Friday, June 24, 2011

Toddler Stage Linked to Premature Aging (at least for me!)

Scariest event of my life as a parent happened tonight.

I was walking into our living room with my little man trailing behind me when he tripped and fell on his back just before crossing the doorway.

Even though he didn't seem to hit anything when he fell, he wasn't able to stand; he was lying on his side trying to get up, his body rigid, mouth thrown open in a silent, breathless scream. I gingerly picked him up and looked for signs of injury, as he was obviously in excruciating pain, but none were visible. He began turning blue, unable to release his silent cry and take a breath.

My girls were sobbing, asking why he couldn't breathe, terrified for their baby brother. They'd seem him fall and stop breathing for a few seconds before - but *nothing* like this.

After what seemed like forever, he finally took a quick breath. He shuddered once, sighed slightly, then flopped forward on my chest. He was ashen, limp, his eyes rolling back, unable to hold up his head, unresponsive to my voice, but still breathing.

I told the girls we needed to keep it together for his sake, sent them to grab my keys, get their shoes on and meet me outside. I was mentally debating whether to drive straight to the hospital or call 911 (we live in the middle of the country, so it takes 15 minutes to get help or go to it).

Once we hit the outside air, he perked up quickly, gaining muscle tone & color, then starting to look around on his own, as the girls both ran out the door to meet us. As he seemed to be coming round to his normal self, I slowly knelt on the ground and put him down next to me to see if he
could walk or if any other injuries seemed to be present.

He was a little hesitant at first, but started taking a few steps, then caught sight of a cat, squealed and ran after her - like nothing had just happened.

We stayed outside following him about, watching him walk, picking him up and looking him over again to see if any signs of injury were present, but he looked fine - absolutely fine. I called my husband, my hands still shaking as I tried to dial his number, and filled him in, hugged the girls and routed them all into the house for chocolate and ice cream to lessen the trauma we'd just been through.

Needless to say, he didn't move an inch out of anyone's reach the rest of the night.

My best guess is that he got the wind knocked out of him and almost lost consciousness from the lack of oxygen. He's fallen at least a half dozen times this week alone, mainly because he's a monkey attempting to climb any and all vertical surfaces throughout our house, and all more significant than simply tripping. But tonight, he must have landed just the wrong way to cause this.

As he lays sleeping next to me, I'm so thankful we're a cosleeping family. I don't have to wonder if he's okay as he sleeps - I'll know at a glance as he snuggles into my side.

I'm also so thankful to have wonderful daughters who are so caring and nurturing toward their baby brother. They are the most compassionate siblings. The girls were so upset, they're piled together in Eden's bed for the night. Poor dears - I think it was harder on us than on him.

Why does all the drama happen when you're home alone with 3 kids? If I was a drinker, now would be the time for a good stiff one (or three), methinks.

Fingers crossed for a less eventful day tomorrow~

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plus Size Doula Connections

Plus Size Doula Connections, a project spearheaded by Jen McLellan who found her own doula's support invaluable during her own natural childbirth as a plus size mother, seeks to facilitate access between plus size expectant mothers and experienced doulas to help improve birth satisfaction, support and outcomes for this demographic.

Plus Size Doula Connections

Research has demonstrated that plus size women are at a higher risk of having a c-section than other expectant mothers. Having a doula present during childbirth has been shown to decrease that risk. Plus Size Doula Connections exists as an easy way for women to locate a doula who will not only advocate for their wishes during childbirth but to also provide access to one with prior experience supporting larger women.

My goal is to compile a comprehensive list of doulas from around the world that have experience working with women weighing more than 200 pounds. Together, we can support plus size women in hospitals where their wishes aren’t always honored and to link women birthing outside of a hospital with doulas who have experience working with larger women.

Doulas interested in participating please contact me at Provide a picture of yourself, contact information, and your doula philosophy. This is free advertising! Also, if you’re a plus size woman who had a positive experience with a doula, please encourage them to get in touch with me.

To learn more go to and check out the project's Facebook page

Please help spread the word to connect more moms with much needed doula support.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Call for Submissions

We are dedicated to helping expectant parents make informed childbearing choices to enable the healthiest, safest, most satisfying birth possible. While birth can be unpredictable, there is substantial research evidence that supports ways to minimize risks and improve health outcomes for both mothers and babies.

Our goal is to promote informed childbearing choices and positive messages related to having a safe, healthy birth. We are accepting submissions from those who wish to share their wisdom, knowledge, research or personal experiences - troubles and triumphs alike - with our readers.

If you are passionate about birth, a birth professional, advocate, doula, lactation professional or parent with a story to share, and are interested in having your work featured on our website or blog, please leave a comment below or email us with your submission.

The following information outlines our guidelines for submissions:

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be anywhere from 400-1000 words in length, and should be original, unpublished material. We ask contributors to share their knowledge, research, wisdom, insight or personal experiences - troubles and triumphs alike - with our readers. You may submit a scholarly article, birth story, a photo essay, or a book review, even photos or videos. As long as what you submit is respectful in tone and in keeping with our philosophy of informed childbearing choices, it may be accepted for publication. If you want help determining whether your material is appropriate to our goals and audience, please contact us first to discuss.

Submissions should include a full bio and url to the contributor's site if applicable. We reserve the right to edit bios to fit within our editorial guidelines if necessary.

Sample topics could include (but are not limited to the following):

  • Homebirth (pros/cons, preparation, research, personal stories, photos, videos, etc)
  • Waterbirth
  • Newborn Care
  • Prenatal Nutrition
  • Minimizing Interventions (induction, episiotomy, monitoring options, etc)
  • Postpartum Issues (placenta encapsulation, art, avoiding PPD, etc)
  • Evidence-based practice vs. mainstream care
  • Impact of Provider Choice (options, differences, etc)
  • Birth Consumerism
  • Breastfeeding
  • VBAC/Cesarean Awareness

You are welcome to take a specific or general topic, or to focus on a specific skill, technique or subset area. Submissions should include a full bio and url to the contributor's site if applicable. We reserve the right to edit bios to fit within our editorial guidelines if necessary.




Approved submissions may be published exclusively on (with your permission), which will include an author bio and a link back to your site. Others submissions may be featured on our blog as guest posts or for our Facebook fans. You will be notified via email if your submission has been accepted and when it will appear.

Please Do

Write well, write on topic and make an original submission. Ad value. Remember that all submissions are intended to assist and support expectant parents as they navigate their birth bound journey. Please proofread your work.

Please Don’t

Please don’t use profanity. Please don’t submit irrelevant or argumentative pieces or plagiarized, copied or unoriginal material. Please play nicely with others and help make the world a better, safer place.

Editorial Rights

If accepted, submissions may be edited for word count and tone. If extensive edits are made, we will provide an opportunity for contributor feedback before the submission goes live. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate in tone, scope or philosophy. Please note that a personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We receive a high volume of daily email and may not have yet had a chance to give your material the time and attention it deserves, or we could be conferring on how or when to best to utilize and implement your work.

All submissions will be reviewed and contributors will be notified whether their material will be published. If the work is accepted, contributors will be notified at a later date as to when the submission will appear for publication.


If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guest Post: Preparing for the Possibility of a C-Section

Preparing for the Possibility of a C-Section

Most first time moms don't consider the possibility of having a C-section, but with almost 1 in 3 babies born via Cesarean section, preparing for the possibility could help you avoid the emotional stress and fear often associated with the initial shock of having a surgical birth.

For many women, C-sections are a planned event, but many of them are not. Some women giving birth aren’t aware they will need a C-section until well into several hours of hard labor.

Before preparing for a C-section, let’s first examine reasons why a planned C-section might occur as well as the reasons for an unplanned C-section:

Planned Cesareans may typically occur if:

  • the mother has had a previous c-section with a vertical incision
  • the baby is in a transverse position or the baby is sideways with shoulders or back over the cervix
  • the baby is in a breech position
  • the mother is carrying multiples
  • the mother has complete Placenta Previa or a placenta that is blocking the cervix
  • the mother has active genital herpes that is present near the due date
  • there are health issues that may be life threatening to mother or baby

Unplanned C-sections might occur if:

  • Labor has been induced. This doubles the odds of having a c-section
  • There are signs of fetal distress during labor
  • Labor is slow or stops completely
  • A problem occurs with the placenta or umbilical cord putting the baby at risk
  • Signs of infection are present

Regardless of why a C-Section occurs, it’s important to understand that the possibility always exists. The labor process is never the same for every woman and complications can occur at any time.

For these reasons, it’s generally a good idea to be aware of the possibility of having a c-section and be prepared should the need arise.

How to Prepare for a Planned C-Section

If you know you’ll be having a c-section, there are a number of things you can do to prepare.

Discuss anesthesia options with an anesthesiologist in advance. There are a few choices you have so be sure you understand them and decide on what you feel is best for you.

Familiarize yourself with the c-section procedure and what happens in recovery. You may even be able to make special requests of your doctor or hospital. For instance, once your baby is born, hospitals typically have specific recovery procedures for breastfeeding and holding your baby immediately after surgery, however some hospitals are flexible and personal requests may be accepted.

Prepare your home prior to going to the hospital for easy access to baby supplies, medications, personal effects etc. If your home has stairs it’s a good idea to move things downstairs as climbing stairs isn’t recommended after surgery.

Pre-plan meals and ensure the care of older children if necessary. Recruit neighbors and friends that are willing to help. The less you have to worry about when it comes to your immediate family, the easier your recovery will be.

Breastfeeding can be more challenging for c-section moms, so get acquainted with what the specific problems could be and how you might be able to work around them.

Understand what your recovery at home will entail and prepare for how you can make your recovery as speedy and as easy as possible.

Preparing for the Unplanned C-Section

Even if you don’t expect to have a C-section, prepare yourself for the possibility. Doing so can mean less physical and emotional stress and a much quicker recovery.

In addition to the above items, also discuss with your doctor before your due date your risk factors for having a c-section and be sure to mention any concerns or worries you may have.

Educate yourself on the potential problems or risks that C-sections present and be ready for how you will respond to them.

Having a C-section does require longer hospital stays and a longer recovery, however proper planning and a healthy mental outlook can mean the difference between a miserable birth experience and a positive, memorable one.


Elizabeth is the author and creator of 'Worry Free C-Section', a popular c-section recovery , planning and healing guide.

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