Lachlan: Jolene’s Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story

28 11 2011

The following is a guest post by Jolene, who had an unmedicated, peaceful birth with her first baby in-hospital just 2 days after Thanksgiving! Jolene, isn’t it cool that some years Lachlan will have his birthday on Thanksgiving? -Elizabeth

 

So, Friday morning I woke up just fine aside from a little bit of swelling in my feet from being on my feet all day on Thanksgiving. I woke up at 3 am in order to go Black Friday shopping with my mom & sisters. I went in and out of stores, bought a few things for Arwen for Christmas. Even went so far as to buy a special baby for Arwen that could be fed and changed with the intent to give to her as a gift from Lachlan. I joked about going into labor early with my mom & sisters because of second hand cigarette smoke rather loudly in line behind some women who kept lighting up… I guess I sort of jinxed myself! Although, I had done that the week previous when the dr’s on the military post were trying to get me to wait until the 29th for a Dr’s appt. that it’d be great if I just had him this weekend while my entire family was here and before they even got a chance to see me. Needless to say, Michael has banned me from ever saying something like that again. lol.

Anyway, back to the story, we got back home around 7 am and I laid down for like an hour before I heard Arwen up and moving around. I got up and made breakfast for everyone, and coffee for my parents, Michael, and Grandma. Was cleaning up dishes from the night before and all of that… I noted that I had pain in my lower back, but didn’t think much of it. Like I said, I’d been on my feet A LOT prepping for them to be there and doing Thanksgiving prep and cooking.

All day long, my mom, Grandma and I went through clothes people had sent for Lachlan. We washed them and folded them and put them into bins by sizes. I’m really thankful we got this done, because it came into handy when I realized I’d be needing clothes ASAP! We watched movies as a family, cleaned up, and I made a trip to Walmart with my mom & sister for pizza fixings to have a pizza party. I realized at this point that I was losing my mucus plug, but I also had read so much that said it could be days or weeks before anything happened so I didn’t read too much into it.

When we got home, the pain in my back was also in my stomach, but I didn’t really do much aside from sit in my glider and watch movies. I thought relaxing would help…Around 10 pm I climbed into bed hoping sleep would help, but after a little while I realized that was futile. So, I got up, filled the bath tub and soaked in a warm bath for about a half hour or hour. I got out of the tub, and climbed back into bed, Michael massaged my back for a while. But, soon I told him just to go to sleep because my parents needed to go to the airport in St. Louis for 2 am and he had to drive them (at this point it was midnight). I couldn’t bear laying in bed another moment, so I got up and got back into the bathtub. Within moments I was vomitting, and vomitting again… When I got out of bed, I couldn’t walk/talk through the contractions, and I threw up yet again. So, finally, I woke Michael up and asked if he’d take me to the hospital. I knew I was in labor at that point, I think before that I was in denial.

My Grandma volunteered to go to the hospital with me, because at this point we still thought my parents would be going home and Michael would be taking them to the airport. My sisters would stay at the house with Arwen, so we didn’t have to wake her. It was 1:30 am at this point. Of course my mom flipped out when she realized I was probably in labor and she was refusing to go home. However, my dad had a commitment he had to be home for today. So, with many tears, I left them behind and headed for the hospital. Michael, stayed with me while I got checked in and I walked myself to the ob-gyn floor. They weighed me, then set me up in a room. Once they heard my symptoms, they checked me, and the nurse informed me I was 8 cm dialated. (This was 2 am). Michael, who obviously isn’t familiar with the scale for dialation and what it means, then asked if he had time to take my parents to St. Louis without missing the birth (St. Louis is 2 hrs away). The nurse laughed and said he probably didn’t have a chance to make it to the next town and back. When Michael informed my mom of this, she flat out refused to leave and told him she was walking to the hospital if he didn’t come and get her lol. So, he left quickly to get my parents.

The nurses who were with me, were amazing. They flat out asked what I wanted with my birth and vowed to help me achieve exactly what I wanted. One told me plain and simple that I was running the show. At this point, I was so exhausted from the past few days, I was finding it hard to do anything but focus on Lachlan and waiting to see him. I think he was the only reason I was staying awake at that point. I literally laid there, focused on the tv which was turned off, but served a good focal point, blowing through contractions. Meanwhile, Michael was on the phone trying to get Delta airlines to push my parents flight back so that they could be there.
I was at 9 cm before I even knew what was happening, and was feeling the overwhelming need to push. The doctor (who was a Captain Obvious type) was against me starting to push before ten, but the nurse basically reiterated that I was in control of my labor and they coached me through starting to push. I started pushing around 3 am. Michael, was holding one of my feet still conversating with Delta airlines woman, who was quoting a 50.00 fee for pushing the flight back. She kept commenting how calm I was lol. They could see his head immediately, but he kept going back a little bit with each push. However, they kept commenting on his amazing head of hair, and how much he was moving. His head was moving back and forth even in the birth canal!

My mom and Grandma stayed in the room, as well as Michael and well by proxy, Delta airlines woman. lol. After about an hour, the airlines woman told him they’d taken care of it and there’d be no fee for the flights to be pushed back to 5pm. She wished me good luck and hung up…probably good for her, because half way through pushing I asked for the phone to tell her off. (My only weakness during labor is that I apparently threaten airline workers who work to ruin my perfect labor and delivery and threatening my husband who was making jokes the entire time…lol).

The most intense pain came when his head finally came out, and in a way that was even overshadowed by my need to see him! I sat up and watched as he came out, with one hand in a fist near his face (the reason it took so long for him to come out while pushing). Then he in essence, waved at me, and the doctor set him on my stomach. I asked them to delay clamping his cord, and they did. Michael got to cut the cord, and teared up while he took a mess of pictures. He’d been updating facebook the entire time and apparently felt it his duty to add more pictures. I’m glad for that, because as much as I thought I’d be all about the pictures, I was so much more all about Lachlan and just looking at him. I still can’t stop just staring at his every feature. He is so absolutely perfect.

 

My Grandma was so excited to be there for her oldest grandchild’s baby’s birth and it was the first birth she witnessed, aside from her own births. My mom, Grandma and I were busy crying and spending time with Lachlan, while Michael went and got my Dad from the waiting room. He immediately joined the crying party when he saw his first grandson. Of course, this is very special for him because he has all daughters and a granddaughter before Lachlan.

They allowed me all the time I wanted to spend with him, feed him, etc before they cleaned him off. He was 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 and 1/2 inches long and his head circumference is 14 in. Originally it looked like one of his eyes were brown and one blue, but I realized the next day that their both blue! Also, something you both will love to hear! He’s what they refer to as “naturally circumcised” so he’ll be left just as he was born, he’ll have no cutting at all. I am SO happy for this! My little man is just perfect as is.

My husband then called everyone he knows and let them know Lachlan was here, and that his wife was a soldier. I had no meds, didn’t cry or scream or anything near that. I was actually more complaining I was exhausted than anything else and just wanted to see him already! All of my nurses have been amazing, and we’re supposed to go home tomorrow.

Lachlan is just perfect! He’s been eating every two hours since birth and has stayed with me, they have been great about letting us have every choice with him. Including honoring our request not to give him a pacifier or supplement with formula at all.

 

If you’d like to share your birth story, perfect or imperfect, e-mail us at info@theperfectbirth.com.





Sexism and Childbirth Choices

26 11 2011

QUESTION:  Is natural childbirth

sexist? Is medical childbirth sexist?

It depends. Before labeling, you really have to be fair and consider the source.

Michel Odent has been called or implied sexist by a certain infamous Dr. and anti-NCBers for providing info to empower women through realizing how to give birth naturally and the beauty of it.

The logic seems to be that he’s old, he’s a man, and anyone who would deny women of pain relief (medication) in childbirth is a sexist who believes women should suffer in childbirth. They also take issue that these philosophies “remove choices”, but I argue that a) so do anti NCBers, in trying to more strictly regulate birth options, and b) we are for INFORMED choices, but we disagree that all women’s choices are actually well-informed.

That’s not what natural birth is about, though. It’s not about being cruel and making women suffer. It’s not about removing WELL-informed choices. It’s about providing right info, and putting power that is life-altering back into the hands of women. If women knew just how powerful they were, this would actually be a threat to the patriarchy… !

So, no, I promise you, none of us thinks women should be in pain and suffering for their birth. In fact, I’ll be the first one to tell you to be kind to yourself. If the pain is unbearable to you, take the meds. And don’t be hard on yourself for making that choice. I don’t want to see women suffer, and I doubt that’s Odent’s intention, either.

So what IS this Odent physiology stuff about? It’s about the fact that women don’t automatically suffer just because the paternal obstetric model doesn’t relieve the poor, weak woman with pain meds. That’s right… not every woman is some poor, suffering child whose pain can only be relieved by some white (-coated) knight, who mercifully swoops in to bestow his paternal hit of drugs.

I have done it both ways (drugged and not). I have received pain meds and been ever so grateful. I have also wished I would lose consciousness and had an excruciating “natural” birth. And, I have been liberated from the cycle by owning my birth and surrendering to it– naturally and physiologically. Guess which birth was best?

I’m going to show you some things and then I want you to decide what is truly sexist: Giving power and information TO, or degrading and expecting less FROM?  These are merely examples of the rhetoric, and the personalities behind the rhetoric. Some opinions and values are shared by their friends, and some are not.

This is a point about what IS sexism and what IS real feminism; when people cry “sexist”, we need to consider the source.

[Values include: being a MILF (and making sure everyone knows you are)…]


Because only a twat would think that inductions weren't such great ideas.

Take away: Even Dr. Amy puts the smack down on rampant sexism coming from Aleah and friends.

 

This one needs explanation. Someone who left critical comments regarding my book also reviewed another book (which is what you are reading here, from Amazon). I think their words give added insight to their attitude towards feminism. I lump them in because these are all critics of NCB and usually self-proclaimed "feminists" or believers in equality and choice, and I think this is not always quite accurate.

These are just some examples of the differences between “sexism” in natural childbirth and sexism in anti-NCB. I know that some believers in natural birth happen to be sexist or perhaps even come from a women-as-subservient place, but you are certainly not finding any of that with me or Odent. We are champions of women, and it’s wrong to falsely paint these principles of biology as misogynist. I am a progressive, believe in freedom and equality, and have been called a feminist since I was a child– and I am proud of that. I believe women are amazing goddesses and deserve the utmost respect. I believe in a return to our innate maternal wisdom.

Okay, so Odent is a sexist for playing into woman’s birth goddess “fantasies” and putting women on a pedestal to encourage them to take back birth from the medical model, but people like those shown above are not sexist? Odent may have a penis, that is true. A man can be a feminist just as sure as a woman can be a chauvinist, however.

I’m not trying to be mean, honest. I’m just trying to say that…

It’s hard for me to really take seriously the opinions of people crying “misogynist” who think the standard of beauty is being a dyed blonde, breast job having, diamond wearing MILF nurse; who think “pushing a baby out your vag” is no big deal and even something to ridicule, and constantly calls people in a condescending tone “honey”, “love”, “sweetie”– when she isn’t busy using her favorite insult, “twat“. You dig what I’m saying?

Why should anyone take seriously opinions on Dr. Odent coming from these folks? All things considered, if these are your attitudes in life, your idea of what is “misogynist” falls a little flat with me. These to me are not true feminists and not actual advocates for women. These are the biggest misogynists of all. I certainly won’t listen to what SHE thinks WOMEN aren’t capable of. I wouldn’t even trust the limitations she puts on herself.

It’s worth noting that these are the same people who call my friend an “attention whore” for talking about her rape to explain her birth views, and bring it up as another source of ridicule.

These aren’t healthy, credible sources. Before you call misogyny, you must consider the source.

Okay, so, what is really sexist? The natural childbirth advocate who tells women how they can have the best birth for their self and their child without trauma? Or the anti-NCBer who tells women that they aren’t special and should shut up?

You decide. Who’s the sexist and who’s the feminist?

Are you for women, or are you against them? Do you believe in them, or do you think they are ridiculous?

You have to love yourself before you can love someone else. It seems we have an epidemic in our culture… a serious lack of understanding of our true worth.

If we’re going to give birth back to women, we need to start patching that up. You are not a pair of tits and a hair color. One day you’ll be old, or fat, or ugly. For now you are a youthful woman, perhaps fertile, certainly glorious and beautiful no matter who convinced you that you’re not. Your real power and beauty is something ageless and within. What’s it going to take to undo all this damage and convince our insecure women of this? Can it be undone?

Sorry, I wanted to keep this short, but I couldn’t leave you without ending it on this note.





A(n Open) Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

25 11 2011

My Facebook page was recently issued a warning for sharing this picture (right before Thanksgiving, no less):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page:

“I’m trying to make the world a more open place.”

 

 

 

 

I sent Mark the following message. (Won’t you join me?)

Hi Mark.

You want to make the world more open? So do I. The best start is in childhood. We need to be open, connected, and understanding. Raising these values from the ground up is key. Allowing this to take place beginning in infancy is the trick to building a better society. This is really hard to do, though, in a culture that sexualizes things which are truly more innocent, while condoning things which are clearly more overtly sexual in nature.

We are trying to support mothers and children in breastfeeding. I don’t know if you’re aware of this very BIG issue for women, and all of humanity, but education and support in this subject is needed since women worldwide are coming from an era of breastfeeding-as-gross and artificial formula as God. We are trying to show that this is a normal and healthy function that doesn’t need to be hidden, stigmatized, or silenced, and is actually better for human development. We want people to be open and free to believe in this and do it.

Yet, every time we show a photo of this, we get spanked. I just recently was fb spanked for showing the first photo here on my birth page on FB. Read that whole blog [post]– it’s really informative. In any case, you can see that her nipple is not even exposed, and a child is attached. This isn’t sexy, it’s mothering. It’s more National Geographic than Penthouse. If people consider this child exploitation or sexuality, that is a reflection of our repressed and perverse culture. It’s not in the spirit of connectedness or openness at all to censor these images. Yet, the photos which follow these ones on that blog are much more explicit. Women exploiting themselves sexually, which I am not even judging here, is allowed. These images are much more sexually provocative and yet they are sanctioned.

We feel in the mothering community that this is a gross double standard. Mothers, young mothers, natural parenting advocates and their pages, represent a large portion of your facebook users. I’m willing to bet somewhere between one half and one third of your users fall in these categories.

While probably not intentional, we feel this is a display of sexism, and it creates a lot of outrage in our communities every time one of these innocent photos results in any of us being warned or banned. It is NOT pornography. It is support, life, family, and beauty. Please understand the unfairness of the double standard.

I’m not trying to get anybody censored, not even the young women who choose to expose themselves to be provocative. I’m just trying to say that if FB is okay with them, why not us? We are trying to help make the world a better, safer, healthier, more open place. Breastfeeding moms are not accepted too often in our society, and we need to shed that stigma through education and honest representation. Please hear us.

Thanks, Elizabeth

 

Thanks for reading, and if you think this regulation is a failure and is keeping our society far from open, and perpetuating perversions, please consider letting Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg know.





Winners of Elizabeth’s Birthday Giveaway Announced!

22 11 2011

We had a modest turn out– 322 entries– but we finally have our winners! They are…

#214 Lisa Schorp

#102 Kyra Sewell Birth Doula

They won by following me on Twitter and liking me on Facebook. Thanks for participating, ladies! I will also contact the winners by e-mail to notify them of their win. Make sure to let us know what you thought of the book after you’ve read it!

We’ll be doing more giveaways real soon for the holiday season, for things other than just my book. We have all kinds of baby/mommy goodies planned for giveaways, and if you’re already a fan or following us, you’re one step ahead! We’ll keep you posted.





What Exactly is a “Perfect” Birth?!

16 11 2011

Perfect. Such a provocative word.

per·fect

adjective

1.conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.

2.excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.

3.exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.

4.entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.

5.accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

Haters are always asking me– what IS a perfect birth, little missy? Well, above, for your convenience, I’ve included the definition of “perfect”. Now add labor/childbirth to this concept and you’ll hopefully understand.

“I always thought a perfect birth is one where a baby comes out alive.”  Well, you’d be wrong.

That’s not good enough! My baby and I deserve more than just to survive.

So much can go wrong for women and their babies in birth, especially in today’s childbirth culture. So, if you induce me because you don’t want to miss a special occasion, force me into compliance for arbitrary standards I’m held to even though my baby and I are in good health, forcibly do anything to my body which is not life saving, and remove me from your care because you cannot honor my needs or requests– these are potential imperfections in birth. And I don’t have to settle for that.

That’s what my book is about. In Search of the Perfect Birth may sound like a judgy title to someone looking for something to criticize, but you can’t be a true critic if you are judging a book by its cover (or, title).

Even though all my babies are alive, I don’t have to settle and gratefully accept the things which happened to me. Disliking my births and wanting more is not the same as disliking my children and being ungrateful that they are here, alive and well. These negative birth events didn’t have to happen, and they weren’t essential for saving me or my children. They were unnecessary. Some women aren’t as lucky as me, and even if their babies live in the end, sometimes those babies have lifelong issues stemming from the birth method. These are very real issues that I’m talking about here.

People find this threatening, though, because we’ve accepted sub-par care for so long now, that it’s threatening to define that some births may go “perfectly” and others do not. In fact, most do not. No, it’s easier to say that no birth is perfect, or to insist that an intervention-filled birth was perfect. The alternative is to admit that things didn’t quite go as they should have and that it’s not okay, and that’s either A) a threat to one’s very identity or B) too troublesome a thought to bear.

Women who go “searching” for a “perfect birth” are a threat to women who don’t. There is the implication that they settled, that they missed something. That’s my theory on why this is so offensive. But I cannot control who gets offended by this concept.

I have an obligation to tell my stories so that others can understand that their searching was not stupid or useless or selfish. I validate their dissatisfaction with the machine, a system that is built to churn people out, not to care about you the individual (mother or child). If I can help make birth and life any better, easier, or healthier for other mothers and their babies, then my pains were not in vain. I will not be silenced just because some out there deep down feel mediocre or inadequate and choose to take their feelings of inferiority out on the rest of the world.

Even on GoodReads, I am being judged as being “unprepared” and “expecting to coast through labor” because of my quest for something more.

It made me wonder about Rachel. It seemed like she didn’t even read the book, and got so much factually incorrect in such a short review. Is “perfect” this severely misunderstood? I think so.

Oh course, if you want blatant offense at the mere word “perfect”, you can take Serendipity (a troll) and her review of the book on Amazon:

Once recently, troll Florence stopped by my page to discuss what a “perfect birth” is. Apparently a popular midwife blogger asked me this in what I’m guessing was a challenging tone, and I had missed it because I didn’t stick around her page to watch the troll party go down. So, here’s what I said to Florence, and hopefully this is a good way to sum up for the world what a “perfect birth” is, and why one would search for one:

So, like I said, “perfect” is just a word. It happens to fit, but there is no personally judgmental or sinister meaning behind it. It’s innocent and pure in intention. Honestly, when I named the book, I did it on a lark, speaking totally from the heart, trying to capture what the essence of the book was so that people would understand its content. Still, regardless, you can expect in this life to be misunderstood by plenty.

From trolls, to nurses, to midwives, to doulas, to wannabe doulas, to wannabe midwives, and all level of cast and characters, the very people supposed to be the most supportive of women are the most maliciously speculative when it comes to pouring out the heart and soul of one feminine experience.

Now, do you really want to know my idea of “perfect”, in terms of childbirth? To me, a “perfect” birth is one that does not involve any physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional trauma to the mother or baby in the process.

But apparently, that’s too much to ask. I have some nerve. Hmph! “Perfect”.





Elizabeth’s Birthday Giveaway

15 11 2011

I had a pretty significant birthday recently, so I thought, why not do a giveaway? << Follow that link to my Facebook Page and fill out the easy Rafflecopter form!

Two (2) winners will receive each one copy of  In Search of the Perfect Birth, signed.

This is just in time for the holiday season to kick in, so if you already own a copy, try to win one anyway and you can give your prize away as a gift. Enter as much or as little as you like. It’s so simple and completely up to you how to participate.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive, the community we have formed out of sincerity and honesty and integrity over at Facebook and here on the blog, and the friends we’ve met along the way. You’re all great, and I know we can keep lifting each other higher and higher, if that is our constant goal.

Birth doesn’t have to be a hostage situation. Together we are making birth better, for mothers and babies.

So, it’s a free book! Who wants one?

 





Birth Page Troll Rage

11 11 2011

A day in the life…. 🙂