Monday, June 08, 2009

midwives, doulas and water births

Mom, mom-in-law, spiritual mothers, eager friends/babysitters, brothers from other mothers, and sistas from other mistas:

I am, however, interested in writing a post about birth. Speculation being what it is, I felt it necessary to preface this post with the above disclaimer. [pause for open-mouthed looks of incredulity and feigned exclamations of: "Who, me? Oh no, I wouldn't have assumed..."] Of course not. Not you.

I've been following two blogs recently, a daddy blog and a mommy blog. Before you Google either term, I'll warn you: most of these blogs are dump sites of tawdry drivel from parents who firmly believe the sun rises and sets on their precious spawn. NOT SO with Ryan's blog or Heather's blog. Disclaimer #2: The colourful language used by both authors might not be suitable for persons under 16. The colourful detailing of pregnancy, birth, and lady bits might not be suitable for anyone unmarried, unpregnant or ever wanting to have kids. Ever.

A post on Heather's blog and a morning spent navigating the labyrinthine pages of Wiki, and I became somewhat familiar with the terms "membrane sweep", "cervical check", "cerclage", and "effacement". I leave out links to these terms on purpose. Google image search with MUCH caution.

Since hubby and I have opted to go the road less traveled in terms of birth control, in favour of my healthy, natural hormonal functions, it's now no surprise to see how well I'm taking to the idea of a healthier, more natural method of childbirth. My favourite, so far, has been the water birth option. It could my my extreme love of swimming or the memory of the vivid illustrations from The Water-Babies that I read when I was younger, but I'm smitten. BIRTH IN A POOL? EPIC WIN.

I have a friend who is a midwife, another who is training to be a doula, and Andrew's mom works at an OBGYN office and I plan on questioning them all to PIECES once I really get on this baby train, in the same way I researched the heck out of something as supposedly second-nature as lovemaking and birth control. Anyone out there with advice or anecdotes about birth? My nerd instincts are kicking in and I'm feeling the urge to read medical terms.

Good thing I married someone who's idea of pillow talk is whispering sweet grammar in my ear. Two peas in a pod, we are.


Larita said...

Good to read this! I found your blog through a comment you left on last week. Yeah, that blog entry that has me terrified out of my mind of having children :D My husband and I have also gone "the road less traveled" as far as birth control (at least, we did while we were living together. No birth control needed when you don't have sex for over a year! Haha, but that's a whole 'nother story) and I'm definitely wanting to go as natural and simple as possible when it comes to childbirth - hopefully in the next year or so. It's good to see you're thinking the same... I'm just hoping you'll continue to post your research on your blog :D Thanks for letting me know there's someone out there who doesn't think childbirth has to be all about drugs and hospitals.

Sarah Aubrey said...

Thanks for the visit! I'm glad to see there are more of us out there...making our way through this bizarre thing known as female anatomy.

Sorry to hear about hubby! I (hope!) he's stationed somewhere and not cooling his side of the bed for other reasons. *hug*

Gillian said...

ah what a road, and I DO reccommend that you do a good bit of research beforehand, tho tis amazing how much reading you can do during pregnancy )when that time comes)...the other extreme is also correct - how little i get to do on the other side of preggo-ville :0)
WOuld DEF. like to know more about the natural methods of "the anti-sibling song" as Jason seems to think Samuel calls it lol. HATE putting medication in the body ..esp. long term. As soon as we're done with our I fully intend on the snip snip... my partner in baby-making fame is yet to be convinced of this formidible idea...whyever not I ask myself??

ANyways, will have more to say at another point :0) But when you get to your breast feeding blog ..well perhaps I should just start that one already - let's just say it's one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had...though my husband was under the illusion that it was "the most natural thing in the world" natural yes, easy, I found it not ...however, having learned from experience and from the experience of many wonderful been there done that Mums and Moms around me, I consider myself a reasonable pro and VERY happy "Golden booby nectar" provider!!

s@bd said...

hey babe -

We used *that method* for both of our kids ... are still using it, in fact. So far, so good.

I have never, ever wanted to be on the pill - I think we haven't seen the end result of ingesting extra hormones for thirty years of our lives. In fact, my generation (and perhaps the one just above mine) is the first generation to be on the pill from early teens to menopause and, like I said, there's no way to know what the results will be in terms of our long-term health.

ANYHOO, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is amazing and, in my opinion, a great choice.

Once you get to the actual gestating a human being stage, I'll weigh in with my thoughts o' "natural" labour.

Angela said...

Well, I've become one of those ridiculous women whose sun 'rises and sets' out of her child's arse, and you've read The Birth Post (, so you know pretty much how the labour went, but I thought I'd ring in anyhow.

First off, I personally think we do a disservice to women by lying about how much it freakin' hurts. Yes, you'll survive. Yes, billions of women have given birth before you. Yes, it's totally worth it. That doesn't detract from the excruciatingness (if that isn't a real word, it should be) of the event.

As for pre-excruciating: I went drug-free. I took some vitamins (prenatal, iron, etc.) throughout the pregnancy, some homeopathics (to tone the uterine wall, etc.) at the very end and made myself a wonderful (if smelly) herb bath afterwards (to help with healing).

Choosing midwives over an ob-gyn was the best decision I could have made. Not only was the care first rate (both before, in the hospital and AT HOME AFTERWARDS), but they really respected my choices in regards to pain management, birth assistance, etc. They were amazing.

A friend of mine (a trained doula) was supposed to 'attend' me at Gabe's birth, but she ended up having a miscarrage a week before.

I chose to have Gabe in the hospital. Partly in case something went wrong, mostly because I didn't want to have to clean up anything afterwards.

I thought about having a water birth, but decided against it. Looking back, I'm very thankful I didn't. Considering the fluids (and solids) that were coming out of just about every orifice, I wouldn't have wanted my child introduced to the world through that forensic-lover's soup.

Hmm. Was there anything else?


rebecca macintosh said...

So this is thoroughly entertaining to me, especially since I have had two spawn of my own... and love them soooo much that the thought of another one is sheer horror!!! :)
I spent days in hospital being pampered by nurses, family and fed a special diet of ice chips for their births, with fond memories to cherish... BUT I am all for natural as we are now making the adjustment to natural in almost every other area of our lives, why not also follow with the birthing/avoiding birthing at all costs principles!
As for water birth, my sis-in-law is planning on having a home/midwife assisted birth, potentially in a tub, so my comments/opinions on these things may be every strong after the next month in which I JUST found out, will be filming the birth for "keep sake material"... (this shows the depth of loyalty I have to my hubby and his fam:)) (no; I do love his sis!) Rebecca Mac

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,

this is so entertaining, thanks for blogging about this! I'm writing this as I am breastfeeding my little one, when you're a mom, you learn to do a lot of things you didn't think was possible! And I'm using all 10 fingers! lol
LOVE the fact that you guys are going down the 'road less traveled', after taking birth control for 3 years, i just came to the realization one day that it was no good for me. Stopped. Got pregnant a month later :)
haha...yep. surprise surprise! it happened.
So I was talking to a friend and she told me all about her wonderful experience with her midwife. I sounded so much better than what I had heard from other woman's experience with doctors, no offense to docs, i'm sure there are nice ones out there, i think the system is just made in a way that the patient is not important enough, especially when it comes to giving birth!
Some people thought it was weird I was with a midwife, someone even made the comment: Honey, are you getting ready to go to africa or something?! A midwife?! We have doctors here!
I absolutely loved having a Midwife, for both my babies. I love her to pieces, I'm sad I just get to see her when I'm pregnant! It felt like I had a second mom the whole pregnancy, at birth and after, except she was a lot more objective and let's face it, more knowledgeable!
As far as giving birth in water goes...i don't know Sarah...I suggest to attend a birth or watch one on video before you decide. A LOT of interesting liquids come out with and after the baby. It's really...well, really gross!
That's just my take on it, I thought of it, but the hospital i was giving birth at didn't do water births, so my search stopped right there.

And I had to go to that hospital, my mother in law in a pre-natal nurse, God forbid I even think about giving birth at home! She was horrified it crossed my mind. I'm telling you now, it's more than crossing my mind for the 3rd one since the last one came in 1 hour and a half! My midwife strongly suggested I consider a home birth, we'll see how mom in law reacts to that one! The thought of giving birth in a car is just not appealing to me...
So ya, Midwife alllll the way and home or hospital birth, depends who's your mom in law! ;0)

Anonymous said...

I just watched The Orgasmic Birth trailer and I gotta say the Water Birth looks like fun on there!