Ramblings of the Girl

My life as a mom, wife, and student…

On a Lighter Note August 17, 2010

Filed under: Birthing,Just Thinking,Ramblings of the Girl — The Girl @ 4:33 am
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Things could be going much better… but I am trying to stay focused on the positive instead of the bad.bad.bad. so that I can keep a smile on my face and possibly trick myself into reducing the otherwise boiling over stress level.

Last night I started a rotation at a different hospital. Where they have a new procedure for labor and delivery. I am still trying to comprehend how they can go from kind of antiquated to WOW without a few pit stops in the middle, but kudos to them!

Before, standard procedure was for laboring mom to leave the labor room and head to the delivery room where she would climb up onto a table, get her feet into the stirrups, experience a traumatic delivery that included a guaranteed episiotomy, a doctor climbing on top of her abdomen and pushing down to force the baby out or use of  forceps, a quick latch from the baby then baby is whisked off to the nursery, stitches, pain reliever/sedation without consent, at least an hour in a recovery room, then off to the OB ward.

Last night, we were enlightened about the way they do it now…

Laboring mom still leaves the labor room and heads to the delivery room where she climbs up on the table and gets her feet into the stirrups, BUT, no more episiotomy, skin to skin immediately after delivery… for at least 60 minutes, no more pain reliever/sedation… while baby is on mom, Vit K and Hep B are administered, and baby is wiped off instead of quickly bathed with soap and water or baby oil.

I know there is still a long way to go here. I haven’t had the opportunity to observe a birth with these new procedures yet, but I was so excited to hear that they are now requiring skin to skin immediately after delivery. This is something that is not even common practice in hospitals in the US yet either you ask for it, or you have an awesome nurse. It just made me happy.

I’m off to get ready for another duty shift now, so I will leave you with this picture snapped by the Manchild…

Double Rainbow From Abroad


Out With The Old January 1, 2010

Filed under: Just Thinking,Ramblings of the Girl — The Girl @ 1:33 pm
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I’m not very different from everyone else.  The last twelve months have been a roller coaster ride for me.  Every time things seemed to settle down, either in a good way or a bad way, all of a sudden that incline came out of nowhere and I then there I was, facing a landslide decline.  The downhill was not always bad, not always scary, sometimes it was just that rush of excitement that I needed.

I have been struggling over the last few days both with some decisions I have to make in everyday life, and with the decision as to whether I should make The List.  You know the one, it has a Part A: all those things from the last twelve months that I deem to be list worthy, and then comes Part B: all those things I resolve to do in the next twelve months.

But why do we make these lists?  Especially the ones we resolve to do in the next twelve months?  How many times over the course of your life have you made those resolutions and then actually followed through with them?  I have decided not to make a list after all; I have decided that instead of making a list of resolutions to try to stick to… I am doing one thing only, I am going to wake up each morning and take a moment or two to meditate on all of the things I have to be thankful for.  I have been thinking that I need a little fine tuning of the attitude, and I think that this one daily exercise will help keep me centered, focused on what is really important.

While most of you are just waking up and starting your new year, I am half a world away.  My first day of the new year is already almost over.  Today was a challenge for me.   I find myself standing at one of those major forks in the road where I am forced to make some very hard decisions.  Today I made a conscious effort to give thanks for all of my blessings, and come back to center before I reacted to anything.  With this effort, I hope that I smiled at least once more than I did yesterday.  If I did, then I was successful.


The Cesarean Complex September 4, 2009

Filed under: Birthing,Goals,Just Thinking,Ramblings of the Girl — The Girl @ 5:59 pm
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There is a lot out here on the interent about birthing; especially natural birth and the birthing experience.   Having wanted a natural birth experience for all three of my littles, I was quite disappointed to have each of them end in cesarean sections.  For a long time I felt that I was missing the experience of natural birth, that I had been robbed.  Over the last year or so, I have come to a peaceful place with the experience that I did have, the experience is mine.  A lot of that is from being able to read the experiences of others and how they got through them.  Some insight that helped me greatly was from Morgan over at Adventures in Diapering.  I have come to realize that it is OK for me to miss that experience, as long as I can still look at the big picture and remember that the pregnancy and birth are probably about 1% of the entire parenting experience, and the parenting experience is what really matters. 


Another thing that I have come to realize is that there are some women (men too…) who really put a value on the natural birth experience, and in talking about that value as a whole (medically and emotionally speaking), focus on the areas in which our current maternal care system is lacking.  There is not a lot of discussion of situations where cesarean sections were a legitimate medical necessity.   I believe that for most women who have experienced something different than they were hoping for, this does nothing but perpetuate feelings of loss, sadness, and possibly inadequacy.


While this is something that has been of interest to me for over a decade, it has been more of recent that I have been doing more reading and research on the issue.  I am fully aware of the sad state of our maternal care in the U.S., both from my readings, and from personal experience.  I know that there are many (too many)  situations where a  woman who intends on having a natural birth experience ends up with an epidural, and eventually lands on the OR table while her child is born through a surgical incision for reasons that could have been avoided.  I know that there are OBs who want to practice 9-5 medicine and will induce labor or schedule ‘elective’ cesareans so they can be home in time for dinner.  I also know that many women head into the hospital thinking that they are going to have the birth experience that they dreamed of, not ever having had a direct conversation with their doctor about his or her practices, or doing any of their own research outside of taking the child birth classes taught at the hospital.  The problem is not only the fault and/or the responsibility of medical providers, but also that of women.


I believe that there is more than one issue at hand here.  The fist is making a change in the system so that pregnancy and birth are treated as a natural process and not a disease that needs to be cured.  The second is that we need to develop a true understanding of what (some) women who have had cesarean sections go through in the recovery process emotionally, and provide better support for them.


There are amazing nurses, midwives, and doctors out there that realize we have come to a place where change needs to happen.  Many are trying to make that change even if it is only in the smallest things that they can do as individuals (maybe a nurse standing strong in supporting a women’s wishes when she is being bullied by a doctor).  Some know we need a change but have no idea where to start, and there are others, unfortunately, that don’t realize anything is wrong.


I believe that as a woman, I have a responsibility to myself and other women, to be an educated consumer’ of all things.  Number one on the list of all things is health care.  Change doesn’t come easily or quickly, but with time, persistance, and hard work, we can make it happen.  It is my responsibility to be open and upfront with my doctor regarding my expectations.  It is also my responsibility stand up for myself if I believe that I am not getting what I deserve.  Remember that even in the doctor’s office, you are paying for a service, and you deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.  You can question things without being rude or pushy, and it is OK to say no, or I want a second opinion.  It is your body, and what happens to it is your choice.  Don’t let that choice be taken away from you.




Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da July 22, 2009

Filed under: Ramblings of the Girl,Uncategorized,Weekly report — The Girl @ 4:48 pm
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And so life goes on…


I know you must have been waiting with bated breath for my return.  Where exactly is it that I have been you ask?  All over and back more than a few times.  Things have been pretty crazy for the last, let’s say, three weeks, and just as I am starting to recover, I am about to begin yet another journey into the unknown.


Going back to the end of June, just after my last post, I headed up north for a week of relaxation with some family friends.  We planted ourselves in a cabin on a lake and lived happily without the every day luxuries most of us consider to be necessities (no running water:translates into showering out of a 5 gallon bucket and washing dishes with boiled lake water; no electricity: translates into no TV, no cable, no radio, no video games, no electric switches; no traditional phone, and very limited cell phone service).  We entertained ourselves with a few trips down to visit friends at the lodge, camp fires, card games, coloring, puzzles, and lots and lots of needed sleep.  We did return a day early due to uncooperative weather and allergy issues, but overall, it was a much needed and thoroughly enjoyed vacation.


Only a day and a half after my return, I headed right back out for an overnight visit with my BFF.  That trip was extended because much to my dismay, just as I was about to get on the highway and head home, I was abruptly rearended.  The Manchild started to complain that his head hurt, and of course then I was worried about the babies too, so we headed to the ER just to be sure everyone was OK.  That we were, and we enjoyed one more night with a delicious breakfast the next morning.  Oh how I love to visit that house!


I recently had an appointment with the director of the nursing program I was accepted into, only to find that really, they are not taking much for transfer credits at all, and now I plan to finish my nursing education abroad.  I’m still working on the details, so we will leave this new development here until there is more, definite news to report.


The straw bale garden is doing well overall, but I seem to have lost all of the canteloupe plants and a tomato plant (Cherokee).  It seems like overnight I had a visit from the garden fairy, and the plants are really beginning to produce now.  For a while it seemed like I was never going to see any fuit for all of the labor!  My Dr. Bronner’s concoction seems to have done the trick in shooing off the unwelcome visitors that we had on our plants.


The Manchild has started swimming on a summer league in a neighboring town.  He seems to be enjoying that, and while he has practice I am able to take the babies over to the playground next to the pool and watch them exlpore and wander.  Popo has learned how to turn the sprinkler in the park on by pressing the red button, and every day when I pick her up after work now she tells me she wants to go to the sprknkler… the only thing is that it took a few days to figure out what she was saying because sprinkler sounds like ‘spanking’!


Summer seems to be slipping away before my eyes, but this last month especially I have been trying to make the time to enjoy the little things.  Some of the chores have been pushed off for fun, and I’ve been making sure to enjoy the littles.  Last night The Baby seemed to be ready for bed as soon as we got home.  Since she seemed extra cranky and extra extra clingy, I snuggled with her for a little bit and then rocked her to sleep.


I’ve been trying to get back on track with my domestic duties; sticking to my laundry schedule, staying on top of little pick-ups around the house, and finally working on a meal plan.  Of course that meal plan I have been working on was supposed to be ready for this week, but hey, life happens… so hopefully we will be eating somewhat planned starting next week.


Nothing else new and exciting to report on for the day, so that’s it for now!


Changelings June 26, 2009

Filed under: Being Green,Ramblings of the Girl — The Girl @ 8:18 pm
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I am torn today because I have two subjects on the brain, both dealing with change, but in different ways.  One has to do with how ‘times change’ and the other with how ‘people change’.  I’m going to stick with the times today since I have been thinking about that for a few days.  We’ll get to people later.


A week or so ago I was going to write a post about my grandmother.  And her opinions.  Yes, her opinions did need its own sentence.  I decided against that because I’m still teetering on the fence in regards to how personal I really want to get here (please keep this in mind if you plan to revisit, becuase it will also apply to the soon to come people post).


When I was in my teens, I was… let’s say very alternative for the time.  I was quite the tree hugger, years before it became trendy, and I caught a lot of flack for that.  While I held on to a lot of the ideas and practices I had then, there are several that slipped away as the years passed by.  I no longer remember the different properties of different crystals and stones, and I don’t have any more t-shirts that say things like ‘save a tree, harvest a developer’.  I try not to regularly lecture family members and friends on how to be kinder to the environment.


I’ve held true to my beliefs that there is such a thing as natural healing (though I don’t practice it very often-and I DO believe there is a place for conventional medicine), and we should all do our part in preserving the earth;  I’ve always chosen a more natural or organic option when it was available.  I’ve gone through times where I was a little more active in the   ‘earth renegade’ lifestyle, and I’m coming back into one of those times.  I’m trying to live a more natural lifestyle (natural food, natural cleaning, natural all around).


I specifically remember a family gathering where I was discussing the healing benefits of certain herbs and crystals with my grandmother, and she insisted that ‘all that’ was psychological.  I remember making the statement that it may be so, but I would rather carry a crystal in my pocket than take a pill; if I could heal myself psychologically, all the better.


The other night I dropped a jar of our homemade jam at my grandmother’s house.  We sat and chatted a while as the kids played outside, and she commented on how she thought it was funny that I was getting so into the homemade thing.  This was after a recent phone conversation we had where she was telling me that she puts peppermint oil in her laundry with the sheets because it kills bed bugs.  I thought it was funny that she seems to have forgotten what I was doing 15-20 years ago; the same thing I am doing now.


Within the last few days, I came across this post about how the U.S. is a little late in jumping on the band wagon of the simple lifestyle, but that without America, the change that had been seen in other countries would be short lived.  Rhonda linked to some Oprah articles and shows on cutting back and living simply.  What does it say about our society, that it takes an economic crisis and Oprah for us to join others in efforts to take care of that which has only been lent to us (Earth)?


Today I received my email update from Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship, and while her post focused on nutrition, in her ‘How?’ everything was tied together; everything we do is connected in one way or another.


I’m so happy to see that even though it has taken a while, we are finally catching on to this movement.  I have discovered so many resources online that are helping me come up with more and more ways to live naturally and healthfully, all the while minimizing my impact, but in a way that is not tedious or not conducive to my currently busy schedule.  I’m hoping that this time around the change is more than a phase, and I can have an impact and inspire others, even if it is only one person.