Monday, November 29, 2010

The Cherry Family Birth Plan...

By request, here is our Birth Plan... the doctor on call at the hospital when we checked in got his hands on it. He then proceeded to make copies and throw them around to other staff members. I've never seen an OB laugh so hard in my life. Several other OB's and RN's came into our delivery room throughout our stay there just to meet us. Apparently this is not your usual Birth Plan?? hehe

The CHERRY Birth Plan

While we hope there are no complications during the birth of our child, we understand that circumstances may require us to re-evaluate our desires. If the need does arise for medication or medical procedures we hope to avoid, we would like to have everything explained to us as fully as time will permit so that we may give informed consent.

Mother: Laura S. Cherry
Father: Dustin T. Cherry (friends call him “D”)

OB/GYN: Martha Reilly, MD (Oregon Medical Group)
Pediatrician: Chris Hammond, MD (I’m sure you’re familiar with this trouble maker)

Due Date: 12 November 2010


My husband, D, will be present for the entire birth. If he passes out, just step around him.

Also present (but hopefully in the grandstands and not on the field) will be my mother, Susan Newbury-Oakley, and my mother-in-law, Pawnee Cherry. If at any time either of them get out of hand, feel free to kick them out. Just kidding. Kind of. They should behave themselves.

Last, but certainly not least, I have chosen a dear friend (and RN in your NICU) as my “doula” of sorts. I am paying her in cookies, however, so I guess I should technically call her my “specialized and highly qualified labor support leader.” Her name is Maren Lee. I’m sure that’s all the introduction this crazy woman needs.

I prefer to move around freely during my birthing time, stand on my head, do cartwheels, or assume any other positions I find comfortable.


I am extremely sensitive to pain medication. One Tylenol is generally enough to cure whatever ails me, and I only take that when my husband thinks I’m dying. For this reason, among others, we would like to use natural pain management techniques throughout the birth. Massage, water therapy, walking, dancing, and chocolate are my preferred methods, along with anything that has ever worked, since the dawn of time. Please feel free to share any and all tricks with me you may have up your sleeve.


My OB and I have discussed the matter of medical intervention, and we have agreed on the following: Induction will not be discussed (unless a medical need arises) until November 14th. I would like to remain without an IV unless it is absolutely medically necessary. And I would like to avoid the following things above others: Internal Monitoring, Induction, and Cesarean Birth.


I am open to anything when it comes to positioning and pushing. I would, however, rather remain in a more upright position rather than on my back or with my feet at my ears. Above all, I would like to play it by ear and do whatever feels and works best. Please feel free to offer suggestions!

I'd love a labor support person to massage my perineum with oil prior to crowning. Peeled grapes and a handsome greek god fanning me with a palm leaf would be ok too. Of course I want to avoid an episotomy, who wouldn't?

We would like a staff member to cut the cord, which hopefully won't be clamped or cut until the cord stops pulsing. We are not banking the cord blood. We would like the baby placed on my chest immediately after birth, to remain there for at least a half an hour, if medically possible.

Do feel free to toss it after it is all out. I waive the right to fry it up and eat it. Thanks.


In the event of prolonged labor, complications, or the need arises for a cesarean birth, my husband has final say. I would like him to weigh our options, discuss the pros and cons with the nurses and doctor, and make a decision.


Feed me. Let me shower. Send me home. I’m easy that way.


We would like our son to be a breastfed baby. Please do not supplement with water or formula prior to speaking with me. I would like to breastfeed within the hour after birth, and I would love for my husband to be as involved with the bathing/caring for the baby as allowed. Break that man in!

Thank you for everything!! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I swear I do other things besides cook...

You wouldn't know it to look at my posts on this blog, but I really don't spend all of my time in the kitchen.  As a matter of fact, Jon probably cooks more than I do.  I average about three times a week, if we are lucky.  Actually, it IS lucky, because Jon is a great cook.  He's making one of my favorites as I type: chicken enchiladas. Pavlov just rang his bell.

If I had to choose a type of food to live on for the rest of my life, I would choose soup.  I'm a soup fan.  It is like a warm blanket and a good book in a bowl.

If not soup, then I would choose seafood.  I will eat pretty much anything that comes out of water...and that includes eel and seaweed, so I'm not just talking.

So, as you can imagine, clam chowder is my idea of absolute heaven.

And it is so easy.  Guess how it starts!  Rood veggies. In a pot.  Imagine that.

I always begin by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil or butter or a combo of both.  I then add equal amounts of carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Those potatoes are from my garden. The last for the year.  They were so good.  The Yukon gold and red work well because they stay firmer than russets when cooked.  I then empty the water from three cups of chopped clams onto the veggies.  Add a bit more water if needed, but don't bring it over the veggies.  We want just enough to basically steam the veggies until they are fork tender.  Firmer is better.

This here is a pitcher of raw milk.  My friend Heidi keeps me supplied.  I got a couple of cups of cream skimmed off the top before I transferred the milk to this pitcher.  The cream is rich and yellow.  If fresh cream is hard to come by in your parts, you could also use a pint of half and half.  Poor it into the veggies.

Take half a cup of butter and melt in the microwave.  Add about three tablespoons of flour and mix into a paste.  Put some of the liquid from the chowder into a cup and poor slowly into the paste, mixing to keep smooth. When it is combined, pour back into the chowder, bring to a boil and reduce the heat.

Salt and pepper to taste and then my secret ingredient, inspired by a fish and chips place in Florence, OR that Jon and I used to love before they had the audacity to close up and move to Salem to take care of an ailing mother or something.  Whatever.  All these people thinking of other people besides me.  Sheesh.

Oh mama.  Serve with buttered garlic toast or crackers.  Sand and surf is optional.

Speaking of soup...Jon and I have become meat snobs.  It started with watching Food, Inc. and then things fell into place so that we could get our own good, local, humanely raised meat to stock our freezer.  We don't eat out much anymore.  We don't mind.  Our food is better anyway.  So, recently, a family here in Sanpete offered to sell us some chickens.  I was going to throw five or so in our freezer, but wanted to see what I could do with a roast chicken before I did that.  Jon bought one a while ago that I had forgotten existed and I put it in the slow cooker rubbed with some olive oil and some poultry seasoning.  I was able to turn it into about four meals.

After it was cooked, I carved it up and stuck the meat in the fridge.  I then put the carcass into a large pot and covered it with water.  I added an onion, a carrot, and a couple of stalks of celery.  A couple of teaspoons of salt and some pepper went in too, and then I left it on low overnight and all day.  I kept the lid on, so that I didn't lose too much liquid.  When I got home from school today, I strained the stock and then I (you'll never guess) sauteed an onion and some garlic in olive oil in the pot and then added a carrot and some celery.  I know...this is so hard to believe, but it is true.

I covered the veggies in the strained broth, chopped up some of the meat that I had carved off of the bird, threw in some of the good meat that had come off of the carcass, and seasoned to taste.  I brought it to a boil and then added a couple of handfuls of Costco egg noodles.  Simmered for about ten-twelve minutes or until the noodles were tender.  The veggies and the noodles got tender about the same time and it was so yummy.  I had quite a bit of chicken left over, so I made a simple chicken salad that I will eat as a sandwich tomorrow, and then I canned the remaining broth.  I'll use it to make cabbage soup on Wednesday...or maybe pantry stew...I'm telling you, it's a cuddly blanket for your belly.

And last, but not least, another of our standard recipes.  This is going to come as a shock though, so you might want to sit down if you're not already.  Besides, what are you doing reading a blog standing up?

This does not start with root veggies.  It has nothing to do with them...well, except for the onions and garlic, but what can I say?

This one starts with about 5oz of spinach (two or three big handfuls) in a HUGE bowl.  Add 8oz mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan.

Cook and drain half a pound of penne pasta.  Set it aside.  Next, a half an onion and three cloves of garlic in half olive oil and half butter (a tablespoon or so of each).  I have one of those monstrous things of garlic cloves from Costco in the freezer, so I pull out the cloves I need and shred them.  This makes the garlic really potent.  You can use fresh diced up...I'm all about personal freedom.

Brown up some meat if you want (chicken or beef or whatever), but I often leave it vegetarian.  Then add a pint of diced tomatoes...or a can...whatever.  Last, when everything is heated through, add 1/3 cup or so of pesto.  Hence the greenish color.  It didn't look so green in real life.  It looked yummy in real life.

Pour everything together in the HUGE bowl and mix carefully until all ingredients are evenly distributed.  This is important...and a bit tricky, but I have faith you will prevail.  

I dump it all back into the pan I used to make the sauce, but you can use a 9x13 casserole if you want.  Sprinkle the top with more mozzarella and Parmesan, and stick it in a 375 oven uncovered for half an hour.  I forgot the last picture because I was so excited to eat it, but it comes out beautifully brown and bubbly and  smelling lovely.  Enjoy!