Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Video: First Words?

View video
(Try 720p HD)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Video: Danny and the Stairs

View video
(Try 720p HD)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Boy or Girl? Vote Now!

Okay -- there's nine days left until our "20 week" ultrasound. (I say "20 week" in quotes because I'll actually be closer to 21 weeks, according to my calendar.)

So, you have nine days to leave a comment with your vote on whether or not this one should be a boy or girl. Not that your vote really counts. But certainly your best guess can either get you kudos or shame. So, leave a comment! Now!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Babies and Doctors...

I had a prenatal check-up at the OB/GYN the other morning. Made me remember why I loved using a midwife with the last two babies.

At my last appointment, I declined the first trimester prenatal screening. Through some miscommunication, I ended up being scheduled for an ultrasound soon after that was part of the first trimester prenatal screening. I didn't realize this until I was already having the ultrasound. Oh well -- free ultrasound! But we didn't end up making it to the lab in time to get the blood work done that was supposed to go with the screening. Probably because I, uh, dropped the lab work in the trashcan once we got home.

That was weeks ago. This morning when I went in for my appointment, the nurse started to give me the lab work for the *second* trimester screening.

"What are you looking for this time?" I asked. Turns out they're looking for the same stuff as they were last time --- mainly, Down's Syndrome.

"I'll pass on the test, thank you."

"You don't want it?" she asked, seemingly perplexed.

"Nope. I wouldn't abort my baby."

She argued for a second or two about the other advantages to the test (she could think of one -- mental preparedness), then happily wrote, "Patient declines screening" on my chart. Easy enough!

Then, I met my doctor's new partner. He was a friendly, respectful sort of chap. Asked me if I had any questions or problems; I didn't. Then he saw the chart. "You're declining the second trimester prenatal screening?"


"Oh. [Long pause] Can I ask why?"

"Sure! I really don't see much use in it. I wouldn't abort my baby either way, and there would be nothing I could do about it to benefit the baby ahead of time."

"Well," he said, adding additional long pauses between his words as if he had never had anyone that wasn't an imbecile decline the screening before, "I'd like to say that it's not just about whether or not one aborts. Some parents like to know ahead of time so they can prepare for it."

"I can understand that. But at least as I see it, it just gives parents time to worry and be anxious over the next several months, which adds no benefit to the baby and pregnancy. And then the baby ends of being just fine, after all." These screenings are definitely not known for their accuracy!

"Well... I can see that if you're going to be the type that gets all worried and anxious about it, maybe the screening is not the right option for you..." Uh, would not be typical for someone that is told that they have a trazillion times greater chance of having a child with Down's Syndrome than the lady in the next room to have some anxiety about this news, huh?

"Let's put it this way, " I said. "If God chooses to bless us with a child with Down's Syndrome, He'll also provide us with the grace that we need to handle that situation. And we'll deal with it if that time comes instead of worrying about it ahead of time."

He cocked his head to the side, looked at me, half nodded, looked down at my chart and asked me how old our oldest child was. He then asked me about my birth control plans for after this baby is born.

Here it is. I was not asking this doctor to cut my head off to cure me of a headache. I wasn't even asking him for his advice in this area. I was just simply declining a service that he is supposed to offer, but isn't medically necessary or beneficial. And he's a doctor. So why does it bug him so much that I don't want that service? And if *this* bugs him, how is he going to respond when I don't want to be induced, or have my membranes stripped or broken, or have an epidural, or an episiotomy, or a c-section?

In my experience, this doctor's views are not atypical of the medical community. Why do my decisions that do not endanger my baby (and might actually benefit him or her!) have to be debated?

Don't get me wrong: I am very thankful for modern medicine. And I don't want to be cynical about doctors -- people who build their lives around helping others. But it would be much easier to trust a doctor in the rare emergency if I knew they were supportive and looking out for my and my children's best interests in the simple mundane choices of pregnancy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Best Toy Ever

Kids don't really need toys since it seems that everything they find becomes a toy. And our kids certainly have plenty of toys already, so they really don't need more. But with those important caveats out of the way, there really are some pretty cool toys on the market these days.

But which toy is the best? I like toys that are low-hassle, economical, don't break easily, and don't make those loud annoying noises that drive parents crazy. Sadly, many toys fail to meet these simple tests.

We purchased a Doodle Pro some time ago and unlike many other toys, it has has stood the test of time--meaning it has survived use and abuse from all five of our kids. Best of all, our kids still play with it quite regularly.
The Doodle Pro is even environmentally friendly. Prior to our purchase, Eliana was coloring through a ream of paper each day--or so it felt!

A few more caveats: I wouldn't necessarily say this particular model of the Doodle Pro is the best. This just happens to be the one we found at Wal-Mart. The magnet pieces at the top get misplaced quite often, so no need to spend extra for those.

Please note that no one paid me to write this post, nor will I receive a free Doodle Pro. I actually paid real American dollars to buy ours. I'm now even contemplating buying a travel size version like the one I recently saw a Lowery using at church.

Do you have a favorite kids' toy that has stood the test of time? If so, what is it?