Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Monday, December 29, 2014

Who's in Charge?

I do have a choice. In fact, it's my job to make choices for my child from his conception. Even when the right choice is clear, it's still mine to own.

Have you ever heard "If my doctor let's me ..." or "My midwife said I have to ..." ?

Right. Many of us tend to think this way - that the expert is in charge of my pregnancy, of my baby.

Actually, I'm responsible. Why? I didn't get to be a parent because of my skill and knowledge. I'm a parent because God gave me a precious gift, a serious responsibility.

My baby is my charge. Even if a decision about my pregnancy is obvious, it's still mine to make. Requiring guidance and support doesn't diminish my authority. I rely on experts for advice and assistance, without shifting the weight from my shoulders.

After her birth, whom does my baby go home with? The midwife? The nurse? The obstetrician? The doula? My mom? Each of these experts have an important role. But's she's not their kid. She's mine. My charge.

I'm ultimately responsible to make all decisions and live with them.

How have experts respected or not respected you as the parent?

Want more info? Try Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper or

Monday, December 8, 2014

This Little One is a ...

I had lists of boy and girl names before I knew we were having Baby two. I was asking my husband about this or that name. He would nod, waiting until we found out the gender.

My first checkup with my midwife by preference was at eighteen weeks (just had blood drawn before). I had also scheduled the same day the one ultrasound I planned to get.

I always enjoy my checkups with the birth center midwives. This day I was extra excited to also see my baby. I longed to hear the beautiful thump, thump of his or her heart.

With tears on my cheeks, the Cowboy and I glimpsed our precious Wonder stretch and shift. A tiny hand - opened and closed.



Thump, thump - so alive. So amazing.

"Look there," smiled the sweet technician. I took in my breath. "A boy!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cord of Life

As a young girl I recall the fear and relief when my brother was born with the cord around his neck and lived. Recently, I realized that I was still haunted by this fear as the birth of my second nears. So, nervously, I looked up the research. I learned that my fear was unfounded.

Where does such fright come from when baby does not breath through the lungs anyway?

Perhaps it's because for us who take in a breath, something around the neck squeezing the airway is a real danger. Not so for baby, who receives oxygenated blood through the umbilical cord. Additionally the well-designed cord can take the typical amount of pressure and twisting during pregnancy and birth.

Unfortunately, in an understandable desire to provide grieving parents with an answer, a doctor may blame the umbilical cord, when the honest answer would have been, "I don't know." The unintended consequence of this misdiagnoses is irrational fear.

I'm assured by the evidence:
The cord is life-giving.
The cord is well-designed.

I have no reason to fear my baby's amazing umbilical cord - only to marvel at it's life-giving design.

Want more info? Try 9 Surprising Facts About the Cord around the Baby's Neck or Nuchal Cords: the Perfect Scapegoat

Monday, December 1, 2014

When the Law Says No Home Midwives (PART 2)

It had become more than a financial decision. With the combination of an unfavorable law, distance, and finances in contrast to the appeal of home, we improvised.

I called the doula recommended by my friend to provide emotional and spiritual support. I studied like I was going to become a midwife and summarized what I learned for my man. I also asked his unflappable cowgirl-mom to attend the birth in the role of midwife.

The birth center flexibly provided check-ups as if I would be delivering there, even though I made it no secret that I wouldn't being paying for that part of the service. The midwives were common sense and caring, unlike the rest of the dismissive medical community that was interested to offer care only if I committed to their way of doing things.

I called a local obstetrician who is highly skilled in his role to consider providing an ultrasound or being my back up physician. The nurse was politely dismissive of the possibility of being a backup. With persistence I contacted the doctor himself who was willing for me to come in for a consultation. I appreciated his sincere desire to help, but sensed I'd be wasting my money due to the system he feels compelled to operate within. So that left the local emergency room as the backup.

I devoured books such as Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, Special Delivery by Rahima Baldwin, Preparing for Birth with Yoga by Janet Balaskas, and Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper. I organized a notebook for use by myself and my support team with records, a birth plan, and emergency scenarios. I put together a thorough birth kit from And I prepared emotionally and spiritually.

Most of all, I enjoyed the process.

How have you been innovative?