Labor Day Weekend 2015

Labor Day Weekend 2015

Friday, March 26, 2010

Myths about labor & delivery

So these are taken from a book I'm reading "Gentle Birth Choices". It's a great book but this chapter in particular has my attention at the moment. I've picked the 9 that seem most important to me and probably most important to those that I believe usually read my blog. These are some topics that I think, regardless if you agree or not that they are in fact myths, all women who are either pregnant or planning on being pregnant need to think about...keep in mind these myths are in regards to healthy, low-risk pregnancies in women who have had prenatal care. High-risk pregnancies are a different story.

#1: The hospital is the safest place to have a baby -- study after study has shown that births planned to occur either at home or in a birth-center have the same, if not better, statistics in terms of cesarean rates, medications, interventions and the big one, infant mortality.

#2: Maternity care should be managed only by a physician -- once again, studies never show that outcomes are better when a birth is attended by a physician as opposed to a midwife. Women are more likely to experience unnecessary interventions when the birth is being overseen by a physician including vacuum assisted deliveries, delivery using forceps

#3: The electronic fetal monitoring will save babies -- Outcomes are the same with or without this device. It is basically pointless in low-risk deliveries. What would happen if it isn't used is a nurse would come and intermittently check the baby's heart-tones with her Doppler or stethoscope. When reviewing the statistics in regards to the introduction and use of EFM, all that happens is physicians get anxious and perform unnecessary cesareans. Also, when hooked up to an EFM, a woman is restricted in her movement, slowing labor (sometimes stalling it). Being able to move freely is key in being able to birth normally and naturally.

#4: All babies should be born on or before their due date -- Common sense should rule on this one. Babies do not develop at the same rate and due dates are just estimates as to when a baby might be coming. Babies are full term at 37 weeks and post-term at 42. Expect your baby to come sometime between then. In all reality, due dates are pointless because all they do is create anxiety around the mom if the baby isn't here BY THE DUE DATE. The baby will come when it's good and ready and to electively get induced is only getting the ball rolling for more interventions and stressing a baby by forcing it to be delivered before its ready.

#5: Drugs for pain relief won't hurt the baby -- take a moment and consider this: we spend 9 months (sometimes 10) not even taking a tylenol because we're worried about how it will effect our babies, yet during labor, we somehow believe getting an epidural (which is usually a mix of an anesthetic agent and a narcotic) will not have an effect? rrrrriiight...Here is a little food for thought on this one. Side effects to the baby due to an epidural may include profound disturbances of fetal heart rates (heart rates drop drastically, sometimes not rebounding leading to an emergency cesarean); the baby could become "frozen" into a position where the baby's head gets stuck into an extended position, creating a situation where the baby is unable to descend or drop leading to a prolonged labor and increased risk of a cesarean; babies have been either jittery and nervous or drowsy after birth (as opposed to alert and aware, which is NORMAL) . Effects of an epidural on a baby can last up to six weeks postpartum and can include the baby being less alert, crying more and having poorer visual skills.


If this stuff scares you, and your worried about needing an epidural, good, it should worry you and create a HUGE pause when you're debating this point.

#6: Once a cesarean, always a cesarean -- Vaginal births after a cesarean (VBAC) have time after time been shown to be safer for mother and baby than a repeat cesarean. A lot of women are nervous of rupturing their suture/scar from the previous cesarean, however, in over 75% of the VBAC, this does NOT happen. Also, there are many warning signs that a rupture is likely in which case, of course a repeat cesarean would be safer and therefore, that is what would happen. Vaginal births are easier on both the mother and baby and therefore should be attempted and preferred whenever possible.

#7: An episiotomy heals better than a tear -- just the idea of an episiotomy makes me queasy, ugh, sorry to any woman who has ever experienced this, but it is the most common obstetrical procedure preformed! They do not heal better than a tear, it just doesn't happen. They also are usually unnecessary since if a woman is give TIME and physicians could just be PATIENT the baby would naturally stretch a woman gently enough that she wouldn't tear in the first place.

#8: It's better not to eat or drink during labor -- are we expecting surgery? Because that is the only reason these two things are limited in a hospital...where are our physicians minds at? In a long labor, a woman needs something to help keep her energies up. From personal experience, during Keller's birth (25+ hours) I didn't even desire food and all I wanted was water, but at least give a woman an option!

#9: Baby boys need to be circumcised -- I get that this one is a very personal decision and that's fine. We personally, did not circumcise. I did a lot of reading and research on the subject and learned for myself that there are seriously no medical indication that circumcision is best or even better than not. In all reality, it is excruciatingly painful for the baby boy; the level of pain can become so overwhelming that the baby goes into a state of shock, stops crying, and becomes almost comatose. Could you imagine having the most highly innervated part of your body sliced off without any sort of anesthetic? yikes..

Monday, March 22, 2010

My kid is going to be the weird one with the brown bag lunch..

I really think this is going to be Keller's future. I remember it being kind of dorky to have the weird "healthy" lunch in the brown bag at school but I watched the new ABC show "Food Revolution" and practically got sick to my stomach watching what our schools' feed students. I realize its not really the school itself but more the district and the USDA which is setting those "standards" but it is what it is and I don't think I want Keller eating that stuff.

We try not to bring processed stuff into our house and yes I realize that most people will say that with a kid, that's practically impossible...but we're going to give it a shot. We know he'll be exposed to it all practically everywhere he goes in life, so we're hoping to make our home kind of like the place he won't. We live by the motto- if it isn't here, we can't eat it...therefore, we just don't buy stuff we would rather not be eating. Pretty simple, but also kind of hard when you're trying to go for convenience too..

Anyways, I see Keller's future being one of picking out a really sweet solid lunch container...probably with the latest action hero or cartoon fad on it and dragging it behind him to school....or I was actually picturing me, visiting him each day, and eating lunch AT school with him. I know I know...super embarrassing, I guess my imagination hadn't gotten past elementary school where that might actually be kind of cool.

Hopefully by the time Keller gets to school this whole lunch situation will be a moot point anywhere and the schools around here will be serving healthy non-processed foods that we were all meant to be eating.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hanging out outside

Here are just some pictures of the boys hanging out around the house...Mom, do you recognize the lawn furniture!?! It's awesome! and Keller apparently likes it! :)

Broghan's brother Cullan came to visit us this weekend! He got to accompany me to the 3-on-3 tournament I helped coach at today and watched Keller during the games for me which was super nice! He also got put to work helping Broghan cleaning out the garage. And yes, I realize his hand looks a little weird in this picture! haha

Here are the Brother's...strangely enough, their wearing each other's winter hat...

Gustavus hosts FROZEN FOUR!

So sadly, the Gusties didn't get the crown this year, but they were fortunate enough to get to host the Frozen Four. Something a lot of us alumni would have loved to do. I just read the final score of today's third place game and Gustavus lost to Elmira, taking fourth. Obviously it's a bummer for all those involved in the program, but hopefully they can take some pride in knowing that they were one of only four teams left standing this weekend and that in and of itself is quite the accomplishment.

It as also wonderful that Gustavus got to host because it created a great reason for many of us alumni to get together and catch up with one another. Here is a shot of all (except one, Sarah Moe who conveniently missed this photo op..hmm) the ladies who were there cheering.

Top Row (L to R): Sarah Windhorst, Jenny Pusch, Marge Dorer, Kiersten Supina, Keller Crandall, Ellen 'Doyle' Van Patten, Nicole 'Guimond' Van Patten
Botton Row (L to R): Abby 'Randall' Reilly (me!), Christine Wicker, Laura Vannelli, Laura Hillman, Molly Doyle, Katie 'Deschneau' Melde

This also gave me an opportunity to visit Mankato State University with my younger sister Ashley. She is going to go there next fall and we got to do the tour together which was a lot of fun. Not to confuse people, but here we are in front of the Gustavus sign. Originally the plan was to take a picture of Keller in front of this sign, however, as we pulled up, he decided to nap and I felt bad waking him up..

Spring = YARD WORK!

So since spring is officially upon us, Broghan and I have been out in the yard trying to make things look a little more appealing. Also, this is our first Spring in our new home, so we really have no idea what we're getting ourselves into in regards to our yard!!

As a note: the pictures got uploaded backwards so they are technically out of order, but I think you'll get the general point.

Here is Broghan helping the little tree near our steps to grow straighter. You can also see how much cleaner this little space looks as compared to the last picture on the blog (which is our before photo)

Underneath all of our brush we discovered where the previous owners had planted their perennials. Here we believe we've discovered some hostas, although we won't really know what these are until the bloom a little later in the season.

This is the after photo for one side of the steps.

This is the before. Hopefully you get the idea of how bad it looked before! haha.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life Update

Hey everyone! So here is as quick as can be life update.

Recently Broghan and I had been coaching a Squirt B Travel hockey team. That means 8, 9, and 10 year olds. Our season ended a week ago with a very intense weekend of hockey at the Squirt B State Tournament in Beloit, WI. We took 3rd!

This upcoming weekend I'll be seeing four of our little players again because I'm helping them out and coaching a 3-on-3 tournament just north of us in Chippewa Falls. It's a fun twist to regular hockey...kind of like playing half-court basketball when you don't have enough players and/or space.

Without hockey taking up practically every evening, the awesome weather, and that lovely time change we've been able to get outside once again and go for afternoon walks with Marvin. I think Marvin and his thick layer of winter fat will be glad to be doing this. It's been great getting out and see how many other mom's are out with their kids around here. It makes me really excited for once Keller is school aged too! But lets not get ahead of ourselves!

Broghan is super duper busy lately. I've been so proud of him since his office has just been getting busier and busier. He's been seeing more patients these past two weeks than he has since he started at this office last June. He has also began (and is in his last week of four) training for a position as an online facilitator for University of Phoenix. It's been a lot of late nights on the computer (which is never really any fun) but hopefully it pays off. He'll be great since the course is an Introduction to Wellness class! I'm sure he'll enjoy reading their papers especially!

I am still picking up the boys I nanny'd all summer after school each day and driving them around as needed. I love having this job because it's allowed us to get close to this family and create an extended family here in Eau Claire. Sometimes it can feel like we don't have any kind of support network here since both of our parents and siblings all live at least 2 hours or more away, but having this "adoptive" family helps a lot! It's also fun because in the summers it gives me a great excuse to hang out at the Fairfax pool everyday!! Can't wait for that to get here :)

Otherwise mostly I've been really busy with Keller. We survived our first run-in with a virus and doing much better after about a week and a half of battling it. I'm glad to report that Keller handled it like a champ and so did his body! He only had about 12 hours worth of having a temperature...whereas for took over 3 days! Ugh, I was super tired and I think I'm still kind of catching up on sleep...

Speaking of sleep, last night Keller made it a record SEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT! OMG I was so surprised...we'll see if he does it again tonight (I'm highly doubting it). However, I am really hope this can become a to bed for me! G'night!

Doula Update

Hello! So I figured I'd do some updating on the Doula adventure. I've continued with the readings, now onto the Nursing book which is actually very helpful since I'm currently nursing Keller. I've also registered as a member of the DONA International website so I've gotten a few newsletters and emails. This is part of becoming certified through them. I've also been working hard on a website. I did it through the free website creator place It's not 100% done and there are some grammar mistakes but if you're curious you can take a look.

Next on the agenda is to make contacts! I'm struggling with getting the ball rolling on this one and I'm not sure exactly why. I'm kind of feeling it has to do with me feeling unprepared, but I've just got to keep reminding myself that a "certification" isn't going to make me a Doula. I am a Doula. My personality and knowledge thus far makes me one and my drive to want to help educate women and advocate for them and their choices makes me a Doula...

Also on the agenda is to get some business cards made up, order the certification packet, maybe meet with a potential "client", finish reading these books and finally return them to the library...and...well I think that's enough to focus on right now. Life is so busy! See the next blog post for life updates :)

Keller and his lion

Already picking up on his "Gustie-ness" Keller has taken to loving this little stuffed lion. Sadly, he usually has to fight Marvin for it since the hair on this little thing is apparently very appealing to Marv. This is a cute shot of him in the car seat after he's dozed off on a car ride, lion still in hand...

Bathroom remodel

We've been putting a lot time into remodeling our downstairs bathroom. Originally it had some pretty nasty linoleum floors and some gross walls. We (and by we I mean Broghan did this part) tore up the floor and down most of the walls, replacing it all. Laid new tiling (with in floor heat!) and put up new blue-board or whatever it's called. Now this is where I helped! The walls got sealed with tape and plaster, then got a decorative finish with the plaster. Very similar to our upstairs if anyone reading this has seen that one. Then it was grouting and painting!

Here are some pictures of it after this all had been completed. Since then, Broghan has put the toilet back in place and we've moved the new vanity in with the new counter-top/sink and got the plumbing working. Now Nate (our friend living in our basement) won't have to sneak upstairs at 6 in the morning to get ready for work anymore!! yea!!

This is what it looks like when you are walking into the bathroom, the part on the wall with the stuff coming out of it is where the toilet goes.

A closer look at the floor and tiling...I think we did a pretty good job!! This is also the rug I picked out..we'll be using the lighter cream and darker brown and accents. Which means I've got to start hitting up the bargain places looking for stuff in those colors...such hard work ;)

The corner by where the new vanity goes. Technically you still wouldn't be able to see the vanity with this shot since it'd be off to your right, but this corner was a bit tricky with the way the ceiling is. I know my mom and Janet (Broghan's mom) were curious about what I was going to do with the paint, so here it is!

Happy GREEN Day!

Hey! Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! and Happy Wedding Anniversary to my cousin Katie! I know it's either today or tomorrow...hrm...

Anyways, here are some cute pics of the little Kel-man on his first St. Patrick's day! We got very lucky with some amazing weather and we got to spend a lot of time today outside.

This one is my favorite!

Up close and smiley!

Fingers and toes in the grass! Pretty much he is grabbing onto anything he can reach! Especially his toes.

From an ants perspective...he is HUGE!

Friday, March 5, 2010

An interesting perspective on when to introduce solids

So Broghan and I have been having conversations lately about when and how to introduce solids into Keller's diet. A few things we didn't have really any problems agreeing on:

He will never have formula. Whether its from a bottle, me, or in whatever mush we make him, it will be breastmilk.

His introduction will definitely be delayed, but how far delayed? Hrmm...

That was pretty much the only two to start, but after Broghan did some research and a little convincing, we now agree on this next point:

No cereals or grains. I know this sounds weird to most everyone since its what we American's have been told to do and have simply done for the past century, but really when you look at it from every vantage point, there really is no good argument for doing this.

That means, Keller's first solids will be within the genre of vegetables, meats, and fruits.

Since we are now both clear and in total agreement on the "what" category, the "when" is really the only factor left.

The whole point of this blog post is to give an interesting perspective; so here it is. While I was at the doctor's today (Keller has RSV and was getting checked out) she mentioned that she did not feed her children a solid food until they were old enough to 1) sit up on their own 2) reach out and grab the food and bring it to their mouth and 3) eat it on their own. She never once spoon fed her children.

This was interesting and so I asked "why?"

Her vantage point was that thinking evolutionarily, children were not designed to be spoon fed. The way things were designed were as follows: babies got breastfed until they were old enough to 1) sit up on their own 2) reach out and grab the food and bring it to their mouth and 3) eat it on their own. It makes sense! Plus research shows and supports the method of solely breastfeeding until at least 1 year of age.

Anyways, just thought this was an interesting viewpoint...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Family walk

Well March is definitely here, and its been four straight days of sunny, beautiful weather! Since it's been so nice, we decided to take a morning stroll and Keller finally got to wear his snow suit out, since he just now is starting to fit into it! Better late than never I suppose!

Here he is once we got him all zipped and velcro'd in.

Sadly, once we got him strapped into the stroller, he wasn't as enthusiastic anymore...he kind of cried, then just gave in and fell asleep.

Here I am with him, looking oh so beautiful in the morning hours! HA! You can see how much the snow has melted already though by looking at one side of the sidewalk and then seeing the other side!