Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Truth about VBACS 02/06 by ProgressiveParenting | Blog Talk Radio

I'm in the 33rd week of my second pregnancy and will be pursuing a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I'm approaching everything completely differently this time around and part of that has equated to a happier, healthier pregnancy as well! My doula, Katie Reeves sent me a link to this Blog Talk radio show and I just had to share it. I've learned so much about VBACs and feel really compelled to spread the word.

One point I want to be sure to hit on is that finding the right practitioner to support you in pursuing a VBAC is the most critical first step for having success. It's not always easy to find an OBGYN practice that fully supports VBACs, but it's worth the search if that's an outcome that's important to you. Even if they say they will allow for a trial of labor, many practices will only allow you go unscheduled for surgery until your actual due date. If you don't go into labor on your own by your due date, often times you could still be forced into a c-section. A full term pregnancy is considered to be 38-42 weeks, so that's a lot of pressure to give birth by week 40 mark; not something I was willing to accept. Be sure to ask lots of questions when considering what practice you want to go with. Ask about their VBAC success rate. If they aren't open to giving you a number/percentage or avoid the question in some way, then they are probably not the practice for you. It can be uncomfortable going from practice to practice trying to find the right fit, but peace of mind, knowing you're on the same page with your care provider is so important. The last thing you need going into labor is doubt or fear that your wishes won't be carried through.

There are other options as well, such as finding a midwife and considering a home birth or birthing center instead of a hospital. These are all personal decisions that are worth looking into to have a full understanding of all of your options. Follow your gut and don't settle for anything less than what's most important to you. There is an answer for you! Just keep moving forward until you're confident that you have the right team around you to support your wishes.

Believing that it's possible and empowering yourself with factual information and VBAC success stories helps to build upon your belief of a healthy and successful outcome as well. Search YouTube videos and blogs all over internet to see just how many success stories there really are.

Part of my recipe to changing my mindset and releasing fear was to enroll in a HypnoBirthing class. At this point, I would say it's been worth every penny! Granted, I still have labor and delivery ahead of me, but I've learned that childbirth is a natural process that our bodies were designed for. I've learned breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques to help me labor efficiently which should also result in a less painful experience. I'm practicing daily and have heard that you get exactly what you put into it once labor and delivery rolls around, so I'm taking it very seriously!

Stay tuned for my birth story!

If you're thinking about a VBAC, please take the time to listen to this interview. It really is full of great information and uncovers a lot of misinformation floating around out there.

(Just a side note...I'm definitely not an expert on the topic. I'm just sharing what I've learned on my journey in hopes that it might help someone else)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kyle Needs You: The search for a bone marrow match

9 million people aren't a match for 4-year-old Kyle. He needs a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian donor to increase the likelihood of a match. Please, share so that Kyle can get the bone marrow transplant he urgently needs. You can find more information at and follow the twitter feed by searching #savekyle

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kidz Drop In Naperville: Life Saver for Local Moms

I found it interesting when I learned of a recent study that stated Naperville to be the "third best city in the country to find babysitters." (

Up until August of this year, I was thrilled with my child care arrangement. I had a high school girl come over to help out a couple days a week for a few hours at a time so that I could get things done around the house, run errands and work on my many projects for the Naperville Moms Network.

When my sitter moved off to college, I never dreamed it would be so difficult to find a replacement that would be a good fit. Actually, I still haven't found someone that can help me out during the week. 

Thankfully, Kidz Drop In opened up in October behind Naperville North High School and it turned out to be the answer to my prayers!

Kidz Drop In is a flexible child care facility offering local families the option for full time, part time and drop in care. They take children ranging from 6 weeks old to 13 years old and are open 6:30 a.m. till midnight. I also love that they provide fresh, gourmet, organic meals and snacks daily, so I don't have to worry about packing any of that for my son, Brady when I'm dropping him off. They have teachers for each age group and designated rooms with age appropriate toys and activities.

I could go on and on about everything they have to offer and what makes them unique, but ultimately, the one thing that has me raving and wanting to tell EVERYONE I know about this new child care option for local families, is the fact that Brady is thrilled about going there. 

He leaps out of my arms to give "Miss Shari" a hug, then runs off to play with his favorite friend, Megan. When I arrive to pick Brady up, his face lights up and he wants to show me all of his favorite toys of the day. Another bonus is that I've noticed a significant increase in his language and overall social skills. 

As if that's not enough, I've also enjoyed having a few hours to focus on some of the things I need to get accomplished and don't feel guilty because I know that he's happy and in great hands. Priceless! 

Kidz Drop In Naperville has a great special holiday offer running right now through December 23rd. It's called "Drop and Shop" and once your child is registered, you can drop them off and get the first hour FREE!
If you're a mom looking for child care options, do yourself a favor and stop in to check out Kidz Drop In at 420 W. 5th Avenue.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm amazed at the amount of candy this first time trick-or-treater came home with! 

bradykitkat.jpgOur son, Brady was a lion this year. Of course, I found him to be absolutely adorable and couldn't get enough of him in his costume! We started to practice wearing the costume a few weeks in advance so we could enjoy a fuss free Halloween. Brady hated the costume at first, but once we taught him to ROAR with it on and made a big deal about how great he looked, he stopped fighting it. The plan worked!

We had a great weekend! On Saturday, we attended the Kidz Drop In Open House and Halloween Party. Kidz Drop In is a new childcare facility that offers drop in care as well as full and part time care. In case you're curious, they're located behind Naperville North High School on Mill and 5th. It was great! Brady got to meet lot's of new little friends, play games and enjoy Halloween treats.

On Sunday, we went to a friend's house to take Brady trick-or-treating for the first time, along with his little pal, Braxton. They rode together in a wagon collecting absurd amounts of candy from each house. It was laughable what these too first timers came home with! 

Of course, Brady and Braxton are too young for all of this candy and mom and dad certainly  have no business keeping all of that temptation around the house. Turns our there's a great solution out there! Have you heard of Halloween Candy Buy Back?

Halloween Candy Buy Back is a great program where dentists all over the country are offering to buy back your Halloween candy at $1 per pound, then donate it to Operation Gratitude, which then ships the candy off to our troops. It's a great opportunity to teach our children about giving back (if they're old enough to understand)! Or in our case, it's a great way to unload the temptation and give back.

It's pretty simple, go the website and type in your zip code to find out all of the participating locations in your area. 

What did you do over Halloween weekend? And how do you respond when your kids come home with pillowcases full of candy?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toddler Dumping

Today is just one of those days!

My son, Brady is pushing 17 months old and I feel like the terrible two's are phasing in. I have to tell ya, I'm a little at a loss for disciplining this little one man wrecking crew! I find myself constantly asking "Is this normal?"

He's in this new phase I like to call "Toddler Dumping." Brady has an obsession with emptying everything he can get his hands on. When he wakes up in the morning, he throws everything out of his crib and laughs. Every meal that's put in front of him almost immediately ends up on the floor or the tray of his highchair. If he can reach his mess, he smears it and begins finger painting if it's liquid based, or stomps on it if it's crunchy. He has an obsession with dumping things in the toilet too. We've already had to replace one of them!
Childproofing? What's that? Brady knew how to get through those latches before I could! Every kitchen cabinet, bathroom cabinet and drawer gets emptied multiple times daily. Obviously, I could use some help in effective childproofing, but what about appropriate discipline for toddlers?

Here's a list of disciplining tactics for toddlers I found while researching how to handle this new phase:

1. Just Say NO - I've tried telling him "NO" when he's doing something he's not supposed to by getting on his level, using a serious voice (without yelling) and looking him in the eye. Brady's response: he giggles. Go figure! We'll keep trying though. He's bound to get it eventually

  1. 2. Redirect - I find myself constantly trying to engage him in doing something else like reading a book or playing with his toys instead of really focusing so much on the "NO." This works for a few minutes, but ultimately, curiosity wins and he's back to dumping whatever he can find in the cabinets and drawers. 

  2. 3. Positive Reinforcement - Hearing "NO" over and over isn't going to be effective alone. I'm trying to get him to understand the difference in the attention he's getting when he does something well or desirable verses when he does something he's not supposed to be doing. 

  3. 4. Time-Out - Given that Brady is only 17 months old, we haven't really tried the time-out bit. Experts recommend that the toddler be at least two to three years old for them to grasp the concept of what is and why they're in it. Many say that time-outs should be set at one minute per year of age.

I know that this is a learning process, especially since this is my first toddler rodeo, but some days I just wish there was some sort of magic solution out there to make it easier. 

Surely, I'm not alone in feeling this way (I hope)! I would love to get feedback from other moms as far as what they've experienced and what has worked well for them. Is anyone else out there familiar with the "Toddler Dumping" phase? How did you deal with it?

Read more:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Purpose Driven Moms

About a year ago, I woke up at three o'clock in the morning with "Purpose Driven Moms" in my head. I jumped out of bed and ran to the computer to see if there was a domain name available. I was shocked to see that it was available, given the fact that it seems EVERY mom related .com is already taken! I bought it and went back to bed.

Over the last year, I've been trying to understand what "Purpose Driven Moms" looks like. Here's what I do know and what threw me out of the bed in the first place:

Women have a certain identity and then they become moms.  Becoming a mom is an amazing gift that comes with so much responsibility. Many of us want to be the BEST mom that we can be for our children. It's so easy for us to become consumed in living out the BEST mom role, that often times we slowly lose ourselves and our identity beyond our role as mom.

My belief is that while many may feel that their purpose in life IS to be a mom, we all have a divine purpose beyond that role. Being a mother may very well be the most important role a woman ever has, but she is also born with so many gifts that shouldn't go untapped!

One day, those precious little ones grow up, move out and start living their own lives. Many moms then take a step back and say "now what?" They've poured themselves so much into motherhood that they don't know who they are, what they enjoy, what they're good at and what they should fill their time with. Many know this phase in life as "empty nest syndrome!"

It's so easy to get stuck on auto pilot and just move through life filling time. I believe that we're all born with a purpose and it's our responsibility to seek all of it and pursue it. You've heard it before, but in your final days, how will you reflect on what you've done with your life? Did you live it to the fullest? Did you accomplish what you felt you were here to accomplish?

Purpose Driven Moms is about awakening women to take a look within and get to know themselves; identify their interests, their gifts, their dreams and desires. It's about supporting and empowering women to take action and implement change; shed what's not working and absorbing time and energy, then dedicating time to what's fulfilling and energizing by serving their purpose.

Purpose Driven Moms is about creating better balance in life. It's all about being intentional about what makes up one's life.

A Purpose Driven Mom is happy, healthy, thriving and offering the very best of what she has to offer her family.

That's a snippet, but I'm STILL trying to determine how I'm supposed to be spreading this message and impacting the lives of MANY moms! I'm open to feedback and ideas!