Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Journey to Choosing Home Birth

One evening, I was home alone, so I decided to watch the movie I had rented from the library, The Business of Being Born (you can also see the whole documentary here on youtube). I was 10 weeks pregnant at this time and about to go see my doctor for my first prenatal visit. Some things in the video that grabbed me were women telling their stories. There were live births that were shown in homes, in water tubs, in hospitals. I understood the hospital births, but I had never pictured myself giving birth at home. I have one friend who has given birth at home…three times. I have always thought she was crazy and said I would NEVER do that!

Halfway through the movie, I stopped it, got on the computer and e-mailed my home birth friend asking her a lot of questions. Then I started looking up midwives in the area and e-mailing them. What was I doing? I hadn’t even talked to my husband about this! I just knew, based on statistics and stories in the video that I did not want to deliver this third baby in the hospital with my OB. The OB I found while searching for a Pro-Life OB/GYN in our area. The OB who had delivered our 2 previous boys. The OB I told I missed seeing when in for an appointment before I found out I was pregnant with Baby 3. The hospital I had just driven by with my mom and said, “I love that hospital.” The hospital that claims to be “Baby Friendly.”

With my first baby, I had wanted to go natural, to birth in a tub, but the tub was “taken” when we arrived at the hospital in full labor one week before my due date. I labored for hours being monitored, walking around the halls with strangers staring at me, lying in the bed, being poked and prodded. Since I wasn’t “progressing fast enough” I was told I would have Pitocin and I knew I didn’t want that without an epidural. A few hours later, a few pushes later, he arrived!

With my second baby, I was done, so my doctor scheduled an induction with Cervidel one day after my due date. I labored all night long while my husband slept on the fold out couch next to me. In the morning, they offered me the epidural as the anesthesiologist was making his rounds and passing them out. Without a second thought, I took one. A few hours later, a few pushes later (after being told I had almost gotten an emergency C-section because his heart rate was dropping too low), he arrived!

You see, I’ve always wanted to experience giving birth and I know the epidural, the hospital, the OB have kept me from doing that. I wanted things to be different this time and I had learned a few things through my research. I know that the pain of labor goes away as soon as the baby is born. The pain is not an injury pain, it is accomplishing something…moving the baby down and delivering the baby! There are pauses in between the contractions which allow for some rest, so it is not hours of constant pain. Millions of women before me have given birth naturally and safely. One in THREE births in hospitals result in a C-section.

I set out to educate myself more and picked up a copy of Ricki Lake’s Your Best Birth. It was obviously slanted in a midwife/home birth way, but I loved all of the information. It made sense. I knew this was for me and my husband agreed. Besides my friend, I had no one else who had given birth at home, although my father-in-law was born at home many years ago!

I talked to my parents about this and assured them that I was looking into this with an open mind and was NOT planning a home birth, but instead a birthing center birth. I made two appointments with midwives and asked lots of questions on local forums. Come to find out, there are lots of people out there who have given birth at home or a birthing center!

I met the first midwife and liked her (a former LDR nurse). She had a birthing center in her office and also would do a home birth. She worked alone and I would have all of my appointments with her. The second was a group of three midwives. They would use the birthing center or I could be one of the two that they would allow each month to birth at home if I signed up early enough for their services. Then it would be the luck of the draw of who I would end up with at the birth. They have a beautiful birthing center, but there was nothing there that we didn’t have at home—including a claw foot tub! I told my husband that felt like going to a hotel to give birth…and they kick you and the new baby out within 3-5 hours after giving birth as long as everything is okay.

At this point, we decided that a home birth would best suite us and we chose the first midwife. My parents are, at this point, thinking that I’m going nuts! I am reading books, forums, blogs and anything else I can get my hands on about birthing at home. My favorites so far have been Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Your Best Birth. I have bought quite a few others to read too.

So basically, I have a few main reasons that I want to deliver this baby at home. I want to experience labor and delivery without drugs (who knows if the rise in ADHD in children is also due to a rise in epidurals, Pitocin, etc.). I want to be comfortable to labor and deliver as I want, wearing what I want, being in whatever location I want surrounded only by those who love and support me, not strangers. I want to trust my body, God, my midwife and my husband to help me get through this process safely. If something happens and I need to be transported to the hospital (or my baby does), I know this can be done safely and quickly. I am much less likely to have a C-section.

When I first started thinking about this, it made me sick to my stomach every time. Now, I look forward to it with eager anticipation. We are not finding out the gender of our baby (once again) and are excited to see what God decides to add to our family. I can’t wait to welcome this baby into our arms, family and home! This is our current plan, but we always remember what Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Little Busy Bag Swap

You will make X number of identical bags (such as: 12 color wheel bags) for everyone in your swap. There is no need to spend more than $1 a bag.  Some will cost more (closer to $1 a bag) to make and some will cost less (pennies or free).  The same is true for how long it will take to make them.  The bags will be designed for children aged 1-5. 

Choose an idea from the list provided or come up with your own idea.  You can modify the ideas as needed, the links are for your convenience. You can also look for ideas on pinterest or here

Put your activity into a gallon-sized bag if possible. As you put together your activity, keep in mind that it should be easy to pull out and use, so include anything you can to make the activity complete including instructions and a label written on the front. No need to laminate paper pieces. Each of us can laminate when we receive our bags, if we wish to do so.

Put together the quality kind of bag you would want to receive in return. This is really important to remember! Of course we want to be cheap but we also want the activity to hold up to toddler use. Adapt your project if it looks like it could cost more than $1.  It still needs to be functional, but make sure it’s as low-cost as possible! I can tell you from experience that if you do not price out your materials (and shop around with coupons if necessary) it WILL cost you more than you expect.

The deadline for signing up for the swap is August 24.  Please select your item and let me know by then--comment here or e-mail me at kama_blogs(at)live(dot)com.  We will meet to swap our bags in one month (date and place to be decided).  We will see if a weekday evening or weekend afternoon would work better for everyone!  This should give you plenty of time to get your projects done. 

For the exchange, bring a large storage tote to bring all the other projects home in.  We will get together and each person will have a chance to talk about your project and then we will pass it around for everyone to take one. 

So in short:
Self Contained (in a Ziploc)
Transportable (useable at home, in a restaurant, car, etc.)
Convenient (no major set-up or clean-up)
Reusable (projects that you don’t have to restock the bags)
Easy to Make (you don’t need to spend hours making each one…unless you want to)
Inexpensive (less than $1 a bag)

*These rules were compiled from a few different websites. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our Wall

Here are the projects we have done so far to memorize Bible verses (click to see the list that will take you to each project).  They hang proudly on our wall and we look forward to adding more to it!  A-I done!

I will praise you

 I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14

I had a different plan for this week's Bible verse for the letter "i," but changed my mind while at Bible study today.  We usually do a take-home craft and this was sitting in front of me, perfect for the boys to learn and it started with the right letter!  Perfect! 
I used the mirror shapes from the church and let the boys color on one.  Then they got to put glue on the back to hold the foil in.  I wrote the verse on the foil and we said the verse.  I came up with a few motions to try to help them remember the verse and plan to go over and over it.  I want them to know that they were wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe! 

Hear O Israel

Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4
My husband and I went to Israel last year.  Check out the page I wrote about our adventures here.  It was a great time and I'm so glad that we got to go.  I just love to learn more about Israel, Jewish culture and the Jewish religions.  They are God's chosen people!
This verse has been a little more difficult to learn because of the repetition.  We have worked on it for a few weeks (although we haven't consistently been working on it).  He now likes to mix up some of the other verses in this one (he does it with other verses too--As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Jesus Christ and I will be saved). 
I was trying to think of a good activity to do with this one and thought about a number 1 then maybe an ear.  I finally sat down and looked up a picture of the land of Israel that I was going to print off and write the verse on.  Then I saw the flag and thought that would be easy.  We just glued blue construction paper on a white paper, but I could see you painting it if that's your thing too.  I did most of the work on this one.

God is Love

God is love. 1 John 4:8

I decided to go with something super easy but fundemantal for our "g" letter.  God is love.  His love is neverending and he loves us all so much that he sent his son to die for our sins.  He is love.  Period.  This was obviously very easy to memorize.  He also has a "God" verse for Awana (although he memorized the verse and then refused to return to the class--God loved us and sent his son (and Jesus loves me)). 
To make the heart (around Valentine's is when we did this activity), I let him paint on a piece of cardstock.  He just loves to pain.  Then I cut it out in a heart shape and wrote the verse in the middle.  It was a little wet or got water on it. 
May you experience this verse today in a new and profound way!  

For Nothing

For nothing is impossible with God! Luke 1:37

When trying to think of an activity or visual for this verse, all I could think of was a "no" sign, so I went with it.  I tried to explain to the boys that God can do anything and what exactly this verse means.  Although they probably don't grasp what it means exactly, it's definitely in their mind and they will remember it in the future.  It's short and easy to remember.  At first it was hard to say "impossible," but they've picked it up now! 

Friday, February 17, 2012


"Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right."
D told me that he didn't like this verse from day one!  That made me laugh because he didn't really even understand what it meant. 
I couldn't think of any craft to do with this one really either.  I had D look through a magazine for pictures of children.  By the way, Women's Fitness has no pictures of children!  So the boys colored a C and glued a picture on it.
The motions were rocking a baby for "children," pointing to your ear for "obey," sign language open hand with thumb on forehead for "parents," pointing up for "in the Lord," and holding up your right hand for "this is right."  Doing the motions does seem to help him remember them some. 

Do Unto Others

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

This has definitely been the most difficult verse so far.  I think the wording of it is hard for a little one to grasp and I can't come up with motions to help.  However, this has been the easiest to do a lesson for.  Just search for "golden rule" and you've got a thousand lessons!
I came up with the idea to make a little paper doll chain and write the verses on it.  It probably means nothing to D, but I think it's cute.  The other lesson we did (which he probably didn't understand) was coming up with "nice" things to do for people and writing them on petals.  Then we made a little kindness flower with the verse on it. 
We still haven't mastered this verse and we work on it pretty much every day.  The other verses sound great though!!

Every Good

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above."

We learned this verse on Valentine's Day, so we were able to talk about gifts a little bit more than a normal day.  I got out a birthday bag and put some gifts in it that God has given us--a picture of the family, a truck like Dad's, the Bible and a dollar.  We talked about these gifts and how God has given these and many more to us.  They are perfect and they came from him. 
I cut out a little "gift" and wrote the verse on it for our craft.  I also introduced D to the song we sing at church that goes with this verse--"Father of Lights." 
I don't have any motions for this verse other than to point up at "above." 


"Believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." 

I wasn't feeling very creative and couldn't figure out what little craft to do for this one, so we made a cross.  I then realized we had LifeSavers in our candy pile!  This seriously saved the lesson and helped D remember the verse.  Plus now he begs for a candy every time he says the verse.  There was one glued at the bottom for one night.  He ate it off first thing the next morning before I got out of bed!  He always needs a little help with the word "believe" but can do the rest, however he says, "and I will be saved!" 
The motions which he doesn't usually do are pointing to his forehead for "believe," pointing up for "the Lord," doing sign language for Jesus Christ which is pointing to both palms, and pointing out for "you." 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Making Clothes

 I cut the bottom few inches off of an old pair of jeans and the neck out of a t-shirt to make this cute little skirt.  I had to gather up a few pleats so that the jeans would fit into the band, but I think it turned out really cute.  It was super easy and just barely fit over her thunder thighs! 

The back has 2 little pleats also.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our A Bible Verse

We started our ABC Bible Verses today with an easy one--Joshua 24:15. 
Here D is showing the motions we came up with to help us remember the verse:

We also made a little house, colored it and wrote our Bible verse on it.  We are going to go over this one and all the others at night during dinner. 
He did such a good job!  I hope he remembers it tomorrow!! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 To Do List

Used under Creative Commons
by puzzlescript

I don't make resolutions, but I sat down tonight and started thinking of things that I need to do this year differently than I've done in the past.  I decided to write them down and then share them on this post.  What's on your list? 

Read at least 3 books to the kids daily
Read story/devotional at night (dinner)
Read the daily Bible
Exercise at least 3 times a week
Drink 8 glasses of water daily
Straighten up the den, common areas daily
Clean bathrooms weekly
Change sheets weekly

These are the projects I need to finish up soon:

Prayer board
Menu board
Laminate meals, games
E's quilted stocking

ABC Bible Verses

So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night or getting up in the morning. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Used under Creative Commons
from jamelah

I am taking this command seriously this year and planning to teach my children Bible verses.  I have gone through a few websites and created an alphabetical list of 80 verses that I plan for all of us to learn this year.  I hope to accomplish this task by doing the following things for each verse:
    Look verse up and highlight in the Bible
  • Write verse on a card with a picture representation
  • Craft to go along with each verse
  • Song, video or rhyme that goes with the verse if there is one
I am going to try to come up with the ideas off the top of my head and record what we've done on here.  I am hoping to do about two verses a week.  Feel free to share any ideas you have for any verses or activites, songs, etc.  I think it should be fun and in the end, we will have learned 80 verses as a family if all goes according to plan! 

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Ask and it shall be given you. Matthew 7:7
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
As for God, his way is perfect! Psalm 18:30

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
Be strong and courageous. God is with you! Joshua 1:9
Be kind to one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

Every word of God is pure. Proverbs 30:5
Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
Every knee will bow before me: every tongue will acknowledge God. Romans 14:11
Even a child makes himself known by his acts. Proverbs 20:11

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17
Fear not, for I am with you. Isaiah 41:10
For nothing is impossible with God! Luke 1:37
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

God is love. 1 John 4:8
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Mark 16:15
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. Psalms 48:1
“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good.” Jeremiah 33:11

Honor your father and mother. Matthew 19:19
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against God. Psalm 119:11
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God James 1:5
In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:” John 14:6
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Psalms 34:13
Know that the Lord, he is God! Psalm 100:3

Let us love one another for love comes from God. 1 John 4:7
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  Mark 12:30
Listen to advice and accept instruction. Proverbs 19:20

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Psalm 100:1
Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
My help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121:2

Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:39
No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
No man can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

Oh Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. Psalm 30:12
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: Hebrews 13:17
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Psalm 95:6
O God you are my God. I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you. Psalm 63:1

Praise the Lord. Psalm 103:1
Peace be unto you. John 20:19
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

In Quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Quench not the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Let every person be Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
Submit yourselves therefore to God. James 4:7
Surely God is my help. Psalm 54:4
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Psalm 143:10
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5
They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it. Proverbs 16:22
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture 1 Timothy 4:13

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2
Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master. Nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. John 13:16 With God we will gain the Victory. Psalm 60:12
Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Romans 12:19

Wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14
“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3
Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworth—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Let us eXalt his name together. Psalm 34:3
Let us eXamine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40
I will eXtol thee, my God, O king: Psalm 145:1
EXamine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

Zion heard and was glad. Psalms 97:8
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5
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