Yep. That’s me! Every day. All day. I’m blessed to be step-mom to our 15 year old, Taylor, and stay at home with our 3-year-old, Brynlee. Brynlee is my little helper and constant companion. She also had a really rough start in life which changed all of our plans and made it necessary for me to stay home with her.
She was born 3-and-a-half-months early. 1 pound 10 oz., 12.75 inches long.
No one can give us a good reason why she was so premature. I was on bed rest in the hospital for 5 days trying to stop her from being born, but she decided to make her entrance into the world anyway! Everything was very scary in the early days as she dealt with heart and lung issues and struggled to live. Through many prayers of our family and community, she came home a healthy 7 pound 4 oz infant after staying in the hospital for 99 days. She even made it home before she was scheduled to be born! She’s a fierce little fighter! She’s met every milestone and only has reflux and “preemie tummy trouble” as her medical issues.
When she came home, she needed lots of quiet and low stimulation (in fact, she still gets over-stimulated by swimming pools!). She also needed help eating. Bottles (of breast milk…she never figured out the whole nursing thing) took 45 minutes with TONS of burping to get it to stay in her tummy. She was also in quarantined at home for the first 4 months after coming home from the hospital so that she wouldn’t catch and illnesses and land herself back in the hospital! Without question, she needed a full-time mama to help her get a good start on life.
I became her occupational therapist, speech therapist, nutritionist and caregiver! It was my joy to help her grow and learn! It also made me very interested in all of the products that we use and the foods that we eat. How could I help her be healthiest?? How could I protect her tiny, vulnerable self from our big, scary world?
When she was in the hospital, it took her doctors 2 days to decide if they should give her a dose of Tylenol. 2 days. To give her Tylenol. The drug that has been around for 50 years and is marketed to be “safe”. It made me question the long-term effects of every drug and realize just how vulnerable she was to everything!! I already had a lot of experience with medications, but this level of cautiousness in using a drug was new to me.
Before Brynlee, I worked in clinical research running drug trials at our local clinic. I saw first hand the benefits and hazards of prescription medicines. I also realized that many of the patients receiving drugs from their doctors had medical conditions that could be prevented or cured through healthy living and lifestyle changes. I got to see patients significantly helped through medicines, but I also got to see first hand the terrible side effects that medicines can cause! The best thing that I learned in this career was how to analyze and think critically about wellness. I got the opportunity to know many doctors and hear their advice about a wide range of issues. I got to hear them time and again ask patients to make changes to their lives and when patients failed to do that, I saw the number of medications required to manage their health…many with unfortunate side effects. I resolved to eat healthy and exercise for my own wellness.
This blog is a culmination of many years of learning to be well. I get to tell you the ways that I have helped me and my family be healthier so that you don’t have to try products that don’t work, have DIY failures, or eat recipes that don’t taste good!
Come along with me on my journey toward wellness…
Living Natural Mama,