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Nov 8 2012

What Do Epidurals Have to do with Day Care?

By at 10:13 am

Recently I sat down with forms for my daughter’s new day care, ready to answer endless questions about whether she uses bottles or sippy cups and how we get her to fall asleep.

I was not expecting to have to answer any questions about my pregnancy and delivery, which happened nearly 15 months ago. But in a section labeled “Part Four: Pre and Post Natal,” there were a few shocking questions including one that made me stop in my tracks: “Did you have any anesthesia or medication during delivery?”

Really?!? What does a day care need with that information? Here, I thought I was moving past my birth experience, enjoying my daughter walking, talking, and climbing, and day care was throwing it back in my face, effectively saying: you may have damaged your child with an epidural.

Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 9 2012

It’s Not a Birth Plan, It’s a Birth Vision

By at 1:04 pm

time to give birthI am 36 weeks pregnant, which means out of the high-risk preterm labor zone and ready to think about a term baby coming into the world safe and healthy. I started taking prenatal yoga once per week and we hired a doula.

With my firstborn I took classes and read all I could about pregnancy and childbirth. I had a grand PLAN of birthing naturally and those expectations turned into 12 hours of ruptured membranes with no progression, which lead to Pitocin, back labor, an epidural, 23 minutes of pushing, an episiotomy, and two beautiful hours of Kangaroo care with my healthy boy. Was it exactly as I had planned? No. And I can remember the exact moment that I had to let go of my PLAN and focus on the goal of a healthy baby and Mama. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2012

How Did You Turn Out?

By at 10:01 am

baby bottle and rattleKveller readers, I have two questions based on recent responses to blog posts:

1. Did your mothers deliver you with or without pain relief and were you breastfed or bottle fed?

2. How’d you turn out?

I am assuming that most of you readers out there have baby-boomer parents. So, what about your moms–did they use pain relief? Did they breastfeed? And how do you think you turned out? Do you suffer from “asthma, allergies, cancer, obesity or diabetes?” And if you do, can you pinpoint the cause as your mom’s epidural or that formula you guzzled? If you don’t, can you thank your mom for her non-medicated delivery or her breast milk? What is your real-life experience? Are you angry at your mother? Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 31 2012

Why Even Bother With a Birth Plan?

By at 2:06 pm
birthing ball

Do I need a birthing ball?

On Friday I went to my OB for my regular check up.

Unlike my first birth, where my husband anxiously held my hand each month in the waiting room and smiled excitedly when the thumping of the baby’s heartbeat came over the sonogram speakers, eight months into this birth and he has attended only a smattering of check-ups. The reason? I usually don’t tell him about them. Why have him leave work and trek across town to witness a 10-minute check of my vitals and weight gain?

So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when my doctor chastised me for failing to book a tour of the new hospital the practice had recently moved to. Or realizing that at 32 weeks, it was now time I see her twice a month. Her actual words: “You are in denial that this baby is coming.” Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 23 2012

Epidural or Not, Giving Birth is the Easy Part

By at 11:56 am

labor & delivery roomI loved Jordana’s piece on epidurals so much that I wish I had written it! As a matter of fact, my son said he kept checking the byline because it sounded so much like me! I am with you, Jordana!

I was luckier than Jordana was, though, because my epidurals worked perfectly for my four deliveries. I was able to push out my babies, felt fine afterwards, and my kids suffered no ill effects (which would surely have shown up by now, decades later.) Like Jordana, I, too, dislike being “mildly uncomfortable.” I even dislike sweating. 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 →

Jul 12 2012

In Praise of the Epidural

By at 2:43 pm

epidural needleHow do I feel about epidurals? I feel about epidurals the same way I feel about chocolate, sunshine, sex, and Judy Blume books. Sign. Me. Up.

Back when I took that one birthing class at the hospital a billion years ago, we were asked to envision the ideal births of our first children and share our visions with the class. My classmates conjured up beautiful pictures of giving birth in water accompanied by the dulcet tones of mixed-tape soundtracks and sweet murmurings of husbands lovingly wiping the sweat from their brows. When it was my turn, I said, “I would like enough medication to subdue a wild horse.” My statement was greeted with condescending head shakes and muttering by my fellow group members. For the record, I was the only one in that room who didn’t have to have a c-section, but that’s neither here nor there. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 8 2011

Deliver Me Far Away From Home

By at 3:18 pm

Somebody get this kid some cheese!

As I contemplated the birth of my first son, I wasn’t particularly worried about logistics. I lived in New York City, and had no other children. I’d left my job a few weeks before my due date, and was spending beautiful autumnal days alone (though a pregnant woman is never really alone), strolling around Manhattan under gorgeous fall leaves, licking ice cream cones and knowing that when push came to shove, I could jump in a cab and get to my hospital across town.

The birth of my second son, however, was scarier to imagine. Things were different at that point: I lived in the suburbs, and was the work-from-home parent of an 18-month-old toddler who clung to me like a barnacle on the Jolly Roger. As I pushed my cart through the aisles of the local mega-Shop Rite, looking into my kid’s cherubic face, I wondered, not-so-idly:  if my water breaks here, what the hell happens? Do I plunk the kid down by his favorite cheeses (the Laughing Cow ones that he likes so much he actually ate through the netting of the bag, the foil and the rind to get to them once) and tell him, “Wait here till someone you recognize shows up”? At least in the supermarket, there would be adults around, so things would somehow work out.

My biggest delivery fear was that I would deliver at home. (Cue Jaws music.)

Yes, I know home deliveries are usually attended by knowledgeable professionals in most cases. But what can I say: basically, when  you get down to it, I’m a wuss. At my Lamaze class, when we went around the room and were asked how we pictured the birth of our children, everyone else waxed rhapsodic about iPod mixes, being surrounded by loved ones, and the scent of eucalyptus. Me? I said, “If they can give me horse tranquilizers, that would be ideal.” If there had been an epidural sign-up sheet in advance, I’d have written my name in huge golden letters across the whole page. So home delivery? Oh, no, no, no. The only things I want delivered at home are well-chosen items contained in FedEx, UPS, Amazon, or pizza boxes. Okay, maybe Chinese or Thai as well. You get the picture.

Did you know that a THIRD of all mothers in the Netherlands give birth at home–intentionally?  But in most countries, health insurance won’t pay for home births, or so says this article in The Economist. Yet the trend continues. Read the rest of this entry →


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