A Great Diastasis Recti Splint & Time to Get to Work!

Before I had Baby #9, my OB told me she would be splinting my abdominals right after birth.  I started researching what kind of splint would be best for me to purchase to have on hand for when I came home and got back to work on my abdominal separation.  After a lot of researching, I found one that I am absolutely THRILLED with and wanted to share with all of you!

I finally found a diastasis recti splint that is easy to use, comfortable, fits great, and works wonderfully - all for a reasonable price! | RaisingArrows.netMany of you know about my Diastasis Recti page here on Raising Arrows.  It’s been a long and arduous journey with only nominal results – mostly because of my lack of commitment.  I have a lot of kids, and it has been difficult to find the time to work on those abs in the proper way.  I know…it’s an excuse.  (I am trying very hard to release all my excuses, but some I still find myself holding onto.)

Because my doctor was so proactive about helping me with my separation, I felt encouraged to get back to work with a renewed energy and focus.  But, I needed a splint that would be ready for me when I was ready for it.

(affiliate links included)

After a lot of research and a great sale, I ended up purchasing the 3 Panel Splint from The Tummy Team a couple of weeks before I gave birth.

Front view of 3 Panel Splint from The Tummy Team | RaisingArrows.net

The reason I chose this particular splint is because I am short-waisted (as in EXTREMELY short-waisted), and what I read about it on The Tummy Team site made a lot of sense.  Plus, they said it was COMFORTABLE!  I am all about being comfortable!

I did not take the splint to the hospital when I had baby because I knew my doctor would be splinting me there, but you definitely could take this splint with you if you are unsure what your hospital does in regards to splinting.  Splinting the hospital helped SO MUCH with my pain.  I felt “together.”  The splint I was given in the hospital was a DONJOY and retailed for $140.  It was nearly identical in shape to the 3 Panel Splint I had purchased – but not nearly as strong!

I get asked all the time which DR splints are my favorites.  The 3 Panel Splint has BY FAR become my absolute favorite!

What I like about it:

  • It truly is comfortable.
  • It stays put.
  • It isn’t hot.
  • The velcro is strong, and I feel very supported.
  • It fits my body well.
  • It doesn’t show under my clothing.
  • It is reasonably priced.

Speaking of being reasonably priced…

May 5 – 15, The Tummy Team is having a HUGE SALE for Mother’s Day!

The Tummy Team Online Core Training Programs

This is the kind of sale I took advantage of to buy my splint, so I HIGHLY encourage you to do the same! (no coupon code needed!)

CLICK HERE TO START SHOPPING!

My current plan of attack for working on my diastasis is to use the Tupler Technique.  I have this little guide book that I use to keep me on track, and I am part of a small accountability group of friends.  However, if you don’t know where to start, or need a little more help, encouragement, or one-on-one time, The Tummy Team offers classes you can take online with personalized help.  Click HERE to learn more!

The Mother’s Day Sale will include 30% off All Tummy Team Online Programs (Core Foundations, Prenatal Core Training and Core Integrations). 15% off All Tummy Team Abdominal Rehab Splints (including our newly released 2 panel splints). And 15% off our Fit2b on your skin Restored Tummy Creme and just released Prenatal Belly Balm.

Please, do your own research as to which splint is right for YOU, but I can almost guarantee The Tummy Team has it!

And here are a couple of photos of me at 4 months postpartum wearing the splint under my clothing.  I like to wear the splint over a nursing cami (these are a staple in my wardrobe!  You can CLICK HERE To see the wide selection available on Amazon.  The one I am wearing in the upper photos is an Undercover Mama that hooks into your nursing bra.)

My favorite diastasis recti splint from The Tummy Team hardly shows through in my clothing, and it is oh so comfortable! | RaisingArrows.net

My favorite diastasis recti splint from The Tummy Team hardly shows through in my clothing, and it is oh so comfortable! | RaisingArrows.net

I also want to show you something encouraging…

The first photo below is me on Day 1 of starting my DR workout back in 2011.  The second photo is me a few weeks ago.  Both are without a splint.

My DR back in 2011 | RaisingArrows.net

My DR pooch 2015 | RaisingArrows.net

MUCH better
(and MUCH BETTER posture too!)

THIS IS ENCOURAGING!!!

I’m also hoping to start writing more Fit Mom of Many posts, so be looking for my diastasis updates, as well as my fitness and weight loss updates!  You might even catch me on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter walking, exercising, or (*gasp*) running! #fitmama #fitmomofmany

You can check out my Fit Mom of Many page by clicking the graphic below:

Fit Mom of Many - if I can do it, you can too! | RaisingArrows.net

I am so excited at the prospects of what I hope to accomplish this go-round!  I hope you will join me!

VISIT THE TUMMY TEAM SHOP TODAY!

What We Are Reading – May 2015

I’m terrible at staying updated with the “What We are Reading” posts.  I was reading while nursing yesterday afternoon, and decided it was high time I just sat down and wrote out a quick post to tell you about the books we are currently reading…

What We are Reading - May 2015 Edition | RaisingArrows.net

(affiliate links included)

I’m currently reading Understanding the Times by David Noebel and I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.


I highly recommend your older kids read these two books before they leave high school!  These are also great books to take you deeper in your own faith.

My 17 year old son just finished Assumptions That Affect Our Lives by Christian Overman and How Should We Then Live by Francis Shaeffer.

(You’ll find my wholehearted endorsement on the inside cover of this book!)

I’d encourage you to have your older kids read both of these books as well, and then watch the How Should We Then Live videos hosted by Dr. Shaeffer himself.  You can watch them for FREE on YouTube HERE.  The reason I recommend reading AND watching is because it will help to cement in your child’s mind the TRUTH.

Blake is now reading Paul Little’s Know What You Believe as he goes through the Starting Points curriculum from Cornerstone Curriculum.  (This is an excellent worldview curriculum that will teach your children to think for themselves and analyze the worldview of everything they encounter.  I had a fantastic discussion with Dr. Quine recently that solidified in my mind his genuine desire to help young people to learn not just WHAT to think but HOW to think.)

Megan, age 14, is also going through this course.  Additionally, she is reading The Victorian Internet and Les Miserables.

She balked at the size of Les Miserables (and who wouldn’t?!), so I asked her to read the first section, and then decide from there if she wanted to continue.  Since she already knows the storyline, reading the first section (about 300 pages), will give her a feel for the language of the book – something I feel is very important when reading classic literature.

My 10 year old daughter just finished The Pioneer Sampler, and has decided to read through the Elsie Dinsmore books.

Our landlady told her that the first two books are rather miserable, but once you move through those, you are hooked.  We own the first 12 books in the set, but I could never get through the first book.  Elsie is in a constant state of distress, and I grew weary of everyone always treating her horribly.  But, Melia assures me they DO get better, so I’m letting her go with it!

My 9 year old son is reading a short Thomas Jefferson biography for school and Misty of Chincoteague (we picked this up at a library sale).

Micah, our newest reader, is working through his Phonics Museum books and starting to try to sound out words in other books and magazines!  He’s our 3rd child to learn to reading using Phonics Museum.  So fun!

So, that’s what we are reading!  What are you reading?

Last Day to Get the Best Homemaking Resources of the Year!

This sale is over.

Well, this is it…the last day of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

I was asked on my Facebook page if I really thought this bundle was worth the money.  I absolutely do – and I’m not just saying that because my ebook is in there!  Here are a few reasons why I feel this is money well-spent:

1.  It is NOT the same bundle as last year or the year before.  These bundles NEVER repeat.  This is FRESH content.  So, if you’ve purchased in the past, you are not getting repeat products.

2.  You couldn’t get ONE of the eCourses, let alone ALL of the eCourses for this price.  I told you before that the eCourses are my favorite part of this year’s bundle.  I maybe could have purchased one of the courses, but all 10?  Not a chance!  Here’s the list of those eCourses, so you can see for yourself how awesome they are:

  • The Healthy Home – an eCourse about using natural remedies and resources that are proven to work in your home environment.  You will learn so much without having to wade through a bunch of mumbo-jumbo!
  • Grocery University – A super well-done audio course on how to get started couponing.  I’ve owned this course for years and highly recommend it!
  • Homemaking from Scratch Online Conference – I had wanted to sign up for this when it first happened and then didn’t.  I am SO glad I now own it!  Great and godly information from some of the web’s most wonderful homemaking bloggers.
  • Living a Legacy Conference – I have not had time to listen to this yet, but with people like Kathy Brodock and Kelly Crawford, I am certain it is going to be good!
  • A Parent’s Guide to Natural Remedies – I just got started working through this and LOVE it!  It is a fantastic resource for treating childhood illnesses with natural solutions!
  • Happy Mom, Healthy Family Meal Planning Workshop & Cookbook
  • Marriage, Intimacy, & Sex:  Moving from Blah to Blazing in the Bedroom
  • (De)Clutter Buddies
  • 21 Days Savings Challenge
  • 14 Days to a Better Neck (from Fit2B Studio)

3.  The bundle contains over $1200 in product + $300 in bonuses and is less than $30!  Plus, the people who put this bundle together are Christian families who truly have your best interests in mind.  They have been wonderful to work with, and have proven themselves to be trustworthy and above reproach time and again.

 

I made the goal of selling enough bundles to be able to purchase a new laptop for my oldest daughter who does most of the photography for this blog.  (You can see some of her lovely work on her brand new blog, Diverse Reflections.)  I am REALLY close to making that goal, and I thank all of you who have purchased or will purchase today using my link!

If you have questions about any of the books or products, click HERE or feel free to ask me, but don’t delay – It all ends tonight at 11:59 pm Eastern!

 

Postpartum Anxiety – How I am Coping

Last month, in my post Allowing Myself to Shop, I told you I was planning to write about some of the struggles I have had since Aspen’s birth 4 months ago.  I did write about healing from a c-section, but this post isn’t about my physical well-being.  It’s about something much more difficult to heal from…because it is inside my head.

Postpartum Anxiety - it's not depression, it's outright fear | RaisingArrows.net

I knew I wasn’t dealing with depression.  I’d been there before.  This was different.  This was outright fear.

I was:
*standing over my child, convinced she was going to die any moment.

*not letting anyone else hold her in case she stopped breathing and no one noticed.

*not sleeping because I was watching her breathe.

*keeping the light on all night so I could watch her breathe.

*fearful that my other children were sick and I wouldn’t realize it until it was too late.

*spending copious amounts of time on the internet searching all sorts of “symptoms” I thought I was seeing in my children.

*unable to stay by myself with the children without someone there to distract me from my thoughts.

*wanting to run away from my responsibilities at home so I didn’t have to think about all the things that could go wrong.

Every time I read or heard about something happening to another child, I would internalize it.  It would consume me, and I would make it “mine” – as in, I would become petrified that it was going to happen to one of my children.

In order to sleep at night, I would put on a movie or listen to music on the iPad next to my bed so I could shut my brain off.

I could sometimes hold it together during the day, but by nighttime, I was a wreck.


It started when I was pregnant.  I had a feeling this was a girl, and while I had always envisioned myself being excited to finally have a girl after all this time, I never expected to be so scared of having a girl.  I guess I figured after 7 years, I would have worked through Emily’s death.  I guessed wrong.

And then we got a call telling us Aspen needed to be checked for Cystic Fibrosis.

Struggling with postpartum anxiety can be because of many different factors. | RaisingArrows.netWe were told her first test was inconclusive (it was right below the line of “negative” and “maybe”), and she needed a second test.  Thankfully, that test was definitively negative, but the 6 week process only added to my anxiety.

Add to all of this the fact that we experienced nearly every major life event all within a few months, and I was drained.  I didn’t have much fight left in me.


(affiliate links included)
Right before my 6 week checkup, I decided I had to do something.  I couldn’t live like this.  A friend, who knew I was struggling, suggested a high-powered B-complex.  That’s where I started.

Seeking Health B Complex - in my arsenal for dealing with postpartum anxiety | RaisingArrows.net

I ordered the exact one she suggested – Seeking Health B Complex Plus – from Amazon with Prime shipping.  I was desperate.  She thought I’d see results within a few weeks (ugh), but after 4 days, I was feeling MUCH better!

I continue to take this supplement faithfully.  I can tell if I’ve accidentally missed a day or two.  I knew I had a B deficiency from some blood work I had years ago, but I hate taking pills, and I never felt bad enough to stick with a regimen of taking supplements.  Seeing the difference this particular supplement made gave me the incentive to keep taking it!


Another friend gave me some Peace & Calming from Young Living.  I put it on my wrists at night.  It seemed to help my brain from tumbling about at night.  I’ve also heard Valor helps with anxiety.  (note:  I am not a YL distributor, nor do I endorse any specific essential oil company.)


Then, I signed up for The Healthy Home eCourse:

The Healthy Home eCourse is one of the resources that helped me with my Postpartum Anxiety | RaisingArrows.net

I wish I could manage to tell you how much this eCourse has meant to me.  You can learn more about this eCourse and other offered by Vintage Remedies HERE.)  The second module in The Healthy Home was on natural stress relief, and it was SUPER helpful.  When you purchase an eCourse, you also get access to a Vintage Remedies’ FREE Resource Library with 21 Audios, Videos, and Downloads – one of which is Botanicals for Anxiety.

This FREE audio for students of Vintage Remedies gave me ideas for treating my postpartum anxiety | RaisingArrows.net

That’s where I learned about bergamot (and tons of other remedies!)  It isn’t a sedative, so it can be taken any time of day, but it also helps with insomnia, and it is anti-viral, so it is great to have around for cold/flu season.

I purchased this diffuser to use in our home:

It had good reviews, and it is pretty.  I needed a little “pretty.” 😉


I also needed to get more sleep.  I don’t think we fully realize how much our bodies need sufficient sleep.  It’s as if our brains go haywire with a lack of sleep.  We get more and more irrational, as we get less and less sleep.  The problem with anxiety is that you often can’t sleep, or in my case, you don’t want to sleep.

I really can’t explain why I didn’t want to sleep (and I am still struggling to WANT to sleep), but it isn’t because I’m afraid something bad will happen if I sleep.  It’s more a feeling of needing to keep busy.

I know a lot of people suggest melatonin to help with sleep issues, but one thing I learned from the Botanicals class is that melatonin is a hormone and shouldn’t be your first choice.  I’ve chosen to use teas to help me sleep.  Teas like Earl Grey (which contains bergamot) and Chamomile have a relaxing effect on the body.  The Bulk Herb Store sells a Fast Asleep Tea that is safe for nursing mothers (something you need to look out for).

Because anxiety often happens at night, and often keeps you from sleeping, try something like Fast Asleep Tea (How I'm Dealing with Postpartum Anxiety) | RaisingArrows.net

(If you are using a loose leaf tea, brew it in your Keurig using a Reusable K-Cup, or use a tea ball or tea strainer.)

They also suggested valerian, so I’m looking into that too.


To help with my anxiety, I have to be VERY careful what I read and watch.  Facebook, blogs, movies, or the nightly news can all trigger fears for me.  Prayer requests for sick children can send me spiraling.  Movies with certain subject matter can be overwhelming.  When faced with someone else’s pain, I have to pray my way through it lest I get caught up in it.


The last thing (which really should be the first thing) I am doing is learning to deal with what is causing my anxiety.  Americans like bandaid fixes.  We like to treat the symptoms without treating the cause.  It’s easier.  But, if I’m ever going to fully work through this, I HAVE to face the fear.

I fear what I know.  I know what it is like to lose a child.  My heart and mind tell me I would never survive it if it happened again.  But, the Lord knows my fears.  He knows my future.  He knows the steps I will be taking on this journey.  I have to stay soaked in the Word.  I have to keep my eyes fixed on Christ and the Cross.

Focus on Christ the Cross - How I'm Dealing with my Postpartum Anxiety | RaisingArrows.net

I’m not through the storm yet.  Writing this post wasn’t easy.  There is no magic cure-all because we live in a fallen world.  But, as I said yesterday, I have hope.  Praise the Lord for hope!

It’s Been a Rough Year {but I have hope}

I’ve had a rough year. It’s been a year of big changes and big emotions. There have been moments when I have felt utterly defeated and overwhelmed, and likewise, moments when I have been excited and equipped (unfortunately, those moments have been few and far between).

I’ve needed a lot of help this year just to keep going.  I’ve spent a lot of time crying out to the Lord to give me the strength and resources I need to rebuild my life after a year of such upheaval.

This week only, one of the resources that has helped me tremendously in this time of regrouping is available for only $29.97!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

This sale is over.

Every year, I look forward to this bundle, but this year, it came at just the right time for my weary heart.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,

to the soul who seeks Him.”

~Lamentations 3:25

There is so much in this year’s bundle that is a balm to my soul.  My own ebook, Large Family Homeschooling is included in the Bundle (Yippee!), but my favorite part of this year’s bundle are the eCourses.  You get the entire Healthy Home eCourse from Vintage Remedies (retail $95) which also includes a ton of FREE resources I have literally devoured – they are SO good! The Bundle also includes the entire Homemaking from Scratch eCourse (retail $29.95) Such encouragement and useful information!  And in the Bonus Offers, you can get a FREE scarf from Deborah & Co. and a FREE Craftsy class (we chose cookie decorating)! And this is only a tiny fraction of what is included in this wonderful resource!

So, if you’ve had a rough year like I have, or you are simply looking to better your homemaking, homeschooling, mothering, and marriage, have hope!  The Lord does provide in all sorts of ways.  It might be a new friend, a passage of Scripture you never noticed before, or a resource that comes at just the right time.  I encourage you to take a look at The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this year.  It is my absolute favorite online resource of the year, and this year, so many of the resource spoke to me right where I was at.

 

Here’s the entire rundown of what is included for the $29.97.  You can click on any of the pictures to learn more about the products.  If you choose to purchase using my links, I certainly appreciate your generosity, as your purchase does equal a commission for our family.  Thank you!

Did You Win the $50 Gift Certificate from Sweet Little Blessings?

Coupon Code: ARROWS - 10% off any Sweet Little Blessings cloth diaper order

Don’t forget, if you didn’t win the giveaway, you can still get a great deal on diapers from Sweet Little Blessings using code: ARROW (expires 4/21/15).  And if you live in the U.S. and spend over $40, you’ll get your shipping FREE!

CLICK HERE TO START SHOPPING!


And the winner is…

Shelia D.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!