Our Birth Plan

I thought I would post a copy of my birth plan for anyone who would like to see what one looks like. When I had Gabriella, three years ago, I copied a birth plan from a website. Now that I have studied, researched and know better, I have recompiled my list of wishes for our baby girl, who is due in early February.

Our plan would be to deliver at Alta Bates Medical Center, with a midwife, 100% natural and avoid interventions all together.  I will have my birth plan with me, my labor supporters who attend the birth will know what my desires are and together, we can all ensure  the birth of our daughter is nothing less than magical.

Our Birth Plan

Parents: Jessica & Daniel 

Due Date: February 2013

Physician/ Midwife: Jeri Zukoski, CNM and Lindy Johnson, CNM

Baby: Ireland Rose (Girl)


We desire a labor and delivery that is free from any unnecessary medical intervention, 100% natural. We strongly prefer a soft/calm vaginal delivery and are avoiding a Cesarean Section, at all costs. Please discuss any suggested interventions or procedures with all of us, in full detail and obtain our verbal/written consent before initiating any such interventions or procedures. We want to know the full scope of risks prior to consent.


  • I request a private room with a hydrotherapy bath tub, if available.
  • Ideally, I prefer my environment to have dimmed lights, soft music and voices respectfully lowered
  • FHR monitored by intermittent monitoring only, no internal monitors placed on baby’s head!
  • Vaginal exams when medically necessary, not every hour, please
  • NO PITOCIN at all! This is a natural birth. I would like to use natural methods to keep labor progressing.
  • NO EPIDURAL!! We desire a 100% natural birth and will use natural methods for pain management.
  • I would prefer to labor in the birthing tub for as long as possible, as much as possible.
  • I would like the freedom to move/walk around during labor along with the use of birthing balls & stools.
  • If the midwife feels that pushing may not be progressing efficiently, I would like to change positions.
  • I would like to try different positions to ease labor discomfort, to be conducive for a natural delivery
  • I request the freedom to eat and drink during labor as needed, if tolerated
  • I prefer no IV at all.  
  • Please avoid use of urinary catheter
  • Prolonged length of second stage if progress is being made, let my body progress on its own timeline
  • I would like to use nipple stimulation, reflexology, pumping and walking to keep labor progressing
  • Would like to labor down, on my own until natural urge to push is felt
  • I would prefer to tear than to have an episiotomy–if out of bath, Please use massage oil to guide the birth of baby’s head and body
  • I would like a mirror available so I can see my daughter’s head when it crowns, if delivering out of birthing tub.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
  • My Husband (Dan), and family are to be present at all times

After Birth

  • Dad would like to have the opportunity to catch baby in delivery, if baby is delivering well and it is medically safe. If Dad does not want to or unable, I would like to pull our baby out; put her on my chest.
  • Skin to skin contact to be immediately established for the first hour. Weight, measurements may occur after the 1st hour. I am breastfeeding & would like baby to crawl to breast, on her own.
  • DELAYED CORD CLAMPING Do not cut cord right away! Please offer cord cutting to Father, once cord is finishing pulsing (45+ min after birth).
  • Natural delivery of placenta: PLEASE DO NOT DISCARD PLACENTA, we plan to take it home for encapsulation
  • Please provide me with nutritious food and drink as soon as possible, following birth.
  • Baby to breastfeed immediately, would like help from nurses on positioning, latch.
  • NO FORMULA or Water! I would like to breastfeed and have every feeding be at my breasts, only.  
  • No post-delivery Pitocin or pulling on the cord
  • If stitching of perineum is necessary, please use local anesthetic
  • Newborn to stay with parents at all times. “Rooming in”
  • Please perform all physical exams on baby and procedures in the  room with mother present
  • If my baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany her at all times.
  • I would like to postpone any immunizations until a later time. I do not want baby to receive any Vitamin K shots, Heb B shot or any other vaccinations post birth.  No antibiotics in the baby’s eyes, as well.
  • We plan to deliver a baby girl however in the event we have a boy, we will NOT be circumcising. 


“There is a secret in our culture, and its not that birth is painful, it is that woman are strong.”- Laura Stavoe Harm 

We Are (finally) Pregnant!

I can finally share the exciting news.. Yes, I am pregnant with our second child!

Getting pregnant after my miscarriage last year wasn’t the easiest, in fact, it took eight months of trying and lots of “tricks” to make it happen. So what worked, that cycle in May? I am unsure. I did a lot of things actually, so to put it on one or the other..Really, I do not know. I did try acupuncture along with soy isoflavones, on the previous cycle, so perhaps that played a part. I used ovulation predictor kit and used PreSeed every time. I did the ‘pillow trick’ every night I was ovulating and fell asleep that way until 2 or 3am every time. I drank lemonade a lot and ate ice cream every night before bed.

I didn’t really notice any strong symptoms because every month I got pretty good at telling myself I was pregnant. My boobs started to get sore at 8DPO and I was sleeping really good at night. (not normal for this insomniac) My uterus had that full, heavy feeling and whoa, I had the worst headaches ever! At 12DPO, I was on my way to get my daughter something from Target, while I was in there I was like, “What the heck…might as well get another box of First Response, I am out of them anyways…”  So we grabbed a box and and then we went for our lunch date with the girls at Nordstrom Cafe’. (Our favorite place to have lunch) I had the box of pregnancy tests still in my diaper bag and since I was having to pee every hour, I took a test right there…in Nordstrom’s bathroom, before lunch! I put it in my bag, washed my hands, walked out and met up with my girlfriends and our kids for lunch. We sat down, ordered and about 15 min later I glanced in my bag and my heart fell on the floor! It was a faint positive! Faint, yes…but still POSITIVE!! I passed it around the table and everyone agreed…BFP! Yay! I am pregnant!
So yes, I got my BFP at Nordstrom… what is even better, as I am sitting at lunch, staring at this BFP, in absolute shock, I got a call from a fertility specialist who wanted to start me on treatments. It felt so good to say, “I wont need to schedule those appointments because I just got a positive pregnancy test!”
I am just over the moon with excitement. I went in for my genetic testing appointment and the specialist said the baby did not show any signs of genetic disorders and “This baby couldn’t look more perfect!” ahhh! What a relief. I go in for my 20 week appointment in September.
These days, I am feeling pretty yucky. Luckily, the morning sickness (that lasts all day) only has me barfing up one meal per day; its an improvement because with Ella, I had HG and had to get IV fluids frequently. I threw up non stop, several times day until 24/25 weeks. I really pray this pregnancy is easier and the all-day sickness doesn’t last that long. If I can keep my prenatal vitamins  down, I know I am good!
I know that every week that passes is one week closer to meeting and holding my miracle baby. And a miracle he/she really is. A lot of prayers, tears, appointments, money, diligence and love went into this little persons creation. I am just in awe of it all!  How can you love someone so much, that is so little and you have never met them before?
Pregnancy is such a wondrous 40 week (ish) event for me. The fact our bodies make people and it knows just what to do. It is simply extraordinary!
And so it begins… The creation of life: “Our Family is Growing!!”
Everything is going fantastic, my appetite is slowing coming back and baby girl is becoming quite active. I am near the half way point of this pregnancy and feeling great! I am doing prenatal yoga everyday, lots of stretching  and I walk as much as I can.

Protecting my Family

In past years, I would tell you that I don’t like, agree for feel comfortable around guns. Growing up, we had a “no weapons policy”, meaning my five brothers were never allowed to have water guns, squirt guns or anything that resembled a weapon in our home. My mother was firm with this rule. If we got one for our birthday, it ended up in the garbage. (Yes, I know…totally not ecofriendly!)

I have never shot a gun. I admit, I rolled my eyes when my husband purchased us a six hour 40 caliber hand gun. “Whatever makes you feel like a big boy…”  I told him. Then he got a rifle and again…” whatever makes you feel tough, dude”, I told my husband. Because my husband travels so much for work, leaving me home alone with our two year old for days at a time, he did show me how to load, cock and shoot our 40 cal. “Yeah whatever, I’ll be fine” I told him. I never put much thought into it. We have always lived in nice, family friendly neighborhoods. Thinking that ‘needing a gun’ will never happen to us.


About two months ago, I got an email from our HOA, telling of a few home burglaries in the next neighborhood. Again, we live in a very safe, typical suburbia neighborhood. Its like “Leave it to Beaver”, upper middle class around here with white picked fences, people bring you cookies when you move in, neighborhood ice cream socials, a community pool where all the town gossip happens and our house track has the best trick-or-treating, ever.
I woke up in the early morning of Thursday March 29th at 12:55am, turned off the tv in our room, checked on my two and a half year old daughter, covered her up and went to the bathroom. While I’m sitting there, half alseep, my doorbell rings, frantically. About 8 times in a row. “Who the F rings a doorbell like that, especially at this hour?” I thought to myself. My husband slept through the door bell ringing so I woke him up and told him. Like a ninja, my husband springs out of bed, instantly grabs our gun, goes to our front door (didn’t open it) and no one is there. Hmm that is odd. I looked out the upstairs window and our court looks quiet. The kids were on spring break here- so maybe they are just door bell ditching? I only see a Prius circling the court. I thought it was our teenage neighbors getting picked up or dropped off. It is spring break, after all.

So we both go back to bed.

As we both lie in bed- we then hear our door to the basement open! (the door knob squeaks and the door is loud) we both jump out of bed. Dan springs into action again and stays posted at the top of the stairs, in front of our room and our daughters room. I run into my walk0in closet, hide behind two racks of clothes, call 911 with my rifle in my right hand…. My husband has the .40 cal, cocks it (that is loud!) and hides at the top of the stairs.  “I have a gun. A big gun. Get the F#$& out of my house!”
We hear the basement door close and shut.
Whispering on the phone to 911.. I was so scared that I could barely hold the phone up to my ear. I look at my phone, I have been on the phone for six minutes. So far, it feels like 60 hours.
The dispatcher tells me the police are surrounding my house, and say they saw some movement in the back of our house. We are upstairs, I am in my closet so the movement is not us.
The police checked inside/outside our home and could not find anything. Everything was locked up tight. Nothing out of the ordinary. We both heard the door open and close, so where did they go? How did they get out?
It’s 2am and the police leave. We set up a boobie trap in front of the basement door. (Thank you Kevin McCalister and Home Alone for the inspiration!!) I didn’t go back to sleep. My husband did. Of course.

I get up in the morning and re-read the email from our HOA. I cringe as the details of the other home invasions in the area. All at 1-2am, everyone noted a silver hatchback vehicle and all were broken into through the front door. It was an exact detail of what happened at our house.

I called ADT security and thankfully they were at our house, setting everything up by 4pm the next day.

My husband bought me this for my birthday. Now, normally I get pretty pink things from Nordtsroms or a new Coach bag. But this year was different. And I am ok with that. At least it’s still pink 😉

Come back motherf*cker, I dare you. I was fully prepared to kill that night. A feeling that scares me to this very day. I have never felt that feeling before. A feeling of protection that was so strong, it did not involve a second thought. Honestly, its because I am a mother now and I will stop at nothing to protect my family, especially my precious baby girl. You picked the wrong house.





I want to stress the importance of gun safety. Our firearms are in a locked gun safe. The guns are never loaded and have trigger locks on them that will only unlock if I or my husband unlock them. They are 100% child proof. Please, if you have guns in the home always keep them out of reach and sight of children. And please, take a gun safety course to learn the ins and outs of your firearm. Always assume a gun is loaded and always check it first. Look down the barrel. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Be safe, please. 

Life After Miscarriage

Upon our marriage, my husband and I spoke in great length about our future plans. Up until now, we have followed those plans, almost to a T. (With the exception of all these corporate moves we made, but hey…life is an adventure and everything has been an awesome experience) When our daughter was born it was agreed that our children would be three years apart, and a third child was debatable, given where we were in our lives at that part. But two kiddos, three years a part was our plan. After Ella was born and in the wake of my PPD, the thought of having another child scared me. I got a Mirena IUD at my six week check up and loved it! It was the perfect form of contraception for us.

This past summer, we starting talking more in depth about having another baby. Our daughter is getting older, shes very independent, goes to pre school and my husbands career is secure. We have our house, money is good, health care accepts midwives and birthing centers, so yeah, our ducks are all in a row! All is good! The only thing left to do was get my IUD out. For us pregnancy is/was a planned event. I do not do well with surprises and we are planners. I have never liked the idea of having an unplanned pregnancy.  So on October 13th 2011, I had my IUD removed. At the appointment, My midwife suggested I wait until I had two cycles before we started trying- after having an IUD for so long, I wouldn’t have much of a uterine lining; with a possible insufficient uterine lining it would increase our chances of miscarriage; so the longer we waited to get pregnant, the better. All though, I never got to the second cycle.

I was taking organic prenatals, organic fish oil and eating a well balanced mostly organic diet. I ended up getting pregnant right away. After four pregnancy tests saying “negative” despite having all the symptoms, I finally got a positive pregnancy test, and another..then another and another. It was November 15th, 2011. I took the tests and stared at them all for what seemed like hours. The line was faint, but it WAS there. I was pregnant! Due July 22, 2012. Just a week before our daughters third birthday. We were over the moon. We made phone calls, I text my friends with the picture of the pregnancy test and we started to plan our “pregnancy announcement video”. Excited doesn’t cover it. We were joyful and  the anticipation of planning for the next nine months was starting to sink in. This baby was wanted, planned and already loved so very much. While I had some fears, mixed feelings (now I call it mothers intuition) I just didn’t feel the same as when I was pregnant with my first child. “Your second pregnancy never feels like your first”. I kept telling myself. But something just felt off. Not right.

On Thanksgiving night I got very, very sick and could not keep food down. I had a fever, stomach cramps and was up all night throwing up and having bad cases of diarrhea. It was clear my body was clearing itself out. My husband had to go to work on “black friday” so as I laid on the couch with my two year old cuddled with me, watching the ipad… I felt a warm trickle down my leg. Then a drip and another. Did I just pee myself? I raced to the bathroom and was bleeding. It was bright red and it was heavy.

My heart sank. I fell to the floor. Tears were running down my face. My worst fear had come true. I have been around enough pregnant woman in my line of work to know what this was.

Two sonograms, two bags of IV fluids, three “exams”, four viles of blood and six hours later at the ER, it was confirmed.

I Miscarried. 

The news hit me with a ton of bricks. I was only six weeks along. I had hopes that maybe there was a mistake, maybe the sonograms were wrong. Maybe the ER doctor just wasn’t pregnancy savy… I prayed and prayed for a miracle. I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I had done everything right, ate well, took my pills, even added fish oil (which is known to lessen your chances of miscarriage) drank water, read the books. Sheesh,  I did everything by the books! This baby wasn’t a burden, an accident or an oops. Our baby was wanted. Why did this happen? Is it my karma for something I did, something I said? Was this Karma for being so vocal about others who did careless/selfish in pregnany by doing drugs, drinking or smoking when pregnant? (Something I could never fathom doing and admit to judging those who do/did) Am I not meant to be a mom of two? Was the timing not right? Is Gabriella going to be an only child forever? I had and still have many thoughts going through my head.

I recently read Michelle Duggar’s blog about the baby they lost, Jubilee, at 18 weeks. I can relate to the pain because at 6 weeks pregnant or at 20 weeks pregnant, a loss of a baby still hurts your heart. Her blog really spoke to me. She too, wonders if putting birth control in place was God’s warning to let HIM be in control. Was my miscarriage God’s way of telling me that he is in charge of my life, and to leave it all up to him? But then I tell myself that God doesn’t purposefully inflict punishment or pain on his children. Miscarriages hurt. Emotionally and psychically.

For me, the hardest part was knowing that I had a life inside me, a little soul who was sent to us from our creator. A little person who I had many dreams about. Dreams that started before I was even pregnant or knew I was pregnant. I dreamed of a little girl, a newborn with little bits of brown hair. She was perfect and so incredibly beautiful. I remember the dreams like a memory. I felt and feel like I already knew her.

But now, I have nothing. But an empty feeling in my heart. I cry and cry. Some days I don’t think about it. Other days, it is on my mind non stop. Some days, I get upset, sad and angry, watching pregnant woman in the mall or when I am picking up my daughter from school. They all seem to be very happy. Why didn’t they miscarry? Why did I? What about all the poor babies born addicted to Meth or Heroin? Why didn’t they miscarry? What about all the pregnancies that were not planned?  Why didn’t they miscarry?  What about all the irresponsible “16 & pregnant” girls we see glorified on MTV, why didn’t they miscarry? My baby only got the best for the little time I was growing her…and still didn’t make it. Life is full of unanswered questions, and at times, life can be so unfair. I simply don’t get it. And I don’t think I ever will.

What Is Next?

Well, I recently joined a gym and started working out 5 days a week again. (Working 0ut when my daughter isn’t sick, which has been frequent lately) I am doing yoga, trying Pilates and once I get pregnant again, I’ll do prenatal yoga 2 times a week. I am still taking my prenatals and eating very good. I am waiting to get my next cycle then taking the herb Soy Isoflavones to help boost ovulation with the hopes of getting pregnant in the next few weeks and having a healthy baby at the end of September. I pray. I pray everything works out well. I now realize how fragile pregnancy is. What a miracle life is.

I have been so distraught after my miscarriage that I called my psychic two weeks ago, looking for answers (who is always so good and spot on, BTW http://www.ushaji.org/ ) Last year, at a reading Usha told me that I was to have four children. I already have one, then a miscarriage and possible twins. Possible twins, as in, the baby souls have not decided if they wanted to come together or a part. Recently, she told me I may have some problems in future pregnancies but they would subside, and that she saw a healthy baby in my arms before the end of October. Just the thing I needed to hear. It gives me hope that I will conceive again and will hold my baby. For me, the only way I can attempt to heal from this miscarriage is to go on and have another baby. So here we start again, back to square one, watching my cycle, trying again, doing “the recipe” and taking it day by day. I have hope for the future and know that many people have miscarriages and then go on to have healthy babies. I keep telling myself that it will happen when it is intended to. Until then, I will just live. And snuggle my two year old a little closer each night, so very appreciative of the gift our children are.

I have hope. I have faith. I have God. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

A Letter to my second baby:

Dear Little One, While our time together may have been short I want you to know how loved you were. We prayed for you to go come into our lives and we are appreciative of the short time you were inside me. I know we will meet again and when we do, it will be right. I look forward to feeling you grow in my body, watching my body change  with your every milestone, decorating your nursery, preparing for your arrival, birthing you as my body intended, seeing your face and feeling your skin on mine. I know the day will come when I can put a face with the name. And what a beautiful name you will have. We, as your parents love you already and know the day will come when we meet again. Until then, we will wait; letting you and our creator decide for when the time is right. Please come back to me.               All my love, Mummy xoxo

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This Mommy Is A Breastfeeder


Breastfeeding for me did not come easy. Before my little one was born, I always thought I’d try nursing and see what happens. I had many issues in breastfeeding and I believe my troubles with nursing my baby began before she was even born.

I was induced. My OB tells me at my 39.5 week appointment that she was getting concerned with the size of my baby and my narrow hips. Her conclusion? I need to be induced before this baby gets any bigger. I was naturally pretty thin and my hips are rather narrow… I believed her. After all she, the doctor has medical degrees from Ivy league medical schools. I, on the other hand,  do not.

I wish I had done some research before getting induced because as I know now, the drugs given in inductions are known to cause breastfeeding issues, Postpartum depression and withdrawals. I experienced all of the above. Plus, my induction was not even medically needed. My “huge” baby turned out to be 8 pounds, 1 ounce. When I read my moms notes of my delivery I became incredibly angry.

Notes from July 30th, 2009

  1. 6am water broke 7:30am Pitocin up to 18
  2. 8:30am PAIN! Epidural –> 9am Pitocin up to 22
  3. 10am-3pm No progression, 4 cm
  4. 4pm Pitocin up to 24 –>5cm
  5. 5pm Litocane shot, more epidural
  6. 4:30pm-8:30pm 6 cm Statal injection
  7. 8pm if no baby by 10pm, c section is certain (“failure to progress”)
  8. 9pm 9 cm
  9. 10pm 100% efaised, -2 station time to push turned off all pain and pit
  10. 11:07pm Gabriella Grace is here! 8pounds 1oz 19 inches (stage 4 epi)

This diagram pretty much my experience in a nut shell, it fit me to a T. I was induced and a cascade or issues followed.

After a hard, long 23 hour labor, It was 2am and everyone left. I was put into a lovely postpartum room and after getting zero sleep for 3 days, I felt uncomfortable with my ability to take care of my hours-old newborn. So I asked the nursery nurse to take my baby so I could get some sleep. They did and my husband and I went to bed.

At 4am, while in the nursery, my perfect little girl stopped breathing and went gray. She was immediately taken over to the NICU for monitoring on an Oxygen machine. While in the NICU, they gave her a bottle. (Knowing what I know now, I should have done skin to skin and slept with my new baby on my chest, she probably needed her Mom and wasn’t thriving because she wasn’t close to me.)

From that point on, I tried to put my baby to the breast but she wasn’t having it. I even tried nipple shields and the Supplemental Nursing System. But my milk was not coming in and my baby was starving. And here came the postpartum nurses with more free formula. I am appreciative of them helping, offering advice. When the lactation consultant came in, I fell asleep. (Gotta love those hormones!) When I was discharged, they gave me 4 boxes of ready-to-feed formula and some paperwork on breastfeeding. As I tried to pump and put my baby on the breast, the more frustrated we both became.

Before having my daughter I didn’t take any classes offered at the hospital because I had taken so many classes in college, in doula school and privately while getting my several certifications. I am a “lactation educator”. (Once I have the next baby I am going back to school to become a Lactation Consultant) I worked as a Certified Infant Sleep Coach, Certified Newborn Care Specialist and Certified Postpartum doula for 5+ years as well as being a professional infant/toddler nanny for over 13 years. I worked with 50+ sets of twins and hundreds of newborns. I thought I had this baby thing down. Wrong. I didn’t have anything down. I couldn’t even get a let down! I opened all my breastfeeding books and starting reading websites from Le Leche League. I was still pumping and doing 50/50 bottles, figuring the less formula I was giving her the better. I started researching formula. When my baby slept, I was a google manic. What was in formula, the several warnings released over the years, the term “organic formula” is a proven Oxy-moron and plus…its man made, genetically altered. My breast milk was not. There was no warnings on breast milk, no oxy-morons, no alterations, no “ingredients”. I had to do something, this just didn’t feel right. I noticed when I saved my pumped milk and only gave my baby girl a bottle of strictly breast milk, she ate better, had less gas and slept a good 3 hour chunk. The light bulb went off, it was my first of many mommy “ah-ha moments”. Formula and Ella just do not mix.

Then I called the Boob Guru. The formula was giving my baby horrible acid reflux. My pediatrician wanted me to put her on very expensive formula that was for reflux babies, it was $49 a can plus reflux medication that was $94 a month. When I said I was “saving money for a baby”, it wasn’t involving formula and medication. (“Why buy the milk when momma makes it for free?”) My stubbornness kicked in and I said enough was enough. It was becoming a horrible vicious cycle. For what?

Seeing “The Boob Guru”:

I call her the “Boob Guru” but everyone at Milkalicious calls her Jennifer. I swear this woman should be inducted into sainthood for all the good she does for Moms. I first learned that my positioning was not what my daughter liked. We fixed that in literally one minute and what an easy fix it was. My daughter is very meticulous, even now. I find it interesting to learn the textbook way of breastfeeding but experiencing for myself was like a wonderful crash course. I learned more by actually doing then by reading.

Then we learned my daughter wouldn’t latch because she was never taught how. In 20 minutes, she was on the boob, eating like it was her last meal. Once we got a good latch, we removed the nipple shield and my baby went to town! chomp…chomp…chomp! The best part was that in a correct latch, there should not be any pain.

Mastitis: Easy fixable with a few herbs, warm compresses and lots and lots of nursing. Never had it again. I got warm towels, put them in the microwave, cut holes for my boobs to fit through and then nursed with the heat only touching my breasts. It feels like heaven!

I felt my supply was low or not making enough to sustain a growing baby; Probably because I was only pumping at this point. But first, I needed to eat more, drink lots of water. (Hard to make milk for your baby if you’re not feeding yourself first!)  I started taking More Milk Plus pills (3 pills a day, 4 times a day) and goats Rue drops (3 times a day), both made by Motherslove Herbal Company. I got a basket of granola bars, nuts, a few apples, a banana and 4-5 bottles of water by my rocking chair. When I sat down to feed my baby, I also ate a bar, some nuts and an apple along with a drinking a bottle or two of water. Within a full 24 hours, I was a milking machine! We stopped all formula feedings. And two days of having only breast-milk, my baby started sleeping all night. (What a magical feeling a good night of rest is!) By this time my daughter was 5 weeks old. She would get a warm lavender herbal bath at 7:30pm, lavender oil massage, soft ocean waves on the sound machine, warm jammies and a swaddle. By 8pm she was out. She would wake at 4am, nurse and empty both breasts then sleep until 7:45am. Everyday. And she has been an awesome sleeper ever since.

I started to nurse more, pump less, on my babies terms. Sometimes she’d want a bottle or sometimes she nurse all morning. (I was working at the time, sleeping coaching twins for a celebrity client and I pumped through out the nights I was working, this helped me build up an incredible supply) I had a pretty good feeling of what my baby wanted, some “boo” or a “ba-ba”. I felt so close to my baby while nursing, she’d hold my breast, stare into my eyes, thanking me for my efforts with every swallow/gulp. For me, nursing my baby initiated such an incredible bond. I miss that to this day.

My baby stopped taking the breast at 13 months, I was not ready to wean her and at 17 months, I stopped pumping all together. I ended up with a freezer full of milk, donated to preemies in need twice and still had some left over that I thawed and gave to my daughter until she was 19 months. This momma was a breast-feeder.

Breastfeeding: It wasn’t easy but it was a wonderful experience and I am so thankful I didn’t give up. It would have been the easy thing to do…but this Momma is stubborn! Sometimes being stubborn isn’t such a bad thing. But reaching out, researches resources and obtaining as much information was my remedy. I was a mother and I needed to feed my baby, the way my body intended.

With my next baby, I am doing things differently and I feel very confident in my breastfeeding capabilities. I have done a lot of research on breastfeeding, the science of it, how to videos, reading blogs, reading books etc.  I am changing it up. For the next pregnancy, I am not delivering in a hospital, not seeing an OB and not getting induced. Next time, I am seeing a Midwife, delivering at a birthing center, in a birthing tub, all natural (zero interventions/100% drug free) and will deliver on my babies terms. I have a new pediatrician who breastfed her three kids until age 3, two of them she did tandem!  Support is key! I feel so ready. Ready to feed my new baby, stare into their eyes and fall in love all over again, all while he/she eats from my breast. To call the feeling of breastfeeding-bonding “magical”, doesn’t even cut it. I am addicted.

I welcome any comments from Mommies who are having breastfeeding troubles. I’d love to help you. If perhaps you are ‘on the fence’ about which decision to make (formula or breastfeeding) maybe this video will help you with your choice. (Disclaimer: grab a few tissues before watching!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcjKeDyTZP8

Some helpful resources for breastfeeding mothers:

“When in doubt, whip it out!” 


Cooking With Jessica

I am not Julia Child.

I am not Paula Dean.

I am not Giada De Laurentiis.

I am Jessica and I cannot cook worth shit.

The aftermath often looks like this…..

But I really want to get better. I want to learn how to cook. When I was a child, our kitchen was small and with six children around, my mom was more into cooking alone than giving all six of us any cooking lessons. And my mom is an amazing cook, by the way. When she was cooking it was “get out of the kitchen”, mostly out of the safety concern with having seven people in the box, known as our kitchen. She was not just being mean or anything.

But I never learned how to cook. We ate a lot of fast food and often had simple dinners on the table. Sunday night dinner was a different story, though. We always had a good Sunday Night dinner that consisted of Roast, whipped Potatoes and warm brownies with vanilla ice cream, for example. It was like a ritual. Oh the brownies…damn they were good.

Boy did I luck out when I married my husband. The man can cook anyone under the table. (Food Network Personalities not included) He makes such delicious dinners, lunches and breakfasts. His cooking is so good I instantly gained 15 pounds after dating him for a few months and was fired from my modeling contract.

“A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”  Bullshit. The way to Jessica’s heart is through her stomach. Feed me.

I love comfort food. Its my all time favorite. And this year I have made a commitment to learn how to cook. (The local Fire house is on high alert) I have many things I plan to learn but I will start taking cooking classes, first. I am committed. I need to be a better wife who doesn’t rely on her husband for cooking dinner. And Mac N Cheese aint gonna cut it. So I bake cookies. Not trying to toot my own horn but damn! They were good! (toot! toot!!) Over the summer, I made lemon cupcakes with blueberry creamcheese frostings, ALL from stratch, might I add! And for our family’s fall tea coming up, I am trying my hand at making a pumpkin cheesecake. wish me luck =D

Its a work in progress. This is my two year old daughter, making cookies with me.

(Boy was she excited to wear that apron!)







So I will start with easy stuff and see how it turns out. This momma will learn to cook…without a fire alarm going off.

The Next Chapter

I am moving on. I have left the only industry I have ever known to find a more fulfilling and meaningful parenting experience. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, I was heavily involved in the nanny industry for a greater portion of my life. It was my life. I loved helping people, finding them the highest quality in childcare and working with nannies who like me, loved children. But it was becoming something that I had not enjoyed. The families were ‘working the system’, not paying on time and that is if they paid at all! I was working so hard for people who genuinely didn’t care about my efforts and didn’t feel I was merited payment for my efforts. I knew my life was worth more than constantly feeling like shit. It was a never-ending rat race and I didn’t have my running shoes.

Once I sold off my business and moved closer to family, I just sort of fell into writing children’s books. Over the summer I started writing a story about a little boy who has a super hero for a mom. It is titled “Have No Fear, Mommy Is Here!” I just did it for fun. I used to make books when I was a nanny.  Then one day I was reflecting on my nanny career and remembered a time when I was nannying and the six-year-old I was caring for asked me why someone had two daddies. So I took that experience of giving him the right words, to absorb at his little age and starting writing “Addie has Two Daddies”.

For the last six weeks I have been trying to get publishers interested. I copyrighted the title along with the book and sent the manuscript off to an editor. One publisher said “We feel, the content and subject matter of the book is not a compliment to our company.” Thanks but no thanks, jerk. Just admit it…you dont want to represent a book that talks about a unconvential family. Another publisher loved it but they wanted me to pay $7,900 plus an illustrator. I felt that arrangement was quite backwards.

I understand getting published is not easy. I am reading a how -to- guide on making EBooks. My plan is to make the book into an EBook (Once I have a dedicated illustrator) and then make the book into an apple app followed by hardback once I get enough buzz. I know people and have made amazing connections through out the years. I know once this book is released, it’s going to blow up! Sure this sounds pompous of me to say but I am passionate about this book. I honestly feel its going to reach the right people and things will fall into place. It always does. Life has a funny way of working for itself.

So I continue to work, reach out to “power gays”, use Facebook and all social media, read blogs and read ‘how to’ guides to make this book a reality. I am so excited about this book and having you all read it.

Until then, I’m absorbing all I can, reading, studying, learning, watching; as I write the next chapter in The Chronicles of Motherhood.

Be Sure to Add “Addie Has Two Daddies” to your Likes on Facebook!  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Addie-Has-Two-Daddies/258505060855691

Mothers Intuition and Five Other Things Men Don’t Get

  1. Mothers Intuition We all have it. Men, specifically, Dads don’t have this sixth sense. The cough that wakes you up out of a dead sleep, the cry that tells you your baby needs to nurse, the phone call to the advice nurse because your baby isn’t feeling well, etc. etc. For three months now, I have been working with my daughter on her verbal skills. We do a lot of creative play in the mornings (we call it “school”) to help with her communication. I also taught her 50-75 signs, which has been very helpful in determining her needs, wants, concerns and feelings. My daughter just wasn’t progressing, even with all the work I have been doing. I finally buckled down and asked our pediatrician for a speech evaluation, against my husband suggestions who thought our daughters speech delay was a result of the use of sign language. Within 25 minutes of this speech assessment, I saw the phrase, “Child has significant speech delay”, followed by some other words but I can’t remember them. I was focused on these five words. I knew it, it wasn’t just me being a paranoid Mom. My mother’s intuition was right, Our daughter needs assistance with her speech. (The speech therapist actually commented on how well my daughter signs and told me to keep it up as sign language is an avenue for communication, not a crutch as my husband suggested.)
  2. Pregnancy: I am pregnant. I want food. Don’t take a bite of my fucking food! When I was pregnant, I was so consumed with nutrition that I would cry if I threw up (gotta love 23 weeks of morning, noon and night sickness) and I would burst into tears if my husband took a bite of my sandwich. I was on a mission to feed my child, I had 40 weeks to put as much vitamins in my body as possible and this fucker just took a bite of my sandwich. My husband just could not understand why I would be so emotional about him taking bites of my food. Maybe its animal instinct in me, maybe I was a nutrition nut…who knows. But next time I am pregnant, back up and away from my plate. I WILL bite your hand. Consider this a warning.
  3. Childbirth with an Episiotomy: What a beautiful word, right? Doesn’t it just sound so warm and cozy? NOT! I would love for men to experience one, just one. During the birth of my daughter, I was lucky enough to get a stage 4. Yes, that is pretty much the worst of the worst. 23 hours of hard labor, I was given every drug in the hospital and then had my under carriage cut from there to there. Men have NO idea what kind of pain is involved in this. They especially feel awesome when you are sitting 90% of the time after you give birth. I would love for men to have just one, just to experience internal stitches and how great it feels to heal after pushing a watermelon out of something the size of a grape.
  4. Why I Cannot go to bed without checking on our baby, just one more time: He thinks I am insane, but for some reason, I cannot go to bed at night without checking on our daughter just one last time. I go in every night, look over the rail on her bed, brush the hair out of her face with my fingers, get her “favorite Ny-Ny” and place it next to her face, tuck her back under her blankets, check her rails on her big girl bed- make sure they are secure, check her window make sure it’s locked and then once I feel good about it, I leave the room. Its like a nightly ritual. My Mommy friends say they do the same thing.
  5. Acne: Men always get the long eye lashes, the fast metabolism and the most beautiful skin. Today my daughter said “Momma Boo Boo”. No honey, its not a boo boo, its a humongous zit that now has its own zip code. You know its a whopper when a two year old notices it. Here I was thinking it would magiclally disapear because I’m pushing 30 and no. God hates me. I must suffer my whole life. Thanks genetics!
  6. The feeling of solitude I get from knowing my daughter ate her whole plate of food: Its like the biggest complement when my daughter eats my cooking, well, lets face it, it’s not the best. It often sucks. I will admit that! But this Mommy can bake her ass off, and my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the bomb! So when my daughter eats a full dinner and her belly looks like Pooh’s, yes, I am a happy camper.

So Moms, what are your five wishes that men could endure? Am I forgetting anything?