Wednesday, October 31, 2012

haiku wednesday

walked the kids to school
i brought small hand weights and felt

Monday, October 29, 2012

Understanding Waterbirth

What Is Waterbirth?                  

The term waterbirth is used to describe childbirth that takes place while the mother is partially or mostly submerged in warm water.  While she may or may not have used hydrotherapy (using water for pain relief) during a portion of her labor process, she actually births the baby in water.

Why Labor or Give Birth in Water?

Hydrotherapy can be very effective pain relief. Submersion in warm water both surrounds the body with comforting warmth and supports the weight of the body and uterus. Softening this pressure for the laboring woman is very satisfying. The water allows for more unrestricted movements of the pelvis and back and can allow the pelvis and backbone to sway and stretch to accommodate the widening birth canal and descending baby. Even without being submerged in water, a woman can receive very satisfying pain relief, and needed distraction and refreshment from a shower. If a shower sprayer is available, her birth partner or doula can use it to spray on her lower back, pelvis, or other areas she is experiencing intense pain or pressure. Showers can have a massaging, therapeutic effect temporarily or long term. Allowing warm water to run over the breasts and nipples can also increase oxytocin production, aiding in labor progression.

Women and couples who experience waterbirth often describe it as peaceful, relaxing, soothing and natural. I gave birth to my second baby in the water, and I agree; it was an amazing experience!

The birth of my second son, Alec Michael Sanders.

Is Water Birth Safe?
Babies can be safely born under water. They do not take their first breath until they emerge out of the water. Water birth is a safe, gentle and beautiful way for women to birth their babies. Since the warm water mimics the environment of the womb, the baby experiences less shock of cold air and bright lights, and instead gently transitions out of the womb, through the warm water and straight to his mother’s warm breast. For more information about the evidence to support water birth, read Evidence Based Birth's Evidence on the Safety of Water Birth

Water Birth Options and Considerations:

If you are birthing at home, you can easily labor in your own bathtub or whirlpool. Many people like to rent or purchase birthing pools because they offer more space so a partner can be in the water with you. Also, the pool can be placed within a larger room, leaving the space surrounding the  birth pool available for your doula, midwife, family or other support people to surround the laboring mother. 

If you are birthing at a birth center, chances are they have a labor tub or portable birthing pool available on site.

Your hospital may or may not have a bathtub available. Usually, there is at least a shower available. You will need to inquire about your options. If there is a bathtub available at your hospital or birth center, you will need to inquire about whether you will be allowed to both labor and birth in the tub. Some caregivers will allow their patients to labor in the water, but require they move to the delivery table for birth.

If your practitioner requires continuous EFM (Electronic Fetal Monitoring), he or she may not allow you in water. There are waterproof monitoring strips available, as well as telemetry (battery operated, mobile monitoring units), which would allow you to move away from the monitoring machine located next to the hospital bed. Ask if these mobile units are available at your birthing location. If no telemetry is available, ask if intermittent fetal monitoring is a possibility. If so, you may be able to unhook the fetal monitors and spend time in bath or shower before you’re required to go back and plug them back into the machine for monitoring.

If you have an IV or heparin lock, immersion in water shouldn’t be a problem. A plastic bag can be placed over your IV to protect it from water, and be sure to keep your arm out of the water. If you are receiving Pitocin, it shouldn’t be a problem to roll the rack, which holds the bag of medicine and fluids into the restroom while you are in the bath or shower. Of course, you will need to check with your caregiver to see if this is an option for you.

Though there is little risk of infection, your caregiver may not allow you in the water once your water is broken. Ask your caregiver about his/her protocol concerning hydrotherapy if your membranes have ruptured.

At Honeybee Mama, I'm committed to getting you the tools and resources you need to make informed decisions about your birth. If you're interested in knowing more about your birth options, check out my childbirth training manual or schedule a consultation today!

More pregnancy info!


Friday, October 26, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

I will be very sad when Halloween is not this exciting.
FYI, Alec is lifting a car in this pic with his Super Strength. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get Crafty - Give Thanks Garland

I've been super inspired to get crafty over the last week, and have been having all kinds of fun decorating our home to celebrate Fall and the holidays that come with it.

The littles have been begging me to decorate for Halloween, but I've never been too keen on decorating with webs, spiders, or other blood and gore. I am, however, very happy to decorate to celebrate the harvest and prepare for Thanksgiving.

I am loving the trend of bunting and banners right now, and recently enlisted the littles to help me make a Fall Garland with leaves from a nature walk. Next I wanted to make one with words to celebrate and inspire us to remember to be thankful in the harvest season.

I started with some card stock in Fall themed colors (same stuff I found at Michael's that I used for my Mason Jar Pumpkin Lantern). Cut the card stock in quarters. Don't worry about measuring perfectly; just eyeball it. I usually do!

Then, use a hole puncher to make holes in the top two corners of each rectangle.

Next, you can either eyeball letters, or use stencils like these. I found these for around $5 at Michael's, but you can find something similar at any craft store, or print some online. I chose 5 inch letters because I wanted them to stand out on a large garland, but you could really use any size you like.

If you craft often, you probably have some acrylic paint in your closet. If not, you can find it pretty cheap at your local craft store. You could also use tempera paint, water colors or markers.  Anything you have will work!

Use a paint brush or sponge to paint through the cut-outs of the stencils.

And voila!

Next I used some cute Fall themed ribbon I found at Target in the dollar bin (along with the foam wreaths and Fall stickers I used for my knotted wreaths) and cut each one in half. So, each piece of ribbon is probably about 6-8 inches long.

Then I folded the ribbon to get it through the hole punch and tied a knot at the end.

I continued the process (so each piece of ribbon has two knots on it, connecting the pieces of card stock), until I had a whole garland, placing black pieces of card stock on each end and in between the words "Give Thanks."


Mine is very simple, with the eclectic touch of several different colors and prints of ribbons. You could easily embellish with glitter and different colors of scrapbook paper.

Happy Crafting! Make your own and post a pic or link in your comment!

Get Crafty - Mason Jar Pumpkin Lantern

I've had this idea for a Mason Jar Pumpkin Lantern for a while. There are so many cute ideas for mason jar crafts out there. Google it or simply plug in "mason jar" into Etsy or Pinterest and you'll have craft ideas for years!

Since I've been in the mood to get crafty over the last week or so, I finally sat down to try and realize this vision in my head. I started with some cardstock in Fall colors. (I found these three packs for $10 at Michael's in all different shades just the other day) I cut strips the length of the paper, slightly fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. I don't have a template here; I just eyeballed. Plus I like the idea of non-uniformity in crafts. As I've said before, most (all) of my sewing and crafts (and cooking) are really an art in estimation!

Then I set the ends under the mason jar to see how many I'd need. You could overlap them if you want more coverage, or space them out more. You could also do alternating colors or something other than orange, since pumpkins and gourds come in all different shapes, colors and sizes!

Then, I traced the bottom of the jar onto another piece of cardstock and cut out the circle.

Then, I quickly put a ring of hot glue on the outer edge of that circle (sorry for the terrible pic),

and flipped it over onto my little circle of pumpkin strips and lightly pressed down until it was stuck.

Fold up the edges of the strips about an inch.

Here's where I wasn't quite sure what to do yet. At first, I'd envisioned using raffia to tie the underside of the folded strips onto the rim of the jar, but I was having a hard time holding onto them and getting them to stay put.

So, since I was impatient, I just hot-glued them onto the jar, which seemed to work fabulously!

So, I hot-glued little dots on each folded strip and stuck it to the jar. Then I wrapped a little piece of ribbon (found at Target in the dollar bin) around the top, which reminded me of a cute little scarf or necktie for my pumpkin lantern! I hot-glued him on there too!

Then I plopped a little votive candle into the bottom,

and lit it!

Lovely! This is JUST as I'd envisioned in my head, and I was ever so pleased with myself.

Until the jar got hot from the candle and started re-melting the hot glue and the strips of paper started popping off! So, I had to remove that cute little neck-tie and go back to my original idea of raffia.

Sorry, I didn't get a shot of me doing it because I needed both hands, but I did get a close up shot of the end result. I did use the raffia on the underside of the paper strips, under the fold, to tie them onto the jar. Once the raffia wrapped around once, I over lapped the pieces, brought them to the top side of the paper strips and wrapped the raffia around the upper rims of the jar again before tying it. I hope that makes sense!

Maybe you'll come up with a better method, and I hope you'll share it with me! In reality, you won't really need to glue anything to the jar itself, so that when Fall is over, you can take the pumpkin lantern off of it and use it to make something for the next holiday!

Happy Crafting!

Get Crafty - Knotted Wreaths

As crafty as you may think I am because I sew, I really don't do that much very often.

When I do, though, I tend to get on a roll!

Fall is my favorite season, and I've been inspired by the changing weather and colorful scenery to get crafty. Last week, the littles helped me gather leaves to make a beautiful Fall Leaf Garland. This week, I got itching to make some wreathes.

I hit the jackpot at Target in the dollar bins, and found some great Autumn themed stickers and foam wreaths.

I had some beautiful scrap fabric from a friend and decided to find a way to use it. If you don't already have scrap fabric, you can often find inexpensive scrap fabric at Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann's or others. Ask for the "remnants," and to make one of these wreaths, you might need about a half yard of combined fabrics (unless you want to use all the same print), cut into one inch strips.

The rest is really an art of estimation, which, to be honest, all of my crafts and sewing projects are! Nothing has to perfect, which is why I don't even know the exact amount of fabric to tell you to get! I just tied the pieces of fabric together with simple knots, trying to leave as much length in between knots as possible. Once you create your "rope" of fabric, just start wrapping the foam wreath with your fabric. When you get to the end, just tie one end of your rope to the first end you put on the wreath and you're done!

Ta-da! This would be even cuter with some vintage buttons hot-glued on, or some fabric flowers. You could even string up a family picture inside and use the wreath like a photo frame!

I'm loving it. And it's so easy, I may start filling my home with lots of wreaths. I never seem to be at a loss for scrap fabric around here!

I had gotten another idea for an Nut Wreath from Martha Stewart, so I started on a second one.  I started by wrapping another foam wreath like before with knotted strips of the same linen fabric I use for my slings.

Then I stuck on those cute Fall Stickers I got from Target, and pulled out my hot glue gun for the acorns. (FYI, I gathered those from my brother's house. If you don't have acorns in your yard, just go to your nearest park and I'm sure you won't look for long before you find some!)

I had thought at first I'd cover the whole thing like Martha did, but after just a few to accent my other cute stickers, I was happy with it just the way it was!

It was so easy, and took less than a half hour to make both of those wreaths.

If you can't find the foam wreaths at Target, you can easily find all different sizes and shapes at your local craft store.

Have fun, and send me pics of your wreath!

Get Crafty - Free Fallin'

I love Fall decor, and I love clever interior design; I just don't like to pay for it! At the least, I want to pay as little as possible for it. The great thing about Fall, is that you can find lots of things outside to decorate the inside of your home for FREE!

Over Fall Break from school we worked on collecting things from nature that we could use to get crafty! One beautiful morning, we went for a walk to collect all different kinds of leaves.

We walked to our school playground because the boys assured me there was an abundance of leaves there.

We stopped to swing.

Always stop to swing!

I'd planned to preserved the leaves in wax paper, so when we got home, I collected my supplies: wax paper and an iron (totally dry, no water or steam, so dump it out if it's full!).

I sandwiched several leaves in between the two pieces of wax paper, on top of a dry rag or towel.

Cover the top with another towel, then press with an iron set on high (again, no steam), for about 30 seconds or so, until you see that wax pieces have adhered to each other.

Then you can carefully cut out the leaves, being careful not to get too close to the edge of the leaf where the wax is still separated a bit.

From there, my plan had been to use a hole puncher to create a hole and string the leaves onto raffia to make a garland. But I wasn't really thrilled with the waxy outcome. The wax paper creates a bit of a fog and the bright colors of the leaves don't pop as well.

So I got out my Shellac and started spraying down the leaves.

I was a LOT happier with the outcome. If you do this, make sure you ventilate the room well with open windows and fans, and cover your nose and mouth as an extra measure of safety if you feel you need to. Spray in a steady stream to coat both front and back of the leaves to try and seal in the color.

Lovin' it!

I highly suggest if you're doing this on your kitchen table to cover your table with something that's waterproof before Shellacking leaves. I effectively Shellacked newspaper to mine!

Next, get some raffia, yarn, string, or ribbon and tie little knots carefully onto the stems, and...

Voila! A lovely little leaf garland to bring the beautiful Autumn colors of the outdoors into your home!

And the kids love helping!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{haiku wednesday}

sometimes you need grace.
to not be perfect. to just
be you. to just be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Inspire Me - Firework

My stepson has a form of Autism called Asperger's Syndrome, and my husband's nephew has severe Autism. Autism is a strange and difficult disorder. For those with severe disabilities, the symptoms are apparent, and empathy and assistance are freely given by others. But for those like my stepson, Carter, the disability is not always apparent to others, and is therefore even more difficult to cope with.

Those with Asperger's or High Functioning Autism seem very "normal" when compared with others, and because they are so capable of engaging in every day tasks relatively easily, it's easy to view their specific quirks as failures or poor choices instead of true disabilities. I listened to an audio book recently called "Look Me In the Eye," written by John Elder Robison, an adult who has lived most of his life coping with Asperger's without having any diagnosis of the disorder. He shares in his book that he envies people in wheelchairs because their disability is evident to everyone around them. He longs for the day when people can understand and empathize with his disabilities just as well as they would with someone who is blind, deaf or in a wheel chair.

It is crucially important for kids with Autism and Asperger's to be encouraged to grow in their areas of interest and strength. For Carter, it's Art and Animals. The kid knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs, cryptids (creatures like Bigfoot and Mothman), dragons, Godzilla, and many other real and mythical creatures. In addition to knowing a great deal about the history of each, he can draw them with incredible proficiency.

One of Carter's Drawing's "Legendary Dragons"

For Jodi DiPiazza, it's music. Though she has long struggled with communicating verbally, she has a gift with music and sings with perfect pitch. This week, she had the rare opportunity to perform the song Firework with one of her favorite artists, Katy Perry, live on Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars.

I hope you'll be as inspired as I am watching this video. (Normally I embed the video, but I'm unable to do so with this one. Please follow the link).

The song itself is moving and reminds me that I am more than naysayers may think I am, and can do anything I set my own heart to. What a beautiful example this performance is that any and every one of us can really overcome insurmountable odds.

Thank you Jodi and Katy, you Inspire Me!

Please learn more about the Night of Too Many Stars, Autism, and how you can help.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Labor Tips: Keep Moving!

Why Keep Moving In Labor?

Often when a mother says she experienced horrible pain in her labor, the first question I ask is, "Did you get up and move around, or were you mainly lying in bed throughout labor?" Nine times out of ten she'll respond with something along the lines of, "I was in the bed. I didn't know I could get out. Are you allowed to move around in labor?"

The answer, quite simply, is Yes! Moving your body in response to the intensity of labor is the ideal comfort measure, one with no risks or side effects. Whether your goal is natural childbirth or not, movement is the most effective way of offering physical and emotional relief to a laboring woman. 

Physical activity not only offers distraction and pain relief for the laboring woman; it also aids in progressing labor. As the mother walks, squats, lunges, sways, and adjusts to the needs of her body in labor, she allows the pelvis to shift and open to make room for the descending baby. Movement also allows the baby to rotate and descend, achieving optimal fetal positioning, and making her way deep into the pelvis and birth canal. Doing as much as you can to utilize gravity helps move the baby down and progress labor.

labor positions, tulsa doula, tulsa childbirth classes, honeybee mama, walking in labor

What Are Good Ways to Move In Labor?

Some hospitals will allow you to walk the halls, either with intermittent EFM (Electronic Fetal Monitoring) or a telemetry unit. Others will only allow you to walk within your birthing suite. Ask about the specific protocol at your birthing location. If you are not restricted to your bed, consider the following list of ways you can move for comfort and labor progression:
  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Swaying or Slow-dancing
  • Squatting, with or without support
  • Lunging
  • Light Stair Climbing
  • Rocking in a Rocking Chair
  • Sitting, Rocking, Leaning on a Birth Ball
What if My Doctor Says I Can't Move?

Some hospitals and practitioners have specific requirements for laboring women concerning movement and position changes. You will need to inquire about your caregiver’s wishes and that of your birthing location. Your caregiver or hospital may require you to remain in your hospital bed if any of the following occur during your labor (though this doesn't mean there is scientific evidence to restrict movement restrictions in all of the following cases):
  • If you have an IV
  • If your membranes have ruptured
  • If you are in active labor
  • If you receive any pain medication
  • If you receive an epidural (in which case you will very likely be restricted to the bed, and also receive a urinary catheter)
  • If you have high blood pressure or preeclampsia
  • If you are high-risk for any other reason

If you are restricted to your hospital bed for any reason, there are still a variety of positions you can utilize to maintain movement and take advantage of gravity, including:
  • Hands and knees position – either on all fours or on your knees and leaning forward on a birth ball or the raised head of your bed.
  • Sitting upright or tailor sitting
  • Sitting on the side or foot of the bed, leaning against partner or doula
  • Exaggerated side lying or “Texas roll” position with one leg raised and resting on pillows or the hospital stirrups.

More pregnancy info!



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