Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cortisol . . .

Did you know???
Cortisol regulates at midnight. It is SO important to get to SLEEP BEFORE MIDNIGHT. If you are not getting enough sleep BEFORE midnight, your body will have difficulty regulating stress levels and well being.  

Cortisol is vital to your health. It helps control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, memory support, blood pressure, weight, and more. When you aren’t supporting your cortisol regulation by getting sleep before the bewitching hour, it will negatively affect your adrenals, which will effect so many things. So... let's all make a goal to get to sleep before the clock strikes twelve!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sleep Consultant

Have you heard of a sleep consultant?  Well it's a real thing!  Lullaby Little One Consulting uses a research-based program to guide your child into healthy sleep habits.  Brooke is a trained, pediatric, sleep consultant who can work with you virtually (from anywhere in the world) or in person (if you live in Oklahoma) with almost any type of sleep challenges your child is having.  She works with newborns and children up to 5 years old.

When I found out about Brooke, I was bummed because I didn't know about her when my kids were that age.  My daughter had night terrors, waking up screaming at least once, but usually twice a night until she was 5 and a half.  No amount of consoling I did would help, let's just say we were grumpy and tired for years.  Night terrors are actually a form a sleep walking and children who have them aren't even aware they are doing it.  It's a sad and frustrating thing. Oh if I'd only known about Brooke sooner!

Luckily for you, if you've got little ones, you don't have to have the same regrets that I have. Having your child professionally 'sleep trained' will not only help your child, but will help you be a better parent because you'll be getting the rest you need too.  If you are interested, Brooke offers a free 15-minute assessment call to go over the options she offers to see what would fit your situation best.

You can follow Brooke on Instagram and Facebook where she shares helpful sleep tips and offers a free, live Q&A every month.

Contact Brooke here for more information.  You're welcome.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Norovirus and Influenza . . .

So usually when people get sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea, they usually jump to the conclusion that they have the flu.  However . . . it may actually be norovirus, which isn't talked about very much.

The flu is a virus that affects the respiratory system (but can also include vomiting and diarrhea too) and has sudden onset of fever.  Where the norovirus affects the stomach and intestines and has sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (and can have low-grade fever).  It can be confusing to tell which virus you have.

Here is a link that shows all the differences between the two.  My kids were recently sick, and before I had seen this information, I would have said they had the flu.  But after seeing this, I definitely would say they had the norovirus.  Know you will know too.

**Update; I just was sent this amazing information from the pediatrician's office where my kids go.  It has fabulous information about this subject, even more detail along with suggestions for keeping the rest of the family from getting sick.  Check it out here.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Common Sleep Problems and Tips for Better Sleep

Establishing good sleep habits for infants and toddlers is a job in itself, along with everything else a parent has to do.

All kids are so different.  My son was the best sleeper until we had a flood a few years ago, and hasn't been the same sleeper since.  My daughter had night terrors until she was 5 and a half; waking up screaming at least twice a night and no amount of consoling I did would affect her.

Not sleeping well doesn't just affect kids, it dramatically affects parents as well.  I know I am a much better Mom when I get the sleep I need.  I know my kids are much happier and fight less when they get the sleep they need too.

Tuck has a Parent's Guide to Healthy Sleep which is full of great tips for establishing good sleeping habits for your kids.  Check it out!


Friday, October 5, 2018

My Pregnancies and Health Tracking

Do you track your health using an app?  I do, using the app (Period Tracker Plus) that my husband created for me while we were trying to conceive.  Here is how it all started....

My two younger sisters both got married about 10 years before I did.  One of them got pregnant and shortly after finding out they got married. She and her husband continued to have four more over the years, totaling five kids.  My other sister got married not long after my other sister got married.  She finished school and worked for a couple of years and then started their family, having four kids.  Once they decided to have kids, they did the deed and bam, they were pregnant.  That's how easy it was for my Mom too.  Me?  Not so much.

For some reason, I didn't want kids.  That's right, Know It Mom did not want kids.  I mean I really did not want them. I didn't feel the desire and I didn't have that maternal instinct.  I had even once spoke my OBGYN about getting my tubes tied, but something told me to hold off.  Even as a kid, I played with Barbie dolls, but didn't play with baby dolls.

When my husband and I were dating, he'd often tell me how much he wanted to have kids someday.  I was very honest and told him that I really did not want them, and I was sorry that I felt that way but it was the way I felt.  People would tell me 'One day your biological clock will start ticking and you'll want them', but I was very confident that I would not.

We had several conversations about how we felt about having kids, but lucky for me, he asked me to marry him anyway.  A couple of years into our marriage, to my surprise, I suddenly really, REALLY, wanted kids.  I was shocked that I felt this way, I truly thought I'd never see the day.

My Mom and I would often go shopping together and she would always stop and comment on the cute baby clothes we'd pass by.  I'd always say 'Yeah, yeah, cute.  Let's go shop for us'.  Until one day I was the one commenting on the cute baby clothes and going ga-ga over the cute baby in the stroller at the mall.  What was happening to me?  I guess my biological clock really was starting to tick.

So, the decision was made, we were so excited to finally start a family of our own.  Let me just say, now that I am am Mom, I am very maternal and love my kids immensely.  I feel bad saying that there was ever a time where I didn't want kids, but that's how it was.  I am SO glad that changed.

Once we started trying, I was surprised that it didn't just happen right away, like it had for both of my sisters, and my Mom.  I wondered what was wrong with me?  Was something wrong with my husband?We had some tests done and everything looked fine.  We continued trying for a year and finally got pregnant.  We were ecstatic!!  My husband's 40th high school reunion was that weekend, and we were telling all of his former classmates that we were expecting.  I told my Mom, and not any others yet, as I wanted to be further along, just to be safe.  I went to see my doctor and he calculated that I was about 6 weeks along.  Wow!

Just a couple of days after the reunion, I woke up one morning and was bleeding.  I was so worried! I called my doctor immediately and they had me come in for some tests.  Sadly, I was miscarrying.  I was heartbroken.  I was so excited to have my first baby.  From the moment I had found out that I was pregnant, I saw a whole new future ahead of us, and we both pictured what it would be like having this child in our lives.  Suddenly, that all went away.  It was SO hard.

But after a little while, we decided to try again.  My doctor had instructed me to keep track of several different things, on a calendar.  I was tracking my basal body temperature each morning to see if I was ovulating, I was tracking our intimacy, cycle days, periods, etc.  During this time, Apple announced that developers could start making these things called "Apps".

My husband was a computer programmer and knew that he wanted to try making an app, but wasn't sure what kind of app to make.  One night, as I hopped into bed, I got frustrated because I had forgotten to write down all of the things I was tracking for that day.  My husband then asked me if I'd like to have an app to track these things with.  "Yes!" I exclaimed.  And that is when Period Tracker Plus was conceived - haha.

He started learning how to develop apps, and began working on the app.  Meanwhile, we continued trying to conceive, with no luck.  My doctor told me that I was AMA.  I was like 'What is AMA', well it means Advanced Maternal Age, and because of that, he started me on a fertility drug called Femara.  After using that for 9 months with no luck he prescribed me one round of Clomid (another fertility drug) and told me to give it a try for the next month, and if it didn't work, he wanted us to go to a fertility clinic.

I was taking the Clomid but wanted to be ready to start IVF as soon as possible (when my next cycle started).  So we went to the fertility clinic. I had tests done, my husband had tests done and we were all ready to start.  However, my period never started.  I took a pregnancy test and was relieved to find that the Clomid had worked - we were pregnant!!!

 Not long after I found out I was pregnant, I was at work one day and went to use the bathroom and found that I was bleeding again.  My stomach just dropped.  I was so worried.  I called my doctor and went in right away.  He put me on prometrium (progesterone) to help thicken the uterine walls and hopefully keep the pregnancy.  For the next 2 months I continued to bleed, and I was terrified every day.  It was so hard to feel excited about my pregnancy because I was worried that could lose this child any second.  My doctor kept a close eye on me, and luckily after the 8 week mark, the bleeding stopped.  Then I got excited.

I continued on to have a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a heathy baby boy, at the age of 36. During this time, my husband continued to work on the app.  A few months after my son was born, the app was finished and released into the app store.  The app has an ovulation tracker and predicts when you are most fertile, based on the period information you enter, along with a lot of other things you can track.  Once our son turned one year old, we decided to try for a second child.  I felt it might be a little soon, but based on our past, and our age, who knew how long it would take to get pregnant again.

I used the predictions in the app and after only four months of trying, we got pregnant with our second child, and didn't need to use any fertility drugs this time.  Only a little while after finding out I was pregnant, I began bleeding, just like the previous pregnancy with my son.  My stomach dropped, again, and I immediately went to my doctor.  He put me on prometrium again and we hoped for the best.  Again, it was hard to get really excited about this baby while I was bleeding, but, right on the 8 week mark the bleeding stopped, and I got excited again. I continued on to deliver a healthy baby girl at age 38.

Besides my miscarriage, both of my other pregnancies were identical.  Bleeding for the first 8 weeks, to the exact day, and delivering both babies on right on the 39th week mark.  It's almost like I had twins, but two years apart.  Because it took so long, and I had to use fertility drugs to try and conceive my son, I was surprised how quickly we conceived our daughter.  They say that once you have a child, it's easier for your body to conceive, but I also really believe the app helped us get the timing just right.

The app helps track everything you need to track for conceiving a baby, but it also tracks weight, exercise, sleep, moods, and so much more.  It also has custom items so that you can track what ever you desire.  The app is free, but you can up-grade (for only a one-time price of $3.99) to track even more things.

I love this app, and it's predictions are spot-on.  Now that I'm a little older, I am in perimenopause and have super heavy periods. I NEED to know when to expect my period because I usually can't go anywhere the first day of my cycle.  It also really helped me track my weight while I was pregnant and when I was trying to lose the baby weight too.  The app also has daily affirmations, which I collect, and write.

I love how the idea for this app came about and that it helped me conceive my little girl so quickly.  It's an amazing app that you can use in any stage of life, and it's free. What do you have to lose? It's on the app store under Period Tracker Plus.  You can also visit us here.