Answer Post

I got more questions than I thought I would, so here we go!

Question #1:
From JessieKaitlin: Why did you decide you want to be a doula?

Answer:
After my daughter was born and everything that happened, I was pretty depressed for about a year. My friend had an emergency cesarean about a month after my daughter’s first birthday, and that kind of opened my eyes about certain things.

A couple months later, we had to go to the dermatologist for a sore my husband had on his finger. While we were there, Blake told me I should become a midwife so he can write novels and not work.

I didn’t think much of it for a few weeks until I told a couple of my friends, and they were so excited about it, they researched schools and books, and one of them said I should become a doula until I can go to midwifery school (this was before I decided to do an apprenticeship instead of a school). I looked at a few, and the ones I looked at didn’t feel right, so she suggested Birthing From Withing. I booked their conference that was this April (I couldn’t go due to other things), so I am still technically in training.

When I picked up my first books, I knew this is what I was meant to do. It all comes so naturally and I absolutely love learning about it. In college, I quit after my sophomore year because I got bored. I couldn’t decide what I wanted for a major or a minor, and it feels like I was meant to help women through pregnancy and birth my entire life.

Question #2:
From marfmom: What is the process for becoming a doula? How do you manage being a doula if you have kids of your own (I imagine it must be difficult having to keep odd hours, depending on when are laboring)?

Answer:
The process depends on what kind of a doula you want to become. There are three kinds. Antepartum, which deals with women only while they are pregnant up until they are in labor (mostly women on bedrest and/or women with complicated pregnancies. They lend books and information to help the woman understand what is going on. Also, bedrest can become quite boring, so they also keep them company and help with other children during the time. Labor, which deals with the woman strictly in labor and a few hours postpartum. They do meet them a few times before labor and come a few times in the postpartum period, but they are there mainly for labor support. Postpartum, which is only in the postpartum period. They come by the house and can cook, clean, watch other children, do laundry, help with breastfeeding, and any other help you may need in the postpartum period.

Depending on which you want to be, you can sign up for a conference with any of the doula programs available. DONA is the biggest one, but I love CAPPA and Birthing From Within. There are a few others, I’m sure, but I only know those three. I am actually doing my CAPPA certification next year and then my Birthing From Withing the year after that.

The kids thing can get pretty difficult, but I have amazing friends here that are willing to watch my daughter if I have to go to a birth and my husband is at work. I’ve been pretty lucky lately and have only had to go when my husband has been home so we haven’t needed a babysitter yet.

Labor is very unpredictable, and can last days. The hardest part is finding support that is willing to help you when you have to leave right away and need someone to watch your children for a few hours. It can get pretty hectic, but so far it has been pretty easy.

Question #3:
From Valerie’s Blog: What do you know about fertility supplements? I know you know a lot about alot, so I thought I’d ask what your thoughts are on taking the herbal route opposed to common fertility treatments….

I would actually rather go the herbal route before I went to common fertility treatments. They are easier on your system and easier for your body to digest.

The ones I would use before anything else are:

-Evening Primrose Oil: This in pill form helps to lessen the PMS symptoms women normally have and also increases your amount and quality of fertile cervical mucus so that more sperm are more likely to get to the egg. It should only be taken from menstruation to ovulation, so you will need to know when you ovulate so you can stop taking it. The dosage per day is 1500 mg to 3000 mg, depending on what helps you have a better quality mucus. It can take a month or two for the signs to truly show, but a lot of women say this was a lot better than taking progesterone to help with their mucus quality.

-False Unicorn Root: This is actually taken by North American women to deter miscarriage. It has special steroid herbs that help normalize the luteal phase, which also helps woman to ovulate and not have anovulatory cycles. Depending on which type you get it will tell you have to take it to best help your cycle. Since a lot of infertility has to do with the luteal phase and/or ovulation, this does help both of those.

-Chaste Berry (vitex): This one is great because it was used by the Greeks as an aphrodisiac, but it also increases the hormones in your system making your cycles more regular and also more balanced. It can be taken by itself, but most take it in addition to Evening Primrose Oil so that their cycle is more balanced and they also produce better cervical mucus so they have the best chance of conception. This is actually the first thing people recommend to someone that is unable to get pregnant or has been trying for a long time and can’t keep a pregnancy.

-Baby Aspirin: This actually has been known to increase the lining of your uterus to a healthier tone, and also thins your blood to prevent miscarriage from blood clots forming in the placenta or in the lining where the baby has implanted. The only problem is that it is only able to be used for a short time (6 mos I think) and then it actually hurts your fertility more. But, people have said that they felt better and more energized just from taking a baby aspirin a day. And since it helps with miscarriage, it is one of the greatest things you can take if you have a history of miscarriage.

-Red Raspberry Leaf: This helps increase progesterone amounts in your body so that it helps prevent miscarriage. It is also used in pregnancy to help relax the uterus for an easier labor, though this one is not proven. It helps by aiding the fertilized egg attaching to the uterus and staying attached.

There are tons more, but I think these are the best ones to try before going to the fertility medications. They naturally help your body create the hormones you need, and aren’t hard on your body at all.

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Hello!

Welcome and I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!!

Posts will come soon, promise!

The Q & A Post!

I’ve been blogging for ~10 months, give or take, and this is my 200th post!!! AHHHH!! I can’t believe I have that much to say lol!!

SO, now I will give you a chance to question me. You can ask ANY question you like! I’ll be out of town this weekend, so instead of the usual birth story on Monday, I am going to answer your questions instead (here’s to hoping I get questions haha).

Just ask your question(s) in the comments, and be prepared to know more about me than you ever thought possible.

This Is Why I Won’t… Part 2

I received a comment on my post from yesterday that got me thinking…

I don’t have any illusions of absolute safety in the hospital because bad things can happen in childbirth that have nothing to do with where you give birth. I do think that hospitals and OBs are better equipped to deal with the bad things that might happen. That is why I wouldn’t have a homebirth. On the off chance that I am the one with rare complication, I’d rather take my chances with the hospital and an OB.

As far as statistics, hospitals might get a bad rap because they serve a higher risk population where things are likely to go wrong. If a doctor loses 20 mothers but has delivered 4000 babies including many high risk babies he shouldn’t be compared with a midwife who has delivered 500 babies in from a low risk population. It is my understanding that most homebirth midwives don’t take the higher risk patients. To compare the two sort of seems like apples to oranges.

The one thing that jumps out to me is “hospitals might get a bad rap because they serve a higher risk population”.

Last time I checked, at least 80% of the women that have their babies in the hospital were low risk….

So, here’s another thought. Does going to the hospital automatically make you a high risk case?

And, since when does a woman’s life mean nothing? Why shouldn’t every death be compared? That is a baby without a mother and a husband without a wife. Regardless of whether it was an OB that was covering or a midwife.

I wasn’t comparing the two, but I do think they should be treated equally. I know that most OBs take most low risk patients and a few high risk patients. So, because OBs are trained to handle the high risk cases, even when they cover the low risk, they shouldn’t be asked how many women have died because they see the larger population?

That just seems like no one cares about the women that do die, regardless of whether they had true problems, or died from complications from their care in the hospital. Why does one death from a homebirth not equal one death from the hospital? Because at the hospital they are prepared for the high risk? Or because the hospital is seen as the place where angels fly and miracles happen?

Every woman counts. Regardless of whether the caregiver has delivered 90,000 babies, or just 10. When will we realize that some of these women could have been saved if they had delivered at home? When will their deaths truly matter?

Homebirth Tuesday – This Is Why I Won’t…

Every day, whether on blogs, or facebook, or emails, or twitter, I hear the phrase “This is why I won’t have a homebirth.” And it is always followed by some tragic story of a baby dying or a baby with problems or a mother dying or a mother with problems.

The one thing that gets me about this, is they never say “This is why I won’t have a hospital birth” or “This is why I won’t have an induction” or “This is why I won’t have a cesarean.”

No matter how many deaths are reported or babies that have problems or have to stay in the NICU, the hospital and all they do seems to seem like a safehaven women can go to make sure everything will be okay.

I once tried telling someone that women die in childbirth more in the hospital than anywhere else, and she didn’t believe me. Chalked it up to my “hate for hospitals and doctors.”

It truly amazes me that people don’t believe that women still die in childbirth. Just because the news doesn’t report it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Just because it isn’t on your list of questions in your interview with your doctor, doesn’t mean he hasn’t lost patients or babies.

I know that in most homebirth interviews, the parents ask if the midwife has ever lost a baby or a mother. It is a hard thing to ask and a hard thing to answer, but I think it is in every consultation.

Why isn’t this in the questions we ask our OBs? Do we not want our little bubble of safety to break?

Now, I don’t like to question anyone’s choice of where to give birth. I don’t feel comfortable with that unless I know you really well.

But, if you tell me you won’t have a baby at home just because of some story you heard, I will ask you about it.

Judging someone’s terrible experience at home and deciding then what to do is kind of underhanded. I know hundreds of websites that are there for women with terrible and tragic hospital birth stories. I know very few that have terrible stories from a homebirth.

Why listen to only one side? Why not get the truth?

Birth #40

This story is fantastic!!

This is the midwife I work with and the HBAC of her now 4 year old daughter.

Enjoy as much as I did!!

Here ya go!

My Terrible Saturday

**I’ve gotten criticism for this post, and I am not in the mood to change anything. This is how I feel, take it or leave it. Every mom is different, as is every baby, but saying that someone is judging you by saying you don’t know what will happen if you make definitive choices now, that’s just foul play. I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but I spent most of last night crying thinking I am a terrible person for judging a newly pregnant woman. I can’t change who I am. **

On Twitter, I normally like to answer questions people have about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood as best as I can. A lot of the time I use my experiences with my daughter to help answer questions. I always just figured it was another opinion they could take or leave. I never thought it was more than that.

Until yesterday.

I got into discussing crib sets and then eventually co-sleeping, and then it turned to breastfeeding, pumping and formula. All hot button topics.

Now, I pumped when my daughter was in the NICU for 5 days before we started breastfeeding. I then pumped when I started working again when my daughter was 5 months old. I weaned her at 9 months because the pumping was such a hassle and I absolutely hated it. I couldn’t pump more than twice in a shift, and I worked 2 16 hour shifts. My milk slowly decreased until I could only get 6 ounces in one session (which was not much for me). I then weaned and my daughter went straight to cows milk.

I co-slept with my daughter because I got tons more sleep. I would only have to half wake up to latch her on and then I would fall back asleep. I didn’t have to leave my warm bed and sit in a cold room.

Now, all my friends couldn’t do that. Their babies hated nursing lying down and they hated sleeping with a baby. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. But I loved it.

I never made Blake get up with Glade at night. I never even considered it an option. I was awake anyway, and he couldn’t nurse so why should he have to get up? And I hated my experience with pumping so much that I wasn’t going to waste precious time during the day to pump extra and make sure to feed Glade as much as she needed. It was more hassle than it was worth.

Now, I don’t think I’m one to judge anyone their opinions. I didn’t use formula because it was never an option. All my friends have used it though. Do I think they are worse parents than me because they used formula? No. Do I look down on them for their choices? No.

I understand that my views may seem highly radical to some people. They may even come off as fact when indeed they are purely my opinion. I have done a lot of research and have come to my opinions because of where I have been.

I had one of the most medicalized births a woman could have. I trusted my caregivers explicitly, and ended up having the worst experience of my life. I came out of it with a scar on my uterus and a child in the NICU for prematurity. I have been where all these new mothers are.

Now, part of my butting in and stubborness is because I am so very jealous of all these newly pregnant women. I want to live vicariously through them. Help them make decisions that would be best for them and their baby. Decisions I wish I had made. I understand this is completely wrong of me, and part of the reason I am so upset about how blase they can all be. How so completely dependent on other people to make their decisions for them.

It seems as though they are completely proactive about trying to get pregnant and what to put in the nursery that when they are planning their actual pregnancy and delivery it surprises me about how complacent they seem to be. And that just makes my blood boil.

They worry every day that they are going to miscarry. It’s their first pregnancy, and they say the only thing that can make them comfortable is dopplers for heart beat and ultrasounds at every visit. Nothing makes them feel like this pregnancy is sticking, even though they have no risk factors for miscarriage, and are doing fine. Sure, miscarriage happens, I would know, but worrying all the time about it makes it infinitely longer.

They spend thousands of dollars on stupid things for their babies like monitors that know when their baby rolls over, video monitors so you can see your baby instead of just hear them, cribs the size of queen beds, bedding that costs more than a months rent, and then forget to plan out the day their baby will come into the world. Because “it doesn’t affect their ability to be a mother and how it won’t affect their happiness”.

I was this way. I didn’t buy anything until my daughter was born because we didn’t have the money for it. We also didn’t find out the sex, so it was easier not to buy. My parents bought us a lot of things for before the baby came, like the crib and bedding set. I was actually kind of excited to go to the version because I might have to have a cesarean or go into labor and I would have my daughter home with me.

Months of pain and anger and betrayal finally led me to my calling.

I am proud to admit I am a pro-breastfeeding, pro-cosleeping, pro-natural birth, pro-homebirth, pro-babywearing, and pro-clothdiapering. And if you think my opinions are upsetting and that I am bashing you, that is your prerogative. But after crying for hours last night, I’m not going to let it upset me anymore. I’m better than that, and my opinion is my opinion, whether it is truly fact or not. And I wish that you could see that. But you can’t.

Good luck with your pregnancy, and good luck with your choices. I pray you don’t end up as depressed as I was.