T2 at 1 Month

1 Month

Nicknames: Mah-ree-ree, Fuzzy Lumpkin, Sweetie Pie
Temperament: You are a very easy baby. As long as you are fed, changed, and burped, you are good to go.
Things I Could Do Without: You have a pretty severe nipple preference (you like the bottle better) and sometimes I can’t get you to latch at all.
Things You Could Do Without: The moment where you get out of the bath, your brother (literally) jumping on you, having both of your arms swaddled in the miracle blanket at night, tummy time.
Item/Toy We Love The Most: The glider. It’s so wonderful to snuggle up with you and rock back and forth as you coo and snore.
Item/Toy You Love The Most: The Moby. It’s soft and warm and you get to do your favorite thing in the world, which is sleep on me.
Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: That I’ve been able to relax and enjoy the time you’ve spent nursing, all of your darling smiles, treating you like a little doll and getting you dressed.
Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Mom’s chest (for eating sometimes, and sleeping always), dad’s face (you smile so big whenever he is around you).

01week 02weeks 03weeks04weeks


I want to write, long, detailed letters to you relishing every moment. Because we do, we relish the time spent with you. You’re such a sweetheart. But being the second baby means there just isn’t time for that. I don’t know if you’ll have kids someday, but if you do, and you have more than one, you’ll understand.

The good news is, we made most of our mistakes with your brother. Hopefully we’ll consistently be running a tigh Continue reading

T2’s Newborn Session

Kelli Nicole gifted us T1’s birth and newborn photos, but I knew we wouldn’t be able to pay someone for both types of photos when T2 was born. Photographing my own birth was impossible, so I hired Kelly M for that, and crossed my fingers that I would recover fast enough from the birth to be able to manage a DIY newborn session before T2 outgrew the cuddly/sleepy newborn stage.

On Valentine’s day my sister and I quickly made the bed, gathered up the photo stuff, and prepped both kids for our photo session. We shot for about an hour (could not have done it without Shay, thanks my dear!), kept it very simple, and ended up with what you see below.

Look how light her hair is! I think she might actually have a little bit more than T1 did, but it’s so light that it’s harder to see. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the LDS Leadership Regarding Breastfeeding

Written in response to this.



To the leadership of the LDS Church,

I am a born and raised member of the LDS Church. My mother wasn’t able to breastfeed me, and I don’t have many memories of women breastfeeding around me when I was young. In 2006 I had a breast reduction, and when they asked me if breastfeeding was important to me I said it wasn’t really, because I didn’t know anything about it. I had no strong examples of breastfeeding women to want to emulate. Growing up in the LDS Church I was consistently told that motherhood was my most important role in life, but I knew nothing about how the act of feeding my baby from my own body, or how much I would want to make breastfeeding work once I had children of my own.

In 2010 I gave birth to our first child, a son. I poured all of my time and energy into trying to make nursing work, but after three weeks I decided it wasn’t going to work and switched to formula. I was devastated, and believe I missed out on crucial bonding opportunities with him. I am grateful for the women in my life, like my visiting teacher who loaned me a breast pump so I wouldn’t have to figure out where to rent or buy one, who helped me through that difficult time.

In February of 2013 our second child, a daughter, was born. This time around I have a much stronger support system made up of women with a variety of experiences related to breastfeeding, and though I don’t know how long I will be able to keep up my current schedule of nursing/pumping/formula, it is incredibly reassuring to hear over and over that the challenges I am facing are not unique, and that others have persevered. This culture of support has made feeding my first newborn and feeding my second newborn as different as night and day.

I haven’t been back to church yet but when I do go I want to be in a place that cheers me on for every moment spent trying to feed and bond with her. My husband travels for work on a weekly basis, and sometimes he has to work on Sunday. I don’t even know how I would manage gathering up my 2-year-old and keeping him entertained in the mother’s lounge while I tried to nurse our second. I want my priority to be her and her needs, and I don’t want to spend a single second worrying that I might offend someone who mistakenly believes that there is anything gross, sexual, or inappropriate about feeding my child.

Please make a public statement that encourages the membership of the LDS Church to support women as they attend to the needs of their children. Please revise the Church Handbook of Instructions to make it clear to local leaders that the only appropriate message to give in response to a woman breastfeeding at Church or Church-related activities is “You are a wonderful mother.” Because no matter how a woman feeds her baby, she is doing a beautiful thing

Jenna Andersen

Introducing T2

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, T2 was born at home yesterday. And she’s a SHE! We are so thrilled to have both a boy and a girl.

As with T1, please try to remember to call her T2 around the internets. Plus it’s nice because it’s less to type 😉

Second time moms reassured me that the second birth/recovery is immensely better than the first, and they weren’t joking. I feel remarkably good compared to last time. She is currently snoozing on my chest in a sling, I’ve taken a shower, picked up our bedroom in the aftermath of the birth, answered some emails and if she keeps sleeping I might even blow my hair dry. All of this is courtesy of not only my quick recovery, but my mom and husband who are taking terrific care of the two of us.

To answer some common questions:

I labored for about 8 hours. Pushed her out in the same tub T1 was born in.

Her first name is something we liked (though it’s sprinkled throughout my family in the form of a middle name) and her middle name is my mom and sister’s middle name.

I plan on posting the birth story for T2 like I did for T1.

Breastfeeding is going really well so far. She is demand feeding (and she demands it all the time, haha) and I hope things continue in the same vein. Time will tell, as we didn’t start having problems with T1 until my milk came in (or didn’t really come in, in my case).

Review: The Essential Homebirth Guide

A friend emailed me asking if I had heard of The Essential Homebirth Guide after she had spent some time on Amazon looking at upcoming book releases. I thought it sounded like something I could use before T2 comes in a few weeks since I’m giving birth at home again, so I did what bloggers do and emailed the authors asking if they’d be interested in sending me a free copy in exchange for a review on my blog. They said yes, put a copy in the mail, and I had finished the entire thing two days after I received it. Considering I average around one book per month this is pretty impressive (I couldn’t put it down!).

The book is written by Jane Drichta, CPM and Jodilyn Owen, CPM who run the website Essential Midwifery. In the United States if you’re using a midwife you’re likely going to be working with either a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). I used a CPM with my first birth, but was able to find a CNM for the second birth (she delivers at a hospital for most of her births and does a small number of homebirths as well, which is rare). I don’t necessarily think one is better than the other, but working with a CNM means there is a higher likelihood that insurance will cover at least part of the cost! I went into more detail about the differences between a CPM and a CNM here.

The Essential Homebirth Guide is an incredibly apt title for this book because I kept looking over to That Husband saying “Why hasn’t anyone written this book yet? It’s everything women giving birth at home need to know.” This book is a practical description of the many factors that need to be addressed when giving birth at home. I could tell that the authors had worked hard to give evidence-based information, and the amount of advice they give is kept at a minimum.  The section on Group Beta Strep illustrated this really well for me. This is a test I have waived for both pregnancies, and it’s a frustrating/complicated area because a woman gets the test at 37 weeks, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that she will have Group B Strep at 40 weeks. If she is having a hospital birth and tests positive at 37 weeks she will automatically get an antibiotic treatment when she delivers (even though technically she can test positive at 37 weeks and be negative at 40 weeks). It also means that a woman can test negative at 37 weeks but actually be positive at 40 weeks. The Essential Homebirth Guide lays all of this out very clearly, and also helps women understand what it means to be GBS positive, what it might mean for their homebirth plans, how GBS can affect the baby, and preventative measures you can take to keep GBS colonization under control.

One of the struggles I’ve had when navigating the world of homebirth is that the amount of unbiased reliable information is very small. All midwives have a particular bias that needs to be measured when advice is given, and googling things usually takes you to forums where women are giving out plenty of opinions without much evidence to back them up. In Chapter Nine: The Big Ten, I was able to read up on things like Anemia (something my midwife is watching closely with me), Rhesus Factor (I’m positive and decided to get the shot with both pregnancies) and Gestational Diabetes (a huge hurdle for women planning a homebirth because testing positive could mean that you will risk out from your midwife’s care and have to transfer to a hospital). As diabetes and large babies were discussed I read “Ultrasound has a known error rate of 13% when it comes to estimating fetal weight.” At the end of that sentence I’m pointed to a study by Nahum and Stanislaw titled “Ultrasonographic Prediction of Term Birth Weight: How Accurate Is It?” published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This is one of the many reasons why I think this book is so awesome.

Other favorite chapters included Chapter Five:”She Said, I Said, They Said — Communication, which discusses how to talk to your midwife and how to talk to your family about your choice to give birth at home, and Chapter Ten: Labor and Birth at Home, which I need to go back and review once again because it’s time for me to start assembling towels and checking to make sure the birth tub doesn’t have any holes! There are also multiple appendices that discuss Questions to Ask During an Interview and Further Reading for the Homebirth Family.

I plan on giving a copy of The Essential Homebirth Guide to my midwife and I hope she starts recommending it to her other homebirth clients as well. If you’re giving birth at home I would rate this book as essential as Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and I can see it being incredibly useful to women giving birth in freestanding birth centers as well. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now.