Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gathering

The gathering was fun! Thanks to those who came. I enjoyed hearing your powerful birth moments and stories. Thanks for sharing. It is insightful to hear the reasons we strive for unmedicated births. It is not easy, but that makes it more rewarding. It helps us all to feel the positive energy of these stories. It gives us encouragment. Thanks again!

Any ideas for a topic next month? Any feedback is welcome.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Doula support

Great Article

I have had a doula at all 5 of my births, so I don't know what a birth would be like without one. And after her help, I don't want to know. What a huge help and support! My husband and I have found her to be valuable enough to hire her for each delivery.

These six care practices also mention the value of having a doula.

What is a doula? Learn here. And more reasons to hire one? Read here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Amazing Photo

It is amazing to see, and a little hard. This baby's mother was killed in an accident.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rising Cesarean Rate in the U.S.

I thought this was a great article about the rising cesarean rate in the United States.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Get Together

I had fun at the get together this morning. Thanks to all of you who came! Is there interest for a meeting in December or should we plan the next one in January? Also, is morning the best time? Would you like husbands to come? I'll post the next date as soon as we know. Thanks!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sad Day

If you have ever struggled with getting pregnant, then you know what "sad day" is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Celebs and Cesareans

What is with SO MANY celebrities choosing to have their babies “via c-section”? I started looking around online and was surprised at how many I found! I noticed that a majority delivered at the same hospital in L.A. I only found a few that had their babies the “old fashioned way”. Why would they choose this? They have lots of money and resources, right? Isn't a cesarean usually the last resort? The wheels in my head began to turn and I think I may have figured some of it out, maybe. I thought about some of the risks or set backs to having a c-section and then thought about why a celeb might not be bothered by it.

  • The scar. What do they care? They will have plastic surgery.
  • The longer recovery. What do they care? The nanny is there to take care of the baby.
  • The pain. What do they care? They can go to rehab again when they get addicted to the painkillers.
  • The lack of labor. Oh, you mean the lack of sweating and not looking ready for a photo shoot?
  • More breastfeeding challenges. Come on. Who does that any more?
  • Possible premature baby. Really, I don’t want my baby to be “fat”.
  • Missing the last week or two of your pregnancy. Do you mean missing the last week or two of getting more stretch marks?

Another Possible Bad Side Effect of C-section?

Read here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Birth Plans

Here is an interesting opinion about birth plans. Some things I think are important when writing a birth plan are:
  • Be brief. If a nurse sees a 6 page plan, she can't spend the time to read it.
  • Go over it with your provider long before your due date and have them sign it as approved. Then when something becomes an issue and you're in no mood to argue for what you want, you can say, "my doctor approved it." I had a nurse call my doctor once about something I had on my plan because she didn't believe me. He told her over the phone that he indeed had okayed it. She quit talking to me about it.
  • Organize it simply. As in, labor; delivery;in case of c-section...etc.
  • Be kind, not demanding. I have learned that becoming friendly with nurses, treating them with respect for what they do, and complimenting them for the good things they do for you helps them want to HELP YOU MORE! Do you go out of your way for someone who is bossing you around or talking down to you? There are many great nurses. Treat them kindly.
  • Bring several copies. Also, I have found that having it copied on a different color paper helps make it easier to find. Really, who has time to be sifting through the bag.
  • Be practical. Like the referred to article points out, you can't ask for no IV and an epidural.
  • Remember where you are. Understand that hospitals have a lot of liability. If you want a home birth, it is HARD to attain that in the hospital.
  • Do your research. Educate yourself. Know your options. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is not bliss.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A little laugh

Here is a long clip of Kevin James on the Late Show with David Letterman. Around 2 minutes in he talks about his new one month old baby and breastfeeding. Made me laugh. Check it out.

CESAREAN SECTION QUADRUPLES THE RISK OF MATERNAL DEATH

Contact: Rae Davies, Executive Director Phone:
(888) 282-CIMS Fax: (904) 285-2120 E-mail: info@motherfriendly.org

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services views with alarm a recent study showing that U.S. women having cesarean sections are four times more likely to die compared with women having vaginal births.1 Investigators reported a maternal death rate of 36 per 100,000 cesarean operations versus 9 per 100,000 vaginal births. This is the difference attributable to the surgery itself, not any complications that might have led to the need for surgery. Based on calculations of what constitutes a reasonable cesarean rate versus the actual U.S. cesarean rate,* 135 women die every year as a result of having surgery they did not need.
Moreover, the difference in mortality rates between cesarean section and vaginal birth is almost certainly larger than it appears. Investigators only considered deaths occurring up to 1 year after delivery. Some surgically-related deaths—scar tissue causing a twisted bowel, for example—may occur after the 1-year cut-off.
In a press release entitled “Weighing the Pros and Cons of Cesarean Delivery,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offered the theory that cesarean section benefits mothers by protecting against pelvic floor prolapse as a counterbalance to the fact that it was associated with an increased maternal death rate.2 The research, however, does not support this theory. While some studies do report a short-term benefit with cesarean section for a few women,3 none find long-term differences in symptoms resulting from pelvic floor weakness or injury to maternal tissues.3-7 Other studies report considerable percentages of women with urinary or bowel problems in the early weeks and months after cesarean surgery.8-9
The finding that cesarean section offers no long-term advantages holds true even without taking into account that many features of standard obstetric management cause or contribute to weakness or damage, and the use of these features could be greatly reduced or eliminated. These include episiotomy, fundal pressure (pushing down on the woman’s belly to expel the baby), vacuum extraction, forceps delivery, and how and in what positions women are directed to push.10 Indeed, the ACOG press release acknowledges that vaginal instrumental delivery produces the worst results. Epidural analgesia also contributes indirectly by increasing the need for vaginal instrumental delivery and episiotomy.11-12 Had women birthing vaginally received optimal care, the incidence of pelvic floor laxity and genital injury would likely have been much smaller.
CIMS contends that reducing the use of injurious practices would do far more to improve maternal health and well-being than substituting major abdominal surgery. Increased risk of maternal death is but one of the many hazards of cesarean section. (See CIMS fact sheet, The Risks of Cesarean Delivery to Mother and Baby.)

*The 2002 cesarean rate was 26%. This means that about one million of the 4 million U.S. women giving birth every year have cesarean sections.13 The World Health Organization recommends no more than a 10% to 15% cesarean rate.14 If the U.S. cesarean rate were halved, 500,000 fewer women annually would have had cesarean sections. The death rate among them would have been 9 per 100,000 (45 women) rather than 36 per 100,000 (180 women) – a difference of 135 lives. {the present cesarean rate in the US is 33.1%}"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Belly Cast of Baby Aubryn

This was an intensely emotional pregnancy for me. I found out I was pregnant shortly after my son had died. I was in a grievous and mourning state. I was full of hard, raw, angry, scared emotions. So I started painting it red because I felt that color represented those feelings best. But amidst those intense feelings I was holding something beautiful growing inside me. Even though this was a difficult pregnancy, something wonderful emerged. I was holding it the entire time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Belly Cast of Baby Kylie

I casted my sister's belly near the end of her first pregnancy. I felt this was a learning time for her as she prepared for her firstborn. As it is for all of us. She started this pregnancy like a small rose bud. She bloomed and grew. I felt this blooming rose was also very symbolic of what our body goes through during labor and delivery. We have to let our body open. The result is beautiful.

When I asked her for her thoughts she wrote, "Blooming rose, blooming belly, blooming baby... Growing bigger everyday... beautiful rose, beautiful birth, beautiful baby."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Belly Cast of Baby Isaac


I thought it would be fun to feature some belly casts and write a bit about the artwork.

This is the first cast I ever painted. I painted this before he was born. I knew I was having a boy, so I started with blue. But as I got to my tummy I knew there was warmth there. I felt the warmth and awe of this baby before he was born. I felt something was stirring or creating inside me. I felt the coolness and calmness of this pregnancy surrounding something exciting.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Write Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil is doing a show on bad home births. Want to write in?? Go HERE! Let him hear the good home experiences. Maybe some bad hospital experiences too. Click over to "The Birth Book Blog" on the right. She brought this to my attention. I'm thinking of sending in my post, "Home Birth and the What If's," but really don't want my story twisted and misinterpreted.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sub Comitte Meeting - Birth Centers

This morning not that I had any business or time to do so, I went to a committee meeting for Birthing Centers. In Utah, we only have one free standing center with one very busy and tired CNM who delivers there. (I think they actually hired another recently, actually-still, she is busy)We only have one birth center in Utah, because in order to open a birth center there are strict and restrictive to the point of financial inability to do so.

There really are three reasons that need to get hammered out as to why this just doesn't make sense for anyone to do it. I am copying a letter posted on the utahfriendsofmidwives yahoogroups.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many of you are already aware of this, but I wanted to post to make sure
everyone is.

Those of us involved in birthing centers in the state are working to change the laws so that more birthing centers can serve the birthing public. I discovered just how bad our birthing center laws are more than five years ago when I first started working seriously on the idea of opening one. It didn't take long to figure out it was impossible.

There are three main barriers that need to be removed:

Barrier #1: Construction Requirements
Current law requires birthing centers to be built like hospitals. It costs $200 just to get the over 800-page book of special requirements, and it's completely unnecessary. Where other states (and national birth center standards organizations) advocate ordinary commercial or residential construction standards for birthing centers, Utah goes way overboard. It requires things like 5-foot-wide hallways and extra plumbing and a million other things that together make establishing a birthing center economically non-viable. Birth centers are low profit-margin businesses, and a birth center owner would never be able to make enough off the business to cover the start up construction costs as things stand now.

Barrier #2: Provider Restrictions
Current law only allows certified nurse-midwives and physicians to deliver in birthing centers. Naturally, these laws were written before licensure of LDEMs, so no slight was intended. Nevertheless, the consequences of this restriction are devastating. We all know there are no physicians who want to deliver in birthing centers. And there are precious few CNMs who want to (but we love you!). The providers, as a group, who are most aligned with the out-of-hospital birth model are LDEMs (well, all DEMs, but it's not likely to be possible to get acceptance of unlicensed DEMs as birth center providers). If a birthing center can't find providers to deliver there, they can't operate. Again with the fiscal non-viability. So in order to have a big enough pool of willing providers to staff birthing centers, we need to broaden it to include LDEMs (and others, such as naturopathic physicians if we can find 'em).

Barrier #3: Hospital/Doctor Agreements
Current law requires birthing centers to have agreements with hospitals to receive transferring patients. While on the surface this sounds like a good idea, it is the single most potent killer of birthing centers. Hospitals make a full 20% of their income off their labor and delivery units. It is easily the most profitable sector of their business. Hospitals have no interest whatsoever in seeing birthing centers flourish, since they represent direct competition for their most important customers. Since a birthing center can't exist without an agreement with at least one hospital, all the hospitals have to do to prevent birthing centers from existing is refuse to enter into agreements. Which they do. Everyone who has tried to open a birthing center has run into this brick wall. And it's worse. Even if a hospital does sign an agreement with a birthing center, they can withdraw at any time and immediately put the birthing center out of business because it can no long operate legally. So I ask you...what business person would invest money in such a risky venture, where your competition can prevent you from existing or wipe you out with the stroke (or non-stroke) of a pen? No one.

It's no accident that there are almost no birthing centers in Utah. The barriers are too great. I was able to find a way around these barriers when I opened BellaNatal Birthing Suites, but very few seem willing to follow my path. And my path does have what I consider to be needless restrictions...such as the inability to have insurance cover. So, Holly, Heather and I, along with Becky McInnis and Susan Rugg from Birth and Family Place, and a few others (Krista Black and LDEM/CNM Cyndi Johnson) who are interested in making birthing centers available to Utah's families have come together to try to change things.

Fortunately, the laws regarding birthing centers are not in statute, they are in rule. That means we can change them without going to the legislature. The agency responsible is the Health Facilities Committee under the auspices of Health Facility Licensing, Certification and Resident Assessment (think of it as the facility equivalent to DOPL). We have met with the whole committee, and thrillingly, they have assigned a sub-committee to study this issue and see what changes should be made. We have met with the sub-committee once, and, well, it was a bit firey, to say the least. We have a long road ahead of us, but I have great confidence that we can succeed.

I believe in birthing choices. I know many of you love homebirth. I love homebirth. But I also know there are many families out there who, for whatever reason, won't choose homebirth. I want them to have other options besides standard hospital birth and a 30% c-section rate. I support choices for Utah's midwives, too. Why shouldn't LDEMs be able to choose birthing centers as their venue for providing care to mothers and babies?

I'd like to know what you all think about this new project. Do you support it?
Would you be willing to help?

Suzanne Smith, LDEM
www.BetterBirth.com
www.BellaNatal.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I arrived a little late but this is what my account and feelings for the day look like.....

I walked in to a guy (a Hospital Administer) saying it only takes one normal birth to change in an instant and then you have a mess, and we (hospitals) in Utah have a really good job of cleaning up and saving the day in that situation, making it as safe as possible.

I flipped.... I told him that was inaccurate information that non of the Davis county hospitals are staffed by OB 24-7 and they don't have emergency anesthesia readily available after 5. So that was inaccurate to say the least! What I didn't say is, women who choose to give birth in a birth center setting aren't afraid of not having that immediately available and are willing to take the chance as little as it may be. None of us ever said birth was without risk. But so is swimming, or walking on the beach a sneaker wave could take you. Life isn't safe and they don't get it they get sued because they guarantee that which is NOT in their control! GRRR

It was amazing the representative for Utah Hospitals (lawyer/lobbyist) said, basically, I'm paraphrasing... NO WAY, if you want in on the money then your going to have to pay the same expenses that we do. Gee now. That would mean we would have to charge their prices, too.

They brought up the fact that surgical centers that charge less for their surgery fees than a hospitals, have been popping up and they don't want that but the public does and they can't stop it. Hospitals are feeling the crunch. (They actually brought this up!)

Birth is a financial money maker for hospitals and not only do they not want to give up their 1%, they are afraid that women will go to theses in flocks. In fact, the same guy said, what we don't want is a franchise of these opening up all over the state. They must know that women want this option.

The guy asked what are we really doing this for? (sarcasm-No one can be actually spending their time for the good of women.)Then asked, "Where are the people that want this where are they?". We offered to have you show up. He then retracted and took that back, saying, "Oh no, we've played that game before." (Yes, and they lose at it.)

Women do you hear it? They are controlling your choices to fatten their pocketbooks. Who's safety and concern is really being watched, I don't think it is the woman's or the baby's when it comes to these fat cat lobbyists!

Hope that you will join us at the next meeting....NOVEMBER 6, 9am -11am Room #336

for laughs

Funny comedian talking about breastfeeding. Click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Real Girl Power



I have had many interesting comments in the last little while in regards to me "going natural".

"You are brave." Is one of the most common. I'm not sure how to respond. What exactly does that mean? I don't feel "brave". I have a hard time explaining it. Many really don't understand where I am coming from, what I am thinking.

Do I like pain? Am I trying to be tough? Do I just want to stick it to the companies that make pitocin? Hardly! (except for maybe that last one.)

There is so much to birth. More than machines can monitor. More than medicine can control. It is an experience of emotions. It is an experience of challenge. It is an experience of succumbing. It is an experience of power! It is an experience of intimacy. It is an experience of bonding. It is an experience of beauty! It is an experience of strength! It is an experience of great accomplishment! It is an experience of a life time. It is an experience from God. Who would not want to experience all of that?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Falling in Love, again.



This may sound weird to some, but mentally I did not allow myself to bond with the unborn child. I knew he was in there. After heartache of the past, I kind of ignored below my chest as much as that is possible to do.
When I had my first baby 8 years ago, I instantly bonded. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on (except my husband, of course. he he) The thought of ever paying a babysitter to watch him was absurd to me. They should pay me to hold him!
But through different birth and newborn experiences, and heart break, that changed. I was unsure how this postpartum would unfold. I knew a newborn would be a lot of work. I knew my other children would go through their jealous phase. I knew I would miss sleep. I knew my body would have to heal. I knew we would have to figure out nursing together. But all those concerns have dissolved. I am truly loving this newborn! I can't stop kissing and snuggling him. He is so sweet! I love his squeaks and grunts. I love his smell. I love his softness. I love his little diapers. I love him needing my milk. I love his little features. I love his newborn cry. I love the white fuzz on his head. I love his sleepy eyes. I love it! I had forgotten that part.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rylan's birth, August 12, 2008.

As I have looked at the pictures of Rylan's birth over and over today, my heart swells more and more. It swells up my throat and I want to cry. I am so incredibly grateful today. I am so in love with my awesome husband. (and I don't use that word lightly, Twyla) He was just what I needed in this birth. This was an awesome birth. A healing birth. A powerful birth. A calm birth. An intimate birth. A spiritual birth. A perfect birth.

I'm not sure where in time I should start with this birth story. This was an emotional pregnancy for me. I had fears to work through. I cried many nights. I prayed many nights. I wanted to do everything right. I wanted the very best. My husband seemed to know right away. It took me more time, but with his encouraging words and support we came to the same place.

When I woke up early Tuesday morning, August 12, about 5:30 a.m., my hips and lower back were killing me! I was so stiff and it was work to get out of bed. After using the bathroom and feeling the lower back contractions consistently - I knew today was the day. At 8:00 a.m. I called my doula and midwife. I gave them the heads up that I was in early labor. With the contractions in my lower back, I knew the baby was posterior. I tried the knee-chest position to see if it would help the baby rotate. I felt him move. The contractions were now low in front, right where they should be. But then they slowed down, way down. For most of the day they had sizzeled. I got discouraged. I wondered if things would pick up again. I decided to try to rest and take advantage of the break. I would go for a long walk later when it cooled off.

At around 4:30 p.m. my husband left to pick up some barbecue chicken pizza. Yum. By the time he came back, the contractions had picked up the pace and intensity again. I had called the midwife and doula. They were on their way. I ate some pizza and we fed the kids. My husband walked the kids to the neighbors house to play.

The contractions continued steadily. They slowly increased in intensity. I had nice breaks between them. I was coping and breathing through them well. I felt very aware through this labor. I wasn't overwhelmed. I was calm. Those around me were calm. The mood was right.

As time went on the contractions were stronger. I got in the tub. Brian sat on the edge and pushed down on my lower back through the contractions. That felt good to me. At times he would rest his head on my shoulders as he rubbed. I liked having him close and involved. He would quietly encourage me, tell me I was doing great, and kiss my head.

The time was getting close for the baby to come. I could feel him coming down. I felt very aware of where he was as he moved down. I never felt an uncontrollable urge to push. I felt like I could if I wanted or I could breathe him down and out. I did a bit of both. I noticed that I would have a longer, stronger contraction and then a shorter, less intense one. That seemed to be the pattern. I had long breaks between. It was easier to cope and remain focused and aware.

Right before the baby emerged the bag of waters ruptured. Side note: my husband thought that looked pretty cool in the water, like a jet. Then the baby came. 7:25 p.m. The midwife caught him and Brian reached down with one hand and helped him up a bit. He was supporting my back and that was as close as he could get to catching. He said later, "I'm not a good catch." when asked if he caught the baby. I beg to differ! There was such joy and peace and calm in the room as the baby was placed on my chest. No commotion. No noise. No strangers. No fear. Just happiness, love, and excitement.

Brian called the neighbor and she began walking the kids home. Brad said he ran and jumped on his bike. He got home a good 10 minutes before the others. He was standing outside of the bathroom trying to peek a view in the reflection of the mirror. We let him in. He was all smiles. He snipped through the umbilical cord with the scissors, but only cut half of it. He didn't want to cut the rest, so Brian did. They took the baby out to meet the other two siblings while I birthed the placenta and rinsed off. I came out and got in bed and nursed the baby. He latched right on! What a relief it was to me when he nursed so vigorously. A sign of good health! After he nursed they took him and did all the newborn "stuff". They weighed him, measured him, listened to him, and looked him over thoroughly. All was well! He looked great!

The midwife checked me and I tore a tiny bit. While she stitched me, Brian and the kids were in the other room with the new baby. When I was done they brought him back to me for more nursing. We offered a family prayer. Brad said it. Brian asked him to remember to thank Heavenly Father for the safe arrival of Rylan. Brad never mentioned the baby. He thanked Heavely Father for the fun day and prayed he'd have fun tomorrow. Then Brian and my doula, Twyla, put the kids to bed. Brian helped Twyla and Chris, the midwife, pack their things to their cars. After some tender hugs and thank yous, they left.

It was just Brian and I with our new baby. It was a special and spiritual time together before going to sleep for the night in our own bed, in our own home with our children all asleep down the hall from us. Everyone was safe, happy, and together. It was a perfect day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Birth track interview

After reading about the Birth Track new technology this gal had the opportunity to talk with the manufacturer and ask her many questions. It is interesting to read. Read here.

Rural China and birth

entire ARTICLE

"Get out of the house!

When the project launched in 1999, it was one thing to convince rural-dwellers about the benefits of giving birth in hospital rather than at home, and quite another thing to get them out of their homes, into the hospitals and receiving the treatment they needed and deserved.

As well as raising awareness of the greater safety of hospital deliveries - which was achieved through the use of local media, community champions and group learning activities - it also introduced new schemes to ensure that obstetric services were, in the first place, actually affordable."

I certainly understand that these women may need more resources and education, but making sure they all get out of their homes and into the hospital is not exactly the way to go. Why can't they educate midwives and lean on the hospitals for emergency care only.

"Under the project, local health centres received a substantial investment to make them places that people would want to visit. A flurry of building and renovating followed, which saw rooms being heated for the first time, new toilets installed, and patients' concerns about privacy incorporated into designs. Up-to-date equipment, selected with local needs or demands in mind, was also introduced. "

And wouldn't you know money would be involved to get the hospitals to take on these new patients.

What do you think? Is this the way to improve births. The government had a big role in this program. Do we want the government in our free country taking this kind of role here?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

This looks delightful!

New Gadget. Oh man! Here is another thing for our hospitals to spend money on besides a loving PERSON to be there with the expecting parents. No one will ever look at a mother to see how she is. They will stare at the readings from this thing. Wow, machines are great! Actual site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Try this out

I went here and had a virtual labor. I made choices and it led me to the next step. Kind of fun. Tell me what you think if you try it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is it really convienent?

Read this.

Why is it if a woman says she is planning an induction no one blinks an eye. There are risks there. Yet home birth is questioned and considered a risk?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Birthing is beautiful?

I was reading this birth story as told by the father and loved how he described his wife.

Kel looked so beautiful to me then, sun shining in the water and down her back, totally involved in that ultimate expression of womanhood, birthing.
The woman I loved before was now the woman I worshipped, respected, admired for her humanity and fertility, her trust and her courage, her strength and focus.

Wow. When I'm in labor, beautiful is the last thing I feel. How wonderful it is that a man can see through, to true beauty and power in a woman.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Distractions

When life gets tough, the tough get distracted. Or, at least, that is what I've been doing. Lets see. What can I do to get my mind off the things I don't want it on? Finish the basement! okay, done. Remodel my bedroom, done. Remodel my daughter's room, done. Decorate the living room, done. Paint, done. Finish the backyard, done. Decorate the playroom, done. I'm running out of things! (much to my husband's happiness, I'm sure.)
What is it my mind is running from? I'm pregnant and have tried to not deal with that fact for as long as possible. But there is no denying it now, whoa! I have a world of unknowns before me. Until they unfold, it will remain that way. Will the baby be healthy? Oh PLEASE! please, be healthy. I can only hope and pray.
What do you do when life is tough?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who's to blame?

I like the point made in this. It ties into what I wrote before. I certainly felt others blaming my 'poor choice' for what happened. Read on to the comments below. It's a great discussion.

Home Birth and the "What if's?"

What if something goes WRONG?? So many times we hear this. Women are made to feel "safe" only in a hospital, where if anything goes wrong, they can be saved. But what if something goes wrong at home? What happens then? What if the baby gets stuck? There are horror stories about shoulder dystocia. What if my baby is not healthy? What if it hurts way to bad? What if this happens to me?!

When I went into labor with my second son, things happened very fast. I got up around 12:40 am and used the bathroom, as I always did late in my pregnancy. But as I sat there half asleep, I realized my water broke. (pretty convenient place) My husband was still sleeping and I was having no contractions, so I kept quiet and let him sleep. I heard my 22 month old in his room talking. That was unusual. What was he doing awake? I got my husband and asked him to try to get him back to sleep. He went in and it was to no avail. The kid was wide awake. Contractions slowly started and we called our doula around 1:00am to tell her what was happening. I was talking to her through the contractions and told her to "take her time. things were just starting." She arrived about 1:30 am and things had changed! I was in intense labor. We called the midwife and grandma (to help with the 1 year old). I had managed to get into the warm shower for some relief. It was SO intense. I was thinking, "This is hard! I can't keep this up." As they intensified I knelt down on my hands and knees. I was trying all the breathing techniques I had learned. Nothing was helping. I just tried to keep my tones low.

The midwife walked in just as I began to push. She told my husband, who was running around trying to set up a birth pool, that their was no time! She asked him to take off the shower doors and come catch his baby. As I pushed the baby out I heard the midwife say to my husband very calmly, "I'm sorry, I have to take this away from you." Then I remember yelling at her to stop what she was doing. She stayed calm and the baby was out. 2:12 am. I was holding and loving my baby.

What had happened? Well, at the time I was unaware that the baby had shoulder dystocia. The midwife used some techniques that got the baby out quickly and without any damage. (read here to learn of the techniques used in shoulder dystocia.) So, what if I had been in the hospital? What if I had an epidural and was unable to be in the best position for a S.D. delivery? And with how quickly labor happened, what if I was still in route to the hospital when this delivery happened? What if I was NOT at home with a qualified midwife? I have read stories of S.D. deliveries and the stories in the hospital are the ones that scare me. I was grateful I was not there- doctors panicing, nurses pushing on bellies, large episiotomies, and calls for the NICU. After reading more I was so grateful for a calm midwife who handled the situation. I was able to hold my baby and bond right away, which was precious time!

As time progressed we were sad to learn our baby was born with a congenital birth defect in his brain. He had an MRI and there was no brain damage from his birth. He had a life of struggle. Struggle to eat, see,and progress at a normal rate. What if he was born in the hospital? Would they have saved him from his life of challenges? No. What if he had been whisked off to the NICU? The precious time together would have been limited and the huge struggle to nurse him would have been intensified. With persistence (both on my part AND my sweet baby) we were able to overcome and breastfeed. It was not easy! We had time to be together and he did receive the medical attention he needed at the time he needed it, while still being able to bond with his family.

My baby died in his sleep when he was 19 months old. What if things had been different? What if he had spent more time in the hospital? What a shame that would have been.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What a great Name!

Wow. That's a great name, Anjie. Thanks for starting this blog. I think this will be a great place to share stories and information!