Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blech. This nausea is getting to me. I just feel like something is imminent, but doesn't quite happen. I threw up two nights ago, while trying to clean up the cat vomit from the rug. Nice. Then yesterday morning, in spite of already having eaten once, I threw up a little again. Hardly anything either time but unpleasant either way.

As it is Christmas Eve I figured I better try to get the bull by the horns before the stores are closed tomorrow, and the weekend. I stopped by the drugstore and picked up some Sea Bands which I'm wearing now -- so very stylish. They seem to be helping a little bit already, which is promising. I think I better knit some wrist warmers though so I don't have to show them off at work. Obviously we aren't planning on telling folks at work for a while.

I'm so tired all the time, not miserable, but enough that I really need a nap. So of course my not yet 3-year-old has been pushing back on having naps this week with, "I don't wanna haf mnap." Brilliant. And I'm on my own with him which makes it a little more challenging.

Anyway, the nausea can be thought of as a good sign. The pregnancy hormones are increasing at least. I'm 6 weeks 3 days today and less than two weeks until my OB appointment.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas if you celebrate. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the long weekend holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Never fear, morning sickness is here.

I'm 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant today and I'm feeling icky this morning. Like I'm hungry and nauseous at the same time. I missed taking my b-complex last night, as I took it yesterday morning to make up for missing it the night before. Surely that isn't enough to get this blech feeling started.

I'm also feeling flushed which is also uncomfortable and I'm definately more bloated than I was a week ago. While I've been fitting into my pants fine, I don't know how much longer I will be able to fit into the more fitted pairs.

I don't feel like my fibroid is growing as much as it was last pregnancy, which would be a blessing. It measured 2.7cm x 4cm when checked by my RE in October. It was up around 9x7cm at its peak during my pregnancy with J.

My breasts and nipples are more sore, but on the whole nursing isn't that much more uncomfortable than it can be during the luteal phase. J has said he has enough ba-ba, though he seems to be eating more solids and nursing more frequently, which might be related to a supply dip.

I was supposed to travel to the East Coast for a week for Christmas and I decided to cancel the trip. Hauling myself and my almost 3yo to the airport on top of 10 hours travel, while on a restricted diet (no deli meats, nuts, dairy products) and anticipating nausea, as well as food aversions and exhaustion -- it just seemed like too much. I had planned the trip back in October long before I was pregnant.

Man, I feel like vomiting right now. I think I'll go have some toast. Blah.

Anyway, I bought tickets for my parents to come out for New Years weekend in place of my going there and that seems to have ameliorated the situation.

Just about 12 days until my first ultrasound. I can't wait to get a peek.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ooh, how frustrating. I tried to do a post via email and it didn't show up and it isn't in my sent items. Bummer.

I'm 5w2d today and not feeling too many symptoms other than sore breasts and constipation. I've got some bloating but not much, and it hasn't increased over the past week. I've got sine acne on my scalp but overall my skin has been really dry, which probably has to do with the cold spell we had been having in Seattle. No real nausea or food cravings or aversions. No massive fatigue. I went back and read through my posts from my last pg and I had more symptoms so of course I worry. This baby us so wanted.


I was thinking about how nice it was to have chosen to follow my child's lead and not wean him early, and to be facing a natural path, driven by biology and timing. It is what I had hoped for, even as we are coming close to the end of our third year nursing and I'm now pushing forty.

I mentioned to my mother about how vitamins through my breastmilk helped my son's eczma and she commented that he wouldn't be doing that for much longer. I feel that I should just keep meeting my firstborn's needs and if he wants to nurse than so be it. Why should I wean now? My body and his will do what they need to do.

It reminds me of the little jabs here and there I got over the past few years from family about how his having teeth should mean the end of nursing (he would barely eat solids until 16 months); how we wouldn't be able to conceive if I didn't wean; etc. I just ignored them, consulted with more knowledgable sources and trusted that things happen for a reason.   

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I got my blood test results back and my beta HCG is 1058 and my progesterone is 38.5. They told me to keep using the progesterone cream since I have already been using it. They said the levels looked great so I guess I just sit tight until our Jan 5 appt. I had some twinges of nausea (so faint) this AM and I wanted to cry when J peed on the floor in his bedroom (but that can make any tired parent want to cry). I was super grouchy over the weekend with J when he was nursing so I'm trying to be mindful that there's a lot going on and I need to be nice to him as well.

I'm trying to send this little bean loving thoughts about growing. It seems so small an insignificant right now, though I know that will change quickly enough. I feel like I have already made a little room in my heart for the new one, but it makes me so sad for J to know that his world is going to change so drastically. I'm grateful for having nursed him so long and I hope his nursing needs will settle someplace agreeable to us both.

I had sort of resigned myself to the possibility that we might only have one, perhaps more than I thought. It is a wonderful thing to be able to give him a sibling (if everything goes well) but our little family of three will be forever changed. It just makes me a little sad.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I was able to get in for a blood draw this afternoon and I should have the results tomorrow morning for my beta HCG and progesterone levels. They asked me if I was taking a prenatal and then I started rattling off the list of supplements I'm taking hehe. I think I overwhelmed the woman.

As my partner is going to be out of town and he wants to be there for the appts and ultrasounds (he learned from our losses how important it was to have support during these early appts), our first obstetrical appt is Jan 5th. Man this seems to go quickly.

My head is already starting to think about when the baby is due, how this will impact our decision-making about preschool for J for next year, where the baby will sleep, how I'm going to manage with my house in a total state of disruption until the kitchen is done, etc.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Holy holy! I was feeling some odd twinges last night and AF still hadn't shown up today so I decided to test using the one digital I had in the house this AM. Of course it didn't work and just gave me a question mark.

Still no AF this morning so while heading into work this afternoon I picked up some more FREs. I just tested in the bathroom at work and two lines came up right away. I'm rather in disbelief but I remember that my early pg symptoms not being that different from AF pending.

I'm calling the doc now to see about getting in for some blood work and stuff. It is still a little early, based on my past history of early m/c.

In case you are interested, here are all the supplements I have been taking:

B-Complex (daily)

2 Prenatals (daily, half of the recommended dosage as I couldn't stomach taking 4 of these huge pills)

D3 as Carlson's D-drops (2000-4000 IUI daily)

Liquid calcium, magnesium, phosphorus plus D. I was taking it daily but with all the construction I've been managing a couple times a week.

Slow FE Iron - 1 tab almost daily

Zinc plus C

Emerita ProGest progesterone cream, during my LP

I hope this sticks. We have been trying for a long time.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Today is actually CD 14 and still no AF. I was thinking about Toni's TCOYF book and how it says that your LP should be constant. I know when I've been ovulating due to using the fertility monitor and check out my past 6 cycle LP lengths:


Hehe -- I guess I've proved that wrong -- at least while nursing a 2yo.

I just ate an entire bag of Hershey's kisses that I meant to bring to the office. Naughty me as the dairy and chocolate will make J's eczema flare up. But I needed it (and his eczema is down right now anyway).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My good new is that it is 12dpo and AF hasn't shown up yet. My TCOYF software is telling me AF is due today. Which reminds me that I forgot to pick up more sanitary supplies at the store this AM (grumble). I'm not feeling pg or anything, mostly just PMS-y. My breasts have been sensitive on the underside, from the progesterone I think.

Here's to cycles longer than 8/9 days.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This cycle, to try to extend my luteal phase I opted to use natural progesterone cream. I haven't used it in a few years. I originally tried it to deal with my fibroid, but I don't think that was the cause of my fibroid.

I can tell the progesterone cream is working, I just started using it this cycle again. It is a topical, natural progesterone cream. I used it a few years ago as well. My breasts are a little more sensitive than they have been. I'm 9dpo today and no AF yet. I guess that is a good thing. I'll keep my fingers crossed that she stays away for a bit longer.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Affects of maternal diet on child's immune system

I have a new theory about how a breastfeeding child may come to react (eczema, hives, etc.) to mother's milk, after coming across some new information about how the intestinal lining works. Perhaps your b-levels are low in both you and your LO and it is affecting the intestinal permeability for you both -- allowing partially digested proteins into your milk, and allowing them through your LOs lining to allow her to react.

Leaky gut is a condition where the intestinal lining us damaged and it let's through bacteria and partially digested or undigested nutrients, including proteins.
Dr. Weil - What Is Leaky Gut?
Is Your Digestive System Making You Sick?

B6, and magnesium both help with sulphation, the breakdown of sulfur, sulfites and toxins in the body. B6 also is needed for production of mucin, a protein that helps protect the lining of the intestine. Taking Tylenol can affect sulphation, as it uses up your sulfate stores, which are needed for this process. Discussion - sulfur sensitivity
Intolerance to Sulphur (diagram and info)

B vitamins are soluble vitamins that will increase in your breastmilk if you take extra.
Vitamins & other supplements for breastfeeding mothers

If you read my post about supplements for extended nursing, I've had delayed ovulation, digestive issues and my little one has eczema (thought to be related to leaky gut and low D3). I recently started taking a b-complex and vitamin D3 to help with my cycle and the I noticed that his eczema started improving.

Perhaps you might see about adding in some extra B vitamins to your regime. It might help both your and her intestines to improve your intestinal lining. Eating foods to aid your liver will help with bile production, and detoxification. (Top 10 Nutrients for your Liver, Kidney and Gallbladder) and probiotics can help support good flora in the gut which should aid in digestion -- though again, I've seen a big change with just the extra Bs.

A lot of what I've read about anti- inflammatory diets have talked about paleolithic diets. If we ate more traditional diets we would probably be consuming more organ meats, like liver, which are rich in Bs. This might explain why someone eating a Western diet might not be taking in enough B for breastfeeding demands over time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Supplements for Extended Nursing

Since hitting a fatigue wall last Spring I've been working on taking more supplements. I'm taking my prenatal every day, or not every other day, alternating with a B-complex. The B-complex is for my late ovulation and it is a little soon to tell if it is working, maybe by next cycle.

I'm also taking almost daily a liquid calcium-magnesium-phosphorus-vitamin D supplement.

I also take Slow FE as I've always been on the anemic side. I take that every other day.

I recently added in Carlson D-drops (D3) as we get little sun during the winters in Seattle.

The B-complex and Vitamin D seem to be helping my son with his eczema amazingly. Over time I've had increasing problems with sulfur-containing foods and I recently found mention that this may be due to not enough B6 (and magnesium, if you are craving a lot of chocolate).

I checked KellyMom and it said if you are eating a balanced diet you shouldn't need to supplement but I am feeling much better since I have been. I don't know how many studies have looked at women nursing past a year. I'll have to look into that more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vitamin D3 to help with Eczema

My son has eczema that through careful food logging, were have been able to isolate some trigger foods. He does not have anaphylaxis as we did the blood work to rule that out.

Starting mid- August his eczema randomly increased in intensity, and it hasn't been totally clear to me why.

Coming off a cold my son's eczema was way down - even though diet-wise were both had the same exposure to foods he is sensitive to before. He is flaring a bit today again, but perhaps I was a little too cavalier in what I ate, given his rash was down (I'm still nursing him).

I recently started supplementing myself with D3 and a b-complex. The following article and some other discussions on the Mothering forum, have me wondering if it is possible that D3 could help so much. I would be so stoked if we could get it to a more manageable level - or gone for good.

Use of oral vitamin D supplements may help prevent eczema

Mothering discussion of the above linked article.

Anone tried using D3 to treat eczema and seen results either way?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reporting in from my RE appt this afternoon. My bloodwork cane back great. FSH was something like 5.7 which she said was excellent. Thyroid WA normal too. She gave me an u/s to check on my fibroid, etc. The fibroid was down from 6x9cm during my pg to 3x4 cm. It is intramural, in the wall of the uterus, but not impacting my lining or interior form. That is a relief. My lining was good and she counted 9 antral follicles on the left, which she thought was great. My right ovary had a few follicles but was far more quiet.

I remember that when I had cyclic pain in the past the u/s always showed ovulation on the left. Then fibroids in TCM are linked to blood stagnation, and my fibroid is on the right. It makes me think that maybe I should try some arvigo massage to help improve circulation.

She said the short LP was of some concern as we could be conceiving and miscarrying. She said she wouldn't want to try meds while I'm still nursing. She thought it would be a good idea to have my partner have another s/a.

We had a nice visit and i told her about my delivery and how my fibroid surgery with her was a positive experience that prepared me for my c/s. I told her to feel free to share anything from my history that might be helpful to other patients. I'm glad I went as now I can just work on tweaking things. My RE said to consider the door open once we had weaned if we might want to try letrozole or clomid.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I had some mean headaches after AF arrived last week. I don't usually get headaches and not for so many days. I ended up taking aspirin and it still didn't help. I took a tiny bit of vitex early on that last cycle, but weeks earlier, and then I also had taken a b-complex which was new for me. I'm wondering if it was all that extra b that did it to me.

I got calls from my acu and RE offices confirming my appts for tomorrow. I'm curious and a little anxious about what the RE will say.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I just scheduled an appointment with the RE for the week after next. I pressed to get CD3 bloodwork done before going in, as AF is due next week and that would be a lot more useful for the consult -- otherwise we might have to wait until mid-November as my cycles are running around 5 weeks most times.

I called my partner to let him know I scheduled a consult and he started going on about how we haven't been trying at all and that we need to try 30 times and be all mechanical about trying. I reminded him that I've been charting and we have been timed correctly. I got AF back two years ago, which means I'm ovulating.

Talking to my partner just left me frustrated. Here he keeps asking me if we are going to have another and then when I try to take the next step to get some professional input he starts to act like he knows better.

I decided that you guys were right, that a consult with the RE, who has specialized training in this area would be the quickest way to get the input that I want. I've worked with this RE before, she did my fibroid surgery and repeat d&c. It isn't like I'm going to talk to some unknown person.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Can you hear me growling and snarling? I'm having some mean PMS. My acu said it is a liver qi thing, as I also suspected. If not for my son's nursing and food sensitivities I would be all over the nearest comfort food I could find. As it us I had a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie this afternoon, but i was feeling so glum about my cat (and this crap PMS) that I just needed to indulge.

I want a vacation on an island where it is warm and quiet and I can sleep all day if I want.

Hopefully tomorow will be a better day, all this emotional upset is awful for the liver qi.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I don't think that docs can do much for infertility while nursing, since nursing hormones (high prolactin particularly) automatically compromises fertility, at least some. I remember one mom in a TTC while nursing bg took Clomid while nursing b/c she didn't realize and the doc never asked and she got pg that cycle, which was interesting to note.

My toddler is laying across me, nursing, asleep for his nap. I love that my schedule let's me be able to do this with him. With a second child things would probably be quite different.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

thinking about the thyroid again

I was googling about b-complex and thyroid and came across this article. While it has a little quackery bits in it, the nutritional stuff and thyroid function stuff seems reasonable enough to be true (IME that can be the case, good info with weird supplement pitching online). I'm going to compare to some books I have but just in case you are interested:

knowing that some of the foods I eat, including kale, broccoli and peaches might be working against my thyroid, and that the thyroid helps the body to rest and settle itself ( something I've been having a problem with) and think clearly, I'm feeling like yes, perhaps there might be more to what I can do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I had some extra time today and was able to squeeze in an acu appt and it went pretty well. My FM said peak today and I was feeling nauseaus so I thought it was a good time for a visit.

I brought in some of my chart, to show what the FM was showing about my LP and cycle length and she thought my best option was to take a b-supplement. She said no herbs for now.

She gave me the name of a couple family practice naturopathic doctors to check out, both for me and my son. I asked her what she thought about getting blood work done and she said it might be useful to check my thyroid and iron levels. I'm glad I talked to her about it, I was feeling overwhelmed about finding someone to work with.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I believe less than 10 days is considered a short LP. Your body needs at least that amount of time for the lining to be in the correct alignment for implantation.

I'm breastfeeding and TTC#2. Breastfeeding is all about the hormone prolactin, which suppresses estrogen and progesterone production, and increases FSH. It is common while breastfeeding to have delayed ovulation and a short LP.

One herbal treatment option is to use Vitex, which adjusts the amount of prolactin in your system.

I've read that too much stress can also elevate the prolactin level, as can too much sex (go figure). Trying to reduce the amount of stress on one's body is a multi-faceted endeavor - including significant diet and lifestyle changes.

Another approach is to try acupuncture/TCM, which can adjust your hormone levels, but TCM will also require diet and lifestyle changes.

Someone I know had short cycles and she opted to try Clomid and that worked for her. She made no lifestyle changes, but the she had a rough time while she was pg with hyperemesis gravidarum and the baby had intrauterine growth restriction and had to be born early by c/s. I wonder if she tried a different, more healing approach for her body if she wouldn't have had a better, healthier time during pg.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Just feeling a little down - TTC#2 after infertility

It took us the better part of 5 years trying and surgery for both of us for us to have our son, now 2.5. We overcame a lot and our little guy is such a blessing. Still there is the memory of how life was affected by infertility that lingers, and since we have been TTC again, the specter of infertility still haunts.

My partner really wants another baby and we haven't used any protection since the baby was 6 months old. We are often too busy and tired to TTC that much, but I broke out my fertility monitor and we have been timing the best we can and still nothing.

I'm still nursing my son, so it is very possible that breastfeeding is impairing my fertility. But my son is allergic to dairy products, and very attached to nursing -- and given that I'm now 39 and have another fibroid, I know that our chances of another aren't so great as they might have been (in another lifetime, I suppose).

My fibroid has started aching again, a sign that it is very active. This one grew quite a lot while I was pg, and it was last the size of a small orange, though it might have shrunk post pg. Then my period has been getting heavier over the past 6 months, where I'm starting to wonder what's up. My luteal phase is too short (it might be due to nursing) as well.

Then this week I found out that friends of ours, who have a son around the same age as ours, just lost their second pg (about 14 weeks in, related to hyperemesis complications). I just got again and I'm just feeling so glum and sad and miserable -- for their loss (how devastating), for my own uncertainty about whether it will be possible to have another, and for all the heartbreak that went on for us in the past with TTC.

My schedule is so tight between working and watching my son. I recognize that I should probably start talking to my OB, acupuncturist, and a naturopath again but it is so hard to make time. Which make it all the more frustrating.

Intestinal Flora in C-Section Delivered Babies

Since my baby was born more than two years ago, and has developed eczema and other skin rashes, I've spent some of my rare free time researching causes of eczema with many sources pointing towards intestinal health. Given that I delivered by c/s, I've wondered what the affects of intravenous antibiotics to proper intestinal colonization by beneficial flora.

Add to that information that I too have been having increasing digestive issues that I think may be Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and I'm more than convinced that my little boy and me are in the need of a little overhaul of our intestinal flora.

I'm a bit dismayed that the importance of probiotic is not discussed with mothers of babies born via c/s. I did think I was eating well enough, but perhaps this one more stint with IV anti-biotics sort of tipped the scale against me (I also had IV antibiotics during my two d&cs and abdominal surgery to remove a uterine fibroid, in the two years before I became pg with my son).

Here are some articles to reference. I see so many new moms posting here about GERD, eczema, etc. and it may be possible that intestinal flora might also be at play.

[quote]This study shows for the first time that the primary gut flora in infants born by cesarean delivery may be disturbed for up to 6 months after the birth. The clinical relevance of these changes is unknown, and even longer follow-up is needed to establish how long-lasting these alterations of the primary gut flora can be.[/quote]

Fecal microflora in healthy infants born by different methods of delivery: permanent changes in intestinal flora after cesarean delivery.
Grönlund MM, Lehtonen OP, Eerola E, Kero P.

Allergy development and the intestinal microflora during the first year of life.
Björkstén B, Sepp E, Julge K, Voor T, Mikelsaar M.

Gut Flora: A Digestible Account of Probiotics - The Naked Scientists 2005.12.28

I've also found information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), as a method to control appropriate bacterial levels in the gut. Other than eliminating known trigger foods for my son's eczema, I haven't yet ventured this far. I'm going to find an appropriate naturopathic doctor to work with (if I can find one). Here's more about the SCD:

PecanBread - site target at using SCD with kids

Breaking the Vicious Cycle - SCD Beginners Guide

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Potty Training Success

I'm pleased to report that we are now diaper-free during the day, and using a diaper only at night and at nap as a back-up, in case his body is too tired to wake up (we had a couple sleep related accidents).

Every day he is getting better and better at telling us when he has to go and a lot more confident about pottying.

In our case, though he is now 2 1/2, he just wasn't psychologically receptive to being fully trained until recently. It was like he turned a corner and was ready. I think, as we probably have all observed, that there are a lot of development phases that little ones go through and how their entire being responds to these changes affects how receptive they are to pottying. Elimination communication has been a fascinating window into his development -- being able to see how his brain portions out resources for language, fine and gross motor skills, etc. -- as we went through various potty kicks and pauses.

I would totally do it again if we have another baby.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I'm still nursing quite a bit with my 2.5 yesr old and recently broke out the fertility monitor again to try to figure out what was up with my cycle. I have learned that my luteal phase is way too short.

I searched online and it seems that breastfeeding commonly causes Luteal Phase Defect. I found some interesting links from the search terms:

luteal phase defect breastfeeding


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Treating Eczema and Leaky Gut with Diet

I was researching over the weekend and found reference to the fact that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), can be helping in treating leaky gut and possibly eczema. It is believed, so I've read, that eczema can be caused by food sensitivities and leaky gut.

Has anyone tried this diet out? It used commonly used to treat colitis, crohn and it works well for autistic spectrum kids as well. If not for eczema, for other conditions?

here are a couple links:

- site target at using SCD with kids

Breaking the Vicious Cycle
- SCD Beginners Guide

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We learned about emotion coaching in the parent-child class I took at our community college. I don't think I've read too much about it on the Ovusoft boards directly, though I think the book has been mentioned. It was really interesting to learn about the four different types of parenting defined by Gottman, that we all dip in to each of them at times, and to learn how emotion coaching works. I think just having awareness of the concept can really help with parenting of toddlers and young children.

Dr. Gottman discovered that children who had Emotion-Coaching parents were on an entirely different developmental trajectory than the children of other parents.

What are the five elements of emotion coaching?

* Be aware of a child's emotions
* Recognize emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
* Listen empathetically and validate a child's feelings
* Label emotions in words a child can understand
* Help a child come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting issue or situation

In Dr. Gottman's research he has found that children of emotion-coaching parents had more general abilities in the area of their own emotions than children who were not coached by their parents. In other words, these "coached" children grew up to become what Dan Goleman has referred to as "emotionally intelligent" people. What are characteristics of these children?

Dr. Gottman's research demonstrated that emotion-coached children

* Are able to regulate their emotional states
* Are better at soothing themselves when they are upset
* Could calm down their hearts faster after something upsetting happens
* Have fewer infectious illnesses
* Are better at focusing attention
* Relate better to other people, even in tough situations like getting teased in middle school
* Are better at understanding people
* Have better friendships with other children
* Are better in school situations that require academic performance

from The Gottman Institute - Parenting Research

The Talaris Institute has more information about:

The 5 steps of Emotion Coaching

The four Gottman-defined parenting styles:

The Dismissing Parent
The Disapproving Parent
The Laissez-Faire Parent
The Emotion-Coaching Parent

Has anyone got any opinion or experience with the book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child?

What have your experiences with Emotion Coaching been?

29 months - update/ Working on Potty Independence in a Toddler

As we proceed with post-EC potty independence I've been talking to Jonah more
about pottying, about wearing underwear, about how his cousins potty, singing
songs about going poop, offering more, etc. I haven't put a lot of pressure on
him, just tried to keep the dialogue going.

He just started to use the BabyBjorn Little Potty, the one that he has refused
to use since 7 months old. It had been sitting in his room where he could see it
the whole time, and I had talked to him about how he could use it for potty if
he wanted to and showed him how to sit on it but he didn't want to. Given his
lack of interest in using it I put it away in his closet as it was just
collecting dust. He found it in the closet a few days later and brought it out
again so we have been trying on that potty some before bed. Before that, and
ongoing, he will use the toilet with a seat reducer.


We've had a sudden big breakthrough this week. J randomly on Sunday started
saying "no dipe" and didn't want to wear one to bed. Sunday morning he had been
dry overnight and he was so emphatic about not wearing a diaper when he was
going to bed that night that I just put some cloth diapers under the sheet on
his bed (just in case) and let him sleep with just cotton knit pants on (his
choice). I had heard that they let you know when they are ready to have more

Indeed he was dry when he woke up Monday morning. But then he refused to go
potty in the morning. He didn't want a diaper and no potty. Oh brother!
Eventually, while playing with his cars he started to wet and I was able to
finish him off on the BBLP.

The rest of yesterday, until evening, he resisted wearing a diaper. Yes, he wet
himself some, but not too badly. I think also, with the heat wave we are having
now in Seattle, that perhaps he just doesn't have to go as much as his body is
sweating so much to stay cool. At any rate, I'm thinking we are starting to
cross a line into potty independence. With no diaper on he is also happy to put
his pants on by himself, or try on his underpants -- but he won't wear both
together. If this keeps up we are just going to have to spend the week outside a
lot, to keep from having accidents in the house, until he gets the whole thing
figured out.

And then today, he was home with my partner this morning and three times told
him that he had to do pee-pee I(including once, while at the grocery store).
Today we got him into underpants and shorts. Though each time he had actually
already wet himself, each time he did want to get undressed and sit on the
toilet. The amount he wet himself was gradually decreasing each time and he was
able to pee more on the toilet.

It is really exciting to have it finally coming together.


Tips and Tricks

I talk to Jonah a lot about listening to his body, and that we don't want to
wait to poop until it is an emergency. Last weekend he started doing his little
poop jig, saying "no!" to his body of all things, as he tried to hold it in. I
told him again that he needs to listen to his body and his body was telling him
he needed to go poop. He still was resistant but then we talked about how we
couldn't go to the pool if he had to poop and he probably wouldn't want to poop
at his cousins' house (something we were discussing). Quickly he agreed and we
got the entire affair into the toilet. With my partner and our afternoon sitter
he will only go in his diaper.

I praise him when he goes for doing a good job of listening to his body.

He only poops every 3-4 days but it can really overwhelm him and he fights it.

We also sing a song on the potty that I made up. It goes like this:

Everybody goes poop poop
Mama goes poop poop
Dada goes poop poop
Jonah goes poop poop
Everybody goes poop poop! poop poop!

and then we run through all our family, his friends and animals.

Another song is this, to a mambo type rhythm:

poo-poo in the potty!
poo-poo in the potty!

When he's sitting on the toilet we do that song/game from camp called
Concentration... (you slap your knees and chant)

Concentration, are you ready?
if so, let's go
starting with, names of...
CARS (his preference)

Then we run through names of all the car brands and types. This has actually
turned into a big daytime activity -- wandering around the neighborhood,
studying cars (logos, hubcaps, tail lights, and types).

It helps to have something interesting to do while on the toilet (so I've
learned here) and that was the best I could come up with.

I hope this is helpful for others. I'll report more as we make more progress.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Researching diet to treat constipation and fibroids

On a related note, I was looking up information about diets for chronic constipation and came across (again) The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I've had some digestive issues for years, and since my delivery it has gotten worse. Why? I don't know. Is it hormonal changes due to nursing? The result of one more round of IV antibiotics during my c-section.

I feel my issues are due to an improper balance in my intestinal flora and I've been thinking for a while that I need to learn more about how to tweak things so I've got more favorable beneficial bacteria flourishing in my gut.

I've received IV antibiotics more than oral antibiotics during my surgeries and delivery -- I have had to remind myself that thing really could be thrown off by that.

Anyway, the SCD sounds interesting and I'm wondering if it might be worth trying out. I found the yogurt idea to be inspiring (I love to cook) and some of the dietary rules sound similar to what my naturopathic doc and acupuncturist have been telling me -- less simple carbohydrates, cooked vegetables, cut out sugar. I also found reference to this diet helping with eczema -- something else that is linked to intestinal flora issues and a leaky gut -- which might be helpful for my toddler. - informational site for SCD that is based around the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which seems to be a SCD bible of sorts. - a site about using SCD with children, with lots of info about using it to treat ASD kids

I've also got a Susan Lark book on the way called Fibroid Tumors & Endometriosis that includes information about nutrition to treat fibroids that had good reviews on Amazon. I haven't bought a fibroid book in a while so I might as well try this one.

TTC update

I don't think there's much to tell really. My last LP was super short, my ovulation this cycle is really late (which seems to be the pattern -- alternating cycle lengths). I've been diligent my prenatal vitamins, plus iron, plus a liquid calcium and I'm not feeling as poorly. Still, I was wiped a couple days ago, just after ovulation, absolutely drained feeling. I'm feeling better now again.

Oh, and in spite of using the fertility monitor, I ran out of sticks for one day and never saw a peak day. I was way sure the day I ovulation as I felt awful pain in my lower abdomen, like a particularly painful O.

We gave it a good try this month, better than normal. I guess we will just see what happens. I don't have my hopes up.

I do need to make another appointment for acupuncture treatment.

potty learning updates

We did part-time EC with J starting at 9 weeks, but then he fell off the wagon last summer as his ego emerged and he needed to have more ownership of his elimination -- but his body wasn't ready yet. Its been touch and go for the past year. I praise him when he goes for doing a good job of listening to his body.

He only poops every 3-4 days but it can really overwelm him and he fights it.

What I've been talking about with J, as we are now working on training again, is how he needs to listen to his body, and that we don't want to wait to poop until it is an emergency. Today I was with him and he started doing that little poop jig, saying "no!" to his body of all things[L]. I told him again that he needs to listen to his body and his body was telling him he needed to go poop. He still was resistant but then we talked about how we couldn't go to the pool if he had to poop and he wouldn't want to poop at his cousins' house. Finally he agreed and we got the entire affair into the toilet. With my partner and our afternoon sitter he will only go in his diaper.

We also sing a song on the potty that I made up. It goes like this:

Everybody goes poop poop
Mama goes poop poop
Dada goes poop poop
Jonah goes poop poop
Everybody goes poop poop, poop poop

and then we run through all our family and his friends and animals.

When he's sitting on the toilet we do that song/game from camp called Concentration...

Concentration, are you ready?
if so, let it go
starting with, names of...
CARS (his preference)

and we run through names of all the car brands and types. This has actually turned into a big daytime activity -- wandering around the neighborhood, studying cars (logos, hubcaps, tail lights, and types).

It helps to have something interesting to do while on the toilet and that was the best I could come up with.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No wonder I'm not pregnant

I just got done updating my TCOYF program and since I started using my fertility monitor again we have a clear ovulation date and luteal phase length.

The last cycle was 30 days, close to my normal non-nursing, pre-pregnancy cycle length. My ovulation date was CD23 however, about 8 days later than normal, and my luteal phase (LP) length was just 7 days. Well that sure isn't a recipe for success.

A normal luteal phase is around 14 or so days, which gives time for an egg to implant and get settled. With such as short LP my hormones are obviously not even close to the task of conceiving.

This next cycle I'm already on cycle day 12 and I'm still spotting (why is that?) and TCOYF is predicting ovulation to happen July 24, on CD 25. I'm sort of expecting this cycle to be longer, as I seem to alternate between long and short cycles. My acupuncturist said that sometimes one ovary can be more sluggish than another -- being as women's bodies typically alternate between ovulating from one side to the other from cycle to cycle.

I'll just keep taking my vitamins, going for acupuncture and doing qi gong and see if that doesn't help turn things around. I am feeling less sluggish since I bumped up my vitamin intake which I'm happy about.

J is also nursing a little less, he's dropped a session or two so we are down to 6-7 times a day now instead of 8-9. He just turned 29 months on Thursday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

tagging old posts

I've needing to zone out on something today so I've been going through more old posts and adding in tags so those posts are more available. I've still got a lot more to do but every little bit helps.


I'm so beat. I think I'm a bit sleep deprived and then my body is close to ovulation which seems to be taking every little bit of energy from me. I asked my partner to take the baby away for a while to let me rest so he drove over to his brother's house.

I wonder if my body might not be up to nursing much longer. I feel so tapped out.
I've been going to acupuncture for a couple of months now. I've seen some changes, nothing huge from the outside, but it is helping me understand what is going on in my body more. The qi gong is helping similarly. I can more clearly feel my deficiency, on top of the general fatigue that I was feeling before. My acupuncturists (I'm working with two at the same practice) see that I'm yin and blood deficient. Evidently breastfeeding requires a lot of blood and blood draws on yin, so it is all connected. They also noted that I've been yin and blood deficient before -- though I'm trying to figure out where that came from as it wasn't always my diagnosis. I need to check in with them more about that.

I was taking Chinese herbs but I've been having a hard time remembering and they are a bit gross after a while. I'm trying to get a cup in here and there. I have bumped up my vitamin intake as well. I'm taking two prenatal vitamins, a Floradix tablet and every couple of days I'm taking liquid calcium (with magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D).

I have also been using my fertility monitor this cycle, in the absence of being able to take my temp consistently. My high has been 5 days long and finally after 20-22 days I've got a peak reading (my cycle started off with heavy spotting which made it a little confusing). Actually, it was interesting to see that I started breaking out the night before I got my first high reading and then yesterday, prior to this morning's peak reading, I started to feel a little depressed -- which I thought was probably due to a hormonal shift. Lovely.

I've been talking to J periodically about how when he's bigger he won't nurse any more and that sometimes we might need to not have ba-ba so much all the time. I see this as part of the progression towards fully weaning from the breast.

Oh, and J still has eczema, though keeping a food journal has helped point out some sensitivities to me (chocolate, nuts, shellfish, dairy, probably corn). My partner took him to the ped last week and they drew blood to look for antigens. Evidently the blood draw entirely overwelmed J's nervous system and he started screaming and cried for 30 minutes afterwards. I'm glad I wasn't there, I think I would have been sick.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A new government report highlights health insurance disparities
between women and men.

I also read today that 46 million Americans have no health insurance
at all.

This as we go into debt further bailing out rich bankers from
their greed-crazed follies that brought the economy to a standstill,
on the verge of total collapse.

Five years ago I got pregnant for the first time.
Four years ago I had my fibroid surgery and got pregnant for the
second time.
Three years ago I got pregnant with my son.
Two years ago I was in the blur of taking care of a new baby.
Last year I increased my work hours and started letting a part-time
sitter watch my baby, soon after he learned to walk and cut down to
one nap.

As my little boy is growing and changing and discovering the world at
such a quick pace now, I can see how he is decidedly moving out of his
babyhood (well, eventually). I think back on the various stages of his
development this far: late night nursing and diaper changes; various
sleeping patterns; progressive motor skills; increasing communication
ability. The first two years are really remarkable in how quickly the
child grows to be able to a more autonomous person, albeit still in
need of supervision and training.

As my partner and I up the effort to have a second child we have
humourously noted that our son doesn't approve of the effort. While
having ongoing banter with a toddler you find that they arbitrarily
(at times) respond in the affirmative or negative to questions.

Yet each time we ask him, no matter how the question phrased, about
whether we should have another, he decisively answers "No."

"would you like to be a big brother?"
"there's mommy, daddy and J. Should we have a new baby?"
"would you like to have a brother or sister?"

We have tried explaining that he would have someone to play with and
used his cousins and other examples of siblings but no dice.

At least if our efforts don't pay off we can rest assured that J
wasn't on board anyway.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I just stopped by to give a little update. I've started going to acupuncture again for regular treatment as I wasn't feeling that great and my cycles have been odd. I wanted to help build myself up for our TTC effort. They have me on a Chinese herb mix that is compatible with nursing to help build my blood. They diagnosed me as blood and yin deficient -- but having a child and nursing both require a lot of blood and yin.

I've also started going to qi gong again. We are doing Soaring Crane at school. I went last week for the first class and I felt my body working through some things.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Consider Heathcare Costs - Women's reproductive health the cost of various treatments and interventions

As the new Obama administration begin to take on trying to overhaul our health care system, it has brought to mind a few things that I thought I would share.

In reading the second volume of the Eleanor Roosevelt biography I was surprised to read how the United States had seriously considered implementing a national health care program but that it failed to get enough support. Whoa! Isn't that the same old tune we keep hearing.

At any rate, in light of my recent adventures in reproductive health and fertility I see the opportunity for savings. Here's how...

Fibroid interventions -- most American women seem to be offered hysterectomy as the ideal treatment for uterine fibroids. Regardless of whether the procedure is done with abdominal surgery or trans-vaginally, this is a major surgical procedure involving hospital stay, and with its inherent post-operative risks of infection, etc. Also, hysterectomy can be associated with physical changes which can lead to ongoing treatment with medication for pain, sexual side effects and more. Since most women have discussions solely with their ob/gyn about their fibroid related symptoms, and since ob/gyns are trained in hysterectomy that is what is offered. Yet, fibroid embolization is an appropriate treatment for women who are finished having families.

Abdominal myomectomy is the current standard of care for women wanted to preserve their fertility, and it costs are comparable, if not a little higher, to the cost of an abdominal hysterectomy (due to the longer length of the procedure as I understand it). Again, fibroid embolization (UFE, UAE) might also be appropriate for younger women as well -- further studies are needed to determine its affects on fertility post procedure. Also, I'm interested to see what ongoing screening and increased understanding of hormonal imbalances contributing to fibroid growth might uncover in the way of reducing the formation of more troublesome fibroid related symptoms.

Obstetrical care in the U.S. is a huge expense -- I saw mention that it might be a 5th of total health care costs -- and yet it isn't even a part of the discussion how unnecessary interventions and liability-based delivery management practices are driving costs much, much higher.

Check out some links on the subject:

Commentary in response to New York Times' November 25th Editorial on the High Cost of Health Care
Faith Gibson ~ December 31, 2007

How Childbirth Went Industrial: A Deconstruction -

Management of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia
Macrosomia is the medical term for a big baby -- noted in this article as "arbitrarily defined" at 8 lb, 13 oz. (4,000 g)
A recent decision analysis estimated that to prevent one case of permanent brachial plexus injury, 3,700 women with an estimated fetal weight of 4,500 g would need to have an elective cesarean section for suspected macrosomia at a cost of $8.7 million per case prevented.

Revealing the Real Risks: Obstetrical Interventions and Maternal Mortality
By Marsden Wagner - Issue 118, May/June 2003

A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth - Synopsis
This page links to interventions grouped as:
(1) beneficial forms of care;
(2) forms of care that are likely to be beneficial;
(3) forms of care with a trade-off between beneficial and adverse effects;
(4) forms of care of unknown effectiveness;
(5) forms of care that are unlikely to be beneficial;
(6) forms of care that are likely to be ineffective or harmful.

An Interview With Ina May Gaskin
by Stacy Fine - Web Interview - June 29, 2007
Both maternal and infant mortality are currently rising in the US. Maternal death rates have not improved, according to the Centers for Disease Control, since 1982. That's a long time to have had no progress, despite all of the technological innovations that have taken place since then. Part of the problem in this sector is that the US has never created a system of accurate reporting of the data necessary to find out what mistakes we might be making so that we can analyze them and then make policy that reduces the likelihood of mistakes being repeated. The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) have had such a system in place since 1952, which is probably why their maternal death rate is significantly lower than ours in the US. I don't know of any European country in which maternal death classification is done according to an honor system, but that is exactly what is done in almost every US state. There is no audit, and autopsies are less likely to be performed here than in European countries.

Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) commenced in April 2003. We aim to improve the health of mothers, babies and children by carrying out confidential enquiries on a nationwide basis and by widely disseminating our findings and recommendations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Immunizations have been back in the headlines again. It got me thinking again about why I have chosen to do a delayed schedule. Based on all that I've read the CDC vaccination schedule is a one-size fits all program that isn't based on research to clearly identify the most opportune time to administer shots based on the developing immune system. It also doesn't factor in exposure risk (day care or single caregiver at home) or what the combination of shots together do in the child.

There are a couple of pieces in the US News and World Report Health issue out now that talks about the it. They also talk about how finally the NIH is going to get some studies done.

Coincidently I decided to look up the thymus gland today and came across this interesting page about the role of the thymus in the development of the immune system.

The Immune System/ The Thymus Gland