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new look and new server in the works May 13, 2009

Posted by guinever in birth, doula, pregnancy.
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this header crI have a brand new look to my website. I’m moving from a free blog at wordpress.com to hosting it myself on a different server.  The name and the URL will be the same as it always has been. There might be a few days where my URL points both at this old site and my new site. If you’re seeing this post, then you’re still at my “old” location.

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surfing for pregnancy posts and finding the 7 best April 13, 2009

Posted by guinever in birth, doula, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
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If you want to read one woman’s chronicle of all her birth experiences from hospital to home,   including the heartache of miscarriage, check out relevant living.

That birth, as fast and furious as it was, was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I got to go into labor, labor however I wanted, in whatever position was the most comfortable, and deliver my baby without strangers poking, prodding and forcing or coercing me into taking drugs that weren’t necessary.

Birth talk explains how a woman communicates non-verbally during labor and how you can read her cues and help her through labor.

One mother writes detailed notes about Ina May’s guide to Childbirth which just so happens to be my personal favorite pregnancy book.

Here’s a conversation about inductions among obstetricians as reported by a certified nurse midwife . The OBs  were complaining about possibly working at 2 in the morning.

Not even once did the welfare of the mom and/or baby enter into the discussion.

On a similar vein,  nurses know that some OBs are cesarean happy.

The well-rounded mama is looking to write about fears during pregnancy.

Things like……how will I ever fit behind a steering wheel in my car at 9 months pregnant? Will my car’s seat belt go over my belly?

Kathy posted a video with 4D ultrasound images that show a baby’s growth in the womb.

what does the cervix look like? October 7, 2008

Posted by guinever in doula, health, midwifery, pregnancy.
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Ever wonder what your cervix looks like? Or the changes it goes through during your monthly cycle? Wonder no more. My beautiful cervix has a color photo of the cervix for every day during a  33 day cycle.

You’ll see the obvious changes that cervical fluid goes through from the dry, tacky, non-fertile discharge to the clear, slippery fertile fluid. Note the positional and color changes of the os.  See the cervix during the follicular, ovulation and luteal phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

I don’t know how I could have given birth without a doula March 31, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, birth stories, birth story, doula, health, labor, midwifery, pregnancy.
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Thanks to Molly for sharing her birth stories with us:

When my first son was born, I was living in post-communist Eastern Europe. Think America in the 1940s and you’ll imagine the situation in the hospital correctly. I had already suffered a miscarriage while living there, which was devastating. I tried to prepare myself for natural childbirth by reading a book about the Bradley method, but I was young and didn’t really know anyone who had done natural childbirth. In the hospital the nurses told me they were going to give me a shot which would make everything better, and I wouldn’t have any side effects from it at all. I didn’t realize that they were giving me a narcotic until it was too late. I had the strangest out of body experiences and felt convinced that I was dying and no one knew it except a big dog that was beside my bed the whole time. Of course, no one saw the dog except me, LOL!

After the birth, my baby was taken away from me and I didn’t see him again for about 12 hours. He had Strep B so they made him stay in the nursery and I could only see him when I wanted to nurse. My confidence as a mother was pretty low. I had already lost one baby, then I didn’t have the victorious birth I was hoping for with the 2nd, I couldn’t nurse very well and his health problems prevented us from bonding the way I had been told we should. As a new mother, far from family and home, I felt very isolated and insecure.

hiring a doula for her second birth

It was almost four years before I would birth baby #2. I felt that my poor birth experiences had robbed me of much of the confidence I should feel as a mother. I was 100% committed to having a natural birth this time, and I felt sure that it would be very empowering. I was back in the USA, and I decided to use a doula. She encouraged me to write a birth plan and submit it to the hospital when I came in for the birth. Part of my birth plan stated in large, clear type that I did not want any medication and that no one was to offer me medication at any time. I didn’t want to be tempted.

using a midwife

I also decided to use a midwife instead of a doctor. I was a little worried that having the doula there would take something away from the experience I hoped to have with my husband. Nothing was further from the truth. The doula enabled me to have a much better experience with my husband. During my first birth I felt like I barely saw my husband…he was too busy rubbing my back and applying counter-pressure for me to see much of his face.

With the doula, she rubbed my back and did a lot of the physical things I needed (getting ice, heat packs, etc) and my husband was free to totally focus on meeting my emotional needs. He was always right there where I could see him and talk to him, and I was able to hold his hand and feel his reassuring presence. My doula handled the nursing staff for me as well, which allowed me to turn my focus more inward and just relax and think about the task at hand.

As it turns out, I don’t know how I could have done it without the doula.

I was in the transition phase for over 2 hours….I think transition isn’t supposed to last more than about 30 minutes! It’s the time when you are sweating and cold at the same time, and the contractions are so intense. All you want to do is push but it’s not time yet. My doula enabled me to take each contraction one at a time.

thanking the Lord for a natural birth

I feel confident the staff would have pushed me toward C-section if she hadn’t been there, because it was almost unbearable and it just took so long. But between the doula and my husband, I had plenty of support and was able to make it through. The doula also suggested that my husband sit behind me on the table and I leaned against him. During the contractions I dug my fingers into the knees of his jeans. When it was time push, he leaned forward and I leaned forward with him and bore down. When the contraction was over I could lean back against him for a moment to catch my breath.

It felt so safe and secure to be so close to him.

When I finally was able to push my baby out, I felt so great! I was so thrilled that I had accomplished my goal of having a natural labor and birth. I immediately felt much more confident as a mother…as a person. I can honestly say that the Lord used this birth experience to redeem much of the loss and frustration of my previous one. I felt very exhilarated and empowered by the whole thing. It was like being on top of the world. I was fully alert and could immediately nurse my baby and bond with him.

an epidural after the birth for repair

All my sons have been big, and baby #2 was no exception. I had a rectal tear when he was born which necessitated a trip to the surgeon when he was a few weeks old. They gave me an epidural and I got to find out all about what I had missed out on. It made my legs all trembly, and they had to catheterize me, as well. When the catheter came out it was painful, and I couldn’t make myself pee. It was so uncomfortable to have the urge and not be able to go. This further strengthened my resolve to NEVER have an epidural during birth.

You can read more of Molly’s birth stories

You can submit your birth story too; please click here for guidelines.

excellent blog awards February 1, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, doula, homeschooling.
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excellentblog.jpgIt seems that the excellent blog award is making its rounds through all the birthing blogs because I received the award twice last weekend from a couple educators at Independent Childbirth. Thanks, Nicole for granting me this award “for the Best Menu Bar and Side Bar.” She says “I have loads of easy to find, user-friendly information on her blog. And it doesn’t look messy!”

Thanks, Sheridan, for saying that “I have wonderful supportive posts on all topics, from first foods to positive birth stories. Ask her questions and she will give you thoughtful inspirational answers.”

In order to accept this award, I must pass it along to at least 10 other blogs. I’ve decided to give a few to pregnancy related sites, but I’m also branching out a little bit. Here are my picks:

  1. I’m sending this award over to joyful chaos for her step-by-step front wrap baby carrier tutorial in pictures. I love reading her varied blog about parenting and homeschooling.
  2. to the Mother Tongue for being a funny, sometimes outrageous mothering blog. Here’s the straight dirt on cloth diapering and read about her gameshow debut.
  3. to Belly Tales, the diary of a midwife (used to be the diary of a student midwife). Here are a few videos she posted of Angelina the Midwife.
  4. to Well Preserved for being a nice birth blog with an emphasis on VBAC with a local flair. Here’s a post about births on TV.
  5. to the new Independent Childbirth blog for being a diverse group of birth junkies.
  6. to Mountain Shade, for her breathtaking photographs of Alaska. See the photos of dall sheep and rainbows.
  7. to Tea Time with Liz for having the best ever photograph of brownies and milk.
  8. to the Thinking Mother for being, well, a thinking mother. Her posts are thoroughly researched. Read all about cacoa and her homemade hot cocoa recipe.
  9. to a Fresh Start for gracefully moving through her life after the death of her husband…read about what would have been her 19th anniversary.
  10. and last but not least, to dooalot for posting crazy pictures from the 1970’s of when she was a kid.