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

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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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

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.

Toys-R-Us

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

Walmart

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

How I Went From Junior Leaguer to Barefoot & Pregnant

When I was a little girl, I had a very clear image of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be someone’s wife and have a baby.  That was as far as I got. Nothing else really seemed fun.

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As I got older, I realized that I one day, I would actually have to get a job.  Go to college. Make money.  Uuggggghhhhh….  People, I was gonna have to work.

At that point, I had no choice but to twist that “clear image” up a bit.  I needed to figure out what I was going to be.  Become.  Do.  For a living.

My first thought was to become a veterinarian.  I loved animals….dogs, cats, and horses were at the top of my list. I thought it would be so much fun to go into my clinic every day and work with my furry patients.  So, during my senior year of high school, I started to observe our veterinarian.  The first surgery I watched being performed was the neutering of a huge German Sheppard.  I passed out.  So…….plan B.

My grandmother, dad, and aunt were all nurses, so I figured, “well…it’s in my blood…”  So, after graduation, I applied and was accepted into Auburn University with Nursing as my declared major.  I applied for a job at a surgical clinic in Auburn to get my foot in the door and began working just weeks after moving into my apartment.  One of the things I had to do on a regular basis was add “before and after” pictures to patient charts.  Most all of the pictures that I had to file made me completely nauseated & I quickly realized that if blood and guts were even slightly involved, nothing in the medical field was gonna cut it.  And neither was that job.  And there was no plan C.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I was quite miserable, so I decided to move back home with the parents.  And guess what…I met Rooster.1919110_1219926625101_6586228_n (more…)

What Mamas Really Need for the Hospital…and What They Really Don’t

If this is your first baby, you’ve probably looked at a million lists of things you need for the hospital when you have your baby.

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually looked at one of those lists because I’ve got my “absolutely must-have” list and my “don’t-even-bother-with-it-because-you know-you-never-even-get-it-out-of-the bag” list permanently embedded into my brain.

Some items change with each rodeo, but there are staples that have made my later stays so much better than the early ones.

I’m not just going to give you a “what you need” list. I’m going to add the “why you need it” part, so that you can see why I recommend it, and then decide whether or not it’s something you want to include.

Packing my bags and the baby’s bags is a time I so look forward to, cause that means you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

OK! So, let’s do this.

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Braxton Hicks vs True Labor Contractions

Every pregnant woman probably wonders about this at least a few times during their third trimester. Are these Braxton Hicks, or am I really going into labor???

I have been there way too many times. It took 4 pregnancies before I finally realized the true difference between the two.

I remember having my first contractions when I was 25 weeks with my first baby. I had NO idea what I was feeling. I seriously thought that the baby turned over & that the hard-as-a-rock area on my belly was her pushing her back against me. I was so clueless.

Braxton Hicks are real contractions, but they aren’t strong enough to change your cervix. They are the “practice” contractions. Your uterus starts contracting very early on, but feeling them at first is difficult. I mean, you probably would never notice.

I’m almost 17 weeks and I just had one. They don’t hurt. The uterus just tightens up and then releases. Just practicing for the big day.

But why do so many women confuse the two?

It’s very easy.

As you approach your due date, Braxton Hicks become stronger and more frequent. They can take your breath away & that right there is very concerning. They can come at regular intervals, too, making you wonder what in the heck is going on.

I have an irritable uterus, which basically means that I have contractions very early on..but they become much more regular between 25 and 30 weeks. I’ll have days when I contract 30-50 times. Some are mild, some are quite strong, and come anywhere from 20 minutes apart all the way to 1 or 2 minutes apart, consistently.

They have sent me to the hospital on several, several occasions, only to be sent home because my cervix was softened, but not dilating. This can get extremely frustrating, especially if you are beyond 37 weeks because by that time we WANT THE BABY OUT.

Having 3O contractions a day is not the norm, so if you are experiencing this, you must tell your doctor. Even if they don’t hurt. The problem with having so many, so often is that they can soften your cervix.

When you’re pregnant, your cervix becomes thick to protect your uterus. When you approach the end of your pregnancy, your cervix will begin to soften (efface). It must efface some before you can begin to dilate. Braxton Hicks contractions can help get this started. The problem occurs if the cervix thins out too much too soon because of these practice contractions.

When I was on my 3rd pregnancy, I was experiencing frequent Braxton Hicks. Some were strong, some weren’t, but I just felt like I was having too many. When I was 28 weeks, I told my doctor. He was concerned and wanted to check my cervix via ultrasound. I was 75% effaced….I should have been 0% effaced.

I was put on bed rest immediately and had to take medication. I also had to come in every week to have my cervix checked. It was very scary time. The medication didn’t help, nor did bed rest.

I ended up going to the emergency room at 30 weeks because the contractions would not slow down. That situation put me into the hospital for 3 days. It deserves its own post, which I will be writing very soon.

Ok. So, real contractions vs Braxton Hicks.

Before I get into this, please understand that this has been my experience. Every pregnancy is different and your situation may not mirror mine. If you are ever concerned, call your doctor.

Real contractions usually, but not always, hurt. They usually start out mild and get stronger and stronger & closer together.

Braxton Hicks usually don’t hurt. They are kind of all over the place. I have so many pieces of paper in my pregnancy journals that show the timing of my Braxton Hicks. They may be 6 minutes apart, then 3 minutes apart, then back to 6, then down to 2, then back to 7…etc. There’s little to no consistency.

Real contractions feel just like menstrual cramps. You will feel it start, peak, then go back down. They may start out 20 minutes apart or more, but they will get closer & closer together, not further & further apart. So, you could have your first real contraction at 1:00pm, the next at 1:20pm, then one at 1:40pm…all 20 minutes apart. But the next one may be at 1:55pm, just 15 minutes later. They will also gradually get stronger….they will eventually be much, much, much stronger than any menstrual cramp you’ve ever had. If you start experiencing anything like this, just go straight to the emergency room. Or immediately call your midwife if you’re having a home birth…etc.

I waited WAY too long the first time I ever went into labor. I was 38 weeks, so I wasn’t absolutely sure that this was it. Very soon, I realized that it was the real thing because my contractions made a drastic turn as far as pain was concerned. I made it to the hospital & had the baby 30 minutes after walking in the emergency room doors—without an epidural, which was not fun. If you want an epidural, I wouldn’t mess around with that stuff. Get to the hospital. The worse thing they’ll do is send you home if it’s not the real thing.

If you are having a lot of Braxton Hicks, there are a few things you can do to try to calm them down.

  • Drink a lot of water. Even if you are the slightest bit dehydrated, your uterus can become irritated. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.
  • Take Motrin or Alieve and lay down on. Swap sides as you become uncomfortable, but being on your left side is best.
  • Take a warm bath. The heat helps calm contractions.

So, Braxton Hicks & labor contractions are different, but you can have a Braxton Hicks one minute and a true labor contraction the next. There should be something that sets them apart, but it may be more subtle than I have described. Just pay close attention and be ready to have that baby!

Lisa

Gender Reveal! Why I Don’t Have that Beloved Party.

“Are you having a boy or a girl??”

That’s a question I hear all the time. I guess it’s just the natural thing to ask a pregnant woman.

When someone asks me that question, I say, “It’s either a boy or a girl”.  And that’s it.

I was pressured by one of my best friends, Waverley, to find out the sex of our first baby.  I had no intentions of EVER finding out if I was having a boy or a girl because it just seemed like so much fun to wait and see.  But Waverley was so pushy!  (She knows I love her.)  She was like, “Don’t you want to be able to decorate the nursery!?!?!?  If you don’t find out, you’ll have to use yellow or something.”  (yes, I know that’s yuck.)

But I bought crib bedding BEFORE I even got married.  I’m serious, y’all.  I remember where I was the moment I saw this bedding online.  Remember when toile was REALLY popular?  Well, for some reason, that’s the print I wanted for my future baby.  So, I looked and looked and found this one that I just fell in love with…

TOPSY TU_11_HD_1

I mean, who does that?  Who buys nursery bedding when they are engaged and not even near being pregnant?

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