Monday, November 17, 2008
Wearing your baby correctly is SO comfortable - for both Mom and Baby -- it leads to a MUCH happier baby and mom! There is no pain involved. If anything, it reduces the "pains" of early babyhood. Juneau is pushing 19 pounds and has been worn since birth. He is going on 4 months of age and has never once been in a stroller or left in a carseat. This absolutely leads to his feelings of comfort, security, safety and happiness - not to mention a more secure attachment and bonding between the 2 of us.
Friday, November 14, 2008
(so you know before watching: this is real natural birth in water with video and photo footage)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Review from Mothering:
According to Painless Childbirth by Giuditta Tornetta, if there were ever a time when a woman should concentrate on getting her act together, maternity is that time. After all, she is in the miraculous process of creating another human being—and totally responsible for that child. Ms. Tornetta, a veteran birth and postpartum doula, says responsibility for your child begins with knowing the Nine Rights of Pregnant Women, which coincide with each month of maternity. Through understanding these rights and working with them, the pregnant woman is empowered and guided to look within herself to see where she needs to grow, just as her child is developing inside her. Ms. Tornetta has written the first self-help book for mothers-to-be. It makes good sense to think seriously about Ms. Tornetta's deep insights into maternity. A painless childbirth is one where the mom has no regrets about her maternity period or birthing experience. This wise book shows women how to accomplish just that.
Friday, October 31, 2008
along this info in case anyone else is interested.
If you qualify to be a donor for "Milkin' Mamas Breast Milk Bank" all
donors receive free testing, free electric breast pump, free
collection bags, and free shipping. ALL milk is used for hospitalized
premature and critically ill infants as a part of Prolacta Bioscience.
There is no minimum donation and every ounce is used.
You can visit the Milkin' Mamas site here:
You can visit Prolacta's site here:
Friday, October 24, 2008
View the whole thread at: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=12452285
This is something that has been on my heart today and I just wanted to share.
Thank you so much for courageously choosing to look at the facts and choosing what's best for your son, even though it was different from what your parents chose for you. Thank you for being man enough not to feel that your manhood was challenged by your son's intact status. Thank you for not jumping into the "everyone's doing it" boat and using social reasons to justify circumcision. Thank you for being willing to stand up to criticism from your parents if needed.
To all men like this (including my wonderful DH who's total on board with intactness, should we have a son this time), I say thank you. You are making a huge difference.
This great site is for cut men choosing to raise intact sons:
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
It airs on Discovery Health at 9pm (EST) today (Tues), 12am Wed 10/22, 11am Sat 10/25
I will likely put it onto DVD (for my collection of educational birthing videos) as well if someone doesn't have Disc Health and still wishes to view the show.
Oct. 21st at 9pm (EST), “Freebirthing," the British UC documentary that was originally titled “Outlaw Births,” will be airing on the Discovery Health Channel in the US. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it isn’t a bad program, as far as these things go. There was actually much I liked about it, but of course there are negative comments throughout from medical professionals who don’t approve.
I’ve blogged about the program several times. Here is my most recent posting: http://laurashanley.blogspot.com/2008/10/freebirthing-to-air-on-discovery-health.html
Be sure to read the comments below it. Heather B., who is prominently featured in the program, shared her thoughts about the way her story was presented. Heather is also prominently featured in the promos they’ve been showing on Discovery Health. I’ve turned to the station 3 times in the last few days, and within 15 or 20 minutes saw the promo each time.
Here is a page I put up with video clips from the British version. It’s essentially the same as the one I put up for “Outlaw Births” – http://freebirthing.org
To read what Discovery Health says about the show click here - http://health.discovery.com/tv/crib-notes/freebirthing.html
In other news, we have another tentative date for the “20/20” childbirth show – Oct. 24th. The show has been bumped several times and could be bumped again. But if it does end up airing, this could be a big week for UC! I’ll keep you posted!
With much love,
Bornfree! The Unassisted Childbirth Page
Sunday, October 5, 2008
1) If men were meant to have foreskins, they would be born with them.
2) Sexual assault is not medicine.
3) Circumcision: An operation that permanently marks little boys with
their parents ignorance.
Comment by Stancypants:
Comment by Hygeia:
I feel for all the women who went against their mothering hearts, and I understand how hard it must be for them to rise from the depths of denial...everyone requires healing when horrid behavior is forced upon our loved ones. We all know the value of a good cry. Come on, ladies, cry it out and understand the pressure you were up against - husbands, religious leaders, society - thanks to internet we are in a position to connect, un-learn damaging beliefs, heal from the trauma of cowering, and come on strong as collective she-bears protecting our young!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Simply because a form of infant mutilation is socially accepted at any particular place and time in history, including the present, does not make it any less a vehement human rights violation, or any less a horror for the individual at the scalpel's edge.
I am so utterly sick of people back in Iowa making up excuses and sugar coating the tragedy that still exists for 46% of baby boys born in the United States -- most of whom are born in the Midwest, as this practice is far less common on the Coasts and South. It is a disgusting, violent act upon the innocent sexuality of a new child.
It is the rape of a baby who cannot yet stand up for himself by any means possible.
And all the more terrifying is that this little one is painfully cut up at the hand of those who are supposed to be his utmost protectors and source of trust, comfort and care - his parents.
Every child is born with the RIGHT to their body and genital integrity. Every oath that is taken in medicine is to "do no harm." Too many young men are finding themselves with deeply rooted (and "unexplained") post-traumatic stress, the inability to bond, form secure attachments, or trust. And after discovering that the vast majority of men in the world, in their neighborhoods, and among their peers, maintain their human rights and stay intact, too many men are finding that they feel mutilated, incomplete, and angry with their parents for allowing such irreparable harm to take place at a time they could not yet speak for themselves.
This organ is NOT "just skin." It is a fully functioning, irreplaceable organ that serves the functions of protection, lubrication, antibody formation, sexual pleasure, among a host of other purposes. The foreskin is the same organ, designed of densely packed nerves (more than all other body parts combined), blood vessels, tissues, multiple glands and sensitive multi-layers of delicate skin, as the clitoral hood/inner labia. They are homologous and analogous organs.
If you believe that it is genital mutilation to cut up baby girls at birth, then the same is true for baby boys.
There is no more sugar coating this horrific and devastating practice.
If you are going choose to violently cut off 3/4 of your baby's penis at birth, without anesthesia, without his ever having a say, then tell it like it is. Don't pussy-foot around the topic and make it sound all pristine.
If you made a mistake with the son you already have, then admit it. Apologize to him for what was done to him, all that was taken from him. Hold him closely and teach him gently so that he does not replicate the destruction.
People are now speaking up.
Boys are speaking up.
Men are speaking up.
It will not continue.
Comment by Tippie:
so amazingly well written! may i cut and paste this to prego friends with boys...ha..and friends WITH baby boys..my last three friends to have babies had boys and i EVANGELIZED not circumcising to them..and yet..they were all cut..it's awful and my heart broke every time. Mothers are standing PASSIVELY by and saying," It's his dad's thing"..."it's up to his father"...HELLO MOTHER'S ITS YOUR BABY!!! When I asked those mom's if they went in with their babies to be with them during this procedure i was always met with horrified faces and "ofcourse not"...how dare you allow this mutilation and take no responsibility..simply turn away..its his dad's thing..the dad goes with them..it's awful..and the mom's ALL told me stories of their friend so and so's son who just "slept right through it" as if that justified it some how? i don't have sons yet but I pray I do so that I can proudly keep him intact and inform mom's of why it's the absolute right thing to do no matter what..if you want your son to "MATCH" his dad...buy them matching shirts or hats...mutilating their bodies in the same way...is wrong for the sake of "matching"...please please get this blog out as many places as you can!!!
by the way...the whole "he slept thru it" thing is a bunch of crap. the baby experts all say that many babies lapse into a semi-coma state in order to just live thru the horrifying pain that is being inflicted upon them. this semi-coma sometimes lasts for weeks after the trauma - making breastfeeding more difficult, causing them to sleep MORE than is normal, then enter into a state of insecure attachment, distrust, and screaming...and occasionally leading to failure to thrive. many babies also lapse into COMPLETE COMAS and of course many have died from surgery complications or blood loss. so i know i am "preaching to the choir" by responding on your page...but it is just an outcry that this ever even happens to ANY baby!
Comment by Tippie:
i didn't know that about the semi coma state but makes sense. whenever i would hear that babies slept through it it just didn't sit right with me...now i know...i am just going to add that insight to your blog i posted k?
so many titles we have; intactivist, lactivist, ;)
Friday, August 15, 2008
all of my energy these days is going into the little one...
but i am keeping up Nick's Juneau blog because it was important to him as he must be away from his son for the next 11 weeks.
so if you want to hear our tales (which mostly consist of eating/pooing/attempting to sleep) you can see this blog instead -
Baby Juneau's Blog
Monday, August 4, 2008
Pleeeaase baby come on out...
We have about 12 hours ... and about 4cm to go before we may have to go into the hospital for a nonstress test and biophysical profile to get the "ok" for baby to have 3 more days to make his/her arrival.
S/he is healthy, great heartbeat, kicking, and all that... moving down... slowly. And the contractions continue day and night, off and on... prodromal labor... early labor on and off which is typical (for those who choose not to be hooked up to pitocin) and it doesn't bother me. Just makes me always hope for TODAY to be the day.
But due to obstetrical lobbying in the state of VA (all about $$), birth attendants are bound by all sorts of rules and we will have to get a documented "all's ok" if active labor doesn't kick in by tomorrow.
Please God, Please.
I do not want to end up birthing in the way that is by far the absolute worst for Baby... full of drugs and on my back in some cold hospital room with strangers around....with the 50% chance of induction failure that exists leading to c-section.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
*I need a photo of Terri Svendsen-Hewitt - Doula, R.N. and Midwife Asst
It's rather funny, actually. My friend Christie was due 3 weeks after me with her baby #2... I should have known what was coming because (1) 2nd babies usually come earlier and (2) she had her first born a few days early as well. She made a baby-date guess on Mark Baade's baby poll that I would give birth at 3:10 on Sunday, July 20th. Guess what... SHE gave birth at 3:10 on Sunday, July 20th!!!! Pure Craziness. She must have had some type of mothering birthing intuition about that time/day...it just wasn't for me and my baby. :)
I am very happy for her and her new little girl. Sounds like all went well. She was able to labor in water for a little while and she pushed out baby #2 without letting them give her pitocin or an epidural. I can't wait to meet her new family addition.
So here on the homefront we are trying to be patient. Sandie Baade says that her kids were all born right around their guess-date... My mom had all hers around Week 33-34. So maybe we can average the two and be somewhere in the middle... like Week 42?!?! :)
Another homebirthin' Mom just had her baby yesterday. Jeni - one of our midwives - reminded me that Mag was due WAY before me...and her baby boy came out a super healthy, happy 8lbs, 4oz baby last night. She told me again to go relax, take a warm bath, and enjoy these last days of feeling my baby move inside me. Good advice.... I'm too tired for a bath right now. :)
I was way pumped this week to find a Doctoral student/midwife/doula in Canada who is studying birth and she had a copy of a book that I have been trying to find for the past month that she was able to send me in a pdf file. I am SooooO thankful to her because the only place I could find this book (Come Gently, Sweet Lucina) was for $330-$400 online. It has not been in print since 1957 which is the reason it is so hard to come by. But MAN it's a good book!! I am about 1/2 way thru... A lot of it is hilarious craziness of the 40s/50s -- things like "calcium is bad for you because it makes your pelvic bones too hard" or "the best thing pregnant women can do is fast and smoke to not gain too much weight"... the author also talks about how x-rays are not safe in the first 2 trimesters, but ok to use at the end... which of course took us 30 years to find out was completely untrue -- they do damage no matter when they are administered. I wonder what we will know in 30 years about ultrasonic waves on developing fetal tissues...
Anyway, the main reason I wanted to read this book is because the author, Carter, had 9 children. Her first 2 were born in hospitals and she had terrible, awful, painful labors and horrible birth experiences. For baby #3 she decided she was staying home and doing it herself. The rest of her 7 children were born gently at home, with no tension, no fear, no pain. They were beautiful, empowering births. She studied Dick-Read's work (Childbirth Without Fear) and her book is partially a response and expansion on his theories and observations. (Dick-Read is one of the all-time masters of gentle childbirth and was a world-renowned obstetrician who rocked the medical world in the U.S. and U.K. by stating that obstetricians could learn the most from birthing women and midwives themselves).
Another homebirthing Mom who I have become friends with via our online correspondence recommended I read Carter's book. There is a LOT in it that is extremely empowering, encouraging, and eye-opening. She is also a hilarious writer with an exceptionally witty (and sometimes cynical) sense of humor. Needless to say, I love the book. And I am SO glad to have gotten a copy without having to chuck out $330 (which no, i would not ever have done). And now I have the file to share with anyone else out there who is interested in reading her work.
This past week Nick and I took a LOOOONG walk around the Botanical Gardens here in VA Beach. It is a beautiful area and I love walking there (and feeding the ducks/geese). We walked and walked and walked all afternoon/evening...and I had 2 "good" contractions. But then things resumed as normal and baby must have decided s/he was not yet ready to come.
I also had my first "belly injury" at the Botanical Gardens -- a century old Agave plant that is blooming for its one and only time (before it dies) stabbed me in the belly! (To be honest I have a tendency these days to run into things with my burgeoning belly...) Nick asked me a few minutes later, "What is that?!" and I looked down to see blood oozing from a little stab wound on my tummy seeping thru my white shirt... haha. So my only injury this pregnancy was the result of a 100-year-old Agave plant!
On another note, I do have a feeling baby will be arriving sometime soon... so I recorded my measurements (as I have each month from the beginning) because I wanted to know and keep a little record of how 42+ weeks of pregnancy has changed my body.
I guess nothing too shocking.
From the beginning of pregnancy till now...
Weight: +28lbs (if I would have had this baby on our official guess-day i think we could have stayed at 20lbs...little bugger!)
Belly: +8 1/4 inches
Chest/Breasts: +4 1/4 inches
Upper Arm: -1 1/2 inches (how on earth did I gain inches all over and loose an inch-and-half on each arm??? It must have shifted South...)
Butt/Hips: +2 inches
Thigh: +2 inches (this also happens to be the only area of my body where I have stretch marks. what the heck?? My legs love being thick and strong. ;-)
Ankle: no change (i guess this means I have not experienced the common pregnancy swelling of the ankles... or it means I had big cankles to begin with... haha)
So that's the physical rundown.
Emotionally, mentally, spiritually Nick and I are doin' pretty good I think. We are ready. But patient. And it is a good thing that I married a loving, caring, patient man who is exceptionally good at calming me EVERY time we go out someplace and people exclaim "WHEN ARE YOU DUE?!?!" with wide gaping eyes at my huge baby belly...
Lately the question has been, "So are 'they' going to induce you?" (I love how "they" is somehow this big vast expanse of supposedly all-knowing-all-powerful medical personnel who must control and save me from my own body birth baby with drugs and machines)... So I calmly say "No, we are having a homebirth and letting the baby come when s/he is ready." And sometimes people respond with, "OH I wish I had done that!!" and sometimes they say, "Wow, you are brave!" to which I think...No, it takes a heck of a lot more guts to birth in the hospital these days than it does to do so calmly at home. But I keep quiet and don't say much because I'm not in a position to educate the world at this point.
I'm simply too tired. :)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away 43 weeks of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
Monday, July 14, 2008
So I thought we were going to successfully complete the entire pregnancy without any strangers reaching out to touch my belly. I had heard this commonly happens...and I never understood why a stranger would touch someone else's belly (especially without asking permission). But today a woman at Bed, Bath & Beyond reached across a small counter/table that was in between us and laid her hand on top of my big belly. It actually didn't bother me. I could tell she was happy for me (as much as a stranger can be) and she was just rambling away at her guesses on how much this little one weighs...she thinks 10 pounds. :) haha... Thanks.
Her friend who came up beside her (but didn't touch my belly) said, "Oh, this must be your first baby!" and I confirmed that yes, it is. "That is why you are going beyond 40 weeks" she said..."I think your baby is about 9 and something" she said.
Well, that's 2 big baby guesses for the day. But 9 pounds is typical for homebirthed babies (actually, for all babies that are healthy and hearty and go till their full un-induced - i.e. no cervical exams, cervical sweeps, drugs or membranes irritated - due date).
Stopping at another store before heading home, there was a young man dressed in camis up at the checkout near me. "You must be like my sister" he said and told me that his sister went to Week 41 & 1/2 and then they attempted to induce her. It didn't work, and her baby chose to stay put for another week before arriving in its own time. "My niece was 9 & 1/2 pounds when she was born" he told me "I bet yours is the same". "We'll find out" I smiled. "Its hard to take big deep breaths at this point, isn't it?" he asked. I smiled again - yup!
Big baby bellies get a lot of attention wherever you go.
Sometimes it is kind of nice -- strangers will do odd things just to help you out. I have had women at the grocery store tear off produce bags and hand them to me so that I don't have to walk over and get them for my apples... I've been pulled out of customer service lines to go up to the front in order to make my return rather than waiting... I've had men pull things down off shelves for me and put them in my cart without me ever saying a word... I've had just about every door opened for me that I have walked thru over the past 3 weeks.
The nicest compliment came last week when I was lugging my huge stash of books to ship at the Post Office. July must be the month that everyone really digs into their summer reading, because book sales skyrocketed this month. This is good because we have a $2,500.00 bill to pay for the little one's birth. I had an especially heavy load of boxes to mail that day, but I am also pretty accustomed to hauling my shipments (and handling/lifting an 80 pound Basset Hound at the same time) so it isn't too different from what I've been doing the whole pregnancy.
On this particular day, I was waiting in line and there was a shorter man standing behind me with his 1 package to mail. I stepped from the line for a moment because I needed to pick up an extra Priority Box from the wall shelf. When I returned to the line this cute little man was smiling at me as big as the SUNSHINE. What on earth could he be thinking?! I wondered...
"YOU ARE A REALLY TOUGH LADY!" he said to me. Hahahaha. "From behind I never even knew!! And then you turned around to walk back, and here you have a big baby and all these boxes!" It was cute. "Yup, I sure do" I smiled. What a sweetie. He asked about when the baby was expected to arrive...and the usual questions people ask. And he just kept staring at my belly. Haha. I could tell he also wanted to take the stack of boxes from me, but it really wasn't a problem, and I set some of them down on the counter while we waited in line. It was a nice compliment -- (1) to be told that I don't look pregnant from the back - that's nice to hear!! and (2) to be reaffirmed in my toughness and strength as a 41 week pregnant woman. It's empowering - especially coming from this cute lil man at the P.O.
So those are the stories for now...
I seriously feel every single day like "this could be the day"... other natural physiological birthin' moms tell me they too felt like they had the flu for about two weeks straight at the end...and then the cramps started up nonstop...and the deep pressure...and that is where I am right now. Pretty yucky feeling all the time.
So I guess we shall see.
Some encouraging songs that I just love right now:
"Never Let Go" by David Crowder Band
"Small Enough" by Nichole Nordeman and Fernando Ortega
"Psalm 23" sung by this woman birthing her 10 pound baby... I don't know whose compilation of this song it is...but my brother Adam put it into a music file format for me so I can listen to it on itunes. Thanks Adam!!!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Here we are. 40 and 3 :)
Other than feeling pretty physically (ok, COMPLETELY physically) drained pretty much all the time...having increased heartburn...hips that I think must be broken...and cramping that comes and goes ~ the mood around our house is a good one.
It is lov-E-ly having Nick home 24-7. We get to eat together, go on walks together, watch movies together. Talk about everything under the sun without email interception, screening and delays. It's fantastic. So I am just going to soak up this pre-baby time for us to be together.
The only downfall is I don't really ever feel like going anywhere. So we haven't been "out" at all more than to eat 1 time. We keep thinking we might go see a movie, or go to a baseball game...but so far the big belly, late pregnancy factors haven't provided us with a good opportunity to do so.
I am so glad that Nick was able to get home to experience these final days/weeks. We are thoroughly entertained by the baby kicking feet out of my side, moving a tiny baby butt up over my ribs, and morphing the baby home into all sorts of interesting shapes. Nick pushes or taps, and Baby pushes and taps back. It is quite cute! (Even if it does sometimes feel like it is squishing organs that don't like to be squished, or breaking off a rib).
We have a LIST of "things to get done before baby"... I started on this list early in June when I first gone back from Iowa. But there were a LOT of things to do... Needlesstosay we are down to the final 2-3 tasks!! Then we are REALLY ready.
Mom and I set up the birth tub a couple weeks ago when she was in town, and Nick and I filled it up yesterday so now it's really ready! The heater keeps the water nice and warm so we don't have to empty and refill in the meantime. Since it is only our own "germs" that are in the surrounding air of our bedroom, there is also no threat to the baby in this way. What the baby has developed within is what s/he will enter into upon arrival - from one warm watery world into another. Safe. Gentle. Beautiful.
(copper isn't sure what to think about it all)
Today I woke from a little nap to hear Copper and Nick shuffling around in my bathroom (we each have our own bathroom so we don't "step" on each other too much). This has never occurred before so I wondered what was up. Then I see the plans for Copper's bath unfolding... Oh my... "I can do it Nick" I said knowing how hardmessywetfurry it is to give Copper his bath. And Copper is almost 9-years old (will be August 14) and he has NEVER had a bath from anyone other than myself. So I wasn't sure how he was going to be. Basset Hounds don't typically care much for water. Nick assured me he has washed dogs before and he wanted to take on this new Copper adventure...so I let them go about their business. Worked out great and Copper is now his new shiny clean self ready for his summer application of tick/flea/mosquito medicine.
Thanks Nick!!! My hero in so many ways...
Yesterday we had our 2nd Home Visit with the midwives. I LOVE these visits -- having our checkup in our own home, on my own bed. Them coming to us with their supplies instead of us going to them. We sit around and talk about anything on our minds for an hour or so and I feel so well taken care of. My own bathroom, my own food, my own germs. Copper getting in on the action of baby-checkups. I mean, how many people get to have their Basset Hound at their side during prenatals and birth?! :)
They felt the baby with their hands, and thought the little one is just the perfect size and probably won't be coming for another week or so. They pointed out the various baby parts (my guesses were right - foot, knee, butt, head...) And they marveled at this little cutie inside. :) Homebirth midwives are a special person because they are just so in love with pregnancy, birth and tiny babies. The joy and excitement and peace and calm all mix together in their presence for perfect moments together. We have 2 "sets" of midwives -- Jenny & Terri, and Jeni & Vanessa. No matter which set is on call on our birthing day, it will be wonderful. Nick and I love them all. As does Copper. Oh, and 3 of them are also dog-rescue parents themselves so they all have a similar heart for the underdog like Nick and I do. :)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Friend in OR:
Hey there, sweetie. Sounds like you are very close! I am very excited for you! I wish I could come and bask in your yummy birth aura! I always pray for my birthin mamas on the way to the birth, and I want to do the same for you. Father God, creator of the world, of each of us, and of birth itself, please bless and keep Danelle as she labors, show baby the easiest way out, guide the midwife's hands, and help Danelle be calm and strong. May all those in Danelle's life witness this miracle for what it is, may they honor it and may her strength open their eyes to your miracle. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Monday, July 7, 2008
a fellow homebirthin', attachment-parenting, jesus-lovin' momma posted this in her blog. i really liked her expression of this holy place of love -- where creation really does reach out in worship to its creator. i have felt this on SO many occasions - especially while being pregnant, and intensely, as my primary pathway in connecting with Yahweh is thru worship, in all its various forms.
a matter of worship
a couple of folks at the fellowship where we go on sundays called a great meeting of the minds a few months ago to discuss a gathering of the people to worship - oh yes i am going ot say it - JESUS! if you dont know me yet, i am in love with some jeshua!!! i will jump at any chance to tell you love stories of him and myself. but most of you who know me know i am not quick to jump into calling myself a "christian" either.....please dont be offended by that, i dont mean it in an offensive sort of way.....what i do find offensive is the churchianity that our culture is trying to sell to us as a plastic packaged form of something that may have at one time resembled something like true faith.....(becky steps down off of soapbox...)it makes my heart break to think of all of the folks who have utterly refused to even think through it because of the scars that have been left on them by the fallacy of the modern church of jesus christ incorporated......
anyway, so we gathered to discuss a one night a month "worship" service where we could let the church use all of its gifts to worship Jesus.....i had the unbelievable chance to worship with chalk on a big ol' piece of paper....i used to get my hand smacked for drawing in church, now i was getting to do it as a form of worship to the one i LOVE!!!!
hellooooo....the whole place fell away, and it was just the spirit and me....telling me what to draw.....i could let go of any control i had, and let it be....by the time the music had faded, i was covered with chalk from head to toe.....and it felt like i had been hit by a holy mack truck.....there is no way to describe what goes on in that place....you speak a new language, you feel a new way, you are transformed, the world falls away.....but i want to understand this in a fuller sense.
we are made to worship....whether we realize we are doing it or not....every breath we take, every cell that dies, and is replaced by a burst of new life, every thought, every groan of our soul.....we worship.....we cant escape it....we may not recognize it while it is happening....but we are, it is......i cannot do anything without a backing force....i cannot make my heart beat, i cannot inhale to take my next breath, i cannot keep my muscles on my bones by sheer will.....these things are not of me....every moment a master piece is being acted out on my body, on every body, in everything.....each second brings a new explosion of being, and in that, you got it......worship. it is the crying out of the creation to the creator.....expressing itself as it is.....just how it is....how we are.....
i am not writing this to preach, if you dont believe Jeshua is the son of G*D , or even if you dont believe in a G*D, i am not a bible thumper....but this is true faith....that the Ancient of Ancients from past the edge of all, created, loved, manifested himself, taught, healed, sacrificed, and broke all the chains that bind us.....it doesnt have to make sense on a grand scale....actually sometimes i stand back, and laugh.....but it is beautiful.....and i accept this, because i cannot deny it. the spirit of the Unfathomable has met me here, gathered me up, and given me a place. and i will Worship.....
Sunday, July 6, 2008
(posted by danelle)
I never cease to be amazed at the ignorance surrounding this topic among parents about to give birth. Cutting off the organ of an infant seems to cry out to a parent to RESEARCH it before making the decision... But too many people (56%) in the U.S. still blindly go into this choice with no background knowledge on the extreme decision they are about to make... I ignore and delete most list-serv messages sent my way (constantly annoyed at the ignorance and pettiness of the conversations) but this particular topic is just too important to ignore. So here is my response from today's list-serv round-robin:
I would HIGHLY suggest people investigate ALL aspects of circumcision -- AND the many purposes and functions of the foreskin BEFORE their baby arrives. There is a LOT of good information out there -- as well as videos you can watch of circ being done. The U.S. is thee ONLY nation in the world that circumcises for NO medical reason. Our rate is now 56% of baby boys in the U.S. being circumcised (as of Jan 2008) but this is still far more than Canada (9%) England (3%) and most other developed countries (1-2%).
NO HEALTH ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD recommends this procedure be done. And there are many, many reasons for this.
It is a very painful procedure for a brand new baby boy when he has just entered the world and cannot be administered numbing drugs. Working in L&D, many babies are seen crying so hard that they slip into comas. They cannot handle this terror.
The tissue removed (tissue that is exactly the same as if we cut off a baby girl's clitoral hood at birth) HAS purpose and function both in infancy (lubrication, natural antibodies, protection of the glans/head, tactile stimulation) and in adulthood (lubrication, antibodies, glans protection, and increased sexual stimulation with partners).
Circ removes the skin with the highest concentration of nerve endings of ANY male body part. It constitutes 1/3 of the newborn penis. And it can never be replaced.
If a boy/man wishes to be circumcised later in life, he is then able to CHOOSE this for himself, and be fully numbed for the procedure.
As more and more parents learn just what is involved, it is not surprising that people come to see this as a human rights violation, genital mutilation, and infant abuse. It is simply NOT something most parents would choose to do to their newly loved infant if they were fully informed and aware of the implications.
Some websites for more information on this topic include:
http://www.noharmm.org/raising.htm (this site includes fathers who were circumcised who are choosing to keep their sons intact)
http://www.mothering.com/ (the latest issue of Mothering magazine has full length research articles on the newest data, procedures, and research findings upon this topic)
THIS IS A VIDEO of the genital cutting being performed (recent U.S. hospital) with statistics from the outstanding film, "Birth As We Know It"
PLEASE research this for the sake of your new little loved one.
Friday, July 4, 2008
HaPpY 4tH oF jUly!!
So guess who is right now on an American Airlines plane over the ocean en route to home?!...
yup, the daddy of this little baby.
I have to admit that I am thankful it is he, and not me, making the 32-hour trek around the world. But I am so excited that in about 14 hours from now we will be picking him up from the airport.
I saw a sign on the back of someone's truck the other day (on base) that said "IF WE ARE SPEEDING IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO PICK UP OUR HERO DADDY WHO JUST RETURNED FROM THE GULF!" and (maybe it's the late prego hormones or something...) but it made me all teary eyed thinking of my hero in the Gulf...
It's good timing that Nick returns now. We roll over into Week 40 as of this weekend! Can you believe it?! 40 weeks have passed already?! Wow, time flies. I can distinctly feel features now on the baby - especially the little feet and knees that like to poke out of my left side. And the cute baby butt that presses and shifts around at my chest level. Not to mention the head...that MUST be engaged by now...
I have "good days" and "bad days"... never really know what it will be. Some are filled with exhaustion and cramping and blah yuck feelings...others are energized and pretty good. So there are ups and downs. One thing that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon (at least not until this little one arrives) is how difficult it is to go up and down 3 flights of stairs 3-4 times a day to take Copper on his walks. In addition, all the inventory for my online bookstore is up another level in the loft - which means hauling books up and down each day. This is all more of a challenge at this point in the game.
So I was glancing at another friend's Blogger (Google) blog and it was linked to another old friend...and another person's...and another... I cannot believe how popular these blogs now are. Yeah for all things Google!! But it is great fun - to keep up with people and see other's photos, videos, and updates easily - exchanging ideas, encouragement, etc. without having to send out ginormous emails and bogging people down with messages. Blogs are much more inviting, and convenient for friends/family to check out when they wish. Everyone should have a blog in which to express and share.
"Writing can be a creative and invigorating way
to make our lives available to ourselves . . .
We may discover that the better we tell our stories,
the better we will want to live them."
I don't agree with everything posted within these blogs..and I am sure several others wouldn't agree with my thoughts either! ...And a FEW are a bit down-right strangely odd... But I guess that's one of the beauty of blogs -- they can be self-expressive at the same time as being up-dative. :)
Here are some ol' Cedar Falls hometown people's blogs:
Josh & Keely Baade (baby page - Nick also has them linked above right)
Luke & Becky Bartlett
Dave & Jess Hansen
Kristyn & her Art of Light Photography
Jen & Matt Reisetter
Shelly (Johnson) & Josh Wessles
Kirsten (Davis) & Ivan Gardzelewski
Holly (Brody) & Kyle Matthias (i love that Holly talks about loving labor/birth, even if she has chosen to birth in the hospital...still au naturale...with a midwife...using birthing tubs...and kicking everyone out of the room for a full hour after the baby is born to bond during this crucial time)
Heather & Donnie
Jen & Joel
Tim Rosenau (myspace artist page)
Kim & Zach Nielsen
Julia & Mike Wolfe
Jonathan & Katie Rogers
Alicia (Rieger) & Tim Donat
Kristi Bean (although she hasn't posted since Fall 2007)
Joshua Harris (oh, wait, I don't know him... haha)
Sooooo...if you have a blog, let me know. I'd love to keep up to date. :)
And if you don't - maybe you should try it out. You just might like it. It can be public (as my blog La Vida, and this one, and most people's are) or private (as my bellydaze one is).
And if you have not yet experienced the brilliance of all things Google...including getting yourself a Gmail account (by far the best email program in existence) WHAT are you waiting for?!?! :)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Yet what are the "givens" for the human who births not in a barn, but in a "modern and advanced" hospital? In many cases, 100% the opposite! Usually a minimum of a dozen strangers pass through the world of the laboring mother in her first 12 hours in the hospital—security officer, patient transporter, triage secretary, admission clerk, triage nurse, resident and/or doctor on call, admitting nurse, first shift nurse, break nurse, additional nurse at delivery, doctor or midwife plus possibly students, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, etc. Bright lights in the triage and labor rooms are challenging to dim. Mothers are tethered to monitors or IV poles and are moved through a bright hall with unfamiliar sounds to a new room in a building devoted to illness/trauma that most have visited once briefly if at all. They receive poor quality "clear liquids only." They are exposed to voices of others in the hall or chatting by the attendants during contractions and endless disruptions throughout! But then, do we ever find that we have an offspring experience "unexplained distress?" Of course, and at frightening rates! Yet, oddly, many of these disruptions are promoted as minor inconveniences or necessary to "protect" the baby.
Curiously, while veterinarians commonly have to defend interventions in light of the additional cost and the risks associated with interfering with nature, providers caring for human mothers within the medical system more commonly are forced to defend why they did NOT intervene! Consider the high rates of inductions, epidurals, artificial rupture of membranes, immediate cord cutting, cesareans and the vigorous defense necessary to fight for anything different, especially if time is involved (time to go into labor, to progress, to push, to allow the cord to stop pulsation or to get "done" bonding). I've recently seen outstanding CNMs and obstetricians sacrifice their own political reputations and suffer departmental reprimands for births with great outcomes where they protected the mothers' yearning for privacy, allowed extended pushing time with great vital signs or, during a healthy normal birth, followed their intuition and honored the mother's begging to check heart tones frequently by hand during pushing instead of what the mother considered the massive intrusion of wearing the monitor belt. Interventions are considered to be the ultimate protection from litigation in human care, yet they contribute mightily to the high rates of distress in mothers and babies!
In animal husbandry, the first line of defense for protecting the unborn is to protect and nurture the nutritional needs and comfort of the birthing female. In the case of institutionalized birth for humans, however, in spite of evidence to the contrary, the norm is to act as if the nutritional needs and the comfort of the birthing mothers are of concern to, at most, the marketing and public relations department! It's an affront to common sense that as a society we are currently more accepting of the needs of foaling mares, whelping poodles and high-producing cows than of our birthing humans. From the high rates of fetal distress, meconium staining and breastfeeding problems, the consequences are clearly devastating to our infants, just as any decent horseman would predict.
I'd take birthing in a barn over birthing in a hospital any day...;-) - Posted by Creeping Starfish on Jul 6, 2008 12:32 PM
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
(Mom, I love you dearly, but I cannot have the negative energy flow right now even when I know it is from your own care and concern)
So today I was once again confronted with negativity and criticism, doubt, etc. regarding my upcoming homebirth by my mother and uncle.
Today is 39 Weeks, 1 day...the birth tub is set up. Things are ready here on the homefront. And HOPEFULLY my husband will make it home from his duty in the Gulf before this little one decides to arrive. He is a solid rock and supporter of our natural, gentle, peaceful birthing at home - so without him I am a little more lost than normal.
My Mom today said that she and my uncle don't see how my husband and I can be so "technologically advanced" when it comes to computers, cell-phones, our home business, etc. but then we choose to turn the other way (back to the "stone age") when it comes to birth.
I once again (for about the millionth time) tried to explain that birth is natural, normal, healthy, safe and works BEST when it is left to unfold on its own, in its own time. That my body was fully designed and created to birth easily. That my body and my baby instinctively know what to do - at just the right time, in just the right way.
All the "technological advancements" when pushed upon a healthy, normal birth do nothing but interfere with its unfolding, and cause a domino effect of negative consequences -- some of which can be catastrophic. And by simply walking into the doors of a hospital you are taking on the first of many interventions -- knocking over that first domino...
As Dr. Marsden Wagner (former director of Women's & Children's Health for the World Health Organization) said -- "If you want to have a healthy, humanized birth, the best thing to do is GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!"
Unknowing people think that we are endangering the life of this little one. Do you know how many times I have been asked, "Will there be OXYGEN there at your house?!" ...ah! And yes, I have read the literature about this as well... and we will be attended by 2 highly skilled midwives who have been attending births for 28 years at home. They have seen everything and worked thru every situation. I am completely confident in their judgment.
In addition, my pregnancy has been completely healthy. There is no reason to "mess" with it.
SO -- how do I combat this negativity that is repeatedly THROWN at me and pushed upon me when I am this close to my birthing day?
I am not worried about changing their minds - or solving other people's ignorance at this point. What matters is that I am in an optimally healthy state of mind, at peace, relaxed, and confident so that I am able to let things flow and easily unfold on birth day.
Have ANY of you ever had a close relative who tried to discourage you?
Or who bombarded you with pessimism and naive criticism?
I understand that people who have not researched this indepth for themselves -- those who blindly just follow the conveyor belt of hospital protocols and eager-to-intervene surgeon (OB) recommendations, cannot possibly understand what they are doing/not doing for themselves or their babies or their birthing experience. So I understand where the fear comes from. But how do I keep it away from me?
What has helped you the most to stay calm, confident and secure in your gentle birthing?
What has helped you the most in dealing with negative relatives?
I am eager to hear from anyone who has something to share.
Thanks so much!! You wise, homebirthin' woman are truly fabulous and I value the friendships I have made thru this experience.
Responses I have received:
When I decided to give birth at home, my mom, who is an RN (diabetes nurse consultant & mother of 4), who does like natural birth, BUT natural birth in a HOSPITAL setting, was not only flabbergasted at my choice, but also very sure I was going to kill my baby because ‘something might happen.’
So, yes, I can relate.
I did also send her a lot of material, some of which she read. I invited her to the birth, but told her that I only wanted her to come if she could support me.
For those people who just spewed negativity, I stopped talking to them, taking their phone calls, or reading their emails until after the birth. I needed to be full of positive energy during that time.
After you successfully give birth at home once, it is much easier to withstand the negativity because you ABSOLUTELY KNOW they are NUTS as you’ve already fully experienced the beauty, peace & empowerment of homebirth.
Don’t waiver in your convictions that this is the best thing for your baby & for your family & just cut off the people who are bringing negative energy into your life until that baby pops out. Then you can brag about how fabulous it is.
BTW – At my second home birth, my mom was actually supportive (not excited about it, but supportive), she attended the birth & saw how great it was. Since these experiences, she has had the opportunity to follow my sister through TWO C-sections & me pointing out how the establishment created ALL the complications my sister encountered.
You are going to do fabulous. See you on the other side!
I encountered nothing but skepticism about homebirth from my friends and
family. I just listened to myself and trusted my decision. I also got
a lot of support from the Jens. On pretty much every visit, they would
tell me what a beautiful birth I was going to have. I think the best
way to deal with that kind of negativity is to not deal with it. Don't
talk to negative people about your birth and if it comes down to it,
just don't talk to them at all. Surround yourself with the positive
people. Birth is a totally natural and normal process. You and your
baby are going to be great and you will cherish this decision for the
rest of your life. You already know you are doing what is best for
your family, don't let others tell you otherwise. I know it must be
hard to have your husband gone as he is one of your key supporters.
Remember that he loves you and supports your decision. When it comes
down to it, that is all you need. Don't worry about the others, just
keep envisioning how beautiful your birth will be and it will happen!
Good luck (though you won't need it).
During my whole pregnancy I had my family and my husband's family try and talk me out of homebirth. My mother went so far as to tell me she would pay for everything if I just had Emily in a hospital with an OB. When my mother and mother-in-law made me start questioning my own body I would go over the facts again and I would meditate and try to center myself. There were days where all I was doing was meditating. You know you can do this, and your husband knows you can do this. You also have the wonderful midwifes at BBS that know you can do this, and I know you can do this!
I encountered all of those negative attitudes as well. I have had three
wonderful births at home. I informed those around me to respect my
decision and if they had nothing positive to add to it then to stay
quiet. This was especially hard with my mom who is also my best friend.
We had to have a long conversation about her presence at the birth. It
was conditional. If she was supportive and stayed positive and focused
on the beauty of the birth, then she could stay. If she could not
actively help my labor progress then she was out. I did make this my
husband's job at the time of the birth.
Make sure that you have surrounded yourself with a birth team that
understands the family dynamics that are happening to you. They need to
know that they may have to step in and "protect" your from their
negativity and uselessness.
Remember that only you can make this decision. It is about your
comfort, safety, and peace with birth.
First take in a nice deep breath....breathing in and relaxing....now breath out...releasing all negativity and tension....just keep doing that ....relaxing more and more and more as you do....releasing...releasing....releasing.......breathing in and relaxing...breathing out and releasing.
When you go to sleep tonite....do it in bed until you fall asleep. Center yourself with all that you resonate with....surround yourself in love....wrap your arms around your little babe in your blossoming belly....cuddle this baby....feel the love between you....and relax....relax....relax. Mothers and relatives are a challenge....mom is anxious....waiting for her grandchild...you are not following in her footsteps per se....she is worried....she probably would be some worried even if you did follow in her footsteps. Listen to your own body....embrace how it beckons you....listen to its guidance.....feel your own inner strength......be aware of your own intuition and breath.....and sleep well....sleep deep and awaken refreshed and enjoy your last few days of pregnancy as you listen to your own inner wisdom.....and follow its guidance. It is YOU that will birth....and it is YOU that will mother this child of yours.....still yourself....and listen....and most of all...release fear and embrace love.
goood nite and pleasant dreams...............
I needed to remind myself that my role as a mama to this new little life outweighed that of a dutiful daughter or any other role in my life. At the end of the day, I needed to be able to look into my child’s eyes and know that I made my decisions with his/her best interests in mind. That was what mattered. Mistakes might be made and plans changed, but that I used my available information to make my best possible choice for my baby...even if others disagreed or thought it was a “bad” choice. I didn’t need to answer to anyone else but my child.
I also knew that I wanted to raise a child that had confidence in his/her decisions and choices and stood behind them, so I asked that of myself in order to model that to them. This decision to birth at home was the perfect one for our family. And no one else could decide for me, based on their own fears, lack of research, or negativity. I was going to be someone’s mother, and I needed to put that role in front of anyone else.
While family was less than fully supportive the first time around, I think they did sense that confidence and resolution in me and stopped trying to undermine the decision. I knew it was the best choice for my baby and me, and others’ experiences were insignificant compared with my maternal responsibility to my baby. Now, they just know better. =) No one has said a single doubtful word this time around or mentioned needing space to fit a gurney through the door “just in case”...=)
Listen to your heart and what you’ve decided. You’re doing the right thing! Making tough decisions about birth and staying strong regardless of backlash from others is great preparation for the parenting ahead of us, I think. Because in all parenting decisions, it’s our child to whom we answer at the end of the day....not our parents, friends, neighbors, etc.
Just snuggle in with that baby in your belly, and know that you’re doing this for your child. What a gift!
This makes me so angry. Just STAY AWAY FROM THEM!! I purposely did NOT tell ANYONE that I was having a homebirth til I was actually in labor (had to tell mom so she could watch Olivia) or afterwards (my MIL, high up position in the medical field herself). Do not talk to them. I'm serious. Just avoid them. You only have a short ways to go and you do NOT NEED to be around that negativity. Have you read hypnobabies stuff? Bubble of peace.
You do not have to defend yourself. It is not up to you to educate them and it's not up to them to give you permission. If they start talking about it immediately change the subject. If they don't get the hint tell them once and once only "We are not discussing this. Either change the subject or this conversation is over." If they don't get the hint, hang up,walk away, leave, whatever it takes. Don't worry about being a bitch. You're pregnant. You can get away with it. :) They'll blame it on hormones, never themselves. They'll only harass you if you allow them to.
Love you and I can't wait to hear your homebirth story.
(friend in Illinois)
Oh i so feel for you! yes, of course i have most definitely had to deal with negativity from relatives, specifically my inlaws. for my first birth, a midwife attended home birth, i really tried explaining things to people, offering video tapes, books etc.. i really wanted people to hear me, and kind of felt like it was almost my responsibility to help people understand!
all of the trying to share and explain with people who were so up against it anyway never made me feel very good, so with my second birth, an unnasisted home birth, i just didn't really talk to anyone about it, except my husband and my best friend. i figured, f*** 'em.
i just told anyone that asked that i was using the same midwife and then changed the subject or something. towards the end of my pregnancy i avoided people alltogether. it was so much easier not feeling the need to try and convince people that what i was doing was safe and good and the way things should be. because those kinds of people aren't going to really listen anyway. it's like how you were saying they haven't even watched or read any of your suggested materials, right? so they're obviously not real open to having their minds changed.
also, what really helped me during my second birth was interacting with those people as little as possible. i banned nearly everyone from our home. they didn't know they were officially banned of course, but they were!
there is a book called, "come gently, sweet lucina" that really gave me the guts to stand up for myself like that. i read certain passages of it over and over while i was pregnant. it's written by an unassisted birther (don't worry, i'm not trying to push unassisted birth on you!) in the 1950's who wrote quite a bit about how the main thing that causes stress, and therefore pain, during birth, is meddling people and lack of space/privacy during both the pregnancy and birth. she felt that women had lost touch with their animal selves who all know that going off alone is best, and i personally agree with her. i did not birth entirely alone, i birthed with my husband, but i think that the author is very right on in a lot of ways.
sorry i am kind of rambling, but the following is my opinion and advice, and i hope it's not offensive to you in that it's not exactly honest:
tell your mother and uncle and whoever else is bothering you either what they want to hear or something close to it. then tell them that you will be engaged in silent prayer/meditation for the remainder of your pregnancy and will call them as soon as the baby is born. then always check your caller id and only pick up if it's your husband or midwife!
this is your birth and your pregnancy and you're never going to get to experience it again, so screw anyone whose trying to ruin it for you! just take it back. right now you are in such a vulnerable place and to waste your precious birthy energy on trying to explain homebirth to hardheaded people is not worth it because that kind of thing can take so very much out of you.
i say just cut off contact with them and be in peaceful, groovy communion with your litte baby in your belly, and also with your husband, who i hope will be back in time for you!
blessings, gentle mother...
I've been there.. With my last birth and again this time. My last birth ended up a transfer so of course I heard over and over "Thank god you went to the hospital".. Ugh! Turns out I went because my midwife was unsure and everything went perfectly fine! Here I am trying it again, this time we are having a UC. :)
My advice is the smile and to thank them for the concern but you have done your research and you know the risks and benefits. OF course the benefits are WAYY more then the risks (are there ANY risks?? LOL!) People who are that wrapped up in their own ways and that are that mainstream will not listen to you no matter how hard you try. There is no point in trying to educate them.. Well, burn an extra copy of The Business of Being Born and give them a copy. hehe Seriously though, it's wasted energy and you don't need that! This is a time for only you and your little one who is due to arrive on this earth VERY soon! You need all the positive energy you can around you. If they constantly nag about it then just cut ties with them until after the birth. That's what I would do. You just don't need the stress! If they are still nagging you after the baby is born then you go right ahead and be a smart ass and give them hardcore statistics about how safe it is! :)
I can't wait to hear how it goes! It's gonna be amazing!!!!!!!
Ah....so the big time message....IS....filter out the negativity. All you mommas are wonderful!
I just got a surprise call yesterday on my cell phone from an Ob/Gyn...that has just closed up his practice....and we talked "shop" talk for about a half hour reminiscing and he expressed his frustrations...saying that when he allowed the first father in the room for surgery...the hospital flipped out...when he allowed the first dad to cut the cord...the staff flipped out...WHEN HE HAD HIS OWN CHILDREN AT HOME...they were aghast....and his c-section rate was less than 5% which he stated was high in his opinion (no more than 3% of women NEED surgery)...but THEN he told me that the local hospital near my home town in PA has a 50% c-sec rate as of this January 2008.
So...there is REAL reason...if you have no prenatal risk factors, to stay out of the hospital....the stats are not pretty these days.
Did I feel a wee bit homesick after his call....yes....I dearly miss some of the wonderful supportive doctors that I met along my path of midwifery over the past 27+ years. I fully support homebirth...but each mother must find that strength within her own self to journey outside what is socially/medically accepted in the United States. If one resonates with it....then go full speed....muster up all your strength and seek all the positive support that you can....and surround yourself in it like a protective little bubble!
Ok....off my soap box.
I send love and appreciation to each and everyone of you lovely women that I have gotten to know...and that have shared your pregnancy and births with me. Yes...I am awed by your strength and wisdom and......I am very blessed.