Friday, May 29, 2009

Birth-Day Giveaway!

I've set this post to publish at 2:45 a.m. on May 29th to commemorate that three years ago exactly I had just given birth to my second baby boy on the floor of my living room! He was received by the caring hands of my midwife, who was present for exactly 5 minutes of the birth. I didn't actually feel like I needed a midwife in labor or during birth, but I was profoundly grateful for her presence postpartum and also for her time and care during prenatal visits. She always spent at least an hour with me during prenatal visits and I had so much fun spending that time with someone who was interested in me, my pregnancy, and my baby. She treated me with such love and respect and much like a colleague, instead of a "patient." Then, postpartum, she helped me stand and carry my new baby to the bed. She perked me back up with smelling salts when I started to faint (I have a little "issue" with seeing blood). She lovingly sponge-bathed my arms and legs (this birth was triumphant and transformative, though also particularly bloody!). When I started to "slip" emotionally in the early days postpartum (baby blues), she offered me words of encouragement, kindness, and inspiration as well as her presence. She also thoughtfully helped me make an important decision about whether to visit my family physician regarding my physical recovery following the birth. These things were such gifts and were irreplaceable!

In honor of my son's third birthday and the anniversary of my swift and special homebirth with him, I'd like to offer a book giveaway (the first on this blog!). When I was pregnant, I was already very informed about pregnancy and birth (I became a certified childbirth educator in 2005) and I felt a need to seek out books that "went beyond" the average pregnancy and birth books. One such book is Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger. To enter to win a hardback copy of this book just leave a comment on this post by midnight on June 9th letting me know something special that you valued about your midwife (or other birth caregiver). You can gain an additional entry to win by posting a link to this giveaway on your own blog (and posting to let me know about it).

Happy Birthday Zander!

(his complete birth story is posted here)

CfM Blogger


Kangaroo said...

what a great idea! thanks for the lovely post...i think it's a very powerful exercise to rediscover your baby's birth story on his birthday.

there just isn't room in this little comment box to describe how i valued my midwives, but one instant does stand out above the rest. both of my boys were ten pounds, and both got stuck shoulders--the youngest described as dystocia. so with both, after their heads came out, i had to leave the comfort of the birth pool. with the first, i was lifted. with the second, my midwife looked me directly in the eye, and said 'i need you to get out of the water now.' there was no panic, no fear, just the exact necessary tone to let me know that it was important, but that everything would be fine. i used a lot of strength in that moment, got up, clutched my husband, and stood and squatted to birth my baby as my midwife performed the gaskin maneuver.

thank you. whew, the rush of endorphins that comes even just from typing that is powerful!

Mrs. Farmer said...

Well I want to leave a comment cause I would love to read this book. BUT I haven't gotten pregnant yet. My hubby and I have been trying for over a year. My sister has had all 4 of her children with a midwife and listening to her experiances have really opened my heart to the possibilty of having one too. It took a VERY long time to get to this point though. I was against it whole hartedly for a long time. But in the past few months I have changed my mind. If I can find one out here in the sticks. I'm so glad I've found your blog. I'm wanting to learn as much as possible I'm a sponge!!!
Thanks for offering a giveaway!!!

Anonymous said...

Oooh the first comment! Something I valued about all of my midwives is that they never questioned my motives. It felt so safe (and different from my hospital birth) not to have to justify anything.

jessica mathew said...

i had all three of my kiddos at home with wonderful midwives. i had three kids in three years. as a result, i grew very close to the midwives that i worked with. i valued the personal relationships i formed with them. it was a transition for me after my third was born not to see them as much!!

Laurel said...

One of my most memorable "midwife moments" was when my midwife for my sixth child looked at me with an intense attentiveness and asked, "What can we do to make this your best birth?" I knew the answer immediately and gave it. She listened to my words and to my heart, fulfilled my request, and yes, it was my best birth. Love that.
Posting on my blog!

Molly said...

It sounds so simple, but ... my midwife and her assistant always WAITED to enter my suite at their freestanding birth center until I actually responded to their knock with an invitation. Not the hospital/doctor's office knock-and-open move, where a knock is actually an announcement rather than a question. And, because they knew I had privacy issues, they posted a little sign on my door reminding themselves to knock and pointing out that no one else was welcome. I found the little sign while I was packing to move a couple weeks ago and got the warm-fuzzies :) They guarded my space, even from themselves.

TopHat said...

I don't know if this counts because we had a UC, but what I valued most about my husband was that he was so patient. I was cranky and tired and snappy, but he patiently applied counter-pressure, kept the pool warm, and brought me food and drink. Whenever I had doubts, he told me that he knew I could do this. He brought a lot of positive energy to the birth.

CfM Molly said...

Everybody who wants to comment counts! I'm loving reading your stories :)

I was excited to see your comment farmerswife06, because I love it when people "discover" homebirth and midwifery *before* they have any kids!


Supurrkitten said...

I had a hospital birth with my son. I read and read before my birth about UC and home birth. Unfortunately in my area the home birth midwifes are so hard to find and I am out of the home birth loop in m y area. I couldn't convince the husband. However I have a midwife in the practice I found. She was wonderfully supportive. I can only state, I wish I would have had a doula and hope to have a doula and hopefully a home birth next. I love the kitzinger books. I really like the one I currently have with a all the pictures of labor options.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be posting about the giveaway on my blog, and will also leave a comment about my midwives.

I would have to say the number-one reason I liked having my midwife at my birth was to apply counter-pressure on my back. It was priceless! My husband tried, but he didn't know the right spot to press, and it was annoying and irritating trying to get him to find it. Every contraction. Every time. But all I had to say was "back!!" (which was also about all I could manage to say during labor), and the midwife or doula immediately pressed on the right spot without having to tell them at all. As I said -- priceless!


Birthkeeper said...

very grateful that my midwife helped me ground the intense energy of my active labor so i could better ride those waves.

Bri!!! said...

I would love to get this book. I have been loving reading books about midwives, birth, etc. I had a hospital birth with my son. My husband is a resident orthopedic surgeon, but was totally for using a midwife. He shares my belief that most women SHOULD use a midwife. I'm so glad I did use the midwives because I know if I had a doctor they would have wanted to C-section me. The more research I have done and the more I read I have a growing desire to have a homebirth for our next little one. My husband is not supportive of this just yet, but is warming up to the idea as I do more research. I have his commitment to at least meet with a homebirth midwife for a consult. Hey that's a step right? I'm not pregnant yet, but we are trying, so hopefully soon! PICK ME! Would love to have that book.

LoveNeverFails said...

I value my midwife because she saved my daughter's life. Because of her skill and courage, a 3 minute shoulder dystocia was resolved safely and my daughter is healthy and happy with no damage whatsoever. I do not believe the outcome would have been as good if we had not had a loving, caring, highly skilled midwife with us.

Melissa said...

For me personally Thank you will never be enough. When I had my son almost 1 year ago on the 7th. I would have never expected that our homebirth would turn transfer quickly. Without the care and quick thinking of midwife my son may not have made it. To make it brief, My midwife arrived maybe 10 minutes before my son was born. All she had to do was rub my back 1 time and I went from needing to dilate to having the baby. When my son was born he was not breathing she immediately started CPR and my husband called the EMT's. Fast forward to today my son is a healthy normal and beautiful 11 month old. Without my midwife's help I may not have my son here with us. Thank you to both ladies Baby J and I love you very much.

Kayce said...

This is a really cool idea!!

Three weeks before my due date, they found that my daughter was breech, so I had to have my care transfered to an OB/GYN. But, even though my midwife wasn't my primary caregiver anymore, she would call to make sure I was doing ok, and when we had to have the version, she was right there holding my hand and helping the doctor.
After my daughter was born and things didn't go as planned (emergency cesarean followed by a NICU stay), at my 6 week appointment, my midwife was as upset as I was about how everything panned out. We sat in her office and cried together and she helped me realize that even though my birth was not how we wanted, she is healthy and I was so glad that she was there for me to talk to.
She is the reason that I am becoming a doula and then going on to midwifery school in a couple years.

Jill Arnold said...

I can probably say it in five words.

She wanted to be there.

It meant so much to me and still does.

Midice said...

Being a midwife, it seems strange talking about my births. I always seem to listen to others, and they can go on and on, but each one is special and each woman loves to tell it to an avid listener.
My birth attendant was fantastic, loving, caring, supportive, and understanding when I swore at him. I don't hink I have ever had to thank him personally and am taking this opportunity to do so now. Husband darling, thank you for being you and knowing me when I needed you most.

CfM Molly said...

I confess to having been feeling slightly disappointed that I wasn't getting many comments on my giveaway--then, I discovered that I just wasn't receiving notifications and had actually received 9 additional comments that I was unaware of! :) I love reading all of your stories. Thank you for sharing!


Trish said...

It's hard to keep it short for me but I'll try :o)

My oldest was born with a Midwife in a hospital and my Midwife and Doula were AMAZING, they supported me and just let me "do my thing" and it was a wonderful experience. The only problem...the hospital wanting to keep my baby because they didn't think having a natural birth and not immunizing was 'the best interest of my child!’ The nerve of them after I had spent 3 1/2 years of infertility treatments to get my beautiful son! It soured the days after my delivery - and turned me off to hospitals.

We moved and couldn’t see my wonderful Midwife (although I wasn’t sure where I would have birthed – she only delivered in hospitals) for my next pregnancy. My second ended up being an emergency C-section (with NO MEDICATION – no joke the Dr. said he didn’t have time) due to an ill informed Doctor that broke my water without my consent…augh

I'm now 18 weeks pregnant and I have once again moved to a place where I can have a Midwife and I do plan on doing a HBAC!! I'm so excited and I have such peace about the birth already, I know it will be beautiful.

CfM Molly said...

Trish--yikes about the cesarean with no medication!

I wish you a beautiful HBAC!


Trish said...

Molly - after 8 months (and lots of therapy) I can now joke that I believe in natural birth without medication...UNLESS I have to have a C-section then I highly recommend it!!

I forgot to mention it was a prolapsed cord that caused them to do the emergency c-section even though I was dialated to a 9 and I have since learned that I could have pushed...

I LOVE my new midwife, thanks for the blessings of a beautiful homebirth...I'll post about it on my blog in November :o)

A Reader said...

I would love to win this for my friend who is pregnant and using a midwife .
Thanks for the giveaway!

llamaofdoom said...

After my first birth in the hospital with a CNM I had never met, I chose to go with a CPM. Ironically, she was on vacation the week I was due, so one of her partners ended up attending me. But this time I was attended through my whole labor (not just pushing) and even though I had only met with her 3-4 times, rather than the 9-10 times I had met with my CPM of choice, she was very respectful, acknowledged my disappointment at not having 'my' midwife there, and was altogether fantastic through the birth. She sat back and watched me birth my baby, an entirely different experience from when the CNM came in when I started pushing and more or less took over.

Even when I didn't get the ideal continuity of care, I still got tenderness, respect, companionship and support through my birth.

Annalisa said...

So many people were crucially involved to make my daughter's birth a gentle and joyful event while it skirted disaster from beginning to end. That makes it hard to place one moment or action above the rest.

Husband, doula, midwives and nurse gave invaluable support, but one person's faith sticks out in my memory. The OB called in at the last minute could, as many would, have authoritatively declared "C-Section, immediately!" Instead, he used his authority to let me keep the power and I birthed my baby quickly and safely. I am so thankful that he acted more like a midwife than a surgeon.

He almost certainly felt more confident doing this because he works alongside midwives everyday and sees normal birth supported well.

CfM Molly said...

I drew the name for the giveaway and the winner was Gina! Gina, you can email me with you mailing address to talkbirth(a) (the CfM email address associated with this blog is not currently working).

Best wishes,