Thursday, July 31, 2008

For your Celebrations

Starting tomorrow, it'll be World Breastfeeding Week.

Looking for things to do? Click on a link!
World Breastfeeding Week homepage
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

For those of you in Utah (like me):
Utah Breastfeeding Coalition


At the WBW site, you can access a letter from WHO and a letter from UNICEF stating their support in WBW and why they support it.


Gear?
You don't need much to breastfeed, but I've found lots of fun breastfeeding-promoting items.
There are many many many many many many many many shops on cafepress that sell shirts and such. Just go to cafepress and search "lactivism" or "breastfeeding advocacy."

Want to support moms? Etsy is a great place to buy some handmade stuff! I've found some great stuff!
The Littlest Nipper
Skull and Crossbones Nursing Pads
All-Natural Nursing Necklace
Boobie Ball- I enjoyed reading the description!
International Breastfeeding Symbol Pendant
Another (beautiful) pendant
Gosh. I could spend hours looking at the nursing necklaces!

Support
As always there are lots of sites that you can find support and answers to breastfeeding questions.
LLLI
kellymom
Dr. Newman

Friday, July 25, 2008

A run down of the week

I've felt great since Tuesday. I think it might be because McKay was home- he had been home sick since last Friday, but just having him home for a week rejuvenated me. I wasn't the only one at home with Margaret- and it was nice. Of course, it's not nice that he's sick, but you know. He's back at work today, but still not feeling 100%.

I really feel on top of the world. Yesterday, a friend and I went down to North Park because of the Pioneer Day celebration. We went in some homes that were built in the 1800s. It's just amazing that they made almost everything with their own hands. It makes me want to knit and knit and knit. And spin. I met a lady who's the president of a spinning guild in the area. Ooh. I want a spinning wheel...

Also, on Wednesday night, I went to LLL. I love LLL. I don't normally come with too many questions- I just love being with the women. When I started going to LLL last October, I had no idea that the women I met there would be some of my best friends.

My advice to any pregnant women out there: go to some LLL meetings. I always wanted to breastfeed, but I know that what I learned there gave me more confidence as a new mother. I learned about the myths of breastfeeding and that I have access to so much support- and it's free! I learned what a correct latch is and how to deal with some basic problems- all before I had my baby. So when I came across problems, I already knew how to handle (most of) them. When there were problems I didn't know about, I simply called a leader and she helped me through it.

I definitely feel like Hathor in this comic:

Also, in a week, World Breastfeeding Week starts (Aug 1 - 7)! I'll be doing a mini-breastfeeding series for that week!

Friday Fill-ins

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you could make you stronger, but it may take time and forgiveness.

2. If you're good at something, that doesn't mean you should pursue it if you don't love it. Sure, you might be "wasting you talent" but the other way, you're wasting time, which is a much more expensive commodity.

3. Why so complacent? Be passionate!

4. Something is out there, it's a sheep (baa!). Okay. That's kind of an inside joke. McKay likes to watch movie previews on apple.com. There was this one horror film made in New Zealand called "Black Sheep" about genetically altered sheep who now attack people. That premise is so ridiculous, that the preview was like this hilarious joke- in fact I couldn't tell if it was a comedy or horror film at first. (You can see it here, but there is some gore and violence- just warning you) I guess only our friends down under could be scared of sheep. Any way, it's kind of a running joke for us.

5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled "The stripes to prove it."

6. Sitting on my back porch [if you don't have one, use your imagination] I see "Y" mountain and some people taking a cigarette break.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _having the house in order again, tomorrow my plans include re-dedicate myself to knitting and Sunday, I want to do some relaxing reading!

Monday, July 21, 2008

for Heidi

Heidi (and whoever else),
Since you asked for that recipe, I'll link to my friend's blog. We were together when we bought the ingredients and she ended up posting the recipe. I hope that you enjoy it!


I think anything with spinach and artichoke is an automatic success!

Big S, little s


Silly Sammy Slick sipped six sodas and got sick, sick, sick. -Dr. Seuss's ABC

That's how we've been lately. Sick. Sick. Sick.

Margaret got it after the 4th, then I got it a week later, and then McKay got it last Thursday.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

It was your basic fever/achey/congested/diarrhea kind of sick. That fever would come and go and come and go. It was the kind of sick that puts you out of commission for about 5-7 days.

We had it thoroughly and should be properly immune for the rest of our lives- the rest of the world may have to suffer it, but we won't.

I learned a couple of things while being sick: a fever of a 97.8 is high for me (my baseline is around 96). And snot has a scent- at least sick snot does- and you can't escape it because it's in your nose.

I'm finishing up a project I worked on while sick and it'll show up on my knitting blog soon, although it isn't knitting. And I started another fun little project that you can see on our family blog.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would try very hard not to get swatted.

2. Jealousy is a waste of time.

3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that I could fly.

4. I'd rather be outside than inside any day!

5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna dance like crazy.

6. If time were in a bottle I'd be sure to have a year's supply.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spinach artichoke lasagna, tomorrow my plans include possibly the Llama Fest and Sunday, I want to play the organ!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A baby was born here

I believe it was February 2007 that I showed up at the door with chicken pot pie. The Youngs had only 2 days prior welcomed a new member of their family and I was bringing them dinner. I was met at the door by Brother Young and I set the warm pie dish on their kitchen counter.

"Where's Sister Young and the baby?"
"Oh- She's out shopping with the kids."
"The hospital let her out already?"
"We had the baby here."
"Oh. That's cool."

A couple of months later, I was in the same house at a dinner party, but the Youngs had moved out.

"A baby was born here. The Youngs had their baby here."
"That's what people have said."

To me, that was such an amazing thought- I was in a home where a baby was born! The new tenant didn't seem to have the same amount of enthusiasm I had for that bit of information. They weren't upset or negative about it or anything, but they weren't bursting with amazement about it like I was.

It was in November or December that I first went to my friend, J's, house. They had their daughter at home. I've sat in their house wondering what it must have been like for J to have labored there. She is a social laborer and had lots of friends for the birth- and knowing some of the people who were there, I've tried to imagine what sort of side conversations were going on and what the atmosphere must have been like.

And then in March, I gave birth at home. I remember where I labored, what music was playing, and the strength of my vocalizations. When I'm in the bathroom, I remember the times that I tried laboring on the toilet. when I sit on our exercise ball, I remebmer myself draped over it, relaxing and focusing my way through contractions.

I know where I was when I brought Margaret up out of the water for her first breath, where we first cuddled all together as a family. The sounds, the smells, the "I just had a baby" feeling. It makes this apartment sacred, holy to me. It'll be a strange day when we move out.

When we have people over, I sometimes want to say, "Over here was where our birthing pool was! And here was the couch I sat on when we took our first family picture!" I wish they could see that this little apartment is more than just a little, half-under-the-ground studio. This home is special.

A baby was born here.

Friday Fill-ins

It's Friday again!
cross-posted to http://infiknity.blogspot.com

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a washer and dryer.

2. Key lime juice is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.

3. I never leave home without the diaper bag.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be mustard because it's so simple: mustard seed, vinegar, paprika.

5. Turning into the far lane and not using turn signals is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was "I hope Margaret's cold disappears over night, poor girl!"

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to seeing my parents, tomorrow my plans include something involving my family-a museum, maybe? WallE? and Sunday, I want to be with my friends at church!


A friend's birth story

A friend of mine had a baby yesterday and posted her birth story.

I met her at a UCAN meeting in April. I was telling my birth story and she asked, "Are you TopHat?" She said she remembered reading my story.

Anyway, she had a UC yesterday- at 42 weeks, 3 days. Labor was less than 3 hours and the baby came after only 3 pushes! Congrats to her!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cul-de-sac


First, a mini history lesson:
A few years ago, a group of direct entry midwives (DEMs) came to the state of Utah requesting licensure. You see, while their practices weren't illegal, they weren't "legal" in a way that their practices had state approval either. This year, with the Big Push for Midwives, midwives are trying to get protective legislation in more states, but with what I witnessed yesterday, I wonder if women are really benefiting from midwifery legislation.

The problem with licensure is that once you ask for it, you get regulations. Earlier this year, it was propsed that Utah's Direct Entry Midwife bill be amended- making it illegal for a DEM to attend a breech, VBAC, or a birth with multiples. After some "compromising" the midwives gave up fighting for breech and multiple gestations, and are limited in what sort of VBACs they can attend. One of the main arguments made was that CNMs can't attend those births without a physician, so DEMs shouldn't be able to.

That was all in February- I listened to the debates online yesterday before I went to the meeting so I would have an idea of what was going on.

Yesterday's meeting was with the Rules Commitee- they were going through the bill and deciding what should be brought up at next year's State Senate session. The Committee was made up of an OB/GYN, 2 CNMs, and 3 DEMs. Let me tell you something- if you want to do something, don't go through a committee. It started almost 15 minutes late and the first half hour was a discussion on when they should meet next (September 4th, it was decided). There were also introductions at the beginning where they went around the room and everyone introduced themselves. There were many licensed and unlicensed midwives in attendance, a representative from ACOG, a representative from ICAN, and the rest of us were representing the general public. I want to say a representative of the UMA was there, but I don't remember exactly. After 1/3 of the time was spent introducing everyone and planning the next meeting, they finally got to talking about the bill. It was so frustrating- I hope that my presence didn't say that I'm backing the midwives- because I don't agree with what's going on at all.

What frustrated me the most was that there we were in a meeting- deciding what choices women can have in the future. NO ONE should be able to decide they have other people's agency in their hands- but they do. The midwives just completely gave up about women's rights and were discussing little bits of formalities and wording in the bill. One midwife in attendance- representing general public- came a long way to this meeting to bring up the fact that the mandatory referrals to a physician in certain cases (breech, multiples, etc) were difficult in her area because the physicians wouldn't take on a woman who had been planning a home birth. While this is a legitimate concern, she stated that "These [VBACs, breech, multiples] births aren't my bread and butter" implying that she wasn't too concerned about losing those women in her practice because they aren't the majority.

It's that sort of attitude that bothers me. It bothers me that a pregnant woman is just a walking dollar sign- to OBs and midwives. These are women. Living, breathing, loving human beings- not revenue! It's like the midwives are just happy that they can practice and don't care that women are being prevented from choosing the care they want. It doesn't matter that those women are the minority- they are still important human beings.

Early on in the meeting, the OB/GYN in the committee said that he feels that the rules and bill should be minimal- that less is more. Of course they all agreed, but they continued doing just the opposite. As I was sitting there, I came up with a great bill that fit his "minimal" criteria.

Women of Utah and the rest of the United States, if I could make a bill concerning birth, it'd say this:

A woman has the right to choose to birth wherever, whenever, and with whomever she wants. She has the same right in choosing prenatal care.

I think that covers it. It definitely takes care of the "CNMs can't attend these sorts of births, so DEMs shouldn't" case. With this, everyone can if that's what the mother wants. It just seems so logical to me that women should be able to birth where they want to.

Why do committees feel that they can take a woman's rights away from her? It's not constitutional to determine where and with whom a woman has to give birth. All these darn laws should be demolished. Instead of getting protective legislation, the Big Push should focus on birth choices in general, because I think that getting state licensure is really just hurting women.

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. -Sir Barnett Cocks

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Birthing news

Here's a British article about unassisted birth. This one is particularly interesting to me because the documentary that they mention, Outlaw Births, is the one I was interviewed in. They interviewed 9 women who were planning a UC birth, and of those 9, every one successfully UCed!

Anyway, if you're in Britain Wednesday evening, it'll be shown at 9pm on channel 5.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A little behind

The weekend took a toll on me and my family, so I'm a little behind today. I haven't even made the bed!

Working at the Freedom Festival selling HugAMonkey slings.

Margaret was a wonderful model.

Our unmade bed with a sick baby in it. She's not been feeling well since Saturday.

She and I normally sleep on a towel because of my intense let down. It prevents us from waking up in a puddle of breastmilk in the mornings.

Usborne Party

I'm hosting an Usborne Party this Thursday. Everyone is invited. If you'd like to come shoot me an email. The prices are really reasonable- starting at $3.95/book. You can also order from my eshow- link is here.

I hope to see lots of you Thursday night!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday Fill-ins



1. Holidays in the summer are few are far between.

2. Pineapple and shishkabobs are my favorite things to grill.

3. My thoughts are scattered today- they'll sort out eventually.

4. Making money with my friends is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!

5. My favorite book so far this summer is Birth Autonomy.

6. Waking up next to my baby and husband- so cute! is the best way to begin a day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Stadium of Fire, tomorrow my plans include working all day again and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Baby wearing

These are from the other day.

I got her on my back all by myself!


And a front carry. She really loves looking out and seeing what I'm seeing. I like it, too, because when she's facing me, she's always trying to turn around and look ahead- I don't want her to strain her poor neck! One of our friends last night said that he's noticed how she likes to face away and that she'll probably be a pretty independent person.

Away and Away

So today, tomorrow, and Saturday, I'll be working at the Freedom Festival selling baby slings for a friend of mine. If you want to stop by and say, "Hi!" come and do so. It's going to be hot. Today and tomorrow will be the hottest days, 96 and 97, respectively. They are also the longest working days. So fun!

I hope Margaret is ok with this, these last few days she hasn't been eating as much and I've been quite engorged. When we're out and about she's also less likely to eat- so I have to make sure she stays hydrated and that she drains me often enough that my engorgement doesn't take a bad turn and become mastitis or something.

Here's to staying cool!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Opposition

A continuation of this post.

Opposition against allowing CPMs to practice

This is just a guess, but I'll include my sources. I'm guessing that the AMA's recent statement about homebirth is going to cause some trouble with the midwifery bill in Utah. From what I've heard in the birthing circles, the UMA has been one of the proponents for limiting who can use a midwife in a homebirth. The UMA website causes me to believe that they'll back the AMA's stance on homebirth because they link to the AMA's "Calls to Action." While homebirth isn't on the official AMA "Calls to Action" page, with their recent statement, it probably will be.

I'll recall the AMA's stance on legislation concerning homebirth:

RESOLVED, That our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.” (Directive to Take Action)

So with the AMA's statement, I'm betting the UMA will make this harder.

Not that it wasn't already difficult. The senator pushing the restrictions, Margaret Dayton was an RN who married an OB. I'm sure she's got plenty of birth-going-wrong stories which is why she'd be for restricting midwives. I wonder, though, how many interference-free births she's witnessed.

Opposition from within the birthing community?

But when we turn to the midwives, are they truly helping their cause? I know a lot of doulas and people who are very pro-homebirth in Utah Valley, but even some of them are hesitant to go up to the capitol next week. Some feel that the midwives are using the pro-homebirth women for their own agendas and don't feel like they are really listening to the desires of the women of Utah. Their "compromises" in the bill don't feel like compromises to the women it affects. One woman has said that she sort of feels like the midwives are using the mothers as minions for their own purposes.


So...
I guess that's what we women are up against. Honestly, the plight of the midwives isn't something that I care too much about, but I do want to ensure that women can choose where and with whom they want to birth. Agency is vital to the human experience and every mother deserves it.

Celebrate!

According to Hathor, it's National Unassisted Homebirth Week!

I'm not sure what that means, but, hey.

If you feel the need to birth a baby this week, I'd recommend UC.

Happy vibes to all the pregnant women out there!

Although I won't water it down- birth is rough, I'll be honest in saying that it's also great. Go have a party!

Tagged by Monique

Well, I think I was tagged, unless Monique was thinking of a different Heather. Maybe I think too much of myself...

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was 12 and so glad I was out of Primary. For some reason, in my head, age made you better than younger people, and since I was 12, I was better than a Primary kid.

Or course that's ridiculous, but that's what public education did for me. Even when McKay asked me to marry him, I was cautious because I'm 3 years younger than he is and I didn't want him to marry "down".

2. Five Snacks I Enjoy

  1. Cheese and crackers
  2. Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon
  3. Strawberries
  4. Ice cream
  5. Quesadillas

3. Five Things On My To Do List Today
  1. Play with Margaret all day
  2. Put away the baby clothes we received as a gift
  3. Take the other clothes to my brother-and-sister-in-law.
  4. Visit various ward people
  5. Knit Knit Knit

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Oh, the basics: buy a house with like 5 acres (big spender, right?). The house would be self-sufficient and use solar or wind-powered energy. I'd have a spinning wheel and llamas and all types of fancy dyes to make my own yarn. I might even buy a loom and weave my own fabric just for fun. I'd have a huge garden and grow my own produce. I'd give lots to great charities and help out my friends with whatever they needed. And I could use some money, play the stock market, double, triple, and quadruple (etc) my money and subsidize oil. Nah, I'd put my money in the hands of people who are trying to create clean transportation and subsidize solar panels so it would be cheaper to buy greener cars. And this morning I was thinking about those gift bags that hospitals give away to new moms- I made up a brilliant idea- I'd make up special cloth bags with the international symbol of breastfeeding printed on them and fill the bags with information on breastfeeding and relaxing and not stressing about being a new mom and having to do things "exactly right." There would be none of the "make sure your baby eats every ___ hours and wake them up for feedings" type of stuff that moms worry about, because all it does is add stress. The bags would, of course, have a card with the local LLL leader's numbers, and a free wrap or sling- because really that's all you need for a baby (minus clothes, but that's what baby showers are for).

5. Five jobs that I have had.
  1. Nursery attendant at a gym
  2. Hostess at a Mexican restaurant
  3. Michael's arts and crafts- basic retail
  4. worked at a screen printing company
  5. taught computers at an elementary school

6. Five of my bad habits.
  1. Nail biting
  2. procrastinating the cleaning of the house
  3. Letting my mind wander during our couple prayers in the morning and night- I tend to think about my plans for the day and whatnot
  4. Being too hard on myself
  5. not drinking enough water.

7. Four places I have lived
  1. Dallas/Fort Worth area, Texas
  2. Rural Indiana
  3. Chicago suburbs
  4. Provo, UT

8. Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: A nice way of saying “Tag. You’re it!”
  1. If you want to be tagged, then you're tagged.

9. 6 Random Things:
  1. McKay and I give each other points for being awesome (such as when you drop something and then catch it before it hits the ground- that's considered point-worthy). I'm winning by 20, but that's because I got a ton for birthing a baby. Birth gets you lots of awesome points.
  2. Last week at Le Leche League, I learned that the milk of a mother with a 1 year old is more antibody dense than a new mother's milk because by the time your baby is 1 year old, they are usually getting some nutrition via solid foods- so to get the same disease protection- your milk is more dense in disease preventing agents. Also, when you sweat your body realizes that you baby also might need to be more hydrated, so your body creates a more watery milk. I think it's cool that you can make custom milk for your baby.
  3. McKay gets a paid holiday this Friday!
  4. It seems like everyone in the ward is moving this summer (I think the total is around 35 families), but we're not! We've extended our contract until April! I really don't like moving.
  5. I'm going to help out a friend this weekend by manning a booth with her at the Freedom Festival. She works for HugAMonkey and we'll be selling slings (and if any of you Provo ladies need some extra cash, we could use a few more hands. It helps if you have a baby/toddler who can model the sling- up to 30 pounds.)
  6. Last night I dreamt that I was at a pool party. McKay and I were trying to see who could go the deepest from a cannonball jump. I'm pretty sure I was winning. I love swimming- why did I have to wake up? Seriously- it's 9 and Margaret's still sleeping. Why am I not sleeping?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pushing and Pulling

The Big Push is a campaign to create legislation allowing Certified Profession Midwives (CPMs) to practice in states where they are currently not allowed. If you go to the website, you'll see that Utah is nice and purple and there is currently legislation allowing CPMs to practice. Done and done.

Except...

Earlier this year, a bill went through the Utah Senate that was going to amend the current midwifery legislation and limit who can go to a CPM for prenatal and laboring care. These limits included not allowing women with 3 successive miscarriages, a miscarriage after 14 weeks, and even if you had a previous baby more than 9lbs. 15 ounces to use a midwife. It also called for mandatory transfer for multiples, if your fundus measures more than 3 cms greater than your gestation, breech position in labor, and more. What would have happened? Well, a great number of women wouldn't have the option of choosing a midwife.

Luckily, the bill did not go through in that form. There was some "compromise." This amended bill was enacted in March.

Why am I mentioning this now, almost 4 months later?

Next week, on the 9th, there will be a Rules Committee meeting on this bill, so I'll be headed up to the capitol to see how this plays out, and support a woman's ability to choose where and how she births.

I'll be blogging about this the next few days.

And my friends in Salt Lake: since I'll be up there on the 9th for this, maybe we could meet up?