27 December 2012

14 Days: Phototherapy (Aryeh)

For exactly fourteen days, I've been blessed with our second sweetie, Aryeh. I want to share his birth story, but first I think I'd like to start with today. I learned to never doubt what I believe in, especially when it comes to the health of my children.

Despite testing in normal range for bilirubin levels on his date of birth and his well-baby check two days later, Aryeh became increasingly jaundiced. I was concerned, did my research, and decided to wait until his two week check today to bring it up. I explained to his pediatrician that I felt he was rather jaundiced, but filled plenty of diapers and had normal awake time. The doctor agreed that he looked rather yellow but didn't think it was anything to worry about. Mind you, I hear horror stories about brain damage and the like, so I wanted to be extra cautious. We decided getting another bilirubin test done would be a good idea.
A couple hours later the pediatric called back saying Aryeh's bilirubin levels had gone from 8 to 18 and that it was most likely "breastmilk jaundice". What's that you ask? According to the Birth,
'Breast milk jaundice' is a term given to a common type of mild jaundice that becomes persistent, or prolonged, for up to 6 to 12 weeks after the baby is born. The baby appears slightly yellow, but is well and healthy. Breast milk jaundice does not require any treatment because the levels of bilirubin are very low.Breast milk jaundice only relates to babies being breastfed (not surprisingly!) and the exact causes are not clear, although up to 30% of breastfed babies can have breast milk jaundice to some degree. It is thought that it may occur due to a combination of factors including:
  • An enzyme that some mothers have in their breast milk that can increase the reabsorption of bilirubin from the baby's bowel motions.
  • The breast milk possibly inhibiting the efficient processing of bilirubin in the liver.
(Breast milk jaundice is unrelated to "breastfeeding jaundice" where the newborn doesn't nurse enough to clear out old, excess red blood cells and becomes lethargic and ill with poor weight gain.)

So the pediatrician recommended that we stop breastfeeding for two days to allow the bilirubin levels to drop while switching to formula during that time. After two days, we would come in for bilirubin labs and a check up to see how he fares and to confirm the diagnosis. I asked multiple times if there weren't other options available to us such as phototherapy. He reiterated no. I explained the importance of nursing to us, my concerns with him not eating well if placed on a formula diet (he hates bottles and pacifiers), etc. This approach he wanted to pursue was considered outdated by many resources and doctors who were of the mindset that one should never stop nursing for breastmilk jaundice but rather treat the jaundice with phototherapy and do tests that rule out other possible causes. Josh saw how upset I was (I walked in with tears in my eyes and smeared eyeliner... Yuck!) and really didn't want Aryeh to stop nursing either (we aren't much for formula unless there is no choice). He insisted I not give up, and that I asks why phototherapy wasn't an option and seek a second opinion. We did lots of research that all insisted there was never a reason for newborns with breastmilk jaundice to stop nursing.

By the end of the day, after being told by multiple doctors that formula was the only choice, the neonatologist told one of the doctors I spoke to that I should not stop breastfeeding but that his bilirubin levels weren't high enough to qualify for outpatient phototherapy. Then I received a phone call from a doctor who was originally adamant about the formula who said they just looked back over the chart and noticed for the first time that he was a 37 weeker and sought out the outpatient lights as his levels are more serious for one 37 weeks.

If I hadn't had sought a second opinion and been an advocate for my son, he wouldn't have received the treatment he needed. We feel pretty good about that.


17 October 2012

Winter Arrival Pebble Vest

So this Pebble vest... Apparently, it's an simple and popular knitting project for expectant mothers. After seeing it on SouleMama, I figured I'd check it out on Ravelry and see if I could give it a try. I've already passed the instructed newborn length, but because we Rosier/Deitch children tend to be longer babies, I figured I'd add another 10 rows and knit it up one needle size from 4 to 5. Hopefully this will help the vest last past that first newborn month or two.

First off, it's so simple and straight forward that a knitter with basic skills (knit/purl) can whip it up in no time! It also appears to be very easy to gauge up or down for a custom size for an older child. And luckily there are tons of variations detailed kindly by other users. I'll have to share some of the inspiring ones before I'm done.

I originally bought this yarn in 2009, intending to make Josh socks with it. (Lol. I still haven't knitted a pair of socks before, so maybe I'll make that a Chanukah goal...) It's so pretty, with three strands of variegated color twining around. It self stripes in a neat way. I bought this well before I understood the importance of keeping yarn labels sadly, so yet again, I have no idea what this is. It reminds me of some Berroco "Keltic" yarn. It's definitely a cotton wool blend or something of the sort and it feels lovely. But I can just imagine what the colors will look like on our winter boy. I made booties in brown and forest green to match and have fabric to make little coordinating pants for him.

Today for the first time I got the feeling that Aviva really understood that there was going to be a baby in the house soon. Just now she pointed to the pictures of the vest and said "bah-bah" (her word for baby). Makes me all warm inside!

15 October 2012

Autumn Georgette Peter Pan Collar

Over the course of the summer and the beginning of Autumn, I've been knitting and crocheting a lot, but I hadn't felt much motivation to share (attribute it to pregnant mama exhaustion or what have you). Well I've take a few photos of various projects (the ones I think are cute enough to show someone!) and am finally planning on posting them. And here we go...

I was trying to hunt down a cute peter pan collar I could wear with some of my simpler tees to dress them up or add a sense of dated modesty and femininity to them. Eventually I found this pattern, the Georgette Collar, and set to hooking. You can find an extra details on my ravelry project here.

The yarn was an old Manos Del Uruguay wool silk blend (I think) I've had since 2009, lost the tags to, etc. But it totally fits my autumn mood (tis my favorite season) with reds, golds, and hints of green in the colorway. Still have a bunch left! Wonder what else will come out of it.

One of the things I like about this pattern is that she provides you with multiple variations for the ties ends. I chose the leaves (so very predictable) and I think they are quite sweet... I get the feeling I'm going to make a few more of these to get rid of some of my old acrylics. I told myself I wouldn't buy more wool until I used up a bunch of my existing yarn... Sigh.

14 August 2012

A Letter to Aviva: 16 months

Dear Aviva,

You run and dance and play with big kids. You sing and shake hands and ask "whas daa?" to everything. Your vocabulary is blossoming and you are no longer so afraid of the pool. You use your imagination for everything, making mama and papa horse kiss and making us wooden chicken soup, served up with love and your little ladle. You read to yourself quietly in the corner and give kisses (mmmmah) all the time. 

Your smile is still magical. Your snowy skin has turned summer gold and you look like the most precious doll. Wide-eyed, always smiling, and mischievous to the nth degree, you are mama's precious, precious girl.


Over this past month, Vivi has grown in most of her teeth but two or three. This early?! No wonder she's been a fussbutt. ;) This past week she said "apo" apple, "bebe" baby, "duhdee" dirty, amongst other equally adorable renditions of random English vocabulary. I was so proud to hear her repeat some letters of the alphabet on her own in her own funny way.

I love my liitle girl. <3

02 August 2012

The First Week of August

The last bloom of the season for this tree.

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone."

 Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

01 August 2012

The Good Ol' Days: Nitty, Gritty Blogging

Whatever happened to the good ol' days when blogs weren't driven by a quest for money and popularity? I remember the days of livejournal and the early days of non-google blogger, scribble.nu, and what have you. I miss the stress-free nonchalance about being able to blog about whatever you wanted (um, life) without being caught up in content-driven profit.

I love blogs with great content, but that doesn't just mean tutorials out of ones ears (most of which have been done. I don't say this to be scathing, I just say it amicable honesty. And let's be frank, I'm the only one here. ;))

Blogging as ones career is very rewarding I'm sure. But for those of us that want to have that option but post about our true selves, be them not so cookie-cutter perfect as the mommy bloggers of a-state-I-shall-not-name (again, these are blogs I follow, praise, and adore. I'm just being honest about the image put forth: flawless, stay-at-home-mother's other allllllll happen to be extraordinarily crafty, domestic, and with tempers of BAMBI). Dealing with depression, feelings of inadequacy on all fronts, racial identity issues, pressure of my beloved religion, and so on... these are things I deal with on a daily basis IN ADDITION to living gratefully with JOY. Life is a quest in which we learn about gratitude and contentment and let's face it: we aren't always perfect so let's not only show that face! Let's show our relatable human side. When you do, you have the support of your followers to back you up and help you through any negative points in your life. Blogging used to be about networking to make new, wonderful friendships that wouldn't be accessible to you otherwise, not acquiring the greatest number of unique hits.

I used to love photography. I used to love the gritty possibilities of documenting ones life. Honestly, instagram is more realistic than the perfectly posed and made-up mothers of the blogosphere. But feeling the pressure of trying to blend in (what a mistake :( Oh Lauren...), documenting life both photographically and journalistically became a stress.

And all of this hit me in the midst of a bad bout of depression. I simply couldn't write a post because the high school pressure hit me and I felt like why journal online anymore when it feels like I should be doing this for all to see but not have it show all of me the way a journal would? (Oh right, blogging = for the public now, journals = private these days.

I know this may sound silly and perhaps negative or complaining to you. Or maybe it resonates with you. But I will explain how digging my way to a more stable place in depression helped me begin to resolve my feelings on these matters.

To be continued...

11 January 2012

Why hello there, kitty cat.

Yes, my new iPhone case is that ridiculous. But I love how it matches she glasses! (Although where are my glasses in this picture!)

01 January 2012


Morning fog in the fields. 

I've been thinking about goal fulfillment. We make a ton resolutions. More than likely we won't keep them all very long. But if we try just one simple goal that encompasses a more broad achievement, perhaps our resolutions will be more attainable. We could have a chance to feel proud of our efforts everyday by making our resolutions more encompassing of our lifestyle and the kind of life we'd like to leave.

I.E. One could say they'd like to put a greater focus on attachment parenting. That's more achievable than saying "I want to start cloth diapering my infant today and never touch a disposable again." If one don't leave oneself opportunities to be more forgiving and flexible, the more disappointed one would be in their performance.

I know I'm not likely to be able to post everyday or do one specific thing everyday. I'd be disappointed when I got burned out or distracted. So this year my goal is different.

I want to spend a little time everyday creating. That could be anything. We are created in the image of a Creator. Women especially. Our biological imperative is to create life the way our Creator does. That's how fundamentally involved in creating we are. I'd like to make time for some sort of imaginative creativity everyday. Whether it's a little writing or sewing, crafting or baking, designing or planning a room, whatever. Even cell phone photography works for my goal.

So here's to becoming a more completely creative person everyday.