Tuesday, February 11

5 Steps to Get Your Homebirth Rolling

  • Step 1 -   Get knocked up. No really, that has to happen first. Wellll, I guess you could do some research first, or while you are waiting on that magical plus sign. But really, there is no birth without a baby. But I guess you already knew that, huh?  (Aren't I witty? Feel free to laugh out loud at your screen.)

  • Step 2-   Pee on a stick.  Oh, is this getting old now? Oh, alright. Do you always have to ruin the fun tiny little voice in my head, that sounds suspiciously a lot like my sister?

Really though, your first step is to research.

  • Step 1. Research.Then research some more. Read books, look at studies, stalk online pregnancy forms, watch documentaries and way too graphic Youtube home birth videos.  Then make your significant other do it too. They will love it, trust me. * insert evil laugh here*

Speaking of that significant other, now is the time for the next step.

  • Step 2- Getting your partner on board, if they aren't already.  I have it on good authority that this isn't something you want to do if you don't have a support system.  

  • Step 3 find a midwife. I made it sound so simple didn't I?
  Well, as I am sure you are about to find out, it isn't.  The sad truth is that home birth is uncommon, making home birth midwives rare. Supply and demand and all that.  
  Chances are that even if there is a midwife near you, you might not be able to find her online or in the phone book.  So how do obtain an elusive midwife? You get clever.   
 There are some midwives listed online, but even then they can still take some internet digging to find.  You are likely to have some success by calling any local Bradly teachers ( or a natural child birthing class teacher in your area). They are a great resource to help you to get in touch with any local home birth community in the area. You can even try health food stores, or asking your OBGYN. 

Luckily, I was able to find our midwife by doing an internet search. Shortly after that though, I found the number for the local Bradly instructor, and boy did she give me the scoop. I think we talked for almost and hour.  I was under the impression that I only had the option of the one midwife, but it turns out that there are 2-3 other midwives that are willing to come out my way.

Next up is..
  • Step 4.  Interviewing your chosen midwifes.  It is best to try and interview two or three, but that may not be an option if midwives are scarce near you. For more info on interviewing a midwife click Here. But know it breaks down into four parts.  Will she come to your area,  her experience and knowledge, price, and how well do you click with her.

  • Step 5. Hire your midwife.  This can take place as soon as you get your positive pregnancy test, or you can wait to confirm it with your family doctor or OBGYN before giving your midwife a call. It is also fine if you are further along and have been seeing a doctor, to switch to a midwife if you prefer. Heck, some women even "cheat" on their doctors with their midwife and see both through out their pregnancy. I always wonder what those doctors think when their 40 week patient never checks in at the hospital.

That's it!  You are now on your way to your homebirth. From here on out its all about prep work. Preparing to deal with labor, preparing for the birth itself, and preparing for your baby.  But that's a whole other post...

Saturday, December 14

We're pregnant! And we are having a Home Birth!

Oh yeah, this eggo is preggo! Yes, we are super excited. Yes, I have already picked out names.  And yes, you did read that right, we are planning a home birth. 

We are crazy, you say? Quite possibly. Bet then, I have never denied that. 

Now, before you start spluttering the words "dangerous" and "risky", know that for women with normal low-risk pregnancies, attended by a trained midwife, home-birth is just as safe as a hospital birth. Really. There are studies on it and everything. 

Aside for posting a few links to back up that claim, I don't really plan on getting into a debate about the safety of home birth, since there is tons of info out there on that subject. I hope that any of my nearest and dearest reading this who think I am putting myself, or my child, at risk will take the time to look it up.
 After doing careful research I came to the conclusion that both home-birth and hospital-birth have benefits and risks. 
 For me, the benefits of home birth out weigh the risk. That is probably not true for most, and that might even change for me if any complications occur during my pregnancy (thus risking me out of home birth). 

 So, how did we come to this decision you ask? Well, like a lot of home-birthers these days, it started with the documentary by Ricki Lake. For those who don't know, its called The Business of being Born and is available on Netflix. 
 I watched it shortly after I had Lilly. It shined a light on something that I knew, but never really thought about; the extremely high c-section rate in this country. I knew c-sections where common. I spent my whole pregnancy with Lilly worried I would have one and trying my best to educate myself on how best to avoid it. What I didn't know is that the national c-section rate is well over the recommended percentage. And we aren't even getting better out comes for it. 
 In fact, the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than rates in most other developed countries. If I remember correctly we rank in at about 30th place. 

 Something else the documentary shined a light on that I knew, but didn't know, was that most of the time the interventions in place to help us (breaking waters, stripping membranes, inducing, epidurals, etc.) are used unnecessarily to speed things up, and often leads to complications, that then lead to a c-section. 

After thinking about all the information, and comparing it to my experience with Lilly's birth. I knew that the next time I had a baby I wanted to go 100% natural. Though, I wasn't sold on home birth at the time.

 Then a few years later, I started becoming more and more concerned about my bodily autonomy. I had one very awful experience with a doctor who forcibly did an internal exam, even after I complained that it hurt and asked him to stop. I wish I could say that experience hasn't effected my outlook on all doctors, but I would be lying.

 I decided that when the time came, I didn't want to have to fight tooth and nail with my doctor for him to simply ask my permission before touching me, and I didn't want to have to fight with hospital staff, while in labor, to avoid interventions I didn't need or want. 
  The easy answer to my problem was a homebirth. By choosing a homebirth, my major fears of childbirth where no longer a problem. I spent months looking into it. Well before we even started trying to conceive. I don't know when I made up my mind, there was no pro and con list, or "ah ha!" moment. 

 Homebirth has been in the back of my mind since Lilly was born, and when the time finally came, it was the best option for us. But, please don't think I am one of those people who think because I choose something, I think everyone should do the same. I in no way think its an option everyone should choose, or think a hospital birth is any less of a wonderful experience for those that choose it.

 So, that is my reasoning my dear family and friends. Do you still think I am crazy? Yeah, I thought so. But I hope know you now that it isn't just my need to "take the road less traveled" kicking in once again, but an option that I think will benefit my baby, my family, and myself.

Sunday, August 4

Home Sweet First Home

For the past three or so years, Eric and I have been living in a teeny tiny rental house. When I say tiny, I am not exaggerating at all.  The 3 of us and all our stuff was crammed into 750 square feet.

When Eric and I started talking about turning the three of us into the four of us, we knew that we need to make more than a few big changes. On top of the list was getting a bigger place.  We talked about renting a bigger house, but the rental market around here is slim pickings.  So we decided to hold off on baby number 2 until we could buy. We called the financial officer at our bank just to see what we needed to get in order to move toward that goal.  We where excited and shocked to learn that we where already in a position to buy if we wanted.

As anyone who has bought a house knows, its a long and frustrating process. But we where not expecting the house hunting part to be as daunting as it was. Turns out that the housing market around here hasn't fully got back on its feet, and there where very few houses for sale in our price range.  Even fewer that I would ever consider moving my family into.

We ran into the problem of a lot of them also being small  ranch style houses. Now, I am not knocking people who love their ranches, but they just aren't my cup of tea. Well, the small ones aren't anyway. I have seen a few with more square footage that I really liked. Mostly I don't like that the living space is normally just one small living room and kitchen at one side of the house and the rest of the house is all hallway and bedrooms.

One of the first houses we looked at was this beauty.

I loved it right away, but the same could not be said for Eric.  He was really wanting something that was a little newer.  This house was built in the 40's with a 70's addition on the back.  We looked at a little ranch that had brand new windows ( a HUGE selling point for the hubby), that Eric was rooting for.  But it was...a little ranch...sigh.  What followed was an argument that was not pretty (just keeping it honest).  But in the end we both agreed that that more room was better than new windows. ;)

 Then came the part we actually tried to buy the thing. The home owner turned down both offers we made. So we started looking again, but there was just nothing good on the market. Eventually we ended up switching realtors for personal reasons ( she repeatedly told me that I wanted to much and I needed to settle, but sense she never took the time to, you know, ask what I wanted in a house, I don't know how she knew I wanted to much)

So finally we ended up contacting the homeowner's Realtor in the hopes that 6% of the commission vs. 3% would make him encourage his client to work with us on the offer.

A few months later we where finally moving into our first home!

Thursday, May 9

A Girl's Dinosaur Party and...I'm Back!

After a year of radio silence from me, I am finally taking the time to sit down and write this post.  Despite the fact that Lilly's party was over six months ago.  I have actually kind of missed my little piece of the blogger world. I have no idea why it took me so long to log back on..But hey, better late than never right? Right. So with out further ado here is Lilly's Dinosaur party......

    Yep, you read that right.   My girl is anything if not original.  This theme was definitely not what I had in mind.  But I was shooting for unique and creative, and a girl's Dino party is definitely that.

 So I searched for a little inspiration; which, not surprisingly, there was not a lot of. At least not aimed for girls.

 These cute cupcake toppers ended up being my main source of inspiration. I even stuck with the Pink, Yellow and Orange color scheme they have going on. They are from PinWheelLane on Etsy, if anyone is interested.

I had a hard time "getting in the groove" with this party theme though, despite living on Pinterest for a month.

  The first thing I did was ran to my local Wallie World ( Walmart is the only thing in my little town) and bought the Dino Play cartridge for my cricut and whipped up these little babies.

Sitting down and actually making something really helped me get my creative wheels turning. So when it was party time, there where actually some pretty cool decorations, if I do say so myself.

This was the view out side as the guests arrived. These pictures didn't turn out so great. Do to the camera drama I have been having, I was using my Papal's camera, and I wasn't very familiar with it.

 I got the idea for this Zig Zag piece from here. Though I tweaked it so that the streamers where hanging from a PVC pipe wrapped in crepe paper.  The idea was to hang it over the rectangle table the kids where going to eat at, but  we ended up with a round table. So this guy got to hang out over the entry/ favor table instead.

 Speaking of the favor table, it had to do double duty. So I made this little sign to people know that the hats where for now, but the favors where for later.  Lilly loved that the cartoon girl was supposed to be her.

 Also, you can see here one of my failed attempts to spray paint a plastic dinosaur.  As far as I can guess, I think I got the wrong kind of spray paint. It did not want to cover and stayed sticky even after a week of drying outside. Lesson learned though. Make sure to get paint meant for plastic.

  I ordered these hats from amazon for about 15$.  I only decorated Lilly's hat, but if I had thought about it, it would have been an awesome craft for the kids to do at the party.

The mini Dino crayon favors I ordered from Etsy where a favorite of mine. They came per-wrapped, but I added my own ribbon and favor tags to tie into the "girly-ness" of the party.

 I really do wish the pictures had turned out better, because the decorations where so much cuter in person! But do you see the Dino shaped sandwiches in the corner of the above picture? Nutella and PB&J my friends, the kids loved 'em.  But the Dino nuggets where really what they all went for.  I just kept it simple, and it turned out great.


 But I did throw in some healthy stuff y'all.   We had veggie cups, grapes, applesauce and apple juice.  Though I guess it depends on who you ask if you consider the last two healthy.

  This photo garland is a tradition. I add a few more photos every year so that it spans from birth to her current birthday.  Its nice to see how much she has grown and changed every year.

  I made the cupcakes this year, though I have bought them from the grocery store before to save time. I actually had almost everything ready for the party well in advance so I had time to make them this year.

  The real star of the party was the Dino Dig though. The kids spent forever out there digging up their bones.  I ordered the plastic bones from Oriental Trading, and simply buried them in the sand for the kiddo's to dig up with their paint brushes.

We also had a "Dino Egg Hunt".   I made large eggs out of clay and painted them. We hide them before the kids got there in the "wild" (aka the back lot)  part of the yard.

We actually did the egg hunt before we ate to let the kids get all their pent up energy and excitement out. It worked like a charm and the kids had a great time.

And maybe the big kids did too :) Also linking up to one of my fav blogs, Birds's Party Blog.

Wednesday, February 29


  Another post of few words.  These are pictures that my talented sister took at Christmas.   
 As nice as it is to have free pictures, she is sometimes a little slow in getting them to me.  (If you are is reading this, Sis, I love you anyways )

Its impossible to get my three year old to set still for a picture. ;/

 Its nice to get a few family pictures and a rare one of just my hubby and I.  I am so often behind the camera, that I have found that there are not many with me in them.

Tuesday, February 14

A Heart Wreath

 I have had my pinwheel wreath up all year.  What can I say? I was proud of it and a little more than in love.  
  But I finally decided to change it up a bit, in time for Valentine's day.

 This was a really easy to make with my cricut.  I simply removed the pinwheels and then hot glued the hearts on.  
    Like I said, really simple.

While I was at it, I decided to decorate the rest of the house a bit.
  I had bought a few things half off after last valentines, so I used that along with the homemade decorations.

I was going to use these letters below on the wreath, but decided that I didn't like it, so they just kinda got re-homed here.

And of course when I woke up this morning, Hubby had my valentines surprise waiting...  

Wednesday, February 8

Sweet Shop Birthday Update

Well, recently a few missing pictures for Lilly's party have turned up and I couldn't not share them. So I updated the birthday post found HERE.
 But here are the picture that where added.

Do-it-your-selfer, young-mommy and wife, scrapbooker