Monday, 20 February 2012

Some things im learning

So as i continue along this journey towards a purebirth (no drugs or interventions) im constantly learning and reading new things i didnt know before. As i read these i am continually blown away by how medicalized labor and birth are these days. And yes, sometimes a doctor is needed and sometimes a caeserean is needed. But in some cases a woman can and does birth her baby without the help of anyone but her husband and sometimes with the help of noone but herself. This is called an unassisted purebirth.

3days ago we made the 2hour trip to Hamilton to have my routine 20week scan (intervention?). I was petrified as i was a tad paranoid there would be something wrong but mainly because i was scared the sonographer would accidentally let slip what sex our baby was. We were greeted to the images of a most perfect, amazing, beautifully clear little miracle of a baby. We still have no idea as to what sex he or she may be and are happy to report that "NAD" was written on the bottom of the report...No abnormality detected. The best we can hope for although they do state that by writing those 3 little letters they can still no way say 100% that everything is perfect. Routine scans...just another way in which doctors can invert more fear into a mother whilst satisfying their own curiosity?? (I have purposfully cropped out my details.)
However, heres the beautiful human being living inside my uterus xx

As today stands, Febuary 20th 2012 we, my husband and I are planning on a homebirth with our really great midwife. I up untill this afternoon was happy with this. This morning i had my monthly check up with our midwife. We heard the babys heartbeat, felt some kicks and talked about the routine blood tests coming up and about birthing pools. We also talked a bit about my impending homebirth. Up untill that point had felt so calm and happy and at peace with our decision to have a homebirth. Nothing else truely mattered. Im healthy and my babys healthy and unless anything happens i will go into labor and give birth at home. Today my midwife started saying things like, we will start labor at home and then we will see how we go etc etc. I started feeling as if she was beginning to put restrictions on me. So im left to close my eyes and imagne my birth...

What do i see...
I see me going to bed early and being awoken by contractions at around midnightish. I try and stay in bed and rest then get up and walk and fluff when contractions get quite bad. After a few hours i wake hubby and tell him it wont be long and to fill the birth pool for me. I check on my 2 big kiddies and they are sound asleep. Cuddles with hubby, lots of love and attention. I continue to walk and stay upright, eating and drinking and emptying my bladder when i feel the need to do so. When the pain and contractions get close together and quite bad, then i get into the pool and wait to feel my uterus beginning to expel (for lack of a better word), my baby. My baby will enter this world and have me to bring him/her into my own arms and against my naked breasts. Baby in my arms, me in hubbys arms. My placenta will arrive when it is ready to, not when i want it to and my baby will breastfeed when he/she wants to, not when any nurse decides he/she can.

I want no drugs, no interventions, monitors, leads, needles, people.

I want my husband and my ability to feel and sense my own body and my baby uninhibited.

I found this website tonight... ! I am in love. Its not only amazing for women thinking or planning an unassisted birth but also women planning or thinking of a homebirth. Heres a few things ive learnt from them....

-It was English physician and writer, Grantly Dick-Read, who first opened my eyes to the safety and beauty of birth. Dick-Read, who wrote and practiced in the first half of the twentieth century, is widely credited with being one of the fathers of natural childbirth. Simply stated, Dick-Read believed there is a loving, intelligent consciousness that is behind and within all life. This consciousness knows how to grow a baby inside of us. We don't have to consciously "assist" it, figuring out how to grow fingers and toes, eyes and ears. We simply have to trust that as long as we get fresh air and exercise, shelter and food, the fertilized egg within us will grow into a human being. And because nature or God is efficient - it completes what it starts - that same reasoning can be applied to the act of birth.
In other words, we are not suddenly abandoned at the end of our pregnancy. There is literally a birth "response" that propels our babies from womb to world with very little conscious effort on our part. The problem is, there is something even more powerful than the birth response, something that can override it entirely. That something is known as the fight/flight response.
Dick-Read explained it in this way: when a woman is in a state of fear, messages are sent to the body telling it there is a danger out there that must be fought or run away from. Blood and oxygen are instantly sent into the arms and legs enabling the frightened woman to fight the danger or run away. In order for this to happen, however, blood and oxygen must be drained from other organs which the body considers nonessential for fight or flight. This is why we turn white when we're afraid. The body assumes that our leg muscles need blood and oxygen more than our face does.
Unfortunately, when it comes to fight or flight, the uterus is considered a nonessential organ. According to Dick-Read, the uterus of a frightened woman in labor is literally white. Because it is deprived of "fuel" - blood and oxygen - it cannot function correctly, nor can waste products be properly carried away. Hence, the laboring woman experiences not only pain, but a multitude of problems. The solution, he believed, was twofold: not only do women need to stop being afraid, but doctors need to stop interfering in the process. Laboring women do not need to be poked, prodded, and drugged. Instead, they need to be calmly encouraged, or simply left alone so their bodies may work unhindered.

-Pitocin is given to women in the hospital either to induce labor, or speed up a labor that a doctor has "determined" is proceeding too slowly. Both excuses rarely hold up, as most women can safely go weeks beyond their due date, and once a labor has begun, there is little justification for rushing it. Pitocin is artificial oxytocin, a substance the body produces naturally when a woman is relaxed and unafraid. Oxytocin is produced not only when a woman is in labor, but also during breastfeeding and sex. This is why some midwives recommend having sex to get a labor started. They know that when a woman's nipples and clitoris are stimulated, her body will produce oxytocin.
Stimulation resulting in orgasm is even more powerful. According to Ann Douglas and John R. Sussman, M.D., authors of the book The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby, a single orgasm is thought to be 22 times as relaxing as the average tranquilizer. Often, it's exactly what a woman needs in order to relieve the tension that is preventing the birth response from doing its job. Most doctors, however, are either unaware of this fact, or prefer more artificial methods.
What most women don't realize is that Pitocin is not only unnecessary, it's potentially dangerous. Doris Haire writes in her article, "Update on Obstetric Drugs and Procedures: Their Effects on Maternal and Infant Outcome," (Birth Gazette 13:1, 1996)
""the American manufacturer of Pitocin points out in its package insert that oxytocin can cause: a) maternal hypertensive episodes, b) cardiac arrhythmias, c) uterine spasm, d) titanic contraction, e) uterine rupture, f) subarachnoid hemorrhage, g) water intoxication, h) convulsions, I) coma, j) pelvic hemotoma, k) postpartum hemorrhage, l) afibrinogenemia, and m) fetal death. Uterine stimulants that foreshorten the oxygen-replenishing intervals between contractions by making the contractions too long, too strong, or too close together increase the likelihood that fetal brain cells will die. The situation is somewhat analogous to holding an infant under the surface of the water, allowing the infant to come to the surface to gasp for air but not to breathe.""
It's no wonder that so many babies in the hospital are determined to be in distress. They're literally suffocating.
 The routine administering of Pitocin and epidural anesthesia is directly responsible for many of the "complications" women in the hospital experience. The C-section rate in this country is high not because vaginal birth is inherently dangerous or difficult. It is high because birth is not designed to be medically managed.

-All this being said, there is no denying the fact that many women successfully give birth in the hospital. However, I truly believe they are doing it in spite of hospital procedures rather than because of them.
Of course, nearly all doctors would disagree with this premise. They would instantly point to the many "problems" they believe they have "fixed." What they fail to admit, however, is that many of the so-called problems they are claiming to fix, are actually caused by them in the first place. For instance, doctors pat themselves on the back for the fact that they're now saving more premature babies than ever before. They fail to mention that according to Midwifery Today magazine, the biggest cause of premature birth today is induction of labor. Doctors are "heroically" saving babies who should still be safely tucked within their mother's wombs!
So what is the alternative to a medically-managed hospital "delivery"? Some would say a homebirth with a midwife. It is true that midwives as a whole are much more trusting of birth than doctors are. Many of them understand not only the dangers of medical intervention, but the effect of fear on a laboring woman's body. A loving midwife can offer a fearful woman a tremendous amount of emotional support. Yet midwife-attended births are not without their problems. Artificial rupturing of the membranes, instructions to push or not push - regardless of the desires of the laboring woman - and aggressive management of the third stage of labor (delivery of the placenta) are not uncommon in a midwife-attended birth. Part of this may be due to legal requirements. A midwife is required to "chart" a woman's labor. What this means is that technically she must measure dilation and time contractions (among other things). A woman must also be transported if her placenta hasn't delivered within an hour of the birth - even though there is no evidence that suggests retaining a placenta for longer than an hour causes problems. Of course, many midwives ignore these requirements, and allow women to give birth in their own time and in their own way. When a midwife does intervene, however, the consequences can be devastating.
I refuse to believe that birth is this big mystery that the ordinary woman can't possibly understand. If a woman is in touch with her physical and spiritual instincts, she does not need to be told how to give birth, any more than she needs to be told how to make love or how to go to the bathroom. Birth is a natural bodily function that is sorely in need of demystification. It's time women stopped putting doctors and midwives on pedestals and started believing in their own abilities. The sun will come up tomorrow, the grass will continue to grow, and our babies will come out if we let them. The key is to not interfere - either physically or psychologically.

Hmmm, so what do you think?! Jump on the website if you are truely intreged and read and discover it all for yourself! Lots of amazing stories.

I know that i will cop alot of flack for thinking and now writing all of this but hey what do i care, this is MY blog. I write it for me. My thoughts not in a diary but on a computer screen. I am considering an unassisted birth. I AM CONSIDERING AN UNASSISTED BIRTH!

Oh and just before i go, a few days ago i read a blog post. Cant rmember where i found it but it went something like this.... "I wouldnt take my toddler with a mild fevevr and runny nose to a hospital to be hooked up to monitors, leads, oxygen and i.v's just incase these sniffles turn into pneumonia or bronchchiolitus so why would i as a healthy laboring woman go to a hopsital to give birth just because something may go wrong." Something to think about.

Oh and another thing, as far as i am concerned, my scars are of no signifigence to me!

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