Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ACOG's 11 "New" Recommendations for Birth (that we've kinda been saying all along)



Finally! Have you heard? If you or someone you know will be having a baby soon, I hope you have! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists just recently (finally!) came out with some new recommendations for labor and birth and they're kind of a big deal. It's what many mothers and birth advocates have been begging for for years and ACOG is finally admitting that for most women, some common hospital protocols have not truly been evidence based. In fact, many times the unreasonable requirements of these protocols have frustrated normal labors and caused complications that could have been prevented. 

This is important. This isn't just for "birthy" folk. We need to care about these kinds of things because they directly affect the health of the most vulnerable among us and they affect the dignity with which women and babies are treated. The way women experience their births has a direct effect on families and on how they enter into their motherhood. We need to insist that women and babies are always treated with the utmost of dignity and respect and with solid, evidence-based care that honors the design of God for our bodies and for birth.


Monday, February 20, 2017

lately :: winter days, babies, tree tapping, and more ::


Winter hasn't been too hard on us this year. We have only gotten snow a handful of times and never more than a few inches at a time. January was extremely gray and rainy, though. I think, quite literally, that we only saw the blue sky for a few moments on one day out of the whole month. So with that preceding, February is starting to get long and feel very much like February does. BUT this week is slated to creep into the 50's and there's been a few days of sunshine already so yay! Thanks, God.  


Monday, February 6, 2017

The 3 Books Every Catholic Parent Should Read



There are a lot lot lot of books on parenting and marriage out there. It's actually kind of overwhelming, isn't it? I've read and like some of them but I recently spent some time rereading a few things that I read long ago when I was just a young single whippersnapper piling up loans and filling my stomach with ramen noodles. While I really loved them then and they helped put me on the path towards my vocation, when I reread them now as a wife and mom....woah. Everything is stunningly true and applicable to me right here, right now.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Saint John Bosco Teaches Me About Parenting



While in college, I met Saint John Bosco. Back then he was assigned as reading and study for those of us in the theology/religious education track at school. I enjoyed learning about him and what his methods could teach us about evangelization and catechesis and ministry. But it wasn't until I entered my vocation as a wife and mother, now with five little boys of my own counting on me for their education and evangelization, that his words and method became so much more profound. I'm no great expert on his life and I certainly have a long way to go in applying his methods well but they teach me SO much about the type of mother I want to be and what to do to get there. His words are so practical and they are filled with love. When I read them I can't help but be convicted and inspired. Here's a few of my favorite quotes along with what I glean from them for my own mothering and teaching of these little people God's given me:


Monday, January 30, 2017

Where Is the Church in Pregnancy, Miscarriage, and Birth?



I’ve had the feeling myself and I’ve heard it expressed among a lot of friends. “Where is the Church during …?” At the most difficult or the most profound moments of our lives, we want…something. Something official that shows that these huge and life-altering moments are recognized by the body of Christ. We want support, guidance, love, concern, and help and it makes sense that we expect the Church to provide that. Considering my own current state in life as a young(ish?) mom and a birth and bereavement doula, it makes sense that I most hear it in regard to the seasons of pregnancy or in regard to birth or miscarriage. Why doesn’t the Church do more for pregnant women? Does the Church care about me as I get ready to have this baby? Why aren’t there official resources to help women after a miscarriage? If the Church is so pro-life and claims she values every single human person, then how does she show it for these very real babies?



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Celebrating Saint John Bosco


I have a particular love for Saint John Bosco. I love his philosophies of rearing children and education. I love his practical, no-nonsense advice for life. I love his heart for teaching and training boys that the world thought were hopeless. God called this Italian priest in the 1800's to found a school for these boys and train them in a life of virtue. For that reason, he was claimed some years ago as patron of our little homeschool here and I feel like he has a special watch over our family. I think it's particularly neat that his birthday is the same day as our wedding anniversary.

His feast day is on January 31 and we'll be taking some time to honor our patron! 



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How I Doula as a Homeschooling SAHM of 5



About five years ago, I became certified as a birth doula. It's a challenging, rewarding, difficult, and amazing gift to be able to do it. I wasn't sure when I first started the training where it would lead but I felt like God was leading me there so I stepped out and started. I've learned and changed so much since starting. Since then, I've been asked lots of times how I make the whole birth doula work when I'm a homeschooling mom of five little people, some just curious and some wondering if they could do it themselves. There is a huge need for all types of legit doulas (birth, postpartum, and bereavement), especially women of faith. I truly believe that building a culture of life includes real tangible support for mothers during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and through loss. I'd encourage any woman who's feeling a little nudge to pray and see if it would work for her and her family, even on a limited basis. If it truly is God's will, He'll work out the details.

First, I guess I should share a quick basic summary of the nuts and bolts I provide for official clients:
1 free interview, 2 prenatal meetings, 24/7 on call availability from 37 weeks on, email/phone support anytime during pregnancy, physical/emotional/informational/spiritual support from active labor until 1-2 hours after birth, 1 postpartum follow up meeting

So, how do I do that as a homeschooling, stay at home mom to 5 littles?


Monday, January 23, 2017

Our Ben Right Now


Our Ben is still bringing so much joy. Yesterday he turned 20 months and his spirit is just indescribable. I know I've said it before but the way he's changed our home is so beautiful and he has added so much that I didn't even know was missing. I was so scared when I was pregnant with him and that must've made God laugh a bit, with that all-knowing way of His of what was in store for us. I'm inclined to think that he is a gift just for our little family to really understand since I suspect to everyone else he just seems like a normal quirky one year old. But he has made our lives happier, more compassionate, more peaceful, and more loving. He genuinely makes me want to be a better person which sounds really dramatic but is completely true. There's just something about him. I was totally bracing myself as he entered the toddler stage (which is not where my motherhood and temperament are, ahem, naturally suited) but so far, even that's been pretty great. Brian and I are still in awe multiple times a day with just how amazing he is and his big brothers are all still pretty smitten, too. (WOW. That was a mom gush. But my blog so that's that.)

So, capturing some of Ben right now:

Good natured and happy nearly all the time. It's incredible. He has his moments, of course, but even those are so tame. 

He loves to dance and definitely prefers faster music. We joked that because he came out feet first when he was born that he would be dancer and I think he's trying to live up to it. His signature latest move is tiptoeing in a circular walk-run with arms in either a slow flap or gospel praise position. It's the best. Whenever I put music on he gets visibly excited and waits to hear what it is and in between songs worries that it's over.




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