Friday, August 23, 2013

How's the baby sleeping?

When I was pregnant I knew that I would want Dominic sleeping near me. I found the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper and thought it would be the perfect solution. So we bought one and got it all setup.


Then Dominic got here and he just wanted to be held and nurse to sleep. So that's what I did. Then when he was a couple weeks old I figured out how to nurse him in the side lying position. And we've both gotten much more sleep ever since.

Our nights typically look like this:
8:30 - bath time
9:00 - in bed, bottle, nurse
9:30 - asleep


Yes, I let my baby nurse to sleep and stay in bed with me all night.
No, this does not mean he will still be sleeping in our bed when he's 10.
Nor does it mean he'll never learn to go to sleep on his own.
It's also not dangerous if you take precautions and are smart about it.

I know that this is what Dominic needs right now. And I'm ok with that. In fact I love cosleeping! It's wonderful to get to cuddle my baby boy all night. I can't even go to sleep without him anymore.

This also makes night feeds so much easier! I don't have to get up to feed him. He'll wake up, I latch him on, then I go back to sleep while he eats and he falls asleep. It works out great & Stephen and I aren't totally sleep deprived this way.


 The pictures of Dominic & Stephen were all taken in the morning after I got up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Encouragement for Parents of Infants


This is for all of those who, like me, have little babies. These first few months come with unique challenges. It feels less like parenting & more like being a caretaker. We are constantly feeding, changing diapers, & getting them down for naps and bed time. There's also a bit of play time in there as well. But our little babies don't fully understand us. We can talk to them, but they don't talk back. They'll never remember all this time that we put in caring for them.

Cherish these moments. Enjoy the time you put into taking care of your baby. They won't be babies forever. They will grow up & they won't need us in the same way that they need us now. So when you're changing a diaper, take the time to play and be silly while the baby is laying on the changing table. Look into your baby's eyes & cuddle them close while you feed them. Then have fun introducing them to solids when they're old enough. When your baby just needs you to comfort them, remember that this time is important and fleeting; the dishes can wait. While your baby won't remember these times, you always will. Make sure that you make memories with your baby worth remembering.

Take this time to prepare yourself for parenting challenges down the road. Pray for your baby. This article, 7 Things to Pray for Your Children, gives great advice about what you should pray for. Praying these 7 things is the most important, best thing you can do for your baby. Surrender your control over their life & give it to God. We want the best for our children, and the best for them is that God's will be done in their life.

While we may not be able to teach them about God yet, we can definitely pray for them. This is the best time to learn how and what to pray for your child. I want to encourage all of you to get in the habit of earnestly praying for your baby. Pray that God will use them for His glory.

Equip yourself so that you will be able to faithfully teach your children about God. Read the Bible. Listen to sermons. Read books on theology. Be prepared when the time comes to really start teaching your baby about God.

Our most important role as parents is to introduce our children to our loving Savior & instruct them in His ways. We must prepare ourselves for this through study and prayer.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

7 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Marriage is a beautiful thing created by God. Being married has been the best thing I've ever done. I find that I love Stephen more and more every day, and I always wonder how I could love him more than I already do, and still our love for each other grows. However, marriage is by no means easy. It takes work. It requires each of us to realize just how sinful we are. I'm constantly finding hidden areas of sin in my life. I'm constantly having to pray for God to remove that sin from me so that I can love Him better & I can love Stephen better.

In this post, I hope to share some things I've learned. I know I've been married a short time (1 year & 10 months), but I've learned alot & I'd like to share it. In thinking about marriage though, we must always remember this:
"Marriage is worth having because you get God in your lifelong commitment to one another. Marriage is about knowing God, worshiping God, depending on God, displaying God, being made like God. God made man and woman in his image and joined them together, giving them unique responsibilities to care for one another in their broken, but beautiful union." - When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus by Marshall Segal


1. Read the Bible Together
Dig deep into the truths of scripture with your spouse. Take this time to worship God together & learn to rely on Him for strength in your marriage.
2. Pray Together
Spend time praying out loud together. Pray through scripture together. Pray for each other. Lift up your church & family together. Pray that God's will would be done in your marriage. Pray that your marriage brings glory to God.
3. Fulfill Your Roles
God gave man & woman specific roles to fulfill in marriage. The husband is to love his wife like Christ loved the church and the wife is to submit to her husband. (Ephesians 5)
4. Encourage Each Other
Use words of encouragement. But even more specifically, use words of encouragement from Scripture. Be encouraging to your spouse in their walk with the Lord.
5. Keep Developing Your Friendship
Talk to each other, about everything. Don't let things go unsaid, your spouse is your best friend. your husband or wife should know more about you and know you better than anyone else. Do fun things together to continue to cultivate your friendship. Make memories together.
6. Forgive Each Other
Forgive, forgive & forgive again. We are sinners. We sin, so forgiveness is a requirement for a strong, happy marriage.
7. Be Intimate
Intimacy is an important part of marriage. Physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy are all necessary in marriage. These all come together in sex. Sex was created by God to be enjoyed in marriage.

Good Articles & Sermons on Marriage:
Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 1 by John Piper
Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 2 by John Piper
Husbands Who Love Like Christ and the Wives Who Submit to Them by John Piper
Marriage: God's Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace by John Piper
Marriage: Forgiving & Forbearing by John Piper
Marriage: Pursuing Conformity to Christ in the Covenant by John Piper 
The Surpassing Goal: Marriage Lived for the Glory of God by John Piper
Mature & Endure by Paul Smidt
Marriage: The Happy, Holy, Beautiful Mess by Matt Johnson
4 Lessons from Luther on Married Life by Justin Taylor
Cultivating a Gospel-Centered Marriage by Dave Bruskas

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dominic - 4 Months Old


Wow! 4 months old! Time is just flying by. Dominic has grown so much this month & his personality is really starting to show.


Experiences over the past month:

Breastfeeding: We still supplement, but I'm totally fine with that now. Our breastfeeding relationship has actually gotten better over the past couple weeks. I just love nursing him! It's such a great bonding time & I love seeing his personality shine through while he nurses. When he starts getting full, he'll stop & pull off then just look up and me and give me a big smile! It's adorable. I'm so glad that I never gave up during all of our struggles. Breastfeeding is totally worth fighting for.


Sleeping: Well I don't even try to have him sleep in the co-sleeper anymore. Not because he won't, but because I can't go to sleep if I'm not cuddling him! I love our sleeping arrangement though. He still wakes up about 3 times a night to eat, but that's fine with me.


Cloth Diapers: Still love! We took a break from them for about a week though to use up the disposables that had been given to us that he was about to outgrow. We had lots more poopy diaper blow-outs using the sposies. We have however started using a disposable at night because we were getting lots of leaks going so long. When this pack of disposables runs out, we'll try cloth at night again.


In the picture above, Dominic is in his new Summer Infant 3-Stage Superseat. I was originally planning on getting a Bumbo because that's all that I hear people talk about as far as seats for assisted sitting for infants. When I was looking on Amazon, I found this one & thought it was so much better! The tray that wraps around spins so he can play with different things or use the tray for eating here in a couple months. The seat part is also bigger than the Bumbo, so he'll be able to use it for much longer. We bought this for him because he had begun to want to constantly be sitting, so we thought he would enjoy it.


Growth: Dominic weighs 14lbs 6oz. He's grown a ton this month! I'm not sure how long he is. I'll know on Wednesday when we take him for his 4 month check-up.


Developmental Milestones: The changes this month have been very dramatic! Right after he turned 3 months he started wanted to sit all the time. He loves sitting! He's still wobbly & needs support, but I don't think it'll be too long until he can sit unassisted. Also, if I'm sitting cross-legged on the floor & I have him sitting on my legs facing away from me, he'll stand up just holding onto my hands to help him balance. Dominic has started reaching for things when he wants them & has gotten very good at grabbing & holding onto things. Like I wrote last time, he rolled from tummy to back for the first time right at 3 months, but then didn't do it again until this week & he's been doing it every day. He also likes to scoot across the floor on his tummy.


He just gets cuter & cuter everyday. We love him so much!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why We Chose Not to Circumcise

As soon as we found out that I was pregnant with a boy, we knew that we would have to decide whether or not to circumcise him. I started doing some research and showing Stephen everything I was finding out.

Biblically we already knew that Christians did not need to be circumcised. Christians are to rely on the new covenant of grace with God and not the old covenant which commanded circumcision. For more about this, you can read this article about Christianity and Circumcision.

But for years, circumcision has been a medical recommendation. I wanted to find out why and if it was really necessary. From all of my research, I learned that not only is circumcision not medically necessary, it even causes harm.


Every year over 100 newborns die from routine infant circumcision in the US. I definitely was not willing to risk Dominic's life for an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.

Besides this major reason, there are many other reasons why you shouldn't circumcise. Below is a list of resources for those who want to learn more.

Myths About Circumcision Series:
1. Surgery Myths
2. STD/Hygiene Myths
3. Social and Sexual Myths
4. The Ethics and Economics of Circumcision
5. Greatest Danger for Uncircumcised Boys
6. Harming Boys through Ignorance of Male Anatomy

Drmomma.org

The Circumcision Decision

If you still are wondering whether or not circumcision is that bad, you should go watch a video of it being done on YouTube. After watching one, there's no way you could say that it doesn't cause the baby harm.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Breastfeeding Struggles - Part 2

Click to read Breastfeeding Struggles - Part 1.

So as you know, breastfeeding has definitely not been easy for us. It's been incredibly difficult. I had hoped that it would get easier as Dominic got older, but so far that hasn't happened. I was really upset about this for a long time. I wanted to be able to exclusively breastfeed Dominic so badly, but I just can't. Because of his tongue tie, it's just not something that I've been able to do.

We've gotten Dominic's tongue clipped 3 times. The first time fixed the anterior tie that he had, but the doctor did not cut enough to fix the posterior tie. I think that he likely still has a posterior tongue tie, but we're done trying to fix that. The laser surgery might work, but we'd have to drive to North Carolina and pay out of pocket for it, so it's not even something we can consider. Even if we could afford to have it done, I'm not sure that we would. I just don't really believe that it would fix it. I know many people have success getting laser tongue tie revisions, but not everyone does.

Our lactation consultant had suggested that we have craniosacral therapy done, and I did some research that said babies with tongue tie typically benefit from have CST. We went twice, but I see absolutely no improvement from it. In fact - Dominic's latch has gotten worse since we had it done, though that may be unrelated.

The past 2 weeks Dominic's latch has gotten worse and worse. I'm in more and more pain when he nurses, and it seems that nothing I try is fixing it. It's really discouraging that it's getting worse. We've been to see a lactation consultant so many times already that I'm just not willing to keep spending the money going when it hasn't really helped. I do think lactation consultants typically are very helpful and are a great resource to have for breastfeeding mothers, but in our case I'm afraid that nothing is going to help.

I know that part of Dominic's latch problem is because he gets a bottle so often, but he has to. We can't just stop supplementing.

Breast milk is far better for Dominic than formula, so my goal is to continue to provide breast milk for him. However, I'm not sure that I'll keep breastfeeding him. I'm going to try a few days of exclusive pumping to see how it goes this week. I'll probably let him nurse occasionally still though because that's his favorite way to go to sleep. I just need a break from being in so much pain.
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