Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Midwives are a Strange Breed

Through the years, I have met many midwives. Though we are all unique individuals for sure, we do seem to share some commonalities. We are empathetic, intelligent, kind, sincere, independent, clear headed...and maybe a little "twisted" ;)

I recently had a conversation with one Mama that included suggestions on natural personal lubricants for sex and positions to try, how to entertain a three year old when nursing the one month old, the best organic diaper creams and the importance of nutrition.

Also, I have noted many statements that midwives routinely say that are pretty twisted:

"You're having a lot more pain? That is good news."
"You're leaking bloody mucous from your vagina? How wonderful!"
"You just threw up all over the bedroom? Good progress."
"You feel like you just sat on a campfire? Yes, it does feel like that, and great work."

Other things that midwives might "enjoy".....

Sitting in a dark room, behind a naked sweaty woman who is on all fours and realizing that she is pooping on your hand. Being drenched, and I mean drenched, in amniotic fluid as you kneel on the floor in front of a woman on a stool. Using a fish net to fish many things other than fish out of a pool. Driving home after a long night at work, looking in the rear view mirror and realizing that you have meconium on your face.....

So, you see, midwives are definitely a certain breed...and potentially a strange one at that! And I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The lovely Placenta...

I really do love keeping this blog, and have found it enlightening. However, I crave to hear the thoughts of those who bless me with their time to read I have decided to periodically post some questions or topics to discuss. Let's start a place where we can share our experiences and thoughts!

So, I am and have always been fascinated by the placenta. It is such an interesting and important creation. Many cultures have very specific rituals and beliefs centered around the placenta. I would love to start a discussion about placenta's...please, post any thoughts, practices, beliefs that you have seen or heard about this amazing placenta encapsulation popular where you are?....

Here is a thought to start off the talk....Placentas may be the only "meat" that is vegetarian, as no animal is killed in their production!....

Monday, June 13, 2011

When Interventions Are a Good Thing

I firmly believe that each woman should be treated as an individual and that the concept of blanket interventions for all is ridiculous. Birth is a natural process and if we trust it, it will most often work for itself. Most of the time, my job is to be present and provide support...not to manage...but sometimes that is what I need to do....

Erika was working on her first baby. She had been in labor for hours, when early in the morning she started having a LOT of vomiting. After a few hours of this, she and her husband and mom came to the center....she was so exhausted physically, yet so strong in spirit. They had been working on keeping Erika hydrated, but with the amount of vomiting, this was nearly impossible. I started an IV and gave her some fluids...what a difference and she actually took a little nap, which was perfect. Then, she had more vomiting, followed by some more. At this point, she was still strong in spirit, however, her physical self was starting to struggle. I wrote her a prescription for Zofran, an anti-emetic, and her husband went to go pick it up. We also did some herbs and Rescue Remedy, but that Zofran sure hit the spot. Erika was able to "catch her breath" and go on to have a great natural birth, surrounded by love and support, on the birth stool and welcome her 7lb little girl.

This is an example of when certain "medical" interventions can really make the difference and allow a woman to carry on and move forward. Do I think all ladies need an IV or IV access? No. But, do I think we should have these options when needed? The intervention itself is not the problem, it is the over use of the intervention that creates the problem.

Love and Bubbles

I just have to say, that I love siblings at births! In my experience it is such a great way for the older child/children to feel that they are also part of this process...and there is nothing like the look on their sweet faces when they see the new little brother or sister for the first time....

I was recently with a family having their second child, their first is six years old and so smart and fun...Sam. Sam was amazing at his little sisters' birth. While his Mama was in the pool pushing, he diligently gave her sips of water between contractions, and took this job very seriously. Additionally, he would be sure to blow bubbles when she was having her contractions, it was great to welcome little babe to a room full of love and bubbles! Afterwards, he wanted to keep helping, so we employed him as our helper and he drained the birth pool with us. These births are so wonderful and such a family it should be. I wish that all women and their families could be blessed with this respect and openness for their births.....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Midwifing the Midwife

This calling is truly a be included in and welcomed to such an intimate and special time for families is a gift. Seeing these women transform to mothers in those precious first moments and watching the awe in the faces of thier partners...these are times to be cherished. However, that is not always how it works out, despite all the best preperations and intentions. These are times when this calling can and will break your heart. The highest highs and the absolute lowest lows...these are wrapped up together in this calling...and we as the guardians of birth must be able to guide families through it all. We must also be able to nurture ourselves through these times and hold fast to our faith in the birth, a question...who midwifes the midwife?