Cranial Sacral Therapy

Here’s an interesting article on how it could be helpful to babies.

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Holiday Reflections 2011

Tonight is the longest night of the year, a perfect time for reflecting on the year past. And it’s been quite a year, much different than I ever could have imagined.

Last January, I went back to work at Save the Redwoods League, when Olie was three months old. My dad came out to take care of him for the first month I was working, which was a blessing. He definitely earned his black belt in infant care. After he left, I quickly discovered that I couldn’t do it all – being a mom, an employee, a partner, a home manager, and a self – in a way anywhere close to my standards. After many discussions and much soul searching, I decided to quit my job at Save the Redwoods. While I was really sad to leave my work and co-workers, I was grateful to have the time to recover, grow, and explore myself as a mother.

Who wouldn't want to stay home with this cuteness?

The first month I was home, I didn’t make a list (gasp!) and just enjoyed being with Oliver. Then I set about learning how to manage a home in the most efficient, effective way possible. Enter lists galore!  After a little bit, I found which proved to be extremely helpful. From the FlyLady, I’ve learned to take baby steps, so that I don’t get overwhelmed and quit what I started. I’ve also learned that a lot can be done in 15 minutes – like cleaning the kitchen, for instance. And, check this out, cleaning can be a blessing instead of a chore because first, I have something to clean and second, being in a clean place is a gift to myself and my family. Vacuuming and mopping really does make a difference. And, finally, I’ve developed a routine. I really benefit from routine, habits and structure. This way, when I deviate from the routine, I can make a conscious choice about what I’m not going to do.  Oh, and I also got rid of a bunch of stuff – inspired by the book Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui. Having less stuff makes keeping things tidy much easier.

Then, came summer. Dad came back for the month of July to escape the Missouri heat and humidity. We took our first family vacation – to Humboldt County with my Dad and Mark’s Mom along. We rented a house in Rio Dell for a week and toured some of our favorite redwood parks. It was pretty fun. Next time, I need to remember to let other people cook, so I can have a little vacation too!

Olie and Mark checking out the big trees.

Oliver turned one in September. We had a little party for him the day before and spent the day of just having family time.

On Olie's Birthday

It was around this time that I noticed that being a SAHM can be isolating. So, I’ve started reaching out to friends, making new friends and have made a list of things I like to do, so that when I have time, I don’t have to wait to remember. My dad came out again for Thanksgiving. He and Oliver had a great time.  

Gentzsch's love dirt!

Compared to Grandpa and Dada, Mama is B-O-R-I-N-G.

Overall, it’s been a good year. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even with the dark, bumpy bits. I’m optimistic about the next year. I know that we have many adventures in store, even if I have no clue what they are.

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Information on Occupying

The Occupy Wall Street Statement

What Occupiers are so Angry About – great graphs that spell it out

Occupy Design: Building a Visual Language for the 99%

Occupy Wall Street protest around the world

What happened in Oakland

Solidarity letter from Cairo – inspiring

November 2 Strike

99:1 - Ode to Faust

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Olie at 9 months

An action shot!

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Questions for Doulas and Midwives

I’m going through my electronic files now, and am going to post things that might be helpful to others.

This is a list of questions I compiled from various sources, not that I remember which ones, but I’m pretty sure they included the international doula and midwife associations.

For any doula
• What training have you had? (If a doula is certified, you might consider checking with the organization.)
• Do you have one or more backup doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet her/them?
• What is your fee, what does it include and what are your refund policies?
When interviewing a birth doula
• Tell me about your experience as a birth doula.
• What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
• May we meet to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me through birth?
• May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
• When do you try to join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
• Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
When interviewing a postpartum doula
• Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.
• What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during postpartum?
• May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?
• May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
• When do your services begin after birth?
• What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
• Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and current CPR certification?

Mid wife questions
1. What is your general philosophy about pregnancy and birth?
2. Do you let us do whatever we want during labor? (Food, positions, water, etc.)
3. What is your education and training as a midwife?
4. How many years have you been practicing?
5. Are you a mother yourself? How old are your children now?
6. How were your babies born?
7. Do you work alone or with a partner or assistant? If you work with someone, what is their experience?
8. Do you participate in a local midwife peer review group? How many meetings have you attended in the past year?
9. How many births have you attended as the primary caregiver?
10. What is your experience with breech births? How many have you attended?
11. What is your experience with twins? How many have you attended?
12. How would you help us determine how to have us at our birth?

Prenatal Care
1. How many births are you attending now? Do you have a maximum, and how do you manage to avoid too many commitments?
2. If I am planning a home birth, do you come to my home any time before I go into labor? Do you provide supplies or literature to help us prepare?
3. How do you usually work with a doula? work with new doula?
4. How often will I see you? What do your checkups consist of?
5. What are your guidelines concerning weight gain, nutrition, prenatal vitamins, and exercise? What are your standards for pre-eclampsia?
6. Do you require that I take a childbirth education class? Do you teach such a class?
7. Who takes over for you if you go on vacation or get sick?

Hospital and Obstetrician
1. Do you attend births in a birthing center or hospital? experience with Kaiser?
2. How do you handle emergencies? Under what circumstances would you transfer?
3. What is your transfer rate?
4. How many women whom you have attended have had to go to the hospital?
5. Would you stay with me in the hospital?
6. Do you require that I see a physician during my pregnancy even if everything is all right?
7. Do you have guidelines or restrictions about who can give birth at home?

General Labor
1. What kind of equipment do you bring to a birth?
2. Are you permitted to administer any drugs during labor?
3. How many people are allowed to be around?
4. When should I call you after my labor begins?
5. Do you wait until the cord has stopped pulsating before it gets cut?
6. Will you allow my partner to be as active at the birth as he desires?
7. How much time do you allow for the delivery of the placenta?

Financial Matters
1. What are your fees and what do they include?
2. Can you submit your charges to my insurance company?
3. What payment arrangements do you make?

The Baby
1. Have you ever had to resuscitate a baby?
2. Do you examine the baby after birth?
3. Do you give eyedrops or shots to the baby?
4. Do you have a pediatrician you work with or recommend?
5. Will you help me with breastfeeding?
6. How do you feel about circumcision?
7. How often do you come to see me after I give birth?
8. Do you provide or know of anyone who will help new mothers after birth?

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