Finishing out my week on Postpartum Progress as part of the Warrior Mom Leadership Team, I posted there today about how traumatic my c-section was and how triggered I was for quite some time after it, especially by that show A Baby Story! It’s become clear to me (and to my therapist) in retrospect that I suffered some PTSD from that experience. As it turns out, an unplanned c-section is a risk factor for PTSD in mothers.

I am in a better place now, whenever I think about it. But for that first year or so, I cried a lot about it. I felt so raw. I could not even look at my scar. Now, I can talk about the c-section in a different way–with less sadness, less anger, more appreciation for the medical advances that sometimes save moms’ and babies’ lives. However, I do still find myself reeling every time I hear about one of my friends being scheduled for or having a c-section. Maybe someday that will change, but for now I’m just giving myself grace to grieve along with them, if that is what they are doing.

Anyway, I hope you’ll join me at Postpartum Progress if you don’t find this topic too intense or triggering for you. If you do, just know the bottom line: It’s OK to run flailing from the things that trigger you.

Knowing What Triggers You and When to Change the Channel

P.S. I also want to give a shout out to a fantastic post that was also published on Postpartum Progress nearly 3 years ago. I found it after I had written my own post. As I read it, I just wanted to hug the momma who wrote it and also thank her for providing so much information about this topic!

Mom Recounts How Childbirth Trauma Led to Her Postpartum PTSD

P.S.S. Here is a post I wrote years ago about what I wish I’d known prior to my c-section:

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

 

guest postSleep… you know, that thing we did before we had kids? Parents all over the world struggle with sleepless nights when they first have a baby and, if they’re not careful and don’t nip issues in the bud as soon as possible, could be battling these restless nights for a long, long time to come.

While it’s inevitable for a newborn baby to wake during the night and only sleep in small amounts, as they grow, this will improve. Implementing good routines and teaching them to self-soothe can be hugely beneficial when it comes to them learning how to sleep for longer stretches of time. A newborn baby sleeps for about 16 to 18 hours a day – unfortunately for the parents, it’s not in substantial chunks. It takes a while for them to get used to how things work outside of the womb and for their circadian rhythms to kick in. However, incorporating good routines and sticking by them throughout baby and childhood will mean that eventually, you will be able to enjoy a nice, restful sleep again (although not the same as pre-baby, no doubt).

Here are some tips to help encourage good sleeping habits so that you and your children can enjoy a good night’s sleep in no time.

  • Teach them to self-soothe by laying them in their cot whilst they’re still awake. Affix a Baby mobile to their cot, or to the ceiling light, so that they have something to look at as they drift off into dream world. By laying them in their cot awake, they will learn that they don’t need you to settle off to sleep, so you can rest easy too!
  • Swaddling can help baby feel safe and secure, therefore more likely to sleep soundly. While it’s certainly not for every baby (some like to have their arms free), it’s worth a shot for peaceful nights.
  • Incorporate some white noise, whether it’s the baby mobile working away in the background, the sound of a fan or a low volume static from the radio, white noise can often help to settle a newborn because it emulates the sounds they used to hear in the womb.
  • Dim the lights to help them distinguish between bedtime and wake time. There’s more chance of them syncing into a good routine if they don’t have nightlights to confuse them.
  • Be aware of SIDS and how you can minimise the risk. Leave anything unnecessary – pillows, teddies, duvets – out of the cot and simply swaddle baby with a cotton blanket. Lay them on their backs, too.

It’s expected to be up at all hours during the first few weeks, but babies should begin to sleep for longer when they’re a couple of months old. While it can be an arduous process, as long as you stick to a routine, eventually, your child will be happy to sleep through the night just like you will be.

 

Yesterday was Small Business Saturday, so I feel like I missed the boat by posting about one of my favorite small business today. BUT! Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, and there’s no rule that you can’t shop all the great deals from those same small businesses you checked out yesterday! And I’ve got a great coupon code for you at the end of this post!

I’ve been a pretty big fan of BePe Baby for years. Their slippers have been a staple in Jackson’s wardrobe for most of his 4 years. We started out with the super cool baby slippers with flames on the sides, which you can see in this classic itty bitty Jax photo:

bepe baby slippers

Then we graduated to sports slippers, featuring baseballs, soccer balls, footballs, and more. And now we’ve made it to the largest size, with the crossbones slippers, which we like to refer to as the “pirate slippers.” (We watch a lot of Jake & The Never Land Pirates in my house.)

Jax was happy to model his new slippers:

bepe baby slippers

And a little more closely:

bepe baby slippers

All the things I’ve raved about previously still apply now, years later: Jax loves them because they’re soft, comfortable, “really cool,” and easy to put on and take off without any help. What I love about BePe Baby slippers is that they have non-skid soles, they’re inexpensive, and they’re durable and washable. We’ve only needed to replace these slippers because Jax outgrows them.

For you, friends, BePe Baby is offering a 25% off coupon code that’s good all week (valid through December 8, 2013): JAMESJAX

So stuff your kid’s stocking with some slippers that will make you both happy & check out BePe Baby. They offer more than slippers, too! Check out some of these adorable hats & leg warmers! Oh, and they’re also on Amazon now.

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about one of my biggest pregnancy regrets–foregoing the opportunity to bank placenta blood cells, cord blood cells, and tissue because I thought we couldn’t afford it. Since my pregnancy 4+ years ago, the cost and application of this innovative technology has improved. And things will only get better going forward.

The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has already proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988, stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.

Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking, and it’s available only from LifebankUSA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are many important reasons to choose LifebankUSA.

When you bank with LifebankUSA, tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) is included for free.* Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA’s parent company is actively involved in their development.

LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of its complete banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby’s tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time.†  Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.

I will always regret not finding the means to take advantage of this service when I could. I urge those of you who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant to research more about LifebankUSA.

LifebankUSA is having another awesome contest on their Facebook page. They’re giving away three top-rated and highly desirable Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seats (value $260 each) in a random drawing from entrants in the Facebook contest. You can learn more about & enter the contest here.

FB-image-post-for-contest

*Storage fees apply after the first year
†Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.

This is a sponsored post.

What people prepare you for as a new parent is the prospect of sleepless nights, vast expenses, limited to no social time, your house being taken over by all things baby and the next 18 years plus of your life being dedicated to looking after someone else and always putting them first.

Of course, we all know fine well that having a baby brings an enormous amount of joy and a love that was previously unknown in to play and this obviously is what spurs procreation on. That, and the un-manageable biological impulses!

Regardless of the love you gush with for your wee bairn, being a new parent is tough and a lot to have to deal with initially, especially if it’s your first. But in retrospect, as a lot of parents whose kids have grown up will tell you, these are the best days! Something in the same vicinity as having a puppy turn in to an old dog!

As parents who have had the experience (with humans, not animals), they will tell you that they miss their children being babies in one form or another. When you have your baby, they don’t answer you back, you always know where they are so don’t have to worry about that, they can’t tell you that they hate you or don’t like everything you cook, puberty is a long way in to the future and their clothes will never be cuter. Once they get old enough, they end up wearing all sorts of crazy things, just like you did when you were younger. Terrifying right!

The best of the best to cling on to for as long as possible are the baby’s shoes from George at ASDA. The cutest little booties, sandals and pop-ons that will make you coo in the future. When you’re baby is all grown up and a person in themselves, you will miss them being so cute and innocent and small!

George at ASDA offers you a range of adorable foot wear that will make you wish your little bundle of joy never grows up and out of them, even if that does mean you are always that little bit shattered for the rest of your life. It would be totally worth it if they could just always look so cute! In twelve years time, you’ll be digging out every pair they owned making wishes for them to get younger again, like the opposite of the movie Big with Tom Hanks. All the more reason to stock up on as many little pairs as you can, ‘because magic is hard to come by out of Hogwarts!