Thursday, February 16, 2012

teething: what works for us

We love Hyland's Teething Tablets in our house! They really help ease the discomfort and crankiness. We used them for Em and we are going through them like crazy for the boys. I do not recommend using their teething gel as it contains parabens.

Rescue Remedy is an awesome trick that my midwife taught me. You can get the regular one or the sleep one (preferably with the spray top). Normally you would spray some of this in your mouth to calm yourself down but for a small child or infant you can spray some on their feet or wrists. You can also use it while you are pregnant if you are having trouble sleeping at night. This stuff is great for any kind of fussiness not just teething.

Baltic amber teething necklaces may be one of the more "far out" things on this list. Personally I was a little skeptical until I read Emma's review where she tried it out herself. I have actually been surprised at how well they have worked for us.
The way baltic amber works is that when it is warmed against the skin it releases oils containing succinic acid. Those oils are absorbed into the skin and work to relieve inflammation
While the dark amber is very beautiful the lighter colored amber is known to work better.  Ours is actually lighter but the way the photo above is edited it looks darker.

There are plenty of reputable amber teething necklace dealers. However if you are like me and need multiple this can get kind of pricey. We ordered ours for $3 a piece off of ebay. Beware that there are lots of people selling plastic imitations on there so if you risk it be sure to test your amber to make sure that it's real.

Babywearing is a great option for teething (or when your baby is extra fussy for any reason). I would not be surviving my twins as well without my Ergo. Ergo is not the only option however I would strongly advise against using something like a Baby Bjorn style carrier. Here are two great articles and reasons why to avoid that style. You should know this stuff anyway...


Nine Reasons Not to Carry Your Baby Facing Out


here is my favorite ergo baby carrier review

Unfortunately some days none of this may fully cut it. You will have to resort to the drugs. I know on occasion we do. Sometimes teething sucks so much that even the drugs don't fully cut it.
I never recommend baby orajel or anything containing benzocaine. It's rare but it can cause SIDS like symptoms according to the FDA.

Whatever your drug of choice I always recommend buying dye free. Dye is just one more thing that you don't want to be putting into your kids. Especially when you are given a choice.

And of course there are always things like sophie the giraffe, raz-berry teethers, frozen carrots, frozen breastmilk popscicles, frozen waffles (supposedly great for catching drool), & frozen bagels.
And when they are quite a bit older frozen peas are an excellent snack while teething too.
And last but not least....
I highly recommend checking out the wonder weeks. If teething is really bad it's possible that your baby is teething through a developmental leap (an already fussy, sleepless time) or it's even possible to mistake a developmental leap for teething. On the website you can even sign up for an email reminder right before your baby goes through the leap so you can prepare yourself.

Update: Check out my post "Developmental Leaps & Sleep Regressions"

I'm linking up with "The Mommy Club: Share Your Resources and Solutions"

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Twin Pregnancy

December 20, 2010
I was 20 weeks into my second pregnancy.
This pregnancy had been quite different from my first. Before I had gotten pregnant this time around E & I had been walking four miles everyday. So when I found out that I was expecting I didn't stop. But then I just couldn't do it anymore. Our last walk was maybe a mile and I was so light headed I called Crunchy Dad (or CD from now on) to meet us at the end of the driveway. Another weird thing about this pregnancy was that my hair didn't stop shedding. That was a little scary to me because I knew it was going to fall out again after the baby came. I was lucky to hardly have any nausea or morning sickness. But the hardest part of this pregnancy so far had been finding a good midwife.
At this point in time CD had not found a good job around here. So I was on Medicaid. Fortunately there were quite a few midwives around here that take medicaid so I went on a tour of DFW birthing centers. And did not find a single midwife that I really liked. Some were worse than others but I ended up going with the closest one.

She was a really interesting midwife. She was a CNM and her birthing center looked like Cracker Barrel threw up. Seriously one of the birthing rooms was teddy bear themed...and had a shelf full of stuffed bears. But the worst of it was that she had a student. And her student did everything while she sat at a table in another room and did paperwork.

So back to December 20, 2010

I'm laying on the bed in the birthing center, the ultrasound equipment hooked up, and we see this...

And before the tech says anything we both know. He says, "I hope that you are in a good mood." And in a matter of moments everything has changed. There are two healthy boys, both measuring a little small, but that's normal for twins we are told. Then we are whisked into the midwife's office...where she, the nurse, and her student try to ease the shock while also dropping me as a client. They don't know another midwife who will take me outside of hospital and in the hospital I would be required to deliver in the Operating Room. I made a comment about going to Ina Mae Gaskin's farm to birth and they look at me like I grew a third head. 

It was such a hard day. I cried a lot. I even called my wonderful midwife in Tennessee that helped me deliver Em. She told me a story about a birth she attended with Ina Mae that was so encouraging. I owe a lot to this woman. Because of her my daughter's birth was magical. Through that positive experience she taught me that I could do this.(I owe that to my sweet doula too.) After talking to her I felt better. I was still pretty scared and depressed but I was more empowered.

I ended up finding a really amazing midwife that was even closer to me than the first. Medicaid would not pay for her but it was worth it to me to have such good, respectful care. I am so glad that I did. She immediately directed me towards a high protein diet (120 grams a day), celtic sea salt, and vitamin c.

I saw almost immediate results in upping my protein. My first ultrasound showed my twins being small for their age (with baby B being smaller than baby A), which I was told was normal. Subsequent visits showed them being the same size and right on target. It was great to see my hard work paying off.

 Diet is something often very overlooked by providers during pregnancy but is imperative if you want to have a natural twin birth. If you are pregnant with twins and are looking for that kind of information check out Amanda's post on it. This is the best source of that kind of info that I've seen on the internet.

Another reason I am so thankful for my midwife is because I developed PUPPS. It's a terrible, itchy, make your life miserable kind of rash. The worst part of it is that most OB's do not know how to treat it. If you don't believe me just google it. They say you are stuck with it for the remainder of your pregnancy. That's simply not true. What is true is that drugs will not help. My midwife knew what to do. So within a week of following her advice the PUPPS were gone. (that's another blog post I need to write)

One of my babies was breech and that was another issue that I dealt with. Sadly many OB's are not even taught how to deliver breech naturally anymore, but many  that do consider breech "another variation of normal".  I urge you to do your own research. No holds your or your babies best interest as highly as you do.

Here is a great article about why C-sections are not always the best option for a breech birth.

If your baby is breech I personally recommend seeking out a provider who is experienced and supportive of breech birth. It is always good to have a back up because it is worth changing providers to avoid unnecessary risks, in my opinion. Then try moving your baby. The best resource I have found on this is
We did try moving my breech baby with the webster technique, pulsatilla, and moxibustion. 
He did turn, but he turned back. In the end he was changing position almost daily. 

Last but not least if you are pregnant (especially with twins) I highly recommend chiropractic care. Your pelvis and joints can so easily get out of alignment while pregnant and even more so while carrying two babies. Also carrying twins was a lot more uncomfortable than carrying a singleton and my chiropractor helped a lot. Here is some more info on that.

I made it to thirty-four (almost thirty-five weeks). You can read about my natural twin birth here.