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

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Water for your health.......and for labor of course!


Water is so important for all our mommies this time of is vital to stay well hydrated. Juat like a runner who is training for a marathon, so is the mom TRAINING for her birth.  No matter how you are doing it.  You can't get hydrated the night before.  At the birth center, we need you well hydrated so that your uterus will work efficiently. It's part of the fuel that ignites the power of the beautiful rushes that will bring your baby out and into your awaiting arms.
If you are a healthy woman, having a healthy pregnancy, you should be drinking at LEAST 10 big glasses of water each and every day.  Now, of course if you are in your first trimester and you are not feeling so know what I am talking is vital that you keep down only what you can.
Put away the carbonated beverages....(except for maybe one during the day when you really CRAVE it) and pick up the water!!

Here are some tips for making the water taste need to buy expensive bottled water ( no matter how "smart" they call it.  Houston tap water is probably better than most of the "natural" water you spend  tons for.  Just research it if you don't believe me.

1. Put some fresh squeesed juice in like:  lime, lemon, orange.
2. Lots of ice......
3. Put in a pretty container! 
4. Cucumber is good some people say!
5. Drink up!
6. Get your family to get in the habit of being water, healthy, good for you and your  kidneys will love you!
7. In Houston heat and humidity, you must be well hydrated or you will not feel much energy or life! (hint-wilted flowers!)

For now....Janet

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birth care givers mean allot to women....and vice versa.

I was talking with someone today who wants to be a patient of ours and I was making a comment about how some of our families drive long distances to come to us.  For, example the mom we just birthed recently who drove all the WAY f rom Katy......I mean far!  And it was her sixth baby.......but we came highly recommended ( thank you to her previous midwife.....:) 

This soon to be patient of ours said......."Well, when you find someone and someplace where you feel cared for and are truly comfortable, you will do whatever it takes to get there....."

Wow, Polly and I are so lucky to be in the presence of such wonderful moms and moms to be........makes us proud to be midwives.  Sometimes ours is a job that is hard. Stressful and time consuming. But, we always remember that we are really in a profession that has the honor of witnessing unbelievable things. Strength, courage, love, determination, perseverance, grit and humor. We get to see all that! Oh, and a baby too!   For now.....Janet

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reunion.......the meaning behind the name.

Just the other day someone asked me "why/how" we named the Birth Center "Reunion".  I really enjoy telling the story so I thought I would share it with all of you.  Janet and I met at Northeast Hospital while working as Labor and Delivery nurses MANY years ago.  We became good friend and also shared the desire to become Midwives. So for 2 years we drove down to Galveston to school together and completed the Midwifery program at UTMB.  After school our lives started to take different paths and soon we saw little of each other. If fact..... we actually lost touch for a couple of years.  Then about 6 years ago we met up the dairy section of HEB (no kidding).....and "reunited".   It was after this "reunion" that we began planning to bring a birth center to the Kingwood area. We wanted to "reunite' women and families to a more natural, personalized, hands on birth experience. We wanted to "reunite" women with their natural ability and wisdom to birth their own babies without medical intervention. We wanted to "bring together" women who respect the natural birth process and give them a place that they could achieve their goal without fear or ridicule. Thus the name "REUNION" was born! Polly

Apology.....birth shouldn't be scary.

It was brought to my attention yesterday after I posted this article link on our Facebook page that the beginning paragraph was really scary to one soon to birth mother....(not a Reunion mom...). I want to apologize if I allowed something to frighten anyone. I am sorry.

My intention was honorable.  I want women to understand what really is going on in our maternity wards today. Become informed. Become aware. Know your options.

Many women who know nothing about nurse-midwives think we are unsafe, a lesser choice than an obstetrician.
I guess as  a midwife I feel that we so often have to defend our profession. We just want people to understand who we are and why we do what we do. Understand our committment. Our honor of the laboring mother.

Obstetricians are highly trained surgeons. Trained to fix problems. They are not necessarily experts in normal, natural birth. How can they be?  When was the last time your OB sat at your side while you experienced your early contractions.....encouraged you as you journeyed your way to transition........rubbed your back .........prayed with you. They unfortunately don't have the time. .....they are fixing everyone elses problems.....that's where they are truly needed. And thank God for them.  Polly and I have the most amazing collaborative Obstetricians midwives could ever hope for. We love them. Honor them. Respect them. And they do the same for us. It would be a dream for all maternity practices to have such a great collaborative team.  Midwives for normal, docs for abnormal. Less unnecessary c-sections. Less morbidity/mortality ( proven fact when you add midwives to the mix....)
Happy moms. Every one getting what their body/baby needs.

When you are at most hospital units laboring with your epidural ( or not) and with Pitocin running (or not) you are not being "watched" and comforted by loving hands, usually.  You are being monitored at the nurses station.  RN's watching the monitors for any signs of fetal distress, period.
                                  Pitocin running-Check. Epidural in- Check. Patient quiet-Check.
 I have been there, I know.  I am sure there are some wonderful hospital L and D units where the nurse sits at your bedside and charts. But not in most. And if you are going "natural" not too much help there either.  And with due respect, I know that it is not possible for  the nurse to "labor" you when she has two other patients on a busy unit.....But I ask: How safe is that, really? And some people think what we do at the birth center is "putting your baby in danger"......really.
I certainly don't think that all moms are risking their babies birthing with OBs at the hospital.  I do believe that women should do their research for their birth care just as they would if they were getting anything else done to their bodies or their children's bodies.  We seem to just take what comes with birth. And we shouldn't.
For now....Janet

Monday, May 30, 2011

Technology in Birth.......a great read.

I stumbled across this article yesterday and it really made me happy.  Happy that I am a midwife. Happy that I have the ability to birth women in the hospital when the need arises for whatever reason we need to leave the birth center and  continue the birth there. I say that because I know given the nature and philosophy of midwifery, Polly and I can so help these women achieve the birth they are meant to have. And, if you have read any of the recent posts you will know that that does not always mean a vaginal birth.....
I know that we will be there at her side....we will be the ones truly overseeing the care she receives. And believe, that is a good thing, if I do say so myself.
Case in point. Our last momma.  She pushed out a 9#10oz first baby  after one hour of pushing!!!  Now, because of some other circumstances that had nothing to do with "this might be a big baby" we transfered to the hospital for some needed power to get the birth moving along....Now this mom came to our practice late in her pregnancy because the OB she was seeing kept harping on the fact that she thought the baby was going to be too big for her and would most likely induce her early.......bad mistake. I believe had she stayed with this provider, she more than likely would have ended up in a c-section....and everyone would have said..."Thank Goodness, that baby was just way too big for you!"  Well, our motto is "Let's prove this baby is too big...." I always say that a baby that is too big for you will show itself in the nature of your labor and or pushing stage.

Well, back to the article.  Marsden Wagner is a perinatologist who supports midwifery around the world and who works at making birth more safe..... He wrote an article which can be found on Midwifery  Today . I would wish that all women pregnant or considering pregnancy read this are a few excerpts that made me go "Yeah, Marsden!!!"

"There is not a single report in the scientfic literature that shows that obstetricians to be safer than midwives for low-risk or normal pregnancy and birth. So,if you are among the more  than 75% of all women with a normal pregnancy, the safest birth attendant f or you is not a doctor but a midwife."

"If you are considering a hospital birth with an obstetrician as your primary birth attendant, ask him or her how much time he or she will spend with you during your labor. One of the reasons a midwife is generally a better choice to attend your hospital birth than an obstetrician is because the midwife is there in the hospital with you during your labor while the obstetrician is not....

So, who you ask is mananging your labor at the hospital, all you women who have OBs as birth attendants?  The L and D invested in your care do you think she really is?  Especially if  you "want things" like being able to get out of the bed.....try your induction without an epidural.....etc.

Please read the article, it is really interesting.  Birth center and/or home birth is certainly not for everyone......but searching for a good midwife to support your labor and birth at the hospital should be something all women check into....and that's not to mention the great one-on-one prenatal care we give.....that's fodder for another post!  For now, Janet

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is birth anyway......?

Quite literally, birth is just the way to get your baby out. Period. I won't win any midwife essay contests or popularity contests with that bold statement.  But I do believe it. Sometimes I beleive some of us make way too much of it and put way too much weight it in. Because what do you say to the moms who relied on surgery to get their baby out. Who were perhaps unconscious when they delivered or had no or little say in the interventions posed on them.... had a horrific experience. Or what about the adoptive mom. Less a mother? Less bonded. Less loving. Babies are less happy?
I believe how a woman handles her birthing expereince and how we as providers of that care reflect our feelings is what makes the difference in how she sets out on her mothering trail.
We need to do what we can to lessen a woman's "disappointment" in her outcome when that outcome is only that she  did not get the birth she desired.  If she is holding a beautiful, healthy babies in her arms we shouyld all rejoice in her accomplishment of birthing her baby no matter how that precious one emerged.......
Now with that said, I do believe that having the privilege of accomplishing the birth of her dreams is a wonderful and blessed thing. But that doesn't happen for all women.For many times due to circumstances beyond their control.  And as midwives, if we are true to our namesake of "with woman" then we must honor all women. No matter what birth they chose or was chosen for them.
I remember once when I worked with a group of midwives. I had come from a solo practice where I felt my job was to educate  women  in their choices and then honor what they decided was best for them......The midwives and I were talking about epidurals.  And I stated that I had many women in my old practice that received epidurals because thats want they wanted. One midwife posed this question to me...(quite condescending I might say, too) "Well, why would a woman who wants an epidural come to a midwife?"  What? I thought.....????  Uh.....because of the care we give....because we as midwives should be there for them no matter what. Because, quite simply my dear fellow midwife, "It's not our birth"  It's their birth and not all women need  nor want to accomplish a completely natural drug free birth. And that's okay in my book. I really wish we could open up our practice to hospital births as well. Because I know there would be many women we could serve who want and need to be in the hospital for the birth of their babes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's no do over in birth.....

Don't ever let anyone tell you midwifery is an easy job. Don't let anyone tell you that midwifery and the art of caring for women during their journey through their prenatal course and their birth is something that you can learn in a year or two of reading and watching.
Maintaining safety while helping a mom achieve her strongest desire is more than difficult and trying might even lose sleep over it some nights. Sometimes there are extremely hard judgment calls to make. And sometimes a midwife has to make a call that may not be so popular. But a good midwife who's worked hard to learn her art and has learned to trust her gut instinct knows that when she fails to listen to it she can loose more than sleep.
Also, I've always had two mottos. There is never a crystal ball which you can rely on to lead you to the "right" decision. And, unfortunately, there are no "do overs" in midwifery. Plain and simple. Oh yeah, there's a third. When natural labor ( and the prep before know the cervical ripening, the descent of the baby, ensuing labor, etc.) and birth's like a well-oiled machine. CLick, click, click. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Working like God planned. Like a rose unveiling it's beauty. Like the tide rolling in and then returning back to the sea. A simply beautiful thing.Those labors and birth make midwifey seem like an easy job. Sit back, take it all in, watch and wait.
It's the labor that won't come, the baby that won't descend and the abnormal things that present themselves, some so very subtle, that drives even the most calm midwife to lose a few hairs to the color grey. FOr now....Janet

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What makes a woman fear birth?

What makes a woman fear birth? And does that fear and resulting anxiety play any part in hendering her in attaining a vaginal birth? Especially a vaginal birth that is "natural". By that I mean truly her own body's power........and it takes alot of that to complete the birth of her babe.

I asked this after reading an article about a birthing center in Pennsylvania that serves primarily Amish women. These women have virtually no access to the internet or TV. However, they have an over 95% success rate in completing their vaginal births at the birth center. In many aspects I believe that is a good thing when it comes to anticipating the birth of your baby. All too often women will find things written on the net that may not necessarily ring true when considering the variable nature of pregnancy, end of pregnancy, labor and the birth process. Sometimes I believe these things can lead to further anxiety and less trust of her own body and baby to do this task.

If a woman has a caring, truthful, competent provider who she has entrusted to guide her through this process....that should be all she needs. Trust her. Believe her. Know that she has your best interest at stake. Always. Women, we know that God gave us a great wonderful gift in our "intuition" or gut feeling.........if something ever does not ring true in your gut.....especially with your care provider, that is the time to research. Ask yourself. Trust yourself. Not necessarily the best time to listen to all the birth stories ( sometimes horrific...) that are out know what your body needs if you just listen... I am trying to convey something that may not be quite clear.....having a hard time getting this message out....hope you can hear what I am saying.....For now...Janet

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Labor ....

Some labors are just really nice and calm and wonderful.....and some women just really luck out and are so blessed....It doesn't happen for all women. But I sure wish it did. Our momma today had such a wonderfully peaceful early and active labor that it was hard to believe she was actually laboring. Went out to get sandwichs with her husband at 6cm.....and brought them back to the birth center to eat...( however she didn't feel like eating much when she got back), but she did sit with us at the table while we all talked about birth and her husband finished his lunch. I just kept saying "This is amazing and wonderful.....can't hardly tell you are laboring today"
First baby too, ladies! She did amazing and pushed out a beautiful pink 8 lb baby girl about 4 and one half hours after her "lunch". Sure the end was tough, as it is for all. But what a nice day of easy laboring.......I really wish that for all women. How wonderful that would be.
For now....Janet

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A mother is a mother is a mother........

Almost 17 years ago, I had the best day of my life. I brought my sweet, joyful, precious, loving baby girl home. No, I did not deliver her from my womb, grow her tiny sweet being under my heart or get to "know" her tiny sweet movements and track her growth just by seeing the swelling of my belly each day.
I am a mother through the grace of God and the loving gesture of one true daughter's birth mom. She's my ultimate hero, the most courageous of women, ever. You see, she did something not too many of us would have the courage or the faith to do. And, at such a young age of 17 respect, my love , my honor is hers now and always.
I know she loved this child she nutured with her body. And her heart. That love shows in my daughter every day I look at her. She is one of the most grounded girls I have ever seen.....and that's not just me talking as a mom!
There is something so special about her. And how great life is for me that I get to raise her and love her and cherish her and know her.
I do have a birth story to tell.....all moms, no matter how we became a mom have a story to tell. We may not be able to talk about labor pains or "pressure" or water breaking or breasts swelling ........but we do experience pain, joy, tears, unpredictable times and pride.
So for you preggos out there.....please always remember this: Yes, you have a plan for your "birth day"....and hopefully all goes as planned. But, if we reach a snag and have to change our's ok. No matter how you get your baby here safely in your arms....the real test, the true mettle of a mother is all that comes after that time. That is your true joy.........For now...Janet

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthing naturally...

Natural Birth is a labor and birth free of drugs and most medical interventions. Natural birth is appropriate for any healthy mom and baby, and it’s the safest and healthiest way to deliver. Babies and moms are more alert at the birth and recovery from birth is quicker.
There are many tools that help families accomplish a natural birth. The two that we feel are most critical are the birthing environment and the care providers.
A care provider that is supportive and skilled in natural birth is a must. Having a care provider that you build a relationship with during your pregnancy and who is there to guide you is priceless. An environment which is calming, allowing freedom of movement helps facilitate birth by letting your body relax and therefore release natural endorphins your body uses to complete your birth.
More couples are looking for a more “natural”, personalized option. They want to have a “designer birth”…… that they design and help create. We encourage families to research all options when making their labor and birth plans. What could be more natural than BIRTH? Some things just can’t be improved on.