Monday, December 5, 2016

Me or my baby would have died...

I was having a discussion with a fellow student of herbs. He has been a student for many years and has traveled the world in his pursuits of knowing more . He believes in the natural process of healing and very rarely uses medical practitioners of any kind. He is all natural until it comes to birth.  When I mentioned something about homebirth to him he immediately said that wouldn't have worked for his wife because she or the baby would have diedMy next question to him was, what makes you think that? He went on to tell me a familiar story of a labor that didn't fit the time limit, an augmentation with Pitocin, an epidural because of the pain, a drop in the baby's heartbeat and an emergency c-section. Now I don't know for sure that this was an unnecessary but it sure fits the common domino effect that happens to many women. The progression of interference causes an emergency.

What troubles me is how often birth  doesn't fit into the mold of natural processes that don't need medical help in the eyes of people that in ever other way trust the natural ways. This was someone who would not look at any other bodily function in this way.  The powerful word "death" makes people forget who they are and what they believe. It is an end all to discussions about birth and everything else besides trauma in birth. I had 4 healthy babies at home and I have very rarely shared my birth story because when I say homebirth I get interrupted with, "if I would have done that I or my baby would have died."

Now it is true, like in all of life, people do die, babies do die. There can be trouble in birth where medical intervention is needed and welcomed. It is also true that this is not the case most of the time. It is true that there are car crashes every day as people are driving about doing their normal activities and some people and babies die. This is not the case most of the time. We are scared into believing that it is more normal for terrible problems to arise than everything to turn out well when it concerns birth of a baby.

We  can be talked into almost anything whether rational or not if someone pulls the death card which happens all too often. In some way, it is the same as saying , if you don't do it my way you'll die. This sounds very threatening to anyone, even more to a mama whose body is busy about the task of labor or to a father that is being overwhelmed by seeing the power of birth in his wife's body.

It's time to understand birth as the process that brings a baby into this world. A powerful process that rocks everyone to their core. A process that is intricate and perfect that rarely needs help. Often, if help is needed it is only a little help and rarely a full blown surgical intervention.

Monday, January 23, 2012

.....Waiting on a baby........

One of the things that our culture here in the United States does not do well is wait. We are a culture of fast everything. The faster the better whether the fast compromises to integrity of what we want or not. We are busy people who have many things to do and few things if any, should interrupt our schedules.

So when it comes to waiting on a baby and the baby's time to be born it is an exercise in endurance for most. It is even more difficult because the people surrounding us not only often are not supportive but are downright fearful that we are harming ourselves and our babies if we wait on them to come in their own time. Why don't we just go and have an induction since that is what most women do it must be the safest thing to do. Induction of Labour.

Days of pre-labor contraction with our Estimated Due Date getting further behind every day can un-nerve many a first-time homebirth mother.

The period of time that we wait changes us if we accept it as a part of the labor and birth process. If we learn to wait now then it changes the way we view parenting. We can learning right at the start that things are no longer on our terms. If we take this lesson and continue to let it grow we can begin to shed the business out of our lives and embrace the process. If we embrace the process we can let our children grow as they have birthed. In their own time and in there own way.

Let every pre-labor contraction remind you that you are holding your baby inside your body for a precious little time that won't ever come to pass again. Cry when you are frustrated with the waiting. These tears will not be the last that you shed over this child throughout his/her life. Wait.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tragedy, Death, Injury & Birth

Recently in the part of the birth world I see there has been some tragedy.

My mother was in a car accident 22 years ago and lives in a wheel chair still. The accident was a one car accident on a piece of road in a very rural area. It would not be considered a place that an accident like this would occur. Though she was not wearing a seat belt she was told had she been that likely she would have been cut in half  by the windshield coming through. Who knows? I know that she is in a wheelchair with even restricted movement of arms and hands and has been for 22 years. It was a terrible accident.

When I was in 7th grade one of the cutest guys in class died swimming in a lake that he had swam in all of his life. He was 13. It was an awful accident.

One of my best friends in school when she was 17 ran into a tree. Her pelvis was crushed and she required surgery to be able to walk again.

At 18 I had a friend that died along with 3 other friends on a county road and flipped the car.....

I could go on. You could go on. Life is full of terrible things on personal levels and if we go larger we will have to deal with large scale tragedy.

Recently there were babies born at home. One didn't live and another is permanently damaged at a homebirths.

All of these are terrible and worse yet if they happen to us or someone is close to us. Is there no where in life where life is guaranteed to be what we want it to be. Is there anywhere we can be assured that something will not happen to us or our children?

Who is to blame? Who should be responsible? Can lawyers make all of this right? Insurance? Letters behind peoples names? Laws? Will it ever happen again?

We all have to live life on life's terms. My babies died in the hospital. There was no one to blame. No body did anything to me. What it did make me realize is that there are no safer places. No guarantees. I still miss my boys. I miss the friends that I have lost as well. And I don't like living with the consequences of injuries.

Should we then be afraid to drive, to swim, to birth at home? These are all things that almost always enrich our lives. When we are talking about natural, normal human events that we all partake in we can only boldly walk on as fragile people and take life as it comes.

My dear friend Bill Lowman told me before he died that he wanted me to remember one thing. As I went out traveling through life that the next time that I "broke down" remember that it happens to everybody.

"Mourn with those that mourn and laugh with those that laugh."  The Message

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Question of Safety

This last week 2 of my daughter had a car accident that totaled the car. 2 months ago my other daughter had an accident and totaled her car. They all walked away including the little ones . They were sore with  a bit of whiplash that will take some time at the chiropractors getting the kinks worked out.

When these young women got into their cars they didn't think that they were going to wreck and even if they had because of the ice on which they were driving it likely would not have changed anything.

They do not get into the car now and think about the death and injury statistics about cars and how dangerous they are. Driving in cars is a foreign practice. Meaning that it is man made and not natural to the human body yet we trust it because it gets us where we want to go. Other than some flashbacks once in awhile they are now driving without fear.

Why are we so afraid then of birth. Birth was designed and not man made and gets the baby where it needs to be.

Almost every young woman that comes into my home after we start talking about birth gives a shudder and is frightened. If we have a talk about cars they are not frightened they are even excited to get a new one. They are more likely to die or have a child die in a car accident than in birth. Why is there so much fear surrounding birth.

It is irrational. There is no where in life that we can expect to be safe and without danger. That is a fact. There are viruses, bacterias, disasters, accidents and all forms of possibilities that could threaten to or take our lives or those of people that we love at any moment. We do not sit around thinking about that. People that do are put on medication  or are in therapy as it isn't a healthy way to live yet.... why do we do this about birth?

Where have the messages that you play in your head that make you shudder about birth come from? Do you trust the other information that you get from those sources?

Birth is not a medical event , it is a life event ,and as such there are no assurance other than the assurance that we walk out in every day in our lives.  That is a lot of assurance. We walk out boldly knowing and trusting that floor boards will hold us up, that cars will get us where we are going, that the food we eat will sustain us and that we will wake up in the morning.

My mom injured in a car accident 21 years ago, still in a wheelchair and her 3 great grandbabies all born at home.
We only need apply this to birth we already know how to do it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Malfunction or Not a Male function.

I was watching a show a few days ago and it had a birth scene in it. As usual I wondered what screwy idea are they going to try to give women about birth this time? Let me back up a bit. This is a show that has machines that are almost human, organically speaking (yes I am a sci fi fan). Ok so the "woman" machine is having this baby and the doctor says " well I see they didn't improve the plumbing any , we are going to have to C-section."

And we wonder why woman have trouble accepting themselves with all that "malfunctioning plumbing" down there.

The human body has an intricate and wonderful design that include everything about the woman's reproductive parts and the birth process. There is anything faulty about it and it isn't plumbing. As the Good Book says  (Fiddler on the Roof) "we are fearfully and wonderfully made" (the Book) .

Not a few minutes later a man in our group said something about another character in the show that was acting like a coward, the comment was "he acts like a girl". WHAT!?

Woman= faulty parts and cowardly qualities. Any wonder that women are fearful of having babies surely there must be a brave perfect man that could birth better because he has better plumbing..... wait a minute.....  mmm men having babies ahh no. Male birthing mindset here.

This is just one show, not even a very good one, and this message is spread throughout our culture. It is everywhere it comes up in conversations with people that don't even believe it. But if we listen and don't object and if we keep passing it on, lots of women are going to believe that they are cowards and that their ability to birth won't work.

Don't believe it ladies, you don't have plumbing, you are not built by hands of men and the design is made for you to give birth as you were intended to. And you are very brave to carry children inside your own body, to look out for their welfare before they are born, you know the secrets of that baby inside you more than any other human being.

Ladies we are not malfunctioning. We are letting a system tell us how to give birth and it isn't working very well. The system is having a malfunction. And birth.... well it isn't and won't ever be a male function the plumbing is just all wrong!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Midwifery Fitness

What does midwifery have to do with fitness? Hours and hours of squatting or sitting in strange positions. The ability to bear part of someone's body weight without injury. Hours without eating and little sleep. All of this is easier on you if you are fit.

What is fitness?

We tell women that they need to be fit, eat right and take care of themselves. We are examples and in place to practice what we preach. If we won't do it how can we ask them to?

We have many excuses for physical lack of fitness. It's too hot, it's too cold, I have to study/work or plain I am too busy.  That Mama She's Fit

We have excuses for not keeping mentally fit. Taking a class, learning something new or becoming better at something we know well. I am too busy, I am too tired or again I am too busy. (Gloria's classes)

We are a time of crisis in midwifery where midwives are angry at each other for the stances that they are taking on many issues. To keep emotionally fit in order to serve women, all women, we must learn to think from other points of view, to really examine another and see where they are right and how we can inform and encourage or we will all lose. Again the same excuses apply.   Australian Midwives in Trouble

Our spiritual health is what feeds ourselves, our families and our relationships. If we lose this to our excuses we very well may not have anything to offer those that we love or those that we serve.  My Faith

The interesting thing about fitness in all these areas is that as you put effort in you get more energy. As you find a way to exercise and eat right daily you will have more energy.  You recover quicker from long sleepless nights and stress is released.

When you challenge yourself to learn new things , thinking becomes easier and you stay sharp.

When you challenge yourself to know the issues that other midwives are facing and are willing to learn from each other and have relationships it strengthens our purpose as a whole.

Finally when you take time to practice your faith it will be strong when you need to depend on it. it will help others find the way to peace and hope and it will dis-spell fear.  Trust Birth

 I know that we can all make excuses to not take care of ourselves. if we choose the way of self-martyrdom and do not keep ourselves fit we become unhappy, discontent and often burnt out. Please take some time to examine what you can do to stay "holistically fit".

You may not fill in the blanks the same as I do but do fill them in. Become a fit person.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On the Farm

I was having a moment the other say remembering what it was like when we had our little homestead. Every year during lambing and we were quite excited. There was a season of time in which that we knew when the lambs and kids were coming but we were not at all concerned about the exact date or which ones were late, early or "on time" ,it was simply "lambing time".

We kept watch on which sheep were acting unusual and put them in the lambing shed for protection against wolves and dogs that might bother them while having there lambs. We checked once in every few hours, being very quiet not to disturb them, to see that things were progressing well. Mostly we listened. There is a certain sound of distress you could hear in the sheep if a lamb was not coming out well. The help we gave was usually to fix a bent leg or push a twin back so that they would come out one at a time. When our help was over we backed away to let the ewe finish her job. We very rarely moved a lamb unless it was needing help to breath and then we would put it right back so that the ewe would not reject it. We were careful to not disturb them as they might trample the lamb or run away. There were a few that we were close to that liked us with them and settled better when we sat close but for the most part most were happy alone. Some of the first time lambers might need a little help getting used to their lambs but pretty much that is all.

We made sure that our ewes were fed well, clean, not too rich, lots of water, mineral and salt blocks and plenty of fresh air. We rarely lost a lamb and only once lost a ewe that we knew was risky to begin with.

When I approach birth from this point of view and I recognize how much smarter women are than sheep I wonder at all the interference and fear that has been put on birth.

Shame on those people that have used intelligence against birthing women. One of the very things that sets us apart from animals has been twisted back and used to control what doesn't need to be controlled.

I witnessed a birth recently, watched it unfold unhindered. Afterward the mama said the me " I didn't know that anyone could have a baby without people telling her to push." She found out.  She would not have know that if she had not been where no one was. The dad was equally amazed that though the cord was wrapped around the babies neck he unwrapped it and everything was fine. He thought that every baby with a cord around the neck had to have a c-section. He would have never known unless he had had chosen a different way.

So many lies, so many fears. 

I am reminded something that I heard a preacher from Argentina say "If you want to see something different you are going to have to DO something different.