November is National Adoption Month. I know it’s always National Something Month, but this one is near and dear to my heart. November also happens to be the month that I was standing in a Hobby Lobby with my girls and my mom when my phone rang.
“Heather, this is the call you’ve been waiting for. Your family has been matched to a baby boy.”
I know there were words spoken by the county social worker after that moment, but I honestly can’t recall most of them. My heart and mind were focused on what lie ahead. Yes, it signaled the end of a long journey to adopt, but it was also the beginning of forever with our little guy. We also knew it was the beginning of a road that we had not traveled before. We were jumping in with both feet and arms surrendered but I would be lying if I said we were fearless and headstrong. We knew we were called to adoption, but we also knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Our story began before we were even married. While dating, we both admitted that we would love to grow our family through adoption. After we got married, we were blessed to add three girls to our family, biologically. But my third pregnancy was difficult and scary. At my follow up appointment my doctor told me that I needed to count my blessings and be done. Another pregnancy could have a tragic ending, and the risk was not worth it. It was difficult news to hear because I knew my heart was not done yet. My husband and I revisited the idea of adoption and decided that when the time was right, we would pursue it! We started our journey when our youngest daughter was in kindergarten. It took 10 months of paperwork and process, lots of tears and frustration, but in the end, we grew our family through adoption and we wouldn’t change a thing.
That’s not to say that it was easy breezy and not without fear or tribulation. We definitely hit some bumps and roadblocks in our journey to adoption, but with each trial we firmed our resolve to hold on to our faith and love what had been entrusted to us. Isn’t that true with many other things though? Your own story is made of struggles and victories. Without the valleys, we would never appreciate the mountaintops. We’ve learned that adoption begins with brokenness but that love can mend the broken places. We’ve learned that our love can be just as intense and fierce for babies born of our hearts and not of our bodies. We’ve learned that risk and selflessness are often uncomfortable but its okay to walk through the unknown. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected (especially when we got a call years later that our son had a baby sister and we grew our family yet again!).
We’ve been told by many, “I could never do what you’re doing.” Possibly. But why?
Is it financial? Did you know that adopting foster children through the county costs you next to nothing? Children in the foster system often receive funds from the state to help with their care even after they are adopted.
Is it fear? Are you afraid that your heart could be broken if something happens in the process? I would argue that a child is worth the risk.
Is it the unknown? I would urge you to trust.
It’s true, not everyone is called to adopt, but we can all do something. Our something might be different from yours, but no one is called to ignore the need that exists in our backyard. If you can’t adopt, can you support organizations that are doing the difficult work? Can you offer to babysit for a family that is in the process of fostering or adopting or maybe bring that family a meal? Can you donate items that are needed for kids in the foster and adoption system? Maybe you can spend time mentoring the kids that are about to age out, or you could sponsor a child to go to summer camp.
The list of needs is long, but so is the list of those able to help. Adoption changed our lives for the better, and we can only hope that others get to be as blessed as we are!
Hi, I’m Calvine G. Castro and I am a Licensed Acupuncturist. I have been in practicing acupuncture for 16 years. I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UC Riverside and a Masters in Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. I am a second generation acupuncturist with my mother being both an acupuncturist and medical doctor.
Growing up at a young age I was able to see how impactful acupuncture can be to patients suffering from many different types of ailments. Time and time again, my mother’s patients would hobble in suffering from back pain and needles were placed at locations on the patients body and within a short time patients left the clinic feeling better and walking upright. I realized without medications I could help many people with the use of acupuncture needles as my tool.
I came across Mom Culture through my wife, Tina. After we had our three year old son, my wife was looking for products that she could relate to in regards to motherhood and she found Mom Culture. She loved the shirts, sweatshirts, and mugs that Mom Culture offered. She even loved it more when she found out that Mom Culture had a Facebook community where all the moms can share their experiences as moms. In other words my wife is a big fan of Mom Culture.
When I first met my wife, she didn’t believe in acupuncture but I was able to treat her for her monthly abdominal cramps and opened her mind that acupuncture is another way to relieve her of her pain instead of constantly taking pain relievers. When my wife was pregnant with our first son she experienced excessive vomiting, cramping of her legs in the morning, fatigue and headaches. I treated her with acupuncture and was able to help her with her symptoms.
Knowing how I am able to help my wife and many of my patients with their symptoms I wanted to reach out to the Mom Culture community to let everyone know that acupuncture is another option for all your health conditions and symptoms. I have treated women with anxiety, stress, tension headaches, muscular skeletal disorders such as back pain, neck pain, knee pain and upper shoulder/neck tension.
Acupuncture is also good for preparing women to get pregnant. It helps regulate the mensuration cycle, short cycle, long cycle, heavy bleeding, scant bleeding to create an environment more favorable to getting pregnant.
The following are some of the conditions that I’ve treated my wife and patients with acupuncture:
2nd Trimester pregnancy symptoms- Mental clarity, start of back pain, sciatica and hypertension.
3rd Trimester pregnancy symptoms- Circulation, swelling feet and legs, back pain, sciatica, insomnia, cramping in legs, discomfort, restlessness, and anxiety associated with preparing for childbirth.
Post pregnancy- postpartum depression, difficulty breastfeeding obstruction and pain, regulation of hormones, and balance.
Middle age women- Menopausal symptoms- hot flashes, night sweats, arthritis.
Those conditions that I’ve mentioned are just some of the many conditions that I’ve helped my patients with and I’d like to let everyone know the benefits of acupuncture especially for women. There are many acupuncturists all over the country and if you find one local to you, that would be a great tool to help you. I have clinic locations in Temecula and Menifee here in California.
What are your rights as a breastfeeding mom? And feeding in public for the first time.
Hey guys it’s Lindsay, owner of The Little Milk Bar. I’m here to talk all things breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is hard… like really hard. It’s one of those things that no one really talks about until you’re in the middle of it, up at 2am in tears wondering if you’re doing it right. Or wondering if your baby’s getting enough. Throw in the fear of having to actually feed outside of the home, because let’s face it…. you have to leave the house at some point. And you’re on a whole new anxiety level. You just got her to latch properly, how are you supposed to do this in front of strangers?
I want to start off by letting you know that it’s 100% legal for you to feed your baby in public, with or without a cover, in all 50 states. Yup, you heard that right. No longer are the days of moms feeding in dirty bathroom stalls, parked cars or dressing rooms.
And no longer are the days of store managers asking you to leave and “go do that somewhere else”. Major win for the breastfeeding community!
Today I’ll be informing you of your rights as a breastfeeding mom and getting over your fears of feeding in public for the first time. So if you’re a breastfeeding mama, this post is for you. And I really hope you keep reading because it could change your life. No joke!
P.S. I’m all about supporting all breastfeeding mamas, because let’s face it… we could all use a little encouragement. So I put together 3 FREE “Thank you for breastfeeding in public” downloadable cards that I hope you print off, keep in your diaper bag and hand out to every breastfeeding mama you see. You can download them HERE.
In 2018 Utah and Idaho (the two remaining states ) finally legalizing breastfeeding in public. Honestly, what the heck took so long?
As the last hold out state, Idaho sponsor Republican Rep. Paul Amador and father of then 5 month old son, called it shameful in this age that breastfeeding moms were offered no protection.
“Personally, I find it disappointing that we’re in 2018 and we still haven’t passed this law in Idaho. I think we can take a proactive stance here through legislation to promote the natural bond and health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child.”
It’s about time the U.S. get caught up with the rest of the world when it comes to laws protecting nursing mothers.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way. And we now know we CAN breastfeed in public, let’s talk about the stresses that come with feeding in public for the first few times.
Most people don’t care.
First off, I know it can be scary… reading all the stories in the news, or watching Facebook videos where people say all kinds of rude comments to breastfeeding moms.
I want to set the record straight. 90% of the time, people don’t care. 90% of the time, people don’t even notice you’re feeding your baby. 90% of the time, no one is going to give you dirty looks or walk over and say some snarky comment.
I’ve had two babies and breastfed them both. My second I fed any and everywhere I needed to, WITHOUT a cover for almost 2 years and only had ONE person say something negative, one!
Focus on you and your baby.
It’s important to ignore everyone around you. Focus only on you and your baby. It’s simple… your baby is hungry and you need to feed him. That’s it, there’s nothing else to it. Don’t worry if you’re “offending anyone”, their opinion doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter.
Your baby comes before anyone else and filling that little belly of theirs should be the only thing you’re worried about.
Lose the cover (if you want to).
The law states that you can feed your baby with or without a cover… meaning, you can ditch that nursing cover you got at your baby shower… if you want to.
One of the things I hear most often is, “it’s too hot for a cover, my baby sweats”... or “my baby always pulls down the cover, she hates it”. Did you know that being able to see mom while your baby feeds is an essential part of breastfeeding (especially for newborns)? It’s part of the bonding process, it’s what makes them feel safe. They want to see your face while they’re feeding. So when you put a cover over their face, it’s not uncommon for them to cry or try to pull it down, they can’t see mom :(
Some babies have no problem being covered, sweet!
But if they do, and you find it more of a hassle than not, then feel free to #dropthecover.
Try the 2-shirt method.
If you haven’t already heard of the 2-shirt method… be prepared for it to change your life! No joke. It’ll save you a TON on “breastfeeding friendly” clothes… spoiler, you don’t need any. And it makes it SUPER easy to feed in public, keeping your tummy and breasts covered while your babe eats with ease. Easy peasy.
I made a video so you can see exactly what the 2-shirt method is. Check it out below.
They say the more you see of something, the more normal it becomes. So I’ve made it my personal mission to post as many breastfeeding pics as possible on our Instagram account @thelittlemilkbar_.
If you’re looking for some more breastfeeding support… or just wanna hang out with some pretty badass breastfeeding mamas, you can check out our blog here with tons of breastfeeding tips & tricks, and follow us instagram.
And don’t forget to grab our FREE downloadable “thank you for breastfeeding in public” cards here. Print a bunch off, keep ‘em in your diaper bag and hand them out to all the breastfeeding mamas you see.
“Use your voice even if it shakes… we have your back.”
We were excitedly preparing for the arrival of the newest addition to Team Moreno—praying, researching minivans, and reading books about siblings with our daughter—when the unexpected happened. Just weeks after learning about and sharing the news, I was sitting in the emergency room, facing tragedy.
On the drive home from the hospital, my husband asked how I was feeling. Since our daughter was so young, and was therefore not allowed inside of the emergency room, I was seen by and conversed with doctors alone. While she and my husband entertained themselves in the waiting room, he had no idea what was transpiring; no awareness of the diagnosis; and no clue of how to relate to me at the time.
His question was immediately answered with an outpouring of tears. "I do not want her to see me cry" was the only audible I could muster at the time, so the remainder of the ride home was done in silence.
Soon after returning home, our miscarriage began and ended. In a matter of just about two hours, it seemed that our hope-filled dreams of a larger family were silenced and consumed by the pain I felt physically and we, emotionally. No matter how much we wanted it; no matter how much we'd prayed for it and through it, the pregnancy was over.
My husband and I cried—a lot. I, personally, interrogated God in the moments of our miscarriage: “Why this? Why us? Why me?” And, with such clarity, he replied: “The why is all about the responsibility.”
I realized from that juncture, that I could allow my miscarriage to define me—shaping a critical part of my testimony and fashioning the ways I walk out my days. Ushering me to appreciating a woman’s body—my body—and how I see and love on my family; growing my relationship with the intentional, timely, and sovereign Creator of all things; and enriching how I get to relate to, empathize with, and encourage women who sit in the same seat.
Every single thing about losing a child—at any phase or age—is awful and hard. The now is sometimes awful and hard, too. But, what a comfort and a friend we have in Jesus.
In the worst of things, he can teach us the best of things and his love can show up in the best of ways. May we experience him not just in, but through to the other side of the ache. May we disallow our loss to be in vain. Girlfriend, let’s walk in the burden that is light—living shame-free, in peace, with thanksgiving, and dealing this hope to our sisters in the same need.
His timing is everything. Shortly after we miscarried, we conceived and received the gift of the sweetest rainbow baby. Without the tragedy, this exact girl of mine would not be, and she would not have had such a deeply grateful mommy and daddy.
If you need any support or encouragement, please feel free to reach out to me.
I grew up always picturing I would be a mom. When I met my husband, we knew we wanted to have kids, but we would start with a dog. Then entered our first born, Cassy, our Golden Retriever. If you are wondering if you can handle a baby, get a puppy first. In a lot of respects, I felt having an 8 week old puppy was way harder than babies. Babies do less damage to your house, LOL. My mom boss journey started soon after adopting Cassy when I started my first business, Collar Me Charming. This was during the Etsy boom, so things went quite well for some time.
After 4 years of marriage, we decided we were ready to take the plunge into parenthood. After 2 months of trying I was pregnant with our first child, a boy, Landon. Everything about his pregnancy was perfect, he was perfect. We were beyond blessed. You know when things go so right, your scared something is bound to go wrong. That’s the feeling I always had. When Landon was about two years old, we decided to start trying again. Boom pregnant again, but this time it was short lived. Within a day I found out I was pregnant, I found out I was miscarrying. I was devastated. Of course, we heard the same old: it happens to a lot of women, it’s not your fault, there was nothing you could have done. I loved how the Mom Culture was so open about miscarriage and sharing their stories. Really helped me get through that time to learn I was not alone. We tried again 3 months later and BOOM pregnant again (I’m definitely Fertile Myrtle over here).
With this pregnancy, we were so cautious, as you would be after a miscarriage. At 9 weeks, we heard the heartbeat. A relief! Everything was fine. We started to tell close friends and family. I was finally ready to enjoy my pregnancy. When I went in for my NT scan, I was sooo happy to see the baby. To me it was perfect. But then the doctor came in. Something was really wrong. I will not get into the technical details, but the baby had chromosomal problems as well as multiple anomalies. Doctor was surprised it lived as long as it had. Crushed, numb, and at a loss for words. The next few weeks were some of the roughest of my life. Knowing, feeling this baby inside of you knowing at any moment they would be gone. I felt guilty, but I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. It was too much for me to handle. At the later half of 15 weeks the baby was gone. I went home laid in bed and felt this emptiness inside of me. Where do I go from here?
This is always a reminder that you never know what people are going through. I make it a point to not ask people about children, when they are getting pregnant, when baby number 2 is coming. I know being on the other half of it, that people don’t realize how much it hurts. They don’t know what you are going through.
It took many months for me to get over that. I just looked at my only child thinking, how lucky I was to have him. To have such a blissful pregnancy, birth, infancy. I knew in my heart I needed to be strong. I have experienced the worst and can now tackle anything. We decided to start trying again. This time we were even more cautious once we got that positive pregnancy test. We didn’t tell a soul until we got back the blood test at about 11 weeks. Another boy. I knew I was destined to be a boy mom. We told our parents, who were ecstatic. We waited until 20 weeks to put it out into the world that we finally have our rainbow baby. Marshall was born on May 28th, 2018. He was perfect like his brother. They are the best of friends.
That brings me to present day. We always wanted a big family, but due to some outstanding circumstances, we may be done. I am now focused on being a strong female figure in my boys’ life. I’m focusing on Raising Good Humans. The Mom Culture has given me so much confidence as a woman and as a mom. I know I can accomplish it all. So thankful for Sarah and the whole Mom Culture Community. Thank you!