Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hot Topic: Self Acceptance is it me or them?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 10 - 15 LTP Styling

I love ponytails and colorful headbands. This headband is really a simple design but the color contrast works really well with her skin tone and is a nice pop of color with her outfit.
Day 15!

Mg2's hair looks about the same. Gotta love that about her hair. Compact fuzz. HmG has some fuzz but she decides to curl her dry twists with pipecleaners. The curls start to really fall after a couple of hours--as pictured above. She will try this again with damp hair.

What about the Littlest Mocha princesses?

Time is up! The only fix for this would be a pair of cute hats.

I haven't added anything to their hair.

HmG covers her head every night but it's a hit or a miss for everyone else. Mocha Baby almost never.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Mg2: Her Birth Story!

I had the worst morning sickness during my pregnancy with this one. I couldn't keep anything down for 7.5 months. Next I suffered from the most horrendous heartburn. I didn't enjoy food again until after Mg2 was born. I felt like I was STARVING all of the time. I wanted to eat and had the same appetite you hear pregnant women have but putting food in my body started a vicious cycle. Even water was the enemy. I had to be hospitalized for fluids. I felt terrible both physically and emotionally and it showed. My face swelled up and darkened in areas. I hated my pregnancy mask. I was irrational and wondered what my baby would be like--I had an evil premonition that something bad was coming out of all of that suffering.

Mg2 came early.

One of my closest friends was getting married in my home town about 6 hours away. I couldn't imagine missing her wedding so I went to the doctor for advice on whether or not we should make the trip. I was 36 weeks pregnant. He examined me and said I was no where near ready to give birth, advised me to make lots of stops, and not to sit still for too long. His main concern was blood clots.

Everything went beautifully at the wedding. I went to bed that night, never expecting what came later. Around midnight a POP woke me out of my sleep. My first thought was, Oh no! My water is breaking, I don't want to wet my sister's bed! It was a premonition, because my water had never broken on its own before.

I acted.


Imagine my huge, pregnancy bellied self taking a flying leap off the bed---imagine THAT! I still can't believe I was physically able to do that. As my feet hit the floor the water gushed out .

My babies come fast so we imagined we'd never make it to the hospital since my water had broken. My mom stayed with my two kids while my husband rushed...sped...FLEW me to the hospital. The gushing water was so uncomfortable. It replenishes itself. It's not like emptying a pitcher. I never knew that. Mg2's head acted like a cork but every time I shifted, so did she and out gushed some more water. It was like wetting myself over and over again with no control. Thank God the water was clear and odorless!

We were wrong about the fast birth.

My water had broken at midnight--Sunday morning---but Mg2 wasn't born until Monday afternoon around 3 PM. We waited and waited for productive contractions to start. I was foreign to the hospital and the doctors. Though I had brought my medical records as a precaution, they ran every test in the book over again. They insisted I be monitored non stop. They insisted I lay still on my left side. NOT A GOOD RECIPE FOR STARTING A LABOR!

After the entire night of waiting, the doctors recommended the medication, Pitocin, to regulate my contractions so my body would dilate . They were giving me 12 hours to get Mg2 out on my own or they were going to take her by c-section. I didn't want that so we prayed. They started the Pitocin and the pain was hellish. It felt nothing like my natural contractions. The peaks were harder, stronger and more frequent. The pain sharply increased sooner than they had with my last baby.

I had been up all night with all of the monitoring and tests. I couldn't cope with the pain. I had trained myself to endure a natural birth with no pain medication (I had done it before), but in the end I knew I wouldn't make it. I realized that if I couldn't buy my body the time to dilate, a c-section was inevitable. I had trained my husband to advocate for me to avoid the medication...even if I asked for it. We began to struggle. I finally convinced him we needed to move to plan B. I took the epidural.

Then I fell asleep.

For hours.

When they woke me up, it was time to push. We were at a teaching hospital so the room was FULL of interns--all women. They began shouting and screaming instructions on how I should pushed. I had already birthed 2 babies but they were confusing me awfully. I couldn't really feel my body because of the numbing effect of the epidural. Pushing had always been easy for me but I couldn't feel which muscles to use. I curved my body over and felt like I was losing the battle. The baby monitor went crazy. The doctor attending me was also in her last trimester of pregnancy. She looked me dead in the eye and yelled, "We've got to get this baby out NOW! You can do this but I have to help you. I need to use forceps!"

My eyes rolled to the back of my head. FORCEPTS! I had read all about forcepts and none of it had been good.

The doctor looked at me again and said, "I'm fighting for you. It's either the forcepts or a c-section."

We took the forcepts.

A couple of pushes and Mg2 was out. She was my first VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). I've had 3 VBACs!

I loved her instantly. She looked worn out. My most worn out looking baby to date. She had little bumps all over her flushed face. She was small. She had been through it too. I had a wicked episiotomy. We laughed and we cried....but we've been laughing ever since.

I was wrong about her.

I was SO wrong.

She's my sweetest, most laid back, most joyful child. She's got a light shining from her eyes that glows so bright.

My experience with her has taught me that out of great suffering can come something indescribably precious.

I'm so glad I stayed the course.

I'm so glad she's here.

Happy birthday Mg2!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 4 of LTP Styling

We're on our way to a function with everyone but Hmg who has ballet practice. I LOVE the buns she creates for ballet.

I've decided to track Mg3 and Mocha Baby's progress too even though we probably won't go a month. It's interesting to see how their styles evolve also.

I'll be back with some shots of Mg3!
Here she is!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Long Term Protective (LTP) Styling

So how long have you left a style in your child's hair?

For me it really depends on the style. When I was growing up my mother was not a fan of styles with many braids on the head. She'd do them occasionally, but she believed styles of 6 braids or less (her signature style for me was 3 braids) looked more refined. This meant my hair was styled EVERY morning. My mother also did a fantastic job of making sure our hair looked fresh and smooth every day. She worked full time and lacked the time to put in numerous braids/cornrows or twists. Our hair was washed every other Saturday and she meticulously worked out the tangles until her comb slid through. I STILL marvel about this because I have the kind of hair that will mesh right back up unless you lock it in place and keep it far away from water. Grease was the order of the day. While my hair never grew past a certain length I had a lush head of hair under my mother's care. I think if she would have left my hair alone more, she would have enjoyed the lengths I achieved as an adult applying the principles I know now.

I left Hmg and Mg3's hair in twists for a month!!!! I washed their hair and scalp in the twists (which was MUCH easier than managing loose hair). I let them do what they do which meant their hair was liberally doused every day in the shower. Once their hair fuzzed up we managed it with girlish updo styles, headbands and other colorful accessories and set the frizz with a braid out set. I expected the take down to be a nightmare because of meshing. I washed their hair with the twists still in and sat down to take down the style. I planned to work twists by twist--finger detangle, apply shea butter mix and retwist. Their hair was still very damp so the step of spritzing was eliminated (LOVE this!) until I had completed most of the style.

Their twists came down easily! There were some loose hairs trying to hold the 2 sections of twisted hair together but I was able to pull the hair apart without as much effort as I had expected. Finger detangling went so much more quickly than I expected that I managed to process all 4 girls in 3 hours!!!!

As I said, I must repeat this process and see what I did.

I am planning to go another month (Hmg and Mg2) with this new set of twists--washing their hair with shampoo every two weeks and letting them rinsing as needed. I will periodically check back in with you on how we are working with the frizz. At the end of the month I want to see if I have the same experience with take down.

If I am successful, I plan to start a challenge YOU can join me on.

This approach is for Hmg and Mg2. I haven't tried this on Mocha Baby yet because she won't sit still long enough for me to put in a style I could work with for a month. I haven't tried it on Mg3 (my fuzzy wuzzy princess), because I'm not sure her strands will stay twisted through washing for a month.

What do you think? Would you be interested?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Your baby's hair WILL grow!

Check out this inspiring story! All I can say is yes, yes, yes!