THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
MAY 2017 Â· THESAVVYMOMS.COM
new Moms MEET THE
NEW MOM GANELLE BLAKE ON PAGE 26.
plus SHOULD YOU CALL THE MIDWIFE? REMEMBERING WITH MAMIE'S POPPY PLATES
ds i k r o f p m a c ractive day
Zoofari is here! Meet the Zooâ€™s coolest animal ambassadors and discover how you can be a superhero for our planet! Sign up for Zoofari now
littlerockzoo.com/zoofari #1 Zoo Drive Little Rock, AR 501.661.7229
Camps held in June and July. Half-day and full-day options available.
FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1959! There are many brands of beef, but only one Angus brand exceeds expectations. The Certified Angus Beef brand is a cut above USDA Prime, Choice and Select. Ten quality standards set the brand apart. It's abundantly flavorful, incredibly tender, naturally juicy. 10320 STAGE COACH RD 501-455-3475
7507 CANTRELL RD 501-614-3477
7525 BASELINE RD 501-562-6629
2203 NORTH REYNOLDS RD, BRYANT 501-847-9777
MAY 2017 MODERN MOM 14 MAMA SAID NEW PARENT HACKS
16 MIND, BODY & SOUL SHOULD YOU CALL THE MIDWIFE?
SAVVY FAMILY 18 SAVVY STYLE JUST FOR MOM
20 CAMP COOKING HOW TO EAT LIKE YOU’RE NOT ROUGHING IT
24 NEW MOMS MEET BRAND-NEW MOMS HEATHER SMITH AND GANELLE BLAKE
31 WORKING ON A FAMILY INFERTILITY OPTIONS & NEW ADVANCEMENTS
34 MAKE BEDTIME A DREAM HOW TO CREATE GOOD SLEEP HABITS AND IDENTIFY PROBLEMS
35 UAMS NICU REUNION
BRINGING FAMILIES AND PHYSICIANS TOGETHER
36 INSPIRED BY LOSS, BORN OF LOVE MAMIE'S POPPY PLATES HONORS THE MEMORIES OF LOST BABIES
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 NEWS & NOTES CALENDAR, CRAFTS & MORE!
46 BAG CHECK NICOLLE FLETCHER
MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
ON THE COVER: GANELLE BLAKE WITH BABY BRONX. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH.
PES. ORY. US.
ression, buse are for your same ment to onal u need it sed care py and enters young es find ce, and ble.
52 STATE PARKS. 52 YOURWEEKS. HOPES. COINCIDENCE?
YOUR STORY. OUR FOCUS.
We have a park for every week, every activity and every personality. You like history? Got it. You like music? Got that. Paddling, fishing, swimming, climbing, soaring, sunning, hiking, camping…? Yep, yep and double yep. So come take advantage of your Arkansas State Parks.
Lake Ouachita State Park #ARStateParks
Anxiety, aggression, depression, bullying, loss, and / or abuse are not the end of the story for your child. Centers provides same day ArkansasStateParks.com access for treatment to For reservations, call 877-879-2741 help emotional Myaddress park, your park, our parks needs today, when you need it most. Our trauma-focused care in our outpatient therapy and residential treatment centers YOUR YOURHOPES. HOPES. helps YOUR STORY. children, teens, young YOUR STORY. adults, and their families find OUR FOCUS. learn resilience, and OUR FOCUS. hope, rediscover possible. Anxiety, aggression, depression, bullying, loss, and / or abuse are not the end of the story for your child. Centers provides same day access for treatment to help address emotional needs today, when you need it most. Our trauma-focused care in our outpatient therapy and residential treatment centers helps children, teens, young adults, and their families find hope, learn resilience, and rediscover possible.
Little Rock • Monticello
Little Rock • Monticello 501.666.8686 or 888.868.0023 www.cfyf.org
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! In the pages of Savvy, we celebrate motherhood every month—it’s kind of our thing. We want the magazine to be a source for local moms to get valuable information, discover fun and exciting things to do with their kids, and learn about the struggles and triumphs of moms in their own communities. The May issue is one of my favorites because we dedicate it each year to new moms. As a 34-year-old who is still “on the fence” about having kids, the May issue is a great opportunity for me to meet the moms who have just walked through the Crayola-crusted gates of motherhood and ask them the questions we all want to know: How did you know it was right for you? How was your pregnancy? Lord, how bad did the delivery hurt? And, how completely happy are you now? I love getting to hear their stories, see the pride on their faces, and, if I’m lucky, get to hold a baby for a minute or two. On page 26 we introduce former “on-the-fencer” Ganelle Blake, who now glows in motherhood bliss with her baby, Bronx. Heather Smith was lucky to have always felt that “maternal tug,” and after several tries and a two-year emotional rollercoaster, she and her wife, Sarah Ort, were blessed with little Calvin. Read about their unique journey on page 28. After discovering that two out of five moms featured in the “Savvy Moms Club” (March 2017) had home births, my interest on the topic was piqued. We interviewed a doula and midwife about what to expect and how to know if a home birth is the right birth plan for you on page 16. All you moms who go the unmedicated route—much respect. Unfortunately, for many moms the pain of childbirth is not the only pain they experience with motherhood. After losing a baby only weeks before her delivery date, Sarah Adams found a way to channel her family’s pain into an organization that helps parents of stillborn infants find some peace, and receive a beautiful token to remember their lost child. Read her story and find out about the organization, Mamie’s Poppy Plates, on page 36. Through Savvy, I’ve been able to meet so many inspirational moms who are amazing for many different reasons. Happy Mother’s Day to you all, and to my mom and the mom-figures in my life—Sue Bowers, Sondra Gordy, Mona Hercher and Becky Pittman—all the mommin’ you do is much appreciated!
Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR
MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Champions for Children Arkansas Children’s Hospital earned Magnet® recognition — a symbol of excellence recognized all over the world. In fact, only 6% of all hospitals worldwide earn this honor. Magnet® means your child gets better faster. Magnet® means nurses spend more time at your child’s bedside. Magnet® means your child receives compassionate care from a world-class team.
Safety. Teamwork. Compassion. Excellence.
That’s what you can expect when your child visits Arkansas Children’s Hospital. To ﬁnd excellent, compassionate medical care for your child, or to learn more about what Magnet® recognition means for your family, visit archildrens.org/excellence
We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow
Magnet_ACH_Savvy Kids.indd 1
4/16/17 9:51 PM
PUBLIC EDUCATION: PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES
Pulaski County Special School District
Choose PCSSD schools for– Certified teachers with advanced degrees Test scores higher than other local districts Millions awarded in college scholarships Talented and Gifted programs State-winning sports teams 1;1 tech program providing iPads, Chromebooks Facilities upgrades and new schools underway pcssd.org
501.234.2000 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
LOOKING FOR AUTISM SERVICES? Call to learn more about our unique 1 on 1 ABA program which teaches your child how to: Attending birthday parties • •Family dinner around the table •Singing nursery rhymes •Saying the ABCs •Attending worship services •Play-dates with friends
Full day ABA program • OT, PT, SLP
501.313.5973 · 2312 Durwood Rd. · Little Rock · www.uptherapyar.com
PUBLISHER BLAKE HANNAHS | email@example.com EDITOR AMY GORDY | firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANDY KEENER | email@example.com ART DIRECTOR KATIE HASSELL | firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR AT LARGE REBEKAH LAWRENCE | email@example.com SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE LESA THOMAS | firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE SHERRIE BUTNER | email@example.com ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER ROLAND R. GLADDEN | firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING COORDINATOR JIM HUNNICUTT | email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS BRYAN MOATS | MIKE SPAIN PRODUCTION MANAGER | CONTROLLER WELDON WILSON IT DIRECTOR ROBERT CURFMAN ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/OFFICE MANAGER KELLY JONES BILLING/COLLECTIONS LINDA PHILLIPS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR ANITRA HICKMAN
A PLACE FOR FANS OF SAVVY TO DISCUSS, CONNECT AND GET ADVICE.
talk.thesavvymoms.com A NEW, ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR MOMS AND PARENTS OF ARKANSAS. 8
MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
ARKANSAS TIMES PUBLISHING ALL MATERIALS ARE HANDLED WITH DUE CARE; HOWEVER, THE PUBLISHER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARE AND SAFE RETURN OF UNSOLICITED MATERIALS. ALL LETTERS AND PHOTOS SENT TO SAVVY™ WILL BE TREATED AS INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION AND ARE SUBJECT TO SAVVY’S™ UNRESTRICTED RIGHT TO EDIT OR TO COMMENT EDITORIALLY. 201 E. MARKHAM ST., SUITE 200, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 501-375-2985. ALL CONTENTS ©2017 SAVVY™
FIND US ON
KERRY GUICE is a food blogger and photographer living in Little Rock with her husband, two kids and their dog. When she’s not sharing her latest meal on Instagram, Kerry is planning her family’s next Arkansas adventure or crafting with her creative tots.
BIG ROCK’S AMAZING AERIAL ADVENTURE IS HERE!
Go-Karts•Mini Golf•Lazer Frenzy •Batting Cages•Bumper Boats•& More
•1411 Baseline Road, Little Rock (near Bass Pro Shops)
Plan A Party Now!
KD REEP is a writer and public relations practitioner in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications, Inc., a public relations agency, and is the PR director for Mass Enthusiasm, a full-service marketing communications firm in Little Rock.
DWAIN HEBDA is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife, Darlene, are the parents of four grown children. The empty-nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.
LILY DARRAGH is a photographer in Little Rock. She studied photography at Parsons the New School of Design in New York. Currently working out of a photography studio in downtown Little Rock, Lily loves to shoot people and places unique to Arkansas.
ALL SMOOTHIES & TEA’S
WITH THIS COUPON
Ask about our FREE wellness evaluations
13000 Chenal Parkway STE 108 Little Rock , AR 72211 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
news & notes
Toadsuck Daze in downtown Conway is the only place in Arkansas (and probably the world) to find concerts, carnival rides, arts and crafts, a petting zoo and the World-Famous Championship Toad Races. Admission to this family-friendly event is free. toadsuck.org.
It’s a night for adults to play at The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville! Get ready to explore at the “Un-Gala: A (Outrageous) Night at the Museum” and float above the treetops, walk on water and witness a famous TV scientist do outrageous experiments with fire, all while enjoying upscale carnival food and beverages. amazeum.org.
27-Sept. 10 Visit the Museum of Discovery’s new exhibit, “Human Plus,” and enjoy interactive opportunities to explore and create a range of low-tech and high-tech tools that extend human abilities. Exhibits include the experience of riding a mono-ski in a simulated ski race, controlling a DJ station using the wheels of a wheelchair, and more. museumofdiscovery.org.
10 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Some of the best artwork by youth across the state will be on exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center’s 56th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. Artists’ ages range from kindergarten through 12th grade. The juried collection includes 104 works from 58 schools across the state. arkarts.com.
Don’t miss Arkansas’s largest event on the bank of the Arkansas River. Riverfest offers something for everyone, including a carnival, food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts, a breathtaking fireworks display and an impressive lineup of local and national music acts. This year’s musical lineup includes: Wiz Khalifa, Justin Moore, Cold War Kids and more. riverfestarkansas.com.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF VENDORS
National Teacher Appreciation Day
Now Through July 23
Make your Birthday Party, a
Parties can be held on the ice side or the roller side, and be held during public sessions or as a private rental.
“ANYTHING ON WHEELS” PARTY
Bring your own scooters, tricycles, big wheels, bikes, etc. to cruise on our roller floor.
1311 Bowman Rd. Little Rock, AR 501.227.4333 www.arkansasskatium.com
Bugs are taking over the Clinton Presidential Center at “Xtreme Bugs,” which will feature 20 larger-thanlife animatronic insects to help visitors get an up-close perspective on a few favorite creepy-crawlers. By exploring why bugs look and behave as they do, this exhibit offers a new way of seeing the tiny creatures we often consider pests. Clinton Center visitors will experience how the world would appear from a bug’s eye view, and bug habitats from around the world, including a rainforest floor, sub-Saharan Africa, a meadow and more. clintonfoundation.org.
ICE SKATING AND ROLLER SKATING
Visit our website for information on services, upcoming events, and access to our resources! Kidsourcetherapy.com Services We Provide: •First Connections Early Intervention •Therapy Evaluations •Speech/Language Therapy •Occupational Therapy •Physical Therapy
Supportive Programs: •Sensory Integration •Feeding & Swallowing •Hippotherapy •Aquatics •Special Olympics
Benton • Little Rock • North Little Rock • Arkadelphia Malvern • Hot Springs THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
savvy craft DIY PHOTO COASTERS
Handmade Mother’s Day gifts are the best, and these coasters are functional, beautiful and made with love. They’re great for moms, grandmothers and teachers, and the kids will love helping to choose the images!
•• 4-by-4-inch ceramic tiles •• 4-by-4-inch image collage squares
(Walgreen’s photo website has a template)
•• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
Felt or cork Mod Podge Small paintbrush Scissors EnviroTex Lites Pour-On High Gloss Finish 4 Dixie Cups Clean Popsicle stick Straw Hot glue
GRADS! S N O I T A INVIT TIONS D E CO R AAV O R S F PA R T Y O O N S BALL AS P I Ñ AT L I E S P P U S E CAK
12 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
1. Create groupings of your favorite photos and put them into a square collage format. I used the free app Fuzel Collage. Once you’ve designed a set of four, upload the images to your favorite photo lab’s website. Walgreen’s offers a 4-by-4-inch option. Pick up your prints and cut them out. 2. Cut felt or cork into 4-by-4-inch squares. 3. Cover your workspace in thick paper like paper grocery sacks, or use a plastic tarp. 4. Wipe down the tiles to make sure they are dust-free. 5. Apply Mod Podge to ceramic tiles using a small paintbrush and place pictures on top. Paint a thin coat of Mod Poge over the tops of the pictures, and press the edges down to lay flat on the tiles. 6. Allow to dry completely. 7. Place each tile on top of a Dixie Cup to raise it off the work surface. Mix the sealant according to the package instructions and pour it equally in the center of each tile. Help it to spread evenly with the Popsicle stick. Be sure the edges of each tile get completely covered. As sealant gathers and drips from the sides of the tiles, continue to wipe the edges smooth. 8. Small air bubbles will appear in the sealant. Gently blow on them with the straw and the carbon dioxide will pop the bubbles. (I sprinkled a tiny bit of gold glitter on the tiles at this point to add a little sparkle!) 9. Let the tiles dry completely. Flip them over and affix the felt or cork with hot glue. This will protect tabletops.
11218 N. Rodney Parham Rd. / Little Rock 501.223.4929
4822 N. Hills Blvd. / North Little Rock 501.978.3154 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
NEW PARENT HACKS
o, you’re going to be a new parent. Congrats! Now, put down the iron and step away from the wrinkled baby clothes. In fact, go ahead and leave the tags on—you’ll return most of them anyway. While I don’t envy you, I have been there. Some of your friends have probably done this. Your parents did it, and theirs. People have been birthing and adopting and rearing children since the beginning of time. So, take a deep breath and relax. You got this. In preparation for this column, I polled friends on new parent hacks and tips. The responses were as varied as the people themselves, illustrating one very important point: Parents must do what works for their family. If you take away one thing from this column, I hope it’s that. (Well, and never wake a sleeping baby.) Put down the baby book, stop making comparisons, and let the stream of advice you’re getting roll right off your back. Parenting comes with one very important thing: instinct. Listen to it, and do what works for you and your baby. How’s that for unsolicited advice on unsolicited advice? I’m sorry. I’ll pass along some of the parenting hacks to compensate. Nearly everyone I asked gave the same bit of advice: Babies don’t need a lot of fancy products. A sling or wrap, swaddle blankets, a simple pack and play and a plug-in swing are the only necessities. A very clever mom said, “Babies deserve the most expensive thing, which is love and attention.” I couldn’t agree more. Another big consensus: Wipe warmers are really just wipe dryers and should be avoided. Many people polled use white noise sound machines to get babies down and back to sleep at home and traveling. Diaper creams? Top votes were Little Rockbased company Diaper Goop, A&D and Resinol. The Rock ’N Play sleeper got several nods, as did a crib wedge to help with reflux. Un-Petroleum jelly is great for cuts, dry skin and as a lip balm. Parents also recommended the Zipadee-Zip wearable blanket, which was created by a Ouachita Baptist University alumnus and his wife. One of my personal favorites is the Nosefrida nasal aspirator. Wait. Before you Google it and gag, know that mucus never comes anywhere near your mouth. The Nosefrida simply uses a parent’s suction power to clear tiny airways. When baby is sick and miserable and can’t breathe, it’s a lifesaver, I promise.
Maybe you’ve heard this one, but breastfeeding is hard. What seems like the most natural and easy thing is actually quite complex. It helps to have knowledge, tools and support before going live. Local resources like birthbydesigndoulas.com offer childbirth education, lactation and postpartum support. Baptist Health’s Expressly for You is a great program, and Arkansas has a local La Leche League and the AR WIC Breastfeeding hotline. OK, time for a few more hacks. Layer crib pads and sheets for quick nighttime or one-handed cleanups. Take paternal leave after your support leaves. Use massage oil or Un-Petroleum to keep meconium from sticking to tender baby bottoms those first few diaper changes. If going back to work, start childcare a couple of days before, doing half-days so both parents and baby can ease into it. Here’s a bit of good advice: Just because you’re new parents doesn’t mean you should become recluses. Live up those first few weeks and months. Go to movies and to dinner. Babies will sleep through the noise, but not for long. It’s when the grabby, curious and loud stage starts at 5 or 6 months you’ll be homebound for a while. Something else is very important and close to my heart. Accepting help doesn’t make you a bad parent. If your partner or family or friends offer to watch the baby for an hour or two, take them up on it! Take a walk, have a cup of coffee while it’s still hot, go cruise Target—anything. It’s good for overworked and sleepdeprived parents to remember who they are, to be a person not in charge of another person even if it’s just for an hour. Healthy parents make for healthy children. Oh, and moms, while you’re idly cruising Target aisles, grab a bottle of dry shampoo (Clean Freak is cheap and effective) and a cute baseball hat. These will be your best friends in the years to come since some days the only way to make it all work is to skip the entire hair prep process. Nearly every parent I asked advised new parents not to worry so much, to relax and try to enjoy this fleeting time. They may be tiny and precious, but babies aren’t as breakable as they seem. As trite as it sounds, it’s true: The days are long, but the years are short. Take a deep breath and enjoy this time as a new parent before it’s gone. ENJOY THOSE PRECIOUS FIRST FEW DAYS!
Jen Holman is determined to be a voice of reason in the cacophony of reality TV and momjudgment-gone-wild. She is often irreverent and frequently imperfect. But she’s happy, by God, and that’s what matters. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and three (im)perfect children.
14 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
On display th
rough July 2 3
Little Rock, Arkansas â€¢ (501) 374-4242 Xtreme BUGS is produced by Dinosaurs Unearthed.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017 Crystal Bridges Museum COME RUN, ROAD RIDE, WALK OR MOUNTAIN BIKE VISIT http://diabetes.org/arkansastour OR CALL DIRECTOR MALORIE MARRS AT 479.464.4121 X6856 FOR MORE INFO. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
mind, body & soul
SHOULD YOU CALL THE MIDWIFE?
Home birth rates continue to increase as moms look for alternatives that offer more control and broader options for their birth plans. BY AMY GORDY PHOTOS COURTESY NICOLLE FLETCHER
he vast majority of women in the U.S. opt for hospital births; however, the rate of home births is on the rise with the highest rates the country has seen in decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the percentage of out-of-hospital births increased from 0.87 percent of U.S. births in 2004 to 1.36 percent of U.S. births in 2012, its highest level since 1975.” Home birth serves as an alternative to women who may want to have more control over their birth plan, be more at ease during the birthing process or be surrounded by loved ones and comforts of their own home when it’s time for the baby to come. A midwife and doula are essential, educated coaches who can guide a mother through home birth. These two team members do not serve the same purpose, so it’s important to understand the differences. “A doula is not a midwife, a nurse or an OBGYN,” said Nicolle Fletcher, a certified doula since 2010 and founder of Birth by Design, an organization offering doula services in Central Arkansas. “Doulas are there for the mother and that’s their primary thing. We are there to help create the birthing plan, for support during the delivery and during postpartum recovery.”
16 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Doulas offer emotional and physical support to a mother during the delivery and guidance leading up to and after the birth. “Our clients can expect a consultation, four to six prenatal appointments to formulate birth plans, help preparing mothers mentally and emotionally, talking about diet and exercise and just making sure she’s prepared and ready for this journey,” Fletcher said. Doulas assist both at home births and hospital births, speaking up for the mother’s wishes if she needs assistance. “Many women choose to birth at home for fear of losing their choices in a hospital. At a hospital there is a hierarchy in place you have to adhere to, and we do encourage people to select a hospital and doctor that’s more aligned to your birth philosophy. At the end of the day, birthing [in a hospital] is a business. There are some amazing doctors out there, whom I love personally, but the reality is a patient gets 5-10 minutes of face time with that doctor each visit, and the doctor typically doesn’t come in the room until you are pushing your baby out. There’s not a lot of support in the actual work of labor there.” As doulas experience both options for birthing, they are a great place to start when trying to decide which path is right for you.
First, Fletcher said, you need to decide what is most important to you. Is it being in your own home surrounded by family, being able to eat and drink and walk around when you want, or having access to pain medication and closer approximation to emergency services should you need it? Hospital births are more appealing to some women due to the fear of “What if something goes wrong?” At a hospital, a mother is closer to emergency services should she need them, but, Fletcher said, a lot of this fear is based in misinformation. “Midwives in Central Arkansas are licensed by the Health Department and they only accept low-risk births. Midwives do charting and paperwork and are held accountable for patients. They also know the ins and outs of normal labor. You can go through medical school and never see an unmedicated, natural birth. That’s what a midwife is skilled in,” she said. According to Ida Darragh, a certified midwife for more than 30 years and executive director of the North American Registry of Midwives, emergencies at home births are very rare. “That’s people’s worry, ’What if I need what the hospital has?’ That scenario is very rare. Most women can stay at home and have
Nicolle Fletcher (left) attending a home birth.
a beautiful experience.” She summed up just a bit of what a midwife does in the initial phase including: blood work, monitoring how the body is responding to pregnancy, talking about diet changes if iron is low or sugar is high. A midwife visit will last an hour or more and will increase to weekly once a mother gets close to her due date. A midwife will visit the home to become familiar with where the birth will take place, and make sure the mother is mentally and physically prepared for birth. “When the birth day arrives the midwife is there to help the mother get in a good position, offer ways to get baby to turn if needed, and offer encouraging support. As birth gets close, we read signs like the baby’s heartbeat and mother’s vitals,” Darragh said. “Afterward, we’ll continue to monitor for abnormal bleeding and help the mom get into a clean bed, get something to eat, and get the baby comfortable and nursing. A mother needs a lot of rest and to be nourished, and a midwife will return the next day, and more often if needed, to make sure the mother has what she needs.” Whether a mother chooses to have a hospital birth or a home birth, Fletcher emphasizes that education is key to having the birth experience that’s right for her. “I try to educate clients to help them understand the physiology first. There’s also a beauty and ease that can come when you have knowledge, and are therefore less fearful. Birth is the only thing in life that people enter into without having any education on it or seeking education. People do it, but it can be done a lot better and easier if you understand what it is,” she said.
“THERE’S A BEAUTY AND EASE THAT CAN COME WHEN YOU HAVE KNOWLEDGE, AND ARE THEREFORE LESS FEARFUL.”
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CREATING A BIRTH PLAN Provided by Nicolle Fletcher 1. How do you want to deliver your baby? People look at me and cock their heads when I ask this one. What I mean is, are you interested in vaginal birth or being medicated or unmedicated? It’s getting them to think about how they want to birth the baby. 2. How do you feel when you are with your doctor? At prenatal visits do you feel at ease? Rushed? Does the doctor listen and pay attention to your questions? Is he or she dismissive? This shapes whether you want to stay with that practice or look for another. 3. Do a hospital tour. If you’ve decided on a hospital birth, I encourage parents to do a hospital tour to see what it’s like. Visit nurses. See what’s normal at that hospital. 4. What’s your doctor’s C-section rate? Ask your doctor for his or her C-section rate and the C-section rate at the hospital. Also, ask your doctor what their medicated vs. unmedicated patient ratio is.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
JUST FOR MOM
Mother’s Day is May 14, and you’ll want something from the heart for the woman who gave you birth (and all the other mom-figures in your life!). Here are some options from local boutiques to help Mom enjoy the day!
6 7 18 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
1. Every mom loves jewelry! This classic pearl necklace has a modern twist with a handmade metal piece by local jewelry designer Cindi Booth. Available at The Green Corner Store, Little Rock, thegreencornerstore.com. 2. Treat your mom to these luxury at-home spa treatments from Spa Splurge! Grab all three at The Full Moon for an ultimate spa treat. Mom’s lips, hands and eyes will feel completely rejuvenated. Available at The Full Moon, Little Rock, thefullmoonlittlerock.com. 3. There’s no hug better than one from Mom, no matter how old you are. This hand-illustrated card by Gingiber of Northwest Arkansas depicts some snuggly koalas, and is perfect for the leading lady in your life—the one who gave birth to you. Available at gingiber.com. 4. Every mom loves a handmade, personalized gift. Make your own, or hire the jewelry-makers at Argenta Bead (now located at 1608 Main St.) to execute your thoughtful design. Available at Argenta Bead Company, Little Rock, argentabead.com. 5. Farmers markets are open for the season and Mom needs a sturdy bag to haul her loot! This natural cotton canvas bag has a waterresistant lining and is the perfect carry-all for the market, beach, pool or gym. And, Mom will love that it wipes clean. Available at Moxy Modern Mercantile, Little Rock, facebook.com/moxymodernmercantile. 6. Sometimes moms need a little morning wine to get through the day. This funny coffee mug is hand-painted and perfect for the mom who’d prefer to keep the family guessing about what’s in her cup. Available at Moxy Modern Mercantile, Little Rock, facebook.com/moxymodernmercantile. 7. Relax and unwind with bath soak by Main St. Apothecary. The Himalayan Salt and Lavender scent is calming and refreshing. Fill your tub–and the whole house—with this intoxicating scent. Available at The Green Corner Store, Little Rock, thegreencornerstore.com.
FROM OUR SOLES TO THE SOUL. There is something more to explore in the body other than how much weight we can lift, or how far can we run or the limits we can push ourselves. There is more to moving the body than simply how we will look in our clothing, or getting “swimsuit ready.” There are those among us who are just hoping to eventually peel ourselves off the sofa or from behind the desk, that a “will” to move the body will somehow envelope them and cause a change. Change will happen to us all. We will either change to move closer to who we are on the inside, or will move farther away from anything we recognize as a vision of ourselves. Yoga in its true essence is charged and defined by our movement but it is what happens beneath the surface that is the deeper part of the experience. Whether we have ten minutes to practice, or can lose ourselves on the mat for an hour, brand new or have been meeting the mat for years, there is something mystical that happens from the first time we close our eyes and draw in that deep breath. In that moment, we reconnect with a deeper layer of who we are. We remember and move closer to the idea of who it is we are meant to be. At Blue Yoga Nyla, we believe that yoga is more than “yoga selfies” and trick poses. We understand that there is a relationship to ourselves, and often a re-acquaintance with self that we are trying desperately to find. Making peace with our body and allowing space for a peaceful mind, ushers in a sole-to-soul connection. Closing the eyes, feeling the feet firmly planted and allowing the body to stand still in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) reminds us exactly who we are. A sole-to-soul contract strong enough to bring us back time and time again. Welcome Home. —Stacey Reynolds
3702 John F Kennedy Blvd. | North Little Rock 501-753-9100 | blueyoganyla.com MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL FOR MAY
10 Classes for $75 (Regularly $119) Just mention “Sole to Soul” to get the discount, we also have gift certificates to give to Mom. BYN OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE… ● Beginner level /Strong level classes offered ● Early morning classes before work ● Yoga body bootcamp | Kids yoga camps ● Private yoga therapy and private yoga classes ●●● 11 “Pay what you can” classes each week THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
The Guice family (from left): Violet, Brian, Archer and Kerry
NO FANCY EQUIPMENT NECESSARYâ€” JUST USE A MUFFIN PAN TO GET STARTED.
20 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
We love Lake Sylvia in Ouachita National Park!
CAMP COOKING How to eat like you’re not roughing it. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE
amping is in my blood. I’ve been spending summers swimming in lakes and roasting marshmallows over a fire since I could barely walk. One of the reasons I love Arkansas so much is that there are so many places to enjoy camping! Because our family goes so often, we’ve been able to compile checklists of exactly what to bring (and what not to bring), so our camping trips always go smoothly. We keep bins of supplies in a storage closet along with our tent, sleeping bags and chairs so that we don’t have to spend the entire week preparing to go away for 2-3 days. It’s a matter of emptying out the closet, filling up the ice chest, loading up the car, and heading out for a weekend adventure together! Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with hot dogs on a stick (it’s usually what we eat for lunch before heading home), but because cooking over an open fire isn’t something I get to do often, I like to make the most of the opportunity! Our camp dinners are always special. I buy several plastic picnic tablecloths at the dollar store when they’re available, and I keep them in our “camp kitchen bin.” We cover the table, and the kids pick wildflowers and place them in a cup for our centerpiece. I have a few smaller bins where I store my utensils, trash bags, foil, spices (pro tip: store spices in a stackable pill container to save space), dish and hand soap, etc. When you’re organized, it’s so much easier to feel like you’re in a real kitchen. My husband, Brian, builds the
fire while I prepare the food, and we don’t like to ever use any lighter fluid. We want to taste the food and the fire, and that’s it! On this trip, I decided to make some Citrus and Cilantro Marinated Chicken with Mexican Watermelon Salad, and some other grilled veggies (corn and zucchini). If you want to save yourself even more time, you can cut and marinate your meat at home, placing it all in a gallon zipped bag (double bag it for safety), and toss it in the cooler so it’ll be ready to go when you are! This meal is great with rice, too, and that is also something you can precook at home, pour into a sturdy container and bring it along with you! Watermelon is a summer staple at our house, and when we’re camping, you’re likely to find my son, Archer, exploring the woods behind our campsite, chomping on a giant slice of watermelon with its sweet, sticky juice dripping down his smiling face. A few summers ago, I became hooked on Watermelon Feta Salad with lemon and mint, and thought that the freshness of Mexican flavors would transfer perfectly. I was right, and now I prefer the updated recipe over the original. It’s such a fresh burst of flavor that matches the pleasant feeling of being outside! Eating well while camping is not hard to do, you just need to think ahead a little bit. Cooking over a campfire while sipping on a drink with my husband, watching our kids giggling in the hammock, all with no electronics in sight, makes this mom one happy camper!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
CITRUS AND CILANTRO MARINATED CHICKEN 2 chicken breasts and 6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into pieces about the size of the palm of your hand ¼ cup rice vinegar ¼ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon honey Juice and zest of 1 lime Juice and zest of 1 small orange ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 3-4 green onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalepeño, seeded and minced ½ teaspoon oregano ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper Place chicken in large zipped baggie. In medium bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients, then pour into the bag with the chicken and massage to thoroughly coat chicken. Let marinate at least 1 hour, or up to 6 hours. When your fire is ready for cooking, the flames will be low and the coals will look white and red. Place grill grate over the fire and let it get good and hot (I wait until this step to scrub the grate clean—it’s much easier to clean when it’s hot). Using a long pair of tongs, carefully lay all the chicken on the grill. Flip to cook on the other side when the meat easily comes off of the grill and you can see grill marks (if it sticks to the grill it’s not ready to flip). It should take about 7-9 minutes per side if the coals are just right. Squeeze lime juice over chicken before serving, and serve with grilled veggies and/or rice.
MEXICAN WATERMELON SALAD 4 cups of fresh watermelon, cut into chunks ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 1 lime, juice and zest 1 jalepeño, thinly sliced (optional) Pinch of salt, pepper and chili powder Carefully combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve chilled. Be sure not to assemble too far in advance, as the salt will draw the juice out of the melon.
22 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Come to our happy place.
DeGray Lake Resort is the place to get happy, whether it’s just the two of you, a family trip, or a large group. Fun activities for all, on water and land, comfy accommodations and great dining await you just a short drive away. Plan your breakaway today.
1-800-737-8355 • DEGRAY.com • I-30 Exit 78 at Arkadelphia
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
24 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Each May, we spotlight moms who are just joining the ranks of motherhood. Every mom's journey is so unique and can teach us so much, we love getting to hear the battle tales and about those precious moments of victory. Meet two new moms—Heather Smith and Ganelle Blake—who are finding their ways through new motherhood, and making it look easy! BY AMY GORDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
the Perfect Piece
After years of being on the fence about motherhood, all the pieces seemed to fall magically into place when Ganelle Blake welcomed baby Bronx into the world.
26 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
anelle Blake has always been surrounded by lots of family. She’s the youngest of four girls, is an aunt to several nieces and nephews and stepmom to three, so she didn’t bat an eye at the thought of bringing in another member to the Blake family. She and her husband, Charles, welcomed Bronx Giovanna Blake on Sept. 1, and couldn’t be more thrilled with their laidback daddy’s girl, who fit right into the Blake clan. Bringing a child into the world is not something to consider lightly, and Blake took her time to decide if she wanted to take the mommy plunge. “I did always know I wanted to be a mom, but around age 30, I started to question it because I didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary anymore,” Blake said. She had settled into the idea of, “If it happens great, if it doesn’t that’s OK,” when she and her husband got together and her ideas began to shift. “Charles and I had been best friends since high school—we met when we were 15. When it became clear that we were going to be together, and I was going to be a stepmom, I thought ‘OK, that was going to be it for kids,’ but having my stepkids around was eye opening, and I began to feel like it would be great to have a child together.” Blake’s three stepchildren were ages 3, 5 and 6 when she and Charles got together two years ago. “I went from it being just me and my dog to a family of four. It was incredible and busy, and the thing about it is, once you have three kids, one more is not anything. My stepkids have a great mom who is part of our family, so they are with us half the time and half with her,” Blake said. Now, as a family of five, Bronx has become the center of attention with everyone. “My stepkids love her. They don’t even notice me anymore, they see me and it’s just, ‘Where’s Bronx?’ They just want to kiss her and hold her all the time.” The kids aren’t the only ones in love with Bronx. Blake is so thankful she took the plunge into motherhood. “It’s been really surprising how much I love Bronx. I know it sounds cliché, but I didn’t know that love existed at this level. It’s a big responsibility to love that hard, and it’s scary almost,” she said. Blake’s pregnancy was complication-free, but her birth plan didn’t quite go as she planned. She had a C-section after 36 hours of labor, and ended up on bed rest when she brought Bronx home. “She just wouldn’t come out. I never prepared myself for that. I just knew I was going to push her out, and I didn’t. There were all these things I had prepared to do when I got home and I couldn’t. I couldn’t even sit up, but I did get to spend a lot of time just the two of us, which was nice. Charles cooked and cleaned and took care of everything so I could spend time with her,” Blake said. She also made a few changes career-wise in preparation of baby Bronx. “I started my own strategic consulting business, Giovanna Group, so I could do fundraising and consulting and stay home with Bronx,” she said.
This working mom was also just accepted to the Clinton School of Public Service, where she’ll study in the fall with the hopes of taking her consulting business global the following summer. She also makes time to stay involved with Junior League of Little Rock and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “My volunteer life and life in the community hasn’t changed much. The No. 1 way things have changed is in my relationship with my family. I’m much closer to my husband, sisters, nieces and nephews and mother- and father-in-law. Bronx is the glue that brought everyone together. My life is so much more fulfilling now, I wouldn’t change a minute of all the chaos for the world.”
(From left) Ethan Mosley, Amanda Oldham and Aden Mosley.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
try, Try Again
Heather Smith couldn’t ignore her calling to be a mom, which took several tries and an amazing amount of strength and determination.
eather Smith always wanted to be a mom; her journey was just a little more difficult than most. “I have always felt this maternal tug, which is odd because I’ve never really been around kids or babies. Calvin was only the third baby I’ve ever held, and the first diaper I’ve changed,” she said. Her wife, Sarah Ort, didn’t have the same maternal tug and, Smith said, was not as interested initially in having children. “In 2008, I started to get that itch, but Sarah had just started law school and said ‘Let’s table it for four years.’” The tugging feeling didn’t go away, and Smith started to worry about her age and the obstacles they’d have to overcome to get pregnant. “In our situation, it isn’t like you can just try every night. I started doing research and looking into what it was going to cost,” Smith said. The process ended up being more much technical that she initially expected. “I thought we’d just pick a donor from the sperm bank, but
28 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
that was not the case. The process of choosing a donor is much more technical. It’s a little like shopping for shoes though,” she joked. Smith would carry the baby, so the couple wanted to find a donor that had similar physical characteristics of Ort. “You pay for a monthly membership, then you pay more if you want to see pictures of the donors or get more information,” she explained. They also weighed their options when choosing between intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “IUI costs around $3,000 a try, and it takes about six of those to equal the cost of IVF, so we decided to roll the dice with IUI,” Smith said. The couple picked their first donor, but the IUI didn’t take. “I’m a very positive person, and each time we tried it I was thinking, ‘This is it!’ I was heartbroken each time it failed. Apparently it’s very hard to become pregnant. After every failed attempt I ate an entire pack of Oreos,” she said. The couple endured nine IUI failures, and came to a point of reexamining their journey to parenthood. “It was a hard conversation to have with Sarah about when we would call it quits. We thought about adoption, but I worried I would always have that internal tug if I didn’t have the baby. I just wasn’t sure it would fill what I was looking for,” she said. The two agreed to give it one last shot and roll the dice with an IVF attempt. Smith had to undergo a rigorous schedule of daily shots at the clinic for weeks in preparation for the procedure. “Going through IVF was very stressful. They kept saying to relax, but I couldn’t. I was just trying so hard. I knew it was our last shot,” she said. Smith began trying to become pregnant at age 35, and after her 10th and last attempt at age 37 she got the exciting news that she was pregnant. “I was in disbelief when I got the news. I waited for the lab tests to confirm it, then I went home and took a pregnancy test,” she said. The couple hadn’t told family members they were trying to get pregnant, so when they revealed the news that a baby was on the way, Smith said everyone was thrilled. “Our family was so supportive and excited for us. I think everyone in the community was surprised that I would be pregnant. Sarah is more feminine, and everyone thought she would be the one to take that road,” Smith said. Smith had a baby boy, Calvin, who is now 6 months old, and a permanent fixture at her retail shop, Domestic Domestic. She’s not ready to send him off to daycare just yet, so the quiet, happy guy accompanies her to work each morning before the two head home for naptime. “It’s nothing like what I expected,” Smith said. “My priorities since having Calvin have drastically changed. My advice to any new mom is to pay attention—its goes by so fast. I’m fortunate that I have this job and a strong staff to allow me to be present and mindful with him.”
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
JULY 10 - 14 and
Central Arkansas’ Premier Summer Arts and Technology Program
CHARTS Academy is the name of the former Arkansas Teen College. When The Center for Humanities for Arts (CHARTS) building opened last year, the program was renamed. The CHARTS building is equipped with a theater, black box theater, art studios and an art gallery, a performance/dance studio, music rooms, and state-of-the-art classroom technology – the perfect place for summer learning! This two-week summer program is designed for sixth to twelfth grade students who want to engage the arts, humanities, and technology. Classes are taught by experienced college faculty, many of whom are nationally known in their field. CLASSES OFFERED Superheroes on Film Video Game Design Advanced Video Game Design Digital Photography Creative Writing Workshop Hip Hop Dance Creating Characters with Makeup and Costumes
Dance Your Way to Broadway! Acting for Camera and Stage The Voice: Sing Your Way to Broadway! Film Advanced Film The Art of Paper
Vocal Technique Advanced Vocal Technique The Study of the Undead and Supernatural Manga and Comic Character Design Create a Graphic Novel
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER ONLINE, GO TO: WWW.PULASKITECH.EDU/CHARTS_ACADEMY
Morning and afternoon sessions are available. Students may choose to attend part of the day or all day. Programs are for rising 6th graders through high school seniors. $198 for two weeks of half days (morning or afternoon sessions) OR $396 for two weeks of full days (both morning and afternoon sessions) A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due with each application.
Application and Full Payment Deadline: JUNE 30, 2017.
For full class descriptions and the application form, visit www.pulaskitech.edu/charts_academy/.
3000 West Scenic Drive • North Little Rock, AR 72118
Now is the time to choose you. We are thankful for all you moms out there. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
Call or visit us online today to schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation and learn more about how you can love your smile!
D R . B RYA N HILL ER | DR. N ATALIA HO DGE
30 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
WORKING ON A FAMILY
Sometimes, building a family is not easy for every couple. Infertility can cause emotional distress, but luckily treatment is advancing. BY DWAIN HEBDA
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
here may be no more taboo issue than a couple struggling with issues of fertility. Of the many stressors that can enter into a marriage, difficulty conceiving or carrying a child to term is all too often a burden people carry alone and isolated. “When you think of the natural life cycle, you grow up, you get married and have a baby, or nowadays you may have a baby without marriage, right? Then you have grandchildren and then you die,” said Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, director of reproductive endocrinology at UAMS. “When you interrupt that, it really brings people to a halt. Emotionally it is very taxing for them, because when you look at the stress levels and the grieving process that people go through, it is on line with the death of a loved one. It’s that significant.” The National Infertility Association defines the condition as the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth, the inability to conceive
after one year of unprotected intercourse or, in women over age 35, after six months of unprotected intercourse. One in eight couples has difficulty getting pregnant, and while media reports usually frame the issue as primarily for women, statistics show it’s an equal opportunity problem. One-third of fertility issues lie with the male partner, one-third with the female and one-third a combination of problems from both partners or as simply unexplained in origin. In some cases, infertility can be experienced as a result of waiting to start a family. As the Pew Research Center reported in a 2015 article, birth rates traditionally dip during economic down periods when many parents feel it’s financially not the right time to have a baby. Strides in the workplace and in education have also caused many women to put off starting a family in favor of a career. These and other delays can run afoul of Mother Nature. “No. 1 is, we are waiting longer to have children, and so consequently more people need fertility treatment because they’re not having children in their 20s or in their teens,” Richard-Davis said. “It’s not unusual for me to see women who are mid-30s, late 30s, early 40s trying to have a baby. The fertility rate at that point is on the decline, so there is more of a need for fertility services.” Despite the commonality of the problem, it remains one of the deepest secrets in society, Richard-Davis said. “A lot of couples don’t want other people to know that this is something that they’re dealing with. I have patients who don’t want their employers to know,” she said. “It is definitely still something
“ONE IN EIGHT COUPLES HAS DIFFICULTY GETTING PREGNANT.” that people feel either ashamed of or stigmatized by.” Medical science has given many of these couples hope. The NIA reported that among women who sought medical help for infertility, 65 percent gave birth, but it also reported less than half of women with infertility sought such treatment. “I think that people are more aware; they may not be talking about it, but it’s everywhere, right?” Richard-Davis said. “It’s there, the information is there, but whether or not people choose to initiate care is a little bit different story.” Those who do seek medical help find a broad range of treatment options at their physician’s disposal, from a simple pill to increasingly complicated procedures. Richard-Davis said the range of treatments available has become so extensive that it sometimes has a curious deterrent effect on couples. “There are so many [treatment] options that it can be a maze for couples trying to make this decision,” Richard-Davis said. “Sometimes your decision is made based on your religious beliefs. If you
32 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
“MEDICAL SCIENCE HAS GIVEN MANY OF THESE COUPLES HOPE.” can’t have your own genetically linked child, the child can be linked to one of you because we have donor eggs, we have donor sperm, we have donor hosts, we have surrogacy. “There are lots of options, the question is whether or not it’s an acceptable option to the couple and whether it’s an affordable option for the couple.” On balance, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports between 85 and 90 percent of cases are treated with surgical procedures or drug therapy, the latter of which is today much easier to administer and offers few side effects, although the risk of multiple births increases with its use. “What’s easier is, we have fertility meds and we have more options in terms of what we can use,” Richard-Davis said. “When we move into the tiers of injectable medication, it used to be shots that women had to do intramuscular, they had to mix it with a diluent and a powder and multiple vials to get the dose that you wanted. Now it’s simply dialing the dose in a pen, almost like an EpiPen, and you inject it in.” According to the ASRM, fewer than 3 percent of patients require advanced reproductive services such as in vitro fertilization whereby a woman’s egg is removed, fertilized in the lab, then replaced in her uterus. Here, too, science has improved the process to help boost success rates. “When we started out, the success rate of IVF was largely dependent on two things; the woman’s age and the quality of the laboratory,” Richard-Davis said. “Our laboratories have gotten a lot better with regards to fertilization rates.
WHAT’S ‘NORMAL?’ When you’re struggling to have a baby, it can seem like everyone around you is getting pregnant and doing so on the first try. However, even under ideal conditions, the process of conception can take a little more, um, “work.” The National Women’s Health Resource Center reports a couple with normal-functioning reproductive systems at the peak fertility ages of between 29 and 33 still have only a 20 to 25 percent chance of conceiving naturally in any given month. It’s commonly known that men can father children well past middle age, but time is not on a woman’s side. Health.com reports by age 40 the chance of getting pregnant naturally drops to 5 percent in any given month and by age 44, to just 1 percent.
“The other thing is we have more success with culturing embryos, and that has translated into higher pregnancy rates per cycle. We’ve seen that climb from mid 20 percent [success rate] to low 40 percent.” Combating infertility isn’t cheap; entry-level drug therapy commonly costs around $1,000 and injectables between $1,500 and $3,000, per cycle. In vitro fertilization procedures run in excess of $10,000, which may or may not be tempered by insurance. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t cover such treatments at all. “A huge issue is out-of-pocket expense,” Richard-Davis said. “Employers, Medicaid and some of the marketplace plans may or may not cover any of the services related to fertility because, unfortunately, people still view it like it is elective.” Richard-Davis said such thinking is not only short-sighted, it fails to grasp the emotional and quality of life issues that a child fulfills in completing a family unit. “Even in a country like China where they used to have the one-child rule, if you couldn’t have a child, they would pay for IVF because they felt like it was important for you to fill that need for a child,” she said. “When you look at family values or when we talk about family values [having a child] is very important.”
Messtival Enjoy a day full of creating ooey, gooey, slimey messes that you can’t make at home!
a.m. - 3 p. Saturday, May 20; 10
Included in regular admission: $10 for adults; $8 for children 12 and under; free for members and under one
Save the date: Kevin Delaney Day Saturday, May 6
museum ofdiscovery THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
MAKE BEDTIME A DREAM
If the kids are awake, Mom and Dad probably are, too. Get into a good bedtime groove, and know how to identify bigger problems, so everyone can get a good night’s sleep. BY KD REEP
he adage, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” most likely came about because her child wouldn’t sleep at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a baby’s sleep-wake cycle begins to develop at about 6 weeks, and by 3 to 6 months most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle. By the age of 2, most children have spent more time asleep than awake. But, when your child doesn’t sleep, it can feel like your dream child has become a nightmare. To help both you and your little one get some sound shut-eye, the first step is to understand how much sleep is enough sleep. “In youth over the age of 2, the easiest way to determine bedtime is to utilize a week-long vacation in which they go to bed at the same time every night, and you allow them to sleep in as long as they need,” said Wendy L. Ward, Ph.D., associate director of the section of pediatric psychology at UAMS College of Medicine and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “Kids may sleep a long time the first few days to ‘catch up’ on missed sleep, but by the end of the week, they should have a fairly consistent wake-up time. Once you have the number of hours they typically need, you can determine the bedtime by working back from when they must arise for school. It’s important to also note that in times of stress or illness, they’ll need more sleep.” According to Dr. Ward, there are several ways you can help your little ones get to sleep. First, develop a routine before bed that will cue the body for bedtime. This can be a shower, brushing teeth, getting in their pajamas, reading for 10 minutes, then lights out. “Routines can be different for different children,” she said. “Some children only need 30 minutes, but others may need 60 or 90 minutes to facilitate sleep onset. Any electronic screens like TV, video games, computers and smart phones will excite the brain, so be sure to avoid their use one to two hours before bed.” If you have set up a routine but continue to have problems with your child sleeping fitfully, you can use lower-wattage light bulbs to help. Something to keep in mind is to limit (or avoid alto-
34 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
gether) caffeine as it can stay in a child’s system up to 10 hours. Once children are asleep, they will experience—on average—five sleep cycles each evening just like adults. This will have them wake up, roll over and fall back to sleep. Returning to sleep within a few seconds to minutes is normal. However, children who wake up for prolonged periods should be taught self-soothing techniques to assist in getting back to sleep by themselves. Discourage them from turning on lights, walking around and playing as this will wake them up—and keep them up—even more. Work with them to feel secure with the lights off, learn to breathe deeply and think of happy and fun things. “If your child is having nightmares or night terrors, go to them, ask them to explain the dream and reassure them that you will protect them,” Dr. Ward said. “There are other tips for dealing with sleep problems at the Center for Effective Parenting that can help.” Dr. Ward also explains that allowing children to sleep with you in your bed seems like a fast and easy solution, but it can cause more problems. “Co-sleeping can build the expectation with children that there will be someone in the bed with them while they go to sleep, and this can be a significant problem if they transition to sleeping alone as they get older,” she said. “It also can create more awakenings and disrupted sleep.” Following these guidelines should help soothe your child, give him independence and help you get some much-needed and deserved rest. However, if you continue to have problems, get some help for your family. “If your child isn’t asleep within 10 minutes to a half hour after going to bed, consult a sleep psychology specialist and/or sleep physician,” Dr. Ward said. “An interprofessional team like the one at Arkansas Children’s Hospital can help as we treat more than 14 sleep disorders and conditions for infants, toddlers, young children and adolescents.”
UAMS NICU REUNION
An event connecting generations of families and the medical staff who helped them through the early, most fragile stage of life. BY DWAIN HEBDA PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
FOR MEDICAL SCIENCES
my Garrett, staff educator for clinical programs for the women and infant service line, has been a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse at UAMS for nine years, and like any of the special breed of caregivers that tend to the tiniest and most fragile of infants, her work is deeply personal. So when UAMS launched an NICU reunion event in 2012, it was a chance to see the babies that she had come to consider uniquely “hers.” “We have primary nursing here at UAMS; if you’re a primary nurse you take care of that patient every time you’re on shift,” Garrett said. “I have some of my primary babies that I really look forward to seeing every year. It’s fun watching them grow; you remember when they were a pound and a half, two pounds and now they’re these thriving 5and 6-year-olds running around and having a blast. It just means a lot.” “I have families that make it a point to say, ‘I’m coming to see you.’ That really touches my heart. It’s something that I look forward to on a personal level because you do form bonds with these families when taking care of their babies for sometimes months, absolutely.” Garrett was so sold on the idea that she’s been on the planning committee for every one of the NICU reunions, and is in her second straight year co-chairing the event. She said the get-together, which some years hosts upward of 400 people, serves as an important touchstone for patient families. “We have families that come every year; they come from all areas of the state and sometimes even as far away as Texas and Oklahoma. It means that much to them,” she said. “We have a good mixture of people. We’ve had preemies who are now 16 or 18 years old come to our reunion, which is awesome. “We’ve even had families whose babies are in the NICU currently that come down and check it out and see what it’s all about, and they get really fired up about coming after their baby is discharged and goes home. They’re excited about coming back the next year.” The event will follow a superhero theme, provide plenty of mingle time with other families, physicians and NICU staff, and impart information on a range of health topics. “It’s not just a party that we’re celebrating, although we do that,” Garrett said. “We also provide educational opportunities for these families, not just the in-patient ones that are currently here, but ones that are coming back. We provide continuing education on safe sleep, car seat safety, breastfeeding support and shaken baby syndrome. All those things that are still pertinent to these families.”
(Above) Brian Kinder of Kindersongs sings and interacts with NICU graduates.
(Above)Seventeen-month-old Talyn Addison Farris (center) sits with her parents, Talya and Antonio, while enjoying a bag of Vanilla Wafers. She was born at 26 weeks and spent 103 days in the NICU. (Below)Braylen, 10 months, wears a Batman cape during the superhero-themed event. He was born at 27 weeks and spent 155 days in the hospital.
The seventh annual UAMS NICU reunion will be held Sat., May 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the UAMS hospital lobby area. For more information, log on to facebook.com/UAMSNICUReunion.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
INSPIRED BY LOSS, BORN OF LOVE
Sarah Adams’ organization, Mamie’s Poppy Plates, seeks to fill a small void for parents who have lost.
BY DWAIN HEBDA
here are times Sarah Adams doesn’t know how to feel; days when things weigh heavier than normal. Mamie’s here, as usual, as clear and present as a tug at her daddy’s sleeve, or the joyful choir of her younger siblings, or the ink on her mother’s very skin spelling her out in graceful swirling script. But some days, Sarah’s firstborn shifts from her perch over Mama’s shoulder to drag at her heart instead. “Death in general is a taboo subject, but death of a child, people don’t want to talk about it,” Sarah said. “One instance I remember so well, being at Home Depot and seeing somebody and they literally saw me and turned on their heels. “Truthfully, I don’t know why they didn’t want to come see me; it’s kind of like everybody starts avoiding you. It’s a lot of mixed emotions.” It’s been nearly nine years since that horrible day, the day they couldn’t find Mamie’s heartbeat during a routine checkup just around the corner from Sarah’s delivery date. “They took me straight to [CHI] St. Vincent and started the in-
36 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
duction, and we had her 12 hours later,” she said. “They took such good care of us, and we had all this time to spend with Mamie and just love on her. They didn’t make us rush or anything like that.” It’s funny what one remembers about the worst day of one’s life, like the spotless baby seat strapped into the car on the ride home, or the awful stillness of the pristine nursery at home still waiting to be filled. “You feel extremely alone and lost,” Sarah said. “Mamie was already this huge part of our lives. Just because she wasn’t here didn’t mean that she didn’t exist. I carried her for nine months, but it doesn’t matter if you carry them for 12 weeks, they are part of you.” Sarah’s older sister, Britney Spees, came close to an emotional breakdown when she heard the news. Then she got mad. “It was kind of like mama bear mode,” Britney said. “I’m a doer, so I just got into doing mode [for Sarah and her husband, Taylor] even though I knew that it wasn’t going to be any easier on them. I knew I couldn’t fix anything.”
A few weeks later, Britney turned to looking for opportunities through her church, her neighborhood, anything to turn smoldering grief into something positive for someone. “Sarah came to me in the early spring of 2010 and she said, ‘I have this idea. What do you think?’” she said. “It was like God said, ‘Here you go.’” Sarah stumbled upon a Christmas ornament she had bought for Mamie, which had a space for the baby’s handprints. That spawned the idea to provide plates as a keepsake for parents facing the same horrible loss. When a baby died, nurses would apply paint to the child’s hands and feet, make an imprint and give it to the parents who in their time took it to a local kiln, which finished it. “I know it sounds weird, but we had a really good experience as far as the hospital and how we were treated and taken care of,” Sarah said. “I thought, what if we could do something like this for families at St. Vincent.” A 2009 fundraiser to launch Mamie’s Poppy Plates, held on Mamie’s first birthday, raised an unexpected amount of money—enough to immediately take the ministry to multiple hospitals. “It was definitely God pushing us out of our comfort zone and letting us know that there was more in the works than just this one little idea that we had to help St. Vincent,” Sarah said. In time, the sisters would discover decal paper that eliminated the need for hospitals to inventory and ship the fragile plates, opening the door to expansion. The ministry grew like a potato vine; at last count, 50 hospitals in seven states accounted for 550 plates last year, with 2017 trending even higher than that. “Families who experience this loss move, and nurses move, and they talk about this to other hospitals,” Britney said. “Then those hospitals want plates. They reach out to us.” There are times Sarah doesn’t know how to feel: delighted the organization reaches so many grieving families, devastated there are so many grieving families to reach. She just knows it’s what she’s here to do. “It’s been really, really healing for me to pour my time and energy into this,” she said. “Mamas that have lost babies, children, whatever, we want to hear their name. And I get to hear [Mamie’s] all the time. “It’s a club nobody wants to be in. But for us to rally around each other, and be there for the moms and dads that have to experience this loss and let them know that they’re not alone has been really cool. And, it’s our way of taking care of Mamie. She’s very busy.” Mamie’s Poppy Plates will hold its annual fundraiser, Race to Remember, May 13 at War Memorial Stadium. Registration includes participation in the certified 5K, food, drinks and lots of fun. Party begins at 4 p.m., balloon release is at 5:30 p.m., and race begins at 6 p.m. For more information log on to mamiespoppyplates.com.
Race to Remember at War Memorial Stadium.
(From left) Britney Spees and Sarah Adams, founders of Mamie’s Poppy Plates. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
AASPECIAL SPECIALSAVVY SAVVYADVERTISING ADVERTISINGSECTION SECTION
Meet the people who are providing care, legal guidance, uplifting the community, coaching, delivering babies and more in Central Arkansas. These are leaders who work hard to make a difference, and to enhance the lives of local families. They help our community to thrive through their work, and are eager to meet you!
38 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACE OF PEDIATRIC THERAPY Change happens everywhere we turn these days. We choose to “be the change we want to see!” Sometimes unexpected turns even lead to health care needs for our children. After serving and supporting families and children in the Central Arkansas area for 24 years, Allied Therapy truly understands how to provide for these needs. Our experienced staff—along with our non-profit partners, Beyond Boundaries Therapeutic Riding Center and Leaping Beyond Sports Camps—offers evidenced-based therapy models and alternative activities to meet these challenges. Partnering with our community, we are committed to bringing passion with our knowledge through home visits, clinics, mentoring opportunities, clinical research and programs at outreach locations. ALLIED THERAPY 5532 JFK BLVD, NORTH LITTLE ROCK, 501-588-3211 1500 WILSON LOOP RD., WARD ALLIED-THERAPY.COM Pictured: Cal Hardaway THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACE OF MODERN LEGAL SERVICES Meeting the demands of a changing economy, Victoria “Tori” Leigh’s revolutionary approach to legal representation is perceptive, much needed and very successful! Leigh Law PLLC’s flat fees, payment plans, programs such as the “One Stop Shop” for divorcing couples, à la carte options, and hybrid legal-mediation services provide affordable, custom representation and are reshaping the legal face of Arkansas. The all or nothing, hourly retainer “blank check” approach is obsolete, too costly and unnecessary for most clients. As a licensed attorney and certified mediator, Tori runs the most innovative general practice in Central Arkansas representing clients on a myriad of issues ranging from divorce, family issues, and criminal issues to consumer protection, debt collection defense, small business formation & litigation, and real estate issues. LEIGH LAW NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501-227-ROAR (7627) LEIGH-LAW.COM Pictured: Victoria Leigh and daughter, Lilli 40 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACE OF DOULA SUPPORT Nicolle S. Fletcher founded Birth by Design Birth and Postpartum Services in August 2012, when she saw a need for birth support services in her hometown. As a resident of Conway, and certified doula since 2010, she spent most of her days traveling I-40 to support women giving birth in a city different from her own. It is her firm belief that women should be able to have amazing birth experiences in the city they live in, with a team of support professionals near the client’s own home. What started as one professional woman making a difference has rapidly grown to a team of 16 women with offices in Conway and Little Rock, providing supportive care throughout Central Arkansas. Birth by Design offers labor and birth doula support, postpartum doula support, placenta encapsulation, childbirth classes and Dancing for Birth classes. My motto: “Birth is better together.” BIRTH BY DESIGN 813 PARKWAY ST., CONWAY 13401 CHENAL PARKWAY, LITTLE ROCK 501-504-6994 BIRTHBYDESIGNDOULAS.COM Pictured: Nicolle Fletcher THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACE OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LITTLE ROCK Junior League of Little Rock (JLLR) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Funds raised by development events help support our community projects like Stuff the Bus, which gives backpacks to more than 3,000 LRSD students annually. JLLR has been the driving force behind initiatives and institutions that make our community a more vital place to live including the Arkansas Arts Center, Riverfest, the Museum of Discovery and many more. The work of JLLR is accomplished by its more than 1,000 members, and applications for the 2017-2018 New Member year are currently being accepted. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a member, please visit jllr.org/join. The application deadline is June 15. THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LITTLE ROCK 401 SCOTT ST., LITTLE ROCK 501-375-5557, JLLR.ORG 42 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Sustainer membership of the Junior League of Little Rock plays an important role within the organization. Incoming Sustainer Advisor Wendy Saer (pictured above) will assist the 2017/18 board.
(Standing from left) Incoming 2017/18 Board Members: Allison Drennon, Maradyth McKenzie, Patricia Opitz, Deanna Ray, Natalie Hairston, Dana Coburn, Vontifany Smith, Whitney Homan (Seated from left) Kristen Bextermueller, Sabrina Lewellen, Kimberly Logue. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACES OF MENTAL HEALTH Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, situations and scenarios. None of us are immune to our emotions, and few of us can make it through alone. The BridgeWay has helped thousands of Arkansans with behavioral, emotional and addictive issues through evidence-based medicine from the best physicians and clinicians in the state. As the pioneer behavioral health system in Arkansas, The BridgeWay has touched the lives of children, adolescents, adults and seniors in so many ways. With empathy and an unwavering dedication to people, The BridgeWay is truly the face of mental health treatment in Arkansas. THE BRIDGEWAY HOSPITAL 21 BRIDGEWAY ROAD NORTH LITTLE ROCK 800-245-0011 THEBRIDGEWAY.COM
CLOCKWISE FROM MAX: Max, 66 years old: Upon suddenly losing his wife to cancer, Max was distraught and didn’t know how to handle her loss until he came to The BridgeWay. “They restored my ability to cope with change, and rebuild my life.” Molly, 29 years old: Molly suffered from anxiety and depression, so much so that she was unable to work. “The staff at The BridgeWay showed me how to care for myself and my mental health. Now my life has a greater meaning.” Michelle, 32 years old: Since high school, it seemed Michelle had battled addiction. And then she called The BridgeWay. “Once I hit rock bottom, they helped me overcome my issues. It was hard work-it still is-but it’s worth it.”
44 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Charlie, 6 years old: Almost as soon as his parents separated, Charlie had a hard time at home and school, and began acting out to the point of playing with matches. “Things are better now and I’m not in trouble any more.” Carla, 17 years old: Before she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Carla knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. “I have learned so much about myself, my feelings, since being at The BridgeWay. Through group, I now have more friends than before.” Derrick, 38: After his deployment, Derrick had difficulty sleeping and adapting to life on base. “I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t come to The BridgeWay. I’m back on track!”
Ashley, 26 years old: Following several life crises, Ashley began to withdraw from family and friends. When a friend learned of Ashley’s plans to end her life, she called The BridgeWay. “I feel like my whole life, there were times when I just felt sad and I didn’t know why, and then it just got worse. The staff at The BridgeWay saved my life.” Mary: Throughout nursing school, until completing an internship at The BridgeWay, Mary didn’t consider working for a psychiatric hospital. “I’ve been working at The BridgeWay since graduation and can’t imagine working anyplace else.”
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
THE FACE OF CHEER COACHING At Empire we don’t just teach cheerleading. Our goal is to change the lives of children through building pride, courage and confidence in each athlete and family we serve. From serving athletes with special needs to those who are college-bound, we seek to take each athlete where they are, as they come, and facilitate growth and progression both athletically and intrinsically. Empire literally started in my garage with a small vision to help a few girls through tryouts. Nearly three years later, our 30 staff members are serving more than 850 athletes each week in classes and on teams, both in public and private school settings. With a dream to not be the largest program around—but to serve those who walk in our doors each day—there’s never been a better time to Join the Empire. EMPIRE CHEERLEADING 3524 ALCOA ROAD, BENTON 501-574-6078 EMPIRECHEERLEADING.COM Pictured: Brooke Plack THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017
bag check THIS REBOZO HAS SO MANY USES. IT’S GREAT TO HELP OPTIMIZE FETAL POSITIONING AND I ALSO USE IT AS A HEAD WRAP OR DAB SOME ESSENTIAL OILS IN IT TO HELP CALM A MOM DURING LABOR.
I LIKE NUDE SHADES OF LIP COLOR AND THIS ONE HAS SOME SPARKLE!
I CARRY GLASSES FOR MY VISION AND FOR READING BECAUSE I REFUSE TO WEAR BIFOCALS! I’M AN ESSENTIAL OIL REP AND USE THEM ALL THE TIME. THEY ARE GREAT FOR HEADACHES, TO MOTIVATE, HELP SET THE ATMOSPHERE AND RELAX MOMS IN LABOR.
PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH/STYLING: MANDY KEENER
I’M IN AND OUT OF HOSPITALS A LOT, SO HAND SANITIZER IS A MUST.
NICOLLE FLETCHER NICOLLE FLETCHER IS A NATIVE OF SAN DIEGO. SHE AND HER FAMILY— HUSBAND, PHILLIP, AND CHILDREN, NICOLLUS, 18, NAJEE’, 16, AND NICHELLE, 15—MOVED TO CENTRAL ARKANSAS IN 2007. FLETCHER RECEIVED A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN SOCIAL RELATIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE, AND BECAME A CERTIFIED DOULA IN LITTLE ROCK IN FEBRUARY 2010. HER FAMILY FOUNDED THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION CITY OF HOPE OUTREACH TO PROMOTE HOLISTIC COMMUNITY RENEWAL IN UNDER-RESOURCED AREAS OF CONWAY. AFTER WORKING AS A DOULA IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS, FLETCHER SAW A NEED FOR A STRONGER PRESENCE OF BIRTH WORKERS IN CONWAY AND FOUNDED BIRTH BY DESIGN BIRTH SERVICES IN 2012.
46 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
why should I get a checkup every year? because being a dad isn’t all fun and games I like having a doctor who knows my history it motivates me to try to maintain my health establishing a baseline is important as I get older I can’t take care of my family if I don’t take care of myself because together we’re healthier
The more people depend on you, the more important it is to pay attention to your health. So make getting an annual wellness checkup a priority. Let us help you find a doctor today. Learn more at chistvincent.com
Primary Care | Specialty Clinics | Urgent Care | Hospitals | Home Health | Rehabilitation | Surgery Centers THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2017 47
Get the help you need while you carry on with your life. Are you struggling with depression, alcohol, prescription medications or other drugs?
Call TODAY. W
Confidential As available 24/7 at
We now offer a daily treatment program for adults from 9am to 2pm so your daily life can continue. • • • • • • • • • • • •
Two week day program for adults Monday-Friday 9am-2pm 4 Hours of Therapy Sessions Daily Medication Management by Team Psychiatrist Lunch & Refreshments included Confidential Recreational Activities Assessments available 24/7 at no charge Guided Journaling Life Skills Seminar Individual Case Management & Aftercare Plan Transportation Provided to Neighboring Cities Referrals for Follow Up Support The Joint Commission Top Performer Insurance/private pay
Call TODAY. We can help.
on Key Quality Measures 2013 MAY 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
100 Rivendell Dr. | Benton
Most insurances accepted including Medicare, Tricare, BCBS, UBH, Ambetter and Private Option.
The Joint C on Key Qu