It makes me sad to say it, but you are no longer a baby. It seems like overnight you have morphed into a full-fledged toddler – and I must admit, I love it! Every where I take you people ask “how old is she?” and when I proudly respond that you are 15 months, they always say “she is soooo cute!”
You finally started letting me do your hair without yanking the hair tie out immediately. You have really thick hair, but it’s grown in at different paces, so pony tails take some finesse on my part. It seems like once you have your hair up you suddenly morph into a little girl vs a baby.
Your language has exploded and you are talking a ton. Doggie, woof woof, mommy, dada, baby, milk, bye bye and yes are all some of your many words, but your favorite word? “NO!” Yes I couldn’t believe it when you started with the NO’s because we don’t really say that a lot, but you figured it out and like to let your will be known!
Of course, out of all your words, “Mama” is my favorite.
You mastered walking last month and now happily toddle along. You are getting more and more confident on your feet and have even started walking down stairs at the park. You are still a big climber and will often use random objects, like the laundry basket, to get some leverage to climb higher and higher.
I take you to the park pretty much every day so you can enjoy the outdoors. You like to swing, climb, slide, eat grass (when mom’s not looking), but once you spot a dog, you have a one-track mind to PET. THAT. DOG! You’ll say “dodee, dodee!” or “Woof woof!” as you walk over to pet it. (here you are with Aunt Amy petting a dodee)
Now that you’re older and talking, it’s been so fun for us to have “conversations” with you. Last night we went out to get Mexican food and on the way home I asked you “Lila, did you like your dinner?” You said “Yeah!” Then 10 minutes later I asked you the same question and you said “No!” I guess you must have changed your mind? :)
Every day with you gets more and more interesting little bug. You are growing up right before our eyes and it’s just the best thing I have ever seen. You’re our independent, confident, curious, happy girl and we love you to bits.
I’m excited to say that we are officially weaned! Lila has moved on from nursing for about a week and a half, and I can feel myself starting to go back to normal. I was sort of expecting to have some sadness around the end of nursing, but if I’m being honest, I mostly just felt relieved!
We have started talking about #2, but I told Luke that I want to make sure I am 100% healthy and ready to be pregnant again before we go there. I’d hate to think that baby #2 wouldn’t get the same healthy environment to grow in because #1 stripped me of all the good stuff!
So in an effort to understand exactly what was going on with my health, I recently went to see a Naturopath. I’m not a big fan of medicating, so the holistic, get-to-the-root of the problem approach of a naturopath appealed to me. I’m seeing Dr. Tara Finley here in Reno, and she’s awesome. I knew we’d click immediately when she told me she believed in a Paleo, Weston A Price, GAPS approach to nutrition – pretty much how we’ve been eating for five years.
With Dr. Finley’s help, we ran a series of tests:
Nutrition profile: this looks at all my levels of vitamins and minerals to see what I may be deficient in
Hormone profile: to see how my thyroid, estrogen and progesterone are all working
Food sensitivity test: this shows how my blood reacts to 100+ different foods
Cortisol test: using a saliva sample four times in one day this test showed how my cortisol levels were registering
It was somewhat expensive to get all these tests run, but …. wow …. the things I learned about my body were crazy.
First, I learned that I had a Candida overgrowth that was causing nasty headaches, exhaustion, crazy sugar cravings and a psoriasis outbreak (first time ever). I registered at extremely allergic to yeast on the food sensitivity test and through some online research was able to put together that the antibiotics from my sinus surgery, coupled with the cortisol shot my ENT gave me resulted in the yeast in my gut to grow out of control. I immediately started treated that with a yeast killing protocol, diet and lots of good probiotics.
Second, I learned that my cortisol levels were off. I was starting the day with lower cortisol than I should (hence why I had trouble getting out of bed) and ending the day with elevated levels (hello insomnia!). Thankfully, this is a somewhat easy fix with special supplements morning and night for three months to get things back on track.
Third, I learned that I have a sensitivity to all dairy and eggs. I didn’t register as “allergic” to any of it, but elevated across the board. I am doing a 6 week no dairy/egg diet to allow my gut to heal. Then I will reintroduce the foods one by one to see how I feel. I am going to start with butter, because cooking with ghee is not cutting it!
Fourth, and probably most important, I learned that I have a gene mutation called MTHFR. I am heterozygous for a1298c and c677t. It’s super complicated, but basically my body is unable to methylate properly. Methylation is the process of converting key nutrients and minerals into their active form that your cells can use. So basically I have all these good nutrients floating around in my blood, but my cells are unable to process them so they can be put to work.
We figured out I had MTHFR after I showed up as deficient in B12 … despite eating a ton of meat. I was also deficient in folate, B6 and vitamin D. Dr. Finley suggested I get the MTHFR bloodwork done to confirm. I’m so glad I did and know for sure I have it because MTHFR can cause a lot of scary things like miscarriages, infertility, down syndrome, autism, depression, spina-bifida, irritable bowel syndrome, stroke, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome and more.
Apparently 40-60% of the population has an MTFHR mutation and don’t know it. If you have any issues listed in this link, get tested! It was easy bloodwork covered by my insurance.
Thankfully it appears somewhat easy to treat. I have to supplement with already methylated forms of folate and B12. I also have to avoid toxins (MTHFR makes is harder to release toxins) and try to sweat them out often through baths or saunas. I’m sure there’s SO much more I could be doing to help it, but we’re still just trying to figure it all out.
Any way, I know it sounds all doom and gloom like “ahhh look at all these things wrong with me!” But in reality, the tests also showed that I am very healthy all around and now that I can pinpoint and treat my issues, I’ll be able to feel confident going down the pregnancy rabbit hole again …. when we’re ready!
It’s been a really neat process to get a complete view of my health. After having a baby and nursing, it can feel like the life was literally sucked out of you. It was reassuring and eye-opening to learn exactly what is going on with my body. I feel like I’m on the road to feeling great.
When Lila turned one, we officially began the process of weaning. At that point she was still nursing five times a day, but thankfully took cows milk well. I began to slowly eliminate one feeding a week and replacing it with a bottle.
While pregnant with Lila, I wasn’t afraid of labor or delivery, or the changes to my body, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to nurse. I had heard a lot of horror stories and almost thought it was inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I am so grateful that we established a good feeding routine and went an entire year exclusively breastfeeding (with food of course).
But alas, after sharing my body with Lila during pregnancy and then a year of breastfeeding, I was ready to be done. Plus nursing Lila wasn’t really the blissed out experience many mothers talk about. She is not the type of baby to lie calmly in my arms, so there was a lot of kicking, trying to stand, arms flailing … lets just say it wasn’t all that relaxing.
After some hiccups in our weaning journey (a cold and three new molars), we are officially down to just morning and night. This week I am planning to drop the night feeding and then a couple weeks later, stop altogether.
I wish I could say weaning has been a positive experience for me, but the more I eliminate feedings, the worse I feel. I started getting daily headaches from 2pm – 4pm, I feel utterly exhausted most of the day, despite getting 8+ hours of sleep and I’ve had bouts of anxiety and sadness.
It took me awhile to connect the dots that this was related to weaning, but after doing some research, it turns out all these symptoms are a result of the change in hormones brought on by stopping breastfeeding. Specifically, the drop in oxytocin – the “love” hormone. Apparently, postpartum depression and weaning are closely linked – who knew?
I have good days and bad days. Today I would rate as a bad one. I got a sitter so I could do some client work, but instead I’m laying in bed moping. I’m hoping that once we’re totally done nursing, that everything will balance out quickly so I can get back to normal.
It makes me sort of sad that something I worked so hard at (breastfeeding) and brought so much good to Lila has to end on this negative note. But regardless of how I feel these next few months (and with future babies) I’m determined to look back on my breastfeeding days as a positive experience that got my little loves off to a great start.
Happy 2014 friends! We are finally back home in Reno settled in after two amazing weeks in Naples, Fl with my family. Our holidays were one of my favorite in recent memory and consisted of sun, pool, naps, good food, card games and special time spent with my family and Lila’s cousins.
We spent New Year’s Eve at home since Lila was sick with a cold and we had just gotten home a few days before. I made a big fancy dinner of oysters, pork belly, roasted root vegetables and Paleo snickerdoodles. We were in bed by 9:30!
While we were eating dinner, Luke and I started talking about our favorite memories from the past year. There were SO many good ones – Lila’s birthday, starting my business as a consultant, special dates with my love, but when I was pressed to pick just one, I landed on an evening the three of us had at the beach in Florida.
We had decided to take a night with just our little family in downtown Naples. After browsing some shops, Luke suggested we walk the five blocks to the beach for sunset. We got there in the knick of time.
As we were watching the sun go to bed (and Lila eat sand), we realized our little bug had never been in the ocean before. I walked her toward the shore to see how she’d react to the soft waves lapping the sand, and what ensued was one of those parenting moments you hold on to.
Seeing Lila squeal with delight every time a wave rushed toward her and then laugh hysterically when it whooshed back the other way was without a doubt the best memory of my year. In fact, I hope that evening our family of three spent in the orange glow of an ocean sunset will be imprinted in my mind forever.
What was your favorite memory from 2013?
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