And the winner is....

Sara Cross is the winner of the candle giveaway this week!
Congratulations Sara!

International Cesarean Awareness Network

I wanted to mention a wonderful organization to you all today. From their web site (in italics):

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc (ICAN) was formed over 25 years ago in order to support women in their journey towards understanding the risks of cesarean section and with the purpose of helping them have healthy births and healthy lives after undergoing the surgery that changed them.

Twenty-six years later, many women are still being told the same reasons why they must have a cesarean or why they cannot have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) despite more and more research that states that cesarean surgery should not be taken lightly and that vaginal birth after cesarean should be encouraged in order to reduce further risks to both mother and baby.

In my opinion, every pregnant woman should take some time to educate herself at the ICAN web site. You matter, and your birth matters.

I have six children. I've given birth six times in six different ways. I can tell you that having educated myself about normal birth and the valid (and not valid) reasons for cesarean sections and other interventions have served me well. Two of my children were born via c-section (my 4th and 6th) and both were for excellent, valid reasons. I am not *against* c-sections, but I am against women being bullied, lied to, and forced into c-sections for no good reason. Knowledge is power, girls.


Paperback Swap and Swap a CD

Do you know about Paperback Swap? I love it! Forget about trying to sell your books for 75 cents at Swap 'em at PB Swap! it's super easy. You just use the ISBN number to list the books you want to swap. When a club member requests your book you just mail it to them. (you pay the media mail shipping) You get a credit for every book you send, and then you get to request books from club members and those will come to YOU for free!

I've been swapping books for over a year now and love it. Almost every book I get is in very good condition. I use the Wish List feature a lot and have gotten several hard-to-find books this way.

Although I can sometimes get books from the library, it isn't always convenient for me to pick them up or return them on time, and I often don't have time to get the book read before the due date. So, PB Swap has been very helpful in getting me the books I want to read but don't want to fiddle with the library for.

You don't just have to trade paperbacks, either. You can also trade hard cover books and audio books. If you don't have many books that you currently want to trade, you can always hit a used book sale on bag day and get a few books to get you started. (You get free book credits just for listing a few books to start with!) You can also buy credits with your paypal money which makes getting books cheaper than too!

Swap a CD works the same way, only it's for music. This is way better than trying to rid yourself of old CDs at a yard sale!

Mia Bella Candles Giveaway from Scent-Sations, Inc.

This week's featured business: Scent-Sations, Inc.

Scent-Sations features Mia Bella scented candles and related products, making life smell sweeter! :) Scent-Sations is owned by Carolyn DiBlasi, a 61 year old disabled grandmother who finds having her internet business a great way to supplement her income. In addition to individual sales, Scent-Sations does a lot of fundraising with various organizations as well.

Here's what she's giving away: A 16 ounce jar candle in the scent of your choice, plus two votive candles! (also of your choice) There are a bazillion scents to choose from, so you'll be sure to find something you like.

How you can enter to win:

Visit Scent-Sations and take a look around. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite product was and why.

The fine print:
This contest is open to residents of the USA only. If you don't have a blog that I can contact you through, be sure to leave your email address in your comment. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

The winner will be announced on:
Saturday, August 30, 2008

And the winner is....

The winner of the Thirty-One giveaway is Laura. Come back tomorrow for a new giveaway!

Concerned About BPA?

Hey gals,
You will definitely want to check out this report about the dangerous endocrine-disrupting hormone BPA that is often found in children's feeding products. It'll only take a few minutes to become better-informed and able to protect your children.

Question: Would you like to see the Baby Boutique offering BPA-free bottles, sippy cups, and so on? Which ones interest you the most.

And I Learn as I Go, by Down Syndrome Express

With the opening of the new movie “Tropic Thunder” I am reminded of my own journey with the word “retarded.” It was part of my vocabulary growing up, as in, “Oh, that was so retarded.” I didn’t think about what I was saying, or maybe I did and it just didn’t matter that much to me. Fast forward to January 2, 2006 when a son with Down syndrome blesses my life with his birth and my understanding and use of that word changes drastically.

When we were about six months into the adventure of parenting a child with Down syndrome, I received and accepted an invitation to visit a weekly women’s group consisting of women from my church. I was deep in a time of learning more about becoming authentic, and learning much about being the parent of a special needs child, and dealing with pumping breast milk around the clock for my little son who couldn’t seem to latch on properly, so it was a very emotional time.

The women’s group was a pretty typical group of ladies who brought both pain and love with them to the meeting. Throughout the evening, I found myself feeling very defensive on behalf of one of the women because I felt like the other women were giving her the message, “Just change your mind and get over this stuff.” At some point, I decided to back off and was nursing some hurt feelings. One of the women I was least comfortable with happened to say the following: “I think dogs are like retarded kids. You can only teach them so much.” Since I was still adjusting to the idea of parenting a “retarded kid” I was aghast, stunned, and overcome with grief. Another woman held me as I cried and no one talked about what had happened. The woman who had made the comment did not know about Kepler. I left the group and never went back and never saw her again. Until . . .

Last week in J.C. Penney (two years after the original event), as I shopped, I caught the eye of a woman pushing a stroller and thought I recognized her. I glanced at her again and sure enough, it was the woman who had made the comment. What I was making up about it was that she recognized me but was ignoring me and I had to choose whether or not to acknowledge her. I knew that I wanted to make peace with this woman, so I asked her her name and reminded her of mine and how I knew her. I told her I was so sorry about what had happened that night and I told her about Kepler and how much of a blessing he is and how early it was in our life with him. She told me she knew she had said something wrong but had no idea what it was. I hugged her and again apologized and told her I was so glad I had run into her after all this time. I think it was the perfect time, actually, because I was definitely ready to stop judging her and mend the broken thing between us. She had tears in her eyes and so did I. I love when we get the opportunity to find healing.

Tuesday Tip: Doula Blog

Hey gals,

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful resource: Birthing with Guinever. Here you will get lots of wonderful advice for pregnancy and birth from a natural birth perspective. Check it out!

Is Your Child’s Car Seat Safe?

By: Kay Green

We keep hearing about how 4 out of 5 car seats are installed incorrectly. How can you be sure your child’s is installed correctly? One way is to read the instruction manual that came with your child’s car seat and your car’s owner’s manual. That will give you some good clues. You can also have it checked by your local fire station or car seat safety clinic.

Parent’s January Magazine tells us the 8 most often made mistakes? Have you made any of them?

Mistake #1: Seat Too Loose
The seat should not move more than one inch right to left.

Mistake #2: Harness Too Loose
You should not be able to pinch the fabric of the harness belt.

Mistake #3: Facing Wrong Way
Forward facing can not happen until the child is 1 year old AND more than 20 pounds.

Mistake #4: Wrong Angle
Rear facing infant seat should be at a 45 degree angle.

Mistake #5: Retainer Clip Wrong
This clip must be at arm pit level.

Mistake #6: Wrong Slots
Read your car seats instructions.

Mistake #7: No Booster Seat
Children up to 8 years, 80 pounds and 4'9" need to be in a booster seat.

Mistake #8: Recalled Seat
Check your car seat against the recalled list often.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Harness Error - Another mistake I see often is taking kids out of the 5-point harness too soon. The child needs to stay in the harness until they are 4 years and 40 pounds. When you switch to a booster with no harness for a child over 4 years and 40 pounds remember to belt the booster seat into the car even when your child is not in it. If not the booster seat can become a flyer projectile in a wreck.

Right Size Seat - Is your child in the right size car seat? I saw a mom with a 17 mo old in an infant car seat. She said "He is under 20 pounds so I can not move him" WRONG. Car seats have weight, height, and age requirements. Most babies will be out of the height requirements for an infant car seat at 5-7 months. Their head should be at least one inches from the top of the car seat.

My daughter was under 30 pounds in her 40 pound limit convertible car seat and I thought fine. But then saw the straps were not staying on her shoulders well. She was too tall for it and had to move to a booster seat (with 5 point harness) that held 22-80 pounds. The forward facing car seat should have the straps coming from above their shoulders. When the child's shoulders are taller than the highest slot it is time to move them to a new seat.

Check your seats instructions to verify these for your seat.

Newborns birth to 26 inches - infant rear facing carrier seat

Babies over 20 pounds PLUS 1 year - rear facing convertible seat

Toddlers 1 yr PLUS 20 pounds to 40 pounds - forward facing seat with 5 point

Preschoolers 4yrs/40 pounds to 8yrs/80 pounds - Booster seat with cars belt over the top.

Emergency Contact Card - Additionally your child’s car seat should have emergency contact info attached. In a car accident professionals need to be able to reach dad at work or grandma if you are not able to help your child. A car seat ID card with a medical release signature will protect your child in a car accident giving medical professionals all the information they need to treat your child immediately.

Booster Seat Rules - Most state rules now require that children’s stay in the booster seat until 6 years AND 60 pounds. Some states say 8 years AND 80 pounds. The new federal guideline is until age 8 or 4' 9" tall. This means safer kids and fewer fatalities for children in car wrecks. I am glad to keep my child in her comfortable car seat. She is happier and healthier every time we go in the car. Since she is so comfortable in her favorite booster seat she travels much better.

Keep your child in a booster until the right age/weight for your states rules AND until your child can sit on the seat and have the seat belt fall across the chest without touching their neck/face, and until their legs bend correctly at the end of the seat. (Usually 4'9")

BOOSTER SEATS & the "5 STEP TEST - In order to work properly, a shoulder belt needs to be across the collarbone and the lap belt needs to be on the hipbones. However, children often slip the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back, losing all upper-body protection. Or, they slide forward so their knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat, making the lap belt ride up on the abdomen. In these cases, the seat belt CANNOT work properly! Children can slide down and out of the restraint, or the belt can be forced into the stomach, causing damage to internal organs. These types of injuries are known as "seat-belt syndrome."

Use the following 5 Step Test. If you answer "No" to any of these questions, your child must be in a booster seat:

1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Is the lap belt touching the top of the thighs, not the tummy?
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

Children 4-8 years - Children over 4 and 40 pounds should be in a booster seat without a harness (unless you have the one Britax seat that has harnesses rated to 65 pounds or the RADIAN rated to 80pounds). Most all boosters have harnesses only rated to 40 pounds so using them for your child heavier than that puts them at risk. I recently learned that my daughters booster seat should NOT be connected with the latch system and anchor strap when using it for her with automobiles seat belt (not the 5 point harness). The seats have not been tested with both latch belt, anchor belt and cars seat belt over the top. They have been tested with the cars belt only over the top.

Please take the time to be sure that your car seat is installed correctly, fits your child, has emergency contact information. Go to one of the many free Car Seat Safety Inspections to make certain. If the event of a wreck you will be glad you covered all the bases.


Infant car seat: until 20 pounds or 26 pounds or their head is one inch from top of seat. (The Graco SAFE SEAT goes to 30 lbs and 32”)

Rear facing car seat: until at least 20 pounds PLUS 12 months. It is preferred they stay rear facing until 18 months or more.

5 point harness car seat: age 1-4 years or more

5 point harness limit: most end at 40 pound weight limit. If you have a child heavier than 40 pounds and less than 4 years get the Radian or Britax car seat for higher weight limit.

Booster Seat: Age 4-8 or until 4’ 9”.
Our State rule says: until 6 yrs PLUS 60 pounds.
Federal guideline says: until 8 yrs or 4’ 9”.

Buckle Buddy: When moving a child over age 6 and less than 4’ 9” use the BUCKLE BUDDY to make the belt fit correctly.

Car Seat Safety Guide. Find out what the weight and height limits are for the car seat you own or are considering buying.

Article Source:

About The Author: Kay Green is the founder of Children's Safety Products and Baby Gear. Kay has a passion for keeping kids safe and giving parents peace of mind. Kay & Russell, her husband of 27 years, live in Oregon with their 4 children. COPYRIGHT 2000-2007 My Precious Kid®, Kay Green. All rights reserved.

Giveaway from Thirty-One

This week's featured business: Thirty-One
From business owner Kim Washington:

You never know where your life path will take you. As a mother of 2 I was offered the "Gift" of Thirty-One at a time during my career in the field of Human Resources that was very well needed. I had been struggling with heart strings to be a career woman and a mother to a daughter and an ill infant son. I resigned from corporate America with the goal of never having to return.

I was introduced to Thirty-One by a friend and from that moment I knew I had found my niche. Having been in direct sales for 8 years previously, while working a full time job I had some successes but none as rewarding as those I have achieved through Thirty-One.
This faith based business has brought me the strength and belief that no matter what anyone says you can accomplish anything you set your mind and spirit to do. I have developed great friendships with consultants, hostesses and other customers. I have also strengthened my leadership skills and interpersonal skills.

I stand by our products, the mission and vision of Thirty-One. The mission behind Thirty-One is derived from the Old Testament, Proverbs 31 which describes a virtuous woman who worked in her community for her family and deserved much reward. We believe in encouraging, celebrating and rewarding women by helping them achieve a career that provides the perfect balance between work and home.

We offer a variety of personalized and unique products including purse, tote bags, sports bags, candles, home decor and much more.

Here's what you can win:
a Thermal Lunch Bag of your choice, and a Silver Hang Off letter of your choice

How you can be eligible to win:
Visit Thirty-One, scroll down the main page until you see where you can open up their Fall/Winter Catalog, and take a look at what they've got. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite product is.

Something for everybody: To take $5 off your order of $25 or more just place your order directly with Kim by emailing her at kwashin @

The fine print:

This contest is open to US residents only. If you don't have a blog that I can reach you at, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment. If I can't reach you, you can't win!

The winner will be announced on:
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Winners of the My Precious Kid Giveaway....

This week my kids aren't home, so I can't use them as my number-pickers for choosing a winner. Therefore, I used the Random Integer Selector. The winners of the My Precious Kid giveaway are:


I want to tell you something, also. There was originally a different first winner, but when I went to follow her blog profile it was turned off, so I had no way to contact her. Like I always say--make sure I can reach you! If I can't reach you, you can't win. Right?

Don't forget that there is a coupon to use on your first purchase at My Precious Kid available here. Please take some time to check out all of the great safety accessories they have. Your kids are worth it!

My First Baby Turns 16 Today!

We are celebrating my oldest child's 16th birthday today. I wrote this account of his birth many years ago, and had it on a web site that I loved. The site shut down without warning, and all of my birth stories were gone. (I had not saved copies of them) I was really sad about this, but just last week I found out about a way that I could possibly find the site archives, and my husband helped me reclaim the birth stories I had written. I am SO thrilled to have these back. Now I can enjoy sharing these with you all, too. :)

My husband and I were married in August 1991 and were thrilled to become pregnant 3 months later. So many people had told us how important it was to wait awhile before having a child, but that just never rang true for us. We believed that children would be a blessing, and we were up for having 'em!

I had been interested in natural childbirth, water birth, and home birth for years. But we were new to our area and knew nobody, had no idea how to go about finding a caregiver who was of the same mind as we were, etc. My job had medical insurance that would pay for 100% of my pregnancy costs, so off we went to the only option that our HMO offered.

It was a group of 4 OBs and a midwife. I had high hopes that the midwife would be available for the birth, but alas, they only allowed her to be a glorified nurse there. She could do a pap smear and take blood pressure, but no births! Oh well.

The pregnancy went along happily and we looked forward to our baby so much. I made out a birth plan that I discussed with each doctor as I rotated through seeing each one of them as the weeks went by. Each doctor that I talked to made an effort to seem like they cared about my wishes, but they always had some sort of little excuse for why what I wanted might not be possible, but of course we could see how it was going at the time and maybe I could have my wishes respected. (example: I do not want an IV. Doctor's response: Being a first baby, your labor will probably be very long and since you will not be allowed to eat, we need to make sure you get nutrients, and that is what the IV has in it. We'll see how things are going at the time, though.)

When I finally went into labor it was at night after a huge storm. It was 6 days after my due date. I had noticeable contractions every 45 min. throughout the night, so I got to sleep in between them. By morning they had gotten to 30 min. apart. When Dave woke up I told him the news and we decided to get some house chores done and get things ready for going to the hospital later that day.

We did regular things, hung out laundry, checked the bags for the hospital, talked on the phone, and so on. By early afternoon my contractions were 5 min. apart, so I dutifully called the hospital, as we had been told to do. The nurse told me that if I continued to have contractions like that or closer for 2 hours to come on in. It had already been 2 hours, but I decided to wait 2 more. After that we went to the hospital, with me making sure to eat dinner before we got there. I didn't want to be starving all night!

Once we got to the hospital we walked in and I was in such a happy mood. Today was the day I was going to meet my baby! I cheerfully walked up to the nurses station and announced "Hi! I'm in labor!" She looked at me as if to say, "Yeah, sure you are." We got into one of the birthing rooms, I changed into a gown, and they put me on a monitor to see what kind of contractions I was having. Funny thing was, once I got in there I wasn't having any! The nurse checked my cervix and it was at 4cm as it had been the previous day at my doctor appt. After awhile on the monitor she said to me that I was not in real labor and to go home. (and I was told they could "tell" that I wasn't really in labor because I was too cheerful!) She explained that in order for contractions to be "real" that my tummy would be rock hard all the way to the top. She told me that I was probably dehydrated, so to drink a lot of water and try to get some rest. This was very puzzling to us since things had been going to perfectly at home! I felt embarrassed to have gone in there when I was all wrong about being in labor, and we left in a hurry.

Interestingly, by the time we got into our car in the hospital parking lot, I was having HARD contractions that were coming every 3 minutes!!! What was going on here?! Before I got to the hospital the contractions were manageable. When I got in there I had no contractions. And when I leave they are much harder and closer together.

My husband asked me if I wanted to go back into the hospital. " NO WAY!" was my answer. Although the nurses had been sort of nice, I felt like a fool and there was no way I was going back in there to be told once again that I was not in labor. So, we started to drive home. Hard contractions every 3 minutes. Of course, having to sit in the car didn't help things feel any better, either!

The nurse had given me a little packet with sleeping pills in it. She told me it would help me relax and get some rest for the night, and that I'd need my rest since my baby would likely be born in a few days. I gave serious thought to just tossing that packet out the car window, but didn't. I don't know why. I guess I was afraid I might regret it or something.

We decided to stop at the craft store on our way home. Since I apparently was not in real labor, I decided to get some cross stitch threads that I needed to complete a project I had been working on. This really cracks me up to think about. Here I was, obvious to anyone in the store who saw me go through a contraction, definitely in labor, but so shaken of my own ability to tell what was going on with my body that I was buying cross stitch thread!

When we got home we found out from some friends that my mom had called (our friends had been at our house washing dishes and trying to spruce things up for our return). My mom, sister, and grandmother had been on their way to visit us and were due in the next day. But when they called and found out that I had gone into the hospital they bumped up their plans and now expected to be at our place that night. Somehow having company that night did not sound good to me, but there was nothing I could do about that by then.

On we went into night, now contractions coming very 2 minutes. My poor sweet husband was sitting next to me reading our dumb birth book, saying to me "According to this you *must* be in real labor!" But I did NOT want to go back to that hospital and be treated like I was stupid. Finally I decided to call the hospital around 11pm. When I said who I was the phone was immediately given to the nurse I had seen earlier that day. (she was just about to leave her shift) She did not even listen to me when I told her that I was having hard contractions that were lasting one minute long and coming every 2 minutes. No sirree. All she had to say was "You were only dilated to 4 when you were in here earlier. You are NOT in real labor. Did you take the sleeping pills I gave you?" I told her I had not and she stressed the importance of me taking these pills and that it would make these pesky fake contractions go away and give me some rest. I was so upset when I got off the phone. I was tired and bewildered. I didn't want to take the pills, but if they were going to get me some relief and some rest, then I guess I better just take them. So I did.

Then I was treated to an even crazier labor. Almost completely asleep in between contractions. And then one would sneak up on me and I would get a very rude awakening. I had no way to cope with these contractions in any effective way. It was terrible.

Then I was going from hot to cold. One minute I was freezing, the next minute I was burning up. I was laying on my couch in front of the air conditioner, mostly naked under a sheet. I'd go from bundling up in the sheet and shivering, to throwing the sheet off of me to get cool. (I know now that I was in transition, but I sure didn't know it then!)

Things got even more interesting as my mom, sister, and grandmother arrived. The neighbors across the street were out of town and had agreed to let our guests stay in their home while they visited us. Dave went out to help them with their bags, and they asked if they could come in for a few minutes to say hi to me. I agreed, and that was a mistake! In they came while I was drugged out on these stupid pills, going through transition, etc. Did I mention that my grandmother had been a labor and delivery nurse a hundred years before this? :) Well, she pushed on my stomach a bit during a contraction (gee, thanks!) and I heard her say to the rest of the people in the room "It'll be at least 20 more hours." Luckily, I did not have the strength to hit her! :) 20 more hours of THIS?! I was going to die!

Then I started wanting to push. I had read about how your cervix can get swollen if you push before you are fully dilated, and I sure didn't want that! So, I fought my body's urge to push for over an hour. Then I decided, "Who cares?" and I just let my body push when I felt the urge. Boy, that sure felt better than fighting myself! Suddenly I felt my water break with a big pop, and I jumped off the couch, so happy to "really" be in labor! I ran to the bathroom to change into some clean underwear and clothing so we could go to the hospital. My grandmother was actually following behind me saying that she needed to smell my underwear (!!!!!!!) to see if it was really my water that had broken! (another person who didn't think I could really be having a baby! Was everyone BLIND?!) I tossed her my underwear and I heard her declare "Urine!" (Yeah, right! I think I can tell the difference, Gram!) We got out of the house in a hurry. I was glad to be out of there.

Dave made the drive to the hospital in record time. I just let my body push when it wanted to. I didn't have the strength to fight it any more. We parked in the parking lot, got out our stuff, and walked in. I had contractions in the parking lot, the halls, the elevator, etc. I just pushed with all of them.

We got to the maternity floor where finally *someone* could see that I was indeed looking like I might be in labor. (not so cheerful any more) Even so, the nurse who was helping me was reminding me that I had "only" been to 4cm earlier so I might still have a long way to go.... (Were these people insane? That was 10 hours ago! As if nothing can change in 10 hours!!!) I got into the bed and the nurse started to check for dilation. This funny look came over her face. She says "Are you feeling like you want to push?" I said, "Yeah. Like, for the past 2 hours!!!" Of course, his little head was already coming down the birth canal!

Amazing! A woman who is not in real labor with a baby coming out of her! And her tummy wasn't even hard during contractions!

Well, the room flew into high gear. Nurses running everywhere, the doctor being called, etc. It was interesting how GREAT I felt at that point. I could push! I really was not crazy! I *was* having a baby! I was even cheerful again!!! :) They had me in a sort of semi sitting, leaning back position. They told me not to push until the doctor got there. (yeah, right) I did my best (big mistake) to wait for him to walk in. "Fortunately" he was right down the hall, so it didn't take long. I had to fight off a nurse who was trying to force an IV on me. I looked up at the doctor and reminded him that I was about to have a baby so did NOT need any "nutrients" at this point. He told the nurse I did not have to have the IV.

I pushed and pushed and every time I stopped his little head would slide back inside me. After a few minutes I realized that the doctor was getting ready to do something. I asked what and he said an episiotomy. I asked if that was really needed and reminded him that I had wanted to avoid one. He said, "Well, you can sit here and keep trying to push this baby out for awhile, or you can have your baby out in about 5 minutes if I do this." At that point with all of the exhaustion and sleeping pills and everything, I did a dumb thing and agreed to the episiotomy. I wanted to have my baby!

(Not a single person offered to help me change positions to get my son out without being cut. I was in no state of mind to think of it myself. It's amazing how one little decision can have such a long-term effect on someone.)

The doctor did the episiotomy, and then out came my precious son! He looked so huge and sturdy to me! I held him right away and felt totally elated! I was high! I felt so powerful! He had been born 20 minutes after we walked in the door.

My son, 8lb. 1oz. 21 inches. 3:38am.
(I just loooove this photo: the first picture of me holding my first baby!)

Thankfully, this hospital was much better than most I have heard of. Nobody was snatching my baby away from me. My husband and I held him and took pictures and just enjoyed him. After a half an hour or so a very kind nurse came and respectfully asked if it would be alright for her to weigh our son and so on. We agreed and Dave went along for that. I got finished up with being stitched, and was taken to my room.

Once I got there a nurse came to help me. I was kind of shocked that she was going to supervise me on going to the bathroom, and that felt like quite an invasion. I was also unprepared for all the bleeding I did, and that was humiliating to do in front of someone I didn't even know and who was not going out of her way to make me feel at ease. Eventually I got into bed with a nice ice pack soothing my sore bottom and the nurse prepared to leave with a casual, "need anything else?" I said that yes, I would really like some water. She kind of looked annoyed that I did actually have something I needed, and looked around as if there was going to be a drink already made up for me. She found a cup and then poured water out of the pitcher that was already in the room! I do not know whose water that had been, but it did not feel too nice to get room temperature water in a dixie cup! When I said I wanted a drink of water, I meant I wanted a BIG DRINK of COLD water! Gee....I just had a baby here! I've been *working* people!!! I'm thirsty! But, the tiny little cup of room temp water was what I got. I don't think I got any cold water until my husband showed up awhile later and got it for me.

We roomed in with our baby and I did not leave him in the stupid plastic box they left for him. The nurses kept bringing sugar water in a bottle for him, and I kept ignoring them. One nurse asked why I wasn't using the bottles and I said it was to avoid nipple confusion, as I had read about in my book about breastfeeding. She gruffly told me there was no such thing as nipple confusion. Ha! I wasn't buying that! I did not give him any of their bottles.

My baby was very sleepy for a few days. Gee, do you think that had anything to do with the sleeping pills I was told to take? Breastfeeding was almost impossible since he would fall asleep whenever I held him. I asked a nurse for help and she watched over my shoulder as I tried to get Micah to latch on. She said, "yeah. Just keep doing that and eventually he'll get it." Boy! That was helpful. (not) So I worked and worked at helping my sleepy son to latch on. When I finally did get him latched I knew it was not quite right, but I wasn't going to take him off the breast once I had finally gotten him there! Later I was scolded by a nurse for allowing him to nurse for more than 5 minutes per side, since I would surely get a big blister from that.

I could go on with a lot more details, but I'll just say that eventually we got home and our little boy did get nursing. I nursed him until he was 3 1/2 years old. He was a happy little soul mate!

After our experience with a hospital birth, we vowed we would not have another. I would never again have an episiotomy, or be treated as if I did not know what my body was doing. Somehow we were going to find a way to have a birth where we were safe and respected! (and that's just what we did the next time around.....tune in next April for the second birth story! ;) )

Baby Tantrums

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Gentle Baby Care

Learn about it

A baby’s first tantrum can take you by surprise. Your baby can really shock you by shrieking, stamping, hitting, or making his whole body go stiff. But don’t take it personally; baby tantrums aren’t about anything you’ve done wrong, and they aren’t really about temper, either – your baby isn’t old enough for that. The ways you’ll respond to your baby’s behavior when he is older are different than how you should respond now.

Why babies have tantrums and what you can do about it

A baby tantrum is an abrupt and sudden loss of emotional control. Various factors bring tantrums on, and if you can identify the trigger, then you can help him calm down ¾ and perhaps even avoid the tantrum in the first place. Here are the common reasons and ways to solve the problem:

Reason for tantrum

Possible solution


Settle baby down to sleep; Provide quiet activity


Give baby a snack or something to drink


Help baby achieve his goal or remove the frustration; Use distraction


Hold and cuddle baby; Remove baby from difficult situation

Inability to communicate

Try to figure out what he wants; Calmly encourage him to show you

Resisting change

Allow a few minutes for baby to make adjustment

Over stimulation

Move baby to a quiet place

How to prevent baby tantrums

Often, you can prevent a baby from losing control of his emotions if you prevent the situations that lead up to this. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When baby is tired, put him down for a nap or to sleep.
  • Feed your baby frequently. Babies have small tummies and need regular nourishment.
  • Give your baby toys that are geared to his age and ability level.
  • Warn your baby before changing activities (“One more swing, then we’re going home”).
  • Be patient when putting your baby in an unfamiliar environment or when introducing him to new people.
  • Help your baby learn new skills (such as climbing stairs or working puzzles).
  • Keep your expectations realistic; don’t expect more than your baby is capable of.
  • As much as possible, keep a regular and predictable schedule.
  • When your baby is overly emotional, keep yourself as calm as possible.
  • Use a soothing tone of voice and gentle touch to help your baby calm down. He can’t do it on his own, he needs your help.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

Wanted: Your photos

Do you have a cute kid or a gorgeous baby belly that you want to share? I'd love to have enough reader-submitted entries to have a photo every week. Send me your photos at

(I love to get your birth stories to share here too!)

You Have Control Over Your Birth Experience

You Have Control Over Your Birth Experience by Rayven Perkins

I have given birth to four children, in three different states. Each hospital had different policies and procedures, and each birth experience was unique.

My last delivery, just a few months ago, was to boy/girl twins.

I started my pregnancy with a new-to-me doctor I disliked, who was ready to schedule a cesarean in my first trimester. About halfway through the pregnancy, we moved, and I found an absolutely wonderful doctor. I expressed to him my desire to do everything humanly possible to deliver these twins vaginally. I had never had a c-section before, and really didn't want to have one.

He respected my decision, and agreed to only mention a c-section if an emergency situation occurred.

At the start of my third trimester, I had the opportunity to tour the hospital I was to deliver in. While on the tour, I asked if twin deliveries were required to be in the operating room, which is standard in most hospitals, and the touring nurse said to me, "How else would you have a c-section?" She seemed shocked that I would even consider giving birth to twins in any other way.

On the delivery day, I was able to labor in a birthing room and was transferred to the OR for the delivery only.

I had a normal labor, and they finally wheeled me into the OR. There were about six medical personnel in the room, busy preparing for the delivery and awaiting the doctor. I was concerned that the first baby was on his way out, and kept saying to the nurses "I think the baby is coming", but for the most part, they ignored me. I said this maybe five times. Finally, one nurse told me not to worry, that they would catch him should he decide to make an appearance.

Amidst all this activity, I suddenly had a thought, and announced, "Oh, by the way, under no circumstances whatsoever do I want an episiotomy."

Immediately, the six people in the room froze, and dropped everything they were working on to turn and look at me. So I repeated myself. They looked at me as though I was growing horns out of my head. Finally one nurse told me that she would make sure that the doctor knew.

The delivery went well. The second twin decided to turn breech at the last moment, but my doctor, respecting my decision to do everything possible to avoid a c-section was able to manually turn her. I avoided the episiotomy as well, which proved to be completely unnecessary.

The next morning, as I was walking around trying to regain my strength, I saw several other new mothers sitting on ice packs, moaning and groaning. They had not realized the episiotomy was a choice.

All the nurses who cared for me after the delivery treated me oddly. It was as though I were some sort of celebrity. Finally, one nurse spilled the beans. It seemed that I was the first mother to deliver twins vaginally in that hospital in over ten years.

Ten years.

It amazes me how much hospitals and doctors take certain situations for granted. No vaginal twin deliveries in a decade? How many of those mothers were lead to believe their bodies wouldn't do what came naturally to them? How many of them had unnecessary surgeries, higher risk of infections, and major recover for nothing?

You have a lot more control over the birth of your child in a hospital setting than you are aware of.

--An episiotomy is optional, but if you do not speak up and vocalize your desire not to have one, it may happen to you.

--A c-section is optional in some cases. There are circumstances where it is necessary, but many are done for convenience when other options are available.

--Pain medications and even IVs are optional. If you chose not to have any pain medications, then you do not need to be hooked up to an IV at all.

--Lying flat on your back in a bed is optional. If you do not have an epidural, you do not need to remain in bed through labor and delivery. Feel free to move about, take a shower, and try different labor positions that you would like to get more comfortable.

The birth of your baby should be a happy experience. It should not be one of fear and disappointment. Simply talk with your doctor and hospital staff about your desires. Do this early in the pregnancy. If it seems like your doctor does not take your concerns seriously, find a new doctor.


Rayven Perkins is an expert at saving money at home. She has spent 7 years finding and implementing unique cost-cutting tips that allow her family to live comfortably as a one-income family. Her site examines resources and tips on Reducing Expenses, Stretching Your Dollar, and Supplementing Income in order to stay a SAHM

Need Help Saving Money and Being More Organized?

So many of us wish we knew how to be more organized, save money,
and do better for our families.
Good news--right now I know of a great deal on something that will help you do just that!

One of my favorite ways to save money and be more organized is to plan my menus. 
Food is one of the highest expenses, but is fortunately also one that we can control in some ways.

If you're too busy to plan menus, or just don't know how, have I got a deal for you! 
The owner of Dine Without Whine is now offering 20% off of her menu-planning service!

To check it out or get started, just go to:
Dine Without Whine - Menu Planning

From there you just choose from the 3, 6, or 12-month subscription option. 
When you're checking out, enter this code: 04AO
(The first digit is a zero and the last is an uppercase letter "O".) and you'll save 20% instantly.

Many of us have good intentions but don't have the skills or tools to follow through on our goals. 
Dine Without Whine is a great tool that can make it super-easy for you to have
success in this area! Give it a try--I think you'll like it.


Yay! The site is back up!

I've had a very stressful four days waiting for my sites to reappear. I apologize to any of you that tried to visit the boutique and were unable to. Apparently my hosting service had a gigantic problem. :( Anyhoo--all is well now. To celebrate, let's have a sale! Use coupon code YAY to take 10% off anything at the boutique! (coupon is good through Sunday, Aug. 17)

My Precious Kid -- Giveaway of the Week

This week's featured business: My Precious Kid
Kay Green is the Christian wife (29 yrs) of Russell, her high school sweetheart, and mother to "homegrown" kids Melissa 25, Jordan 23, Allison 20 and to Haley 8 years old (adopted at birth). Her granddaughter Madison Kay was born December 2006.

My Precious Kid ID Cards were a result of needing Homeschool ID's for her kids, and an ID for Haley after her adoption. The Car Seat ID card was Kay's brainstorm after seeing car seat ID stickers from the hospital that were messy to remove or change. The Velcro® tags can be changed for new information or a new child. The Luggage Tags are perfect for back packs, diaper bags, booster car seats and daycare or grandma's house. Your child's card speaks for your child when you can't!

Here's some of what they do:
My Precious Kid products include ID cards, DNA and Fingerprint Kits, First Aid Kits, ID Bracelets, Shoe ID Stickers and ID Shoe Tags, Baby Sling, Safety Tips Book, Medical Records Book, Toothprints products and Travel products.

Here's what they're giving away:
Two sets of Child Safety Packs. (Did you hear that? TWO winners this week!)

Each Child Safety Pack includes:

1 - Child ID Card with Self Seal Pouch
(for parent's wallet)
1 - Child Car Seat ID Card with Self Seal Pouch and Velcro®
(for child's car seat or toddler booster seat)
1 - Medical Release Form with Self Seal Pouch
(for day care or grandma)
1 - Child Luggage Tag ID card with Self Seal Pouch
(for diaper bag/back pack or toddler booster seat)
2 - Shoe ID Stickers
1 - Disposible Child ID bracelet/anklet plus

FREE Child DNA Fingerprint Kit:
1 - Fingerprint Card
1 - FBI approved Ink strip
1 - DNA Sample Bag with Instructions
1 - Child profile card in protective sleeve

Each card in this child safety product holds child’s photo, thumbprint, name, address, weight, height, birth date, emergency contact numbers, doctor name and number, dentist’s name and number, insurance info, plus a medical release signature allowing immediate medical treatment when parent is not present or can not speak for the child. Complete child safety protection for a child for ONE year! This is a parent "do-it-yourself" child protection kit prepared it in the privacy of your own residence!

You can see more of the details about this giveaway item by going here.

How you can enter to win:
Leave a comment telling why you feel that safety products like this are important. Have you been in situations where you really needed something like this? Tell us about it.

Something for everybody:
Use coupon code # 112081208 for 10% off your first purchase

The fine print:
Contest limited to US residents only. If you don't have a blog that I can reach you through, you need to leave your email address in your comment.

The winner will be announced on:
Saturday, August 16, 2008

And the winner of the Ultrasound Shirt giveaway is....

Cindy from comment #25! Congratulations Cindy. Erin Groff from will be contacting you soon.

Don't forget! You can get FREE SHIPPING for the entire month of August, plus you can get an additional 10% off your purchase by using coupon code 'giveaway' during checkout.

Do you Kirtsy?

kirtsy! It's hard for me to keep up with all of the cool social networking things going on around the world wide web, but every now and then I get brave and jump on another bandwagon to see what it's all about.

I hated My Space, what with it's tacky looking layouts and trashy pictures everywhere. Get me outa there!

I joined Facebook awhile back, and that's safe and nice and mighty fun when an old friend from 7th grade pops back into my life!

I just started Twittering recently, so we'll see how that goes.

Kirtsy is something that I think is pretty durn cool. What's Kirtsy? it's like...your best friend who calls you up to say, "Hey did you see the great sale?!" or "Oh my goodness! You have to read this!" Basically, it's a way for women everywhere to point everybody in the direction of the stuff on the web that you find and love. A shout out for all your favorites. A courtesy call to everybody who hasn't already found what you love.

And, of course--you get to find out what everybody else is thinking is so mighty cool, too.

Go check it out. Get a feel for the thing. And then you can start Kirtsy-ing anything and everything that you love. :) (You can start with posts right here! Let people know about our giveaways, new products you love, or articles that are helpful to you. Just click the "kirtsy this" button underneath every post!)

Pop! My Bubble Burst!

Before my son came into my life, I used to take a long whirlpool bath full of lightly scented bubbles while playing my favorite CD loud enough to drown out the sound of my own singing at least once a week That was the best stress buster I have ever found! After 4 years of being a Mommy, one night I decided I needed to do just that. Please God I prayed, at least one more time before my son turns eighteen and hopefully goes away to college!

My husband graciously agreed to take my son out to play in the snow for one hour. So I raced upstairs and turned on the bath water. My tub is a double size and it takes 50 gallons of water to fill it. After about 10 gallons, the steaming hot water turned ice cold. That never happened before! But I was determined, so I sat on the floor with my back propped up against the tub and waited for the hot water heater to give me more hot water. Every 10 minutes I tried again, and every ten minutes I got another few gallons of lukewarm water.

Forty minutes or more had passed and a friend dropped by for a visit. Thank God it was good news, but my tub water story doesn’t seem to deter her from staying a little longer. It took all the graciousness I had in my entire being not to push her out the door. Finally she left and just as I was about to retreat upstairs, my husband came home with my son. My hour, or his, I’m not sure who’s, was up! I hurriedly told him my story and ran up stairs to the bathroom.

I turned on the music, lit the candles, poured in the lightly scented bubble bath, climbed in the tub of barely lukewarm water, laid down, turned on the whirlpool jets and started singing and who should appear? You guessed it, my son. I think, thank you God, because just the other day he decided he doesn’t like to take baths anymore!

First my son asked me, “What are you doing Mommy?“ so I explained. He was satisfied for the moment and started singing and dancing to my music. Finally he got bored and left the bathroom. Ahhh… I thought, I really am going to enjoy my bath after all. When I emerge I will feel fully relaxed and completely stress free. I can’t wait!

Approximately five minutes later, just when I was starting to get a hint of what feeling relaxed and stress free was like, I hear, “I want to take the bath too Mommy!” I opened my eyes to see my naked son standing beside the tub looking as if I said no, he would surely die. Pop! My bubble burst!

I lifted him into the tub and he scrunched down in the water and walked like a duck all around me in the tub yakking away a mile a minute. Then he proceeded to shake his naked, bubble soaked bottom right in my face! Every little inch of him and his innocence was just so… cute, he sparked that special rush of Mommy love within me and all my stress just floated away

Elaine K Stephen
Inspirational Gift Gallery
Inspirational Christian Stories, Poems, Gifts Blog

Zoinks! My site is down!

Oh me oh my, The Baby Boutique at Womb's Window is down right now! Don't know why, but have emailed the web host to try to get it straightened out. Sorry for the inconvenience! We'll be back up just as soon as possible..... And I have no idea when that will be. :(

Tuesday Tip: Looking for something different? How about a Diaper Shower!

Here is a great guest post for Tuesday Tips!

If you have an option to have a baby shower or diaper shower... choose diaper shower!

My story behind this is:

My grandmother and most of my side of the family live in Pittsburgh, PA and me and my husband live in Altoona, PA (2 hour drive to Pgh, PA). We decided that since my Grandmother wanted to throw the baby shower in Pittsburgh, my Mother in law wanted to do a diaper shower here in Altoona. Don't you know, I wound up with so many diapers from that diaper shower... they lasted over a year! Actually, I wound up giving away a pack of diapers just within the last couple months that had come from that diaper shower... I did not need them and would not use them since my son is being potty trained and they were a size 6 diaper... I'm puttin him him in pull ups.

Needless to say... diaper showers were a godsend! I didn't have to actually buy my first pack of diapers for atleast 2 months after having my son!

Since you will go through more diapers than clothes... opt for a diaper shower if possible... they totally come in handy!

Dawn Lidwell

Ultrasound Shirts--A Giveaway!

This week's featured business:
Ultrasound shirts is a business owned by Erin, a mother of two little girls. She shares how she was inspired to start her business:

"When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I really wanted to share my ultrasound pictures with my friends and family in a special way. I started the company Ultrasound Shirts so mothers, grandmothers and older siblings could wear the ultrasound photo on their shirt. Now you can have your own unique shirts that feature your baby’s ultrasound picture, too!"

Here's some of what they do:

Here's what they're giving away:
One free ultrasound shirt of your choice!

How you can enter to win:

Leave a comment telling me which ultrasound shirt you would want and why. If you don't have a blog that I can contact you through, please leave your email address for me or else I can't contact you. :)

Something for everybody: FREE SHIPPING for the entire month of August, plus you can get an additional 10% off your purchase by using coupon code 'giveaway' during checkout.

The fine print:

See to choose from in-stock styles and colors only. Prize can only be awarded to someone with a US address.

The winner will be announced on:
One winner will be chosen randomly on Saturday, August 9, 2008.

More Giveaways Start This Week!

You know, this giveaway week has been so fun that I've decided to host regular giveaways here! My hope is to have a special giveaway every week.

So, that's where you come in. Do you have an etsy store, business, or something cool that you do that you'd like to give away? Contact me!

Come on by tomorrow for a cool giveaway that is especially for pregnant moms!

Introducing the Morning Glory Collection

Here's another fabulous collection of great new stuff for your little girl: Morning Glory!
Just like with the Apples and Pears Collection, Morning Glory has this adorable Mini Minky Blanket with the handy paci/toy clip on the side. So sweet! (these make a great gift because it's so fresh and unique!)

Bibs & Burps...

And this onesie....isn't it the sweetest?! I swear--stuff like this makes me just about think I need another baby.....

And....ooooooh! aaaaah! We now have some gorgeous crib bedding sets as well. Morning Glory is so beautiful--I just love it!

See the entire collection here.

More New Stuff! Introducing the Apples and Pears Collection

You know, I promise, I'm not going to limit my posts here just to products. It's just that right now we have a whole bunch of new things being added to the boutique. Usually I have something new to tell you about every day. This stuff is too cute to keep quiet about!

Lookie lookie!!

This is our new Apples and Pears Collection. We've got bibs, burp cloths,
and these adorable Mini Minky Blankets! They are 15"x14" and have ultra soft minky on one side. They are Soooooooo soft!

The feature I like most about it, though, is the built-in velcro strap that works as a paci clip or a way to keep your baby's favorite toy within reach.

The perfect lovely blanket! (and it would make a great baby shower gift, too)

These onesies are absolutely scrumptious! The cotton is very, very soft, and the appliques are also soft and pliable, so these will be very comfy for your little one to wear day after day.

I love it that the Apples and Pears collection will work for boys or girls. Don't you?

Check 'em all out here.