Thursday, May 3, 2012

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Home Birth in Nebraska: LB 712

Goodmorning! Today is Brighton's birthday. He's turning four. FOUR!! In short, his birth was a very special one for this family. And this may be an unusual birthday post (especially compared to previous years posts), but since I spoke specifically about his home birth in my testimony for LB 712 last month, this is the post where I show a short homemade video (complete with the scrolling words of my recent public testimony).

So for those friends who are only here to see that, you're excused from the rest of this blather. Feel free to skip on down to the showcased video. You're welcome.

For those who haven't heard my past rantings about Nebraska legislation or about our loooong drive across two state lines or about our horrifying statistics or about my previous letters to the HHS committe or my husband's writings on birth or his previous letters to the HHS committee, or some of our Nebraskan doctor's issues with natural birth, I'll try to keep this summary relatively short.

Today, Alabama and Nebraska are the only two states who continue to forbid a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) to attend a home delivery (see statute 38-613). In fact, our statutes actually make it a Class IV Felony. Furthermore, most lay midwives (DEMs) have received cease and desist orders. This falls under 38-1,124 (2) in Nebraska Statutes which addresses the legality of practicing a profession without a state-recognized credential:
Every credential holder shall report to the department the name of every person without a credential that he or she has reason to believe is engaged in practicing any profession or operating any business for which a credential is required by the Uniform Credentialing Act... Practice of such profession or operation of such business without a credential after receiving a cease and desist order is a Class III felony.
Therefore, if you want to have a home birth in Nebraska, your options are:
  1. leave our state when you go into labor (you have options in all 5 bordering states)
  2. find a midwife who is willing to face charges of a Class III or Class IV felony
  3. birth unattended
...and we have hundreds of women who do all of the above (over 400 in the last five years, alone). Our Nebraska home birth rate is actually increasing at a faster rate than the national average. We all know it's time to provide more options to these families who birth out-of-hospital for religious, medical, previous trauma, philosophical, or for other personal reasons.

This year, LB 712 was introduced. Its purpose was to strike the words that currently forbid a Certified Nurse-Midwife to attend a home birth. This 2012 legislative session is very short with no real possibility of the bill being moved to the floor in time for a debate and passing vote. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Nebraska Friends of Midwives from getting their foot in the door and gladly utilizing two valuable hours before the Health and Human Services Committee. If nothing else, it paves the way for next year's new session. I must say that it was a very jittery experience, for me. My husband took three days off work to get me there. It required two full days of driving for my family of six just so that we could be at the Capitol for one day of testimony. And despite fumbling over a few words and phrases, I made it through without throwing up. Success! I want to personally thank all the other supporters who came to testify, or who sent in written testimony, or who came to the Capitol to support those of us testifying, or who spread the word about LB 712 by phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, media interviews, or by word of mouth. We'll only accomplish this tremendous task by working together and using ALL our resources.

And here's the entire hearing line-up, in order. Many thanks to Dorothy Jones for grabbing up her camera and recording the rest of the testimony from home:

Senator Haar:

Rachel Howell, Chairwoman of NFoM, starts off testimony while summarizing who will be speaking, here:
Rebecca Hasty speaks on her two home births in Nebraska with MD support many years ago, here:
Ann Seacrest, RN, speaks about her involvement 30 years ago to draft and pass legislation that would recognize Certified Nurse-Midwives. She also explains how the home birth exclusion evolved:
Bridget Wieczorek, CNM, speaks on behalf of the Nebraska affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives here:
Shaye Miller, MLS, M.Ed., speaks about her first home birth experience after moving to Nebraska. Her first two babies were born in a hospital and her second two babies were born out-of-hospital (one across state lines with a midwife, the other was unattended in Nebraska):
Karen Loll speaks on her experience of desiring a home birth for her third baby and choosing to birth unassisted at home when there were no other options:
Kristen Treat, MS, PLMHP is a Certified Doula and mental health professional in the state of Nebraska. She speaks about her experiences in both arenas, here:
Matt Sherman shares his perspective as a father: "We would like our next birth to be private modest economical and safe." His testimony is found here:
Heather Swanson, MSN, CNM, FNP, IBCLC and Family Nurse Practitioner speaks on behalf of Nebraska Nurses Association and herself:
Rebecca Wells, CNM, speaks about the high-tech nature of hospitals and the increase in home births in Nebraska, here:
Liz Cody is a student working toward becoming a CNM. She speaks about these choices being made after much research and our duty to support these families:
Ben Gotschall is the Energy Director for BOLD Nebraska and the Lancaster County Industry Plant President of Nebraska Farmer's Union. He speaks about personal choice and his experience working with mothers and families out on dairy farms:

Joann Schaefer, MD and Chief Medical Officer of the state of Nebraska and Director of Division of Public Health speaks about how "there's been no compelling evidence" that would change their position on this bill:
Todd Pankraz, OB/GYN, eludes to this being a safety issue and not a choice issue. He also uses the Wax study (which he admits isn't good research) to make his argument:

Senator Haar: (I have this MP3, and will eventually get it loaded. He did a FABULOUS job!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Morning "goodbye" Routine

So, I've told you all about my Phase Seven wake up routine before. But there's another morning routine that we have around here. It's the "saying goodbye to Daddy" routine. Actually, any time either of us leave the house to head to a meeting or run a quick errand, we always have to go through the goodbye routine. It goes something like this:

1) Daddy goes around to every person in the house (usually at the breakfast table) and hugs and kisses them sweetly.

2) Daddy grabs his lunch, puts on his coat, and heads out the door.

3) Daddy starts the car and begins pulling out of the drive way.

4) Brighton comes running SCREAMING out of the house (usually in his PJs and some times half-naked) running all the way down the driveway (and sometimes into the street) begging for one last kiss and hug.

We always anticipate #4. It's inevitable. Even when we attempt to divert his attention, it comes. So the best thing we can do is make sure he has some clothing on and walk him to the basement door so he can watch Daddy back out of the driveway.

Lately it's become even more endearing as Brighton is growing a larger 3-year-old vocabulary so that he can express more of what he feels. He'll tell us how much he loves us and how he can't wait until we get home... and sometimes he'll even plead his case on why he should be able to go to work with Daddy. This morning, however, the last thing he said before Daddy backed out of the driveway was:

"When you's dead I'll miss you!"

And let me say, that's one thing you really don't want to hear just before you back out of the driveway.

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Furry Sibling

Her name is Brittany. She was born to a family outside of town who already had too many pups on their hands. They said the mother wandered up one day, so they sorta took her in. She got pregnant by another stray dog in their area and they had no idea what type of dog he was, either. When the pups were born, the family left them outside and provided food/water. They thought one of them had died of the cold (we were experiencing temps in the teens!!) and so they really needed to find families for the dogs quickly.

The mom of the family brought two puppies to town. I agreed to meet them in the Walmart parking lot just to see them. And, well, this little girl came home with me.

It was December 21st.

Santa came a little early this year.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2010-2011 Photo Books

One of my New Year's Resolutions for 2012 is to work harder on organizing and recording our family memories. Now, I'll be honest: I don't usually do resolutions. I've never seen January 1st as any more important a day for making changes than, say, May 13th or September 3rd. In any case, I'm looking forward to blogging again. It's so easy to forget the little things and this is one way I have to jot down the daily/weekly highlights.

For today, I'll simply share three photo books that I made from a few major events over the last 14 months. First, my friend, Ronna, gave me a gift certificate to Shutterfly to document my most recent pregnancy and home birth. Ronna came over during our most recent birth and she took photos and video throughout, so a photo book was the perfect way to showcase all her beautiful work. I had never made one before, but Shutterfly's online scrapbooking options were so easy to use. I only had about 24 hours to put it together (because I was trying to get in on their 50% off deal), but it all came together in time for printing. I'm so pleased to have such a special book showcasing these special memories. I included photos from my maternity shoot with Rachel Howell of Simple Shutter, photos from the Nebraska Friends of Midwives demonstration on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (that connects Nebraska to Iowa), photos of my Blessingway and belly casting, and a few other fun happenings surrounding Briston's birth.

Pregnancy and birth photo book link:

This year we wanted to do something special for both our parents for Christmas. We don't get to see them very often (twice a year, at the most), so we decided to document all of the special times we've had through the year that correspond to them. It seemed another couple photo books were in order. Our year will have to run from October to October to make sure we get our photo books in time for Christmas each year, but we'd like to keep doing this either every year or every other year. Some photos are of our family while we're at their homes or of times when they were here or even of times they sent gifts for the kids to open (for birthdays, Christmas, etc.).

Nana & Pawpaw's 2010-2011 Photo Book (made with Shutterfly):

Mimi & Poppy's 2010-2011 Photo Book (made with Mixbook):

I wish everyone a very happy New Year and I look forward to seeing how many of my friends are still actively blogging.

Hugs all around!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cloth Diapers #3

Several of my blogging buddies have been posting on their cloth diaper experiences, lately. Maybe it has something to do with Earth Day, but it kinda feels like National Cloth Diaper Month. So with baby #4 on the way, I'm just going to invite myself to the party and re-cap some of our experiences with cloth diapers.

You no longer have to try very hard to convince anyone to go to cloth. Cloth diapers are the "in" thing for all of the health and environmental benefits. Mainstream parents are doing it without a second thought and did you know that hospitals are slowly migrating back to cloth diapers?! Eager businesses have also jumped on the cloth bandwagon so that you can now find virtually anything and everything from your basic DSQ pre-fold to some serious designer diapers that practically promise to change the baby by themselves. With this in mind, I should say up front that if you're looking for information about pretty designs or a just-like-disposable-diapers experience, you can stop reading this post right now. I'm not one of those moms. My experience is extremely unglamorous, simpler than simple, and yet fantastically inexpensive. In retrospect, I suppose my cloth diapering experience ended up being nearly identical to my mother's and her mother's before her.

In the beginning, I spent a lot of time looking at the pricey $10-$20 per diaper options, thinking the benefits might eventually justify the costs. I read all the reviews, narrowed down on my choices several times, but just as I tallied up the total I couldn't bring myself to finalize such a costly purchase. I was so torn on making the "right" decision during those weeks. Everyone wrote such lovely reviews on these gorgeous diapers, but we simply didn't have the money to purchase more than maybe 5 to 10 of the really nice cloth diapers. Then one day my perspective totally changed when a friend interjected, "Remember, Shaye, you're basically looking for a pee catcher. That's all it really is." I totally laughed out LOUD! And I stopped worrying and just started looking at some basic diapers. I was ecstatic to discover a company that regularly offers brand new high-quality DSQ "seconds" for roughly $1.00 per diaper -- we were sold!

My first diaper purchase was two dozen unbleached premium 4X8X4 Indian pre-folds. I added to my order eight colorful Snappis (these have effectively replaced diaper pins) and 6-8 nylon diaper cover pants. Including all the shipping and handling charges (gotta hate those!) my total came to just under $60. As a matter of fact, though I purchased another two dozen pre-folds one year later (to make 4 dozen total), I'm still happily using that original purchase after about two years of continued usage.

I learned a lot of do's and don'ts the HARD way which meant destroying a number of diapers along the way. For example:
(1) Don't set your wash on the fastest setting or else you'll literally beat the threads out of your diapers in just a few months.
(2) Pre-folds are not meant to be soaked. I can't tell you how many times I soaked my diapers for a few hours or even overnight only to learn, later, that it lowers the quality of the fabric over time.
(3) 99% of the diaper creams or ointments on the market are NOT meant to be used with cloth diapers. Unless it says it is specifically made for cloth diaper users, don't risk using something that will destroy and eat your fabric over time.
(4) Never EVER use bleach in a wash of diaper COVERS. It destroys the elasticity in the cover. Ugh!
After learning a number of these lessons, I am pretty happy with our routine today. A couple times a week I wash our dirty diapers in a cold water wash with a cup or two of vinegar and hang them on the clothes line to bleach out any poop stains (summers are great, but in the winter I have to use the dryer). This washing process is SUPER easy when baby is only on breast milk because the sun keeps your diapers brilliantly white and sterilized. But when my punkins start on solid foods around 1 year old, I choose to briefly rinse both the baby and the diaper in the bathtub after each poopy. It's an extra step, but one that I'm perfectly content in doing a couple times a day.

I guess that's the long and short of it. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions. If you're living on a very modest income and want to know more about the type of inexpensive diapers and accessories I found, check out some of the links listed below. They're not fancy, but they work just fine. And if you know of any blog posts on CLOTH DIAPERS, please add a link in the Mister Linky widget below the links. This will help provide a broader perspective than I've shared. Oh, and come back NEXT week when I'll share a little of our experience with Elimination Communication (also known as EC).

The factory "seconds" I referred to can be found HERE. If the link doesn't work for you, try going to and click on their "specials." Today the Premium 4X8X4 unbleached diapers are listed at $12.96 per dozen if you purchase 4 dozen. And they offer FREE shipping for orders of $79 or more!! If their deal isn't on right now, try back in a couple weeks. FYI: If you purchase 4 dozen of their "seconds" cloth diapers and 5 packs of snappis (which means you have 10 snappis), your total comes to exactly $80.59. :) I've also purchased from Green Mountain Diapers and was pleased with their prefolds, too (even if they were a little more costly)!

As I mentioned above, also sells Snappis in 2-packs. If you're already doing their pre-fold "seconds" special then you might want to get your snappis there (they're about $2.88 a piece depending on which ones and how many you purchase). This Ebay seller also sells them pretty cheaply and the more you purchase, the cheaper they are (and no shipping costs!). They're $2.22 a piece if you purchase her 9 pack. Amazon also sells a 3-pack for $7.25 which is $2.42 a piece but you also pay shipping unless you purchase enough to qualify for one of their free shipping deals. The Snappi page says to not use them longer than 6 months, but I still have my original snappis from almost two years ago. I think if you're using several then you switch them out enough that they don't get over-stretched too quickly. I like to keep 8-10 of these in case I lose a few. You only need one at a time.

Again, there are TONS of these ranging from cheapo to mega expensive. As you would expect, I've tried the most inexpensive options of around $.75-$2.50 a piece and I just keep about 10 of these because I can re-use just one or two all day if they don't get poopy on them (or get too soaked). I've been very pleased with the Nylon Diaper Pants from Dappi by TL Care (not the vinyl pants!). They are waterproof and rip-proof -- holding up wonderfully through hundreds of machine washes (and unintended dryer runs). Baby Best Buy has them in a 2-pack for $3.99. Amazon has a 2-pack for $5.99. Integrity Diaper Company has a 2-pack for $4.00. Cotton Babies has them in a 2-pack for $5.00. Simply Soft Diapers has the 2-pack for $4.59. WARNING: DO NOT buy the Dappi "Vinyl Pants." EVER. Trust me. Just like the cheapo Gerber pants, you can stick your finger right through the vinyl.

If you do a google search, you'll find there are all sorts of sites that explain diaper oragami, like HERE or HERE. I really wouldn't stress over folding. Eventually you'll find what works best for YOU (and it's likely that no one's going to be checking your work).

Don't forget to add any blog posts you found or wrote on cloth diapering, below:

Related Posts with Thumbnails