Monday, June 17, 2013

Welcoming Rosemary Grace

On December 15, 2012 we welcomed our 4th child into our family. She was our 3rd homebirth VBAC.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Preparing for Birth

Well, here I am, preparing for our 4th child's birth. I'm due in 13 days. So blessed to have made it this far in the pregnancy so that we can attempt our 3rd homebirth. For anyone still following this blog stay tuned for news of our littlest arrival.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another Successful Homebirth!

I'm fairly certain I don't have many readers to this blog anymore since it's been forever since I've last posted, but I wanted to share with those of you who follow homebirth blogs and VBAC stories that I had my second homebirth last month. Our third child was born at home and it was an even better experience than the first.

I will be emailing out the (very long) birth story so if any of you are interested please leave a comment and make sure I have your email address and I will add you to the list.

And a picture of our girl, Annabelle Jane, moments after birth:

June 22, 2010
8lbs 8oz.
20 1/4 inches long

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The 5 Foods You Should Eat Everyday

Carrying a child is quite taxing on a woman's body. She needs all the help she can get. Here is a great list I found here of what foods we should strive to eat everyday, pregnant or not.

#1 Leafy greens
Medical experts call them one of nature's miracle foods. Leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale are high in nutrients like folate and vitamins A and C that can lower your risk of cancer. Just one cup of dark, leafy greens a day could also prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.

#2 Nuts
Many nutritionists recommend nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts because they're high in natural fiber. Fiber slows your digestive process, keeping hunger and unhealthy mid-afternoon snacks at bay. Goodbye vending machine runs!

#3 Onions
Studies show that consuming onions on a regular basis may reduce symptoms of asthma and the risk of developing stomach cancer. Add them to soups and stir-fry, and just remember -- the stronger the onion, the greater the health benefit.

#4 Whole grains
Refined grains, like white rice and pasta, have lost 90% of their nutritional value through the refining process. As if that weren't reason enough to choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and whole oats, a recent study showed that a diet rich in whole grains actually flattens your belly by reducing fat storage in your lower abdominal region.

#5 Yogurt
Making yogurt part of your daily eating routine can improve your digestion -- if you're buying the right stuff. Check that the label lists "active cultures" to make sure you're getting healthy probiotics, and pick a yogurt rich in vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Effects of Supplementing

I am copying all the text from a post from the Prayer of Hannah Blog. To go to the post at its original location, you can click here.

I thought this research was interesting and wondered if anyone might enjoy reading it as well. It pertains to the effects of supplementing in the hospital with bottles of water, glucose water, artificial baby milk, or adding supplements to the mother's milk. Some of the reasons for this include the following:

• to give the mother a rest
• because the mother doesn't have her milk 'in' yet
• to prevent hypoglycemia
• to prevent or reduce jaundice

None of these are indications for giving supplements, with some having the opposite effect to the desired result. Yet a 2005 study found that close to half of infants received artificial baby milk in the hospital!

Here are some of the effects on breastfeeding (and these effects were noted even if the baby received only one supplement!):

• Supplemented babies are significantly less likely to be exclusively or fully breastfed after hospital discharge.
• The risk for shortened duration of breastfeeding is increased 4-fold when supplements were given in hospital, even when the supplement used is predominantly donor breastmilk.
• Exclusively breastfed newborns are fed more frequently then breastfed-plus-supplemented infants. 93% of moms remember which brand of artificial baby milk was used in hospital and most will use that brand. Parents may interpret the use of artificial baby milk as an endorsement by hospital staff, despite clear verbal messages promoting breastfeeding.

So. . . if you hope to succeed in breastfeeding, do everything you can to make sure your baby rooms-in with you and doesn't receive any supplementation. . . both in the hospital and after you go home!
Written by Krista

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Need to Fast During Labor

By Megan Brooks - Wed Jan 20, 8:18 AM PST
SOURCE: Cochrane Library, 2010.

Go here to read the article.

There is no reason why pregnant women at low risk for complications during delivery should be denied fluids and food during labor, a new Cochrane research review concludes.

"Women should be free to eat and drink in labor, or not, as they wish," the authors of the review wrote in the Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.

Dr. Jennifer Milosavljevic, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, who was not involved in the Cochrane Review, agrees that pregnant women should be allowed to eat and/or drink during labor.

"In my experience," she told Reuters Health in an email, "most pregnant patients at Henry Ford are placed on a clear liquid diet during labor which includes water, apple juice, cranberry juice, broth, and jello. If a patient is brought in for a prolonged induction of labor, she will typically be permitted to eat a regular diet and order anything off the menu in between different induction modalities."

Milosavlievic has "not seen any adverse outcomes by allowing women the option of liquids and/or a regular diet in labor."

Standard hospital policy for many decades has been to allow only tiny sips of water or ice chips for pregnant women in labor if they were thirsty. Why? It was feared, and some studies in the 1940s showed, that if a woman needed to undergo general anesthesia for a cesarean delivery, she might inhale regurgitated liquids or food particles that could lead to pneumonia and other lung damage.

But anesthesia practices have changed and improved since the 1940s, with more use of regional anesthesia and safer general anesthesia.

And recently, attitudes on food and drink during labor have begun to relax. Last September, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a "Committee Opinion" advising doctors that women with a normal, uncomplicated labor may drink modest amounts of clear liquids such as water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee, and sports drinks. They fell short of saying food was okay, however, advising that women should avoid fluids with solid particles, such as soup.

"As for the continued restriction on food, the reality is that eating is the last thing most women are going to want to do since nausea and vomiting during labor is quite common," Dr. William H. Barth, Jr., chair of ACOGs Committee on Obstetric Practice, noted in a written statement at the time.

But based on the evidence, Mandisa Singata of the East London Hospital Complex in East London, South Africa, an author on the new Cochrane Review, says "women should be able to make their own decisions about whether they want to eat or drink during labor, or not."

Singata and colleagues systematically reviewed five studies involving more than 3100 pregnant that looked at the evidence for restricting food and drink in women who were considered unlikely to need anesthesia. One study looked at complete restriction versus giving women the freedom to eat and drink at will; two studies looked at water only versus giving women specific fluids and foods and two studies looked at water only versus giving women carbohydrate drinks.

The evidence showed no benefits or harms of restricting foods and fluids during labor in women at low risk of needing anesthesia.

Singata and colleagues acknowledge that many women may not feel like eating or drinking during labor. However, research has shown that some women find the food and drink restriction unpleasant. Poor nutritional balance may be also associated with longer and more painful labors. Drinking clear liquids in limited quantities has been found to bring comfort to women in labor and does not increase labor complications.

The researchers emphasize that they did not find any studies that assessed the risks of eating and drinking for women with a higher risk of needing anesthesia and so further research is need before specific recommendations can be made for this group.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hospital to Home - Part II

Well, we have been blessed yet again with another miracle growing in my womb! We are estatic. The baby is due to arrive in mid-June.

As fantastic as our first homebirth was we didn't necessarily feel called to do a repeat homebirth for any other children... that is until I got pregnant and actually started to analyze my options again.

We have gone back and forth like before, but much earlier now have decided that a homebirth is once again the best option for our family.

Since we are in Charlottesville, VA now and cannot see my old midwife, which I am quite sad about, we are seeing someone new.

So far, we are thrilled with them. They seem extremely knowledgeable and are very skilled in midwifery. Their information can be found at:

Just thought I'd share the exciting news with my homebirth friends.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Homebirths in Virginia

It's been quite a while, friends. I hope you all are doing well...

No, I am not pregnant. Let me just say that up front.

I am however interested in learning what my options are in the Central Virginia area if I was in fact to have another homebirth. I want to make sure that if I get pregnant, I've done my research ahead of time!

We are in the Charlottesville area, so if anyone knows if what the rules are like for Virginia and homebirths, I would love to know, especially about midwives and VBAC's.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Mother's Guilt

I think one of the worst things a mother faces is a sense of guilt about how she parents. I am constantly questioning everything I do.

Did I nurse them long enough, or too long?
Should I have started them on solids earlier, or later?
Did I hold them too much, or not enough?
Did I make them grow up too fast, or did I keep them babies for too long?
Should I have used a pacifier, or not?
Should I have let them sleep with me, or let them sleep in a crib?
Should I let them watch television or should I wait until they are 2?

There were a lot of things that I did with Samuel that I now would not do with Joseph. Was I wrong in doing them, or not doing them before? I have to come to terms with the fact that no, I was not wrong. I did the best I could with what I was given. Yes, I do a lot of things differently now, but it's only because this is a second child and not the first. I've got a whole other child's experiences under my belt and this time around has shown itself to be a completely different experience anyways.

What worked with Samuel, does not work with Joseph.
What works with Joseph would not have worked with Samuel.

I see and hear about other mother's doing this that or the other with their children and if I'm not doing them I wonder if I should. I wonder if what I'm doing is helping or hurting their future.

Bottom line, it has to stop.

What I am doing right, and what is the absolute most important thing I could ever do for my children or anyone else in this world is that I am teaching them about who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us. When the world ends, nothing else matters.

Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. Philippians 4:6
I want to challenge us as mother's to decide what matter's most to us, and pursue it. Leave behind the guilt of not doing it all, and cling to what is good.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I am in the stages of starting another blog This will be my first post over there once I get it going. I would love for you to come visit me over there as I being to look into what it means to be a woman, wife and a mother God's way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Knowing Is Half the Battle

It's been an amazing experience having 2 little boys under 2. What a joy it is to be a mother. I am so grateful to have these two children. I would love to say that the past 3 months have been a piece of cake, but we all know that's not the truth. Having kids is not easy, but it's always a blessing. What has made these last 3 months difficult has nothing to do with the boys. They have both been so easy to love and take care of. It's been an issue of mine that has caused them to be less than ideal.

Something I wish I would have learned before I gave birth...DON'T PUSH unless your body is telling you to do so!!!

I have anal fissures, and let me tell you friends, they are practically the worst pain I have ever felt. I would give birth in a second if it meant that I didn't have to experience these any longer. I am convinced they are there because I pushed when I should not have. Once I hit 10 cm dilated, I was told I could start pushing. I did not feel the need to whatsoever but I did anyways. I was having very strong contractions but pushing did not come natural to me whatsoever! I continued to push. I knew the longer this baby was in me, the more of a chance he had of going into stress, which made me stress, so I pushed even harder. I pushed for over 2 hours. He was not ready to come out yet. I was forcing something that was not ready. And, now I have some SERIOUS pain to show for it.

They say anal fissures can take up to several weeks to heal, but some never do. I've reached the point where they feel like they are almost totally healed and then the next day, no way. I've gotta face reality soon and go to the doctor!

I had told Penny, my midwife, that pushing was my biggest fear. I did not want to blow the baby out. I wanted to take things nice and slow and prevent any tearing if possible. She totally understood. But, then it seemed like once I heard the word "push" I freaked out. My upbeat attitude about it all went downhill fast. I felt like it was my time to shine, and I was failing miserably with each push that did not produce any visible results.

The half hearted pushes lasted way longer than I had imagined. I was torn between getting this baby out so that he did not have to endure life in the birthing canal for so long, and letting things take their own course as slow as that might have been. So, I pushed, but I never felt like I was pushing 'with all my might.' I was holding back, but I couldn't explain why.

Days after the birth I checked on another homebirther to see how her delivery went. Susana, over at Spirit-Led Birth had an amazing birth. She wrote about her thoughts on pushing here. I was shocked to hear about her lack of pushing. I was so envious of this concept.

I know it was nothing that anyone in the room said or did that made me feel like I had to get this baby out, or else, it was a self induced burden I was laying on myself.

Lessons learned, I suppose. I will sure know better next time. My advice for whatever it's worth friends, if you aren't ready to push, don't! It's not ready to happen quite yet, and when it's suppose to happen, they say you can't do anything to stop it, your body just does it! Hopefully next time, that will be my experience!

As my husband says "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle."