Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My best friend's Babywise story and why it worked for her...

If you are just now joining us for the Why I'm Not Babywise Series, Welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts, especially my Intro/Disclaimer so you can read the rest of the posts in context. I am seeking to be very sensitive to my readers who may implement Babywise. I pray we can all show one another grace as we seek to parent all of our babies in the way God leads us. I invite considerate comments, whether you agree or disagree. 

As I have different moms share their stories about what did or did not work for them from Babywise please be considerate of their thoughts and feelings. This is my best friend's story. I refer to her a lot in my posts as "my best friend that uses Babywise". I wanted her to share her story because I wanted to show that it is possible to disagree about parenting methods and styles and still be the best of friends. You may agree or disagree with what she says, just as I do, but please be kind in your comments. I disagree with several things she says in her story, but it is her story and her thoughts so I am not editing anything out. Annie Leigh and I have the most important thing in common, which is Christ. We disagree about Babywise and eschatology and are still best friends, for which God gets all the glory. :) I know that she loves her kids and I think she is a wonderful mom and woman of God. Without further ado, here is her story:

 I don't think the title of this blog should be "Why Annie is Babywise".  I think a more suitable title would be "Why Annie likes to have her babies on a schedule".  I believe in many of the "ideas" that are addressed in babywise, however I do not agree with everything nor do I practice everythng Gary Ezzo teaches.   Gary Ezzo, in my opinio,n wrote a very helpful book for those who like to have their children on a schedule. He; however, like all of us, is a sinner and does not do everything perfectly (ie his time spent at Grace Community Church). I mean just think of some of the things Peter did in the bible...ummm denied Jesus like three times:)  I am not babywise, I am a Christian. One who is trying to figure out how in the heck to do this thing called life in a way that glorifies my God.  I would not address myself as babywise in the same way I would not address myself as a calvanist.  Do I believe in what John Calvin taught? Yes. But I am called a Christian.  In the same way, I agree with most of the teachings in babywise, but I do not hold to this title nor any other title other than Christian.  I would like to address why being" this" is really not a big deal and for those of you who are interesed, why I like scheduling.
The reason why the "heated" debate on whether one should or should not schedule there child's day is not a big deal is because the Bible does not say it is a big deal.  If scripture does not clearly speak to the issue, which I would argue it does not,  then one would be wrong or legalistic to enforce such regulation.  I am sad to hear that my friend Chalise has experienced ridicule or that others have made her feel like less of a mother for not scheduling her child. Who cares!  You know what the bible does care about....the Gospel!  God coming to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, living a sinless life and dying on the cross for my sin, being buried and rising from  he dead three days later, conquering sin, and now He is in heaven at the Father's right hand interceding for those who are called according to His name. (and praise Him for interceding for me because this life can be hard!!).  This is what the bible speaks the most about and this is what I want to spend the majority of my time with others discussing. ...not how long my child sleeps.  Now, although God does not address if we should schedule our children's sleeping, some have said that God is loving and would not restrict His children...REALLY?  Have ya read the bible? :) Start in Genesis where God places a restriction on Adam and Eve.  God is loving and gives grace to me all the time, but he also has planned out before the beginning of time every single second of my life (now that's some intense scheduling for ya) including when I rise, who I marry, when I die, etc.  To argue that scheduling is wrong because God our loving Father wouldn't schedule just does not make sense.   God is loving and God is structured, these characteristics are not at odds with each other, they perfectly compliment each other.I am so thankful that God in His great love for me, knowing what is best for me planned out every detail of my life.  He gave me a certain personality, dreams, etc that have all been used for His specific plan.  God is organized so It would not be wrong for me as a mother to want to organize my children's day for God's glory. 
As I write this blog I am a little tickled thinking back to how Chalise and I were in college.  I was a free spirited, fly by the seat of my pants type of girl, while Chalise (Chaliqua) was Type A all the way if ya know what I mean.  She scheduled brushing her teeth! j/k. However Chalise not only kept up with her schedule, she also knew my schedule and helped me on many occassion make it to class and make it to class on time.  Chalise is still very organized and scheduled but does not like to schedule "baby" things.  
 Anyways, I really like the book Babywise, and it has been very helpful to me.  When my first child was born, I had very bad post partum depression and I found that knowing what James was going to do helped me cope with what seemed chaotic.  All of my 3 children have slept through the night at 9 weeks and I really give God the glory for this.  I think that sleep is something that God thinks is important and I want my children to be able to sleep well.  I realize that every child is different and has different need,s but one need that they all have is the need for sleep.  Some have stated that Gary Ezzo suggests witholding feedings from babies.  This is not true. He states several times in his book, for parents to observe hunger signs and to  feed that sweet baby when he is hungry.  Some have also stated that Gary Ezzo is mean and cruel for letting babies cry it out.  I did not find this idea of crying it out to be that bad, and I really don't see what the big deal is.  He said to make sure the baby is not hungry, sick, wet, dirty, etc.  I do not see a huge problem with this as long as you are checking in on your child.  I did not have to do this with mine. I mean, if you have more than 5 kids someone is going to be crying all the time:) What do you do if you have triplets? Are these mothers going to mentally hurt there children because they cannot hold three at one time?  I just really do not see the big debate.  You cannot say that Babywise is sinful or dishonoring God.  I would not say that attacment parenting is sinful because the bible does not address this issue.   Now I would say that refusing to spank your child is sinful because I believe the bible clearly speaks to this issue ( I know, I just opened a entire can of worms). 
One more thing, I like that babywise teaches parents to think, and if that parents thinks they want to rock their baby to sleep then do it....I love rocking my babies and singing them to sleep.  Can you really say that you are never going to schedule your child?  So when your child is 8 years old, will he/she not have a bed time?  I love sleep and I am so thankful God uses it to restore our bodies.  I love sleep and I love to help my children sleep by scheduling their days.  I know in college when I did not keep a calendar of things to do, there was an unrest in my heart and mind.   When my discipleship leader introduced me to the gift of planning my day, things began to change.  I started making it to class, making better grades, etc.  There was a peace that came with knowing what was to come.  I feel there is a peace in our household when we follow a schedule for feeding, playing and sleeping.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Modest Swim Wear an Oxymoron? I think not.


"A modest heart comes before modest dress." Fashion and Following the Savior, Carolyn Mahaney

I think modesty is a struggle for any woman of God, myself included. It is not easy to be modest and still look cute, but it is possible. It isn't easy because most fashion designers do not think about modesty when they are designing their clothes, because let's face it, modesty doesn't sell. I know it is especially hard for those sisters of mine who are well endowed. I do not have that problem.

I am thankful to my college ministry for helping me think about the way I dressed. Every summer we had a summer beach project where we would go for ten weeks to work full time jobs and grow in our relationships with God. There were strict guidelines for attire. We couldn't wear spaghetti straps, anything that drew attention to our breasts or was too form fitting, nothing that showed cleavage, we couldn't let our stomaches show when we lifted our arms, our shorts had to be to our finger tips, and our skirts couldn't show too much skin when we were sitting down. Our pants couldn't be too tight, and we had to wear one pieces. One pieces! I hadn't worn a one piece since I was thirteen! 

The reasoning behind all of this? To protect our brothers in Christ mainly. Even godly Christian men struggle with lust, so I learned. But isn't that their responsibility? Well yes, but it is also ours as their sisters in Christ. We should dress in a way that protects them from lusting and points them towards Christ. I am thankful for brothers in Christ that helped us learn how to dress in a way that protected their hearts. It is not that I didn't want to protect them, I just hadn't given it too much thought before college. After dressing so modestly for three summers it definitely affected the way I dressed throughout the year and the years following. I am very sensitive to showing any cleavage at all (not that I have much) or wearing dresses or shorts that are too short. And swim attire is something I am probably most sensitive about. 

My own personal conviction is to not wear two pieces or bikinis, unless I am in private away from men (besides my husband of course) or only among girls. I am fine with tankinis and have a had a few really cute modest ones, but this summer I really wanted a skirt  bottom. The more I thought about having something tight on my butt that was practically spandex underwear the more uncomfortable I felt. I would never walk around in my bra and underwear around men, but to me that is basically what a bikini is, just made out of different material.  I decided I didn't want something hugging my butt, so I searched for cute swim attire that included a skirt. 

The picture above is exactly what I settled on. It is from Land's End and I really love it! No cleavage, no tummy, and no butt! Perfect. I am not saying that my convictions have to be yours, but this is what I felt convicted to search for when buying a swimsuit to wear. I do encourage you to think about your swim attire and if it could be causing your brothers in Christ to stumble. Some of those brothers may be your friends husbands. Think about drawing attention to your face and to Christ. I know many women that dress modestly all the time, but then throw it all out the window come bikini season. It is possible to find modest and attractive swim wear. Trust me. 

Disclaimer: I am still on my modesty journey and haven't arrived at any standard of perfection. I am sure I have blind spots just like the next girl, but I really do try to think about what I am wearing before I walk out the door. If you are a "real life" friend please feel free to challenge me on anything I wear that you don't feel is modest. Thanks! 

Here are a couple of GREAT resources to help you think about modesty from a biblical perspective:
The Soul of Modesty, CJ Mahaney

What about you? What are your thoughts on modesty? modest swim wear? What are some questions you ask yourself before you walk out the door? What is your modesty story?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some of My Favorite Green/Non-toxic/Natural Cosmetics

Almost a year ago a friend of mine posted a video about cosmetics from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and my life was changed. I was no longer ignorant about what I was putting on my skin or my baby's skin and I had to take action. I have since purged my home of my cosmetics and purchased new ones. Here are some of my favorites so far. Still searching for an acne line that works.

First, here is that video:

You can look up the safety of all your cosmetics at the Skin Deep Database by the Environmental Working Group.

I have always been a Clinique girl, with a short run with Mary Kay and Arbonne, but I am loving the bareMinerals makeup. Great coverage and natural! They have a great rating on EWG.

My first switch were baby products. Why are there toxins and carcinogens in baby products? I do not know! I love California Baby. They also have a great rating in the EWG skin deep database. You can find their products at Target.

Love Earth Mama Angel Baby...all of their products. They have cosmetics, teas, boob comfort for those early days of breastfeeding. This is one of my favorite products, their all natural nipple butter.

Boscia worked pretty well for my acne but not perfectly. It had great reviews though so maybe I just have crazy skin. You can get it at Sephora. Sephora has a "naturals" line although you still have to be careful because a lot of it isn't very natural.

I'm using Tarte chapstick/lipstick now which is also available at Sephora.

Do you know how toxic most deodorants are? This is one product you really need to think about buying natural. I am loving my Alba deodorant.

Toothpaste is another with a lot of artificial ingredients and dyes. I recently switched to Tom's of Maine for toothpaste and my teeth are clean, my breath is fresh, and my toothpaste is natural.

For shampoo, conditioner, and body wash I have recently switched to the Whole Foods generic brand, Whole Body. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/whole-body.php

Next on the list: shave gel, and continue to look for an acne line.

I know it would be much more green and frugal of me to make a lot of this myself, but I am just not domestic at all (besides cooking, cleaning, and household chores that is). I hope to one day make a lot of homemade cosmetics but I am just not there yet. :) I hope some of these suggestions help you make the switch to a more natural bathroom of cosmetics. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Babywise is Not the Bible. Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit?


If you are just now joining us for the Why I'm Not Babywise Series, Welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts, especially my Intro/Disclaimer so you can read the rest of the posts in context. I am seeking to be very sensitive to my readers who may implement Babywise. I pray we can all show one another grace as we seek to parent all of our babies in the way God leads us. I invite considerate comments, whether you agree or disagree. 

"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law... If we live by the Spirit let us also walk by the Spirit". Galations 5:18, 25 
  Romans 8:1-17 is a beautiful passage on living by the Spirit and being led by the Spirit. 

As I think back through my thoughts and feelings towards Babywise and Growing Kids God's Way, or really any Christian baby training book, I think what really bothers me is that they seem to be teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Obviously there are many different opinions about parenting out there, especially parenting a baby, and the bible doesn't speak to every little issue, but sometimes you begin to think that it does as you read through some of these books. Some of them even twist Scripture to support their theories and methods.  Just in case you were wondering, the bible doesn't tell you that you have to make your baby cry-it-out or that you are an awful parent if you hold your baby all day. The bible doesn't tell you not to rock or nurse your baby to sleep. The bible doesn't tell you to feed your baby every 3-4 hours and to make them stay awake for an hour and a half to get them on a good schedule. Just in case you were wondering.... :)

I believe that since the bible doesn't speak to many of these parenting issues that there is much freedom to find what works best for each individual family and baby.  For one family, co-sleeing might be the best thing for their family and the best for their bonding.  For another family, they might all sleep better in different rooms and so this might be best for the bonding and relationship. No author can tell you exactly what your family needs, and that is what it seems Ezzo is doing, at least in my humble opinion.  As I read Babywise and other GKI material, I felt like he was turning his methods into doctrines. Babywise almost reads like a set of rules that must be obeyed and followed, with no room for flexibility or the freedom to do things differently.

Babywise (and other baby training books) remind me of the Law (first 5 books of the OT).

(let me just say I love the WHOLE COUNSEL of Scripture and I read the Old Testament and I study the Old Testament and I love the Old Testament. I do not fully understand how the law and grace work together but Romans and Galations are a good place to start reading about this. I do know that we are no longer under the law, but we are under grace. Christ came and perfectly obeyed the law because we couldn't. We are now led by the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us)

So, like I said, Babywise reminds me of the Law. You feel like you have to obey all of it or you have failed as a mother, just as we should rightly feel that we have failed if we do not obey the Law (we can't fully obey the Law and that is why Christ came). Christ came to set us free from the Law, and also our guilt and shame and fear of disobeying the law. He came to show us a different way: a way of grace and being led by the Spirit.

Babywise says this is the way to do it. If you don't do it this way your kids will turn out like this= see baby Marissa. If you do follow Babywise your kids will turn out like this =angel child Chelsea. With this  type of thinking it can lead to much pride or much guilt and sense of failure. If you faithfully follow Babywise and your kids turn out great you may be tempted to think that it is because of your parenting. If you desire to follow Babywise but fail at implementing all of Ezzo's methods, and your kids are brats you might be tempted to feel like it is your fault and feel guilty. While it is obvious that our parenting does effect our kids, it cannot control our kids or guarantee outcomes. This is true no matter what parenting style you follow.

Ezzo turns his methods into doctrines and commandments, and wonderful mothers feel guilty if they don't follow them. They might feel pressure from Ezzo, other moms, or put pressure on themselves. You do not have to answer to Gary Ezzo or anyone else. You do have to answer to God. You don't need Babywise, you need the Holy Spirit. I could just as easily feel like that if I do not practice all of the Baby B's of attachment parenting that I have failed as a mother and that my child will suffer because of it. Although I think all of the Baby B's are amazing tools to have in my parenting tool kit, I ultimately must make my parenting decisions based on the Lord's leading and the Holy Spirit.

Let the Holy Spirit lead you, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Gary Ezzo does not know your individual child. Neither does Dr. Sears for that matter (I do love him though, and love that he gives suggestions, not rules). But God not only knows your child, but created your child and knows your child better than you even do. Doesn't it make more sense to rely on the God who created your child for the answers than to look to a book written by a man that doesn't even know your child exists?

I know it is much easier to follow rules and methods than to be led by the Spirit. I am a rule follower. I love to follow rules. I love black and white and have a hard time finding the gray. I struggle with giving myself freedom in my walk with God. I struggle with elevating my convictions to the level of the Bible. I definitely understand why Babywise and other baby training books are attractive. It seems easier to follow rules and methods that claim to have proven immediate results. But is this the best way to parent? Wouldn't we all rather be led by the Spirit and depend on God for the answers? This may mean what you are led to do for your baby one day may be different the next, one season of parenting may look different than the next, and so on and so forth.

Although attachment parenting isn't about rules and methods, but rather about an ideology and suggestions for bonding, I still struggled to be as AP as I possibly could be in the beginning. I felt like I had to do all of the Baby B's all of the time. I felt like I had to babywear x hours a day or I wasn't a good mom. I felt like I had to breastfeed x times a day or that I wasn't AP enough. I felt like I was failing as an attachment parenting mom when we moved baby girl out of our room at 6 months old. Finally I realized that what was best for me was to be led by the Spirit day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  I believe this is best for everyone, no matter what parenting style you lean towards or ascribe to.

So, my challenge for the Babywise moms, the AP moms, and everyone in between is to follow the Spirit's leading as you parent every day. Be led by the Spirit, not by the law. Parent by the Spirit, not by the methods and doctrines of men.

A blogger I follow has written an ebook of sorts on her blog called "As He Leads Us" dealing with this very issue of being led by God in our parenting. You can read it here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Continuing the "Why I'm Not Babywise" Series

We will be getting back into the Babywise series this week so please take some time to catch up on the posts you have missed. 

Welcome to the Why I'm Not Babywise Series. The author of On Becoming Babywise, Garry Ezzo, also wrote curriculum geared towards Christians called Growing Kids God's Way. I have only read the 1995 edition of On Becoming Babywise. I have never read GKGW or Toddlerwise or any other Gary Ezzo "wise" books. So it is only to Babywise that I can speak. I have heard of principles he lays out in GKGW so that may come through a bit in my writing, but I never read it myself. Welcome to the my first blogging series!

 An Intro Please read this disclaimer and intro before reading any of the other posts or you won't understand the context of any other posts)
 My Story
The Author's Character Counts  
My Prayer as a New Parent
I'm "that mom" in Chapter One, except I'm not PART ONE
I'm "that mom" PART TWO 
Wisdom from a Veteran Mom of 4
Are babies born to BE SERVANTS or to BE SERVED?

Here is some researching you can do:
Information on the author of Babywise, Gary Ezzo
Babywise Series by Sorta Crunchy
On Becoming Ezzowise
Ezzo Week by Tulip Girl
Confessions of a failed Babywiser
Ezzo Parenting

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Funny: Mommy's Nose is Scary

I saw this a couple of months ago, but just in case you missed it I think it is hilarious. Enjoy your Friday Funny. We will be getting back into the Why I'm Not Babywise Series next week so stay tuned for that. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Elizabeth's Three Births

photo of Baby #1, by Grace Images

My name is Elizabeth.  I am the mother of three children, all of whom were born through natural delivery.  Here is my story.

I want to start off by saying that even though I fully believe in natural child birth, this is my personal conviction.  And I know like it so many other things, that the Lord directs all of us differently.  My convictions are not everyone elses.  Let me put this disclaimer out there as well – natural birth started out as a challenge from my older sister who had already had 2 children with an epidural – it didn’t fully take, and she commented that there was NO way I could do it all natural.  Game on!

With our first child – I was adamant – no help in anyway.  At two weeks overdue, I tried to induce myself in every way I could read about.  Finally the night before I had to go to the hospital for induction, I tried Castor Oil.  A few hours later – CONTRACTIONS!!!  Praise Jesus!  She was on her way.  Little did I know that she would not come for another LONG 24 hours later.  I did it!  Our first born was delivered fully naturally!  With a HUGE help from dear hubby!

About 5 years later – we got pregnant again.  I had planned to go fully natural again.  I did it once, I could do it again.  When it got close to due date, I became an emotional wreck!  Who isn’t at that stage?  Convincing myself that our oldest was late for one reason or another, this child would be different.  I walked my tush off.  I took the labor prep juice.  I tried Castor Oil.  I did all I could do to make this baby come on time.  God had other plans for me and baby #2.  We decided to induce her at two weeks over.  Finally – we’ll get to meet her!  They broke my water, 4 hours later, nothing.  Started me on Pitocin – a few hours later, a few decent contractions.  A few hours after that – our beautiful little girl arrived!  My awesome hubby was right there with me, every step of the way.  What an awesome man I have married!  Whew – one more labor done.  But let me tell you – that pitocin was brutal!  They pumped it up as high as they could, and YOWZA!  Thankful God lets us Mammas forget some things.

Baby #2, by Grace Images

About 11 months after #2 was born, SURPRISE!!!  #3 was on his way!  So of course – natural again, right?  As the time got closer, all I could remember was the very end of labor with #2, and I started thinking that maybe I would consider an epidural this time, after all – I had paid my dues of natural birth twice now, these girls talking about how easy and fun labor was was sounding kinda nice!  But when it came down to it, I just kept thinking how I had done it 2x already, why not keep it up and do it again.
Due date came – and went.  At one week past due date we decided to go on and induce him – remembering how completely miserable I was with #2 at the end – I had waited for her to come and still had to induce.  So I might as well induce this guy – get him out and enjoy him, and start that recovery time.  So off to the hospital at 1 week late.  Water broken – a few contractions – but after 4 hours of not a lot going on – they started me on pitocin again.  I was exhausted and just was over it.  After only a couple of hours on pitocin, my doctor checked me and said if I felt the urge – go on an push!  WHAAATTT?!?!?!?!  She had to be kidding right?  It’s only been a little over two hours, the pitocin was only on level 4, and the graph was only peaking in the middle.  Sure enough a few good pushes and our little boy was here!  Praise Jesus!  He was as pink as he could be – not normal for me as the girls were quite purple and blue.  He was so healthy!  This birth was harder on me than the others though.  And the recovery was longer.  But over all I have had three pretty good births, and I am so glad I stuck with it!  I will add, I used a doula with all three.  TOTALLY worth the money to have her there!

baby #3, Grace Images

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Twin Birth Story, Genesta's Third Labor and Final Thoughts

The Twins Birth Story: Ayla and Kiana

  This time I decided to go with Kaiser Birth Clinic.  They have a
lot of midwives but their midwives work in shifts so you aren't
guaranteed a particular practitioner at the birth.  I was tired of
stressing out over when or if my provider was going to arrive and
decided I'd rather just get to know the various midwives during my
pregnancy and be assigned to whoever was on shift for the birth.  This
plan started out great until my first appointment.  That's when the
midwife saw the twins on the ultrasound and I was promptly transferred
to the high risk unit.

Twin pregnancies are managed completely differently.  I had a
bazillion ultrasounds and was initially told that I would have to have
an epidural and a vaginal birth wouldn't even be attempted unless both
babies were head down.  Even then, I had to be prepared for an
emergency C-section because sometimes the second baby flips after the
first baby is born.  For that reason, a lot of twin moms just schedule
a C-section so they won't have to face the prospect of both a vaginal
delivery AND a C-section.  Fortunately for me, my babies both settled
down to a head down position, although I had enough ultrasounds so
that I got to worry about that for several weeks first.

The late ultrasounds stressed everyone out.  My doctor thought that
Kiana wasn't growing very well (turns out she's just a small baby and
there wasn't anything wrong, but they couldn't know that.)  They also
saw a shadow around her heart, which my doctor was quick to tell me
was probably one of the very common late ultrasound errors (which it
was) but still it stressed me out.  All in all, my doctor thought that
the sooner the babies were out the better so she scheduled an
induction for 38 1/2 weeks.

I really didn't want to take pitocin, as I've heard enough horror
stories about that.
 But I also agreed with my doctor and was so
awfully huge and uncomfortable that I started getting really anxious.
As soon as Kindra (my sister and doula) stepped off the plane (at 37 weeks) I told her, "OK,
let's get these babies out."
 We got home and she checked me and said
I was about 2cm dilated but not real effaced.  She also said that
Kiana's head didn't seem to be in the right position.  After she
checked me we went for a walk and I started having contractions.  They
didn't hurt at all but they were definitely contractions and they were
regular and didn't stop.  I started getting excited.  That night she
checked me again and said I was 5cm but not effaced.
 I asked how that
could be when I haven't had any pain.  She shrugged but I figured, OK,
5cm usually means active labor so let's head to the hospital.  When I
got there they put us in triage and kindly allowed both Payam and
Kindra to come in.  They kept me in traige for a couple of hours.
Then the doctor said that even though I had dilated a lot I still
wasn't effaced and the contractions didn't seem to be very effective
yet so she sent me home.

Nothing really changed for the next two days.  I kept having regular
painless contractions and then finally they stopped altogether.  I
felt like I was going crazy.  Over the next couple of days I got
depressed and cranky.  When Kindra checked me on Thursday morning for
the umpteenth time and said I was now at 3cm I lost it
.  I told her
that I didn't care what she had to do, we had to get these babies out
'cause I couldn't handle the suspense anymore.  So we headed to the
health food store and bought a bunch of blue and black cohosh and some
castor oil.  The castor oil just gave me diarreah.  But the herbs got
the painless contractions going again
.  I was too stressed to deal
with the boys so we sent them to Payam's mom's house and Payam,
Kindra, and I played cards and waited to see if the herbs would work.
After a few hours the contractions started getting somewhat painful
and they were solidly regular.  It was getting close to bedtime so we
decided to stop the herbs and go to bed.  The contractions got decidedly more
painful and now were about 5 minutes apart so we called Kindra out of
bed and she came and checked me again.  I was 6 1/2 cm but still not
real effaced.  So we headed back to the hospital.

This time the doctors checked me in.   I liked both of the doctors
right away and I really liked it that they were there and I could talk
to them about the birth plan right away.  They were young and
respectful.  They suggested that the best way to avoid the second baby
flipping after the first is born is for the doctor to reach up and
grab her head as soon as the first one was born.  I agreed to that and
asked if I could try it without the epidural.  They were willing to
let me try but asked me to have the epidural tube placed just in case
I ended up having an emergency C-section.  Then they told me I could
check in to my room and take a walk around the halls if I wanted.

My contractions were definitely regular and they were somewhat painful
but I could definitely walk around and talk
.  It seemed like I should
be in more pain at 6 1/2cm.  The nurse showed me to my room and the L
and D nurse said she wanted to monitor the heart rates for about 20
minutes first.  So she hooked me up to the machines and that was the
last time I was allowed to move until the babies were born.
heart rate wasn't varying much and so they didn't want to take her off
the monitor until they could get better readings, which never
happened.  I still wasn't in much pain but I could see the
contractions on the monitor and I was really feeling the need to get
up and move or take a shower or something to help move things along.
After several hours I got up to 7cm but still almost no pain.
Finally, one of the doctors came in and told me that we really needed
to get things moving as I wasn't really progressing.  She suggested
that we break the waters but left the decision up to me.  After
talking it over with Kindra and Payam, we decided to go ahead and try

As soon as the doctor broke the water, the contractions jumped up in
 I welcomed the pain, thinking that I had finally hit
transition.  Now it felt like something I was familiar with.  I told
myself, okay, here we go.  A half hour of this and then I can push and
I'll finally meet my babies.  I blocked everybody out and fell to my
 After a half hour I asked for the doctor and said I should
be ready to push now.  The doctor came in and said I was still at 7cm.
 I was totally shocked.  30 minutes of back to back killer
contractions usually opened me up.  What was going on?  She said that
Kiana's head wasn't quite centered and that might be causing the
problem.  Another 30 minutes went by and she said I was at 7.5.

The lack of progress really started breaking through my defenses.  I
wasn't allowed to move or do any of the natural things I would
normally do to get things moving.  I tried to focus on my prayers, my
body, and talking to my babies but my worries started breaking through
my defenses.  I didn't know how the delivery was going to go and
wasn't sure if I could tolerate having the doctor's hands inside me on
top of everything else
.  Because of those worries and the relatively
long transition I caved and asked for the anesthesiologist.  Payam and
Kindra tried to talk me out of it (since I tend to withdraw into
myself it's hard for others to gauge the pain) but I had made up my

I asked the anesthesiologist to give me only enough epidural to take
the edge off while still allowing me to feel enough to push.
actually did a pretty good job in that I felt no difference
whatsoever.  A third half hour of killer contractions and I finally
started getting angry.  I asked them to bring the anesthesiologist
back again because I didn't think she had given me anything at all.
Turns out it was a shift change so a male anesthesiologist came in and
said it didn't seem like the medication was reaching the uterus at all
so he wanted to up it.  Before he did, my doctor came back and checked
me again.  Then she said I was ready to push!  So she advised me not
to get more meds
(something that annoyed the anesthesiologist
greatly).  As soon as I heard that we were ready to push I felt much
more optimistic and I didn't want the meds anymore anyway.

They wheeled me down to the operating room and there was a tense few
minutes while everyone got set up.  At the last minute, I managed to
talk them into allowing Kindra and Payam to both be there
(only on the
strength of Kindra's medical credentials).  The doctors lay me flat on
my back on a narrow metal table with my butt on the bottom (so there
was nowhere to put my legs) and my arms straight out.  Then they told
me to push.

I laughed and shook my head.  Push against what?  Thin air?
Fortunately, Kindra knew how to help.  She took one leg and Payam took
the other.  They pushed my legs up to my chest and Kindra helped me
raise my head with her other hand.
 I could definitely still feel the
contractions but at this point it seemed like the epidural was finally
kicking in because they didn't hurt as much as I was expecting.

I pushed a couple of times and there was Kiana.  They held her up for
about a milli-second and whisked her off to the warming table.  I lay
back down and tried to gather my strength but as I did I felt the
doctor shove her hand up into my uterus.
 For a moment, I forgot what
the plan was and I asked her, "what on earth are you doing?"  I was
thinking that I would have a break because I'd heard that the
contractions usually stop for awhile after the first baby.  She
reminded me that she was grabbing Ayla's head to stop her from turning
and told me to go ahead and push.

Again I was surprised.  How could I push without contractions?  But
Kindra told me to try anyway.  Then, all of a sudden, the doctor got
panicky and started telling me to push like mad because we had to get
the baby out NOW.  
I was too scared to think so I just did what she
told me.  Then, just as quickly, she said, "no, stop.  We're going to
 I hadn't the slightest clue what was going on.  At first,
I kept pushing, hoping against hope that the baby would just pop out,
but then she yelled at me to stop.  So I lay back and started worrying
about the medication.  The epidural was helping but it wasn't nearly
enough for a surgery.  Would my refusing medication delay getting Ayla

Then, a second doctor pushed her hand up and the doctor told me she
had changed her mind and we were going to try again.
 I pushed as hard
as I could (I still wasn't having any contractions) and could feel the
baby crowning.  Then the doctor panicked again and grabbed a vacuum to
help bring the baby out faster.  And there she was.  Ayla had perfect
Apgar scores and wasn't in distress at all.
 The time between Kiana's
birth and Ayla's was seven minutes.

Later, Kindra explained to me that the problem had been Ayla's heart
rate.  They had me on continual fetal monitoring the whole time and
apparently, Ayla's heart rate dove after Kiana was born.  The doctor
wanted to do a C-section but then the charge nurse convinced her to
wait just a minute and, sure enough, Ayla's heart rate recovered.  The
second doctor was putting a heart rate monitor on Ayla's head.  When
she was crowning her heart rate dove again, hence the vacuum.

All in all, I was just grateful that my babies arrived, safe and
 A pediatrician took a look at Kiana's heart and said there was
absolutely nothing wrong with her at all.  They examined the placenta
for a clue as to why her growth was slow and said there was nothing
wrong there, either.  Kiana's still small.  Her pediatrician says that
she's just a little baby but that there's nothing at all wrong with
that because she's growing along her growth curve just fine.  It's
just her genes.  As for Ayla, her Apgar's clearly indicated that she
wasn't in distress at all.  Kindra says it's common for babies to have
little dips in the heart rate during delivery.  Most of those aren't
even noticed when you're monitoring occasionally, but since the
continual monitors pick up every second, it gives cause for worry when
there's really not a problem at all.

I wasn't allowed to hold my babies in the surgery room but
fortunately, they took me back to the L&D room quickly and I was able
to hold them there.
 Kiana was the ugliest baby I've ever seen, but it
was just because she was so small.  Her skin was all wrinkly and
translucent.  She looked like a monkey.  As soon as she started
gaining weight she filled out and became absolutely beautiful.  Ayla
looked like a little princess from day one.  They both caught on to
nursing right away and did great.

Back in the delivery room the medical staff finally finished messing
with me and took me off of all the fluids.  I thanked the
anesthesiologist for his help and he kind of half smiled half glared
at us all and said that he could have helped a lot more and it was
unnecessary for me to have experienced so much pain.  I, on the other
hand, was thrilled with the epidural precisely BECAUSE it still
allowed me to feel enough pain to work effectively with my
contractions (until, of course, they became non-existent after Kiana's

The boys were still at home asleep when the girls were born but they
came as soon as they got up in the morning.  I stayed at the hospital
for 24 hours because I thought I could get some rest there, since my
house is so nuts.  Still, I was relieved to get out and it was worth
the fight with the doctors to get home early.  They were still a
little worried about Kiana because she was so small.  A nurse came to
the house a couple of times to check her weight but from the get-go
she grew great.

I have had some of the most profound experiences of my life in the
process of birthing my children.  I've learned to trust my body and
learned that it can surprise me.  I've learned that God will truly be
there at the most challenging times of my life.  I've learned to
appreciate different perspectives and to be patient with and grateful
for alternative perspectives that come my way.  I've learned how to
embrace pain and how to let it go.  And I've learned to consider the
needs of my family, rather than just my own ideals, in making
important decisions.  All in all, our birth experiences have brought
Payam and I closer together as a couple and have helped to solidify
our identity as parents.  Sharing them with my mom and my sister has
brought us closer together, too, and looking to my little sis for
advice was really inspiring.  I feel very grateful to have had three
wonderful experiences with childbirth.  I feel even more grateful that
the Lord has entrusted me with four beautiful souls to nourish and
guide as they start their own journey in this world.

Melissa's natural hospital birth, but almost an unplanned home birth!

Can I just say I knew next to nothing about babies or pregnancy when I learned I was pregnant with my first child.  I was teaching 3rd and 4th grade at the time and would literally completely forget I was pregnant during the course of my busy days in the classroom.  I had given up birth control because of the side effects I was experiencing and so we were implementing "The Family Planning" method.  Didn't exactly help us ward off a pregnancy, but God had different plans.  Getting a nice cushion of my salary for five years like I had planned in my head was not going to happen.  After I became pregnant, there was once that I went to the bathroom at school and saw some slimy, alien-looking thing in the toilet and ran back to my classroom to google if it was possible to have a painless miscarriage with no bleeding!  For the rest of that day in between teaching about personal narratives and multiplication I tried to come to terms with the fact that I had lost my baby.  Looking back, this is the most ridiculous thing in the world, but you know how you get during those first few weeks of pregnancy.  You are just nervous about every little thing.  Needless to say, my pregnancy progressed as normal.

Jadon Scott Gilmour decided to enter this world on May 31, 2007, six days before his due date.  I had decided to take a family leave in the middle of May and not finish out the school year so I could have some peace and a little time to prepare for his arrival.  Like I said earlier, my first year of teaching required every last ounce of my physical, emotional, and mental energy and I almost paid no attention to the little guy while teaching unless he started kicking and contracting.  I had Braxton Hicks contractions pretty early in my pregnancy beginning around month 7.  By my last day of work I was 36 1/2 weeks pregnant and already 4 centimeters dialated!  My coworkers were shocked each day I kept showing up.  The doctor had long since told me to pack my bags, but I finally went into labor just about three weeks after coming home from work.

During my pregnancy I decided that I wanted to try to have a natural childbirth.  This was mostly because of fear of an epidural because of a friend from high school whose mom was paralyzed due to a botched epidural.  I know the odds are like one in a million, but I happened to have personal contact with that "one".  I read a Bradley book and talked to other women who had experienced natural childbirth to prepare.  I had a really laid back doctor who told me to skip the hospital classes because they were a waste of time.  It was good advice for my personality.  I loved reading the Bradley book--and yes, looking at the pictures--because for me, knowledge is power and it gave me greater peace to know what I was in for! 

I was out at the pool with my in-laws having lunch and watching my husband play tennis between 11 and 12 that morning.  (Ha, those were the days!)  Anyway, we were sitting having lunch and I started to put my head down a lot.  My mother-in-law asked if I was in labor and I said I had no idea, probably not.  The lady working in the pro-shop brought us a clock and sure enough they were coming consistently 7 minutes apart.  Scotty and I finished lunch and decided to head back home.  I had a couple contractions in the car, but that didn't stop me from having Scotty drive thru McDonald's and get me an ice cream cone. :) When I got home, Scotty had to head up to his work at a nearby high school to finish entering some grades for the end of the year report cards.  While he was gone, I remember showering and blow drying my hair between contractions.  So funny!  By the time he came back home they were far more intense and getting closer together.  When Scotty got home I was starting to "freak out".  I was losing control of the pain and I remember rolling all over my bed in pain and screaming.  That was when Scotty called my friend, Carla, a physical therapist who had had two children naturally.  We had already planned to have her there as my doula of sorts, but were a little slow in actually calling her to come over.  God used her in a tremendous way to calm me down and get me back in control of my contractions.  She helped me get "in the zone" and from that point on people said I looked like I was asleep.  This is hilarious to me.  The last thing I was, was asleep!!  However, I was so in my own world and trying to relax into my contractions that I lost all track of time and had no clue who was around.  This went on for several hours.  Eventually, I told Carla that I needed to poop.  I remember leaning against the bathroom wall in my house when she said, "Wait a second, are you pushing?"  I was definitely pushing and there was no poop coming out!  She told me to get in the car and I rode in her van on my hands and knees to the hospital.  I found out after the fact that I transitioned on the way to the hospital.  When I arrived I declined the wheelchair and they quickly realized I was in full fledged labor.  There was no way that I was going to sit down at this point!  When they checked me I was 10 centimeters dilated!  I was totally shocked by this.  I had mentally been gearing up to go "all night" like so many stories you hear.  Anyway, they got me into a labor & delivery room and 45 minutes later with the help of an episiotomy and suction Jadon Scott Gilmour entered the world at 6:57 p.m.  My first words out of my mouth after giving birth?  "I am never doing that again!"  Well, if you know me you know that Reece and Vera Grace have made a liar out of their mommy!  The experience was thrilling, amazing, agonizing, but also one of the most worshipful experiences in my life.

For the record, I have had three natural childbirths and two episiotomies.  I thought the recovery from my episiotomies was bad until my midwife missed the delivery (she was scrubbed into a c-section at the time) of Vera Grace, my third, and I pushed her out with no coaching or intervention and tore to the front.  Four months later I was finally back to my new "normal".  The third time around I really wanted a zero intervention labor.  That is what I got, but it wasn't all I had dreamed.  I'm not sure what my opinion is about episiotomies, but if I had to make a decision based on my birth experiences I would say "cut me open!"  (Sorry for being crass, but that is just exactly how you feel when you are at the end of labor and just want it to be over.  Are you with me, moms?)  

Anyway...All glory to my God and Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Each and every birth is an absolute miracle.  It never ceases to amaze me!  But then again, neither does watching a sunflower seed grow into a beautiful flower.  I mean seriously, who came up with this stuff?  Oh, wait.  The ONE and Only, the Beginning and the End.  God Himself.  He is incredible.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! You are One Year Old!

Dearest Baby Girl,

I cannot believe you are one year old today. This year has gone by way too fast. Your daddy and I love you so much and cherish every day with you. I would have never thought I would have loved being a mommy as much as I do. I look forward to loving you and playing with you and nursing you and rocking you every day! You are such a joy! It hasn't always been easy though. When you were born you were pretty fussy because of colic and acid reflux and it was really hard to be a mommy during those first few months. But I learned so much about God and how He parents us, and I hope I became a lot more like Jesus during those months. My prayer for you is that you would see God through me in the way I parent you. I hope that I model Jesus to you in the way I treat you and treat others. I know I will never be perfect at this, but this is what I strive for. I pray that you would know God and love God and love others. I pray that you would make disciples of all nations. That is simply what I desire for you and I believe that sums it up. This year has been filled with joys and struggles and I have mostly just figured it out day by day as I have depended on Jesus to guide me. I look forward to many more days and years with you. I love you so much!

Your Mommy

Photos by www.anabsphotography.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Memphis Misfit Mama's home birth story. One year ago today...

My firstborn, baby girl's birth story.  I cannot believe it has been a whole year!
 One year ago today (May 13th, 2010) I was in labor with my sweet baby girl, although I didn't know she was a girl at the time. We decided to do a homebirth and you can read all about that decision here.
First of all, I had been praying that God would allow me to labor during the day and that I could labor and birth in the labor tub. And of course, that the baby and I were healthy and well. He granted all my prayers and I give Him all the glory. Only His strength got me through the labor and birth, and it was a delight to depend on Him to guide me through this labor. He is my Creator and created me to birth, along with all women. It was fabulous to labor and birth in our home. I thank God for a great labor and birth and healthy baby girl.  
A day before I went into labor my midwife came to my house for my appointment and to check me. I knew that whether or not I was dilated or effaced had no indication as to when I would go into labor but I was curious, so I was checked for the first time at almost 40 weeks. I don't remember what I was when she checked me but there wasn't much going on and I assumed it would be awhile. But I knew that my body could switch into gear at any moment as well so I just tried to trust the Lord on the timing and do all I could to get labor going. (I had been taking some herbs for weeks, walking every day, among other natural labor inducing activities ;)
My labor may have begun early in the morning on May 13th, as I woke up around 6am with cramping, but I passed it off as Braxton Hicks. But something told me the day was getting close regardless, so I got up early and walked the dogs, hoping to move the baby down and get things going. (I had been trying to walk about 2-3 miles every day) I went to teach ESL class at 8:30am, and around 9 I noticed rhythmic cramping, but still didn't know for sure if it was labor. I continued to teach class through these early contractions now even knowing if I was actually in labor. I arrived home around 10:45am, and at 11am I called my midwife while taking a bath.  The contractions were about 5 or 6 minutes apart but hardly painful at all and only lasting about 30 seconds each. She told me to keep her posted, and I laid down to rest. 
I put on a movie and continued to keep track of contractions, still thinking it may be Braxton Hicks because they weren't very painful at all. Around 1pm they started getting more intense, and I called Ben to tell him to come straight home from work as quickly as possible when he got off at 2pm just in case I was in labor. When he got home, he helped me time contractions and we decided to call the midwife again around 3:30pm because they were about 4-5 minutes apart and getting stronger. She told me to take a shower and see if they stopped...they did not. They got more consistent and stronger. I had now begun to have to use breathing techniques through some of them. I asked Ben to make me some french toast and he called the midwife to tell her to come on over. 
I ate french toast between contractions and started drinking a lot of juice.(one huge advantage to birthing at home) I labored leaning my head on the ottoman for much of the time, while I waited for the pool to fill up. The midwife and doula arrived around 5pm or so.Once the tub was ready, I was in it almost constantly, with bathroom breaks. It was probably around 5:30pm or so when I got in the tub. At this point the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and stayed this way for what seemed like forever, although looking back it all went very quickly. I preferred laboring on hands and knees mostly, or leaning over the tub. 
Ben was with me every step of the way, encouraging me and helping me stay calm, giving me water to drink and keeping my temperature comfortable. It was so sweet to have that time just Ben and I. My midwife and doula hung out in the living room and gave us our time and allowed me to do my thing and trust my body. She would come in from time to time to monitor the baby for a couple of contractions and check on us. From this point, I basically just breathed through contractions and rested in between. The pain was very manageable as long as I kept focused on my breathing and not the pain. Ben would touch my face to give me another feeling to focus on besides contractions. There were only a few contractions that were really painful, but most all were very manageable. There were times during the painful ones where I thought to myself "I can't do this" and I would just try to think about the Lord and the strength He would give me. I am thankful I was birthing at home because during those few really bad contractions I am afraid I would have given in and got meds had I been in a hospital. (although I was probably too far dilated for that at this point) We had worship music playing the entire time and it was so great to hear it and at times to hear others singing along to some of the songs. At one point I heard some worship songs that are some of my favorites and it gave me extra strength to persevere. We had the lights low the whole time and candles going so it was such a relaxing atmosphere. (I should add that my mom had arrived by this point and was also a great source of encouragement)
Around 11:00pm I was beginning to feel the urge to push, and then around 11:30pm I couldn't stop from pushing. I had just gotten out of the tub to try to rest before I began pushing because I was so tired and felt I couldn't do it anymore. The midwife was about to check me when all of a sudden I just HAD to get back in the water because I was in so much pain and felt I had to push. (So I was never once checked during my whole birth. We just trusted my body to do its thing). I had hoped to push and deliver on hands and knees but the baby's heart rate dropped in this position so I had to change to sitting. I pushed in the sitting squatting position the whole time, resting in between in the warmth of the birthing tub, with my sweet husband right behind me encouraging me. At one point, they kept telling me they could see my bag of waters bulging and as soon as it broke the head would be right behind. This was definitely encouraging, but I had no idea how much longer the pushing would take. One of the midwives said, "we might have a baby by midnight" and I thought, "no way". Once the bag broke they began telling me they could see the baby's head and that gave me tons of encouragement. When she was crowing it was really painful. Fortunately she was only there for about one or two pushing contractions, but that was probably the worst pain. They put the mirror down there so I could see, but all I could do was keep my eyes closed and focus through the contractions. Finally (I say finally but it was really after only 45 minutes of pushing) around 12:11am on May 14th I pushed out her head. She had the cord wrapped around her a few times but the midwives quickly took care of that, I gave one final push, and out she came...into the water and into my arms at 12:13am May 14th, 2010. She was wide awake and so calm...just staring intently into my eyes.(This moment was well worth going natural. A non-medicated baby is SO alert and I was as well of course) We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before cutting that and getting out of the water.
Finally someone reminded Ben to look and see what the baby was...and he announced "It's a Girl". I was soooo happy. I had a feeling it was a girl and would have been so surprised to get a boy. She was just beautiful. She nursed  not long after she was born and was able to have lots of skin to skin contact with both Ben and myself. (I delivered the placenta about 45 minutes after she was born but will spare those details) Everyone left the room after she was born so we could have time alone with her to nurse and decide on a name. After a couple of hours they weighed her and all that jazz. She was 6lbs, 13 ounces and 20.25 long.
My mom and brother Jordan were there to see the delivery, as well as Ben's mom. Soon after she was born my grandparents and aunt Dawn arrived. We were so blessed to be able to have as much family there as we wanted. 
The next day my dad, step mom, step brother, and brother Erik came, along with Ben's dad. We had a birthday party for her Friday night. :) 
It is so great to be a mom and to have this precious baby. It is such a sweet experience and it was wonderful to experience this with my precious husband. I highly recommend a home birth to anyone who is low-risk and wants to go natural. It was a beautiful experience that I will cherish forever.

I thank God for the little miracle. I can't believe that just a year ago she was inside of me. What a miracle pregnancy and childbirth are. All designed by our loving Creator.


Why We Used a Midwife and Had a Homebirth...it's in my genes!

 I posted this over a year ago on my previous blog, but I thought it would be fun to share before I share my birth story.

It’s weird to me to even feel like I have to explain why we are using a midwife because I grew up thinking natural home births were common. That’s probably because my mom had me on the couch at my doctor’s house with a midwife assisting. Then I witnessed (along with the rest of my family…grandpa and all) the natural births of both of my brothers at the doctor’s birthing clinic. It wasn’t scary at all to watch my mom go through birth naturally and without medication, it was such a neat experience that I thought was “normal”.  She birthed each of us and was home in a matter of hours.

As I grew up and started hearing about people having babies in a hospital and having to stay a few days, I thought that was so weird. Come to find out, most of the world thinks the way my mom did things was weird, but not to me. That’s my norm.

And it doesn’t stop there. Both of my aunts on my dad’s side, had all of their children at home, one was even a breach, and was perfectly healthy. My aunt Terri had all 5 children at home. Talk about a wonder woman! And I am so proud of my cousin Kindra for being a certified midwife! Yay! Go Kindra! I wish you lived closer or I lived closer or whatever.

So I never really questioned what I would do if given the option (some states still have laws that don’t allow you to make your own choice about your own birth). I knew I would birth at home or in a clinic with a midwife or a “natural doctor”. Well, I’m not sure Memphis has “natural doctors”…if anyone knows of one let me know. And Memphis has no birthing clinics. So, as long as everything proceeds well and I remain low-risk, the plan is to give birth at home with my midwife and husband assisting.

So am I just choosing this because its in my genes? Well, no…I did my research. I think every woman should research all the birthing options out there before deciding. So often we just go with what we think is the only option, or whatever we are used to or think is the norm.  I don’t have anything against hospitals. I am very thankful for hospitals and doctors. I have seen doctors and been to hospitals before, but I try to stay away if I can.  But I don’t view birth as a medical condition, so I began to think “why would I treat it like one?” For a woman that is low-risk a home birth is just as safe or safer than birthing in a hospital. And I am oh so excited that I won’t have fluorescent lights in my face. And I am also pumped that I can eat if I want, and move around, and get in the birthing tub! Woohoo! I am so excited about that! And if I want to watch movies and listen to music or walk around the block I can do that too, although I don’t want to scare the neighbors. haha
So anyway, I am really excited about laboring in the comfort of my own home with my wonderfully talented and capable midwife assisting, and my precious husband. And we also plan on letting my mom assist since she is a pro! I will be so sad if I am like 3 weeks overdue and the baby is 11 lbs and I am forced to be induced. I am so praying I can follow our desired birth plan.

I have dear friends who have birthed naturally in a hospital (either because of state laws or personal preference) and had great experiences. But actually one of them has naturally birthed in a hospital twice and plans on using a midwife next time so that will be fun! And I have a best friend that had complications and had to have a c-section. Of course she wasn’t excited about it, but it is what was needed for a safe outcome.  So please do not hear my passion for midwife and homebirth as judgement on anyone who does things differently.

But I think people need to be informed about other birthing options, because so many women think a hospital birth with an iv, epidural, and pitocin is the only way. And so many doctors make it seem this way as well. All the women I’ve talked to that have had home births have totally loved their birthing experience. But I also know woman who have birthed in the hospital that have loved it too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not excited about the pain. But I am excited about trusting my body and learning how to deal with the pain through natural childbirth. And I am excited about being alert during and after birth so I can remember the experience (well,as much as that is possible) and so I can hold my baby right away. Oh yea, that is another thing that is so great about homebirth. The midwife is so sensitive to let the mother and baby bond and work around that.  That is a great plus to homebirth.

Some people might be offended or feel like I judge them for not having a home birth, or natural birth. Not the case. I just want to express the birthing option I am passionate about and give it some PR because I don’t think enough women look into or are educated about it. So when I post links and articles that is for education not condemnation. Read them if you want to learn more about another birthing option, and if you don’t want to learn don’t read them. I can’t make you. Just like you can’t make me go get strapped down in a hospital. 
A safe delivery and a healthy baby is the most important thing, no matter what birthing process takes place. I just think not enough women know about the benefits of home birth so that’s why I share.
And I wanted to share why I am personally deciding on this birthing method for all those people out there who say, “what the heck? chalise is using a midwife?” yes, that’s the plan…but learn about it before you freak out.

link to my midwife’s site: www.chosenbirths.com
great website www.mybestbirth.com
great movie: www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com