Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Great cleaning tool and tip!


I found a great tool for cleaning, a way to clean surfaces without chemicals.  These cloths are just like Norwex, but a small fraction of the price.  Clean the surface with any rag or cloth, and wipe dry with a Souwax cloth to polish and remove streaks and leave your surface shiny and clean.  So now I don't use any Windex to clean my glass surfaces, I just use these cloths!  Try them out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What you don't know about your cervix

What!? Where?

Most women have no clue what their cervix is, where it is, its function or even what it looks like. Well, here’s where it is:

And it looks like this (much like the head of a penis):

The first time I learned about basic reproductive anatomy, I was pregnant with my first child, and the only thing I really learned about the cervix is that it was at the bottom of my uterus (liking my cervix to the opening of a balloon and my uterus was the balloon part waiting to expand), and was supposed to dilate to from 0 to 10 during labor. It was also supposed to thin out (efface) and go from what is like the tip of my nose to the web of skin between my index finger and thumb…melt away kind of like a lifesaver. And that my cervix might need to be checked during labor to asses its progress.

But that was it. It wasn’t until I was well into being a childbirth educator and a doula did I find out some other things about the cervix. Things that would change how I forever approach supporting women in labor and birth.

Cervix Myth #1: 10 is the Magic Number

No, it is not. Did you know that you can dilate past 10? What?! Now what are we all supposed to do? That sounds horrific! It IS horrific, right?

Not really. Not any more so than dilating to 10 is. I dilated well beyond 10 cm with my last birth, where my baby’s head measured at a whooping 14.75 cm. That’s right, I dilated almost to 15 cm. And guess what, I lived. And guess what, too….it didn’t hurt any more than my other births where I dilated to just 10. So, just because you are 10 cm doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready to push. If you do not feel the urge to push at 10 cm and are instructed to do so, you will force the cervix open “against its will” and bruise the cervix. And if you have an epidural and don’t feel the urge, you are at even higher risk of injuring yourself.

Cervix Myth #2: Your Cervix Dilates in a Nice, Neat Circle

Your cervix does not dilate in a nice, neat circle like all the dilation model depict. It actually opens like an ellipse as depicted here

Source: MidwifeThinking.com

“It opens from the back to the front like an ellipse. The os (opening) is found tucked at the back of the vagina in early labour and opens forward. At some point in labour almost every woman will have an anterior lip (meaning the top of the cervix isn’t completely dilated) because this is the last part of the cervix to be pulled up over the baby’s head. Whether this lip is detected depends on whether/when a vaginal examination is performed. A posterior lip is almost unheard of because this part of the cervix disappears first. Or rather it becomes difficult to reach with fingers first.”

Cervix Myth #3: Vaginal Exams Do Not Harm the Cervix and/or Hinder Dilation

Midwife Carla Hartley at Ancient Art Midwifery puts it this way:

“The cervix is not meant to be touched, there is an inflammation response from the foreign material (glove) as well as the pressure, and a hormonal response. It may be confusing to the body that while it is trying to empty the uterus there is interference from the cervix being touched and manipulated in a way that it is not meant to have to deal with. VAGINAL EXAMS ARE NOT PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ARE AN INTERRUPTION TO THE NATURAL PROCESS OF BIRTH.

Here is the thing about pushing….DON’T….your body knows how to eject a baby without your help….it is a reflex. Don’t even expect an urge…..expect a sensation of your body taking over in a big way, getting that baby out…..as it is DESIGNED to do…

I talk a lot about digital and verbal abuse in labor and vaginal exams are an example of digital abuse.

Midwives [and OB's and nurses] who think vaginal exams are a good thing or necessary do not have sufficient education or they have not kept up with emerging science that proves that birth is safer if left alone. Hanzoffa, hanzoutta, mouthshutta midwifery is the safest.”

Cervix Myth #4: Your Cervix is Different and Isolated From All Other Body Parts

Ina May Gaskin, the mother of modern midwifery, has coined a term called “The Sphincter Law”. The Sphincter Law states:

Your sphincters (including your excretory, cervical and vaginal) are responsible for releasing your baby into this world. If your sphincters are tight you may not progress, and you will probably experience more pain.

So what exactly is Ina May’s “Sphincter Law”?

1. Excretory, cervical (your cervix), and vaginal sphincters function best in an atmosphere of intimacy and privacy. For example, a bathroom with a locking door or a bedroom where interruption is unlikely or impossible.

2. These sphincters cannot be opened at will and do not respond well to commands such as push or relax!

3. When a person’s sphincter is in the process of opening, it may suddenly close down if that person becomes upset, frightened, humiliated, or self conscious. Why? High levels of adrenaline in the bloodstream do not favor (sometimes, they actually prevent) the opening of sphincters. This inhibition factors is one important reason why women in traditional societies may have mostly chosen women, except in extraordinary circumstances, to attend them in labor and birth.

4. The state of relaxation of the mouth and jaw is directly correlated to the ability of the cervix, the vagina, and the anus to open to full capacity

Did you catch that? In other words,

Open Mouth=Open Cervix

Open Throat=Open Vagina

It is near impossible to birth effectively with tightly pursed lips and a closed off throat. Go ahead, try it right now….when you relax your jaw, open your mouth and open your throat, your bottoms automatically relaxes and sinks into your chair. Ina May talks about the benefits of kissing, and keeping the lips and mouth lose and open. Kissing also releases oxytocin adn other love hormones that raise your pain tolerance level and speeds labor along.

Please enjoy this short video of Ina May talking about The Sphincter Law

SOURCE: http://www.birthologie.com/birth/what-you-dont-know-about-your-cervix/

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aflac in Utah

For those planning to get pregnant and use maternity insurance, you may want to sign up now. On February 15th you will no longer be able to sign up for AFLAC hospitalization insurance in Utah. Please contact supplementalinsurance@live.com if you would like to sign up. Thanks!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Doctor's Notes

I have a copy of the doctor's notes from my fourth delivery. I always love my doctor's notes to see what they have to say about me, but this one is so funny I thought I would post it on this blog.

Date of Service: 03/06/2009

HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS: This a 26 year old patient of Dr. ____ who precipitously delivered a 35 week infant in her car on the way to the hospital. The patient's pregnancy has been significant for her preterm labor in the past. She received progesterone shots up until 32 weeks after which she reported that due to side effects that she was unable to tolerate them any further. She was admitted last weekend to the hospital with preterm contractions and was given a dose of steroids apparently at some point during her pregnancy. She has been experiencing contractions for the last 3 days and reports that they got stronger this evening. She got in the car with her husband to drive to the hospital for further evaluation when she delivered in the car. I received a call from the emergency room physician who reported that the patient was being transferred to labor and delivery, but the baby was fully delivered and appeared vigorous upon arrival to the emergency room.


ESTIMATED BLOOD LOSS: Unknown, although the patient has very little bleeding at this point in time.

FINDINGS: A viable male infant weighing 5 pounds 15, that is 2694 g. Apgars are unknown and unassigned by the nursery as they were not present at the time of the delivery.

LABOR AND DELIVERY: As mentioned above, the patient precipitously delivered in the car on the way to the hospital. She reports that her water broke just prior to arrival and she immediately delivered without complication. The cord was clamped and cut by the nurse from labor and delivery where the placenta was delivered by one of the nurses. The uterine fundus was immediately firm after this. I arrived and evaluated the patient. Her fundus was firm. She had very little bleeding. At that time, perineal exam revealed no obvious lacerations that required repair. There were some very superficial lacerations that did not require any suturing. The patient remained in the room in good condition, and the infant is currently in the newborn nursery being evaluated.


I am not a medical doctor, nor am I YOUR medical doctor. I am a mother of four who hungers for knowledge regarding pregnancy and childbirth for whatever reason, I don't know. I created this blog for people who were constantly asking me questions about these topics so they would have a place to return and read about these topics. Please consult your doctor before you do anything regarding your or your baby's bodies. Thanks!

17-AlphaHydroxyProgesterone Caproate

Sometimes called 17P or p17 or progesterone shots. Used to be called Delalutin. It's the new thing. It's all the rage. It's one of the best proven techniques to stop preterm labor in women pregnant with singletons these days. And the strange thing is, a lot of doctors aren't doing it yet. It's kind of a new thing, well a new, old thing. That's right, my mother-in-law took it when she was pregnant, but they stopped using it, like so many drugs, when there were a few lawsuits against it.

17P shots are a thick substance that must be injected intra-muscularly. They are somewhat painful, and the injection site can become irritated and itchy.

These shots work by relaxing the uterus and preventing it from contracting. They are quite effective. I went into labor at 24 weeks with this last one, and I began taking my Nifedipine pills which make me very miserable. Within a few days my doctor had me on these shots and within a week I was scarcely having any contractions. I did have a handful of days where I had some breakthrough contractions, but they all took place the day before my next shot.

It was actually a fun process for a medically minded person like me to learn how to give myself an injection, my husband did the first few and I did the rest.

Doctors may differ on treatments with these shots. Some start at 16 weeks gestation, others will wait until preterm labor begins. And it is up to you and your doctor to decide when to discontinue treatment. Theory might be that labor will begin within 2 weeks of discontinuing treatment and the hormones are completely out of your system. But it really depends on the cause of preterm labor, and each individual's body. My personal experience was that I didn't dilate at all while on the injections, so once I discontinued, I had 5 weeks before I delivered, but I always dilate early and slowly. I also, discontinued treatment at 30-ish weeks due to the nausea I was having associated with the injections. So it kept me pregnant until 35 weeks which was amazing!

If I was the doctor giving out treatment, I would start injections at 24 weeks and end at 35 weeks. Then if it did take 2 weeks to deliver, the baby will still be term.

I want to mention that I did also receive a steroid shot for the baby's lungs at 32 weeks. At my hospital, the latest they will administer the shot is 32 weeks and it must be done at Labor and Delivery with an hour of fetal/contraction monitoring. If there is any indication prior to 32 weeks that you might deliver prematurely, I would definitely push for the steroid shots before it's too late. Any help for the baby is worth it's weight in gold!

The side effects of these progesterone shots are all those that can be associated with hormones. My body is very sensitive to hormones and thus these injections made me feel like I had returned to my first trimester. Very few people complain of that, but it was still worth prolonging my pregnancy as long as it did.

If you are experiencing or have experienced preterm labor, talk with your dr. to see if they think this is a treatment worth trying. A lot of doctors haven't tried it before and after researching they might be very interested in this treatment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ahem, is anyone still there?

Soooo, this blog has been sadly neglected pretty much ever since I got pregnant with #4. I'm glad a lot of the information that people asked me about frequently is already posted. Mr. #4 really changed my life in a lot of ways. First of all, that pregnancy was the worst one I've had yet. I went into labor at 24 weeks, and spent the rest of my pregnancy injecting and pill-popping to keep him in. As a result I would like to add some posts about preterm labor and some of my techniques and solutions. Second, I studied the natural child birth thing with him and was really hoping to keep my labor drug-free. Well, my "active labor" as they call it, lasted 20 minutes start to finish, and I delivered my own baby in the front seat of my suburban as we drove to the hospital. I'm not kidding. I did it as natural as you can, and as a result of that I would like to post a little bit about natural child birth. And last, I just survived the hardest summer of my life. I have a 5 year old, 3 year old, 23 month old, and 6month old. Having all four of them home all summer was really hard. School starting has saved me. But because of this difficult summer, I have some new ideas about parenting. I'll hopefully get around to posting some of that.

Don't expect much, I still have 4 kids. But hopefully I'll post some of these things to share with all my readers.

And for anyone who has contacted my insurance agent about "maternity" insurance, things are always changing. They just lost a great policy and gained a new one. Contact him again if you are thinking about getting pregnant, and make some money off of it.