Wednesday, July 24, 2013

{haiku wednesday}

already wednesday?
births, outings, housework, in-laws
catching up, catch up

Friday, July 19, 2013

{my moment}

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

I am so thankful for the ability to work from home, doing a job that I love so dearly, and to be able to be home with my babies. I am thankful they get a childhood that allows for lazy summer days and spending the morning shirtless in their pjs, eating pancakes in front of the TV. Everything in moderation I say. I figure if I feed them healthy stuff most of the time, it shouldn't do too much harm to feed them pancakes with chocolate chips and mini Reeses in them!

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

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Childbirth Class Series!

I am starting a new Childbirth Education series this August!

It will be a four part series. Come to just the class you want, or sign up for all four!

Classes are as follows:

Part 1 - Nutrition and Healthy Pregnancy - August 3
Part 2 - Birth Basics - August 10
Part 3 - Comfort Measures for Labor - August 17
Part 4 - Postpartum and Newborn Care - August 24

The classes will be held at my home in Broken Arrow, where we can be comfortable and casual. I will have light refreshments and there will be plenty of time for you to visit and ask questions.

Price per class is $15, or you can pre-register for all four classes for just $50. Must RSVP on the individual facebook event or contact me at You will receive a paypal invoice to prepay for class and materials. No extra cost for partners attending with mothers. 

AND if you register for the first class by July 27th, you'll receive 15% off my birth plan manual!

Grab your partner, grab a friend and I'll see you there!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TENS Unit for Labor Pain Relief

There are a variety of ways women can achieve relief from labor pain. Many women choose narcotics, epidural analgesia, or other pharmacological options. There are growing numbers of women who seek chemical free options and use a variety of non-pharmacological comfort measures for labor.

Pursuing childbirth education in birthing methods such as The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, Hypnobirthing, Birth Boot Camp, Birthing from Within and others can be one way women gain knowledge about their bodies and the birth process. This can empower them to achieve the natural childbirth experience they desire.

To aid them in their goal for a non-medical, chemical free birth, there are several options available to help ease the intensity of labor so birthing mothers can decline unnecessary or harmful interventions and medications and attain a natural childbirth experience. One of these chemical free pain relief options is the Femme TENS Unit.

What is TENS?

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Through the device, mild electrical impulses are transmitted through the skin, where they stimulate nerve fibers. The woman controls the stimulation through a handheld, battery-operated device which generates the electrical impulses and transmits them via electrodes (stimulating pads).

Four electrodes are placed on the lower back (picture below). For placement, find the "points of Venus" or the two dimples on the lower back. Place two electrodes above these dimples on either side of the spine, and two below the dimples also on either side of the spine. The two lower electrodes should be on the upper part of the buttocks. These electrodes are connected to the battery operated, handheld device where the laboring mother can adjust the strength and duration of the electrical pulses to accommodate her needs.

History of TENS:

Electrical stimulation has been used since 46 A.D. when a Roman doctor recorded using the electrical powers of a fish to treat headache and gout. In the 19th and 20th centuries, electrostimulation with static electricity was used for many purposes. Presently, TENS is used for many acute and chronic painful conditions, including pain in labor, post-surgical discomfort, chiropractic treatments and chronic pain associated with other disorders.

In 1965 Melzack and Wall introduced the Gate Control Theory of Pain. This theory suggests that the severity of pain one feels depends on the balance between the painful and non-painful or pleasant stimuli that reach one's consciousnesses. Pain awareness can be reduced by closing the "gate" to pain, which can be accomplished by increasing non-painful or pleasant stimuli. The low frequency "acupuncture-like" TENS stiumulates the release of endorphins, which are opiate like hormones released by the pituitary gland during intense physical activity, sexual activity and childbirth.

Scientific Support for TENS:

TENS in labor can help tremendously with pain relief, back pain and a woman's overall satisfaction during childbirth by distracting and refocusing the mother with a competition of stimuli and an increase of endorphin production. In 1997, a study of 8 randomized controlled trials including 712 women showed that though there was "no compelling evidence for TENS having any analgesic effect," additional analgesics were used less by the women who used TENS during labor, and 54% of them went on to use it in a future labor [i].

Studies of the use of TENS for back pain in labor show that although few women reported reduction in abdominal labor pain, it had a spedific beneficial effect on pain localized to the back. In another study, by Budsen in 1981, it results showed "TENS has a specific beneficial effect on pain localized to the back" [ii]. In this study, the TENS group used less nitrous oxide and fewer TENS babies went to the NICU.

Advantages of TENS in Labor:
  • There is no reported harm to mother or baby.
  • TENS can be used with other palliative measures.
  • TENS Allows ambulation and movement.
  • The laboring mother remains clear-headed while utilizing TENS.
  • No extra safety interventions are required with TENS use.
  • TENS may help a mother postpone or avoid the use of epidural analgesia.
  • The woman is in control of the frequency and intensity of the TENS.
  • Many women consider TENS as effective as pharmacological options.
Disadvantages of TENS in Labor:
  • TENS is less effective than epidural analgesia.
  • Not all women find it helpful.
  • TENS must be initiated early in labor for maximum benefit.
Access to TENS for Labor Pain Relief:

It is highly recommended that you seek out a professional who has certification and experience in the use of TENS for labor pain relief. I recently received training and certification to offer TENS to my clients as a part of my various doula packages.

You can also purchase your own Femme TENS unit online or rent one from a qualified professional.

Precautions with TENS:
  • TENS should not be stored or used in water or near high heat or near flammable gas.
  • TENS should only be used with specified electrodes placed on body only as and where directed.
  • Women should not use TENS before full term (38-40 weeks)
  • TENS should not be used with a demand-typ cardiac pacemaker or if a woman has a seizure disorder. 
More pregnancy info!

Sources and References:
  • [1] British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynocology, February 1997,
  • [ii] Acta Obstectrica et Gynocologica Scandinavia, 1981,

Friday, July 12, 2013

{Inspire Me}

Normally I would have a {my moment} post for you on Friday with a moment captured from the week in a photo that captured my heart. Seeing as I dropped my phone in a creek yesterday, effectively destroying everything I wasn't smart enough to save onto the memory card, I don't have several lovely pictures from this last week. But life is what you make of it, right? So I'm going to make honey!

It's been a while since I've posted an {Inspire Me} post, so I thought I'd do that for you. I mean, it's Friday - I think it's a great day of the week to get a little inspiration.

The song inspiring me lately is Brave by Sara Bareilles. I love Sara Bareilles. Her music is on the soundtrack of my life, right alongside Norah Jones, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, The Avett Brothers and so much more.

Brave brings tears to my eyes. The video brings even more. 

Take a lookie listen.

Now, start it again and read the lyrics.

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you 


Be inspired today. Start speaking up. Show everyone how big your brave is. And for goodness sake, PELASE dance in public. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

haiku wednesday

summer lazy kids
and sleepover hangovers
you only live once

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Easy 4th of July

We had an easy and laid back Fourth of July this year. Marc and I have been working pretty hard this summer, after an insanely busy school year with the kids. While the rest of you were at the pool, lake or taking a trip across the country, our family was lying around in our pajamas until 1 or 2 in the afternoon!

I even worked on the holiday. I kept wondering why no one would schedule appointments with me on Thursday, when someone finally reminded me it was a holiday. That's what you get when you're a WAHM who owns your own business, I guess. Every day is a work day, really! Finally, around 2PM I decided get off the computer and do some baking for our evening get together with my family.

I baked some blackberry cobbler (I used Pioneer Woman's cobbler recipe, but added a full two extra cups of berries) and a Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with the fresh blueberries from our trip to Thunderbird Berry Farm. Once those were out of the oven, we headed over to my grandmother, Nana's house for an easy,  no frills get together.

Last year, we went out to the river to see the big fireworks show.

But this year, my Nana had her heart set on having her great grandchildren over to eat hot dogs and watch her neighborhood fireworks display. So we headed over early so she and my husband could play a long anticipated game of Gin Rummy.

He lost big time. If you know Nana, you know this is typical. I've only beat her three times since she taught me how to play as a child. One time she cussed me, the second time she called the next day to tell me I only beat her because she'd had a fever, and the third time she blamed her arthritis. Sadly for Marc, stellar poker skills do not translate to beating Nana in Gin.

Carter and Corrinne also invented their own card game, which they titled "I have no idea what the name of this game is!"

We ate our hot dogs and sat,

and sat,

and sat!

Finally, when the fireworks were about to start, some of us started showing some excitement.

Sometimes you just need holidays to be easy and enjoy the company of family instead of the impressiveness of the activity. I'm thankful that I have a family I love and that we enjoy spending time together.

Happy Independence, America (a few days late from Honeybee Mama)!

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Well, it's been a while since I've shared any recipes with you guys. To be honest, I've kind of been on a hiatus from cooking. Since Summer hit, I have been riding the frozen meals and sandwiches train. It was such a hectic school year, I have enjoyed sipping my coffee in the mornings knowing the kids can help themselves to frozen waffles and whatever else they can scrounge up in the cabinet!

However, my waistline has had quite enough. Starting this week, we are trying to incorporate more healthy foods and get the kids back in the habit of eating fresh fruits and veggies. It makes total sense that I'm about to share a cake recipe with you, then, doesn't it?

The healthy part about it is the fresh, local blueberries we picked recently from Thunderbird Berry Farm in Broken Arrow. It was a fun trip and the berries have been wonderful. I have actually been putting them in salads too, but this cake is delicous. If you really want to, you could trade out the all-purpose flour for some Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, and the sugar for raw sugar, Stevia in the Raw, or Wholesome Sweeteners and it would be an amazing real food recipe.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I actually just used the white sugar and it was plenty sweet)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • nonstick cooking spray, for pan
  • confectioner's sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.
  3. In a bowl, toss blueberries, lemon zest  with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  4. Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.

Happy Summer, and happy eating!


Friday, July 5, 2013

{my moment}

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

My cute husband getting trounced in gin rummy by the infamous Nana at our fourth of July gathering yesterday. Believe it or not, she was afraid to play with him. Apparently poker skills don't always translate to gin!

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

Happy Weekend Lovies!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

{haiku wednesday}

Despicable kids -
bored, tired. Despicable Me
at Drive-in? Awesome.

Find me at Tulsa Family Doulas

Join me at the 2015 SMTULSA Conference!

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