Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
I just got these Christmas pics from my friend Rebecca and couldn't resist posting them. She took them at my husband's fancy hotel- we were there anyway for the annual employee party and Rebecca came and snapped a few shots in an empty party room (after hubby turned on the gas fireplace). Note the real live manger I stole from church (left over from last year's Christmas play). These will go out on our Christmas cards.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
We went to a Christmas party last night for our multi-racial family support group. My kids always love their events. The party was held at my friend Sarah's home, a huge turn of the century mansion in the city. My kids love her house, and so do I. The spaces are so generous the architecture so intricate. No space or structure is to obscure for the finest detail. I remarked to my kids that they still build large homes today, but there's not the same attention to detail. Anyway, I spent most of the party talking to a couple with a new baby. They were adoptive parents to a biracial baby named Iris. I could hardly take my eyes of her, she was so plump and beautiful. She was younger than Josiah but much bigger. I was so greedy to hear their stories about her and to laugh and smile with them as she cooed and yawned. I felt so happy for them to have her. It was clear they were over the moon about her. I thought, every baby should be like Josiah and Iris. Every baby should be so wanted and cherished.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
on a panel, giving a presentation
during a Toastmaster's meeting
during a board meeting
in the chair getting my eyes examined
in front of a room full of med students doing rounds
at the airport during a protest
at a women's investment group meeting
at the mall
at the grocery store
in the waiting room of the pediatrician's office
in front of relatives at family gatherings
at a breastfeeding committee meeting
At no time and in no place have I recieved negative feedback- to my face. My philosophy is simply this; anytime, anyplace. I've lately wondered why I 'get away with it' Am I so discreet no-one knows I'm doing it? Am I so bold and brazen folks are shocked into silence? Am I so confident and natural about it, that no one questions me? Perhaps a little of all the above. At any rate, I'm tickled pink to be nursing all over town and doing my part to make breastfeeding an accepted and acceptable behavior in public venues.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
my husband, whom I am blessed to share this life with
my baby Josiah who breaks my heart with his beauty and stregnth
all my other children who are so bright and healthy
my grandchildren who are well rooted and grow strong
my parents and grandmother who love me and keep me grounded
my sisters and thier families who fill my life to the very edges
my in-laws who gird us up and provide a strong support
my friends who keep me vigilent and accountable
my two cats and dog who give love and companionship so freely
all those in my life who freely share who they are and what they have
my creature comforts of hearth and home
my will to give, to take, to produce
my sense of mission
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
This comment from Dear Reader, Emjabee, really hits home the point that breastfeeding mothers are being failed. I'm all about stemming the tide of this societal failure. But first I had to confront my own predjudices. I fought giving Josiah formula in the hospital for two days. I didn't want to believe the problem was my milk supply. Then my 28 year old visited me and told me not to resist on account of my pride. He was right. I was prideful about being a successful breastfeeding mother, proud that I was the mother of nine and had homebirthed and breastfed 5 previous babies. I was also embarressed that this was happening to me- the town breastfeeding self-proclaimed guru (chairperson of the breastfeeding committee, yada, yada, yada) People came to me with their breastfeeding problems. Now I was having problems- major problems. It was a blow to my pride to give Josiah formula. I let the nurse give him the first formula bottle- still too proud to do it myself. As the days passed and it became indisputable that my milk supply was the problem, I remembered something I had heard Dr. Newman say at the conference last month. He spoke of formula feeding as a medical intervention. Surely, in this case, that's exactly what it was. I have no intention of abandoning breastfeeding. I'm taking 3 herbals and 1 medication (+ the beer) to boost my milk supply, and using formula in the meantime to increase his caloric intake. My baby needed the food, and if I couldn't supply him with adequate amounts of the best type of food, then the second best will do- for now. The more I saw him plump up as the days passed the more I became committed to supplying him with what he needed. I feel ashamed that I refused the formula at first on account of my pride instead of doing what was best for Josiah. I look at him now, his face fuller, his skin no longer sagging against his lanky limbs. I'm so thankful for the lactation consultants, and the nutritionist who worked with me to boost my supply while gently allowing me to introduce formula slowly and at my pace. I also thank you, Dear Readers- I feel your prayers and support. They are being answered because today, I pumped twice as much milk than I was getting when I was in the hospital.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Please do not be unduly alarmed by the news I have to share. Josiah was admitted to the local children's hospital last night. This is what happened. Over the weekened, I began to think that I should take him to the Ped for a weight check. He just didn't seem to be gaining any weight. At his two week exam, he had gained a full pound, but I just didn't see him plumping up. He looked as scrawny as ever to me. After going around in my head all weekend about it, I called the Ped on Monday to bring him in for a weight check. I took him in on Tuesday afternoon. I couldn't believe my eyes when the nurse put him on the same scale as two weeks previous and it read 5lbs. 10 oz.! His birth weight had been 6lbs, 14oz. What the hell happened? He was a beautiful and robust nurser. He peed and pooped continuously. How could he have lost 2 lbs in 2 weeks and I not notice??? I couldn't even go home and pack, the Ped sent me to the children's hospital and gave me 20 minutes to get across town and admit him. I looked at my beautiful little boy. I so didn't want this for him. I felt like I had failed him. The Ped, a handsome young man who looked young enough to be one of my kids (my regular Ped was off yesterday), tried to comfort me by telling me I had done what I was supposed to do- I thought I saw a problem and brought him in. I knew he needed to go, but I confess I didn't want to take him to the hospital. I called my husband, and then headed in. My husband met me in admissions and we took him up to his room. All the rooms are private and quite lovely. (we're quite fortunate to live near such a first rate children's hospital- its a real show place) It held a crib for Josiah and a daybed for me, a bathroom, a small fridge, a closet a rocking chair, and lots of space for visitors. I settled Josiah in, and made a list for my husband of my things to bring me, especially my laptop. My husband went home to take care of the other kids, while I silently vowed not to leave Josiah's side. Whatever procedures he had to endure, I would be right there with him. The team of doctors (this is a teaching hospital, I've probably seen about 12 residents already) ordered lots of labs that have to be spread out over a couple of days, as he can only spare so much blood. He's a very difficult stick since he's so skinny and dehydrated besides. Its taken multiple sticks for each blood draw (poor baby). The last nurse finally just drew from a vein in his head and got sufficient blood. They also started an IV in his head as well. The upshot is the weight problem is either due to insuffient milk supply/calories, or inefficient metabolism. He nurses well, pees and poops, has no vomiting or diarrhea, and no fever. I would hate to think that my milk supply is the problem, but thats better than a metabolic disorder. Of course the docs wanted right away to supplement, I told them no. If milk supply/caloric intake is the problem, then I should work to correct that. The lactation consultant along with the nutritionist put together a plan, that the docs grudgingly will go along with- for a day or two. I am boosting my supply with more frequent feedings, post feeding pumping, domperidone pills, fenugreek tablets, and mother's milk tincture. This regimen should have me swimming in milk. If we don't start to see weight gain, then we will move to fortifying the expressed milk. We also discussed using human milk from a milk bank. I have liked working with a multidisciplinary group- and they all are agreeable to letting the lactation consultant lead the way- for now. The labs so far show nothing, except a little dehydration, but most are still out. They've taken blood, stool, and urine and seem to be leaving no stone unturned. My friends have been priceless. They gathered the domperdome, funugreek and tincture and got it to me at the hospital. The lactation consultant was very impressed that I could get my hands on these items, and so quickly. I simply told her, its all in the network! Those meds passed through many hands coming across town to get delivered to me. What wonderful friends and family. My mother-in-law is with the other kids so my husband could go on to work. Tonight, my job is to feed and pump, and rest when I can. I feel blessed that Josiah is recieving good care and that I can be here with him every step of the way.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I have taken Josiah along me now to three meetings, my biracial family support group, my women's investment club, and the healthcare foundation board. He nursed at all of them. I also had him in tow as I attended two school functions and taught a couple of CPR classes, with him tucked into his sling. He causes quite a stir everywhere we go- all of it positive of course. I may face some friction, but I've decided to keep on carrying him to my meetings. He is such a sweet little thing, I can hardly bear to leave him. He should be with me, its his rightful place. I love the convenience of breastfeeding wherever I go. To see his angelic little face, his eyes shut tight, his little fists balled tightly, his nose twitching and jaws working back and forth as he concentrates on the work of getting milk. He's an incredible delight. I love to snuggle with him against me and breathe in his warm milky breath, to nuzzle his fuzzy little round head. I'm getting better at sharing him, taking him out of the sling so others can hold him. At first I didn't want to share at all, and would wickedly keep him all to myself. Now I can see the joy he brings to others- its a rare treat to snuggle a newborn.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul and forget none of His benefits.
Ok, maybe God knew what he was doing after all! At any rate He sure does good work. Even though my husband refers to the baby as "Golem" (you know that long skinny creature in Lord of the Rings) I think he's beautiful and perfect in every way. It's scary how much I love this baby. I'd do anything to protect him and keep him safe. I feel so blessed to be entrusted with him. I stopped by my kids old school yesterday, to show off the baby and visited nearly an hour with the school secretary, Lisa, whom I've always liked a great deal. She and her husband have four kids but have been trying to get pregnant again. After hearing her longing for another baby (and some infertile ladies I've talked to) its easy to see there is something worse than having a baby unexpectedly after eight years- not being able to conceive when you want to desperately. Oh how I shudder at some of the things I said and wrote before. Such ingratitude, such arrogance. I wouldn't change one step of this precious journey. I'm so glad Josiah is a part of our lives. I would have missed so much if he had never come to be. Thank you, Lord, thank you, a thousand times, thank you for knowing better our wants and needs than we know them ourselves.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
I said goodbye to my beloved Brits yesterday. I will miss Larry and Lucy and baby Harper. I visited them to see my birth video and to say goodbye until they return in December. It was so good to see the video. Its funny, how my perception of the birth is that it was dark in the room, but the video showed a brightly lit room with sunlight streaming through. Watching the video I realized my eyes are closed most of the time (which accounts for the perception of darkness- ha!) Even though I lived it, I was really cool to see it on tape. My face looked at times in great pain and discomfort and at other times serene and beautiful. I loved seeing myself own my own birth experience and utilize coping skills that worked for me. I loved seeing my birth. The best part was after Josiah was born and I'm holding him and turn around and sit on the sofa. I didn't remember this, but on the video, I start laughing and laughing and laughing as I hold him and look at him. I don't remember doing that but celluloid doesn't lie. Its such a free and hearty laugh, so appropriate for the high that follows a joyous birth. Larry and Lucy will take all the video back to England and begin the editing process. They will send me some clips which I will *try* to post.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Josiah also attended his first play yesterday, as he and I and my 18 year old went to see my friend Julie in the lead role of "The Hiding Place" the story of Corrie Ten Boom, whose family hid Jews in their home during the German occupation of The Netherlands. I had read the book when I was in my twenties and remembered it in detail as the play progressed. It was a stunning performance (Josiah slept through the whole thing) and I was so proud of Julie, and got to tell her so, as she cuddled Josiah after the performance. There was a scene where a young Jewish mother with a newborn came to the Ten Booms seeking refuge. I held Josiah tight thinking what would I do if he were in danger, at risk in some way. How I would give my very life to preserve his. His little life is in my hands. It is at once a joyous and somber task. He makes me want to be a better mother.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
The photos were taken by my good friend Rebecca. She is very talented with a camera, so good at getting good angles. My husband and I had a double date with Rebecca and her husband, Tom tonight. Obviously, we had to amend our plans. Rather than cancel, we decided that they would pick up dinner, at an Italian deli and bring it over. What a feast! Lasagna, stuffed portabella mushrooms, spaghetti squash, salads, and breads, and for dessert some magnificent bowl shaped cake, the inside of which was filled with Italian cream. We had the best time, talking about our kids (we met when our 15 year olds were newborns) and sharing this labor with them. After dinner, Rebecca took the pictures and helped me upload them onto my computer and into the blog. After that, we did a belly cast! I tried to get my husband to take a picture with me- it would have been a lovely contrast, his pale skin again my dark, but he refused (too shy to take off his shirt for Rebecca!) My three daughters got into the act though. Its now about 1 am. The Brits have been here filming since about 8pm. I can no longer sleep through the contractions. Thats when the midwife said to call her. I'll call her and the doula to come now. The contractions are about every 10 to 15 minutes but hurt like crazy and last at least a minute and the pressure is so low. I always labor at night and birth in the morning, so I think this is it.
My plan for this birth is that it be (birthing) woman-led which includes the following tenets:
· No interference or medical intervention without medical provocation
· Respect for intuitive wisdom and knowing of the mother and caregiver
· Obedience to the mother’s bodily wisdom and functioning
· Limited reliance on technology and pharmacology
· Positive and readily available emotional and physical support for mother and caregivers
· Silence when requested, and respectful speech and touch
· Presence, when desired, of those who have been selected by the mother to
support the birthing process
· Recognition of mother and baby as the primary focus of the birthing process
· Responsible and informed decision-making
. Faith in divine design and reliance on divine presence
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
(I bolded the meaty parts and put my (smart ass) comments in red)
Home Birth and Breastfeeding May Set the Stage for Healthy Immune Systems in Infants (Cool!)
Penders, J., Thijs, C., Vink, C., Stelma, F. F., Snijders, B., Kummeling, I., et al. (2006). Factors influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiota in early infancy. Pediatrics, 118(2), 511 - 521. [Abstract]
Summary: In this prospective cohort study, researchers examined the influence of several factors on the microbial environment of infants' gastrointestinal tracts. Fecal samples from 1,032 infants between 3 and 6 weeks of age were collected by the parents and presence and quantity of various "beneficial" (e.g., bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and "harmful" (e.g., C. difficile, E. coli, and B. fragilis) species of microbes were determined by polymerase chain-reaction tests. The study took place in the Netherlands where home birth and exclusive breastfeeding are common. In this study, 47.5% of the infants were born vaginally at home (n = 480), and 70% were exclusively breastfed during the first month of life (n = 700). The cesarean-section rate was 10.7% (n = 108).
After adjusting for confounding factors, infants born by cesarean section had a significantly higher rate of colonization with C. difficile and lower rates of colonization with bifidobacteria and B. fragilis than those born vaginally at home. Each day of hospitalization after birth was associated with a 13% increase in the rate of colonization with C. difficile. Exclusively breastfed infants were significantly less likely than formula-fed babies to be colonized with E. coli, C. difficile, B. fragilis, and lactobacilli. Term infants born at home and breastfed exclusively had the highest numbers of bifidobacteria and the lowest numbers of C. difficile and E. coli compared with any other group of infants.
Significance for Normal Birth: The newborn's gut, sterile at birth, rapidly becomes colonized with millions of microbes. The number and type of gut flora have been shown to influence immune system development, the risk of allergies and asthma, and metabolic functions such as the production of vitamin K.
In normal vaginal birth, newborns encounter their own mother's microbes during the critical first hours. Some of these microbes are beneficial and promote healthy gastrointenstinal development. Other microbes are pathologic (may cause disease), but maternal antibodies, passed to the baby via breastfeeding, help ensure that the baby tolerates their presence. When a baby is born by cesarean surgery and/or subjected to prolonged hospitalization, unfamiliar hospital-borne pathogens such as C. difficile dominate the microbial environment of the newborn's gut. Minimizing the baby's contact with these harmful organisms by avoiding hospitalization for normal birth while maximizing newborn's exposure to antibodies and beneficial microbes by promoting exclusive breastfeeding may decrease the likelihood of newborn infection and optimize the baby's developing immune system for lifelong health benefits. (I love this finding- more proof that the hospital environment in and of itself can be toxic to the newborn- yet another reason to breastfeed, you can bet I'll be bringing this up at my next LLL meeting.)
Physiologic Pushing, Birth of the Head Between Contractions Reduce Genital Tract Trauma at Birth
Albers, L. A., Sedler, K. D., Bedrick, E. J., Teaf, D., & Peralta, P. (2006). Factors related to genital tract trauma in normal spontaneous vaginal births. Birth, 33(2), 94 - 100. [Abstract]
Summary: This secondary analysis of a randomized, controlled trial of perineal management techniques evaluates the maternal and clinical factors associated with genital tract trauma during vaginal birth. The researchers analyzed data from 1,176 midwife-attended, spontaneous vaginal births where episiotomy was not performed.
Greater maternal education, directed pushing while the woman holds her breath, and higher infant birth weight increased the risk of trauma requiring suturing in primiparous women; however, birthing the infant's head between contractions reduced the risk of trauma requiring suturing. In multiparous women, prior sutured trauma and higher infant birth weight increased the likelihood of trauma requiring suturing, and birthing the infant's head between contractions was protective.
Significance for Normal Birth: This study provides strong evidence that two modifiable factors may reduce trauma to the mother's genital tract at birth: physiologic pushing (when the woman follows her own urge to push without direction from maternity-care providers) and birthing the baby's head between contractions.
The authors note "a calm and unrushed approach to vaginal birth improved the health of new mothers by lowering overall trauma rates and reducing the need for suturing" (p. 99). In normal birth, the woman follows her own body's cues to give birth. (What?? Women following their own internal cues to push??? What kind of madness is that? Everybody knows purple pushing is what gets the baby out! Besides, who cares if women's coochies get all torn up- they should just be happy to have a healthy baby. After all, we'll sew them back up and even put in an extra stitch for Daddy!)Attendance by caregivers who are confident in normal birth, such as the midwives who conducted this trial, supports the natural unfolding of the birth process and, thus, reduces maternal injury.
Quality-Improvement Study Finds Induction, Early Labor Admission Predictive of Cesarean Surgery in Low-Risk Mothers (no shit, Sherlock)
Main, E. K., Moore, D., Barrell, B., Schimmel, L. D., Altman, R. J., Abrahams, C., et al. (2006). Is there a useful cesarean birth measure? Assessment of the nulliparous term singleton vertex cesarean birth rate as a tool for obstetric quality improvement. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 194, 1644 - 1652. [Abstract]
Summary:This prospective, quality-improvement study provides data on the association between elective obstetric practices and the cesarean-surgery rate in "nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex" (NTSV) births (those with one baby born in the head-down position after 37 weeks to a mother who has not previously given birth). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have identified the NTSV cesarean rate as an appropriate proxy for the cesarean rate in low-risk mothers. The study took place in 20 birthing units in a large hospital system that serves a diverse population of childbearing women.
Researchers analyzed 41,416 NTSV births taking place between 2001 and 2003. Data on the frequency of induction of labor prior to 41 weeks, admission in early labor (less than 3cm dilation), and 5-minute Apgar scores <> 25%. Statistical tests of the correlation between NTSV cesarean rates and low Apgar scores failed to reveal an optimal NTSV cesarean rate but demonstrated that lowering the rate to 19% did not compromise newborn outcomes. Some of the hospitals with NTSV cesarean rates below 19% had excellent newborn outcomes while others in this category showed the possibility of increased risk to newborns. Due to this wide variation the researchers call for further research into the conditions that support both low NTSV cesarean rates and favorable newborn outcomes.
Significance for Normal Birth: Low-risk nulliparous women are 4 - 10 times more likely to undergo cesarean surgery than their multiparous counterparts, and this population contributes significantly to the overall increasing cesarean rate. This study suggests that induction of labor and admission in early labor are strong determinants of the rate of cesarean surgery among low-risk women giving birth for the first time. This is of particular concern because, in today's climate, almost all women who give birth to their first child by cesarean will go on having surgical births for all their future children. Although the study did not differentiate among elective or medically necessary inductions, the authors acknowledge that many inductions in low-risk nulliparas are purely elective or performed for "soft" indications (i.e., those without evidence-based medical rationale). The study suggests that the wide variation in NTSV cesarean rates across hospitals has less to do with intrinsic differences in the populations of women served than with the hospitals' obstetric practices. Expectant families should be counseled that avoiding unnecessary inductions and laboring at home until an active labor pattern is established are two of the most important means of avoiding cesarean surgery. Choosing the birth setting carefully, with attention given to rates of elective and routine obstetric practices, may also help avert surgical births. (This one really pisses me off- how many times did I see this as an L&D nurse (and with my daughter-in-law)? Potentially perfectly normal labors and births ruined by arbitrary inductions and interventions. This is why normal healthy first time 20-30 year olds can't have a damn baby. Once they have that first cesarean they are forever branded, internally and externally as being unable to birth vaginally. They think they can't birth vaginally and the system works to deny them VBACs for subsequent births. Early admission can be a big culprit, these first-timers fall off 'the curve' before they're even on it. If Friedman were still around, I'd bust a cap in his ass.)
Cochrane Systematic Review Confirms Effectiveness of Breastfeeding for Reducing Procedural Pain in Newborns
Shah, P. S., Aliwalas, L. L., & Shah, V. (2006). Breastfeeding or breastmilk for procedural pain in neonates. The Cochrane Library, Issue 3. [Abstract]
Summary: This systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration evaluated the effectiveness of breastfeeding or supplemental breast milk on pain in newborns undergoing painful procedures. The researchers extracted data from 11 studies that met predetermined eligibility criteria for inclusion in the review. All of the studies compared the effect of breastfeeding or supplemental breast milk versus a control intervention on pain in newborns during a single procedure (heel lance or venipuncture). Pain was determined by physiologic (heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) and/or behavioral (cry, facial actions) indicators. In some cases, validated composite pain scores were used. Both term (Ã¢â€°Â¥ 37 weeks) and preterm (<>In this case, strong evidence emphasizes the role of breastfeeding in alleviating pain in newborns undergoing venipuncture or heel-stick procedures. Whether the mechanism of pain relief is the comfort of being close to the mother, the sweetness of her milk, the hormonal composition of breast milk, or a combination of these factors remains to be determined. Although many different interventions were compared with breastfeeding in the 11 studies included in this review, breastfeeding was consistently beneficial. The evidence is compelling enough to command a change in the practices of all birth settings where infants are denied breastfeeding during painful procedures. Nonseparation of mothers and infants and unlimited opportunities to breastfeed in the newborn period are the culmination of normal birth and optimize mother-infant bonding and the breastfeeding relationship. When painful procedures are necessary, these care practices also optimize pain relief, potentially decreasing trauma to the newborn and reducing anxiety in the mother. (I've been glad to see more attention paid to neonatal pain. Remember the days when it was thought babies couldn't feel? Perhaps hospitals could look at letting mothers nurse babies during heel sticks and other pain-inducing procedures rather than the use of sugar coated pacifiers, sucrose water bottles and other artificial agents.)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Finally found the baby bed I wanted, after 3 stores. Hubby can put it together today so I can organize baby's things.
Two of my girlfriends who missed my shower took me to lunch at one of my favorite haunts and gave me the stroller that was on my registry list. How sweet! I felt so loved and pampered. I shamelessly ordered whatever I wanted off the menu. They took me to Webster House, a turn of the century converted school, that now holds a fancy imported antique shop downstairs and an equally fancy restaurant upstairs. I love going there, my favorite former boss is manager there so I get to visit her whenever I stop by for lunch. The restaurant is first rate. I ordered tenderloin blue cheese soup to start, Croque Monsiour for main course (fancy french grilled ham sandwich), my favorite peach ginger tea to drink, and black and white bread pudding for dessert. I tasted my friend's parsnip and lobster bisque, but like my soup better. I think I smiled all the way home. I just felt so full- not just of good food, but of good love and acceptance. My visit with Sarah and Kathleen was such a lift to my spirits. They are long time friends. We knew each other when we were all struggling, single moms. We talked about how our children have grown into adulthood, and second generation motherhood (we all have a new younger set of children), our husbands (some marraiges turned out better than others) how life changes and becomes more wonderous as one ages, and lifestyle. They quizzed me about our move to the suburbs last year, they both live next door to one another in the city in a neighborhood I can only fantasize about, full of the most fabulous turn of the century mansions. I had to confess, after a lifetime of city living, the move to the burbs was not traumatic. I have wonderful neighbors, and my kids go to good public schools (though I miss the historic old houses and ancient tree lined streets of the city). This conversation gave me such perspective on how much we've all grown as women. Its such a sweet thrill for me to see my friends children grow into adulthood and watch as they bloom- Sarah's daughter persuing an acting career in California, and Kathleen's son entering law school - the same with my girlfriends how we grow and change and absorb the lessons of life and become who we were truly meant to be. Of course we talked about the baby as well. I still have no idea how this baby will fit in my life- but I'm gaining a stronger sense that he or she should be, even must be in my life. Kathleen asked a marvelous question. She asked why I think this pregnancy came into my life and what the lesson was? I confess I probably won't begin to know the answer except in retrospect, but I like the idea of pondering it. A sense of peace came over me as I thought about her question- driven by the notion that the pregnancy was no accident after all, but very intentional (if not on our parts- surely by greater divine design) that all of this was meant to be. I've fought this idea for many months now, choosing instead to cast myself as a victim, but now I let it wash over me. What if my life is not ruined or even inconvenienced, what if I was meant to have this child at this time of my life? The reasons have yet to be revealed but the master plan was set in place long ago. I feel a shift in my perception, a desire to embrace was has come upon me and a sadness at its lateness in coming.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I have a new doula. My initial doula was overcommitted with school, and such, so I let her off the hook and asked someone else. The new doula, was the same one with my son and his wife, and with the Brits. She's one of the best in town, and a massage therapist to boot. Nothing will be ready when the midwife makes her home visit- oh well, I still have a couple more weeks to prepare. The main thing I want to talk about is the birth itself and her treatment protocols for postpartum hemmorhage- the one complication I think I'm at risk for and only because its baby number nine. I've been drinking my uterine stregnthening teas and have never had a problem before- just covering my bases. I'm feeling stronger and stronger about a hands off birth. I don't know why I feel so strongly about not being talked to or touched, but I do. Is this an outpouring of my newfound crankiness or am I just feeling the need to truly birth independently?
Friday, September 29, 2006
I thought of this later yesterday when I was having a conversation with another business owner on my block. I stopped in to commiserate because we have so much in common: both nurses, both business owners, both pregnant and due soon. We were both moaning about the state of our accounts receivable, when the topic turned to our pregnancies. She asked where I was delivering (always a loaded question), and I told her at home. Of course she began her tirade about how she MUST have her epidural. I began my equally emphatic tirade about my preference for control and how easier it is to bounce back after a drug free delivery. Now I sit here kicking myself- I should have asked her for her views on how labor and delivery styles impact breastfeeding. She owns a breastfeeding store for god's sake, surely she's thought about the impact of birth practices. She is also a neonatal nurse, surely she's seen the fallout to babies of bad birth practices. After all these years I'm still shocked that nurses look at these things as NORMAL and even worse than that, they see them as benevolent. They really believe they are giving the best care possible to their patients. When I think about how many have never even SEEN a normal birth, it blows my mind, since they attend births for a living. How will my former compatriots view my book? I'll probably be branded a heritic, and burned in effigy. Or perhaps they won't be surprised at all, after all I've been preaching the same sermon for 20 years now. All I'm saying is, nurses are the hardest converts.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Just spoke to my doula friend on the phone. The Brits had a baby girl early this morning!!!! She was their doula and I woke her out of a post-birth slumber because I had a feeling I should call and get an update. I knew they were due any day now. One of our concerns is that they were due to have their baby only a few weeks before me. Kinda hard to film a birth when you're in labor yourself! Seems her water broke a couple of days ago so it was a long labor (typical for a first birth) but the doula said she had a wonderful, natural, drug-free labor and birth with my favorite midwife practice. I'm so glad for them. I'll wait a couple of days and give them a call. I like to avoid that initial onslought of calls and visits that happens the first few days when mom and baby need their rest. The doula told me they named her Harper. What a great name.