Monday, 11 March 2013

Large Families:-))

Being a mom of a larger-than-typical-size family is many things. It's crazy; it's tiring; it's always interesting. There's never a dull moment - and, often, those exciting moments come when you are out in public with your family. Here are some of the comments I've heard the most often when I'm out with my big brood - and my responses. I'd love it if you'd share yours with us!
1. "Are they all yours?" I'm not sure why you would need to know this, but no, they aren't. When I go to the store, I load up any kids I find in the backyard. It's always exciting to fill up the van. Never know WHO will end up here!
2. "Do they all have the same father?" Again, I'm not sure why you would want to know this, but are you accusing me of something?
3. "Wow! Your hands are full!" Yes, and so is my heart. Besides, many hands make light work, and my hands are only full if the kids don't do their chores.
4. "Don't you know how that happens?" (With a shocked look) Yes, don't you? If you don't, we are pretty good. Want us to give you a demonstration?
5. "Are you done?" Yes, unless I have another. OR: Funny, I never thought of myself as loaf of bread before...
6. "Why did you have so many kids?" I was tired of my house being neat, clean, and organized; plus, I was bored.
7. "Don't you have a TV?" Why? Are you offering to buy us one? There's always people arguing over ours, an extra would be a blessing. If you think that watching any TV show is more enjoyable than sex, though, we need to talk.
8. "Which one would you rather not have?" Yes, someone did ask me this - right in front of my kids. I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out how I answered this one.
9. "Were your kids planned?" Some of the greatest things in life are unplanned. But, in reality, the children are part of my plan to take over the world.
10. "Better you than me!" Funny, my kids say the same thing.

Monday, 4 March 2013


I have so many thoughts racing through my head.  Mostly spurred by the opposition, yet again, from the mainstream medical community.  This time though it has struck another chord.

My first fear in midwifery was postpartum hemorrhage.  What would I do?  Would I know what to do when the time came and a mother bled and bled?  Gently, I overcame that fear.  The next was shoulder dystocia.  Once again God led me through the curve to gain knowledge and experience, all the while holding my hand.  My personal fear regarded prosecution.  I read many storied of mother facing charges for illegally delivering babies where the state provided no protection.  They were criminals and faced prison for their actions.  I couldn’t fathom this.  I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my family over this type of persecution, until now.  

Make no mistake, I didn’t long to be a midwife.  I knew nothing of it.  I didn’t seek out the kind of profession that would ensure daily struggles and fights, no, my calling was much simpler.  I don’t question my purpose or calling.  I recognize my gifts and my talents.  They’ve always been there.  I was born a mother.  I have always been nurturing.  I have always loved children.  I have always felt deeply the pain and suffering of others.  I have  always been a perfectionist.  I have always been overly critical of myself.  I have always been willing to self sacrifice, many times to a fault.  I met God at age 12 and from then recognized humility.  I found a desire for integrity and real self worth at age 24.  And then at 30 I found a woman, so imperfect, whom I really liked.

Being a mother, that was all I ever wanted.  I wrote a paper in middle school about becoming a pediatrician, because it was through this that I could work with children and that was all I cared about.  It wasn’t until my first child that I quickly realized my daughter’s pediatrician and I didn’t see eye to eye on some very basic issues.  I attribute a lot of this to my upbringing, with a mother who didn’t hand out drugs for headaches and a father who thought nail polish and McDonald happy meals were poisoning the earth.  She told me, mind you I was 20 years old with a newborn, that babies screamed 4 hours per day and that crying it out was the only way.  When I asked to delay vaccinations until I had had time to research further she became personally offended at my lack of trust.  I think we went back one more time and then we moved on.  They weren’t all that extreme, but they were all doctors in their varying degrees.

Corrina Bryanne

The Birth of Corrina Bryanne

We had such an amazing experience with the birth of our third child. 

The birth of our first child still holds ill feelings. It wasn’t until then, I knew and understood the importance of taking control of your own birth and the importance of the birthing experience. 

My son’s birth was signature of a typical rushed birth, which is unfortunately all too common, full of Pitocin, threatening nurses, and doctor in a hurry. When we found out the good news I was expecting again I knew I wanted a midwife. 

I found Amber and was just amazed by the difference in midwifery and traditional OB care. The time spent and questions answered, it was a whole different world. My pregnancy of course did not go as smoothly as the first two. It started with bad morning sickness and later symphasis pubis dysfunction, which made walking painful. The baby herself did wonderfully however. My wonderful husband was very supportive and helped me through it all. 

Later in pregnancy at 32 weeks I started having prodromal labor. After a scary trip to the hospital I came to an understanding that I needed to be okay with any possibility that might happen. I read “Birthing From Within” which helped me with overcoming my fears. I also read “Hypnobirthing” which also helped in the end. Prodromal labor would keep me awake at night nearly every night. I kept reading and hearing “you will know when it’s the real thing”. 

Amber was wonderful and supportive answering late night texts and keeping in touch. I tried all kinds of ways to get labor going but nothing worked, Amber was right…. “babies come when they are ready”. Finally the day came…though I didn’t know it. 

I was having labor as usual and even bloody show, which I had also had before. I decided I would just try and relax, I practiced with my music. The labor continued through the day, my husband was working (he works from home) I told him not to worry I wasn’t even sure it was the real thing. I kept in touch with Amber and did a few things to see if the labor would stop. I took a bath and the contractions got irregular. But the pain continued to increase and finally, I got THAT contraction, I knew it had to be it. I texted Amber and she said to meet at the birthing center. I told my husband, we gathered our things and the kids and I told him we could take our time. I called my mom, and she called everyone else. I kept telling myself and my husband we had plenty of time. The contractions got pretty hard on the trip there, my kids where great, they kept quiet and where very good. I kept my headphones in and listened to my relaxing music. 

When we got to the Birth Center Amber and Galyn where there waiting. I walked in and smiled, I was so relieved to be there, I was ready for my baby to be here! Amber asked if she could check my cervix, I thought about it because I didn’t want to be disappointed, but went ahead. I was at a 6 almost 7, to me this was good news. They said I probably had a couple of hours, try the birthing ball for a little while. They had relaxing music playing and candles, I was very comfortable there. Galyn and my husband helped and pushed on my hips, so helpful and supportive. 

A few minutes past and I heard the water running in the tub, Amber knew by the sounds I was making it would be very soon. I heard my Mom and my sisters come in, I saw them in the distance, but my mind was in the birth. Then transition came, I knew what it was, I knew what to do, but you just feel loss of control. I knew I could but I had to say “I can’t!”. Amber came and told me if I wanted to have the baby in the water, I needed to get in the tub now. With lots of help I got in, still in transition still saying “I can’t!”. 

By the time I got in she was crowning. My sisters, and kids almost didn’t’ make it in the room in time! I remembered…breath…breath the baby down. I couldn’t push she had her hand in front of her face and they had to move it. But once her arm was out, my husband was able to take her and give her to me. Then I found out it had been 28 minutes since we walked in the door! 

It was wonderful to just stay in the tub in the warm water, they drained the tub and refilled it with an herbal bath. I got to hold and cherish and nurse my baby girl. I didn’t know what it really meant to be in control of your own birth. The experience was so different; it was not people telling me what was going to happen to me or my baby. It was about them asking me what I wanted. I never lost control or felt helpless like my previous births. I got to give birth in a loving comfortable environment surrounded by my family, my husband got to hand her to me. It truly was amazing.