Friday, March 27, 2009

Garden at the end of March

For reference, this is what it looked like four weeks ago. Here it is now. From left to right, there is kale, carrots, and potatoes in the back, green onions, chives, parsley and cilantro in the middle, and my lone surviving kohlrabi plant surrounded by lettuce in the front. There were supposed to be a couple of zucchini plants in the big empty spot, but for some reason, they never came up. Don't know if the bugs ate them? My sugar snap pea plants are on their last leg. We've harvested most of the pods, and they have pretty much stopped flowering now. They've also got an ugly case of some type of mildew on the leaves. I'll probably take them out in another week or two, once we pick the remaining pods. The lettuce that is growing by the pea plants has now bolted, so I need to take that out, as well. We ate from it all winter! Amazing. The spots of color you see are the marigolds (for bug control).

Our citrus trees are in full bloom right now. I love standing by them, the scent in the air is delicious!

I also planted a blackberry bush a couple of weeks ago. It's doing really well!

Here are some pretty weeds growing in my grass. They will be pulled tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kale Frittata, take 2

So I tried again today, and it was absolutely delicious!

3 eggs
1 large kale leaf, stem removed, cut into small pieces
1 green onion, cut up (regular onion would work, too, but I have tons of green onions in my garden, so that's what I used)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but I bet swiss would be awesome!)
pinch of salt and pepper

With a fork, beat egg with salt and pepper in a bowl. Add cheese and mix well. Add kale and green onion and mix everything really well. Preheat an omelette pan on low heat, add a little vegetable oil (the spray kind works nicely). When heated well (though not too hot), add frittata mixture. Cook on low heat until egg looks mostly set. Turn over to finish cooking (make sure all the egg is cooked thoroughly). All done! And oh so good!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kale Frittata

I have an abundance of kale in my garden right now. Seriously, tons. If you live close by, come for a visit, and take some kale home with you when you leave. Seriously! :p Anyway, in an effort to actually use what I grow in my garden, I find myself constantly thinking of and looking for recipes that involve kale. One can only have soup so many times, right? Well, this morning I decided to try a kale frittata. It turned out surprisingly good! Both Kaylee and Elly loved it, so I didn't get nearly as big a breakfast as I would have liked. We have church during lunchtime, so I try to eat a big breakfast in order not to starve to death while there (nursing Elly still requires a continuous intake of calories!). Anyway, as I was saying, I made a kale frittata. Really easy to make, and tastes better than it sounds! I used three eggs, two large leaves of kale, a green onion, some salt, and some pepper. Removed the kale leaves from the stem, cut the green onion and kale fairly small, and mixed everything up. Then poured it into a little omelette pan and cooked it on low heat until it was pretty much cooked all the way through, turned it over to finish it up. All done! Like I said, the girls loved it! Next time, I think I'm going to add one more egg, as it was a bit heavy on the kale. And to hopefully fill me up a little more, what with two helpers! And add some cheese to the mix. Can't believe I forgot the cheese! :o)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I think I figured it out. And an apology.

Okay, so obviously, I wrote my last post when I was still a bit upset. :p I did not, by any means, mean to imply that everyone should have a home birth, or at the very least a natural birth at a hospital. Neither did I mean to imply that those who choose medical intervention for their births are all ignorant. So sorry if it came off that way. I also think I figured out why I was so frustrated with the conversation I had with this friend. I felt like I was talking to myself nine years ago! Everything she said, I used to say. I thought I knew everything there was to know about birth. After all, I had a great OB, had taken a hospital birthing class, and had read at least two books on childbirth. Well, birth number one was a very traumatic experience, and it wasn't until years later (and lots of reading the right books) that I realized everything that was wrong with my attitude then. That I saw everything that is wrong with the current maternity care system (namely, the medicalization thereof). The real problem, in my opinion, is the lack of true informed consent. Where women go for information about birth will often define the type of birth they end up having. I was surrounded by women who birthed at hospitals, touted the greatness of the epidural man, and talked about the more-or-less inevitable episiotomy that I could look forward to recovering from. The doctor certainly didn't put any ideas of drug free labor into my head, neither did he make me question routine procedures (like artificial rupture of membranes, IV, being strapped to bed with the monitor, getting an epidural...). In fact, he failed to discuss these procedures, including their risks, with me at all. And who goes to the hospital in labor and actually reads through all of the consent forms and waivers? Sign here, sign there, breathe through a contraction, oh, and sign five more times over here. Thankyouverymuch. Mimi put it well in her comment on my other post. Often, we learn through our own experience. At the time of Tyler's birth, I didn't realize it, but I do believe it caused birth trauma. The way I was completely disrespected during Bryan's birth added to that. It wasn't until I learned more about normal birth, and started taking charge of my own body, that I was able to heal from those experiences. So, knowing all of that, I think it added to my frustration that I felt like my experience really wasn't validated. It was blown off as "too bad, sorry you had a sucky doctor". Which I did, but I didn't. Most women trust and respect their doctors, and that is a good thing. What would make maternity care better, though, and what could prevent experiences such as the ones I had from happening, are doctors who truly care, and take the time to really communicate with women about the choices they have, and what each choice entails. Doctors who would encourage women to do their own research, who would point them to childbirth educators not associated with a hospital. Ideally, women should be able to really weigh all of the benefits and risks associated with birth choices, so they can make a decision that is truly informed. One can dream, right?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Me and my big mouth...

So went to visit a friend today. She's about 4 weeks away from giving birth to her first child. Naturally, we got talking about things birth related. We talked about different birth choices, and it was a pleasant discussion. Until she stated she thought it was crazy to have a home birth. Now, I don't think she meant to imply that I was crazy for having one, but she thought the idea of it sounded crazy to her, and apparently she could not wrap her mind around why anyone would want to NOT birth at a hospital. So, I told her about my experiences with hospital birth, and with home birth, and the difference between the two. I also explained to her that I did a lot of research before choosing to give birth at home, and it most certainly was not a decision made lightly, just because I thought it would be fun or whatever. I told her about some interventions that are fairly routine at hospitals and that I didn't agree with (based on the fact that there is no scientific research to back up these routine practices, in fact, plenty of evidence to suggest they may do more harm than good). One of those interventions is cutting episiotomies. I briefly mentioned how I'd had one with my first baby, and I didn't think there had been any medical indication for one. And I was a bit bitter about that. After all, who really wants their private parts cut up when there is no reason for it? She immediately jumped on me about how episiotomies are a good thing, because they are so much better than tearing. Because, you know, you get a straight cut, and how much better is that than a rugged tear? I told her I didn't agree with that, and neither did the several people who researched episiotomy and came to the conclusion that it actually did more harm than good unless it was used in emergencies. She totally wouldn't even let me talk, and I got so upset. I took out a piece of paper to give her the visual. See, try and tear the paper. It won't, it's pretty resilient. Then give the paper a little "controlled" cut. Now try and tear it apart. Wow, look at it rip! She still wouldn't hear any of it. Which was rather frustrating to me. Of course, I can't just go and keep my mouth shut. I have to argue with the pregnant woman (big no-no, isn't it???). I told her that if left untouched, her perineum would have about a 50/50 chance of tearing. If that. With an episiotomy, you're guaranteed an injury. And yes, the cut itself is controlled, but the possible extended tear is not. At all. In fact, generally the most severe tears follow an episiotomy. While they do happen naturally, they are very very rare. It just really bothers me when doctors make women think that since it's their first baby, they may as well be prepared to be cut. Ugh. Yes, some women tear, no matter how carefully they push, or what position, or whatever. Looking at the research, though, it has been shown that tears actually heal better than episiotomies, and an episiotomy really should only be performed if it's absolutely necessary (i.e. in an emergency). Now seriously, why did we even need to argue about this? Couldn't I have just let her live with the belief that if she got an episiotomy, then that's just because it was her first baby, and it's the way it is? No, I couldn't have, because then I wouldn't have been me. We finally moved on, and talked some more about home birth versus hospital birth. She brought up the risk and what if's, and I just told her that in a hospital setting, there are risks, as well. She's planning on just getting an epidural, which of course isn't without risks, either. The risks are just different. And really, if there had been an emergency with my home birth, I could have been at the hospital under the knife within probably 10 to 15 minutes. My midwife was highly qualified, has been catching babies for 30 years, and knows quite well what she's doing and what to look for in potential problems. We were very open to transfer if there had been any indication at all that one was needed. Simply being at the hospital does not guarantee nothing is ever going to go wrong, or mistakes aren't going to be made. With each intervention a woman accepts (IV, pitocin, epidural, having the water broken, etc.), there are risks involved. The risks may be different, but they're there nonetheless. I told her as much. The whole experience discussing these issues with her has made me double guess whether I want to still go into childbirth education. I just have no patience, I'm afraid. Sometimes, my mouth just runs away from me, and I say something before I've really thought about it. I think it's great when women trust their care providers. That's the way it should be. What's frustrating to me is when women completely hand over their care, do no research on their own, don't question, just take whatever they're told and are good little patients. I realize not everyone wants to birth at home, or have a natural birth. Maybe to some, ignorance is bliss, and they don't want to know anything beyond what their doctor and hospital tour guide tells them. Great. But don't tell me I'm crazy for actually doing my research, and making a choice that doesn't involve submitting to hospital procedures and doctor convenience...