Thursday, April 11, 2013

We CAN do better

I'm late this year, but April is Cesarean Awareness Month.

I wish all first time Moms were open to listening to others. I know I wouldn't have wanted to hear what I could do to prevent having a csection. I wasn't going to have one.

I did.

I wish I would have known a lot of things...

Yes, you are excited for your baby to come. NO, you CANNOT will your baby to come. If your contractions really aren't that bad, don't waste your time at the hospital. You are put on a clock.

DO NOT let them break your water until it is a last resort. You CAN go home if your labor stops and everyone is ok. (I REALLY wish I would have known this one)

Those people who have drug free labors AREN'T doing it for praise and a medal. A lot do it to avoid unnecessary intervention. And yes, it does help you avoid a lot of unnecessary intervention. But I won't get into that...

Your due date is an ESTIMATE. Don't expect your kid to pop out on their due date. Sometime around that date.. give or take 2 weeks. No kidding. It's ok if you go past 40 weeks... and 41 weeks.

And anyone going for a VBAC...

Contrary to popular belief, or sometimes what the doctor says, your uterus will NOT explode if you attempt a VBAC. Yes, you can have a uterine rupture, but that can mean a little tearing... you and your baby will not instantly die from your uterus exploding. And someone who has never had a section before can have a uterine rupture.

You know your body better than anyone else. Trust it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Love these!

I 100% totally agree with that. I'm in no way sexist, but a man is completely unable to totally understand what a women goes through in child birth. He will never know. But a midwife, she knows. I've had both and I definitely prefer a female midwife who understands. Just my opinion. I know I care a lot more about all those hippie feelings than most women, but for me, it matters. And nothing can ever replace an understanding, loving midwife.

PS. I love Ina May! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Midwife

I got an email from one of the ICAN of Baltimore leaders (the one we took the VBAC 101 class from) and it said this:

The result of the introduction of the Certified Professional Midwife licensure bill in Maryland this past spring was the order by the state legislative committee to create a midwifery work group to look at why there is such a shortage of homebirth nurse-midwives and to look at the overall issue of CPM licensure.  The work group has met twice so far and the third meeting is on 9/20.

Maryland Families for Safe Birth is looking for members of the public to attend the meeting as well as certain individuals to speak during the brief time allotted for public comment.  The meeting space isn't huge so there is the chance that not everyone who attends will get a space in the meeting room.  Please respond to Jeremy Galvin if you plan to attend and if you are interested in speaking.

We have now had three of our homebirth nurse-midwives in Maryland have their license to practice taken away by the Maryland Board of Nursing.  A fourth is under investigation and no longer doing births in Maryland.  Since we had already lost one CPM already, our ICAN chapter has been receiving regular inquiries from women wondering what homebirth options they still have available to them.  The options are few and licensure is the only way I see to restore full birthing options to Maryland women.  Please make sure that you have signed up for email alerts from Maryland Families for Safe Birth and donate as much time and money as you can to their efforts.

One of those 3 midwives is my midwife. And that makes me angry. I'm hoping everything gets resolved soon and everyone gets their lives back. This is just ridiculous. Women should be able to give birth wherever and with whomever they like. End of story.

Monday, April 30, 2012

No Stronger Than You

I'm not sure what all I am going to say here, but I want to say it. This mostly comes up because I had the smart/stupid idea of making a slideshow from Ellie's whole TGA thing.

I came across this quote:

"You'll never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

That goes for having my VBAC at home AND going through what we went through with Ellie. Through Ellie's whole ordeal everyone would ask me, "how are you doing it" or "I can't even imagine". Nope, you can't. And I didn't know how I was doing it either. It definitely wasn't on the top of my "things to go through" list. In fact, it definitely wasn't on there at all. I never wanted to go through that. I never wanted to even imagine what it felt like.

Now I know. I wish I didn't. But I do. When I started writing this I had no clue that a friend (who had a very sick child recently) was going to write something similar to this. Maybe all moms feel the way I do. We can't really explain it actually. We went through a lot. And everything is better now. I just feel so... different.

I guess when you go through something like this, you will never be the same again. Like, I feel connected to other moms with sick kids, other hospital moms and especially heart moms. Because I know what it is like. I know exactly how scary it is. How miserable it can be. Ellie's first 3 weeks of life were pretty much a living nightmare. Something in you changes when something like that happens.

I care and sympathize in a different way now when I hear of someone with a sick child. Not that I never cared before, but it is different now. I guess because I can relate. Not that anyone can't make you feel better, but when you are going through something like that... other people's words of comfort don't feel the same. Now, we totally appreciated everyone for praying and fasting and thinking about us. And we felt it all. I've never felt that before. THAT was a huge comfort too. But, when you have something in common with someone else, you are just kind of drawn to them. Just like all the random women I talked to about VBACs. They understood like nobody else could.

And now when I hear about people with sick children, I'll better know how to help them. I won't bother telling them to let me know if they need anything. They never will. They won't know what they want. Or if they do, they won't ask. I'll just remember the things that I wanted.

Tony and I were talking the other night after I showed him the slideshow and we were discussing how we felt about it all. And we agree, we are glad it's over, but we don't want to forget how we felt. Not many people get to experience those feelings. I'm not even sure what the feelings are, those emotions are strong and hard to explain. They are life changing. They are unforgettable. 

We talked about how we felt when we first found out. I sobbed, probably harder than I ever have in my life. Tony said he was just trying not to crash the van. I can't even describe any of the feeling we had... well, I can try. There were a lot of feelings we had to deal with. It is something you want to run away from. You are stuck in a never-ending nightmare. And it was only 15 days for us. 

Sure she has to go to her cardiologist for the rest of her life, but that is nothing. Nothing compared to living at the hospital. Nothing compared to what we felt during those 15 days (and even the first week home from the hospital).

The fear. The pain. The anxiety. The stress. The heartbreak. The sorrow. The worry. The happy. The sad. The anger. The self pity. The ungratefulness. The gratitude. The guilt. The hope. The faith...

And those are just the emotions that are describable.

"Once you have walked your child to surgery... you no longer have a sense of fear for anything, as there is no greater fear."

It is true. That is one of the worst feelings in the entire world. You can literally feel your heart ache and sink inside of you. All you can do is hope and pray and have faith that everything will be ok. It is hard to feel so out of control and helpless. And it is SO very hard to hand your newborn baby over to be operated on.

I'm still not sure of what I am trying to say here, but I feel like I'm no stronger than anyone else. I didn't have a choice. I wasn't proud of how I was dealing with it. I was just dealing. Nobody saw the daily/hourly meltdowns I had. Nobody knew I was barely eating. Or sleeping. Nobody knew how guilty I felt about leaving Abby. Nobody knew how miserable I was. But I had to keep on going. It was my life now. What I wanted to rewind and do over again and change, was my new reality. A nightmare I wasn't prepared for. A trial that would test my faith and relationships. And somehow I made it. And that is why I love that first quote...

Because we really don't know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


April has come around again and you know what that means... Cesarean Awareness Month! AND this is a very exciting one for me. It is my first CAM that I am a VBAC momma! WOOT WOOT! So happy I can say that about myself. Seriously, I feel like I could shout from the rooftops, "I AM WOMAN!!" ;) A little over dramatic? Yes, but it was such a huge accomplishment for me. I'm proud of myself. And nobody can ever take that away from me. I did it. I had a vaginal birth after a cesarean one. Can anyone else hear the Dora, "We Did It", song playing in the background?! ;)

Anyways... I've been thinking about what I was going to write about this year. I don't feel like I need to talk about Abby's birth, I feel pretty dang healed from that. My last post would have been a good one, but I already wrote that one. Ellie's birth story is a good one, but again, already done. So I thought of this:

What helped me, besides all of the people I talked to?

These 2 quotes that I had on the bathroom mirror. I looked at them and read them every time I went in there. I had the quotes in a Note on my phone and I had them memorized and would sometimes randomly think about them.

"I deserve a healthy, natural birth"
"I focus on what I want, rather than what I fear."

I had talked about making them look nice and framing them, but I never did. What I did was good enough.

I think any VBACer should have these 2 quotes... and look at them every day.

VBACs are awesome! VBACs are safe. VBACs are healing. And hopefully one day they will be highly accepted.

A short post this year. (That's what happens when you have a baby!) :)

I'll end with some news:
"The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate in 2010 has slightly dipped to an overall rate of 32.8 percent, down from 32.9 percent from 2009. The one-tenth percent reduction reflects the first decrease in fourteen years."-- taken from ICAN's website.

A start maybe? Just makes me really want to educate my children about birth.

Monday, March 5, 2012


I knew having a VBAC would help heal me, but I didn't know just how much and how instantaneous it would be.

I know it has everything to do with the environment I was in. Deciding on a home birth was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. Nobody was forced to "let" me try for a VBAC. Joey just said that I could do it, no problem. And that was basically it. So I didn't have anyone being negative or annoyed with me.

I know I wouldn't have gotten a VBAC in the hospital. My labor was too long and my pushing lasted longer than the allotted hospital time. Midwives allow you to have a custom experience. A personal experience. And midwives understand that every labor and birth is different and that it is a natural process, not a sickness that needs to be treated.

I had no idea that once Ellie was out and placed on my belly that I would already feel so different. So healed. And that all of my past anger and feelings of being robbed of my birth experience would be gone.

I talked to a lot of people (A LOT of people) before I had Ellie. For years. I knew what I wanted and I was going to do anything I could to make it happen. I never would have thought 3 years ago that I would have had a home birth! That just "wasn't me". Well, it totally is now! And it always will be! :)

One of the women I talked to told me that after her first VBAC she felt healed. And when there were other women around talking about their birth horror stories that she didn't feel she had to share hers anymore. And I really feel like that. I just feel so grateful and so happy. And so healed.

And now I know that I want to help other women out. Women who feel how I once felt. Because I want them to feel how I feel now.


Monday, January 2, 2012


So, I've been thinking about New Years Resolutions. And thinking about if I wanted to make any...

Sure, I want to be skinnier (obviously after I have the baby... right now doesn't count), I'd love to always have a perfectly clean house, it would be fun to actually complete the photo a day (project 365) thing, have perfect children (cuz I get to say CHILDREN soon!), have a perfect marriage with a perfect life... and anything else I could think of.

Well... it's just not going to happen. I don't want to make any goals that I might not get to and I don't want to overwhelm myself with things on a list that I want to make happen but it is just too much to take on.

Honestly, I don't know what having 2 kids is going to be like (never done that before!). I know it will be A LOT different than just 1. But I know I can do it. So that being said... I want to work on being more patient this year. I think I can do that. I want to. And I need to.

I also don't want to make unrealistic expectations for a "perfect birth" because chances are... it isn't going to happen. I don't even know what labor feels like. I don't know if I will want to be touched, or if I will want to be left alone. I don't know if I will love or hate the water. I don't know if I will be crabby, weepy, loud, or quiet. I have no idea. So I know I can't really plan for it. I have lots of ideas and Tony and I are working together so that he can suggest things to me... because I'm sure I will forget everything when the time comes. Sure, I'd love to imagine me giving birth in the tub, pulling my baby up to my chest and holding her. I've never seen a brand new baby fresh out of mommy before. I'd love for that to happen, but... it might not. So... my goal for birth is to have the baby come out vaginally. In the end, that is what I want. That is what I need. I want my birth to be calm (as in nobody trying to scare me) and I want it to be able to be a healing experience.

I hope I lose weight as fast as I did with Abby. And I would love to lose the extra I gained before I got pregnant this time. But, I am not going to have a weight goal. I am just going to eat healthier and get back into shape. It will be good for my whole family. If I cook healthier food, my whole family would benefit. If I'm happier because I am eating better food and exercising, I'm pretty sure my family will benefit from that too. ;)

I would like to also keep up with the cleaning and organization of the house. I have a little routine/schedule that helps me get everything done in 1 week because I just do a couple rooms a day or whatever and it still leaves me time in the day for our fun things like playgroup, preschool, lunch dates, shopping, etc... I'll change how I do things when we move downstairs, but I will keep a system... for my sanity. :) And I know I will need to... because going from 1 kid to 2 kids is going to make life crazier.

I'm not going to commit to anything that requires me to have to do something every day. I mean, there are things I will always do every day, but little things that don't matter... like the Project 365 thing that I tried. It just got to be too much for me. Dumb, I know, but it did! And although that would have been totally cool to have and look back on... I just have to remind myself that I need to concentrate on the things that matter the most. And I have to pick and choose the dorky fun things to do. So, I much rather keep up my blogs! ;)

That's about it I guess. Nothing very exciting and I know it would be more fun to just say that I will be skinny and in shape, the most patient person ever, with the cleanest house that always smells delicious, and have the most perfect meals every day, be the perfect friend, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect sister, perfect daughter, etc... All that would be nice... but it just doesn't work like that. I would love for it to be like that though, so what I am going to do is work on that this year. I know I won't become the perfect person in 1 year (or ever), but I know I can try a little bit harder. I can try to be a better person this year. A better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.