Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Club - Natural Hospital Birth

I am reading the book "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both worlds" by Cynthia Gabriel. I am adding a Mister Linky below for anyone that has or is reading this book. You can add your link to your blog post at anytime or it can be an older post about this book as well. It can be a review of the book, how you are planning on putting the ideas of the book into practice, really anything that is centered around this book. All reviews/thoughts do not need to be positive, if something didn't work for from the book that is ok. So here is the link!

Natural Hospital Birth - Section One Part One

In the first section of the book "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both world" by Cynthia Gabriel it focuses about preparing for the birth of the baby. I will be focusing this post on the first half of this section entitled "You can do it" and "Feeling Safe".

My favorite part of the first section was where Cynthia talks about why some people choose a natural birth (including myself). The following quote sums up my feelings perfectly. I choose a natural birth because it is "letting your body follow its natural course in labor the same way that it had followed its natural course during pregnancy." (pg3) and just because I am having my birth in a hospital does not mean I should have to "sacrifice the body's natural process". (pg4) It wasn't till I read that sentence that I truly realized why I wanted a "natural birth", it was just something I felt. 

So  what is a "natural birth"?  I felt quite drawn to Cynthia's idea that a natural birth is a "birth with the fewest interventions possible to support the health of the mother and baby". (pg7) Cynthia goes on to say that in this book "natural birth" means "the most instinctive, self-directed, intervention-free birth possible." (pg7) This is what I was looking for, this is why I picked up this book. Cynthia acknowledges that when interventions are necessary it does not mean that your commitment to having a natural birth should be given up on. It just means that this one part of the plan changes. This is referred to as preventing the cascading effect of interventions, once you have one they figure you are up for it all.

Cynthia then moves on to talking about creating a safe environment so you feel you can labour. She does a wonderful job in describing the hormones that help labour (oxytocin) and hinder (adrenaline). Cynthia is very thorough in helping the reader understand the part fear plays in the progression of labour by giving three examples she has seen first hand as a doula (the nurse in me comes out because I really enjoy case studies). To me this makes perfect sense, no animal including humans would want to labour in a sense of panic. If you fear for your life would you want to put yourself in a vulnerable position? Now we has humans don't have to really worry that a predator is going to attack as we are giving birth. However, we still have an engrained sense to protect our young and our-self. Cynthia lists several ways to deal with the fight-or-flight mechanism that can be created labouring in a "strange place". She suggests things from trying to keep the area free of people who may trigger this reaction, to having a dimly lighted room.

Now how do I relate this to my birthing experience? Yes I am having a hospital birth, not really by choice but by circumstances. I live in a rural community where the opportunity to even having a child close to home has been removed. They call this "centralization of care"...I see this as making the patients come to the care instead of the care going to the patient. Also it has played a part in de-populating the rural communities...but I digress. So I have come to terms with the fact that I have to drive at least an hour to give birth to my baby. However I chose to drive an extra 40 minutes so that I can receive the care that I feel will benefit my baby and myself. I chose the extra driving time so that I could have a midwife attend my birth and to help facilitate my desire for a "natural birth". I hope that because I have a midwife and can labour at "home" (I will either be at a friends place or my sister-in-laws...still has to be worked out with those particular individuals) I will be able to create a safe environment to allow me to progress naturally through the first stage of labour. That way by the time that I reach the hospital my labour would have been well established and can progress from there. There is also a tendency that medical staff can get "antsy" in the first part of labour (which is not true of all medical staff, just my experience). Labour at the start is usually slower and medical staff like to see progress because you are tying up a bed. So for me I think it a very important part of my labour to not be in the hospital at this time, you can't offer me augmentation to help speed me through the slow part if I am not there. When I am in the hospital I will be reliying on my husband and my midwife to help me through not only the more difficult contractions and pushing. But to also ensure that I feel safe where I am there.

What did you get from the first two chapters? Did this section help you realize why you wanted a natural birth? Or did it just confirm what you already knew? 

I will be adding a Mister-Linky later today so that all the posts (whether you did several posts or just one) can be in one location.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The 20(ish) Week Ultrasound...

So today is my 20(ish) week ultrasound. Between the two guess dates (dating ultrasound Jan 3rd, my guess Jan 8th) I am either 20 weeks 2 days or 19 weeks 5 days. But who is keeping track right?

The other issue is I know that the tech may get to the all important question (well after making sure baby is healthy) do we want to find out the gender? Now it is never 100% sure (liability, girls are easier to be wrong blah, blah, blah) which is my main sticking point. I don't care about gender cause I can see the ups of both.

It would also be nice to plan what extra stuff we need and only have to "discuss" over one set of names...but what if they are wrong? You prepare for one gender then it turns out all the gender specific stuff you did was a waste. Or was it? I already have a DD. So most of the stuff I have already is pink, the desire to buy all the cute outfits is more "tamed" down. So I guess if it turned out to be a boy instead of a girl I wouldn't have all the stuff. While if it was a girl when it was suppose to be a boy I would have extra of some stuff. Or I could just buy gender neutral things for all the newborn clothes no matter what the gender. That way I can use them again no matter what the next baby is. Oh there are so many reasons to find out and just as many not to. Like the motivation in labour not knowing what your little bean is, it really does help especially while pushing. Sigh...

Too bad I only have a couple hours to decided...WWYD?
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Monday, August 15, 2011

My Pregnancy Homewook - become more prepared!

I am an RN, when I was in school I assisted in teaching two prenatal classes, and I have previously worked on a postpartum ward...yet I feel like I was not truly prepared for labour. I know all the stages of labour, I know what is suppose to happen when, but...this does not help DEALING with labour. With my first I thought I was prepared, oh how wrong I was. Now I don't think I had an awful birth experience, in fact it was quite nice. But it still nags at me that I never really gave the "natural" birth a good try. I had maybe a half an hour of painful contraction and I broke down and wanted an epidural (though a positive is we use walking epidurals which are better then the traditional epidural). Looking back on the experience I blame the fact that I was not prepared  to be dealing with the pain. I went to a traditional prenatal class (one run by the health region) and was quite bored (same material I taught a year previous) but felt I have done my duty and attended my prenatal classes...bring on the labour! 

I now realize that preparing for labour shouldn't be a passive act of just going through the motions, sign an attendance sheet and you are ready to handle any labour. You have to be an active participant. So this pregnancy I am determined to learn about different ways to help me fulfill my desire to at least try to find ways to have labour without resorting to an epidural. I won't say that I won't accept any pain relief but I do want to try.

So last week I was browsing through a bookstore when I came across  "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both worlds" by Cynthia Gabrial. With a quick glance at the index it seemed to cover everything I was looking for. Part One covers preparing for the birth, part two is about giving birth, and then the final section was pulling it all together. I am really looking forward to reading this book and would love to share my thoughts about not only the book but how I want to incorporate the ideas into my labour. I am hoping to read part one and blog about it before moving onto part two. I haven't decided how I want to break up part two (as it is quite long) but I am thinking about doing posts divided into early labour, active labour, then pushing and after labour. Then the final post will be about how I am planning on bringing the techniques etc into my own birth plan. So hopefully if the nausea stays away (please see previous post) I will be able to do a total of 5 posts about this book. I may add a 6th section about the appendix in the book entitled "Common Medical Interventions and How to Avoid Them". Which sounds very interesting. 

Please feel free to post comments about your own birth experience or techniques you found helpful in your own birth!

- Cecette

Sunday, August 14, 2011

19 weeks (or 19 weeks 5 days) - pregnancy update

I posted before about my pregnancy "issues" (see here). By "issues" I really mean all day nausea. Now that I am almost half way there depending on which date I go by. My date is closer to 19 weeks while my ultrasound date says I should be closer to 19 weeks 5 days. This makes my due date some where between January 3rd-8th. But like most mom's will remind any pregnant woman this is just a guess date and not set in stone. So I digress...

So back to the nausea....I was very keen at the time of posting that I was determined to find a way to a way to "cure" my nausea. Well I can't say that I am nausea free but it has lessened some what. I no longer find that it is an all day thing (well not as intense as before) and there is just a lingering of nausea with occasional waves of more extreme nauseation. I have tried a couple things (along with my Diclectin which I am happy to say I am down to taking twice a day!).

My first attempt was the pregnancy nausea candies. Now these do taste good, but suspiciously like jolly rangers (which to this date I am not able to find anywhere! the jolly rangers that is...all I have found is lonely cherry flavoured ones stuck in the corner of a convenience store). I found that they were good to take the edge off my nausea (like when one of my more extreme waves of nausea sweeps over) but did not really cure that nagging nausea that I am tired of. So for me they were not the answer.

My second attempt was trying out a hazelwood necklace. Now I wanted something that was functional but also looked nice. So after several hours of googling places that sell the necklaces (and seeing as I needed within a week or so I decided to stick to within Canada) I found it at Hazelaid. So I have been wearing it for about a week or so and it has been over this past week that I have seen a decrease in my nausea symptoms. I don't know if this is just coincidence, a mind over matter thing, or maybe my nausea is going away! Either way I am happy that my nausea has lessened! 

So yes I can now tolerate the nausea much better then before. But I am writing this in an un-nauseated state. So the nausea is in the distant past and it seems that my memory blocks out how intense those nausea waves can be. Which means I am still in the search for a anti-nausea cure. If anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment I would love to hear what others have done to "cure" their nausea!

- Cecette

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Power of Blogher!

I received an amazing email this morning about a new post by Kim Rosas of Dirty Diaper Laundry. Like many posts I am reading right now (I will admit mostly out of jealously) it was centered around one of the biggest blogging conference, Blogher. I love reading about the parties, speakers, and especially the friends that were made (even if I couldn't be there).

But Kim's post really caught my eye. It truly captivated the qualities/dedication of the women who attended Blogher11.

Kim, a very dedicated breastfeeder, had to leave her baby at home while she attended the conference. She spent several (probably hundreds) of hours preparing for the trip by pumping. Which turned into well over a hundred ounces of breast milk (post here).

Her next problem was there was no off switch to her lactation so she would have to choose: deal with painful engorgement, pump and dump, or pump and store.

As most breast feeding moms can understand, the idea of dumping this amazing liquid is unimaginable. So she went with the store option. But what was even more amazing was she decided to find a mom who needed donated breast milk.

The more Kim blogged/tweeted about her goal of gifting her breast milk (through eats on feets). The more Blogher attendees wanted to participate. It was amazing to see how much support/participation there was building. It was a very moving blog post

At the end of her article she mentions that she might organize a second donation round at blogher12. Maybe I will be able to attend, if so I would seriously consider donating breast milk.

So what do you think about peer-peer breast milk donation?

p.s. Sorry about the long url link my droid won't let me put a link up to a word. I will fix it later. 
update: links added!
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