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“Cornless” Bread January 25, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — ontothewaves @ 5:27 pm
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2 cups sorghum flour

½ cup rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup water, milk, or alternate milk

2/3 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil (in solid form)


Preheat oven to 425

Mix dry ingredients

Add wet ingredients and cut together with fork (dough is smooth, wet, but, can be formed into balls)

Pour into greased baking pan, muffin tins, or form into balls and place on cookie sheet

Cook until edges are golden brown (about 15 minutes)

Try serving with coconut oil and honey, alongside Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili


Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

Filed under: Recipes — ontothewaves @ 5:24 pm
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2.5 pounds sweet potatoes

2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, or 15oz can diced tomatoes

2 cups quinoa (red tastes best)

2 cups cooked black beans (I sprout mine by soaking for a few days covered with a cheese cloth) or 1 15oz can black beans.

1 onion

1 red pepper

3 cloves garlic

1-2 tablespoons oil

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

2 teaspoons chili seasoning (I use gluten free, and plan to make my own from fresh ingredients soon)

Water to cover potatoes

Sausage (optional)


Slice onion and pepper

Peal and mince garlic (I peal and run through a garlic press)

Place oil in bottom of large pot, sauté over medium heat: onion, pepper, garlic and sausage if using it

Add the remaining ingredients, including enough water that potatoes are covered

Cover and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft

Taste and adjust seasoning and apple cider vinegar to taste

Try serving with “Cornless” Bread


Mama and Papa See Me Through (PTT through Baby’s eyes) November 2, 2012

Squeezed and pushed I tried so hard to rotate through. It took some time, but, finally the shape of my passage changed and I slid through into warm, expectant, hands. These hands belonged to my Grandma, who was gazing lovingly into my eyes.

I heard familiar voices, and smelled my Mama and heard her heartbeat as I was laid on her chest. I felt safe, and laid there for a long time. After a while my Mama put me near something soft and round, it smelled sweet and I tried to suckle on it . . . I did not know why, but, it seemed so natural.

After a while my stomach started to bother me – I had never felt hungry before. Inside my Mama’s womb I was constantly fed. I kept trying to suck on my mother’s warm, round, breasts, but, it was so much work for so little reward. Over the next few days I decided I preferred to sleep –  to conserve my energy.

Soon I realized if I sucked a few times milk would flood my mouth briefly. I liked that feeling and it tasted so good. I cried and cried when my Mama gave me a rubber nipple without milk instead of breastfeeding me, but, it relaxed me, and I drifted off to sleep.

My skin began to hurt, itch, and flake off . . . this had never happened before. I felt so hungry, but, I was too sleepy to cry for milk – it was too hard and painful to suck for it anyway.

One day Mama gave me a different type of rubber nipple; this one had milk in it. It was scary to drink from the bottle – I kept choking, and it was still a lot of work to suck the milk out, but, after a few days my belly felt full, and my skin felt comfortable, but, something else happened. My throat started to burn as the milk came back up, I did not want to lose that milk so I would swallow it back down and it burned again.

One day a man looked in my mouth, and then he put something hot under my tongue. It made my tongue feel funny, and Mama stopped offering so many bottles. I was happy that I could get more milk from her breasts . . . but I still felt hungry all the time, and my throat still burned. We saw another man who did something similar to my lip; I felt I could drink really well for a few days before things got worse and worse.

One day Mama started giving me bottles again after I breastfed, I felt less hungry, but some of the bottles tasted so bad, I think I heard someone call them “formula,” it made my tummy hurt, and sometimes all of it came back up my throat. One time so much came out Mama screamed!

Some time passed, Mama and Papa fought a lot and I sensed so much tension in my house. They kept using my name, and I felt it was my fault.

One day I had to stay in my car seat the whole day, we stayed at my Titi’s house far away. The next morning we had another long car ride to another doctor’s office. I had seen so many. I could not understand why.

The doctor looked in my mouth and then took me away, once again I felt something hot under my tongue. When the doctor brought me back I drank milk from Mama’s breasts. It felt easier, and did not hurt so much, though I still found it hard to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing. I often would forget to breathe and have to gasp for air. Feeding was still stressful.

Mama took me to a sweet lady who rubbed my head and did funny things with my body. Sometimes I did not like it, but, I felt better afterwards. It seemed like the more times she brought me there the easier it was to drink milk from Mama’s breasts and before long I was not drinking from many bottles at all.

I felt the tension in my home release, and even my tummy and throat stopped hurting for a while.

After more time passed I began feeling hungry again; my ears, tummy and throat began hurting too. I would cry for hours. I could tell something was bothering Mama, but, I did not hear her say much until she told Papa, “he thinks more frenum came forward from craniosacral therapy,” whatever that means. Mama started giving me bottles again. The bottles made my tummy feel full; I did not want to suck on Mama’s breasts anymore. It was too hard to get milk.

One day I had to ride in my car seat for a long time and went back to the doctor again. This time he put the hot thing under my tongue and my lip. When he brought me back to Mama I decided to try to suck on her breast. I found I could open my mouth wider and somehow that gave me more milk. I decided I would keep trying to suck on her breasts.

Mama would stretch and rub her fingers under my tongue and lip. I did not like the feeling of being held down and it hurt a little bit; but, I let her, because she always told me so calmly that she had to do this so I could drink easier. I trusted her.

We went to another kind woman who rubbed my head and neck and moved my body around. She talked a lot while she was doing this, and Mama asked questions. I did not understand what they were talking about, but, I think it made Mama feel happier, and I felt better too.

Another lady kept watching me eat. She talked to Mama a lot too, than she kept trying to put a tube in my mouth while I sucked on Mama’s breasts. I felt Mama was stressed and the tube felt funny so I decided not to breastfeed anymore. I was really hungry for a few days because Mama stopped giving me bottles. One day I decided I would try the tube. The tube had milk in it! After that, I decided I liked drinking from Mama’s breasts again. I liked it so much I drank from them constantly for a few days. It seemed the more I drank from them the more milk there was – this was new to me and I loved it.

Now I drink from Mama’s breasts all the time. My ears, throat, and tummy have started feeling better. I have even learned to say some words – I love the reaction I get! The tension in my house has relaxed and I can see how much Mama and Papa love each other – and love me. Things have been hard for me since the moment I tried to exit Mama’s womb, but, they are getting easier . . . and I know my Mama and Papa are loving enough to see me through whatever lies ahead.


Pumping Tips September 24, 2012

Pumping can be so challenging and not fun! I have pumped for 3 children; I have changed a few techniques and most importantly changed my attitude. My milk can literally letdown at the sight of my pump now – with my first child I could never letdown. In addition to this I have found that my body responds differently to different types/brands of pumps, so I needed to find what worked for me. I hope a few of the tips I have learned can help others!

-Comfie chair and relaxing atmosphere

-Coconut oil on nipples for lubrication

-Hands free pumping bra

-Embracing the experience and becoming one with the pump

-Massaging/compressing breasts and tilting flanges in all directions while pumping

-Once the milk stops flowing:

-Massage/compress breasts all the way back to my armpits

-Shake breasts while leaning forward

-Manually or hand express for a few minutes

-Pump again until a few minutes after the milk stops flowing (tells you body to make more milk)

-Then take your time sitting there with your breasts hanging out…take your time putting your pump parts back away and the milk you pumped. Smell it and look at it and imagine your baby drinking it. Keep your pump where you can see throughout the day, even when not pumping. Look at it and think how amazing it is that it enables you to provide your human milk to your baby. A lot of pumping is attitude . . . relaxing and getting good letdowns and growing to love and appreciate the experience helps so much.

 My 3 year old has seen me pump so many times he can put the flanges etc. together by himself!


I Can’t Steer a Parked Car September 11, 2012

Naomi is 9 months old. 9 months is the age Caleb was when I made peace over losing my nursing relationship with him. I could simply say, I passed my goal of 6 months, we overcame the worst of the difficulties regarding the tongue tie, things are “okay.” But, I will not settle for “okay”.

Why should I force her to compensate? Why should I put her lungs at greater risk of aspiration, why allow artificial nipples to ruin her oral development, why feed her formula and mess with her delicate little gut? Why not shoot for the best? I have waffled over this for 2 months. No more pondering or second guessing. I choose to push forward. “You can’t steer a parked car.” So I turn the key, and press the gas. My tank often runs near empty…but, I never run out.

I started domperidone for milk supply today. Tomorrow I begin pumping and Naomi has a weight check. Wednesday we will attempt exclusive breastfeeding. Friday we will check milk transfer with an IBCLC. We will continue suck training exercises and craniosacral therapy as we are able. If there is a bump in the road or we take a wrong turn, we will re-route; but, I refuse to take my foot off the gas. At this point I do not know our destination – the earth is round. There is no telling just how far we can go, so I am driving.

 This is her face after nursing, which she now calls, “nun-nun.”


Big Gain! August 15, 2012

Go ahead and ask me: “How did your baby suddenly gain weight so well after months of sliding down the growth charts?”

The simple  question, “why isn’t she gaining?” introduced me to the complex answer that led to our solution, and delicious FAT on Naomi’s baby thighs for the first time since birth – at 8 months old.

Here are the problems and solutions:

1) Not transferring enough milk during feeds

Adding formula to expressed milk and/or mixing formula to 24 calories (under a doctor’s direction) and “topping off” with a bottle after breastfeeding

Releasing posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie

2) Allergies causing diarrhea and reflux

Eliminating allergens from my diet (cow dairy, soy, corn, gluten)

Switching to a high calorie homemade formula with no ingredients she is allergic too (more info below)

3) Still burning more calories than she was taking in after PTT release

Craniosacral therapy to release muscle tension associated with the ties

4) Low milk supply – likely because of the ties which were not properly revised until Naomi was 5 months

Fennel tea for me (I took domperidone prior to the PTT release and craniosacral therapy)

Pumping after feeds

Weighing Naomi before and after feedings every 2 weeks to estimate supply and transfer so she is not over supplemented

Many people ask me about homemade formula. It is my recommendation that you do your own research and find (or create) a recipe that is best for you and your child. I chose goat milk because Naomi is allergic to cow milk, I chose ingredients I can afford, feel are safe, can easily obtain, and are calorie dense. I started giving it to her at 6 months in addition to breastmilk – she was old enough to eat solid food, so it really is not much different, other than I give it to her in a bottle! I started making the formula with pasteurized goat milk and switched to raw because I researched and felt that was a healthier decision for my baby.

I am just a mom trying to help her baby – everyone should do their own research before trying any homemade formula recipe. I also recommend using another mother’s breastmilk whenever possible, we could not because of Naomi’s many food sensitivities.

 Naomi, 8 months, 15 pounds – up 7 lbs 1 oz from her lowest weight – the awesome part being that most of that growth has been in the past month! Notice the fat around her elbows, cheeks, and thighs – she had never had any extra fat! So exciting and beautiful! She is crawling around on the playground here – after her revision and craniosacral therapy she has been excelling with her motor skills as well!

 Proud moment for us both!


Everything Happens for a Reason (PTT #3) July 16, 2012

“Everything happens for a reason,” I have repeated this to myself like a broken record for 7 months; and when I was sobbing too deeply, my mother said it for me.

“Just hold your baby skin to skin, that will encourage her to nurse” – expert advice from a hospital nurse, and Naomi did nurse – for a few minutes before falling asleep, and so the cycle repeated itself. “Why is my baby rooting for the breast and not feeding?” I asked the pediatrician, and was assured everything was fine, but, in my spirit I knew it was not.

“She is still losing weight, maybe you are forgetting to feed her,” the pediatrician advised at Naomi’s two week weight check.

The lactation consultant confirmed Naomi was only transferring 20ml of breastmilk – after switching sides 4 times and performing breast compressions . . . and a “perfect latch,” which left my nipples flattened, broken, and bleeding.  “Your baby has become ‘lazy’ because of your ‘oversupply’ and does not want to nurse past the letdown,” I was told.

“Just offer a two ounce bottle after breastfeeding,” our pediatrician advised when Naomi was 3 weeks old and still losing weight, despite nursing her non-stop around the clock. Fearing rejection I sterilized the SNS and offered her expressed milk through a tube, taped to my breast – she never took more than half an ounce and I was certain things were improving.

“She didn’t lose any more weight, that is an improvement, but, the SNS is not working – you need to use a bottle” I was told at the 4 week check up. My stomach dropped and vision spun. This was not happening. I had researched for months, all I wanted was a normal breastfeeding experience . . . I just wanted to feed my baby in peace.

“Please help me, my baby can’t breastfeed and she chokes on the bottle,” I pleaded with the nurse who admittedly did not have much advice. My new routine became breastfeed, bottle feed breastfeed. Feedings were lasting 2 hours, 45 minutes of that time was Naomi attempting to drink 2 ounces before she was out of energy – more often than not she could not finish a bottle.

“There is this other kind of tongue tie that is really hard to diagnose, a posterior tongue tie,” wrote a trusted la leche league leader in response to my saga on the LLL Facebook Group.  I googled “posterior tongue tie,” and realized we had literally every sign and symptom except reflux (which showed up later, once she had enough nourishment to stay awake). I read stories of the “simple revision” being done and babies instantly latching and breastfeeding perfectly. My strength and hope for breastfeeding returned. I became a mama bear. I was angry and determined. I wanted to set things right for my baby and for as many other mamas and babies as I could.

I started taking domperidone and changed feedings to breast, bottle, pump. I prayed for my milk supply to increase – it doubled overnight!

The first ENT recognized an upper lip tie, but, not a tongue tie. The second ENT performed a tongue tie revision but claimed the lip tie would not affect breastfeeding. Naomi was able to transfer some milk. We followed up with speech pathologists who suggested suck training techniques, we began meds for reflux, Naomi was transferring some milk, my nipples healed. I eliminated dairy and soy from diet, we fed her high calorie formula in addition to breastmilk, and still her weight gain was painfully slow and reflux got worse by the day. Where was my quick fix?

We had the lip tie revised and still there was little improvement. I had health issues and took multiple medications and spent time in the hospital with very little pumping and my supply plummeted.

I joined the Tongue Tie Babies Support group on Facebook, IBCLCs and other group members were convinced there was unrevised tongue tie. I emailed pictures to Dr. Kotlow, and visited a local lactation consultant who all agreed Naomi’s tongue was still restricted.

Feeling crazier by the hour, I took Naomi to craniosacral therapy, where I watched her tongue change shape in front of my eyes. 2 days later, and several states away, I opened a door to an office which had a merry go round and video games in the waiting area along with breastfeeding posters. We were escorted to a private room where I filled out the most complete questionnaire yet, again my world spun as a man entered the room with a smile and said, “Hi, I’m Dr. Kotlow,” I wanted to cry, but, held fast. Before long he had taken Naomi and returned her, “the other doctor only took the anterior tie, now there is nothing left to take,” stated Dr. Kotlow. She had been seen by the best of the best. I felt such a peace wash over me. A few minutes after we left Dr. Kotlow called me, “I just wanted to tell you that you are not crazy and I really think things will improve.” I have been so amazed by people like Dr. Kotlow, and others who volunteer hours of their time to help people – I can only hope and pray I am able pay some of that forward one day.

Still, the road had not ended. I felt a surge of emotions. I was angry, cheated, defeated. I felt guilty for my feelings, because things had improved so much. I hated the people who had taken their babies for revision and they nursed perfectly afterwards. I had yet to understand that the complexity was our blessing.

“Gut healing” is the phrase I kept hearing over and over. I resisted until I was told, “gluten is like cocaine,” an hour later I was gluten free, a few weeks later corn free, the next week making Naomi’s formula from goat milk and other ingredients that I know she can safely consume.

I switched to stretching the revision site with Naomi’s head in my lap and feet pointing away, and it healed quickly and completely.

With more craniosacral therapy she was able to drink 3.8 ounces from my breasts last week – a milestone for both of us.

“Everything happens for a reason.” My baby is beautiful, happy, and growing. I have clarity of mind, and a passion to learn everything I can about the challenging topics of lactation so that one day I can pay it forward. I feel I am caring for my body and my family like never before. Everything is coming together at once, I am a stay at home mom for the first time, I am home schooling, I am breastfeeding, I am preparing healthy foods for my family. All these things fit together perfectly, God always has a plan . . . we simply have to trust and persevere. The phrase that kept me going was to help others – this journey has helped no one more than me.