Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Induction of Labor

I copied this from Luna Maya's blog, the birth center in Chiapas where my midwife is currently working.


Cristina's Handy Guide To Surviving the Induction of Labor

I'm due for March 13th.... it's now March 15.... Do you think the baby is ok?... You are now 41 weeks... I will send you for a non-stress test.... Your placenta seems to be aging... your fluid levels are decreasing.... The head is still high.... Any contractions?.... You are now at 41.3 weeks.... If you pass 40 weeks we will have schedule an induction... We must induce.... We will induce... You will be induced on Friday.... We will induce on Monday.... You should have the baby within 12 hours.... Induction....


Seems like we have gone from "pregnancy can last anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks to"... "you are an oven and if your bun is in there for more than 40 weeks it will be horribly burnt and thus useless"...

Outside of out of hospital midwifery, the induction epidemic is rampant. I will not go into the dangers of induction in this entry. You can learn all about those in books, movies and webpages and by asking midwives. Instead I have created a list of questions to ask your doctor or midwife when they schedule or suggest an induction. I'd love to hear your comments:

10 Questions to Ask your Inducing Provider:

1. How many more years might I be pregnant?

2. If I am pregnant for another year will my child learn to walk and garble in the womb?

3. If my pregnancy lasts 3 years will my child learn to identify colors in the womb?

4. After you put the artificial oxitocin in my vein how do you expect to compensate for the other hormones that won't be naturally produced by my body that are necesary for labor, such as endophines, prolactin, catacolmines, prostaglandins.... and won't be produced by my body because of the artificial oxitocin.

5. How do you feel about the fact that I will be expereincing contractions that are about 3 times stronger than natural contractions? Does that matter to you at all? Will you be there to hold my hand and help me breathe?

6. How do you feel about my chances of me ending up in an emergency cesarean? Does that make you nervous at all? Are you pretty good at doing emergency cesareans?

7. After my baby is in intensive care for meconium aspiration, will you have any trouble sleeping at all? Do you think you might have nightmares?

8. After my baby comes home from the NICU and feels like a complete stranger to me, can you recommend where I can find my "maternal instincts" and "innate ability to breastfeed"?

9. What are your thoughts on the fact that, if my baby hasn't initiated labor maybe its not ready to be born, may be too small, not ready to breathe, not ready to handle extrauterine life, and may need another week to mature?

10. So, can you, once again, really clearly explain to me why it is dangerous for my baby to stay within MY womb, where it has lived its ENTIRE life for another week?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recap of the last couple of weeks

We have been so busy the last couple of weeks that I have hardly had enough time to keep up with the basic housework, much less blog. Things are heating up here in Arizona, with temperatures around 100 degrees every day (give or take), but it really does not fell that bad at all unless it's high noon. This is our fourth summer here, and we are all getting used to the warm weather.

Of course, having a pool helps. The kids enjoy going swimming pretty much every day. My goal is to teach Isaac how to swim this summer.

Two weeks ago, we went up to Red Rock State Park for some cooler weather and change in scenery. We barbecued hot dogs and then went playing in the creek and hiking along it for a couple of hours. The kids caught a HUGE crawdad, which they put back in the water where they found it after showing it off to me.

BTW, I am not a big fan of hot dogs as a regular fare (unlike the men in this family), but I do really like the all-beef hot dogs at Trader Joe's for an occasional treat. No nitrites or any other additives. Just beef, water, and natural seasonings. They also sell some pretty good whole-grain hot dog buns. I love Trader Joe's.

I took the next pictures for all my pet-loving readers. Believe it or not, we made homemade dog cookies for Bella. Our guess is that they were really good because she devoured them, while she does not usually care for dog treats. Will I start cooking all her meals now - hm, let me think about that.... NO WAY!!

Last Thursday, the weather was unusually cool and the sky overcast, so we made an impromptu field trip out of it and went peach picking. Since the peaches are grown organically, we were allowed to eat as many as we liked while in the orchard. Other than the peaches I used to eat as a child in Hungary, these are absolutely the BEST. If you live in the area, it's really worth the drive.

What a surprise, Miriam is in the middle of taking her shoes off.

Not sure why they decided to pose sitting on the ground amid a whole bunch of rotten peaches. But I guess when you're not the one doing the laundry, small details like that don't matter.

I have been enjoying various new kitchen experiments. Recently, I started churning our own butter. We get raw, organic cow's milk from a dairy in the area.

Here is the butter after it has been rinsed, salted, and packed. I would like to find some real butter molds. Notice the nice yellow color of the butter - it's delicious!!

Since we bought the grain mill, I have been making mostly all our own bread products. Here, I was making whole grain bread from four different grains, with sprouted wheat kernels. Probably my favorite bread recipe so far.

And some sourdough baguettes. But then I killed the sourdough starter, so this is a work in progress.

Miriam loves hanging out in the kitchen with me while I work.

The next day, Friday, was even cooler and nicer, so we went on a ranger-led hike at Usery Mountain Regional Park. In one word, it was awesome.

We have really been enjoying hiking as a family. Other than the ones mentioned above, in the last two weeks we also went on a long and pretty rough (at least with five little kids) hike at Squaw Peak, and on a ranger-led night hike with black lights looking for scorpions (which glow neon green under black light).

Saturday was the day of the protest rally. No, I still do not have any of the camera footage, in spite of the fact that there were four or five cameras recording. Well, I do have one clip of us going through the checkpoint when we first drove up, but there is no point in posting it here because we were just waved through. I personally only took pictures before the rally, when we were meeting at the cemetery.

Here is my husband's Dad with his wife and the kids.

Here he is with Isaac on his motorcycle. He gave all three boys rides on it.

Here are some of the signs that we were holding up by the side of the street right before the checkpoint.

The rally was pretty uneventful, other than an altercation when we first arrived. While we had been told ahead of time over the phone that we were allowed to stand by the side of the road and protest, as well as walk around the area, they would not let us do so when we got there. Border patrol obviously knew we were coming (they must really like my blog, I guess) because they were recording us with various camcorders. In fact, they even had one mounted on a tripod right at the stop sign, something they never usually have. Sure would be nice if they gave back our two camcorders that they are still holding hostage. They have probably sold them to a pawn shop by now to help their budget shortfalls.

Highway patrol was also on scene, which is not normally the case. We were eventually allowed to stand just off the shoulder right in front of the checkpoint. We only had a small group, maybe 8 vehicles or so; a total of about 20 or 25 people. The kids and I stayed in the car which was parked on the frontage road about 10 feet away during most of it. I think a lot of people who are supportive of us ended up not coming because they are afraid of these checkpoints, and after what happened to my husband, I can't really blame them. Plus, we were meeting at 8 am in a place 90 minutes drive from Phoenix. Even so, the reaction from motorists who drove by was largely very positive.

Monday evening I took the kids to Papago Park for a hike. Since my husband was out of town on business that night, I opted for a wheelchair accessible trail that I could maneuver with the stroller in case Miriam got too tired to walk. Her legs, by this point, were pretty sore from all the hiking we had been doing.

We stopped at a ramada along the "trail" to enjoy a picnic dinner we brought along.

On Thursday, the kids and I went to the Phoenix Museum of History. It was here that I noticed the screen on my digital camera had a crack, and was no longer working. Since the camera does not have an old-fashioned window for seeing what's in the picture, I have no way of knowing what I am snapping a photo of until I get to look at them on the computer. This is really too bad, because other than that, the camera still works great.

We thought this was pretty hilarious. Too bad they did away with the ordinance.

I finally also managed to take the two February birthday kids in for their portraits. It's only like three months late...

As far as school work goes, we are pretty much done for the school year, but I like to keep the boys working over the summer just a little to keep them busy during naptime. They also have a tendency to get really wired and wild if they don't sit down and work quietly at all, so I have found that keeping school going year-round is less stressful than to take a long summer break. They are boys, and since we don't stick them in front of a TV to keep them sedated, penmanship practice will have to do the trick.

This is one long post. Hope you enjoyed hearing about our recent adventures.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Something to keep in mind

Babies Don't Keep

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


My apologies for being such a slacker blogger lately. Looking back, I just realized that other than the short post this morning, I have not blogged since last Thursday. The posts since then were all written some time ago, saved as drafts, and just published this week.

I really, really want to share so much information, stories, and photos. I would also love to respond to all the unanswered emails that are stacking up daily. But...

I have a family. The kids need to eat, have clean clothes, be taught, played with, disciplined etc. There are errands to be run and phone calls to be made. The house needs to be kept reasonably clean (notice the relative term). Sometimes, I even need to sleep.

Normally, I would not be this behind on my duties at home. Last week, we had unusually cool weather, so we went on four or five different hikes and field trips throughout the week. Things started falling behind, and when there are five kids involved, getting off track even slightly means that I will be digging myself out of a pit for probably the rest of the week.

It is so tempting to just sit in front of the computer when I feel overwhelmed by my work. After all, what's the point in even tackling the mountain of work when it never ends? But I know that if I don't keep swimming, I will get swept away by the tidal wave of chores that is forever chasing me.

So off I go. But I'm really really hoping to have something more interesting to say before the week is over.

Great search engine

Somebody sent me a link to a great search engine, Ixquick, the only search engine that does not store what phrases you search for, your IP address, or any other information about you.

You can read more about their privacy protection here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bountiful Baskets

Calling all locals: I would like to recommend Bountiful Baskets food co-op. They offer baskets of conventional produce for $15, organic for $25. Definitely much cheaper than what the same would sell for at a grocery store or Whole Foods. We get the organic, and the quality of the produce is absolutely superb.

In addition, they also offer various breads, and special food offerings that change every week such as a Mexican food pack, etc. They have pickup locations at local parks all over the Greater Phoenix Area, which is very convenient.

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how much produce it is. Everyone gets two baskets, typically they are 50% fruit and 50% vegetable. Our family of seven eats a lot of produce, and we still have to make an effort to eat it all by the end of the week before we pick up the fresh baskets.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Natural remedy for acid reflux

I learned about this "cure" years ago from my midwife during my pregnancy with Isaac. Since then, I have recommended it many times, and it always seems to get the trick done. Great alternative to "purple pills", and safe during pregnancy.

It's kind of the same principle as fighting fire with fire.

If you take an antacid to get rid of your heartburn, the antacid "soaks" up your stomach acid, and the heartburn stops. Or at least it's supposed to. But more often than not, your body decides to make even more stomach acid because now there's even less acid in the stomach. So the typical recommendation of doctors to follow a low-acid diet is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you need to do.

Instead, "turn off" the bile production by simply raising your stomach's acid content. To do so, put 1-2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a tall glass of water, and drink approx. 30 minutes before your meal. Your stomach will settle, and you won't have heartburn after the meal.

How long you will have to continue this regimen is up to anyone's guess. I thought I would have to do it for the rest of my pregnancy, but after just two days, I never had heartburn again for the remainder of my pregnancy. Since then, I have only had to use it a few times with each pregnancy (whereas I used to go through bottles of Mylanta during my first pregnancy).

Please let me know if you tried this and how it worked for you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Little girls

I would never want to trade having daughters for anything. They are both so sweet, loving, and affectionate.

Becky in the infant area at the children's museum:

Playing with her baby doll - she was just so cute!

Miriam feeding Johnny chocolate chips that she secretly grabbed from the kitchen cupboard.

Miriam feeling something furry at the pet store

Miriam at the mother-daughter tea party (more details on that to follow)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rally this Saturday

There will be a rally this Saturday at the exact checkpoint where my husband was brutalized.

Please come join us in defending our constitutional rights to travel freely and without harassment within our country.

Please click here to view more details.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Photos

Channel 3 News in Phoenix did another report on this last night, you can view it here.



Please click here to view the report that CNN aired earlier today on this incident.


We just received these still photos today. Please do not view them in front of children, as they are quite perturbing.

In case you were wondering, we have made every effort to shield our children from this as much as possible. They have neither watched the YouTube clips, nor will be allowed to view these photos. We do not have TV so they have not seen any of the news coverage regarding this incident. They are homeschooled, so I also do not have to worry about what other children in school might be saying about/to them. Obviously, they did see their Dad when he first got home covered in bloody scabs and blood-stained clothes, but they are taking it as well as could be expected of them.

Again, this is not suitable for viewing in front of children.

Still shots of my husband in the border patrol trailer after being bandaged

After getting the stitches and being cleaned up more in the ER

Photos of the front driver side window. My husband's head was shoved into the broken glass while he was sitting in the driver seat, incapacitated by a taser. This lead to the cuts on his forehead that needed 11 stitches.

Photo of the front passanger window, which was bust out by DPS officer J. Mitchell. He used the hole to immediately deploy his taser on my husband, after telling him to cover his eyes in anticipaton of the glass breaking. My husband covered his eyes, put his head in his lap, and was tased the next moment even though he never resisted arrest or threatened the officers in any way at all. He is not even being charged with resisting arrest.

My husband's camcorder, which was sitting on the dashboard. He also had another camcorder in the vehicle. Both have been confiscated by the DPS and have still not been given back to us even though we have been given a DVD with the recordings that were found on them. They are our personal property, and each worth about $400.