Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wow, so much!

First, thank you for all the prayers and well wishes for Zoë. After I wrote that post yesterday she choked on a cracker she was chewing on and threw up all over me (and I can't handle vomit, especially when pregnant so I was gagging and then felt so guilty for doing it). But today she was back to playing and not needing to sleep all day, she was eating more as well.

Our weaning backfired with the illness. We were down to one feeding a day (in the morning) but we're back up to 2-3. I don't mind at all. I wouldn't mind tandem nursing either. I'm just going with the flow and meeting her needs. She was very upset about having to go to bed tonight so I asked her if she wanted boobies (I know, I know... that's what I call it!) and she nodded and said, "Yeee-ees" in this pitiful voice. She went right down without an issue even though I don't think she got much out of them.

And I've decided to pass giveaway blog on to one of my reviewers. If you're not aware I run Girly Girl Giveaways (well... DID run it) but I just can't keep up with it on top of my Etsy, being a mom and other activities and things I involve myself with. I just can't be Superwoman as much as I want to! I'll be writing up my final reviews and giveaway in April and if any review options come up and I find the time I'll probably guest post over there. I'm still listed on there as the Creator of the blog but have passed the buck to someone who has it so much more together. It just isn't my forté!

I have been a community leader in a pregnancy forum at MedHelp for a few years. I've been very active in this community and it is a huge passion of mine (duh! Pregnancy and birth are pretty much all I talk about for the most part). So as part of my 'job' there I get to try out new features and I just created a group called, "We Want a Natural Birth". It's a forum devoted to natural birth and how to plan for your birth. Come and join if you want! You do not have to be currently pregnant; you can just join to add your words or wisdom or prepare for any future births. I just started it tonight so it's quiet. I need people to join and get some great discussions going!

So what's up with the kiddos?

Elaina - in Kindergarten now and she can read! I am just amazed. She is ahead of her class in reading, it is definitely a strong point for her. They're doing a lot of math, spelling and science as well. She's got a little boyfriend and all these boys tell her that they love her all the time. Definitely keeping a watchful eye on this one... ha ha!

Abigail - She is constantly saying the funniest things with very clear diction! She is getting ready for pre-kindergarten, hopefully. The school hasn't made final decisions on who will be attending Pre-K and I'm really wishing they'd get on it. I can't prepare my child last minute if they decide she gets in and I can't prepare her for school if she doesn't get in or she'll be crushed. She's ready, so so so ready! She's scared about school but I know she'll do great.

Zoë - her name means 'life' and she's full of it. She is constantly into something and I say, "No, no, no!" all day long so now she'll wag her little finger at me and say, "Nuh, nuh, nuh" right back. It's interesting to watch her mimic her sisters because when Abigail was mimicking big sister Elaina at the same age, Elaina was still pretty young. With a sister who's almost 6-years-old and another who's about to turn 4, Zoë mimics them with a lot more kid-behavior than toddler-behavior.


Have you done anything recently to help simplify your life? If not do you need to simplify?

Monday, February 21, 2011

ER Visit

Zoë has been down to one nursing session a day (in the morning when she wakes up). And of course as soon as we're down to hardly nursing at all she falls sick, more sick than any of my other girls have ever been. She woke up Thursday morning smiling but didn't want to nurse. And then she vomited all over me. Every half hour or so after that she vomited again... and again. She became very lethargic and wasn't whining or crying, just staring or dozing off.

If you know Zoë in real life you know she never stops moving, she is always into something, always wiggling, never wanting me to sit down when I hold her (that's right... even I have to keep moving when I'm holding her so she's moving and not missing anything). Well that day she would lay there motionless and stare at me with dull eyes. I knew it was time to go to the ER.

 I set her down to fix the big girls' lunch and she just laid there. Normally she'd get up and cry or whine at me. The towel was draped over me when holding her because she vomited on me so much I had to keep changing my clothes.

Luckily we have an amazing Children's hospital that is 5-10 minutes down the road (depending on lights and traffic). We got in to triage where they gave her some Motrin for her fever and took down her symptoms. After waiting in the very full waiting room for a long time we got to a private room. They did an x-ray of her stomach to rule out blockage and a blood test for I-can't-remember-what and they also did a urine test. They had to stick a catheter in her until she peed and that was so horrible. But the nurses are very skilled in treating sick little ones.

The prognosis was that her urine was "dry" and it was time for IV fluids because she wasn't keeping any fluids down by mouth. She was too weak to fight any of us but she did cry quietly when they put the IV in her hand. The nurse commented her veins were flat but she got the needle in. They taped her entire arm up to a little pad and got the IV fluids going. They also gave her anti-nausea. Zoë immediately fell asleep in my arms. When she woke up she was laughing and playing but still a little weak.
After her IV she had to keep down fluids by mouth in order to be discharged. She looks SO much better after the IV (you can see she still has the Heplock on her right arm).
She got so dehydrated in just five hours of vomiting at home. All I can say is if you feel your baby is sick and acting "off" don't hesitate to take them to the ER or to at least call your doctor to see what they think you should do.

The night before last was horrible. She had painful gas and was just screaming and crying all night long. She didn't want me to hold her, didn't want me to put her down, didn't want Daddy... I finally brought her downstairs and collapsed on the couch. She finally went back to sleep from sheer exhaustion I think.

Today Zoë is sleepy but eating and able to hold liquids down. She ate dinner last night and was so famished! And she slept in her crib and only woke us up once. She is doing much better and while she woke up happy this morning she's back to being sleepy and clingy (she's asleep in my arms as I type this). A nurse from the Children's hospital called to followup on Zoë (how nice is that?!) and told me when babies are nauseous they will sleep. She's definitely more herself (whining and crying when she's uncomfortable instead of motionless and not crying) but still recuperating from her horrible virus.

Praying all of you are healthy and safe! Something nasty is going around.

Monday, February 14, 2011

We have a heartbeat!

You may have seen this on my other social media but for those who have not............. we have one sticky little Gummy Bear (as Daddy calls them) with a strong heartbeat. The sonogram tech did not listen to the heartbeat, though, so unsure how many BPMs.

I had to take a picture of the printout of our sonogram. Check out how cute they are!!! You can see that the more round part on the left side is the head. You can also see the space between skull bones. Then you can see two tiny little hand nubs on either side of their cheeks. Baby is still curled up and limbs haven't stretched out yet (check out the ticker on the left sidebar for comparison).

Our Valentine!!!

Okay I feel immense relief. I have been so nervous I was giving myself acid reflux. That or it was something I ate. But I'm pretty sure it was nerves since it all dissipated the moment I saw the flickering heartbeat. The sonogram chick did a vag ultrasound even though I'm over 8 weeks. My husband said the look on my face was classic when she said it would be vaginal. I absolutely hate vaginal ultrasounds... then again who doesn't hate them?!

The ultimate thing is that I got to see the baby and put my mind at ease. My last miscarriage resulted after my progesterone dropped so I was just scared it happened again and the Prometrium I've been taking was only delaying the inevitable loss. RELIEVED over here! And it brings tears to my eyes because I feel that if we hadn't supplemented I might have been staring at a repeat of my last miscarriage's sonogram. I just reread that post that I linked to and I am in tears.

Alright let's get back on the happy track! All is well this time around and my new EDD based on measurements is September 21st. Though I like to think of the EDD as more of a "due month" rather than actual date. I want baby to come when they are ready so long as it is after 38 weeks. Stay snuggled in there, Baby! We've got 7 more months of gestating.

♥ ♥ ♥ Valentine's Day ♥ ♥ ♥

After our appointment Daniel took me to Jimmy John's because I was craving hard. It was only 10AM but I was ready for lunch (he was, too! He fasted breakfast in prayer for our sonogram). We both got Italian Night Club and I did really well until halfway through when the morning sickness interrupted. Thankfully I did not lose what I had eaten or I would've been so bummed! I probably wouldn't have wanted JJ's again if that happened. That would be a sad, sad day. Daniel told me, through a biteful of his sandwich, "Sometimes I LOVE your cravings". This guy hasn't eaten out in MONTHS might I add. He was pretty stoked.

And then a little while ago my husband, who is a singer and guitarist, posted a video of himself singing a love song he wrote. You can listen to it HERE. He is super tired today but it was sweet he put this together for me and posted it. He's NOT a Valentine's Day kind of guy. So the JJ's lunch and the video were totally awesome!

All-in-all a very, very amazing V-day over here. I can't wait for Elaina to get home in another 30 minutes so I can show her the sonogram pictures and hear about her class party.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pre-Sonogram Jitters

In about 12 hours I'll be driving to my first sonogram for this pregnancy. I'm so nervous! And I AM excited as well. I am hoping for the very, very best and am hoping to leave with a cute picture of our little jelly bean (or beans!).

So in lieu of trying to keep positive tonight I thought I'd share my list of baby names! As many of you know "Caiden" was a name we had really, really wanted. Because it has become so popular in the past 6 years when we first decided on it if we ever had a son my husband is now unsure if he wants to use it. Here are other names we're considering:

BOYS:
Tobias
Noah (VERY popular but one of my faves)
Benjamin
Joshua
Ezekiel
Zechariah

GIRLS:
Briana
Lauren
Melanie
Meghan

If we have a son his middle name will be Isaac. That's just a given. If Daniel changes his mind on that I will definitely be putting my foot down. My absolute favorites of the first names are Noah and Ezekiel. I think those two go really well with Isaac as a middle name. Noah Isaac or Ezekiel Isaac.

If we have a girl I want to use either my mom's middle name Sue or my sister's middle name Ann. I really love Briana Sue because it uses the "Ann" in the first name and then the middle name could be after my mom. Plus my daughters LOVE the name "Susie" and want me to name a girl Susie. I thought the middle name as Sue would really give them that nickname they love and everyone wins! But Daniel is hoping we don't need a girl name this time around (though he WILL be excited no matter what the baby's gender). LOL!

Daniel won't commit to any names until he knows the gender. Talking about names is like trying to pull teeth. He just doesn't want to cooperate. Honestly thinking about names is a little weird to me at this point, too, since pregnancy is always just so surreal until those baby movements can be felt.

Now I have a funny quote-of-the-day that I have to share because it made me laugh so hard. My husband, if you don't know, is in a worship band. His keyboardist and best friend, Dave, was talking about the sonogram tomorrow. This guy fasted food and drink for an entire three days for our unborn baby! Talk about love and commitment.

Anyway today he very innocently asked me, "So if you guys have twins........................... can I have one?!" I didn't hesitate to say, "No" all the while laughing. It was just really funny how he said it.

Okay so that was my more uplifting and trying-to-not-be-nervous post! I cannot wait to update tomorrow (Valentine's Day) on what happens at my appointment!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pregnancies, Births and Babies!

I think we're in another Baby Boom era. Almost everyone I know has just had a baby, about to have a baby or just found out they're pregnant. The following are bloggers that I follow and LOVE following. They're wonderful people so check out their blogs.

I wanted to point out one woman in particular whose story has held me captivated since we were pregnant together (me with Zoe and she with her son). Go say hi to Erin who just got a positive after having two snowflake babies placed in her womb. We're hoping for twins (or more?!?!?!) for this family!!! If I'm correct this is her first IVF cycle since having her son and it resulted in a positive quick. I'm thinking multiples for her!

Baby Danser had twin girls a little bit before I had Zoe so this is another pregnancy buddy. She just had her third baby, a sweet little boy, on the last day of January. Go look at his sweet face because he is SO cute!

My AMAZING friend, Amber, also has TWO sweet bundles on the way to her. She and her family are adopting two children from Belize. Please go give your support and prayers! She is not able to have anymore biological babies but I KNOW that God is going to use her to be a mother to children who desperately need her. We are not mothers of only those from our womb but those whom we open our heart and arms to. Oh my gosh I'm crying just thinking about her story and just the passion she has to adopt these babies and just how BLESSED they are going to be to become Americans and be raised with such God-fearing people.

Another pregnancy buddy of mine from when I had Zoe is Rebekah! She is already on her way to her second trimester and is going for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)!!! I'm so proud of her choice to stand up for her rights to the birth she desires.

And of course I cannot leave out Mel who is pregnant on her own after having many fertility battles to get her firstborn in her arms. I'm going to cry again because God is SO good and has given this woman such a gift. Not only the gift of life but the gift of opening her womb. She expected a long road to baby #2 and at times it was so daunting to her I don't know that she even wanted to try. Infertility is draining and discouraging. How amazing our God is to just place this sweet baby in her womb as a surprise!

My friend Susan had the best pregnancy announcement on her blog! LOL! Go read it. I just love her. This is another friend of mine who is going to have a VBAC and has left some awesome comments on my blog that I'm actually going to post soon. Such a thoughtful and thought-filled person!

Now this isn't a pregnancy or birth announcement. But it is a wonderful milestone that I want to mark and point out. If you have never read Rebekah's blog over at Heart Cries you should. Go to the beginning, the very start, and read up to the present day. She adopted sweet Ty and has a wonderful open adoption with his birth mother. Happy Adoption Day Anniversary!!! To me she is the Proverbs 31 woman. Her heart is so pure before God, she is so real and honest, she is just amazing.

Miss Becky is pregnant with her second (we suspect a GIRL) after struggling with fertility issues as well. I'm so excited for her as I know this baby was very much wanted!

I also have two other friends I want to give shout outs to, one blog that has been quiet and the other is set to private! Andrea is having her second baby boy this year and is such a great mother. I know she's going to transition to a mom of two so well!

Marisa (BFF to Mel mentioned above) is having her third baby, also a boy, on February 23rd. My SIL had a chance to go on vacation and visit Marisa and Mel. You would not meet any more real and sweet women in your life. Marisa loves God with her whole heart and it shows. And she is seriously an amazing mother.

Congratulations to you all!!!

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If you want to be added to this list or my blog roll on the right sidebar please please leave a comment! I have a long list of blogs I follow but the blogs I check in on the most are on my sidebar. I'm going to be cleaning up my sidebar and hoping to add some new blogs to the list, hopefully yours if you let me know!

Just let me know:
The URL
If you are pregnant, trying to conceive, struggling with infertility, a medical blog, etc.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cravings

Countdown to the sonogram is now t-minus 5 days! Daniel didn't realize until yesterday that the sonogram was just this next week and he got super excited. I, on the other hand, am nervous. I'm keeping busy to keep my mind off of it but I know Sunday night I won't get any sleep. Good thing our sonogram is first thing in the morning so I won't have all day to fret and wait!

Okay so I couldn't remember feeling this ill this soon. And then I remembered back to when I was pregnant with Elaina and how there were times I couldn't eat anything because I thought I'd throw up. Amazing what you forget and what you remember. But yeah I guess I was pretty ill early on with Elaina.

I can't really decide what I'm craving. I'll want something so bad and then when I get it... it ends up being just okay and I don't want it anymore. Deli sandwiches are a staple (I get mine toasted) loaded with Italian meats and cheese and jalapenos and all sorts of veggies. I really like creamed corn and potato anything. Sweets are making me feel a little ill this time around.

So thus concludes my totally boring post on absolutely nothing in particular, ha ha!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Drugs

Okay so this is going to be a different drugs post. It isn't about street drugs or even about drugs taken in labor and delivery. It is actually about a life-sustaining drug that is hopefully keeping our little bean alive. I'm talking about Prometrium, a progesterone supplement.

When you ovulate a cyst is left on the ovary and is called a Corpus Luteum Cyst. It produces the hormone progesterone which signals to your body that you are pregnant and to not menstruate. If your progesterone is low it could mean the end to a viable pregnancy. This cyst will produce progesterone until the placenta forms and takes over (anywhere from around 8-10 weeks).

My last miscarriage - my progesterone was dropping while my hCG was rising beautifully. I kept asking for supplements because I was nervous. The nurse on the phone kept putting me off and suggested we keep doing blood tests. I started bleeding after one such call. Practically in hysterics I called again with the mindset of demanding the meds and I got the on-call doctor who prescribed the progesterone without a second thought. But it was too late. A sonogram several days later showed "fetal demise", a medical term for an embryo or baby without a heartbeat, and a gestational sac that was already breaking up and irregularly shaped. Mere hours after taking my last progesterone supplement I began miscarrying.

So when I got pregnant with Zoë, right after the miscarriage, my new doctor (yes, I switched!) didn't bat an eyelash at my request to have progesterone right away without a single blood test. I started taking it and sure enough I had a full-term, healthy baby girl. I have no idea if the progesterone was needed or not but it gave me peace of mind and my daughter is alive. You see if your pregnancy is abnormal and you're going to miscarry anyway progesterone can just hold off the inevitable. It isn't a means to bring a pregnancy "back to life" or to keep a fertilized egg healthy. It merely keeps your body from menstruating/miscarrying until you can get a sonogram to see what is going on.

Okay so now this pregnancy I got hCG checks. But because I'm with another new group, a group of midwives, they didn't want to just give me progesterone. They did blood tests over the course of two weeks and with snow storms the tests were many more days apart than you would usually have between tests.

1st Draw- hCG was 109 and progesterone a little over 15
2nd Draw, four days after 1st draw- hCG was 624 and prog over 15
3rd Draw, week after 2nd draw- hCG was 11,000 and prog 11.6

If you don't know what the numbers mean: hCG should rise at least 60% every 48-72 hours. Progesterone is a number they like to see above 14 at my midwives' office but some doctors prefer it to be over 20. Anything under 10 is worrisome to anyone in prenatal care. Progesterone should rise in pregnancy as well, though its climb is way slower than hCG. When it drops it is cause for concern.

No bleeding this time. I got the progesterone immediately after seeing that my progesterone dropped. My prescription wasn't called in to the correct pharmacy so I was there for over an hour before I finally got the pills. I took one immediately when I got home and the fun began...

Progesterone can make you very dizzy. Some nights are worse than others for me and I'm not sure why. Maybe I hadn't had enough water during the day. Anyway some nights I am so dizzy I feel like I've been out partying with one-too-many if you know what I mean.

So if you paid attention to my hCG results above you'll notice that the last draw tripled. I can't help but wonder if we could have twins (my grandmother had two sets). It is NOT always indicative of multiples but a lady can dream, can't she?! We'll know for certain what is going on on February 14 when I get my viability scan. I'm hoping for a heartbeat, or two, on Valentine's Day. I cannot tell you how difficult a time I am having while waiting to see the fate of our little one. And I'm hoping it is the best Valentine's Day I've ever had!


Sorry to sound like an infomercial (as I told a friend recently when she asked me for some conception secrets). I have to realize that some of you reading may not know all the lingo or medical terms so I wanted to explain them fully. Not the funnest post to read but hopefully informative!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feminist Breeder

Today I stumbled upon the blog The Feminist Breeder and more specifically this post entitled "Why I Won't Leave My Births Up to Chance". There is a huge movement across America right now, a blessed movement, that can be called feminist. Normally I am not of a feministic mind and I'm very old-fashioned. But in the delivery room you can call me a Feminist with a capital 'F'. Truthfully what was once considered the norm for birth hundreds of years ago is, well, old-fashioned but today it is called feminism because women have to take back the power that has been taken away from us in the delivery room. Women are standing up and saying "No" to the unnecessary interventions being thrust upon them by doctors, nurses, and even some midwives.

It is a movement that is passionately bringing awareness to the facts and horrifying statistics in today's American childbirth system. Many of which I am reading about in the book Pushed by Jennifer Block.

Okay so the post by The Feminist Breeder (TFB) really got the wheels in my brain turning. I'm going to pull some quotes but please do go read her post if you have a moment. She wrote it so well I don't even want to paraphrase her. She herself had a cesarean delivery after her doctor said she couldn't push her 8-lb baby out and then she went on to have a 10-lb baby vaginally (known as VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean).

TFB Says - What happens during a woman’s birth is not all up to chance. Maybe some of it, but certainly not all of it. Despite their best intentions, what most women don’t know is that those interventions can be nearly impossible to avoid without having comprehensive birth education...

I think this little blurp says the gist of it. We are constantly having medicalized birth flashed in front of our faces from the media. Anything that is not mainstream (i.e. home birth, midwives, doulas) is considered flaky, irresponsible and downright crunchy or hippie. And yet when I flip on the TV and see a laboring woman tied down to a bed with wires and cords snaking out from all around her my heart just sinks. Is this what birth has become? Is this what birth is meant to be? Is THIS considered normal and responsible? To make a laboring woman look like a sick patient and for interventions to cause her to tear, to have deeply cut episiotomies, forceps pulling on her precious newborn's head... all of these things happening to her instead of allowing her body do what it was created to do?


And then I see a home birth video of a woman bearing down, perhaps squatting on the floor or in a tub of water, completely uninhibited without a single wire in sight while her baby is born into her very own hands as she cries and says, "I did it. I really did it!" I cannot help but rejoice with her. THAT is what I want for women, for me, for our babies!

I can see myself as that first woman, tied to the hospital bed. In fact that was me during my first two births. I went in with the mindset, "I want to TRY natural but if I just can't handle it there's always the epidural waiting in the sidelines." I pretty much set myself up. I didn't take a single class on childbirth, I had no idea what to do when the contractions hit me and I found myself suffocating through the contractions. My fear was greater than the pain which made the pain more intense than it truly was. It is like being in a kiddie pool, drowning, without realizing that if I just put my feet down I could touch the bottom, stand up and breathe.

So I got the epidural and I got it almost immediately. I did not even try to labor without it. The epidural immediately threw out the window the ability to get up and move around and moving around is the best thing you can do to decrease labor time and dilate that cervix. I was tied to the bed with an epidural in my spine and a catheter between my legs, an IV in my hand, a blood pressure cuff on my bicep, a heart monitor on my finger tip and two huge itchy black bands wrapped very tightly around my very sensitive and contracting belly.

And........ laying there caused the contractions to slow down. They gave me Pitocin to speed them back up. But the thing they don't tell you about Pitocin is that while they are stronger contractions they are less effective than your body's natural ability to contract. Pitocin increases your labor time. When it is time to push often the mother cannot feel to push and can be whisked away for a cesarean for "failure to push" if the doctor says, "You're just taking too long". And don't even get me started about pushing while laying on your back or semi-sitting. It narrows your pelvis so greatly and the only advantage is that the doctor can see everything that is going on; since when is this about the doctor and not the woman giving birth?

When I got pregnant with my third daughter I was so distraught over what happened my first two births. I couldn't sleep, I had nightmares when I did sleep, my doctor kept threatening early induction or cesarean, I bit my fingernails down to the quick and found myself filled with so much anxiety. When my doctor annoyingly took my birth plan one visit and barely glanced at it I finally decided at 37 weeks pregnant to take my birth plan to a midwifery group. I know if I stayed with him I would have a scar on my belly today. Once you are in a vulnerable state (labor) your doctor commands all and things go his way... unless you speak up for yourself! Even then it can be very, very difficult to get them to bend but it can be done. I didn't want the battle of wills. I didn't want the fight. I just wanted a peaceful labor and delivery.

Not all midwives are heaven-sent but I found a good group. They took me in and three days past my due date my water broke at home. They only deliver at the hospital so off we went! While I did have the external fetal monitor and contraction monitor on when I first arrived I was free to move about, unhindered, after they got several minutes of data. I barely remember them listening for my baby's heartbeat with the handheld doppler. I learned how to breathe and cope through my contractions. They HURT like nothing I've ever felt but I was strong and my will was even stronger.

I began dozing between contractions. I learned to not tense up during a contraction. My husband said he could tell I was having one by my facial expressions but that my hand was limp in his as I coaxed my body to relax through the pain. And then I was bearing down, screaming like a woman who was pouring her heart and very soul into giving birth. I was pushing and no one was yelling in my face on how to push or telling me to hold my breath. My baby was born onto the bed in less than a minute with my midwife barely ready to catch her. I pushed in a side-lying position though I really wanted to get up on my knees and squat. There just wasn't time for me to move, ha ha! It was so joyous and exuberant. I was more alive than I ever felt.

I was looking through my birth pictures and the picture of me after I gave birth to Abigail is horrible. I look like someone had punched me in a boxing ring and my face was so swollen with the junk they pumped through my IV that I am almost unrecognizable. My eyes look drugged! Well... I was drugged! So drugged and ill after I delivered her that I didn't want to hold her (don't worry - my closest bond to any of my daughters is with Miss Abigail though I do regret her birth greatly). Then I looked at the picture of myself after giving birth to my youngest, a natural birth, and I look like I had just gone out for tea on a cool spring day. I did not look like I had given birth; I wasn't swollen, my skin was a little flushed but clear and my eyes were open and intent on my newborn.

TFB says - I don’t believe that women need to be taught how to birth, but I do think they need to be fully informed about any interventions they are looking to avoid, and learn techniques for coping with labor naturally. In these modern times, women fear birth because they haven’t grown up seeing their mothers/sisters/aunts giving birth, and they have no idea what a normal birth looks like. The fear of birth is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And to this I cannot add anything that I didn't say above. I'm hoping this next birth our daughters will be present. I show them videos of birth (including cesarean birth). I want them to know what birth looks like. Yes there are true complications that arise that call for immediate, emergent delivery and I thank God for the technology available to us and the OB surgeons to perform those life-saving tasks. But to put every woman through the ringer and treat every single laboring patient with the same protocol is not good medicine; it is absolutely irresponsible. We are individuals with individuals needs, desires and hopes. It is not selfish to desire a birth that will be the safest entry for our baby into our world. It is not selfish if you decide you need an epidural or pain relievers for the pain. Just education yourself fully on each and every procedure because even though your OB is required by law to tell you all the risks they do not do it. You are your own advocate.

All of this is related in the utmost respect. I know many of you are women who've had and are planning cesareans. I just want you to know that I respect you so much and that each woman should make the choice that is right for her. That is the gist of what I'm trying to say; that we have to educate ourselves on the choices available to us and realize that a medical birth in a hospital bed is not the only option. And we must remember to not judge one another for the births we choose to have. I hope you find here that I am not judging you but merely a huge activist passionately preaching the news of natural birth. It is no way to demean you.

And that is my closing statement. YOU get to choose your birth. The only reasons your birth plan may not go according to plan is due to very rare complications or if those interventions are slowly introduced to you during your labor. And to quote The Feminist Breeder again: "What happens during a woman’s birth is not all up to chance. Maybe some of it, but certainly not all of it."

Educate yourself, trust your body and know that having a baby safely can be the norm, NOT the exception if you know what you want to avoid and take the stand to let it be known.

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Another great post I found right after writing this:
Why Birth Plans Exist at Stand and Deliver.

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I'll be talking more about birth options; it's one of my favorite topics! And with a new little bundle on the way I cannot wait to share some ideas I have for our upcoming birth.