24 March 2010

a perfect storm - two babies born

It NEVER happens - except when it does. It seems like it's about every 3 or 4 years or so that two clients are in labor at once...I'm pretty sure it takes years off my life when I go through this. Luckily, my amazing friend & colleague, Gayle, had my back (and my client's, literally!)

Two Babies, in Two States, in One Day!
(and not even one missed night of sleep - go figure!)

Early this morning I headed into NYC and by the afternoon, I got to witness the birth of Eliza May...a beauty, 6lb 3oz and "sunny side up"! This was extra special because I was at the birth of her big brother just 16 months ago...and the proud papa is a friend from high school. Congrats to L & W, blessings on your healthy babies - here's to two under two!

and then I raced back to NJ at the start of rush hour (fortunately the traffic gods were with me!) and joined my lovely clients at an already-in-progress labor...so we were then parents, two doulas, a midwife and a nurse. But wow - this daddy did such a super job that it was a pleasure to watch...not to mention the momma, who was amazing too! Welcome, Eliot Cooper, 6lb 8oz & amazingly handsome, who charged into the world with an arm leading the way!

Congrats to all the grandparents who were there to welcome their new grandbabies at both these births!

15 March 2010

welcome Liana!

A March surprise since we weren't expecting you until April...but everyone is so happy you are here & perfect at 6lbs. Your momma made it look easy even though she worked so hard and your dad was calm and cool. By the way, thanks for listening to your momma and not coming at night - everyone was well rested and there was no rushing home from work in the city for you dad!
Have fun with your big sister - she's so ready to finally meet you (once she's finished with her "adventure")!
Welcome to this world, baby Liana!

08 March 2010

way cool stuff

I get so jazzed when I pick up something new! Via Facebook I came across this post on how to check cervical dilation without an internal exam. Some of the information I knew already, but a few suggestions were new to me...like this:
...Think about the shape of the uterus. Before labor, the muscle of the uterus is thick evenly around all sides, above, below, behind. As the cervix starts thinning and dilating, all that muscle has to go somewhere – it bunches up at that top. The top of the uterus thickens dramatically the more the cervix opens. During a contraction, at the beginning of labor, check how many fingers you can fit between the fundus (top of your bump) and the bra line – you will be able to fit 5 fingers. As the top of the fundus rises higher during labor, you will fit fewer and fewer fingers. When you can fit 3 fingers, I usually tell mothers they can think about going into hospital as they will find they are around 5cm dilated. At 1 finger, you are fully dilated. (Awesome, huh!)...

check out the whole post/list HERE

I'll for sure be trying this out and encouraging my ladies to give it a go also.

07 March 2010

high-touch birth

Lessons at Indian Hospital About Births

...In Tuba City last year, 32 percent of women with prior Caesareans had vaginal births. Its overall Caesarean rate has been low — 13.5 percent, less than half the national rate of 31.8 percent in 2007 (the latest year with figures available). This is despite the fact that more women here have diabetes and high blood pressure, which usually result in higher Caesarean rates...

How do they do it? Check out the entire NY Times article here.

I read this makes-you-shake-your-head-because-it-can-be-so-simple article after coming home from a birth at a hospital five minutes from my home where MANY doctors (whole practices) don't take call on weekends. Period. So there is a very good chance the doctor you stayed at this hospital for will not even be there, won't even know you're in labor. When you get there, get ready to sit in an office not unlike that of a car dealership, where copies will be made of your driver's license and insurance card before you can go to triage. Where you stay in bed if your water is broken. Use a bedpan, 'cause you're not getting out of bed to pee. Be ready to have "concerned" conversations over the birth ball you brought. A hospital where the Friedman Curve is king. Where there isn't even a pantry room because nothing but ice chips is permitted, so why would you need a fridge or microwave or electric tea kettle. Where one can feel truly lucky if not among the 49.3% of birthing women who have a cesarean at this hospital.

There are hospitals within spitting distance where the level of care is as good (better, in my opinion) but people don't have to put up with this way of doing birth. Yet many people still flock to this institution. I don't know why and will continue to offer information on alternatives and then meet them where ever they are, trusting that they know what feels best for them. But in my heart, I'll likely wish we were someplace else...maybe Tuba City.

OK - rant over.

Welcome, baby Madeline!

What a smart girl - you figured out how to turn (from posterior) completely in order to be born after only a very short time of pushing by your amazing mom.
6lb 4oz and 18" long...you're a petite girl, like your mommy & like you kitty sister, Katie. Katie was a fantastic cat doula, so protective and intuitive, by the way!
Congrats to you and your lovely mom & dad...happy birthday, little one.

03 March 2010

Snippet of Motherhood

Today my 12 year old came home from school saying that his math teacher was discussing math rays, which led to discussion of space, life in alternate universes & various religions...he said, "he blew my mind - it's BLOWN - in a good way!"

01 March 2010

Glorious VBAC...welcome Riley!

Every birth is special (and I have been remiss with a few announcements lately...) but some are just awe-inspiring & majestic!
Today I had the pleasure of bearing witness to the all natural VBAC of a healthy baby girl, Riley. She weighed 11lb 15oz (!) and was 22.5" long.

Riley, your momma worked so hard to have the best possible chance at this VBAC (including crossing state lines to have you in NJ)...I am so humbled to meet and serve women this strong and tenacious, supported by partners like your daddy every step of the way. Many blessings for a life filled with everything good - happy birth day!