Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back from Beneath

Whew!  I must say that the last week and a half have been a whirlwind.  I've returned to work, experienced my first earthquake and hurricane (yes, I know I need to stop talking about them, but c'mon!  2 natural disasters!  In one week!), nursed, nursed, and nursed some more, cleaned, cooked, laughed, cried...you get the point.  Last night, after a seriously delicious Lebanese dinner, I went to bed.  At 7:45.

On top of being incredibly busy, our internet service provider lost power in the hurricane.  As a result, I chose not to wasn't able to check my e-mail, read any blogs, or compose any of my own.  When I finally opened up my e-mail today, I found this:

ugh.  where to begin!?

In perfect procrastinating form, I ignored all the e-mails and went straight to my Goo.gle Reader:

Yeah...not gonna happen.

As if I'm not already overwhelmed by everything else in my life, my fun pastime has to rear it's ugly head and slap me in the face.

That's pretty much the state of this girl as of late.  So I'll leave you with a picture of how we abused enjoyed our uninterrupted time with J this weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Despite the hurricane ready to pummel us tomorrow, I'm kind of excited.  I haven't been home with T and J, uninterrupted, since April?  We have food, water, wine, books, music, games...I'm ready to stay put and enjoy the weekend.

Stay safe if you're out east, everyone!  Otherwise, what does your weekend entail?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


1.  I'm a guest blogger at Naptime Is My Time!  I list some of the challenges of city living with an infant.  Check it out here!

Come on, Ir.ene, well I swear what he means.  
At this moment you mean everything! 
2. Welp.  I'll experience my first earthquake and hurricane, all within the same week.  I'm trying to be prepared without being obnoxious.  I picked up some canned food and water.  I've been instructed to fill the bathtub with water to flush the toilet if necessary.  I'll charge phones and computers, and I'm thinking about making a run to Tar.get tomorrow to pick up a radio.  Otherwise...

3.  Being back to work is surreal and exciting and exhausting.  I'll post more on this later, but I'm so incredibly thankful that I'm able to bring J with me part-time.  Yes, I have the best of both worlds.

4.  I'm addicted to the song Perth by Bon Iver.  Please tell me you've had the privilege of listening to this song.  On repeat.  For hours.

5.  J has been log rolling across the living room which is just about the most adorable thing ever.  However, he does this strange head twist when rolling from front to back resulting in slamming his head on the ground a few times.  He then cries out and looks to me for comfort.  It gives me visions of the future when we reach toddlerhood and skinned knees.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The weather was gorgeous.  I was off of work and sped home.  I picked up J from his tired Papa's arms, secured him in his Bob, and strolled through the neighborhood.

The sun shone brightly, the breeze blew gently.  We stopped and watched as the older children shrieked in delight, flew down slides, and ran in circles.  I sipped my drink and kissed my babe.  He watched the leaves on trees rustle and smiled at the wind.

motherhood.  I have arrived.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We experienced our first earthquake today.  J was with me at work, T was at home sleeping.

Around 1:45 pm, I was working in my office visiting with 3 other colleagues.  J was snoozing dreamily in his moses basket in the corner.  I stood up and strolled across the room to look at some material, when I felt small vibrations in my inner ear.  Consequently, this made me feel a bit dizzy.  I asked if anyone in the room noticed the peculiar vibrations.  Someone laughed and pointed out a bottle of water teetering on the desk.  Almost instantaneously, the ground began to shake in a very violent, rhythmic pattern.  And that's when I lost it and began to shriek.


One of the women who was standing close by frantically lifted up J's basket by the handles.  Seconds later I was there, whipping him out and into my arms.  We fled to the doorway and stood there for a few moments until the shaking stopped.  Visibly distraught, we quickly walked outside to see hundreds of people fleeing their high-rise office buildings.  Thankfully, we saw no signs of injury or severe damage.  With a sigh of relief, we quickly learned that we had experienced a large earthquake.  The largest our area has seen in history.  J woke up but, perhaps sensing my fear, was very quiet and observant in my arms.

The phone companies were immediately bombarded with calls, allowing us only to communicate via FB or text.  I heard from T who jolted out of bed and out the door - consequently locking himself out of the building.  I heard from J's Godparents, our colleagues at our other locations, my friends, our family.  Thankfully, no one was injured, just shocked.

I sped home to be with T and burst into tears explaining to him how terrified I was, not for my own life, but for the life of J.  I so desperately want to protect him.

I will forever DESPERATELY try to protect him.

I'm okay now, thankful that we can all "laugh" about the extensive news coverage of bricks falling to sidewalks.  But now that I'm a mama, I am not sure that I will ever recover from the immediate stress those 45 seconds put on me.

Thank God, one extra gray hair will be the only negative consequence of today's event.

Did any of you experience today's earthquake?  
Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Please share how you dealt with the situation.

I'm from the midwest.  I can handle tornados like a champ.  
Earthquakes, on the other hand...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Blues

I had big plans for today.

  • visiting a church to see if it aligns with our interfaith family
  • meeting the Hypnomamas and their babies for lunch
  • meal planning for the week
  • shopping at trad.er joe's for ingredients for said meal planning
  • completing Jill.ian's 30 day sh.red level II

And then a massive thunderstorm rolled in.  Consequently, I cancelled all plans and this is how I spent my day.

I go back to work tomorrow.  While I am no longer "teaching" per se, I still have the depressing feeling that comes with returning to work after 3 months of leisure caring for an infant.  Add to that, T works tonight so I'm home.  Alone.

Thank goodness I spent the day photographing this handsome boy.

Oh. my. goodness.  Our boy is growing.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Family of 3 at 5 Months

I'm a mommy blogger! Learn more about me here!
Wow!  Little man is already 5 months old.  Next month, he'll be half a year...yikes!  J has been growing like a weed.  He unofficially weighs in at 16 lbs and 26.5 inches.

J will be eating something other than breast milk as we are preparing for solid foods via Baby-led Weaning (read: more like Baby-led feeding as weaning is not on the horizon).  This will happen shortly before or around 6 months.

He is talking up a storm, grunting, spitting, giggling, and smiling.  Seriously, I am so thankful we have such a laid back boy.  But, he's become very feisty lately and I'm worried we're in for it during the toddler years.  Someone recently said he has a lot of "piss and vinegar" in him.  Uh oh!

J is almost able to sit unassisted.  He is quite good at the tripod sitting, but I've been trying to give him more practice without the use of his hands.

He has also continued to do amazing pushups while on his belly, his favorite position.  Put him down on his back and within seconds he's on his belly "swimming."  He has recently been able to hike himself up onto his knees and hands - absolutely the precursor to crawling.  I anticipate he'll figure this out in the near future.

I head back to work on Monday.  I cannot believe this summer has already bypassed me and we are at the beginning of a new school year again.  I'm afraid I didn't appreciate my time at home enough.  I am, however, excited to see all of my colleagues - many of whom I am great friends with outside of work.

I traveled with J on my own for the first time.  Lots of anxiety gave way when helpful passengers stowed away my carry-on bag for me, readjusted my cover as I nursed J (a mother of twins who said she could never travel alone like I was.  Compliment from a mother of multiples?  I'm blushing.), and many offerings of help.

I recently had a blood test and my TSH levels are all wonky.  I guess I have some type of hy---thyroidism.  I'm seeing an endocrinologist at the end of September.  Wish me luck!

He might seriously be the hardest working man I've ever known.  It's ridiculous.  As I've mentioned before, he's a pediatric nurse.  Who works nights.  Lots of them.

On top of his "real" job, T is a volunteer Firefighter who works every Thursday night and 2 weekends a month.  So. time. consuming.  I deeply admire him.

T is training for a 10-miler this October and I promised him I'd be his training buddy.  So far, things haven't been stellar in that department, but we have work-out days actually on the calendar.  This helps us to be accountable, and ensures that someone will be around to watch J.  2 weeks in and we're sticking to it!

As my addiction runs strong for Ma.d Me.n, T has joined in.  We have a wedding to attend in October and are thinking about having his and her Ma.d. Me.n attire from Ba.nana Re.public.  A little Don and Betty Dra.per sounds sexy to me (sans womanizing, adultery, and the all out debauchery, of course.  Well, maybe a little debauchery).


(Hoot Hoot!)  
(Have you entered to win my incredible vintage owl necklace yet?  
No worries, you can still enter.  Click here to find out how!)  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

::Guest Blogger:: like you for always

J and I have jetted off for the week to visit family!  While we're sizzling in the heat, some of my favorite bloggers and/or people have honored me in their willingness to guest post.  Please visit these bloggers,  and follow their blogs.  They inspire me!

Meet another fantastic blogger, and also a March Momma, of gorgeous Baby Emma.  Taylor from like you for always gave birth to Emma on March 30 of this year (Yes!  10 days after J!).  Taylor blogs about her pregnancy (read her archives) and now chronicles the life of her sweet girl.  Curious about what baby products others are using?  Taylor tells all about products she loves, hates, or recommends to new parents.  I find this VERY useful!  Go check her out and follow her blog!  Really...I can't get enough of Emma's sweet expressions.


Hi! I’m Taylor and I blog over at like you for always. I am so excited to be guest blogging over here at JET’s Journey today! When E first asked me to write a post, I was stumped. Total writer’s block. So, I started stumbling through her achieves to see which topics her readers enjoy most … and in the end, just decided to write what I know.

When I was pregnant, I was constantly on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. New moms, old moms, grandmas, even people without children of their own see a growing belly and cannot resist telling you about their experience or the experience of their boyfriend’s sister’s roommate. In the beginning, I would smile, nod and listen politely, but eventually there came a time in my pregnancy (around the second trimester) where I became so frustrated, I would devise ways to abruptly end these conversations.

Now that I’ve had my daughter, I better understand where these women were coming from. I gave birth to my baby girl, Emma Rose, back in March, and talking about my pregnancy and birth experience never gets old. When I find out someone is expecting, my heart swells for them – I want to hear all about how they’re feeling and share with them everything I went through. Pregnancy/motherhood is like a special club and when you find a new member, you want to totally unload all of your best advice on them.

So, that, in part, is what I’m going to write about today. A compilation of my best pregnancy advice…

Put the book down! Stay away from pregnancy books. I read TOO many different titles during my pregnancy and instead of making me feel informed and prepared, they scared me. Nothing I read in those books caused me to have a more successful experience.

Join your birth club on Baby Center. I turned to Baby Center daily when I was pregnant and still find myself perusing articles now that Emma has arrived. Unlike the books, Baby Center is an interactive, online community of real moms talking about the things that really happen – not dozens of hypothetical dramas that affect less than one percent of pregnant women. Questions I posted were answered in real-time and I took comfort knowing that hundreds of women were experiencing everything I was right along with me. I also loved reading the answers to questions I never thought to ask.

Don’t share your baby name. Clearly, all of this is just my opinion, but I fully believe in guarding your chosen baby name(s). Selecting your child’s name is a personal, private decision, and unless you are prepared for the feedback – good and bad – keep your lips sealed. How dreadful would it be if you and your partner are set on a name, and then your family squashes it? They have no choice but keep their thoughts to themselves after the ink is already dry on the birth certificate. Plus, it makes for such an exciting arrival! Our families knew we were
expecting a girl, but we didn’t give a single hint as to what her name would be. Announcing her arrival was thrilling – not just because having a baby is magical, but because we had kept that very special secret.

If you’re going to get stretch marks, you’re going to get stretch marks. No amount of coca butter will save you. And watch out! They can strike POSTPARTUM!

Register for gender neutral baby items. When we found out we were having a girl, I was tempted to change everything on our registry. While I did adjust a few items, I kept the big (expensive) stuff in gender neutral colors and patterns. If Baby #2 happens to be a boy, we won’t need to rebuy any of the necessities because they’re too “girly”.

If they are really your friends now, they will still be your friends after baby arrives. I read a lot of posts on Baby Center about women who were afraid they would lose some of their non- mommy friends after their baby arrived. Truth be told, if they ditch you after you have a child, they probably weren’t great friends in the first place.

Love every second of your “pregnancy hair”. It fades fast and you resume shedding just after delivery.

Try to exercise. I was really into running prior to getting pregnant and I was devastated when I had to stop at 20 weeks (too much pelvic pressure!). I was forced into long walks and the elliptical machine. I know it’s easier said than done – especially when you are beyond exhausted and feeling like an elephant – but I’m convinced that regular workouts helped me stay comfortable even in the later weeks.

Don’t skimp when packing your hospital bag. That first shower after labor and delivery will be the best of your entire life. Bring every toiletry you could possibly want. Also, bring your make-up. Everyone told me I wouldn’t want it, but at the last second I grabbed it anyway – and boy am I glad I did. Call me vain, but my favorite pictures of me and Emma in the hospital are the ones where I “have my face on”.

It’s not a competition. Make decisions based on what’s best for you and your baby. Don’t ever feel guilty about your choices and avoid comparisons.

And my most important (and longest) piece of advice …something I struggled with during my pregnancy …
Ignore the Debbie Downers. My husband and I were married in May 2010 and started trying for a baby in July. What was the rush? There wasn’t one really. At the time, we had been together for almost 5 years and just felt … ready. We had no idea how long it would take for me to become pregnant, and assumed it would be a few months before we’d be blessed enough to announce we were expecting. Little did we know the first time was going to be the charm. Instead of being over-the-moon for us, my family was a little … reserved. They didn’t shower us in congratulations like I expected them to. Eventually, they admitted that they thought we’d settle down for a while and just “enjoy being married”. Hearing that was like a little raincloud over what should have been an incredible time for us.

Likewise, when I’d talk about starting a family with some close friends, they’d say things like, “I want to wait a long time before having kids. I want to have fun first!” They probably don’t even realize how I interpreted that. People just say silly things to pregnant women without much thought sometimes, like, “Enjoy sleep now, because you won’t get any for months!” or “I hope you’ve had your fill of date nights, because you won’t have many of those for the next 18 years!”

And so I say to you, no matter what anybody scares you into thinking, having a baby does not mean that you won’t be able to enjoy your marriage. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do fun things. It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get a satisfying nights rest. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to sacrifice date nights from now until eternity.

Emma has filled a void we never knew we had – a notion you can only understand if you’ve had a child yourself. It’s hard for non-parents to understand this: Yes, you may have less sleep, less “me time” and less overall freedom, but your life becomes exponentially better after having a child. You have a greater purpose. You lose some of the selfishness that we all carry around as humans and it gets replaced by selflessness – which is far more flattering anyway.

To all of you pregnant, soon-to-be mamas, I hope you are having the time of your life preparing for your little one’s arrival.

To all of you mamas reading, I’m curious if you share in my advice?

(Hoot Hoot!)  

(Have you entered to win my incredible vintage owl necklace yet?  
No worries, you can still enter.  Click here to find out how!)  

Monday, August 15, 2011

::Guest Blogger:: Baby Lately

J and I have jetted off for the week to visit family!  While we're sizzling in the heat, some of my favorite bloggers and/or people have honored me in their willingness to guest post.  Please visit these bloggers,  and follow their blogs.  They inspire me!

Christy, from Baby Lately, is one incredible momma.  Marriage in 2010 resulted in just about the sweetest baby boy, Jackson (another baby J!) in 2011.  Jackson was born on April 17 (literally 4 weeks to the day from my Baby J) and has grown to be one of the cutest little chunks this side of the Mississippi.  Another bonus?  This momma had a natural birth!  She's tough.  



Hello Jet’s Journey Readers! When E asked me to be a part of her guest-blogger week, I must say that I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough! My name is Christy, I am a first-time mama to a really squishy almost-4-month-old giant named Jackson. He was 9 lbs at birth and is rounding out 18 now! I blog over at babylately.com, and welcome any of you to stop by at any time! Now, down to business:

When it comes to having babies, everyone has an opinion. No really, everyone. The opinions start flying, practically, from the moment you see two pink lines on that test. People give (many times unwarranted) advice to expectant mothers on the best ways to take care of themselves, what kind of exercise to do, what kinds of exercise NOT to do, what to eat, what NOT to eat, how to sleep, what to name your baby, what kind of delivery to have, on natural childbirth, on medicated childbirth, on what to name your baby, on what trauma your baby have if you give it the name you have chosen, and the list. goes. on. Throughout my entire pregnancy I grew frustrated, weary of the unwarranted opinions of the friends, family, and strangers (yes, strangers) that were sure to be hurled my way each day. I kept thinking, with all my naiveté, that if I could only bite my tongue until I actually gave birth, and then it would all be better.

Well, I was wrong.  The opinions just keep coming! Now it is a matter of what vaccination schedule I should follow, why it is better to worse to cloth diaper, when I need to start solids, and so forth.  While I do not mind the opinions and sweet advice from my close friends and family, I get easily agitated by the ‘advice’ perfect strangers have for a  new mother. One of the first questions I get when I meet a stranger is ‘are you nursing?’ My first thought – ‘Why do you care what I am doing with my breasts and my baby?’ That seems a little invasive, no? Of course, I let them know that I am, and they breathe a sigh of relief and say ‘oh, gooood.’ This confuses the you-know-what-out of me! I love breastfeeding, it is a great decision for my family, but I realize that it does not work for everyone. Not long ago, formula-feeding was the norm, not the exception.  Some people have actual issues with low supply, a premature baby that won’t latch, a non-premature baby that won’t latch, or a personal preference for bottle-feeding. The same goes with cloth versus disposable diapering, natural versus medicated childbirth, and so on. I think what I am trying to get at here comes down to this: How dare any person have the audacity to question a stranger on personal decisions over their child’s well-being? Most of these strangers are women. Mothers themselves. Do they not recall a time in their experience, as a new mother, where they second-guessed their decisions, researched what would work for their family, and plead with the universe not to catch judgment from others, especially those who know nothing about us? Now don’t get me wrong, questions are fine – just leave the judgment to yourself. And of course, I adore people who gush over my little mister and let me know how beautiful he is (I know, I am enamored with him myself, but I still love to hear it). However when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, maybe we should embrace a ‘to-each-his-own’ sort of attitude. There is enough pressure to do things right as it is.

I am proud to say that I am a natural childbirth, breast feeding, formula supplement giving, disposable diapering, imperfect to some, but perfect for him mommy! All of those decisions are working for me right now, and my baby is healthy, happy, way adorable, and more perfect than I could have ever hoped for in my wildest dreams. All of the judgment and opinions aside, I know one thing for certain: I love that kid, madly. (I mean, do you see his face!?)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a little friendship goes a long way...

Researching for a birth class was both exciting and intimidating.  Upon my 20th week of pregnancy, T and I began to seek our best option:  Bradley Method?  Or Hypnobirthing?  After a little bit of research, including what classes were available and when, we decided on Hypnobirthing (more on this decision in another post).  We were the last couple to be added to a class of 4.

The 4 couples with whom we studied breathing techniques, fear releases, positive mantras, and relaxation quickly became aware of our personal feelings toward birth.  At the beginning of each session, we would discuss how our pregnancies were progressing, how we could prepare ourselves physically for birth, and how we all could support one another.  I was the first woman due to give birth, shortly followed by another, and then months for the other 3.

As it were, the woman due 3 days after me gave birth 28 hours before me.  10 weeks later another baby was born.  1 week later yet another.  And lastly, the final hypnobaby was born this July.

4 of the 5 hypnobabies

Since the beginning of June, as many or as few of us that are able come together for a long lunch and conversation.  What is so striking to me is that these women are intelligent, kind, gentle, and compassionate - not one ounce of ingenuity can be felt among them.  Perhaps it was because we knew the most intimate details about one another from fertility issues to perineal massage, or perhaps I am lucky finding women who are genuinely thoughtful and peaceful women, but my time with these women is so unpretentious.  So uninhibited.  And I am so thankful.  It is in this group that I am not afraid to express my anxieties or joys about parenting.  I do not find judgment or competition.  I find likeminded women, also looking for community in which we can be ourselves, swoon over each other's children, and find comfort and support. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all women were committed to being this type of mother?

What do you do to connect with other mothers?  
How do you avoid, stand up against, and admonish those so desperate to compete when it comes to mothering?

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Moment: Mama's Latte

(This Moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.) 

Thank you, SouleMama, for the inspiration!

Hoot Hoot!  
Have you entered to win my incredible vintage owl necklace yet?  
No worries, you can still enter.  Click here to find out how!  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Win This and Look Beautiful!

100 in = A win!

To thank the followers with whom I have joined in fantastic community, I wish to give something back to you.  This is not something for your lover, baby (fur or otherwise), or best friend.  This is a giveaway for you.

A wise old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?

This wise owl pendant originates from the 1960s.   The owl is articulated into three pieces measuring approximately 3" in length.  The chain on which the owl dangles is about 16" when worn.  The necklace is a golden tone with dark jeweled eyes that sparkle in the light.

The owl pendant retails for $30 and comes from my very own thrifting collection. 

How to Catch the Owl:

You must be a public follower of Jet's Journey.  Leave me a comment in this post letting me know that you are following me.  If you are already following, please comment letting me know that you've been here since the beginning.  :)  (equals 1 entry)

Additional Entries:

1.  "Like" Jet's Journey on Facebook and leave me a comment on this post letting me know! (2 entries)  
2.  Blog about Jet's Journey with a link to this giveaway!  Comment and leave me a link to your post. (4 entries)
3.  Grab the button for Jet's Journey and post it on your blog!  Comment and leave me a link to your blog.  (6 entries)

The winner will be selected by Random.org on Friday, September 2nd.  (This is not arbitrary, for it is T's birthday!)

Thank you to all of my followers for validating all that
is and will become. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Date-iversary

On August 11, 2005 T and I went on our first date.  
6 years


Thank you, T, for taking that shot of liquid courage 6 years ago
and asking for my number.

Best. decision. ever.

I love you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

kale chips, quinoa, and tofu with summer squash, onion, and peppers

Monday, August 8, 2011

SEX (& a thank you)

Now that I got your attention, let me disappoint and inform you it's not going to be that kind of post.  

Let me tell you a story about how we found out the sex of our child.

Upon my 18th week of pregnancy, T and I anxiously awaited our anatomy ultrasound to find out who would be joining our family.  Originally, I was adamant about not finding out the gender but, as we got closer to this ultrasound, curiosity got the best of me.  Conversely, T was ready and willing to find out if he'd have a little man to pamper or little lady to wrestle (intentional reversal).

This was, by far, the best ultrasound we had to date.  We were shown the lobes of J's brain, the 4 chambers of his heart, his bladder (which, by the way, was very prominent.  However, moments later when scanning the area again she almost couldn't see it.  Yes, my boy emptied his bladder in my uterus while we watched.) liver, kidneys...you get the point.  It was only at the very end of this 30 minute ultrasound that the tech asked if we wanted to know our baby's sex.  Yes!  Please!

Let me back up and tell you that this was the end of October.  Fall in these parts (and winter and spring, for that matter) can often be gray and rainy.  This day was no exception.  We'd driven to our appointment in the rain but, despite the dreary day, we had more than our fair share of cheer.

The room where the ultrasound took place was dimly lit and the blinds covering the windows were tightly shut.  We could hear the drizzle lightly beating against the single pane windows.

When the ultrasound tech gently moved her tools toward his lower extremities, she pointed out J's anatomy.  She laughed and told us there was no mistaking that we were going to be the proud parents of a baby boy.

In this exact moment, the rain stopped, the wind blew the clouds open, and the sun shone through the blinds in that ultrasound room.

The SUN shone as we were told we were having a SON.

Then, just as quickly as the rain stopped, the sun disappeared and it began again.

Thanks to everyone for yesterday's feedback.  I'm feeling better and plan to continue to use this space as I originally intended.  As so many of you said and/or implied,  
it is what it is.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Well, the cat's out of the bag...

When I was pregnant with J, I sought a lot of comfort in the blogging world.  I stumbled upon and linked to women who were due around the same time that I was.  These women blogged about their aches and pains, excitement and joy, anticipation and trepidation.  I was able to relate, learn, and celebrate by reading.  In fact, T would encourage me to turn in early for the night only to find me hours later, reading blogs on my iPhone.

I began this blog only 4 short weeks ago.  Being home for the summer with J, I needed something to stimulate me intellectually, but I also yearned for community.  I desperately wanted to seek women with infants or young families with whom to connect.  And so I began, finally commenting on blogs I'd read for many, many months: finding inspiration and community in this little corner of the world.

Recently, as a fun, small expansion of the blog, I created a Face.book page.  I thought that would also be an area in which the dialogue of motherhood could continue.  Being the ever supportive husband that T is (who, by the way, did not find out about this blog until a few weeks in), "liked" the Jet's Journey page.  Inevitably, this "like" was broadcasted across my, and undoubtedly many others, news feed.

Cue panic.  Was I ready for people in my real life to read my blog posts?  This is a place where I feel I can be candid, not have to worry about "judgement," or feel that I'm being one of those moms who won't stop talking about her f*ing child (which, by the way, I really try hard not to constantly post about J on my face.book/I totally do not succeed).  T and I diligently tried to remove any traces of Jet's Journey and I felt comforted knowing that, most likely, no one spotted it.

Until I received this text message: 

Excuse the language.  Clearly I was shocked.
Hi, M!

Well, that's it.  Jet's Journey is out there and I have little control as to who views it.  Thank God, the person who happened to find it first was M, my Maid of Honor.  But who else saw it?  Who will be reading this blog?

Will this knowledge censor some of my writing?  Maybe.  Will I think twice about being as candid?  Perhaps.  Am I going to stop writing in this place?  No.

I started this blog to chronicle my time with J and commiserate celebrate motherhood with those in the blogosphere.  And that is what I intend to do.  Undoubtedly, I'll second guess a post, topic, or photo.  But ultimately, this isn't for anyone but me.  And if some other woman is out there, crawling into bed reading her RSS feed for hours, then so be it.  I'm here for her, too.

Do people in real life know that you blog?  
If so, do you feel that this censors you in some way?  
If not, why have you not shared your blog publicly?

Okay, if you know me in real life, I quadruple dare you to comment.  Just leave your initials or some other identifying information so I know who is visiting.  And if you don't divulge, I'll find out some how.  :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

From Trauma to Triumph: My Relationship with Breastfeeding

As World Breastfeeding Week comes to a close, and after reading some wonderful experiences and advice from other breastfeeding mothers, I thought I would share some of my own successes and troubles when it comes to nursing J.

After months of preparation (read: Hypnobirthing) for the birth of J, we were confident in our choice to have a natural birth in a birth center.  It was in our birth plan that J be placed on my chest immediately after birth, and that we would not be separated for a minimum of 2 hours.  I would breastfeed as soon as possible, and under no circumstances would he be supplemented with formula or given a pacifier.

This birth plan was not developed superfluously, but grounded in science.  In fact, it is so natural to have your infant skin-to-skin immediately following birth that newborns have been known to have the ability to breast crawl : wiggle their way up to the breast and latch on.  A newborn?  Crawling?  Yep.  And this is what J was going to do.  I was determined.

Within moments of J's birth, he was placed on my chest and remained there for an entire hour.  Did he crawl?  No, but I was fine with this.  I had just run the most difficult marathon of my life and I was basking in the sun at the finish line.

The hour he was with me, we attempted to nurse as I desperately desired establishing this relationship from the start.  Unbeknownst to us, I had begun to hemorrhage and was quickly losing energy with the blood.  I vaguely remember T, as he was sitting behind me so I could lean on him, attempting to help J latch.  Quickly, however, my hemorrhaging became life-threatening and I was whisked away by EMS to the OR at our local hospital.  J was legally unable to be discharged from the birth center at that time.

J and I were separated for 6 hours.

Once I was out of the OR, J was brought from the birth center to the hospital to be with me once more.  Unfortunately I was on a cocktail of drugs, some of which were not compatible with breastfeeding.  Immediately, my mother and T began to reassure me that we would try as soon as we could.  I was devastated.  To attempt to avoid nipple confusion, T fed J a few ounces of formula using a small tube we placed into the back of his cheek.

The next evening, as I started to come out of my post-traumatic haze, I was excited to attempt to feed my child once more.  After a quick visit from J's pediatrician, we were instructed to take him to the clinic at the to check his bilirubin levels.  After receiving the results, the severity of his situation required immediate admittance through the emergency room at the children's hospital down the road.  Because this facility was in an entirely different location from the hospital were I currently was being monitored...

J and I were separated for 3 days.

At this point, I had not breastfed J a single time.  Devastated does not do my feelings justice.  As my mother cared for me in my post-partum unit, T stayed by J's side in the NICU.  As much as he wanted to fight a bottle, it is protocol to give the children formula if the breastfeeding mother is not present.  Furthermore, in order to bring his bilirubin levels into normal range, he needed to have a multitude of dirty diapers.  The only way to get this was to feed him.

The night I was discharged, I woke up every hour to pump, resulting in 1 ounce of colostrum.  I was thrilled!  At 3 am, T got up and went back to the children's hospital to be with J, hoping to catch the doctor's rounds.  He took with him the ounce I'd pumped and fed it to J.  It was such an important moment for me, knowing that J was receiving this liquid gold especially designed for him.  Knowing how much this meant to me, T videotaped it.

I still cry seeing this video today.  

Later that morning, I arrived at the NICU.   With the help of some wonderful lactation consultants,  J latched on and nursed for the very first time.  I am so thankful that J is not preferential to ni.pples, as it was not a struggle for him to latch on.  And we were finally doing it!

J was discharged later that day and after finally walking through our front door, we stopped bottle/formula feeding cold turkey.  I knew this was risky, but I was bound and determined to make it work.  Finally my milk came in, days after it would have had we nursed earlier, but I remember him pulling away from the breast and milk dribbled down his chin.  I think I yelled for T to come see.

We made it over the hump and were actually starting to establish breastfeeding (after I received so many encouraging comments to try but not be too heartbroken if it just wasn't in the books for us) but not everything was perfect or easy.  He had a funky latch where his upper lip would suck in and be horribly painful for me.  One of the lactation consultants from the birth center came to my home to teach me how to fix this problem.  After he initially latched on, I would pull his upper lip out to provide a more gentle latch.  Slowly the pinch, pinch, pinch began to lessen and I was able to enjoy breastfeeding.

Tomorrow J is 20 weeks old.  Other than his first 4 days of life (and let me tell you - I thank GOD for formula as it inevitably saved his life), he has been exclusively breastfed.  It is such an accomplishment but, more than that, a sweet time the two of us share with one another.  I will forever cherish my memories breastfeeding him.

J and I have not been separated since.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One Happy Latch

Do you know about this tomorrow?

click to visit site

J and I will be attending this event in our city tomorrow morning.  We hope you will consider joining your fellow breastfeeding mothers!  Look how excited J is about it:

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This Moment

(This Moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.) 

Thank you, SouleMama, for the inspiration!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Teething Tot

Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they 
escaped teething.
Mark Twain

Well shit.  Other than getting the great news about J's aniscoria last week, Dr. J also confirmed that little man is teething.  Good news all around, no?  Oh, and that he might not even cut his first tooth for another  6 months.  Yikes.

Thankfully, at one of J's baby showers, he was given a baltic amber teething necklace.  Many parents swear that these naturally analgesic necklaces significantly decreased their child's discomfort during teething.  How does it work?  The child's body heat warms the necklace which, in turn, releases succinc acid: an anti-inflamatory known for pain relief.  The acid is absorbed through the child's skin and provides gradual relief.

Real men wear necklaces.

J has only worn it a couple of days this week but has been significantly less fussy on the days where he is wearing it (Read: We remove it when he is sleeping or is not constantly being monitored so as not to pose a choking hazard).  Was he less fussy for any other reason?  Entirely possible, but what's the harm in having him wear this necklace in the off chance it works?

One amused mama, one adorable bucket of fuss.

I can't really say, as of yet, if we have noticed that J's discomfort has lessened after wearing this necklace.  However, I'm all for homeopathic remedies for common aches and pains.  There's no need to dose him with tylenol for the next 6 months if we can find another way to relieve his pain.  Yes, we'll give him medicine when we see the actual tooth coming through, but until then?  Let's hope this works.

How have you/do you deal with teething?  
Has your child ever worn an amber necklace and you noticed a significant difference in his/her behavior?  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mirror Image

Eye See

J had his 4 month well visit last Thursday.  He has a wonderful pediatrician (I'll call him Dr. J) that is confident, good with children, and a generally likable guy.  In fact, he was the one who demanded we take J to get his bilirubin levels checked within 24 hours of birth - what ultimately saved him from brain damage.

As it is, I really trust this doctor with the well-being of our child, and I always look forward to these monthly visits.  Upon arrival last week, J was weighed and measured.  Our itty bitty 7 pounder is now a 15 lbs. 5 oz. and 26" boy.  Basically, he's long and lean like his Papa.

As Dr. J was praising his tracking skills, he paused and asked to stare into my eyes.  He held eye contact for a moment, and I smiled uncomfortably.  He did the same to T who made some crack about gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.  Clearly, Dr. J was looking for something in our eyes.  He then told us that J's right pupil was larger than his left.

Dr. J quickly added that all three of his children have this issue - a genetic condition called Aniscoria, hence the uncomfortable eye contact.  This is a virtually benign condition that will hopefully not affect J's vision whatsoever.  Dr. J is not officially diagnosing J with this, but said it is something we're going to watch as he grows older.

T and I felt awful for many reasons.  I breastfeed J and gaze into his eyes all day long admittedly should put down the iPhone.  T is a pediatric nurse and tests children's pupil dilation all day.  How could either of us have missed this?

In our own defense it is a very small size difference, unlike the image on the Wi.ki page.  Can you tell in this picture?

Or this one?

Parent Fail.

Do any of you know someone with Aniscoria?  
Have you ever taken your child to a pediatric opthamologist?

Monday, August 1, 2011

He's on the move...

Holy $@*T!!!!  Does this mean we have to think about baby proofing now? But he's only 4 months!  He's still a newborn!  Right?...right!?