Thursday, May 3, 2012

Photo Book

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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.

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