The Most Brilliant Way to Naturally Induce Your Labor

I have been pregnant for 1,786 days to date….one-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-six days…

I’m not complaining. Just merely stating a fact.

However, many many many of those days, were spent wishing that I were not so pregnant anymore. This is a feeling that I’m pretty sure 99.999% of all expectant mothers eventually feel. There just comes a time when we are DONE.

I’m 25 weeks pregnant with my 7th baby right now, so I haven’t reached the point of no return just yet, but I’m getting there a lot quicker this go round. I’m already starting to waddle and swell when I sit for too long. I was walking/waddling up to our barn this afternoon and I couldn’t believe how tough the last few steps had become. It made me a bit nauseous.

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Constipation During Pregnancy…I Have the Cure, Girls.

I promise that this is not a joke. I would never joke about constipation. I have suffered way too much to write a blog post on this subject & not give you a solution to the problem.

I do joke a lot about pregnancy symptoms because some are just way over the top in ridiculousness as far as I’m concerned, but this one can straight up put you in the hospital.

Okay…that’s the only joke, I promise.

So, I started having horrible- horrible-HORRIBLE constipation when I was pregnant with my fourth baby. How I managed to bypass it with my first three is quite the mystery, but I do know how it all started when I was pregnant with this little darling.

Those curls are tighter than I ever thought possible and my pregnancy with her was more horrible than I ever imagined.

I was so sick the entire 9 months and I had 3 children that were my full time job. I had no sick days, yet every day I was sick.

I couldn’t get through a day alone, so my doctor prescribed Zofran. The first time I took it was on the way home from my 8 week appointment. Three minutes later, I felt like a completely different person. The nausea vanished entirely. It was crazy.

It was also crazy two days later, after I had taken 4 doses of the medication. I went to the bathroom and three minutes into that situation, I felt like a completely different person. The ability to go vanished entirely…it just wasn’t gonna happen. That was crazier.

Have you ever tried to poop out a softball? I know, I know. How gross. But, y’all. That is how I felt. It was one of the scariest things I have ever experienced. I just knew I was going to have to get that stuff surgically removed.

I did everything I knew to do. I drank tons of water. I ate prunes like they were candy. I ate bowls & bowls of Raisin Bran cereal and when that didn’t work, I moved to plain old nasty Bran. (Makes me gag just thinking about it.) I tried suppositories. Enemas. Stool softeners. Laxatives. I would eventually become able to go, but the process was grueling.

So, why not just stop taking the Zofran you ask? Well, because I’d take being constipated over being nauseated any day.

Anyway, after weeks and weeks of having to go through all the scheduled bathroom rituals, one day I was able to go. Like, naturally. And I was totally confused.

I was in my second trimester by this time and experiencing a UTI. The only thing I had been doing differently was drinking cranberry juice. Tons of it.

I wasn’t sure if the cranberry juice was helping or not, but I kept drinking it.

It totally cleaned me out. Like 100%. It was a miracle, y’all. Like on 34th Street.

If I stopped drinking it for a few days, I would end up right back where I was. It only took a few times to figure all of this out in detail.

And this has been my situation with each pregnancy thereafter. I’ve taken Zofran every time, become constipated days later, and added cranberry juice to the grocery list.

This picture was taken just about an hour ago.

At 24 weeks pregnant, I am once again drinking this on a daily basis. Notice that this is 100% Cranberry Juice. Cranapple juice won’t work. Cranberry juice won’t work unless the label says “100%”. Trust me, I’ve tried.

This particular one works perfectly for me. I’ve tried other natural cranberry juices and they’ve also worked, but this one is easily found in grocery stores, so I always recommend it.

So, if you are needing some serious relief, I would start out drinking 2-3 glasses of juice, consecutively. Then water for the rest of the day. You may need more to start out, you may need less. It is pretty powerful stuff, so don’t go and drink the entire bottle. You might wind up hating me.

You will improve each day and will probably visit the potty more than once a day. This is a good thing, but when you find yourself needing to go more often, taper back.

As each day goes by, it will get easier and easier and then almost effortless. When you reach this point, you may need just one small glass a day or every other day. You just have to see what works for you.

This will work with chronic constipation of you have it, or occasional bouts. It should work whether you’re pregnant or not. If you have a child that is having issues, it may help them. And if you are a man reading this, well, yes. It should work for you, too, bud.

I am not a doctor, so by all means, ask your physician about this first if you are the least bit worried about drinking some fruit juice. If you are extremely sensitive to sugar, ask your doctor. If you have diabetes or gestational diabetes, please talk to your physician, and if you are allergic to cranberries, people, please don’t drink cranberry juice.

Cause that right there could straight up put you in the hospital. No joke.

Lisa

The 20 Week Ultrasound…My Bump is Over the Half-Way Hump!

Last week marked my 20th week in this pregnancy and you know what that means…..my time for the big ultrasound had come.

I used to get excited about having ultrasounds, but the more pregnancies I have, the more I sort-of dread them.

Well, I don’t really dread them. That’s probably pushing it a bit, but I definitely get that nervous gut feeling as it approaches.

During my earlier pregnancies, I knew very little. Well, I wasn’t stupid, but let’s just say that I was very naive. I just expected to go in and see the baby’s body parts & hear the heartbeat, you know…that sort of stuff. I didn’t even think about the possibility that something might not be just right, but the older I get, the more I fear that I’m going to find out that something is wrong with the baby.

It’s probably mostly because of my age.

Oh. I should probably not announce that on Sunday, I will turn thirty-eight. 38, people! Go ahead & round that one up. It’s absolutely depressing. I never thought I’d ever get this old. I use to joke about people getting “Over the Hill.” Geez Louise. It’s been bothering me all week…and Rooster started celebrating it last night…five days early. Thanks, buddy.


Please accept my apologies for having a mini blog breakdown.


So, here’s a profile picture of our newest chick. Or rooster. If you read my blog regularly, you know we don’t find out the baby’s gender. Sorry, y’all, that’s just the way it is. Here’s for surprises!

Do you see that big blob at the top? That is my placenta. Well, some of it. The medical term is anterior placenta. It has caused me much stress this go round & here’s why…

The location of an anterior placenta is in the front of the uterus, closest to your skin. As the 20 week mark approaches, we expect to feel some kicks in there. Well, if your placenta is attached in the front, it’s like a big, soft, fluffy pillow for your baby, and karate chopping through that thing just-ain’t-gonna-happen when the baby is that little.

I usually feel my babies kick around 17 weeks & those kicks become much stronger as the 20th week draws near, but it was not so this time. I had an anterior placenta with my last pregnancy as well, so I had a pretty good idea that was the reason for me not feeling much movement.

Anyway, the ultrasound, which I found out is actually called the Anatomy Ultrasound, was quite long. And I go to them alone because, well, someone has to stay with the kids.

And because it gives me some time alone, which I so desperately need these days.

Thankfully, all was well. The baby has all his or her fingers & toes, and the heart, kidneys, brain, spine…etc…are all developing as they should.

The nose and lips are fine, so there’s no cleft lip. I always worry about this because a dear friend of mine had a baby with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She didn’t find out until just weeks before he was born & it was devastating for her. She couldn’t nurse him & had to actually learn how to feed him using a special bottle. Surgeries and speech issues were all things she had to learn about in a short amount of time. I ask them to please check mainly because I know I would need a lot of time to prepare for that situation before delivery.

The baby’s heart rate was 143 bpm, which makes me wonder if it’s a boy. 🤗 Baby was squirming all over the place, so it wasn’t a resting heart rate. My girls all had heart rates of 155 and higher, no matter what, and Jack’s was always much lower. That really is a thing, y’all. It’s not 100%, but it’s really exciting seeing that big of a difference, even if I am carrying another baby girl.

The baby measured right where it he or she was supposed to. My due date stayed exactly the same, and his or her weight was 12 oz, although that’s not always very accurate on ultrasound. I believe one of my books reads that 9 oz. is average for 20 weeks.

My amniotic fluid was good…once I measured 4 weeks ahead & found out that my amniotic fluid was high, which didn’t cause a problem, but had to be checked a few times.

My cervix was thick and closed and my anterior placenta wasn’t low-lying, which is concerning because that situation can cause problems. And that’s another post all together.

And that was pretty much it. Seeing the little miracle growing inside me was nothing short of amazing. No matter how many times I see it, it never loses its luster.

So now that the ultrasound is over and my bump is over the half-way hump, I finally feel like this is all really happening.

Again. ❤️

Lisa

Having a Miscarriage…Stories and Signs

One of the hardest things about pregnancy, for me, is worrying that I may miscarry.  When I see those two pink lines, I’m elated! but then the fear starts to take over and getting to that “safe” point seems like an eternity.

I worry about having a miscarriage because I’ve had four of them.  I actually miscarried my very first pregnancy, which was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.  If you have been in my shoes, my heart breaks for you.  It is truly devastating.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you may have figured out that I kind-of enjoy having babies.  It’s only, like, my favorite thing to do.  So, becoming pregnant for the first time ever was absolutely the most exciting thing ever.

I remember that day…it was surreal.  I could not WAIT to wear maternity clothes.  I could not wait to feel the baby kick.  I could not WAIT to tell people that Rooster and I were expecting, so I didn’t.  I believe the secret–that was never going to be a secret–was out just days after I had a positive pregnancy test.  I wanted to the whole world to know.

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How I Discipline My Children…May They Never Resemble Veruca Salt

So, I’ve had some interest in how I discipline my kids. I have no idea how this post will turn out, so beware.

To start out, I will have to say that my disciplinary skills started to develop when I was very, very young.  I am told that I was super bossy….True.  And super loud…Very True.  I do remember punishing my dolls and making my Barbies argue with one another over who was wearing the best outfit.  I liked the drama of it all.

If any of you reading this are my closest friends from high school or college,  you know that I either caused drama, encouraged the drama…or added to the drama that had nothing to do with me to begin with.  Something was always going on within my inner circle of friends.  Life was never boring, that’s for sure.  They all know it.

I remember being single, but imagining my life as a wife and a mother.  Blissful…I simply could not wait.  And I also remember going to the grocery store or the mall all by myself.  (It seems like forever ago….well, it was forever ago.)  I can recall several, several occasions observing children throwing ridiculous temper tantrums….in the middle of isle 3 at Publix because the mother wouldn’t put a certain box of cereal in her buggy.  The child was sooooooo loud.  I was embarrassed for her.  The mom.  Not the kid.

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Broody Chicks Love Pumpkin Pancakes

Have you ever experienced the amazingness of a big stack of maple-syrup-smothered pumpkin pancakes????

If you haven’t, you should. If you don’t like pumpkin, you shouldn’t….but boy are you missing out.

Pumpkin pancakes are a beloved thing of beauty in our family. But only during the fall. They probably wouldn’t taste right if made during the other seasons, but we’ll never know because it’s against my religion to make them at any other time.

So, I made these this morning for Rooster & the kids.  Here’s what someone’s plate looked like…

Looks kind-of yummy, huh.

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Breastfeeding…How to Push Yourself Through the Pain.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re having trouble dealing with the pain of breastfeeding. Or maybe you’re pregnant and wanting to nurse your baby after she’s born. Oh, wait. I know. You’ve done it before and you’re dreading the pain and frustration of having to go through it again. Been there, done that.

So, let’s just go ahead and say it. Breastfeeding can hurt. It’s one of those things many women look forward to when they’re pregnant, but after three or four days of nursing every two hours, they begin to question if they can keep going. The pain becomes just too intense and that, combined with pregnancy hormones, can be the means to an end.

I’ve nursed all six of my babies, so it’s a breeze for me now, but in the beginning, I dealt with a lot of the issues you can read about in any book on pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pain. Dry, cracked nipples. Bleeding nipples. Clogged milk ducts. I remember it like it was yesterday.

When I was pregnant with my first child, Maggie, one of my biggest goals was to breastfeed her exclusively until starting solids. I was not going to give her an ounce of formula if she was able to nurse, no matter how much it hurt in the beginning. I was determined to do whatever I had to do to make it work. End of story.

The first few days were fine. She was doing a great job…and I thought I was doing a great job, too, but then things started to change drastically. I started out feeling just somewhat uncomfortable, but that feeling quickly spread to a hurt I had never felt before.

The pain was unreal. Every single time I would get ready to feed her, I would tense up and just hold my breath while she latched on. Sometimes I would do a long little squeal with my eyes tightly shut & I’d try to count to ten. Seemed like it took forever.

In the very beginning, I was taking a narcotic that I was given in the hospital after she was born. It covered up the pain in a magnificent way. But, when I stopped taking it, everything became very real. The honeymoon was over.

I’m not going to tell you how to nurse correctly or how to successfully latch your baby on so that the pain is minimal. You can Google a plethora of information and you may, or may not be prepared enough, but before I go any further…

Not all mothers can nurse. Not all babies can nurse. Sometimes what’s naturally supposed to happen just doesn’t for some reason. If your baby is not gaining weight, or worse, losing weight, something is wrong. If your baby nurses & doesn’t fall asleep, but instead cries after every feeding, something may be wrong. The good signs in the beginning follow a pattern: fuss, eat, sleep, poop…fuss, eat, sleep, poop. And the scale should be going up.

Okay. Now I’m going to tell you what you can do when the discomfort truly begins because getting through the pain is the hardest part physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Come to terms with yourself. If this is something you deeply want for your baby, you must mentally be ALL IN.
  • Realize that this is a huge awakening for your poor boobs. They aren’t use to feeding a baby. Even if your baby is the best nurser in the world, there will probably be pain in the beginning. Your boobs have got to toughen up. And they will.
  • Learn the tricks of the trade. I have a favorite: Get your nipples nice & cold with ice packs right before you get ready to feed your baby. This will numb the pain. It was the only thing that made latching on bearable for me. It really does work, girls.
  • Remember that you are going to have a huge hormonal shift. Getting emotional is going to happen. Your going to cry…you’re going to doubt yourself. But you can do this. You can. If you decide to quit during your most vulnerable time, you may regret it.
  • Don’t don’t Don’t give your baby a bottle just because you need a break. Pumping hurts worse, in my opinion, and the nipple on a bottle will cause nipple confusion. Pacifiers won’t. You can try one if your baby keeps sucking, but is clearly dosing off. Your baby won’t get confused when there’s clearly no milk coming out of a pacifier.
  • Get to know your lactation specialist. They are wonderful and will support you in every way. Call them if you feel the need.
  • Take a pain reliever around the clock. It will not hurt your baby, I promise.
  • I don’t buy nipple shields or anything like that because I just feel like it prolongs the goal I’m trying to accomplish, but if you hear that it’s helpful, then by all means..
  • Believe me when I say that one day soon, you’ll feed your baby & realize, Oh my gosh…that wasn’t so bad.

And it gets easier & easier. There is no magical potion. There is no set time frame. All it really takes is love and patience from you…

And a little bit of squeezing and high-pitched squealing from time to time…

And ice. Lots and lots of ice.

Lisa

And the Winner of the Broody Chick’s First Giveaway is…………

It’s November!!!  Finally.  If I see one more Halloween decoration that I forgot to put away, I may lose my mind.

Ahhhhh……so.  Before I get right to the winner of my very first giveaway, I just wanted to say that I’ve missed you.  I have not looked at my blog in a week because we had a very unexpected and uninvited guest show up at our house last Tuesday.  Her name?  Mrs. Stomach Virus.  And she decided to spend about 5 days with us.  She was the worse house guest imaginable.

And no, people……we didn’t get the virus because we no longer vaccinate.  I’m sure someone will snicker about that one.  😉

Alright.  Down to business!!

I have written all the names down on a piece of paper and they are all folded up.  I know, I know….I’m doing it old school.

Okay.   Drum roll please……………………………..

And the winner is….

LEAH ELLIOTT !!!!

Congratulations, Leah!  Thank you so much for reading my blog and entering the giveaway!!!  You’ll be getting an email from me soon!  🙂

And I also want to thank everyone who entered and/or has supported me as started this new journey as the broody chick.  Your love and support means so much.

Oh, and if you’re quite sore because you didn’t win this time, don’t blame me.  Rooster was the name drawer.

Lisa

Life on the Farm. The Good, Bad, and the Smelly.

Before I get into the good stuff, I’m having my first giveaway, which ends next Wednesday, November 1, 2017. To enter, click right here.

Now…all about the farm…

Living on a farm is quite interesting, especially if you grew up a city girl, like me.  It can be messy, busy, hilarious, time-consuming, and very expensive, but seeing God’s creatures–how they love human interaction and live on a daily basis the way we feel God intended–is quite fascinating.

So, when we bought this property from one of the most precious women we will ever know, Mrs. Janet, there were no farm animals on it.  Basically, we had a gorgeous blank space to make our own.  We have 26 acres…about 10 acres in pasture, and about 16 that is wooded. It’s not small, but it’s definitely not huge. I honestly can’t imagine having to keep up with more land than what we have at the present.  People who own 50, 100, 200+ acres amaze me.

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The Broody Chick’s Very First Giveaway!

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So, I’ve decided to shake things up a bit.  I’m having my very first giveaway!

All you have to do to be entered, is comment on this blog post and enter your email so I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner, but I do want some specific information from you…

I’m wanting to know what you’d like me to write more about.  I am very passionate about pregnancy, birth, and being a wife and mother of lots of kids, but perhaps there are other specific areas related to these topics that you’d like to read more about.  I don’t want to write all about pregnancy or newborn complications if it’s nothing you’re interested in.  Hopefully that makes sense.

So what’s in it for you?  Well, Rooster and I have decided that we’re going to let the winner choose the gift they’d like best.  You will have 3 options to pick from….

The first is a $25.00 gift card to Starbucks, for all you caffeine addicts out there, like me and Maddie Wallace.

Starbucks coffee

By the way, did you know there’s a secret off menu item that you can order called a Unicorn Frappuccino?  Neither did I.

The second option is a $25.00 gift card to Toys R Us/Babies R Us.  Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, y’all.

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And the third option is a $25.00 gift card to Wal-Mart.   Save $25, live better.

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The random drawing will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and I will be posting the winner that afternoon…..with a drum roll…..

So, you know the rules, you know the prizes.  All you need to do now, is enter.  Easy Peasy, people….easy peasy.  Good luck!  🙂

Lisa