Pull up a chair...

November 23, 2015

 

 

 

I have had people ask why I do what I do. What do I eat only vegetables? Why did I choose to send my children to a Montessori school? Why did I have a home birth? Why didn't I want the drugs? Why am I a midwife?

 

Take a seat, get comfy. Here you go- Simply, I love vegetables, I love animals and I love my health. As a bonus, since I ate my last tuna sandwich when I was 17, I have been healthy and I like to believe that the environment has been saved a little more by my decision to leave the meat behind. I (my husband and I) have believed that hands-on learning at the pace of the individual child makes for a successful education. Birthed at home because I was not sick nor did I need to be medically managed. Our female bodies are specifically designed to grow babies and birth them without intervention. If we honor that design with a healthy, active pregnancy, most of the time, women can birth and recieve their babies naturally.  I didn't want to lose control of my body and I didn't want my unborn children to be exposed to drugs. With my one and only hospital birth, I was given stadol without my consent, therefore my baby also got stadol. More on this topic later, for sure.

 

Why am I a midwife?  To begin, I chose to take myself and my family on this journey of midwifery because I want to help change the world. I may never travel the world and go to another country to be a midwife, but no matter where I am, I am part of the world. If I can teach and enlighten one or two people a month, that will make a huge difference. They will leave the conversation to research a little, discuss with their friends and family, perhaps those people will come back to me with more interest. Those folks will take that info and learn from that too. Eventually, my hope is that the thinking will shift away from "every pregnancy and birth is a medical illness that needs to be diagnosed" to a "pregnancy is a normal process of life."  

 

Pregnancy is a special gift that the TV age has really messed with. Think, for a moment, about televison shows that depict pregancy and birth... Ok, what images popped into your mind? A lady in a large, flouncy gown, holding her back and waddling around? Mama-to-be who grabs her abdomen and screams that she's in labor- all of a sudden? The television mother being whisked away all alone to the "delivery" room waving a sad goodbye to her family? How about the cravings? TV has made it so that everyone thinks that pregnant people either only eat pickles and ice cream or everything in sight. How does that really make me feel as a woman who has had 3 pregnancies?

 

Well, when I was pregnant and did have a craving, it wasn't for the aforementioned items. During my second pregnancy, for a few weeks I craved lemons. Know what my body was doing? Healing itself and keeping me strong! Another example is that I craved ice with my third pregnancy. That was a sign that I needed to increase my iron intake and absorption, once I did, the craving stopped. Think about this one- when you are craving something sweet, most likely you need to increase your protein! Cravings are the body's way of telling us that we need more of some sort or nutrient, NOT sugar, dairy and pickles. 

 

Yes, I did get back pains occasionally, so I would sit or stand, do some exercises, go to the chiropractor or massage therapist. It is a normal, common complaint because our center of gravity shifts and the muscles become strained as our bodies begin to take on a new figure. However, we Americans have a sendentary lifestyle. That does not mix well with pregnancy, and to be honest even when we are not pregnant we should be active on some level daily. There are a lot of folks with desk jobs who stare at screens for work, then get home and stare at a TV or smartphone. Take a walk after you eat lunch and dinner. It doesn't have to be the P90X workout!

 

On occasion, labor starts out with that BANG that we've seen on TV (afterall, they have to fit that labor and birth into a 22 minute window). Sometimes there is a waterfall as the amniotic bag breaks. Sometimes the mama is whisked away to the "delivery" room sadly leaving her family behind. American media has done a great disservice to the last couple of generations. Those are RARE occasions. Normally, we are eased into labor, water bag breaks near or during the pushing phase, family can surround the woman who is now in labor land to be her guiding light. Commonly, though we hear so many mamas who say that they didn't realize they had an option. Didn't think that they in fact HIRED the ob or midwife and can speak their mind about their bodies or ask questions and if they are unhappy or uncomfortable they can search for a provider that works for them. Commonly, we hear of inductions "because the doctor said I was over due {at 40.5 weeks}" that led to "emergency" c-sections. 

 

You see one of the reasons that I became a midwife is to educate the public about pregnancy and birth. I am a midwife to help normal become "common", because normal isn't always common. It should be common that the mother is prepared for normal labor. It should be common that induction and ceseareans be saved for medical  indications. Yes, there is a time and a place. We should see normal dipictions of pregnacy, labor and birth on television shows more. Normal is sensational! The waddle, however is normal and common! 

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