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Nov 7 2013

My Fifth Time Giving Birth & I Still Wasn’t Prepared for This

By at 2:43 pm

jordana horn fifth time giving birth

“I’m not even supposed to BE here today.”

That line–one of my favorites from the movie Clerks–kept going through my head as I checked myself into labor and delivery at the hospital last week. The words were incongruous, at fierce odds with the tears and snot that were running down my face uncontrollably as I hit “redial” over and over, trying to reach my husband or mom or, for that matter, anyone, to tell them I was in trouble.

OK, I’ll back up.

You’d think that by my fifth pregnancy, I’d have figured out that the whole “giving birth” thing doesn’t always go as planned. But I’d never had to think about the spontaneity factor–I’d been late and induced for each of my pregnancies. I never experienced the rush of my water breaking, or of excitedly driving to the hospital huffing and puffing through contractions, or of not knowing when my baby was coming. My baby would come on the date I scheduled induction with my obstetrician. Ta da! Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 14 2013

Double the Prayers for My Interfaith Baby

By at 2:20 pm

newborn baby in incubator

My youngest daughter, Piper, started out life as a pretty sick baby.

She was born in the middle of the night a little over a week early. I prefer to leave the hospital as soon as possible, since I despise being cold and bothered every hour. I like my bed and my house and very much missed my older daughter, Delanie. Piper had “other plans,” as I like to say. She had a small heart murmur, causing us to stay an additional day for some overly expensive testing.

One night, while my parents were visiting, Piper was having a coughing fit and turned purple. My mom, who is an RN, patted her back fairly hard and Piper seemed to be fine. We let the nurse know and she thought maybe because she was born via C-Section (my second) that she did not get all the mucus squeezed out of her. All in all, they monitored her and performed the additional test. Everything came back normal, and we went home. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 24 2013

Yes, There is a Such Thing as a Non-Painful Birth

By at 3:45 pm

lilbabies copy

I stood in the hallway of the hearing clinic, waiting in line for my son’s appointment. I overheard another mother telling her birth story to a 19-year-old girl.

The young girl was slim and trim; her belly skin was so tight that her navel practically kissed her back. The girl responded with something between a scrinch and a smile–it was clear she was trying not to appear grossed out by the gory details, though the contour of her lips said it all. The mom continued to talk animatedly about her painful experience of pushing for 12 hours. She spared no details, explaining how her insides felt as if they had popped out of her like a jack-in-the-box on speed. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 20 2012

My Beef With Doulas

By at 3:02 pm

Forgive me a few minutes to vent about doulas, those crunchier-than-thou pregnancy helpers that are as necessary now to the Park Slope set as a baby sling or Babycook steamer.

But I’m pulling the Boppy pillow from under those mommy helpers. In my house, they are don’tulas.

I have hired two doulas in my life–one for each pregnancy. But for all their talk of the beauty of birth and the exhilaration of labor (not to mention their $1500 fees), neither was present for the birth of my children.

Let me explain: Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 12 2012

Birth Story: Back Labor, No Meds & A Beautiful Boy

By at 2:20 pm

Here’s a beautiful slideshow made by contributing editor Tamara Reese of her second child’s birth. Read below for the full story.

I woke to my toddler calling for me over the monitor at 9 a.m. the morning of August 27th. I quickly glanced at the calendar and whispered a silent “thank you” for making it to 39 weeks.

As I waddled to the bathroom, I noticed the back pain was a little more intense than the day before and I had clearly lost my mucus plug. We had a park play date scheduled and as I brushed my teeth, I had a vivid flash of giving birth in a pile of mulch next to the curly slide. I decided to call my doula. We were on the phone for 20 minutes, and by the end of the conversation she said, “No park. You need to call your husband to come home, get someone to take your son, and head to the hospital.” I told her I didn’t want to assemble the troops for a false alarm and she said, “Since we’ve been talking you’ve had a contraction every two minutes. It’s better to be at the hospital at this point.”

It was 10 a.m. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 14 2012

34 Weeks & Suddenly Giving Birth

By at 10:27 am

charlotte leona

Welcome to the world, Charlotte Leona! We’re wishing Kveller contributer Tara Filowitz Arrey a huge mazel tov on the birth of her first child on August 1st. Read below for her birth story, which happened quite unexpectedly at 34 weeks:

In my last post (when I was 33 weeks pregnant) I said, “There’s something so ken ayina hora about having everything all set to go before we find out if [the baby is] alive and healthy. My Mom likes to tell me that my father’s mother (Grandma Carol) wouldn’t even acknowledge my mother’s pregnancy, even in the ninth month, just in case.” Well, there was definitely something to all of that! Despite having a blissful, super-routine, super-normal pregnancy, everything changed dramatically in week 34… Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 16 2012

How I Went from Epidurals to Homebirths

By at 2:45 pm

homebirth bedroomWith all those posts about epidurals last week, I just had to respond with my own.

I was an epidural girl at one point in my life–so I very much relate to those who prefer them. In fact, at my first birth, I had no real plan for my birth except to get that epidural ASAP. And I did. And it was wonderful! I was being induced and after trying to make it through the unbearable contractions for hours while they pumped me full of pitocin that epidural was a God-send! Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 13 2012

Epidurals Are Not For Me

By at 12:39 pm

against epiduralsWhen I saw Jordana Horn’s piece about epidurals come up in my Google Reader yesterday, I had to read it. After all, I’d just given birth to my second child six weeks ago and have some strong feelings about epidurals. Against them, that is. Let me start by saying I really, truly believe that birth is an individual experience, and I want each woman to make the decision that is right for her. So I totally support Jordana’s decision to have an epidural. And another one. And another one. And probably another one at the end of her current pregnancy. But that wasn’t what I wanted. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2012

My Daughter Turns 2 Today

By at 1:44 pm

big sister with new babyMy baby is 2 years old today.

Yet I have been a parent of two for almost three years. From the moment we transferred that second embryo into my artificially-enhanced womb, I become a mother of two, constantly concerned with the health and safety of both of my daughters. My experience of parenting went from the relatively simple (but rarely easy) focus on one tiny little being to an unpredictable reality of constantly shifting attention, competing demands, difficult choices, and unmet needs (often my own). It went from mostly manageable to complete mayhem. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 21 2012

Check Out My Birth Photos

By at 2:10 pm

tamara birth storyThe NY Times–a little late to the game–has identified the birth photography trend. Apparently, this is breaking news, yet I’ve seen pictures posted on Facebook of almost every little family I know expanding. No blood. No vaginas. No nudity. In actuality, I think the only news worthy part is that “birth photography” has become yet another thing for vendors to capitalize on as expectant parents are already stone-faced looking through the endless aisles of a certain baby super store. Read the rest of this entry →

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