Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dio is 5, Ivy is 13 months, and I am trying to survive

If you asked me, I wouldn't say that having 4 children is much more work than having 3...except my blogging frequency has decreased dramatically from when I had just 1, 2, or 3 children. I've been in survival mode this semester. Exercise? What's that? Sleep? Never enough. Polar vortex that had this Minnesotan quaking in her Sorel snow boots? I've finally come out of hibernation this month. 

So Dio turned five. Five! He requested another Angry Birds cake, like last year's (at the end of the post).

Ivy turned 13 months. She has another tooth (#6), a few more words and signs, and is still completely crazy about dogs, cats, and birds. Especially dogs. She's started babbling in what sounds like sentences, usually ending with "dog" or "doggie."

Eating farm-fresh eggs...look at the color of those yolks!

There's something terribly adorable about matching shirts...

During Eric's house-hunting and Sabbatical research trip to France in early March, he found an apartment in old Nice.  Fantastic location, good price, lots of potential, and small (officially 700 sq ft but with an extra attic bedroom not counted in the square footage) but still enough room for our family and for guests. Our offer was accepted quickly, and we thought everything was good to go...but the second owner STILL hasn't signed the purchase agreement. It's been almost 2 months. 

We're starting to get really stressed because we can't apply for visas or enroll our children in school until we have housing finalized. And, if we don't get a signature soon, we won't have time to get a mortgage (it's a very long process in France, usually about 3 months). So yeah, we have plane tickets for August 1st but possibly nowhere to live.

So let's ignore our possible homelessness in France and admire my children! 

Ivy pointing out a dog (it might have been a squirrel or a bird...no matter, she still calls it a dog)

Inga being...Inga

Dio flying a kite


Read more ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hotmilk nursing bras

Part I: The Confession

I have a confession to make:

I am a woman of boring underwear. Until this past year, I have owned a grand total of two non-white bras. I've always gone for plain, white, and practical.

I couldn't stand it any more. When I had Ivy, I went crazy and bought several nursing bras in...hold it...ivory, nude, and pale pink.

Yes, I know, I might have gone overboard with the pale pink. And don't even ask about my knickers...

When Hotmilk Lingerie asked me to review one of their nursing bras, I said yes faster than a new mother's letdown. And I chose the opposite of plain and white: the Show Off in black & pink.

Hot Milk Show Off maternity full cup bra

I love the names of the nursing bras: Serenity, Mystery, Her Desire Was Dangerous, Devoted, Her Tangled Wed Tantalised, One & Only...

Hotmilk nursing bras start in D cups and run all the way to H. Band sizes range from 10/32 to 16/38. With free international shipping, anyone can enjoy a Hotmilk bra. They also sell maternity bras, regular bras, knickers, sleepwear, and more.

pssst...right now, all nursing bras come with a free pair of knickers!

Part II: The Bra

The Show Off is well-made with metal sliding rings & fastening hooks, lovely details in the trim & edging, and lush fabric. I am a solid 36D, and the sizing was spot-on. My bra band has triple hooks--necessary for supporting a fuller bust. The band is less stretchy than other brands I have worn and thus needs to be worn more snugly.

Part III: The Hack

This is by far the nicest bra I have ever owned both in construction and appearance. My only critique is that none of the nursing bras come with underwire. I MUST have underwire. Without it, I end up with a saggy uniboob. Yes, unfortunately, even with the Show Off.

But I didn't let that stop me! Armed with an old, stretched-out nursing bra and a pair of scissors, I extracted the underwire, cut a small slit in the inside channel of my Show Off, and inserted the wire. I secured the ends with a bit of black bias tape; this reinforces the fabric and keeps the ends from poking through. VoilĂ ! Instant underwire bra.

Part IV: The Seduction

After Eric and I finished putting the kids to bed, I said, "Hey Eric, I just got a new nursing bra. How do you like it?"

...An hour later, he rolled over and murmured, "Any time you want to buy a new sexy nursing bra, I fully approve."

"I didn't buy this one--Hotmilk sent it to me to review."

"Even better."

Part V: The Verdict

I love my Hotmilk Show Off nursing bra. I would love it even more if they made an underwire option.

Part VI: Ivy Approves

What is more fun than sitting backwards on a potty playing with your mama's bra?

Read more ...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Update on breech mama

Remember the mama looking for an in-hospital breech catcher? Here's the rest of her story...Thanks to everyone who offered advice and suggestions! 

The Intown Midwifery group in Atlantic ended up being the ones who seemed most comfortable with breech babies, and also were willing to accept me as a very late transfer. I didn't investigate providers west of the Mississippi much ;). Several others whose names you turned up were friendly and kind enough to speak with me, but either would not accepted a late transfer or would not accept a complete breech.

So we went down to Atlanta and met with Dr. Bootstaylor, the perinatologist who supports the midwives. He was extremely kind and relaxed. We did try a second cephalic version with him, also to no avail. He explained that in his opinion the studies showing successful vaginal deliveries for complete breech are skewed, and the results are actually worse but people don't report that. However, he was a willing to support me trying, with the understanding that we wanted to see steady progress, and that if she dropped into footling in labor that would mean a c section.

As it turned out, most of this never applied. My water broke early in the morning two days after my due date. We went in immediately, as they were concerned about the potential for cord prolapse. Dr. Bootstaylor came in and did an ultrasound which showed no sign of the cord underneath her. So we tried to get labor going, but it wasn't until after midnight that I really started having contractions. I continued for maybe five hours, and was dilating, but the baby's heart rate was in the 160s and losing variability. Since my water had been broken for more than 24 hours at this point, there was concern for chorioamnionitis, and we decided to go ahead with a c section. I was pretty far out of it by that point, but my husband was doing a great job of asking questions and standing up for me, so I do believe the c section was necessary. Oddly, after all that, the c section wasn't actually for breech, but for complication of prolonged rupture of membranes.

Her Apgars were 3 and 8, and she spent several minutes getting suctioned and stimulated before she was stable enough to be put on my chest. However, she had no respiratory problems after that, so I think that was just the usual "slow to get started" of a breech baby.

She then proceeded to get admitted to NICU because some screening blood work was concerning for neonatal sepsis and she "needed" iv antibiotics. I was really unhappy about not having her with me, but the test showed a high risk of a serious infection, and we didn't want to gamble with that. Somewhere in here, though, the breastfeeding got very messed up. She will barely latch at all, so I'm pumping, supplementing due to low supply, and finger feeding this to her. Plus my incision got infected and is a bit of a mess. So basically all the short term complications of a c section...

However; my little girl is beautiful, and I am working on enjoying her, in between all the chaos. Next time, I am thinking seriously about HBAC. Despite the best efforts and intentions of our providers, my husband and I both feel like we definitely got swept down the slippery slope of interventions, especially as far as our daughter was concerned, and would like to avoid getting started on that road in future. Also, next time, a doula. ;) I definitely overestimated my ability to cope with labor and also deal with medical providers, as well as my husband's ability to intuit what would be helpful to me.

Anyway. Thank you again for your help. Despite how things turned out, I am very glad that I had the option to try, and that we pursued it. As conflicted as I feel about the whole chain of events, I would be even more unhappy if I hadn't tried to avoid the c section.
Read more ...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Breech Birth Online Workshop by Maggie Banks

New Zealand midwife Dr. Maggie Banks is offering an online breech birth workshop. I reviewed her book Breech Birth, Woman-Wise here. More information below!


Breech Birth Online Workshop

5th – 25th May 2014

Breech presentation is the 4th most commonly reported indication for caesarean section, and previous caesarean section the first. Breech presentation can be seen, therefore, as a major contributor to the caesarean section rate, both in current and future pregnancies.

Publication in 2000 of the Term Breech Trial, which recommended caesarean section with breech presentation at term, accelerated the loss of breech skills as caesarean became universal and, to all intents and purposes, mandatory as vaginal birth became no longer offered. The discrediting of the Term Breech Trial did not halt the move to routine caesarean but there has been a gradual reclaiming of breech skills over the last decade or so.

The workshop addresses 3 aspects of vaginal breech birth:
  1. The vaginal breech birth option: Breech literature and guidelines are examined, and we explore the various options available (or not) to women and how these affect the woman and her baby.
  2. Physiological breech birth: The ‘what and how’ of breech birth when support, rather than ‘delivery techniques’, is used.
  3. Preventing and/or dealing with problems during vaginal breech birth: Appropriate care, timely recognition of problems, adept handling and engaging in collaborative  conversations and care strategies are the focus of this aspect.
This 3 week online workshop (see Workshop Calendar) is run on Birthspirit Moodle, and is designed as a fully interactive course for those who wish to engage in the thoughtful exchange of knowledge and skills about vaginal breech birth with other maternity caregivers. It is taught using videoed lectures, live classrooms, slides, videos, posted readings and discussion forums. (You can test your basic computer system requirements and internet speed here to make sure you can successfully participate in live classrooms before you register.)

Course material is available online from the start of each week to enable participants to set their own timetables for learning. Live classrooms pertaining to the focus of the week are held on Thursdays at 8.00am and 3.00pm (NZST). (You can check a world clock here as to which time – 8.00am OR 3.00pm – is best for you to attend each week). If participants are unable to attend the live session this will be available for viewing the following day but energetic connecting with each other in real time can be a powerful accelerant to our learning and understanding, so participants are encouraged to attend these at scheduled times.


Dr Maggie Banks (PhD, RM, RGON) has worked in a variety of practice settings, first as a nurse (from 1972) primarily in women’s health and neonatal intensive care, then as midwife (from 1987). A self-employed midwife in home birth practice since 1989, Maggie has combined the role of midwifery educator with practice since 1998. She has regularly taught throughout Australasia, as well as having been a guest speaker at conferences held in the Australia, US and Canada. She has a particular interest in breech presentation and birth as women commonly report their control of birthing is overridden, despite their opting for vaginal breech birth. Maggie is the author of Breech Birth Woman-Wise, and is known for her activism in ensuring that women giving birth vaginally are cared for by their known and trusted caregivers, that is, midwives.

Cost NZ$150.00

Register for the Workshop now.

This Workshop has been sent to Midwifery Council of New Zealand for points allocation.
Read more ...

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ivy shows off her skills for LLL

Guess who's the new face of La Leche League of Indiana?


Photos by M.E.G. Photograpy

Interview with Meg Gregory here

More pictures from our photoshoot here
Read more ...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Breech birth stories

Breaking news . . . Ottawa midwives can now remain the primary care providers for planned breech births. Monfort Hospital is the first to no longer mandate a transfer of care to an obstetrician when a midwife's client has a breech baby. Midwives experienced in vaginal breech birth can now remain the woman's primary care provider, calling in an OB only when needed.

“The Montfort Hospital completely supports midwives working within their full scope of practice, as midwives are regulated by their own College,” says Ann Salvador, the administrative director of the Family Birthing Centre at the hospital. “The College of Midwives of Ontario standards recommend a consultation in labour, not a transfer. Midwifery clients appreciate having their primary care provider retain care.”

Read the rest of the article here.

And now for lots of breech birth stories...

Breech babies are born in hospitals!

Hospital breech birth plan: A UK woman originally planning a home birth shares her hospital birth plan for her vaginal breech birth.

Midwife-assisted footling breech birth: A UK mom plans a hospital birth for her frank breech baby, but everyone is surprised when feet emerge first.

I owned my birth: A mom has to change her home birth plans when her baby is breech. She faces a lot of negativity from friends, family, and the L&D nurses, but she gets through it with support from her midwives, husband, and OB.

Take note, America: A vaginal breech birth with yoga, meditation, and visualization. The mom chose the NHS over the American military hospital.
The next hour was a little less zen than the four hours that preceded it, but no less miraculous: Matilda Jane, 5lbs 12 oz and who knows how long because they don’t measure them in England.

The secondary miracle is that an OB caught my breech baby. In a hospital. On purpose. As an American, I still can hardly believe it. He cried when I explained how it is in the States and how blessed I felt to have the team of providers that we had with us in that room.

This was the mainstream medicine approach. We didn’t do anything sneaky or even unconventional. I walked into the emergency room with preterm labor and walked out of the hospital a few days later without so much as a single stitch, carrying a perfectly healthy baby girl. Take note, America.

Breech babies are born at home!

Breech/breech twins: Mallie's birth story and photos of breech/breech twins born at home attended by a doctor and a midwife. Look at this amazing picture by My Story Birth Photography of the first baby on the mom's belly and the second baby emerging:

Breech twins: In this (archived) podcast, Mallie Shirk tells of her twins' birth. If you'd like to listen to this episode, email maternallyyoursradio at gmail dot com. Her story starts around 8:00 of the podcast and goes through most of the hour.

My healing birth: A breech home VBAC

Miriam's breech homebirth: Lovely redheaded mama and an amazing photo of mama on H&K with the baby's body emerging.

Kolton Elias' special delivery: A powerful story and great pictures of the baby emerging. 

Jemma's breech homebirth: professional photographer + home birth = lovely!

Taylor's Natural Breech Birth:

And the mom tells the story of Taylor's birth in this video:

Breech babies are born in strange locations and at bad times!

At the side of the highway: This mom had planned a cesarean, but her baby had other plans and was born en route to the hospital.

On Utah's barren salt flats: premature breech twins born 100 miles from a hospital...that would give me some gray hairs.

Premature unplanned breech birth at home: Mom has a history of fast labors, and this baby followed the trend, coming breech and 9 weeks early.

People love to talk about breech birth!

Shawn Walker, Breech Specialist midwife at James Paget University NHS Trust, talks about the breech education days last April.

Dr. Dennis Hartung, an OB/GYN in the Twin Cities area who attends vaginal breech births, weighs in on the noble lie of childbirth.
I believe that women need “saving” from childbirth only rarely. Cesarean birth can be good – sometimes. Epidurals can be helpful – sometimes, as can pitocin, etc.  But, I believe we trivialize the experience of childbirth for each woman, her partner, her growing family, society and the global community when we disempower  her from the most powerful and difficult thing she will ever do.  Too much unnecessary intervention not only affects her, it affects our community adversely.  Once a woman has given birth, she knows what she is made of. Let’s not let the “Lie” lead us away from the real truth of childbirth.  Most of time she CAN DO IT.  As a mother, she can then help others through it.  She can lead our community and her family better.  She can withstand practically anything.  She is empowered.  She can change the world.

And just because it's awesome...

A vaginal birth of (head-down) triplets!
Read more ...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...