I’m so saddened and sickened by the recent high school shooting in Bailey, CO, about an hour and a half from where we live. I don’t understand what possesses people to do these things.

After one girl was killed and other girls were reportedly sexually assaulted by the gunman, I can’t help but think about the safety of my own daughter. We do everything we can as parents to keep our children safe, but ultimately, it’s not always under our control. :( Such a scary thought.

Obviously a hostage situation in a school is an extreme case, but here are some tips on “What You Can Do to Protect Your Child” in other situations.

My heart goes out to the parents of all of the children involved, especially the girl who was killed.

Let’s see how much money I can spend *cough, cough*

After my pseudo-complaining about the cost of hiring a midwife (or moreso that insurance won’t cover the cost), I’m actually considering hiring a photographer as well to document my birth. Am I nuts or what?! (Uh, don’t answer that. Seriously.)

The way I see it, having a baby – this baby – will happen once in my lifetime. And this may very well be the last baby that we have. (Maybe. Nothing is carved in stone yet.) I would love to take pictures of my own birth, but, as hard as I try, I can’t be in two places at once. ;) I really, really want good pictures from this birth – not just snapshots, but a photojournalist-style documentation of the events as they unfold. So I’ve justified to myself the expense of hiring someone to take photos, even if it means dipping into savings.

Now I’m trying to find a photographer who has done birth photography in the past and that I would feel comfortable with being in labor in front of. I don’t think this will be an easy task, especially considering we only have about 7 weeks left!

I thought about hiring a doula who specializes in photography, but since I’m having a homebirth and will have two midwives here to support me already, I can’t really justify the expense of a doula too. Not to discount their value, because I think doulas are awesome and, if I was planning a hospital birth, I wouldn’t hesitate for one second from hiring one! But since I’ll be birthing in the comfort of my home, I figure the money would be better spent going to an actual photographer.

So that’s what I’ve been up to – trying to find ways to spend the money we don’t have.

Oh, and I went for acupuncture tonight and they decided I don’t need to start on the Chinese herbs yet, because I’m apparently doing so well. Yay! :)

For all the aspiring photographers out there

This looks like fun. :)

Breastfeeding Outlook has launched two new photo contests to celebrate families!

Parents nationwide are invited to enter one or both of these contests:
-Everyday Families

Multiple entries are welcome. Digital and print entries are welcome. Prizes will be awarded for:
-Best Picture
-Funniest Picture
-Best Breastfeeding Picture

In addition, each contest participant will receive $2 for each photo accepted by Breastfeeding Outlook (up to $50), and a prize of $100 will be awarded for “Most Pictures” to the participant with the most photos accepted.

All entries are due by November 15, 2006. Awards will be announced by December 31, 2006.

To view the photo contest flyer, click here.

I am going to do my best to submit some pictures, but I don’t know how much time I will have between now and the middle of November! ;)

Latest happenings in baby world

There’s not too terribly much to report on the baby boy front, but I thought I’d post a lil update anyway since I’m quickly approaching the end of this pregnancy. Where did it all go??

I’m 32 weeks and still feeling good, though getting a bit more uncomfortable because of my growing belly. Friends have told me my belly looks small for being due in two months, but it feels huge to me.

My midwife sent me for a liver panel (labwork) a few weeks ago to make sure my liver is functioning properly, since liver function is something that breaks down with HELLP syndrome. Everything checked out good with it. I think I’m going to do another one at 36 weeks.

Also in the preventative vein, I went for more acupuncture, but this time to the acupuncture college clinic in town, where they also prescribe Chinese herbs. The supervisor of the OB/GYN clinic used to be a midwife and is very knowledgable about treating pregnant women. I met with her on Wednesday and she definitely wants to see me start on the herbs soonish. She said they are going to taste just awful and make my house smell nasty (I have to cook them up every three days and drink some twice a day), but she thinks they are the best thing I can do (even better than acupuncture) right now. So I’m going back this week to get my first batch of herbs **gulp**, as well as more acupuncture. I’m sure I’ll be reporting back. She also noted that my tongue was a little red, which in Chinese medicine means I have too much heat (though not in the traditional Western sense of heat). But it’s not a good thing for a pregnant woman to have so she’s hoping that will lessen with treatment. I don’t really understand what it means myself other than my body might be working a bit harder than it needs to.

At my last midwife appointment on Thursday, everything was good. My blood pressure is remaining normal, I’ve not had any swelling (like I did big time with Ava), baby’s heartbeat is good, he’s still head down, etc. We scheduled my next appointment for 34 weeks and also tentatively scheduled my 36 week appointment which will be “the home visit” and take place at my house rather than my midwife’s. It’s a chance for my midwife and the midwife who will be assisting her at my birth (there are generally 2 midwives at every birth) to make sure they can find my house, talk more about what will be set up where in the house (like the birthing tub), what everyone’s roles will be (Jody’s and Carrie’s – who will be here to help out with Ava), and just answer any questions we have about the birth. It’s exciting and scary to think that it’s coming up sooooooo soon!

In the meantime, I need to order my “birth kit” which contains a lot of the medical-type supplies needed for the birth and after, as well as get all of the rest of the supplies (towels, bowls, old sheets/plastic cover for the mattress, etc.) that we will need.

So that’s where we currently stand. Unfortunately, we still owe the midwife over $1,000 and have to be paid up by 36 weeks, so we’re trying to figure out where that money is going to come from. Eep. It’s kind of hard to think that if we went the hospital-route, everything would be covered by insurance, but because we’ve chosen the homebirth-route, we have to pay over $2,000 out of pocket. BUT, BUT, BUT…I really feel like it will be soooooooo worth it to experience the kind of peaceful birth that I desire in our own familiar surroundings. And there’s a good chance we can get the insurance company to reimburse us for some of the money after it’s all said and done. We just can’t hold our breath waiting for that.

The lil one continues to be an active lil guy, especially in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep. ;) Funny how that works.

Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far. So much for being a “lil update.” LOL ;) And thanks for all the continued support and positive pregnancy/homebirth vibes. :)

By the way, plaques like the one pictured above can be personalized and purchased here.

She’s got the cutest li’l BabyLegs

You just knew I would have to take pics of Ava in her new “BabyLegs” from Urban Baby Runway didn’t you? Apparently Ava knew as well, because as soon as I put them on her she said, “You need to take my picture, mama.” LOL She’s a photographer’s daughter, that’s for sure.

Anyway, besides being cute as can be, they are coming in very handy (er, leggy?) at keeping her legs warm during this whole potty learning thing. :) And they aren’t just for girls either. There are some cute patterns for boys as well. I am pretty sure baby boy will be getting a pair or two this winter.