they can usually start sitting in it from around 2 months or so of age. It helps with stomach muscle development, you can get so much done (like cooking dinner) while they sit and watch you, and our favorite use is in the shower! She sits in it during our shower till I'm done washing myself and am ready to pick her up and wash her! And it's so easy to dry off afterwards!
5. A Video Baby Monitor.
I can't even tell you how nice these things are! You can hear them as well as see them! Plus can we say night vision, who doesn't love that? Lol. I couldn't imagine having only an audio monitor, hearing sounds (or not: when they are sleeping) and not knowing if they've moved in the crib from where you positioned them or what is going on. It's just so much more reassuring being able to see.

I was not compensated in any way for this review, all opinions are my own. :)


Answered Prayers

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

This past week has definitely been one of those weeks... Lets flashback to early last week shall we... It started off by the woman who owns the condo we had wanted (who mind you had already told us it was ours) said there was another couple interested in it (even though she had said she wasn't even going to show it to anyone else). Then a few days later (the day before we were going give her the security deposit and first payment) she calls and says she decided to rent it to the other people. Talk about feeling betrayed, lied to and cheated. What's funny (I mean that extremely sarcastically btw) is that she was all for us moving there so we could be near my hubby's parents since they live within walking distance (and also rent from her) till she found out we had a baby. It was only a couple days after she found out we had Bella that she decided to do this to us. Only a few short weeks till we were scheduled to move.
So from there things only got more stressful, looking for a place, nothing seemed right, everything was either a not so great place in a not so great neighborhood, above our price limit, or already rented out.
It felt like God was turning a deaf ear to us and we couldn't understand why. But we just kept on praying and trying to have patience and have faith and understand.
I spent all day yesterday on the phone with realtors and trying to get ahold of realtors who have still never returned my phone calls or emails and was so stressed out and worked up by the time my husband got home that all I could do was sob in his arms. We found a house yesterday that seemed perfect though it was a tad bit above what we wanted to pay per month, it had just been remodeled and was beautiful, but even though I loved it, it wasn't the place for us.
Little did we know that God had other plans for us, in a place that no, maybe wasn't what we had planned, but will be better for us than the other places we had wanted and were looking at.
A place that is in a safe neighborhood with nice neighbors and nice owners/landlords, a place that is nice and was actually several hundred dollars below the price we thought we were going to have to pay! A place where we wont have to scrape to get by and worry about my husband having to constantly work overtime or worry that we wouldn't be able to afford for me to still be a stay at home mom. A place that has a large window seat like I've wanted my whole life (I know, seems insignificant, but I know God kept that in mind and remembered that all these years because that was one of the big things in the place that I liked and was a key factor of making me decide to like it), the beautiful French doors and the sunroom, and I love that there are lots windows all around the place too because I love natural light.
Finally in conclusion, we will also be moving almost a week sooner than we would have been moving if we had gotten the first place we had wanted. We signed the papers and paid the security deposit this morning and will be getting the keys this week! It'll be so nice just to finally be settled, though right now I'm kind of freaking out because I haven't the first clue where to start with packing lol.

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)


Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Cinnamon Rolls are another recipe I've gotten a lot of requests for so here it is. :)
For Cinnamon Rolls follow the bread dough recipe (found here) up until after you take it out of the machine.
Make sure you have a nice clean flat surface to roll the dough out on, you'll need extra flour (so the dough doesn't stick), take 1 stick of butter and put in a pan on the stove to melt, you'll also need a cookie sheet ready and sat aside.
Sprinkle flour on whatever clean flat surface you choose and roll you dough out.
Once your dough is rolled out take the butter and cover the rolled out dough completely (here's where a baking brush comes in handy), then sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top (I don't really measure but on average its about 3/4 a cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon).
Roll dough until you have a spiral and cut with thread (yep, the same kind you sew with, it cuts them flawlessly!), just slide the thread underneath your roll and pull the ends around your dough to cut!
Place them on your baking sheet, letting them cook for 15-25 mins (depending on your oven) at 350°.
After removing them from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes before adding glaze.
For glaze I mix powdered sugar and a very small amount of water with a whisk (thick glaze is the best, you don't want it to be thin and watery), usually just your desired amount, I always end up using almost a whole bag lol.
Pour glaze over tops of the rolls and Enjoy! :)

Happy Baking! 


Photo Shoots and Cupcakes

We had an ipromptu mtheini photo shoot (with my new camera) in our backyard this past Saturday. So much fun! Also discovered a cupcake shop has newly opened up downtown! Had such a wonderful first Mother's Day!

One of my new favorite shots of the little girl who made me a mommy and I! :)


 Couldn't decide whether I liked this photo best in color or black and white. :) 

Love her to pieces!

Such a precious moment captured between father and daughter.

 Best Cupcake I've eaten in my entire life!
My wish come true.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake! Yum!

 How seriously blessed am I to have these two?!


On Motherhood; My First Mothers Day!

The moment the two pink lines showed up and I discovered that my husband and I were expecting I was completely overjoyed, but at the same time so scared. My dreams of becoming a mother were finally going to come true, I had yearned for so long to have a child of my own, our own, and my heart had ached to hold a child that belonged to us in my arms. I remember becoming sad anytime we'd see a new mother with her baby when we were out. I remember crying so many times, tears of want, till they turned to tears of joy that wonderful day in April last year. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to get married and start a family, even as young as age 2 I knew that's what I wanted in life. Being a mother for me is the most rewarding experience imaginable in life... It's amazing, beyond amazing actually! The feelings that ran through me the moment Bella was born are unexplainable, I was so overwhelmed with love and joy and happiness... in that moment I became a mother, a moment so sacred and beautiful. The quote "Before you were conceived I wanted you.  Before you were born I loved you.  Before you were here an hour I would die for you.  This is the miracle of a Mother's love." is so true. That's exactly how I feel about my daughter! Being a mother changes you, it teaches complete selflessness, and it teaches you a love deeper than you thought you were ever capable of, and being a mother brings more joy than I can even describe. All the "firsts", the rolling over for the first time, the giggles, trying new foods and discovering what they like and dislike and seeing they're little personalities emerge! But being a mother has its difficult moments too, along with all the love and joy that motherhood brings it also brings a constant fear and worry and an intense vulnerability. Even though we are out of the newborn stage and into the infant stage I still constantly check to make sure Bella is breathing while she sleeps and naps, there are those shots where you cry as much or more than they do, those nightmares you have to soothe and tears you dry, the sleepless nights every night (even if you have a child like me that typically sleeps through the night), those constant what if's. The only way to have true peace is to pray. I am in constant prayer over Bella and her present, and her future, I pray about the things that will happen during her lifetime that I have no control over, I pray that God will keep her safe and keep his hand over her protecting her and guiding her all her life. And I pray that God will lead and guide me and my husband in raising her. Some people might say they don't want children because of the responsibility that comes with being a parent, the responsibility of making the choice to forever have your heart walking around outside of your body but in my small experience the good far outweighs any difficult times and I wouldn't trade being a mommy for anything in the entire universe. I look at Bella with all the love I feel for her and I become so thankful for my own mother because I now know how she feels about me and how she's always felt about me, even during the times in my childhood and teen years when I had my difficult moments. As an adult and as a mother it all makes sense now and I wonder how many sleepless nights I have given my own mother. I know there is no way to thank her for all she has done for me (and even still does, though we live thousands of miles apart)... I love you Mom! And as I lay here holding my 5 month old daughter, after rocking her back to sleep after she woke from a nightmare I know without a doubt that this is what I was created to do, this is the path God chose for me when I was still in my own mother's womb and I wouldn't truly be happy doing anything else. I am so blessed beyond my wildest imagination!

Bella and I recently on her first Easter!

My Mom and I dressed up for an event when I was just a couple years old.
Happy Mothers Day!


Homemade Bread Recipe

I've been asked several times recently for my bread recipe so here ya'll go! :)
Bread Machine Bread Dough 
Yield: 1 loaf
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons  butter
3 cups  flour
1 1/2 teaspoons  salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons dry milk
1 tablespoon yeast
Add ingredients to bread machine in order given. Use the dough cycle, after bread machine has completed its entire cycle (typically around an hour and a half), take your bread pan that you will be using to cook it in and coat with oil (otherwise it will stick) remove the dough from bread machine pan, shape into a loaf and place in bread pan. If you like oats on top of your bread, take 1 egg, break into a separate bowl, separating the white from the yolk and use only the egg white (this is important), whisk it up, brush it across the top of your loaf of bread dough and sprinkle oats on top (I usually use Quaker Quick Oats). You an also cut 3 slits in the top of your dough and it gives the bread a pretty touch as well as making helping it to cook more thoroughly.

Let rise until doubled. Time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen, 15-30 minutes, Bake 30-35 minutes at 350°.

(For brown bread, use 2 cups white and 1 cup brown flour.)

 Happy Baking!


Say Cheese!

Things have been crazy since I last blogged, still been recovering from wisdom teeth removal and I've been pretty tired since then but am slowly gaining my energy back thankfully and can eat pretty much normally again! :) Starting to pack for our move next month and I also I was finally able to get the camera I've wanted for so long! A Nikon D3200! So exciting! I have a lot to learn but I'm looking forward to it and I've always been a fast learner so it should be fun! And my new camera strap I recently won from Sam and Kate Design (www.etsy.com/shop/SamAndKateDesign) looks so adorable on it! I mean seriously, what could be better than gold, sequins and tulle? :)

Below are a few pictures I've taken of Bella with my new camera.


Happy Blogging!


Mothers Day Giveaway!

So excited to announce my first giveaway! Click on the Giveaways page to enter! :)

Happy Mothers day and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Changing Times

So much has went on since I last posted! This past friday afternoon I had my wisdom teeth removed! Such a scary painful experience! I wouldn't wish the removal of wisdom teeth on anyone, in my opinion giving birth to my daughter wasn't as painful, I know, I know, you probably think I'm being dramatic (lol) but that's how I feel about it, and if I talk to you on a regular basis and it's all I talk about just know that it's because it was traumatizing okay? ( lol sorry mom and hubby). I am happy to have them finally removed though due to the fact that they bothered me for so many years and I put it off way too long. Anyhow though, it was the first time I've ever really had anything done with my teeth and I had no idea what to expect other than pain, so I was pretty scared leading up to surgery. I don't remember falling sleep when they put me under, all I remember is the room started swimming. I remember I was dreaming pleasant dreams when they brought me to, though I can't remember what;  waking up it felt like I was waking up to a nightmare, I just remember being scared because I didn't know where I was and my mouth hurt a lot. I started sobbing (which the anesthesiologist said was completely normal). Funny thing is I remember everything after waking up (most people don't I've heard), and I also remember feeling like I had Jay Leno's chin, it was numb and felt huge! Haha! Anyhow over the next few days it got worse before it started feeling better. I still can't chew food very good (I just want a salad so bad!), but most the pain is gone and the doctor said today that I was healing up extremely well, which I am very thankful for. Hoping I'll be able to eat and chew more real food by the end of the week. :) Also I won a pair of the most adorable organic baby leggings for Bella from Amira at www.amiragray.blogspot.com and Sarava at www.etsy.com/shop/saravadesigns in an instagram giveaway that I had completely forgotten I'd entered! Thank you ladies, such a nice surprise! And I found out I'm going to be getting my Nikon DSLR camera (my belated birthday present. :) those things are expensive! Lol) very soon and I am so super excited about that! I've wanted a really good camera for so long and for years my dream has been to own a professional grade camera, learn all the ins and outs of it and hopefully someday start my own photography business! Who knows, maybe I'm on the road to that dream coming true! And last but definitely not least, our plans of moving are finally starting to come together! I am so excited! It'll be so nice to move into somewhere more affordable and smaller! We have too much room where we are right now and it's just not economical to stay here. We've known we were going to move since not long after we got married so we never really got to make our house our home and decorate like we wanted, so I am super stoked about that! We are going to be moving into a condo within the next month or two and I can't wait to make it just like we want and decorate in the styles that I like, to make it cozy and homey and make it uniquely ours! So now that I am feeling better and mostly recovered from getting teeth out I am happy to resume blogging and get back in the groove of things as well as starting to pack (I haven't the first idea where to start lol)! Hope everyone's day is going wonderfully! Happy blogging!