Spring Easter 2015

IMG_3225Today was a bit of a crazy day. First, I am on call so, of course, I had to go into the hospital for a delivery. As an Ob/Gyn we know babies can come at anytime and we are on standby. So today is Easter and I already planned to go to church with my boys. I had their clothes all laid out from the night before and wanted to share this day with them.

Thankfully, my time in the hospital was short enough that we made it to the last mass of the day. Min and I hope that our religious excitement will influence our little ones with morals and teachings in the future. I grew up in the Catholic faith and hope the boys will do the same. All and all today was a good day.

Photos of the boys ūüôā

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Things to consider before IUD

First off, I want to say this is my own experience and anyone considering contraception or birth control should go see their ob/gyn for more information.

Mentally prepare yourself. Intrauterine device is a great method of birth control.  It is one of the most effective forms of birth control Рover 99% effective. Currently approximately 2 million women use it in the United States.  As for me the advantages that were appealing included the length of time for the IUD Рthree years for the Skyla, 5 years for the Mirena and 10 years for the Paragard Рthe efficacy of 99%, complete coverage by my insurance, and not having to take birth control pills everyday.

I picked Mirena because I also wanted a reduction in heavy periods, which had plagued me since my adolescence.  IUD are long acting reversible contraceptives so if you plan to try to get pregnant you can remove it at any time even before the planned 3, 5 or 10 year period especially if you are unsure if you want more kids.  After the removal you can become pregnant.

So when the day comes for the IUD placement Рplan first.  Come during your period, usually at the tail end when the bleeding is less heavy.  Your cervical os, or opening of the uterus, is slightly open making it easier for insertion.  Take something for possible cramping if you think you need it.  When I planned mine I was at the end of my menses, took ibuprofen and mentally and physically prepared myself.

After it was placed I definitely had cramping for 1 week and bleeding/spotting for a good three weeks. But at least I don’t have to worry about pregnancy. Well until I decide I may want another beautiful child. ¬†When I see my little ones I just can’t help but want more sometimes. ¬†Aren’t they such cutie pies?

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Contraception after pregnancy

First off, I want to say this is my own experience and anyone considering contraception or birth control should go see their ob/gyn for more information.

I am now 6 months postpartum. ¬†I’ve endured six loving months of breastfeeding so far and still going strong despite going back to work and my supply decreasing. ¬†I have supplemented with some formula here and there. ¬†Dexter has also started eating as pictured here:

20150114_102547That being said as a breastfeeding mom there are fewer options for birth control.  Only progesterone birth control are recommended since estrogen may lower your breast milk supply if it is not established.  For any moms out there producing breast milk, we all know it is liquid gold or any cute metaphors you might have for this magical substance that grow our little babies.

So what are the options?
1. Abstinence (but that’s no fun)
2. Condoms (High failure rate)
3. Mini progesterone birth control pill (Everyday, same time)
4. Depo Provera injection (3 months but has side effects)
5. Progesterone IUD (Long acting, reversible birth control and highly effective)
6. Copper IUD (Effective but may have heavier menses)
7. Implant (Small rod in arm)

So after at my 6 week post partum visit I opted for Depo provera injection.  Why? Because it was readily available and easy for me at the time.  I do, however, regret getting it.  I had more side effects than I cared for and ended up having to take estrogen pills for a short time due to the hypoestrogenic effects on my body.  Not everyone has the same problems but both pregnancies I had the same side effects.

After the three month period, I switched to Mirena, a progesterone IUD that is effective for 5 years. ¬†I will say it was a great decision and I am very happy about it now. ¬†The first week was a bit painful since I had cramps like a period and had vaginal spotting here and there for 2 weeks. ¬†I hope that my periods will be lighter as it is common with among most¬†Mirena users. ¬†It’s been almost 4 weeks so we shall see how this goes. ¬†I am happy I don’t have to take a pill everyday and that my side effects are minimal. ¬†Definitely not looking to get pregnant anytime again soon.

Ethan just loves trains

Your dad and I promise to get you the whole subway train set one day… We love you so much. ¬†Your fascination with the train stations and your vivid imagination make us so happy. We will always cherish these moments and hope many more with you and your little brother.

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Winter break

Today I finally had the chance to take Ethan out to try out his brand, new sled we got him when the huge snowstorm hit the east coast.  However, he got very sick that week and we did not get the chance to venture out and enjoy the beautiful white snow.  Feeling all better this week and right before the New Year (Lunar New Year РYear of the Ram). We trekked to a small hill at Tear Drop Park in Battery Park City and it was a blast.  The weather was sunny and cool at a balmy 30 degrees (It was single digits all weekend).   We went up and down the hill as Ethan cheered all the way down, every time. We got into snow fights, in which Ethan made super snowballs he could not lift.  He was adorable! I would not change this morning for anything.  I just love my little guy.  Hopefully by next year I can bring little Dex too.

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Water Theme Parks as Parents

Winter has been very harsh on the Northeast and like many other New Yorkers, I am feeling a bit cooped up. So I decided to take a mini day trip to a water theme park with my boys.  We packed up FOUR bags worth of swim trunks, change of clothes, extra diapers, towels, floaties, etc.  Pretty much the works because you never know how it is with a toddler and an infant at an indoor water theme park during the winter.  At one point I thought maybe we should pack a suitcase.  I stopped myself because this a day trip not overnight trip.  Yes, I suffer from over packing and over prepping but in the end I always think it is worth it.

So after a couple of hours driving we arrived at the Coco Key Water Park in New Jersey.  It was packed! We bought our tickets and went straight to the locker room to change.  Min had Ethan and I was with Dex. Ethan looked so excited when he came out and Dex, well, he could care less.  It was not the balmy 84 degrees as the website promised but we made it into the water.

So here is how I will highlight the big difference between being a parent and not. ¬†I remember when I went to the water park “sans” kids. I would run up and down the slides, went to every attraction, and splash in the wave pool. ¬†I would always skip the lazy river unless it was a crazy, wave river that propelled you all the way through. ¬†I would come home tired and hungry.

This time the lazy river was the first attraction we hit. ¬†It was tame enough for both kids and Ethan loved the waterfalls. ¬†Dex was sitting on the tube looking calmly around as we floated. No waves just nice and calm. ¬†Then we headed to the kiddie pool and slide. ¬†Sadly adults can’t slide down with their kids so we would walk up to the slide then walk back down after Ethan would slide. ¬†We hung out in the kiddie pool splashing and then more lazy river. ¬†And I came home tired and hungry.

It’s funny because although we did not go for us and it was definitely for the kids, I was so happy at the end of the trip. We went and got Tex Mex for dinner. ¬†Ethan was all smiles and every time his eyes lit up during the trip my heart swelled up. ¬†I didn’t need the super fast and steep slides; I just needed to get out and have fun with my boys. ¬†My husband felt the same way. ¬†Our family time is so precious to me. ¬†Life changes with kids in ways you never expect. I end with a quote: “Being a parent is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It‚Äôs everything.”¬†‚ÄĒJill Smokler

NB. We, my husband and I, did get to check out the slides. Min went first while I watched the boys then I sneaked after.  It was snack time for Ethan and nap time for Dex.  In the end, we got a little excitement too.

Sleep or lack thereof

Sleep is a precious thing and you do not know how much you miss it until you have kids. You take it for granted and fight it; coffee, red bull, energy drinks – whatever works. YOLO right? And then you have kids and you wait until you can sleep like you did in college again. Dex, who is now 5 months old, is finally sleeping longer stretches now but still wakes up for his twilight feed around 2-3am and then for his morning feed at 630am before I head off to work. I think I have gotten used to the schedule by now but by no means does it decrease my need for caffeine at 2pm. Instead I have been substituting with Mother’s milk tea with honey to give me a sugar boost and in turn, increase my breast milk supply. I used to catch up on sleep on weekends but it has now been replaced with family time with my two boys. I loved it and cannot get enough time with both of them. Ethan is growing into a little man in front of my eyes and Dex will be walking before I know it. So yes, there are my energy drink substitute now because I fight sleep to spend more time with them. My husband is just the same. He is just a deeper sleeper than me. Lucky him ūüôā So I’d like to end this blog with a quote:¬†

“Sleep is out… tired is the new black.” – Amy Poehler¬†

You are so spot on, Amy… And here’s what makes it all worth it

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40 Weeks Meetup

Tomorrow will be the first time moms, dads and babies from 40 Weeks will be meeting up since the premiere of the documentary. I am so excited to host this event! I am currently making strawberry cupcakes and snacks for tomorrow. When 40 Weeks premiered at the Angelika in Manhattan I felt a connection with the other moms from the documentary and a few of us got to bond at the after party. We friended each other on Facebook, send encouraging text messages, and are planning for road trips already! Being a parent gives people such a strong bond. Our lives have changed and I am so lucky to have made so many friends along the way. Each journey is different but being a parent unifies us. 

I have to confess that being a second time parent has been difficult. There is no “me” time anymore just “Ethan time” or “Dex time” or “Ethan AND Dex time.” I love being a mom but between breastfeeding, crafting DIY enriching activities, changing diapers, train track building, eating well balanced, natural, organic meals (or trying to) and bath time; there is no time in between. Now times that all by two and on top of all that I have started working. For example, our five year anniversary is coming up and I have been trying to lose some of this baby weight I’ve gained between the two pregnancies. The only time I have to even attempt to work out is after both boys are asleep which is after 9pm. By that time I am pooped. Laundry, dishes, the whole house still needs to be cleaned. So what do I do? Do one thing at a time but working out seems to take the back burner. I hope cleaning will count as my work out. Just waiting till the boys get older and it is warmer outside. Maybe I can start jogging with them. Yes, wishful thinking ūüôā¬†

Can’t wait to see the 40 Weeks crew!
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