Loneliness in a Well-Connected World

I just came across this wonderfully-made video explaining why so many people in today’s highly connected culture feel so very alone.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, so here’s the link:

Loneliness Illustrated So Beautifully You Will Need To Tell Someone

What do you think? Is social networking really worth all the hype?

Position Matters in Pregnancy

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For any guys reading this: it’s all about pregnancy, labour and delivery… Just a heads-up (ummm, or down!) :)

I know I haven’t talked about pregnancy much on here, but since our third little one is due in less than 3 weeks, it’s kinda big in my life right now… along with the rest of me!

Most pregnant women know that the ideal position for a baby to be in before birth is, of course, head-down, but also anterior (with baby’s spine towards your front).

But what if your baby prefers a different position? This can mean a LONG, painful labour ending in assisted delivery or emergency Caesarean in some cases.

Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. We just have to educate ourselves a little before we get to the delivery room.

My first two babies were not in ideal positions for birth – both were direct posterior at the start of labour. And neither is this little one so far (although that will most likely change a few times before the big day – lots of flipping around going on), so I’ve been doing a lot, I mean, A LOT, of research on babies’ positions during pregnancy and labour and how the way my baby is positioned, as well as my own posture and movements, can have big effects on the length and intensity of my labour, as well as the possible need for a Caesarean or assisted delivery.

With our first, I had painful back labour for about 10 hours with no progress at all, before I accidentally helped him turn around by going on my hands and knees for a while to relieve the pain. After that, with the help of some Pitocin that the nurses were pretty eager to give me after that many hours of no change, he was born fairly quickly with only a few minutes of pushing. Of course, I didn’t know much about babies’ pre-birth positions at that point, only that he was head-down and that was good.

Yeah, right.

After that experience, I started to read up on posterior babies before our daughter was born, to prepare myself in case she was posterior as well. I figured anything I could learn might help with the pain if I had back labour again. My water broke, and contractions didn’t start right away, so labour was induced the next day. From the very first contraction, I could tell she was posterior… the back labour was very painful, magnified by the induction. But, knowing a few techniques that might help, I tried the Abdominal Lift & Tuck, otherwise called the Belly Lift, through 10-15 contractions. She turned around quickly and was born less than 3 hours after I was induced, with very little back pain for the rest of the labour and also very little pushing. Definitely keeping that one in mind this time!

This third time around, I’m determined to be more aware of the baby’s position before going into labour, so I can hopefully do something to help this little one have an easier birth, not to mention eliminate hours of pain for me.

I stumbled across the Spinning Babies website before our second child was born. That’s where I learned about the Abdominal Lift & Tuck technique that really helped get her into a better position. They also have great explanations for the different fetal positions and why some are better than others (for example, Left Occiput Anterior (LOA) is better than Right Occiput Anterior (ROA), even though both are equally facing the ‘right’ direction).

With this pregnancy, I’ve been paying really close attention to how the baby moves, and what position he/she is in, since about 32 weeks. This little one also seems to favour posterior positions, specifically left occiput posterior. But after reading and learning more about how my posture affects the baby’s position, I have noticed that the baby tends to be more posterior after I’ve spent a day or two sitting down and reclining more than usual. If I pay close attention to my posture, lean forward more often than back and try to stay upright, the baby swings around to a more anterior, better, position.

It’s pretty simple, really. Just like all things in nature, gravity pulls the heaviest part of an object down first. The heaviest part of the baby’s body (the spine, bottom and back of the head) will settle in the most open, lowest place it can.

This is one of the main reasons why epidurals result in a higher risk of assisted delivery or C-section. If you are stuck in bed, mostly on your back, with very little opportunity to go on all fours or to walk around in an upright position, the baby, with the force of your contractions, will be more likely to settle in a posterior (back down) position, requiring greater dilation and effort to be born. This will sometimes, especially if you have a bigger baby, result in a “stalled labour”, where the baby is stuck in the pelvis and can’t manoeuvre his/her way through the birth canal – leading to either the use of forceps or an emergency Caesarean.

Now, of course, there are sometimes good reasons for a baby’s position. An odd-shaped pelvis, or the location of the placenta, can sometimes mean that baby is better off in a posterior position. But this is generally not the case, and even if there is a good reason, practicing good posture never hurts. Even if baby doesn’t turn, he/she can still be born face-up, and proper posture can help your abdominal muscles stay, or get, evenly toned and your pelvis properly aligned, making contractions that much more effective.

I know from both of my previous experiences, and stories from others, that most Labour & Delivery nurses, and even doctors and OB/GYNs, know very little about turning a baby before birth to help labour progress. They tend to be more reactive than proactive, using medical and surgical assistance in more cases than is really necessary, although there are definitely exceptions (‘THANK YOU!’ to those wonderful nurses and midwives who care enough to get educated on fetal positioning in order to help their patients).

So we can’t really count on the nurse or doctor knowing what to do to turn our babies during labour. This is why it is really beneficial to know beforehand what WE, as mothers, can do to help our little ones into the world in a safer, less traumatic way.

(And, I know most hospitals automatically deliver breech babies by Caesarean, but I was surprised to find out that turning a breech baby is very possible, with much less risk than a Caesarean, even during labour.)

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope it will help any moms-to-be and their babies to have a safer, less painful birth.

Knowledge is power, right?

Here are some more links on Optimal Fetal Positioning and different techniques to use during pregnancy and labour:

Best Labour and Birth Positions – Giving Birth Naturally (a wonderful site with TONS of information on natural birth)

How to Prevent a Posterior Labour

Optimal Fetal Positioning

Spinning Babies Techniques

 

Linked up to Growing Home | Teach Me Tuesdays

Parenting Toddlers

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The toddler years can be challenging… I’m right in the middle of them myself. There are days when all I want to do is find a corner and cry out of frustration. Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

But I’ve learned a lot about being a mother in the last 4 years and have realized that the key to any day going successfully is how I handle myself. A calm, stress-free mother is essential to any happiness in the home.

This is where my strategy of minimal activities comes in – I know I can’t handle a busy day myself without getting stressed out, so, to keep everything running smoothly and everybody happy, I’ve learned to say ‘no’ sometimes and limit our day-time activities to a manageable amount.

After all, how can I expect my children to handle a busy day AND a stressed momma without more than a few meltdowns and fights? I can’t.

I’m always learning more about parenting and stay on the lookout for helpful information and practical ideas that I can put to use in our own lives. I came across these links in the last few weeks that taught me a little more… maybe they can help you too?

Toddler Quiet Time: a daily routine to give everyone breathing time | Day2Day Joys

Baby Steps & Toddler Tips: discipline for the earliest years | Simple Mom

What Should a 4 Year Old Know? | A Magical Childhood

5 Ways to Love Your Life More Today | Steady Mom

Do The Very Thing You Ask of Them | Simple Mom

Looking for the Good

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A gift from my son :)

As mothers, we are confronted with negative situations every day.

We need to correct that, clean this mess up, wash another load of laundry, issue some more discipline, etc.

It never ends.

It’s easy to forget the good things in life, the common, everyday blessings that can make us smile… when we see them.

This is helping me to look for more good in the everyday, common things.

The light breeze, the constant chatter of a 3-year-old, the “Mommy” turning into “Mom!”, the smell of fresh-cut grass….

How much good can you find today?

Cherish the Good Things

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Click image for source.
 

Definitely need to remember that!

And some links for you this weekend:

50 Ways to Love Your Child Every Day Using Love Languages | Bow of Bronze

Fill the Freezer with Easy Recipes for Summer | Life As Mom

Put the Phone Down and be a Mother | Growing Home

Be Like The Sun: Move Slowly, Radiate Warmth, Shine | Simple Mom

40 Preserving Links (and canning with honey!) | Simple Bites

Showing Up For My Life

Sura Nualpradid - freedigitalphotos

In our digital world today, it can be so easy to get addicted to the internet. Believe me, I know. There was a time, a few years ago, when I could easily spend 6-8 hours a day in front of the computer… and I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter! And the majority of that time was not at all productive.

Since then, I’ve realized that was not the way I wanted to live my life, and things have greatly improved in that area.

Sure, there are times when I get carried away on Pinterest and waste a half hour, but most days the computer is only used for useful things during the day, like finding recipes and actual work.

Since I’ve stopped wasting so much time on the internet, I’ve been able to enjoy my children more, stay on top of housework and laundry, cook better meals, and find time to just BE.

I don’t want to look back in 25 years when my kids are all grown up and wonder what happened. I want to enjoy them while they are little and give them the time and attention they need and deserve. I want to form real relationships with real people, spend time with family and friends.

I want to actually live MY life, live my actual life, and not let a virtual world dictate who I am.

Sally Clarkson wrote about this in her blog post today:

Perhaps, on the internet, we build up a couple of thousand of friends–that does not mean they know us, our real lives, our silent aches of heart, our loneliness, our dreams, insecurities, needs or doubts, or love us. Often it just means, they, too, are trying to build their list. Our social networking friends cannot bring us a hot, delicious meal or a fall bouquet of blooming flowers when we are sick or depressed or just need to know we are on someone’s mind.

Our social media friends cannot hold our hand or give us a gentle embrace, when we pray through a heartbreak or sit and drink a real cup of tea on the porch as we watch a fall sun melt into the sky, and share secrets. Our social media friends are not here to touch, see, experience, giggle, to validate the memories of real life.

Our children also long for us to see them as the important ones–they long for our words of love and laughter at their jokes and engaging in their hearts and attention. Our children are only with us for a window of time, to receive our attention, loving touch, tasty meals, to celebrate life as we pour into their souls. If we are looking to the internet for our relationships, our children will look for love and attention wherever else they can find it–away from us.

We are their first choice, but they will settle for others if their needs are not met at home with our intentional and present attention.

I don’t want my children to turn elsewhere for the love and attention they need from me. I want to be there for them and not miss any more of my life than I have to.

The only way we will build great relationships with the people around us is if we spend less time online and more time in real life.

I just finished reading Sarah Mae’s e-book, The UnWired Mom, and found it very worth-while. Here’s an excerpt from her book:

An UnWired Mom is a woman of purpose who is not a slave to

anything, including the online world. She lives full and whole

and aware in the everyday, choosing to engage in the reality

around her instead of escaping to the Internet. She can work in

and enjoy the online space without having it consume her;

she shows up for her own in-the-flesh life.

I want to show up for my own life every day.

What about you?