Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Things Don't Go As Planned...

I am a planner.  

According to my husband, I have a hard time "just letting things happen." Although I love modern conveniences and am so glad we have the technology in the medical field, I have a tendency to lean toward the natural side of things.  I was totally ready! I had discussed my birth plan with my husband, midwife and doula and knew how my birth was going to go down to the last detail!  I was going to have a natural birth with lots of walking and laboring in the tub.  I was going to listen to my body and roll with the waves of contractions. No Epidural, no pitocin, delayed cord clamping, no staying in my bed, baby rooming in with us and no doctor telling me what to do!

I had my husband's and my bag packed, I had outfits for my baby ready, we had just moved closer to both of our parents and was on my last week of work. I had made it! Baby was due to come any day (in my mind) and I was headed to my checkup.  Since a lot of our belongings were in boxes and my husband and I were about 2 hours apart while I was finishing up my job, I thought it would be a good idea to just keep our bags in the car... just in case.

Once I was at my appointment and we went through the motions of a normal appointment my midwife told me "Everything looks good. We'll see you next week!"

That night, I had gotten a call from my midwife and she said... "We detected protein in your urine.  Your blood pressure isn't considered high so your not considered pre-eclamptic, but you need to go on bed rest and come back in 2 days and you'll need to pick an induction date in 2 weeks."

I immediately was calling my husband, doula and best friend nearly in tears. This was not suppose to happen to me!! I have boxes to unpack, food to cook, floors to vacuum and dishes to put away! I have nesting to do in our new house and I had been talking about my natural birth for months! I was NOT having an induction!!

Fast forward to a little less than two weeks later on October 4th. This was my third 3 1/2 trip that week to the doctors office for a urinalysis, blood pressure check and baby monitoring.  I made one final plea for putting off my induction. My midwife said that if my blood pressure still wasn't high, she would present my case for me to the OB/GYN.  The nurse came in and took my blood pressure and it was high.  With a horrified look on my midwife's face she said "I'm going to walk out of the room and come back in 10 minutes.  You need to take a nap while I'm gone."  After a few minutes went by she sent the nurse back in and took my blood pressure again and this time it was higher!

My midwife left and after fifteen minutes returned and said "Um, well I talked to the OB and... not only is she not going to let you move your induction further out, she says you need to be induced tonight at 5."  

So after texting my husband and telling him I wasn't joking and calling my doula to get on her way it was time to have this baby! 

Thursday night they started me on magnesium sulfate and gave me a cervical softening pill because I was hardly dilated... Go figure! I had mild contractions through the night and we started the dreaded Pitocin at 7AM Friday morning. With that the contractions got stronger but I was still able to doze through some of them. I was bed bound with minimal movement because of my bp and the magnesium sulfate.  Along with the baby's heart beat could only be found when I was on my back or my right side. Stinker! 

After laboring for a lot of the day my midwife finally decided to manually break my water. Then came the strong contractions.  And boy were they strong. After 8 hours of laboring at 4 cm that I thought I saw 8 come from her mouth, a couple painful trips to the bathroom and a lot of moaning and breathing, my midwife suggested an epidural. Although I was ready, THIS WASN'T IN MY PLAN!  In fact, nothing so far had been a part of my plan!

Luckily with the epidural I was able to sleep for a couple of hours and regain some fight.  After the couple of hours of sleep my epidural was starting to wear off and I could feel A LOT of the intensity of contractions.  Meanwhile my midwife pulled my husband aside and said if I wasn't progressing, they were going to take me in for a C-Section!  The time came for my check and I had progressed to 8+!! Yay!  After a couple more hours it was finally time to push!!

With my epidural they weren't sure if I would be able to use the squat bar or not, but thank goodness I was able to!!  After pushing for about and hour my midwife pulled my husband aside and said if baby wasn't here by 5AM we were going to have to do a c-section. Then she asked how mad I was going to be when she told me that I was going to have to have a c-section.  My husband told her not to mention it.  HA! Good man!  After I finally got the hang of pushing and we were nearing the end, my midwife said my little bundle would be here in 15 minutes.  I said, "How about 2!" And she was! My bundle of joy was born at 4:52 AM!


After a moment of skin to skin they took her to the warming table for an evaluation.  Anticipating my baby to be the expected weight of almost 9lbs according to the last ultrasound the nurse called out a weight of 6lbs 11oz.  WHAT?!  Then after nursing my bundle, she had to be taken to the NICU for monitoring because of low blood sugar. It was official: Nothing went the way I thought!

I had wanted a natural birth and mine was far from it.  Although my birth wasn't what I thought, it was still my birth.  I felt empowered and like my body had just done one of the most amazing things that God ever intended for a woman to do! I hope that my next birth will go more "according to plan", but if it doesn't, I'm confidant that I will feel just as empowered, because I had a plan.

~Jayna

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rewards for ALL!

So, did you know that Elegant Mommy has a Rewards Program?

It's kind of awesome, really.

All you need to do is come into the store and make a purchase and we will give you a card to fill out with some basic information. On the back of the card there are six boxes and every time you make a purchase we fill in how much you spent in one of the boxes. When the card is full, you get 10% of the total amount spent as store credit to use however you want!

Since we started this rewards program last fall, over $1100 in rewards have been redeemed!

This program is just one of the ways that you get back when you shop locally! As a small company who cares about our community, we strive to always give back. Besides the loyalty rewards, you get customized service, knowledge and help from employees who care, not to mention the satisfaction of supporting a small local business who constantly strives to give back to the community.

What are our customers saying about our rewards program?

I just don't know where to start :). I learned about Elegant Mommy shortly after having our son, and I just love it! With the rewards program, it is just great!  I have purchased numerous items, and it is just awesome when I fill up my card!!  Collin loves the items especially his "softies" blankets from there!  Most recently with my rewards I was able to not only purchase a few baby gifts but also used my rewards to get a few extras for the new mommies!!!  More so though I love coming into the store with Collin and visiting with the friendly and knowledgable staff :).  All the opportunities for furthering my knowledge for him!!!!  I am just grateful that I found such a wonderful shop, with great employees that also has great rewards for shopping locally!!!  ~Liz S
I really am surprised the amount I got back from the Rewards Program. If I am going to buy cloth diapers anyway, I might as well get some sort of incentive. And I was able to get close to $60 back to spend. I know if I purchased from a person or another business I probably wouldn't have gotten that. ~Danielle
Elegant Mommy's rewards program has been amazing. It is so generous of them to offer their customers a chance to get a little something extra as a thank you for shopping with them. This is one of the bonuses of shopping locally. I also appreciate the willingness of Elegant Mommy's staff to work with my husband in utilizing my filled rewards card to help him pick out a *perfect* Mother's Day present. That personalized service and attention is rare these days and it is just one of the many reasons that we love to shop at EM! ~Beth 
So, come on in and get your rewards started TODAY!

~Evie 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Simply Adorable Headbands!

Check out our facebook albums below by clicking on the links above the pictures. These pictures are just a sampling of the adorable items we have in stock as of today. If you find something you want, just leave your email address and your preference of local pick-up or shipping - which is ONLY $2.00 unless otherwise noted - in the comments on the picture of the item you want (in the facebook album), and we'll send you a paypal invoice. Once it's paid for, it's yours!

Click here to see all our available Infant-6 Month headbands, and 6 Month & Up Headbands, only $8.99 and made locally by IttyBitty Lydi


 





Click into the albums and see all of the adorable designs available!

**Please note that the items in these albums are what we have in stock as of 7/22/13. Because these are items made by Work at Home Moms, stock and quantity of each fabric and design is limited. If you see something that you would like and it's not available when you order it, we will let you know as quickly as we can and will help you get something else that works for you!

Friday, July 19, 2013

SB = Special Blessing, NOT Spina Bifida

It is only fitting that I start our birth story at 19 weeks of pregnancy as that is when our entire lives changed.

 I remember sitting in that very first Doctors office with all the wonderful thoughts running through
my head that every first time mother or parent must have. Will it be a girl or a boy? Will I be a good mom? Is he/she going to look like me? I never thought that I would have much more important things to think about over the next nine months. The doctor had asked many questions but the one that stuck out to me the most is if I would like to do any testing for birth defects and my answer was very straight forward, "
No! No matter what could happen this is my baby and nothing would change that." God must have decided to test my faith because nine weeks later I am sitting in a totally different doctors office receiving the news that my son has "myelomeningocele" a type of Spina Bifida. 
Myelomeningocele is a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth.  Those dreaded words..."There's a defect" were ringing in my ears and my eyes were filling with tears as I sat there in shock. I finally got the strength to mouth to Zach (my husband) "that's BAD" and let him take it from there. We left the office will little information on what the future held for our son and walked out to our pickup. I dialed the number to my moms house and she answered happily, awaiting to know the sex of her newest grandbaby little did she know that wasn't the biggest news we recieved. I told her it was a boy and handed the phone to Zach as I turned into a mess of tears. We spent a few moments calling the closest family members and letting them know the news. It felt hard to face the world but we had plans to go baby shopping after the appointment and I was determined to do so despite all the hard news. That day marked the beginning of the rest of our lives. 

Fast forward to July 5th, 2011. By this time we had settled into our new role as "special needs"
parents. We went in (Sanford) for my scheduled c-section that morning and by 12:15 the surgery had begun. Jonah Jacob Weber was born perfect at 12:42 pm and was whisked away to the NICU shortly after. Even though this was not how I had originally planned the birth of my first child to be it was short and sweet...and exactly what I could have asked for considering the situation. Jonah went in for his first surgery on July 7th to repair his myelomeningocele and his second surgery July 13th to place his shunt. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting is surgery to treat excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain which is called hydrocephalus. Jonah came home on July 17th after spending only 12 days in the NICU. Since then he has had two more surgeries: one to repair his shunt after it became clogged around 2 months old and one more surgery for an undescended testicle. 







Jonah is now two years old and the light of our lives. He is spunky and smart and always has a smile on his face. He has met every milestone on time with the exception of walking which he is working on with his walker and braces. He receives birth to three therapy services in our home several times a month and continues to see his doctors in Sioux Falls throughout the year. Other than that there are no daily reminders (besides a few scars) that our son was born with Spina Bifida. And now Jonah is very excited to be a big brother in January.I would like to finish our story by reminding every woman who is having sex to be taking the recommended amount of prenatals and folic acid months before becoming pregnant. You still need to even if you aren't planning on becoming pregnant! Before becoming pregnant with our second child I took 1 prenatal and 4mg of folic acid for four months. Having one child with Spina Bifida increases our chance of having another one by 4% but with me taking the recommended pills I have depleted that chance by 2%. At the end of this month we will find out if baby #2 has Spina Bifida. If you would like to follow our son's story please visit his caringbridge. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonahweber/


~Emily

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Marilyn Hildreth

1. What is your Childbirth Profession?

 I have been a maternal health RN since 1975 having worked in a NICU Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Labor and Delivery, Postpartum and Newborn Nursery.  I have been honored to be present for over 5,000 labor or births.  I have been a certified childbirth educator through International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and Lamaze International.  I have served on the ICEA Board of Directors as Education Chair and Faculty for numerous ICEA Workshops, I have served as Instructor for Lamaze International Labor Support for Nurses Workshop, been a Certified Doula since 1999 through ICEA and DONA International, a Doula Trainer for ICEA and DONA International, and am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

I have served on the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Leadership Team, and  I am past Chair of the CIMS Mother Friendly Nurse Recognition Program.

I am also a consultant for health systems that are working towards CIMS Mother Friendly status.

2. Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.

Childbirth is a beautiful place to help empower women to find their voice for the rest of their life. 

3. Why did you get started in your profession?

My life verse from an ancient book Titus 2:2 is for older women to instruct younger women on how to love their husbands (children).  I believe older women have a responsibility to teach the younger women life skills.  Childbirth offers the perfect opportunity to do this.

4. In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?

Childbirth is a life transforming time in a woman's life.  During this rite of passage a woman is able to find her voice for the rest of her life for herself, her children and her family.  I believe childbirth is a time to empower women to speak up for their wishes and for what is best for them. My job is to respect that woman and honor her wishes.

5. If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?

Trust your body/your instincts.  It knows what to do.

6. How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?

See above

7. Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?

Yes.  JM Birth Consultants International 
People can contact me at Marilyn@jmbirthconsultants.com or call at 605-691-5808. My website is www.jmbirthconsultants.com. Visit the site for a listing of workshops and video resources

8. Where do you practice?

I practice all around the world: Qatar, India, South Korea, Canada, Costa Rica, and China along with many hospitals throughout the US. I live in Brookings, SD, however, and I do a lot of work with the hospital there.

Friday, July 12, 2013

This Is It! For a Boba Wrap....

Here they are - the Babywearing Daddies!

Check out all the awesome pictures of awesome daddies wearing their awesome babies! I love seeing the diversity of where these dads are wearing their kiddos - from the apple orchard to playing ball with their older kids to doing the dishes to playing guitar hero to the power tool aisle at Sears! What a testament to all the dads out there - you CAN be an active part of your baby's lives! Wearing them is a wonderful way to bond and show your love to your little one.

Now for the fun part - the voting to see who wins the Boba wrap!!

Instructions:

  • Browse all the pictures in this post
  • Choose your favorites
  • Leave a comment on this blog post with your TWO favorite pictures
  • Cast your votes by the end of the day on Sunday!
  • ***Please be honest and leave only ONE comment on this blog post with your TWO favorite pictures!
The winner will be announced on Monday!

Happy browsing and voting! :)

***Voting Ended on 7/14/13 at 11:59 p.m. Congratulations to the winner, picture Number 17!!**

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

...In The Nick of Time!

After having our third baby in March of 2010, my husband was certain he was done. I had always wanted four children, so I was slightly bummed, but didn’t push the issue. When Jerzi was 18 months old, she weaned from nursing, and my cycle returned. I warned Nate I could get pregnant now, and he said – to my surprise – “If it happens, it happens!” Well, 2 months later, it happened! Baby Miller #4 was on it’s way.

The pregnancy was a typical one…I got very big, very fast. We opted not to find out what we were having and I said from day one, “If this is a boy, it’s going to be 10lb 6oz!” and every one always gasped…but my 5 yr old son was 9lb 14oz at birth, so I was ok with a 10lb baby. I started out seeing the midwives thru a local health group, and while they were very knowledgeable, they were very medically focused. I had heard of Morning Star Birth Center early on in my pregnancy, but it was an hour from my home, and I thought I’d just go with the hospital midwives. By 20 weeks I knew I’d made the wrong choice, but just stuck thru it. When they told me I couldn’t have a water birth at 35 weeks, I broke down and called Morning Star. That’s when things started looking up for us!

Our first appointment at Morning Star was at exactly 37 weeks. They took me in like I’d been there the whole pregnancy, and welcomed me with open, loving arms. I told them that my baby was on track to being well over 9lbs, and they said, “Excellent! More to love!” and didn’t care that I wanted a water birth. They actually supported me and wanted to empower me and allow my body to do what it is made to do. We discussed the pregnancy, what I wanted for the birth, and got the rest of the appointments made. I walked out of there with a new found confidence and excitement for what I was going to experience.

On June 22, I had a horrible night. I thought for sure I was in labor! I woke up to awful cramps, nausea, shivering, body shakes, and contractions every 6 minutes. I didn’t want to get ahead of myself so I waited for about an hour…unfortunately they stopped and I eventually fell back asleep. My 39 week appointment was the next day, and I let them know what had happened the night before. We all just chalked it up to me not eating supper that night and didn’t think much more. About an hour after leaving the birth center, I ended up losing my mucus plug…and then I started thinking maybe that WAS the start of something. Nate said, “Well, you’re going to have the baby on Monday. I know it. It’s your dad’s birthday and the baby is going to come then.” I told him not to get his hopes up...I didn’t want to get mine up either. Sunday was a typical day. No Braxton hicks, no cramping, lots of energy, and I actually felt great! We had dropped the older two kids off with Grandma on Saturday so we spent all day with Jerzi. We went to bed around 10 and I was actually comfortable…it was amazing!

At 12:01AM on Monday the 25th, I woke up to a single contraction. I thought, “No way…another bad night in store.” This one was a little stronger, but nothing terrible, and I just got up and went to the bathroom like usual. I had a loose stool, which was weird for me, but again, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I laid back down and another contraction came at about 12:15…ok, 15 minutes apart. Nothing too alarming, but I let Nate know this could possibly be it. I said I’d let him know in a few hours. 12:24, another one…a stronger one. Ok…good, at least they are pretty far apart still. 12:34 and another one came…along with the shaking body and uncontrollable shivering. At 12:37 I called my best friend and doula, Monica, and she said get off the phone with me and call Catherine. Catherine answered the phone at 12:43, and I had another contraction while talking to her. She said, “Ok hun, I think it’s time to have a baby, head on in!” and not 2 minutes later another contraction hit.

At this point it’s real…not a false alarm. I almost lost it, and went face first crying onto my bed. Nate said, “It’s ok, you can do this…call Maggie and tell her I will get Jerzi ready and you need to get to the car. We can make it thru this, together!” I pulled myself together and made my way down the stairs. I was scared and in pain, but knew this was when I needed to be strong. We got in the car at 12:52 and started towards Morning Star. I got on the phone with Monica and she could tell this was it.

Without Monica, I honestly don’t think I would have made it. She calmed me down, got me focused, and helped me find my “groove” as she calls it. She told me to relax my body and tell that baby that we couldn’t be in the car for the birth, and we needed to slow down. I started moaning thru each contraction, which were coming anywhere from 1-4 minutes apart. They hurt, and being in the car was not the place I thought I would labor, but with Monica’s voice on the other end of that phone I made it thru each one. As Nate drove 90 mph down the interstate, I started having more and more contractions and more and more pressure. I had to focus, I had to breathe, and I had to make it to Morning Star!  Catherine called at some point, and I let her talk to Nate. I don’t know exactly what she said, but he knew he had to get me there and fast. He was great and just kept telling me I could do it. I remember him trying to hold my hand at one point, and I said “Don’t touch!” because my hands had gone numb. He didn’t mind and just kept comforting me thru his words. I finally hung up with Monica and just focused on getting thru the contractions, one painful bump at a time. Thank God we didn’t get pulled over, or we would have never made it to Morning Star!

This is where things get fuzzy for me, and I am pulling some details from Monica!

At about 1:15 or 1:20 we pulled into the parking lot. Monica had been there for a few minutes and started setting up the room with Rachel. Catherine was walking in as we got there.  I walked down to the Chocolate room and as a contraction hit, braced myself against the two walls. As I was coming out of that one, I told them I wanted my shirt off and my hair up. Bless Monica’s lil heart, she is trying to get my hair up while I’m standing…even tho I have a good 4-5 inches on her! Catherine asks if I wanted to be checked. I told her I probably should because I didn’t think it’d be much longer. Apparently I asked, “Do I just drop trou right here?” and they all giggled and said yes. Another contraction came and I braced the side of the tub, which was not even half full yet, and let it pass. Catherine checked me and as she got done I had another contraction where my water (in the words of Monica) erupted onto the floor. I literally flooded the room, and as they were trying to clean it up I had immediate relief. They kept saying, “Just 5 more minutes and the tub will be ready!” “Hold that baby in there, it’s almost ready!” It was too late. My body started pushing, and I wasn’t going to fight it. As I sat there, bracing the wall for support, I felt the head come out. No one told me when to push, or when to stop, I listened to my body and did what felt right. A few more minutes and I was pushing the body out. Someone asked Nate if he wanted to catch him…and Nate saying no thanks.  I gave one final push and the baby was out at exactly 1:33AM. Nate looked over, and whispered in my ear, “It’s a boy!” and after making sure the cord was long enough they handed him up to me!

I stood there, looking at him in awe! Did I really just do this?! Did I just have this baby,
STANDING UP, and by myself?! It was so amazing to realize that I had let my body take over and do what it needed to do. I vaguely remember someone saying, “Shoot, you don’t even NEED to be at a birth center next time, just have the next baby at home!”  They asked if I wanted to get into the tub, which was finally full, and I did. I sat in there for what seemed like hours just looking at my lil Spencer. Even tho he didn’t get in, Nate sat there and we just looked at Spencer, while the midwives and Monica rubbed the vernix into his skin. Rachel kept checking his cord, to see if it had slowed it’s pulsating yet, and asked if we wanted to feel Spencer’s heartbeat. It was so surreal feeling the blood being pumped into his body thru the cord, but something I will never forget. I finally felt like we could get out and lay down, so they helped us out and we all laid on the bed together. After getting into the bed we waited for the urge to deliver the placenta, and I was able to gently push it out while I nursed Spencer.

We were all anxious to see how much the lil man weighed. Catherine said under 10,
Big Boy!
Monica said 9lb 13oz, Nate said under 10, I don’t remember Rachel’s guess, and I still said 10lb 6oz. They put him on the scale and it said 10lb 6oz! None of us could believe it, and after they measured his length I was in pure shock! He was 10lb 6oz, 23 inches long, and his head was 14 inches. Definitely my chunky monkey! I was pretty proud of myself at this point, especially since I had no tears that needed repair.

Rachel asked if I wanted to see the placenta…I thought “Ok, that’s kinda cool. Sure!” So while Nate stepped out of the room, we looked at the placenta. It had started to break down, meaning Spencer was definitely ready to be born, and the “tree of life”, and my apparently extra long cord! They even measured it, mentioning it might be the longest they’ve seen, but I don’t remember how long it was (it was 80cm[Catherine]). She showed us the sac where Spencer had lived the last nine months, and it was super cool!



So while it wasn’t the water birth I had been dreaming about, it was better! I got to be in
Monica & Baby Spencer
a place that was so warm and loving, surrounded by people who actually cared about us and wanted to help me do what they knew my body could do. I am grateful that Monica was there, and while she doesn’t think she helped much, I couldn’t have done it without her! She may have just snapped pictures at the birth center, but she helped me thru the worst part of my labor and she was there for me every step of the way. Nate was great too. Altho he didn’t say much, just having him there and knowing no matter what he is there for me helped me thru the birth. I could feel him there and I knew I could do it…I was able to draw strength from him and I will always be thankful to have him as my husband and the father of my kids. The midwives were out of this world. They didn’t force me to do anything I didn’t feel like doing, and they guided me to do what I needed to do. Had I been in a hospital I don’t know that I would have had such an easy labor or delivery…and for that I am so very thankful.
 
Nate & Baby Spencer
That week was like a dream, and Spencer’s birth is still so surreal. I can’t believe how things unfolded, and never imagined I’d have a story like his to tell. The staff at Morning\ Star helped me realize that while hospitals and Dr’s are great for certain things, there is nothing better for labor and delivery than a place full of love and support, and little intervention. Thanks again, to everyone involved!

~Allie


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Burp Cloths, Uh-Oh Packs, and Swaddle Blankets

Check out our facebook album below by clicking on the links above the pictures. These pictures are just a sampling of the adorable items we have in stock as of today. If you find something you want, just leave your email address and your preference of local pick-up or shipping - which is ONLY $2.00 unless otherwise noted - in the comments on the picture of the item you want (in the facebook album), and we'll send you a paypal invoice. Once it's paid for, it's yours!

All of this week's featured items are made by *Mama Baby Threads*


Click here to see all our available Burp Cloths, 17.5 Inches long, only $5.99


Click here to see all our available Swaddling Blankets, 40-42 Inches square, only $12.00


Click here to see all our available "Uh-Oh" Packs, Warm or Cold use, only $9.99





Click into the albums and see all of the adorable designs available!

**Please note that the items in these albums are what we have in stock as of 7/9/13. Because these are items made by Work at Home Moms, stock and quantity of each fabric and design is limited. If you see something that you would like and it's not available when you order it, we will let you know as quickly as we can and will help you get something else that works for you!

Before You Go Back To Work...

This excerpt is taken from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and addresses going back to work after your baby arrives.

Proceed Slowly

The length of time a mother is able to spend at home with her baby before returning to
work is an important factor in assuring success at breastfeeding. Also, a mother and baby have a great need to be together in the early months. Once you hold your baby in your arms you'll probably decide you want to delay returning to your job ofr as long as you can so you and your baby can enjoy this precious time together.

Bargain for as long a maternity leave as you can possibly manage. If at all possible, arrange to be home at least six to eight weeks after your baby is born. One study found that women who returned to work before their babies were two months old had more breastfeeding problems and weaned earlier than women who returned to work later. Three months at home with your baby is better yet. If you can stretch the time to six months, you will probably have seen him to the time when he begins to take other foods. The longer you can stay home with your baby, the longer both of you will enjoy the benefits of being together.

Stretching your maternity leave may mean using vacation time or accumulated sick or personal leave. Sometimes this leave will be paid, other times it will be an unpaid leave with an understanding that your job will only be held for a certain number of weeks or months. Some companies are willing to add an unpaid leave of six months or so onto a standard maternity leave. Policies are changing as more and more people, both men and women, request provisions for extended leaves for a variety of reasons. It is worth your while to look into the company's past treatment of employees who have received personal time off for whatever reasons.

Mothers and babies need time to be together in the early days and weeks. This is a special season in the life of a child, a time when mother and baby establish a relationship meant to last a lifetime. Whatever your plans for the future months, take time now to nurture this new being.

In The Baby Book, Dr William Sears discusses the importance of making the most of your maternity leave: Don't dwell upon the day you will return to work, lest the preoccupation rob you of those precious weeks of connecting with your baby. During the weeks or months at home with baby, let your baby develop your nurturing skills. Enjoy the time spent with your baby as you let mutual giving bring out the best in both of you.

There is not a La Leche League meeting this month or next month, but we will be holding a Breastfeeding Support Group meeting this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Educated Mommy. If you are expecting, have a new nursling, or have been nursing for quite some time, come on down and join us, and get and give support - we're all here to help!

Babywearing Daddies

So. Have you seen the pictures of Channing Tatum wearing his new baby daughter in a Moby wrap?

How about Cam Gigandet wearing his sweet baby in a sling?

I have to say. There's almost nothing as sexy to a mommy than seeing her man wear their baby. I SO wish I had a picture of mine wearing ours.

Boba's Camo Soft Structured Carrier
To that end, how about we have a contest?? Let's share pictures of our men wearing our babies!!

To enter, just email me a picture of your hubby/partner/baby's daddy/man in your life wearing your baby in a wrap, sling, or carrier of some sort. (media @ elegantmommy . com)

I'll post all the pictures I get here on the blog, and then we will do a little voting for our fan favorite.

The picture that gets the most votes will win a Boba Wrap, sponsored by Boba!!

Please get your pictures to me by end of the day Thursday, 7/11/13.

This is going to be fun!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

He Was There...

My Dad and I
My dad passed away 41 days before our daughter was born. I was heartbroken. Everyone told me that I would feel his presence in the delivery room. I was skeptical. "Easy for them to say", I told myself. 

My water broke at 3:00 pm. I'm immediately sent to labor and delivery as I am 3 cm and 100% effaced. I call my husband to tell him to come, and then get checked in and changed. 


After a little while, I look up at the clock and notice it says 12:00. I figured the clock needed new batteries, no big deal. I look up again and the hands on the clock are spinning around and around and around. "That's him," I think to myself. "That's my dad." The labor and delivery nurse says, "That clock is going to drive me nuts if it does that. I have to take it down." As calmly as I could, I muster, "You can't. You can't take it
Mom and Dad at the
Gender Reveal Party
down. That's my dad telling me he's here. You see, my dad was born on April Fool's Day and has always lived up to that. He was always a jokester and loved every minute of it. You can't take it down." For whatever reason, that clock was so comforting to me. I know it sounds strange, but even though my husband hasn't arrived at the hospital yet, I feel an overwhelming calm. I just know that everything is going to be fine.


About nine hours later, after an epidural that didn't take, 
almost two and a half hours of hard pushing, and a second degree tear that I could feel every stitch being sewn, our angel was born. At 11:16 pm, Hope Micheal entered the world at 8 lbs, 2 oz. and we wouldn't have changed a thing.

~ Marcy

My husband, Josh,
Our Sweet baby Hope,
and Me right after she arrived

Nail Polish for All!

Do you and/or your little princess love having beautiful colors on your nails?

I know my daughter and I do!

But what about all those nasty chemicals found in mainstream fingernail polish? Is it safe for you and your precious girl?

Well, we have a PERFECT alternative to mainstream polish, and now is a wonderful time to stock up!!

Introducing Piggy Paint - the polish that's as "Natural As Mud"!

Now through July 15, you can get a FREE bottle of polish when you spend $15 on any Piggy Paint products and/or accessories! So, come on in and take advantage - it ends soon!