Saturday, December 10, 2011

Going PAST your "due date".........

Yes ladies.....IT can make ya a little CRAZY....can't it!  Especially when the majority of the friends you have or the co-workers or people you run into are all having their labors  INDUCED  before their "due date".

They can schedule their birth day...."Your due date is December 17th.....pick a day the week of December 12th!."     Easy, huh?  You can make sure your nails are done, have your last great date night, worry less, have an straightforward, easy answer for all the inquiring minds....

"when  you having that baby, girl? You look like you're gonna pop any minute! When's your induction?"

Now, if you are one of our kindly and maybe timidly say..."My midwives and I are allowing my baby and my body to go into labor when it is ready....." 

                 And they will look at you like you are plum crazy!

"Girl....time is ticking!!!  Your body doesn't know what to do!! This is the 21st century!Induction is the norm, girl. Your'e abnormal! You need to go get that baby! No body in their right mind goes to their due date!...just crazy, I say!"

 You know what we say....."forgive them....they know not what they do..."  They have all drunk the koolaid!.....
 You know you are armed with knowledge and the faith that God has designed you pretty perfectly.  He set into motion a beautiful design and when it is allowed to unfold as He has planned, it works so beautifully......and, especially for you FIRST-TIME moms, you are so decreasing your risk of MAJOR surgery....the unnecessary cesarean section that may be your fate if your birth day is over-planned and over managed.

And as always, we preface this with....we watch our mommas and our babies carefully at the end of their pregnancies to assure all is well and that we have the luxury of waiting for the birth day to unfold as it will. Yes, because sometimes babies need to come sooner that later. And there is an end least in our practice there is.  We want our babies out by 42 weeks......because we do know that placentas don't last forever....and risks go up and we are all about healthy moms and healthy babies.

So, mommas, know that we sympathize with you when you are a "momma in waiting...."
Know that you are doing the best for you and your babe and that when labor starts you just might be amazed at how your body can ROCK!

And remember, we got your back.

For now......Janet

Sunday, December 4, 2011

God as the Great Giver of Life and Ultimate Midwife

I can only imagine what thoughts were running through Mary as she began her birth journey that wondrous night...She was young, unknowing. She must have sensed the need to be somewhere safe, warm and sheltered so that she could go about her task.  She had only the love and support from her faithful Joseph. God, the giver of life, her ultimate midwife did not let her down. There at her side encouraging, perhaps whispering to her....."Mary, like Eve, my beautiful child, you are so completely designed for this. Fear Not. I have planned this for you."
I am here to say that ultimately, most women need no help in working with their bodies to bring their baby out. Just this week, we witnessed that wondrous truth. A first-time mom began her labor at home and quietly worked with her body, the design of the Ultimate Engineer, she arrived to us, ready to push her love out.  She exclaimed...I don't know what I am doing".  We replied "Yes, you know exactly what to do, because you have been designed to do it..." She said..."I need to kneel down on the floor"  She did.  Next thing, her baby was presenting his beautiful crown.  And then, he was out. Beautiful and singing sweet sounds of life.

Now, I am not advocating that women, in their time of labor and birth, be alone, unassisted.  I believe that women need a faithful, trusted and safe midwife to be there, whispering as the Ultimate Midwife did so long ago.....We are there to keep her safe, to guide her instincts when the pain is such that she needs that guidance.

And, just like in nature, God's design, sometimes doesn't "do right". We can't understand it sometimes, but we accept it.  Like when the rains don't come, or they flood too much.  The sun won't shine or the earth moves too much. It is not ours to question. It is ours to assist.  To help make right. This is where our education, our experience, our love and our passion prevail. This is the work of the midwife.  With God's guidance and passion we work, steadfastly.......prayers are said, answers come. We are not perfect, but we are guided by perfection. He calls us to listen. To be.

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow...." 

For now...Janet

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birth " back up" plan.

 Because birth is powerful and sometimes unpredictable, any woman planning to birth out of the hospital needs to know clearly what her "Plan B" is. Meaning, if sometime during her prenatal care and or during her labor, birth or after she or her baby require medical care which can only be received in a hospital setting she must ask her midwife...."Who, what , where and how?"
        Who will take over my care?
        What will I be transferred for? What are the barriers to getting there?
        Where will I go?
        How will I get there and How fast can I get there?

You need to have a good heart to heart talk with your midwife.  Know how she feels about transferring. Will your complete medical records go with you for continuity of care. Make sure she is not leery or fearful of transfer. It helps to choose a midwife who has a good working relationship with a Collaborative OB. For some of you....I know they are the "enemy" but you know what?  When you need the skills and expertise of someone who has seen the worse of the worse (severe high blood pressure, placental abruption, mal-presentation, fetal distress, hemorrhage,severe tears) and can get you and your baby through the emergent situation you might find yourself in.....this person could very well become your hero.

The chances of most of you needing that kind of care is rare.....but if it does happen to you you don't need to be worrying about "Who, what , where, and how".  Not then. And you need to have a midwife who is willing to make the call when her gut is telling her it's time.

And the final piece of your "back up plan" should be:  Does my midwife carry malpractice insurance? If in the event, either I or my baby are hurt by the poor judgement or neglect of my midwife ( remember- this is reality)....will we have recourse?  Is she accountable? Will I have funds available for on-going care if I or my baby needs it?  You wouldn't choose a physician without malpractice insurance, why would you not hold your midwife as accountable.  We make mistakes too. Some do. Because she seems like your friend? She's caring and kind?  She's willing to deliver you at home even though you have had two or three (or more) previous c-sections?  Your baby is breech? You have twins? You're 43 weeks.    Sometimes the best and safest place for a woman to birth her innocent child is not at home or not at a birth center.  Sometimes you need to be where intervention is just a whisper away.....

We all must keep our eyes on the PRIZE.......Healthy mom and healthy baby. Remember, you hire your midwife to help you arrive safely at your destination.

Birth safe....for now...Janet

I always say you need to have a "Plan B", know what it is, how you would initiate it and then set it aside.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Greatness always comes with risk and challenge....

It seems I am always inspired at church as I listen to the pastor as he speaks from the bible. Recently his sermon was about Peter and his challenge from God.  One of the challenges  God posed to Peter went something like this..."If you want to walk on have to get out of the boat"

I was We could be talking about birth here.  If you want to accomplish the birth of you baby without drugs or unnecessary have to jump in. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and
TRUST.  You know what it feels like to "overthink" something....especially something challenging.  For me, I can think of how it feels to want to jump in the pool or the beautiful ocean and take sooo long to do it because I am afraid of the coldness of the water.  I agonize. I anticipate. I torture myself with my fear. Of what? How good it will feel when I am finally floating and relaxing?  How energized I will feel when I do get in?
I challenge our mommas to get out of that boat. Dive in. Climb up. Taste. Enjoy the challenge. Enjoy the reward of your ability.  You're striving for greatness. Oh yea,  and a baby too!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's the little things.....

Sometimes it's the little things that mean allot to us....funny but true. Many women that come to us have certain "biggies" that they want or don't want to have done to them during their labor/birth day.  Such things as episiotomies, being stuck in a labor and delivery "bed", Pitocin, etc.  However, sometimes it is the little things that carry some weight as well.

I was watching ( yes, I admit....while eating my lunch) TLC and guess what came on?  A Baby Story.....well a mom was going in to have a repeat c-section....and the dad was out waiting for it to start and the two docs came up to him and he asked about being able to "cut the cord"?  He reallythought he was going to be able to do that this time because the surgery was planned and not a "emergent" situation as last time....well, those two docs looked at him as if he had lost him mind down the street somewhere.  They said "well, that's not possible because you are not sterile and it will be in the sterile field..." He asked several times....couldn't quite comprehend, why he couldnt do this really meaningful thing...He even said....."well, scrub me up!".........It was really sad to watch him deflate as he realized something that was so special to him become something that was not a possibility......"I really wanted to cut the cord......":(

I's another reason why all couples should research about csections and get to be informed about what it really means...not just in risk to mom and baby....but it decreasing your ability to share in really special "one chance" only moments.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Normal Birth.......

"The Thinking Woman's Guide to Normal Birth.............

Stop thinking about it so much........period. Amen.
Thinking, really the "overthinking" sometimes is related to  anxiety and a sense of lack of trust.  This sometimes leads us  to "control" so much that it disrupts the "flow".....flow of your beautiful oxytocin which helps your uterus to be so amazingly powerful. Efficient in its work of labor. Remember......birth is so much about surrender....the ultimate TRUST in yourself and your babe and your body and above all God's great design. Which is pretty close to perfect, I might add.

Sometimes women, myself included, think way too much about stuff.  We can be fixated on something....and then think, think. and more think. Strategize, mold, manipulate....It's again-cuz we don't trust well. We have a need to make sure everything is ok....

Some things need to be "thought" about and planned and controlled.  Like who do I trust to care for me during my pregnancy and where do I want and need to give birth. Get a good plan, gather a great team and know where you're going with that. Period.
If you are a healthy woman having a healthy's pretty cut and dry. Eat well, sleep well, love well, move your body in ways that make you "loose" -loosen your hips, pelvis, thighs, and mind!  Your body will do the just have to get the heck out of it's way!

For now.....Janet

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pregnant in America.............

Your Typical Maternity Ward in Houston......
I watched the film Pregnant in America last week and thought I would share some of it's findings and some of my own thoughts as well.
It's an interesting film and everyone needs to realize that it is not an exaggeration. Really. Majority of our labor units in Houston are like that.....many woman get Pitocin (next post topic)....unless of course she presents completely (or near it) dilated and needing to push.

 But, the problem with that is that in the majority of OB practices, women are not given really good sound guidance about their labors and when to really come to the hospital. Meaning, that if you call your OB in the late evening or night hours ( when most labors start),  you will be told  "Go to L and D."  Well, you may only be in your early, latent phase.  So, you get there and guess what?  You are  3 centimeters, and they keep you. And, then in the morning....Start Pit please.....your OB says to the RN.  

 You need guidance. You need the truth spoken to you. But, if you get to 39 weeks you will be scheduled for your induction.....really...... do we really need to schedule so many labors?  Well, open the OR, cause half these women will be riding in on their gurney...babies don't like to be pushed out that don't really want to take the risk unless the risk outweighs the real risk of staying pregnant alittle longer. (For example: high blood pressure in pregnancy, true oligohydramnios-little fluid-, poor fetal growth, any preexisting medical condition in mom that would be complicated by keeping pregnant. Most women will go into labor by 41+ weeks-like God intended).

We know that the majority of our mommas at the Birth Center if under the management of a typical OB in a typical practice would have gotten Pitocin during her labor to "speed things up". Well,  I am here to tell you that most women don't need it.  It is not a race and real labor is a process.  It has a beginning,  a middle and an ending.  And not every woman does it fast ......the baby needs time to adjust itself and work it's way down the pelvis.  Don't rush it, don't push it.

 Most OBs nowadays are not experienced in normal, natural labor. It's not their fault.  It's their training. Period.  They don't get a chance to see it. They are trained to "manage" stuff.  So, they have to manage it. And in their defense, if you have 20-30 pregnant women a month, plus all your gyn surgery, etc,  you have to make it "doable".  Meaning something has to give, and that is your labor patients. Got to have a  life. So they have to control it in some manner. Not saying it's right. Just reality.    I can make it go faster.....I can make it pain free and quiet. I can cut it out.  I'm trained for that. In fact I trained all of my residency for it. Let's go! Neat, tidy, done. Next!  (Watch the'll get it).

I am being sarcastic and I truly hope I don't offend any one.....really.
Women, Pitocin is a great drug when it's truly needed.  It actually is a synthetic hormone that we all produce naturally in our bodies.   Wow.  Oxytocin.    Really cool hormone, at that.  Most hormones are really cool.    But, they like to be in balance.  They need to play nice nice with each other. When one of your hormones gets alittle overbearing.....your bodily functions can get out of whack.  That's why being in a calm, relaxing environment it soooooo necessary for the laboring woman.  I will repeat to make my point. That's why a CALM, loving environment is so vital to a laboring momma. It allows for her stress hormones to back the heck off and let her oxytocin do what it was designed to do.  Contract her uterine muscle in just the right efficent way to move her baby down, melt her cervix away and release her baby into her arms. Thank you very much.   Done.  

 It is so doable, women.   Really.  Normal labor is so right for your baby and your body.  It's not dangerous.  It has no  "side effects".   Pitocin does. Epidurals do.  I am not against them.....some women benefit from them.  Have no problem with my mommas wanting one.  Let's just know the when and the how to do lessen the side effects, the risks,  etc.

But, and there is a but. You have to design your birth team and your birth enviroment.  Because, as I said, " in a calm relaxed loving enviroment".     And, unfortunately, most hospitals are the EXACT opposite.  Again, not their fault. Just their design, and reality.

So, if you are desiring a natural birth in a hospital.....know that you will be trudging UPHILL. Going against the WIND.  Hitting BRICK walls...fighting for your life, unless you have made a significant effort to bring your TEAM together.
 Either hire a nurse-midwife with hospital privileges ( the perfect TEAM!) or hire a good doula to  support you through your labor process. You cannot, I repeat, cannot do it alone.  Not in the hospital. You will not be given laboring  options. You will most likely be strapped to a continuous fetal monitor with  Pitocin coursing through your veins,  banging out contractions like crazy. You will BEG for an epidural. I mean BEG.  That's suffering.  That, mommas, is NOT natural labor and birth.    
Remember what I just said about your hormones?  Talk about stress on you.....oops! Where's my oxytocin when I need it?  Sorry, mom, your stress hormones, fight or flight, just took over.......(.And let's not get started about the risks to post.)

 Okay, I'm being melodramatic, but I am so passionate about this as most midwives are.It's like we have this wonderful secret and not too many women want to hear it.....why?  Most women think that we are less than competent for their care.  They need a doctor, a real doctor.

 Certified Nurse-Midwives are highly trained, educated. We are your normal pregnancy and birth experts. And we are  educated in complications and can handle majority of them. And when you find a midwife team with excellant OB collaboration, it's a "win win" combination.   Because, I have seen all this I am talking about.  At least our hospital is "midwife friendly". Meaning they  'allow" Polly and I to admit mommas there, manage their care and catch their babies.
Also, we have three of the most amazingly supportive Obstetricans as our collabortive sponsors. We are so lucky. 
 Women need to know about our practice in Houston because, unlike the popular midwife practice in the medical center, we have more options for our moms, and all three of our OBs are so wonderfully nice and gracious to our moms when their services are needed. They are available 24/7. When we call, they're there.   Period.   And women need to know that. We are a very unique practice. Only one of it's kind in Houston.   I want the secret out. I know there are women out there who would be relieved to come to us. To find a place where they feel at home and well taken care of. It's our purpose, our mission, our passion.      For now...Janet