My Triumphant Return


That’s right… I’m back.

I know that it’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve graced any of you with my thoughts. I’m sorry. I know you’ve missed me. ūüėČ

Recently my life has taken a fantastic turn. My husband and I were blessed with a surprise baby girl! She’s 2 months old now and has brought so much joy to our lives. Our family is now complete. Which, I’m thankful for because I had my own scare shortly after her birth.

Childbirth is an interesting thing. A human being literally exits your body. It’s still so bizarre to me and I’ve done it twice now. After my son was born, I knew I wanted another. I had to beat my top score of his labor, which wasn’t hard since it took an eternity to birth that boy. Well, mission accomplished.

You know on the movies and television when the woman is like “WHERE’S THE DOCTOR?! THE BABY IS COMING!!” Yeah… that was me. lol My sweet Juliana Claire made her way into the world in a hurry. It took a mere 4 minutes of pushing before she took her first breath. Considering it took HOURS of pushing with my son, I feel that I deserve a high-five.

About a week after she was born I found myself in the ER. I had been having a hard time breathing anytime I went to bed. It was annoying, but I didn’t think it warranted a trip to the ER. That is, until, a woman in my Facebook parenting group said that some women develop a condition called PPCM, which can be deadly. Essentially your heart fails and it’s really scary.

I had woken up that morning at about 4am, unable to breathe. I felt like I was being a drama queen so I waited until a more respectable hour and paged my OB asking for advice. He told me to go to the ER immediately. Fair enough.

Now, I’ve been to the ER for my kids, but never for myself. This was an entirely new experience. When I’ve taken my kids for whatever reason it takes an ETERNITY to figure anything out. Everyone seems to take their time, and when you’re a panicking parent, it’s easy to get frustrated. This was completely different.

It took me about 30 mins to drive to the one my OB specified. I checked in and they said ominously, “We’ve been waiting for you.” Now, keep in mind, since I was upright, I felt fine. The problem was just when I was laying down. So they rush me back and ask me a few questions while they lead me to the room. I got changed into the lovely hospital apparel and then a flood of people came in. About 5 or 6 people surrounded my bed. They inserted an IV into my hand and draw some blood and stuck monitors all over my chest. They explained that they were checking me for heart failure. I started to get a little scared at that point. What if that other mother was right?

The doctor advised they were going to do a series of tests. EKG, X-ray, CT Scan, and an echo-cardiogram. It was clear that I would be there for a while. My mom was in town so I text her to see how long she would be around, just in case she had to watch the kids if my husband needed to come to the hospital. I quickly got my EKG (normal) and chest x-ray (enlarged heart). Then they wheeled me off to the CT scan.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a CT scan with contrast. I was NOT a fan. Imagine, being a brand new mother, if you will. After a long pregnancy and pushing a baby out after they messed up your catheter (that’s a whole other story), it can be difficult to control your bladder. Not to mention, at that point I hadn’t regained feeling in my bladder at all yet. Well, when they give you contrast it heats up your entire body. It’s really unpleasant. I felt like I had hot water running through my veins. The worst part was that it all rushed to my groin and I was absolutely convinced I had peed myself. Thankfully I hadn’t… I guess that’s a normal sensation with these things.

Anyhow, I get wheeled back to my room (which, it’s really odd to have someone rolling you around on a hospital bed when you feel like you are entirely capable of walking). My mom and step-dad are waiting in the room for me. I feel kind of embarrassed because part of me still feels like this isn’t a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, the other part of me was hysterically freaking out in the back corner of my mind hoping it was nothing serious.

I’m reattached to the monitors and the doctors are in and out checking on me. Oxygen levels were fine. However, my pulse was really low. We’re talking in the 40s. Now, thanks to my FitBit, I know that my resting pulse when I’m about to drift off to sleep at night is in the 70s. So I was getting pretty nervous. My mom gives the Dr a history of my dad’s heart condition and the medicines he had to take. The doctor was really rude and pretty much scoffed at her and told me there was no way they were going to give me meds.

After a while, while my mom and step-dad went out for a walk (we were there several hours), I was just sitting there, minding my own business when alarms started going off in the ER. I remember thinking to myself “Well that can’t be good.” It only took a few seconds to realize that I was making the alarms go off. My heart rate had dipped into the 30s. Thankfully, realizing that my body was freaking out was enough to bring my heart rate back into the 40s. I asked the nurse about it being so low when she came back and she asked if I was an athlete (hahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahaha), I am not.

Anyway, after that episode it was relatively dull. The echo-cardiogram was neat. I got to watch my heart pumping on an ultrasound machine. Then we sat around for a while waiting for everything to be reviewed. I had a BnP nearing 300. Normal is less than 100. There were a few other things that were elevated too. But the echo-cardiogram came back to show that my heart was running at 66% efficiency (this is a good number). And I was sent home. I still couldn’t breathe when I laid down, but they said that was just because I was retaining so much water still.

Fast forward to my 6 week postpartum visit…. I’m talking to my OB about the series of the events. He explained that my heart was under a lot of stress. This, combined with the excessive amount of fluid that my body was hanging on to was causing my heart to have difficulties. The breathing was caused by the fluid distributing through my body and my lungs. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but because my heart was stressed and pumping so slowly, the blood wasn’t moving quickly enough and instead was getting backed up in my lungs. He then went on to add that the medication that he told them to give me should have resolved the issue very quickly.

Wait… what?! They didn’t give me any medication. It was weeks before I could lay down and breathe.

Of course my OB was not thrilled at this news. He looked like he was ready to give someone a talking to. He apologized profusely for me having to suffer so long. It turns out, that the medicine my mom had mentioned in the ER was the same medicine that he told the ER doctor to give me.

Either way, I’m fine now. And now I know about PPCM, which is a horrifying condition.

All of this has helped me see that I need to be around for my children. My job was very stressful, so I resigned. I’m now a stay-at-home-mom. Of course, writing being my passion, I’ll still continue to do that. I’m still writing for a marketing company based in Texas and am enjoying that. I also plan on getting back to blogging and working on my novel.

I can’t promise my blogs will be entertaining for everyone… they’ll probably be about writing, cooking, gardening, kids, and trying to balance it all. ¬†But I’ll be here… plugging away for anyone who wants to take a peek. ūüėČ

-Jenn

Find the Best Network Marketing Company for You


Finding the Best Network Marketing Company

Finding the best network marketing company for you can be a daunting task with so many options and distributors beckoning you from all angles.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is drown out all the noise and follow these steps:

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… solve a problem.

Think about the problems that you see in the world… is there a network marketing company that helps provide a solution to that problem? ¬†Some of the biggest companies out there right now, focus on a specific issue that people want to solve such as:

  • Weight-loss
  • Anti-aging
  • Healthy living
  • Chemical free products
  • Illiteracy

Are you seeing a trend?  People want to feel great and look great at an affordable price.  Make-up and jewelry companies are also hugely popular right now because they help people feel better about themselves.

Low self-esteem is plaguing the masses right now. ¬†A large number of people are affected by this in some way. ¬†From the research I’ve done, Network Marketing companies with a focus on anti-aging, weight-loss, and high quality, non-toxic, chemical free products are on the rise.

That doesn’t mean that companies who don’t focus on this area are bad. ¬†But it is important to understand that a network marketing company that solves a problem, which meets a need in a large amount of people, tends to be more successful.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have products and a mission that you can stand behind.

Each network marketing company has a mission.  Is the company mission something that you are passionate about?  Do you use the products yourself?

If you aren’t answering ‘yes’ to both of these questions, then move on to the next network marketing company. ¬†It’s extremely difficult to be successful when you’re only thinking about the monetary aspect of the company. ¬†A well rounded distributor has a great personal understanding¬†of¬†the products and feels passionately about the company’s mission.

The passion that you have for the products and the mission is going to help drive your success.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have great leadership.

Choosing the right mentor is just as important as choosing the right network marketing company. ¬†When you’re looking for a mentor, look for someone who reflects who you want to become. ¬†Here are some amazing qualities to look for in a strong network marketing leader:

  • Experience
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Consistency
  • Happiness

Talk with your potential leader about what plan they have for new team members. ¬†Every great network marketing leader has a plan that is able to be replicated by each member of their team. ¬†You’ll want to find a leader who is living the mission of the company and using the products. ¬†It’s also great to find a leader with experience.

Due to the nature of network marketing, some people do get lucky and soar high right out of the gate. ¬†However, if they don’t have leadership experience then as soon as the luck wears out, they may not be experienced enough to help you through the harder times.

A skilled leader has the experience and eagerness to always keep improving their skill set to be able to help their team in the best way possible. ¬†They also don’t stop working the business or growing as a leader in the network marketing industry. If you come across a leader who has lots of experience and lots of success, but no longer works the business, then they may not be working with their team members either. ¬†You will want to find a leader who will be there for you when you need them. ¬†You want to find someone who will teach you their methods and help guide you through building your own team.¬† Then you will turn around and pass your knowledge on to them.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have a system and tools to help you be successful.

As mentioned above, your leader should have a plan, some kind of system that they train you to do to gain success in your business.  Every strong network marketing company has a system that should be replicated for each person on the team.  A great network marketing company will also provide you with the tools needed for your business to be successful.  This will usually include a website and some kind of compelling offer that is unique to the company.

Many companies provide additional tools as well such as training, referral tools, and access to media.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have a great compensation plan.

When it comes down to the dollars and cents, you want to make sure that you’re getting involved with a company that provides you the opportunity to have a successful, long lasting career.

Before you sign up with a network marketing company, be sure that you have at least a basic understanding of the compensation plan and what exactly you need to do to make money.  Learn about the different levels in the company.  Think of a realistic dollar amount that you would like to make each month and plot out where you would need to rise to within the company to be earning that money.  Is this an attainable goal?

Another aspect of the compensation plan that you’ll want to pay close attention to, is how many people you will need to personally sponsor in order to be successful. ¬†Some compensation plans will max out with as little as 3 personally sponsored team members, while others may require upwards of 30.

If the compensation plan seems confusing to you, ask questions. ¬†If your potential new leader can answer them in a way that helps you understand, then that’s a good sign that they are invested in your success.

If you have any other questions about finding the right Network Marketing Company for you, feel free to comment below.

 

Your Opinion of Breastfeeding in Public VS a Breastfeeding Mother’s


I’ve seen a lot of remarks lately about breastfeeding in public and would like to share with you what it is like for a working mother with a family trying to breastfeed her baby in a state that offers no breastfeeding protection. First I will offer a little background and then I will respond to some common remarks I see people post about breastfeeding. I work 40 hours a week. ¬†In order to have enough milk for my baby for daycare, I spend 15 hours (3x per day, 1 hour each time) pumping during the work week. ¬†I’m very fortunate to have a job where I am able to accomplish this. ¬†I also pump for 1 hour in the morning each day of the weekend to keep my supply up so that I will be able to pump enough the following week.

Q. ¬†Why don’t you just give your baby pumped milk instead of nursing in public?
A. ¬†Did you know that babies are much more efficient at getting milk out of the breast than a pump is? ¬†My child can do in 10-15 minutes what it takes me an hour to accomplish with a pump. ¬†I already spend 17 hours a week pumping,¬†I don’t want to have to be hooked up to my pump anymore than I have to. ¬†I want to be able to enjoy time with my family, not to mention that the house needs cleaning, dinner needs made, etc.

Q.  So just feed your baby in your car or in a bathroom or stay home?
A. ¬†I will not leave where we are to trek who knows how far to the vehicle. ¬†If you live in Idaho, you know… we don’t have much of a window between burning hot temperatures and freezing temperatures. ¬†If my baby is hungry (and possibly crying) then I’m going to feed him. ¬†I see no reason to make him wait for what feels like an eternity (to him and anyone listening to the crying) to haul him all the way out to the car to sit in uncomfortable temperatures. ¬†As far as feeding in the bathroom goes, I will under no circumstances feed my baby in the place where people do their business. ¬†A bathroom is a place for food to EXIT the body… not the other way around. Both of these options also¬†remove us from our family time. ¬†As a working mother, I value the weekends and any time I get to spend with my family. ¬†By running to hide so I can feed my baby, I am missing out on this sacred time.

Q.  So just plan your schedule around your baby eating.
A. ¬†It is not always predictable when a baby will need to eat. ¬†And if they are going through a growth spurt, then there is a good chance they are eating more often. ¬†You try to plan family outings or grocery shopping around someone that needs to eat every hour or two. ¬†It isn’t so easy.

Q.  So if you must breastfeed in public, why not use a cover?
A. ¬†Have you ever put a blanket over a baby’s head? ¬†It turns into a game of tug of war, or peek-a-boo. ¬†Not to mention how warm it can get (especially with Idaho summers). ¬†Even in an air conditioned room it can get warm because the flow of oxygen is significantly less if I cover my baby’s head. ¬†This leads to him unlatching frequently and the entire process taking much longer than it would have without a cover. ¬†All babies are different. ¬†Some may tolerate a cover, but mine will not. ¬†I use a two shirt strategy. ¬†One shirt goes up, the other goes down. ¬†This minimizes boob exposure… however it is nearly impossible to be 100% covered, 100% of the time despite my best efforts. ¬†(Plus wearing 2 shirts in summer is HOT). ¬†I¬†promise you, I am not flashing my breasts in public for fun.

Q.  No one wants to see your boobs.
A. ¬†So quit looking. ¬†I know if I’m hanging out in the park, looking around, and suddenly see an eye full of butt crack, my first instinct is not to stare. ¬†I look away. ¬†If you catch a glimpse of something you don’t want to see, the easiest thing to do is to move on. ¬†Don’t stare. ¬†It’s not like I’m swinging the girls around shouting “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!” and bursting into dance while singing “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.” ¬†No.

Breastfeeding is hard(at least at first). ¬†If you haven’t done it yourself then you may not realize all the difficult things that come with breastfeeding. ¬†When a baby is born, they do not always know how to properly latch on. ¬†This is a learned skill for both mother and baby and it can take time (7 weeks in our case) to master.

Breastfeeding mothers fight for the proper latch, and against milk blisters, cracked nipples, clogged ducts, mastitis and more. ¬†Yet we gladly take on these difficulties for our child. ¬†I have to eat and drink very specific things every day for my child to have enough milk. ¬†But I’m okay with that.

Breastfeeding is more than just a fight, it is a war. ¬†A war I will gladly fight for my child to make sure that he has the best nutrition possible. ¬†A war I’ve successfully been holding my ground in for nearly 7 months. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining. ¬†I love being able to breastfeed my child. ¬†I love the way he looks up and smiles at me. ¬†I love the bonding time we share during this magical moment. ¬†I love breastfeeding and will continue to do it as long as both my child and I want to.

We are all just trying to provide for our children in the best way possible. But don’t you think we have enough against us? ¬†In addition to all the issues that may come along with breastfeeding, all the battles we must fight and the pain we must endure… we don’t need another enemy. ¬†Don’t make us fight the public too.

*****
This is not meant to be insensitive to mothers who chose not to, or were unable to breastfeed.  I respect your situation, please respect mine.

It Works “skinny wrap” After Pregnancy


Many of you have seen my previous post about my first encounter with the It Works Ultimate Body Applicator, aka, Skinny Wrap.

If not, you can read about it here:  https://agirlnamedjenn.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/an-objective-and-personal-review-of-skinny-wraps/

I’ve also gotten pregnant and given birth to my first child. ¬†He was born January 19th.

After I felt comfortable, I started doing some wraps. ¬†Here are my comparison pictures after my first post pregnancy wrap. ¬†ūüôā
The top picture (sorry they are blurry, apparently I had something on my lens) was taken February 17 and the bottom picture February 20.

After 1 Wrap - sideAfter 1 Wrap - front

I was pretty pleased with my results so I did another one.  Here are those results:
Top picture was taken February 26th, bottom picture was taken March 1st.

After 2nd wrap - side

After 2nd wrap - front

Not too bad!

If I put my first before pic together with my 2nd after pic, then we can see the results after both wraps combined:

after2side

after2front

LOVE IT!

From early March to mid April I started an ab exercise challenge. ¬†You’ve probably seen it on Facebook… you do so many crunches and planks and leg lifts for so many days. ¬†Anyway, I had been doing the exercise hoping it would tighten my tummy even more. ¬†I felt like I was starting to get abs, only I couldn’t SEE them.

So I wanted¬†to take it one step further, I decided to do a wrap for those pesky love handles. ¬†I’m not sure where I lost my front view comparison, but here is a side view of me. ¬†I placed a wrap on each of my sides, so that the wings went around my back and my tummy. ¬†I really notice the definition around higher up on my tummy and also on my back. ¬†I am getting abs! ¬†I just had to tone up the skin around them to be able to see them better. ¬†ūüėÄ The top pic is from 4/17 and the bottom is from 4/20

wrap 3

I also started to use the defining gel combined with the stretch mark cream on my lovely tiger stripes to see if anything would change there. ¬†(Disclaimer: ¬†My stretch marks don’t bother me at all, but I know some people are self conscious and I like to be able to show them if a product REALLY works) . ¬†The top picture here was taken on 4/25 and the bottom picture was taken on 5/27. ¬†So about a month later. ¬†I haven’t done any more wraps, but it does seem like the stretch marks are fading.

defining gel

I am not a distributor but if you are interested in this product then my friend Jana will be able to help you.

janajpfliiger.myitworks.com