Exciting Times Ahead!

I’m pleased to make a couple of announcements:

1) I would like everyone to welcome “ROBIN” to the practice! She is my new number 1 apprentice – currently taking primary clients on her own under supervision! Look back by the end of the week for a profile and pictures!

2) I will be going to Haiti in November as part of the team at MamaBaby Haiti! I’m so excited for this opportunity. And so utterly HUMBLED that I am being offered this chance to minister to women and babies in palace where the maternal mortality rate is nearly 1 out of 10. Please please consider supporting this mission with a donation of supplies or money for travel and supplies. Email me if you’d like get involved! And thank you for EVERYONE who is knitting hats, putting together mama/baby kits and for every single dollar donated! It all helps SO MUCH! 

3) My new Warrensburg office is up and running, though it still needs a few finishing touches. This location offers prenatal, postpartum and well-woman care as well as well-baby checkups and lactation support. We are hosting a Labor Day event here! Check us out on FaceBook for details!

The Banning of Vaginal Birth

In the interest of fairness to all hospitals and obstetricians out there who do not “allow” vaginal birth after cesareans, some brilliant (and very angry!) mother wrote this disclaimer for them. Absolutely brilliant.

Let’s stop and think for a moment, about the multitude of women who would up in arms if abortion was suddenly “too risky” or writing rx’s for birth control was suddenly not “allowed” for “high-risk” women. Ummm. Yeah. There would be a march on Washington, DC over it you can be sure. And rightly so. I do not support abortion and pharmeceutical birth control is fraught with trade-offs and health risks… yet. They are legal and as such have the right to protection until or unless the laws change. So also is the right to VBAC.

The ONLY reason women are allowing this theft of their rights to go on is that they are rended psychologically impotent by their providers. Instead of empowering and educating and **gasp** employing TRUE informed consent with their clients, doctors stand together (quite firmly) to say NO to vaginal birth after cesareans. And since, afterall, these same doctors “saved my baby’s life” by performing that prior cesarean in the first place… “Who am I to say I know better than they?” It is a play on emotions by a profession that claims to be based in science and reason.

Disgusting.

Morning Musings

Sorry I haven’t been too great at blogging consistently these past couple of months. I’ve been trying to “gestate in peace” and just be a mom. The calling to birth and women won’t leave me be though, so I’ll try harder to get it in on a weekly basis. Thank you for reading. Pass it along if you are moved by any of it. Trash it if it’s luke-warm. Email me if it makes you mad. All emotional responses (and logical ones) are welcome. 🙂                  ~Kelly

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I’ll tell you, this advocacy stuff is rough. I get emails from women all over the country sharing their birth trauma stories (and sorry, this is TRAUMA we’re talking about here, not a “bad experience”). I cry alot. It’s hard to do this while I’m pregnant. The idea of facing a hospital to birth again makes me queasy. Yeah… that’s a generalization I know. Not all hospitals are bad, not all doctors are terrible selfish money-grubbers. I know this. But the stories… how can I not be impacted by the horror of a mom being “reprimanded” by her OB for not agreeing to an episiotomy, so when she was being stitched up SANS numbing agents (which the OB refused to use saying, “You said you wanted natural, this is natural.”) had to also hear, “This is what you get for not letting me cut you.” And for the mom who, upon transferring from homebirth because of thick meconium in the water (good heartones though) had to listen to the attending OB nurse comment, after a 3 hour wait, “Well if you were still home nothing would be getting done for your baby so what’s the hurry?” Or the mom who was promised a VBAC only to get to the hospital in labor and find out a cesarean had been written into her chart at 20 weeks. When she balked the doctor said, “Listen, you were never going to get a VBAC. It’s ok. You’ll have your baby in your arms in an hour.” She walked out (WARRIOR WOMAN!!!) and had her baby at home, vaginally, assisted by her husband that same day. 3 hours later.

It sounds like I’m reporting from a 3rd world country doesn’t it? But I’m not. No… if only it were that easy. This is US. This is the United States of America where FREEDOM is supposed to RING TRUE. But it doesn’t. Heck, HONESTY doesn’t even ring true anymore. My sister had so many adhesions from her first cesarean that she was onthe table with her 2nd for 6 hours getting cleaned out. Even after that she was never told why that happened, that it was likely to happen again, and that her cesarean was not medically necessary. Informed consent? That’s the stuff fairy tales are made of. And you’re more likely to get it at a car lot than in an OB department.

But being the eternal optimist that I am, I know that however our births turn out, whatever bumps we face along the way, wherever these roads take us… the fact that we are HERE, together, talking about birth means that we care about humanity and the future of birth in our culture. Yeah. Uh-huh. That’s us. The broken, the healing, the healed. We care, and we’re not going to give up until someone listens, until things change, until we see that normal birth is safe for our daughters and grand-daughters. 🙂

Missouri Stands for Freedom

In a 5-2 ruling yesterday, Missouri Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of a line in a 2007 law legalizing Certified Professional Midwives. Thank goodness.

A sigh of relief. After the ugly political tactics that I’m sure took place last session (I was only there twice but I saw enough…) I am relieved to see that justice did have it’s day afterall.

This issue isn’t about a handful of crunchy, granola eating, Burkenstock wearing women who want to birth their babies at home.

This issue isn’t about hating doctors, hospitals or the medical profession.

This issue isn’t about money, power or control.

This issue isn’t, TRULY, even about midwifery or homebirth at all.

This is is about personal choice and freedom. It is about having the right to exercise CHOICE over our bodies and how they are treated.

And I am glad that the Missouri Supreme Court heard the case for what it was. Doctors neither have the right to “represent patients” nor do they have the right to limit access to healthcare.

Whether or not you, or I,  agree with the philosophy behind homebirth is little more than a side dish in this debate. This issue is about freedom. I am relieved to see that the Missouri Supreme Court stands for those freedoms.

Faith and where she lives…

Doctors prescribe medicine of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of which they know nothing.”    — Voltaire

I was asked once, “Don’t you trust your doctor?” I replied with a resounding, “NO! I trust my body, I trust GOD, but I do not “trust” my doctor any more than I trust my mailman.” Granted, I was 5 months pregnant at the time, fighting for the right to a VBAC and my hormones were WAY up there! I might have been a bit zealous in my response.

But I don’t think so. Not really.

Whom do we trust when it comes to our births? As women, do we trust our doctors? Our husbands to be the knight in shining armour if we are not treated fairly? Do we trust our midwives – ancient caretakers of female birth? If we answer yes to ANY Of these then we have misplaced our faith.

There are many who will disagree, arguing that “they are trained” in reference to their OB/GYN’s or even their wonderful midwives. (And midwive’s are wonderful! Don’t get me wrong!) This well-used response of higher education being grounds for blind trust is misplaced at best. Let us consider the following.

If education were a prerequisite for good birth-outcomes, how do we explain the continuation of human beings when modern medicine didn’t begin until the 19th century AD? An if highly educated birth assistants are a promise of good birth outcomes, how do we explain the rate ofmaternal and fetal demise going UP with the beginning of medicalized childbirth in the 1900’s?

Our faith belongs to God. He gave us our bodies, created specifically for the amazing job of birthing children.  So let us trust them. Let us trust Him. Let Faith live where she was born. In our hearts. In our homes. In ourselves.