Herding instincts, birthday joy and milking goats…

It’s been 25 days since me and Nathan have watched TV. The one thing about farm life that differs from what we were doing before is, we are working LESS hours but we are working HARDER… Not so hard that you want to fall over and die, just hard as in each part of the body actually gets utilized. That means at the end of the day we can both lay down and fall asleep right away. We don’t need to unwind in front of the TV each night, our mental exhaustion is greatly reduced with the job and life change. Though, I’m still kind of mentally exhausted when it comes to trying to wrangle the kids 😛 Oh, and my sciatica hip & back issues are improved now that I’m being more active. 

Next week we are planning to bring a dairy goat home, plus her mating partner! The ordeal of trekking back to Evansville for house upkeep and to pickup our milk has been taking it’s toll, big time. The kids don’t enjoy being cooped up in a car all day and we lose too much time during the travel that we could be putting to good use around the house and farm. The number of leaving-the-farm-errands MUST be reduced… So I’m taking up goat milking next week. Wish me luck.

I’m intimidated and anxious about the mater of fencing for the goat. I know they can be difficult and sometimes a downright headache. I’m hoping we get lucky or can manage it because we NEED the milking to take place here on the farm for the sake of simplicity. This weekend, better known as Goat Prep 2014 will be our last shot at getting ready before the goats arrive.

We also processed the first of the 40 Red Ranger chickens this week. I’ve been caring for to 40 Red Rangers here on Tanglefoot Ranch, they are meat birds for a farm project. One of them got a hurt leg in a chicken tractor moving ordeal and was just too far gone to mend. To be humane, Nathan ended the suffering and surprisingly Everly was his helper. Eventually the girls will see slaughter from start to finish but we haven’t been pushing them, rather I’ve been trying to shield them, Adalyn specifically.

The other night when Nathan went out to start the slaughter process Everly noticed he had left right away and wanted to go out with him. I warned her about what she might see and she was eager to go and watch “cause I’ve never seen it done before” she commented. Then she went out and took part in it ALL. Her favorite part was when the organs came out and we got to identify and discuss the workings of the digestive system. I cringed a little when she came back inside to ask me if I’ve ever seen “a chicken’s face cut off”. She was referring to it being bled out and then beheaded for plucking. LOL. She took it like a champ, it’s a good thing too because slaughter day is on the horizon for all the other meat birds. Our plucker and kill cones are being engineered right now by the men of Tanglefoot Ranch. Baby EverlyFive year old Everly

Oh, speaking of Everly… She just had her fifth birthday! A few friends made the trip out to Tanglefoot to help us celebrate. She had a Hello Kitty cake, got her own puppy (a working dog. Red Heeler/ Border Collie breed named Snowball) had friends over to play with, it was a great day for her. So great that she zonked out in the middle of our nightly story time. Look how big she is!

We’ve been working on herding dog training for her new puppy. Snowball has strong herding instincts and has already taken to rounding up the turkeys, chickens and even the girls. This scares them and can result in unwanted bites or scratches when puppy enthusiasm combines with herding needs not being met. We have lots of work ahead of us with her but I think she’ll also be a great addition to the family. She’s already bringing out the best in our existing dog, Dixie. Dixie seems to love being a leader and she loves the freedom and space she now has to roam here on the farm. 

I bet when the goats arrive Snowball will get enough herding work to keep her busy ;P

We DID it, we are farm bound. An unconventional beginning farmer story.

We’ve been working hard to up our farming/ self sustaining situation. Even before we bought our house we were looking at farmhouses on some land. If you know anything about the area we live in, then you know that land isn’t cheap to own here. Most of the time you see really huge portions of land or really small ones for sale. Also, most farm land also happens to be unsustainably farmed and is often times GMO and pesticide laden.

Places we’ve looked at (and tried to buy) have been between $3000 – $5000 per acre and in most cases the houses that are on the land aren’t in great shape. We want the land (several acres) and do need a livable house right off the bat since we have three kids under the age of five. Throughout 2013 we’ve made offers on places and we’ve done lots of tours that amounted to much of nothing.

At the beginning of 2014 we resolved to put our feelers out for unconventional farm acquisition options, anywhere that they may be. We’ve been keeping an eye on farm opportunities nearby and we’ve also reached out to our connections all across the USA for info on farm opportunities. We wanted to be open to any and all chances that might suit us. Continue reading “We DID it, we are farm bound. An unconventional beginning farmer story.”

Birth Stories

I’m the mother of three children. Each of their births has been unique and they have shaped me as a parent.
My first pregnancy opened my eyes to some serious issues with the health care system in regards to childbirth and made me a homebirth advocate. You can read more about my thoughts on natural birth and homebirth here.

Here are my children’s birth stories in birth order:

  1. Everly’s Birth: Born at The Farm in Summertown, TN 
  2. Adalyn’s Birth: A home birth live stream from The Farm
  3. Grayson’s Birth: A first time hospital birth au naturale

To Adalyn on your first birthday

A year ago today our lives changed, we became a family of four in the wee hours of the morning and many witnessed this live here on the blog.

We weren’t sure the day would ever come. From perceived improper positioning to going beyond the arbitrarily determined due date, we were all on pins and needles about how and when you’d arrive. Happily all went well with your arrival out at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee.

I’ll admit, the fact that your birth was so public really has been my excuse for not writing out a birth story. I mean, it can be seen live so it kind of makes writing the story seem silly, one day I’ll do it for you though…

This past year has really blown by! Getting to know you has sure been full of surprises. You are a spunky one we think. 🙂 You act strong willed and pretty set on how you think things will playout, your reactions when things don’t go as expected is the evidence.

Also, you are a pro at expressing emotions (which has made for some great pictures). Laughing, crying, smiling, shouting and clapping are your favorite expressions… even pouting surfaced as early as 6 months old. It’s sort of cute and silly to see you lay your entire head down on the floor in front of you while in a sitting position to pout about something. You’ll be a great actress one day if you choose that path for yourself.

Adalyn, you are playful and strong but also vulnerable and sometimes needy. Writing that makes me think (and I know you’ll hate this cause I hate being put in that box by my own mother but…) you are like me in many ways.

At one year old you have 4 teeth and have mastered the one-legged scoot across the house using your right foot, both hands and left butt cheek. We aren’t sure you will ever crawl “properly” but we aren’t all that “proper” here, so who cares? Did I mention the strong willed part??? Because even in birth you wanted things your way, LOL. You crowned with your head (obviously) and fist/ arm poking out. You basically grabbed Pamela’s, our midwife’s, hand at crowning.

You love to play with your big sister, even in the newborn days there was a strong sisterly bond. Everly can sing you twinkle-twinkle-little-star whenever you are upset and you immediately stop crying, every time.

As for mommy and daddy, your favorite calming activities are breastfeeding, massages (head, neck, hands and feet). When bored you love to have the music put on so we can all rock out. Sometimes I hold you and we dance around in circles, other times you sit on your bottom and scoot yourself in quick circles. You love to spin!

You love your daddy and his bouncing or “flying” of you. You love to shout “dada!” or “dada, nana!”  when you hear his voice (even when you should be sleeping). It’s almost like you are instructing him to get you or feed you.

You still don’t say mama when you need something from me, your stand by is just to resort to the generic cry. For teething or tummy pain, the ole standby right now is breastfeeding and co-sleeping which is interesting because, for as independent and strong as you are in some areas you’d think that would surface in other areas, but it doesn’t right now. Daddy explains it as “having a tough exterior but a soft sensitive inner side”.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the NIGHT before your 1st birthday you actually slept through the night! It’s the first time since those sleepy newborn days that you’ve slept all night. What a wonderful thing for mommy and daddy. *tear* our Addie is growing up 🙁

Seriously, you are this unpredictable little mystery. Each day we pick up on more and more of who you are. The routines are getting clearer and we are all gradually figuring each other out. It’s been a crazy year and you’ve grown so much… Though your eyes are the same, they are deep and wise and familiar.

I am excited to witness all the changes and growth that you’ll undergo in the next year as you become a toddler. Happy birthday my sweet Adalyn!  You are the missing puzzle piece to our family and we love you very much.

Everly is now 5 days old: A look back on the birth experience.

The last week has been a whirlwind! Everly Charlotte was born on June 23rd 2009 at 1:16am. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long, her head measured 34 1/2 cm. She was way bigger than we expected her to be but as you’ll see by the photos she is darn good and healthy! She was even born with hair which makes me so happy (I was born bald), her hair is red too.

Her Apgar scores were 9 at 1 min & 10 at 5 min, which is great. She was feeding like a champ right after birth too, they placed her on my chest right after she was out and she found the nipple no problem. I was even feeding her as they wheeled me through the hospital doors at 3am for my repair work. I suffered a 4th degree tear that is very unusual for Farm births and homebirths in general.

A surgeon came in and stitched me up good. I specifically asked how many stitches I was receiving, the surgeon laughed and said he’d lost count and that it’s probably better that way. Basically we got there at 3am and didn’t leave till about 6am. I got lots of stitches. N, Pamela and Everly napped while they worked on me.

We also had Everly’s cord blood tested (to get her blood type) and I received my RhoGam shot while we were there since it turns out Everly is not RH negative like me. I was also prescribed some antibiotics for the tear. Basically I tore all the way through (if you know what I mean) so they were worried about anal bacteria and vaginal bacteria combining and infecting my stitches among other things.

I was not given any pain meds though, just taking Tylenol when I am hurting. I am supposed to be staying in bed with baby for 10 days, per Pamela and the surgeons orders. I am also taking arnica 30x for muscle soreness and trauma healing. I don’t feel incapable of carrying on though so staying in bed is hard.

Basically my pushing phase was super slow to start and then went super fast at the end. We tried all sorts of different positions to get her past my bones. I was laying back in bed, then went to the birthing chair, labored in the shower with N, tried squatting, pulling on a door handle, on hands and knees, kneeling face down on the bed and finally tried pushing while collapsed on my knees and elbows with my butt in the air.

Once I got in to my last position things began to go very quickly. From crowning to head out only took 3 min and she practically shot out of me. Nobody expected her to come as quickly as she did. They didn’t even have time to apply counter pressure to the perineum or to show me her head crowning. I am pretty sure I tore because she came out so fast.

Normally in a home birth situation they have you pushing as hard as you can until you begin to crown, once crowing begins they have you pant through the contractions and go real slow so you can avoid tearing. Unfortunately this didn’t happen in my case and I am certain it had to do with the fact that I made so much fast progress in the end.

Anyway I started pushing and was fully dilated at 10:44pm, she crowned at 1:12am and her head was out by 1:15am. One min later her body was out and I was holding her. It all happen super fast and the pushing part was my least favorite part because I felt like I wasn’t making good progress and that I was doing it all wrong. It turns out it was the positions that were working against me and making things seem like they weren’t progressing.

The contractions were much easier for me to deal with as I had found a way to “get in the zone” and relax through them. I listened to my tranquility music and Tibetan singing bowl music on my iPod during this phase, it lasted about 8 hours. N said everyone was amazed that I hardly made a peep until the last half hour of birth when the molding and crowning was taking place.

All in all I am very pleased with my birth experience and would totally do it the same way again. Pamela was great and N was a champ too. He never really left my side. From the moment he arrived back at The Farm until I was back home and stitched up. He even looked down there and got to see her coming out which we had previously discussed and he wasn’t sure he wanted to do.

Oh, and Pamela even wrote a song about Everly that she played for us on her guitar before we headed home. The song was beautiful and made me cry. We planted the placenta on her land under an evergreen tree, it’s the Everly Evergreen tree now. It seemed fitting since we birthed Everly in Pamela’s cabin on The Farm and it will forever be an important place for us.

Everly’s birth was an amazing experience and it truly was a right of passage for us. We are on cloud 9 now and wouldn’t have done it any other way!

Oh, if you want to read N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 1) & N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 2) are now up over at his blog! I am still working on my long version of the birth story. Posted my short summary version already, it can be read here.

Updates from The Farm: A home birth live stream

Adalyn has arrived!!



August 2011- A live streamed homebirth:

We were out at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee awaiting the arrival of our second baby girl August 2011. Our first was also born at The Farm but sharing the live streaming video wasn’t an option at that time. Her birth video is posted here on the blog from back in 2009, it just wasn’t the labor, start to finish in real time.

I was inspired to live stream this experience due to growing interest in the homebirth, natural childbirth and The Farm midwives experience. It was not only educational but also a great way for all the far away friends and family to be included in the experience.

Almost 2000 people followed the labor and birth live August 29th-30th 2011, many people wanted to but missed out on the end for various reasons (personal and technical). The huge interest in the event also broke my site the night of the birth!

Due to technical issues the end of the live stream footage was not saved properly but we had a back up camcorder going for our own home video library. Now that we’ve joined the back up video with the first part of the recorded live stream footage there is a full video to share but it is super huge! I’ve now replaced the old video that was posted here with the new complete one in 3 parts. This way you can choose which part you’d like to see. Enjoy.

Note: Webcam has a full view of the bedroom and you’ll see the video here on this page (scroll down). It does involve nakedness and will be graphic, it is childbirth you know. View at your own risk.

The recorded video below starts out when I am at 8 cm dilated and things are really kicking in to gear. Amniotic fluids are still intact.

Pt. 1: Labor kicks in to gear-

Evansvile, Indiana and surrounding Tri-state Birthnetwork

Pt. 2: Transition, Fluid Rupture & Pushing-

Pt. 3: More Pushing and Baby is Born-

Evansvile, Indiana and surrounding Tri-state birth servicesTo join the conversation on twitter & share your own comments use this handy link to automatically add my username (@TalinaN and the #twitterbirth hashtag to your message.Watch the black scrolling search box next to the video there in the sidebar to follow our progress in real-time and hear what others are saying.


Notes from the trenches-
August 29th 2011 Updates:
Just kidding I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid and wasn’t in labor but today I am 🙂

August 27th 2011 Updates:
We have confirmation on a very slow amniotic fluid leak, slowly but surely things are getting underway. I am staying unplugged and mostly offline as to not disrupt the groove. Reach Nathan if need be 🙂 When more action starts we’ll begin the live stream and notify accordingly.

August 25rd 2011 Updates:
I’ve not had any internal exams done today but I did wake from a full night’s sleep to only be awake for an hour or so before feeling as if I could not keep my eyes open any longer. Slept all night and all morning basically and am now ravenously eating everything in sight. Then I’ll probably sleep more?

August 23rd 2011 Updates:
I was 1 cm dilated and about 80% effaced this morning and baby is in an ROA position again which is better than being sunny-side up or posterior. Today is my “due date” according to the OBGYN’s ultrasound guestimations. Counting back from my LMP and using our fertility awareness charting our “due date” is the 26th so it is anyone’s guess when baby will come.

We aren’t in a rush to induce labor or rush things though I am quite done with being pregnant and very discouraged to have not made any “progress” in dilating or getting closer to delivering this baby.


Here are some of the belly shots I’ve taken over the course of this pregnancy (from new to old):


A blast from the past
While we wait for things to get going with the birth of Baby Sister late August 2011, here a recap of my pregnancy progress with Everly back in 2009 (and if you are really curious, her birth video & birth story) and a fun look back at how it all progressed:




Mad-lib birth announcement game & vlog. Join the fun!

Back in the day Teeni was doing these fun story games where each participant would write a few sentences for a story, then when everyone had their chance to contribute she would post the whole story on her blog for us all to enjoy. I participated several times and it really was a hoot.

Then back in March I saw another really fun blog post idea written by Meagan Francis that I just knew I would copy, a mad-lib birth announcement.

I thought It would be fun to combine the two really great ideas and do a birth announcement here on the blog, mad-lib style but for added fun and reader involvement I want to let you come up with the mad-lib in the same way Teeni did her story game.

Now if this doesn’t seem like fun to you then you’ve got to go and lick click those links I posted above. Both ideas are genius and combining them is just going to be that much better!

So, to participate just leave a comment below saying you want to be included. Be sure to use a valid email address okay? I’ll be replying to you with the specifics soon!

So just to recap: You get to write the mad-lib sentences, N and I will fill in all Tater’s birth details and the we will post the end result here on the blog. It will also end up being a super cute (and unique) thing for me to print out and put in Tater’s baby book as a keepsake. Yay!

Also, here is my 33rd week and 1 day belly vlog:

Got some plants on the way and some animal drama for my birthday.

Today has started off with a bang! For starters it is my birthday. I am feeling better than yesterday, thank goodness and I know I’ll feel even better tomorrow when we go to see Pamela at The Farm.

I am still having fun entering all sorts of giveaways to try winning some of the things we need for Tater, you can enter too. See this post for more details.

N was so cute, he made a little scavenger hunt of gardening goodies for me to find for my birthday. You see all I wanted was plants and bulbs for my birthday so he ordered them. Unfortunately growers will only ship after your latest frost date so I wont actually have the plants and bulbs until April, which was expected.

Still he wanted to make some excitement for me on my birthday so he clipped out each photo and description of each thing he got me, then he glued the paper to Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Then he hid them in various plants and other places for me to find. He even wrote this cute little poem to kick off the scavenger hunt:

Now I can’t wait to be in the new place and to start planting the pretty garden goodies there! Fun. Also, my birthday fun would not be complete without some pet drama right? Well, our rabbit gave birth to 4 babies last night!

*WARNING* This is not a happy baby Easter bunnies story, if you can’t stomach the ways of nature skip this section!

While I was in the tub last night N was making the rounds feeding all the animals and he discovered 4 pitiful dead baby bunnies at Maybelle’s feet. Apparently she had given birth and we were unaware. So N comes to get me so I can see what happen.

We weren’t sure if Maybelle had killed the babies or if they had just died on their own. There are a number of reasons why baby rabbits don’t survive birth. We expected that genetics issues (a lop ear and a dwarf mating) combined with Maybelle’s lack of experience in mothering would have contributed to the lack of survival of the babies. Also some rabbits kill their young too.

Basically warmth is the main killer of baby rabbits (called kits). Mothering rabbits don’t usually carry their young around the cage in their mouth (like cats do) and when babies are born outside the nesting box they often aren’t warm enough to survive and mom can’t do much to remedy this.

Normally breeders will have to rub the born babies to warm them up. They’ll also move them back to the nesting box where they’ll be warm and safe if mom births outside the nesting box for some reason.

Well upon inspection of the 4 dead bunnies we did not see any signs of cannibalism or mistreatment. The babies were either born dead or died shortly after birth on their own (either because of cold or whatever). It is sad but is ultimately part of nature especially in situations like ours where the babies are an accident and the mother is not experienced in breeding.

Now this morning apparently Maybelle was birthing another baby. When we went down to check on her she was in the process of having one that was breech, it was partially out (from tail to ribcage)… After about 10 minutes of no progress we knew it was stuck so we helped her out a bit by gently pulling on it while she contracted. It came out and was of course dead as a result of being stuck.

She is still acting a bit weird so I am keeping an eye out to see if she has more babies today. I can’t feel any moving inside her but you never know. The reading says her delivery of a litter should be done in about 20 minutes and we aren’t sure if last night’s litter was from a separate uterus than the breech one we noticed this morning. She could still have more in there so I am watching her closely, just to make sure.

*Update* Since publishing this she has birthed one more baby but she started munching on this one.

I did snap photos of all this for the blog but am opting not to post them right on here, since I don’t want to offend or scar anyone not wishing to see the sight. If you want to see the photos you can view them here: #1, #2, #3 & #4. Just be sure the kids aren’t looking over your shoulder or anything. They aren’t gross, just sad.

Oh and in addition to the dead bunnies Dixie also left us her own little presents overnight:

After being outdoors until about 9pm yesterday and having fun all day yesterday she managed to shit out all that for us between midnight March 19th & 10am March 20th. Nice huh, good thing we are keeping her confined to a tiled room at night.

Happy Birthday to me!

Home birthing supply kit and Tater preparations.

I still can’t believe I am a pregnant lady! Spending my days at home doesn’t provide much opportunity for getting dressed up in much more than PJ’s or workout clothes. Naturally I have not been able to see just how pregnant I truly am since I am not getting dressed up and going many places these days.

Today was another story though. I had my 2nd followup chiropractor appointment to attend so I was up, dressed and even put on some light makeup today. I looked like my usual self except for the baby bump (that I am still not used to seeing).

I’ve been on the lookout for the inevitable stretch-marks and have been applying lotions and creams often. Then my mom informs me that they don’t actually appear until after you deliver… Dang! I though I was in the clear since I haven’t spotted any yet. My mom also referred to her breastfeeding is like orgasms thing again too. *sigh* Thanks Mom!

All went well at the chiropractor, looks like my pelvis has stayed in place since the first adjustment on Saturday which is good. I’ll check back again in two weeks just to make sure everything is still in place and feeling good. Thank goodness for chiropractors! My pelvis is happy despite the expanding and loosening of pregnancy, yay!

We’ve resolved to commit to getting the hell out of our current rental ASAP and I am packing up stuff in preparation…

As you can see from the photo I’ve also been working to get my birth kit together with all the necessary supplies and goodies for Tater’s Birth, Pamela (our midwife) gave us a supplies list that we are working on. I don’t have much yet but the birth kit is growing, slowly but surely…

For starters, we were given 2 packs of newborn disposable diapers (for the sticky meconium poop following birth), we’ve also got 3 stacks of free prefold cloth diapers that were given to us but we still need diaper pins and those rubber diaper covers that keep the leaking contained.

We may use the prefolds as burp cloths or  as we would prefer the newer cloth “bumGeneous” one size diapers over the old prefolds but we’ll make due with what we have either way.

We finally found a few containers of regular KY Jelly that we were advised to get for the labor. It seems these days stores only want to sell the “his and hers” or the warming KY Jelly which would just be weird during labor. Finding the regular stuff was pretty hard!

We also got 1 pacifier and 1 bottle through a freebie coupon that our doctors office sent us and I’ve added a smelly candle and a hot/ cold wrap to the birth kit for easing my own possible discomfort. I’ll be bringing my exercise ball for birthing and we’ll also be bringing tons of bedding and towels for absorbing the birthing mess.

We still need tons of simple stuff for the birth that we put on the wishlist like:

Then there is the other odds and ends we are required to get like cotton balls, alcohol, witch-hazel, 4 x 4 gauze pads, heating pad or hot water bottle, betadine scrub, 30” x 40” underpads, a perry or squirt bottle, a large bowl with lid for my placenta, Arnica 30x and all that other good home birth stuff.

Oh and I need a shaved ice maker now that I am loving juice slushies. A juice slushy makes the perfect refreshing, energy packed beverage while in labor, LOL! Some of it is going to be easier to find than others so it is good that we start looking for it all now.

By the way, thanks to everyone for all your emails and helpful tidbits of info! I’ve been given so much helpful advice and so much email support that N and I are pouring though. We’ve been taking notes, adding to our lists and taking it all in. We’re feeling ready for all this thanks to you guys. Now we just need to get out of this crappy house and in to a cleaner, bigger one before Tater comes huh? Maybe if you all harass our landlord… LOL

Babys are popping out everywhere! Read some birth stories!

My internet friend Kari just had her baby boy at The Farm in Tennessee and the birth story is live on her blog. I am so happy for her and and loving that they have shared their story and the photos of their special day! Her midwife, Pamela, is also my midwife for our birth there this summer, what? I think it is great!

Also, another internet buddy in Australia, Veronica, just had her little one with midwives (in about 90 minutes!). If you haven’t already and are interested stop on by their blogs, read their stories and congratulate them on their great natural births!

If you have posted a home birth story I would love for you to enter the URL below and share it with us! I love reading them and know others also find them educational to read.

Taking the next step towards birthing at The Farm

After talking right through the New Years Eve countdown N agreed that we would make the trip down to The Farm in TN and take the next step towards planning our birth there. The financial aspects of our situation really bother me and they are the only reason why we would choose not to birth at The Farm.

We still need to come up with the cash to repair our nice Nissan Maxima that is still in Arizona before little Tater Tot comes. We’ll need a safe car to transport our little one around in and the Nissan has airbags and all that safety jazz, the Amigo does not…

Fixing the Nissan in addition to paying for our birth at The Farm basically puts us way over budget. We’ll be short about $3000 based upon how much money N is making working a 40 hour week.

We both feel that having the best birth situation is totally worth paying the extra money we just need to figure out how to come up with the money. We talked about N working overtime when possible to earn some extra cash and we also talked about the possibility of postponing the Nissan repair until after Tater Tot is born since we can only pay for the birth or the car repair (you know one or the other) but not both within our budget.

That would just mean Tater Tot and I would be stuck at home unable to ride around in the car until we get the Nissan fixed/ out here and that our family and friends in Arizona would not be able to see my pregnant belly before I deliver. It also means we would have to rent a car to get to and from The Farm.

Bringing Tater Tot in to the world at The Farm is what is right for us. I feel it in every bone in my body, it is hard to explain but the point is I know without a doubt where we are meant to birth this little one. Now I just need to make it happen. Do you think people would pay to see my labor and delivery via the web? LOL, that could make us some extra cash to get the car fixed…

Well thanks to my Farm birth obsession I have managed to stumble upon a number of bloggers/ blog posts that either have already taken place at The Farm or are planned to.

I found a fellow blogger (The Jenk Adventure) who is also preparing to birth at The Farm, she has my same midwife and is due before I am. I am enjoying following her pregnancy progress and reading her Farm experiences via her blog.

I also found a very detailed water birth story about Savanna Zoe Ioanna, a Farm born baby. You can read the birth story here if you want to get an idea of what a birth at The Farm is like.

Another birth story I found that took place at The Farm was that of Elijah, it was a longer labor but inspirational nonetheless. I am just loving reading home birth style birth stories, especially those that took place at The Farm like:

If you want to know more about The Farm or about The Farm Midwives and their services I would encourage you to follow the provided links. Also check out the work of Ina May Gaskin, she’s viewed as the “mother of authentic midwifery,” says Jan Tritten, editor of Midwifery Today, a quarterly journal. Her work really gives you a feel for the birthing philosophy of The Farm and the history and experience that goes along with a Farm birth.

I was just asked today what happens if an actual emergency does arise during my birth at The Farm, what would happen since I wasn’t at a hospital?

My answer was: Almost every midwife who is attending a home birth has a back up hospital and even a back up doctor in place before labor even begins. There is no doubt that complications can happen even in the most normal and risk free pregnancies. This is why having a knowledgeable, experienced birth attendant is so important.

If my planned birth develops complications a hospital transport is the obvious next step, this is why I am so set on finding a midwife who knows her stuff. I want to be able to trust her to know when a hospital is necessary and to be able to keep me and my baby safe until we arrive there if any unexpected complications do arise.

I feel like I have been pretty open and clear about my reasoning behind this decision but I know that many still have questions and things they don’t quite understand about the process or the idea since this isn’t a very common thing.

I wanted to take this opportunity to allow you guys to ask any questions you may have about all this, especially family. Just post your question below and I’ll get you an answer. I am not trying to debate the decision or convince you of anything I just want the lines of communication open about it all so if you want to know something ask away! Don’t be shy.

Oooo one last thing! I know HOW much longer can this post be???

Passed on from CIMS e-News:
“TONIGHT: Orgasmic Birth to be featured on ABC’s 20/20 “Orgasmic Birth” will be a featured segment on ABC’s “20/20” tonight (Friday, Jan. 2) at 10:00 pm Eastern.

Filmmaker and former CIMS Leadership Team member Debra Pascali-Bonaro presents the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths by inviting viewers to see the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through unmedicated normal birth.  In this revolutionary documentary, physiologic childbirth is revealed as an integral part of women’s sexuality and a neglected human right.  Learn more about the segment on the ABC News Web site. “

I am not sure about the “orgasmic” part that the title suggests but I am going to record the show to see how they portray “the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through unmedicated normal birth” since those are the aspects I am trying to experience and preserve in my own birth.

I can already tell by the video clip posted on their site that many things are going to be inaccurately portrayed. The video clip ties unassisted birth (what Laura Shanley did) and assisted birth (what Rick Lake did) together when they are two completely different things.

Also, the interviewed doctor speaks about how home birth is unsafe because of lack of medical support when in reality a midwife in an assisted birth is the key medical support present to keep mom and baby safe.

Anyway I thought I would mention tonights show incase you are also interested in recording or watching it for more infomation. Then you can come back here and ask questions!

Home birth

As a home birth advocate I get a big kick out of finding and reading fellow bloggers home birth stories and posts. They help me learn and they are also very inspirational.

[POPUP=IMG1]My own birth story and video from when Everly was born at The Farm can be found here and in August 2011 the home birth of Baby Sister is planned and will be live blogged here.

If you have posted a home birth story somewhere I would love for you to enter the URL below and share it with us!

I am also a huge home birth advocate and have written many posts on the topic including:

Exploring more birthing options, The Farm in Summertown, TN

I am not quite sure how to explain the “gut feeling” I have but in light of my blood type revelation and my mom telling me her horror stories about the docs when she was giving birth (with my same blood type)… I am leaning more and more towards wanting an equip home birth setting.

Let me elaborate a bit. Birthing options here are varied. There are underground midwives who will attend home births in Evansville. I have had many referred to me. I started talking with one particular lady who left me with zero confidence in her ability to support me during delivery. She remarked that the majority of first time mothers require transport. Yeah, you are not my first choice after that comment.

I want a midwife who is very experienced, supportive and encouraging, knowledgeable of complications and also has the ability to remedy and treat minor complications.

Some midwives come prepared with medications, IV’s and other essentials to ensure if the unspeakable does happen they are able to help you or baby until transported to a hospital when necessary. Other midwives prefer to not delve in to this aspect at all and will call for hospital transport for much less.

Specifically my major concern is hemorrhaging and becoming “sensitized” to rh positive blood thus impacting my ability to have more children.

I want the essentials there when I give birth out of hospital. I want to be safe and to do what is best without subjecting myself and my child to the unnecessary interventions in a hospital setting. I am picky huh?

I feel really good about birthing at The Farm because of the 25+ years of birthing experience and also because Ina May Gaskin is practicing there. She has oodles of experience and knowledge. The Farm is responsible for thousands of successful, natural births each year and I feel really good about birthing there.

I have found a few birth stories from real women who choose to birth there that you can read if interested:

Now I just need to see how much birthing there will actually cost. I am sure insurance doesn’t cover it… Have you birthed at The Farm? If so I would love to hear about your experience!

Oh and so far we still have power here dispite the ice storm action, thanks goodness!

Winding down: First 2 weeks of parenting comes to a close.

This weekend has been somewhat enjoyable. Having N home to take some of the pressure off me is nice. Everly seems to be doing better this weekend with her fussiness too.

We’ve been doing much experimenting with my diet and other causes of her fussiness and gas. The first thing I did was take dairy out of my diet since I know many other moms (like Veronica) have shared their own issues with breastfeeding and dairy.

Everly’s gas and fussing didn’t improve when I went without dairy for several days. Now I am going without chocolate to see if that is the culprit. Much reading has indicated that chocolate is a problem for many breastfeeding mothers. We are also going to try removing coffee/ caffeine from the diet after we finish testing the chocolate theory.

We’ve also spent the last few days allowing Everly to dictate her own schedule. For a while I was worried that she wasn’t getting enough to eat so I would wake her for feedings and diaper changes. She can sleep for several hours on end during the day, we are talking 4-6 hours sometimes. If only she could sleep like this during the night!

Anyway, it seems allowing her to sleep and feed on her own schedule makes her a much happier baby and she in turn sleeps better at night and fusses much less. Last night she slept from 10pm-2am and then went back to sleep from 3am-7am… That is two long stretches of sleep during the night which makes me super happy and feeling well rested (amazingly).

Last night we spent the evening outdoors and grilled some ribs, it was nice and relaxing for us. Everly was well behaved and fell asleep shortly after 9pm which allowed us to enjoy a meal together. Also, she actually had a good night Friday and on Saturday with more long stretches of sleep. This means we did get to sleep some, just not during the times we would prefer to be sleeping.

We went to several stores on Saturday with her in tow and she just slept the whole time. She loves car rides and is pretty good in her carrier while we are inside stores. I am not quite ready to venture out with just Everly and I yet. Having N along insures we’ve got each other’s back in case she gets fussy or needs anything while errands are in progress.

I am still feeling unlike myself with the hormones and all. Can’t wait for things to get back to normal, it’s been nice to have N home to help out and has made me feel much better. Makes it all that much more do-able with him around.

Now we are off to give Everly her first bath now that her umbilical stump has fallen off!

Oh, if you want to read N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 1) & N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 2) are now up over at his blog! I am still working on my long version of the birth story. Posted my short summary version already, it can be read here.

My water broke, baby is coming. A Twitter live blog

June 22nd 2009

7:45:15 AM: My water broke at 7:30 am! 39 weeks 5 days pregnant. Here we go!

9:40:53 AM: I’ll do my best to keep sharing labor updates. Woot! Baby time!

9:49:13 AM: http://twitpic.com/83ov0 – Just finished the lettering.

10:46:21 AM: Blogged: My water broke at 7:30 am! 39 weeks 5 days pregnant. Here we go! http://tinyurl.com/koqacu

10:48:36 AM: Just had a big breakfast and am now laying dow

10:55:03 AM: Tried to say i am laying down for a nap now…

11:02:17 AM: All i am feeling is what i would call bad period cramps and a lower back ache.

12:44:23 PM: I am almost up to a min long on the contractions. They are coming about every 3 min still.

12:59:57 PM: Making brownies and going for a walk to The Farm store now.

1:38:14 PM: Look at the message in my coffee cup.

3:17:01 PM: N is here with us now. Still at 3 min contractions that are about a min long and are killing my back. Crocheting and doing a crossword. …

[ The next 10 hours are spent laboring, focusing and bringing baby Tater in to the world, read the mini birth story here. She was born at 1:16am on June 23rd.]

June 23rd 2009

3:24:53 AM: Okay on the way to the hospital for some stitches. She was born at 1:16 am. She is big and beautiful!

6:00:51 AM: Just got her blood type at the hospital and my bazillion stitches waiting for my Rhogam shot now.

6:07:16 AM: We’ve named her… Everly Charlotte by the way. ;->

6:08:42 AM: Yep.

10:58:03 AM: She weighed just under 9 poumds

10:59:44 AM: We are all trying to get some sleep. My pain is keeping me up.

2:09:40 PM: http://twitpic.com/87knp – Here is a photo of our little Everly!

About Talina

My name is Talina the writer and owner of Harvest of Daily Life, a lifestyle blog. I am a virtual assistant & webmistress, a wife, an animal lover, an addicted gardener, I practice fertility awareness and am very into living life more naturally, I am a product/ service reviewer, a mother of three and a blogger who is always has something on her plate.

This blog was born in January of 2005 but has since evolved quite a bit. In the beginning I was writing motivational articles and informative/ how to articles now I am known to write about almost anything that happens that could amuse, educate or support others in their own life journey. However, the future focus will likely be about how we are sustaining our family via a self sufficient farm life.

Life has dealt us some adventurous cards, that is what makes this blog such a hit. In the past we have enjoyed things like stove fires, house floods, mold growth, near death car trouble, we’ve moved cross country in an RV with 8 pets and 4 people, we’ve almost been attacked by a bear while camping. We’ve even traveled two states away to birth our children in the elusive green minded community, The Farm in Summertown, TN and shared their homebirths here on the blog (See Everly’s Birth Story: Born at The Farm and Adalyn’s Live Streamed Birth). I also had my third child, a son, in and Indiana hospital.

We are jokingly called hippies in polo shirts because we are very eco minded and sustainability focused, basically of the hippy mindset but we don’t look the part. Sustainable living is a major passion of ours and each year we inch closer and closer to living our dream. We have a zoo of pets who keep us on our toes a sprawling urban garden/ homestead in the middle of Evansville, Indiana, backyard chickens, turkeys and we have many more adventures to endure as we inch toward our ideal lifestyle, one homesteading undertaking at a time. One day, someday, we’ll have our own farm. We are farm bound now!

Thank you for visiting my blog and learning more about me! I hope you will bookmark this page or consider subscribing to my feed so you can stay in the know about new posts and adventures.

I try to post often and I really look forward to getting to know my readers through the comments they leave me. If you need to contact me leave a comment or email me with the info below and I’ll do my best to respond. I hope you found what you were looking for today and that you return soon. Have a great day!

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Everly's first visit with a doctor, an integrated medicine physician.

Everly had her first doctors appointment this week, her 2 month checkup. We saw an integrated medicine physician who seems to be right up our alley in her care philosophy. She’s not pushy about vaccinations and didn’t freak out when we mentioned E was a homebirth baby.

Integrated medicine is a mix between alternative medicine and traditional medicine. When there is a health issue things like nutrition, life style and various alternative therapies are often explored first before prescription medications or other more dramatic solutions are used.

We prefer to take the natural route with our health care when possible, I am sure this is no surprise to you considering how Everly was born.

Anyway, back to the updates. Everly weighed in at a whopping 11.8 lbs and had a great checkup with the doc. She’s gaining weight very well and is reaching all the milestones for her age group according to the doctor.

We’ve not started her first vaccinations yet and are doing research on them right now. We know we’ll do some vaccinations. We just want to do them on a delayed schedule and spread them out more than what’s normally done.

We are so happy that Everly is doing so well. It’s a relief to have a good doctor for her too, in case she gets sick or something. Oh, this doctor is actually a family practice doctor so we can all be cared for by her, that is another plus! She’s covered by our insurance too.

That means I’ve got a handle on the baby stuff, for now… Not so much on the pet issues though.

People just don't get it sometimes…

Today I saw a news report about a woman who was homebirthing here in Indiana whose baby didn’t make it. The story portrayed all homebirths as unsafe and crazy. It even incorrectly referred to the birth as unassisted (midwives were present) and did nothing but scare people. While the story did have a tragic outcome it’s not a accurate representative of most homebirths and that is why they story upsets me.

Homebirth is not for every woman and every pregnancy which is why there needs to be adequate laws and regulations in place to protect women and midwives (like there are in Tennessee). Homebirth should be an acceptable and viable option for most but thanks to one sided stories, scare tactics and profit driven laws it is not. This is sad and maddening to me.

Israeli Mothers Attend Breast Feeding Classes After Powdered Milk ScareAnother thing that is wearing on my nerves is breastfeeding ignorance. Everly is just over a month old and we are exclusively breastfeeding. We haven’t introduced the bottle or a pacifier because we don’t want to cause “nipple confusion” and disrupt the working breastfeeding relationship (you are supposed to wait until 6-8 weeks). For some reason people who hardly know me can’t wrap their minds around this and it is annoying me. (If you are reading this, it’s not about you I promise!)

Sure bottles and pacifiers would be more convenient but they aren’t best for E at this time (in my mind) and I’ve chosen to commit to breastfeeding, why can’t people understand and respect this? Plus she wont have anything to do with them anyway.

Speaking of respect, my ex-doctors office (remember the bad OBGYN?) sold my info to formula companies without my consent. I’ve been receiving formula vouchers like crazy and I’ve got free formula coming out my ears now!

Sure, free stuff is nice but not when you wont use it and the only reason they are giving it is to get you to mess up with breastfeeding and to get you hooked on their products. It is like they are tempting you to give up on breastfeeding. And don’t even get me started on how little support exists for breastfeeding moms…

Can you tell I am running on major lack of sleep? I am all irritable and full of complaints today.

So glad the weekend is almost here!

Well, we’ve officially spent the first week in our new place. We are much happier here, obviously and are so glad that the bulk of the moving process is behind us now. We’ve still got cleaning to do at the old place and we are trying to nail down a walk though appointment time with the slumloards but all in all the craziest part is over now.

During the week N had a meeting with some higher ups about his future at the station. Remember how this job was supposed to be an anchoring/ reporting gig? Since moving here his anchor time has been minimal (it’s happen once) so he was eager to hear what they had planned for him and his future.

It looks like they are hoping to have him around and are grooming him to fill some big shoes in about 3-5 years. This means buying a home was absolutely the right decision to make and that we truly will be able to stay here for a good amount of time. Yay for following the gut instinct.

Knowing you can truly settle in and build a life for yourself is amazing. We’ve got our “bun in the oven”, a home of our own and his career going in the right direction so we are super fortunate and are so grateful to have arrived at this stage in life. It’s been a long and grueling journey and it will continue to have up’s and downs I am sure but what more could you ask for? We are pleased with everything, obviously.

I’ve been getting bursts of energy and then major spells of fatigue so I am gardening and unpacking when I’ve got the energy. The weather is warming up and the plants are springing to life, I am enjoying this very much.

Also, the animals are adjusting much better these days it seems. They still act up now and then and need to be reminded of the rules but the overly obnoxious stuff in the middle of the night has stopped. This is a relief.

Other random musings:

I just saw a commercial about birth defects and Paxil so I googled it for more info and am just floored. “Babies exposed to Paxil early in pregnancy may have a higher risk of major birth defects, according to a new study.”

I already don’t have much faith in our drug saftey testing process here in the USA. This is why I’ve refused the RhoGam shot during pregnancy and am doing my research on vaccinations right now.

This whole Paxil development is just added proof that we approve and distribute way too many drugs to people before we fully understand the effects and risks of the drug. It’s irresponsible and scary. We really can’t trust that all approved drugs and procedures are safe for us.

I need a washer bad!! We are doing laundry at the old place till the end of the month because our new place doesn’t have a washer in it already. Ideally we would love an energy star, front loading washer but there is no way we can afford one right now. Shoot we can barely scrap $100 together to go towards the purchase of a used one.

Not having a washer is stressing me out a bit and I don’t really know when and if we’ll get one. I’ve been looking at craigslist for them but am so worried that I’ll end up with one that is crap and our money will have been wasted.

Also, the external hard drive we used to back up all the PC files and financial stuff (a Seagate Free Agent External Drive) is now dead.. Or at least the USB portion of the drive is acting wonky.It worked at the old place but somehow in moving the computer it’s become damaged and is not longer recognized by the computer.

I am stressing because I need to balance the accounts and work the budget before this weekend so I know how much money we have for groceries but all the data is on that drive that I can’t access.

I am going to go work in the garden a bit now to counter all the things I currently have to stress about, LOL. Hopefully you have a pleasant weekend in your neck of the woods. We are so ready to chill and get some slow progress made on the new place.

Slumloards, credit scores and a prenatal chiropractor [in a pear tree]…

Being all pregnancy slackerific the majority of the time means that when the energy does actually come in spurts we have a crapload of stuff to accomplish all at once. Thankfully as a team N and I have managed to continue getting everything dealt with that needs to be. It is days like today that make it all possible.

I had N get me up early today so I could get busy taking care of some Custom Gifts by Talina duties… Things like bookkeeping, taxes, order processing and all that fun stuff. While I was in business owner mode N was dealing with our February rent check saga on the phone.

You probably can recall all the ridiculous landlord drama I’ve already shared here but I am pretty sure this latest development takes the cake. It requires a little back story though… Feel free to skip the back story if you already know it.

When we first signed the lease with our landlords we were provided with their mailing address for the rent payment. The lease also stipulates that we can make payments directly to the landlords checking accounts and it lists the banks they use. We were also provided with several deposit slips from their bank for depositing the rent checks.

Up until November the address and banking information they provided us with was correct. In November we sent out that certified letter detailing our issues with the safety of the home and we also included our December rent payment. Well, the certified letter was never picked up by them and was eventually returned to us.

Conveniently enough the landlord showed up at our door while our certified letter was in limbo land. She had new bank deposit slips and a letter explaining that they moved residences and also banks… Now our payments should go to their new address or deposited to their new bank account, more deposit slips were provided.

We also discussed our issues with the leaking basement/ the mold and were assured they would come out to take a look at it all after the holidays and make necessary repairs (it’s February now and no landlord has been here to inspect or repair anything).

We paid our December and also January’s rent with one check that was handed over to the landlord the day she stopped by to give us a dehumidifier for the basement after our discussion. We refused to make out another rent check until the first one was actually returned to us… That is the back story in a nutshell.

Well we just attempted to pay our February rent via electronic bill payment and have been waiting since the beginning of the month for the funds to leave our account. At first we thought it was an issue with our own banking facility as they did not process the payment electronically, they sent a paper check instead…

We’ve been worrying that our check is lost in the mail or stolen and have been upset that our bank didn’t process the payment electronically as we had requested.

I was just sure we were going to have to pay about a month in late rent penalties to the landlords and have been waiting to find out exactly what happen to our rent payment.

Today after more digging N found out that our landlords account was closed before our rent payment even went out. We’ve not been notified of a third new account or a new address to send payments to, the info they (the landlords) have most recently supplied was the info we were trying to use.

When N called their bank to try and figure out where our rent check is today the bank representative said she wasn’t allowed to say more about their account but that it had been closed and that our rent payment would have been returned to our bank…

So now we are waiting for our bank to provide some sort of documentation of the check being returned to them as a result of the payees account being closed.

The documentation is important proof of our attempt to pay rent on time and in a timely manner (so we aren’t evicted or charged penalty fees for late payment). We’ve never had a landlord who was so difficult to pay rent to!

The even better part is the landlords are delinquent on the property tax owed to the city on this place, they have been since July 2008 and also have penalty fees and money owed from 2007 on this property (it is public information) and also on all the other 40 properties they owe…

The thing with property taxes here is that if you get severely behind on them the city/ sheriff can auction your property to recoup the owed money… So we are particularly interested in finding out more about the tax situation as it could result in us having nowhere to live. We are also wondering if they are even making the mortgage payments on this property, if it is foreclosed we’ll also be out on our ass so to speak…

Good times huh? Isn’t it amazing how all this randomness and drama just finds us (or do we find it? Never mind don’t answer that…)

In other news, I saw a prenatal chiropractor on Saturday because my pelvic pain was getting so bad I couldn’t sit or stand for longer than 30 minutes. Turns out my tailbone/ right pelvic bone was jacked up. It was stuck between a standing and sitting position which is why only laying on my side made me comfortable.

I’ve got followup appointments scheduled with the chiropractor to check my pelvic alignment and to keep me in check, since the insurance covers 80% of it. We figured it couldn’t hurt to relieve my pain and to keep my back and pelvis in proper position especially since I’ll be having Tater in about 4 months!

For those of you (who have commented) who are also pregnant and having tailbone, pelvic or back pain I would strongly recommend finding a prenatal chiropractor and having them take a look at you.

It made a huge difference for me! I thought I was having circulation issues, possibly getting hemorrhoids and having back pain as a result of the weight of my growing uterus. Turns out all my complaints were resolved once the Doc got my right pelvic bone back in correct position. Amazing!

Oh, and look what just arrived in the mail. It is even cuter than we thought!

cocalo bali courture nursery set

We love it even more than we thought we would. The green and blue are so vivid and cheerful and the fabric is super soft with adorable designs and fun textures. Happy day! We even found the perfect way to include just a splash of pink in the room, see:

We also heard back from the mortgage lady today and got the news we expected. Once the disputed items on the credit report are resolved and once the student loan status is changed from derogatory to “in good standing” (in 2 months) we’ll be approved for a mortgage. It is just a matter of going up 18 points credit score wise…

In the meantime N is going to get more answers from his employer about the future of his on air career. Buying a home might not even be something we want to do in this particular city, especially if N’s career growth is limited. Once he knows more about the employers plans for him we’ll be able to decide about our home buying saga.

Basically we’ll either stay here through the remainder of our lease (late august 2009, if the house isn’t auctioned out from under us before that) then we’ll buy something or we’ll move from here ASAP and get in a nicer rental home that we can STAY in for the remaining 2 years left in N’s contract.

*sigh* explaining all this has sure made me tired, are you tired after reading it? I guess that means it is time to move from the office desk to the bed and resume my pregnancy slackerific ways for the rest of the day. Ooo, here are some belly pics (one in undies and bra and one in clothes) since so many are asking. These were taken 3 days ago. Now go place your baby weight bet okay? You could win cash!

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