Sunday, March 26, 2017

Finding yourself

I've been gone for awhile and a lot has happen...... which kind of leads me to the topic of this post. 

Something happens when a women becomes a mother, I don't know how or why, or hell I don't even know when it happens but it happens. You loose yourself. Your no longer (insert name here), you are now so and so's mother. Everything you do, everything you are is no longer for you. The things you enjoyed prior to becoming a mother you tell yourself that you will get back into it, once they nap, once they get on a schedule, once everyone goes to bed. But let's be honest that never happens. When they are napping you find yourself trying to catch up on house work, when you finally get them on a schedule you now have more things around the house that needs to be done, when everyone goes to bed so do you. It's a never ending cycle. 

I have found this even more of a struggle for myself as prior to having the twins I had a job, hell I've had a job since I was 15, that's half my life!!! Now all of the sudden not only am a mother I am a stay at home mom. As much as I love it, I also want to scream inside as I have lost my identity. It's taken me 5 months to get it back, I still don't fully have it back, it's going to be a slow process. 

I closed my Etsy shop down to be able to focus on the twins for a bit and I will admit it's been closed down for far too long now, it was never meant to be closed this long but like I said you loose yourself. I have slowly been getting back into my studio (when the twins allow it). And let me just say when I get into my makers zone it's amazing, I never grow old of that feeling. 

Don't get me wrong I love every minute of being a mom, it's just why does this mostly only happen to women?  Don't we deserve to have an identity to ourselves? Why are we the ones that are expected to give up everything about ourselves?  


Guys you need to help your women!!! You need to encourage and help them get back into what they loved doing. Loosing your identity is hard!! Support them, make them not feel bad for taking 5minutes to ourselves.

So how do you find your new identity?? The answer is actually simple but achieving it is not as simple.  You just have to find time for yourself. Do the things you love to do. Once you become a mother some of the things you enjoyed to do prior may not be what you enjoy now and thats fine. It's going to be trial and error when it comes to these things. But trust me you need to do it for your sanity. Remember a happy and healthy mama in turn helps make babies happy and healthy.  Once you start making time for yourself and doing the things you enjoy you will start to feel so much better about yourself. As comfortable as leggings are and as easy as putting your hair up in that mom bun do you really want that to be your everyday look?? Put those jeans on, let your hair down have a little fun!! I myself am still struggling with this part as LuLaRoe is so comfy!!!!!!But at least I feel comfy and confident in a lot of my LLR (I have more than just leggings lol). 

So as I start to find my new identity I have learned I still love to blog and be in my craft studio. I am hoping to open my easy shop back up in the next few weeks. This is going to be hard as the twins love keeping me on my toes with their schedules. I also plan to blog at least twice a week from here on out. 

What are some things that have helped you find your new identity??

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Milky Mama Brand Ambassador

Earlier in the week we were selected to be a brand ambassador for an amazing lactation treat company, Milky Mama. We are so excited to be apart of this company. 

This next part is about the company and it's straight from their website:

Milky Mama was created by Krystal Nicole Duhaney, a Registered Nurse and breastfeeding mommy of two. After having her second child and returning to work, Krystal struggled with her milk supply and realized that there were very few resources for breastfeeding mothers in the same predicament. She knew then that she had to come up with a solution that would help to increase her milk supply!

Using her knowledge as a Registered Nurse and love for baking, Duhaney developed a milk-making cookie recipe and fell in love with the results. This lactation cookies dramatically increased her supply. Soon after, she decided that she could not keep her discovery a secret and had to share this with other mothers who were going through a similar situation. So, in November of 2015, Milky Mama was born.

Today, Milky Mama's product line includes All-Natural cookies, brownies (which are Krystal’s favorite), emergency brownies,  lactation oatmeal, tropical iced tea, lactation lemonade, and lactation smoothie mix. 

Along with offering tasty treats and beverages, Milky Mama has also generated a following of women who help support each other and other women on their journey. “It was also important for me to create a village of support, because I needed it and I craved it. Having the extra support is so vital. It is heartwarming and a huge passion of mine to give breastfeeding support. I receive so many responses from customers sharing their experience and because they eat my treats they are going strong with lactation. It’s so amazing what a little extra support can do.” Milky Mama facilitates weekly Facebook chats and a lactation support group.



I love that this company not only has amazing treats but also has lactation support. They don't see their customers as a number, they see them as a warrior providing for their babies..... you don't see many companies doing this. 

So we have decided a few times a week over the next 30 days we will introduce a product as well as a breastfeeding/pumping tip for all you milky mamas out there. 


Emergency Brownies
These brownies are so yummy!!! They are to give you that extra boost when you are stressed or your supply has tanked for whatever reason. 

Power Pumping 
For those pumping mamas that are struggling, I suggest power pumping. My left is my slacker and with the help of doing this it is starting to catch up to the right. We still have a ways to go. 

I pump and nurse. Please don't get down on yourself when you feel like you aren't doing as well as other mamas. Any breast milk is awesome no matter how much. You are a warrior and you are doing awesome mama!!!


If you would like to try Milka Mama click here and you will get 10% off your order. 

 


 

Monday, November 21, 2016

5 Must Haves for Twin Parents

*These are my 5 must haves right now with our twins.*

              

1. Fisher Price Rock n Plays. Our twins are rollers so this is a safe option for us right now. Plus they can be in the room with us and once we transfer them to their nursery they hopefully will already be used to sleeping separately since they each have their own cribs. 

2. Hands free pumping/nursing tank. I love this tank top. When I'm not nursing, I'm pumping and having this tank frees up my hands to actually do things like eat (since we all know being a new mom eating is last on our list). 

3. Wubbanub. Due to being in the NICU our babies are paci babies. The NICU gives them pacis when they are taking tests or anything to help keep the crying to a minimum. And of course our babies don't like just any pacies right now, they like the jelly type. 

4. Baby Swing. These things are a staple in our house. Both babies love the swings and it helps us be able to be semi productive. 

5. Contours Options Tandem Stroller. Let's face it having twins means you now have to have the tuna boat of strollers. My biggest advice is to go to the store and play with the strollers and find the one that works for you. I loved this one because it is light weight compared to some of the other twin strollers. It's also easier to maneuver. 


 

 

Simplisafe

VETERANS DAY WITH SIMPLISAFE

Every November 11th, we honor our military veterans and families that served in the Armed Forces and commend the immense number of sacrifices of each and every one of our service members, Armistice Day was created in 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that marked the end the fighting of World War I. 

Armistice Day was officially made into a legal national holiday on May 13th, 1938. In 1954, following the end of WWII, the 83rd Congress voted to officially rename the holiday to include all factions of the armed services. November 11th, 1954 was observed as the first official Veterans Day, in honor of American veterans of all wars. In President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Veterans Day Proclamation on October 8th 1954 he addressed the nation saying:

“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.” 

So this Veterans Day we stand united, under one flag, and celebrate the liberty and justice that the men and women of our armed services have dedicated their lives to defending. The month of November is our chance as citizens to honor the sacrifice and commitment of our service members and service families alike. 

In celebration of Veterans Day this year, SimpliSafe is connecting with these men and women that are our serving or have served our country to give away 50 wireless security systems to help protect their homes! To enter for your chance to win, nominate your service hero here by midnight on November 21st, 2016! 


Friday, November 11, 2016

The Reality of My Conditions

I have had multiple people ask me what exactly Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is. 

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. The bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help blood clot. 
Normal platelet levels are 150,000; mine were 40,000 prior to going into the operating room. So the reason they put me to sleep vs doing a spinal was fear of bleed out since my blood wouldn't clot on its own. Due to my levels being so low I was put in a magnesium drip to prevent seizures, I had to be on this for 24hrs. They also did a platelet fusion in surgery to help my number go up so that my blood could clot. I was also put on Pitocin to make my cervix contract to help with clotting. For the first 24hrs after surgery I was monitored with blood work every few hours. They needed to see if my platelets would go up on their own, unfortunately I needed to have another fusion as my numbers were now lower than they were prior to surgery, 33,000. I was not allow to go to the NICU more so due to my magnesium drip. If you have ever been on one then you'll understand, but for those that haven't, basically it makes you so out of it. You are constantly dozing off and very weak. Thank god I had the nurse that I did because she knew just how bad I wanted to see the babies so she promised after the second fusion that she would take me up there for a few minutes. 

Due to the ITP I also had Hellp Syndrome, which is the highest from of preeclampsia. 
H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells)
EL (elevated liver enzymes)
LP (low platelet count)

I litterally had barely any indication that I had either of these things. My urine came back with nothing, my blood pressure was slightly elevated but nothing to be too concerned of on its own, the reason that the blood test was ran initially was due to my rib pain that I was having. With both of these I was so bad that everyone was perplexed as to how I was functioning and didn't have more signs. If we hadn't of gone into the hospital that night everything could have turned fatal. I ended up loosing a lot of blood while I'm surgery, however not enough to need a blood transfusion. 

Everything that day was so beyond scary and the fact that my husband couldn't come into the operating room made things more scary for me. Would I die alone? Would my babies be ok? This can't be how our journey ends! These thoughts and more kept running through my head. 

I am so beyond grateful for my team of doctors they held my hands to help calm me down once I got into the operating room all the way until I was put under. They even made sure that I wasn't alone and saw familiar faces when I woke up since my husband was in the NICU with the babies. 

The best advice I have for anyone that is pregnant is you know your body, you know when something is off, don't be worried about going to labor and delivery. That is what they are there for, to make sure everything is ok with you and your babies. One small thing can turn into a huge thing in a matter of minutes. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Day Our World Changed

So I'm gonna back track a few days first.

I had a doctors appt on Oct 14th and everything was fine. Blood pressure was normal, urine was normal, babies heart rates were good, so nothing to worry about. Well a few days later I started to get the dreaded morning sickness again and sleeping a lot. Friday the 21st rolled around and I was still feeling that way. We figured it was getting close to being time, my doctors did tell me that I would more than likely "feel" sick when we were approaching delivery time. Our csection was scheduled for Nov. 11. Although I knew in my heart I wasn't going to make it until then. All throughout my pregnancy I would joke that I had a feeling that I would be going into the hospital on my birthday (Oct. 24). Little did I know. Anyways by the time my husband left for work on Friday that Friday I was having a few contractions but nothing really to be concerned about since I had been having them off and on for a few weeks at that point. They weren't close together or no real pattern so there was no real reason for concern. As midnight rolled around I started to get this pressure that made me continuesly throw up and the pressure would not go away. Then the rib pain came, good lord it hurt to bad. So I took a shower in hopes of it relaxing me...... boy was I wrong. At that point my husband said call the doctor. So I did and she said to go in if nothing else then to get checked. 

By this time it was 2:30am ish.... so I made sure my hospital bag was ready to go just in case. By the time my husband got home from work and we got to the hospital about an hour had passed and the pressure still hadn't let up and the rib pain was still there. After going to the triage area I did the urine and blood pressure my urine was fine but my blood pressure was a few numbers higher than it has been my whole pregnancy so nothing really to be of concern on its own. They decided to give my an iv on the off chance I was dehydrated just as a precaution. I kept complaining of the rib pain that the nurse decided she would do a blood draw just in case. A different nurse came in to check my cervix and good lord I never moved so fast in my life!! She was not easy and nice by any means, I swear she was going in to make the game winning point. By this time I was crying and didn't want her near me anymore that when my original nurse came back to check on me I told her that the other one had hurt me and she felt a little bad by having her do it. The babies were being monitored the whole time as well as my contractions. They were perfectly fine, didn't show any signs of distress. I was actually having more contractions than I thought I was having but not enough to actually be in active labor since my cervix was still closed. By this time a ob resident came in and said that I wasn't in active labor that I was probably just dehydrated but he would talk to my ob to see what they said. Right about now it was shift change so my nurse introduced us to her replacement and said that she had to do another check on my cervix I was so clenched at that point I didn't want anyone near me. Thank god this nurse had angel fingers cuz there was no pain. We were still waiting on the lab work at this point but it looked like I was getting released. So we were waiting on the discharge papers, literally in a matter of minutes our world changed!!

Oct 22, 2016 was by far the scariest day of my life!!!! I was diagnosed with Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura which in turn made me have the highest form of preclampcia (hellp syndrome). The next thing we know everyone was rushing in to prep me for emergency surgery. Due to this I was put to sleep and my husband was not allowed in the operating room. 

Both babies had to go in the NICU. Due to my condition I was not aloud to go up there until like 11pm. Baby boy was having an issue with his platelets as well, he pretty much got it due to stress from the delivery. Both babies ended up getting out on a tube to help them eat until they could learn to suckle. Baby girl got off the tube within a few days. Baby boy is still on it but it doing so much better. They both had high bili numbers, baby girl's went down without having to have the phototherapy however baby boy needed it. Baby girl was released yesterday from the NICU however baby boy is still in there. He is off of the heater, off of the phototherapy, his platelets are finally coming up so it's just a matter of time before they are within normal range, he is getting better with eating. So hopefully he will be home soon. 

I would like to officially announce that Colton and Lillian have made their entrance into this world!!!!

October 22, 2016

Colton(baby a) at 10:14am
18" long
5.15lbs

Lillian(baby b) at 10:15am
18" long 
5.10lbs

             


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fertility Coverage Misconception: Tricare

So ever since starting treatment and sharing our story I have been asked so many times as to why we had to pay out of pocket since we have tricare. Well that's the misconception tricare doesn't cover everything, in fact there is a lot more that they don't cover than what they do cover. Even though I did a post awhile ago that touched on this topic, I decided it's time to try to help break down this misconception.

So let's start with what the tricare website states on this topic:

        
I am going to break this down for you to make it a bit easier to understand. 

•Tricare covers all diagnostic testing that is required to come to a diagnosis, this includes both parties. 
•Tricare covers all oral medications required for timed intercourse(ti) and some injectable(not all). 
You can do TI as many times as you want there is no "cap", however at some point your doctor will advise you that it is time to move on. At which time 90% of the treatment tricare has now high tailed it out of covering your treatment

You might remember that I did a post on what our next course of action was after TI didn't work and I explained what it was, if you don't you can click here

So you are now knee deep into a new treatment plan which includes Intrauterine Insemenation (IUI)
•Tricare covers oral meds
•Tricare does not cover the sperm wash
•Tricare does not cover injectables
•Tricare does not cover the actual "procedure"
•Depending on how your doctor runs their office tricare can cover the appointments and diagnostic testing and monitoring for those cycles (they did for ours). Some doctors offices once you get to IUI, they stop billing insurances and do a "package deal" type of thing, so if this is how your doctors office works you have to pay for everything. 

So let's say this treatment plan didn't work for you either.... the next step is IVF.  Which can cost 20 thousand plus. Sorry to say it but tricare is gone you are on your own. Now you are probably thinking Jane Doe had it covered and only paid half. Here's the huge misconception on this one. Tricare DID NOT cover it, I know shocker. There are 5 Military Treatment Facilities(MTF) within the tricare network: 
Walter Reed Army, Washington, DC
Wilford Hall Air Force, San Antonio, TX
Balboa/Point Loma Naval, San Diego, CA
Tripler Army, Hawaii
Madigan Army, Ft. Lewis, WA

These facilities have a government grant that covers treatment, it is not covered through tricare in any way shape or form. With this grant the medication is covered and you only pay half if not less (depending on location) for everything else. Getting into these facilities can be difficult depending on location. Each location has a set number of patients they take per fiscal year and they split that up into cycles. So there can be a rather long wait list. There have been people to be lucky and get right in and others that are waiting years. 

I hope this clears up a lot of misconceptions for people. 


Edited on 10/21/2016
I have had a few questions from viewers so I thought I would add the answers in to this post. 

•Tricare does not cover seragency. That is all out of pocket for you. If this is a route you are taking please make sure you educate yourselves on the laws for the state in which this is taking place. 

• Tricare does not cover egg/sperm adoption. 

You might have seen in the news that Tricare covers cryobank storage fees if your spouse is deploying. To clarify this is a pilot program it has NOT come into play yet. People had to apply to be apart of this program. The pilot will last roughly 2yrs and then from there they will come up with the final perameters and then it will either take effect or they will stop doing it. 

You might have also seen that the VA will cover one round of ivf if the military member has a combat related injury. This is true however please know there is a difference between combat injury and service related injury(which they won't cover ivf for this). There is also a long road on getting a combat related injury for fertility treatment documented. It is not something that happens over night. In some cases it has taken years.