Sunday, November 28, 2010


Dazzle And Shine Christmas 5x7 folded card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly...

Recently someone I follow on Twitter had tweeted about the holiday cards she was getting from Shutterfly.  They were absolutely adorable!  I, of course, tweeted back to tell her how much I LOVED them!  Every single year I spend a ton of time, at the very last minute, shopping for, or making Christmas cards to give to friends and family.  Its always soooo stressful!  This year I have a couple of pictures that I really like and wanted to use for our Christmas Cards.  I wasn't sure if I was going to make my own photo cards or order from somewhere.  I order my prints mainly online and have been using Shutterfly for years bc I'm an avid scrapbooker and you just cant beat their deals!!  After seeing my Twitter pals cards I thought maybe that was what I wanted to do.  So I started looking at all the amazing cards they have.  I am trying to decide if we want to do Christmas Cards, New Years Cards (for something different) or the Holiday Story Cards.  Here are links to some of my favorites:
Sweet Scalloped Frame Christmas Card
Kaleidoscope Noir Holiday Card
Dazzle and Shine Christmas Card
Mod Snowflake Story Card
Top Ten Moments Christmas Card
Confetti Countdown Film Strip New Years Card
Year in Pictures New Years Card (this one is great if you have kids and would make a good holiday card all around!)
I to choose???  Wait until you see all the other amazing cards.  These are just a handful of my favorites!  I was finally able to is what we are going to be using for our holiday card this year..
Puzzle Pieces Christmas Card
I LOVE it!!!!  I think our friends and family will love it too!  Its not often that I have a picture with me in it that I like enough to share so that will probably be a first!  My girls are adorable as always of course!

Prints and holiday cards are definitely not all Shutterfly has to offer!  I was surprised to see Invitations, Address Labels, and Canvas Wall Art. They also have really cool Calendars and one of my favorites (my mom is getting one for Christmas I think) Photo Books!!!!  Definitely check out all the great things they have to offer.  Its so fast and easy to make some really great things out of all those amazing photos that are just hanging out on your computer!!!

Hope I got your creative juices flowing!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Births...

Just over 7 years ago I found out that I was going to have a baby. I was 22 and it was a complete surprise. I spent a large part of my pregnancy reading Pregnancy books and magazines like "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy". I wanted to be as prepared as possible and those were both really popular books for pregnant moms. If only I new then what I know now!!

I wanted to be prepared but I was nervous about the actual labor so I did not read any labor stories or articles from any of the books or magazines. I didn’t want to read anything that really scared me! Of course that didn’t stop me from watching Maternity dramas where every labor was an emergency situation! I also watched a lot of A Baby Story. All the labors were always so calm and super medicated and the parents seemed so happy and perfect.

"E", my girls dad, and I were not together when I was pregnant with Emma (that is a totally different story to be saved for a possible future blog!) so I wanted to make sure that I did everything just right so that even with just one parent everything was absolutely perfect for her. I planned everything like crazy, including my how I would like my birth to go! I had a pretty calm pregnancy, other than morning sickness and hoped to have a pretty calm and painless birth. Yes, with baby #1 I though it was crazy to go thru labor without an epidural. *blush* Surprisingly labor started off pretty much according to plan.

On Wednesday, November 12, 2003 I had a prenatal visit with my OB. Everything was looking great and I was 2cm dilated and 90% effaced! My OB suggested that it might be a good time to strip my membranes and see if we could have a baby that weekend, 1 week before my due date. I thought that sounded fine so she did it. She made sure to tell me that it doesn’t mean that labor was going to definitely start in the next few days but that it can help it along. I tried not to get my hopes up but I was excited to think that my little girl could be born in just a few more days! Just two days later on Friday, November 14 I woke up early, around 7:30 am. I'm not sure what woke me up but as I was laying in my bed I literally felt myself lose my mucous plug. I was pretty excited by this since I knew that it could mean that labor was near. I got out of bed and changed my undies and then laid back down to try and go to sleep. I was lying there for 15 or 20 minutes when all of a sudden I felt a little tiny gush of fluid. I jumped up and ran across the hall to the bathroom where my water preceded to finish breaking all over the bathroom floor! I was so happy because I knew that my baby was going to be born sometime that day! I cleaned up the floor in the bathroom and then went to call my OB's office. It was just before 8am and the nurses line answered since the office wasn’t open yet. I told the nurse that my water had broken and she asked me a couple questions to make sure I hadn’t peed my pants, etc. I hadn’t started having any contractions yet so not much was happening. She said that she would contact my OB and have her call me back in a few minutes. My OB did not call me back, the nurse did. She informed me that my OB was out of town (WHAT???) and that another doctor was going to deliver me and that I should head to the hospital. Even though I was completely by myself I had this feeling of total calm, I wasn’t scared about being labor at all even though I had been for the previous 9 months! Even the news about my OB did not unsettle me. I called "E" at his parents house and his mom answered. I'm not really sure why but I just asked to talk to him and didn’t mention that I was in labor, even when she hesitated to wake him up for my phone call. "E" got on the phone and I told him that my water had broken and it was time for him to come drive me to the hospital. His parents house was about 15-20 minutes away from my house but I wasn’t worried about this at all. I could tell that he was really nervous but I still just had this feeling of utter calm. When he got to my house to drive me I was just hanging out doing my hair. I grabbed a box of cereal for him and a towel for the seat of his car since I was still leaking water. We drove straight to the hospital and went in to check in. I was still leaking fluid and my pants were pretty wet on the inside (I was wearing these lined Adidas pants so you couldn’t tell that they were wet on the outside). It felt very uncomfortable and I really did not want to sit down. The lady admitting me refused to continue the admitting process unless I sat down. I told her that I really did not want to because my pants were wet and she told me that I didn’t have a choice. This made me pretty upset but I sat down in my wet pants so I could finish getting checked in. I still wasn’t having any contractions at all. They took me up to the L&D floor and had me change into a lovely hospital gown. The nurse immediately got me in bed and set up on the monitors. Not long after that the nurses got me all hooked up to an IV. When they started to put my IV in I got extremely light headed (that feeling you get if your blood pressure super drops) and the nurses scared me a little by how they sounded, like it was a really big deal and a bad thing. Honestly I know this feeling quite well, I've had it happen to me many many times, bc sometimes my blood pressure just likes to drop suddenly. I normally just lie down for 5 or 10 minutes and I'm good to go. Anyhow...the one nurse said for the other nurse to quickly get me onto my side, which did help, and they finished putting in my IV. I have no idea why they hooked me up to IV fluids immediately but I also didn’t even think to ask not to have them. One of the nurses was very friendly and the other was not at all! Unfortunately the not very nice nurse was apparently the one assigned to take care of me. I kept wishing I could have a different nurse but didn’t think there was any way I could have a choice about it. The nurse checked me and I was at 3cm and 100% effaced. After lying in bed for a while I really needed to go to the bathroom but I was hooked up to all the monitors. I pushed the little call button and the person on the other end answered and asked what I needed. I explained that I needed to be unhooked from the monitors sot that I could go to the bathroom and she assured me a nurse would be right in. "E" and I waited about 10 minutes and nobody came so I tried the call button again. Again the person assured me someone would be in right away to help me. We waited for about 10 more minutes and I was honestly close to tears bc I really really had to pee! "E" could tell how upset I was and decided to unhook the monitors himself. We were worried that we would mess something up but I could not wait any longer. Apparently when we unhooked the monitors it alerted the nurses station that something was wrong and my nurse rushed in. She scolded up both for unhooking the monitors and got me hooked back up and settled in bed. It was probably getting close to 11 and I still wasn’t having any contractions and was stuck lying in bed. I was also getting extremely hungry and thirsty since I hadn’t had anything at all since the night before. In my birth plan I had stated that I wanted to be able to drink during labor and my OB had agreed that it was fine with her. When I asked for something to drink the nurse said absolutely not and that I could have a few ice chips if I was really thirsty but not too many. The ice chips really did not help even a little and the next time the nurse came in I asked if I could please just have a little drink of water. She said no and got me a little more ice chips. Around 11:30 they started me on pitocin since I still wasn’t contracting or dilating. Intense contractions started right away. I just felt overwhelmed by the pain from them and asked to get my epidural. The nurse told me that I had to be 4cm before I could get an epidural, which was news to me!! I had planned to not have any narcotic pain medication bc I had read that it is can really affect baby. It was so intense and painful and when the nurse suggested Stadol I said yes. :( I hated the Stadol. It didn’t make the contractions not hurt. It just made me feel odd. I hated how I felt and can only explain it as feeling like I was awake and asleep at the same time. Around 12:30 I started to feel a little less out of it. The contractions were also feeling more intense and painful. When the nurse came in I asked her to please check me to see if I could get my epidural. She said she doubted that I was 4cm but she checked me anyway. She was wrong and I was 5cm. She said she would call the anestisiologist to come do my epidural. He was pretty quick in coming and I got my epidural placed a little after 1pm. It worked and I couldn’t feel any pain. I also couldn’t feel anything from belly down. It made me feel panicky like something was wrong. I could see my legs but I couldn’t feel them at all and it kind of freaked me out. I couldn’t even pull my self up on the bed to a sitting position bc I couldn’t move or feel my legs. My dad and "E" had to help me sit up more. Once I got my epidural things got pretty boring. I kind of just rested and talked to "E" and my dad. Every once in a while the nurse would come in and check me and I seemed to be progressing quite nicely. Around 4pm, just 8 hours after my water broke, I was 10cm and ready to push. The nurses got everything ready to go and the mystery OB arrived (she was very nice). It was finally time to push. I had to have on an oxygen mask bc baby was having some heart deceleration and it was so obnoxious to have over my face!! "E" and my dad each held one leg while one of the nurses counted for me while I pushed. It took me a couple pushes to figure out how to push effectively since I couldn’t feel anything. I pushed for about 15 minutes I think (this part is very hazy in my mind honestly)and Emma was out. The cord was around her neck once but after they unwrapped it they placed her immediately on my chest and "E" cut the cord. It was amazing to hold my little daughter for the first time! I had a very small tear but no episiotomy which was a big enough thing that I told the mystery OB when she arrived! I need 3 small stitches and that was it. Emma was born at 4:43pm, about 9 hours after everything started. Not bad for a first baby, everyone had warned my I would go over due and be in labor FOREVER, so I was pretty happy! Emma latched on and nursed right away and that helped me feel less guilty about that Stadol. It took quite a while for the numbness to wear off from my epidural so I missed Emma's first bath (they did it in the nursery) and then she had to be under a heat lamp for a little while bc she got chilled during her bath. Since Emma was in the nursery getting warmed up (which made me really sad but again I didn’t think I had a choice) the nurse had me get up and take a bath. After having a baby at the hospital there really is no such thing as privacy and when I was ready to get out of my bath the nurse came in and helped me dry off since I was still a little wobbly from my epidural. Shortly after my bath Emma was returned from the nursery. She immediately latched on and nursed again. She was absolutely gorgeous and so tiny! She was 6 pounds 5 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. She had a head full of dark hair. She was absolutely perfect!

Three years passed and I'd had baby fever since Emma was about 8 months old! Emma, "E" and I were doing well and I loved our little family but was ready for another. I started charting my cycles on Fertility Friend in May of 2006 with plans of trying to conceive in November. Fertility Friend was a huge eye opener for me and it helped change my views about how I wanted my labor to go. I decided to switch from my OB's office to a small group of Midwives at another hospital. I wanted to go completely drug free this time and avoid any medical interventions. Near the end of July "E" surprised me by saying he wanted to start ttc the very next month. I was so happy and so ready to be pregnant again!! In August we started trying to get pregnant. It was pretty stressful for me, partly from talking to all the women on Fertility Friend battling infertility and miscarriages. I really wanted to get pregnant but so scared that we would have problems. I was doing everything I could to try and help the process. I was temping and checking my cervical mucous and using ovulation prediction kits. When I hit my fertile phase I made "E" have sex twice a day every single day. I even planned out how we had sex. I had to finish first and then I would lay with my pelvis raised on a couple pillows for at least 10 minutes after we finished since I had heard this could help. I got pregnant right away, in fact I tested before I should have even missed my period and got a positive. I was very nervous bc of all I had seen and heard on F.F. so I took a lot of pregnancy tests over the next few weeks. I had a scare right around 8 weeks when I had some bleeding. I went in for an ultrasound and everything looked perfect, which was a huge relief. "E" and I happily told everyone that we were finally pregnant again and everyone was so happy for us. When I was almost 12 weeks "E" revealed that he was unhappy and had met someone else and moved out. It was a devastating blow and the start to a very stressful pregnancy. Around a week later I had another small episode of bleeding and my midwives were concerned and sent me to see a perinatologist at the hospital where I was going to be delivering. At my appointment with the perinatologist they did an ultrasound (a regular one and a 4D one) and said that baby looked small for dates. I was positive of when I had gotten pregnant so it wasn’t just a mix up on due dates. This was the beginning of lots and lots of extra prenatal visits. I was worried that this would be the end of my natural childbirth dreams but both the perinatologist and midwives were still very supportive and on board for what I wanted during labor. My weight gain was non existent and actually going in the wrong direction and Ella continued to measure small for dates. I had measured small for dates with Emma as well but not as far behind as with baby #2. The perinatologist encouraged me to try and eat between 2400 and 2800 calories a day to boost my weight gain and see if that helped with Ella's growth. I continued to measure small for dates and Ella continued to measure small in all of my many ultrasounds. I personally loved all the ultrasounds bc I got to see Ella all the time. Towards the end Ella not only measured small but her growth wasn’t changing. I was scheduled to be induced exactly a week before my due date because my perinatologist felt she would be better out than in since she had stopped growing. The doctors were telling me that she might be as small as 5 pounds, possibly less, based on the ultrasound measurements. The perinatologist was still fine with the midwives handling my delivery, Two days before my induction, on April 23, 2007, I was having a lot of contractions. I was timing them and they were anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes apart. I called my midwife thinking that I might be in labor. I told her what was going on and she wasn’t convinced I was in true labor. She told me to go and take a bath and see if they went away. If they didn’t she said to call back. I took a bath and they went away *blush*. The next morning I had my last prenatal visit before my induction. Everything looked good and I was dilated 3 centimeters. Marilyn was going to strip my membranes but she said there wasn't anything there to strip! I went home planning to head to the hospital that next day at 7am. I spent the rest of my day playing with Emma and making sure that everything was ready to go for the next day. It was a stormy night and I went to bed around 10 because I wanted to get a good 8 hours of sleep before my induction. Around 2am something woke me up, I'm not sure if it was the storm or contractions. I was lying there in bed and all of a sudden a contraction started. This was quite a bit more painful than the night before. I headed to the computer to get my contraction timer going and started timing. I timed them for a while and they were pretty painful and about 5 minutes apart. Although I was, once again, alone and in labor (other than my sleeping 3 year old) I felt a complete sense of calm much like in my first labor. I found that kneeling on the floor with my upper body resting on the couch while I rocked was the easiest way for me to handle the contractions. I waited a little longer than I probably needed to before I called my midwives. I was thinking they are going to say this isn’t labor again and why are you calling are getting induced in just a few hours! When I called Jenda was the on call midwife and she said this sounded like the real thing and to head in to the hospital. I called my little brother to come stay with Emma and Eric to drive me to the hospital. I also called my good friend Kristi so that she could meet me there, she was my planned labor support. Eric arrived around 3:40 and we headed to the hospital. The hospital had construction going on so the procedure was to go to the ER and then the security officer would valet your car if it was in the middle of the night. I think I gave the security guard quite a scare. When he opened the passenger door for me I was in the midst of a very strong contraction. He looked pretty panicked as I assured him I was ok and not to worry. It was 4:00am when we arrived and Kristi and Jenda were waiting for me right inside. My plan for the last 9 months was to go natural but when Kristi saw me and asked me what my code word was if I wanted an epidural I changed my mind. I told her I didn’t need a code word because I was going to get one ASAP. I think laboring alone and then "E's" obnoxious comments on the way to the hospital, had let my control over the contractions get away from me. We got up to L&D and Jenda checked my cervix and announced to my surprise that I was 8cm and in wonder I thought I wanted an epidural! I asked if I could get an epidural and Jenda said there wasn’t time. I accepted that, no questions asked and started trying to feel me in control. I had not expected to be 8cm when I got to the hospital so I was very surprised at how fast things were going! Jenda sent Eric to go and get me some ice chips because I was really hot and to keep him busy so that I would be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. By the time they got me all settled and Jenda checked me again I had progressed to 9cm! Jenda said that she was going to break my water. About 10 or 15 minutes later she checked me again and I was 10cm. I was laying on my side and doing some deep moaning to help handle the contractions at this point. Kristi was rubbing my arm and Jenda was rubbing my back. All of a sudden I felt this intense urge to push. I told Jenda that I needed to push and she said ok. It didn’t feel comfortable for me on my side so I asked to turn onto my back. I started pushing in a semi-reclined position and things were going really well. It wasn’t long before Jenda said Ella's head was starting to crown. She told me not to push so that she could massage the head out to prevent any tearing. That was probably some of the most intense pain. It really felt like the skin above my vagina was going to rip in half! It didn’t take to long and the head was out. One more push and the rest was out. Ella Grace was born at 4:47 am on April 25, 2007! She was much larger than they expected, weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces, bigger than her older sister! The first thing I heard Jenda say after Ella was out was "Omgosh! She has blonde hair!" Eric and I both have dark hair and so does Emma but we both have blondes in our families. They placed Ella on my chest immediately and I felt the most intense happiness and feelings of accomplishment! She was gorgeous! I was able to have her nurse a little while I waited to deliver my placenta. Soon after Jenda suggested that I take a quick bath in the giant whirlpool tub that I hadn’t used to labor! She thought it would be a good idea to give Ella her first bath at the same time. It was absolutely wonderful, especially since I had missed Emma's first bath. I was just in a state of total bliss. When they were moving me up to my post partum room my phone started ringing. It was my dad telling me good luck with my induction. He was pretty surprised when I told him that I already had her!!

I ended up with two amazing little girls from two very different births. After my amazing birth with Ella I would never even consider trying a labor any other way. Maybe when I have my next little one I will have a water birth or a home birth, or maybe both! Labor is such an intense and amazing experience. I am so glad that I was able to experience it the second time without any of my senses dulled. It didn’t change how I feel about either one of my wonderful daughters but it definitely affected how I felt about myself and my body!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Letter to the Editor

After some excellent editing assistance I got my letter seeded down enough to hopefully get published! Watch for it in the. Omaha World Herald. In case you miss it(or it doesn't get published) here it is...

To the editor:

An article in the March 11 World-Herald reported on a medical malpractice award. The injury referred to was sustained after a situation occurred called "shoulder dystocia." According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most cases of shoulder dystocia cannot be predicted and there is no accurate method to identify which fetuses will develo the condition. Dr. Henry Lerner, a leading authority on shoulder dystocia, says that brachial plexus injury can be completely unrelated to shoulder dystocia. It happens in both vaginal and cesarean deliveries where shoulder dystocia is not present. He also says, "This automatic assignment of responsibility to an OB or Midwife for brachial plexus injury whenever shoulder dystocia occurs is inappropriate and not supported by literature."

The statements made by the attorneys in the article showed bias and ignorance. Midwives in Nebraska consistently have excellent outcomes with high consumer satisfaction. Nebraskans would only benefit from having more midwives available to them for prenatal and maternity care.

Pretty good right!? For more info on shoulder dystocia check out Dr. Lerner's website:

To get involved and support access to midwives check out Nebraska Friends of Midwives:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One of my Favorite Midwives Lost Lawsuit

Four years ago I started charting on Fertility Friend so that later in 2006 we could start trying to have another baby.  All those month of charting and chatting on the FF message boards taught me a lot.  My eyes were opened to what I really wanted for my birth.  In August of 2006 I found out that I was pregnant with my second child who is not almost 3 years old.  For that pregnancy I decided to use the Midwives thru Methodist Health Systems here in Omaha bc I wanted to have a natural, intervention free birth.  Just a few months later I split up with the father of my children.  The midwives, Jenda Stauffer, CeCe Norton, and Marilyn Lowe were absolutely amazing.  They helped me in ways I know my former OB would not have been able to.  Between the 4 of us we came up with a plan on how to handle any situations that might arise during the delivery if my ex chose to be present (things were extremely tense between us.)  This meant so much to me and helped me so much in having the labor experience of my dreams (definite topic of a later blog). 

Fast forward to March 11, 2011.  I am was reading a summary of post on the Nebraska Friends of Midwives yahoo group.  I see a post about a local midwife losing a lawsuit.  Imagine my shock and horror when I read it and see that its Marilyn Lowe!  I found the comments made by the attorney of the parents to be ignorant, biased and personally abhorrent.  Here is a link to the story:

After reading the story I immediately got online and looked into Shoulder Dystocia.  Here are some facts I found on an information website done by Dr. Henry Lerner.  His website is the worlds leading source for information on Shoulder Dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia happens in 1% of all in the US that is 40,000 cases per year (approximately 4million babies were born in 2007, the last year I could find stats for).

20% of babies with shoulder Dystocia will suffer some sort of injury either temporary or permanent.

Brachial Plexus damage will happen in 10% of all shoulder dystocia deliveries. (The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spinal cord, which is housed in the spinal canal of the vertebral column (or spine), to the shoulder, arm and hand.)

Brachial Plexus damage can happen without shoulder dystocia.  It happens in both vaginal births where there is no dystocia, and in c-section births.

Babies with shoulder dystocia must be delivered fully as quickly as possible to avoid fetal asphixiation.  This is because once the head is delivered the umbilical cord is compressed between the babies body and the mothers birth canal.  This significantly decreases or completely cuts off blood flow between mother and baby. 

Between 200 and 400 babies will have permanent brachial plexus injuries each year in the US.

 A study done in 1988 found that the amount of experience a doctor or midwife has delivering babies has no affect on injuries to the fetus resulting from shoulder dystocia.

A number of different studies all found that it is extremely difficult to accurately predict which babies will have shoulder dystocia.

ACOG says this about shoulder dystocia:
         Most cases cannot be predicted or prevented because there are no accurate methods to identify which fetuses will develop the condition.
         Ultrasonic measurement to estimate macrosomia has limited accuracy. (Macrosomia is a baby weighing over 4000 grams or 8 pounds 13 ounces)
         Planned c-sections based on suspected macrosomia is not a reasonable strategy. (One study showed that 1000 unneeded c-sections would take place to prevent 1 case of shoulder dystocia resulting in brachial plexus injury.)

On his website Dr. Lerner says "This automatic assignment of responsibility to an OB or Midwife for brachial plexus injury whenever shoulder dystocia occurs is inappropriate and not supported by literature."

I found this information very interesting and it made me feel even more strongly that Marilyn Lowe should not be held liable in this case.  I feel so strongly that I plan to send a letter to the editor.  The following is a rough draft, awaiting some major editing by friends before I actually send it...

Three years ago when I was pregnant with my second child I was a patient of the Midwifery Team thru Methodist Health Systems.  I was going thru a very stressful and difficult time in my personal life and also a stressful, higher risk pregnancy.  I was leaving the midwives office after a normal prenatal visit with midwife, Jenda Stauffer.  As we were walking towards the lobby we ran into one of the other midwives, Marilyn Lowe.  We stopped to talk to her and Jenda told her some of the things I had going on and was worried about.  Marilyn asked me some questions and being 7 months pregnant, stressed and very emotional I started to cry.  Marilyn immediately gave me a hug. It was one of those hugs that make you feel better, like everything is going to be ok, like a hug a mother gives to a hurt child. That calmed me down and she helped me make a plan to deal with the situations I was worried about.  Two months later I gave birth to my second daughter.  It was the most amazing, calm, wonderful birth experience.  I credit that to the excellent care I received from the Methodist Midwives and the plan that Marilyn Lowe helped me make 2 months earlier.  Marilyn and the other midwives went about and beyond the expected standard of care and I cannot picture a time when they wouldn’t do everything they could to ensure the best possible birth outcome. 
Having a large baby is not, in itself, a high risk delivery.  Thousands of “big” babies are born each year in the United States and only 1% of deliveries are affected by Shoulder Dystocia.  Shoulder Dystocia is an emergency situation.  It is vital to deliver the shoulder and rest of the baby as soon as possible after the head is delivered.  Once the head is delivered the umbilical cord is compressed between the baby and the mother’s birth canal, significantly decreasing, or completely cutting off blood flow between mother and baby.  Death or serious brain damage can happen in as little as 5 minutes from the time the head is delivered until the rest of the baby is out.  The Brachial Plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand.  Brachial Plexus injury is caused by damage to those nerves and happens in 10% of shoulder dystocia deliveries.  According to ACOG most cases of Shoulder Dystocia cannot be predicted and there is no accurate method to identify which fetuses will develop the condition.  Ultrasonic measurement to estimate macrosomia has limited accuracy and planned c-sections based on suspected macrosomia is not a reasonable strategy.  According to Dr. Henry Lerner, whose website is the world leading source of information on Shoulder Dystocia, Brachial Plexus injury can happen and be completely unrelated to Shoulder Dystocia and happen in both vaginal and cesarean deliveries where Shoulder Dystocia is not present.  He goes on to say “This automatic assignment of responsibility to an OB or Midwife for Brachial Plexus injury whenever Shoulder Dystocia occurs is inappropriate and not supported by literature.”  The Reilly’s should be happy that Marilyn Lowe acted calmly and quickly to deliver their baby and happy that for the most part he was healthy.  The statements made by the attorneys showed bias and ignorance and were not supported by fact.  Midwives in Nebraska consistently have lower c-section rates and more positive birth outcomes. Nebraskans would only benefit from having more midwives available to them for prenatal and maternity care.  
 The comments made by the families attorneys really rubbed me the wrong way and I truly believe that the family should be thankful that she acted quickly and saved the life of their baby.  I also really dont think that every case of brachial plexus injury results in a lawsuit that is covered by the media.  I do not think this story would have been covered if the family had lost or if an OB had lost.  I know that the amazing successful deliveries by midwives are not covered.  Midwives offer an exceptional level of prenatal care that is hard to find with an OB.  I truly believe the last line of my letter, that we can only benefit from more midwives being available to care for pregnant women.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A blog is Born

Ok, so this is my second attempt at blogging!  I think it will go much better than the first!  I'm planning to blog about all kinds of things from being a single mom to homeschooling to my adventures as I become a birth doula.  I hope that everyone finds it half as interesting and entertaining as I do.  There is so much I hope to share!

So a little bit about me...I am a "single" mom and I have two awesome little girls!  I am lucky enough to have an amazing supportive boyfriend who is helping me not be so "single" anymore!  I am home schooling and pretty passionate about it.  I have a lot of different reasons for not sending my girls to "traditional" schools.  I am sure that will be the subject of a long blog post sometime in the near future!  Right now I am actively seeking certification thru DONA to be a Birth Doula.  I also hope to someday be certified as a PostPartum Doula.  I was already pretty passionate about Birth but since I started my certification my passion has grown exponentially!  Every woman deserves the chance to have her ideal birth and making sure ALL options are available and that all the information is given to moms is the first step to helping this happen!  My feeling on maternity care and birth trends in our society will most likely be the subject of many posts to come!

Thats all I have time for right now...time for some home schooling!  The girls are excited to get started...I love making our own school schedule!