Wednesday, August 26, 2015

at-home, natural pregnancy salve

So, the first thing I worried about when I got pregnant was, "oh my gosh, I don't want stretch marks!!" I immediately went out and bought every over the counter cream I could (mind you, I was 6 weeks pregnant... I didn't "show" until almost 21 weeks).

Anyway, I just didn't care for the stuff I bought so I made my own and I thought I would share! I love it and although it isn't cheap, I really think it works the best. Plus it's much more natural - I mean what mom-to-be wants to be putting a lot of chemicals on their tummy?!

First I will tell you what I used and why, and the recipe will be at the bottom.

Coconut Oil - When applied to the skin, coconut oil has a moisturizing effect. It sinks in deep, conditions, moisturizes, and softens skin. It isn’t pumped full of water or petroleum byproducts like many commercial cleansers or lotions either. Coconut oil naturally clears away dirt, grime, and dead skin cells. *

Tea Tree Oil - This essential oil is known for its uses as an antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral agent. But tea tree oil is also lesser known for its skin healing properties. Many users have reported that applying tea tree oil to scars and stretch marks on a daily basis works to reduce the appearance noticeably. **

Shea Butter - All all natural Vitamin A cream. It's great for dry skin, relieves itching, and has been shown to help with stretch marks.

Cocoa Butter - Is what the Palmer's brand uses as it's main "focal point." Provides extreme moisture and is said to help improve the elasticity of your skin,

Vitamin E Oil - vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. It helps support new skin cell growth and speeding up cell regeneration.

Beeswax - Helps heal damaged skin, restore skin's own elasticity, and keeps the skin supple. 

Ok, so I picked these as my base and I really love the outcome.

At-Home, Natural Pregnancy Salve
7oz of Coconut Oil (raw, refined, and organic)
.25oz of Tea Tree Essential Oil
1-2oz beeswax (I use beeswax mostly to thicken the mixture, so I don't have an exact measurement)
2oz Vitamin E Oil or BioOil
1oz Shea Butter
1oz Cocoa Butter

I placed all of the ingredients in a large mason jar, then placed the jar in a small pot of boiling water. I watched it carefully and made sure to stir it often. After all the ingredients had melted together, I poured the mixture into a heat safe tupperware bowl. *Tip: do the beeswax first, it takes longer to melt.*

The mixture last me about 2 months. I will warn you, because of the tea tree oil, it does have a strong oder but I actually have grown to love the smell. I apply it at night so that it can soak in over night. It is pretty oily, and you can add more beeswax to help cut that or add less Vitamin E. 

**Disclaimer** - I am not a doctor or nurse. I did research on natural things for skin and scars and this is what I finished with. I love it. Suggestions are welcome!**

* - more information -
**Learn more:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

in mourning

Let me preface this post by saying I was taken aback by the flood of emotions I started feeling last month ago. I started to feel sad. Confused sad. Weird sad. You see I am currently in mourning.

I am mourning the end of my time pumping.

Yes. You read right. Pumping.

On July 8, my little Miss turned one and I was still pumping 3-5 times a day. I never in a million years thought I would pump for over a year. There are several reasons why I kept pumping, the most important being that Mila was a premie with a major surgery and the second was for financial reasons.

Last night, the Main Squeeze, who is also a CPA, and I guesstimated that I have spent over 32 days pumping. Yes. You read correctly I spent over a MONTH attached to that pump.

46,800 minutes
780 hours
32.5 days

The past year flew by in a lot of ways but I was shocked with that number. Thirty days! After her first birthday I started the slow process of stopping. I have heard horror stories about trying to wean from breast feeing or pumping so I wanted to take it slow. I was so excited to stop! I wouldn't be confined to a room. I wouldn't miss any fun conversations with my family. I wouldn't be in pain if I was a few hours late. Excited, I was!

When I got down to once a day, I was very confused and was sad. I've heard about women struggling with their little ones weaning from breast feeding but not from pumping. I felt very silly as to why I felt this way. I mean, hello!, after a year attached to a machine you would think I'd be excited.

When I told the Main Squeeze he was just as confused as I was. He couldn't understand why I was sad about something I have been complaining about for over a year!

I started to realize that a lot of the emotions I was feeling were similar to the 5 Stages of Grief. After loosing my dad and grandpa, I am very familiar with the stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance).

I was in denial that my daughter was one and would not longer need breastmilk (although I have a lot of frozen so guess what Mila, you ain't done!). When she was in the NICU and was unable to eat due to her surgery, pumping was the one thing I could do for her. I was one thing I had control over in a terrible, uncontrollable situation. I was angry that I didn't understand why I felt so attached to pumping, something that I have really hated doing. Well, hate is a strong word, but I really didn't enjoy it. I began to bargain with my emotions. I justified my feelings and also tried to ignore them. I became depressed, and this I still feel like I can't explain. I assume hormones. And now, I accept that my feelings are ok and that this time in my life has ended.

the day I said goodbye

Like any habit, it's a hard one to break. So much of my days for the last year were consumed with "GET MILK!" I can't even begin to tell you how many times I said, "I have to go pump."

I officially stopped pumping July 27th. The first couple days weren't the most comfortable but after 8 days I was back to "normal." It felt strange to not be tied down to the pump but after about a week the sadness went away. Thankfully, I have a good bit frozen so Missy Moo will still be getting breastmilk for the next 2 months.

I am proud to say I pumped for over 12 months and I am glad it's over ;)

Monday, August 3, 2015

sweet adeline

Baby Adeline,
         I'm not always the best with words but I hope you know how excited I am to meet you. I have been waiting a very long time to be your aunt and in less than two months I will get to hold you! But, there is something I want you to know. 
         Your mommy & daddy are two of the most beautiful people I know and I know they will be awesome parents! They have spent many years loving each other and soon they will get to share that amazing love with you. You are one special lady! 
         I hope you get your mom's smile and your dad's sense of humor. I hope you are opinionated, strong, and kind. But mostly I hope you know how much you are loved. Even now, before you make your grand debut, you are incredibly loved. You are loved by your mommy & daddy. You are loved by your entire crazy (but fun!) family. You are loved by friends. And you are loved by the Savior of the World. 
         Sweet Adeline, I love you so very much and I feel so honored to be apart of  your life. I hope I can be a friend when you need me, a source of adventure, & the cool aunt I always wanted to be. 
                                                                                                          Aunt ML

((Photography by me: Mary DeCrescenzio Photographer))