Monday, December 31, 2012

The Joy and Grief Of 2012

I brought in 2012 passed out on the couch with a glass full of Martinelli on the end table. My husband woke me to inform me of the new year which I took as permission to go to bed for the night. I brought the new year in with a baby curled in my tummy, blissfully unaware that the upcoming year would bring some of my highest highs and lowest lows.  (Not in chronological order)

The year brought me to my knees when my 24 year old sister had a brain aneurysm and required brain surgery. Those long and dark few days I spent paralyzed with fear that I was going to lose my sister and best friend before she would ever get a chance to meet my daughter. Time stood painfully still and I felt a deep grief I hope never to feel again. Oh, but the flood of relief that came when the surgeon told us she was going to be okay. The overwhelming joy to see my sister's face once again, despite her head being stapled and bandaged back together.

The year brought the sadness that has come from watching my mother battle depression that developed after losing her brother in 2011. Watching the joy continually slip from her once joyous soul, leaving a sad and frail shell of who my mother used to be has been tough to say the least. The small glimmer of hope when she seemed to be her old self, only to see the hollow grief return to her eyes and watch the mother I once knew slip away once again.

The year brought the news that my sister, the very same sister I believed would leave me earlier in the year, was expecting a baby a exactly a year after the birth of Kaylee. Images of cousins growing up side by side, play dates, birthday parties, trips to the parks all dance in my mind. To experience the joys and hardships of motherhood with my best friend is such a dream come true.

The year brought me the single most amazing moment in my life, the moment I became a mother with a slimy, soft, snuggly newborn brought to my chest. When my ears filled with her healthy cries and my fingers stroked her soft downy hair. The first time I peered into her big blue eyes, that moment, the one I had dreamed about forever will make 2012 my absolute favorite year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Artificial Fragrances and CF

When I was a senior in college I lived with three other girls in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. Two of these particular girls liked the house to smell good at all times. I don't mean they wanted the house void of all offensive smells, but they wanted our apartment to smell of flowers. They showered our carpets with this chemically floral scented powder so that the when vacuumed it would let off a very strong "floral" scent. Every closet had a fake air freshener to make the closet smell "sweet" and scented candles were almost always burning somewhere in the house. As someone who didn't even know carpet fragrance existed I was perplexed. If the house was clean there should not be any offensive smells and therefore fake fragrances weren't necessary, right? Why do so many people equate clean or nice smells with artificial chemicals that smell nothing like "clean" or "flowers"?

As I have gotten older and no longer live with roommates I have turned away from chemically induced fragrances. I never liked the way they made my lungs feel and my lungs have enough problems as it is! I can't even remember the last time I burned a scented candle. I found as someone with CF I don't  like the idea of filling my lungs and the air my family breathes with man made chemicals that are meant to smell "nice". Whether this is in an air freshener or a cleaning product, I wanted them out of my home.

One of the biggest offenders for me is bleach. A few years ago I cleaned a bathroom and spent the rest of the day feeling as if my lungs were on fire, literally on fire!! My poor husband (boyfriend at the time, that should have told me right there that he was a keeper!) became in charge of cleaning the bathroom shower as the ventilation wasn't very good in the first apartment we lived in and we both worried about my lungs being exposed to harsh bathroom cleaners. But then I worried about HIS lungs. I didn't want him spending an hour in a chemical haze cleaning the bathroom either. I turned to natural store bought cleaners and some homemade natural cleaners (think vinegar/water or baking soda) that were safe for all of us!

Although I liked my natural store bough cleaners I still wasn't sure how natural they really were or if it was all a marketing scheme  My homemade cleaners worked well enough, but not as well as the harsh chemicals and they took a lot more elbow grease which I wasn't thrilled about. It wasn't until recently that I became serious about making a complete change. After having my daughter I realized that everything I put into our home she has to breath with her tiny clean lungs. I also didn't want to worry about having strong chemicals on my hands while cleaning in case I needed to touch Kaylee or her little toys that go in her mouth on a regular basis . So thanks to Pinterest and natural bloggers I have now converted our home to a natural cleaning product home. This is my new favorite shower/bathroom cleaner that I found on several sites online (no way is this my original recipe...I seriously struggled through all 3 chemistry classes I had to take in college!)

It has two ingredients: Equal parts Blue Dawn and White Vinegar! Super easy and super effective. I sprayed the whole shower and left overnight. In the morning before Kaylee's bath I took a rag and wiped (WIPED, didn't scrub at all) and I was left with a beautiful shower and even the grout came out clean and free of any shower yuckiness! I wasn't worried about bathing her in the bath after cleaning because there were no strong and dangerous chemicals used. (Side note: Blue Dawn also works well on stripping cloth diapers so it is my new favorite dish soap!)

I am still on the hunt for a few more recipes. I have heard you can make your own dishwasher liquid, but haven't tried it yet and for some reason I am a little nervous to even try. I have also been wanting to make my own cloth diaper laundry soap, but I am a little nervous as cloth diapers are very finicky when it comes to laundry soap and I don't want to ruin my beautiful stash. Anyone else have natural cleaners they recommend?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Baby's First Christmas

We had an amazing first Christmas with Kaylee! Luckily, despite the fact that my hubby and I both got sick before Christmas we were back to our normal selves by the time Christmas actually rolled around. I usually get colds 10x worse than hubby, but for once I only showed symptoms for about 48 hours and didn't have my typical non.stop.cough that goes on and on and prevents me from sleeping and eventually causes me to lose my voice. I guess you can call it a Christmas miracle. But poor hubby had fevers and the shakes for a few days and cold symptoms much longer. I think this is the first time in our entire relationship that he got hit much harder by a cold/illness.

As for Christmas we were showered with love and family and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Kaylee sat through a long and busy extended family Christmas without so much as a fuss. Despite missing her third nap she was in good spirits. She did nurse about 4 times while we were at my parents house which is crazy excessive, but I think the commotion and activity made her need to have a little snuggle/nurse time. I never turn down a snuggle nursing session so I didn't mind one bit!

Some of my favorite memories were watching my daughter sit on my dad's lap banging on a tin box, listening to Kaylee chit chat to my sister, and seeing her all curled up fast asleep on my parents couch at the end of the night. I can't wait for what future Christmases have in store for us.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Teaching Sharing

I want my daughter to be kind and share with others. Unfortunately, she shared her cold with her mom and dad. She is back to her happy playful self and my husband and I are wandering around like zombies. Sigh! I will be signing off of blogger till after the Holidays to work on feeling better and to spend precious time with my family.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Not So Fun First

We are in the middle of baby's first cold. Lots of tears (both mom and baby), minimal sleep, lots of steam, minimal house cleaning, and tons of snuggles (and mommy's shirt constantly covered in snot from said snuggles).

Hopefully we will be back to blogging in a couple days...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

6 Months

My Dearest Kaylee,
You are six whole months today. Half way to a year. A few days ago the fact that you were about to be 6 months old started to sink in and it made me cry. I scooped you up in my arms and you laid your sweet little head on my shoulder while fat tears rolled down my cheeks. I cried for so many reasons and feelings. I cried because I still even after so long can hardly believe you are mine. I cried because time is going so quickly and I can do nothing to slow it down. I cried because I am so proud to call you my daughter.

You have changed so dramatically this month that it leaves me dizzy when I think about it. On your fifth month of life you were hitting milestones so quickly I ran out of room on month 5 in your baby book! You now can scoot backwards all over the room which makes mommy's chores much more interesting. You also now reach for us when you want us to hold you which is one of the sweetest things you have learned and your Papi and I melt when you reach for us. You love looking at the world upside down which makes us all laugh. You really are growing into such a fun little girl!

Things You Like: You LOVE your dad and he makes you laugh or smile constantly. I get a laugh every once in a while, but just looking at your dad makes you giddy. You love when I sing Baby Beluga or The Itsy Bitsy Spider. You love when I kiss your hands which always makes you smile. Watching someone jump makes you so excited every.single.time!

Things You Dislike: When we are driving and it is dark out. I think you get bored sitting in the dark. When I take too long to change your clothes. You are a free spirit and hate being confined, but you have been like that since the very beginning.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How CF Effects Motherhood Part 2

Before becoming a CF mom I was always nervous about how CF would play a role in motherhood. Would it be manageable, would it make me less of a mother, would it be no big deal? Well, motherhood is always changing because babies change dramatically in a very short period of time. Last time I wrote about CF effecting motherhood (Click here for Part 1 and here for part 3) Kaylee was only a month old. Things like the startle reflex no longer apply to an *almost* six month old. So I decided to update you on how CF effects motherhood with a slightly older baby.

When Kaylee was little I would wake an hour before her to get her treatments in. Now Kaylee wakes around 5:30-6:30 in the morning and waking up at 4:30 to do treatments just isn't happening! I now try to fit my treatments in our morning routine which goes something like this:

  • Kaylee wakes which instantly wakes me. I sometimes let her crawl around me in bed (we have guard rails) to buy me a few minutes. I bath her and then shower. I then go to the living room where I sit her on her blanket with some toys and sit across the room (I don't want her breathing in my albuterol, but I can still see/get to her easily). She plays while I do my first nebs. She then sits in her high chair while I eat breakfast. After breakfast she is ready for a nap. Once she is in bed I do the rest of my treatments., put on makeup, etc. 
Evenings my husband used to watch Kaylee, but he now works until really late 5 nights a week so my evening routine is as follows:
  • Again I have her sit and play until I finish my entire treatment! Usually, when I get to Hypertonic Saline I put her in my lap and she plays with toys in my lap instead of her blanket cause she gets lonely and a little salt water never hurt anyone. After my treatments we start her nighttime routine and she goes to bed.
This leads me to my next obstacle...

I feel guilty that the whole time between wake up and Kaylee's first nap I am doing treatments, bathing, eating. I feel like I am not able to enjoy her cause I have other stuff I need to do. It makes me feel bad for Kaylee and angry at CF. The upside is she spent a lot of time on her tummy during my treatments and so she got strong pretty quickly. Now she spends lots of time sitting and can transition from sitting to an *almost* crawl position. I guess while I am doing treatments she is busy building muscles to hit developmental milestones. Even as I say this, I still feel guilty!!

This is a tough one, but it doesn't have to be. The weather has been pretty crummy so I am no longer jogging or even walking much despite having a nice jogging stroller. I need to go to the gym and just haven't. I don't have much of an excuse except I never want to leave my baby. I need a kick in the butt (feel free to post some "get your stuff together" comments, I need it!) because I know exercising means I will be away from her for an hour a day, but will be alive and well for significantly longer. 

Weight Gain
I lost a lot of weight in the last three months. I think nursing is playing into this. When I was at work I was really good about snacking because I had designated breaks and so I would remember to eat. Now that I am home all the time I completely forget to snack which greatly effects my caloric intake.

I am sure in a few months everything will change again. I have no idea how I will do treatments when Kaylee learns to crawl! I will be sure to give you an update.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sleeping Through The Night

"Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?"

When I took a newborn care class when I was 38 weeks pregnant the woman teaching the class warned us that this would be one of the most common questions we would get after, "How old is your baby?" and "What is his/her name?" She told us that if someone asks, feel free to lie. I didn't understand the need to lie about such a thing, but at the time I didn't understand the judgement that comes with the question.

I went to a post partum mom and me class where mothers talked before class about how the journey of motherhood was going so far. The most vocal mothers were sure to talk about how well their baby slept. I overheard one mother whisper to another, "I am starting to think my baby is the only one that wakes up every few hours to eat." The babies ranged in age from 4-8 weeks old. A time when babies are supposed to be waking for feedings especially if they are breastfeeding.

When I brought Kaylee to a baby singalong at the local library a mother asked the typical questions about Kaylee and then said, "My daughter was sleeping through the night at 2 months, is your daughter sleeping through the night yet?" The question was set up as if sleeping through the night was some huge accomplishment and there was obvious pride in her voice that her 2 month old could sleep so well.

I went to Kaylee's four month appointment where my pediatrician asked if she was sleeping thought the night. I told her that she still got up to nurse in which my pediatrician seemed less than thrilled. She gave me a paper about how to get your baby to sleep all night (cry it out) and informed me that a four month old has no need to eat at night.

Sometimes at night when my husband has rolled to the other side of the bed I find myself cold and awake. I roll over until our bodies touch so I can drift back to sleep feeling warm and safe. You don't need to be awake to feel lonely, it happens in your sleep too. During pregnancy and especially while nursing those first few months I would awake to a grumbling in my stomach. I would wander down the hall and open the fridge, letting the light fill the dark room until I found a suitable snack. Sometimes I wake up between dreams and play through the dream in my head before allowing myself to fall sleep again. Do I sleep through the night? Sometimes. Most nights, but not every night.

Does my daughter wake up lonely and cold and in need of a snuggle? Yes, and I pull her close to me and hold her tight. Does she wake up with a grumbling her in her stomach sometimes? Yes, and I feed her without a second thought. Does she wake up between dreams just because? Yes, and I stroke her hair or nuzzle her neck until she falls asleep again. Does she sleep through the night? Sometimes. Most nights, but not every night.

I now understand why the teacher of our newborn class told us to feel free to lie, but I feel no need to pretend my daughter is capable of something she is not. I don't want other moms to feel like their 6 week old is the only baby not sleeping well when in reality most babies still have lots of needs in the night for a long time. And I don't want the mom of a 10 month old to feel like she is a failure because her baby still doesn't sleep through the night. So when asked I shrug and answer, "Sometimes" as if it is no big deal because in the long run it really isn't.

I have a lot of things in life that I want for my daughter and the ability to sleep through the night isn't really high on my priority list. I would rather my daughter know that regardless of the time, how tired I am, or how silly the need may be, that I will always be there for her. I want her to feel safe and secure 24 hours a day. And for the nights she feels comfortable enough to sleep the whole night through then I am happy for her, but I will not feel disappointed when there are nights (and there are many nights) that she finds herself needing her mama in the early morning hours or all through the night. I would rather boast that my daughter feels loved and cherished regardless of the hour than boast that my daughter sleeps for 7 hours straight. But you can't quantify love and fulfillment so people will continue to ask, "Is she sleeping through the night?" as if that is more important than, "Does she feel safe and tended to?"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2nd Clinic Since Baby and "Dada"

I meant to post this Tuesday, but you know...

I left the clinic yesterday feeling a little beat up. I hate getting bad news. My lung function was down which wasn't surprising as I haven't been feeling that great. My doctor wants me to start Cayston again and call him in 2 weeks to give him an update. He is so hesitant to put me on any orals because of breastfeeding. I appreciate his concern for my daughter, but it seems a lot of CFers get orals while breastfeeding and do fine. I am hoping Cayston and a few extra treatments throughout the day does the trick, but I am not too confidant that it will work.

I expected my lung function would be lower, but had no idea my weight would be down too. I lost 6lbs in the last 3 months since my post pregnancy weight was a little higher. That is a LOT of weight to lose! I guess I got overly confident. I got through the pregnancy and the first few months eating when I was hungry and not worrying about calories. I think the combination of feeding a 17+ pound 5.5 month old and feeling under the weather didn't help in the weight arena. Apparently, I still have a healthy BMI, but I need to make sure that this weight loss isn't part of a continuous decline. I am actually more stressed out about my weight than my lung function because I am so emotionally attached to breastfeeding. I am not sure who needs it more, me or Kaylee. That night as I was nursing her to sleep (it puts us both to sleep) I was thinking that I would have no idea where to begin to wean her. We both find so much comfort, routine, and love with nursing. I have become as dependent on nursing as she has. As long as I don't lose any more weight my doctor is completely fine with me nursing as long as I want and so I am extremely determined to keep the weight on.

In other news, my husband joined me when I went to clinic to keep Kaylee entertained. The appointments are usually very long and boring. My husband spent the majority of the appointment letting Kaylee admire herself in the mirror and trying quietly trying to teach her to say dada. By the end of the appointment Kaylee eas whispering, "Dada" right back at hubby. That evening whenever she was playing she would whisper, Dada Dada Dada". It has been almost a week since she learned it and it only comes out as a whisper. It is amazing how they mimic every single detail.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What I Can't Keep

Every morning I wake up amazed by you. I am still in awe that I carried you inside my body for nine months. That you can sustain life from my milk and my milk alone. I get so excited to think that you are all mine. But in reality, little one, you are not mine. You never really were. You are your own beautiful soul. You are a little spirit who can move freely around this Earth. I cannot keep you as mine just as you cannot keep the wind trapped in your closed palm. I get to care for you while you are too little to care for yourself. I get to protect, and love, and cherish you, but you aren't mine to keep. Each day I need to let you go just a little bit more as you grow independent of me. One day I won't be able to stop you from breaking completely free. Oh, how beautiful motherhood is. How beautiful to watch my heart slowly break a little more each day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Yesterday morning at the breakfast table Kaylee very loudly passed gas, immediately looked at me and let out a huge gasp! It was perfect timing and pretty funny. Later, I told her it was nap time and she let out a sizable gasp! While changing her diaper, Gasp! While laying in bed before her nap, Gasp! While I was holding her and changing laundry, Gasp! When her dad got home from work, Gasp! While nursing she had to stop twice, Gasp! Some days she makes me laugh the entire day!

In other baby updates two nights ago she initiated her first game with me! I had just changed her diaper and placed her in her crib so I could wash my hands. Upon returning she started playing peek-a-boo with me in her crib. She would turn her head away and "hide" only to quickly whip her head back to me and smile which eventually tuned into a laugh. This went on for a solid three minutes or so. I guess our endless games of peek-a-boo are paying off. It is amazing to watch her grow and develop into such a fun loving little girl. She becomes more and more fun everyday and with each passing day I am more and more amazed by this little soul!

Monday, November 19, 2012

First Cold

I have been really healthy since I stopped working at a germ infested elementary school (said with love).  I have very little exposure to germs since I am usually at home with Kaylee and all of my mommy friends are sure to stay far away when they are sick or have a little one that is sick. My husband on the other hand, works with a lot of people everyday and so is constantly exposed to germs. He normally has a very good immune system and rarely get sicks. When he does get sick it is a little like this. This past week he came home with a cold that lasted about two days, no big deal. We were so nervous that Kaylee would catch it, but as the days went by and she seemed fine we became more confident that she would stay healthy. I was so worried about Kaylee catching the cold, but I forgot that getting sick is a big problem for me too. Sure enough I caught my husband's cold just in time for the holidays!

This is the first time I have gotten sick (minus a few random fevers) since Kaylee arrived so it should be interesting. I have been napping with her for every nap which has left me feeling really well rested, but a little more chesty since I have spent so much time laying down. Kaylee is very good at self entertaining so I have spent extra time doing treatments while she plays nearby. I also spent the remaining hours of the day with her wrapped in the Moby so that she could be close and comfy, but I didn't need to entertain her since she is perfectly content hanging out in the Moby watching me go about my life. I have felt that I may need a tune up for a while now and I think this will do me in. I go to clinic next Monday and will be sure to share the verdict with you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In A Groove

I finally found my groove as a mom. I know that sounds pitiful considering I have a five month old and not a one month old, but it is true. It is not that my life was crazy chaos before this, but there was always something that needed tweaking  In the beginning I was so busy taking care of Kaylee's needs that my own needs (besides my CF needs, those were always tended to) became hard to meet. Showering wasn't a daily occurrence and shaving my legs was a joke. It didn't help that my husband had to return to work 2 days after we got home from the hospital.

Soon I was able to care for Kaylee and my own needs, but found the household needs were lagging. I struggled to keep the house clean and making dinner seemed like a major accomplishment. Not long ago I felt like I could take care of the entire family and keep a clean house, and cook dinner everyday, BUT I kept falling asleep after I would put Kaylee down at 8pm!

Now, finally, after 5 whole months of motherhood I feel like I have figured out how to juggle everything and not be completely exhausted. Although, knowing babies, in a week her schedule will change or she will start teething and I will be back to square one. For now I am basking in feeling like I rock at this mom thing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crafting In Winter

As the weather cools (although it was 70 degrees today it should cool down and start raining this weekend) I always feel the need to start crafting. It seems I start all these wintery crafts around November, but store them away when spring comes around which leaves me with half finished projects for the following November. I just can't get myself to stay indoors and knit when the weather is nice. A few weeks ago I went to the closet and pulled out all my crafts from last year. Now that Kaylee naps a little better and goes to bed earlier I am able to have a little alone time in which I can work on my winter projects. In just the past two weeks I finished knitting a stroller blanket for Kaylee (which was almost finished so I had very little left to do) and I finished sewing a floor blanket that I meant to finish before she was born. I am currently in the middle of making Kaylee's stocking since she needs one to match the rest of the family's stockings. I hate the shorter days and the rain, but I love crafting.

Any other crafty cysters? What are your favorite winter crafts?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guest Blogger- Cindy

I am pleased to introduce my first CF mommy blogger, Cindy! Cindy is from the popular blog, being cindy {baldwin}. She is also the creator of the CF Blogroll which features dozens of CF bloggers. Cindy is a 24 year old cyster who is currently 22 weeks pregnant with her daughter! She has overcome so many challenges to become a mother and I am thrilled that her dream of being a mommy will come true this spring!

Everyone that has CF seems to have a very different experience. Share a little but about your CF story or how CF effects you.
I was diagnosed with CF at 6 months old, after two months of being very sick and nearly dying from malnutrition caused by an electrolyte imbalance. After my first two years of life, though, my health leveled out and I was a really healthy kid. I didn't start really experiencing CF lung issues until I hit high school and started losing sleep! Winters became a tough time for me, and I always seemed to be sick with one thing or another. I would use oral antibiotics frequently and usually have one admission a year for a "tune-up." My junior year of high school, I got mono and was very sick with that for more than a year (we didn't even get the diagnosis of mono for ten months). I ended up with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of the mono, so I have very few energy reserves and have to be very careful to get enough sleep and not overexert or else I end up immediately sick. My CF has been very unstable for the last few years, and I've been in and out of the hospital frequently, but I've been incredibly blessed this year to start Kalydeco which has made an ENORMOUS difference in my life—including giving me the boost I needed to finally get pregnant!
Deciding to have a child when you have CF is a very difficult decision. Please share how you came to the decision to try to conceive.
I came from a big family (the oldest of six) and always wanted LOTS of kids. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I learned that CF pregnancy and motherhood can be difficult and even life-threatening. It was pretty crushing news at the time, since I used to tell everyone I wanted ten kids, including a set of twins! I eventually came to terms with the fact that I wouldn't be able to have the large family I wanted, but I still hoped to be able to have at least one or two kids. When I started dating my husband and we got more serious, we had a lot of conversations about the "serious" ramifications of CF, including having kids. He is also from a family of six, and also wanted lots of kids. For the first few years of our marriage my health was unstable enough that we weren't sure pursuing pregnancy was a good idea, but we did eventually decide that we felt comfortable with it. However, our plan has always been to only have one pregnancy. With the way that Kalydeco is changing my life, we've started floating the idea of a possible later pregnancy, but that is still a huge "if". If we decide not to try another pregnancy when our little girl is a few years old, we will adopt.
TTC can be a difficult journey for many CF women as I believe it was for you, tell us about your ttc journey.
Tough!!! We waited for two and a half years for my health to stabilize before we started TTC, which was really hard in and of itself, and made it even harder when it became clear that I had serious fertility problems. I always knew I had a high chance of fertility issues, since I never had regular periods before I got married. About 6 months into our TTC journey, my hormone levels were tested and they were so low they were almost in the range of menopause—at age 23! It took us about 18 months to get pregnant.
If you needed fertility treatments please tell us a little about the process. How did you decide you needed intervention? What treatments did you receive?
I was sure that I would need fertility treatment, and actually had talked about it a lot with my doctor at the time and even set up a time to begin Clomid. However, my husband and I ended up moving very unexpectedly and I wasn't able to go through with the Clomid because of insurance changes. Ultimately, I was able to get pregnant after three months on Kalydeco. My doctors and I have theorized that the medication removed enough of the CF stress on my body that my hormone levels were able to normalize a little (however, I still needed supplemental progesterone to maintain the pregnancy).
What were some of your biggest fears regarding the pregnancy itself? So far have those fears been warranted?
My #1 fear was that pregnancy would take a toll on my health that I would never be able to recover from. I've always felt very strongly called to be a mother, but my priority has always been to be able to be around for my child(ren) as long as I possibly can. If my husband and I had not ultimately felt that that would be possible even with the physical demands of pregnancy, we would have adopted instead. However, this pregnancy has gone a million times better than I ever expected! So far, my lung function has actually gone UP a little bit (we'll see where it is now in another two weeks!), and I've been perfectly healthy. Because of the way my body handles stress (not well), I'm certain that for me, the effortlessness of this pregnancy has been because of Kalydeco. Now I am just hoping that I can make it through cold and flu season without getting anything—that will be the real test!
How do you feel your pregnancy is different than a non-CF pregnancy?
The biggest thing is that I have to be so careful all the time. Just like in regular CF life, I have to be much more careful about the germs I'm exposed to, especially as we head into cold and flu season. Also, because I already had chronic fatigue and existing energy issues, I've had to be very careful to make sure that I get even more sleep and rest than normal (a pretty ridiculous amount!). Especially in the first trimester, I've had even fewer reserves than normal, and have run a lot of low-grade fevers and so forth when I've pushed myself too hard. Also, for me at least, CF complicates some of the normal issues of pregnancy. For instance, I have a lot of CF digestive & intestinal problems, which have been exacerbated by pregnancy. I also had GERD previous to pregnancy, so as you can imagine, dealing with reflux has been even more of a problem as the baby gets bigger and bigger!
What are your doctors doing in order to ensure your pregnancy is healthy (more regular appointments, change meds, etc)?
My CF doctors have up to this point still been seeing me every 3 months. However, after my next appointment (in 2 weeks) we'll switch to every 2 months, just to make sure that I'm well monitored in the last stages of pregnancy. They also have encouraged me to come in any time I feel like I need it. In addition, I'm being monitored closely by a regular OB/Gyn and a team of perinatologists. From now on, I will have monthly visits with both and monthly ultrasounds. Toward the end of the pregnancy, my visits will increase and I'll have weekly or bi-weekly NSTs to make sure everything is going well with baby.
What are some of your concerns about mothering and CF?
Because I know that I tend to get run down very easily and get sick whenever I lose sleep or push myself too hard, I'm very nervous about the first few months! I'm trying to put as many things in place during pregnancy as I can to make those newborn months go smoothly—for instance, in the months before the baby comes I plan to cook and freeze a lot of meals ahead of time so that I don't have to worry about cooking for awhile when the baby is first here. Also, although I hope to breastfeed some, we will be supplementing with formula so that I am not so overtaxed and so that my husband can help with night feedings. I know these things will be important for me, personally, because of the huge link in my CF between sleep loss and getting sick.
If you could give advice to a CF women you is ttc or is pregnant what would you tell them?
Do your research! I am the kind of person who likes to know what is going on with everything, so I did a lot of research on both fertility issues and pregnancy. Research during the TTC period helped me to understand very quickly what was going on with my body, and to be able to assist my doctor in figuring out what the best way to address the situation was. Because my fertility problems were so complicated, it would have taken a LOT more time and frustration to rely only on the standard doctor's office tests. Research before and during pregnancy has helped me to be forewarned about a lot of issues I've faced and know the best ways to deal with them, as well as in preparing for childbirth and the first few months with a newborn.

Cindy gave birth to Kate on March 25, 2013 (a week late!). She was 9lbs 8oz and 21 inches long!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fellow CF Mothers

When I first decided that maybe, just maybe I could be a mom some day I didn't know where to turn for support. I wanted to be a mom, but didn't know if I could be a mom. I didn't even want to bring it up to my CF doctor until I knew that it was even in the realm of possibilities. I decided to search the web to see if women with CF were in fact having children. I found two blogs. One was a woman who had lung function over 100%. The other was a very old blog that was no longer updated. I was relieved to know that at least two women out there were successful in having children, but I was discouraged because I felt no women with CF like me had children. Over the years I kept looking to blogs and forums to find a woman who could give me the inspiration I needed to allow myself to feel that maybe there was a chance I would be a mom someday.

When I was to a point in my life that I was ready to have children I still couldn't find any CF women that I could really relate to. After I already started ttc I finally found a sole blogger who had a somewhat similar CF experience as I did. Since then I have found other mothers through cfmothers who I can relate to. One of the problems when trying to find someone with a similar CF story as you, is that we are all so radically different. Different energy levels, lung stability, weight issues, diabetes, osteoporosis, bacteria cultures,  resistance to medication. We can often feel alone even when talking to other cysters.

I am soooo excited to start a series of guest bloggers who are as different from one another as cysters can be, but are all pregnant or mothering cysters!! Some of the cysters dealt with infertility, with diabetes, or infertility treatments. Some cysters have more than one baby and we even have a mom with twins! The first guest blogger will appear tomorrow afternoon and I can't wait for you to "meet" her.

**If you have CF and are pregnant, a mother, or even in the ttc journey and want to share your story I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from you! If you have a blog I would be more than happy to link it to my site so you can get more bloggy traffic or you can opt out of blog linking. If you don't have a blog no problem! I really want women with CF to hear different success (or soon to be success) stories so that even if they can't relate to my story they may find a cyster they can relate to. If you are interested let me know by leaving a comment below or e-mail me InhalingHopeCF@gmail (dot) com. <---Of course put a . where I said (dot) just trying to avoid spammers. Any guest blogger will have 10 questions to pick and choose from you can share as much or as little as you want.

Check back tomorrow for my very first guest blogger!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Open Letter To Friends With Babies

Dear Mommy Friends,

My daughter is approaching 5 months and to the shock and confusion of many of you my sweet daughter has never left my sight for more than 30 minutes while awake, she has never had a bottle, and has slept in my bed from the day I brought her home. My kind hearted friends, you try to tell me that I should teach Kaylee to drink from bottles so my husband can do some feedings. "You need alone time," "You could sleep while your husband does a feeding", "You could have your mom watch her for a few hours," some of you say. Many of you don't understand why I choose to bedshare. "Isn't it harder to sleep?" "Doesn't she wake more often?" Don't you want her to sleep through the night?" Many of you ask. You don't understand my lack of need for alone time, you don't understand why I feel no need to rush my daughter into being independent.

This is what you don't know my dear friends. When you spend your life believing that your biggest dream is completely and utterly unattainable and somehow magically that dream comes true, you never ever want to let it go. You spend every morning in awe that you achieved the impossible and you don't want to miss one second of living out your dreams.  I know many of you have wanted children your whole life and some of you struggled to conceive so you may have some idea why I feel the way I do. And yet it is so much more complicated than that. I know I was able to achieve my lifelong dream and I wake up everyday beyond grateful to have my daughter, but unlike you my friends, who still feel as if death is so far from reality that it never crosses your mind. I know that I stand much closer to my own demise than I would like.

I know I will likely leave my precious daughter much before either of us is ready. I know there is a chance I will miss her high school graduation, college graduation, her wedding day, her children. I want to spend as much time with her as I can while I am still healthy and very much alive. I want to ensure that my love is ingrained in her soul so that even though she will not remember these days she will remember the way I made her feel. I don't want my husband to give her a bottle even during the wee hours of the morning. I would rather her lay in my arms, feeling the softness of my skin against her skin, breathing the soft scent of my milk, my sleepiness. I want her to feel my hands stroking her hair and I want her drift to sleep to the sound of my heart. She will not remember nursing, but I hope when I pass she will still feel the warmth, love, and nourishment my body provided her. I don't want to go out shopping for the day while she stays with someone else. I want to laugh with her as she plays with her toys and makes her silly faces. I hope when I am gone she will remember the melody that the two of us made when we laughed together. I don't want to transition her to her crib, I would rather sleep with her in my bed,wrapped in my arms, dreaming side by side. I hope when she is older and I am gone she will feel the comfort my arms once provided her as she drifts off to sleep all the way until the sun comes up in the morning.

So dear friends, I know you have my best interest in my mind. I know you are looking out for me and want me to be happy. But you must understand that my daughter makes me happy and I know in my heart that what I am doing is what will bring me the most joy and peace in my life. I do not judge your shopping days away from baby, your alone time, date nights or that you are working hard to make sure baby doesn't disturb your sleep in the night, but our realities are so drastically different. And I appreciate your suggestions, but I don't feel like I am missing out on anything I will regret when my lungs give out and my body can no longer hold the little girl I spent my whole life waiting for.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Just Can't Understand

Around the time I joined the mommy club many of my friends were joining too. We are all entering this new uncharted territory together and it is amazing to have old friends starting their journey as moms at the same time. Soon after I announced my pregnancy a few close friends that live by announced theirs as well. I was elated; how exciting to take walks together, to exchange our favorite brand of breast pads, to empathize with sleepless nights, to watch our babies interact, and experience one of life's greatest joys together. And yet...

It has become so apparent that my life is so vastly different than these dear friend's lives. When we were single we seemed very similar and even with the changes of marriage and pregnancy we seemed so much the same. We had similar careers and hobbies. You would think experiencing motherhood together would make it seem as if we could completely relate to one another and yet, we can't. 

It became apparent when I went to visit a dear friend and her 2 week old son. Kaylee was 3.5 months old and I was the veteran mom of the two of us. I went to help my new mom friend as we all know the weeks after a new baby are a fuzzy blur of awe, sleeplessness, confusion, and intense love. I said I would be there around 11:30. I spent the entire morning rushing around trying to get to her house on time. Between bathing the baby, myself, an hour of treatments that were interrupted by a much needed nap, trying to eat breakfast and later a snack, I made it to her house just a few minutes late. 

When I arrived she opened the door showered and with make-up on. Her house was completely spotless and she looked well rested. I was a little taken aback because when I had a two week old I remember being tired, the house being a mess, and showers were no longer the daily norm. "How are you doing?" I asked. She responded that she was doing great and that they had spent the morning in bed. In fact, she had just gotten up about 30 minutes prior to our arrival. There was a buzz from down the hall and she ran to get a load of laundry. I am pretty sure my jaw  and heart dropped at this point.

I felt like a failure. It had taken me all morning to get out of the house. My home was cluttered and I had a pile of laundry that needed to be done days ago. I should have my act together, I should be the one helping a poor new mom adjust to the demands of a new baby and yet I felt as if I might need her to come and help me out! Oh, my self esteem went down a few notches that day. And yet...

As I thought more about the stark contrast between the two of us later that evening I came to a few realizations. As a person with CF I will never be able to compare myself to nonCFer. And just as I will never measure up to someone that didn't have CF, someone without CF will never understand what it is like to be a CF mom. Here are some of the many reasons I should never compare myself to a non-CF mom:

  • I will never be able to get up 30 minutes before someone's arrival because I have at least an hour of treatments to get done not to mention shower, dress, eat, and get the baby ready. So when someone shows up I may not look very rested because I have been up for hours getting ready for the day.
  • I spend 2.5 hours a day hooked up to machines and coughing. Other women can spend this time cleaning, baking, or making themselves look pretty. Unless I want to ignore my child all day I will never have as much time to tidy up the house or myself as my nonCF counterparts.
  • I may be a little extra tired because my body is already working harder just to breath so that lack of sleep and those night wakings are even harder on my body than that of a healthy mom.
  • I need to eat and I need to eat a lot! Being a breastfeeding CFer means I need a lot of calories and so it may be okay for a nonCF mom to skip a meal here and there it just can't happen when you have CF.
  • My life will never be like theirs. Like, motherhood my health is a full time job and I never get a day off or a vacation.
I need to change my attitude and look at how well I am doing as a CF mother. I need to remember that I am not the normal stay at home mom, but one that has a chronic condition that requires lots of time and energy. I need to be proud of myself and all I have been able to do despite CF. And yet, it is so hard on days like today, when I am still catching up on laundry, have yet to get dinner started, and need to run the dishwasher so I can load it with the dishes in the sink, to get a phone call from my fellow stay at home mom (of a 1 month old) saying she has been baking all day and wanted to drop off some baked goods. Sigh!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Need Your Help

So I think the time has finally arrived that I need to call in backup. I hate to admit, after 13 months free of oral antibiotics and almost 3 (3!!!!!!) years free of IV antibiotics, that I am feeling my lungs slip into that place we all know too well. I feel tight (wheeze!) and am coughing at night (ugh!) and seem to taste my sputum (yuck!). I really want to treat this as soon as possible because I don't want to get to the place that I feel really bad and have trouble caring for my daughter. I still feel well enough that I don't need to nap and can get through the day, but I can tell that the rate I am going that I will be in trouble soon.

Normally I would call in an order for orals, but my doc made it pretty clear that when breastfeeding there were very few safe oral options and I would most likely need a PICC. Not so excited about getting a PICC since I am allergic to chloroprep, and pretty much every adhesive they have ever tried to use. That skin protective stuff, yeah, doesn't work for me. I end up with oozing yucky blisters that take months to completely heal. I am also not looking forward to having a long blue rope hanging out of my arm and dangling in arms reach of my daughter, who thinks everything is food! So here is where I need your help!

  1. I am calling the doc tomorrow and want to know if any of you have taken orals while nursing for pseudo or staph. I am not allergic or resistant to anything and those are my only bugs. I am not willing to stop nursing so if there aren't any safe ones I will go for the PICC.
  2. If you have had a reaction to PICC lines (which I know from my last post about it many of you do) what have you done about it. I know I am highly allergic to chloroprep and have yet to find an adhesive I am not allergic to. Any suggestions or things that worked for you?
Thanks :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A New Low

Motherhood is not glamorous by any means, but today I hit an all time low. I was lifting Kaylee over my head making her smile her sweet gummy smiles when all of the sudden a flood of spit up came flowing right from my dear baby's mouth and directly into my mouth! Breast milk is surprisingly sweet, but I have confirmed today that regurgitated breast milk  really isn't my drink of choice....

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Little Behind

Lots of my blogger friends have been blogging about Autumn. The crisp cool air, leaves changing colors and falling from trees, of warm drinks, and snuggly sweaters. While the rest of the country is welcoming fall we are stuck in limbo. This happens every year, the rest of the country starts to see the bright oranges, fiery reds, glowing yellows while we are just seeing the first glimpses of a potential fall. As the rest of the world gets blanketed in cold winds and winter weather we finally find ourselves in fall. I guess we have trouble letting go of the warmth and sunshine over here.

Our fruit basket is full of all my favorite fall fruits from my parent's backyard, the pumpkins are lined up out front, apple cider is in the fridge, and pumpkin muffins in the over. And yet, there is a watermelon chilling in our fridge, people still in shorts (although some have switched to jeans a tank tops), walks are taken in the evening when the temperature drops and the leaves have just barely, ever so slightly, started changing colors. 

So for now we wait by eating our last few meals outside, rocking on our porch glider in the evening to the sound of crickets, and leaving the windows open to let in fresh air before we close down for winter. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Little Busy

So I have about seven blog posts started that are waiting to be published. I am having trouble finishing them because I have been spending my time listening to baby giggles, snuggling on the cough, kissing little toes, bathing a little splasher, doing loads of laundry, cleaning spit up off the floor, taking hundreds of pictures and just as many videos, wiping drool off my arms, pulling my hair out of little fists, acting as a human chew toy and watching my little girl grow and learn. Best. Job. Ever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

4 Months Old!!!!!!

Dear Little Peanut,
You are four months old today! I have to say in the last month you have become so much fun I can't stand it! My soft spoken sweet little girl is learning she has vocal cords and loves to play with volume when you talk. You love to talk, but are still selective in who you will talk to. Strangers will get a smile, but you never grace them with your chit chat. You roll both ways, but you get kinda mad when you roll on your back because you really dislike laying on your back staring at the ceiling. You grab just about everything and try to eat it.

Things You Love: All the things you adored in the past are now boring and old! You sometimes will glance at your pom poms, but during diaper changes you are usually too busy sucking on your toes. You may glance at your mobile, but you are usually too busy rolling over or pulling off your socks to notice it much. And fanny, well Fanny doesn't even exist in your world anymore. You love looking at the leaves on trees, watching me from your high chair in the kitchen, and watching us brush our teeth! Oh and the carseat you used to hate so much now doesn't bother you at all. Instead you play with your toys or talk to yourself and it is hard to believe, but sometimes you even fall asleep!

Things You Dislike: Oh and the carseat you used to hate so much now doesn't bother you nearly as much anymore. Instead you play with your toys or talk to yourself and it is hard to believe, but sometimes just sometimes you even fall asleep!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Day I Became A Mother

October 8th was a day that will be etched into my heart forever. This is a journal entry from one year ago today. 

There are certain moments that take our world, our lives, our very existence and rearrange them so drastically that our current selves, our current lives will never resemble our former selves again. These changes affect everything we think, we do, we believe. For me on the morning of October 8, 2011 two small occurrences altered my whole entire existence and I know for sure my life will never be the same.
I woke up at 8:30 feeling refreshed even after falling into bed at 1:00 am the night before. I didn't feel groggy or tired or have any desire to stay in bed for even a moment longer for the first time since I could remember. 

No, today was different, I had a mission. I needed the truth and I needed it as soon as possible even if it left me empty and hollow when I was through. The risk of the mission came from the fact that it could end so beautifully and yet it never did, leaving me cold and broken on the floor among dying dreams and fruitless wishes. I pulled my body out of the bed walking across the floor painted with sun beams from the early morning. The air was crisp and the carpet was cold against my rested feet. I woke up with a full bladder. It was the first time in a week that my bladder didn’t pull me out of bed at hours that only the moon is supposed to see. I pushed open the bathroom door and it was there in the tiny apartment bathroom, among the leaking ceiling, the cracks in the walls, and the sink that never drained right my life was forever changed. 

Two bright and happy pink lines appeared in the pregnancy test window filling my heart with a joy I have never known before. The welling of excitement bubbled from my chest to throat to my mouth. “Oh my god!” slipped from my lips first in disbelief, almost a question. It escaped again and again until it came out in a happy rush because I finally believed it to be true, “Oh my god!”  

In an instant I clutched my now occupied womb to speak to the child I have been wanting since as long as I could remember. Thoughts ran through my head so quickly it made me dizzy.  My husband  at work was oblivious to the life altering news I had just discovered which left me with this secret between me and my baby. The two of us shared our first secret, out first moment that nobody else could share. I felt an instant bond to my baby that only I knew existed.

The thoughts and questions come so quickly it makes me dizzy. I wonder if my baby will be a boy or a girl. Will my baby have my husband’s dark hair or my light hair? Will I be healthy throughout pregnancy? I think of CF and all I need to do to prepare for this child by taking care of my lungs. I think of the books I need to buy. I think of the things I promised myself I would do. I need to buy more fruit and I need to make sure I am eating for my baby and not for myself anymore. I feel mother’s guilt for the first time in that I told myself I would not drink caffeine and yet I did. I feel excited that I can feel mothers guilt because I am a mother!!

I touch my breasts knowing that they instinctively are preparing for the baby as women’s breasts have done throughout the existence of human kind. They knew before I did, preparing to nurture this child of mine before his or her existence was in my realm of knowing.  I think for once how beautiful and amazing my body is, to create a life without my knowing.  Despite the fact that my body can’t clear out my excess mucus or properly digest the food I consume this broken body can create a life and be a safe home for a new soul. I am powerful and strong. I am a mother!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Understanding Cloth Diapers Part 3

To read Understanding Cloth Diapers Part 1 go here and for part 2 go here!

If I were to ask 30 women for their favorite brand of jeans chances are everyone would give me a different answer. Your favorite brand may very well be the least flattering brand of jean I have ever tried on. Just as women are shaped very differently so are babies which is why different moms love different cloth diapers. With that being said I am still going to tell you what works for me and why I use the brands I do!

But first, I will say that the cloth diapering world has hundreds of options and when I first started I was a little overwhelmed. Over the past few months I have made decisions that I would not make again, but I was just trying to navigate through all the choices. So here are the things I wish I new before I started choosing diapers.
  1. Variety? Unlike what many cloth bloggers will make you believe you can find a brand, love it, and stick with it. When I was looking up blogs to learn about them so many bloggers had dozens of different types of diapers. I found a brand I liked, but felt like I may be depriving myself of an even better brand. So I bought a few and still preferred my original favorite and shouldn't have wasted time or money on trying to see what was out there.
  2. China vs Anywhere else: I am weird about buying things from China that my baby will have lots of exposure to. For example, teething toys which will be in her mouth nonstop or diapers that she will be wearing over and over for the next few years. I do know moms that actually get diapers shipped from China because they are SUPER cheap ( and love them, it just didn't feel right for my family.

My Favorite Diaper:

So my favorite daytime diaper (drum roll please!) is the Flip. I LOVE LOVE this diaper. To me it is perfection (and  no I am not getting paid to say this, but sooo wish I was!) Here is why I LOVE the flip:
  1. Cleaner: When you change a dirty pre-solids diaper (0-6months) and all wet diapers you can simply flip the dirty insert out of the diaper into the diaper pail. Easy and keeps your hands clean!
  2. Less laundry: Unlike pockets you can reuse the cover so you have to put in the insert in the wet bag/diaper pail every diaper change, but the cover (unless soiled) is not going to be added to the dirty laundry bag every change.
  3. Cheaper: These diapers will fit from 10lbs all the way to potty training!
  4. Faster: There is no stuffing. I simply fold the organic cotton and lay the microfiber in her drawer. Easy!
  5. Leak Proof: I have never ever had a leak!!! And my baby is great at blowing through any disposable diaper out there.
  6. Versatile: You can use Flip brand inserts or any brand prefold so you have more flexibility.
  7. Cute: I love their colors and although some cloth have adorable patterns I like coordinating her diaper and her outfit so solids work better anyway.
The Flip can be used with either the organic cotton, microfiber, or a prefold of a different brand. Below I show you the two Flip brand options:

 The microfiber wicks water away from your baby leaving them drier, but is not a natural fiber.Here is how to use microfiber:

1. Here you have a Flip cover and the microfiber insert.

2. It is hard to see in the pic, but the inside of the insert tells you where to fold the insert for a small, medium, or large setting.
Fold and lay in cover. For a boy the folded part goes in front and for a girl it goes in the back. You are done!  Smooth side should be against baby's bottom.  When this gets soiled, flip the insert into the wet bag/pail.

The second option is Organic Cotton. This is better if you want natural fibers on your baby's bottom. It does not wick moisture away as well as microfiber, but is very absorbent. You want to change baby a little sooner if this is the insert you use.
Here is the unfolded organic cotton insert.

Fold into thirds along the seams.
Lay in cover and you are done!!

What is the difference between the two inserts?

Organic cotton on the right. Microfiber on the left.

The organic cotton seem to stain easier, but since I live in a climate that is sunny most of the year I don't mind since laying them in the sun for a few hours removes even the worst stains. Also, I hang dry in the sun anyway so all my diapers get sun "bleached" every wash anyway. If you live in a climate that isn't too sunny you may want to pass up the organic cotton. (side note: the cotton is MUCH softer if it is dried in the dryer so I usually hang dry and then throw it in the dryer with some of my other clothes for a few minutes to fluff it up. Microfiber is super soft even when sun dried).

Also the organic cotton is a little bulkier so some people don't like the extra bulk. 

The top is microfiber and the bottom is organic cotton.

Things to Note

  • Microfiber is a man made fiber while organic cotton is  a natural fiber. I like using natural fibers, but also like that microfiber keeps her drier so I like to rotate the two inserts.
  • Newborn poop is very liquidy and I felt like the organic cotton protected the cover better than microfiber so I liked it for the beginning when she went multiple times a day. It saved me from going through so many covers. Which leads me to my next point. Yes, the idea is that you can reuse the cover unless it gets soiled and I have heard complaints that newborn poop gets on the cover often. Some people feel this makes the diaper less than ideal for babies before they start solids. It is not a big deal to me if I have to replace the cover a few times a day. And now that she is older I can usually get through the day with 1 or 2 covers. Just know that with newborn poop you may need to change the cover when they have a big poop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Farewell September

I am sad to see September go. It is one of my favorite months. It was the month 2 years ago that I married my husband, the next year it was the month I conceived (although we didn't know it yet) and it is when the weather (usually) starts cooling down. It is also the time I start getting prematurely excited for the holidays.

I always said I love babies when they turn 3 months, but as I have gotten further away from babysitting I started to forget why. This September reminded me why! I loved every stage of babyhood so far, but 3 month is when Kaylee started hitting really fun milestones. In the month of September she learned to:
Play with her feet
Grab toys
Pull her toy strings to make music play
Talk nonstop!
Spit and blow raspberries
ROLL over!!
and developed such a fun personality! I have a feeling the fun has just begun!

Friday, September 21, 2012


A mommy friend of mine recently shared a quote that went something (kinda) like this: "Don't compare your behind the scenes with everyone else's A-game."

Let me set it up for you:

If we were real life friends and I invited you to my house I would greet you at the door with my hair done, make-up on holding Kaylee who would be all dressed up complete with leg warmers and a coordinating headband. I would invite you into my perfectly spotless living room offering cucumber water and chilled watermelon slices and a puff of my Albuterol since I am sure if you are reading this you have CF. Yes, life in Inhaling Hope's house would look grand!


If you surprised visited me this morning without calling I would answer the door with my unwashed hair in a high ponytail, wearing a shirt that was drenched in breastmilk since I forgot to put on a breastpad when I fed Kaylee this morning. Kaylee would only be wearing her cloth diaper since she spit up said breastmilk all over her onsie. I would invite you into my living room where you would have to step over 3 different quilts I had on the floor for Kaylee to play on (why 3?!? she is the size of a small bag of rice and can't move) and dodge a pile of clean unfolded (and probably wrinkled) laundry while stepping around a pile I meant to put in the wash, but never got to it. I would only be able to offer you water from the tap where I would try to throw away the melted unopened otter pop (yes, I am 5 and was going to eat an otter pop in the morning) before you noticed since I never got around to actually eating it. Yes, life in Inhaling Hope's house would look like a big hot mess!

Basically, we love to show  our best side to others which considering how I looked this morning is a good thing, but we have to remember when we are comparing ourselves to others (which we shouldn't do, but we all know we do it sometimes) that we are probably comparing our worst moments with other people's best moments. 

With that said I am going to shower so I can wash the spit up out of my hair...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Standing Still

You nestle your little face in my shoulder as your body goes limp from slumber. I nuzzle my nose to your neck. My eyes gently close as I breath in the subtle smell of milk still lingering on your breath. My arms wrap tightly around you, feeling the rise and fall of your chest beneath my palm. I could sit here forever feeling our hearts beating so close to one another.

It may have been a sudden noise or a shift in the air, I will never know, but I am pulled back to reality just as quickly as I slipped away from it.

My eyes crack open to a salt and pepper haired man standing in front of us, a toothy grin across his face. His cheeks quickly blush and he glances away, embarrassed at being caught for openly staring at such an intimate moment. He quickly whisper, "It was just so sweet" and hurries on his way across the bustling food court to place his order.

How many times since you arrived, dear Kaylee, have I gotten completely and utterly lost in the love I have for you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

3 Months Old

My Blue-Eyed Girl,

You are three months old today! It is amazing how much my life has changed and improved since I met you. We grow closer every single day and I learn more about the little person you will grow up to be. I am so lucky to be your mommy and am thankful for you every single day.

Things You like: You like to make sure others know what you are feeling, but you are not the typical baby like cried when something is bothering her. No, my dear, you are unique in that when you are angry you make it clear by spitting (blowing raspberries). If you are in the car seat too long you spit to let me know. You want me to dress you faster? Spit. But spitting is not the only way you let me know what you want. When you are feeling like you are in need of more attention (as if you need more attention) you fake cough to make sure I know you need me.

Things You Dislike: You are not a fan of sleep during the day. You sleep well with mommy at night, but those naps are not your thing.

3 months!

Dear sweet Kaylee,
You are three months today! I don't even know where to begin when telling you how much I love the baby you have grown into. You are such a sweetheart and have such a gentle soul. You are so cute when you speak, always softly, concentrating on each word while you tongue works double time to make the sounds you desire. Your hums and coos make my life feel complete! Papi and I always say how you are such a little adult especially with how well you communicate with us in a not so baby fashion. People will always tell new parents that they will be able to read there baby's different cries. Although you cry (when over tired or when a stranger wants to hold you and you need mama) you always found more effective ways of communicating. When you are bored or lonely you fake cough, when you are mad you spit, when frustrated you let out an exasperated sigh, and when you are tired you let out a very loud yawn!

Things You Love: So Fanny is old news and only on the rare occasion will you chat with him. Your new best friend is Pom Pom that hangs over your changing table. Every morningas I change you for the day you get  little naked time where you preform a little naked dance. You use this time to wildly dance your legs and arms while cooing to Pom Pom. I sometimes worry you will dance so hard you will fly right off the changing table. It sure seems like a good workout and I think contributed to the fact that you take your morning nap soon after you awake for the day!

You also love that you have so much saliva now! You love to spit and blow bubbles. One evening Papi called me into the bedroom where I found you mimicking him making spitting noises at you. You went back and forth for at least 20 minutes and the look of joy and pride in your face was amazing. You imitate your Papi whenever possible, but you sure have turned into a mama's girl and I love it!

Things You dislike: You still hate your carseat with a passion. You spend the first 5 minutes trying to arch your back and escape. When you realize there is no getting out you often have a long spitting session. If you are still strapped in after a lengthy spit you start whining until we reach our destination. Sigh, little one, you have a long time before you can ride without the carseat, I wish you could just be friends.

My favorite thing about this age: What isn't there to like about this age? I love how you seem fascinated by everything around you and your curiosity is inspiring! You are such a little person now. I think one of my favorite things about this age is that you smile so easily and it is so fun to see the joy you give others with that gummy smile. When Mama and Papi make you smile that huge wide mouthed smile you get so overexcited that you have to bury your head in our shoulder . It really is the cutest thing. I can't wait to see what next month brings!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Understanding Cloth Diapers Part 2

You can find Understanding Cloth Diapers Part 1 here.

Below I highlight some of the most common cloth diapers. I did not include them all (such as wool) because I know nothing about them and so I wouldn't be helpful. I give a quick description, pros and cons of each, and pictures where I can:

AIO (all in one): Everything you need for the diaper is all there, it is one piece and you put it on baby just as you would a disposable. Take it off when soiled and wash. Repeat. Easy enough!
Pros: These are the easiest and are most like disposables
Cons: They are the most expensive and take the longest to dry.

(I never purchased any of these so I don't have a picture) 

AI2 (all in two or hybrids) These are diapers that come in 2 pieces. A cover that is waterproof and  an insert. Place the insert in the cover and put on baby. When baby goes to the bathroom replace only the insert as long as cover is clean. If cover is dirty replace both pieces. It is a hybrid diaper when it has a disposable liner option that can usually be flushed (FLIP and GDiapers).
Pro: Most compact for diaper bag, fast drying time, inexpensive. 
Con: More steps than a AIO (see above).

Here is the empty cover which can be reused throughout the day unless it gets soiled.

Slip the insert (microfiber shown) in the cover.

Put on baby!

Pocket: This one is easy to remember because there is a pocket that you can stuff one or multiple inserts in. Stick insert in pocket, put on baby, pull out insert after use and wash all pieces. hen dry restuff and repeat. Pro: Faster drying time that AIOs, Can stuff pocket as much as you want which is nice for nighttime and heavy wetters.
Cons: You have more steps and sometimes when you pull the liner it is saturated with urine.(some people claim if you leave the insert in it will work itself out in the wash, but I was never willing to risk having to rewash diapers so I always pull them out.

Insert and pocket diaper after wash

Putting the insert in the pocket (although you really can't slide it in like the picture shows. You have to stuff it).

Put on baby!


Hook and Loop: VELCRO!!!! Why the heck they call it hook and loop beats me. Maybe cause it sounds cooler?
Pros: easy and fast, unlimited sizing
Cons: Wear out faster and you have to use laundry tabs or they will adhere themselves to everything!!


Snaps: These have snaps. Simple enough
Pro: longevity!
Con: more time consuming and wiggly toddles might not like that! Also, unlike velcro you do not have endless possibilities on sizing because if there isn't a snap there, you can't snap it. 


Wait, there is more!

One Size: Grows with your baby! Same diaper can be used from 8-30lbs, but in all honesty they don’t fit till about 10-12lbs.
Pro: Saves money! 
Con: Bulkier than fitted diapers.
Fitted: These are made for certain weight groups and often come in sizes small, medium, and large.
Pro: Usually less bulky.
Con: your baby will grow out of them and you will have to buy more diapers in a larger size so it is more expensive since you have to keep replacing your stash.

(left to right) Thirsties size 1, Fuzzibuns size small, Flip one size.
The flip is bigger even on the smallest setting, but as you can see it is not that much bigger than the fitted Fuzzibuns.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Magic Bullet

My husband and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary this week (Sept 5) and decided to take a 2 hour drive into the mountains to one of our favorite vacation spots. This was our first vacation with little Kaylee (more on this later). My daughter is the most mellow, go with the flow, laid back baby except when in her carseat. She hates that thing with a passion! Most babies sleep in the car, but not my dear Kaylee. She tries her hardest to break free, good luck kid, and then hollers at us to let her out. The only way we survived our trip was by playing her favorite song over and over. Want to know what her favorite song ever is? Sure you do, take a listen:


Needless to say it was the theme song to our romantic!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Understanding Cloth Diapers Part 1

As my belly grew more and more round during pregnancy I found I spent more and more time researching how I wanted to care for my baby. When I first started hearing about cloth diapers I was immediately intrigued. There are several reasons that people cloth diaper and below I have listed the main reasons I decided to cloth diaper:

  1. Safer for babyI didn’t like the idea of all the chemicals found in disposable diapers. After the baby soils the diapers seems to turn their pee into gel. YUCK!  I love the idea that when you use cloth you know what you are putting on your baby’s bottom, my personal favorite is organic cotton.  For me, the closer to natural the better.
  2. Money: I love the idea that I spent around $400 on all my diapers and accessories and I should be done purchasing diapers and diaper related products (minus laundry soap) until Kaylee is no longer wearing diapers. What?! Only $400.00? How awesome is that!?
  3. Environmental: I love Mother Earth as much as the next chic, but after having a baby I want Mother Earth to be even cleaner because my daughter has to live here well after I am gone. And my daughter’s daughter will have to live here too. So if I can keep several hundred disposable diapers from rotting away for the next 500 years then I figure why not!

After I decided that I wanted to try cloth I got on the computer with the intent to research a few brands, look at reviews, and start my stash. Easy right? 


I started reading a few of the thousands of blogs about cloth (seriously there are thousands) and started seeing things like this,

“My husband loves hook and loop AIOs and pockets because they are so much like sposies, but I for one like AI2 hybrids in snaps because I never remember the laundry tabs and I hate stuffing.”


Basically the cloth world has its own lingo and it can be utterly confusing for a new to cloth mom. In my next blog post I will break down all the crazy lingo and then finally I will tell you about what works best for me and my baby!