Author Archives: Amy Arentson

About Amy Arentson

I am a a disciple of Jesus Christ, Wife to Peter, Mother to Elaine, Daughter of Marc and Julie (Bruce and Joanne), Sister to Susan (Emily & Dave, Michael), Dog Owner of Maui and Annie. I have been a licensed Cosmetologist since November 2007. We currently live in Saint Peters, Missouri. We attend Calvary Church in Saint Charles.

Get some Garlic!

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Soymilk ~ Silk Light Chocolate Soymilk

So on my Mastitis journey I stumbled upon the true POWER of Garlic. I think this other website says it best so I’m just sending you to them.
Enjoy

Learn more: The Power of Garlic

In short eat 2-7 cloves ( some can be cooked but raw is better) per day and you will notice increasing health benifits. I chop it up in to pill like sizes and take it with orange juice.

Pulled Pork

Crockpot
1/2c Apple cider vinegar
2c Chicken broth
Season your pork loin ( I use Butt Rub)

Cook 6 hours. I’m sure you could do less. I go back and use 2 forks to “pull” the pork apart about every hour to ensure tenderness.

We eat this on regular Aldi’s bread (whatever kind I pick up, Oat Bread or Whole Wheat) we butter one side and sprinkle garlic salt on it. Put the pulled pork smothered in whatever you choose or naked in between the bread and Yahtzee. I prefer Cookies Wing Sauce and Ranch where Pete like BBQ. Enjoy!

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Mastitis

~Orange Juice

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My right breast just kept hurting, it didn’t matter how Eliza was latching on it always hurt. Then like sudden accident my breast started to hurt so badly I couldn’t move. I was crying in agony because nothing I did helped. I had tried massage, heat therapy, mineral and salt therapy, warm bath, cool therapy, pumping a lot, breastfeeding as often as possible, Tylenol, Advil, lanolin, vitamin E oil, and rest. It was apparent to me that I had an issue. I had had a clogged duct before and my breast tissue felt so different this time. I called in my reinforcement, my OBGYN. Over the phone she diagnosed that I had mastitis and potentially a breast yeast infection. She kindly sent some medication to my local CVS and I started a medicinal regiment immediately. The pain took 4 days to become tolerable and 3 weeks to disappear. So, all this to say. you can try any of the methods I did, if none of those work most likely you have an infection inside your breast. The biggest indicator besides the pain for me was my milk production was WAY down. I generally exclusively pump but for 3 weeks I was attempting to exclusively breastfeed. It went really well until I got my infection. Here is my suggestion if you are a breastfeeding or exclusive pumping mother.

First and foremost, Ladies it is so important to know your body. Feel your breasts every time you feed your baby, massage the milk down toward the nipple before you latch on and while the baby is latched on. Not only will this prevent any sort of clogged duct from occurring but you will be more confident when something is wrong.

Fenugreek is a natural supplement you can find at GNC I take 3 pills 2 times a day, Breakfast and Dinner. It helps your milk supply.

Beer, Budwiser has 8oz cans now they are so cute. Beer will help your milk supply, if you have one a night it’s not going to hurt your baby or get them addicted to beer. http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-true-that-drinking-beer-increases-a-breastfeeding-moms_10303158.bc
Non Alcoholic beer will have the same affect, something scientific about what the barley creates stimulates your milk supply. And from everything I’ve ever read, the alcohol will leave your milk supply the same time it leaves your bloodstream.

Heat therapy is such a great way to assist your breasts to “let down” your milk. Just place a warm compress on your breasts after massaging them and either latch on baby or start to pump. I like to use this product it is also compatible to do Cold therapy.
http://www.lansinoh.com/products/therapearl

Cold Therapy should take place after you have finished breastfeeding and/or pumping. It will remove swelling from a sore breast and help the breast heal.

Advil/Tylenol will help with pain and swelling don’t over dose. Read the labels carefully but you can “double up” or take them both so the Advil would be taken and a few hours later you could take the Tylenol. That way you would always have a pain reliever.

Lanolin/ Vitamin E Oil what ever you like to use for moisturizer on your nipple is your preference but use SOMETHING!!! Dry cracked sore or bleeding nipples are no fun so just do yourself a favor and don’t assume you are super boobie mom, just put it on after you feed or pump for good measure.

CALL YOUR OBGYN or MIDWIFE or DULA or LACTATION CONSULTANT
These men and women are HIGHLY trained and educated as far as breast health goes. Your knowledge and understanding of what to do to keep your breast heathy is really important to them. They are always willing to answer any questions, call you back or have you in for a visit to really talk about what challenges you are having.

You are NOT alone. You have resources. You have a cure. Please try natural health first and if you are in pain consult a professional because breast infections are serious and dangerous if it goes untreated.

Last thing I was going to say is that it isn’t your fault that this happens, sometime there are natural factors like sweat and heat that cause problems. Don’t be discouraged or defeated when it comes to using your body to feed your child. Keep pumping, keep latching, it will get better and you will once again enjoy feeding your darling child. I got through it and I am so glad I powered through all the pain.

Amy Girl

Miss Eliza

tea ~ Black Currant

Although 7 weeks early Miss Eliza Grace Arentson was born May 23. Besides minor suck swallow breathe immaturities she was a giant premie. Weighing in at 5#14oz this little white girl was not wimpy. White male babies in the NICU are generally referred to as the Wimpy White boys because they generally have a more difficult time. Eliza had a 2 week stay in NICU that really helped her from a health stand point. She needed some time to sunbathe to help remove her jaundice. She responded really well. She went from gavaging all of her feedings to starting and finishing all of them on her own. After gaining some weight and proving to eat well they told us it was time to go home.
My recovery from natural birth #2 went really well. The bonding to baby #2 didn’t come as easy. I really believe that it has a lot to do with not breastfeeding her. I exclusively pumped until 5 days ago when I offered to breastfeed and she latched like a champ. Maybe my persistence to get her to latch and patience through the pain of a bad latch here and there helped to but I now will advocate not only the importance of that first milk but just the bonding that comes through touch with your baby. I still offer a few bottles of breastmilk during the day but she is doing really well with her feeding.
Coming home to a toddler not a baby was a shock. Elaine my firstborn turned in to a toddler overnight I swear. She really started to explore her world inside our home. Maybe the drugs I was on to stay pregnant fogged my memory, I think not. I think she really grew up in the 2 weeks I was at the hospital. Coming home to Eliane’s new curiosity meant more baby proofing. If you don’t have a space where you can contain your child to only the area you have eyes on, I totally recommend taking all saftey measures possible. My favorite saftey features of our home include the gas stove knob covers, Auto-close gates at the top and bottom of our main stairs, cabinet latches, and doorknob anti-easy turn knob covers. Each product has prevented many accidents.
I was always thinking that the outlet covers would be the biggest help, Laney can take them out of the plugs so I consider them a wash, I don’t pick that as my battle because she doesn’t stick things in them or around them. If anything the covers attracted her to play with them more. But once she has gotten the covers off she runs off to do whatever else she’s going to do.
Elaine and Eliza are really starting to bond as Eliza started smiling in the last 2 weeks. I think sitting Liza up in the bumbo so she can watch Laney play helps too.
Even though it’s August and the kids around here have started school and left for college it still feels like summer to me. Something about it being ninety degrees out doesn’t make Fall come and swoop in quickly. I’m starting to wonder what our winter will look like being trapped in a house with two curious little girls. I’m sure the Pinterest will have more than enough activities for me to reference if we get bored.
Well, that’s all from me on a baby stand point and a kinda where I am with the girls in general. I hope to get up and running as far as blogging more frequently here soon. It was nice to take the summer off.
If you want to pray for our family pray that we would continue to have abundant amounts of patience and energy. That my State of Missouri Cosmetology license would get issued and approved. That Elaine and Eliza would know Jesus when they grow up. That God would use our family to provide a hospitable place a launching pad for those who need to know love. That he would show us what his plan is for our adoption future. And that this fall our BBT, CBS, GG and Marriage groups would all grow us and stretch us in ways only God knows we need in order to mature to gain confidence in sharing the Gospel Message.

Amy

17P

Water…

Hey there readers. Sorry I have been absent for a while I have been struggling with some health issues regarding this pregnancy and I thought I would let you in on my experiences.

I am pregnant with our second child due July 6th, 2013. Today marks 24weeks day 5. About 8 weeks ago I had my mid pregnancy ultrasound which revealed that my cervix was shortening. A “normal” pregnancy warrants a 4cm cervix to hold the baby in the uterus. At my 17 week ultrasound, my cervix was already at 3cm. It might not sound that bad, it didn’t to me at the time. The utrasound doctor ordered me to return in a week. My cervix shortened to 2.5cm.

My OBGYN issued a vaginally inserted progesterone that was a gel form called Crinone. And what do you know I had a terrible reaction to the medicine. Not only did I get a terrible yeast infection 3 days in to taking the medicine but I also experienced a dermatitis around my butthole.

Called my OBGYN, she confirmed both side effects and issued me to stop taking the progesterone  and issued a yeast infection medicine that I took orally. During my first pregnancy I experienced a yeast infection that also resulted in dermatitis.  When I had taken the vaginally inserted medication for the yeast infection before my dermatitis turned in to a nightmare that ended 24 weeks later when I gave birth. So that’s why we avoided the compound medication and went with an oral.

After a week my OBGYN issued a 2nd form of progesterone that was a specially compounded progesterone also in a vaginal compound form that is inserted at bedtime. 4 days later, Dermatitis. And voila, my insurance decided to issue me Progesterone shots issued from a company called Allere.

Allere called me to set up my injections. A nurse called me to set up the appointment time when she would personally come to my house. All my medication was Express Fed Ex’d to my house. I received my first injection 3 weeks ago at 22 weeks pregnant. I have been given my shots on Tuesdays around noon. The side effects that I have experienced have been the following:

Nausea

Fatigue

Irritability

Exhaustion

Soreness at the site of injection for up to 3 days

Lightheaded…enough that I have slightly fainted or needed to lay down quickly

Lack of Appitite, I have to make my self eat I think because of the Nausea

Headache

Cramping, very low like PMS and also gas-like Cramps

Contractions, not rythmic but strong enough to make me want to lay down, so I do.

All of my listed side effects last generally 3-5days after my injection. Which yes, means most of the week I feel weak and icky. I would say to anyone else struggling with any form of progesterone’s side effects, hang in there. It is totally worth being nauseous and in pain to keep the baby with you in your womb instead of months early suffering to survive in NICCU. Laney was in NICCU for a few days and that was awful. I pray we can make it to 37weeks and stay out of the NICCU this time.

I received my third shot this week and I would say this week the side effects have been the worst. I woke up last night and had my husband bring me some Zofran. I have been issued two different kinds of anti-nausea medication. Both work great but they increase the severity of my headaches. I do take Tylonol if my headache is too strong. I am also taking Magnesium Glycinate.

I have only taken medication issued by my OBGYN or approved first by her. Over the last 8 weeks my cervix went from 3 cm to 1.48cm. I have been getting weekly ultrasounds to check cervical length. Our baby is really growing well and everything looks great from a development standpoint. After my ultrasound I head upstairs to the OBGYN to talk about side effects and questions.

I have not been instructed that bed rest is a solution as bed rest is comonly used to lessen the effects of contractions and braxton hicks-like muscle movements. I have had my activity level challenged. I am not supposed to lift much of anything besides Laney, so I use my stroller a lot. And Pete gets to help carry in things like groceries.

All this to say that I am frustrated, nauseous, tired and able to wait for a baby to get here if it means their safe and healthy arrival 12ish weeks from now.   I do pray that the side effects would subside and that the baby would continue to grow and mature as God knits it together in my womb. Also that the Progesterone injections would be effective in sustaining my cervical length.

Oh and we moved in to a new house during all of this craziness and Laney my 10 month old daughter started walking. Anyways enough from me for now. Just pray with me where ever you are.

-A

Kindle Love…and Goals…

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Tea ~ Citrus Soother

This is all I’m going to say. I just got a Kindle and it cost $69+ tax and I am not a reader. Every year now I am setting goals before the new year for things I want to accomplish… Here is my 2013 Goals list..

  1. Pray with Pete and Elaine regularly not just at meals and at bedtime
  2. Participate in F2F (Women’s Bible study at our church)
  3. Live my life with the purpose that Jesus has asked me to, continue to define that
  4. Help out Financially with paying off our van
  5. Visit Franklin at least 2 times
  6. Pray for Baby A#2
  7. Buy a House
  8. Read 6 books
  9. Volunteer as a family 1 day a month
  10. Keep cooking new things
  11. Challenge others and myself in the way of the Lord

So, I got a Kindle hoping I would exceed my 6 book goal and also that it would encourage me to do something for myself.  Also, when making goals I try to make a list that is realistic for me.  For instance I thought 2 months for 1 book was an adequate amount of time to get one read. I encourage you to set goals for yourself and review them at least once a month. Consider it a to do list instead of a wish list. After all, they say people who set goals for themselves are more likely to achieve them. 😉

Cheddar Biscuits

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Ingredients:

Biscuits:
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (I just used 2 forks). Don’t worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes in preheated oven or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.
Need to use up some zucchini? Grate a small zucchini, about 3/4 cup. Strain the grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or some paper towels to get rid of the excess moisture. Add the grated zucchini to the biscuit batter when you add the cheese and milk.