"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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love this quote on Motherhood

“Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the … young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world.”

David O McKay

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Birth of Malakai Thomas Reeves

I love so many things about this birth video. First, a real birth pool in a hospital room--not a cramped, hard tub in a cramped bathroom! I love that they let her do that. All moms & nurses need to see this! They need to know what is possible in a hospital when mom's wishes and desires are respected. Second, that everyone left her alone during labor per her request, which created the atmosphere for her husband's sweet whisper. I loved that. Third, that she and her husband calmly & quietly "caught" their baby. I was also impressed at how relatively calm and quiet the midwives stayed after the birth. The midwife rubbing the baby’s head was so gentle—such a contrast to the way most nurses rub the baby. About the only thing that bothered me was cutting the cord so early. It seemed like as soon as they cut the cord and took the baby away, they were comfortably back in their standard hospital mode, ready to do their “stuff.” Gloria Lemay has written extensively about how the cord needs to stay intact, especially in situations where the baby needs a little help with breathing. She has many suggestions of how this can be done with the baby on or next to the mama. You could tell the baby was not happy being separated by his cry. However, it appeared he was reunited with his mama pretty quickly as she was still in the pool. All in all, an amazing birth. It really looked like they honored and respected the mother’s wishes and desires. Very cool. Thanks, Mamas & Babies blog for sharing this.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OBGYN v. Midwife [The Hilariously True Appointment Comparison]

This has been my experience as well. I loved my midwives and I even loved the pregnancies where I used a midwife!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Do Have a Choice

I saw this short (7 min) Birth Documentary on Mamas and Babies blog that has this excellent quote at the end:

"You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make...or don't make. If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you must examine what you have or haven't done so far to create the outcome you want."
Kim Wildner
(Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth)

The documentary is pretty good too. I loved the nurses' candid explanations of the common medical procedures done during labor. I wish I could open the eyes of all women to the idea that they don't have to be a passive spectator in the births of their own babies. There is such a better way.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Moments That Matter Most

This video was awesome the first time I watched it, but it gets even better the more I see it. The mom closing her laptop...the son coming home...dancing in the kitchen...it's all good. Makes me cry.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Forks Over Knives - Official Trailer

This is an awesome trailer. I can't wait until the movie comes to my town. The research in it totally confirms Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book and Tandi Hartle's pregnancy nutrition recommendations I wrote about in another post.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is Homebirth Really Better for Babies?

There is an excellent post on Birth Unplugged entitled "How Homebirth Benefits Babies." It brings to mind ACOG's position on women who choose homebirth. They basically have accused women of trying to be trendy by following the example of Ricki Lake, or of putting their own birth experience ahead of the well-being and safety of their babies. I love this post because Brittany does a great job of pointing out that research shows babies, not just their mothers, are much better off being born at home. They have fewer complications, less birth trauma, and higher success rates with breastfeeding. Of course, I should mention that this research assumes the mother and baby are low-risk and using qualified attendants.

One statistic I've had first-hand experience with. That is that homebirthed babies are less likely to require resuscitation at birth. With my second daughter who was born in the hospital, she needed a whole resus team to get her breathing--on a table on the other side of the room. I couldn't see what they were doing but my husband said they were basically slapping her all over her body including her face. (No wonder that when she did start breathing, she started screaming at the top of her lungs and didn't calm down until after about 10 minutes of nursing, poor thing. Also another instance of the stupidity of immediate cord-clamping.) The whole reason for that delayed breathing had to do with the drug Nubain that I succumbed to receiving during transition. Wouldn't have happened at home.

One other research finding I found really interesting was that babies "had better outcomes for homebirths when comparing between home and hospital births with the same cohort of midwives." So much for the idea that we can have the "best of both worlds" by utilizing the superior midwifery model of care in the "safer" environment of the hospital. The fact is that hospitals have all their restrictive protocols and ways of doing things that are really just for the convenience of the OB's and nurses, and not usually in the best interest of mom and baby. I learned that when planning a hospital birth with a CNM. She was subject to the same legal restrictions and attitudes the OB's were. It would take such dramatic changes in hospital policies and staff attitudes (nearly impossible in today's legal climate) to negate the risks of unnecessary intervention, that I honestly can't see that ever happening, at least in the US.

Anyway I highly recommend reading her post. It's well-researched and a direct contradiction to the propaganda ACOG and the media try to shove down our throats. And Brittany is much more tactful and unoffensive than I am. (Sorry--I feel so passionate about this topic, I just can't help myself.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Excellent Video about Being Kinder to our Babies at Birth

I found this video on a blog called Mamas and Babies. It is excellent at explaining why it's better to not clamp the cord immediately. I also love that they suggest another option of waiting until the mother is ready for the cord to be clamped rather than the typical homebirth scenario of just waiting until the cord has stopped pulsating. With 2 of our homebirths we waited just until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, but blood still came out, and my own heart and instincts felt wrong about it, even though I had no known logical reason to believe we had done anything harmful. It will be different the next time.

This video also brings up the issue of just how cruelly our babies are assaulted at birth in the name of "medical care." Some of the hospital scenes are very disturbing to me. After having 3 homebirths and watching hundreds of homebirth videos (I know, I know, I'm a birth-junkie), I am shocked and sickened at how babies are treated in the hospital. This so needs to be changed. No wonder so many people struggle with lifetime depression, tendency to violence, etc. It's been imprinted on us at birth. This video is only a portion of a longer video called "The Other Side of the Glass." You can view a preview of the film here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lotus Birth

I really like her description and reasons for this kind of a birth. It feels kind of weird to me now to watch a video of a beautiful, natural, undisturbed birth where you see all this wonderful independence and strength displayed by the mother, then see the sweet joy and bonding that occurs with her baby, and then have to watch as she allows someone else to cut the cord that physically severs her baby from herself. It just isn't congruent to me anymore and makes me cringe every time I see it.

I also love the idea of mother and baby recuperating alone together for those first few days. Extended family and friends can visit later after the baby is ready, signaled by his/her own release of the cord.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Multiply and Replenish

I love this video. I may have posted it before but I don't care. It really shares how I feel about being a mother. I came across it today while reading about my church's official position on having children on a very thought-provoking blog post on "Women in the Scriptures." Of course, I had to comment on it. First I quoted a previous comment and then added my own thoughts:

"What is the main blessing of exaltation? Eternal increase. If we refuse that blessing and responsibility in this life, how could we expect to be worthy of it in the next?"

I think a lot of it comes down to our attitude towards having children. I am thrilled with the doctrine of eternal increase. Sadly, though, I know many members who are not. In all fairness I have to add that I haven't always felt this way. My attitude has changed as my testimony has grown and as I've tried to distance myself from worldly philosophies that the Spirit has confirmed are not good.

Another huge leap forward in my attitude towards having children comes from having birthed my last three children at home. In a sacred, private atmosphere and in an unmedicated state, it is so much easier to really understand and appreciate just how profound is this amazing privilege of bringing children into the world. I can't speak for everyone, of course, but for me I only felt that to a very small degree during my medicated hospital births.

I am so grateful for this post because it confirms what my heart has told me for years. And I'm so grateful I followed my heart after my 4th child in not doing anything permanent. Otherwise I would have missed out on some of the greatest and most spiritually empowering experiences of my life.

I should have added: Not to mention 3 of the cutest little kids you ever saw!

Anyway, enjoy this video. It gives me the chills. When I read the words to my 5 year old, Charles, I started to cry as I thought of the life-changing choice I made in my later years to have 3 more children. One of the best decisions of my life. =)

(I actually found the video on a blog called Multiply and Replenish that was referenced in the comments at the Women in the Scriptures blog.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Optimal Nutrition in Pregnancy

I recently watched a webinar on achieving optimal nutrition during pregnancy. It was phenomenal! Tandi Hartle was the teacher. She is very well educated in all the traditional ways with many initials after her name, but more importantly, she learned through personal experience how traditional thinking on nutrition and medicine has failed many of us. So she re-educated herself on the more natural ways of dealing with disease and achieving optimal nutrition. In her webinar/class she talks about pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, low iron levels, etc, and how these problems can be reduced and in most cases eliminated through proper nutrition.

This is something I have always felt instinctively, but was hard-pressed to find in written form anywhere. I've read many natural childbirth books and done the Hypnobabies Homestudy course, (which I loved) but have been disappointed that everyone seems to parrot the medical establishment line that pregnant women need to eat lots of protein, including meat and dairy. Knowing the problems of eating too much animal protein and the problems inherent in dairy consumption, I could never feel good about eating lots of these foods during my pregnancies. I didn't feel good when I ate them and they caused an unnecessary amount of fat and weight gain. It was especially frustrating when my otherwise naturally-minded midwife encouraged me to increase my intake of these foods.

Finally, in this webinar, I found what I feel is lacking in the current literature on nutrition in pregnancy. Tandi taught the importance of making the food choices that would bring the highest nutrients per calorie. She gives great examples of what the best choices are and how what we've been taught is healthy really isn't so good for us and our growing babies. She also teaches how these vital nutrients so lacking in the standard American diet (SAD) prevent many of the complications that the medical field says happen for no known reason. They do happen for a reason, but most doctors have very little knowledge about proper nutrition so they don't have the answers we mothers are asking when the complications come up.

Tandi has the answers! I highly recommend her webinar class which you can view here. It does cost $30 but it is definitely worth it. She says it will be permanently available and you can watch it anytime that is convenient for you. If you just don't have the finances to do it you can read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat To Live." Dr. Fuhrman's research and clinical experience most closely match the concepts Tandi teaches. It is available at Amazon. Jim Simmons, who came up with "Daniel's Challenge" (I have a link to this on my blog), and who wrote a book called "Original Fast Foods" also teaches these same nutrition concepts. Those books, however don't say much about pregnancy. That's why I was so excited to find Tandi's class. She applies the concepts they teach in relation to pregnancy in an easy to understand and profound way.

She is also going to do a 6 week class in about 3 to 4 weeks. I'll post information about that as I receive it. I don't receive any compensation for plugging her class. I just am totally excited to tell pregnant women about it because I feel it is the best information out there for achieving the "optimal nutrition in pregnancy." I believe there is so much misinformation out there for pregnant women it is downright frightening. What we put into our mouths really does matter and it matters very much to our growing babies! I firmly believe following the principles she outlines will lead to the very best pregnancy outcomes with few if any complications. And let's face it, to have the natural, empowering, spiritual births we all dream of we need healthy, joyful, complication-free pregnancies. Knowing and living these principles about nutrition is one big step toward that end.