I’m tired tonight. I’ve driven roughly 600 miles this week, and that’s not counting driving for family matters. That adds about another hundred miles or so. Now, I’m not complaining. I’m really not. I am blessed beyond words, and HUMBLED by the number of colossally awesome families I meet in a given day. For instance:
The last minute meeting with a gal I’ve only talked to in passing that turned into a real “Ah-hah!” afternoon while we both nurse our babies and spoke of ways to improve MOTHERING support in our community.
The family I served this week (albeit BARELY!) who will leave for Mexico as full time missionary’s as soon as this baby’s birth certificate arrives. The mama wants to learn about herbs and homeopathics, and essential oils – she wants to mother her family to the fullest in a possibly hostile and surely third-world environment.
The family who is trying their level best to deal with well-intentioned but sometimes annoying family members who question their choice to homebirth. To see the GRACE with which they do this, and the STRENGTH behind their choice is astounding. I’m SO proud of them for standing their ground REGARDLESS of the choice they make (hospital birth vs homebirth really isn’t the issue here).
The young family that chased me down on the highway because they recognized my vehicle and wanted to see me again (I served them at their birth a few months back). We chatted about organic farming and their recent chicken killing activity over a latte’ at Starbucks. Well, I was the only one with a coffee… and I HAD quit until THIS week hit me! The conversation ranged from that to rare hogs to missing hens and non-GMO corn. Oh, and I got to cuddle THE sweetest baby boy who is getting SO BIG!
Really, I could go on and on. The text conversations with my sister-midwives, my daughter’s dreams of life after high school, my oldest calling home (sniff, sniff), my wonderful sons and husband who cook and even clean in my absence with nary a complaint. They even let me sleep the afternoon away until I can reclaim my home-post. 🙂
The real meaning behind my original statement is that when one is walking out their life-calling it can begin to move really really FAST. Once things get going the momentum is breathtaking! I know Staples has an EASY button, may I have a SLOW one? Because I certainly wouldn’t want to stop, skip or fast forward this journey. I simply would like time to enjoy it a bit more. 🙂
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. 🙂
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
I am writing this post in order to accomplish 2 things. 1) to release the beast (ie: whine a little bit) and 2) to remind myself to have compassion on women in my care who are in their last few days of pregnancy.
Because they suck.
- My feet are swollen, despite drinking gallons of water, taking my supplements and going for walks.
- My legs feel heavy, thick and … well.. more like tree trunks than appendages.
- My fingers are also swollen and my left hand aches from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.
- My husband and I are at that stage when only one position will work. And it’s getting old. Fast. “But I need to ripen my cervix!” so we press on. Takes the fun right out of it.
- Baby is moving less which makes me swing between “Oh no.. I haven’t felt the baby move in X# of hours.” to “Thank the Lord he’s quieted down some. My ribs were killing me.”
- My emotions have placed my mental stability somewhere in the realm of Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
- I’m forgetful and moody, with energy levels ranging from a Speed Boat to those crustaceans that grow on her hull.
- I’m Hot. All. The. Flipping. Time. My poor husband’s sinuses may never be the same from having a fan on full blast and the thermostat at 60 degrees in our bedroom all summer long.
- My hips and back hurt all the time too. Chiropractor Dan gives me WONDERFUL relief, but I’m at the stage of needing to go 3 or 4 times a week to keep my poor pelvis somewhat aligned (a childhood injury left me with a tilted, crooked pelvis resulting in posterior babies).
- My main breakdowns occur over well-meaning family and friends (who love me and I them!) texting, emailing and calling to “See if I’ve had that baby yet!” I want to scream at them: “Yep! Had it a couple days ago but we’re storing it in the closet ’til we decide to tell anyone it came out.” To quote a recently famous red-neck comedian: “Here’s yer sign.”
- The children have stopped asking if today might be the day, and have begun to walk out of the room slowly and without making eye contact. Sorry kids. Your REAL Mama will come back some day soon.
- I’ve always been able to shave my legs while pregnant. WELL….. hhmm….. yeah. It’s a real contortionist act at this point for some reason (I’m really tall with long legs and this hasn’t ever been an issue before).
- And I have threatened my husband bodily harm if he ever puts me in this condition again. LOL as if he tied me down! LOL To which he replies, “Oh no. This is enough. No worries.” to which I reply, “What do you mean? You don’t WANT to have any more babies with me?” and run from the room crying.
- Contractions start and stop… toying with me… “Is this it?” “No… it’s not.”
- Bodily secretions have become more attention holding than that cool cable TV show I’ve recently become attached to.
- And I deplore television.
- The “Before Baby Comes” list has grown from simple things like “Wash, dry put away baby clothes.” to “Get new tile laid in the master bathroom.” and “Repaint the living room ASAP.”
- Yeah. It ain’t pretty, folks.
So when sister midwives tell me I need to take into consideration a woman’s emotional state when I maintain my position of “inductions do not belong at home and are risky elsewhere”, I say, “You bet your booty I’m taking that into consideration!!! Does the above description sound like a woman able to make an informed decision that carries multiple risks to herself and her baby?!?!”
Seriously though, I’m glad I have a midwife who is of the same mind as I am on this, because BOY am I tempted to “help things along”, etc. etc. just to release myself from the prison this pregnancy has become.
So what will I do instead?
Probably draw a cool bath, turn on my ipod (loud so i can’t hear anyone knocking on the bathroom door), and pour myself a glass of red wine. I’ll put in a few cups of Epsom salts to help the swelling, do some aromatherapy while I’m in there (my oil of choice at the moment is called “Potential”) and hope the children and husband have eaten by the time I emerge to say good-nights. [Note to self: This man deserves a trophy or something for being so darned level headed and KIND during this last phase of pregnancy. I am considering a gift for the dad’s on the 24 hours pp visit along with the muffins I generally bring along for Mom.]
Then I’ll fall asleep wrapped up in hubby’s strong arms, smelling him in, remembering the days when I could reach all the way around him, and hoping TOMORROW is the day I get to do that again.
And I will dream again that I am holding this baby at last and have blissfully forgotten the struggle of these last days.
Interesting. Hmmm… Note the recent practice bulletin by ACOG regarding induction of labor:
“A physician capable of performing a cesarean should be readily available any time induction is used in the event that the induction isn’t successful in producing a vaginal delivery,” Dr. Ramin concluded. “These guidelines will help physicians utilize the most appropriate method depending on the unique characteristics of the pregnant woman and her fetus.”
Obstet Gynecol. 2009;114:386-397.
Ok, so all we need is “a physician capable of performing a cesarean” to be “readily available” should an induction be “unsuccessful”. Interesting. But for a VBAC “trial of labor” hospitals should have “immediate access” to anesthesiologists? Hmmm….
And on the use of oxytocin: “The main adverse effects of oxytocin are dose-related uterine tachysystole and category II or category III FHR tracings.”
But for nipple stimulation, which is often a labor augmentor (if you want to medical-ize it) used by midwives at home births, the risks include “uterine tachysystole with FHR decelerations and increased trend in perinatal death.”
Interesting isn’t it? That oxytocin doesn’t carry a risk of perinatal death but NIPPLE STIMULATION does?
I was just reading Navelgazing Midwife’s blog entry on the infamous Dr. Amy’s blog regarding her blatant denial of birth trauma. She evidently does not believe it happens, or that the routine things done to women during birth do not effect women in a traumatic way unless there is a history of abuse in her past. Well, that’s a whole ‘nother subject. I’m too stunned by her assertations to reply at this point.
What really struck me was the list the Navergazer put down as hurtful or harmful for women – things said or done to them in labor. Not just by OB’s, Gyn’s, or nurses but also by midwives. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve heard alot of those things said at homebirths. My question is, “When the woman will not cooperate or LISTEN to the beloved “informed consent” statements and will NOT take responsibility for her and her babies well-being, then what do we do? Step back with folded arms and let a baby be harmed?
I heard a story recounted by a fellow midwife of a woman who wanted to “do labor alone”. She wanted to be left alone to labor, had a plan, etc. When labor came however, it was a different story. For hours she fought her contractions. No progress. Then she began to hurt herself. She began biting herself amd hitting her head on the wall. For awhile the midwife watched, not wanting to interrupt or go against the mom’s pointed wishes. At last she cuold take no more of the high pitched screaming, head banging and biting. She intervened. She held the mom’s hands and caught her eyes with hers. She began to match her breathing, helping her cope. The mom said, “Thank you.” In the end, the baby was fine, the woman had only a couple of bite marks to show for her “independent labor” and no concussion.
It seems to me, that in the interest of fairness we need to realize that there will be women in our care as midwives that NEED intervention. I’m not talking about needles and sutures and episiotomies and continuous monitoring. I’m talking about emotional and psychological intervention. Because let’s face it. In our culture here in the midwest birthing is NOT seen as natural and women are NOT brought up to believe they are powerful, life-giving creatures. They are raised to believe they are victims, in need of salvation, by and large and it can take a lifetime of work to undo the belief system that leaves women helpless in the hands of their care providers.
The list of harmful things Navelgazing Midwife put out was SO eye-opening. Words are so powerful. They contain life and death. Thanks Navelgazer for putting that up (don’t know where you got it, maybe it’s original, if so… COOL!). Let’s think of healthy ways of saying things, if they need said, as we prepare and work towards a culture of powerful birthing mothers.
I read an interesting article a couple of days ago and it’s been bothering me ever since. In essence, this study is showing a link between a protein marker for inflammation and gum disease with pre-eclampsia. Ok. So ok. I can deal with that. Nutritionally speaking, if one is eating a diet low in protein and quality amino acids/vitamins/minerals/etc. then gum disease is likely to be present along with pre-eclampic symptoms. Ok. So far so good. But the last line just cracks me up. Then it ticks me off. Are they for real?
“What remains to be seen,” concluded Ruma, “is whether treatment of maternal periodontal disease can reduce the rate of preeclampsia.” ~ Gum Disease, inflammation risky for pregnant women
Alrighty then. So we’re going to see if “treating gum disease” will prevent 30% of pre-eclampisa cases? Good grief. I mean, this group is actually WONDERING this!
Do any of the people who do these expensive studies on toxemia ever consider that MAYBE the midwifery community might be right in saying that dear Dr. Brewer was onto something when he claimed to cure and prevent 100% of eclampsia with dietary measures??? And that hey, I don’t know, but maybe gum disease is also a symptom of DIET issues and just happens to occur simultaneously with pre-eclamptic symptoms???
UGH. I’d think, after all of these years of turning up NOTHING, they’d be willing to dive into Dr. Brewers research and actually try to help women. But that’s the rub isn’t it? Helping women doesn’t seem to be the main focus of the medical community at large. Making them “feel” better… maybe, by delivery thier babies via surgical wounds. Yep. That “fixes” the problem doesn’t it? All better. Makes the joke “Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” seem pretty fitting.
Lest I end this sour post on a sour note, here is some further reading on nutrition in pregnancy.
Of course Brewer’s Diet could use a little “tweaking” but overall it jsut makes too much common sense to ignore completely. yes, it’s pretty calorie dense, and yes there are alot of fats in it. But for me, reading the research, case studies, and first-hand accounts (and the latter carry alot of weight for me) makes it too good to just off-handedly set aside. I’ve seen first-hand, an increase in protein ALONE fix pre-eclamptic symtpoms. Within a week’s time blood pressure readings went down to normal that had been steadily climbing in this mon with a high-carb / low-protein diet (otherwise healthy eating habits). So – read the stuff, decide for yourself. But I believe it’s worth investigating.
For those of you unaware of the status of midwifery in Missouri, this stands to be a banner year for the cause here. Currently, a homebirth is legal but having anyone attend that homebirth other than a CNM or an MD is a felony charge. There is a court case coming up in the spring that could change all that, but in the meantime we need to make LOUD our support of professional midwives and our choices in regards to where we give birth.
Even if you aren’t a supporter of homebirth, if you live in Missouri and support ANY of the following, consider writing or visiting your representative about this issue:
Do you believe women and families should control their choices in healthcare, not doctors or legislators?
Do you support TRUE informed consent regarding healthcare decisions?
Do you support the idea that medical decisions should remain in the hands and hearts of the people that those decisions effect?
Do you support the idea that mothers and babies deserve high-quality, caring, safe healthcare regardless of where they choose to give birth?
If you agree with any of the above statements, then please, consider writing to your Missouri Representative today! If you are NOT a Missouri resident, but support the above or midwifery/homebirth in general: visit Friends of Missouri Midwives to see how you can help!
Again, many of us realize that this year’s elections will change our lives in numerous ways. Perhaps more so than any election has in years. Let this be the banner year for Missouri families as we seek legislation to increase their options for safe, affordable, empowering, fearless birth!