Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 3: Birth

Today is Day 3 of my "5 Days of Birth and Babies" as part of the Review Crew's "5 Days Of..." Blog Hop. My topic today is....birth! And more specifically, tips and tricks to help your childbirth experience go smoothly.

Tips & Tricks for a Happy, Healthy Childbirth

- Hire a doula! I may be a little biased...but the more I learn about doulas, the more I see how useful they are. Nurses may have to come and go, doctors have other patients...you are the doula's sole priority. She is there to support you and your husband/partner. She can help you to follow your birth plan (that I mentioned yesterday) and advocate for you.
- Don't leave for the hospital too early. Obviously, this won't apply if you're having a homebirth but I've seen many people make the mistake of heading off to the hospital early and then having labor stall or slow down after they already get checked in. Make sure you know what your doctor/midwife expects/would like for you to do in regards of keeping them informed.
- Don't forget your bag of stuff...as long as it's the right stuff! ;) When I had my first baby, I packed a giant bag of "stuff" for the hospital - most of which I didn't even use at all. This list from Pregnant Chicken is great! And if you're having a homebirth, you're still going to need a bag/box of stuff but it's going to be slightly different. I got a kit from Cascade Health that my midwife had selected.
- Stay hydrated! Being able to eat may vary according to hospital policy but drinking water is pretty much universally okay. Make sure you keep a glass full and take sips from it as often as you can. Gatorade or homemade "labor-aide" are other good options.
- Know what helps you and ask for it. Does massage or touch help you when you're in pain? Ask your doula or labor partner for it. Chilled or overheated? Ask for blankets or a fan. Want to try the shower for pain management? Ask for it! Don't be afraid, this is your childbirth experience and you need to do what works for you.

Day 1 - A Week of B's!
Day 2 - Bumps
Day 3 - Birth
Day 4 - Babies
Day 5 - Beyond

Also, please check out some of my fellow bloggers & the subjects they're talking about!
 Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized ~ Homekeeping for Girls and Boys
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling

April Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 2: Bumps

Today is Day 2 of my 5 Days of Birth & Babies for the Review Crew's Hop. Our first subject is: bumps, a.k.a. pregnancy. :)


5 Tips for a Healthy, Happy, and Successful Pregnancy

Many people equate a successful pregnancy with the end result of a safely born little babe. However, a healthy babe is not the only important thing! One of my favorite quotes talks about how when a baby is born, a mother is born too - and that the best thing for a newborn is a happy, healthy mothers. Here are some simple ideas to get you started off on the journey of motherhood on the right path!

1. Read! Read as much as you can on pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. When you have a new little baby your reading time may be limited. There are many good resources out there full of information on all the decisions you'll have to make as a new mom. A few I would recommend for starting out would be "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin, "Your Best Birth" by Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein, and "The Year After Childbirth: Enjoying Your Body, Your Relationships, and Yourself in Your Baby's First Year" by Sheila Kitzinger.

2. Keep active and try to eat right. I'm not going to lie - I have definitely had pregnancies where I embraced "eating for two." But unfortunately those pregnancies were also my unhealthiest and caused me to have many issues, excessive weight gain among them. Now the occasional indulgence is not a big deal, don't get me wrong. I still go for my cravings at times...but for my last pregnancy I really tried to keep it healthy with lots of fruits and veggies, good proteins, tons of water, and passing (most of the time) on sweets & junk. It made a BIG difference!

3. Ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask your doctors, nurses, or other caregivers why they are doing something. If they suggest a test that you're unsure of, ask for more information or reasoning behind that. If you don't feel they're a good fit, don't hesitate to find someone you feel more comfortable with. They're not only your doctor, they'll be helping you bring your baby into this world as well and you should feel comfortable with that.

4. Seek support. Especially if you're breastfeeding! But even if you're not breastfeeding, having someone who is in the same boat or who has been through motherhood before can be a great help. Find a group that fits you - breastfeeding moms, new moms, moms of twins, a motherhood support group, a group of women from your church that have children - or if a group is unavailable, maybe consider starting one. Or look online! There are many different forums and websites that have mom support groups.

5. Make a birth plan. Although birth can be chaotic and not go exactly as we planned, if you actually write down your thoughts on birth and what you would like to happen, you'll be more prepared. Enlist a doula, husband, and/or other labor support person to create your birth plan and back you up on it. Talk with your doctor/midwife/practitioner ahead of time about your wishes and make sure you're on the same page.

Good luck! And if you have any questions or thoughts, just leave me a comment. Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment on BIRTH!

Day 1 - A Week of B's!
Day 2 - Bumps
Day 3 - Birth
Day 4 - Babies
Day 5 - Beyond

Also, please check out some of my fellow bloggers & the subjects they're talking about!
 Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized ~ Homekeeping for Girls and Boys
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling

April Blog Hop

Monday, April 7, 2014

5 Days of Birth & Babies - Day 1: A Week of B's!

This week I'm participating in the "5 Days of..." Bloghop with the Schoolhouse Review Crew where I'll be talking about the subject - Birth & Babies! Each day this week I'll be talking about a different birth or baby related subject that starts with a B. :) I am currently in training to become a doula so pretty much everything I've been reading recently is about birth, babies, pregnancy, labor, delivery...you get the picture. As I'm learning, I'm realizing just how much I DIDN'T know the first time around as a new momma, and how much people are still misinformed about some subjects! I'll be sharing lots of facts & figures, plus information that can help you, whether you're a new or "veteran" mom. Stay tuned!

Day 1 - A Week of B's!
Day 2 - Bumps
Day 3 - Birth
Day 4 - Babies
Day 5 - Beyond

Also, please check out some of my fellow bloggers & the subjects they're talking about!
 Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized ~ Homekeeping for Girls and Boys
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling
 
April Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Busy Days

I know I've been slacking in the blog department...and I really don't have any excuses. Life is just busily moving along! Next week I will have a whole WEEK of posts - I'm going to be participating in the "5 Days of..." Blog Hop through the Schoolhouse Review Crew and it's going to be a lot of fun. For now, here's what we've been up to recently:

- Spring has finally arrived, as evidenced by our chickens that are laying literally dozens of eggs a week. We have four - I repeat, FOUR chickens - and there were 14 eggs in the hen house today. Craaaazy!

- The kids have been keeping me hopping, of course. I mentioned on Facebook awhile back that Zac was sleeping through the night so he decided to prove me wrong and wake up a gazillion times a night. He's now back to sleeping through the night (shhhhhh....I don't want to say it too loudly!) or waking up once around 3-4 and then going back to bed. He's also practically running now and I'm probably going to have to break down & get him a haircut. (He's developing the mullet Zeke got when he was little, minus the curls!) Zeke is getting ready to start baseball. We also have our LEGO Club going on right now. We're meeting once every two weeks to have show & tell and play LEGOs with homeschool friends. And speaking of homeschool, it's going well. Trying out some new products for the Crew but also taking time to enjoy the sunshine and nature. :)

- Tomorrow I'm excited about a play date we have with a new friend and her baby - okay, so the play date is more for me than the kids but we're going to park so they'll have fun too. :) I met her through a local breastfeeding support group. She's a new stay at home mom and we have a lot in common. She, her husband, and kids were at a dinner we had with friends this past weekend. Our bigger kids spent the night with Gramma & Papa and we had a pitch-in dinner at one of our friends house. I started feeling kind of ill part of the way through the evening so that wasn't fun...but otherwise, we really enjoyed ourselves.

- I got a new babycarrier - well, new to me - and I love it! It was made by a dear friend of mine and we wore it all over while running errands in town yesterday. I'm hoping to attempt the back carry with it this week! (You can see it a little in the picture at the top of this post!)

- Our house is well...never ending. Dishes, laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, food that needs prepared, clothes that need put away, picking up toys, overflowing laundry hampers, counters that need cleaned, getting rid of clutter that always seems to accumulate...not complaining, just sharing. This is an area I still struggle with sometimes. I'm trying to stay on top of meal planning to keep our grocery bills under control - they've been getting a little out of hand recently. And I've started paying some of the bills. This is an area that my husband was primarily in charge of just because it seemed to work out better that way, but I am trying my hand at it to give him a bit of a break.

- This weekend I'm attending my first "official" event as a doula - well, actually two events. The first event is a planning meeting at our local crisis pregnancy center. They're organizing a Walk for Life and I'm going to see how I can help. I'm also going on a tour of the facility and am going to be volunteering my services as doula to girls/young women in need. The second thing I'm going to is a Community Baby Shower Event put on by some local family resource places. I'm going to have a display set up there and will be talking to people about my doula services. As part of my end of unit project I have to talk to people about being a doula and labor support so I figured this would be an ideal opportunity.

So...how have you been, readers? Sound off in the comments with what's new in your life!