Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I made this salad for Easter, and it was FABULOUS!
It is a new family FAVORITE!
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bit-size pieces
1 cup chopped celery
4 green onions, chopped
1 10.75-ounce can mandarin orange sections, drained
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1 apple, diced
1/4 cup dried craisins
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 chicken breast halves, cooked and cut in bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Prepare candied almonds:
Melt 3 tablespoons sugar in large skillet with sliced almonds, stirring continuously until almonds are coated. Caution: Don't allow sugar to caramelize. Spread out on wax paper to cool. Mix together all salad ingredients and candied almonds.
Dressing: In a small bowl or jar, combine all dressing ingredients. Mix well. Pour over salad and toss right before serving. Serves: 6.
I made an additional batch of dressing to pass with salad.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Asparagus contains a special kind of fiber, called inulin, which is essential for the healthy bacteria that live inside our gut and help us digest our food and keep our digestive system working properly. Asparagus is a good source of potassium, which can lower blood pressure. One cup of asparagus contains about 300 milligrams of potassium. Also rich in vitamin K, a one-cup serving of asparagus will provide over 100% of the daily requirement for this essential vitamin.
The Vit K assists the body in clotting properly, a real benefit when giving birth, and so many women have their doctors or midwives concerned when their BP goes up in late pregnancy the potassium could have real benefits as well.
A Recipe for Asparagus
(It’s that time of year!)
1 pound of asparagus
2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, tarragon, or sage) or 1 tsp dried
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash asparagus thoroughly, snap at natural weak spot. Discard thick bottoms. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and herbs. Place asparagus in large bowl and coat with dressing, then place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
The best way to prepare asparagus for cooking or baking (or raw eating) is to wash it thoroughly and then snap it – by hand – at its natural weak spot, which is usually a bit lower than half-way on the stalk. Save the upper part of the stalk (with the tip, which contains many of the nutrients) and discard the lower half, which is too tough for our digestion. Enjoy °Ü°
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
4:00 AM mom calls to say she has been having contx for an hour and they were about every 10 minutes. She said, you said to call you when there is change. (Note to self, tell mom’s unless you need me there now, if change happens in the middle of the night, and it's not an emergency, let me know of change in the morning). Actually this was a good call, I was glad she called and I'm reminded that everything is always perfect, because as I lay there in bed I knew to call my student who lives an hour and half away, and tell her to be on her way. Mom said she could probably get a little more rest, and she would call when there was more change. I went back to sleep until about 5:50, then I got up to unlock the front door so when my student arrived, she could just let herself in.
6:15 AM dad calls to say mom’s contx were 5 minutes apart now, and they were strong, but she still didn’t want me there. I got up and ready to go anyway, because I know how fast second babies can come, and I wanted to be ready. I called my midwife partner to let her know, she said she would be on her way soon. She was about 30-40 minutes away.
6:28 AM dad calls to say, okay she said you could come now, later I hear from mom what she wanted him to say was PLEASE COME NOW! I brushed my teeth and grabbed a few miscellanies supplies that I had left out from the birth just a couple days before and headed out the door. I called my student to let her know to go directly to mom’s house, I didn’t call my partner because I knew she was probably already on the road.
6:41 AM dad calls back and in a VERY CALM voice, (I can’t emphasize “very calm” enough) he says, mom’s water just broke, and her body was pushing. I said, okay, well, I’m in my garage right now just leaving. As I am driving down my street, I say to myself, did he just say she is pushing???
6:44 AM I phone him back immediately, and ask if he said she was pushing, he said VERY CALMLY, yes. I asked if she was in the water, as this was a planned water birth. He said yes, I said, well I am just going to stay on the phone with you until I get there. Now keep in mind, I am driving NOT as calm as he sounds, I am hearing my tires squeal, as I leave my neighborhood, and once again as I round each corner. I come to an intersection with a RED light, not a smart light, it’s not going to change anytime soon, soon being relative, so I look all directions, mostly for a police car, and zipped across the intersection seeing RED! Still on the phone with dad, I am instructing him what to do with the next contx as mom pushes. I tell him I’m pulling into his street right now, so I am hanging up. I grabbed my instruments, and oxygen tank from the back of my car and RAN into the house. Sure enough mom is leaned over the side of the tub trying not to puch, they are both happy to see me. I commented on how dad is about the MOST calm person I have ever met. I did not hear ANY birth is imminent, in his voice. He said, he just trusts birth, and the process, no need to be in a panic. Mom wanted the birth videoed, and since it was just mom and dad and myself, because my assistants hadn’t made it yet, dad was the cameraman.
Mom was a little worried about tearing, because with her 1st baby the cord came out with the head, and so she didn’t get a chance to push slow and easy, I needed her to push with all she had to bring the baby out quick because I didn’t want the cord to be compressed any longer, so we talked about pushing with this baby, and how it would be slow and very controlled. She didn’t even need to push, baby would come out even without pushing. Sure enough she could feel the baby move down without her pushing, so with my instruction, she just breathed through each contx, and the baby gently came down. I wanted to give some counter pressure on her bottom to protect from a spinning baby, this is when the baby turns as it is coming out, and sometimes an elbow ends up tearing the perineum, but mom didn’t want me to, that didn’t feel right to her. So I just let mom and baby figure it out together. The head would come out a bit, then goes back in, and with the next contx, it did the same thing. Then with the next one, the head stayed out just part way. This process was perfect because it allowed for mom’s perineum to stretch much like when you stretch out a balloon before blowing it up. It makes blowing it up much easier.
6:55 AM with the next contx the head is out, and mom is still just breathing, this contx is strong, and baby pushes itself right out with that one contx. I instruct mom to turn over as I am untangling the cord from baby, it was around her neck and body. Mom said, “is she out”? It was so smooth; she didn’t even realize her baby was here. I said, "yes, she’s here"! I gently lifted her sweet baby girl up to meet her new mom. Baby weighs in at 8 pounds 15 oz, and 21 ¾ inches long. An hour later she meets her new big sister and a family has just grown from three to four. An incredible mom, an incredibly calm dad, and two incredibly ADORABLE daughters!
10:00 AM Mom has eaten, mom and babe have had their herb bath, this a giant tea bath, with lots of herbs to help moms bottom heal, it’s anti-bacterial, and a stringent, it is very relaxing for mom and babe. Grandma has come to take big sister to her house, exciting phone calls have been made, mom and babe are tucked back in bed with fresh sheets, and are successfully nursing. Laundry is washing, and dishes are done. As I drive away I am in awe at the miracle that just happened in this home, and the world doesn’t even know.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Mom calls in the evening to say she has been having contx today, but really she just doesn’t feel well. She thinks she might have picked up the flu from someone, because she feels kind of achy all over and just not herself. She checks back in an hour later, and says, it must be the flu, because contx backed off, and she was going to hopefully get a full nights rest tonight.
6:20 AM I receive a call, mom woke up feeling like she was in transition, very shaky and not able to focus on anything but labor. The plan was for her to go to a “Birth Place” to have her baby, her husband had worked really hard on the construction of it, and they felt more comfortable there than at home, but it sounded like things were moving a bit to fast for her to get to the “Birth Place”, so we were coming to her.
6:35 AM I arrive at the house. Dad is so excited he can hardly see straight, and mom is very calmly resting on her bed. I checked mom’s dilation and she was 7 cm. How would it be to just wake up in the morning and already be 7 cm dilated? Things were moving along quickly, but I felt like they had time to still drive to the “Birth Place” if they really wanted to. I wanted them to have the birth they wanted, I had all my supplies and equipment in my car, but I knew that wasn’t their plan. I gave mom and dad a few minutes alone to decide what they wanted. They decided since there was time, they really wanted to go to the “Birth Place”. We hurried to put a few things in a bag, as the timing was a bit unexpected while Dad was on the phone to arrange a babysitter for their youngest son.
7:15 AM we arrive at the “Birth Place”, and mom’s contx are every 3-5 minutes, and very strong. The “Birth Place” is still under construction, but the essentials are there, and mom was happy. I organized a tray with all the birth supplies on it, like baby hat, instruments, sterile gloves, etc. Just in time, as mom contx are picking up a bit.
7:30 AM Contx are 2-3 minutes, and mom is really in need of some help breathing through them. Dad continues to be full of excitement; he can’t believe his wife is about to give birth any minute. He phones his mother in law, to let her know where to come to, and to hurry!
7:45 AM mom feels like she needs to go to the bathroom, as she stands up, her water breaks, and she heads to the toilet. She sits down with a VERY strong contx, and gives an involuntary push. I put my hand there to be ready to catch a baby, and sure enough the head is coming. I called for dad; he grabbed the camera, and put his arm around their daughter who was also there to welcome a new baby sister or brother. I didn’t have time to put my gloves on, sometimes it just happens too quickly, the most important thing is to have a dry warm towel or blanket to dry baby off when it is born, so I grabbed a towel, and put my hand down to guard mom’s bottom as the head came out. The other midwife dawned gloves by then, so she took over, and encouraged dad to come closer to receive his baby. Mom remains so very calm, she isn’t pushing, her baby is just coming out very slowly. As she contx, baby pushes itself out.
7:51 AM dad’s reaches down, and his hands welcome their new baby son into the family. He weighs 7 pounds and comes to a family full of love.
Monday, March 9, 2009
10:00 PM mom calls to say she has been having contx all day, but they are getting a little closer now and definitely stronger. She was a little shy of calling me because she has been through this two other times and went to sleep, but when she woke up in the morning, she was disappointed to still be pregnant. She was hoping this time was going to be different.
I was actually HOPING for a full nights sleep because I just got home from a VERY long birth out of town and was looking forward to sleeping all night in my comfy bed. My partner is still with the mom that delivered earlier today, so she was feeling even more lack of sleep than me, at least I was home, eaten, showered and in bed ready to get some sleep. My student that works with me was out of town at her midwifery school she attends two weeks every other month. I called another midwife in town, but she had the flu, so it was just going to be me on my own for this birth, which I had a feeling it would be a week or so earlier. Every now and again my Angels give me a heads up on what to be prepared for. °Ü°
2:00 AM mom calls with contx every 5 minutes and much stronger. She wants me to come over and check in, so I got up, surprisingly feeling somewhat rested. When I miss out on sleep, I ask my angels to make each hour of sleep I get be worth two hours to my body, and they definitely came through for me tonight. I dressed in a hurry, brushed my teeth and was out the door in 10 minutes.
3:00 AM mom’s contx are every 2-3 minutes, and stronger than before. She bends over with each contx and dad gives her some counter backpressure. This is their first home birth experience, so even though they had other children, it was still new to them and a lot of unknown factors, but this didn’t seem to effect mom, she was staying very relaxed and continues to move around to help baby move down through the birth canal.
I finished getting all my supplies ready, and set up my oxygen tank. I cut ginger and set it on the stove to simmer for perineum compresses. I feel the most amazing feeling in my body. I said a prayer of gratitude, as I realize I am not along at this birth, I am gently reminded that I am NEVER alone at births. I am ever so grateful for this knowledge. As I write this, I am overcome with an abundance of love and gratitude. THANK YOU!
4:00 AM I checked mom for dilation, and to her and dads surprise she was 8 cm and 100% effaced. Mom was so relieved that it probably wouldn’t be too much longer. . The other children are all sleeping quietly in their bedrooms. They are happily dreaming, and when they awake they will have a new baby brother or sister.
4:50 AM mom’s water breaks, it is clear, and I can put the delee away. A delee is a very small tube that I use when there is meconium (baby poop) in the water usually because baby is post-dates, or has been stressed at some point during this pregnancy. I put it down baby’s nostrils to suck out any meconium that baby might have aspirated. Anyway… I see amniotic fluid is clear, so I can put the delee a way.
5:00 AM mom’s contx back off to every 7-8 minutes, this often happens just before mom has the urge to push. It’s her body’s way of giving her a break to gather strength to push her baby out. Mom is SOOOooo very tiered, she doesn’t know how she has the strength to go on. She drinks a little apple juice in hopes that it will bring some energy to her exhausted body.
5:30 AM as she pushes, I can see that semi reclining on the bed, (the only way she has ever given birth in the hospital) is not the best choice for her. I encouraged her to walk to the bathroom. The combination of walking and being able to fully let go on the toilet is all that we need to bring a baby to her arms. She has one contx on the toilet, with a strong urge to push; she says, “here comes the baby”!
5:35 AM I have her scoot forward on the toilet, and put my hands there to guard her perineum to avoid a tear, and sure enough with one push, out comes baby’s head. Unfortunately, I do feel a little give in my hand as baby’s head comes out; sometimes there are no slowing things down. In the same push the rest of the baby slides right out. I lift baby up to mom’s arms, and dad grabbed a towel to dry and cover baby.
5:40 AM dad and I help mom move to the bed so I can keep an eye on her bleeding. It still amazes me how easily moms can move when there is no pain medication and they are allowed to give birth naturally on their terms. Taking as much time as needed, not rushing the process, and gently pushing as opposed to force pushing to the count of 10, three time with each contx.
7:30 AM Mom has been sutured, (yes unfortunately I had to put about three stitches in) she has been up and showered and peed, baby cleaned up, measured and weighed, dressed, and has a full belly. Everything is cleaned up, and laundry is in the washer. Mom is tucked in bed with her baby in her arms just in time for dad to open the door with three little kids waiting to see their new baby SISTER! She weighs in at 7 pounds, and is 20 inches long. Each of the kids takes a turn holding their baby sister before going off to school.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
4:30 AM Tuesday morning my cell phone rings. Dad is calling to let me know his wife has been having contx since around 1:00 AM. They are about 10 minutes apart, definitely getting stronger and lasting nearly a minute. They didn’t want me to come yet; generally first time moms have long labors. I said, call me back when there is ANY change because I had a little over an hours drive.
I laid there in bed wide awake for about 30 minutes, listening to a whisper that said, this won’t be a long labor, you should get up and get ready.
5:15 AM I get up and take a quick shower, get things ready for the day, and 6:00 AM dad calls again. Contx are 4-5 minutes apart and she would like my support there now. I was already ready, so I headed out the door. I called my partner to let her know, she would be heading out as well.
7:30 AM We arrive at moms house to find her VERY much in labor, working VERY hard and relaxing perfectly during her contx. Baby has a happy healthy heart rate, and mom can feel her baby move down into the birth canal as she contx.
8:30 AM Mom wants to move to the birthing tub. Contx are every 1-2 minutes and even stronger than before. The tub feels so good to her; she says she is able to relax much easier in the warm water.
9:00 AM I check mom to make sure she is complete because she is feeling a strong urge to push, but not making much progress. She is completely dilated and effaced; we can have a baby any time now. Baby’s heart rate sounds GREAT. Dad is making sure his sweetheart has sips of juice and keeps Chap Stick on her lips. He was so sweet to put towels between the tub and the walls because the noise was interfering with mom’s concentration. ANYTHING she wanted, he was all over it, usually before she even spoke it.
10:30 AM Mom is pushing, but very gently, and not through the whole contx. This was perfect, because she was bringing her baby down through the birth canal, but not wearing herself out. Contx are still VERY strong, but had back off just a bit so now they were only every 7-8 minuets. I suggested she get out of the tub and walk to the bathroom, it had been a while since she had emptied her bladder, and walking would be VERY helpful in moving her baby down.
11:00 AM Mom was back in the tub, moving back and forth from hands and knees to semi reclining. Her hands and knees felt best, but they needed a rest in between contx, and mom was able to even fall asleep during that resting time. Contx continued to be every 7-8 minutes, so she often would get a long rest. Baby appears to still be very happy and healthy, as I listen to its heart rate I can hear good variability. This means when baby moves the heart rate goes up just a bit, and when mom has a contx the heart rate lowers a bit, but comes immediately back up. If I were to chart it out, I would want to see a horizontal zigzag pattern. For example, 152-157-158-150-148-150-154 etc. is a good variability hear rate. By now, mom is pretty tired; she says she doesn’t know if she can do this much longer. I am glad when we get to this point, because that means we don’t have much longer to wait. I can say about 99% of moms get to this point, and voice it. We encourage her by saying, “it won’t be much longer”, and “you can do this”. I always let mom know she just has to do one contx at a time, and never the same contx twice.
11:50 AM We are seeing lots of dark hair. Mom took her time and gave slow gentle pushes, being in the water, we can’t do oil or ginger compresses to help avoid tearing, but slow gentle, controlled pushes really helps.
11:56 AM The head finally comes all the way out. It is fully under water, and I remind mom and dad to breath, because baby doesn’t take it’s first breath until it reaches air. This baby has lots of dark curly hair just like it’s mom and dad.
11:59 AM With tears in our eyes we welcome the cutest baby girl on the block! She weighs in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and she’s 21 inches long.
A few hours later, mom and babe have had a nice relaxing herb bath; they are happily tucked in bed with full tummies. The laundry is done; the tub is emptied and outside to dry. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE butter births like this one, it’s 4:00 PM, and we are off to our next prenatal already scheduled. This mom had her baby on the day we were already going to be seeing her for a prenatal and it was during day, no missed sleep, and no rearranging prenatal appointments. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
A few months ago I received a phone call from a mom in another state. She was seeing midwives where she was living, but at 36 weeks her family would be moving to AZ. We discussed her options, like hospital, birth center or home birth; she decided she wanted a home birth. Her other three children were born in a birth center, and she really wanted a home birth this time, so I agreed to take her on. She called me when they started their trek across the country and checked in when they arrived in town.
Wednesday I did her first prenatal and all seemed well, except there was a glitch in her insurance. They would pay 100% where they came from, but here in AZ they wouldn’t pay hardly anything. (I just don’t understand insurance companies some time, actually most of the time).
She and her husband talked about the new insurance discovery, and decided to go to the hospital this time because of the finances. That night after making that decision, she was in GREAT turmoil, she didn’t sleep, she was on edge, and overall just couldn’t picture herself in the hospital.
The next afternoon (Saturday), she phoned me to see if I would still take her, she told me about her experience the night before, and just felt like she was supposed to have this baby at home. I agreed to take her. She said she had the best night sleep that night than she had had her whole pregnancy.
Monday around 3:15 PM she phoned and said she thought she was in labor. She was having contx, she hadn’t really been paying attention to how far apart they were, but she thought they were only about 20-30 minutes apart. She was just letting me know there was change, because I tell my clients when there is change call me. I told her to pay attention in the next hour to how close they really were, and if they were getting stronger, and call me back in one hour. I wanted time to call my birth team, and they had a ways to drive.
3:30 PM only 15 minutes later mom calls to say, “these are much closer than I thought, they were more like 4-5 minutes apart, and definitely stronger”. She has 3 other small children, and didn’t know anyone here in town as they have only been here a week, so I waited until Whitney (my daughter) got home from work, and brought her along with me to help with the other children. I called my birth team, and told them to be on their way, things were moving along quickly.
4:00 PM Mom is working very hard through these contx, she has a warm rice sock under her belly, this helps her relax through the with the contx. Every couple of minute’s mom bends over the bed, stops talking, and puts all her concentration and focus inward during a contx.
5:00 PM Mom decides to get in the tub to rinse off a bit and relax. She wasn’t quiet as comfortable in the tub as she was out walking around with her rice sock, so she got out after about 20 minutes, and that movement was definitely what she needed to get baby moving down. I listen to baby’s heart rate, and everything sounds GREAT! Mom is feeling lots of pressure; we can tell it won’t be much longer.
6:00 PM Mom’s water broke, and it was clear. I always check what color the amniotic fluid is because this gives a good indication of how baby is doing. When the water is stained, this means the baby has been stressed and pooped in utero. I listen to baby’s heart again to make sure it is still a happy baby, and the heart rate sounds GREAT! Mom is on her hands and knees on the bedroom floor, and has a strong urge to push. She gives a couple of slow gentle pushes and we soon see baby’s head. Dad is up by mom’s head encouraging her, and helping her focus. I put a little bit of helichrysm essential oil on mom’s perineum, to help lubricate, and keep the circulation going so she doesn’t tear. It is also good for bruising and swelling, if some gets on baby’s head, all the better, because of the molding that happens as baby comes down through the birth canal.6:10 PM We welcome a sweet baby boy into this family of girls! He weighed in at 7 pounds even and 20 inches long. Mom and dad were both so happy to have their baby here, three weeks early, but evidently it was perfect timing for him. They were especially glad to have this little one gently born in their home.