Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
yesterday marked the calendar version of my entrance into my third trimester!!! your dad and i always argue over how far along i am... he goes by the month, not the week... why? cuz he's a guy. and that's logical. You're due August 28th, and therefore i am now officially 6 months pregnant.
But your mommy (that's me) goes by weeks? Why? cuz everyone else in the birthing world does. The books, the doctors, the articles....
Either way, there is about 12 more weeks left on your little egg-timer of baby baking. Don't get me wrong, you're welcome to stay as long as you like (sure, she says that NOW), but i am starting to feel a little weary, little one.
You know when you're done, and you'll come when you're ready.
But right now, when i actually sit and think about how much time there is left... it's really not that far away. And your Grandma D (that's my mommy) tells me that your Uncle B was 2 weeks early, that I was 1 week early, that your Uncle P was right on time, and your Uncle W was 3 weeks early.... i mean really, you could come any time in August!!
you might be here EVEN SOONER than 91 days!
And the countdown continues!!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Your daddy and I are going to do everything in our power to bring you safely into this world, surrounded by love and good energy. Together we are creating a family.
we love you so much.
One kind of learning comes from books. But the learning necessary for you to participate completely in your birth must come from you. In making birth art or journalling, just bringing an image to light can be surprisingly revealing (and sometimes healing). Listening to it speak to you can tell you even more.Dreams, reverie and art all carry messages from the unconscious. When exploring birth art, "We must," as Carl Jung observed in his discussion of imagery, "take the consequences of messages received."An active, gentile exploration process not only brings overlooked resources and strengths to conscious awareness, but identifies obstacles and inhibitions that might prevent you from using them.Birth art doesn't have to be pretty, colorful or carefully planned. It is as raw, honest, and spontaneous as birth itself.- England, Pam, and Rob Horowitz. Birthing From Within. Albuquerque: Partera Press, 1998. p.32
(Click to Enlarge)
So i ended up creating a yin-yang of sorts, starting with my hopes for labour.
The heart on the left is surrounded by flames - the flames symbolizing mine and B-rad's love. The heart is growing bigger and bigger as our love for Chewie grows.
i drew was the lotus flower opening up as the baby crowns. B-rad is pictured behind me supporting me as i push. The spirals that surround us represent our birthing energy - all in very calming colours and natural flowing shapes.
Next, i'm sitting holding and nursing our baby - just calm, surrounded by love and peace. Bonding with my new child.
As i flipped the paper over to start on my fears of labour, the first thing i noticed was how my mood shifted, dramatically. I instantly felt agitated and stressed. I wanted to get this side of the drawing over with as soon as i could. I noticed i didn't take as much time or care on this side as i did on the other side. All the images were coarsly sketched.
The fetal monitor on the left symbolizes my fear of something going wrong with the baby. The monitor representing the medical community stressing and then not including me in what's going on, losing control of my own birth experience, having it taken away by the medical profession.
The next image i found to be very interesting. I am on a delivery table, on my back - with no arms. I am helpless. B-rad (the green image) and i are both faceless, unimportant. We are surrounded by faceless doctors and nurses we don't know, and the doctor has a very egotistical air about him, standing back, holding a clipboard with his hand in his pocket. The God of the delivery room. His head is also the biggest.
The third image is the Medical Red Cross, a needle, and a scalpel. I am afraid of medical interferences, unecessary drugs, and procedures like episiotomies and c-sections. The baby under the glass is my cesarian baby from my dream. It is faceless too, i'm afraid that i won't be connected with the baby.
The colours on this side were harsh blacks, yellows, and reds - and the lines were jagged and angled.
I flipped the picture back over to fill in the background with cool coloured spirals and swirls, and instantly felt calmer. Again, amazed that when i flipped it back to do the black and red jagged lines, how it made me unhappy.
When i explained it all to B-rad, i was able to finally verbalize the fact that i am terrified of having a c-section.
Later that night, B-rad held me as i cried and voiced out loud that i. am. scared. That this is the scariest thing that i have ever done in my life.
I'm scared of failing.
I'm scared of my body failing me - of complications that will rob B-rad, Chewie, and I of the birth experience that we deserve.
These emotions have been bubbling under the surface for a while now, and through artistic expression i was able to realize these emotions and have a platform to talk about them.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This is the site for the book that our Doula recommended us. So far it's a great book. You can get some information from the site, but this is the perfect book for me. It's just the *right* amount of hippy.
There's much talk in the book about Birth Art and how creating your own birth art can be very insightful into your feelings/fears/excitment towards birth.
Every day when i wake up to get ready for work, i think about how my life is about to change in the next 3 months. How the alarm i wake to every day will be you, and how no matter how tired and exhausted i am, i will somehow find the energy for you. I think about how much your daddy already loves you... how protective he is of us, how he looks out for us, and how i can see the excitement on his face when we talk about you.
The other day, your Daddy and i laying in bed, feeling you kick, when i said: "It's amazing how in love i am with this baby, and i've never even met it". He smiled and said: "I know".
Monday, May 26, 2008
Last night your daddy and i saw RUSH in concert.
Music is such a big part of our lives, i wonder what music you'll love. What songs will drive you to move, cause your passion to stir, or bring goosebumps to your arms.
Daddy and I will have a great time introducing The Great Ones to you.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Your cousins came over yesterday while your Auntie and Uncle played ball.
I hope all become friends. I always wished i had cousins my age to play with, but we were the oldest ones. Stuck between the Little Cousins and the Adults.
I'm happy you'll have playmates at family functions.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The more i learn about birth, the more i feel i need to pass on this information! i think about what a completely different experience this pregnancy would be if i didn't have it.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
and the more you know, the better informed your decisions will be.
Baby Led Breastfeeding
This site is where you can purchase Dr. Christina M. Smillie, MD's DVD about her work with breast feeding.
From the site:
In Baby-Led Breastfeeding, we see mothers learning to breastfeed naturally−by letting their babies show them how. Like kittens and puppies, human babies are already hardwired to seek out and find the breast. In this video we see just how babies can do it−when we get out of the babies' way..."We don't have to make our babies learn to feed−we just allow them to follow their instincts to learn."Canadian Assoc. of Midwives - Sask.
This site has the details specific to Saskatchewan Midwifery Model and the current initiatives.
The home site for the association is here
A method of relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis to encourage a calm natural birth.
From the site:
HypnoBirthing® provides the missing link that allows women to use their natural instincts to bring about a safer, easier, more comfortable birthing. Emphasis is placed on pregnancy and childbirth, as well as on pre-birth parenting and the consciousness of the pre-born baby
Kangaroo Mother Care
I love this. It's a method started in 1979 in Bogota, Columbia in response to a shortage of incubators and was taken to South Africa by Dr. Nils Bergman. It works for all newborns, but especially for premies. The idea is to use the mother's chest - skin on skin contact - to act as a natural thermostat.
From the site:
What he found was that skin to skin care was much better for the newborn than the incubator. Babies were warmer and calmer, breathed better and had a more stable heart rate with skin to skin care.
La Leche League - Canada
This is a site where breastfeeding mothers can go for support and information, as well as to meet other breastfeeding mothers in La Leche Leage Groups.
From the site:
Each Group holds monthly meetings where Leaders facilitate informal, guided discussions. During these discussions mothers receive accurate, up-to-date and personalized breastfeeding information and support for their role as a breastfeeding parent. In addition, mothers are able to draw on the experience of other mothers who attend. LLLC Leaders also offer telephone help to nursing and pregnant women who call seeking breastfeeding information.
Mama Goddess Birth Shop
This is a beautiful on line store that offers all kinds of amazing goodies!! it makes the hippy in me rediculously happy.
From the site:
Mama Goddess Birth Shop is a proudly Canadian, eco-friendly on-line store. We offer a high quality source of home and hospital birth supplies,water birth pools,organic baby products, organic herbal teas, breastfeeding supplies, Midwifery supplies and much more!Orgasmic Birth
Okay, i just found this one last night, so i'm still doing some learnin' here too. But daaang, if it doesn't look appealing!! When you go to the site, there's a trailer that plays automatically. Be sure to check out the latest birth stories on the sidebar. Definately worth the read... and Good God, this is the way i wanna do it. In the trailer one woman says: The energy that got you pregnant is the same energy to get the baby out.
Makes perfect sense. Don'tchya think?... the question they ask is:
What would happen if women were taught to enjoy birth rather than endure it?
This is the home site for the Doula network in Saskatchewan. This is also where i found and contacted our doula (?)
This is a great resource on Midwifery in Saskatchewan, and home births... which are out of the picture for us, sadly.
The Business of Being Born
This is the official site of the film produced by Rikki Lake about the American Health System and hospital births. I have yet to see the film, but the trailer itself is very informative.
From the site:
Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business. Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies. The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal. Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?As i add more links, i'll be sure to give you the blurbs...
Will you have big blue eyes like your daddy, or will they be green like mine?
Will your hair turn in soft curls at your neck, or will it be straight as a board?
When you smile will your cheeks dimple?
When you laugh will your eyes sparkle?
All these things and more... I cannot wait to meet you.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Somewhere in that haze between awake and asleep, between my midnight pees and my husband's alarm clock.
I was in labour. The baby was almost 3 full months premature. But all signs were go. Chewie and I were both in good health, and we arrived at the hospital with strange lighting... the birthing room was long and narrow like a hallway, and i could see doctors and nurses talking at the end of the hall... the blue overhead lights flickering...
meanwhile, the labour pains kept coming, but i was feeling no fear. It was like i was so far removed from the situation, i could only watch as things happened around me. I was sitting on the edge of the bed, the doctors and medical staff and all their equipment beeping and sounding off in the distance. Where i sat, it was calm, we were surrounded by white light. It was B-rad and I, and our doula. I stood up, face to face with B-rad and wrapped my arms around his neck and let him support me while the contractions kept coming, enveloped in his loving arms - i was aware of the contractions, but not conscious of the pain.
I felt like it would never end, that there was just pain - that i couldn't feel - but that nothing was progressing. The doula checked and announced that i was 5cm dialated - and ready to go.
"5cm? shouldn't i be 10?" i thought, but for some reason couldn't say. At this point i realized i hadn't said anything this whole time, that people around me were talking, and i was only able to watch things happen around me.
Suddenly - the doctor arrived, and i was standing up again, about 3 feet from the table. He was carrying a silver platter with a Glass like Egg the size of a large watermelon, through the glass i could see a baby sleeping soundly on a soft blanket. "Your order has arrived, Ms. Diva".
i looked down at my belly and was shocked to see it was flat, no longer round and full of life. This was obviously my baby. I was so confused. "This isn't how it's normally done, is it?" i thought... "But then, he is the doctor - he must know what's best". The doula, for whatever reason, had vanished and i felt very concerned and afraid.
As the doctor and his staff proceeded to open the egg on the table, i stood with B-rad to the side of the room, watching - taking no part whatsoever in the birth of our child.
i felt an overwhelming sense of being totally Ripped Off, being cheated out of the whole experience of birthing. All that work, all those months, all that anticipation to have the doctor take over and do the 'delivering' and then pat themselves on the back while the nurses walked away with Chewie.
After what seemed like an eternity, our Doula returned carrying a tiny healthy baby... and as i held it, i knew it was mine but i felt absolutely no connection to it. It could have been anyone's baby, for all my heart was concerned. "Here's your little girl" she said.
I woke up feeling sore all over my body. Perhaps that was what triggered the pain in my dream? I did go to Aquafit yesterday. Still not entirely all there, B-rad was getting up for work. It's a girl, i said... but apparently not out loud. i fell back to sleep, and to dreaming.
And as much as i don't really want that, i have to admit that spending that hour and a bit with Sunava last night really did wonders to put my mind and soul at ease re: birthing in a hospital.
When we arrived, the first thing we were greeted to was her super energetic and absolutely adorable 4 year old son. Shy is not even is this kids vocabulary!
I had told her before that as this was our first child, we had no kids to get into bed at home, so meeting at her house was not a problem.
Y'know when you meet someone, and you get that vibe, and you like them instantly? well, this is how it went down at Sunava's house. B-rad and i fell in love with her, almost the second we sat down on her couch. We chatted a bit about ourselves, about what we do for a living, what we'd LIKE to be doing for a living, and inevitably the conversation wound it's way to musical tastes... and i think this may be what sealed the deal for my fabulous hubby when we told her that we went to Roger Waters last year and her mouth dropped in just the right amount of excitement and envy!! Yeah, we were in good hands.
She told us a little about herself and how she came to find a career helping women with birthing. And she shared with us some philosophies about how the whole experience should be, and some of her experiences in the local hospital. I felt calmer the more she talked. I had a list of questions with me, but by the end of the night she had answered almost all of them, just in talking about herself and what she does.
I asked if she had worked me Dr. X before, and she said she had. When i told her about my last experience with her, she immediately rambled off a list of doctors i should call. She told us that that some of the nurses in the hospitals actually like it when women come in with them cuz it takes the burden off them, and some of the docs too, but if i don't feel comfortable with my doctor - if i'm worried she's going to 'encourage' something that isn't necessary - it will just elevate my stress level the second she enters the birthing room, something we don't want. So, i'm seriously considering switching docs to a doula/midwife friendly doctor.
"Remember," she said, "you're paying for your doctor! I mean, I'm from the States. We know who pays the doctors there. And here in Canada - i mean, you have Health Care, but who pays for the Health Care? You do. Your taxes do. If you're not satisfied with your Doctor, shop around for one you feel comfortable with."
It seemed that everything she said last night just made so much sense in a way that should be obvious, and yet for some reason it wasn't.
She also encouraged us to 'shop around' for a doula... but B-rad and i talked it over last night, and we decided that there was no point shopping when we already knew we wanted her.
So i emailed her this morning and asked if we could hire her for our birth. Hopefully she accepts.
This simultaneously terrifies me and excites me....
to imagine this happening to me is almost past my scope of imagination.
and i thought seeing the little 'bumps' was cool...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Every day your kicks get stronger. I can see them from the outside now.
I look at the little newborn socks and i can't imagine your tiny toes, even though i can feel them.
I can't wait to take your little feet and much on them like a little snack and see you smile.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
According to my little pregnancy ticker, there are 100 days left before you are set to enter this world. 100 days of freedom(?) left for me and your dad, 100 days left of feeling you grow inside me. I wanted to post 100 things i'm looking forward to, scared of, feeling, as we prepare to bring you into our family.
Daddy was rubbing my buddha belly and talking to Chewie.
Chewie was very active, and we were both enjoying the little kicks we were both feeling...
B-rad blew a raspberry on my tummy, next to my belly button and was rewarded with a kick in the face!! A strong one - one that i could visually see moving my skin! It was a perfect moment - and we laughed together and enjoyed the life we created that is living inside me.
Here you go, internets!! Me in my Bra! Don't ever say i never did anything nice for you.
This past long weekend, we had a little belly painting party - and this is the end result! it was fun, after i found a comfortable position on the couch. The paints itched quite a bit, but i got through it. B-rad and i want to do this again, we have a few ideas up our sleeves.... ;)
Friday, May 16, 2008
last night my friend J and i went to an Aquafit class for expectant mothers.... Preggos.
Let me tell ya, if you wanna see something cute and hilarious, go watch a pre-natal aquafit class. the majority of the women there were wearing little Tankini's, but all the moving around in the water pushed their little tanks up... so all around me were bouncing, huffing, women with varying stages of round bellies poking out of the water.
it felt good, though, to get in the water and to be able to move (somewhat) freely, without being weighed down in the front by my Little Rock Star. At one point, we were doing a move with Pool noodles that required us to float on our backs with our legs crunched up to our chests, then extend the legs down and then to the back so we were floating on our bellies.
i cried out: "I haven't been in this position for over 6 months!!"
J and i are going to try to get to an aquafit class at least a few times a week. Might be a little tricky in the upcoming summer months... but just to get in the water is incentive enough.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I've joined up with Mommyfest's Blog party - and i've spent part of the morning visiting other mommies and saying hello! It's a community of mommy bloggers getting together and visiting each other, creating traffic and meeting new bloggy buddies! hooray!
So, let me start off by introducing myself a little bit - it seems i've never done this on this blog anyway... so it's probably about time.
i spent the better part of 5 years working on a voice degree, studying opera and classical music at the university here. But then, after a long string of circumstances, i left the world of acedemia and followed my lover to another city, and another province...where we lived for almost 4 years. We were married in 2004 in our home province of The Skatch - the flattiest, prairie-est part of the great white north that is Canada.
a year and a half ago, we decided it was time to get out of the big city and moved from Cowtown back home to be closer to both our families. So we bought a house, packed up our stuff and our two cats, Kozmo and Cinda, and my fabulous hunky husband B-rad and i made the trek home.
I've been blogging for over 5 years, but over at my regular blog iamthedivablog.com which has been my place to vent and create... and then on December 22nd of 2007 i took a test that changed our lives and was the reasoning for this side blog. B-rad and i were about to be parents.
The name of this blog stems from both of our love love love of music. We both love rock in many of it's forms - my husband is a talented musician - both in the writing and the playing of it... he's a man of many talents and while his day job is in the trades, he also went to school and is trained as a sound engineer. Metal and Rock play a huge role in our lives, and with me the self-proclaimed classically-trained, rock-loving diva, and him the Axe Playing Metal head - it seemed fitting that our offspring would be a Little Rock Star. :)
Our little rock star goes by the nickname Chewie right now. B-rad and i both didn't like the idea of calling the baby "it". I started calling the baby "peanut" and B-rad was calling it "Choo Choo" (Don't know why), which then morphed into Chewey Peanut, then just Chewie. It's stuck now, and even our families call the baby Chewie. We're coming to the realization that, boy or girl, this is going to be a nickname that probably sticks with them for life, with family at least.
My due date is ever approaching - August 28th of this year, and i'm constantly being kicked by this little ninja baby. It's hard to imagine that in a few short months i'll be able to hold Chewie in my arms and see his or her little face and think: "I made this!". I'm struggling with the ever increasing size of my body - trying to find the joy and beauty in my belly and not get hung up over 'body image', but when i feel those healthy kicks - it makes it all worthwhile.
B-rad and i are both very interested in alternative birthing methods - in an ideal world we would be having this baby at home in a pool in our living room. But due to some Health Regional Red Tape, it seems that this might not be a possibility this go round, as Midwives just became legislated in our province in March of this year.
That about sums it up. If you're new to this blog - thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a comment so i can come over and visit you! If you've been here before, hopefully you've learned something new about me, but if not - thanks for reading anyway!
Monday, May 12, 2008
A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. The man seemed more amused. When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself. The man replied, "Well your Honour, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition. She sat under a sweets sign that said, 'The Double Mint Twins are Coming' and I grinned. Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, 'Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling', and I had to smile. Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, 'William's Big Stick Did the Trick', and I could hardly contain myself. BUT, your Honour, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, 'Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident'...I just lost it."
' CASE DISMISSED!!'
Thursday, May 8, 2008
it was for 9:00 am.
I arrived, book in hand, and was called out of the main room almost right away, one of the advatages to being the first appointment of the day. I was ushered into that tiny room where i was weighed and then had my Blood pressure taken.
I winced as i saw the numbers soar up on the scale... but you're supposed to gain weight, right? The nurse said: "You've gained quite a bit of weight since we last saw you." then after consulting my chart: "But i suppose it's about time you started gaining, you hardly gained any in your first trimester"
After the results were charted, she led me down the hall to the examining room to await my doc. after a few minutes there was a knock on the door and in walked a pretty brunette, not my doctor.
"Hi," she said "I'm an intern and i'm working with Dr. X today. I'm going to take your measurements and listen for the heartbeat. Is that okay?"
do i have a choice?
"okay" i say.
I hop up on the table, and with a bit of maneuvering position myself semi-comfortably and allow the pretty brunette to measure the length of my belly.
Before she starts to listen for the heart, i ask her if it's okay if i video tape it. B-rad hasn't been able to make the appointments and hasn't yet heard the heart. She agreed and i got a pretty good clip.
She marked down a few things and then left.
And i sat.
and finished 3 chapters in my book.
finally Dr. X waltzes in. She's in her late 50s - early 60s with short black hair sprinkled with grey. She's wearing a Purple Leather Jacket and matching Purple Leather pencil skirt. I remember the last time i saw her she was wearing a red leather jacket and black leather pants. This woman seriously likes her leather.
She is generally friendly, but always in a rush. She looks at my chart for a few seconds, asks how i've been feeling then says: "Well, we'll see you again in about a month" while handing me a requisition form for lab work.
"We're going to have you do some bloodwork next time" she says. "You gained a lot of weight since last time. Ten Pounds! That's too much. You only really lose about 12 pounds at delivery, so you need to keep your weight at a more managable level."
damn. there goes that DQ Blizzard i was going to pick up afterwards
"We're going to be testing you for Gestational Diabetes. Remember, you're eating for ONE not two... this means you can't have that second helping of ice cream, that's all"
fuck. i don't want gestational diabetes. sigh. this means no more of the good stuff, no more Coke Slurpees, no more chocolatey snacks!?!? WAhhh.... :(
so, my goal for the next month is to not eat like a crazy person. and to get some more excersize.
just as she was about to leave, she asked me about pre-natal classes. I told her i was registered with the health region, but i'm also taking a private prenatal class with a Doula.
She told me that she's had some experiences with Midwives and Doulas and they've been generally positive. "The problem with them," she said "is that they tend to focus more on natural births, y'know. Sometimes if the labour isn't progressing as quickly as it should* we'll rupture the membranes to speed things up, and doulas and midwives generally don't like to do that**... i mean, if you're 3 cm and not progressing - breaking the water can bring you to 6 cm like that! also, they have their opinions about epidurals whereas i personally think that Epidurals are Gods Gift to women!***"
*as it should? - all i could think was how much i don't want any interventions like that, and once again it seemed like a convenience for her, rather than me...
**midwives generally don't like to do that - i thought: "is that cuz that's what the mother wants?"
***Epidurals are Gods Gift to Women - i thought: "SHIT! I'm fucked! - She's going to be pushing drugs on me!" And i quickly recalled one of the Docs from the Film festival saying that the University Hospital is currently doing a "Study" on labouring women and drugs and how they will tend to push you in that direction for the sake of their research....
Dr. X went on to say something about if men were the ones delivering babies epidurals would have been invented hundreds of years ago - and how if the dad gets up in the mom's face for not doing in naturally Dr. X would ask them if they would have their vasectomy's without anesthetics. i don't know, i stopped listening to her and tried to smile as she said her cheerful goodbye.
i left the office thinking that my Doc had made me feel worse about delivering this baby than good. Not that i was concerned for my health or my baby's health... just that this was another person who was trying to lead me away from my birth plan. i felt conflicted - i want to trust my doctor, but this will be tricky when our philosophies don't gel.
all in all, i saw my doc for about 4 minutes.
i got in my car, the clock on the radio said 10:07
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
i just wanted to say that any revenue i collect from this blog will be rolled over into a Registered Education Savings Plan for Chewie. i'm not trying to make money for myself in anyway, and if you feel like you might wanna help out by clicking on an ad here or there, that'd be great.
Myth #1 — Hospital births are statistically safer than homebirths.at the film festival this weekend, we learned that a study done in the U.S. showed that the child mortality rate of homebirths vs hospital births were at par, but the amount of birth interferences in homebirths were at abou 3%, whereas in hospitals they were at the 30% mark. Much more episiotomy's, c-sections, and use of devices like vacuums and forceps in hospital births...
Safety in childbirth is measured by how many mothers and babies die and how many survive childbirth in less than perfect health.
Studies done comparing hospital and out-of-hospital births indicate fewer deaths, injuries and infections for homebirths supervised by a trained attendant than for hospital births. No such studies indicate that hospitals have better outcomes than homebirths.
While maternal death rates have vastly improved since the turn of the century, factors like proper nutrition and cleanliness have played a big part in the change.
Myth #2 — You can get more professional attention in a hospital than you could get at home.Speaking from my own experience, thus far, i've found the midwife's approach to prenatal appointments far preferable to the prenatal appointments i've had with my doctor so far. My doctor is great, don't get me wrong. She's one of the few docs left in this city that actually do their own deliveries, but because of that she is a busy busy busy woman, and i never feel relaxed enough to ask her questions about anything. My appointmenst are generally in-and-out, about 15 mintues long. My friend J has a midwife and she invited me to a pre-natal visit. The appointments are generally an hour in length - the first 45 minutes spent just chatting and getting to know each other and building that rapport and trust, leaving the medical stuff for the last 15 minutes.
In the hospital, obstetricians do not routinely sit at the bedsides of their laboring patients but rely on machinery and others for information — then appear at the last minute in the delivery room. Most physicians do not build a relationship of supportive rapport with each patient or offer much encouragement to give birth naturally.
i tell ya, i feel more comfortable with J's midwife than i do with my own doctor - as far as feeling at ease with a person. My friend Kate had the same Doc as me, and she told me that she didn't even SEE her until she was ready to start pushing.
i cherish the idea of the same group of loving supportive people, staying with me, caring for me throughout - no strangers sticking their hands in me, no interns or student docs/nurses, no shift changes...
Myth #3 — The more modern technology you have on hand, the easier the birth will be.hello, i'm claustrophobic. the mere thought of being strapped down to a bed starts me into panic mode. Being strapped to a bed while giving birth? even more so. plus, i wonder about the disconnect - when medical staff stop paying attention to mom and baby, and start paying attention to machines and beeping.
In a sincere effort to catch complications early and produce healthier babies, medical science has changed the atmosphere surrounding birth from one of a circle of loving support around laboring women to one of space age technology in a laboratory setting.
Though technology can save lives in a crisis, the routine use of technology can interfere with the normal birth process.
It is common in hospitals to use intravenous fluids and electronic fetal monitors to ensure that the mother stays well hydrated and that each contraction and beat of the baby's heart is recorded. However, many women dislike being confined to a bed with needles in their arms and belts around their abdomens.
Myth #4 — A hospital is a more sanitary place to have a baby than at home.
Each family becomes accustomed to its own household germs and develops a resistance to them. Since fewer strangers are likely to be present at a homebirth than at a hospital birth, the chances of acquiring foreign germs are less likely in a homebirth situation.
Every effort is made to provide a clean environment at homebirths. Midwives and homebirth doctors wear sterile gloves and use sterilized instruments for cutting the umbilical cord.
I'ts not like i live in a barn... lol... and there are far more 'foreign' germs in a place where sick people congregate....
Myth #5 — A hospital is the most comfortable place to have a babyi don't really have much to add to this one. It pretty much sums up my feelings all together.There are other options available - qualified educated people to help you. On my sidebar there are a few links to the SK Doula Network, The Canadian Midwives Association and the La Leche League - Canada.
The idea of being comfortable during childbirth may strike many mothers who have delivered in the hospital as impossible. They remember being confined to a hospital bed, denied food and water, separated from their other children and supportive family members and friends, enduring frequent internal examinations and vital sign checks, being transfered from one room to another on a stretcher at the peak of labor's intensity and having their legs strapped into stirrups.
Birthing rooms and their homey furnishings are an effort to eliminate some of the stress and discomfort that comes from being in the strange surroundings of the hospital.
Studies show that labor can be compromised by an unfamiliar environment. Discomfort and fear can actually increase the pain experienced in childbirth, while relaxation can diminish maternal stress, improve oxygen flow to the baby and facilitate labor.
In her own home a laboring woman has "the home court advantage." She can move about freely, wear what clothing she chooses, sip on energizing juices, continue caring for other children as she is able, relax in a warm tub of water, have her feet rubbed by loving friends and try different birthing positions. Normal labor is a healthy stress for the baby, clearing the lungs of fluid and preparing it to take its first breaths.
After the birth, the baby is never taken from its mother's side. The entire family can climb into a clean bed for a much needed cuddle and nap. The emotional bonding that takes place in the moments after birth between mother and child and between the baby and the entire family promotes well being, encourages breastfeeding and speeds recovery of the mother.
Obviously, homebirths are not for everyone. And it goes without saying that in my birthplan - by nature of it BEING a homebirth plan (if all goes well) it will be flexible, and i'm not going to put mine or my child's life in danger just because i don't want to be in a hospital. That's just silly.
Myth #6 — It's impossible to find any qualified person to assist you in having a baby at home.
Certified nurse midwives are located in many metropolitan areas, and in some hospitals offer primary maternity care in a clinic and birthing room setting. Well-educated and trained direct-entry midwives are specialists in normal childbirth. Some operate birth centers, and many have homebirth practices all across the country.
I'm posting this as information only. I am not here to say my birth plan is better than yours, in any way! I would never dream of that. I believe a woman has the right to be informed and to make her own decisions with her partner about what feels right for them, and i also think that women deserve to have their decisions respected. After all, the one who's really going through it is the only one who's opinion should matter, in the end.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I'm so glad that we could experience this day together, B-rad and i, because we both had moments of amazement and wonder at the beauty and the sheer amazing-ness that is natural birth. We both took away from this day more information and more reinforcement that a family unit should be able to choose the way they bring their baby into the world. And more than ever, i choose to bring our child into an environment of love and tranquility - with soft voices, and and soft lights, surrounded by people who support us and our choices and who are filled with joy at the life we've created - not in a bright, sterile, cold hospital environment.
One of the films we watched was sooo amazing and really focused on the spiritual side of giving birth as well as the physical aspect. A few things they mentioned was the use of the Spiral that is evident in so many cultural dances - like the belly dance, the hula dance, etc etc, and using that spiraling motion to help bring the baby to the world. And also, the focus on the loving and intimate relationship of man and woman - and allowing that to be part of the process - because, believe it or not, sexuality has a great deal to do with birth. lol.
Many of the women in the films said that while they felt discomfort during their labour, they also felt empowerment, Joy, and surprisingly - no pain. Pain was not something that they experienced, and in fact - one woman, while in the midst of contractions in her birthing pool, shared an intimate kiss with her partner in the midst of a contraction and instead of feeling pain - experienced love and joy, and eventually orgasm! now, THAT's the kind of birth experience i want to have.
We also saw this youtube video of a woman who worked through her contractions while singing, something that - being a diva - greatly peaked mine and b-rad's interest. Mind you, i wouldn't sing a Christian song, a matter of personal preference, but this is a beautiful and moving video clip.
i was moved to tears on more than one occasion to day, and so was my most awesome husband.
We also learned about breastfeeding and the amazing ability that baby's have to locate and find the breast and feed with some assistance from mom, but it's instinctual - and they can do it as early as half hour old!! it was amazing! Baby-Led breastfeeding!
Another great thing we learned about was Kangaroo Mother Care the idea and practice of skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby - and how mother's chest can help regulate baby's heart beat, and temperature, and increases the bonding experience... as well as help regulate mother and baby sleep patterns. It looks amazing and so interesting.
all in all it was a great day of information and hopefully b-rad and i can take some of what we've learned today for D-day, when we bring Chewie into the world!
Friday, May 2, 2008
nothing like a mini nap - but waking up to find yourself at work, that sucks.
like a bad dream that won't end. sigh.
In my dream Whoopi Goldberg was trying on blond wigs with me and Sharon Stone.
Seriously, is there anything worse than being jarred awake by your calf muscle turning to stone??
i've had three now. 2 in the right leg, and one in the left. The worst part - other than the initial leg crampage, is the feeling that for, like, 2 days afterwards your leg could go AGAIN at ANY TIME!! it's like walking on two ticking time bombs of pain!
boo-frikkin-urns i say to that.
Oh hey! did i tell y'all that this friend is expecting again? and she's due at the beginning of October!! it's great, i'm super happy for her, and super excited that i have someone close to me who's going through the same stuff at relatively the same time.
She's the one who's hooking me up with a Midwife. Hopefully.
Anyway, on Sunday we're going to a Film Festival for International Midwives Day. Midwifery was just made "acceptable" in The Skatch a few months ago. It was always legal, but very expensive as you were essentially paying they're insurance fees on top of their services. But now that the health region has decided that they're an important part of the process, they've agreed to make midwifery coverable under our health care! WOO, Go Canadian Health Care!
So, B-rad and I, and our friends will be attending the films to learn more about Midwives, and Doulas. Anything i can think of to not have to deal with Doctors and Medical staff in hospitals. A pregnant woman is not sick and shouldn't have to go where the sick people go to give birth.
there. i said it. lol