Tyde’s Birth Story: Part III Breastfeeding Challenge

In continuation of Tyde’s Birth Story: Part I False Start & Tyde’s Birth Story: Part II The Birth….

The Breastfeeding challenge faced was our biggest hurdle, and most stressful.

As others have said about natural birth: prepare, plan, and be prepared to throw everything out the window and start over – well, this is exactlywhat happened with Tyde and breastfeeding.

Bradley Class, a class at my birth center, pamphlets, websites, La Leche League meeting, and a LLL book did not prepare us for the double whammy breastfeeding challenge of Tyde being born “tongue-tied” [ironically] and having a high palate.  And, it took two weeks for both avenues to be discovered.

My poor newborn baby was seeing his pediatrician, a specialist, lactation counselor, or my midwife almost every day of his new life.  I was totally and completely exhausted as the worry set-in.  Tyde lost 10% of his birth weight in 24 hours and he was not really eating – we were having to fee him by a syringe.   To top all of it off, And he was sleeping all the time – to the point we had to wake him to feed him.  Being first time parents, and being released from Center with tips, we got to sleep the first night for 7 hours straight!  Thinking we were in Heaven with the best new-born situation, reality hit fast.

Healthy Baby Tyde

Healthy Baby Tyde

Finally, in the middle of all of this, my milk came in and Jake came home with Medela nipples signaling he was ok with pumping and bottle feeding (which I was already pumping at this point).  This eased the tension and Tyde began to gain weight and mommy could study as she had finals the next weekend – yes, I took and passed with A/B two Master’s level finals while pumping and feeding a newborn who was 10 days old.

We were not in an impossible situation (and neither are you, not matter what you are experiencing)  as Tyde still had all the instincts.  Thus, we did skin-to-skin time, and was told how to train him, well train his tongue.  Now that life settled, we began a routine to try and overcome the obstacle – especially now that the whole family is relaxed as things can only get better.  Keep in mind, we are good with what was happening, and ok if he never latched, but we would like to try one more time.  It will take determination, but it is not impossible to pump for a year – my production was high and I already have a freezer shelf full! So do not lose hope when it looks like all is lost.

Remember, if you are tense and stressed, the baby will sense this immediately and it will affect your production. The key is calm and being centered but remember to restore your energy reserves because if you are drained, not matter how calm you are, you will wear out and your body will remind you.


Tyde latched at 6 weeks.  One day with skin to skin, he just turned a little more and started sucking!  We did opt for getting his tongue clipped – my worst crying for him to-date, but he was fine in 2 minutes.  My healthy baby boy breastfed for over a year.  My most precious daily experience with him, and only stopped due to biting – I mean drawing blood biting.  While he did not know what he was doing, teething is hard on any itty bitty!  My advice: know you, know your body, know your baby.  With all 3 combinations, you will know what to do whatever the situation calls.


Jess Headshot08Jessica Respondek is owner of The Sales Source, LLC, as well as, providing Business Development for Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and health coaching based in St. Petersburg /Tampa Bay FL. She is an MBA graduate from the University of Florida. While happily married and a mother to Tyde, a precocious 4 year-old, Jessica loves spending time with her family and friends, volunteering for environmental organizations, organic gardening, and strives to encourage sustainable living for everyone.

Tyde’s Birth Story: Part II The Birth

In continuation of Tyde’s Birth Story: Part I False Start

7:18 am August 2009, I had just laid down from going to the restroom when I felt a “pop”. Followed by a massive cramp straight up to my belly button.  My first thought: what organ did that little sucker hit now?  Approaching 40 week mark in two days, after waiting an additional 4 weeks, I was tired of being anxious, anxious analyzing every move, and moving to get comfortable as I was tired.

Then, I immediately knew I needed to run to the bathroom!  Thinking of a friend’s birth story, where she described breaking her water,  I made it without incident. However only roughly ½ cup came out.  Strange?, I thought there should be a lot more…but, I still hollered to my husband Jake that I thought I my water broke…more out of what to do next.

He, just waking up, asked if I was sure. I replied semi-confidently only because of disbelief and not wanting this to be another false alarm.  Jake of course was skeptical since he too did not want this to be another false alarm, so we began our morning.


Tyde and his Fairy Godmother

My instinct was to call my girlfriend Gwen, Tyde’s Godmother, as she lived 2 hours away.  But Jake was still skeptical, and I was not too confident yet, so off I went to shower and make sure I shaved my legs (thought of my mom telling me she had to do the same thing when I was born).  Some things are just hereditary.

But then, when I was finished, I knew it was time to call Gwen and my mom and let them know Tyde was on his way.  Jake had made me some eggs and bacon, told me we were not going to be the couple that swept the floor and cleaned the house (lol), and off he went to cut his hair, shave, and shower.  Very calmly and patiently I might add as he did not think we were going to be in any hurry.

I could only eat the bacon and then got up to at least sweep the guest room, as Gwen would be staying with us.  By this time the contractions had very much set in and were 3 min apart for about 20 min.  Keep in mind they were only up front – not side or back; but I must add the ‘can not talk’ part is because they take your breath away.  Very manageable though, just take them in stride – I don’t recommend cleaning when they come on, ha-ha.

Soon I found myself bracing in the hallway arch to hold myself erect; the fast pace took Jake by surprise. I let him know I was heading out to the SUV and we needed to go now!  This was about 9 am; proceeded to call my mom stating if she was not at the house in 5 minutes to meet us at the birth center.  By this point I could not even fathom to talk (ironically never a problem for me) between contractions so Jake passed word on to Gwen (who called in), whereby he then really knew I was serious.

On the drive, Jake called his brother.  He was driving easy to be nice to my body, but after a few minutes into a 25 minute drive, I signaled to step on it as contractions were frequenting the 2 min mark!  Jake then called his mom and we were soon at the center.  [Why the calls stick in my mind, I do not know…seems like maybe Tyde needs to know when he can read or be read his story.]

I was asked to wait in the lobby for a minute, at Breadth of Life, before proceeding into the Ocean room.  Found out another couple in one of the rooms (how exciting) was also in labor, and to wait a bit as the tub was filling.  When I got to our room. immediately I leaned over onto the bed and rocked my hips back and forth – seemed to ease the pressure, and I forgot my yoga ball.  Jake brought in our stuff, the tub was soon ready, everything came off (no modesty at that point) and in the tub I went.

Ahhh, the pain subsided more that I can earthly describe, the water was refreshing.

My mom and Gwen soon arrived and I was quickly annoyed with Jake’s verbal coaching; for some reason I only wanted to feel his support – specifically with ice/cold water cloths on the back of neck and forehead.  Hindsight, I think annoyance was occurring as I was attempting to get into a zone in between contractions and the verbal communication was bringing me out of it; but never grabbed him by the neck to yell “you did this to me!” like you see on t.v. or the movies.

Soon, my contractions went to 1 minute apart and things began to feel different…I thought I might be needing to push, and I was very concerned that not enough time has passed for my hormones to kick in to prevent tearing – I have no idea why. All of a sudden I felt so hot, I felt like I was on fire!  I knew I wanted out of the tub and it was time to head into action.  I proceeded to kick my mom and Gwen out of the room as I headed for the bed. [Mind you this was not the plan, I just knew I needed to calm the energy in the room at that moment.]  Pilling pillows on top of each other (to act like a birthing bar), I got into a modified squat position and would lean up and on top of the pile for support.

Now contractions are contractions, they are a little rough, but that is the marathon we trained for (I took Bradley Method classes) – pushing is totally different.  When it first comes on, your mind takes over and will stop the process if you are not relaxed = I would not relax.  I was worried about pooping, the ring of fire hurting too much, and about what an epidural would feel like at this point even though I hated needles.  So, I yelled out that I could not do this anymore!!!

Shouting out my thoughts was the best thing I did! Felt good to convey, and only then did I realize I was in transition. With some physical support from Jake and verbal support from my Midwife, I realized I was not willing my body to take over to do just what it needed to do – I was stopping the process = causing me and Tyde much uncomfort.

I began to visualize my son proceeding down the birth channel, focusing on going inward to rest in between contractions/pushes and proceeded to try and kick out my midwife’s assistant, which could not happen (this also became the joke after the birth).


Our First Nap

To explain, and maybe because of my belief in projecting, I was getting distracted by other people’s energies and only wanted Jake’s and Chris’s, just as before in kicking out my mom and Gwen.  Since I could not get my wish (as she was a sweetheart and Chris needed her nearby for records), I headed back into the tub.  I soon began pushing consistently which actually did not hurt – just an extremely overwhelming urge which takes over your whole body…go with it, it actually feels more life relief!

At this point I must state a reminder to pee every hour in the beginning.  Jake and I remembered to make sure I was drinking water, but forgot about the pee thing.  So what did hurt was right before and right after a contraction/pushing as I was experiencing full bladder pain.

With full-on pushing underway, I kept focusing on pushing his head out.  Tyde was coming through my cervix and I only slightly touched it.  I was afraid of his head going back in as I was experiencing the 2 steps forward one step back for quite a while.  But once his head was truly presenting, I was pushing like a fiend.  I used to play co-ed softball and began to visualize summing up all my energy like I used to hit the ball as far as I could but focused it to push Tyde out as far as I could.  The ring of fire hit and I thought it started intensifying – three pushes later and Tyde was out.  (The intensity was not the ring but me pushing so hard I tore at both ends. )

Tyde loves water

Tyde loves water

Tyde, my handsome baby boy, looked like he was swimming in the water, wide-eyed and alert.  Chris pulled him up after a minute and he was quiet, let out a cry, and was laid on my chest.  Tyde scored a perfect 10 on his APGAR and I was so proud of him and thankful!  He was completely looking around and his cord pulsed for a while and Jake cut it.

Tyde had all ten fingers and ten toes so I could finally relax.

Chris sent Jake and Tyde aside as we had to focus on pushing out the placenta; 20 minutes had gone by and I had no urge.  After what seemed like forever, the placenta was out and looked like a slightly deflated volleyball.  Again, Chris knew, I need other energies to be released for action to happen.  Seeing the birthed placenta, I opted for not taking it home and burying it under a tree – as I had originally written in the Birth Plan as at that point, I just wanted to hold my baby.

Jake was awesome, so full of patience and awe, and Chris was the best midwife a girl could ask for; I would not have made it without either of them.  And many thanks to another great unnamed friend for loaning me Hypnobabies, I am sure I would have run out of energy if I had not applied their awesome techniques.


Jessica RespondekJessica Respondek is owner of The Sales Source, LLC, as well as, providing Business Development for Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and health coaching based in St. Petersburg /Tampa Bay FL. She is an MBA graduate from the University of Florida. While happily married and a mother to Tyde, a precocious 4 year-old, Jessica loves spending time with her family and friends, volunteering for environmental organizations, organic gardening, and strives to encourage sustainable living for everyone.


Tyde’s Birth Story: Part I False Start

Life runs in cycles and circles.  Mine seems to revolve in three’s.  Thus, perfect to release my birthing experince in a three part series…just as they occurred…

In 2009, July 25th was the first day of the 36th week of pregnancy.  After feeling a little weird, I hurriedly got myself ready to attend a Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

[Side note: I have been heavily involved in volunteer work for most of my life, and during the period of Tyde, Environmental Activism was my niche. And yes, my son is named after the water with a “y”…so have fun reading about my little Tidal Wave :).]


My Bel-ly

On the way, I started feeling some cramping.  Ignoring as I had been on and off all week, I sat through the speakers while pounding three glasses of water.  Cornered in at the table where I was sitting, I had to wait until all the presentations ended before myself and large baby bel-ly could wiggle through the room and get to the ladies room.

By this time, the cramping felt like a bad period and was increasing in frequency.  Then another wave came while walking to the car, which put them roughly 7-8 minutes apart.  So I decided to call my husband, Jake, on the way home; I started the conversation with asking if he would want to know if something “might be” happening or to wait for me to confirm that something is happening and then tell him.

Thus, I filled him in and he said he was on his way to meet me.  I knew I was heading home to drink more water and lay down for a while to see if the “tidal waves” would calm down.  Also, I was not feeling anything along my sides or in my back –  as many describe is how you ‘know’ if you are heading into labor – to find out, so not true.  We had a 3:30 pm appt with our midwife and the cramping was about 5 min apart and steady.  Pressure was starting to occur.  We went thru the regular stuff with Chris, our Midwife at Breadth of Life Birthing Center, and then were checked to see where I was at.  After discovering I was 1 cm, -1 in presentation, and lining was thin…I was sent to the hospital to have it all stopped.

37 weeks is considered Full term and none of us wanted to risk Tyde’s health at 36 weeks – especially if that meant he had to be placed in NICU. 

After arriving at the hospital, I was sent to the Labor and Delivery ward.  Very weird experience since I never planned on being in a hospital for birthing or for that matter, at all during pregnancy.  Chris knew the midwife on duty – Maryanne; so I felt like I was being passed from one set of caring hands to another.

We decided to wait a bit for the IV and drugs to see if things calmed down.  I was hooked up to monitors where Tyde proceeded to  kick them off – very amusing to me, but am sure painful to my little guy .  At first the nurse, not Maryanne as she had to assist a birth, said I was not contracting, which made me think I was going crazy; however, after a really good contraction (but nothing like true labor) she acknowledged I was feeling something.


“I Got This”

I received a shot of Terbutaline, which made me really shaky, and then was placed on bed rest for a week.  Also, I was given procardia to keep my uterus at bay for a week.  That week was hard – me + sitting still  = not usually defined in the same sentence.  Maryanne sent me off apologizing for the wait, as her intention was for me to receive all immediately, and not experience the 6 hour ordeal.

After the first 24 hours back home, I finally took it easy as the cramping came if I did not.  As soon as the week was over I was off the medication.  The cramping came back and off we were to another appt., still 1 cm and -1 with very thin lining.  Chris “stimulated” my cervix (which was very painful) to attempt to get things underway.  But nothing happened.

So, I started eating spaghetti (red sauce is an old wives tale), taking evening primrose, continued to drink the red raspberry leaf tea, and walked, and walked, and walked – even walked the mall!  But being so exhausted, I barely could get thru my school work, was working on my MBA, and really just wanted to lie on the couch and watch t.v. or play on the FaceBook app called Yoville.

After week thirty-eight, where I was exhausted from cramping all the time, I stopped taking the evening primrose.  This was relaxing and I felt like I could breath again.

“Babies come when they are ready”, I would tell myself…I was getting tired of the false start…


Jessica RespondekJessica Respondek is owner of The Sales Source, LLC, as well as, providing Business Development for Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and health coaching based in St. Petersburg /Tampa Bay FL. She is an MBA graduate from the University of Florida. While happily married and a mother to Tyde, a precocious 4 year-old, Jessica loves spending time with her family and friends, volunteering for environmental organizations, organic gardening, and strives to encourage sustainable living for everyone.

Eat Real Food: Breakfast Bonanza

Being a Stay-at-home, as well as, Work-from-home, Mom, Breakfast can be the hardest meal of the day to fit into the hectic schedule.

The other morning, my body was asking for so much, on top of having a short window to eat, I came up with Breakfast Bonanza!

Ingredients:Breakfast Bonanza

  • Cherry Tomatoes – handful and sliced in half
  • Hard Boiled Egg – sliced thick
  • Blueberries – handful
  • Whole Wheat Bread – one slice and toasted
  • Mozzarella – cheese stick chopped
  • Honey Mustard Dressing – homemade thanks to Alton Brown


Toast your bread, then slice 3 ways length wise and then 3 ways horizontal to produce “cubes”. Top with mozzarella, egg, tomatoes, and blueberries.  Add a Few dollops of dressing, and wha-la!


Fast, simple, and de-licious!  Please, let me know how you like it, or how you changed it up!


Eat Real Food: Avocado Taco

Want a refreshing snack or mid afternoon treat? Great for a quick healthy lunch too!

Ingredients: Enliven Wellness Works: Avocado Taco

  • Sprouts (couple pinches)
  • Yogurt (@ 1 TBSP)
  • Tortilla Shells
  • 2 ripe Avocados (scooped and chopped)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
  • ½ Cucumber (diced)
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Jucie (or favorite Citrus)


Place Avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber in bowl and mix well.  Add lemon juice, mix again.  Lay out tortilla shells, place selected amount of mixture on them, then add dollop of yogurt and top with sprouts.

Wallah! Fast, simple, easy and refreshing!

Have you tried and made some changes? Let us know what inspired you or what is your favorite addition?

Looking for an Internship?

We’re growing and would love to help you grow too!

Enliven Wellness Works is a workplace wellness company specializing in onsite wellness education, group fitness, health coaching, and massage therapy.

If you are seeking an internship, we are looking for an intern who will work directly with the company owner.

The position has flexible hours and offers the ability to work from dorm/home. Some time will be spent at the owners’ office in South St. Petersburg, running errands, and attending events throughout Tampa Bay.

The ideal candidate will be an organized self-starter with an interest and/or background in health and wellness. Must be good with computers and have excellent communication skills via email, phone and in-person. Bonus points if you have an eye for graphic design (professional skills not necessary) and enjoy writing or blogging.

Programs & Applications Experience Preferred:

Word, Excel, Power Point, Corel Draw, Google Apps (calendar, docs and surveys), iContact, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Equipment Required:

Computer (preferably laptop), phone and car.


For More Information:  Internships Available

If interested, please send your resume, qualifications and academic standards: Contact Us


Now Hiring – Registered Dietician

Enliven Wellness Works seeks Registered Dietician for contract work

Qualifications, Education and Experience:
Education: Bachelor’s Degree (four year college or university)
Experience: One to two years related experience
Certificates & Licenses: Active license in the appropriate state of practice as a Registered Dietician

Term: Contract Position – 8 hours a month separated into two 4 hour bi-weekly shifts.

Pay: $75 per hour


  • Maintains adherence to policy & procedure and to the ADA code of ethics.
  • Evaluates nutritional needs of clientele.
  • Interview clientele to obtain information regarding their dietary history, as well as food habits and preferences for guidance in planning the individual’s diet.
  • Maintains an updated diet manual and policy and procedure manual as well as current nutrition education materials.
  • Evaluates nutritional care and provides follow up for the care of clientele.
  • Evaluates P.O. intake for calorie count and makes recommendations to improve individuals’ nutritional status.
  • Seeks appropriate resources in difficult cases.

Please email your resume and cover letter to jennifer@enlivenwellnessworks.com.

The deadline for resume submission is August 10, 2013.