Friday, April 8, 2011

Baby Bo

This wonderful family was committed, prepared and hard working during their 1st birth.  I am always amazed at the strength, perseverance and faith that comes into play during a labor and birth.  The physical transitions which can seem so challenging are absolutely nothing compared to the transitions that we go through from woman and man, husband and wife to mother and father and family.
There are almost always smiles and tears during different parts of the labors that bring those transitions just like in life outside of labor.  There is such an incredible amount of surrender required on the part of both parents and baby.  There is little like it in the world.  There are other times we are called to surrender so greatly in life but few others in such a short span.  We are called to surrender being a vessel for this beautiful life knit within us.  Surrender to the idea that when we awaken we no longer think of ourselves and our own needs (have I peed yet?)  we think of how is our baby, what does our sweet one need?  We also think now in terms of forevers not just tomorrows.
I am indeed blessed to be part of these experiences.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby Joseph

On Monday there was a heads up call from this momma of 4 others, canceling our appointment for Tuesday.  On Tuesday late afternoon, after a day full of wonderful families visits I got a call from Dad, letting me know that something was happening.  I asked if I should be on my way and he said yes.  I hurriedly finished the prenatal I was with while my apprentice was trying to contact our next momma to let her know we had to boogie out.  The momma who we had to reschedule was very gracious about being moved.  

The laboring family was gracious and sweet and a joy to get to know.  We didn't get to meet dad until the home visit but he got to come to the last prenatal also.  I was delighted to get to see them together.  She really blossoms around her husband.  The prayers we shared together and the home visit dinner prepared mainly by her kiddos were wonderful.  

We raced around the interstate in rush hour traffic.  Grateful when we arrived.  Brought our stuff up stairs.  The house was very quite the kiddos already gone with Grandparents. 

Dad seemed a little nervous when we first arrived but after we got stuff set up and listened to baby a few times he was back to comforting and being right by her side.   She was walking throughout contractions and things slowed for a little bit when we first got there and got set up.  She mentioned several times how different this labor was.  Prenatally she mentioned to me that all other times someone had broken her water, even with her last homebirth.  I said that was fine and assured her that her water would break on its own.  I am not sure she believed me.  

She used the bathroom a few times and on one of her walking trips had a big splash as her water broke.  She said again "this time sure is different" and I just smiled.  After that she slipped into their nice big tub and continued working through her contractions.  Her water at first was clear than after about 5 minutes some meconium stained fluid begin showing in the bath tub.  We talked about what that might mean but all along heart tones continued to sound wonderful.  

She began vocalizing occasionally with contractions and my apprentice and I smiled at each other in the other room. Won't be long now I was thinking.  The kiddos were back at home downstairs with grandma and grandpa.  Momma seemed to relax and be ready to do her hard work once her whole family was under the same roof.  Their only daughter really wanted to be there for it and was really hoping for a girl.  She mentioned that she needed to push and began pushing this beautiful little boy out into the world.  He had been posterior the last several prenatal visits but upon entering he was anterior and momma later said she noticed no back labor.  

He had some thick gunky mec that took some deleeing to get out but after 5 minutes he was doing great.  They were so excited and momma was pretty sure that this he was gonna be a she but when they realized what kind of baby oh they had they were just as ecstatic.  Such joy and love in the room.  So thankful to get to share this with them.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sweet Baby Oh!

So sweet to get a call from a dad I have served before. "We think it is labor" than an hour of sleep later, "she thinks it is closer to time". I arrive and there are smiles and laughter. The mom and dad are working so well together and just enjoying their sweet time carved into the night when they would normally be resting. I set stuff up, get them what they need, listen to a baby and let them be so they have the space to do their work. I come up stairs throughout the night / morning to listen to baby, to see if there are any needs I can attend to and to praise them for their hard work. Each time she is working a little harder, less talkative, more intuned to her work. Once when I am up the momma says "soon, I think it is soon". I smile because I am thinking the same thing, watching the changes as she moves her body, listening to the changes in her discomfort. 

The transition this lovely family has made since the first time they sat on my couches has been boundless. They are growing in the Lord, in each other and as a family. It is truly sweet to be part of. 

There are kind words and tender looks between mom and dad to the end. Momma breathes out some of that intense energy as the burning begins trying to calm that burn so that she can continue to move her little one down and out. Baby is partially out into dad and I's hands little cord around the neck a lotta love in the room. 

She slips into this place from the womb to her daddy's arms to her mommas breast. Amazing and bold yet gentle slipping all at the same time. I am praising God for this lovely little one, lovely birth and amazing family. Thankful that they would share this with me again. 

Later as I am preparing to leave she looks over at her honey and says, "I am so glad we birth our babies at home". I smile, a little choked up and say "I am glad too." Glad that I birthed at home and for all the joys it has brought me, glad that they birthed at home and thankful to know them to witness their beautiful evolution into the family that they are.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

King Arthur and Sourdough

This is National Marriage Week.  Many places are encouraging big acts to encourage and support marriage.  I am going to just work on loving and affirming my husband this week.  I hope to encourage you all to work on your marriage this week also.  Just choose one way and work on that till it is a habit.  I think that the Love Dare book / movie did a good job of showing how constantly and successfully implementing small changes can have a profound impact on your marriage.  

Church was closed today so I missed our worship and fellowship.  We spent a fairly slow day at home I  worked on updating the Christian Midwives International website.  Trying to get ready for the 7th Annual Conference.  It makes me excited just thinking about the fellowship and learning that will take place. It is such a lovely  I have also not ever been to Colorado so I am looking forward to that also.  I don't judge I accomplished too much today,  I constantly have about 45 items on the to do list and feel very productive if 15-20 get done.  

At a recent herb conference I learned about King Arthur Flour from another participant.  Normally we grind our own but I will be honest and admit it that I do keep a bag of unbleached all purpose around  (shocked gasp).  I just didn't know that it should be King Arthur because of how freshly ground there flour is they don't like to sell flour that has been ground longer than a month.  I also heard that their cookbook rocked so when I got home I found myself looking at their website, well over 100 dollars later I hit submit with my order.  
Yesterday I was happy to receive my shipment from King Arthur flour last week.  It was like Christmas.  I got 3 1 liter glass jugs that fit perfectly in the fridge.  2 are for making water kefir (have my water kefir homemade ginger ale going in 1) and 1 is for iced green tea, a favorite of my honeys.  I also received their cookbook, a yogurt cheese strainer, and some http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/fiori-di-sicilia-1-oz which appearently goes great in all baked goods but smells so good I am thinking about using it as perfume.  Smells like vanilla and fresh oranges.  

Alex and I immediately set out to make a sourdough starter as he wants to begin his breadmaking career with sourdough bread.  I am more of a yeast baker but an equal opportunity bread eater.  I love that he still enjoys cooking.  This morning we poached eggs and made peach and cream scones together.  I enjoy having my boy that loves to cook back home with me. 

I am looking forward to a full week of visits with lovely families and little ones.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Castles and Birth Bubbles

Today we are snuggled inside the house.  The wood burning stove fan spinning, beans cooking on the stove, Andy strumming his guitar, cards still on the table from earlier games and he is we on the computer playing.  I know the snow and ice is supposed to be scary and concerning and we could loose power for days but instead for me it is just a lovely excuse to have my husband and children home and cook lots of yummy food and play games and laugh and talk.  One of my fondest memories is when I was about 37 weeks pregnant with Andy, Tom and I drove to Arkansas to see my dad.  We got there and experienced our very 1st ice storm. So we holed up in a hotel with my dad, uncle, Tom and I (plus Andy in the belly).  We ate sandwiches and microwaved soup.  We looked out at the beautiful ice world outside and talked, laughed and played double pinochle till all hours.  It was truly a wonderful time.  Just to find a few hours, a couple of days with no responsibilities no outside things to do to just hole up with people you love and enjoy their company.  
I think that the birth bubble that women have is similar to this time.  I am always thankful when mommas stay inside for as long as possible. When they don't race back to the real world, to the TV, radio, target or Walmart.  All of those things will always be there.  However, a brand new baby in your arms will not be there forever.  The softness of their head, the smell or the sweet baby nursling noises that they make.  The precious moments laying next to your sweet one will drift away slowly at first but oh so surely.  When you really are ready to venture out into the real world again it will all still be there and shockingly it will have gone on without you as if the most monumental moment in your life didn't just occur.  As if the rest of the world has no idea that a miracle just sprang forth from your body and is wiggling warmly in your arms.  
A few days ago when I left the birth of a lovely red headed slip of a girl, although I was tired I realized I am still occasionally surprised to see people going on about the day as if the world didn't just stand still for a moment.  I noticed this most profoundly when I was at a birth  during the terrorist attacks of 9.11  in the US.  It was a long birth and we had no TV or radio going.  It was truly shocking to come out into the world that time and find out that while I was locked in the beauty, hard work and magnificence of birth that something so tragic and something so impactful had gone on.  That day the 1st time momma that I was serving, her world changed forever in an amazing way and hundreds of other lives changed  forever in a heartbreaking way.  
So if you find yourself trapped in a blanket of ice today just enjoy that your world has stopped for a few moments that maybe you will have extra snuggles but don't be surprised to find when you venture out the world has continued.