May 18, 2016

So you have an autoimmune disease?

Most if not just about all of my life, I have been very healthy. Raised by the most incredibly healthy nutritionist of a mother I never had to struggle with health. Than I had babies. You know how everyone says, "When you are pregnant you can eat whatever you want"? I took it too literally. I didn't wok out and I adored new foods like hot dogs and pizza. OMG much pizza.
Fast forward to baby number 3. I always lost my baby weight for the most part so really thought I had some secret upper hand in that department.

So I had baby number 3, breastfeed for 18 months and DID lose all that glorious baby/pizza weight. Than I gained it back. In 3 months. Suddenly, I had a new found love of nutrition (funny how that works). I decided this was my fault and I was the only one who could fix it. I worked out every day, I ate beautifully, I stayed the same weight. Not only did I gain weight, I became depressed, I lost my energy, and I felt lost. I would go to professionals who suggested I go on anti-depressants and that I was just adapting to motherhood with 3. People would say, "Everyone has a shitty metabolism and gains weight after 3 kids". I did not feel like my voice was heard. I gave in. I spent a year eating great and working out, and still feeling like death.

Finally, I decided my love for the holistic lifestyle would push me into seeing a Naturopath. She was wonderful and caring and most importantly said, "Hey this isn't normal"! Did some blood tests and a few months later I discovered I have an autoimmune disease called, "Hashimoto's". It is basically a condition that attacks your thyroid, pushing you into extreme levels of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Mine was hypo which explained why everything I had been doing was in vain. It also explained why I was severely anemic.

So its been 3 weeks into my new supplement/thyroid medication regimen and I feel completely different. I have energy, I can play with my kids, I can think! I am so grateful I found someone willing to dig a little deeper. This journey has pushed me into finishing my degree for nutrition. We have a growing epidemic of autoimmune disorders. IT is scary how common it is to have one. Some say it is a genetic predisposition mixed with environmental factors. None of this surprises me since we live in the most unhealthy country.

To sum this up, my point is to fight for yourself. Many people will have advice about your body, but only you know what is normal and what feels right. Autoimmune diseases suck ass. They can leave you feeling like a shell of yourself. Fixing the root cause and accepting that you are where you are is the first part. I can't wait to see how I feel by the end of the year.

March 21, 2016

A day in the life of...a parent of three

See that face? Yeah that's the luck of disgust over the fact that I dared to give her an egg salad sandwich. 

Yesterday, I whined to my husband about my life and why I am where I am. After spending the entire Sunday attempting to watch one (yes ONE) movie, I asked myself WHY..why even attempt this movie? Than with a forceful "challenge accepted" I spent 20 minutes watching it..and 2 hours in between each 20 minute spurt being a parent. Right as I would sit down to re-play it, I would be met with things like, "Don't worry mom I've picked out a great outfit for Freya to wear tomorrow" from like 10 pm at night. I'm not worried kid! I could care less if she wore the pajamas she is currently sleeping in if you JUST let me finish this movie! Why! Why is it so hard when we become parents to watch things on the T.V? Is there a secret club our children go to, to discuss ways to make us pull our hair out? This is how a following day, the previous week had gone. 

I wake up. Instead of being greeted by the sounds of cheerful birds, I am greeted by the screaming of 3 tiny terrors down below. "Violeeetttt I said I was going to sit there later"!!! While the two older fight, I hear the baby screaming at Daddy because he is trying to get ready for work. That's my cue. I know he is probably down there feeling how I do about 6 hours into the day. I rush downstairs and am seriously half awake. I have never been a morning person and never will. People tell me time after time, you have kids you get used to waking early. I just don't. I try to scramble my body to the kitchen to throw something, anything down my throat, so that I can boost my blood sugar and maybe become a cognitive member of society. I make it maybe 5 steps and I am approached by Sophie violently crying, "Mom Violet totally knew I was going to sit there". I look over at Violet who is beaming wildly while sitting in a spot on our massive couch. Happy she got her sisters goat. This is probably where I should interject and be a parent, but I keep walking to the kitchen. I feel like a warrior muffling out the sounds of gunshots, while I try to grab a cracker..something. Jared is in the bathroom frantically trying to get ready while the toddler scratches at his legs. I pull her off of him and throw her in the highchair with some sort of food to gain 5 minutes of freedom. 

Maybe 15 minutes later, Jared has left and dropped Sophie off at school. I have attempted to find some maybe clean clothes, and pair it with a fancy coat to pretend I have my shit together. It's pissing rain outside, so I put on the girls rain boots and raincoats. Oh did you think it was that easy? First, Violet purposefully puts them on the wrong feet, while Freya takes her off 6 times after I put them on. I contemplate sending Violet to school with no shoes and letting them walk barefoot in the rain, but get some sanity together and walk outside to the car. This is the part where the toddler goes apeshit. As we walk to the car in the pissing rain, she decides...maybe I want to sit in a puddle? I quickly grab her and continue walking while she is flailing in my arms and pulling my hair. "Puddllleeeeeee" she screams as I buckle her in. I look down and realize I am 5 minutes late. I give myself a high five because that's pretty damn awesome only being 5 minutes late! 

We drop sister off at preschool and barely make back into the door, when toddler screams, "DanieLLL". I have no issue giving in and plop Daniel Tiger onto the T.V. I sit. I enjoy sitting. Toddler does too. Right on my face. I move her over to sit on my lap and am met with an elbow jab in the eye. I being to feel like we are in a wrestling tournament and I am losing. She can't just watch Daniel Tiger quietly, she needs to practice her acrobatics for the upcoming Olympics. 

Blee Bloop 2ish so hours later, we pick Violet back up from preschool, and when I walk in the door I am met with demands of what they all would like for lunch. I feel like I am suddenly a 4 star chef and everyone expects that I cook the best of the best. I whip up some homemade egg salad sandwiches with fresh blueberries and carrot sticks. Violet loves it! Score! Toddler looks at me and dumps her entire plate on the floor, "No". I am pretty sure a piece of me dies in that moment. It's a battle of whits and I am always losing. I go back and make a quick almond butter sandwich and as I hand it to her she exclaims, "thank you mommy". I feel weird accepting that.

Aww nap time. The time parents sleep. Or read. Or Facebook. We never really clean. Why would you do that? Yet no, instead I have homework because stupidly I thought I could finish my degree with 3 children! I begin to sit down reading about amino acids, when I hear loudly from Violet's room, "Let it GOOOO". I try to let it go. I tell myself I am better than this. "Daddy finger, Daddy finger, where are youooooo". Eventually she will fall asleep I tell myself. "Sugar, YES PLEASE". I know we shouldn't stifle their imagination but damnit I did and told her it was nap time and to quiet down. Maybe I said that for my own benefit? It didn't help. Instead she decided to loudly play at her Elsa ice castle. Eventually she fell asleep with her crown on under the bed, but whatever. By the time SHE had fallen asleep tiny terror toddler wakes up. I here her in there sweetly singing, and for a minute I am reminded why I love my children. I go gather her a snack and creep upstairs to meet those sweet toddler smiles. As I approach mid stairs I smell something god awful. It's obviously not egg salad since she loudly declared that was a no. I creep to the door and hear, "Oh no". As I open the door I see she has ripped her diaper off because it was too gross after pooping in it, and proceeded to use her entire bed sheet as toilet paper. and the walls. Now this is not something I am proud of, but I cried. I had ALMOST finished my paper on amino acids and I knew it would need to wait. As I pick her up under the armpits to hose her down in the tub, I see Violet wide awake 15 minutes later. 
While hosing off shitty toddler I begin to laugh and Im unsure if its because I've calmed down or if I really truly have lost my mind. I declare both. 

Kids begin playing together for a little bit while every so often one cries or declares the other is toy thief. I half heartedly interject while realizing I am starving. Now, every parent knows you don't eat in front of your kids, if they aren't eating. It is like a cardinal rule. Unless it's salad. Than you are good. I go hide in bathroom and eat a quick egg salad sandwich. Violet stands outside the bathroom yelling, "MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING". This is my lunch break. 

Older sister comes homes, and I throw older sister and Violet in the backyard. "There go be kids"! I declare. I sit on the couch and I'm not even half kidding, Violet comes inside "I'm done outside". I exclaim they should try to play for a little bit more. Suddenly I hear screams from outside and I race out there to see them huddling together dramatically. I ask what is wrong and Sophie gets out, "We wanna come inside we saw a bug". In this moment I ask myself why I can't have kids that like and need to be dirty. Don't all kids love dirt? Isn't this one of THEIR cardinal rules? 

 At this point I am checking the minutes for Jared to walk into that door so I can go..somewhere quiet! My day gets progressively better when daddy is home and eventually we lay the little heathens down and collapse on the couch. This isn't even one of the worst days. We look at each other with those eyes that say, "I'm so tired I cant even physically say the words". We slowly push each other upstairs to lay down and go to bed. This is the part where I say something corny about how we tucked the kids in and thought how worth it it all was. There really is something about sleeping kids that makes you forget for 5 minutes how terrible they really can be when they are awake haha

November 1, 2014

Wow it has been AWHILE!

I have not been on here in so long, that I actually forgot my password! So much has been going on in our lives and in a good way. We feel that now we have finally passed the "having babies" stage of our life and are now moving on to watching them grow up. Its been wonderful. Freya is 10 months and will soon be 1 and it has hit me that very soon I am done having a baby in the house. It has been difficult seeing the mountains of baby stuff in the girls closet and trying to decide when I will deal with it. For now..I wont haha.

I recently graduated and finished my Associates degree in Health care Administration. As much as I am proud of myself and will NEVER forget about it, I can't help but giggle because I know I will never use it. Jared and I have talked for awhile now and I'm pretty certain my dream is to have a huge farm. We have a lot of financial stuff we have to work on before we can even think about moving, but this is my goal. I love animals and I love feeling self sufficient. We currently have a small mini farm in our backyard with our chickens and it has been exciting and has filled a void for me. I am a country girl and its been difficult living in the city all of these years. Realizing I have to live here a little bit longer is tough but I know doing this the right way will make it all worth it in the end. Right now I am enjoying annoying Jared and talking about all of the goats, sheeps, pigs, and 1 cow I want. My dreams of a creamery and selling eggs. He is not on board with pigs haha.

The girls are doing spectacular. Sophie is 5 and it is so odd for me but SO exciting at the same time. With her being in kindergarten, Jared and I get to experience new things. Ill never forget how exciting it was to do a fundraiser with her. Violet is almost 3 and in full force naughty 2 year old mode. We are prepared this time around but man 2-3 is STILL hard. Freya is almost 1 and crawling and trying to stand on everything. We just finally moved her out of our room and into her own. Its gone smoothly...for her..because she still wants to wake all night to nurse. Im working on night weaning so we will see if it sticks.

So anyways....thats it! Ill try and update more.

January 1, 2014

The birth of Freya Holiday

When my due date had passed I started getting incredibly antsy to have this baby. I had never made it to my due date with any of the other girls, so it took a lot of patience. December 30th rolled around and I had decided this baby did not want to be apart of 2013. We had a midwife appt. that evening to check my progress, and I had progressed in dilation and effacement. Everything was ready, it was just a matter of time. My midwife told me she expected me to go into labor with 24 hours....little did she know.

We left the midwife's at 5:30 pm and went to my parents house to pick up the girls. We hung out with my parents and my aunt who was visiting and then decided to go home and get some rest. Once the girls had layed down I had Jared run and get me something to eat. He left around 10pm and I started seeing my stomach do this odd tightening thing. I decided to time them and they were timeable but did not hurt one bit...just sort of felt like I was being squeezed. I called my mom and after talking decided to lay down for a couple minutes and see if they go away before I call my midwife. At 10:45 pm they were still coming every 2-3 minutes but with no pain. I called the midwife and we both agreed to try and sleep. I went to sleep immediately and at 11pm I felt a snap inside. Even though no water gushed out I knew what that meant. I had it happen before with my oldest. I went to the toilet and of water broke.

I had a slight freak out, but thought I had plenty of time to worry about. I started calling everyone and told my midwife Id let her know when the contractions got bad enough I needed her. Jared and I went downstairs, and my aunt and mother were the first to arrive. My aunt decided to time my contractions (it was now 11:45) and they were coming every 2 minutes lasting almost a minute and starting to hurt. I started getting angry thinking it wasn't right...they shouldn't be this close together. Jared started scrambling to get the birth tub filled and at midnightish we decided to ask the midwives to come. At this point I was having to lean on Jared for support during each contraction. I was getting really upset that they hurt THIS bad already and I was not getting one break. I started to wonder if I was wimp because I knew I had at least 5 more hours to go.

A little after 1am on New Years Eve everyone had arrived and my midwife suggest I get into the pool. At this point the contractions really, really hurt. I jumped into the pool and felt the need to hold myself up on all fours. It was the only way I could cope. I had also started feeling like the world was coming to and end they were THAT bad. My midwife asked to check me and I was at an 8cm dilated. It had been suggested to get out of the pool and try relaxing laying down. I regretted it because the moment I got out of the pool it only got worse which I did not think was possible. I layed on the ground with a fan in my face just wishing it would be over. It felt like an eternity but looking back it was actually quite fast. I started feeling pushy and asked people to help me get into the pool.

At this point I decided to surrender to the pain. My lovely doula had some soft music playing in the background and just kept telling me I was doing a great was all I needed. Jared got back in the tub with me and I rested up against his body and knew that any minute I would be pushing. I was so scared of pushing for some reason but at this point I knew if I didnt push I would be stuck dealing with the horrible contractions. Suddenly, I didnt have a choice because I felt her body (super weird feeling) drop down and the head was fighting to come out. I dont know what other nice way to put this but honestly pushing felt like my asshole was going to joke. It was SUCH a high amount of pain that I couldnt even scream. I remember my midwife's assistant told me that I almost got her out with the first push and I knew I could not relive that pain. So with the second push I pushed her all the way out.

As horrible as it was, it was beautiful at the same time. My contractions were gone and the pain was my baby was here. She was placed on my chest and made the sweetest sounds. Born at 2:23am on New Years Eve. I didn't know it at the time but I truly believed I had been in labor for 5-6 hours and could not believe it had only been 3 hours since my water broke. I birthed the placenta with the help of my midwife because I was so exhausted and then had help to move to the couch to be checked out. I couldnt believe I was walking and not only that I did not tear at all with my biggest baby! With my other girls walking was something I couldn't accomplish for a couple days, especially Violet. I wont lie, my anxiety was through the roof. The biggest worry I had with home birthing was something happening afterwards. I kind of laid on the couch in shock for about 30 minutes because I couldn't believe I just birthed my baby in the dining room. It is hard to accept after two very medical births (last being a cesarean) that you can BE okay birthing at home...but after waiting 30 minutes I realized nothing horrible was going to happen and felt at peace. With my anxiety I knew I would feel this way but accepted it and moved on.

My midwife's assistant helped me get upstairs to rest and recover and slowly people started to leave. I felt so amazing and wonderful. I got the birth I final birth was EXACTLY as I wanted. It was never about wanting to birth at home because I felt it was was that with my other girls I always felt I was missing an experience that I could not have anywhere BUT my home. My husband was so amazing and supportive throughout the whole process, and all night I kept looking over at him and baby SO in love. Our older girls stayed at nana & papa's house and we got some sleep with our new little Holiday baby.

So much thanks to my Midwife Laura Hamilton and her asst. Shannon. 
To my doula Holly Reed from "Belly to Breast"
To my birth photographer Mandi McDougall Photography
To my mother & aunt Jami
and last but most husband

Freya Holiday
Born New Years Eve at 2:23am
Weighing 8lbs 7oz and 21 inches long

December 4, 2013


I am officially in the waiting zone, but to be honest I am in no hurry. I never realized how having a baby in December can be so stressful. There are SO many holiday plans we have planned, and it leaves me with an anxious feeling wondering if I will make them or not. The other thing is...frankly...I am terrified of having 3 kids. I know, I know....WAY too late but at the same time I am fine cherishing my two girls in the mean time. Things are going to be so different for our family once Freya arrives! Lastly, I am not going to lie, I am slightly nervous about having a home birth but at the same time excited. Basically, I have more emotions than I can handle. It is almost baby time!!!

November 17, 2013

Why I choose to homebirth

        When I was pregnant with Sophie, I was scared of birth. As a control freak, the thought of surrendering my body to something I can't control was out of my element. When the time came and my water broke I could not give into it. So I feared the birth and asked for a lot of drugs/epidural to put me in a state where I would not quite be there. When Sophie was born, I was so exhausted from the drugs I could barely hold her, let alone remember what just happened. Afterwards, I was overjoyed being a new mother and felt no regret for my birthing choices. About a year later we decided to try again for another baby. This time I felt like I was missing something. I decided I wanted to be there physically & mentally for the birth if it was an option. I decided I wanted to do it naturally. I considered going to a midwife but canceled the appointment right before and saw an OB instead. We learned during the middle of the pregnancy that she was another girl...and breech. Breech means the baby is head up, which is not a favorable position for birth. Giving birth to a breech baby puts the babies life at risk as the head can get stuck in the birth canal and cut off oxygen. I wasn't worried because I was having this baby naturally. Sadly, after trying everything that baby would not go head down and we scheduled a cesarean. Having a c-section was an odd experience. This time I was physically and mentally there for my birth but I was terrified. My body was not my own in that moment. I could not move and so all I did was cry and stare at a blue sheet. In that moment, it was that I realized all I took for granted with my first birth.

Right after Sophie was born

After Violet was born

       Let me just say, that birth is a choice. Not everyone wants the same things and I would never push my choices on another human being. For my personal self, I was not happy with my births. I didn't feel ashamed...I felt like I was robbed. So with our final child I decided I would do everything in my power to achieve the birth I wanted. The first step was seeing a midwife. I was scared of not having the choice of pain meds at my birth so I told my self I would see a midwife BUT give birth in a hospital. Around July, my sister invited me to see her give birth to her gorgeous daughter. It was the first time I ever witnessed a birth besides my own. The birth was beautiful but it made me realize the small, needed interventions they did at her birth would be detrimental to someone having a VBAC. Let me touch on the VBAC thing.

   Going backwards a little bit, I knew I as going to be what is considered as a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). When you have a VBAC the main thing they worry about is a ruptured uterus from where the incision is. By worry I mean it is a .2% chance of happening. Do you know what the risk of having a repeat cesarean is? Weakened uterine wall, problems with the placenta, injuries to your bladder, heavy bleeding, breathing problems for baby, surgical injury to baby, blood clots,  and shockingly...a ruptured uterus. Do you know what doctors will tell you is more safe after you have had a c-section?...another c-section. I do not judge anyone who chooses to have a repeat cesarean. Emotionally I get it. It is very difficult to get past the fear we have. Though for myself it was an easy choice.

     So going back, I decided to research what would happen if I attempted to have a VBAC at the ONE hospital that would allow it. They would want me on pitocin, an epidural, a catheter, and a monitor placed gently (yeah right) inside babies scalp to measure the contractions affect. My natural birth in the eyes of the medical world was stolen. I felt robbed. Due to my baby choosing to be head up instead of head down I was not allowed to do the one thing my body was naturally made to do? First off, pitocin is one of the leading causes of ruptured yet Dr.s use it on VBACS knowing this. Pitocin makes a uterus contract faster and puts more stress on the scar which raises the risk of rupture very high. Natural birth, your body knows what you can handle. Secondly, getting an epidural immediately means you have to sit in the bed and not move. This means my body may stall and contract, which you have no idea which way you will go until you get there. Looking this all over an reading the research I realized one thing. VBACS are set up to fail. I got angry for a good couple days. I felt like everything I took for granted as now almost impossible to achieve, due to a surgery. I decided to home birth with my midwife.

    At first I was scared. I told Jared there was a very good chance I would give in at last minute and go to the hospital. He was understanding and repeatedly told me he would do whatever I chose and respect my decision. I spoke with my midwife and she made me feel SO at ease. My ideas of home birth were NOTHING of my reality. She would let me labor on my own and give me the birth I desired.

    So a lot of people, and to be fair this is the unknown so I get it, are a little hesitant when they hear about my choice to home birth. I've gotten the, " Are you not concerned about your babies safety" comment a good deal and instead of arguing I just say yes! I'm very concerned which is why I plan to labor at home and avoid the imminent cesarean waiting for me at the hospital. I want to catch my baby and hold her right afterwards, not unwillingly hand her over for an hour. I want to be the first person to touch her, not a stranger. I want to be able to be cognitive when she arrives and let her know I love her. So many more things, but ultimately YES I AM thinking about my baby and her safety.

Lastly, my midwife and I just want the best, safest outcome for baby and I. If at some point from now, until labor day it is decided homebirth is no longer an option I would respect it. I would still be happy I tried and then fight like hell at the hospital to have the birth I wanted. I hope in a month from now I can write up a story of a birth that was what I have been dreaming and if not I will move on and accept some things are not meant for people. Either way Ill have a beautiful baby <3 nbsp="" p="">