Sunday, April 28, 2019

Natural Deodorant & Making the Switch


So this post is not at all sponsored, I just wanted to give you all some of the information that I collected over the last several months of using a more natural deodorant.  I tried several and I've had varying experiences with all of them.  I'll be honest too, I'm a pretty sweaty person so I need a deodorant that works well.  I knew that I really wanted to switch out my deodorant for something cleaner because of how harmful aluminum is to us.  Traditional antiperspirants are made with aluminum which clogs our pores which traps sweat (and the aluminum) inside.  Not only does our body need to rid itself of toxins, aluminum has been linked to things like breast cancer and Alzheimer's so those are some pretty big reasons to consider switching. 

The first natural deodorant I tried was Tom's of Maine right after Georgia was born.  I was going to yoga in the mornings with my mom for about 3 weeks before I returned to work and between that and the uptick in hormones I definitely did not choose a great time to try and switch to a more natural product.  Overall I liked it, however it literally lasted for about 10 minutes into yoga and then I just smelled.  I really knew nothing about natural deodorants at that time except for the fact that this one wasn't working so I gave up on it and went back to Secret.

Fast forward another year, I knew I wanted to try again.  Deodorant just seemed like one of the easiest products to switch out.  All that aluminum in our traditional deodorants such as Secret and Dove are just plain BAD for us and there are sooo many natural options out there I knew that something would have to work for me.  

My first choice was Schmidt's although once again I was off to a rocky start because I bought it in July and it literally melted in my car so it turned into a paste that I had to apply with my fingers, however I liked it and it worked well, I figured I had ruined it so I moved on to something else pretty quickly.

My second choice was Native.  I liked the Coconut Vanilla scent and I used it for months.  I thought I had found my replacement.  I wasn't having any issues with it and it worked really well at keeping me dry and not smelling.  I went through two sticks of it before I noticed I was getting a really bad rash under my armpit.  I didn't think too much about it being caused by the deodorant because I had been using it for months with zero issues and I was also having some skin irritation on my legs so I again, I wasn't thinking the deodorant was the issue.  I kept using the Native despite my arm pits and how painful they had become.  

both of my pits were like this for months!

Eventually it got so bad I made an appointment with my dermatologist.  They gave me a prednisone prescription and some steroid cream & sent me on my way but never mentioned anything about my deodorant.  Two weeks later after the prednisone and steroid cream most of it had cleared on both my armpits and my legs but there were still some spots.  I saw a different doctor this time who mentioned the possibility of my deodorant.  He said I either had eczema (which I've never had) or contact dermatitis which is basically reaction to a product on the skin.  He also recommended I start Cetaphil lotion and wash so I went straight to CVS and picked those two things up along with a stick of Dove.  I didn't care how bad it was for me, I had never in my life had a reaction like that from it or Secret which were the two I had always used. 

Still, I really wanted to make better choices so I gave some other natural options a shot.  I realized that baking soda was the culprit in my rashes so I refused to use anything that had any baking soda in it.  I started with Crystal.  I loved the concept of it--made of salt minerals that don't clog the pores like most other deodorants, however it just didn't cut it for me.  It's a liquid that rolls on which was a very hard adjustment for me in itself, then I'd feel by the time I got to work I already needed to reapply and it didn't hold up to my smell at all.  

My next choice was Piper Wai which is an activated charcoal deodorant.  You can but it in either a jar or a stick.  I actually was given a jar of it from a friend who tried it and didn't have any luck with it.  Although it worked better than the Crystal, I hated the application and the smell.  It's a paste that you apply about a pea sized amount on your finger tip and let melt under your arm.  The stick might've been a better option, but I was pretty much over spending money on these natural deodorants that were not working and that were not cheap,  I tried Piper Wai for a couple weeks but I was starting to feel a slight irritation again with it and did not want to take the chance although it is baking soda free.

For a couple weeks I went back to Dove again.  I didn't care at this point, it was the only thing that went on comfortably, kept me smelling clean, wasn't irritating my skin, and actually worked all day.  But I did some further looking via the Think Dirty app and was able to find a deodorant called Honestly pHresh.  I went with Tropical Blossom scent and not only does it smell soo good, it hasn't given my any issues at all.  It keeps me 90% dry all day, it's baking soda free, and I feel like the price point is best at just $10.  I asked them for a discount code and they gave me FREE shipping with code phree2019!

I'm continuing to keep comments turned off due to high volume of spam so if you have any questions or comments regarding this post please email me at babyridleybump@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Postponing our Next Transfer



Well, the title kind of sums up our plans, but I get messages regularly asking about our next transfer so I thought I'd just put all the details here for anyone who wants to know.  A few weeks back I mentioned a possible May transfer in my Instagram stories, which was really where I thought we'd be headed come next month, however my intuition was telling me something different so we have shifted gears a bit.  

Post D&C I just really didn't know what the future was going to be.  I knew I wanted to do another transfer (we have 3 embryos left) however I was also fearful of going down the path of miscarriage again.  We experienced 2 pregnancy losses last year, one in July and one in November of 2018.  Our first loss is what is referred to as a chemical pregnancy basically meaning very early loss.  We didn't even go in for an ultrasound, we knew based on our betas that the pregnancy wasn't viable.  Our second transfer the betas came back amazing.  Very high and more than doubling so we were very certain that we had a thriving baby only to find out at our first ultrasound that the embryo had split and I had a blighted ovum (empty sac) and a baby who had stopped growing around 6 weeks with no heartbeat.  It was devastating and it was the hardest part of our journey to hear those words.  

I had a D&C 11 days later and I knew that I would need time to recover.  I bled for 3 weeks, then at 4 weeks I had my first period post D&C.  At first I thought that we would go back for our next transfer in March but the holidays flew by and before we knew it we were already into February when I realized that it wasn't going to happen in March.  Not only did we go through a pregnancy loss in early November but at the same time Joe decided to quit his job and start a business so we had a lot on our plates at that time.  Starting a business has been a challenge but in a good way.  A lot of our finances have gone towards making sure our business is successful right off the bat and now that our transfer is 100% out of pocket it was going to put us in a pretty tight spot financially if we were going to transfer this spring.

There was a lot to consider but my mind was made up that we'd do a transfer come May.  That would give us some time to get ourselves into a better spot financially and it was sooner rather than later.  Something was telling me though that maybe we should wait.  We really wanted to finish our back patio which was going to be a few thousand dollars and I wanted to invest in a nice swing set for Georgia to give her a space to play this summer now that she's older.  I also had been really struggling with Georgia going through some of the typical "terrible twos" stuff and I couldn't fathom being pregnant with a toddler at the time.  Mama's going to need her alcohol this summer!  I knew that deep down the right thing to do was to wait.  And I don't mean wait like a month, I mean wait several months, like until summer is over.  

I realized that I want to give Georgia as much attention as possible and provide her with as many experiences as we possibly can and I don't want anything to be in the way of that so I knew that waiting really was for the best.  It's going to be hard but with how quickly time is going I know the summer will fly by and I want to make the most of it with my family.  Most of us know this all too well when it comes to infertility, if there isn't a set back or an intermission in our plans at some point can we even say we've experienced infertility to the fullest?! 


It's hard because I wanted our kids to be close in age, but I've again learned the lesson about relinquishing control of things that I really have no control over.  A transfer this fall would put our babies over 3 years apart, but I know that that is OK and that there is nothing more I can do about it at this point.  Making the decision to wait does give me a little sense of control over the situation too, even though it's not exactly what I wanted, it is for the best at this point. 


Commenting is still turned off due to so many spammy comments, but if you have any questions or comments you can send them directly to me via email {babyridleybump@gmail.com}

Monday, April 15, 2019

3 Big Decisions You Should Make Before Baby


One of the unexpected things about having a baby is the sheer number of decisions you're suddenly faced with. Not just what colour to paint the nursery walls, or which brand of stroller to buy, but serious decisions with far-reaching consequences that can go way beyond the cosy newborn days. A lot of them will need to be agreed with your partner, and it's far better to discuss them in advance, without the crazy postpartum hormones and tiredness that can cloud your judgement during baby's first few weeks. Don't wait until the last minute to make decisions when you may be left with limited options. Get ahead of things by considering the below issues well before your due date…

Childcare Provider?

Maternity leave can seem endless when you're at the top end of it, but those weeks soon race by, and you'll be much better off if you've thought about your childcare arrangements long before they have to become a reality. Most decent nurseries and childminders have a waiting list, and you will want time to visit and meet them before making a commitment. If you are relying on any family help, make sure everyone involved is absolutely clear about what they're doing. Don't make the mistake of assuming grandparents will be willing to step in without having an honest, unpressured conversation and clarifying exactly what you both expect. You may not fully know in the early days whether you're planning to go back to work full or part time, do shared parental leave with a partner or even stay off unpaid for a bit, so it's worth doing a bit of scenario planning and working out what your childcare options and costs will be for each case.

Eco Friendly?

If there's one thing babies come with, it's a lot of accessories, so it's worth taking a moment to consider your values and how environmentally conscious you want to be in your product choices. It's a personal decision, but you may decide to opt for cloth diapers rather than disposables, and you can also source reusable wipes. These all mean extra laundry to do, so make sure you're aware of the implications. You may also decide that you only want to use natural and organic products for your baby's skin as well, or on yourself while you may be breastfeeding. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can to make sure the choice fits your lifestyle.

Bottle Or Breast?

The choice of whether or not to breastfeed your baby can be highly emotive, and many new mothers feel incredible pressure to go in one direction or the other. Put some thought into the benefits, difficulties and requirements for each. Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable to begin with, difficult to establish and you will not be sure how much milk the baby is taking. On the other hand, once you get going you don't need any equipment and can feed anywhere. If you choose to bottle feed, selecting the right formula for your baby is a big consideration, and you will also need a sterilisers, bottles and other things, but it does mean a little more freedom as others can feed your child. Look at the benefits of both and don't be afraid to hedge your bets - even if you choose to try breastfeeding, just knowing that you have a small stock of readymade baby milk stashed in the cupboard can take the pressure off if it's tough at first.

This post is contributed.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Our First Zoo Trip


The weather finally decided to play nice for a couple of days so Joe and I took off work on Monday and decided to take Georgia to the zoo for her first time.  It was such a blast!  I think I was probably more excited than she was.  We don't have any zoos in our hometown so we had to basically just decide what town we wanted to drive to.  The one zoo we haven't been to that I wanted to try was still closed for the season so we decided to head to Brookfield which is a northwest suburb of Chicago.  They have a large zoo that has been around forever and one that I have been to dozens of times.  My parents took us there often when I was a kid and it felt great to go back for the first time in at least a decade. 

Georgia is now to the point that she is getting heavy to carry but still wants to be carried often.  I didn't expect her to walk too much but she certainly loves to run around and be free, however we put in a lot of steps that day and never would've been able to carry her the entire time.  We finally got to try out our new stroller from Colugo and it did not disappoint!  Colugo sent me this stroller back in February, but Illinois winter was brutal and we didn't go really anywhere that a stroller was needed so I had been dying to try it out.  My original thought with this stroller was for traveling to Georgia (amongst other places) for our next embryo transfer.  What really drew me to this particular stroller was not only its adorable design but it's ability to fit into an overhead compartment on a plane.  





Unfortunately we have decided to postpone our transfer a few months (more to come on this soon) so my hopes of using it on a plane are also postponed.  Luckily though the zoo became a great place to try it out for the first time!  So during the week at the zoo, 90% of the people there are moms with their kids so there are lots and lots of strollers all over the place.  I was really paying attention to all of them and was overall really happy that we brought this smaller "umbrella" style stroller with us vs. a larger stroller like our City Mini.  

Our first stop at the zoo was to the underwater viewing of the dolphins which of course Georgia determined were sharks.  She is OBSESSED with baby shark (just like every other child in the world) so all sea animals were "sharks".  We were able to easily transport the lightweight stroller down the set of stairs to the viewing area and then on the way back up realized there was a ramp for all of us parents with kids to easily get up and down.  I was really surprised but Georgia was very content to ride in the stroller for more than half of the day which made it easier on us not having to carry her or chase her the entire time.

doing the baby shark dance


What I love about this stroller in particular is a few things.  One, its super easy to fold, you can do it one handed,  Two, its main layer is machine washable.  Three, it has a shoulder strap on the stroller itself for easy carrying AND it comes with a book bag style carrying bag.  It also comes with a rain cover and  50 SPF sun shade, and rides super smooth with a very generous storage basket.  This small compact stroller has more storage space than my full-size Baby Jogger.  I can actually fit my Fawn Design diaper bag fully packed in the storage basket, something I can't do with my Baby Jogger.  They also make an infant kit which allows use of the stroller for brand new babies along with back packs and baby carriers.  I cannot say enough about how pleased I am with the quality of this stroller.  It is probably one of my favorite pieces of baby gear and I'm glad that Georgia still needs a stroller sometimes because I'm absolutely loving using it!



Georgia's favorite part of the zoo was the all of the sea animals (again with the love for Baby Shark) and the geese that were roaming all over.  She also really loved all the "kittys" as there are several at Brookfield and almost all of which we got to see pretty closely.  Lately her behavior has been a challenge to say the least but she did a really amazing job and was overall really happy for the entire day.  She got upset one time when we were done with lunch, there was a playground that we let her play on for a few minutes after we ate and she did not want to leave when it was time to continue on looking at the animals, but she spared us a public meltdown which was a relief!

I'm so so excited to have more adventures like we did at the zoo.  My goal for the spring and summer is to make it as memorable as we can.  I know that Georgia won't remember it but she is growing and learning so much and I want to give her as many opportunities to explore and learn and have fun as we possibly can.  I'm thankful that Colugo was able to make the trip even more enjoyable by making it easier for us to get around for the day.  I can't wait to share more with you all through this next season of our lives. 

PS. I have turned off commenting and plan on doing so on future posts because of so much spam.  I'm not sure how else to combat the 75+ comments I get per post that are spam.  If you have a question or comment please feel free to email me at babyridleybump@gmail.com
 
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