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For the many of you who are reading this blog series (here is Part 1 and  Part 2) who have never struggled with fertility, chances are that you know someone who is.  Infertility affects between 10% and 15% of couples trying to conceive.  You likely have a friend or a relative who is currently dealing with this issue.  Knowing the right things to do or say can be tricky because you don't want to walk on eggshells, but you don't want to be hurtful either.  Based on my experiences, here are a few suggestions for what to say and what not to say. Things you should try to avoid saying or doing: Don't tell her to "just relax".  This was...
I have two amazing children.  Matthew, my three-year-old, is an inquisitive, bright, tractor-loving country boy, while Ben, my almost-two-year-old, is a playful, hilarious, sweet bull in a china shop.  I cannot imagine not being their mother. But for years I could not imagine that I ever would have the chance. In 2006, after two years of marriage, Kenny and I decided to start a family.  We didn't really know many people with young children, and only a very few of our friends had experienced a pregnancy in their marriage.  So we really had no idea what to expect in the process.  I truly believed that we would become pregnant immediately.  In fact, I remember that we started trying to conceive in October, and...
Medical technology is an amazing thing.  Cesareans save many women and babies, and I am so thankful that they are available. However, it is clear that something isn’t right in American obstetric care.  The World Health Organization states that an acceptable cesarean rate to ensure the best outcomes for mothers and babies is between 5 and 15% and that rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good (Althabe and Belizan 2006).  Currently, Louisiana leads the United States with a cesarean rate of just over 40%, more than 3 times the recommended rate.  The US rate is hovering around 30%. April is Cesarean Awareness Month, the perfect time to discuss this important issue. Why are cesareans a big deal?...
It happened nearly a decade ago but the experience has stuck with me. The younger sister of a close friend from my hometown was a freshman at LSU and I was a senior. My friend told me that her sister was going through a rough breakup, which I could relate to, so I called her up and invited her to dinner. I was expecting to trade stories of betrayal over sushi, but was shocked when instead she told me that the boy she was heartbroken to lose had been physically abusing her for years. I'd known this girl since she was a tween. I knew her family and I knew that they were very involved in their childrens' lives,...
Life Insurance.  It’s one of those things that no one likes to worry about.  Of course, a death in the family is unthinkable. Being unprepared for one makes it much more difficult.  And, let’s face it. We all die. Protecting your family using life insurance can provide you with peace of mind so that you don’t have to worry about the "whens" and the "what ifs". So who am I to tell you about life insurance? Long before I became a mommy, I got my undergraduate degree in Finance & Insurance and spent several years working in the insurance industry.  My passion for life insurance grew the more I learned about the wonderful benefits it can provide, not only in...
As the river started to run through the middle of the table at a local restaurant, onlookers started to whisper and stare at the two idiots who thought it was a great idea to go out for a peaceful dinner with their cranky baby and clumsy toddler. This was the moment when I remembered my secret weapon. Dashing to the minivan, I snagged my treasure from a play date earlier that day. My incredibly considerate friend, Megan, made a Busy Bag for her little love and an extra for my little dude. I surely can’t promise it will solve all of your in-public-with-your-toddler issues or resolve any rivers from forming in the middle of your dinner table; however, the Busy...
I had a beautiful baby.  So, why was I crying every day? Why did I feel like I wasn’t worthy of being a mother? Why was my house such a mess? Why was I such a mess? Everyone says that you never know how much you can love someone until you have a child.  I didn’t feel that instant connection which made me feel even more guilty and lacking as a mother.  To make matters worse, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone.  What would people think of me if I admitted that I didn’t feel head over heals for my child? As many as 30% of women experience some sort of postpartum mood disorder. According to Postpartum Support International,...
At the age of six, Pamela and her sister spent cold nights sleeping in the back of a U-Haul with no blankets. They didn’t know when they would eat. One night, Pamela’s mother awoke the girls suddenly and yelled at them to hide under a car in the parking lot. When a police officer pulled Pamela from her hiding place, she watched as her parents were arrested. She remembers watching as the police car left and her mother “faded away.” This is how Pamela became a foster child. Fortunately, a CASA volunteer was assigned to be a voice for Pamela. “When you’re a child, no one listens to you, especially in the foster care system.” Pamela describes her CASA volunteer...
The word ‘doula’ is Greek for “woman servant or caregiver."  These days, the term doula refers to a woman who provides support for mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.  My favorite definition for doula is that of the protector of the birth space.  Simply put, doulas love birth and trust that it is a normal, natural and instinctive process that should be honored and respected. Doulas are hired by expecting parents to help create a positive birth experience and make sure their wishes are honored.  Studies have shown that having a doula present can reduce the length of your labor and reduce the need for medical interventions. What kind of training does a doula have? There are several organizations that provide training...

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A Mom’s Guide to Prairieville Plus

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