Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kind of a crappy post...

I know we all have different potty training methods but here is mine. On their third (yes, 3rd) birthday, said child receives a cool pack of fun undies. I hold up a pair in one hand, diaper in the other and say "which one to you want to wear" they say "unides!!" "okay, then keep 'em clean!"

Done. Daytime success in a day or two, night time success within a week. No tears, no weeks of messes and tears and no books full of tips. Just an age of capability and comprehension and coordination. :)

That worked for all 4 of my kids. Wait, I have 5.... oh yes, Stacey is still in diapers. Her development is delayed and she's not like a 3 year old yet. She is 12. Years.

So, I thought I'd do some Diaper Duty math....

On average a baby uses 10 or more diaper a day. So lets say 10 per day for a year... that's 3,650 the first year. (x 4 kids is 14,600)

Lets say from age 1- 3, they use average of 5 per day. That's 3,650 for those 2 years. (x 4 kids is14,600)

Four kids of the above numbers comes to..29,200.

Now Stacey was infantile until she was 2, only weighed 20 pounds after her 2nd birthday. She also has digestive issues. So for her, lets say 10 diapers per day for 2 years, that's 7,300. Now from the time she was 2 until 12, lets say about 7 per day. (I get diapers delivered and that's what my usage averages out to be) that's 25,550 plus her first 2 years is a total of 32,850.

Let's add the other 4 poopers to Stacey for a grand total of.... 62,050 diaper changes!

That stinks! (yes, another crappy pun!)

The moral of the story is.... 62,050 diapers is overwhelming, if I had to do them all at once. But thankfully, I've only had to do one, or two, at a time. I can do that.

When being a momma gets overwhelming, just ask yourself, can I do this right now? Can I wipe this tushy? Yes. Can I clean up this spill? Yes. Can I change these dirty clothes? Yes.

God gives us the Grace to face earthly life when we need it, not before. He didn't ask "Hey, you look like a good sport, how 'bout you commit to changing 62 THOUSAND diapers?!" nope, He said, "Hey, I choose you to be her momma, you can change her diaper before bed, here's what you need" then wham, He gives me whatever it is I need to do that ONE! Sometimes I think He should install an ejection seat on the sofa since I tend to get stuck there late at night!

But Wait! Theres More! (sorry, when I'm stuck on the sofa late at night, its infomercial time!) There really is more, with God, doesn't it seem like there is always more?

The best part of being willing to tend to this stinky part of mothering??? We also get to tend to the sweet parts too!

So, however you spend your day, remember the sweet stuff, it will help you get through the nasties... one change at a time!

Hugs n love to ya!
Shannon =)

(footnote since I keep getting asked... My Stacey has multiple disabilites. She is 12, with the skills of a 2ish year old. She has Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum, A Chromosome deletion on 3q, seizure disorder, chronic lung disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, severe speech delay, and then some! Thank you for asking, I don't mind one bit!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No pity party here

She's been pacing the halls of her home for hours. Stopping every so often to rock and sway and groan through her pains. Sometimes she wants support or eyes to stare into or hands to hold. Sometimes she winds her way into a dark room and stays alone.

As the hours tick away, her pains become all but consuming. She needs consistent support and affirmations. She wants to quit. Give up. Stop the pain. She looks at me with pleading eyes. As if silently trying to inflict her pain on me instead.

I understand this, but I don't feel sorry for her. There is no need to. 
The word sorry means: "feeling regret, sympathy, pity, regrettable or deplorable, unfortunate, tragic, sorrowful, grieved, or sad."

I don't, and shouldn't feel sorry for a laboring momma. 

I'm convinced she doesn't want my sorrow. She wants my strength. She wants my confidence in her. She wants to see herself in me. So when I look her in the eye and tell her she's "got this" she sees that it's true.

I was at a long hard labor last night, well, the last two nights actually. Told you it was long! Whenever she would say something had changed, more pressure, more intensity, more frequent; I'd say "Good! This is great! Baby's coming!" Finally she looked at me and said "is anything ever not good for you?" and I just smiled and replied, "You're getting feisty, this is good." We laughed a bit but the truth is, labor is good. Pressure is good, intensity is good and frequent contractions are good! They are necessary to bring her baby into her arms. I never said "sorry."

If I felt sorry for her, I would also feel a need to take her pain from her, to give her an escape, to rescue her. She doesn't need that, and when she's honest, she'll tell you she doesn't want it either.

What she needs is confidence balanced with a healthy dose of empathy: "the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another."

So I give her what she needs. I let her know how all her feelings and thoughts are normal. I keep her focused. I bolster her courage. I remind her of her coping skills. I keep her putting one foot in front of the other all the way to the finish line.

The more she wants out, the more I point her inward. The more she tries to escape, the more her success depends on her being totally in tune with her body and the work it's doing. She doesn't need my sorrow. She needs herself. The strength is in her and what she needs is me to show her where it is and how to rely on it; not to feel sorry for her.  As someone once said (Ina May perhaps?) "Labor cannot be stronger than you, because it IS you." 

You got this momma! Rock it! I'm proud of you!

Hugs to ya! 
Shannon =)                                                                                          definitions from Dictionary.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Breeeeathe....

The In's n Out's of Breathing Before and During Labor

You and a friend are going for a walk, chatting as you stroll along. A while down the road you think you’re ready to head back but she says “no, let’s go farther, and let’s jog a bit”. 

So you continue on. 

A bit farther down the road your side is cramping and your lungs start to ache. “I want to stop” you mumble. But your friend takes your hand and tugs you along even faster. You can no longer see your house, and you see no end to the trail you’re on. She is now dragging you along at a rapid pace. Your lungs are screaming for air, your heart racing, panic in your eyes as you realize you are far less prepared for this than your eager friend… 


It's silly to think anyone would take off for a long run without preparation, and yet many moms go into labor not knowing how to pace herself, breathe or handle the exertion that labor will require.

So just how are you supposed to practice breathing; something that you don’t typically give a second thought to?

Try this:

If you can, close your eyes, if not, that's okay, practice anyway!
Take a deep breath in your nose, fully extending your diaphragm. If you extend your belly so you look 12 months pregnant, you’re doing it right! As you slowly inhale, focus on relaxing those facial muscles, you know, the ones giving you wrinkles! Relax your forehead, eyebrows, jaw, and lips.

Now exhale slowly through your mouth, keeping your face relaxed and focusing on relaxing your shoulders, arms, hips, thighs, toes and everything in between! Exhale completely and pause until your body requests more air. Slowly inhale again. Focus your thoughts only on your breathing and on relaxing your body. Repeat this pattern about 10 times. It’s ok to make deep sighs or moan-like sounds on your exhale.

If you want to verify the calming and distracting effects of relaxed breathing, do this little test:
Have your labor partner time this for you and in the second step he can breathe with you and give you verbal reminders to relax.

Step one: For one minute hold an ice cube in your hand. Look at your hand, think about how it feels.
Step two: Hold ice in the other hand for a minute, but this time close your eyes and do the breathing and focus on relaxation and your breathing pattern.


Just as a runner understands the value of stretching before a race, you should understand the value of deep relaxation breathing in labor:

♥ More oxygen is delivered to the baby; helping to keep her heart rate stable.

♥ More oxygen delivered to your muscles. With well oxygenated muscles, (uterine muscles specifically) pain in contractions can be reduced.

♥ Breathing in this pattern is soothing and calming. It will follow the rhythm of labor, increasing in intensity as labor does, but continuing to sooth and oxygenate.

♥ It can be distracting. Focusing on your breath and your muscles relaxing over all your body keeps your mind busy.

♥ It may help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure by keeping your body and mind in a calm state.

♥ It can reduce or prevent the fear-tension-pain cycle. 

EEK! There’s that P word! Yes, I said it: pain. Did that word trigger some fear or anxiety? Did you feel your body tense, perhaps your eyebrows furrowed a bit or your jaw clamped shut? You’re not alone! Childbirth and all the many decisions leading up to labor and delivery can trigger stress and anxiety. Each moment of stress is a perfect opportunity to practice your deep relaxation breathing.

If every time you begin to have fear or anxiety, you “go to” your breathing, your mind will become occupied with breathing and relaxing, thus pushing the negative thoughts aside and clearing your mind of them. When you finish breathing, only allow positive thoughts. Refuse to let negativity and fear settle into your mind. Replace them with breathing and positive phrases such as “my body knows what to do” “labor is a productive process” “labor is not an illness and my body will not do to itself what I cannot handle”.
                                                                                                                                                                                          (note* some fears need to be addressed or are a result of prior trauma, birth or otherwise, please address this with an experienced birth professional who understands the fear-tension-pain cycle. )

By training your mind and body to respond to stress, fear or anxiety with deep relaxation breathing, you will be ready for labor. You will respond to each sensation and rush of adrenaline with calming breaths. Start training now, the race is coming!

This article was originally used as a guest post at Natural Motherhood
Hugs to ya! 
Shannon =)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Testing posting by phone.

I am still learning this Droid! I had been a long time lover of my Blackberry but when we changed carriers, well, the desire to maintain some techy dignity and not have my college kids out -tech me, I switched to my Atrix. It's only taken me a few months to realize I could get a blogger app and post from my phone! Genuis.  So, here goes nothin!
{Insert random picture of my new mirror to test this ability as well}

MBoBB was amazing!

Ok, before I dive into my review, I first want to thank Gina Kirby of Progressive Parenting for my ticket! I never actually ran into her at the premier to thank her in person, but I truly had a great time and was honored to be able to attend!

Here's where it gets a little funny. Besides Ricki Lake, and Kellie Martin, I had no idea who anyone was.  I used to watch Ricki's talk show and we still watch Kellie's show Mystery Woman. We don't have cable so I am am completely out of the loop on the who's who of Hollywood!

While standing near the red carpet I met another doula, Tricia Olow from San Diego. We teased a bit about how if we just walked up to that red carpet as if we "belonged", we could probably get some photos taken. The next thing I know... there we were! The Butterfly Studio was the key photographer of the event and she captured our Red Carpet moment!

To view the entire album and see all the famous people I didn't know...
Visit her here!

 So! The Movieeee... it was awesome of course. Let me back up to the original Business of Being Born... It was a great movie for people who have misconceptions of home birth. I think it also revealed to people that they have misconceptions of medical facilities they aren't even aware of.

Perhaps what I'm about to say is where I differ from many doulas I've spoken to... I have heard many say that the first movie ended on a "negative note". I don't get that. Yes, it was a cesarean birth, for a breech baby. Can breech babies be safely delivered vaginally? YES! However, my emphasis is on momma feeling capable and trusting her body to do this. If during her pregnancy, she has not yet chosen that path, then I believe there is more danger for a fearful mom to do this, especially if she is because people are telling her to. I don't think cesarean births are "negative" when a mom who has all the information about her circumstances still chooses this route. I DO, however think they are negative when a momma is bullied or coerced into one by medical staff or even family. If they are given one side to the coin, information that is not evidence based or otherwise inaccurate or incomplete; those cesareans are negative, not ones that are done for moms making an informed choice to do so. Do I always think it is the right choice? Not always. (for sure not convenience ones) But again, it is her
        body, her choice, not mine.

Waiting for the show with one
of my awesome mommas! 

Gah! ok, ok... I'm getting to MORE Business of Being Born! haha!
At the Premier, we were shown the second of the four parts. It was a handful of celebrity women sharing their birth stories. It was awesome! We laughed, cried and certainly lots of nodding in understanding! I was struck by how similar the stories were. Oh, sure, some of them were induced, some had pain medication, some did hypnobirthing, there were home births and hospital births... but the root of the story was all the same.
   ♥ Birth is hard.
       ♥ Birth is amazing.
            ♥ Birth is a journey.
                 ♥ Birth is beautiful.
                     ♥ Birth is yours.
I especially appreciated that while the women are actresses, they were far from acting here. They were being women. Women who have experienced the rawest moments of birth and were willing to share them with us.

Cindy Crawford, in all her loveliness, addressed the reality that you alone are the one who will deliver your baby and no matter who else is there, and who your birth team consists of, the work is yours alone... "I needed to just labor.... No one can do it for you, you have to do it. Kind of like working out, you can have a trainer, but if you’re not the one on the treadmill running, you’re not going to get anywhere."

All these women had selected certain people to make up their birth team. Alanis Morisette brought me to tears when she described herself curled up on the floor with her eyes closed and the relief she felt when she  "heard the sweet footsteps of her team surrounding her". I was reminded of what a responsibility I have to bring that calm into a birth, and the value of mere presence.

There was a lot of "meat" to the movie, as well as humor. Random rants of toilet paper shortages, the disdain of feeling "slammed into your body", the wide eyed look when they describe hitting transition!

The best message they all expressed in their own ways, was that
            ♥ Birth is to be embraced,
                        not avoided.
                    ♥ Birth is to be faced,
                              not feared.
                          ♥ Birth is you,
                                at its strongest.

I just watched the 1st and 3rd DVD's in the series and wow.... just wow... Soo much information. I recommend you buy them, watch them, share them. You're welcome to come watch them with me anytime. And if you live somewhere fabulous like Hawaii or Cancun, feel free to fly me out and we can watch them at your place! ;)
 Photographers just kept yelling "over here!"
 Glad to see I was joined by Abby in looking at the wrong camera!
Hugs to ya
Shannon =)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Morning sickness be gone!

Morning ALL DAY sickness.... What on earth is gong on to make you feel so... gross?!

Pregnancy does strange things to us, and Nausea is one of the least favorites! I remember having a bionic nose! Seriously, I could smell things for miles. Sadly, I didn't like most smells either! My husband included. As in... *covers nose, waves from down the hall, bye honey* kind of didn't like how he smelled! It was horrible! By the time he'd get home in the evening he was tolerable but morning? Heck no!

So just what are we supposed to do to get through that stage.... which may or may not pass after the first trimester? I was told of a solution by a friend of mine. It worked wonders for her and so I passed it onto others, and sure enough, the ones who do this whole heartily (translates: follow the protocol) had great success!

This article explains what is causing the nausea and how
 to make it go away. Far far away!

On the off chance that beans just don't cut it, here are a few other things that may help, especially if your nausea is minimal.

I use Peppermint Essential Oil when my migraines cause nausea. I just open the bottle and sit it next to me. As I relax, the pain fades surprisingly quickly. I do
 this at the first hint of onset, so if you try it when the migraine is full force, let me know how it works!

As always, be sure to check with your care provider about what products are safe to use while pregnant!

Hugs to ya!
Shannon =)

Monday, November 7, 2011

The sweetness of salt

Do swollen ankles scare you? Do they make you worry about pre-eclampsia?

Read this quote from Dr. Brewers website "...please be aware that the extra loss of salt and fluids (through sweat) and the extra burning of calories can trigger a falling blood volume with a resulting rising BP, and other pre-eclampsia symptoms..."

I always tell mommas to keep an eye on their blood pressure and have urine checked for protein to catch pre-eclampsia. If you notice sudden swelling on your face and hands, call your OB right away.

When a healthy momma starts moaning about her ankles puffing up, I go give them an Epsom salt soak and deep tissue massage to break up all those little fluid pockets, and I have them start Dr. Brewers diet. The next day.. whalaa.... ankle bones are back! :)

I've seen true pre-eclampsia and believe me, if you can prevent it by diet, do it!! I'm not giving medical advise here, but I strongly suggest you investigate and educate yourself so you can avoid unnecessary complications and interventions.

I'd love to hear your stories using Dr. Brewers diet!

Hugs n love!
Shannon =)

I love to laugh...

Sometimes we just need a smile. I'm sort of there today... so I thought I'd post this little video, a humorous take on midwives.

And I pose a question to you all.... if insurance and money were not of concern, would you have chosen a home birth? What about a midwife at a hospital birth?

hugs n love to ya!
Shannon =)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

yup, I'm new here!

Well I'm trying to figure out how Blogger works. I've not been happy with the blogging options on my actual website. bear with me as I fiddle with this! :)

Also, I'm moving several of my previous posts over to here as well, so if you used to follow my blog, some of these will be repeats.
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