Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let It Snow Snow Snow

I woke up and looked outside. I had no idea it was supposed to snow. What a surprise!

I immediately prepared everything we would need to take a quick trip outside to play in the snow. Remember my recent post about acquiring an amazing Catimini sweater for next to nothing? Dalia's snow pants are from that same trip!

My heart was warm today with the thought of showing Dalia snow. I love being outside. I love fresh air. Winter air helps me breathe better (totally weird but true). Once Dalia woke up I brought her right to the window (the same one we spend hours at gazing away at the birds eating from our feeders) and showed her snow. Her smile was incredible.

I love watching Dalia see new things. I love being a part of her childhood and reliving those beautiful experiences through her eyes. It is magical. It is what life is all about.

So obviously I had my camera handy to take plenty of shots for daddy. He melted (no pun intended) on the phone when I told him his little angle was making snow angles (and she really did make them, instinctively). Topping off the trip outdoors was a ride in her new wagon (shout out to Grammi and Papa for the sweet Hanukah gift).

And now I get to share it with you guys as well.

And how did we end our afternoon of fun? A delish batch of "good for you" home made muffins (think flax meal, oat flour, ground nuts, applesauce, and a splash of organic blue agave). I topped our snack off with a delicious, traditionally-brewed cup of red almond tea (in
my absolute FAVORITE mug) and cuddled up on the couch to a(nother) episode of that red furry Elmo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Natural Childbirth Birth Plan

We meant to post our birth plan in honor of Dalia's 1st birthday. We didn't quite make it in time, but still want to share it with our readers. This is a fairly typical birth plan for women planning to labor in a birth center or hospital with midwives. There are some doctors out there who would probably be OK with some of these items, but most (if not all) will not agree to this type of plan (especially since most hospitals have procedures, time lines, and other birth policies they must always follow--hello, Business of Being Born, ever see it? It is a MUST)!

How about the you must dilate one cm per hour once you hit active labor or BOOM pitocin (you know the drill, the all-to-familiar cascade of interventions.....)

Having a natural and gentle birth (calm environment, soft music and soft voices, and gentle language and movements) can lead to a more bonded relationship with your child, not to mention it gives you a head start on gentle discipline, if you are interested in that.

So here you all go! And, if you haven't read our very abbreviated birth story, read it here.

Sarah and Steven Horowitz, Birth Plan

Birth Goal

We are attempting to have a natural, unmedicated birth without unnecessary intervention. We understand that emergencies occur and alterations to this plan may be medically necessary, but we would like to discuss alternatives and consequences of any deviation privately.

Hospital Labor Goals

We ask that our Midwife and Doula (Aimee Clark) be present for the labor. We do not want mother and father to be separated at any time during labor or delivery. All other visitors, family, and unnecessary staff should be turned away until we have had time alone with our new baby.

We ask that lights be kept fully dim, noise and voices be kept to a minimum, and the door always be kept closed for privacy. We will bring our own music to aid in natural healing.

We ask that cervical exams be kept to an absolute minimum and that fetal monitoring be intermittent rather than continuous.

We ask that the hospital staff refrain from offering pain medication at all times.

We ask that no routine IV be administered. The mother will drink and eat as she wishes to maintain natural energy.

We ask that the bag of waters not be artificially broken at any time.

We prefer to labor in one of the hospital’s tubs, if available.

Induction (if medically necessary)

We ask that non-chemical induction methods be tried first. (nipple stimulation, sex, etc) If further help is needed, please try a cervical ripening agent (but not cytotec) rather than pitocin. No pitocin.

Delivery Goals

We prefer not to have an episiotomy unless determined to be medically necessary; we would first like to try perineal massage, support and warm compresses.

We ask that the mother be allowed to try different positions (hands and knees, squatting, birth stools, etc.), if labor or delivery seems stalled.

We ask that the mother be allowed to select her pushing position.

We would like to have the baby placed on the mother's chest immediately after the birth.

We would like to try to have the baby breastfeed as soon as possible, even if delivered by a medically necessary Cesarean.

Newborn Care Goals

Do not administer the eye medication. Do not administer the vitamin K shot until we have spent some time with the baby, preferably as long as possible before leaving the labor and delivery room.

Please delay the weighing and measuring of the baby until the first feeding is complete.

Please do not offer any bottles or pacifiers to the baby without parents' notification of a medical need.

Please discuss routine vaccinations with parents before administering them to the baby.

Do not administer the Hep B vaccination.


So that is it. That was our plan and it went exactly as we wanted. Keep in mind my labor stalled for 3 hours at 9.5 cm (yeah, I go to the hospital at 9.5). MDs probably won't let you go that long--even my midwife was a bit up in arms. And in all honesty, I believe it was Dalia saying, "mommy and daddy, I am just not ready to leave this womb yet. I am not prepared to separate so please give me more time." I also believe it was my body telling everyone that it was not ready. I was not ready to become a mommy. It wasn't the right time.

In the end I did end up letting my midwife break my bag of waters. Funny enough Dalia was being born in the bag of waters (apparently a sign of good luck in Asia). At that moment, I caved, but no regrets there.

Birth is not just a physical task. It is mental, emotional, psychological, physiological, and personal. Your whole self has to be ready to have a baby, not just your cervix!

I LOVE The Little Green Notebook

At Harvard Law School, Steve met and befriended the Komenda family. Jenny Komenda is a fabulous blogger, designer, and one very cool, New York City mommy. Her blog never ceases to amaze me. Visit today's post.

This photo was taken from the posting. This nursery is absolutely lovely. The ceiling is to die for! I love the modern, animal-friendly touches throughout the room, and it is so baby friendly. Most people choose pastels and other neutral colors for a nursery, but research shows that bright colors (and black and white) are even better!

If you didn't know about The Little Green Notebook, now you do! Sign up and start reading the great posts of a NYC mommy!

food for thought

Is cow's milk a necessity for today's growing child? Read this food for thought.

I am increasingly committed to knowing more about what I put inside of Dalia's little body. How fortunate will she be to have always been vegetarian. I am already jealous! Of course she may always choose not to be a vegetarian, and it is her choice to make.

Let me know what you think!