Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birth Dreams

Last night I had the most vivid birth dream ever. Ever. It was not the perfect birth, but the prettiest (okay, one of the prettiest) little girls was birthed out of my vagina! It so amazing. I think I woke up feeling all giddy...then I realized I've never pushed a baby out of my vagina.

In my dream, my midwife was gone or out of town or something (but it was the midwife I see now) and one of her partners was going to be with me for the birth. But, her partner had a midwifery student (which I'd be totally okay with). I remember getting to the hospital and I wasn't in a lot of pain. I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement and was a little uncomfortable. I remember wanting to walk a lot before I went to the hospital. I walked every where (this was even in my dream). So, when I got there, I told my husband and mom I was just going to go to the bathroom in the lobby. I knew I didn't want to get to the room, because they'd want to check. I even said something about if I push and a baby starts to come out, then we can go to the room.

Next thing I remember is laying on my left side and feeling a slight amount of pressure. I remember feeling the left side of my scar hurt ever so slightly, but I was not worried about rupture. Then, the midwife student draped me (ugh, I hated this part)...and yes, I was still in bed (not so fond of this part either). I pushed a couple of times (no counting or yelling) and out came a beautiful little girl with the curliest hair. I just kept saying "Oh my God, Oh my God." I even remembered thinking about women saying they couldn't believe they did it, but I don't think I said it.

Isn't that wild? I remember remembering in my dream. I remember what I said and what color things were. I remember before and after the dream. I could dream that dream a thousand times and I'd never get bored!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Obesity and Breastfeeding

Over on Facebook, Kellymom.com just posted two articles about obesity and breastfeeding. Nothing, I tell you, nothing, gets my blood boiling faster than setting someone up for failure with breastfeeding.

Here are the articles:

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/24/1_MeetingAbstracts/91.6

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/24/1_MeetingAbstracts/91.5

Basically, one study looked at support and providing pumps. The other looked at education/counseling. (I'm seriously paraphrasing here, so please go read the abstracts!). Now, I am really glad "they" did the research. I'm glad they care (and I hope they care) about breastfeeding in obesity.

But why not breastfeeding in everyone? I contest that it does not matter the size of your thighs in regards to breastfeeding success. Breast size plays a big role in breastfeeding difficulties. As a mom who has breastfed for almost 3 years (holy smokes!) and who is very overweight, I think I have some experiences to draw from.

Boobs are boobs. I don't care if you're 100 pounds or 300 pounds. Support (literally and figuratively) is all that matters. I had an amazing support group when I chose and dedicated myself to breastfeeding. My husband and family were supportive. I had an amazing group of lactation consultants working with me. And, I had determination. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my child.

There is no pump or study that will ever make me think anything works as well as good old fashion support and counseling!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Soap-Making

Last night in Financial Peace University  -- our last night I might add -- our teach said he was all about being frugal, but he would not make his own soap. I had to say something! I talked about soap making as a frugal thing to do on the first night of our class, but I just had to say something again!

I chimed in that I made my own soap. We have not bought laundry soap since October (in 7 months!) and I really can't remember the last time I bought hand soap (probably a year ago when it was on clearance).

I thought I'd share with you all how easy (and freakin' cheap!) soap making is! Really, it is!

I got my recipe for laundry soap from Tip Nut, but I've also used the Duggar's recipe. I prefer the Tip Nuts recipe so here it is:

2 cups grated soap (I've used Fels Naptha & just made some with Zote)
1 cup arm & hammer washing soda
1 cup borax

When you grate the Zote it makes 4 cups, so I just adjust the borax & washing soda.

As a side note, I think the powder is easy, I've never made liquid. If you're a die-hard liquid detergent, try it. It involves boiling water & doing all sorts of things I don't have time or the desire to do!

Grate the soap. I've found the easiest thing to do is use my cheese grater. Once it's all grated (be careful, I've sliced open knuckles before) mix it in a blender with the washing soda and borax. I usually have to do this in steps -- it's just too much for one blender!

Once it's a nice powdered consistency, it's done. You can put it in a baggie or an old oxy-clean tub or whatever floats your boat. It's that easy. It takes about 10 minutes.

Also, you can add essential oils -- whatever you like. I've added different citrusy smells and lavender to my soap. I tried Zote today (haven't washed with it yet), but it smells like citranella, so I didn't add anything. Plus, ZOTE IS PINK! How cool is that?

I swear by this soap. It's cheap, easy, and good for the environment. Here's my math:

55 oz of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda = 9.15 -- 1.33/cup (I used amazon prices)
76 oz of 20 Mule Team Borax = 6.49 -- 68 cents/cup
Zote = 80 cents/bar (got it on sale at Big Lots)

2 cups of Washing Soda = 2.66
2 cups of Borax = 1.36
1 bar of soap = .80
Total = 4.82/8 cups of detergent

Using 2 Tablespoons/load (2 for a full load, 1 for half, etc.); assuming there are still 16 Tablespoons/cup...in 8 cups of detergent, there are 128 Tablespoons.

Calculating on always using 2 Tablespoons (which I don't) -
So, 64 "servings" in my detergent --> 4.82/64 = 7.5 CENTS/load!!!!!!!!!

Powdered Tide at Amazon is $54.90 for 240 loads -- that's 22 cents/load.

HAND SOAP
I don't remember where I got the recipe for liquid soap, so I can't really give credit where credit is due. Sorry!

I bough some hand soap pumps from a co-op I'm in. (Lucky me!) They were about $1.60/pump; but I'm pretty sure you can get them just about anywhere that has soap products.

I've only used Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. They have it at Target, that's where I got it. I love almond, so that's what I have. It's $13.69/32 ounces. You dilute it in your pump -- it can be anywhere from 1:1 to 1:5 with water. I usually do about 1:1 to 1:2. If you use the 1:1 calculations it's 13.69 for 64 ounces of soap (21 cents/ounce). If you dilute it more, it's way cheaper! That fancy soap at the mall is (on sale) $4/8 ounces (50 cents/ounce).

Plus, the homemade hand soap is castile soap and water. That's it. Nothing bad.

You really should check it out! Look at how much I'm saving! And, with a toddler who always needs clean hands and clothes, it's a bargain!



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Choosing a Provider

I believe choosing a provider is the single most important external factor regarding birth. Sure, there are lots of things a mom can do to have an excellent birth...she can exercise, watch what she eats, read great books, etc. Here are some stories that have led me to believe this:

- A friend LOVES her doctor. He did a c-section for "failure to progress" at 9cm. He will not VBAC. So, she won't get her VBAC. He also delivers at a hospital notoriously known for their incredibly high c-section rate. Hmmm...she had a c-section and most likely will have another.

- Another friend had a supportive midwife, but the midwife was a part of a group practice. In the end, there was an incredibly unsupportive physician backing up the midwife the day she went in to labor. Unfortunately, she didn't get the outcome she wanted.

- An ICAN mom/doula had a great midwife with a great supporting physician. She had complications during her pregnancy and had to have a repeat c-section. While she didn't VBAC (she actually was already a VBA2C mom), she had a respectful c-section.

And, my favorite provider story of all..."MY" doctor. She's no longer practicing in my state, but I would go to great lengths to let her care for me again!

The story of my provider goes way back. I was a nurse at the hospital where she practiced. I loved her immediately. I saw her for the first year or two I worked there. Then, I realized she was very slow to do c-sections. I had the typical, everything-is-high-risk attitude some nurses have. I switched providers because...get this...I thought she wouldn't do a c-section if I needed one. The absolute irony of this is wild!

I went to the other doctor once. Sure, I liked her, but throughout that next year, I realized I didn't want a doctor who would jump at the chance to cut me. I went back to the first doctor.

She was a VBAC mom herself. I started to see how she treated her patients. Most memorably was a VBAC labor and birth with her. She was so gentle and so supportive.

When I got pregnant, I never really thought of c-section. My mom had 2 easy vaginal births. Nearly every woman on her side of the family had easy vaginal births. In fact, from my grandmother to my cousins, women in family (blood relatives) have given birth 26 times. Of those 26 births, there have only been 4 c-sections. The c-section rate of my family is 15%, what the WHO recommends. Interestingly enough, there were no c-sections with any of my mom's sister. The four c-sections reside amongst 3 cousins (mine, 2 from one cousin, and one from another). Back to the point...

My doctor spend the night at the hospital, even though she only lived a few blocks away. After pushing for 2.5 hours, I believed and trusted my doctor when she said she didn't think anything was going to happen. When I decided it was time, she patted my leg and said, "Don't worry, you'll VBAC next time." Before surgery!

When she came to see me after surgery, she told me she used two layers of suture so I could VBAC.

I know I would have been so much worse off if I had a different provider. Dr. S knew how much a vaginal birth meant to me. She is so amazing and wonderful!

So, please pick a provider you know with all of your heart will provide the best care possible for you!

Also, get a doula, read good books, and enjoy your pregnancy!