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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Baby Is Breech (PART 2)

I'm back with the midwife for a checkup. Baby has been elusive for me the past couple of days about whether he's up or down. Just maybe ...

My midwife places her hands on my baby bump for a moment, and says that she wants to see on the ultrasound to be sure. While we're waiting, we talk about breech birth.

She notes that hospitals in NC don't do breech naturally as far as she is aware, and the center doesn't do it either.

I share how in wanting to do the safest thing for Baby, I hesitate to let the hospital handle it - birth is just not generally their area of expertise. And I see possibly even more risk in going to a hospital for a c-section than in having a natural, unattended home birth.

Ideally, I would want a natural breech birth at home with an experienced attendant. Unfortunately, a NC law makes finding and hiring an attendant skilled in breech almost impossible.

My midwife understands, and she shares about the most common complications with breech.

I've read about others in my situation who have gone ahead and delivered just fine. I recognize though that it's more challenging without a skilled midwife in addition to being more difficult to deliver bottom first.

The ultrasound technician gels my tummy. And there's his head ready to dive out - no cannonball entry this time!

I don't notice the weight of concern until it lifts.

Want more info? check out

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Baby Is Breech (PART 1)

My midwife feels my belly for a moment and announces, "Your baby's bottom is down." She instructs me to do inversion exercises everyday, three times a day.

At my next checkup in two weeks if baby is still breech, she recommends an appointment with the chiropractor. And she shares a fabulous website.

I'm learning so much through the researched articles and am doing daily exercises.

I've been doing these three techniques:

#1 - Forward-Leaning Inversion

#2 - Breech Tilt

#3 - Open-Knee Chest

Twenty minutes feels long when I'm looking up at my toes. I rub my tummy and tell Baby to please turn and make this all a bit easier. And I plan for if he doesn't.

My two year old joins me on my propped-up board. He looks up at his toes and laughs.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Birth Makes You Uncomfortable?

I understand. Many people are uneasy when hearing of my son's water birth in a birth center or of my second baby's home birth.

We grew up with assumptions about birth. Including: "the hospital is safest," "the cord is dangerous," and "complications are the norm." So perhaps that's why someone may think I'm being reckless, uninformed, or unsafe.

I can relate. At each step along my journey to educate myself about birth, I felt unsettled. I squirmed when hearing of an unattended birth. I was weirded out by water birth. I thought breech birth typically required a cesarean.

And then I learned the facts about birth. Understanding birth frees me from irrational fears and helps me prepare for realistic concerns. I learn when I should feel uncomfortable about something and change my approach. For example, a transverse (sideways) baby can't fit vaginally, calling for the skilled intervention of an Obstetrician. A frank breech baby, however, can navigate just fine when a mother's body relaxes. In fact, intervention during a breech birth may jeopardize the baby.

The key is to know when to do something and when to keep hands off. And always recognizing that baby and mama were made for birth.

What assumptions have you had that changed as you learned more about birth?

Want more info? Try this thorough book Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper or the wonderful blog

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Find a Birth Center

"Do the midwives support natural birth?" I asked the nurse over the phone. She assured me that they tried to. "Do women usually labor in bed, or do they use various positions?" I pursued. She hesitated, "All the women labor in bed." That's when I knew this highly-recommended midwife hospital practice was not for me.

So I Goggled "birth center." One came up in the search - an hour from where my husband and I planned to move. I was eight out of ten months pregnant.

All things considered, we decided the birth center was our best option. I made an appointment.

When I finally arrived for my checkup, I almost cried with relief - the atmosphere was so pleasant and baby/mama friendly compared to the hospital checkups I had experienced. The midwife took her time talking with me. She felt my belly and skillfully described my baby's position.

When I came moaning at eight centimeters dilated, the midwives were as calm as lilies in the morning sun.

They don't think of birth as an emergency. They see it as a gift.

That's been my experience. Places and practitioners differ of course. What's been your interaction with a particular birth center?

Want more info? Check out this wonderful birth center: Natural Beginnings Birth and Wellness Center. They also have wonderful resources.