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Nov 11 2014

Why This Daughter of a Midwife Gave Birth at Home

By at 3:49 pm
homebirth

Credit: Laura Miller

 

My mom is a midwife. Throughout my childhood, she delivered babies in hospitals. She stroked my head to sleep while on the phone with women in early labor. Long before I learned how a baby is made, I understood that one isn’t in active labor until you can no longer walk and talk through contractions. I picked up on the meanings of “bloody show” and learned that babies come at all hours. While there were inconveniences, there was one big upside: insider knowledge. Friends’ moms disappeared, reemerging with squishy, pink siblings. How it all went down, nobody knew. Except me.

My mom’s career began as a scientist, running a laboratory. A data-driven, rational bent extends into her midwifery practice, which is to say that she is on the more medical end of the midwifery spectrum. But like all midwives, she believes in staying with women throughout labor, helping us birth our babies in our own ways. I also learned as a child that an obstetrician is not inherently better or worse than a midwife, but offers different services and sometimes a different philosophy. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 27 2014

What If Moses Just Needed an Afternoon Off?

By at 11:34 am

HOMEBIRTH

This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This week we read Parashat Hukkat. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Like many of us modern, educated ladies, I was spectacularly ignorant about babies until I had one a couple years ago. So the learning curve, similar to my pregnancy weight gain, was pretty damn steep.

Now, with baby #2 due in a month, I’ve been noticing how different it feels this time around, and taking stock of what I’ve learned…(Though yes, I know every baby’s different and I’ve been told a million times how much harder it is with two kids!) Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 24 2014

Toughing Out the Pains of Pregnancy to Prepare for a Natural Childbirth

By at 11:11 am

pregnancy-naliboff

Allow me to kvetch for a moment. At 32-weeks-pregnant, pelvic instability has become my constant companion. The tendon connecting my left leg to the rest of my body feels like it’s been tightened past its limits. Something deep in my butt just feels wrong. The outside of my right hip aches. And my lower back feels out of joint, and I can’t lie on my stomach to have my husband crack it. Oh, and he woke me up twice last night to ask me to please stop snoring (thanks, acid reflux!).

Thanks for listening. I just had to get that off my chest. (And speaking of my chest, things are pretty out of sorts in the boob department too.)

Pregnancy is full of aches and pains and discomforts, or as my yoga teacher puts it, sensation. When we’re holding an uncomfortable pose, she invites us to experience the sensation without judgment or fear. To find our edge and meet it, and possibly surpass it–for 10 more seconds? Thirty? 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 →

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 →

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