11 month old Gabriel has his 3rd open heart surgery resulting in full heart transplant

JOIN THE FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER FOR GABRIEL Hosted by my friend Tara Knight

Gabriel’s Journey

Please help support The Reck Family in getting Gabriel the medical care he needs to keep his new hero heart beating and his body thriving. He has already made it through his first and second open heart surgeries at 6 days and 4 months old, and now a full heart transplant at 11 months old. He will need close monitoring and take medicine for the rest of his life just to live . . .

With 4 girls at home and over an hours drive back and forth to the hospital, funds are needed so the family can stay with Gabriel as much as possible while he recovers. His care will require time, specialized care, travel, appointments with many types of doctors and the support of those who love him!

Gabriel was born with a rare congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). This condition means the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Basically, he only has half his heart working for him and ultimately should receive a heart transplant.

Please take the the time to give, even if it’s only $5. Every little bit will make a difference and be appreciated beyond words!

UPDATE – 3/22/15

Update from Gabriel’s mom (3/22/15): Sunday update : The main medication he receives for rejection, Tacrolimus, is still being adjusted to suit him. Dr.Lecuyer said he looks great and he is thinking Tuesday he should be ready to go to Ronald McDonald house. Once at the Ronald McDonald house (which is with in walking distance to hospital) he will come to the hospital twice a week to see the Cardiologist and he will also have PT, OT, & speech therapy either two or three times a week. At every cardiology appointment they will draw labs to check the levels of his medications and adjust them as needed, they will do an ekg & echo of his new heart as well at every visit.  (taken from the GOFUNDME page)

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Sicky Wednesday and Emetrol to the Rescue

Emetrol 

Product Rating: ♥♥♥ (5/5) works almost instantly…  for ages 2-12 (but I take it too and I am in my mid 30’s)

I think Wednesdays in my house are officially now called Sicky Wednesday instead of Hump Day.  This is now the third week in a row we have been sick.  First started with the little guy getting the nasty stomach bug.  Then last week I had the stomach bug, hence the week of no blogs.  Today started off fabulous.  We went outside and played for a few hours, delivered some baby things to a friend, went grocery shopping, played outside a little more before coming in for lunch and what was supposed to be nap time.

He spent a good hour puking everywhere and taking 2 showers.  He finally stopped vomiting after the second dose of Emetrol.  Our first experience with Emetrol was a couple of months ago when he was vomiting uncontrollably the nurse in the ER gave him this to help settle his stomach and it worked almost instantly.  After that I added it to our medicine cabinet.  When the stomach bug hit us last week I broke down and took 2 teaspoons every time I started to feel nauseous and it worked wonders.

It has been a long afternoon and you guessed it, no nap for the little guy today.  It might turn into a very long night.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Sore Nipples

Sore Nipples…  WOW  I remember those.  When I started nursing my nipples would be sore.  Mainly because I never breast-fed before and the little guy was new to eating.  I thought once he got a good latch the soreness would go away and sometimes it seemed like it did.  Here are some things I did to help relieve the pain and what types of pain I was having.

Chapped Nipples – It seemed like the little guy lived on my boobs for the first 4 months of his life.  When my nipples would get chapped I used nipple butter at first, mainly because it was a baby shower gift.  But after joining a mommy support group one of the moms said how she used coconut oil.  I thought that sounded weird but what the heck I needed relief.  I went to the store and bought a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil.  It worked fabulously, my nipples were softening up and I wasn’t worried about harmful chemicals on my skin or my little guy ingesting it.

Sore from Breastfeeding – Cool compresses worked wonders.  If the hospital I was given 2 circular gel filled pads I could use to help elevate the soreness.  When those wore out I went to the dollar store and bought 4 round kiddie ice packs.  I put them in the fridge to make them cold because I didn’t want them to be frozen.  On the plus side, I now have 4 ice packs for the kiddo when he falls and gets a bump.

Diet Changes – A friend suggested adding more citrus and vitamin C into my diet.  So I ate more Kale, Broccoli (that made my little one have gas), oranges, lemons, pineapple and limes.  Not sure if it helped or just helped to keep me healthy.

Questions submitted here go directly to my email

Breastfeeding Wednesday – A Question from a Dad

Today’s letter comes from Ron.  It is nice to see a dad writing in.

Dear Dawn,
My wife is breastfeeding our first born and I feel left out.  Not just from the baby’s life but from my wife’s life as well.  Is there anything I can do to be more involved or feel more involved?
TVM,
Ron

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your question.  There are a few ways to feel more involved.  I would nurse everywhere in the house.  Sometimes my fiancee would be sitting next to me and we would hang out.  When my milk supply started to drop he helped by helping me relax.  He helped massage my breasts gently.  It wasn’t a sexual thing but it helped him still have contact and helped my milk let down.  I would also pump a lot of milk and he would give our son bottles from time to time.  There were times I would be nursing in bed and he would gently massage our sons head.  It was tender and sweet.  I am amazed at how much just those little things meant to me.  One of the nicest things he would do was get our son if he was crying and bring him to me.  It was something small but sometimes those little actions mean more than flowers or gifts.

As for the sexual aspect.  I always laughed and said I didn’t understand why parents have less sex.  Why should having a baby hinder sex.  WOW, was I in for a shock.  LOL  It is amazing how priorities shift and being intimate shifts to cuddle time and relaxing together.  We are both so tired at the end of the night during the week that we pass out  before our sex drives kick in.  I will give you some hope, intimate time gets much easier  once the baby sleeps through the night.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Nursing while Sick

With flu season in full swing this question was asked via email

Dear Dawn,
I have recently started to feel sick and I exclusively breastfeed.  I have pumped milk but my 9 month old has never had anything other than my boob.  I have heard that I should stop breastfeeding but that doesn’t make sense to me.  What did you do and do you have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Mikella

Dear Mikella,

I nursed non-stop.  If you are feeling sick due to a common cold or sinus irritation I would continue to nurse.  I nursed even when I was sick.  When you breastfeed while you are sick you are passing your antibodies to your baby.  It is like giving your baby additional resistance to being sick.  If you are sick for a prolonged period and you need to see a doctor for your sickness I would make sure to ask them what they think you should do.  In some cases the Doctor will put you on medication that could pass to the baby through your milk.  In that event you want to make sure you pump as much as your baby would eat.

Check with your doctor to see what medications you can take while nursing but my one warning…  Don’t take Sudafed or anything that will “dry” up your sinuses.  If it will dry up your sinuses it could have a direct impact on the amount of milk you will produce.  Steam showers, vick’s vapor rub, Johnson & Johnson vapor baby bath wash, and hot tea were my go to items.  I hope you feel better soon and you and your little one stay healthy.

Sincerely,
Dawn

Monday Movie Review – The Lego Movie

 

Thank you Cinema Salem, Salem Ma, for having The Lego Movie as the Baby and Me show this week.

Movie Rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5/5) Movie Trailer Posted below.

The Lego Movie was better than I was expecting it to be.  My toddler was too busy running and flirting with the other 2 toddler girls that were there.  I was impressed with how the story keeps moving and I didn’t get bored.  I like how President Lincoln has a cameo, it was fun.  The main song “everything is awesome” is so catchy.  It is a feel good movie great for kids of all ages.  The ending was a complete surprise.  I wasn’t expecting such a great ending.

I absolutely LOVED this movie and it is on my MUST BUY as soon as it is released!!

** Because of the holiday week there might not be a Baby and Me show.  If that is the case I will review a Red Box Film.

Breastfeeding Wednesday on Thursday – Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural capture it on film

You have to love a house of sick people.  A sick toddler on the other hand is like living with the spawn of something demonic.

Last week I posted my favorite breastfeeding photo in hopes to spark mothers who are breastfeeding to take a photo or have someone take a photo of you breastfeeding.  Not a posed one, but one that is completely natural.  I only have 2 photos of me breastfeeding because for the first 4 months of my son’s life I was hooked up to a small vacuum machine that had me wrapping tubes everywhere to keep them out of the way.  I happened to have my cell phone next to me one day when I was nursing him and the cat was up purring away so I snapped a quick couple of pictures.

Feel free to share your images below.  Coming up Next Week:  Sore Nipples …

Please note when filling out the contact form it is kept private and goes directly to my email.

Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Boy!!

It is really amazing to think that 2 years ago I was in the middle of hard labor at this hour.  I was giving our little guy pep talks about how nice it would be to come out into the world and be with his Mommy and Daddy.  He was stubborn then and I should have realized it was just the beginning.  He is a strong-willed little toddler who has grown so much before our eyes.  He turns 2 today and the poor thing is sick.  We started his birthday celebrations last weekend to kick off his Birthday Week and with him being sick we have delayed the Grand Finale to his Birthday week giving him 2 weeks of birthday goodness.  LOL

Last year he had a double ear infection, thanks to his 1 year molars.  I would love to blame this bout of sinus and respiratory bug on his molars too but I am sure it is more a combination of the yo-yo weather from 40 degrees one day to 9 degrees the next and that we go to public play places all the time to run around.  So my poor little sicky pants spends another birthday sick.  bahhhh!!

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Working Mama

Cross-post from MoMWoW.org

I was contacted by Shoele of the Working Mama Project.  She has read my personal blog about breastfeeding and has shared with me her wonderful project.

I see that you write a lot about breastfeeding and think that this project might be an interesting topic for you. I have made photo project called Working Mama with focus on the beauty and nature of breastfeeding. I hope that you would like to support my project.http://igg.me/at/workingmama/
Best regards,
Shoele

She is putting together a coffee table book with photos of Mother’s breastfeeding.  I admire what she is doing as to me it seems so beautiful to see a mother breastfeeding her baby.  In other countries Breastfeeding isn’t shameful like it is made to feel here in the US.  I will admit I was a mom who was proud to breastfeed in public.  For the most part I used a cover but when the little guy grew so he didn’t like them I nursed without one.  I am excited to see Shoele’s dream of having a coffee table book come true.  Check out her video and her crowd-funding page.  Even if you don’t give, it is interesting to share in her dream.  I look forward to the release of her book.

On a personal note: I often look at breastfeeding mamas with such awe and I smile at them.  When my supply started to drop seeing a mama breastfeed with ease would make me sad because I wished breastfeeding was an easy venture for me.  Oh but was it ever hard yet so rewarding and special.  Words can’t describe the love I have for breastfeeding.  I know many moms who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t for one reason or another.  I also know moms who never had the wish to breastfeed yet they all were supportive of my decision to breastfeed as long as possible.

In support of the Working Mama Project here is my favorite picture of breastfeeding my son.  Our youngest cat liked to lay behind our son as he breastfed until he got too big, then she would lay at my feet or on my legs.  To this day she sleeps next to his crib at night and for naps.  On occasion she will sleep in our room with us.

** Please email me questions or fill out the form below and I will post a response to them. 
MoMWoWNY@gmail.com

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

Breastfeeding Question Wednesday – “Help My boobs are leaking!”

This is a cross post of my Blog Entry on MoMWoW.org

I was asked this in an email and would like to respond here so more people can benefit from my answer.

“I am a first time mom and I am exclusively breastfeeding.  I pump between feedings but my boobs are leaking milk.  Do you have any suggestions how to stop it or what to do? Thanks, Leah”

Dear Leah,

Thank you for asking this question.  I had a similar thing happen a couple of weeks after I had my son.  I did a couple of things to help with the leaking but it eventually cleared up in time.  I noticed my breasts would leak every time my son cried or if I was just a little over the time of a feeding.  I took a cloth diaper insert and cut it to make pads for my nipples.  This worked great.  They were super absorbent and wicked away the milk so my nipples didn’t get chapped or overly wet.  Not to mention it was much more cost-effective than using disposable nursing pads.  When I was out in public and the little guy wasn’t hungry I would excuse myself, run to the bathroom, make toilet paper pads and cross my arms like I was giving myself a hug with the heel of my hands on my nipples.  Like plugging a leak in a pool.  This helped a little but I think it was more for my peace of minds than anything.  I was lucky that this all occurred in the winter when I was able to throw on a sweater to hide my leaks.

If your issue with leaking is due to an over-supply then most likely it will continue until you are finished breastfeeding.  I didn’t have over-supply so I can’t give you a first hand review or experience but I know some mom’s who did and they bought a neat nipple shell that collected the milk they leaked.  They were able to put the collected milk in a bottle or bag and save it for a later feeding.

I hope this helps with your milk leakage and it stops for you soon.

Sincerely,
Dawn Leoni – a former EBF Mommy

 

** Please email me questions or fill out the form below and I will post a response to them.
MoMWoWNY@gmail.com