Last post

You probably have noticed I haven’t been posting much in the last few months.  I’ve decided to go ahead and retire this blog.  After over two years of blogging on and off, I’ve loved making connections with so many great people.  However, keeping up with all of you and writing about my own life has cut into too much time away from my family, and with a blossoming doula/childbirth ed career it isn’t getting any easier.  Nothing personal - it’s just what I’ve got to do.

But never fear!  You can still find me on the internets.  I keep a blog on my doula/childbirth education business website at www.threeriversbirth.com.  Although I keep the content professional rather than personal, you’ll still be able to pop in and say “hi” and see that I’m still out there, massaging the sore backs and squeezing the flexible hips of mamas in labor.

Blogging has helped me discover a passion, given me the courage to follow a dream, educated me while pursuing it, let me show a side of me that I don’t normally show, comforted me during rough moments, helped me celebrate happy ones and let me be a part of so many lives of people I’ve never met but come to truly love.  Yes, I’m talking about you.  Each and every one of you.

While I write this, so many of your faces (or at least your internet personas) spring to mind and I will each of you so many of you very, very much.

Peace.

Update on Baby Phoebe

Baby Phoebe with Mary and Josh a couple of days before the hospital tripAfter over a week of absolute familial anguish, some good days and some not-so-good days, it looks like my neice, baby Phoebe, may be coming home in a few days. Pictured right is the new family just a few days before the trip to Children’s, blissfully unaware of the trip they’d be taking. It is hard to tell from this picture of her, but when we were there taking this photo it was apparent that her jaundice needed to be looked into - her eyes and skin were very yellow.

The doctors at Children’s Hospital determined a few days ago that her liver bile ducts were blocked. Biliary Atresia was suspected which would have meant major surgery on her one month old liver to construct new bile ducts out of her intestinal material. 70% of kids with this disease will need a liver transplant eventually.

Yesterday a liver biopsy was performed, and it was determined that they are 95% sure that Phoebe’s liver has miraculously started working on its own. They’ll need another day’s round of testing to confirm, then they will be staying in Seattle a few more days, still as patients but as an outpatient basis.

Another update: Phoebe’s been diagnosed with neonatal hepatitis, a “fuzzier” diagnosis, but from the pieces of information I’m hearing, in Phoebe’s case it’s a much more manageable disease with better outcomes than the Biliary Atresia recently suspected.  I haven’t got all the details, but I know they’ll be in Seattle for another week just to monitor things and to make sure of the diagnosis, but they should be back home in a week or so, with regular trips over the mountains to check on things.

It looks like our positive energy/prayers have worked! Thanks all who helped. I am eternally grateful. Seriously.

Positive thoughts/prayer request

Both my sister-in-laws on my husband’s side just had babies within 3 weeks of each other. One of them, the baby just now a month old, had obvious jaundice that the pediatrician wasn’t concerned about and wouldn’t test. When my SIL got frustrated enough to find another pediatrician, it was found that the baby’s bilirubin numbers were high enough that she needed to take her directly to the emergency room. There it was determined that the baby was not responding to photo therapy after an overnight visit. She has now been sent to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital where she has been for a couple of days and her symptoms are now being able to be treated with medication, however they have not yet found the root cause of the jaundice. Luckily they have tested for some of the scarier causes and they have come back negative. The family will be at Children’s for at least a week. I’m asking for prayer/meditation/positive thought requests for baby Phoebe and her parents and two sisters…thanks.

Caught on camera: egg emerging from ovary

This story comes from RedSpiral (not from her blog but from a doula listserv we are both members of).

During the hysterectomy of a 45 year old woman, gynecologists in Belgium happened to catch the beauty of her egg emerging from a ripe follicle on her ovary. This is something that has never been captured on camera before. Most theories on how an egg is released suggested something akin to an explosion, but this egg took 15 minutes to slowly, naturally make its way into the world. Kind of like a birth, wouldn’t you say? The egg’s “birth” is slow and gentle, needing no intervention for a safe journey.

What would have happened if we would have had the ability to see this process long ago?  Would we have set parameters on what the normal length of egg release is?  Would we have augmented it, even if when it was working well?  And I wonder  (warning: fairly hippy-dippy comment) - does the egg keep this “memory” and use it during birth once it has become an infant, emerging from the womb?

Enjoy the pictures - I think they are gorgeous. And here’s the complete story from BBC News.


Playing hookie

It must have been because I’ve been looking like a huge ball of stress for the past few days (weeks?), but I got a free pass from Rich this weekend to hide away from the family and do whatever I wanted/needed to do.  I was instructed not to come home.  Which was awesome, because I probably would have at some point if he hadn’t made that point clear.  And Siena got sick at breakfast the day I was gone (my man took care of it all himself - gotta love him) and Connor is throwing up today.  Not sure what I am going to do about that recycling meeting tonight - the first one.  Rich can’t go either - he’s got a late meeting at work he absolutely can’t miss.

So I spent my day starting organization of my childbirth education curriculum (with an hour break for yoga).  I hid out in various resturaunts and at the Library (it’s only open for 4 hours on Sunday). There are probably 100 or so required topics to cover (yes, they can be combined) and it’s best if you can teach the really important ones more than once in various ways.  I absolutely LOVE that I have the freedom to teach them in any way I see fit, and am taking the job of creating my course design very seriously.  It would be easy if I were the type who would just like to stand and lecture, but two things prevent me from doing that: 1) I don’t think it’s the best way people learn; and 2) I hate public speaking.  So I’ve found that instead of teaching, I’ll be facilitating.  And leading fun, interactive lessons that hopefully will not just hand information over to my class, but let them uncover deeper truths for themselves.  I don’t know how long it will take me, and I have some pregnant people willing to take my classes to be my guinea pigs for free - but they probably will pop before I’m ready for them.  Nevertheless I’m trying.

Most of the activities for my lesson plan are coming from my Passion For Birth class - which actually covered much more of the required topics that I could have thought possible.  But some of them are actually coming up from my own brain.  I’m quite impressed with myself.

There are a few topics that are more difficult.  How do you teach The Lamaze Philosophy of Parenting without just listing them out?  (I’m thinking a poster will suffice as we actively engage in baby care, breastfeeding etc. that day).  And how do you teach harmful substances while pregnant without being a scare monger?  (It’s an optional topic, and I think I’ve decided to skip it because a) it’s fear-based; and b) at the point people will be taking my class they’ll already have heard the lectures, and c) most of it is common sense - i.e. - don’t smoke and drink while pregnant.  I’ll stick with positive nutrition instead and the rest is implied.)

I’m really, really excited to teach my first class.  Worrying about that exam? I’ll save that for another day…

Obama on Hanford

Someone asked Obama about his stance on the Hanford cleanup project, which is where my husband’s company does the majority of its work and where most of my town’s economy comes from. Here was his response:

You’ve gotta love that he’ll admit when he doesn’t know something. I wonder what his debriefing told him? And someday, when he’s president, what will his legacy on the Hanford site be?

For those of you that don’t know, Hanford is one of the three sites where the Manhattan Project took place during World War II. Hanford was where the plutonium was created for the atomic bombs that was eventually dropped on Nagasaki. Today, there are millions of gallons of nuclear waste buried under the ground, much of which is very close to the Columbia River, and the project is primarily involved with how to move this waste to somewhere safer and store it in a safe way (turning the waste into glass, for example).

Note that today we know much more about nuclear power and the waste created is much safer and more manageable.

Watching my Garden Grow

New pics on my Flickr page of my garden so far…enjoy!

busy busy busy

WARNING: this is one of those horrible “i’m-so-sorry-i-haven’t-posted-this-is-why” posts.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had meetings every night for the last three months, not to mention having full days every day:

  • Doula clients abound.  I’m turning people away - which absolutely breaks my heart.  I’ve met some absolutely WONDERFUL people I’ve had to turn elsewhere.  It’s hard to say “no” to being invited into a birth you know will be incredible.
  • Because I’ve been a pain in the ass environmental activist, I’ve been asked to be on the city’s waste management citizen team who is going to help get curbside recycling to my town for the first time.  Woot!  Of course, this will mean more evening meetings…
  • I also do this little side job where I put braces on people’s legs and stuff before surgery - long story.  It’s been an incredibly busy last couple of months.  What is going on this Spring that is tearing up everyone’s ACL tendons?  However that business is infinitely more profitable than my doula business, because I tend to throw too much money into my passion (birth).
  • I went to childbirth ed training recently - which was AMAZING.  If any of you are thinking of certifying as a childbirth educator, go learn from Teri at Passion for Birth.  Seriously.  Lots of inventive, fun ways to teach birth topics I can’t wait to try out.  Now, though, I need to: a) observe an childbirth education series; b) read a bunch of books; c) create a curriculum (no easy task - it will be over 100 pages long); d) teach a class observed by an experienced educator; e) study study study; and f) sit for the Lamaze certifying exam only given twice a year - I’m shooting for October, which would be hard even if that is all I was doing.  AND I’m going to Birthing From Within training in August.  (I couldn’t decide.)  Hoping to write about the experience soon.
  • While I was at childbirth ed training, I got to meet a long-time blog-buddy of mine.  Her name is Kristina and she’s a blogging doula from Washington State.  Seriously - I don’t have Multiple Personality Disorder or anything - there is another one!  Hers is one of the first blogs I ever started reading, probably a little over 2 years ago.  Her blog is really raw and honest and she’s someone who has quite a firm head on her shoulders and I value (and at times envy!) her awareness.  I wish I had time to write about the meeting - it was so much fun seeing someone you know quite intimately for the first time.  Luckily she wrote about our meeting here.  Maybe I can get around to writing it up and doing her justice soon.
  • Had a couple of days of fever, tossing about on the couch through hot and cold sweats.  Fun fun.  Now, thankfully, I’m left with just a run-of-the-mill cold.
  • Somehow with all this on, I managed to get through Mansfield Park right before we have our book club meeting this weekend.
  • And just because I have nothing better to do with my time (ha!) I just signed up for a gym membership where I’m participating in an 8-week study.  I get a deeply discounted price on my gym membership and they get to weigh me and measure my body fat (ick).  Which they tell me is “higher than the average person”.  First of all I doubt it - I’m fairly thin…second of all they didn’t take my height into consideration (I’m 5′9″).  However I’m happy with the discount and I really needed the motivation of going with a friend who joined with me so I’ll keep it up.  All I have to do is go to three one-hour classes a week - yoga (fun!), strength training (hmmm…), and cardio (ick).  If I don’t show up for class (they have many scheduled so even if I’m at a birth I should be safe) I have to pay them my full membership fee.  Talk about motivation.
  • Oh yeah, I’m a full-time-mom!  Playgroups/playdates abound and stuff at school is happening, as it seems they like to cram a lot of stuff in at the end.  Preschool ends in 2 weeks and I seriously need to figure out swimming lessons, etc. for the summer.

With all this spilling off my plate, blogging and reading blogs is suffering.  And I have to admit I’m seriously thinking about taking a hiatus so I can get some stuff done.  Quitting altogether has even crossed my mind.  However I really stay on top of birth stuff through the internet.  And I’ve made some really great “friends” (most of which I’ve never met and most likely never will) which I can’t imagine not keeping up with.  What am I to do?

Crab cakes with Tangerine-Pecan salad

Since I like to cook, it surprises some that I don’t blog about food.

I made these crab cakes recently, and the presentation was pretty enough to take a picture of.  The recipe I used wasn’t my usual one - which I prefer but is seriously high in calories.  This one had some spices in it (Chesapeake Bay seasoning) that tasted a little off to me, but the recipe itself was lower-calorie.  I’m thinking of combining the best parts from both recipes to see if I can come up with a low-cal, good tasting version of crab cakes.

Salads are pretty easy to make interesting - I add:

- Some sort of green. Buy “real” lettuce instead of lettuce in the bag - it’s crisper and it lasts longer. Green-leaf, red-leaf, butter lettuce as well as mesclun and spinach greens are some of my favorites.

- Some sort of fruit. Oranges, apples, strawberries or raspberries are my standbys.

- Some sort of nut. A small bit of walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds gives a salad a satisfying crunch.

- Some sort of cheese. There is a low-cal or fat-free feta that is really tasty, or try goat cheese (yum).  Too much and your salad gets really high-cal (and expensive) - luckily a little adds a lot of flavor.  If you prefer more traditional cheeses, blue cheese gives the same sort of effect.

- Some sort of meat (optional, if you are making your salad into a meal). A little chicken, pork or turkey on top or maybe a slice of crumbled turkey bacon (or real bacon) can make your side salad into a meal.  Use just a bit or else you are just using your lettuce as an excuse to pile on as many calories as you can, which sort of defeats the purpose.  Don’t use lunchmeat - meat leftovers will greatly improve the flavor.

- A tablespoon or so of quick homemade dressing. A little balsamic and olive oil mixed with dried herbs (try oregano or thyme) and salt and pepper is my standby, but there are many possibilities.  Personally I prefer the taste of homemade dressing greatly over the globby, paste-like grocer varieties.  Also I can control the amount of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup that goes into them.

Proof that I really am the OCD gardener

This excel spreadsheet has 106 rows. And I actually use it every week.

Next Page »


Hello, you!

Flickr Photos

More Photos

a

What People are Saying on American Mum

Papaya Mom on Last post

Blog Stats

  • 21,074 hits since November 21, 2006

Junk

blog stats