Let it Aeroflow

When I found out I was having twins I wasn’t at all surprised. My doctor had told me I had an 80% change of twins before I was even pregnant. I was shocked; however, to find how difficult it is to get everything needed to care for two babies. What do I need? What do I need two of? What can I skimp on? What should I never skimp on? What might I get at my shower? What should I get now so I can have it ready? The nesting and prep for babies is endless of although much if it is fun, much of it is also tedious. One thing I did NOT like dealing with was securing a BREASTPUMP.

First, I crowdsourced a few times on facebook and noone tells you which one is really best, they just recommend the one they used and for all you know it could be super shitty.

Then, I decided dealing with an insurance company is about as much fun as pluking your eyelashes out with dull tweezers so I tried to sidestep that landmine and just buy one off craigslist. It sucked!

Finally, my mother told me I should qualify for one that I could pick up on Target and this is the route I ultimately went although the experience was not as easy as it sounds. Emails, phone calls, forms, standing in line, rejection, and doctor’s Rx needed. No thank you!

I’m kicking myself for not doing more research and finding Aeroflow! Let it go, let Aeroflow!

The Aeroflow Breastpumps Process:

Aeroflow Breastpump makes the process of getting a breast pump covered through your insurance as easy as possible. Our dedicated and informed Breastpump Specialists are here to help you navigate insurance by taking care of all the paperwork, phone calls and prescription requests so you can take it easy. Our team is available by phone, text, or email to answer any questions you have during this exciting time in your life.

To get started, Aeroflow’s qualify through insurance form asks for a few bits of information such as address, due date and insurance provider. Once you submit the form, a dedicated Breastpump Specialist will process your information and give you a call to discuss your options. Aeroflow offers a huge selection of breast pumps for you to choose from, and our Specialists are trained on each and every pump to help you choose the best option for your lifestyle.

We take care of everything, including:

  • Contacting your physician for a prescription
  • Recommending breast pump options based on your lifestyle and breastfeeding goals
  • Informing you if certain resupply options are available under your insurance plan
  • Billing and processing insurance claims for a breast pump
  • Shipping your breast pump to your door, free of charge!

Once you choose your breast pump, we process your order AND ship it to your door. The entire process is totally free! Some insurance plans require that a mom is at a certain point in her pregnancy before she gets her pump, but your Breastpump Specialist will let you know exactly when you can get order placed and will even remind you about your eligibility and benefits when your due date is near if you end up having to wait a bit before ordering your breast pump.

Currently, the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance providers provide breastfeeding support and supplies for lactating mothers. This includes a breast pump! Aeroflow makes it easy to get your pump covered for free under your specific insurance plan, and we also ensure that you get the most out of your benefits. This often includes extra accessories like milk storage bottles.

Here are just a few of the breast pumps offered by Aeroflow:

  • Spectra S2
  • Lansinoh Smartpump
  • Medela Starter Set (That Girl strongly recomends this!)
  • Evenflo Advanced Double Electric

Good news! Aeroflow is currently the exclusive provider of the Motif Duo — a lightweight, super quiet, double electric breast pump that is now available through insurance and cash-pay!

Breast is best, but having a human or two hanging from your boobs ALL day long just ain’t happenin’! Mama needs a break. Pump it, girl! Reach out to Aeroflow now!

Stay gold, 

That Girl

I Already Miss This

When you’re a mom, everyone tells you to “enjoy every moment” and how “it goes by so fast”. I’ve only ever wanted to be a mom so I have breathed in every moment and treasured each day, but this doesn’t stop time from racing by at warp speed. When I was pregnant I told myself I’d document everything, fill photo books, and date each milestone, but then they arrive and you find yourself spinning in circles trying to catch your breath and suddenly they’re almost through their first year of life and you know there are already things you’ve forgotten they did that were so wonderful and hundreds of moments you already miss. 

I already miss…and never want to forget…

chelsea vail with vail twins

  • The way Cannon would wake up the entire neighborhood with his pterodactyl sounds after he first found his voice
  • How Cash would hold his eyes open as if falling asleep meant life or death
  • Taking a bath with him because they were tiny enough we all three fit in the tub together
  • Sneaking into bed next to their tiny Snugglenests and smelling their sweet breath, hearing their grunts and groans as they slept
  • I miss the tearless cries and toothless mouths
  • Nursing them in the tub
  • Cash used to get the hiccups ’round the clock & I loved the way he’d cling to me like a baby monkey with each jolt
  • The way they’d grunt like zombies and Cannon would smack his tummy or beat his chest demanding more food
  • The look on Cash’s face when he rolled over for the first time which scared the hell out of him
  • The way bashful Cannon used to put his cheek to his shoulder and look up at strangers as if he knew what a Gerber baby he was
  • Wearing them in my ACK wrap knowing they’d fall asleep in a matter of minutes with their head on my chest

img_7853

  • Nursing them and watching them search desperately for each other’s hands and seeing the relief when they found each other
  • Taking hour long naps with one (or sometimes both) snuggled in to my side or asleep on the breast
  • The way Cash would pet my face or stroke my hair as he fought sleep
  • Bundling them up in their Woombie swaddles and seeing them inch towards each other to spoon all night
  • Cannon talking to himself in his carseat mirror like he’d found his best friend
  • Cash kicking his legs wildly in the tub

img_7943

  • Their sweet chubby faces peeking out from under their Walrus or Hippo hooded towels
  • The excitement when they heard Rafi’s “Day-O” song the first time
  • Cash’s huge smile and sly giggle when I’m cleaning countertops
  • The way Cannon’s jowls rest on his carseat straps
  • Cash losing his voice from making zombie noises all night
  • The snuggles in the morning…heads on my shoulder
  • Sleeping next to Cannon from 4am-6am and kissing his juicy lips when he wakes up
  • img_7742
  • Cash log rolling from end to end on the bed attempting to dive off before we catch him
  • Wrestling them both after bath wondering when it was they stopped laying there letting me massage them
  • Biting their “biscuits” during diaper changes and hearing them laugh hysterically
  • Chasing them room to room and scaring them so bad they levitate and crack up laughing
  • Cash’s face on the swings

This list will only continue to grow and grow and grow as their personalities develop and as we experience more of this beautiful life together. I could choose to be sad as I think of days gone by, or I could focus on how wonderful it is that there’s even more of this to come. Their hands will not always be so small and chubby, but I’ll always have them to hold. Their feet will one day stomp instead of pitter patter, but the sound of them in my home will always be music to my ears. Their mouths will one day kiss a woman they’ve fallen in love with instead of me, but…their hearts will have always been mine first. Twice blessed, forget the rest.

Stay gold, That Girl

img_6302

Baby on a Budget

It’s true I’m a wee bit obsessed with baby gear, and have been since WAY before my boys were born; however, most of this gear is not considered a necessity. I even had some mom-troll comment on one of my posts one day, “Seems like you have to be a millionaire to have a baby these days”. I chose not to respond at the time, but here’s what I would’ve liked to say, “Actually, all it takes to have a baby is an egg, sperm, and a vagina”. But, tthat may have been considered rude, even though it’s true, lol. 

You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a baby. Here’s how to avoid breaking the bank when you’re preggo.

Breastfeed.

IMG_5334

Formula is not only lacking in nourishment and high in unnecessary toxins, but in pales significantly in comparison to breastmilk and it’s expensive! The sticky, stinky powder will empty your pockets so fast it’ll make your head spin, plus you’ll need bottles, nipples, warmers, bottle cleaner, etc. Something like 97% of the female population can breastfeed successfully so only 3% of you may have trouble. No need for fancy nursing covers either. If you’re shy, say goodbye…and walk away to somewhere peaceful and private. Otherwise, sun’s out? Boobs out!

Babywear

breastfeed, sideline, that girl

A babywearing wrap can be as cheap as $40! Know what’s even cheaper? Fabric. It cracks me up when I’m out in public tying on my ACK Wrap or Happy Wrap and someone comments, “Wow, they didn’t have things like that when I had my babies.” Yes, they did! All over the world people have worn their babies using not much more than a bed sheet or cut of fabric. Tie your baby on and there’s no need for a fancy schmancy stroller.

Cloth Diaper

IMG_4858

Yes, there’s some money up front and it’s suggested to have about 24 diapers to start with, but you could get by with less than that at first and build your way up to more. You’ll just have to do laundry a bit more until baby is using less diapers per day, but the upfront costs of cloth will save you thousands down the road. Get a starter kit of 24 diapers plus diaper pail liners and wet bags from ShopWholeHeart.com

Feed the Baby What You Eat

Jarred baby food costs about $.50 for one little jar, but you may go through 3-5 per day, which adds up to $1.50-2.50 a day, or averaging about $40-60 a month. Yikes! Make your own for a third of that price or, even better, just feed baby from your plate. Around six months baby can start eating soft foods and doesn’t need purees. Mash up that banana, potatoes, avocado, egg yolk, or bone marrow delicacy you’re spreading onto your toast points! Studies show babies who ate what the family ate before two years of age are far less likely to be picky eaters.

Clothes

Hand me downs from...somewhere

Hand me downs from…somewhere

Facebook is your friend! Join local garage sale pages, or swap sites, and post every few months asking for hand me downs. Trust me-people don’t want to go through that big box marked for Goodwill and price everything out to sell you individually. They just want it out of their house. I’ve gotten stuff from Baby Gap, Janie and Jack, even Feather4Arrow for FREE!!!

Bathtime 

IMG_5794

You do NOT need expensive organic soaps and lotions. Babies aren’t dirty and their skin produces natural oils to moisturize and protect. For bath, fold up a towel in the kitchen sink, fill it a little ways with warm water and wash baby off with a washcloth and natural oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil) every few days.

Toys

The best toys for babies and toddlers are “real world” items found around the house. Commercial toys are often overstimulating, which can actually stunt imagination and development rather than enhance it.

  • Create a sensory board using plywood and attach things such as sandpaper, buttons, locks, zippers, old calculators, ribbons, cotton, or various fabrics with different colors and textures.
  • Create a “sandbox” with a large rubbermaid container and cornmeal (safe to injest).
  • Use kitchen utensils like spatulas, ladles, measuring cups, or measuring spoons to play in sand or water.
  • Make shakers with old pill bottles and fill with beans, rice, coins, or beads.
  • Save toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, ribbon, bubble wrap, yarn, egg cartons, and milk jugs. All of these things allow for open ended, creative play.

IMG_6216

I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t splurge on the top of the line baby gear for my babies. I did. My stroller cost more than most people’s first cars (I’m embarassed to admit that); however, at the end of the day it’s not about the stroller, the diaper bag, or the clothes a baby had. It’s all about the love they received!

Stay Gold, 

That Girl

IMG_6180

Letters to my Sons

My whole life I said I wanted to be a mother. I traveled four years of the rockiest fertility road I couldv’e ever imagined and then on my birthday last year I conceived the two most beautiful baby boys in the world. Tomorrow marks my birthday, a day that now holds incredibly different value to me. It’s no longer the day of my birth; it’s the day I was given my sons.

IMG_1871

Dearest Cash,

You are such an old soul. From the moment we met I felt like you knew more about me than I did you. Even while you were in the NICU there was this peace about you like you knew you were safe, loved, and ok. In fact, when I look back on that I remember how stressed I was that I couldn’t be with you but everyone kept telling me, “Cash is ok, he’s happy”. And you were. We all started describing you as “chill”, but it’s more than that. You’re secure and trusting.

I’m falling in love with you more each day. Your bottom lip quivers with empathy when Cannon is upset or has tummy pain. I’ve noticed it quiver during sad songs too; which touches my heart. You feel so deeply and are so sensitive to the world around you. I hope that you use that quality to serve others and always demonstrate compassion and kindness. Each night I pray that when it comes time for you to love that you will be loved back and that the women you love will not break your heart (although I know it will happen a few times). That heart is one with mine now and I want to preserve it.

IMG_4751

You are a mamas boy and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the universe! You love holding onto my hair while you’re nursing. You clasp my fingers when I’m rocking you and you bury into my neck. Sometimes at night I think you’ve woken up just so you can have some alone time with me and when I pull you into bed next to me you snuggle so close that our skin melts together. I look down sometimes to check on you and every now and then you’re not even sleeping; you’re watching me too. Your bright blue eyes stare right back into mine.

I adore your smile! You waited to start smiling a bit longer than your brother and the smiles were reserved for me, dad, and grandma. It made me cherish each one that much more because it felt like each smile you gave me belonged to me and only me. I pray that smile shows people that Jesus lives in your heart and that you’ll always be a leader, never a follower.

The way you kick and march like a little monkey during playtime or bathtime makes my heart explode with laughter. You’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, too. I’ve seen you laugh each time you catch air as you try to jump out of your baby tub. There’s so much energy and life inside you. I hope you’re always adventurous, thrill seeking, and approach challenges with gusto!

Love, Mom

IMG_4596

Dearest Cannon,

You are the epitome of the nickname “Cannonball”! Not only have you taken the shape of a ball with your stout, muscular frame (well, rolls of baby fat now, but I see potential), but you’re also a ball of energy, a ball of laughter, a ball of fun! I try so hard not to interact too much at night because I’d like you to go back to sleep, but even in the dark I can see your mouth opened wide into a big Cannonball smile. I hear you cooing over the white noise machine to get my attention and if I hear a giggle I’m a gonner. I immediately get suckered into kissing your sweet chubby cheeks and nibbling your neck.

IMG_3657

You found your voice early! Since it’s been on it’s never turned off. You have so much to say and so many feelings to express. Anyone and everyone gets to hear what’s on your mind and you are skilled at grabbing, and keeping, people’s attention. My hope for you is that you use your voice to spread the word since the name “Cannon” means “protector of the Word”. Use your voice to stand up for what’s right since your middle name, “Wright”, means “righter of wrongs”. Be the voice for those that don’t have one or are too scared to use it.

I love the way you look at your dad. It’s as if you know that you’re curious spirit will get you into some trouble down the road, but this is the guy that will always have your back (even after busting your backside from time to time). You look at him like he’s your protector, and he is. He and I both will love you no matter what ind of pickle you get yourself into.

When you put your chunky cheek against your shoulder and peer up at me with those baby blues I just know you have the potential to be a heartbreaker, but I hope you’ll always treat women with respect. I hope you’ll be a gentlemen and you’ll use your charm to set an example for other boys around you on how to win a girl’s affection by being chivalrous and trustworthy.

You can be so silly sometimes. I look forward to seeing how far your sense of humor and confidence takes you in this world. I hope you never shy from a challenge and approach each new day with zest and excitement. Always take advantage of opportunities and never back down from something that scares you. I see so much bravery and gumption in you.

Cannon, take life like a bull by the horns and show us what you got!

Love, Mom

IMG_4395

Dear heavenly father, please continue to hold both my boys in your hands as you have and keep them safe from harm. I pray that any hurt they do experience only makes them stronger, kinder, and more brave. I pray that you will live inside their hearts and shine through them. Give me patience as a mother Lord and give me the words and actions I need to raise them to be men of character, men of integrity, and most importantly, men of faith. I pray they will be leaders in school, leaders in church, leaders among their peers, and leaders for each other. Protect the women they will marry, Lord, and ready them to give and receive love from my boys when the time is right. I pray all these things in your son’s name, amen. 

 

Postpartum Body Funk

I’ve always been a healthy person. I’m the kid that would get up early on a school day and rollerblade the neighborhood before it was time to get ready. I did Buns of Steel (it was the nineties) and lifted canned goods (we didn’t own weights) and loved watching Jazzercise videos on TV. Physical fitness and health have always been important to me. And, during pregnancy my health became that much more important.

IMG_2460

I worked out at my normal pace, 4-5 days a week, until about 30 weeks pregnant. Then, I slowed down and started walking most days and did zumba when I could muster up the energy until about 35 weeks. I ate mostly organic, except the first trimester where I lived on bean & cheese tacos and I ate butter like it was my job, and I snacked on fruits, protein, and veggies. I drank a gallon of water a day and even gorged on healthy fats towards the end to aid my babies’ brain development. I gained the minimum weight for twins (around 40lbs) and felt like I’d bounce back to my former glory; strong, flexible, and healthy in a few short months.

IMG_2821

When I woke up from an emergency c-section, after a brutal labor that nearly took my life, and I saw my disfigurement, I was distraught. My legs were swollen from the surgery, and my failing filtration systems, so they were unrecognizeable to me. My skin was stretched across them and looked pale and marbled. My stomach was hugely swollen still, resembling someone 6 months pregnant and my abdominal muscles split down the middle verically and horizontally so the skin that once stretched across both eight pound babies was now able to fall into the hole between my stomach muscles. The area above my incision was fat, raw, and red and the steristrips lined vertically across it resembled those on Frankenstein’s neck. I was humiliated by my appearance. So humiliated that I wouldn’t even let my husband see me walk to the bathroom without a robe on. It was depressing.

IMG_2871

Within the next few weeks the swelling went down and I lost all my pregnancy weight, but not the pregnancy shape. The steristrips came off and the incision was less noticeable by about 4 weeks although there was still a red reminder that my body had been cut open against my will. My arms, legs, and face finally look like the originals, but my stomach muscles are still in terrible shape and my skin is still struggling to find where it goes. My belly button is nonexistent and the linea negra and chloasma (dark skin spots) are still visible.

I want so desperately to be able to get to a gym, but my gym doesn’t offer childcare until babies are six months old. I tried to workout at home, but I caused a hematoma (blood collection) on my incision site and I already have a blood clot I’m dissolving with blood thinners. It’s very frustrating to not feel in control of your own body.

0245

The worst part? Nobody seems to understand. I keep hearing, “focus on your babies”, or “but look what you have as a result”, or “aren’t you grateful for your sweet boys?” And, someone I love dearly even asked me shamelessly one time if I hated my boys because of what they did to my body. Are you kidding me?

One has NOTHING to do with the other. I love feeling strong, flexible, capable. I love the rush I get from cardio and the adrenaline from dancing through a high impact exercise class. I love pounding the pavement in the sun on a Saturday morning and sweating buckets during a hot yoga session. Why the assumption that being unhappy with my postpartum body means I don’t love my babies or that I’m ungrateful? Because I have babies now I can stop caring about my health or my appearance? Now that I’m a mom I can stop wanting to feel attractive and sexy for my husband? Am I a bad mom because I want to go to the gym? Or, am I less loving because I have the need to do something for myself?

0510

I love my boys more than I’ve ever loved anything else in the world. I feed them from my body every few hours twenty-four hours a day. I change their diapers 8-10 times a day (each) and their clothes 2-3 times a day. We sing songs, read stories, take walks, dance, and enjoy baths together.  The only time I have to myself is…well, does their laundry count during naps as alone time? What about when I’m shoveling food in my face so I can keep up my milk supply? No? Okay, then how about when I’m watching a netflix show or blogging? I’m usually pumping breastmilk while I do that so I guess that doesn’t count. My life and focus is on caring for them 24/7, but that is hardly a healthy way to live. Working out is the one thing I plan to do for me and I’m sure many other mothers feel the same. We shouldn’t be shamed for wanting to work out or wanting to relocate our former selves.

I want to feel like me again. A strong, energetic, and independent being. This does not make me a bad person and certainly not a bad mom.

Stay gold, 

That Girl

IMG_4693

 

Breaking Bad Sleep Habits

As I rock both my babies until they’re drooling on my shoulder and completely dead weight, I reflect back to 20 minutes earlier when one was screaming uncontrollably after I’d already put him down for the night. I was starving and had just finished preparing my dinner plate so I rushed in and literally leaned over the bassinet and put my breast in his mouth until his eyes dropped shut. 

Hmmm, how do you break bad sleep habits?

IMG_3473

This topic was requested by a friend, and former colleague of mine, and I got to thinking how it’s definitely an area many moms struggle with (including myself!). It’s easy to create bad habits, but damn near impossible to break them. Yikes, I hear my baby fussing so…I’m looking at the clock…7:47, which means if he’s still fussing by 7:52 I can go in there). So, I guess my first piece of advice is DONT create bad habits. Easier said than done, huh? We’re all incredibly guilty!

Here’s a few really common bad habits I see that I encourage people to break and I have REFUSED to start from the very beginning.

  1. Projectors
  2. Mobiles
  3. CDs/Radio
  4. Fans
  5. Cosleeping
  6. Pacifiers

Oh sure, you saw the adorable stuffed hippo with the belly that projects rainbows on the ceiling at the baby store and the box said the word “sleep” on it so you thought, “Oh, I need that for my nursery to help my baby sleep”. The problem is that things like this suck and should be banned from the globe. An infant has enough trouble sleeping when there’s a brand new world to explore. They don’t need stimulating projectors with lights and shapes. Same goes for a mobile. Why would anyone want something spinning (unsafely I might add) over their face as they’re trying to sleep?

I’ll admit I’ve cranked up a lullaby on a music box at 2am to lull my boys into a trance a few times, but do not use CDs or radio to get your babies to sleep. It’s too stimulating and they will get used to the songs and the rhytm while sleeping and be unable to find their own rhythm and REM sleep.

Fans are just another above head stimulator, but also they dry out nasal passageways, which is primarily how infants breathe so…

Cosleeping by definition includes sleeping in the same room. I’m not talking about that. I’m referring to pulling baby into that fluffy, warm bed with you at 4am and nursing as you both conk into a coma. This is NOT safe and puts baby at risk for SIDS and you at risk for serious trauma and grief. If you’re going to lay in bed nursing your baby, be sure YOU don’t fall asleep and be sure all loose blankets and pillows are out of the way. I sleep with my babies in bed with me, but they’re in Snugglenests. They’ll be 2 months old on Monday and we’ll be transitioning into cribs asap.

IMG_3080

Pacifiers are great for soothing babies, but try not to let them fall asleep with it. If they’re in your arms and the pacifier gets loose in their lips because they’re nodding off, let it drop away and “disappear”. Keep rocking or jiggling baby to keep them drowsy, but don’t reengage them with the pacifier. It did it’s job and now it’s done. If they go to bed with it they may end up sucking in a light sleep instead of relaxing into a deep sleep.

Breaking the above habits should be easy. Turn off the fan, throw away the projector, and put the music player back in the closet. Now, there’s some other habits that are harder to break because there’s an emotional element.

  1. Rocking baby to sleep

I’ll admit this one is tough! First, ask yourself why you want to break this one. Are you doing it every night? Are you doing it before naps? Is it taking 30 minutes-an hour? Are you holding baby for half their nap? If you answered “yes” to any of those then you need to quit. Baby MUST learn to fall asleep on their own without assistance. When it’s naptime at my house I turn on their white noise machine, turn the lights out, put them in their Woombie and walk out. They go to sleep. I rock if one of them is drowsy and almost asleep, but the other is bright-eyed. This way I can keep them on the same schedule, but if they’re both drowsy…sianara. The best way to break this is tapering off. Try rocking for half the time…only until baby is drowsy, not fully asleep. If they wake up when you go to lay them down, that’s okay. Give them a kiss or a pacifier and walk out. It’s okay to let them fuss a little before you intervene and try again. Then, try dropping the rock altogether during naps and save rocking for bedtime, or better yet, morning love!

2. Picking up baby as soon as they cry

Believe it or not, your baby might not be awake when they cry. They might be transitioning sleep cycles, struggling with gas, or maybe they farted in their sleep and scared themselves, lol. Don’t enter the room just because you heard a whimper or a yelp. Wait a few minutes. If the “baby goat” cry escalates, then you can intervene, but try soothing your baby IN their crib before picking them up.

3. Feeding all night long

Just stop. Seriously just stop. If your baby is a decent weight (and age), they should be able to go longer stretches at night without food. My boys started sleeping 5-6 hour stretches around 6 weeks, but some nights they only go 4 hours in between feeds. That’s ok, but not really what I want. If they wake up before it’s time to eat I try to soothe them with a pacifier or shhhing until it’s been long enough. I’m stretching them out to 4.5hrs between eating on those nights they wake up at the 4 hour mark and after a few weeks of that I’ll try to stretch out to 5 hrs. Eventually the nighttime wakings drop away. If your pediatrician is happy with their weight gain and your milk supply is strong (or you’re formula feeding), this shouldn’t be a problem.

IMG_3006

Be aware of things like teething and sickness. It can be really easy to slip into a bad routine during times like this when baby needs you all night long. do your best to provide the late night comforting, nursing, and snuggles while they’re struggling, but be careful not to allow these things to become the norm. Also, when traveling it’s important to stick to a routine.

Create “sleepy” triggers you can stick with. For us, it’s white noise, lights off, swaddled tight in a Woombie.

Get your baby to sleep instantly…shhhh, it’s a secret.

Night night,

That Girl