Thursday, August 14, 2014

Small Business Spotlight: Latchy Catchy

I haven't done a small business spot light in a while now so one is well over due!

Today's spot light is on Latchy Catchy, a truly simple but truly ingenious product that no parent with a little should be without!
I discovered Latchy Catchy on Instagram (where I have found 98% of the small business I now love) and had one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments at the simplicity of the design. 
Latchy Catchy is a small approximately, 4" x 2" rectangular piece of fabric that comes in 50 different colors and patterns. It is made with a thin padding in the center and elastic loops on either end that allow it to stretch and fit over any (in)door handle. 
The effect is that the product keeps the door from relatching, and I love ours! 
As a toddler the Little Jedi can reach the door handles in the house but can't always get the knob to turn and push/pull the direction he needs the door to go. 
With Latchy Catchy on the doors he is not locked in or out of any room, a simple push or pull on the door and it opens with ease! 
Latchy Catchy also allows you to more silently open and close doors when checking in on little ones who are sleeping. As a parent we know the often very real struggle it is to get and keep our littles asleep and that the slightest noise can wake them and the rest of the day be ruined by a cranky sleepy monster. Well if you have Latchy Catchy you need no longer fear looking in on them!
Latchy Catchy is such a great product that it has been featured in Family Fun magazine and Country Living which is impressive considering  the company is still quite young and that it is a one women team making all of them while also caring for her family!

Creator and owner of Latchy Catchy, Lyndsey Gaskins says, "The Latchy Catchy evolved when we got so tired of hearing our bedroom door slam, waking baby Karson, that I attached a sock (covering the latch) with a rubber band on each knob. It was quite the eye sore and we decided that that had to be a better way. Turns out, there was, and it is now called Latchy Catchy!"

There are so many products out there that are pushed on parents as something they need but in reality they never use it or only use it once; this is not that product! Believe me when I say you need this product and you will love it. After owning the product myself and experiencing it first hand it has made it onto my (short) list of gifts to give to an expectant/new mom! 
It's truly a gift that keeps on giving for a long, long time!

Lyndsey is constantly hosting and participating in giveaways on their Instagram so if you follow them over there you can have the opportunity to win one for yourself (or to give to a friend).  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Avalon Rose: Our (Beautiful) Home Birth

"Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life." -Ina May Gaskins 
(Prepare for photo over load, and no there are no graphic images used in this entry.)

I am finally getting around to typing out Avalon's birth story and now have photos to go along with it, part one starts HERE as a letter to big brother, if you wish to read it.

Around 3 AM my contractions  had been coming for about a hour, lasting 45 seconds to a little over a minute, and coming consistently every 3-5 minutes.
(sorry Hypnobabies I still call them contractions since the word doesn't bother me at all)
I was still worried in the back of my mind that this wasn't really the time. That they would slowly die out and I would have woken my birth team in the middle of the night to come over for nothing. But...on the chance that it was real I sent them all a text and told them to head over, at which point I woke up Daniel who got up and started setting up and filling the birth tub.

I made a large pot of coffee for him and anybody else on our team that was going to be in need of some. I also finished cleaning up the few things in the kitchen and picked up the toys that had been scattered on the living room floor so nobody would trip over them.
 By then I stopped caring to time contraction, they were still coming but I wasn't noticing them as much because I was busy moving around and just breathing allowing my body to work with each of them.

I think that the team all arrived around 3:30, but I can't be sure. The birth tub was still filling so I walked around the house laboring and breathed through each contraction just staying calm and relaxed letting them do their job. The midwives took my vitals and listened the baby a couple different times after contractions to make sure she was responding well.

I have no true concept of time at this point because I was not focused on the clock but I want to say between 3:45 and 4 AM the pool finally finished filling. I got in shortly after and felt very relaxed contractions were still powerful and intense but not painful. As you can see I was smiling and just chatting with Daniel here. (The clock in this photo looks to read 4:15)
I remembered my Hypnobabies and reminded myself to stay relaxed, to breath and let them do their job. That each one was one less and one closer to meeting our daughter.
After probably 15 minutes of being in the tub, I noticed labor started moving more into my back. Daniel got in with me and our doula coached him on how applying pressure to different ares of my back could help with the pressure felt and make things easier.

Between 4:30 and 5 AM I could tell we were getting close to the end.
I got sick a couple times and really started feeling that lower pelvic pressure.
 I was so tired from not getting any sleep since waking up the morning before I remember thinking around that point "one closer to being able to go get some sleep!" Priorities, haha! I breathed through and had Daniel support me through a few more contractions then decided to get back into the tub.

I wasn't actually planning to give birth in the tub just use it for pain management. There was no reason other than it was not what I saw happening when I imagined her birth. But as my body naturally started pushing I decided to get back into the tub and three contractions later I was starting to push her out.

According to the midwives it was 15 minutes or less from the point that I started pushing her out to her being born. I breathed and pushed through the contraction thinking "it's almost over we will meet her soon and get to go to sleep!"

"If a woman doesn't look like a goddess during labor, then somebody isn't treating her right" -Ina May Gaskins
(Breathing-refocusing, preparing for another contraction to push again.)

Finally her head was out, another push and her shoulders slowly worker out, then one last push and out she swam into my arms. I pulled her up to my chest and out of the water and she let out a loud cry!

The midwives put a blanket over her and I took a moment to breath the relief of all my hard work. She continued crying and I just snuggled her and rested in the tub for a while as we studied her face and features and laughed about how much vernix she was covered in.

(Proud daddy!)

After I got out of the tub we dried her off and Daniel cut the cord. The midwives took her stats and weighed her and I didn't believe them when they told me she was an even 9 pounds and 22 inches long!

I took a few minutes as they did more paperwork and passed her off to her daddy so I could go get a quick shower and just rinse off then get some clean comfy clothes on.

I came back out and swaddled her in one of the pretty swaddle blankets I had bought for her then went to the couch and sat down just snuggling her and seeing if she was ready
to nurse. Daniel came over and sat with us as the team cleaned up everything and we just enjoyed the moment studying her sweet little face so happy to finally be meeting her.

(Taking a couple pictures of one another with her to send to family) 
I decided to get Demitri up so he could come out and meet her. He was still over half a sleep and not interested so I took him back to bed and he fell back to sleep right away.
 A couple hours after  when things had calmed I found myself hungry (and exhausted) so the team went and picked us up some food, then said their congrats and goodbyes. We were alone and it was so quiet again. We ate our food and Daniel called family to say she was here and then we all went back to bed and slept till lunch time!
And there it is, the not so eloquent short story of Avalon Rose's birthday set to amazing beautiful photos! It was a calm yet crazy truly amazing whirlwind experience! We are so blessed to have her in our family and it does not seem possible that she is already a month old. She is so loved by all of us and it is amazing and fills my heart with such joy watching her big brother interact with her and give her lots of loves. 
Happy birthday sweet girl always know how loved you are!

Portland OR
Doula: Megan Bergstorm
Black & White Striped Newborn Hat: Lovelee Three
Rose Swaddle: Little Hip Squeaks
Birthing Tub: Birth Pool in a Box
Other birth/postpartum supplies

I want to say thank you to my team for being there for me and supporting our family as we made that transition from a family of three to a family of four. For being there joyfully as we welcomed our princess into our family; and supporting with enthusiasm, my choice to birth at home the way I saw best for myself, my baby, and my family.

I also want to thank my husband. He was my biggest supporter and cheerleader during pregnancy and while in labor. He keeps me calm and encourages me, I couldn't ask for a more supportive partner while in labor and in life. And let me tell you watching the man you love, love your children will make you fall in love with him all over again in a totally different way.