"Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males.

It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson

"The Road Less Traveled..." of Parenthood

Following your instincts instead of the crowd

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Menstruation During Pregnancy?

Last Friday I started spotting again--not as much as last time, but it's got me pretty cautious about announcing the pregnancy to family and friends. The interesting thing is that the spotting started exactly 4 weeks from the first time. When this second episode started I googled "spotting during pregnancy" and read that 1 in 4 women have this problem and only half will miscarry. It's also not unheard of for some women to actually have light periods during the 1st trimester. That is what I would call this--a light period. It's just so weird, because I've never had any kind of spotting at all with my other 7 pregnancies.

I've also experienced absolutely no nausea--not even indigestion. I don't feel that much more tired than usual. I've only gained about 2 pounds and my belly is sticking out only a little more than usual. It's wonderful, but very different for me, and at the same time, I can't help but remember the women who have told me that in the pregnancies where they miscarried, they didn't feel pregnant--no nausea, etc. Intuitively, I feel that the baby is alive and well, and that this is just something that needs to run its course. However, it has made me much more cautious about saying anything to others about the pregnancy. (Except my trusty blog/journal--what would I do if I didn't have this outlet?) Sometimes I have to remind myself that I did indeed have 2 positive pregnancy tests--one after the bleeding started the first time. I didn't pass anything that was large enough to be a baby, so I'm sure I'm still pregnant. It has been an emotional roller-coaster, though. I have so much more empathy and understanding for women who have miscarriages. And I also understand one of my sister-in-laws a little better. She had several miscarriages and she would often go into an emotional defensive mode about having any more children. I understand the tendency to do that now. Being pregnant and knowing you will soon welcome a sweet little spirit into your life is such a joyful thing that it is a heartbreaking disappointment to have that end prematurely. And she had to suffer through that multiple times. I've kind of felt like I have to protect myself from getting hurt and disappointed just in case there is no baby, so lately I haven't allowed myself to get too excited about being pregnant.

I really look forward to a few more weeks when I can feel my baby move and hear a heartbeat and be assured that all is well. I've actually thought about either using my doppler or getting an ultrasound to check on the baby, but I've read enough stuff to seriously question the safety of both. Not to mention that whenever I used the doppler during my last pregnancy, my baby tried to get away from it and I had the very distinct feeling that she hated it, it hurt, and I felt like I needed to apologize to her afterwards. When I stopped denying those feelings after the first 3 or 4 times, I quit using the doppler. Supposedly 1 minute of doppler use is equal to 30 minutes of ultrasound because the sound waves are more concentrated, strong, or whatever. I don't want to take any chances hurting my baby, especially if she is more vulnerable for whatever reason. I had multiple ultrasounds with my first 6 pregnancies and I honestly don't think it did any harm to the first 4 kids. But my next 2 kids came 6 and 8 years later and both had speech delays even though I didn't vaccinate them, no antibiotics, etc. I also remember with my 6th child, that I felt like I was going against the Spirit when I had that second ultrasound. So many things were not good with that ultrasound. Maybe it was just too much for him. I read that today's ultrasound machines are so much more powerful that it very well could be that they are causing neurological problems in babies where they might not have 10 years ago. Who knows? All I know is I can't ignore the coincidental timing of having several articles that question ultrasound saftey pop up in the first part of this pregnancy. Each time I read about it I'd make the commitment to not have any ultrasounds unless absolutely necessary. Some might argue that this is one of those times, but I can't feel good about taking the risk at this point. Unless I feel strongly prompted that I should indeed have an ultrasound, I'm just going to exercise my faith that all is well and look forward to those first exciting stirrings of the baby.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Most Amazing Video of Twins Born at Home--WOW!

This post about a twin homebirth by Lisa at Midwife Mutiny is absolutely a must-see. There are so many wonderful things about this birth--at home in the water, a calm mother and midwife, supportive husband, 2nd baby born in the caul with multiple cord wrapping, and a fused placenta and lotus birth. Yes, the mother actually kept these babies' cords intact until they fell off on their own on the 5th day. And I thought a lotus birth brought logistical problems for one baby!

I am so amazed at this mother. I've watched a lot of birth videos, but this one really brought me to sudden tears. To see that mother sitting there holding two healthy, good size babies just brought home to me the miracle of birth and what an incredible gift and blessing it is to participate in the whole process of bringing life into the world. In fact, I actually said to myself through my tears, "I want to do this forever."

Gloria Lemay - Will You Keep Your Son Intact?

Gloria Lemay is my new hero. I really like what she said about childbirth professionals being "too nice." Basically they are too worried about offending others when what they need to be doing is giving them the truth. (As a sidenote, I felt this way about the book Birthing from Within. I felt the author was bending over backward to not offend women who weren't as open to the truths about drugs during labor. Wasn't one of my favorite books.)

Anyway, I love how Gloria said that if a couple she had educated about circumcision still decided to do it, they would have to drive over her dead body to do it. She is that fierce about protecting these vulnerable baby boys. She also had a great point about the whole needing-to-look-like-Dad issue. The mothers, who often instinctually don't want to cut their baby boys need to stand up, she says, and "show some spine." Fathers, who themselves have been circumcised, are often the ones who make the misguided decision to perpetuate this tragedy onto their sons. Rather, their intact wives who have the natural mama bear instinct to protect their babies should have the greater say in the decision.

Yeah, Gloria's opinionated and strong. On this issue, she needs to be. We all need to be.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I really love this birth montage

She does a wonderful job of telling the story through text, touching photos, and two really great songs.

You can read the full birth story at Journey to Crunchville.

Circumcision, Revisited

I found this post on circumcision called "More Than Just Skin" through Barefoot Birth on Facebook. Try to overlook all the grammatical errors because she really has some great points. There is also a photo of a baby having the procedure done. It's heartbreaking to think of the initial trauma and the unnecessary problems these boys and their future wives will suffer. The picture really captures the senselessness of it all. Be sure to read through the comments for some enlightenment by women who have had both cut and intact partners.

I really resonated with this comment regarding the "religious" reasons for circumcision:

"Joel said...
Male or Female - everyone is born with the right to KEEP their healthy, sensitive, functional - VALUABLE - body parts. Everyone is born with genital integrity.

This is NOT compromised by the religious beliefs of a parent. The religious beliefs of a parent do not trump the child's rights to safety and a complete body.

This is ALSO why we do not allow the removal of ANY part of a female's body, not even the tiniest part of her prepuce (clitoral hood). There are those with religious beliefs that we do not tolerate - because they violate the rights of a child.

It's time we gave the rights of infant males the same respect.

Think about it."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Young Women Values and Motherhood

There is a wonderful guest post at The Gift of Giving Life blog titled "We are Daughters: Preparing Young Women for Pregnancy and Childbirth." It's written by Brittany from Birth Unplugged.

One of my favorite parts is in the section on Good Works:

"I a 1942 issue of the Improvement Era, the first presidency referred to motherhood as “the highest, holiest service … assumed by mankind.” The sharing of the body’s resources with our babies during pregnancy and other hardships we may endure in order to give our children life constitute a very important form of service. The value of the service we give in creating and sustaining new life with our bodies is not to be understated."

Makes me feel good.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So Cool--Birth-Joy is in the "Top 50 Fabulous Pregnancy Blogs"

I recognized many in the list, but didn't see Rixa's Stand and Deliver blog. How could they miss that one? It's the first one I go to when I want to learn something about pregnancy and birth. Lots more pregnancy/birth blogs to check out...wish I had more time. Here's the list if you want to check them out too.

While I'm flattered they chose my blog, I do think it is kind of ironic that both of the organizations that have chosen my natural birth blog as a "top birth/pregnancy blog" are medically oriented. This latest one is sonogram technicians and the other one is a medical coding organization. I think they just want to get their name and URL up on a lot more blogs by having us post their badge. Oh well, I'll take it. (Maybe I'm just a sucker for flattery?) On the other hand, if it helps spread my message about natural birth, homebirth, and alternative health care, I'm all for it.

On another note, I've got lots of news/info I've been wanting to write about but haven't had the time--hopefully it will be soon!