Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My First Post On Birth Stuff

I haven't written much about birth on my blog yet. I have been unsure about where to start but I know that I want to include it in my blog. I love reading other blogs on birth and I have learned quite a bit from other midwives and doulas. I also know that many of my friends have had such different experiences in birth and have chosen things differently than I would have and I don't ever want my friends to think I am judging them or cause any tension in my friendships. So with that said, I do want to speak freely about my thoughts and opinions AND I want to honor and protect my friendships with you all. If something comes up I promise to leave out names and specifics so no one else will know who I am referring to (unless you are good friends with other readers of this blog in which case that can't be helped).

I was just telling a friend yesterday that I don't think I will ever go back to the Obstetric/medical model form of prenatal care. The OB that caught Ewan was a fabulous doctor who preferred low intervention birth, didn't try scare tactics to get me to do what HE wanted, and trusted that birth was a normal event and not a disaster waiting to happen. OB's like this are hard to find--but when the word gets out on the street about them women who value the same things come running. For my pregnancy with Isaac I really wanted to try midwifery prenatal care. The midwives I went to were absolutely FABULOUS and I liked all of them. Not all midwives practice the midwifery model of care--some are "med-wives" and are very interventionist oriented as well. In fact there is a midwife in the Dallas area that frequently uses cytotec/misoprostol to induce labor. I would never go to her practice because of that. Cytotec is an off-label use of a drug that has caused uterine rupture, maternal and fetal death.

I am currently getting my well-woman care from the Allen Birthing Center midwives. I was hoping to have our next baby there but since we aren't pregnant yet and will be moving to Pittsburgh this summer it isn't possible.

The first OB I had with Ewan fit the typical model of medical care I have come to expect from most OBs. As Jon and I began to learn about birth and what options we had during labor we started asking our OB questions. We didn't like the answers. Conversations went something like this:

Me: I would prefer not to have an IV during labor so I can move around freely.
Dr. Castellanos: That is not an option.
Me: Is it okay if I eat and drink during labor?
Dr. Castellanos: No.
Me: Why?
Dr. Castellanos: Because you will just throw it all up.
Me internally: That is not an answer and isn't it a sign of transition when women throw up anyway? That just means the baby will be here soon.
Me: What about episiotomies? How often do you perform them?
Dr. Castellanos: It is better to have an episiotomy than a tear---wouldn't you rather have a straight cut than a jagged tear? Women with episiotomies don't have bladder problems later in life.
Me: Mmhmm. (Internally-has this guy read ANY research?)
Jon and I on the way home: He's fired!

That was just the tip of the iceberg--after several conversations with him we realized that he was not going to provide an environment where we could be left alone to labor and do what we wanted. I was beginning to feel anxious about going into labor with him as my doctor and I knew that that could effect my labor so I wanted out. We switched to Dr. Kuhl and never looked back. Sure, I worried that Dr. C. would be offended and I felt guilty about leaving. Looking back I think it was silly for me to feel guilty about leaving. I hired him to work for ME--and he wasn't meeting my standard of care. I don't think he ever blinked an eye about it. I didn't want to go into my labor kicking and screaming about how I wanted to do things.

As a Bradley teacher, I want my students to have doctors who are supportive of their needs and values during labor. I want my friends to experience the same thing too!

I was talking to a friend from church a few weeks ago who shared she was expecting her 3rd baby. Several of us were sitting at a table and I asked her who her OB was. I like to ask around so I know good referrals for students. She proceded to tell our table that her OB was a long drive away--she started going to him pregnant with #1 and working next door to his office. She mentioned that he had made her cry about her weight gain, was kind of mean, and didn't even remember her when she came in pregnant with #2 (I think less than 2 years later). I looked at her shocked and said, "So why don't you switch?". Well, he is nice most of the time and now he does remember me. I asked her how far she lives from the hospital in Allen. "5 minutes", she said. "I know of a great doctor group at Allen Prespy--why don't you try them out? The convenience of being close to home will surely make you think about it--you don't want to have to drive 40 minutes to every appointment, do you?", I said. Okay, I was forthcoming in my opinion about her switching--but it makes sense, right? Being close to home will be great for her other kiddos to come see the new baby, her husband to go back and forth if he needs to and also, she would be getting great care from people who actually like and remember their patients! I don't know if she will make the switch or not but I hope she does. Her hesitancy was that she would feel bad about leaving him. You know what I said--actually a few other women said the same thing at the table--"What?! He works for you honey--if you don't like his care then move on!"

So, my hope is that women don't settle for second best when they can have the kind of prenatal care they desire. Whether or not that is from an OB or a midwife is up to each individual person. I think that women should not have to bargain or beg their doctors for how they want to give birth. This is their birth--your birth--and it will be remembered by each mommy and daddy forever. The doctor/midwife will only remember it for a short time. Women should be able to labor and birth their babies how they want to and receive care from providers who are there to support them through their pregnancy, labor, and birth.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Let's Talk About Accents

I never knew my Dad had an accent until I was in college. I don't know why I never noticed it before then--and I don't really know why I started noticing it when I was in college. Perhaps it was the general eye opening experience that college is.

Anyway, Jon and I have an ongoing joke about how thick my dad's East Texas accent really is. Jon thinks it is as thick as thick can be--imagine the most hillbilly accent you can and that is what Jon thinks my dad sounds like. I hold the opinion that it IS thick but not THAT thick.

We spent Thanksgiving with my dad this year which was wonderful. My dad is rehashing this story from something that happened to him recently and he was saying that ANGIE HAR-MONE was flirting and doing "boy crazy" stuff. He couldn't remember the girl's name he was talking about so he kept saying THAT ANGIE HAR-MONE. I thought he was saying that HAR-MONE was her last name but no, he was actually saying HORMONE. He was calling her Angie Hormone making fun of her hormones! When in the world did his accent get so thick I can't even understand what he is saying?

They did move back to East Texas a few years ago so I think being around all those other southern folk has made him revert back to that thick twang. Now, don't get me wrong--I am NOT saying that Jon is right about the thickness of the accent. I can never concede to that debate--and even if he WAS right (which he isn't) I would never admit it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knock, Knock

Ewan: Knock, Knock
Daddy: Who's There?
Ewan: Taco.
Daddy: Taco Who?
Ewan: TACO OLIVE!!!!!

Mommy and Daddy: Hahahahaha, giggle, giggle, giggle. And it was genuine laughter.

Ewan made it up, can you tell?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Anyone Can Comment

I changed the features on my blog so that you don't have to be a registered user to leave a comment. So, Dad, Grandma, Mimi, Mom--and anyone other family members that don't have an account--you can leave a comment now. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Next Several Posts...

So, the next several posts are throughout one day to show you what a typical day in our lives look like. I hope you enjoy them.

After a Long Morning of Playing....

I am trying to figure out the best way to pick up during the morning. Attention spans don't last long and I an really bad at reminding them to pick up something before they move on to the next thing. I need to start doing that! Any advice?

My Contortionist

Ewan is learning how to be a contortionist. I think I will try to get him an audition for Cirque du Soleil. Sometimes playing with pots and pans are so much more exciting than playing with toys.

Look At That Sunset!

So here we are outside playing in the "fort". A super great find at a garage sale for only $10. Daddy is grilling pork chops and we are all playing in between pork chop flipping. We get some really incredible sunsets at our house. Behind our backyard is a cornfield so we don't have anything to obstruct our view of the horizon. It is really incredible some nights. I have done nothing to alter the pictures and of cours they do absolutly no justice to how beautiful the sunset really is across the sky.

Dinner Time

So here we are at dinner time. Grilled pork chops, cous cous, and okra. Both boys asked for 3rds or 4ths on okra. Isaac threw a fit because he wanted a big boy cup like Ewan. He ate a few pieces of pork chop and a little cous cous--but the big hit of the night was the okra. Ewan who also loves okra--ate only okra for dinner. No pork chop and no cous cous. He got in trouble for trying to eat his milk with his hand. He was dipping his hand in his cup and then slurping the milk off of his hand. We really are teaching them manners. Sometimes a majority of dinner is spent correcting them and teaching them how to stop acting like neanderthals. It is nearly impossible for Jon and I to have a decent conversation at dinner. We are trying to teach them they aren't always the center of the world one day at a time.

Naked Baby on the Loose!

The final part of our day is playing "Naked Baby on the Loose" paired with "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum". It works like this: Two boys get out of the bath while the person bathing them (usually Jon) yells, "Naked baby on the loose!". The two naked boys run directly to the couch and cover themselves with their blankies to hide from daddy who will soon come out saying "Fee, Fi, Fo Fum, I smell the tummies of some little ones" (or something similar). They squeal with delight for daddy to find them--even though they hide in the same places on the couch every single night. They wait in anticipation for daddy to tear off the blankies to give big tickles and zerberts (we call em' bloochers). Then it is jammy time and books and off to sleep. It is one of my favorite sounds of the day--to hear the squeals of delight and laughter. You can tell from Isaac's face that he is super excited about this whole game. We started playing naked baby on the loose before Ewan started walking. It is a long held tradition in our house.

Oh, Be Careful....

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little ears what you hear
Oh, be careful little eyes what you hear
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little ears what you hear

Oh, be careful little hands what you do
Oh, be careful little hands what you do
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little hands what you do

Oh, be careful little tongue what you say
Oh, be careful little tongue what you say
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little tongue what you say

Oh, be careful little feet where you go
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go

Oh, be careful little heart whom you trust
Oh, be careful little heart whom you trust
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go

I don't know if you know the tune to this song. I think it is a pretty common Sunday school song--but I didn't grow up in church so I am not sure. I like singing this song to my kids. It was particularly fun when they were learning body parts. Everytime I sing this song, it helps me evaluate how I am parenting my kids--am I letting them see too much TV? Are they listening to inappropriate music (that I am listening to)? Am I helping them learn how to speak kindly to me and each other? You get the point. I also find myself evaluating what my own tongue is saying (ouch), what am I watching, am I spending too much time watching blogs on the computer (ouch), am I being loving with my hands as I touch my children? Something to think about anyway. I am thinking about it today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Book Meme

Your blog could use some culture, admit it!
Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

Here's mine: "If you get near it, you feel drawn into it. So most people catch generosity from a family member or a friend. (They catch uptight, upright, calculating conservatism in the same way.) Family Culture is the most natural way to encourage generosity--and maybe the only way. Do you want to raise generous kids? You have to become generous yourself, in such a way that the hwole family shares in that spirit."

This is from Nevermind the Jonses. It is a book to help you identify and develop your own Biblical family culture and values. It is actually a pretty fun read--although I have been reading it for months now (as it sits on my nightstand). Since Jon and I have been married for 6.5 years we have already developed some of our own family values and it was kind of fun to see some new ideas too or some things we haven't thought about. The premise of the book is that every family has a culture and shares values--and describes 13 family values. I definitely recommend it--especially if you have kids and want to do some proactive thinking about your own family life and how you want to show the love of Christ through your family as your family grows (up).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yeah! Isaac turned 2! We had his birthday party at the park and it was great. It was a little chilly with the wind factor but it was sunny without a cloud in the sky. Isaac loved his cake--he calls it his "Cars Cake". Isaac's Aunt Jay is on the right--in case you were wondering.

Mmmmmm....cake and Cheetos--what a treat! I have never bought Cheetos--it isn't something that is normally in our pantry. I think one of the grandparents brought them and what a gift that was. Everyday it was, "mommy, can I have some Cheetos?" So we ate the bag (yummy for all) and I still will never buy Cheetos. I think we would eat WAAAAYYYY too many of them.

Here is Isaac opening some of his presents. You are looking at the Larrymobile from Veggie Tales. Isaac got some awesome presents and has been enjoying all of them. Our friend Will is to the right of Isaac and Warren is on the left. I am so proud of my little 2 year old! He is so lovable and sweet--especially when he isn't throwing a fit (smiles).

He is in the 100th percentile for his height--I thought he was taller than Ewan when Ewan was two and I was right. He is only about 2.5 inches shorter than Ewan right now. I think I need to start telling Ewan to be careful about picking on Isaac because he will be bigger than him one day.

So, I have finally done all of the updates I have wanted to do to catch everyone up--hope you enjoy the last several updates.