Hait or BUST!!!!

It is now one month and 2 days before I leave for Haiti by way of Kansas City then Florida. Signs say I will be taking a PRIVATE plane from Florida into Haiti itself… more on that later. I have MANY things complete for this journey, and many things still to do. Who knew I’d have to work for 3 months to go somewhere for 2 weeks!? [I’ll also admit to being nearly giddy with excitement as my very own PASSPORT showed up in the mail!]

The support I’ve received from our local homeschool group, my church, people I’ve NEVER EVEN MET… well, it’s been nothing less than staggering. Humbled? Why, yes, I am. I have to CONTINUALLY remind myself that they aren’t giving to “me” but to Haiti. It feels so artificial for me (Mrs. Independent) to accept offerings from people I love and care about. Let alone strangers.

In the interim I’m so happy ton ave Robin here (my new apprentice). You can read her biography on the “Our Team” page. Look for more updates to this website soon, as it’s on my list of “MUST COMPLETE BEFORE HAITI”. To come: Placenta encapsulation, independent childbirth classes coming to your town, a better way to pediatric care, and an ONLINE STORE! At last! You don’t have to wait on me to get stuff shipped to you anymore! So excited to have this very very close to completion.

I am still a few hundred dollars short of my needed funds to serve in Haiti – please consider a donation. Every tiny bit helps. Paypal to psalms66@gmail.com as a “GIFT” and I won’t be charged any fees. Blessings to you all – love and hope only the best for you all.

Stay tuned for more!

Natural vs. Un-natural

“The intrinsic intelligence of women’s bodies can be sabotaged when they’re put into clinical settings, surrounded by strangers, and attached to machines that limit their freedom to move. They then risk falling victim to the powerful forces of fear, loneliness, doubt , and distrust, all of which increase pain. Their hopes for a normal birth disappear as quickly as the fluid in an IV bottle.” ~Peggy Vincent -The Baby Catcher

Such truth here in this quote: birth can be “painful”. But the pain is NOT like stubbing one’s toe or breaking a leg, etc. It is a normal pain (and yes, there is such a thing). Much different than that of an injury, easier to cope with and rhythmic rather than startling and sharp. Contrast this to the normal interventions one receives in a hospital: IV “HepLock”, epidural needle, episiotomy, un-natural position for birth… etc. etc. etc.

There are very real emotional AND physical consequences of placing a woman outside of her familiar space while she is bringing forth her child.

Touching me touching you…

“Our culture may be changing, but our evolutionary need for touch remains the same. Babies’ brains are designed to expect closeness and proximity — to be held for their safety, psychological growth, physical growth, mental growth, to aid and stabilize their physiological processes and keep their immune systems strong. Touch is not an emotional fringe benefit. It’s as necessary as the air we breathe.”
~James McKenna

I was at a family event yesterday and saw two mothers. One mama carried her baby in a Moby Wrap, tucked safely inside, sweet and snug as a bug. She had a diaper bag on one shoulder, and her toddlers hand held on the other side. They both looked content and happy. The other mother carried her baby in one of those big bulky infant carrier/carseats. Neither looked happy or content. Baby was screaming loudly, mom’s posture was twisted to one side – loaded down with diaper bag on one side and carseat+baby on the other.

I can’t say enough about how different the mother’s AND baby’s appearance and demeanor are when using a carrier versus a carseat. Try it! The benefits of wearing your baby are far-reaching, both physically and emotionally, developmentally and relational.

It’s all in the packaging!

 

Modern media has proven that you can wrap up just about anything and people will like it: IF the wrapper catches your eye!

Well, wrapping your baby isn’t a marketing ploy – and the cute factor is what’s INSIDE your baby wrap! There are many reasons to wear your baby. I love this website’s list. I can’t vouch for the items they have for sale as I’ve never purchased a wrap or sling. They are too easy to just make yourself!!!

Seriously though, you don’t have to spend $50 – $100 on a good baby carrier. My favorite to-date is a lovely length of fabric I purchased from the $1/yard table! No sewing required!!!

If you are new to mothering, you simply must give wearing your baby a shot. It will quickly become your favorite accessory. 🙂

Here are a few more links to get you started:
The Baby Wearer
Rebozo Way
Ask Dr. Sears

My favorite with sewing instructions:
Wear Your Baby

And if you need to “see” how to use a wrap, thank goodness for YouTube!
You Tube Wrap Videos

Like butter on a hot skillet…

some babies just slide right out. 🙂 And it really has nothing to do with their size.

Ok, MOST babies slide right out. The position of the baby & the mother work synergistically to produce the optimal size/shape/orientation of the pelvic outlet: that will maximize the opening while minimizing trauma to the mama/baby duo. I just love how it works… so beautifully. When left ALONE to labor/birth, mama with instinctively move into the best position for pain relief and opening up… it’s a beautiful thing.

I’ll admit, it is sometimes tempting to do “just one little thing” to help things along, and when mama wants us to that is exactly what we should do. But midwives are woman-SERVANTS not woman-MASTERS and I do not believe the midwife should control the birth space or dictate what happens there in any way. She guards/she watches… she HOLDS THE SPACE while the mama/baby do their dance, daddy in the wings, and witnesses the beauty.

On this lovely day I was witness to just such a dance. And it WAS beautiful. 🙂

Touching me… touching you…

Sweet caroline…. good times never seemed so good…. I’ve been inclined to believe it never would… -Neil Diamond. Only a midwife could pull a birth analogy from a Neil Diamond song. 🙂 “Peri-natal psychologists and midwives I’ve talked to have … Continue reading

Boy oh boy…. CASTOR OIL

Of all my posts on this blog, the one that has stirred the most controversy is the one on Castor Oil for Induction. The article I posted wasn’t even a blog post, but a short synopsis of the research I did to support MY POSITION on the effectiveness of castor oil as an induction method.

Just today I received a rather snarky response to the article claiming that I “didn’t effectively research” and was “one-sided” putting women who might read it and “not do their own research” at risk. Oh, and that I cited an article/study that was irrelevant to the use of CO as it relates to induction. I cited many articles, many more than one, and AGAIN: I was writing this article as an assignment. I had to SUPPORT my position. And I did just that.

Geesh. I’ll approve the comment, of course, all in fairness, but I think the author went a BIT too far in her umm…. criticism? of my post.

Listen, it’s a free world out there. I post my thoughts and positions relating to birth on this blog ‘cuz it’s mine. 🙂 You are free to comment, critique, whatever. Just be fair. And remember that is IS my blog, and as such I can post MY thoughts and positions on it.

SO I will say again: I do not believe castor oil is safe for use on a scarred uterus (ie: VBAC), and may cause some really funky labor patterns in any woman’s uterus. Bottom line: I believe that induction disrupts that wonderful chemical symphony that the body (and the baby) creates to begin labor WHEN IT IS TIME. So whether it’s castor oil, prostaglandins, Cytotec, WHATEVER, fundamentally I believe it changes the energy that surrounds a birth when compared to one that begins spontaneously.  And ***I*** believe it changes it for the worst, not the better.

And again, I’m a US citizen and am entitled to post just that: my beliefs. And for the record, they are based on MOUNTAINS of research, not a “whim” and certainly not without a great deal of care and thought as to the possible implications my beliefs might have on others who read them.

I will be quite transparent: I do not believe induction is safe, healthy, natural or any of the other commonly used adjectives that commonly surround it. I believe induction is sometimes warranted, but within very limited parameters and with VERY careful consideration given to the implications of that decision. I do believe a woman has the right to choose it, but also believe she should be fully informed.

And since “anyone can google castor oil induction” and find out how to do it with little information provided on the risks, I thought a balanced response to that information was in order. 🙂

So… hit delete, or whatever you want to do – that’s cool (free country after all) but don’t accuse me of being cavalier with information that just might save someone’s life and the life of their baby. Because I certainly am not.

Share the truth lately?

I just read this awesome article on IndieBirth.com . In it Maryn explores the possibility that women are mostly making that decision based on emotion. That or they simply haven’t heard that homebirth has come to the 21st century. In spades. 🙂

Many women are making the decision to deliver in the hospital because of fear. And that’s not ok. And it’s not ok because fear does not usually serve us well. Respect the process? Yes. Fear it? Not exactly. I wish there was a way to overcome this… BELIEF SYSTEM… that says we should FEAR BIRTH. Some of it has to do with education, yes. But with the internet and television (Thank you Ricki Lake!) most women in the US have at least “heard about” someone having a homebirth, and that it went well for them.

The problem seems to me that our community connectedness is gone… thanks to the TV and internet (Sorry Ricki). We have to really work at being connected to other moms who are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant.

Given one, real hand account of a homebirth from a women that I am friends with – whom I trust – and that outweighs MUCH of what I hear, read, or see from other sources. Kindof like a referral to a great hair stylist? 🙂 You can see the ads, clip the coupons and be disatisfied until you BFF tells you about this “fab stylist” at such-and-such street.

So, as a storykeeper, I encourage ALL mothers who’ve had a homebirth to SHARE THEIR STORIES. When someone walks up to you and admires your baby, tell them, “Yes, he was born at home. It was wonderful.” or something like that. Tell the truth! There is nothing illegal about homebirth, and other than a few snubbed noses you’re not likely to encounter anything threatening at making your announcement.

It’s especially meaningful to share these stories at your MOPS meetings, Sunday school, homeschool coops, etc. etc. with women WHO KNOW YOU. Because I’m betting you’re a cool gal and that they trust you. Share the trust one can have in birth and help dispell the FEAR!!!

On my soapbox again…

I just can’t believe it… I don’t WANT to believe it. That midwives (the “guardians of normal birth”) are using cytotec (also known as misoprostyl) to induce labor at home. The fact that they are using it in hospitals doesn’t shock me, makes me mad, but I just add it to their list of sins again women and babies. Nothing new there. But midwives… sweet, caring, lovely homebirth midwives. Thinking this doesn’t harm anyone. I hear it over and over again, “I’ve used it judiciously for years and have never seen a problem with it.”

Well good for you. Tell my blog-friend Anne that you’ve never had a problem with it’s use. That you’ve never seen a baby die from it, or a mother die or lose her uterus from it. Good for you. Put some flowers on her baby’s grave and say, “Well, we don’t know for SURE that cytotec caused her death.” That you have played the tables and had good luck doesn’t change the fact that this is a potentially dangerous drug that you are using for an OFF-LABEL situation. There are no safe dosing limits or instructions, no risks to inform your clients of because the company that makes cytotec has no intentions of marketing it for obstetrical use. I doubt their lawyers would allow them to. Too much of a liability perhaps?

Here is a quote about misoprostyl that sums up my own position and one that, I believe, should be taken by all birth workers:

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said she was “absolutely incredulous” that any hospital would give the drug to women outside of clinical trials.
She said: “This drug is not licensed for use in labour, and the NICE guidance is categorical on that point. In this country, misoprostol should only be used in labour if the baby is already dead, or after the birth, because otherwise the risks are simply too great.” [ click here for the newspaper story ]

I’m not likely to stop beating this drum for awhile yet. In fact, you might want to cover your ears because frankly? I plan on beating it louder.

VOICES: VBAC Women Share Their Journey

OH, it’s such a beautiful little book! Keep in mind that this is coming from the publisher directly (since it takes about 3 months to get it onto Amazon) so it ***CAN*** take 4 weeks to arrive. It shouldn’t and probably won’t, but I did have to warn you. I SO hate waiting for books!

Voices contains a full chapter of statistics and research surrounding VBAC success rates, real risks vs. fear-based risks, and the TRUTH about the risk of uterine rupture compared to other obstetrical emergencies. I’d like to say that this book was written for women wondering if their care provider is “right” that it is too “risky” to try to VBAC, but doesn’t have time or energy to sift through a mountain of studies or a pile of books that include only a small section on VBAC. It is also written for the woman who knows instinctively that she will have a VBAC and needs to win over a partner or care provider. But…

The real power of this book are the women’s birth stories. They are SO powerful. They are the true, real stories, unedited and unadulterated. They stand on their own. You will be changed by them. If you don’t understand what the “big deal” is about VBAC, then this book is for you as well.

At the end of the day, I believe in women having the right to birth as they choose, on their own power and in the climate and surroundings of their choosing. For women choosing VBAC and for their care givers, this book is a vehicle for those freedoms.

So many women today face VBAC “bans” or so many restrictions on their labors that they walk in the door with one foot in the operating room. Let’s put the TRUTH out there. I believe women are wise – and capable of making decisions based on facts, not fear.