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Family Court

If you have been following me from the beginning of this blog, or have just read my about post then I am sure you know that Eleanor’s biological father, Spencer,  and I haven’t been together since I found out I was pregnant. During my pregnancy he came up with some incredible stories about how the baby couldn’t be his.  Spencer saw Eleanor once when she was roughly 5 months old, at that time he told me he would like to be in her life, would pay child support, ect, ect.   We never heard from him again.  

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Spencer and I, June 2011
Before I found out I was pregnant, I would have been 5 weeks at the time. 

 

We started the process of getting child support, custody agreements and visitations worked out in May 2013.  He asked that a DNA test be done for him to be sure that she is his child. This was granted and the date was pushed back to July 3rd so we would have time to complete the DNA test.   

On Wednesday July 3rd we went down to the court house, and were both given the results of the test, of course, they were positive with an in-arguable number of 99.999%.  I finished up the papers saying that I wanted full custody, supervised visitations, any child support payments that seem fit and everything back owing in child support for the last year that he hasn’t payed.  Spencer forgot to bring his paper work with him, so the date has now been pushed to August 21st.  He is to bring all paper work necessary, including proof that he is paying child support for another child. 

Thankfully, Spencer and I can get along just fine.  He actually mentioned in court that he is sure next time will be the end of things because we agree on just about everything.   He did mention that there was something about the visitations he wanted to talk about, which I am sure is the supervised part.   I only want it that way because he is a complete stranger to her, and I have no idea how either one of them are going to react to each other, nor do I know if he will actually show up for his visits and I’d like to have it done in a place that will record these things in case the time comes where I need to use them.  He also was not allowed to have un-supervised visitations with his son until his son was 3 years old, I do not know the reason for this exactly, but I’d like to be safe with my child’s life. 

I am so excited for all of this to be over, although it has never taken an extraordinarily long time in court when we have gone, it has been a long process that I’ve been waiting for since  she was born. 

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Plugged Ducts and Mastitis

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies, soon to be mommies, angel mommies and step mommies out there.   I spend a very interesting day with my family, and although it would have been nice if it was a little less eventful, I still had a pretty good day.  

I woke up this morning with my left breast unusually sore.  I noticed that it was quite red, and hot a long with having a hard lump.  On a closer inspection I also noticed that my nipple had a blister on it.  I really wasn’t too sure what was going on, I had heard of plugged ducts and mastitis before but I have personally never experienced one.  So, I headed to the pro and quickly explained what was going on to my mother.  At first she said it sounded like it could be mastitis and we may have to take a trip to the walk-in clinic.  

We both agreed that trying home remedies for it would be our first step.  I put an icepack on it for 15 minutes to ease the pain a little, and that worked fine but there was still a lump and it was still quite sore to touch.   So I hopped in the shower and tried to hand express some milk to try and drain the area of engorgement – nothing was coming out.  My mom suggested I try and “pop” the blister to see if that was blocking it, sure enough it was and after I had drained the milk I felt a ton better!   Of course, my nipple is still sore, especially when Eleanor nurses, but for now I’m just alternating between letting it air dry and putting cream on it.  

The area that was engorged hasn’t become that way again, although I can still feel a small sore lump and the redness and heat has gone down considerably so I do believe it was just a plugged duct.  Thank goodness!

 

Some tips I learned for helping a plugged duct are 

  • Breastfeed often from the breast that has the plugged duct: Feed your baby from the side that has the plugged duct first. Frequent breastfeeding may remove the blockage in your milk duct.
  • Position your baby to help empty milk from the plugged duct: Hold your baby so that his nose is pointing toward the area of your breast with the plugged duct. This helps drain breast milk from the plugged duct.
  • Massage your breast before and during breastfeeding: You may also do this while you take a hot shower or bath. Massage your breast with firm pressure from the area just behind the lump to the nipple.
  • Express milk after you breastfeed: Use a breast pump or your hand to drain extra milk after your baby is done feeding. You can also express milk if your breasts are too full for your baby to latch on.
  • Apply warmth to your breasts before you breastfeed: Put a warm, wet cloth on your breasts or take a warm shower or bath. You can also lean over a sink or basin of warm water and place your breasts in it. This may help remove the blockage and increase your milk flow.
  • Apply a cold pack to your breasts after you breastfeed: This may help decrease swelling and pain.
  • Ask your caregiver about medicines: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are common over-the-counter medicines that help decrease pain and swelling.

 

Have any of you experienced a plugged duct or mastitis before?  Did it deter you from breastfeeding?   Please share your stories!

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Toddler Breastfeeding

When I was pregnant I had no doubt in my mind that I would breastfeed, in fact I was determined to make it to a year.  Thankfully it was very easy for us, Eleanor has always had a good latch and I have never had any issues with supply.   That year has come and gone now, and just before he first birthday I decided that I would wait and let her self-wean when she was ready.

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For the past few weeks I haven’t liked breastfeeding, in fact a few times I’ve said I hated it.  Every time I sit down it seems to be an invitation for her to climb up on my lap and pull them out for a snack.  She is happy to be on the boob every hour, sometime multiple times an hour.  There are times where she will nurse for 30 minutes and other times its barely 5 before she gets distracted but if I cover up again she loses it.   We’ve done standing nursing, jumping nursing, upside down nursing, food in the face nursing, just-because-i-can nursing.  Then there is the scratching, pulling out one boob and two minutes later switching to the other one (repeat 5-10 times), the pinching, the smacking, the headbutting.  As much as I’d love to say that I sat and smiled while she did all this, its far from the truth there were times these nursing sessions sent me running to lock myself in the bathroom.

I needed someone to tell me it was okay, so I looked around and I learned some things.

Its normal
She is starting to understand that we aren’t the same person, and her “boobies” can walk away.  She has also discovered that she has her own mobility, and she wants to bring “boobies” along, I mean no one would go hiking without a water bottle right?  Her nutritional needs are growing with her, although Eleanor does amazing with solids  breast milk is still perfectly adjusted to her needs and her body can tell so its no wonder she wants it so much.

It makes her feel better, like most toddlers, Eleanor is constantly falling, tripping and getting frustrated. She doesn’t always need breast milk when she falls but she wants the familiar taste and smell of mom, the skin to skin and the cradled position.  I would even go as far as saying that by being so quick to comfort her I’m helping her develop the confidence she will need to comfort herself later on. 

Our relationship is changing. She doesn’t always want to be held or worn in a carrier.  These days she really likes to get down and do her own thing.  Sometimes she loses track of me.  Others she gets so busy exploring and playing that she forgot to see what I was up to.  And then there are the times where mommy finds her climbing on something she shouldn’t and she’s quickly and quite rudely snatched from the middle of her adventure.  In those moments she may need to remember our connection, and an important element of who we are to each other is our breastfeeding and it reaffirms our bond quickly.  

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Eleanor’s developing behavior is a reminder that she is always growing. My baby is, in fact, leaving babyhood. In our breastfeeding relationship I have realized that I need to set some boundaries  Breastfeeding should be a mutual relationship, so it needs to work for both of us.
If I know that she is okay, and doesn’t need to be fed I make her wait for a few minutes before she can nurse if I’m busy.
When she starts to move and twist too much, just like with biting I end it saying “Ouch, that hurts mommy” and putting her down. Sometimes she is happy to go on her way, other times she gets upset, but it seems that she is more settled then.
When I really need a break I offer her something else, juice in her sippy cup or a snack. I love that my milk can sustain her even though her nutritional needs are growing, but I’m not to keen on being a snack bar.

Knowing I can comfort just about any hurt is amazing, but she can get hurt just about every 10 minutes  We need to work on other comfort measures. Thankfully we are lucky that we live with family so other arms are always open for cuddles, we’ve even found that others can get her calmed down and moving on much faster then me! So when I’m starting to get irritated they can step in. Its a great preventative measure to keep resentment from building.
Ellie and I are both having to start letting go. I don’t believe she is doing this to manipulate me, its a part of the developmental fast track she’s on. Remembering that she is going through a lot right now reminds me to respond more gently when what I really feel like doing is putting her down and locking myself in the bathroom.
These things help me keep going when it gets tough, and the boundaries give me hope that this won’t be forever. Slowly, my patience is growing.

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We’re not going to stop breastfeeding any time soon, neither one of us are ready for that. That doesn’t mean I never feel like stopping, I still feel crazy sometimes but we’re going to be fine.

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But are you happy?

Recently, an old friend and I have gotten in touch.  While we were talking about how our lives have been since we’ve last talked, which was when I was 15 and he was only 14 he asked me a simple question. “But are you happy?” 

This really made me think, lately I have been so wrapped up in all the things I dislike about my life that I have honestly been making myself absolutely miserable.  Things like being behind on a couple bills, and the clutter in my house, silly little things that can be fixed.  Sometimes its things I can’t fix, such as being stuck in the house most of the time.  Without a car, and weather not permitting we don’t really go anywhere.  Seeing the same four walls everyday gets old.  I don’t really have any friends, I don’t know if that was a part of having a baby, or being out in the middle of nowhere.  

These things do kind of suck, but am I happy?  Of course I am!  I have a smart, beautiful daughter who I am lucky enough to stay home with.  I get to be there for every new accomplishment she has, every smile and kiss. I get to take care of her every day, with no worries about someone not doing something right with her.  I have a wonderful boyfriend, who I still get excited to see when he comes home from work.  Someone who I can talk to and enjoy spending time with.  I have a sister who always knows how to cheer me up when I’m down and loves to play with bug.  I have a mom who I am lucky to see every day, the same person who has been my best friend all through life.  

Yes, I am very happy with my life.  Thank you for reminding me. 

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Controversial Parenting Tag

1. Pro-life Vs. Pro-choice
I believe that every woman should have a right to dicide what is best for her body.  Now, before I get told that I am an awful person for this, hear me out.  I personally think that abortion should be a last result, because there are other options.  I don’t think it should be used as a form of birth control, because again, there are other options.  But what someone else chooses to do with their body and their pregnancy is all in all, none of my business.
 2. Baby Wearing
I love baby wearing.  Ellie and I do it on occasion, and I wish we had done it more.  When she was little I couldn’t find a sling or carrier that I found comfortable, once I did find one that I love, she was much more independent and most of the time just wanted to get down and play.  I do hope to baby wear a lot more with any future children I have.

3. Circumcision
This is why I am glad I had a girl the first time around.  Personally, I would not get my son circumcised.  From the research I did about this topic before I found out I was having a girl I don’t see any reasons why it needs to be done and I don’t think I could handle hurting my son like that because I hate watching Ellie get needles.  Anthony is uncut, and is quite happy with that, and also doesn’t want his sons to have it done.  At the same time, if someone decides to circumcise their son, I don’t care.  To each their own.

4. Adoption
I don’t have a lot of people in my life that have experience with adoption, but I know that it can be such a beautiful, yet heart wrenching journey to adopt. It’s one of the most selfless acts any parent can take part in for their child.

5. Baby Piercing
I don’t have a problem if parent’s choose to pierce their children, I have personally debated with this time and time again.  I would like to get Eleanor’s ears pierced when she is young, but I think I would like her to be a bit older.   Maybe around two years old.  I had mine done when I was a toddler and we never had any issues with them, but all of my sisters were made to wait until they were 10 (ish) and each one of them got infections really badly, one of them even had their ear close up and grow around the earring.
6. Breast Milk Vs. Formula
I personally breast feed, and will breast feed my future children as well if possible.  Studdies show breast is best, but if someone cannot or will not breast feed it is their choice.  No judgement here.
7. Spanking
This is hard one for me, thankfully I haven’t had to decide to use it or not yet.  I was spanked as a child, and I know it worked for my mom.  I would rather not spank, I think I’d prefer to talk about it, use time outs and every other form of discipline punishment before resorting to spanking.   Right now Ellie is too young to understand time outs, or spanking anyway.

8. Co-sleeping
I think co-sleeping is wonderful, I personally have done it since Eleanor was born.  In the younger months it is so much easier and much more convenient.  But now that she is a year old we are having trouble getting her to sleep on her own in the crib.  Because of that I’m not sure if I will co-sleep again with the next child or not.   Every family has to do what works for them.

9. Home Vs. Public Vs. Private Vs. Charter Schooling 
I would love to be able to home school my children, but I just don’t see it working out.  I have no experience with private or charter schooling so I don’t really have an opinion on them.  Public school was okay, and I figure that’ll be what my children go to as well.
10. Vaccinations
we vaccinate, but each and every parent has to make the decision that best fits their family. I will leave it at that
11. Medicating Children
I really have no experience with this subject.   I think medication should be available for children, in some cases I hear that medication really makes a huge positive difference, and others I hear very negative things about it.   As I said though, it should be an option.
12. Cloth Vs. Disposable diapers 
I tried cloth diapers for a few days and personally just couldn’t get into the groove of it.  Maybe it was because I am so used to disposiables that I really have no idea what to do with cloth.  They say that it is a very easy process, and I’m sure it is once you get the hang of it but I gave up quite quickly on that.   I love the idea of it though.
13. Cry It Out Method
The CIO method was used on me and my sister, and I remember listening to my sister cry for what felt like hours and just wanting to go into her room and make her feel better.   I personally will not use this method, because I just can’t stand hearing my baby cry like that. I hear it works wonderfully for some families though.
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A Proper Introduction

My name is Kyla, I am 18 years old and began life in a little town in Ontario.  To hear my childhood counsellor say it, my life has been a hot mess.
My parents are divorced, on my dad’s side I have a half brother, on my mom’s I have two half sisters, and two step sisters. We have moved around a lot, and I attended many different elementary schools, and two different high schools.  I have always been the “difficult child” of my family ranging from two year old tantrums where I would destroy other peoples belongings,  the pre-teen drama, the high school self harming and drug experimenting days, to the most recent and best, teen mother.

I found out I was pregnant in August 2011,  I had just dumped my boyfriend because, frankly, he was an ass with some major trust issues.  Spencer, the ex-boyfriend, already had a one year old son at this time.  I informed him of the pregnancy, and that we would not be getting back together because of it.  He said he’d be there for the baby.
November 2011 I found out I was having a girl and on March 20, 2012 Eleanor Elizabeth was born.  I was induced at 37 weeks because of cholestasis, so she was a bit on the small side, weighing in at 5lbs 11oz.

Ellie, or bug as we call her most often, is now 13 months old and is still small, 19lbs 7oz and only 27 inches tall!  Spencer has seen her only once, when she was roughly 4 months old.  Currently, we are waiting on a DNA test (because apparently the fact that she looks just like him, and I only slept with him means nothing to him) so we can continue on with figuring out child support and visitations.

Anthony, ohh, Anthony.  My best friend from high school, who became my boyfriend when Ellie was 4 months old.  He has been acting as the father figure, and she calls him daddy.  This guy is honestly amazing, and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  Seriously, the only complaint I can ever come up with about him is that he works a lot.   He is wonderful with Eleanor, and we have a bright future planned out for us.

Currently, I am living with my mother, and youngest sister barely scraping by while we wait for things to settle down after the most recent split up between her and my now ex-step dad.  I would like to go to college, and eventually become a Child and Youth Worker.   For now, I am content with being a stay at home mom to my wonderful little girl.