"Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware...To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory. She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon."

Grantly Dick-Read

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'm going to begin transferring posts over to my natural living blog, Finding My Niche, simply because it will be much easier to keep up with only one blog! I hope you'll join me over there and continue your lovely comments :) Thanks!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Last Minute Tips for a Natural Birth in a Hospital


My good friend is going to be giving birth any day now and is planning a natural birth in a hospital. I've been thinking about her lots and can't wait to hear how everything goes. I thought I'd jot down a quick list of tips she can use as she goes into this transformative experience. In my experience, being in a hospital makes it more difficult to have a natural birth (but by no means impossible - I know many women who have labored with pitocin and have gone on to give birth without pain medication) simply because the option for medication is there...that is why I thought I'd give these tips.

1. Remember everything you've studied and learned. Remember to trust your body and the process. Remember that the pain will not last and that it will be over before you know it. While you're laboring and it is getting intense, tell yourself you can do anything for one minute. Count to 10 as you have a contraction and tell yourself you can get to 10. Remember to breathe...slow down your breathing to give your body oxygen - feel the energy rush back into you as you become grounded again.

2. When you feel like giving up or when you feel like the pain is so intense that you want to die (hah!), it'll be over right after. Everyone told me this and I had no comprehension of what they meant until I experienced it myself...I literally could not bear it any longer and in that moment, it was over. And then the joy was indescribable.

3. Make sure you have support - either your partner, mother, doula, friend, etc. Make sure they will stand by you and help you get through it while reminding you of the type of birth you desire. Make sure they'll stand up for you and be your voice with the nurses and doctor.

4. Enjoy the process. Let go of the fears and savor these moments. Think positive thoughts. I love this quote by Grantly Dick-Read, "Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware...To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory. She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon." Incredibly, after you give birth, you may feel too that it passed to soon. Savor it.

5. Move around! Change positions. Do not stay flat on your back in the bed. Be upright! It will move your baby down and your pain will be more manageable.

6. Overall, just be present. Embrace the laboring, the pushing, the delivering. Don't let yourself get down by thoughts of "How much longer is this going to take?" Those thoughts will come, but push them away and fill it with a positive thought instead. Tell yourself it's a beautiful day for your baby's birth and practice patience.

Here's all of the warm wishes and luck in the world to my beautiful friend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Embracing Motherhood

This is a video I put together almost a year ago on a day that was particularly hard for me as a mother. I wanted to look at my beautiful children and count my blessings. I watch this video from time to time and it's a great reminder to me of the wonderful kids I've been given to watch over and care for. I thought I'd post it here for your enjoyment!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Husbands and Out of Hospital Birth

I have received a few emails lately asking me about the journey that my husband and I took as we made the decision to have an out of hospital birth. I figure that there are probably more women wondering about this very subject, so I decided to write about it on this blog for the benefit of any who are in a position of thinking about having an out of hospital birth.

First, I must say, that this decision is going to be different for everyone. Relationships vary greatly, so the journey my husband and I took may look completely different from your individual journey. The most important thing to remember is that education and knowledge are keys to empowerment and good decision-making. Faith and prayer also go a long way with helping to ease fear and find peace.

When I brought up the idea of having a home birth to my husband, the first thing he said was "Why? What's wrong with just having the baby in the hospital?" I had to think about my answer for awhile and simply told him "Please let me just share the things I've learned with you and after that, tell me how you feel." Over a few weeks of discussion, he gradually realized that a lot of times the complications that happen in hospitals are due to interventions that do not happen at home or in a birth center. He learned that home or birth center births are statistically just as safe, if not safer for mother and baby, than hospital births. He learned that there is a "business of birth" and a lot of money is involved. There's a lot of fear of litigation and malpractice. There are time tables. He realized that birth was a natural process. After learning these things, we discussed birth - a lot. Was a home birth right for us? We prayed, we studied, we read, we learned. I knew, in my heart, that home birth was right, but I had to dispel a lot of fears. I had to deal with negativity from family members and close friends. I had to take a leap of faith and trust the feelings I was having that were driving me towards having an out of hospital birth. My husband had to do the same. Ultimately, he told me that he supported me in whatever I wanted to do. I told him that I needed him behind me 100% on having a home birth, or I would not do it. I needed him behind me. We met with the midwife I was considering using and after our meeting with her, we both felt very excited and better about having a home birth. Meeting with the midwife helped to ease fears we had as we asked questions and found answers. After that meeting, he told me that he supported me 100% and although we both had occasional fears, we had both felt peaceful and excited about the decision. We didn't tell people about our decision to have a home birth until after the fact because we are both very sensitive people and don't handle confrontation or negativity very well. We relied on each other and on the confirmations we had received through prayer to continue on with our decision.

There will be critics from any side. If you birth in a hospital, you will have a critic somewhere. If you birth at home, there will be a critic. If you go to a birth center, I'm sure you'll find a critic. Ultimately, I've learned, you must find some way to push those critics aside and find your own self. You have to be true to yourself, no matter what area it is in. Even if those critics or negative voices are yourself (aren't we ever so hard on ourselves? I know I am.) you must find a way to silence them and move forward. That doesn't mean ignoring gut feelings - you must always follow your instinct, your guide, The Spirit (if you are religious). For me, in every area of my life, my biggest fault is not getting over what the critics might say. It was a big one for me in my home birth decision, but ultimately, I had to do what I knew was right for me and disregard those negative voices.

My advice for husbands and an out of hospital birth decision is simple. Talk to him, educate him, tell him your feelings. Tell him how strongly you feel about things and help him to see things from your angle. Then, listen to him. Listen to how he feels. Listen to his concerns. Pray together and study together. Read about birth together. How do you feel at the end of the day? Do you feel happy about things? Excited? Then your out of hospital birth decision is probably right. At the end of the day, do you feel scared or that something's not right? Then it's probably wrong for you. Go with your gut. Branch out - learn new things, try to embrace new concepts (like the fact that hospitals are not the only safe place to give birth) - and then make your decision. Keep an open mind and ask your husband to keep his mind open as well. In the end, I know you'll be able to make the best decision for your personal situation and I hope, whatever decision that is, that you've got your husband 100% behind you.

*I have to say that now, after having had a home birth, my husband actually advocates for natural child birth as well as home birth :) He's been known to talk birth to a few friends and classmates and that has made me very giddy to hear!

Here's a post on the preparation and decision making for home birth.
Here's another post about home births and dads.
And, one more here.

VBAC link

I've got a friend who is pregnant with her second child and fighting her way towards a VBAC after an unnecessary c-section the first time around. She wrote a great post with some links to information about VBACs that I wanted to share, as I know I have a few readers who are wanting VBACs in the future.

See the post here on Operation Housewife.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Sooooo this definitely fits into birth. Because by birth, we become mothers. And, don't we all inherently forget a little too much about ourselves? I know I have and continue to. But, we don't have to...we can be stylish moms who feel great about ourselves and then, we'll be even better mommas.

Check me out today on MODELmumma.

See other Guest Mummas here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What are you interested in?

So, part of my goal for this blog is to be a sort of "entry-level" blog into natural birth. Once you dive into researching birth, it is amazing the complexity that you'll find. But, I don't necessarily want to dive into complex areas of pregnancy and birth...after all, I'm not a birth professional (yet) so I technically don't have all of the scientific knowledge, etc. I mostly want to educate women on the choices they have. We have a choice in everything we do...everything!

Doctors and midwives have so much knowledge, thankfully, but ultimately, our care rests in our hands. It is so important to be educated and to work with your care provider so that you attain the best care possible. Many care providers are very busy and unfortunately, that may mean that you are not always in their best interest. That doesn't mean they don't care about you, or that you aren't important to them, but it may mean that often times, things are done simply as a routine. This is where choices come in. Research things and educate yourself so that you know when you have a choice about something and when you don't. For example, you might discuss IV placement (if birthing in a hospital) with your doctor or midwife. IV's are not medically necessary for birth, but they are routine. If you do not wish to have an IV, you do not have to have one (based on the discussion with your doctor). Obviously, if you are planning to have an epidural or other pain medication, you will need that IV. If you are desiring a natural, intervention free birth, you don't need that IV. Many doctors say you need at least a Hep Lock, in case of an emergency situation, but to that I say: if there is an emergency situation, I think you could put an IV in my arm fast enough that everything would be just fine (after all, if an EMT can place an IV in someone injured in a car wreck in the dark, one will most likely be able to be placed in me in a brightly lit room). That is one area where you do have a choice. Again, you research it, you weigh the pros and cons, and then you make a choice. If you feel more comfortable having an IV in your arm, by all means, have that IV. If you feel it would interfere with your ability to cope with the intensity of a natural birth, then decline the IV placement. Doctors and midwives vary on this practice. My second OB (before I switched to a home birth midwife) told me that I did not have to have an IV, but that she would prefer that I have a Hep Lock. When I told her I'd rather not have either, she was supportive of that. She is a great doctor who is understanding of how natural birth differs from medicalized births, so for me, she was a great choice as a care provider. The most important thing to remember is that you do have a choice in care providers, so if you are not happy with the way your doctor or midwife handles things or if you do not agree with the way they view birth, then you are free to make the choice to switch. You are the one paying them, so you are free to find someone who is a good fit for you. If you are not satisfied with their care, by all means, switch! It is your health, your birth, and you need to be with someone who will work with you, support you, and include you as part of your care. Informed consent...means you are educated, you work with your care provider to make decisions, and you make choices based on the information you have been given and learned.

So my question is, what things are you interested in learning about on this blog? What things would you like to know more about? Is there any particular aspect of pregnancy and/or birth that you would like to broaden your knowledge on?