What's this blog all about? Felix! And...

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Monday, January 09, 2012

That's the Doctor!

We were at Church for tithing settlement recently, waiting in the little foyer area where a picture of Joseph Smith Jr. hung.
L: "Ezra, who's that?"
E: "Ummm... the doctor!"
L: "Hmm, not quite..."
F: "Yes it is! It's the Doctor of Covenants!"
Love it. :)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Decision to Birth at Home

Well, now that Dexter is almost a month old, I think I'll chronicle his birth.

Upon learning that I was pregnant last December, I began to look into options for my prenatal care and delivery. I found, surprisingly, that home births were covered under my health plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield. I can't say that it was always an aspiration of mine to have a home birth, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.

I realized that a home birth would be different from my previous births in two ways: first, I would give birth, of course, at home; second, I would receive care from a midwife in stead of an obstetrician.

Skipping the hospital seemed great to me. My labors and deliveries with Felix and Ezra were quick and uncomplicated--I labor at home for a few hours in denial that I'm actually in labor. Then transition sets in and I decide that it definitely is labor. When I can't deny the inevitable any longer (that the baby's coming NOW, whether or not I've checked off everything on my insanely long nesting to-do list), I jump in the car and Brian races to the hospital, getting there in just enough time to avoid a car birth. Some random doctor races into the room to catch the baby, and we go home as soon as they let us. So the idea of birthing at home seemed great to me! All the fun of labor without the awkward leg-crossing in the car to slow down the pushing contractions.

So, what about a midwife? My OB with Felix, in St. George, UT, was fantastic; if we had stayed in St. George I probably never would have looked beyond the realm of obstetrics for my prenatal care. But my OB in Ann Arbor, MI was not the greatest. (She was chronically 60-90 min late to appointments, flippant with answers to sensitive questions, talked about herself the whole time during checkups, and, just to top it off, stripped my membranes without asking me at 36 wks. [WHAT???] She said, "Oh, most women want to go early". Well, not me. I wanted that baby to have as much womb time as possible. Talk about disrespectful, non-personalized care.)

So I began reading up on midwifery, and I found that the model of care really appealed to me, especially in contrast with the standard medical model.

After making dozens of phone calls, I settled on Kate Saumweber of Twin Cities Midwifery. During our initial consultation, I sensed her empathy, intelligence, and wisdom, and was sold on the fact that all prenatal care would take place in my home! To say that my experience with Kate far exceeded my expectations is an understatement. Kate was phenominal, the perfect midwife. She would spend as long as I liked at our visits answering questions, learning about my past and current pregnancies, and helping Felix and Ezra feel included in Dexter's development. She was thorough and organized, even following up with me via phone in between visits. As a midwife, she cared for me as a whole person, looking after not just my (and baby's) physical health, but my emotional and social well-being as well. Her approach to care was educational and empowering; I felt like we collaborated in the decisions on prenatal care, by talking over options along the way (regarding tests, precedures, preparations, etc.). In fact, my experience was so wonderful that I can honestly say I'm already looking forward to the next pregnancy. In due time, of course. :)

OK, so the prenatal care was fabulous, but what about the actual birth? Well, that will have to wait until my next entry. Dexter's hungry.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Just pictures for all the loved ones to see (some from our good friend and photographer, Kim Russell)! Thanks for your support, meals, babysitting etc.. More birth updates to come soon.
Dexter Noah Hall
Length: 18.5 in.
Weight: 6 lbs 0 oz.

Sorry Laura for jumping the gun on this blog while you're still recovering from childbirth.. I know that you are just gathering your strength in order to be able to compose yet another memorable, witty, and creative post about little Dexter and our incredible home birth experience. Maybe you'll be ready to forgive me if I change the next six diapers...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What are Brothers For?

Overheard as we were getting ready to leave for Lifetime Fitness today:
F: "Esra, pretty soon I'm going to go to school"
E: "Yeah! School!"
F: "No, only me. Not you. I'm going to go to school and play, and you're going to stay home and play wif yourself"
E: "Mm hmm!"
F: "But it will be ok, because then I won't hit you while I'm gone"

They really do get along most of the time!

Oh, and as a note, he's not going into Kindergarten for over another year, though he's reading like a pro and talks eagerly about school every day...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!
To celebrate, we went canoeing down the St. Croix River with friends from Church. Big thanks to the Sandbergs (Cindy is in pictures below) for organizing this--it was SO much fun!!
Afterwards, we headed to a picnic dinner at the Howells--tons of fun with great food and wonderful friends (but no pictures, unfortunately!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Family Home Evening to Remember

Opening Song:

Lesson: money management

Activity: driving to a car dealership in Bloomington to pick up the newest member of our family. (And cutting the biggest check of my life, so far... fun!)

Treat: It's official, we're a minivan family! (2005 Sienna Ltd... thanks to Brian's crafty haggling). It's been a loooong time in coming, and it's quite the step up from our 2-door Celica convertible that has seen better days. Our little car has served us well, but I am thrilled beyond measure not to have to toss my kids into their child seats anymore, to have a place to set my purse, and not to have my knees next to my ears when I'm in the passenger seat.


Bring on the road trips!!!!!!!!

Oh, and the baby!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today I was spoiled by my boys!

Yes, those are crêpes--with steamed asparagus and a light sauce. (Made by Mr. Brian Hall, who does not particularly enjoy cooking.) They were just delicious--perfect, perfect crêpes, and the perfect breakfast for my palate (I don't usually eat "breakfast" foods for breakfast), and my fixation on protein and vegetables, haha.

Can I just tell you how completely, utterly astounded I was?? I was absolutely blown away by Brian's creativity and generosity, and the love and care he put in to this meal. WOW!

Isn't he the best?

Word has it that Brian was actually the sous chef, and that this little man spearheaded the food prep. (What a cutie--he got himself dressed this morning. I love his budding sense of style!)

And flowers!!

Then I came downstairs and realized that the reason Brian had stayed up super late the night before was because he was priming the wall over the fireplace (where we had taken down the dated mirror), and hanging the lantern hooks and Sacred Grove painting we had just received.

I am speechless with gratitude for all that Brian does! He is an amazingly dedicated employee, leader and member of our church, and husband and father. (And he still has energy somehow for his 25mi+ bike rides on the weekends.) I would be hard pressed to try and think of something in his life that does not receive 110% effort; I'm always a little worried he's going to wear himself out with all he does.

But his family certainly is his highest priority--and the way he takes time to read to the boys at night even though he has work left to do that will keep him up past midnight, or play on the floor with them even when he's totally spent, or listen to me go on and on and ON about trivial things in my life even though his brain is burnt out from work... all show just how much he is a husband and father first and foremost.

Boy am I ever lucky to be this man's wife!

Easter Joy!

A family picture on Easter...

Dying Easter Eggs for Family Home Evening the Monday before...

Family Easter Basket...

Flowers from a friend...
Easter Egg Hunt with Friends...

Graduation (I graduated last Dec, but Spring commencement was that day, so we likewise celebrated)...

Happy Spring!!