Category: Daily News

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

World Breastfeeding Week | oliverandtara.com

 

This week is World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW). This week is used to raise awareness of breastfeeding and its benefits. The generations before us did a LOT of damage to breastfeeding culture. It has been seen as “offensive”, “unnecessary” and more. Women who were completely capable of breastfeeding were told they could not feed their child. This is different than women deciding breastfeeding isn’t “for them”. This was (and still is) a direct attack on the women who want to choose breastfeeding for their child. I always knew we would choose, Lord willing, breastfeeding for our child. And it’s a decision I haven’t regretted. But it sure wasn’t easy!

Facts [you may not know] about Breastfeeding

  • You burn as many calories while breastfeeding as if you walked 7 miles
  • Most mom’s give up their breastfeeding relationship before their baby is 6 months old
  • By kissing your baby, your body can identify the antibodies it needs and create that in your milk
  • Babies who breastfeed instinctively stop eating when they are no longer hungry. Bottle-fed babies often empty the whole bottle
  • Breastfeeding exposes the baby to many different flavors, based on the mother’s diet. This encourages children to try many foods when they begin solids!
  • Research is beginning to show that children nursed 3+ years get a boost in the IQ department

 

Things I’ve Learned

  • Someone once told me “It’s the most unnatural natural thing you will ever do”. Gosh were they spot on!
  • You NEED support from those around you. Your spouse, your family, your friends. That is what keeps you going at 3 am when the baby is screaming for food but still can’t figure out that latch
  • Your baby really does know how to get your milk to “let down”. My guy will squeeze, hum, sing, squish his face into me .. whatever it takes! My grandmother noted that calves do it to the mother cows as well. Thanks Gram…
  • You MUST swallow your pride. If you really believe this is the road you want for your child, you need to ask for help when/if you need it.

The picture at the top of this post wasn’t easy. I am very proud that I breastfeed Liam. However, I am an extremely modest person (breastfeeding or not). I’ve worn a bikini once – on my honeymoon. I almost always have a camisole on under my shirts. I don’t even walk around my house in my underwear, much less nude! But I really felt I needed to take this picture. I wanted to give others a gimps into our breastfeeding world. It’s an amazingly complex and colorful daily adventure. I’ll take you on a walk through it in the days to come …

❤ Tara

 

Link Party Button #milkingit

Happy Hips!

Happy Hips: A Breech Baby Update | oliverandtara.com

For those of you who missed this post, Liam was born full-transverse breech. The gist of it? He was born with his feet touching his ears. This has caused us all sorts of car seat drama, along with other precautions we’ve had to take to ensure we are careful with his hips in a very key development time. We met with an orthopedic specialist this week to check on their development.

Here is how the appointment went…

I called the office to schedule an appointment. Upon hearing about Liam’s birth, they fit us in for the same day. We arrived about 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. Thank goodness too, because it took me about that long with Liam and his new found mobility (read: thrusting himself headlong in any direction that fits his fancy). By the time I turned in the papers I had to include an apology … as Liam had eaten part of them. Yeah. Moving on.

X-rays were done first, to make sure the doctor had the FULL picture. These were done by a VERY large Samoan man and, much to the gentleman’s surprise, Liam LOVED him. Apparently the poor man scares a lot of children with his sheer size. The wort part of this was having to leave him on the table, unattended, while they did the actual x-ray. I just prayed “please don’t roll, please don’t roll”. The three seconds it took to take the image felt like a year! I raced behind the wall, he snapped it, then I raced back to the bedside. Mama was panicking, Liam was entertained by the light on the machine. Figures, right?

 

Next we were placed in a small exam room with a table, chair and stool. Nothing safe for baby, so we sat on a blanket on the floor and played with toys.

Note to new mamas: never leave home without at least a swaddling blanket in your diaper bag! They come in handy EVERYWHERE! 

IMG_20130730_165822

When the doctor came in he was able to REALLY explain what was going on, while showing us the x-ray. Apparently we were looking for a few key features in developing hips.

Image Source: Oregon Health & Science University
Image Source: Oregon Health & Science University
  • Femoral Ossific Nucleus:  This is the little bone that appears on top of the leg. In the image above, it looks like a little rounded pyramid on top of the femur bone. This is supposed to develop between 3 and 6 months of age. It is significantly delayed in babies with dysplasia. 
  • Acetabular Angle: This is the triangular section you see between the hips and femoral ossific nucleus. You have a concern for hip dysplasia when it is ~ 30°

Here are Liam’s hips …

IMG_20130730_215325

 

At ~ 23° and with both femoral ossific nuclei developed…

Liam’s hips are NORMAL! *insert happy dance*

And that, my friends, is your A&P class for today. *wink*

❤ Tara

Happy 6 Months!

IMG_20130714_195133

 

Dear Baby Liam

You are 6 months old today. I can’t believe it’s been half a year since the day we met you. We waited so very long for you, the whole day was surreal. I still remember the little things about that day. The music playing in the OR. Daddy’s smile. The look on Papa’s face when we told him your name. Mommy’s friends taking turns holding you. Since then there have been so many wonderful firsts for both of us. The first time you latched, smiled, laughed, reached for me, slept through the night… rolled over, sat up, woke daddy up by tapping him.  Just this past week we went to a library lapsit. As I sat on the rug, singing and listening to stories with you, I looked around at the other moms and started to cry. At one time, I had convinced myself I would never be able to attend something like this. But there I was, being a “mommy”. At the end of the song and story time we sat, chatting with other mommies and babies. I was even given my first mommy playdate card.

Each night, as you sleep in your bed, I say a prayer for you. As each of these firsts happen, I find my prayers get longer. I find I have to add a new item. When you were first born I prayed against SIDS. Then I began praying for physical, emotional and mental health. Soon I added your wife, your developmental milestones … all along always praying that daddy and I will be the parents you deserve, and that we can raise you to be an amazing man of God.

I’ve documented so much of your life. I’m sure I’m driving people crazy by filling up their social media feeds. But it’s just too much joy to keep to myself. To keep bottled up. You are such a blessing, and you bring so much joy to so many people. You are loved, prayed for, kissed and snuggled by so many. Daddy used this “snap happiness” to create a very special gift for us.

For the past few weeks, daddy has been working VERY late. Tonight, when I got home, daddy sat me down. I was afraid he was going to tell me some bad news. He turned his computer towards me, and showed me this…. I cried…

(thank you Uncle Ryan for helping daddy!)

Happy half birthday little man. Happy happy birthday. You didn’t get a cake tonight, but instead some water from your new cup and your current favorite – avocado!

 

❤ Tara

Fear Is A Thought…

Fear is a thought | http://www.oliverandtara.com/fear-is-a-thought/

A friend liked this on fb today, so it popped up into my feed. And stopped me dead in my tracks. And trust me, that’s impressive. Because I’m moving FAST today trying to get things done! Why did it stop me?

Fear stole so much from me. Joy. Opportunities. Hope. Options. Learning to deal with it has opened so many doors. A private practice. Patience. A big move. Hope. Joy. Liam!

For the longest time, my fear was never having a child… infertility planted the seed of fear for me. Not but I’m not ashamed any longer! And I’m learning every day how to deal with my fearful thoughts! Oh, none of this is EVER easy… my gosh, overcoming fear is harder for me than figuring out how to be a mom has been! It’s an uphill battle against my sinful heart and flesh. What’s hardest is its sneaky…. it gets into your head and heart when you aren’t looking and all of the sudden you are drowning in it!

What do you fear? Sometimes just making it public helps release some of it. I promise not to laugh.

❤ Tara

A Mom’s Body

*This is a (slightly edited) fb status message I posted late last night regarding THIS article – please read it first!*

I love the comment about surrendering your body to motherhood… that is it EXACTLY! Not only in shape and size. You GROW a child. You are at your body’s beck and call while that blessing develops inside of you. Then you BIRTH a baby. No matter how it happens, that child then comes out of you and that leaves behind its mark. Now you have this beautiful being who needs you at their beck and call for comfort, food, development….

Why can’t we see that this surrender makes our bodies BETTER than ever. We waited for so long for Liam, yet there are some days where I hate my “tiger stripes”. But I am happy to say they are few and far between. More often than naught I can look at myself in the mirror and say “I GREW A FREAKIN’ BABY – THAT’S AWESOME!” But men, listen up. A big reason that I am able to do that is because of my husband. He is constantly telling me (and proving to me) that I am hotter now than ever – because I grew, birthed, feed and care for our beautiful baby with this body.

My body is no longer my own. And I am learning to find joy in that.

❤ Tara

[And mamas in waiting, use this time to prepare. Prepare to let go, prepare your mind and heart. Because, although you will never be fully prepared, your future babies need you to be happy with who you are and how you look. It’s how your daughters will learn to take pride in the body God gave them instead of the one the media tells them they should have. And it’s how your sons learn to value a woman’s heart and see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. And adoptive mamas/aunts/etc … your attitude towards your body is just as important. And those littles need your hugs, laps and kisses just as much!]

Transverse Breech

Liam was a c-section baby because he was transverse breech. That has a lasting impact on a lot of the decisions I make for him on a daily basis. Many people have no idea what transverse breech means, and thus don’t understand my explanations when I say we “can’t” do something, or I have to adapt milestone expectations for him. So, here is a little explanation.

Transverse breech: In a Transverse Lie the baby is lying sideways. The head is on one of the mother’s sides and the bottom is on the other.

A picture is available via that link to help you understand. In Liam’s case, he was on his back, with his feet over his head, up under my ribs.  The real impact was apparent when he was born…

breechlegs
Blacked out to protect the innocent 😉

 

Yep, those are his feet, up over his head! It took forever for them to come down. The doctors explained to us the need for constant monitoring and that we need to be aware his leg move differently that other babies. The biggest concern is possible hip dysplasia in the future. Each doctor appointment always includes a hip check. This involved flipping him onto his stomach, buck naked, and looking at his leg length and creases. They want to see both legs the same length (for obvious reasons) and that all the creases line up. It’s quite interesting actually! All of the creases and folds down a baby’s thighs should be symmetrical – his are for right now!

Hi legs have been something I’ve constantly needed to brainstorm, especially because I *LOVE* babywearing.  He can’t sit in some baby carriers the same way as other babies, he doesn’t fit into “infant inserts” the way others do and he struggles to get a good “seat” with his legs splayed. But it has its benefits! For example, he has easily rolled onto his side since birth. When your legs hang out straight and up, you “tip” easily! Haha!

<3 Tara

A change in the winds…

*Disclaimer: Yes, I have been extremely negligent in this blog. But with all of the drama around Liam’s birth, then surgery 3 weeks later… mommyhood has taken its toll. Oh.. and the news below too…

marypoppins

I am a huge Julie Andrews fan. Like, huge huge. One of my favorite movies she starred in is Mary Poppins. I love how Mary Poppins’ gentle, yet firm, spirit is what changed the heart of a whole household. I also love how she fostered the children’s curiosity. I always hopped I would grow up with a bit of Mary Poppins inside of me. But this isn’t my point … my point is this. Do you remember how, at the end, the winds changed and signaled that it was time for her to move on to a new home? I can clearly identify with that right now… the winds have changed for the Roehls. As of September, we will no longer be California residents.

This is a bittersweet announcement. When we left Illinois 5 years ago, it was a bitter announcement. We were leaving a place we hadn’t ever planned on leaving. When we realized that Illinois would not provide the career opportunities we needed, we set our sights on Oregon, Colorado and North Carolina. The only place I told Oliver and God (ha!) I wouldn’t move, was California. *ahem* God put me in my place REAL quick with that one! We were given an amazing opportunity in California, and we moved here. I can see so clearly now why God had us come here. I have made some great connections, close friends and even best friends here. We had fantastic job opportunities that furthered our careers and helped us see, even more clearly, God’s plan for our lives. All along we had a 5 year plan… we kept this 5 year plan in the forefront of our minds. We even took two trips to our other “choices” (Portland and Denver) to continue towards the decision of our next location.

During our time here, we purchased an investment home. It was in no way our “forever” home. We never LOVED it, but it has provided us so many opportunities to learn and demonstrate hospitality. It’s given us a shelter from the storms of the world (we don’t mean actual rain…), and it has come to hold a special place in our heart. This home is where Oliver first carried me across the threshold (yes, he really did!). It’s where we first decided to start a family. It’s where we learned we would struggle with infertility. It’s where we’d curl up in bed and cry as we waited for our child. It’s in the front bathroom where I discovered I was pregnant – where I stared into the mirror in complete shock before slumping against the counter. It’s in the living room, on our sofa, where I first told Oliver he would be a father… it’s the front door we carried Liam through when we brought our promised child HOME. Although we don’t LOVE this home, there has been a lot of love in it and a lot of memories were made here. It’s hard to leave, but it is time.

 

Our home - for sale
Our home – for sale…

 

So, where are the Roehls headed next?! Remember how we had been planning on Portland, Denver or North Carolina? Well, we went and visited Portland together and, although beautiful, it just wasn’t “us”. We also really wanted to be near family… so North Carolina was our next choice. Oliver’s mom, sister, brother and my sister would all be just a days drive away. We’d also  be significantly closer to our family in Ohio. I began talking to college friends who lived there and secret shopping for the private practice market/ competition. That’s where we ran into a BIG hiccup. The socioeconomic status of the state, along with the income-to-“cost of living” ratios were WAY off (based on our careers). North Carolina was no longer looking like someplace we could “get ahead”. And we weren’t about to move to a place where we’d struggle to make ends meet – been there, done that. About this time my dad took a job in Boulder, CO and Oliver had two cousins who had been living in Denver for some time. In October, while I was VERY pregnant with Liam, we took a trip out there. On the plane we made a pact NOT to fall in love, but to keep our heads about us. Two days into the trip, we’d fallen head over heels. I asked Oliver to not make me make any decisions until AFTER Liam arrived. Liam was born on a Monday, on Tuesday Oliver began discussing the move *smile*

So where are we at in this whole process? We placed our home on the market last Wednesday. Over the course of the week we had over 60 groups visit our home and  last night we signed papers on one of the offers. It should be finalized in less than 20 days, and we will no longer be California home owners. For the summer we will be living in my father’s work condo in Sunnyvale (about 20 minutes from our home) with my mom, Chief and the 2 chinchillas. And in September, we’ll move to Colorado! To say 2013 has been a whirlwind year already would be an understatement. But we are at peace with our decisions and we are ready for the next chapter – all THREE of us are ready. *smile*

Come what may, all the glory goes to Christ. So Colorado, here we come!

<3 The Roehls

 

 

 

He’s Arrived!

Liam John MacKinnon Roehl arrived at 12:57pm on January 14th. Daddy and mommy were both able to be in the OR together, holding hands and awaiting his arrival. He was a true breech, feet clear over his head and butt first. As our amazing OB brought him into the world we heard shocked phrases such as “wow! What a big baby!”. Later he was weighed in at 9lbs 7 ounces at just 20″ long. Shortly thereafter he demonstrated amazing lung capacity, again shocking everyone in the OR. Daddy was able to stay near him while they wiped him off and swaddled him. A nurse brougt him over to mommy to see. The anesthesiologist took him from the nurses arms and placed him on mommy’s chest, allowing her to stroke his cheek and say hi before they took him away.

It wasn’t our dream delivery, but it is the child we have always dreamed of. And THAT is what matters. He is a great eater, very alert, and clearly knows mommy’s voice and daddy’s touch. He sleeps in 2-4 hour stretches right now, giving mommy time to recover and daddy time to acclimate.

We are so VERY in love!

image

<_3 tara="tara" and="and" oliver="oliver" p="p">P.S. full birth story coming at a later date… God orchestrated so many events and His hand was clearly on our little man. We felt your prayers and thank you for covering us. It’sbeen an amazing 24 hours! And Tara’s heart performed perfectly!

The last week…

This past week is our last week without baby boy a part of our life. I’m a tad addicted to pictures … and document everything. So here is a sneak peek into our last week without baby!

lastweekcollage.jpg

Top to bottom, left to right:

  • baby boy is making it harder to fit into booths at restaurants..
  • with ym sister in town, we’ve had a few fun game nights over at my parents’ house
  • We went to Benihana’s for mom’s birthday… my niece was quite entertained!
  • I went to IKEA for the last of my “nesting” items .. and a good walk as well!
  • As we assemble items, “Fred” has been our test dummy. He is a doll my grandma gave me before my brother was born 24 years ago!
  • We took my niece shopping with my mom’s friend. She was quite entertained emptying every contained she could!
  • My sister and I were quite entertained at the “double standard” we found throughout the mall..  It looks like someone stole his pants and left him in his argyle socks while the chicks are busy fulfilling fantasies.
  • I’ve begun work changing my burlap Christmas wreath for our next celebration – baby boy!
  • My niece loves crawling between my legs. Leaving me with the view of one cousin underneath another!
  • My FINAL physical therapy appointment pre-baby … three times a week since July and then suddenly we’re done! Time for baby!
  • Some dear girlfriends came over and helped me organize some of my craft room – the goodies I found! Including my flashcards from grad school!
  • This lotion has been AMAZING the last month and a half – here’s hoping my feet remediate themselves once baby isn’t on board and this lotion can be retired until the next little one!
  • My pregnancy shoes – elastic straps, slip on breathable and good support for my feet. These have been my best friends the past few months!
  • Pedicures with my sister before D-day! And yes.. those are packing peanuts between my toes. Looks like the economy has even effected the nail salon!

Sunday night I’ll post another collage, from our final weekend with “baby on board”. And this will be the place to find pictures and updates on Monday!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Three days left …

Emotions …

That’s right… we’re less than 3 days away from meeting him. I’ve loved every single day of this pregnancy. You can even ask Oliver – I have found joy in every single minute! You won’t find me complaining about swollen ankles, lack of sleep or anything else. I just couldn’t – we waited so very long for this time that we haven’t been able to contain our joy! It’s overflowed every morning when we wake to my growing belly and our giggles every night as we drift off to sleep talking about this baby.

What I’ve found is, I have been so excited about this pregnancy and the adventure of it, that it has been hard for me to change my mindset and think about NOT being pregnant. I won’t lie .. there is a sense of loss there. Not just loss of this time, but loss of control. It has been hard for me to realize how apprehensive I am about not being able to protect my baby 100% of the time. Right now he is ALWAYS with me, I know how he is, I know when he moves the most or where he is lying currently. Everything happening with the delivery and hospital is making it even harder to have this control taken from me. But the past few days I have really begun to think about Sunday night. The last night I will go to sleep with baby boy inside of me. The last night I will get kicked if I accidentally roll onto my back. The lasts of a lot of things. But it also is giving me time to think of the firsts that will come Monday. The first time I’ll hear his cry when he comes into this world. The first time I’ll count his fingers and toes. The first time he’ll hear my heartbeat from the outside. The first time he’ll hear my voice on the outside, as I introduce myself as ‘mommy’. The first time I can touch him…. that last one is a really hard one to think about, since I still don’t know when it will happen. But it will happen, at least I know that… and it will be magical.

I am tearing up just thinking about Monday… but for a change it isn’t out of fear and frustration. Now, those feelings are still there. But as God continues to give us peace and orchestrate the events of Monday, I am finding the overall thought of Monday is a waterfall of excited emotions. For the first time in weeks I feel I can finally (again) say… I CAN’T WAIT! It feels good to feel this way again, rather than just beat up and run down from all of the stress. Again, it’s not gone, but excitement has taken the upper hand once again.

Medical News …

Yesterday I went in for my echo at Good Sam, and today I went in for my appointment with the Good Sam cardiologist. What a relief to find out she only had good news for us!

  • The head doctor for reading echos from Stanford was in the Good Sam cardiologist’s office today doing echos. My cardiologist showed her first my echo from December, then from yesterday. Her response? “Why are you wasting my time showing me normal echos?” Yep … there is NOTHING wrong with my echos!
  • So, come Monday, I will simply be hooked to a normal heart monitor, will spend 24 hours on the cardiac floor (hopefully less!) and then will finish out my time in the hospital on the Maternity floor. I mentioned to my cardiologist that our OB had received tentative permission for baby and Oliver to stay with me, but only if we have a private room. She assured me she could twist a few arms and for SURE get us that private room! She listened to my heart again, review my history, and assured me I am a perfectly healthy pregnant woman.
  • The cardiologist will stick her head in on Monday to see if they want her to stay, but if not, she’s going to spend the day in her office – since there is nothing wrong with me! *smile*
  • The cardiologist specifically requested and obtained the anesthesiologist of her choice for my c-section on Monday. Now, doctors recommend each other all the time, so it’s hard to know if they are REALLY good or just scratching each other’s backs. But before I could ask anything, my cardiologist goes “and just so you know how good she really is – I had back surgery 1 month ago and I specifically requested her for myself! She’s the best!” Well, ok then!

Why …

We don’t know why … we don’t know why we had to go through all of this. Why nothing is wrong with me, yet everything had been changed as if there were something broken. We don’t know why baby went breech so late in the pregnancy, or why we’ve had to fight simply to allow me to hold my husband’s hand when our baby enters this world, or why I can’t hold my baby right away after waiting so many years for him. But as I’ve said, post after post … there is a REASON. And whatever it is, I trust Him who is in control of it all. Because His plans are ALWAYS better than ours. He planned the specific time for this baby to come into the world – and for some reason it involved a lot of waiting and tears. He’s also planned this birth – and again it has involved tears. But if I have learned anything, it is that God is GOOD and only has GOOD things for us. May our little warrior come into this world according to HIS will, and not ours.

<3 Tara and Oliver