Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Somwthing I need to remember...

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing.

Mother Teresa

Monday, December 29, 2008

And now...your moment of Zen:

(Actually several parenting moments of Zen:)
~ Encourage your child's dreams ~
~ Look past the behavior - what is your child feeling? ~
~ A child at play is a young scientist, learning about the world ~
~ Show your love for your child in actions as well as in words ~
~ Children reflect the treatment they receive ~

[For more information, visit The Natural Child.]

"pushed birth. what to expect. really."

For the truth on birth - definitions, information, etc - and learning about how NOT to have a 'pushed birth,' my favorite blog/website is the one by Jennifer Block. She has researched the American birth world and written a book, called "Pushed." A totally necessary bit of reading material for all women planning on birthing in America.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And now...your moment of Zen:

  • The stars indicate this is a good week to get your life in order, making you glad you don't believe in astrology.
    (Source: The Onion) — warning, may contain humor that is offensive to some.

And now...your moment of Zen:

[The following is an excerpt of an interview from GivingBirthNaturally.com]

"...in the UK, midwifery is the standard of care. A pregnant woman would not go and even see an obstetrician unless he was high risk to begin with, or having some sort of complication later in the pregnancy that the midwives identified and then felt that you needed to be seen by a specialist. The obstetrician is really seen as a specialist rather than as the primary caregiver for that pregnant woman. "

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Breastfeeding is NOT obsene!

Over on Facebook - no I don't have an account over there yet, but my husband does - there has been a virtual nurse-in all day.

Here is more info about it on another blog.

I changed my MySpace pic to a painting of a nursing mother for a while in support of it and my Husband changed his Facebook pic to one of Maggie Gyllenhaal nursing her little one in public. Yes there do exist pictures of me breastfeeding my DD but they are all out of focus and not composed very well at all! And by the way, I breastfed my DD until her 3rd birthday! I hope to nurse her sister at least as long ;o)

Right now, The Child Inside is constantly kicking and rolling and moving and giving my joy that she is INSIDE not OUT like her sister! I am doing well and am pregnant longer that I have ever been (I am just past the 31 week point in this pregnancy - the short version of last pregnancy is severe preeclampsia at 30 weeks, hospitalization, delivery of DD at 31 weeks, 17 day NICU stay, 3 months of preemie care, PPD for 6+ months, pain suffering...whole 9 yards...)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Christmas Mascot

After a long day of visiting family, and not sleeping but 2 hours last night, I awoke to my Husband playing Lego Batman on the Wii and our Daughter next to me in bed (she got a nap too yay!). We came out and after a while, I noticed there was a garden slug crawling on the ceiling right above the TV. When I announced this, well, let's just say that I am the designated 'bug-getter' or 'bug killer' in the family ;o) So, we poked it and it fell off the cieling - I caught it - 'someone' flipped out a bit then composed him, er ah, themselves, and I took the opportunity to show our Daughter in the bathroom - because the slug was a little dry. I have no problem gardening without gloves when I do get out there (and I have energy) and touching the things that are in our wonderful Florida dirt - slugs, snails, worms, and other wriggly critters. I pet the slug, got it to relax and stretch the eye stalks out, and it was on his way navigating my hand. DD was interested but not enough to touch. It now lives in the front garden.

I must saw that a slug is a good mascot for Christmas - it can teach us to adapt to our surroundings, relax, slow down, and teach others.

...yes, i did wash my hands...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What do I look like?

Well, to tell you the truth, some days I pass a mirror and scare the crap outta myself. "OMG! a Mommy-monster!" But really, if I can find our camera in this black hole of a house (it's been lost for maybe 3 months?) I will take new pics and post them!

BTW, I could not sleep last night which is why I am blogging this friggin' early in the the morning....it's going to be hard when the sun comes up...

Holding my breath...

Just to let you all know, I am in my 30th week of pregnancy. Why does this matter? Because this time in my last pregnancy I had developed severe preeclampsia, had to get admitted to the hospital for observation and try to get my BP down with magnesium sulfate (not fun), then be told three days later I had to deliver my daughter at 31 weeks in order to survive. [For the birth story according to my husband, click HERE. It really is a good read! There are pictures, too.] I do intend to write my own version of that birth one day... I think I am waiting to see how my second birth experience goes.

This time around, however, I feel fantastic - well, for a pregnant woman ;o) I have gained an appropriate amount of weight, I do not feel like I am wearing a fat suit I cannot take off, I do not look like a melting wax figure, and I have a fantastic midwife who comes to my house for checkups instead of being shuffled through a doctor's office and having to spend an ungodly amount of time in a crowded waiting room...

So much I have learned from that pregnancy to this one. So much has happened. I became a Childbirth Educator for BabyBodyBirth, a Co-leader for Brevard BirthNetwork, I breastfed my DD until her third birthday, and a much more educated woman/mother/human.

My favorite movies now include 'Business of Being Born,' 'Orgasmic Birth,' 'Born in the USA,' and I hope to see 'Pregnant in America' soon!

So, the day after Christmas will be one day past 31 weeks...the longest I have ever been pregnant. I believe I will make it!

p.s. I am due in late February 2009. I hate specific 'due dates.' It really should be a 'due week' or 'due month'......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And now...your moment of Zen:

"$13 to $20 billion a year could be saved in health care costs by demedicalizing childbirth, developing midwifery, and encouraging breastfeeding."

- Frank Oski, MD,
Professor and Director, Department of Pediatrics,
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


[Also posted on MySpace page:]

Take action now - support birth centers!

FYI! Take action now and support birth centers no matter where you gave or plan to give birth.

Happy Holidays!

--Eva Algermissen
Co-leader Brevard BirthNetwork, FL
"It's your birth, know your options"
Certified Childbirth Educator BabyBodyBirth
"Love your baby, Nourish your body, Cherish your birth"
Mama Eva - USA blog

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Victoria Macioce-Stumpf
Date: Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 7:32 PM
Subject: [bnncoleaders] fw: URGENT: ACTION ALERT for Birth Centers
To: bnncoleaders@yahoogroups.com, birthnetwork-board@googlegroups.com

Grassroots Network Message 812059
URGENT: ACTION ALERT for Birth Centers

Dear Friends,
I know we are all really busy, but below is a really important ACTION ALERT from the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) to help Birth Centers. Your 3 phone calls are a gift you can give to mothers and families that costs you nothing more than a few moments of your time.

Read AABC's Alert below for very straightforward instructions. Phone calls are needed before December 22. Make your calls even if you have nothing to do with Birth Centers support this midwife/mother friendly option for all women.

Some background: Birth centers around the country are owned and staffed by all kinds of midwives, and are one place where CPMs and CNMs frequently work together. Birth Centers provide an excellent alternative to the hospital setting and should be available to everyone. Medicaid does not specifically cover birth centers, so even where the midwife professional services are covered, there is no mandate to cover the "facility fee" the costs of the birth c enter itself, and insurance coverage typically follows Medicaid rules. Some state medicaid programs have opted to cover this cost, but recent actions at the federal level threaten this coverage because birth centers are not specifically named in the relevant federal statute. Without medicaid and insurance coverage for birth center facility fees, most if not all birth centers will be unable to continue operation, depriving all of us of this option. The only solution is to get federal legislation to specifically include birth centers in medicaid. This is the effort that the American Association of Birth Centers is spearheading; the first step is to get Senators and Representatives to sponsor the bill AABC is developing. ALL of us are needed to help achieve this goal! For more detailed background information, see the link in AABC's Legislative Alert message below.

When you call your Congress people, do tell them that you are a mom/midwife/doula/etc., and you can say that birth centers are a vital birthing option to which all women should have access. (If you work/own/birthed at a birthing center, great, tell them that, but you don't need to have had a birthing center experience20to support this action.)

Read AABC's ALERT below, and make your 3 brief calls today!

Arielle Greenberg Bywater and Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"

American Association of Birth Centers
Legislative Alert

URGENT - Make Calls before December 22nd!

We are making progress with education of the House and Senate about the need to add the birth center facility to Medicaid covered services! But, many Representatives and Senators have not yet had a call from you or your clients. We must have sponsors from both parties! We are also targeting key people who will vote YES or NO whether our bill will get out of committee and to the floor -- once we have introduced the bill.

For background information click here

Please make calls to congressional health staffers this week before the holiday recess!

1. Click here
to get the names and phone numbers of the Washington D.C. offices of your two Senators and your Representative.

2. Ask the name of the healthcare staffer and ask to speak to them.

3. Write down their name and phone number.

4. Tell them you own/direct/work at/are a consumer of/care about the services of a birth center.

5. Tell them that a bill will be introduced soon to add birth centers to Medicaid. [NOTE: the bill does not yet have a bill number.]

6. Ask for their support and sponsorship of our bill to add birth centers to Medicaid. That's all you need to say--we'll do the rest.

7. Then call or email AABC's lobbyist Karen Fennell (301-830-3910,karenfennell50@yahoo.com or me (423-253-4455, jkalliman@yahoo.com to tell us what they said. We will follow up.

NOTE: We do not have a bill number because it is not yet introduced, but we want to introduce the bill in January and need sponsors now. We can send them the draft bill language if they are interested in sponsoring the bill.

This is urgent if we want to sustain birth centers in the United States. Please call today.

Please pass this on to your Friends of the Birth Center groups and ask them to call too.


Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN
Legislative Chair
American Association of Birth Centers


Feel free to forward the Grassroots Network messages to others who might be interested!

If you find news, resources or other valuable information that you think should be posted on the Grassroots Network, please send it to info@cfmidwifery.org with "for the grassroots network" in the subject line. We will definitely consider using them!

CONSIDER JOINING Citizens for Midwifery!
Find out more about CfM at www.cfmidwifery.org
Easy to join on-line with a credit card go to http://cfmidwifery.org/join

Visit the Citizens for Midwifery website at www.cfmidwifery.org .
Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address. It's that simple!

Are you interested in volunteering with some dynamic women in a supportive environment?
Help CfM promote the Midwives Model of Care!
We have many ways to get more involved ~ committees, state and regional representatives,
And smaller tasks that will help CfM grow stronger and become more effective.
Get in touch with us!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mama is relaxed...

I just had an awesome weekend! I was able to get away - just myself (and the dog) - I stayed at my parents house from Friday night until Sunday evening and got do just relax!!

On Saturday, I had a prenatal massage by Mohammad at Essential Massage in Cocoa Village, FL, visited Stacy at Sadie's baby boutique, then went to lunch with Mom and Dad. I got to see people I had not seen in a while at the St Mary's Christmas Party that night. Then came home and saw the movie Love Actually with so many really good actors in it - it was a great 'holiday' movie though not recommended for children (only for the nudity scenes and some adult situations ;o)

Then on Sunday, I had wanted to go to a baby expo in Orlando then on to IKEA...but that night before, the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to drive into Orlando and deal with that traffic and people! And besides! it was MY relaxation weekend anyway!! So, I ended up going to Viera - the SuperTarget, and a couple of other stores there - and got some Christmas shopping done. Now if I could find time to wrap presents...!

When I was done with that and it was getting dark, I went back to Mom and Dad's, packed up my stuff (and the dog) and made my way back home.

Thank you, Patrick my love, for watching Anastasia on those days and glad you got to bond!


I don't know why I am only finding this website now, but I am glad I did! Etsy is "your place to buy & sell things handmade." And it's NOT the junk you might find at craft fairs where all the stuff is just 101 ways to use plastic and yarn to support your favorite sports team...oh, no. They have beautifully crafted leather, or unique handbags, glass beads made into thousands of different pieces of jewelry, hundreds of handcrafted toys, dolls, and even Waldorf, vintage everything, gifts for men and women...and so much more! I wish I had some across this site last week.....

..."hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink..."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Second Chance

Nearly 15 years ago, I vowed never to return to any McDonald's ever again. I have held firm...until now...

My husband - who eats out near his workplace nearly everyday - has said that not all McDonald's are that bad, that a few of them are actually sorta pleasurable to dine at and the food isn't that bad. I have been in one establishment in Orlando, FL near Disney and it was pretty cool inside...but the level of service really has not changed....and the movie "Supersize Me" didn't help their case either.

But as for the one I went to tonight, I do have to say it was better than my last experience 20 years ago...but not by much. Yes, it was cleaner inside, and the workers and the service were a tad faster and the food had a slightly higher quality to it, but it is still McDonald's. I had one of the burger meals, soda, fries, and a fruit and walnut snack salad thing. The burger was acceptable, the fries were skinny but not as greasy (as I remember), the soda...well, was soda... and as for the fruit and walnut salad snack thing, it was a vac-u-sucked container with apple slices, candied walnuts and a yogurt dipping sauce that tasted like a melted vanilla milkshake (it had 25g of sugar!!).

I don't know if I will ever set foot in one again, but we had a few laughs, ate a few potatoes worth of fries, and sucked down our quota of high fructose corn syrup for the next few years. Now my feet feel like they are swelling so I am going to take my pregnant self to bed.

No Big Deal...

Birth should be no big deal. It should be as simple and straightforward as perhaps putting on pants. Of course there was a time where women could not wear pants without thoughts of scandal..."Oooh, ankles!!"
And breastfeeding should also be no big deal. It is as normal as anybody else in public eating..."Oh my God! She's eating with chopsticks!!"
So, there are several really good movies about birth, and ABC's 20/20 is doing a story (finally) on one, called "Orgasmic Birth." "OMG! What does sex and birth have to do with each other?!?"
Anyway, after reading the media hype about homebirth and such on the ABC page, please visit this one which tells a more balanced story about midwives.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This is the post from "Mama Is..."

"I BFed my DD until she was 3 years old. I have a friend who is BFing her 5 and 3 year olds. But at the same time, my brother’s ex-wife and her mother think that BFing is the ‘most disgusting thing in the world…’
I have also heard in this economy that mothers are skimping on formula (not mixing it to proper dose) and the babies are suffering :( Unfortunately, it may get worse before getting better. And hopefully with the speed of the internet and news, more moms will finally ‘get it’ through their thick formula-fed skulls that the only way to survive is to go back to the basics - breastfeeding, natural birth, everything in moderation, etc!!"

Birth movies

FYI! If anyone out there is ever planning on having a baby, already has a baby, or has family who does, you really need to be educated on the current birth world. Those shows like "A Baby Story" are not ever accurate about the realities of birth. The best and latest movies on birth include:
I happen to have all of these and a few more. Which is my favorite? They all have their good points and minor drawbacks but are all far superior to the shows on TLC or the Health channel and such. I would LOVE to have a film festival with these in this area because it is so very much needed! If anyone is willing to help with this, let me know!! It is totally do-able, just with more than one person and perhaps with a year of planning.

"Mama Is..."

I just left a post on today's "Mama Is..." And in case you don't know what that is, it is an online breastfeeding (among so many other wonderful topics!) advocacy comic. Done by Heather Cushman-Dowdee (I think I got that name right ;o) the "Mama Is..." and "Hathor the cow goddess" comics talk about natural mothering/parenting, with topics such as: breastfeeding, baby-wearing, attachment parenting, homeschooling or unschooling, co-sleeping or bed-sharing, and then she will also get into politics and economy and issues affecting any of the above topics. I had the fortune to meet her briefly at the local La Leche League conference in 2007. Awesome Mama she is! Full of creative energy and the same need (as any good mother has) to change her world for the better with the talents given her!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Green Holiday Tips!

I got this from a forwarded email from...I don't remember anymore...(pregnant brain)....but they are good ideas!

1)Buy your green or organic gifts locally: Support your local economy by buying from local businesses. Ideally, choose items produced locally. Even if the item isn't produced locally, you are supporting a local business and recirculating your money back through your community.

2) Gift certificates: In a struggling economy, letting your loved ones choose what they want to buy can sometimes be the best gift. Consider buying gift certificates from your local co-op or natural food store, independent bookstore, or locally-owned restaurants.

3) Get crafty: Don't be afraid to offer handmade gifts. Put together a book of family favorite recipes. Make your own calendar. Give your loved one a coupon book offering your free services for massages, chores, and hugs.

4) Donate to a nonprofit of your choice in your friend or loved one's name. Many organizations provide certificates or thank you cards, that you can give to your loved one, acknowledging that you have made a gift donation in their name.

We got a live Christmas tree!

Yesterday, the three of us went to Rockledge Gardens and picked out our Christmas tree: it is a live Red Cedar tree, native to Florida and looks beautiful! Last year, we visited a tree farm and picked out a cut tree from there. We did that to support local business as well as our family tradition of having lunch or dinner afterward at a local restaurant. The tree farm is at the North Brevard/South Volusia county line on US-1. A bit out of the way, but totally worth the experience and trip! The place we had lunch after was a BBQ place on Us-1 in Mims - locally owned and really good pulled pork, Brunswick stew, mac'n'cheese.... Okay! gotta stop! Being pregnant and talking about food may require someone to go on a midnight run ;o)

This year, after getting our live tree, we stopped at Ryan's, an Irish Pizzeria in Cocoa Village. You heard me ;o) An Irish Pizza place! Then we went to Taylor Park to play with our 3 yr old on the swings, when Lo and Belhold! Santa was just starting to set up to take pictures on his sleigh!! We got to hang out with him before he had to work, our DD got candy canes and a tiger toy and after the shock wore off, she gave him a big hug!! It was awesome timing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

See Santa and go ice skating!!

Cocoa Village has ICE SKATING!! No kidding! And Santa! Santa is taking pictures in his sleigh and you can go ice skating all right there in Travis Park :) At least for tonight and perhaps the rest of the weekend. There is also a craft fair in the village this weekend. And the weather should be really nice, too!

Something else to do this weekend - unless you are putting up lights - is the Cracker Christmas at Ft Christmas, in Christmas, FL on Hwy 50 between Titusville and Bithlo.

BTW, as I sit here blogging, my 3 yr old is watching Peep and the Big Wide World and my husband is crafting a small puppet. My life is not normal nor anywhere near average...and I am glad!


While my husband and daughter play LEGO Indiana Jones on our Wii, I will let you all know when daughter #2 is born in Feb 2009, she shall be known as:


And as far as my health is concerned, my midwife says I am doing fantastically!!

AND I had my Glucose Test today... most of you are saying, "Yeck, glucola!" But! because I have an awesome midwife, I had a glucose breakfast instead of drinking that horribly, nasty, wrong glucola junk! It included toast, OJ (which I squeezed myself from oranges from my own backyard), scrambled eggs, and milk. That's it! No chuging nasty, syrupy, foul tasting, blech and riding a sugar-high for an hour or 2.... Best part was, my husband made it! Thank you, Love you!!

Baby - Daciana - is doing well, heart sound great, in the 140s. My BP is low and stable. And my daughter, Anastasia, is enjoying the homevisits from my midwife.