How can physical therapy benefit moms?

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How can physical therapy benefit moms? That is an excellent question, and Tri-County’s physical therapy team is here to answer it! Pregnancy is one of the toughest challenges a woman can face. It comes with many rewards, but it undeniably strains the body. Working with a dedicated team of physical therapists can make the journey to motherhood so much easier.

“Women’s Health physical therapy is focused on caring for you during both your pregnancy and post-partum journey. In physical therapy, we can help reduce pain, improve mobility, prevent injury, and keep you feeling strong during pregnancy and get you back to doing the things you love postpartum.” – Kayli Mollberg, DPT

For the expecting mother, we offer these services:

  • Mobility maintenance
  • Body mechanics training to reduce strain on the neck and lower back
  • Pressure management to reduce the risk of urinary leakage or prolapse
  • Core engagement to support a growing belly and improve recovery after giving birth
  • Early education on postpartum precautions
  • Proper breathing techniques
  • Aquatic therapy for reduced pressure through joints

Postpartum care

Our care doesn’t end after pregnancy. The body still has much healing to do, and physical therapy at Tri-County Health Care can assess and treat a wide range of issues stemming from pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, postpartum services include:

  • Early postpartum mobility management
  • Pelvic floor activation for improved strength and preventing incontinence and prolapse
  • Postural education and body mechanics
  • Reestablishing coordination of breath control and muscle activation
  • Scar tissue mobility (grade 1-4 tearing)

Incontinence

Some mothers experience issues with bladder and bowel control during and after pregnancy. This is a problem that many find too difficult or embarrassing to discuss but should be addressed by the proper care team. Physical therapy is once again here to help. They have several techniques and exercises that can alleviate and, in some cases, completely stop the problem. Remember, incontinence is not a normal condition for any age group, so make sure to seek help from trained specialists if you suffer from these issues.

To better understand incontinence, please watch the video below. It provides valuable and fascinating information on how the human body processes waste.

How can physical therapy benefit moms? Of course, the answer is at Tri-County Health Care. For more information on physical therapy, please visit TCHC.org. For scheduling an appointment, please call 218-631-3510. Remember to follow Tri-County Health Care on social media for regular updates.


Yoga and the quest for pregnancy calm

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The benefits of regular yoga are well known and well documented. This fun exercise method has grown in popularity over the years by offering a simple way to condition the body and mind without expensive exercise equipment or gym memberships.

Calm the mind and body

Pam Doebbeling, RN, has made yoga a regular part of her fitness routine for over 30 years. Pam discovered yoga while in college, long before its explosion in popularity. She immediately loved it and now teaches regular pre/postnatal yoga classes at Tri-County Health Care. She is a certified yoga instructor and is accustomed to working with a wide range of skill levels.

“Most people think yoga is just stretching, but it really brings mind and body together.” – Pam Doebbeling

Yoga and its benefits

A yoga session with Pam is a fantastic workout. It doesn’t take long to work up a sweat, but more importantly, it calms the mind. Yoga is an opportunity to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of the world and center yourself in tranquility. People often leave a session with Pam feeling the calming effects of yoga.

Classes with Pam are fun and beginner-friendly. Participants won’t find themselves on the floor struggling to contort their bodies. According to Pam, sessions center on what you can do. Moves can be modified to fit your skill level.

Getting ready for birth

Yoga is an excellent tool for preparing the body for birth. Yoga helps with the physical aspect of stretching the ligaments associated with childbirth. Overall, it keeps the body nimble while introducing important breathing techniques that aid with relaxation. It’s also an opportunity to meet other moms eagerly awaiting their due date.

Pam’s favorite pose

The tree is Pam's favorite yoga pose.

Maintaining balance is tough but it is one of the most exhilarating poses.

After 30 years of attempting nearly every pose in the book, Pam’s favorite move is the tree pose. She explained that it is challenging to balance, but you feel a rush of power over your surroundings when the pose is achieved. She also enjoys the pigeon because it stretches the hips.

Signing up

Pre/postnatal classes are completely free. They take place in the Browne Family Board Room at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena. Class sizes are typically small and may have COVID occupancy limits. Dates are listed below.

  • Sep 15, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Oct 6, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Oct 20, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov 3, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov 17, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec 1, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec 15, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

September is National Yoga Month, so if you’re pregnant and looking for a way to maintain your health, please register with Pam by calling 218-639-3689.


Breastfeed better with Sarah Riedel

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August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! A great time to brush up on the age-old practice that has many first-time mothers a little nervous. I’m here to help! So, take a deep breath and let’s go over a few things so you can breastfeed with ease.

Breastfeeding can be difficult, especially in your first week and if it’s your first baby. With the first baby, neither one of you knows what to do! If you can make it through the first seven to ten days, breastfeeding becomes a lot easier. The process becomes even more natural once you have a little practice. Educate yourself before the baby comes. Watch videos, read from credible sources and meet with our prenatal educators. This process has been shown to reduce anxiety in expecting mothers.

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breastfeed mothers Tri-County Health Care

The challenges of breastfeeding

First off, I have mothers who put baby to breast and when they don’t immediately latch on, they say, “Oh, I guess he’s not hungry.” Babies need a little stimulation to get them to latch on. Sometimes we need to let the baby wake up a bit first. Even then, they may not latch right away, and if they do, they might not stay latched for long. Most first-time mothers think they are doing something wrong when the baby latches and unlatches multiple times. This is totally normal!

Second, new mothers think that they aren’t making enough milk or that the baby is starving. With colostrum, the amount is very small, sometimes only a few drops per feeding. When the baby is at the breast, you cannot see how much milk the baby is getting. If the mother is pumping, they often become discouraged with only a few drops after a lot of work. Again, this is normal.  I try to make sure moms’ expectations are realistic to start. When they begin pumping, I explain they will likely only get a few drops or a teaspoonful.  If we get more than that, it is a gift. TCHC now offers donor breastmilk if the mother truly doesn’t think she has enough milk and chooses to supplement her baby.

You can do it!

So many mothers think that they can’t make milk at all. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I’d be a rich woman. The female body is made to produce milk. That is the sole biological purpose of your breasts! You CAN do it!  A good sign that your body is getting ready to make milk is if your breasts change during pregnancy. You might see them get fuller, bigger, heavier, and more sensitive and translucent (you can see the veins better).

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

Breastmilk has antibodies that help protect your baby from bacteria and viruses. They are healthier babies if you breastfeed. Mothers who breastfeed have lower rates of breast, cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure later in life. Breastfeeding burns calories, so it becomes a nice workout for the mother to get back to their goal weight faster.

What are some of your tips for better breastfeeding?

If you know someone who has breastfed in the past, please utilize them when you feel low about your success. Tri-County Health Care has a Certified Lactation Counselor and an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant here to assist you as well. Enlist your partner for additional support! Write down your reasons for wanting to breastfeed your baby, and if the going gets rough, reread your reasons.

The sooner you put the baby to breast, the better, ideally, within the first hour of life. We put the baby to breast any time they are showing hunger cues. If they are crying to be fed, we missed a lot of cues along the way. Usually, babies start mouthing or smacking their lips. After that, they bring their hands to their mouth. Crying is a very late cue.

When your nipples have stimulation, it causes a surge of a hormone in your body called prolactin. If you have more prolactin surges in the early days of breastfeeding, you will have a better milk supply weeks out. More breastfeeding equals more milk!

Small breasts do not mean you will have difficulty feeding your baby; that is a myth! Smaller breasts do not have as much capacity as large breasts, so you might need to feed your baby a little more often.

Keeping your baby close can really help on your breastfeeding journey. When a baby is skin-to-skin with a mom, it stimulates them and wakes them up more. I call this “putting baby in the BREAST-aurant.” This will help them wake up and put an order in. Being on mom’s chest is the closest they can get to where they came from. This is soothing to them.

We’re here to help!

Sarah Riedel wants to help you breastfeed better.

To learn more about obstetrics and birthing services, please visit TCHC.org. Call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment and follow Tri-County Health Care on Facebook for regular updates.

About the author: Sarah Riedel

Sarah has been working with Tri-County Health Care for almost three decades. She has personally facilitated hundreds of births and is passionate about helping parents through the birthing process. Helping mothers breastfeed is a special point of interest for her. She also works with Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies and assists with milk donations.


Caring for children from the very start

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Establishing a primary care provider is beneficial for people of all ages. Providers develop relationships with their patients to aid preventative care and treatment. For many providers, their passion lies in caring for children from the very start.

Dr. Julie Meyer, Julie Meyer M.D., Tri-County Health Care, caring for patients, caring for children, obstetrics, pregnancy, pregnant, birth, delivery, doctor, Wadena

The importance of prenatal care

For Julie Meyer, M.D., caring for expecting mothers and their children was her passion and the reason for pursuing a career in medicine. She has been practicing family medicine and delivering babies for 20 years. Having an extensive background in obstetrics has allowed her to provide expert care for her patients throughout their entire pregnancy.

Dr. Meyer works with her patients as early as possible. That often means before they conceive. She discussed the importance of taking prenatal vitamins and having a conversation about things to avoid while attempting to get pregnant. “We want the baby to have the safest environment possible,” said Dr. Meyer.

That care continues after conception to make sure there are no complications during pregnancy. This care includes:

  • Watching for signs of gestational diabetes
  • Monitoring weight gain
  • Observing blood pressure to prevent preeclampsia or other metabolic problems

For Dr. Meyer, it’s important to develop a special bond with the mother. She takes pride in being a support system for the family as they embark on their pregnancy journey.

“One of my favorite parts of prenatal care is developing that special relationship and bond with the mother,” Dr. Meyer said. “Once the baby comes, there will be a lot of questions. I want them to be comfortable with me so they can call me and get their questions answered. No question is a stupid question when it comes to pregnancy or a newborn baby.”

At Tri-County Health Care, primary care providers plan to be there for their obstetric patients through every milestone. These include the planning stage, pregnancy, delivery, postnatal care, and beyond. When it’s time to deliver the baby, Dr. Meyer jumps into action. She puts a high value in being there for every moment. It’s very rare for her to miss a delivery.

The importance of well-child visits

One part of caring for newborns and children is monitoring their progress as they grow up. There are certain milestones providers are looking for to make sure proper development is occurring. The first year is detailed and frequent. There are 5 key milestones over the baby’s first 12 months.

“We want to make sure these babies are developing their muscles and coordination,” Dr. Meyer said. “We look to make sure they’re meeting their milestones like rolling over, sitting up, crawling and pulling to a stand along furniture. Then, ultimately walking, running, climbing and driving parents crazy because they’re so busy!”

Providers then monitor fine motor development. It involves making sure their coordination is working with their fingers so they can grasp food and feed themselves. Eating their food is followed by holding a pencil or crayon. Additionally, they focus on the child’s speech to make sure they’re starting to babble, make noises and ultimately begin talking.

Pre-teen and teen development milestones

The initial years of a child’s life involves several meetings with a provider to monitor growth. While appointments typically become less frequent as the child grows older, they are still essential. Part of ongoing well-child exams includes making sure the child is up to date on immunizations. It is also a good time to discuss with families if there are any other concerns.

These appointments also look for any developmental delay issues. It’s important to diagnose these problems early so those children can function better at school and more easily with adult life.

Dr. Meyer also monitors the child’s growth to determine if they are falling behind. That includes caring for children by checking their height and weight. It is a good indicator of any red flags like growth hormone deficiencies. Checking height and weight at these well-child exams can help prevent things like diabetes or pre-diabetes in their pre-teen and teenage years.

In addition to monitoring their progress, it’s exciting to develop relationships with these families. One thing Dr. Meyer enjoys is seeing children out in the community.

“It’s fun to watch them at sports activities and see them become leaders in the community,” she said. “It’s gratifying when I’m at the county fair or in the grocery store and have these kids come up and greet me.”

Primary Care at Tri-County Health Care

Dr. Meyer joined the team of primary care providers at Tri-County Health Care in January of 2020. She was named a Top-5 Finalist for the 2020 Family Physician of the Year by the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. To learn more about Dr. Meyer and the primary care team at Tri-County Health Care, view their videos at TCHC.org/primarycare.

Dr. Julie Meyer, Julie Meyer M.D., Tri-County Health Care, caring for patients, caring for children, obstetrics, pregnancy, pregnant, birth, delivery, doctor, WadenaAbout Dr. Meyer:

Julie Meyer, M.D. graduated from Perham High School and completed medical school at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Meyer has always been interested in biology and even strongly considered veterinary medicine because of her love for animals. She ultimately chose family medicine because she enjoys talking to her patients and developing a strong connection. This is important to providing high-quality patient care.

Dr. Meyer and her husband, Mark, have three sons and live on a hobby farm with 40 rabbits, 15 sheep, 3 cats, and 2 dogs. The farm helps fulfill her passion of caring for animals. She enjoys volunteering in 4-H and helping her youngest son compete at various rabbit shows around the state. Other interests include singing in the church choir, accompanying various groups on the piano and flute, playing volleyball, working in her flower gardens, and traveling to state parks.


Namaste: Prenatal yoga prepares mom and baby for delivery

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Physical activity is important for helping expectant moms maintain healthy habits and prepare for the big day when their baby will arrive. Prenatal yoga is one of the common methods of helping them achieve this. Along with keeping them active with low-impact exercises and stretches, it promotes relaxation, increased flexibility, boosts baby’s health and more.

Prenatal Yoga attendee, Denise, standing with her husband and two year old son. Denise Hanson has been participating in prenatal yoga regularly for the past few months and believes wholeheartedly that it yields amazing benefits. She learned about the classes during one of her prenatal appointments when she noticed a flyer advertising it. Even though she had never tried yoga before in any form, she decided to give it a try because she wanted to do all she could to have a healthy pregnancy.

Pam Doebbeling, certified prenatal yoga instructor and registered nurse, teaches the classes, which are held weekly on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center in Wadena. Her focus during the classes is teaching gentle stretches, breathing techniques, and working on movements that will improve flexibility and balance.

Using tools such as a pillow, chair or balance ball, Pam helps moms modify their exercises based on how far along they are in their pregnancy and other needs they might have. As Denise’s pregnancy has progressed – she is now about 32 weeks along – Pam has altered the exercises to fit. Denise had also developed carpal tunnel, which added another layer of customization.

“Pam is really approachable, knowledgeable and professional,” Denise said. “It’s a very welcoming experience, and people of all levels and capabilities are definitely welcome to come. Everything’s provided too. I was a newbie. I didn’t really know what I was getting into. Pam meets you right where you’re at.”

Denise attends prenatal yoga almost every week, depending on her husband’s availability to watch their 2-year-old son. Unforeseen circumstances caused their son to be born early, so her goal this time is to do anything and everything she can to have a healthy pregnancy.

Now that she’s been doing it for a few months, Denise has been able to take some of the exercises and do them at home, but she certainly thinks that having the instructor right there to guide her is vital, especially one that is specially trained in prenatal yoga.

Denise thinks there is great potential to continue growing the prenatal yoga classes, allowing moms to foster relationships with other moms while staying healthy and preparing for delivery.

“It’s so nice. Nobody’s there to judge you. Everybody’s pretty much a beginner,” she said. “It’s amazing. There are tons of health benefits.”

Some of those benefits may include:ladies sitting on the floor posing during a prenatal yoga session.
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased stamina
  • Improved positioning of the baby
  • Minimized stress and anxiety levels
  • Decreased lower back pain and nausea
  • Improved strength and flexibility in the muscles used most during childbirth

Denise has spoken openly and candidly to other pregnant moms about the value she sees in prenatal yoga. Having attended consistently, she’s reaped the physical benefits, and it helps her feel at peace that she’s doing all she can to prepare for a healthy delivery.

“Definitely the hour to yourself is nice each week,” she said. “And just that knowledge that I can take things from prenatal yoga and bring them into labor and delivery, like focusing on breathing. It’s pushing your body and getting ready for that big moment.”

 

For more information about prenatal yoga at TCHC, call 218-631-7538 or click here to visit the website. If you would like to know more about TCHC’s OB program, please go here.

 

If you have a story to share about your experience with Tri-County Health Care, please tell us about it.


Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

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By Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmich, Certified Nurse Midwife

 

As a baby grows throughout a pregnancy, it’s beneficial for both mom and baby to find the optimal fetal position. This means that your baby is lined up correctly in your pelvis to promote an easier and more efficient birth. In order to move the baby, we need to move the mother. To achieve optimal fetal positioning, the mother needs to actively stretch and exercise during the prenatal timeframe and continue this into her labor and birth process.

Small group of early 30's pregnant women doing Pilates.They are sitting in a row,leaning over one leg with one elbow on the floor.Other arm is stretched over head and eyes are closed. The woman in focus is wearing blue sweat pant and red sleeveless tank top.

Exercise during pregnancy can include low-impact exercises like stretching, yoga, aerobics, walking and swimming. Partaking in these exercises for 20 to 30 minutes a day can help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling. It can also help prevent gestational diabetes; increase your energy; improve your mood and posture; and promote muscle tone, strength and endurance.

 

How to avoid injury

During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin, which can cause the ligaments that support your joints to relax. This can put your joints at an increased risk of injury. Your center of gravity also shifts during pregnancy due to the extra weight gain, placing more stress on your joints and muscles. You may be more likely to lose your balance.

Your need for oxygen also increases when you are pregnant. As your belly grows, you can become short of breath, which can affect your ability to do strenuous exercise.

To decrease your risk of injury, avoid high-impact exercises, and make sure that you are doing exercises that are safe for pregnant women. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration. If you feel dizzy or fatigued, which are signs of dehydration, sit down and drink cool water.Pregnant woman exercising by walking and carrying a bottle of water.

Avoid standing or lying flat on your back for prolonged periods of time. When you lie on your back, your uterus presses on a large vein that returns blood to the heart. Standing motionless can cause blood to pool in your legs and feet. Both of these positions can decrease the amount of blood returning to your heart and may cause your blood pressure to decrease for a short time.

Do not exercise if you experience any of the following conditions until you have checked with your provider:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Shortness of breath before starting exercise
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Regular, painful contractions of the uterus
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina

 

You have options

Here at Tri-County Health Care, we offer two great low-impact exercise programs that are safe for pregnant mothers at no cost to you: Prenatal Yoga and Tri Aquatics Moms Course. I would highly recommend both classes to assist you with fetal positioning.

exercising pregnant moms in a warm water therapy pool.Prenatal Yoga is a weekly class at TCHC designed to reduce stress and anxiety while increasing your strength and flexibility. Tri Aquatics Moms Course is a quarterly class that educates expecting mothers on fitness including low-impact aerobic exercise with stretching, strengthening and range of motion activities for the entire body. Exercises are done in a warm water pool which helps to provide a reduction of pain associated with the later stages of pregnancy for expecting moms.

We also have a great rehabilitation department that can assist you with learning exercises that are safe for pregnant women and that can alleviate the discomforts of pregnancy. Click here to learn more about Tri Rehab Services.

To sign up for Prenatal Yoga or Tri Aquatics Moms Course, click here.

For more information about Midwifery Services, click here.

 

Dawn with her family posing for a family photo. About the Author: Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmich is board certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and takes a special interest in integrative medicine and water birth. She became a certified nurse midwife to empower women and to make the journey of pregnancy to birth a joyous event for the family. She and her husband have three daughters and one son. They also have a bunny, two border collies, three horses and a pony.


Finding the Right Obstetrics Provider to Deliver Our Baby

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By: Lonna Dille, Licensed Social Worker – Medical Social Services

Finding a medical provider was never really a difficult task, but I found that choosing an OB provider was daunting! I had previously been receiving care at another facility, but when I started working at Tri-County Health Care in September, 2014, I knew I wanted to receive my OB care at Tri-County. The nurses and doctors here made that decision very easy for me! Yet, after working with all the wonderful doctors, how on earth do I decide on just one?! I knew all of the providers had great qualities, but I had to decide who was the best match for me, my personality, my family and whose style I thought would best motivate and encourage me. I knew I needed someone down-to-earth, kind, but who was also going to be straightforward. I chose Laura DuChene, MD.

My husband and I were very excited to start a family, but it was a roller coaster of emotions because we miscarried our first child. Even though we were very excited to try again I was nervous about the possibility of miscarrying again. However, when we found out we were expecting we were ecstatic!! We told our families at Christmas (a memory I very much cherish) and asked them to support us in our new adventure, but also asked that they not share the news until we were “safe to tell”. We did this knowing that if we were to miscarry again, we would have the support of our families rather than feel isolated and alone. We didn’t tell our friends, extended relatives, etc. until I was about 17 weeks along in my pregnancy.

I will admit that my anxieties about miscarriage got the best of me. Poor Dr. DuChene! I am certain my questions and concerns were incessant, but she didn’t mind once. When I was working one day, I actually fainted on the inpatient floor and the nurses brought me to her and she made room in her schedule immediately for me. I could’ve seen another medical provider in the emergency department but she made it a priority to see me! Another thing I loved about Dr. Duchene was her advice. It wasn’t just clinical advice, it was things like letting me know that Target had great maternity clothes and the comfiest maternity jeans! She is a mother of three, so she shared some great tips with me! She was also amazing through labor. I had no idea what I was doing (like any first time mom). Of course I got advice from friends and family who tried to explain what labor was going to be like, but its pretty hard to remember in the craziness! Her instruction was always helpful and well-articulated. She was so encouraging, and I remember she called me a “champ” during labor and I just remember thinking yes, I CAN DO THIS!

Baby Dille with hat from DuChene

Easton shows off his fire department hat knit specially for him by Dr. DuChene.

My husband and I are both firefighters and EMT’s for our local fire department, in Motley. He tried to come to as many appointments as he was able. The couple of times that he came with she made sure to include him in the appointment. In our conversations we spoke of our work with the fire department. We didn’t know the gender of the baby, but we had a firefighter onesie to take our baby home from the hospital. The day after I delivered Easton, Dr. DuChene came to do her rounding and she hand delivered us a FD (fire department) hat that she had personally knit for him. My husband and I were so touched! Not only did she take the time to knit our precious baby a hat, but she remembered that we were fire fighters and that we had decorated his nursery in a fire department theme!

Once we were home, the home visit from the TCHC nurse was a godsend! She was so helpful and supportive! Seriously, the nursing staff at TCHC is so caring and compassionate. They went above and beyond to care for Easton, my husband and I!

At the end of the day you need to be happy with the provider you choose. We have great providers to choose from at Tri-County Health Care, as I and many other will vouch for! My husband and I did not care what gender our baby would be, we just prayed that we had a healthy, full term baby. When Dr. DuChene delivered us a healthy, baby boy, it was the biggest blessing to us! We are so in love with our precious baby boy, and we are so thankful for the amazing we care we received from Dr. Duchene and the nursing staff at Tri-County.

About the Author:IMG_0400_zpsy9lgpmx2
Lonna Dille has been a Medical Social Worker at TCHC since September 2014, providing services to inpatient, clinic, and the emergency department at
Tri-County Health Care. Lonna and her husband Nick have been married four years and now have their son Easton, who is over three months old. Lonna enjoys hunting and fishing with her husband and family, good coffee and shopping. Her new favorite down time is cuddling with her son and husband while watching a good movie.