This is a lovely write-up on homebirth at Mothering.com. I especially like the “Questions to ask” sectionand encourage every woman to ask these questions (and others) of ANY midwife they interview. Ask yourself, “What is most important to me regarding this pregnancy & birth?” And then find a midwife who will honor those priorities. Also, it is appropriate to ask for referrals, both professional and personal! Read the Q’s HERE.
Sweet caroline…. good times never seemed so good…. I’ve been inclined to believe it never would… -Neil Diamond. Only a midwife could pull a birth analogy from a Neil Diamond song. “Peri-natal psychologists and midwives I’ve talked to have all … Continue reading →
I am writing this post in order to accomplish 2 things. 1) to release the beast (ie: whine a little bit) and 2) to remind myself to have compassion on women in my care who are in their last few days of pregnancy.
Because they suck.
My feet are swollen, despite drinking gallons of water, taking my supplements and going for walks.
My legs feel heavy, thick and … well.. more like tree trunks than appendages.
My fingers are also swollen and my left hand aches from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.
My husband and I are at that stage when only one position will work. And it’s getting old. Fast. “But I need to ripen my cervix!” so we press on. Takes the fun right out of it.
Baby is moving less which makes me swing between “Oh no.. I haven’t felt the baby move in X# of hours.” to “Thank the Lord he’s quieted down some. My ribs were killing me.”
My emotions have placed my mental stability somewhere in the realm of Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
I’m forgetful and moody, with energy levels ranging from a Speed Boat to those crustaceans that grow on her hull.
I’m Hot. All. The. Flipping. Time. My poor husband’s sinuses may never be the same from having a fan on full blast and the thermostat at 60 degrees in our bedroom all summer long.
My hips and back hurt all the time too. Chiropractor Dan gives me WONDERFUL relief, but I’m at the stage of needing to go 3 or 4 times a week to keep my poor pelvis somewhat aligned (a childhood injury left me with a tilted, crooked pelvis resulting in posterior babies).
My main breakdowns occur over well-meaning family and friends (who love me and I them!) texting, emailing and calling to “See if I’ve had that baby yet!” I want to scream at them: “Yep! Had it a couple days ago but we’re storing it in the closet ’til we decide to tell anyone it came out.” To quote a recently famous red-neck comedian: “Here’s yer sign.”
The children have stopped asking if today might be the day, and have begun to walk out of the room slowly and without making eye contact. Sorry kids. Your REAL Mama will come back some day soon.
I’ve always been able to shave my legs while pregnant. WELL….. hhmm….. yeah. It’s a real contortionist act at this point for some reason (I’m really tall with long legs and this hasn’t ever been an issue before).
And I have threatened my husband bodily harm if he ever puts me in this condition again. LOL as if he tied me down! LOL To which he replies, “Oh no. This is enough. No worries.” to which I reply, “What do you mean? You don’t WANT to have any more babies with me?” and run from the room crying.
Contractions start and stop… toying with me… “Is this it?” “No… it’s not.”
Bodily secretions have become more attention holding than that cool cable TV show I’ve recently become attached to.
And I deplore television.
The “Before Baby Comes” list has grown from simple things like “Wash, dry put away baby clothes.” to “Get new tile laid in the master bathroom.” and “Repaint the living room ASAP.”
Yeah. It ain’t pretty, folks.
So when sister midwives tell me I need to take into consideration a woman’s emotional state when I maintain my position of “inductions do not belong at home and are risky elsewhere”, I say, “You bet your booty I’m taking that into consideration!!! Does the above description sound like a woman able to make an informed decision that carries multiple risks to herself and her baby?!?!”
Seriously though, I’m glad I have a midwife who is of the same mind as I am on this, because BOY am I tempted to “help things along”, etc. etc. just to release myself from the prison this pregnancy has become.
So what will I do instead?
Probably draw a cool bath, turn on my ipod (loud so i can’t hear anyone knocking on the bathroom door), and pour myself a glass of red wine. I’ll put in a few cups of Epsom salts to help the swelling, do some aromatherapy while I’m in there (my oil of choice at the moment is called “Potential”) and hope the children and husband have eaten by the time I emerge to say good-nights. [Note to self: This man deserves a trophy or something for being so darned level headed and KIND during this last phase of pregnancy. I am considering a gift for the dad's on the 24 hours pp visit along with the muffins I generally bring along for Mom.]
Then I’ll fall asleep wrapped up in hubby’s strong arms, smelling him in, remembering the days when I could reach all the way around him, and hoping TOMORROW is the day I get to do that again.
And I will dream again that I am holding this baby at last and have blissfully forgotten the struggle of these last days.
I am So frustrated at the amount of misinformation put out there as FACT soley for the convenience of the provider! Grrrr!!!!! Some OB’s do it, some GP’s do it, some midwives do it, heck as far my experience shows some DENTISTS do it.
There was recently a comment made on my Castor Oil post from a woman who was told she was too small and couldn’t go to 38 weeks or her “uterus would rip open”. Baby was just TOO TOO big. Even if the poster got some of the semantics wrong (probably is her pelvis they are talking about not her uterus) the arguments for induction just amaze me. Of course I did not offer he any advice as to induction.
My local hospital routinely does inductions at 37 weeks. 37 WEEKS! Yeah. Ludicrous.
The main reason given to women for inductions and even cesareans is the “big baby” argument. And we have these wonderful things called sonograms to “prove” they are too big to “fit” through your pelvis. Please. Do they think we are stupid? Ignorant perhaps, but we are not STUPID.
Here is a lovely blog post by the fantastic “Unnecessarian” on sonograms and estimated size and due dates. Sonograms can be off as much as a pound either way and 2 weeks +/- for due date predictions! So if the sonogram says you are ok for an induction at 37 weeks (by the sonogram) and you induce and it’s off by 2 weeks guess whatcha get? A baby at 35 weeks with respiratory issues, breastfeeding challenges, and a myriad of other psychological implications the likes of which we have NO CLUE about yet.
And the weight predictions are just fantastical. The stuff of Harry Potter and traveling circus acts. There is some science there – just enough to be dangerous. Sure. Gaze into the sonogram screen and see your future: induction + pitocin + epidural = surgical birth.
And let me tell ya from experience: a 2nd degree tear is alot easier to heal from than a 10″ wound on your belly complete with scar tissue and a spinal headache for dessert.
… when I think about becoming pregnant again. I’d really like to, don’t misunderstand. One more baby, the end of an era, all that. But. The thoughts of thwarting all of the well-meaning yet condescending voices that will surround my scarred uterus makes me nauseous. Truly. There are so many reasons why NOT to have a repeat cesarean, yet the voices we hear are why “TO” have one. The media, the mother-in-law, the mom, sisters, friends, colleagues…
Blogs like this remind me of the fight, the comments, the ugliness that follows pregnant women in our society who don’t play by “the rules”.
But I have fought this fight before. I can certainly fight it again. This next time around though I think I’ll choose my outings more carefully. I was so happy to be expecting last time after so long that I didn’t arm/guard myself against the inevitable comments regarding my VBAC attempt. Next time I will be more careful. Because The Voices are so powerful, even if we see the sheer lunacy behind them.
Here is a fantastic doctor doing what so few do (or at least they don’t make headlines). He seems to be really genuine about advocating for women in the rough spot of wanting a normal birth after thay have had a surgical one. As a VBAC mom, this gets my goat everytime.
Ever heard of GOOD NUTRITION strengthening and giving elasticity to pelvic floor tissues?
Ever heard of emotional/psychological conditioning to learn to accept the labor waves instead of fighting them?
Ever heard of, oh I don’t know, BIRTHING WITH A MIDWIFE?
Goodness. I applaud the idea that episiotomies are ugly, nasty inventions of man (which, by the way, nearly every “invention” in relation to birth has been an unmitigated disaster). But seriously folks. A balloon in the vagina to stretch out vaginal floor tissues? Good grief Charlie Brown.
A WOW news release on MedLine this morning regarding the safety of planned homebirths. Get this:
All of the outcomes studied occurred with comparable frequency in the planned home and hospital birth groups. These included intrapartum death (0.03% vs. 0.04%), intrapartum and neonatal death within 24 hours of birth (0.05% vs. 0.05%), intrapartum and neonatal death within 7 days (0.06% vs. 0.07%), and neonatal admission to an intensive care unit (0.17% vs. 0.20%).
[My note: actually, the numbers show slightly better outcomes at home. ] “As far as we know, this is the largest study into the safety of home births,” the authors note. The findings, they conclude, indicate that with proper services in place, home births are just as safe as hospital births for low-risk women. ~ BJOG 2009;116:1177-1184
NOw of course this is a “foreign” publication (British Journal of Gynecology) so I don’t know how much credibility it will get here in the trenches, but WOW. Very cool that the news is getting out there to US med students and physicians!
I’m sure the rest of you “cool” moms, you “crunchy, granola eater” moms already know about these, but just in case you don’t, and just in case you don’t already subscribe, here’s a shameless plug for the following 2 natural mothering magazines. Fabulous. SIMPLY fabulous. (Goodness, that’s alot of commas in one sentence!)
That’s my email address… that’s what I believe… that’s what I’ve seen… yet today, at 34+ weeks pregnant there is nothing “beautiful” reflecting back at me. I mildly resmeble something off of Animal Planet as I try to turn over in bed. My skin is icky, my back and hips ache in ANY position I’m in, my pubic bone feels like someone kicked me there. Hard. I’m tired. But can’t sleep. Excited to meet this baby and get my body back.
And I am told that I should hate that I feel that way – that I long for this pregnancy to be over. I’ve tried meditating, hypnosis, calming affirmations of beauty… ack. Doesn’t work. I do have glimmers of “Wow. I’m pregnant. I still can’t believe it.” And for those moments I am grateful. The rest of the time? A countdown to the finish.
I have to admit here that I had forgotten just how LABOR-some pregnancy can be. I really had forgotten. As I encouraged other moms, and told them how beautiful they look I wondered at their deer-in-the-headlight response… “Uh beautiful? Uh. Yeah. Sure.” One even said, “Well, ok I guess. Even whales are beautiful to somebody.” I had forgotten that sense of despair and FATIGUE that comes for some women with each pregnancy. I’m one of those women.
And since this is my 5th pregnancy to term, I can say that I don’t regret feeling that way with all of my babies. Diet tweaking has helped me feel MUCh better for this one than the previous 4, but still… I’m tired. I want it to be over. The fun begins for me, with the birth ending. I think the babies of moms like me understand. I really do. Never once do I reject THEM, or feel for a second any form of maliciousness that THEY are causing me pain. Because of course they aren’t.
I don’t regret feeling ambivalence towards the PREGNANCY but not the baby, the PROCESS but not the outcome. That’s how it is oftentimes isn’t it? The outcome is worth the process? A bit like a marathon eh? The running starts out fun, the finish is excruciating, but the prize… oh the prize makes it worth it all.
And it is.
SO. Go hug a pregnant woman today. Offer her some chocolate. And for God’s sake do NOT mention how “huge” she is or ask “how much longer?”. She already knows how much longer. To the nanosecond if that’s possible. And go ahead – tell her she’s beautiful. Because even though she won’t believe you she WILL remember that you said it. And it will make her smile.