This weekend was Marlowe’s first weekend away with her father. Saturday morning to Sunday night. 32 hours. If you read my mediation post, then you know: this is something I’ve been dreading for a long time. I’m very proud and happy to say: I had enough milk, pumped, stored, and saved for this weekend— more than enough. Going into this weekend, I felt relief knowing she would not receive a drop of formula. I did it. Everyday I worked hard. I managed. I produced enough. As Marlowe’s father walked in the door I boasted about how much milk I was giving him and told him: not all of it was needed, but take it in case, and send it back frozen. 

I packed her belongs. He packed the car. “If she is unhappy, if things don’t go well– it could be two in the morning–don’t hesitate for a second. I wont judge you or question you, just bring her back.” I said a quick goodbye and she was gone. Marlowe’s first weekend away. This weekend was hard for me. Nothing felt right. Every passing minute left me with a bigger pain in my chest and lump in my throat. Knowing that this weekend was the first weekend of many— of hundreds; it hurt. This is Marlowe’s new life. Back and forth. One night in her bed, the next: another bed. A bed left empty, sitting cold, waiting for her body. Once a month (maybe soon to be more), an adjustment, a change. A shift too big for a little person to understand.


Hours in, I received a text. My mango queen was eating mango and loving it. Okay. Another text: she was napping. And right on schedule. Okay again. Another text: 9:30 pm, she was asleep for the night (two hours too soon). I knew she was fed. &I knew she was rested, but that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach would not disappear. For me: there was only few quickly-wiped tears throughout the day. I was strong– until the night time came. I broke down. I buried my head deep in Eric’s chest and wept. I wanted her back. She belonged at home. I was small, angry, and incapable of changing anything.

The morning came. Another text: She was awake. She had ate. &there was only one bottle left. I became livid. I packed food and milk to last for much, much longer. She was overfed. She finds comfort in my breast, not in the milk that streams from them. If she was unhappy, then make her happy. If she was uncomfortable, then make her comfortable. If she was fussy, confused, and ripping at your body, then nurture her. If you can not offer her peace, then bring her home. Trying to offer comfort to a baby by overfeeding, is not parenting. 

I understand her father does not have breasts. I understand that soothing a (almost exclusively) breast-fed baby is difficult. I know this from experience. From: attempts to go out and being forced to return home quickly to an inconsolable child. From: watching Eric pace my home to rock her to sleep in an attempt to give my overworked body a break. From the time I was left in the hospital for hours, with Eric in my home, caring for a baby who refused a bottle and was far too young for food—a baby who cried and screamed for me while Eric rocked and paced and did everything possible to comfort her. From my own attempts during the teething nights when even a breast wont work. I understand it’s hard. Parenting is hard. But this is why you do not take a 9 month old (two days ago) breast-fed baby overnight &away from her mother. I cried, begged, and pleaded in mediation for this to be understood. I cried for Marlowe’s well-being and best interest. I received little sympathy. Her father gets what her father wants, &despite my concern for Marlowe’s age, he fought for instant overnights. He now has experienced his first overnight. I don’t like him— it’s true, but he now understands: I fight him not because of my disdain for him, &not to take away from him or his right as a father, but instead: to give Marlowe more

It’s been talked about. We both agree: no more overnights— not now. When will it happen? When Marlowe is ready—when they are both ready—but not now, not yet, it’s too soon.

There is no question. This is where she belongs. In her mother’s arms. &in her home

Thank you for all your kind words and very wise advise. I’ve made mental notes (and actual notes) on all of them. I have a quick question for you natural product using mamas— especially the vegan mamas. Marlowe returned home with a very bad diaper rash, her worst one yet. I really don’t know much about diaper rashes– seeing that she’s only had a few small ones before. What’s the best cure? I do own a natural– lanolin based cream, but lanolin is of course not vegan. Is lanolin my only choice? From what I’ve seen in the store, it seems to be. Are there other options? Better options? Home remedies? Please let me know. I need to soothe her bum! 
Thank you ♥


  1. wow drea! i know this is an old post and much has changed since you have written this. i felt and still feel every bit of feeling you described when i have to give up my little one every tuesday. And i remember feeling the same helpless feeling in mediation, where no one is on your side and all you want is the best for that little peanut. your the mother who are they to tell you what is best for her, but unfortunately it does not quite play out that way. i'm glad i found your blog, but wish i could have found it sooner when i was having many of the same strong emotions you felt in this post. you are a great inspiration and i cant tell you how glad i am that you share these thoughts with us, so that single mamma's like myself don't feel like we are out in this world alone with our feelings.

  2. i am a bit late in the game as i have just stumbled upon your blog. i feel a chest-tightness just reading this post. i can't imagine what you felt not having marlowe with you that night. so glad the overnights have come to an end.

    as for diaper rash, i put breastmilk on it. literally just squeeze it right outta the boob and onto the sore bottom.

  3. I am new to your blog and oh so inspired by your beauty, love and creativity! I was a single mom for four years, and my first night without my baby was like a night without my heart in my chest. I am so glad you were able to postpone regular over nights. Those babies need their mommas, and the beautiful love of the breast! Blessings to you and your beautiful and inspiring family!

  4. I probably shouldn't say this, but after reading your post I can understand why so many moms "kidnap" their own children and disappear into anonymity in another state rather than deal with custody situations. Obviously your approach is a lot more civil and adult, but the primal need of a mother to be with her baby 24/7 cannot be underestimated. And I think it's a lot to ask of a baby to split homes before she can even discuss (let alone understand) her experience. I'm glad that you guys were able to come to an agreement. Anything else would have been 100% selfish on his part! Day trips must suffice for now!

    P.S. Finally a blog that isn't all "We're so perfectly happy in all of our perfectly perfectness!!!" Thank you for sharing so honestly 🙂

    As for the diaper rash Weleda diaper creme works great for us but I think it has lanolin too 🙁

  5. someone probably said this already, I didn't read all the comments, but- Coconut Oil is a great booty fix for babies!

  6. Hey sweetheart.

    At three days old, Annabelle developed a rash from the wipes and disposables we were using to get through the meconium, so we switched to cloth and we're using the Live Clean Baby brand diaper ointment. It's vegan, cloth friendly and you can buy it at the regular drug stores. 🙂

  7. I wholeheartedly agree with not overfeeding a baby to comfort them. I know mama's that will shove a bottle in the baby's mouth every time they so much as make a noise. It's so wrong. Also, I love love love your posts about breast-feeding. I am a SAHM as well, and while it's been tough at times, breast-feeding is the only option, in my opinion. I mean, why would I not? Glad to hear there are other like-minded mama's out there!!

  8. As I said on twitter, I'm so sorry Marlowe had to suffer and you as well but i am SO happy you have her back in your arms and home for the time being.
    I'm sure it was extremely hard for you to do that, and you are so strong. I would have been a huge mess the entire time. I've never even left Roweyn overnight with my parents (whom we live with), I can't even imagine how hard it must have been to not have had a choice.

    As for the diaper rash, we use organic raw coconut oil. Comes in a solid white form, is cloth diaper safe and works really well. We also use Earth Mama Angel Baby Baby Bottom Balm, I don't know if that is vegan though, but is cloth diaper safe.

  9. Try organic coconut oil…I've never used it (my first is due next week) but I have friends who love it!

    Love your blog.

  10. I read this post last night while I was nursing my baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. My heart ached so much for you and for everything you've had to go through. While I sat there with my baby I couldn't even imagine how you were feeling. And me, a perfect stranger just wanted to hug you. Anyways I am so glad that there is a resolution for now. A baby needs her mama. Stay strong!

  11. I can't imagine what that must have been like for you and I'm glad it is over for a while. Yep. He didn't know what he was in for and I guess it is good that he got a dose of reality for now. Also, very unselfish of him to admit it. Boy, it must have been bad…But at least he did not let pride get in the way. He knows it was too soon. Happy things will normalize now. For diaper rash, we always used oatmeal baths and cornstarch.

  12. Goodness, that broke my heart. Thank god for no more overnights! I cannot even imagine!

    She belongs with you and Eric – #teamfamily!

  13. I agree with Mae. My stepdaughter goes from a loving, carefree, toddler-friendly house to an unloving, volatile environment with her mother. it's terrible to see what a mother will do to her own flesh and blood. Hopefully in 10 years (maybe sooner?) we can give her the solace and stability she deserves … as Marlowe has with you. xoxo

  14. I'm so happy there are no more overnights for the time being. From reading your mediation post, I had a feeling her Father would probably change his mind after having her for a night. It's not as easy as it looks! Especially, if she's not in her environment! xo

  15. Coconut oil is also ok to create a moisture barrier so when her dipe gets wet, it wont irritate her rash 🙂

    And of course berate milk if you have some leftover from that overnight batch! It's the cure for nearly everything!!

  16. we use a jewelweed cream. Jewel weed helps heal all skin ailments including diaper rash. The specific cream we have is made with bees wax, which is obviously not vegan, but its wonderful.

    Other store bought brands that we love are Weleda and California Baby.

  17. I have sworn by Earth Mama Angel Baby for rashes. It is safe for cloth diapers and has a great consistency and is all natural and organic and comes in a containers that is safe, even if she wanted to chew on it 🙂

  18. oh my gosh, drea, i cant imagine what this weekend was like for you. so glad there won't be any more for awhile. she needs you… her mama… and your breast!!! and can i just saw the picture of her little toes peeking out from that quilt is the cutest thing i've seen in quite some time.

  19. OMG – don't take this the wrong way, but I'm so happy to hear this. Why? Because like you said – you know what's best for Marlowe, and the overnights (at this age) is a bit much for her! I had to explain this to my child's father, and I told him I basically didn't think it was good for Naja to be back and forth until she was AT LEAST 1 – not to mention he needs to get some things in order before he keeps her overnight. Anyway – I digress…I'm happy Marlowe will be home with her momma at night! Sometimes, I think it's hard for the guys – they see our pleadings/disagreements as selfish, when we're looking out for our babies. Ok – sorry so long – love that you share Drea – stay strong – you ROCK!

  20. So sorry you two had such a rough weekend. I can't even imagine how difficult your situation must be, but thank goodness you and your ex were able to come to the same resolution (for now). Breastfed babies need to be with their mamas, especially overnight. Hopefully he will be more sensitive to this with future decisions.
    As far as diaper rash I would recommend lots of bare bum time (preferably for short bouts in the sun) and breast milk.

  21. not sure if it has been said already but coconut oil! [and not sure if it is vegan or not, sorry] also LOTS of diaper free time. the fresh air helps alot 🙂
    [hugs] darling.

  22. omg…I would have been SO IRATE/"livid" as you said…UGH I am so sorry. I did see that tweet and it made my stomach and heart hurt for you. I know it sucks that happened, but at least he knows now that she is NOT ready. yay for baby at home where she belongs. Love the photo!

  23. Ultra Balm by Lush Is amazing! 100% vegan. It's sort of like Vaseline. I've used it on rash, bug bites, dry skin, and cooking burns. the only lush in Florida is at the Orlando airport.

  24. My heart broke reading this 🙁 I was so relieved to see there wouldn't be any more over nights.
    I got your message about sending something for E. I would love to return the favor for your little one. email me:

    For the rash – My Grandma says baking soda. I never tried it because my sister gave me the Aveeno natural diaper cream and it immediately cleared it up. Also, you can always rub some breast milk on it. She's from your body, and your milk heals her like nothing else. But you already know that 🙂
    You are a wonderful, loving, strong Mama, Drea.

  25. wow, i could not even imagine. im so sorry u had to go thru that and am so happy you've both agreed to no more over nights until everyone is ready. your tweets kept breaking my heart thru all this! 🙁 it just must have been really hard. i dont know any other diaper rash remedies besides the ones i've already read but i just keep corbin naked as much as possible when he starts to get a little one! i hope it heals up soon. poor girl!

  26. Aura had her first (and bad) diaper rash and we got rid of it super quickly with this:

    1. Baking soda baths. Just put a cup of it in her bath, let her soak for 15 minutes and then preferably air dry.

    2. Weleda Calendula diaper cream, worked magic for us!

    Good luck! And, I know I shouldn't say this but reading about M's 'father' makes me want to run him over with my car. Heh.

  27. soak her in a vinegar bath, don't wash her face or anything just put her in the bath, that will help with the rash 🙂 we did that with my niece, my daughter hasn't had a serious diaper rash yet so we haven't tried it. also you could probably squirt a little breastmilk on it, breastmilk works wonders on the strangest things like cuts and rashes and stuff.

  28. I'm glad that he sees she needs to be at home with you, especially overnight. My daughter was only able to go with my sister and mom overnight a month ago, and she just turned a year. It was hard for both of us at first, but it was worth it, and now she's doing great… and sleeping through the night!!

    My daughter just got over a HORRIBLE rash that I am pretty sure was ammonia burn (we cloth diaper, too!). Since you use cloth diapers, you want to be VERY careful with ANY creams, even if they say they are natural and cloth diaper safe! I use Episencial Nurturing Balm. It is magic. Almost immediately I could see a difference! A few days in, it is almost completely healed… you can barely see it.

    I recommend if you still want to cloth diaper and use a cream, you need to get some diaper liners–either reusable or disposable– to protect your dipes from having repelling issues. Epi's cream said it's CD safe, but when I used it, it looked like it stuck to the dipes, and although I was able to clean them, I am using disposables until the rash clears up to protect the diapers.

    These are reusable liners:

    These are disposable liners:

  29. Oh this makes me so sad for you! And for me, as I will have to begin leaving my daughter at daycare all day starting in October (she will be 9 months). I'm DREADING it soooooo badly. In my most recent letter to her on my blog, I compared the idea of it to detaching my arm and trying to survive without it, but even that isn't a great comparison as it will hurt much much more deep down to leave her in the hands of strangers.

    We haven't had many problems with diaper rash, but my suggestion would be to let her run around naked if you can to let it air out as being enclosed in a diaper creates more heat and friction that sore bits don't like. Good luck clearing it out. And make sure her dad knows to change the diaper more frequently (I wonder if that's what the problem was).

  30. Your post deeply touched my heart. I'm seriously almost in tears because the thought of NOT having my daughter with me overnight makes me feel like puking. I'm so so so happy that you won't have to deal with this for a while!

    For diaper cream I've used this product since my daughter was born:
    It's not vegan (has beeswax) but it is seriously wonderful and smells clean and herby. I use the all-purpose salve and I've used it on myself a few times for rashes, etc but i think they also have a butt balm. It was recommended to me by a naturopathic doctor who was all sorts of wonderful!

    *Sending good vibes your way.*

  31. check out weleda products – by far my favorite products for babes out there – and they have a great bum cream. They are a bit spendy but worth the money.

  32. I can't imagine. BUT, at least you came to an agreement that works for you both. I don't think he overfed her on purpose, or to keep her quiet though. My husband was always quick to try to feed the boys when they were crying babies. I just think inexperienced dads don't know that stuff yet. And he obviously hasn't been around her enough to learn those things. A lot of parenting is learned on the go, and learned from experience.

  33. I'm not sure if it is at all Vegan, but Aquaphor works wonders for diaper rash (and pretty much everything else). It was really the only thing that worked for my daughter. Glad to hear that there will be no more overnights for now for your sake and for Marlowe's!

  34. Well done for being strong and making it through! I'm sure you're relieved that it has at least its put a halt on the overnights for now!

  35. you're such a strong momma. I am proud of you.

    Adriana has never had a single rash but Ryland is KING of rashes. I've used a couple of these from the links below. I hope this helps.

    and some burt's products are good- but it may be an issue with ingredients. you can search their site as well.


  36. Sounds like a hard time. I could not imagine being without my baby for a night.
    You should try coconut oil for the rash, it is suppose to have really good anti-fungal properties.

  37. I'm so sorry about your rough weekend. I believe it is too young for back and forth, babies are trying to learn and understand things based on repetition and all of a sudden things are different! That is hard for her just as it is hard for you. I'm so happy for you that it has been resolved for now, I hope you have found peace in that. Have a wonderful week!!

  38. You are a very strong lady, Drea. If only all babes could be so lucky to have such a smart, loving mama.

    I highly recommend Moon Valley Organics Baby Bum Bar for diaper rash. My 8 month old occasionally gets a little irritation and it takes care of any redness overnight. Plus, I like to use it myself for chapped lips or dry skin. Super soothing, though not vegan.

  39. oh dear… sounds awful!!

    as a vegan mama of a (so far) vegan 11 month old lady, i feel for you. our breast milk is gold and when the babysitter dumps it out because they tried to feed her when she really wanted something else, it pains me!!

    i'm so happy that you don't have to deal with overnights for awhile… she needs you. and not just for your boobies 😉

  40. So sorry for your tough weekend. You're a great mama. Here are some remedies that I have used for bad diaper rash…
    1. Oatmeal baths
    2. A little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed in lukewarm water – used instead of wipes
    3. breastmilk – liquid gold
    4. chamomile tea bags soaked in warm water – use tea water instead of wipes

    Hope it helps!

  41. my grandmother swears by burnt flour, and it is fine to use with cloth diapers, I have never tried it myself (we were lucky that we never had to deal with diaper rash)
    Hope her diaper rash goes away quickly!

  42. I'm sorry to hear it was such a traumatic weekend but at least it had a happy ending. I think it's great that he agreed it was better for Marlowe to be at home. It was very unselfish of him.

    As far as diaper rashes, I know it's not vegan but A&D works wonders

  43. My grandmother told me to use milk of magnesia last time Luke had a terrible diaper rash. (Not to ingest, of course 🙂 ) We bought the Philip's brand and would coat his little bottom with it (a very messy process, you'll need a few towels! Cotton balls work well to apply) and let it dry to a chalky film while he ran around naked for a while, then repeated the process before bed and let him sleep with it on. We battled that diaper rash for a week, and after one night of using the milk of magnesia, it was gone! Grandmas really are on to something… 🙂 Hopefully this works for you and Marlowe, too!

  44. Earth Mamma Angel Baby, it's a little bit pricely but I promise it's the best. Its all natural, vegan and wont stan your cloth diapers:)

  45. I have so much respect for how you love your daughter, it's just so obvious and pure.

    But for the diaper rash I would be pretty careful with what you use if you're using cloth because a lot of products will clog them up, what works for one brand might not work as well with whatever you use and stripping diapers is a giant pain in the ass. Naked butt time and oatmeal baths are a pretty great option.

  46. That sounds so awful, how horrible you had to go through that for him to realize she is too young. So did she end up having to have formula?

    I am a vegan Mum & we use Lucas paw paw on Heidi's nappy rash. She has only had one bad case but it cleared it right up. How annoying that he obviously wasn't changing her enough too so that she got the rash 🙁 Sigh!

  47. i'm sorry the overnight-stay didn't work out! and i do hope that all the three of you find a good&comforting way to make visits/stays a good experience.

    for the rash:
    healing wool
    calendula based cream
    naked bum {which helps A LOT!}

    make sure that any cram you use doesn't have too much water in it, because water does not heal. all the creams you use should be very rich of fat!


  48. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you, you are so strong to do this and open your heart online. At least her father has had a demonstration of why you object to overnights – you have the evidence you need to say no. For the nappy rash, how about a shea butter cream like this one: I haven't used it but love their other products.

  49. I have had really good luck with all of othe Earth mama angel baby products and I know they make a really nice sooting calendula cream and also a diaper rash cream I'd give them a try. I'm so happy to read she'll be home with you. That's exactly where she belongs.

  50. Oh Andrea, what a horrible thing to go through…I suffer when I leave Isobel for two hours, cannot not even think what it would have felt like to go a night without her. I guess it's easier when you know & TRUST the ones looking after her but you really have no idea what he is up to with Marlowe & that's not fair with all the work you have done in the past nine months to create a loving & comfortable home for Marlowe. She is far too young to be staying away from home, even if it is her father. He hasn't yet proven his right to have her & I'm glad that it's not happening again for some time for you & Marlowes sake. In terms of diaper rash cream, I use a product called Lucas' Pawpaw ointment & it is amazing not only for rashes but all other kind of skin things. It's just made of Pawpaw so is vegan. Not sure if you can get it in the USA. If you can't find it or anything else suitable give me an email & I can try & get some over for you.

  51. i know it´s hard… my best mate has nearly the same problems with her babygirls father.
    you know the best what is right for your baby!!
    like bob marley said: "don´t let them fool ya or even try to rule ya"

  52. I couldn't imagine how difficult that must have been. My daughter, Eva, is 13 months old and still very attached to nursing. As much as I would like a break, she is not ready for me to leave her. I haven't been able to go out for dinner with friends and there is no way I would be able to leave her with anyone else overnight, nor would I want to.

    As far as diaper rash solutions, I use Paw Paw (papaya) Ointment with Calendula , which is free of petrochemicals.

    Amber x

  53. My step daughter (my boyfriend's daughter) is about to turn three. The back and forths between us – a stable environment- and her mother (a less than stable environment, at best) are pure torture. I sympathize.

  54. P.s. It does use Beeswax so I guess it's not 100% Vegan. I just saw that. 🙂 It is pretty good stuff though lady.

  55. I am so sorry that you have to deal with the back and forth. 🙁 I'm glad that he's agreed to no more overnights for now. What a relief!