Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back and Forth between Blogs

I haven't kept up with this blog as I intended to but I hope to get it up and running soon. I have lots to post, a big part of which is coming from the fact I am expecting again!

I am due with my fourth child this October (13 months from our last's birth). We are very excited and our lives are fairly crazy right now (I'll go into more detail later). I feel like so much of my time is taken with thoughts on birth, on my previous birth experiences, on K's upcoming birth, on my journey to becoming a CBE and doula, etc. It seems like birth has always been a huge part of my life, of life in general but it's so much more clear and present now.

Hopefully I can find the time soon to sit and write up some of my thoughts on all of this and more. I feel inspired and strengthened in my life right now, in this course, surrounded by my blessings.

I will leave you today with some Birth Quotes, hope to return and renew this blog soon :)

If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished ever moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. Irma Bombeck

If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing. Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg

I think one of the best things we could do would be to help women/parents/families discover their own birth power, from within themselves. And to let them know it's always been there, they just needed to tap into it. John H. Kennell,

We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong. Laura Stavoe Harm

Friday, July 1, 2011

Trust in Your Care Provider

Trust is a huge thing in birth and I'm sure I will talk about it many times to come on this blog. Your birth is influenced by your trust in your doctor, your partner, and most importantly in yourself.

I'm going to talk about all three of these the next few weeks. Today, I will begin with trusting your care provider.

Unfortunately many doctors and midwives are being given women's trust that they have not earned and do not deserve. No this is not the case with every doctor but with too many unfortunately. Many doctors no longer follow the oath "First do no harm" and instead look out for their own schedules, wallets, and doing what's easiest for them rather than what's best for mother and baby.

I unfortunately learned this first hand. When having my daughter I trusted my doctor with my whole heart. My husband and I both have said he reminded us of a kindly uncle. We were so thankful he was such a proficient surgeon when I had my first c-section which was necessary. When we found ourselves expecting J unexpectedly we trusted him again. When he said we had to have another c-section we trusted he was doing what was best by us. He even told us we would be able to VBAC the next time around if we had more time between our births. I didn't question this I didn't ask for a second opinion, I just trusted him. J was born at 38 weeks due to this doctor's vacation schedule. There was no confirmation my son's lungs were ready to leave the womb. And I we trusted he was doing what was best and necessary. On the delivery table he told us I had no scar tissue and could have delivered vaginally after all. This sparked my husband and my interest so I began researching in the weeks and months following. I realized how many risks our doctor took and the lies he had told us. I did not have a horrible c-section. J was fine and I healed well but finding out the truth was a brutal realization.

I have talked with many other women who've been in a similar situation, and I agree with them it's horrible that all doctors are not benevolent and not all doctors are honest. Women put so much faith and trust into their OBs. We develop a relationship with this person and trust them with the most precious things in our life. Yet so many times we fall in love with a pitch and a smile of a provider so early on. When we walk in the first obstetrician appointment and see our baby on the monitor for the first time, or here that whooshing incredible heartbeat we are blown away and that person becomes a part of our path and we don't think they could be anything but perfect.

Why is it if we were told we had cancer we would look for the best doctor we could find to treat us and we would research our condition and educate ourselves as much as possible. We would get several opinions and treatment options. If we were buying a house we would shop around, compare pricing, research the area, do inspections, before purchasing. Yet most women do not visit various care providers. We do not question them on cesarean rates of their practices, how long you will be allowed to labor, at what gestation do they recommend induction, what pain relief options do they offer medicated and natural, where will your baby go after delivery, do they require you be hooked to the monitors and IVs, and so much more.

It's so easy to get caught in the moment and just blindly trust and many women pay the price for this.

You do need a doctor you can trust but do not trust blindly. Your doctor may care for you but he/she is doing a job and you are a client. Also despite however many degrees a doctor is human. They are not infallible and they do not know everything. Remember this. You are trusting them with your life and your child's and this trust should not be given lightly. You have every right to question them, to educate yourself, and in doing these things to find the truly supportive doctors who are out there.

I found one of these doctors when planning my VBA2C (vaginal birth after two cesareans). He did cesareans only when necessary. His cesarean rate is about 6%. He will let you go to 42 weeks gestation. He will let you labor 48 hours if the baby is not in distress and there are no signs of infection. He supports vaginal birth and respects my husband and my wishes as well. I didn't just feel he was looking out for our best interests, I knew it. But he was not perfect either and even more important I felt comfortable telling him "No."

I declined having my membranes stripped and checks at my 40 week appointment. I didn't feel pushed to do these things. I had the information and education to back up my decisions as did he and he respected my decisions. Knowing my trust was not ill placed and that I was not going to be forced into anything and all was going to be done as what was truly best for my baby and I made a huge difference in my third pregnancy and birth.

I truly hope someday every care provider deserves our trust but in the mean time shop around, educate yourself, and don't be afraid to question things, and make sure the doctor or midwife you choose to care for you and your baby is worthy of your trust.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Realization of Purpose- I want to be a CBE

I posted this on ICAN first but I'm feeling so wonderful and over the moon about it I felt it was worth posting here as well.

Yesterday I found out a classmate from high school is expecting her first this fall. I commented on her ultrasound pics my congrats though I haven't seen or spoken to her in forever but after I pressed enter my mind went into hyper drive.

I started composing a huge list in my head of everything I wanted to tell her that I have learned. Ask your doctor's cesarean rates, make sure they have your true best interest in mind, what books to read which to avoid, how a cesarean is okay if necessary but often not necessary here's how to know the difference, if you do have a cesarean these things help or ask your doctor to do this, big baby is a myth, everything's okay in moderation (well almost everything), don't go to the hospital too soon, labor actively as long as possible, take a class, get a doula, baby care options, birth preferences.........and so on and so forth.

Pretty much every book, discussion on here, and random thing I learned on my VBAC journey and from joining ICAN a year ago came to the forefront of my mind. I honestly don't have any personal connection to this woman and yet I feel as a fellow woman and mother I need to help her in any way I can, yet I'm also not sure how to really tell all that and more to a first time Mom and not appear a little crazy. She's only 12-15 weeks I think so it might be a bit overwhelming.

I also thought about how I didn't want to scare her but I didn't want her to go through what I did with J or be unfortunately surprised by how her first delivery goes, if all doesn't go to plan. I hope she lucks out and has the easy birth without knowing how lucky she is and though I love to tell women you can VBAC (birth vaginally after a cesarean), but I hope I don't have to. And if I can help her chances of all going perfectly I can't just let it go.

I realized how much all I've learned and gone through has changed me over the past year. Even with all I went through with C and J's births before E's pregnancy and joining ICAN of Atlanta when people told me they were pregnant I just said "Congrats," reminisced about my pregnancies a little and moved on not thinking about it again. Now I feel like I have a responsibility to share my knowledge and support to help her....and every pregnant woman (and their partners) I meet in the future. I want to celebrate their pregnancies as women and as becoming parents and give them some of the tools and knowledge they need to have the best birth possible.

Hubby and I talked about my feelings a lot and I realized that I want to be a Childbirth Educator. I have considered this many times since my Intuitive Birth class with Crystal Bowden where she made a huge impact on my hubby and I, but now I'm sure it's something I'm meant to do.

I know I may have to put off actually beginning this career path for a bit with hubby and the kids schedules right now, but I also know it's definitely something I want to do with my life. We have a lot going on in the next months with hubby finding a job and potentially moving this year so this is a life goal and I don't feel I need to rush it.

I also know I want to eventually be a doula as well, but I feel I need to wait till I've had another child (or two) and they're at a point it will be okay for me to leave them with someone for long periods of time.

I am so excited just imagining all this and having made this decision in my life, so I wanted to share, especially with you the wonderful ladies of ICAN(many of whom seem to have had similar realizations inspiring them to become doulas, CBEs, and Midwives and have inspired me as well). I feel no matter where I go in life from this point forward, I know this is part of that destiny. It's a pretty awesome feeling and I'm so excited to work towards this goal in the future.

Thanks to the ladies at ICAN for all your information and support which has inspired me down this path.


I feel a good way to start any blog is an introduction so here's mine. I am a 25 year old stay at home mother of 3. I had my first daughter C in July 2007 via cesarean with Exit Procedure, under general anesthesia, due to a condition with her neck. I had my son J in July 2008 via repeat cesarean as per my former doctor's recommendation (which was wrong). Then in September 2010 I had my second daughter E, in an unmedicated Vaginal birth after two cesareans (referred to as VBAC or VBA2C)in the hospital. I have a BA in graphic design and love all kinds of art. I have also decided I want to become a Childbirth Educator (CBE) and doula to share all I've learned with expectant parents and give them support so they get the best birth possible.

I've started this blog to chronicle my path to becoming a CBE as well as to share information and my thoughts on birth. I hope this will be a benefit to someone out there someday.

Giving birth is one of the most amazing things I've ever done and I am so thankful to the CBEs, doulas, and other members of the birth community which helped me with my births. They have inspired me to try and do the same.

I chose the blog name: Bless This Birth, because no matter if you're religious or not, whether cesarean or vaginal, medicated or not, birth is a life altering incredible event and we should make the most of it. And I truly think every birth is blessed.