Sunday, May 4, 2008

International Midwives Day - Film Festival

B-rad and i attended that film festival today, and it was one of the best things we could have done. for almost 5 hours we watched different films, some which were very sweet and beautiful, some which were extremely graphic - all were midwife assisted births.

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!


savia said...

This is very inspiring - I'm so glad you were able to go and find out all of these things! I can't wait to see what happens ;)

Mrs. Dymund said...

This is all groovy and happy and I'm glad you've been inspired and informed. Just make sure you go with what your baby and your family need when you need it. I know too many women (myself included) who have felt disappointment in themselves when their birthing or nursing plans didn't work out in reality. Whatever your ideal is, that's good, but flat-out rules like no pain management or no bottle feeding can lead to frustration when these rules face reality. New parents doubt themselves enough as it is. Don't set yourself up for more disappointment. Live and love the birth and the baby you get, however it goes.

Sorry to sound preachy, but I've been there.

FourLeafClover said...

Mrs. Dymund is right. Make sure there is room for flexibility.

Regarding baby led breastfeeding. Sweetpea was on me straight out of the gate! She was hungry and she latched on right away.

i am the diva said...

yes, there is room for flexibility. but even so, i do NOT want to give birth in a hospital. Ah well, we'll see what happens.

Mrs. Dymund said...

I took a cyrstal-sucking-hippie pre-natal class the first time around. I'm glad I did, it taught about all this good natural stuff, and didn't try to tell me how to breathe or how to have a baby, but presented me with options. The best advice I got from that program was to not make a Birth Plan. Make a Birth Wish List, but be aware that this is something over which you have very little control. The people who have the smoothest births let go of control over their bodies, and do what needs to be done. I understand and respect the desire to not give birth in a hospital. Pregnancy and birth are NOT illnesses. I chose to give birth in a hospital because I was rushed to the NICU when I was born, and I wanted medical staff very very handy when my kids were born just in case they were needed. Remember that the most important thing is to get a healthy baby at the end of all this. I hope, for your sake, that you don't have to give birth in a hospital, because that is not want you want. I also hope that if you or your baby need the services of a hospital you won't be disappointed and will be able to just enjoy your growing family.

i am the diva said...

i'm not sure, is it considered a crystal-sucking-hippy pre-natal class because they were home births? or because they were natural?

I'm aware that sometimes birth plans change, and i have some friends who didn't get the birth plan they wanted - i'm willing to go to the hospital if i absolutely need to. I am thankful for our health care system, and for the technology that is available if it's needed. But i feel that, in general, that birthing in a hospital - a lot of the things that go down are for the convenience of the doctors more than the mother and baby.

maybe i'm an idealist. but i think women have been doing this on their own with midwives for thousands of years, without epidurals, and without fetal monitors and with the freedom to use alternative birthing positions. To me, the idea of birthing on my back seems so unnatural. Why not let gravity do the work - if that means i'm squatting, or on all fours, then hooray for me.

OF COURSE, all of this ideas could fly out the window 1/2 hour into labour. i'm aware of that, and i'm open to any changes that i may decide in the moment to make.

thanks for your input ladies! ;)

Mrs. Dymund said...

"Crystal-sucking-hippie" is just my affectionate adjective for anything noticeably to the left of conventional. It applies to me, most of the time. I attended a pre-natal class taught by a doula, rather than one offered by a hospital. In my opinion, the best thing you can do, wherever you give birth is GET A DOULA, at least the first time you have a baby. A doula knows how the system works, and can support you and your partner and communicate your needs and wants to whatever professionals you encounter. Even if you can't afford the fees of a professional doula, a friend who has talked about what you want with you can be very helpful.

i am the diva said...

Our Current plan:
Plan A - Midwife and home delivery in the water
Plan B - Midwife and Hospital Delivery
Plan C - Doula and Hospital Delivery
Plan D - Scream? lol

Mrs. Dymund said...

I will stop bugging you. I promise.

FourLeafClover said...

Lol... This comment thread has been great! It should be a post of it's own if Mrs. D is okay with it.

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