I’m kind of a hippie…

And I’m cool with that. Not in the traditional free love, flower child, smokes a lotta dope sense of the word, but in the sense that I will breastfeed my children, carry them in wraps or other carriers, possibly cloth diaper them, avoid immunizations, co-sleep and of course there’s the whole home  water birth with a midwife situation. I write this post because I was recently added to a local group on Facebook for cloth diaperers and as I’ve read some of the stories on there, I was surprised to find how many people face so much opposition to these natural things. Women being called hippie freaks in Wal Mart because they have their child in a sling, family and friends lecturing about cloth diapers and home births, not to mention breast feeding. Its all so backwards to me, who was raised with most of these things. I don’t think I was carried much in a sling, although I do have very vague memories of a carrier more like a Mei Tai that my mom and dad both carried me in before my younger brothers were born. I am so thankful tho that all these things are not only normal to me, but encouraged by everyone around me from my mother, my mother in law, my husband, friends, extended family, and even people that I’m only slightly acquainted with. I know there may will probably come a time when someone decides to tell me that what I’m doing is not natural, (giggles) or safe, or normal (snorts), but up to this point I’m thankful beyond words for the people who have raised me to believe these things are natural, as they most definitely are, and not only normal, but the best possible way to raise my family.

I know that part of my respite comes from the fact that, at 3 months plus a couple days, no one can tell that I’m pregnant. I am prepared for the fact that once I start to show many more people will have opinions (that they can keep to themselves or risk the wrath of this pregnant mama) whether they know me well, a little or are strangers on the street and I’m okay with that. I have begun already to build myself a bubble that keeps my baby safe and if that means going from the quiet, sweet and good natured personality I normal possess to angry mama bear, so be it. I know to that putting these beliefs out there  for anyone and everyone to comment on leaves me open to criticism from strangers, but I’m okay with that as well so if anyone feels the need to comment in a negative fashion, please be prepared for some serious backlash from yours truly. I know I only have about 6 or 7 people reading my posts on a daily basis (and many of them get here searching for Charlie Brown, Lot Lizards, and the Michelin Man) so I don’t worry too much about negativity since no one really knows I’m here anyway. 😉

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Update on the midwife visit

Well I made the trip to meet the midwife yesterday and boy was it a heck of a trip. I’m a little wary about the trips further along in the pregnancy- its a 65 mile trip one way and I know that’s going to be hard on my various parts. That said, I doubt not one bit that it will be worth it- my midwife is wonderful and we immediately clicked. We talked quite a bit about all sorts of things. Family- she has 6 children ranging from 19 to 15 months which just tells me I’m in good hands since she’s done this a time or two herself :). It turned out that she knows my cousin because their daughters are best friends so that made me grin to find out yet again how small this world really is. She lives on a farm, raises goats, gardens, and is dealing with a recently discovered gluten allergy. All these things just added up to me feeling as though I was talking to a friend and not a stranger and I loved hearing her stories about births, her family, and people’s reactions to the size of said family.

Her philosophies on birth and in general matched mine in so many ways which had me very reassured and her qualifications are excellent. In the state of Missouri, it is a felony for lay or religious midwives to practice, which I guess I understand, but my mother was attended by a very competent “lay” midwife and I feel that there are good ones out there, who have been unfairly persecuted. Do I feel that some sort of certification should be necessary? Absolutely! But I also feel that doctors and hospitals are doing everything in their power to prevent anyone from being able to have an assisted home birth that will cost them patients and money.

When she told me that babies are not taken from their mother, period, I was sold. She said even on the few occasions that she had to resuscitate babies, she worked on them in their mothers’ arms and they responded better for that skin to skin contact. I cannot imagine being separated from my child so soon after birth unless it was absolutely necessary so this is very reassuring to me. Finally, she is well versed in herbs and homeopathy and told me her assistant always makes a cup of traditional Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne to help prevent hemorrhaging that sounds heavenly to me. Can you imagine- birth in your own home with only people you are totally comfortable with surrounding you, holding your baby and no one trying to take it away, and then a cup of hot chocolate when the hard part is over. Or… go to a hospital, maybe have the OB of your choice, but maybe not, nurses, students, visitors coming and going, and they try to take your baby from you to do all sorts of stuff after a few minutes of contact. Now I know I may be exaggerating a bit, and I understand that home birth is not for everyone, but for me it is the only option.

My midwife will have everything she needs for my medical care, with a c-section being the only thing she can’t do. I’m less than a 15 minute drive (going the speed limit, mind you, which my husband wouldn’t be if I were in danger) from the nearest hospital and it takes 20 minutes to prepare an operating room. I know that my midwife will transfer me if the need arises, and I feel safe in her care.

I am so thankful to be moving forward on this adventure with someone I can trust implicitly with both my and my baby’s life.

12 weeks and counting

Hard to imagine I’ve made it one third through this pregnancy. Between the holiday rush and counting the days down til each appointment, the time has already flown past and I’m looking forward to the rest going like that too. I have enough time to enjoy the pregnancy (when not dealing with morning sickness, evening sickness, lunch time sickness etc.) but I really can’t wait to meet this little darling.

As things progress and everything looks good, I am planning for the birth more and more. My plan is to go completely natural with a midwife and a home birth and although that is something that is not necessarily widely accepted, I can’t imagine doing things any differently. If you’re a long time reader or have taken the time to delve into my archives you might notice a trend toward doing things a bit old-fashioned- gardens and home-sewn clothing, knitting and crochet, cooking, preserving, and my goats. All of these things represent the good things in this world to me and a natural, un-medicated birth at home with a midwife who I know and trust to take care of me and my child and get us to a hospital if necessary is also part of that set of beliefs.

In this vein, I am going to meet with a midwife today who I hope will be the one to work with me and I am very excited about this meeting. I remember my mother’s midwife who helped her with both my brothers’ births and being raised with that as the norm rather than the exception and even as a small child I always knew that I would go that route myself when the time came to have my own children, just as I knew I would breastfeed and be a stay-at-home mother with my children. As an adult I am thankful that those desires and dreams are so close to coming to fruition.

 

Happy birthday

So today is my baby brother’s 18th birthday. I remember the day my mom went to the doctor to take a pregnancy test. I remember even better the night when my little brother made his appearance. At home. An hour or so before the midwife arrived because my mom had had several false labors already and didn’t want her to have to make the long drive to our home for no reason. I remember my other brother wanting a lollipop while there was so much drama going on around him. Clifford has been surrounded by drama ever since.

As a birthday present I wanted to give him something that is a little bit from me and also a little bit from Kevin, my other brother (the middle child). Enter Kevin’s remarkable artistic talent. The picture below is his creation and a rather simple picture compared to some of his amazing work because I needed to be able to change it into a simplified line drawing so I could use it as an embroidery pattern. Slowly but surely I did just that.

kevin's frog

Ever so carefully I painstakingly embroidered the frog and his shroom seat onto some plain white fabric to make a patch. The picture below is an in progress shot.

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Finally I finished (actually it only took me two or three hours) I sewed it to a plain white t-shirt et voila.

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The project was enough to inspire me to buy some more embroidery floss to replenish my dwindling supply. As you can see below I found a nice batch of color and I plan to do some more embroidery from other pictures that my brother has drawn. Who knows where I’ll go with it.

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Oh and Clifford, if you’re reading this, you just spoiled  your birthday present surprise….. shame on you