Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breech babies

So, what do you all think and know and want to discuss about breech babies? I personally haven't experienced this, but I found out after the film and big discussion with the Mamas on my trip that this is fast becoming a dying art form, no longer even being taught in Medical School, and is in danger of becoming totally obsolete besides among grassroots mouth-to-mouth midwives and UC Mamas and of course, self educating online which has risks in many people's eyes.

I was taught through all that I read that breech presentation was a normal variation of birth. Ina May Gaskin wrote my first midwifery text, Spiritual Midwifery, and this book is still my bible as far as so, so many things. There are easier and more tricky breech presentations, depending on which part of the baby is presenting first (feet, butt, etc) but it does occur, and so what are women to do if this is now (yet another) CSECTION red-alert trigger?

My own Mom was born breech, (vaginal) and I remember this being something I was familiar with from a very early age, the idea of non-head first babies!

Here's one little thing I was looking at today, but of course there is tons out there. I am open to discussion from all sides of the issue, as always!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

awesome news

I am beginning apprenticeship with my old midwife! I will be starting as her assistant and plan to keep it at that level for some time. I am not in any hurry and neither is she. I will go from assistant to apprentice and someday be a midwife. We have been out to dinner 2 times recently as well as in contact via email and phone. I couldn't be more excited, this is the very right thing for me and for everyone who ever told me "you should be a midwife" or anything like that, well, here I go!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Best breastfeeding help resource Ive seen in a while

fantastic breastfeeding resource. I read and read and read it today-- so much stuff I didnt know, even after being a nursing Mama since June '97! I know several moms who could have saved a nursing relationship if they had this information.

Dr. Jack Newman is the GURU and there is tons out there by him, including books.

Friday, November 23, 2007

BBBB: part one: the journey there.

Last Friday, I left for my trip to meet my birth-blog pals, and to attend a viewing of Ricki Lake's documentary, the Business of Being Born. I had almost 400 miles to go, and my husband couldn't even get off work-- so my mother in law was going to come sit with the children in the early afternoon until our friend got there at 430 to spell her off (she had an early evening commitment) until Daddy got home at 6pm.

All 6 of us went to the rental car place on Daddy's lunch hour to go get my "economy car", and so to say I was surprised to see my sweet orange race car would be a grave understatement! This had to be a mistake-- wasn't I gonna get some tiny plastic-lookin thing with no trim and no radio? What was this? Only a 2008 Dodge Caliber---in sparkly flame orange! I was worried it wouldn't do well on gas but it really really did. Over 35 miles to the gallon. this thing was SO fast, and so responsive-- when you turned the steering wheel a tiny speck, it jarred over to the side. The brakes and gas pedals were insanely sensitive and, well, it was no '96 minivan, lemme tell ya! I felt like I was in a video game, down low in my growly sexy racecar with the THUMPIN Cd stereo system. Holy mackerel, I felt like I was hearing these bands for the first time...more on that in a sec.

So, With the car dropped off at the house, and then Daddy returning to work, we waited and waited for Grandma--my mental calculations of the trip taking 7 to 8 hours stressing me out more and more as the time ticked on....1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, finally Steve called her at 2:30 and she was just sitting at home! It turns out that she had no plans to show up at all, and that she thought the whole trip was "weird" and that something didn't "Add up". I was near to despondent tears, thinking how hard it was going to be to LEAVE for this trip so late in the day, all the running around and time-juggling we did to get this to happen....but she is from a generation (?) that is very suspicious of "the Internet" and had expressed concerns to Steve during the week about this whole trip being a scam, etc. I guess I should have spoken to her directly. Next time, for sure. I had no idea the extent of her disapproval or concern until she decided to no-show. So she came over at 3:30, well past Charlie's naptime, which was the plan, her to come when he was sleeping, because he is so afraid of her and he screams the entire time he sees her, being in the middle of a very extreme "stranger anxiety" phase, also well past when I needed to leave, almost at the time when our friend was coming to babysit anyways. I basically nodded my head at her "bye!" and took off in my racecar. I was so excited about my trip that I really didn't want to think about this uncharacteristic "statement" she was trying to make by attempting to sabotage my entire vacation. Fears of big time traffic jams etc were all now a real possibility but oh well. I had my glasses on which I need to see at night driving and I grabbed a big armload of CD's from the garage (we listen to MP3's and Records exclusively now, but this car had a CD player) and I was off!

Google maps oftentimes gives some funky-ish ways to get to basic places, but I was curious about this new way they suggested to get to the Ann Arbor area, so I tried it. It was SO fast and direct! Listening to Monster by R.E.M., and hearing every single sound in the music, trying not to go over 80mph, I was to Ann Arbor in a wink. Tres Cool. Then I was on good old interstate, heading towards the side of my state. Nevermind by Nirvana was blowing my head off, and once I figured out the strange cruise control, I felt better about being able to go 79 MPH, the speed I decided would get me "not pulled over" in a 70 zone. It was so cool to be the girl in the left lane, a lane I usually HATE and never use, and having people getting out of MY way!!! This car was just so---nice and safe and strong that I didn't feel that feeling of fear and trepidation and "being in the way of the fast and important people on the road" that I always have in my own cars, I guess. It was really really cool and I was finding myself wondering how much these Dodge Calibers cost, heh heh...ridiculous fantasies about "no food or muddy shoes in mommy's car" danced around in my adrenaline enraged head along with the absolutely pummeling sounds of Lithium, Polly, and In Bloom. Man, my little Kurt can sing. Sigh.

So, I was really making great time, and soon it was Welcome To The Next State--- YIPPEE!!! I stopped at a rest stop and was amused to see my car when I walked out. Where was this love of Dodge Calibers coming from? I tell ya. I pressed the "boop! boop!" alarm a couple of times, just to seem cool to random old people. (I have never had a car alarm before, dont really want one, but its still funny to me to have a beeping and booping car) I was off again, getting verrry excited to see a unnamed big city that i adore--- was I going to get to drive right through my favorite city in this galaxy??? Would I be able to resist the temptation to just stay there forever, somehow establishing a new life with approximately 80 dollars on me? Pant pant pant I was getting so overly excited about this all, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be this weird sweaty freak when I met my friends. Of course I was wearing deodorant, but I did not put on my usual patchouli, because as bizarre to me as this is, I know that some people REALLY hate patchouli, and my friend Kelley is newly pregnant, and I didn't want to smell sick to them. "Joy from Breast and Belly smelled like a dirty old hippie"-- you know? But the lack of perfume and the racecar rock n roll road trip and the overactive heater in an '08 vehicle, and the onions on my subway sub that I was dropping all over myself and my beautiful new car...well I probably did smell! Oh well.

Big City was drawing near, but the lovely view (and inevitable traffic!) was not meant to be. My route took me a different way, and I was disappointed and yet relieved. The night sky was black, but I looked that way and there was a glow...someday I will go to you, Big City, and it will be awesome. I motored on, making really, really good time.

The rest of the trip was smaller highways, and I had gone through all the CD's, and was trying to find a radio station. there wasn't much and for the first time, i was starting to feel sleepy and tired of driving. I was SOOOOO glad that I didn't have "just radio" or I never, ever would have made it. I put on the Root Down EP by the Beastie Boys and it really wasn't working. I was getting t-i-r-e-d. But the Google map was completely wonderful, really specific and helpful directions with small details that never ad me ever wondering if I was going the right way-- I appreciated that so much.

And then, I was there! My legs felt like rubber bands as I walked up the driveway and was greeted with cheerful hugs and exclamations of "lemmee see that green hair!!!" from the very friends whose blogs have meant so much to me, whose faces have only been tiny little squares on a computer screen, here they were, and here I was, and it was superb.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BBBB: part two: First night.

After being shown to my room in the gorgeous old home, I was treated to Squash and Quinoa with cheese (?) on top, and a salad, and then creme brulee! Incredible! I met Judit and Jen and their dear babies, along with Rixa and her dear baby, and my ever faithful and supportive Kelley, who, like me, left her little ones home with Daddy. Her and I shared a room, and the mamas with babies to nurse all night got their own rooms. We watched the Psalm and Zoya unassisted birth of twins video, which I had seen on TV a couple of years ago--and talked about -- big shock-- birth! We all got along really well right off the bat, not a surprise, but still great. We finally went to bed and planned on getting up whenever it would suit us best to have a home viewing of The Business of Being Born by 9am. I got washed up and into my bed with the fluffy comforter and actually had a good sleep, despite the sustained adrenaline of the drive and the new friends, etc. It was quiet, and the stars were beautiful outside my window. It had been pitch dark for the majority of my traveling, and so I wondered what this town would look like in the daylight. and that's the last thing I remember until it was light out, and I rolled over and saw my friend Kelley open her eye and say "Good Mornin!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BBBB: part three: Saturday Morning and the Movie

We woke up and, in true girls-dorm fashion, started talking talking talking! the other women started coming into our room with their sweet babies and we all chitty chitty chatted until we realized 2 things-- it was time to go watch the movie, and we were hungry!!!! We went downstairs and had lots of cereal, and Rixa's awesome bread. She must have made 6 loaves, we kept chowing it all weekend! this is the recipe and I am planning on trying it this weekend. We had it with butter, we had it with jam, we had it with peanut butter, and we made it into sandwiches. Insanely good. Then we all gathered around the TV and sat down to our private pre-screening of the very film which in a way, brought us all here. It was a good thing that I watched it there, first because I was really really choked up almost as soon as it started, and there was more than one part where I was crying quite hard. The subject matter, the reality, the imagery, and just--a really well made film can do that, especially with the use of music and juxtaposition of viewpoints, I was glad I didn't have any makeup on yet.

We laughed, we yelled at the screen, we got to do and say stuff we wouldn't and didn't do at a public screening. "What an ASSSSShole!" "Nice attitude, freak!" "Oooh I love this!" "This part kind of sucks." "What did he just say???" "Oh my God, that's me! That's totally me!" "I was her. I was totally her."

It was nice to be around other people who are "vocal" during movies. I am like this when I watch stuff with my husband but I never know if others hate that. We laughed and talked and commented up a storm, and, when it was over, felt nice and ready to go present this to what we hoped would be a crowd! Time to go get dressed and help Rixa with handouts and flyers and time for Kelley to iron the baby slings that were going to be offered as an incentive as part of a higher "ticket price/donation", time to put all the birth books she owned into bags, and time to eat some yummy maple-beans for lunch, and time to get ourselves over to the college to set up for the movie!

I brought some crayons, coloring books, sticker books, and Woodkins dressup doll-toy for the children in the audience of what we assumed would be made up of Moms and their little ones.

We got over to the college, and set up the toys in the back row of the auditorium. Rixa set up the table with a nice tablecloth and her books and slings, and we had a ticket table with tickets and some homebirth information as well as some statistics about the Mother-Friendly birth initiative and a few other things. And then, they came---Moms with babies in slings and pouches, women with their friends, women with their own mothers, very young women, and a few young guys. The tickets were going and going, and the pile of cash and checks was growing. Too cool. As I told each person who brought a young child about the toys and crayons, they looked SO grateful and relieved, and it made me sad for how marginalized and ostracized mothers with young children truly are in America, and how the smallest niceties have made me feel like crying tears of relief when I have been out with my own little ones. Restaurants that brought little crackers for the baby right away... gentlemen who have pushed out my grocery cart when I was holding a screaming baby in one arm, and a toddler's hand with my other one...clean changing tables that were actually fastened securely to the wall instead of loose and flabby and filthy...rocking chairs in helps alot to feel like you are welcome and wanted and supported in your noble and normal endeavor of living with children and not keeping them in "centers" from dawn til dusk---despite all the inconveniences of making your way in a world made for the single adult traveler.

Once everyone was seated, Rixa stepped forward and gave an introduction to the film, and then we were rolling again. the beginning is almost the best part, with perfect use of an intense Radiohead song, I got chills again, but did not cry. Yet. I sat next to Kelley, and we whispered throughout the movie. Even though we just saw it barely 4 hours earlier, it was SO different on the big screen, in the dark auditorium, and just thinking about what all the audience was thinking overwhelmed me with a grave and urgent sense of activism, importance, meaning, progress, revolution. I wish I had better words for what this was like, showing this to these people, looking at them gasping, laughing, nodding their heads, clapping their hands over their mouths, wiping away tears, letting tears pour all over their faces and not wiping away any of them. Listening. Captive. Alert. Together. I felt like this had to be my new life, being a birth activist, maybe traveling the country, maybe not, but I know this was only the first time, and I was very excited for the March 2008 release onto DVD when I would have my own viewing party at my house, and plans to invite more than just our inner circle of friends started brewing around in my mind.

Kelley and I cried tears of victory and joy when the beautiful homebirths came to fruition, and laughed alot during the funny parts. We nibbled on the secret Twizzlers that I brought in from my road trip, which made it feel more like a movie theater, for sure.

The absolute BEST part of the film viewing was this one part where (sorry for the spoiler) Marsden Wagner, who has been very proper and serious and professional and authorittavive and informative throughout the film, breaks "character" so to speak, and says that what birthing women need to do is to ultimately just "Get the HELL out of the hospital"-- AND THE AUDIENCE STARTED CLAPPING AND CHEERING!!!!

Oh, you just can't get that at home, and it was just so, so awesome. I was crying again, hugest grin possible cracking my face in two, chills upon my chills. Clapping and laughing and cheering. It was just the ultimate. I was so happy.

The movie ends in a sort of frustrating way, and again, I don't want to create a spoiler here, but I had a better feel for why they ended it this way once I saw it twice. The audience applauded again at the end, and then Rixa came back up to the front of the room and invited us houseguests to join her. Nervous!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

BBBB: part four: Being "on the Panel" and having folks back to the house

After the movie, Rixa, Kelley, Jen, Judit and I all went to the front of the auditorium and sat upon the edge of the stage. We had 2 microphones, and gave brief introductions of ourselves. I said that my name was Joy, and that I have had 3 hospital births, two of them by Cesarean, and one Homebirth VBAC, and that the experiences didn't even compare, with the homebirth being one of the most amazing and transformative experiences of my life, and the other births being difficult, lonely and damaging times to my body and spirit, with long term negative repercussions for my entire family. My waver-y voice got a bit steadier as I saw heads nodding along in agreement, understanding, sympathy, empathy. Wow. No-one was rolling their eyes at me, no one was getting ready to tell me at least I had a healthy baby. No one thought it was "good" that I had suffered needlessly. I moved from noticing nodding heads to noticing eyes-- eyes of mothers, some of them so so young and hopeful, looking at me, on a stage, like I was somebody. Somebody who might know something, might have something for them, somebody who might be able to finally help them-- but what? What did they want, what could they get, what did they need from me? Did I have it for them, or did I belong in the audience rather than on the stage? Didn't we all belong together?

The audience started in with questions immediately, which was great. It would be impossible for me to go over everything that came up, but I will tell you that the first and foremost issue for these people, these inspired and hopeful people who had just watched a movie whose theme was overwhelmingly "Have your baby at home", was HOW DO I FIND A HOMEBIRTH MIDWIFE IN THIS STATE?

Yikes. Not having studied up on the political climate of homebirth in their state, I felt panicked and unprepared for this, yet somehow wholly responsible for helping them. One mom who looked SO young, and SO intense, said she had had 2 sections and was expecting her 3rd baby, and didn't know what to do. How could I just sit up on some stage and carry on about my awesome homebirth? What could this movie do for her but infuriate and frustrate and hurt her, with the birth scenes and all? Could she come home with me in my orange racecar, and meet my midwife? I took the microphone. I told her that it can be difficult to find a midwife, because the ones that are practicing often have more than enough clients as it is, and they might be hesitant to "Advertise", due to fear of prosecution or simply being as busy as they can be already. She looked annoyed and disappointed.

I offered to the entire audience that there are websites:, , , and just to Google the words "Find A Midwife" and start making the phone calls. you might not get someone right away, but you might get connected, get other phone numbers, leads, ideas. I saw alot of people looking at me like that wasn't enough, and I felt very impotent and lame.

How did I find my own midwife? Through a ridiculously improbable chance conversation at a birthday party with one of her former clients. So I know. Its hard---and it isn't nearly as difficult here in Michigan as it appeared to be in their state-- goodness gracious, I just had no idea. Being an hour away from crunchy Ann Arbor, anyone could find a midwife, doula, massage therapist, herbalist, naturopath, hypnotist, you name it in the way of natural healer and health care provider. I assumed it would be the same most places and I was wrong.

As the audience began sharing stories more than asking us questions, the vibe of the room was one big birth talk, which was great. There were alot of the same difficult stories, tales of the unnecessary episiotomies and the pain and disruption that this procedure had caused these young mothers, tales of breech babies and the overwhelming consensus by obstetricians as well as nurse-midwives and some lay midwives to not "let" these babies be born vaginally, despite it being a normal variation of birth, but the big topic which Rixa lead us into and which we stayed upon for the remainder of the meeting, was VBAC.

VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, and until verrry recently, as in the last 4 or 5 years, it was strongly encouraged by the hospital world. But boy o boy, hot topic numero uno, especially in the state in which this meeting took place, VBAC was being BANNED in hospital after hospital. Banned. As in "we are not allowed to let your baby come out of your vagina in this building, Ma'am."


Leaving aside all of my personal experiences and opinions for a moment, and trying very hard not to over-simplify, here goes:

When a woman has a cesarean birth, there is more than just an incision. there are layers of tissue being cut, the skin of the abdomen, the fat layers, the muscle layers, and the uterus itself. When they take out the baby, they then sew up the uterus, the muscles, I don't know about the fat, but then the skin of the abdomen. They suture you up just like any other surgery. Open heart surgery, leg surgery, plastic surgery, foot surgery, dental surgery. They suture you up and your body heals. You have every right to expect this to be a normal surgery, and for the job they did to "Hold".

As in all surgeries, the post-operative pain and healing rates will vary greatly from person to person. Please bear with me as I try to stay within my own knowledge levels not as a doctor but definitely as someone who is very well versed in this subject matter through years of study and interview and research and reading and having undergone the procedure twice myself. If you can rest and eat healthy foods and be taken care of post-operatively, you will most likely not suffer any infections or debilitating pain. I had both infection and long term pain, phantom numbness, itching, swelling, oozing, tearing sensations, lasting for years, fading with time, but I know plenty of women who did not go through this.

So. Lets say you have had a c-section and you are now pregnant again. Your uterus has a scar on it, yes. But like I mentioned before, we do not expect our other surgeries to be so shoddily performed as to rip open, fly apart, or "not hold up", so what gives with the whole VBAC controversy? There is a fear of Uterine Rupture.

What is Uterine Rutpure, and what is the deal with VBAC moms and Uterine Rupture?

Uterine Rupture is when the uterus ruptures during labor. It can happen to moms with their first baby. It can happen to moms with no previous cesareans. It is very rare, but very serious. now here is the catch, ripe with irony, as are so many of today's obstetrical protocols:

The MAJOR, major attributing factor in cases of Uterine Rupture, both in VBAC moms and unscarred uteri, is the use of induction drugs. Pitocin and Cytotec. The very drugs that in some states, over NINETY PERCENT of women are being subjected to during labor in the hospitals.

When you start talking about "90 percent", you are talking about a vast, vast majority, correct? when you start talking about "90 percent", you start seeing "Birth" as a women hooked up to induction drugs as a matter of course. When you introduce these drugs into a woman's body, the cavalcade of other interventions increases exponentially. Because these drugs make the uterus contract very, VERY strongly. And there is no way of telling exactly how one woman's body will react to these drugs versus another woman's body, so so many things can get really out of control when you use these drugs. Super hard contractions. Super long contractions. Decels in heartrate, drops in blood pressure, raising of blood pressure. Extreme pain. Fetal distress. But the one that we need to be most concerned with to stay on topic here are the Super Hard Contractions. Contractions so hard that they can cause a uterus, especially one that has a scar on it, to rupture.

So. What do we have. We have a nation of women who are getting nearly all of their births augmented with oxytocic drugs, leading to higher and higher rates of primary cesareans. then we have "statistics" coming out that VBAC mothers have a higher rate of uterine rupture than vaginal birthing women, and so, boom! Lets simply ban VBACS. We cut ya once and now you are a section-lady for life. We dont trust you to birth and you shouldn't trust our sutures to hold up. You're gonna BREAK and DIE. Lovely.

Wow. So what about some initiatives into reducing primary c-section rates? What about some sound advice as to how to keep the VBAC moms away from the Pitocin (total ban on all induction/augmentation for VBAC moms) banning the deadly Cytotec (more on Cytotec) (still more on Cytotec) (a good study of why Cytotec is way bad for VBAC moms) altogether, and getting some real statistics into the hands of the allmighty ACOG?

What has changed since 2001 that has sent all these hospitals scrambling to simply ban VBAC rather than persue these other channels of prevention and fact? Did that many women really rupture? What is the real increased risk of rupture for ALL women, and what role does Pitocin and Cytotec play? what about the role of restricting movement of hospital birthing women, of restricting their access to quiet or privacy or nourishment or positional changes? What about the role of the other common birth interventions such as AROM (breaking your water with a amnio-hook) lying on your back, forced purple-pushing (holding your breath while they scream 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 at you, despite your own bodily urges to push or rest....what roles do these practices play in putting the uterus in danger of rupturing? Does anyone care? Don't the hospitals get about $19,000 for a straight-forward cesarean, versus about $4000 for a vaginal delivery? And to ban VBAC in a climate where primary cesarean is on the rise in nearly every state guarantee more repeat clients at that $19,000 level?

Hmmm. Sick yet? Angry yet? Feeling defeated, or inspired? Or both? Marsden Wagner was more right on than anything else is saying that birthing women need to first and foremost get the hell out of the hospital, huh?

Its alot, this whole VBAC thing right now. And that's where we stayed with our audience that afternoon. Managed birth after managed birth "ending up in" a primary c-section, and now the women feel that they can't find a midwife for their homebirths they so desperately need and want, and they don't even have a chance to VBAC in their own hospitals. Where is the hope? What can seeing this movie mean for these people? For their friends? For their daughters and daughters-in-law, their granddaughters, their sisters?

Many women go to a midwife for their first VBAC. They didn't know about homebirth, or they were "Afraid" of the idea of it, and now they have a scar and now they wanna know. I did this, I had a VBAC at home, an HBAC they call it in the abbreviation-world. But guess what else I was the most disappointed to find out that day? Some midwives are joining the band wagon now, especially the nurse-midwives, the ones who work in the hospitals, the fancy birth centers, but even more sadly, some of the lay midwives. Because of politics. Fear of lawsuit. THIS IS NOT evidence-based care, people, not even close.

Where else we went with this as a group discussion was a united urgency in helping mothers to avoid that first section much more aggressively, with "stay the hell out of the hospital" as the first and most obvious call to action for primips (1st time mothers).

We needed to get out of the auditorium, so Rixa invited any and everyone to come back to her house. I was skeptical, but they came! Just from memory, I would say that a dozen or more women took up the offer to continue the discussion at her home, a very high turn out, judging just from my own past experience in attempting to have a political event at the house, a dozen is a HUGE turnout. Very very inspiring. We got to chat much more intimately outside of the auditorium setting, of course, and I made a few personal contacts with a few very wonderful people-- a doctor, a doula, and the young mom who had the episiotomy and went on to have a homebirth with her second child. We exchanged emails and blog names, and it was just so important, so validating, so real, to have these flesh and blood people who felt the way I felt and who were fighting for things that I was fighting for,and who were asking me questions, all sorts of questions about my state, my own stories, wanting advice, wanting input. It was amazing. I will never forget the feeling in that room that evening, ever.

BBBB: part five: Saturday night and my journey back home

After all the people had left, Kelley treated us all to an absolutely heart stopping rendition of some gorgeous piece on the piano-- concert level talent, I am sorry to say that I do not know the name of the piece, but we were speechless, she was so good.

Then we all worked on dinner prep-- Kelley and I made a curious but highly nutritious salad out of Bok Choy greens, regular greens and green peppers, and we had a lovely meal together. We couldn't really decide whether it was bad luck or good luck to count money at the table, but we did it anyway, and we found out that we did make enough at the showing of the film to cover the cost of getting the movie plus a little bit more. all proceeds beyond the cost will be sent to ICAN, something that Rixa announced before the film. We didn't make very much to send to ICAN, but every bit counts--a really good turn out, for sure, especially in such a tiny town.

After dinner Kelley brought out her super cool and extensive jewelry making supplies, and invited us to make stuff with her instruction-- bracelets, necklaces, earrings, all with real clasps and tools to do them right. I ended up with 3 new pairs of gorgeous earrings, and they are now part of my "thing"-- really cute with short hair, I think! Rixa brought out her silk art kit, and we went craft-nutty. I made a Mama and Baby silk thing, which turned out quite nicely, except that the black paint parts got smudgey...but this was just so fun, so girly, so relaxing! I was disappointed in how tired I was, but I was tired and took Rixa up on her offer of taking an evening bath in her gigantic jacuzzi tub before retiring for the night. It was really fun, my mom has a tub like this in her house, super deep and bubbly! How do these people do anything but take baths???? I slept very soundly that night.

In the morning, I think my sneezing attack woke up Kelley, and it was getting to be sad and bittersweet, but I didn't want to cry. Was it already over? I wanted to see my family but I wanted this to be my new life, too--- going to functions and discussing things with intelligent people in a beautiful town, eating special bread and making jewelry...I vowed to take lot of this vibe home with me, and that positive decision is what kept the tears at bay as I packed, brushed my teeth in the gorgeous bathroom, walked up and down the stairs, loaded up my sweet racecar with all the flim flam I brought, ate more of the bread and mysterious french jam (what was that, Rixa? with the little tiny black berries in it?) and packed a sandwich for the road. We hung out that morning and we somehow got talking about how I was different than they expected, but how I spoke the "exact same way" that I wrote on my blog, and who had an "accent", me or them? It was really nice. I didn't leave until 10am, and I didn't cry until I called my husband from the first highway.

I was blabbering, bawling, stammering on and on about how nice it all was and how much I love all the ladies and what an amazing man he was to "let me do this", and how nice all of our friends were to support this trip in so many ways, and how sad I was for all the moms who couldn't find a midwife, sob, sob sob, I had better save my minutes on this phone, huh? and I hung up and DROVE.

The ride home was long. Long long long. My legs ached, my back ached, I stopped ALOT. I was tired of the CD's and people were driving like idiots. Alot of it was one and two lane highways and people were going about 60 in both lanes. Very dumb. I didn't get to use my cruise control hardly at all, the funnest part of driving the racecar, it turns out. At one point I almost freaked out when I realized just how far I still had to go, but I hung in there, and made it home in 6 1/2 hours. I parked in front of the house and surprised everyone by coming to the front door which we never use. The house was clean and they had raked TONS of leaves. The kids looked so cute and so kissable, it was just amazing to get to miss these guys! I always get to love them, but seldom get to miss them. All the fat little cheeks and blonde little heads got kisses and kisses and we had such a cuddle! Daddy made a fire in the fireplace and even brought out the whole queen mattress so we could have a fireside hangout. It was so perfect, the fire warmed my bones after cramping my six foot one frame into the smallish Caliber, I was tense and stiff.

We returned the car the next day at lunchtime, and I had a good giggle with another woman when she joked about "not wanting to give the car back" to the rental man, I chimed in with my own love for my rental car! We joked about gas pedals that accelerated, brake pedals that stopped on a dime, and, yes, boomin stereos. As I climbed into my crusty, trusty, loosey-goosey minivan, I wondered where that lady had gone this weekend, and if it was her first time away in her entire adult life. I doubted it, but I hoped that she had done something meaningful, something special, something even remotely as unforgettable as what I had done.

The End.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not ready to say it sucked until later.

This one really hit home. I tried to write about women changing their stories as time passed a few months back, but this really was well-said. Oftentimes, in those desperate survival times of 24-hour caring for a newborn, we are simply not in ANY position to process, think, mourn, ponder, get angry, question stuff--especially if we have had a hospital birth that we did not want, and especially if our butchered bodies and aching bones and ringing ears are being bombarded with GOOD THING YA WENT TO THE HOSPITAL bullshit, it is very easy to just say yeah yeah uh huh uh huh and go back to our nursing and diapering and scraping out tiny snippets of sleep.

But it don't mean its truth. Our truth. It just means noone knows how to treat a postpartum woman anymore, and noone really gets the power that shutting up and bring hot meals really holds. Anyhow, Pamela nailed it as always :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I am totally done with "Comment moderation".
There are SO many blogs that I leave thoughtfelt comments on, and they never get posted. I am beginning to feel like I am being blacklisted, could that be possible? I read other people saying almost WORD FOR WORD what I have said but mysteriously my comment isn't ever up.

If this isn't just paranoia, please someone tell me what this is all about. Sigh. At least I get some of my freetime back if I am not going to be commenting all over midwife blogs anymore.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I feel like this is really going to happen

This Friday I am going to do something I have never done since being a wife and mother: go on a trip, out of state, all by myself. Nursing babies were invited, but, even though I do have a nursing child, I am going to make an executive decision and leave him home. (doing a little victory dance at the prospect of not traveling/socializing/attending a film fest/public speaking/chasing/wrangling/changing/feeding/apologizing for insane 2 year old whose latest fave activities are stripping naked, throwing food and screeching. No guilt here, sorry!)

I was honored and thrilled to receive an invitation to meet, in person, several of my long time blog friends, specifically from the birth blogs. We are going to be getting together, talking birth and babies until our voices go hoarse, and we are going to be attending/hosting a screening of The business of Being Born, a highly acclaimed new docu-film from Ricki Lake that will be showing at a local college where the BBBB event will be taking place! BBBB stands for Birth and Babies Bed and Breakfast--just the name is so exciting!

We are trying to get as many people to come to this as possible, and my friend that is throwing this whole event has been working so hard to get the flyers out to everywhere, students, doctors offices, birth centers, libraries, all all sorts of health care providers. I wish I could help more but I am out of state with way too much on my plate for me to even get into detailing right now here at home.

I had planned on asking people for sponsorships/Xmas gifts of money to help me get to this event, and then somehow shyness and time got away from me and now we are in a lurch as to how in the heck this is gonna work out. Somehow it has been concluded that taking out family's only car would be a very risky decision-- if it broke down, not only would I be without any vehicle , but who would I call? What would I do? "Tow" it to where? then what?

We looked into airlines and it was $300.
We looked into the train and there is no train route that makes any sense and to go the crazy way I would need to go would cost over $200 also.

So now we are looking at trying to rent a tiny car that is good on gas. We found a few online last night but need to find out the details today. I worry that they will want some kind of credit card or big deposit.

I JUST got an email from my friend asking me to babysit her 2 children this Thursday(for money)! SO COOL-- this might be my financial breakthrough.

I also JUST found out that I have a long time friend who is going to "Sponsor" me $50.

I really think is is going to happen. I can't believe it! Hopefully by Monday morning I will be posting all about it, pictures and everything.

(I was asked to speak before the film showing, what should I say???????)