Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas 2010

Stirling Star Christmas
Turn your photos into personalized Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Have it your way!

Burger King and Birth: Have it Your Way!
by Laura Lund, HCHI
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Let’s say you’ve decided to go out to eat. As you’re driving around you see a few different options and you choose to go to Burger King. You wait in line and when it’s your turn you say:

1.“I’ll have whatever she had” (pointing to the woman who just ordered);
2.“I’d like a number 3 meal”;
3.Or maybe you want to customize it a bit and you say “I’d like a number 3 with no mayonnaise, no pickles, heavy tomato, and cheese.” No problem, right? They should be able to handle those variations (although you’ll probably have to repeat your instructions at least once).

What would happen if instead of ordering something on the menu you said, “Hi, I’d like a fillet mignon steak, cooked medium-well, a baked potato, steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and garlic bread. I’d like that served on fine china and I’d like to sit at a private table for two with candlelight and a white linen tablecloth.” Would the Burger King employee say, “No problem, ma’am, we like you to ‘have it your way1’?” Unlikely, since that isn’t the type of service or food that Burger King normally provides. They don’t even stock that kind of food and probably don’t have the equipment or knowledge how to prepare it, either.

The Burger King employee would more likely say, “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t have those things here.” Or maybe he’d say, “Um, I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is Burger King. We only serve fast food, not gourmet food. If you want gourmet food you should go to the sit-down gourmet restaurant across the street. Otherwise, please order something on the menu.”

Now, at this point, you could decide to go with one of the first three options and stay at Burger King. Or, if you decide that you really want that gourmet meal, you’ll find a restaurant that caters to delivering that type of meal as a normal matter of course.

The reality of hospital births is that hospitals are not generally set up to cater to the individual desires of each woman that comes in to give birth there. Certain requests can usually be accommodated without a lot of fuss or bother, like requesting Burger King to hold the pickles and the lettuce. If a woman comes in wanting to wear her own clothes or listen to CDs or turn off the lights, no one usually cares about that.

Other requests come closer to requesting fine dining in a fast food joint. If a woman comes in declining a routine IV, choosing to eat and drink as she desires, opting for monitoring 10-15 minutes per hour instead of all the time, declining pain medication, avoiding pitocin or other interventions to “speed things up”, getting into the tub or shower even after her water has broken, and pushing in an alternative position such as a squat, some doctors, nurses, or midwives are going to have a difficult time feeling comfortable with those requests. A few of those choices are against typical hospital policy and the rest of them are likely to be very different from the types of births most hospital care providers and nurses usually attend. They may not be prepared to support that type of birth and they may not feel comfortable with those sorts of requests.

Now, it’s not really your problem if your requests make anybody else uncomfortable. The birthing mom is the boss, period. However, as you make choices regarding your baby’s birth, including what you would ideally like to have be a part of that birth experience, you need to make sure that you are wisely choosing a care provider and birth location that are conducive to the type of birth you’d like to have. Hospital birthing moms may find that they need to exert more effort in communicating their ideal birth preferences and they may find that they need to make concessions regarding certain aspects of those birth preferences. A hospital birthing mom may find a compromise that is still ok or good enough for her while also allowing her doctor or nurses to feel more comfortable. For example, a woman who may not have wanted any vaginal exams may find that she’ll agree to having one upon admission and one prior to pushing since her doctor feels very uncomfortable about not doing any. If she feels ok about that compromise after considering the benefits and/or risks of that course of action, that’s fine. It’s her birth experience.

Moms who choose to give birth outside of a hospital typically find that they have many more automatic birthing options—like having a caterer or personal chef come to your house and deliver a meal that is customized for your tastes and desires. A woman who desires to give birth without any routine interventions (no IV, no continuous monitoring, no vaginal exams, no episiotomy, etc.) and wants the freedom to do pretty much whatever she likes during her birthing time without anyone batting an eye (walk, use the tub during labor and/or birth, eat, drink, adopt whatever positions suit her, wear her own clothes or even no clothes, etc.) would do well to consider birthing outside of a hospital, where that type of birth is pretty much the norm. A woman who wants the postpartum period to be more relaxed and low-key (no routine procedures for the baby, no separation from the baby, etc.) may also prefer out-of-hospital birth. Planned home and birth center births have been proven to be at least as safe as hospital births for most women and babies.2 There is a very large body of research available documenting the safety of out of hospital births.3, 4

The bottom line is that you can, for the most part, have it your way. You need to decide for yourself what “your way” is, exactly, and where and with whom you’re most likely to be supported to give birth in the manner that best suits you. Are you more likely to have your ideal birth in a high tech hospital with a surgeon (OB/GYN) attending? Are you more likely to have your ideal birth in a smaller community hospital with a family practice doctor or CNM attending? Are you more likely to have your ideal birth at an alternative birth center or at home with a midwife attending? These choices are aspects of your baby’s birth that you directly control that have an enormous impact on what kind of birth experience you ultimately have. It’s really very important that you carefully research and consider all of your options and choose the option that you feel most comfortable with, whatever that may be.

If a woman decides that an OB/hospital birth is her best option does it follow that she should just choose any old random OB that happens to be on her insurance list? Are all OBs the same?

I’ve attended births with OBs that respect a woman’s wishes and strive to meet those wishes even if they don’t personally agree with all of her choices. These OBs offer their opinion and the facts and then leave it to the woman to decide.

I’ve attended births with OBs who use fear, misinformation, and anecdotes to manipulate a woman into complying with his wishes and desires. After all, he’s the expert. He’s the one that went to medical school. This type of OB typically feels strongly that the only birth plan a woman should have is “Go to hospital. Have baby.” He believes birth is dangerous and needs to be carefully monitored and manipulated in order to be “safe”. I’ve heard this type of OB say to a mom whose progress has stalled for a few hours that she’d better start dilating again or else she’d have to have a c-section. After waiting an hour I heard this OB say “this is just Mother Nature’s way of telling us that it ain’t gonna happen this way.” He then proceeded to inform the mom (who was in tears) that c-sections are actually better and safer than vaginal birth anyway (not true!)5, 6, so she shouldn’t be upset.

Which type of OB more rightly deserves the trust of his patients? Which OB would you rather have? How can you tell which type you have right now?

Well, for starters you can ask lots of questions. Find out what s/he thinks about natural birth (birth without interventions or medication). How many of his/her patients give birth without IVs? How many need, in that OBs opinion, to be induced? How many need, in that OBs opinion, c-sections or episiotomies? How many give birth in “traditional” positions such as semi-sitting vs. “alternative” positions like squatting? How does s/he feel about a birth in an alternative position? How does s/he feel about intermittent vs. continuous monitoring?

As you have this discussion with your care provider, watch his/her body language and be careful with your own wording. You want to ask the questions in such a way that you aren’t leading his/her response (you want your care provider to be honest rather than just tell you what you want to hear, which doesn’t help you). You want to ask open-ended questions “how do you feel” instead of yes/no questions. Of course you will want to avoid asking questions like “How often do you cut episiotomies?” Because s/he’s likely to respond with “only when they are necessary” which, again, tells you nothing. Instead you might ask “About what percentage of first-time moms do you think end up needing episiotomies?” (or c-sections or continuous monitoring or IVs, etc.).

Henci Goer has some excellent ideas for questions to ask and how to interpret a care provider’s responses in her book The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.

If a doctor says that 80% of first-time moms need episiotomies and you are a first-time mom, what are your chances of “needing” (and receiving!) an episiotomy if you choose to use this doctor? Are you comfortable with those odds? Can you trust that doctor’s judgment on whether or not that episiotomy is truly necessary? Do you want to be in a position where you have to wonder whether or not an offered intervention is needed? Choose your care provider carefully! Obviously there are questions that can and should be asked if an intervention is offered, but it is much easier to avoid unnecessary and unwanted interventions if you do some legwork before the birth and choose a care provider that doesn’t routinely offer or perform them!

Every woman is individual in what would make a good birth experience just as every person has their own individual tastes and preferences for what they want to eat for dinner. There’s no one right kind of birth just as there’s no one dish that will satisfy everyone’s unique appetites. The bottom line is that you, the consumer, need to make sure your birth choices (all of which impact your ultimate experience) are likely to result in the birth you desire. You can’t go to Burger King to get a gourmet meal, but maybe what you wanted was a hamburger, anyway. Just make sure that what you order is satisfying.

Laura Lund is a Hypnobabies childbirth educator, founder of UCAN Birth support group, and doula in Provo, UT where she lives with her husband and four children.

Copyright 2007 by Laura Lund. All rights reserved. Laura gives permission to print and distribute this article freely.


1.Have it Your Way” is copyrighted by Burger King Corporation.

2.Johnson KC, Daviss BA. Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America. BMJ. 2005 Jun 18;330(7505):1416. PMID: 15961814 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

CONCLUSIONS: Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.

3.Anderson RE, Murphy PA. Outcomes of 11,788 planned home births attended by certified nurse-midwives. A retrospective descriptive study. J Nurse Midwifery. 1995 Nov-Dec;40(6):483-92. PMID: 8568573 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
This study supports previous research indicating that planned home birth with qualified care providers can be a safe alternative for healthy lower risk women.

4.Olsen, O. Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth. Birth. 1997 Mar;24(1):4-13; discussion 14-6. PMID: 9271961 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

CONCLUSION: Home birth is an acceptable alternative to hospital confinement for selected pregnant women, and leads to reduced medical interventions.

5.Kolas T, Saugstad OD, Daltveit AK, Nilsen ST, Oian P. Planned cesarean versus planned vaginal delivery at term: comparison of newborn infant outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;195(6):1538-43. Epub 2006 Jul 17. PMID: 16846577 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

CONCLUSION: A planned cesarean delivery doubled both the rate of transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit and the risk for pulmonary disorders, compared with a planned vaginal delivery.

6.Wax JR. Maternal request cesarean versus planned spontaneous vaginal delivery: maternal morbidity and short term outcomes. Semin Perinatol. 2006 Oct;30(5):247-52. Review. PMID: 17011394 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

INTERPRETATION: Although the absolute difference is small, the risks of severe maternal morbidity associated with planned cesarean delivery are higher than those associated with planned vaginal delivery. These risks should be considered by women contemplating an elective cesarean delivery and by their physicians.

If you don't know your options, you don't have any. ~Korte & Scaer

Mothers need to know that their care and their choices won't be compromised by birth politics. ~Jennifer Rosenberg
Just some articles I found on safest ways to deliver your baby.

Everything you need to know about birth plans:

How to research hospital procedures:

Start with a tour of L&D very early in your pregnancy. Take your copy of what you printed out and ask lots of questions about what procedures they routinely do. Make notes and write down any unanswered questions for later research and to ask your doctor. Ask friends that you know have delivered there what their experience was like, even if they have a different outlook on birth then you have. Ask if there are any nurses that especially like attending a natural, med-free birth, and write their names down.

Next, read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birthby Henci Goer. You should consider this mandatory reading when planning a hospital birth. This book goes through many different hospital procedures and policies. It is an excellent reference book and has an index in the back. Another suggestion is Born in the USA by Dr. Marsden Wagner. In each of these books, there are loads of other suggestions in the back for further reading. One last must-have resource is ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network): There is also a list of resources on this board as well.

Do not only ask questions to your doctor. Allow your doctors answers to be validated by your own research. If they are not, then you can switch providers at any time in your pregnancy. Really, you can.

Keep in mind that even if you feel comfortable with the way your doctor handles labor and birth, there is no guarantee that you will have her when you go into labor. You really are at the whim of the L&D nurses. Usually the doctor is only there to catch the baby. Also, you might be with a doctor that you have never met before simply because they are on call.

Making the actual birth plan:

Use language that makes it clear you are in charge. Be aware that you are paying them for a service, and that you are in charge of your own body, as well as your baby's.

Do not use the phrase "Please allow....." or "We request that..." or other similar phrases that puts you in an inferior position. You should use phrases such as "I will..." or "I do not consent..." That may be hard to do, as we do not want to offend anyone, but actually being short and to the point makes your message clear.

Keep it simple:

Although the site I mentioned has a lot of options, your final draft needs to be only one page, bullet/list format. Go over the final draft with your practitioner and have them sign it. Mine was longer then one page, however, I put all the normal stuff on the front, and the emergency c-section stuff on the back. You should have several copies that go with you to the delivery. Your rough draft is more for informational purposes that you use as a guide to ask questions, find out what you are most concerned about and to see if your doctor and hospital are compatible to you.

I want to help you!

I am willing to answer any questions you may have regarding birth plans. Feel free to ask any questions or even post your birth plan and I will review it. Others are welcome to comment as well. If for some reason you do not get a response, please send me a pm.

One last tip:

A doula is included in the following sample plan for a reason. She is a person that knows the ins and outs of the hospital culture, and can help you and your partner stick to your birth plan, as well as inform you of things that you may not be aware of during labor. She also is trained to help you deal with pain natually and acheive a natural birth. I, as well as many other women, feel that a hosptial birth NEEDS to have a birth plan AND a doula, even if you have a C.N.M.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cesarean vs VBAC

Someone posted this on FB and just thought I would share. I think this woman is a very strong woman for standing up for what she believes in even though these intelligent drs tell her otherwise. Just amazes me how in todays world with all this technology, research on everything, people still think VBACs are not safe. I mean the research about it... It's all over the place how VBACs are actually safer than a repeat c-section, I don't understand. Oh and I can vouch for the calmness of the baby after being born naturally in water. Each of my babies were the same way.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More about labor

A friend found this article, I'm glad to read that I'm not lonely in my thinking but sad to see how common this is. I wonder if more women knew they had choices, if the induction and c-section rates would be lower??? I know how hard it is when it's the end of the pregnancy. You want to hold that little one, you want your body back, you want to be able to sleep without having to wake up several times during the night to pee, be able to bend down, (and for me personally, to be able to stand up without shooting pains in legs and can barely stand up without taking 10 mins to get over the pain) but is this about baby or mom?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We finally did it!!!

We made it to Disney!!! After 2010 being filled with RSV twice, puking kid for 2 weeks, car accident resulting in ticket and fees up the wazoo, plus no car for close to 2 months, we finally made it to Disney World!!! We had a blast! The boys were terrific, Piper was sooo good! I can't wait to take them back! Of course it won't be for another 4 years or longer but I'm already looking forward to it! Jake and Tyee loved Star Tours, that of course was their favorite part. Luke loved meeting the Little Einstien crew. He refused to go up to any of the characters, he would cry if they came to him, but he RAN up to Leo, Anne, June and Quincy and gave them a big hug! It was so cute!!! Piper enjoyed playing with the dolls, whenever the boys would see something girly they brought it over to her and she just lite up with joy! So we bought her a doll and she refuses to even touch it lol. She also didn't like the characters, she even pushed Leo's hand away. The resort was awesome! I think the room was bigger than our house! It was a wonderful vacation! One we will always have fond memories of!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Baby is 1

Piper's birthday was on Friday, the 16th. It was such a sad day. I realized, that's the last first birthday we will be celebrating till grandkids! Her first year has been so much fun! Knowing she is our last I treasured every milestone. At the tiny age of 1 she has no teeth, wouldn't take a bottle till she was 8-9 months (which I am very proud of btw), has never had a bottle of formula (refused that as well!) refused a paci, delayed solids till she was 6 months, has been my smallest baby and yet is 20lb 8oz at 1! She has decided to wait on walking yet started sitting up at 5 months. She loves daddy and crawls around the house babbling dadda, she will say momma but she loves her dadda. She giggles at her brothers when she is sitting in her carseat. She sits behind the passenger side, still rear facing and I'm not so sure I'm going to turn her around anytime soon as she is able to see all her brothers and each one can make faces, talk to her and she will babble back and giggle, it's so cute to listen to her giggle! She loves cars! I was so excited to be able to buy a doll when we found out we were expecting a girl after 3 boys, but all she does is stick her finger in the eye then throw the doll and goes right to the cars! It's cute though to see her push a car around the house. I decided to get her a pink one, but guess what! she still perfers good ole fashion hot wheels! I'm looking forward to watching my little girl walk around in a dress, twirling around, playing dolls but I'm also so sad she is past her "baby" stage. I will cherish the next few weeks that she is still a baby crawling around and crying for mommy and daddy to pick her up! (although soon enough she will be walking around and crying for mommy and daddy to pick her up lol)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just a few

Just a few to start it out.,9171,830142,00.html

I'm not a Hippy, nor am I a Diva... who am I?

I know who I am but I think people get me confused with those in the physiatric ward. I'm tired of people telling me I'm crazy for having natural births or a homebirth. I've decided I'm going to start posting info that I find on here for reasons natural births are a passion of mine. I think what annoys me most is that people feel free to tell me how crazy I am and yet I have NEVER EVER made a comment towards anyone about their choice of birthing. To each their own, but it can be hurtful when people tell me their opinions about my choice and outcomes when they weren't even present. For the record, NEVER screamed during any of my 4 births, NEVER tore, NEVER asked for drugs, NEVER had anyone assist in my child entering the world the way they were meant too. How is that crazy???? Everyone of my children have been completely healthy, calm and perfect when they were born. Isn't that what we strive for? So why am I crazy for birthing a perfect child? All of which barely even cried when they were born (because of the calm way in which they entered this cold world). I'm not hear to preach (ok maybe slightly preach my reasons for going natural) or say this is the only way to birth a baby, or that someone is a wimp for using drugs during labor, I'm just tired of being told the way I birth is crazy. Seriously if one more person makes a comment I think I'm gonna punch them in the face!

Ok well I probably wouldn't.... ok I wouldn't at all! But the stereotyping is awful, I'm either a hippy or I'm ruining the world because I don't recycle. I've never been one to fit in and I'm still not one to fit in, whatever. I am who I am so stop judging me. I make choices that work for MY family. Just the way you make choices for your family.

So where did this all come about? It's been brewing for a long time! But just had to recently hear another comment, where I bit my tongue because if I had opened my mouth, I'm sure I would have been the one to come off as a crazy, hippy lunatic. So get used to my new posts about Breastfeeding, natural childbirth and all that holistic stuff. (and no I'm not a hippie, I wear make-up... GASP!)