Friday, April 13, 2012

Labor Eventually Turns to Birth!

Great birth story: prodromal labor, active labor halting, natural waterbirth at home.  A little bit of everything!

I find this encouraging that other women labor this way, and that all those contractions help, even though they may drive mama to the end of her rope.  A challenging way to labor, but with pluses as well.  Kudos to this mom for outlasting the ups and downs of prodromal labor!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Sis, the Prodromal Laborer

My li'l sis, Deborah, just wrote a post on prodromal labor.  Last April, she gave birth to her third baby via this labor pattern.  I would love to link to or post the birth story when she makes it available (but I understand how it is--I still haven't published Ian's birth story from 19 months ago), but for now, this will have to suffice:

Deborah and I are of the same mind when it comes to discussing prodromal labor: that all-too-often, trying to fit what it is (or can be) into a chart or concise definition becomes too restrictive and not all that helpful.  This is the biggest reason that, for all my wanting to educate about the fact that such a labor pattern does exist, this blog has yet to truly "define" it in terms that many birthy sites have--I find those definitions leave one thinking too much in-the-box, which we tend to do anyway when it comes to what is "normal" in birth.  (Not to mention that my own experiences with this pattern often oppose what is detailed in the charts.)

Unfortunately, I have found that the people who are most close-minded in relation to the prodromal labor pattern are birth workers (be it doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, or birth educators) and women who have given birth before.  In fact, in some cases, women who have several (even many) children tend to be the most dismissive about the possibility of prodromal labor, sometimes considering a woman's own experience with it suspect (as in, what could be wrong with your perception to make you think this can happen?).  It is as if whatever was their own experience is all that can possibly be out there.

The most open-minded people I've encountered on this subject are (not surprisingly) women who have experienced the pattern themselves and women who have never before given birth.  I've even seen people go from open-minded about the possibility before birth to completely narrow-minded after experiencing a more textbook birth.  (It is on the close-minded people that I sometimes wish prodromal labor, I admit.)  When it does occur, it can be very vindicating. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Know, I Know. I'm Lame. . .

Mosey on over to my (Feb 5, 2012--edited to remove link.  I cannot in good conscience direct traffic to a site for a business that scams its participants) to read Tara's article about not "white-knuckling it" for a natural birth.  For ages now, I've meant to write a similar article here, but alas, I haven't done much writing at all lately (as is obvious, I know you know).  Since it will likely be another . . . while . . . before I do touch the subject of why women choose natural birth (or before I touch this blog altogether, possibly), I'll send you (edited) for a good read.

Who knows?  It just might catapult a woman who has never considered birthing naturally into looking into her options, getting informed about her choices, preparing her mind and body for the upcoming athletic event, and surrounding herself with great support.  And that wouldn't be half bad, now would it?  Go on.  Have a look see.

I felt terrible for un-linking to this great article, but as I remembered, several authors of articles on their site removed permission for the business to continue using them, so they don't even exist at that site anymore.  (Surprisingly, they actually complied, which is what they haven't done when it comes to eductors asking to be taken off their directory--it inflates the perceived value of the company).  If I find Tara has posted her article elsewhere, I will replace the link.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Go Read this Great Article!

Feb 5, 2012--edited to remove all mention of and links to the birth organization I cannot in good conscience support in any way, including the very mention of their name.  This organization has failed to make good on many promises, many of which are financial, and has behaved appaulingly unprofessionally in many ways.

As I have announced somewhat here on this blog and more officially to clients and friends, I am now a (link removed from post so as not to drive traffic to their scam of a site) Educator.

Recently, I started my first (edited) class.  I have a student couple who has made the decision to birth at home with their first baby.  A rarity, but a wise choice.  One I wish I had had the smarts to make with my firstborn. (Not that I regret my decision of hospital birth--I just did not know enough to choose and be comfortable with home birth back then.)

If home birth is not initially scoffed at and completely thrown aside, the scenario all-too-often goes like this: a mom-to-be states, "I'm not entirely comfortable with home birth.  I'll have this baby in the hospital, and if all goes well, we can consider out-of-hospital birth in the future;" little knowing that the choice of hospital birth will often lead her to the conclusion that she or her baby would have been in trouble at least, and would have died at worst--had she not given birth in said hospital.

Indeed, it is this faulty premise that feeds the illusion of the need to birth in a hospital in order to have a safe birth.  Mom encounters problems in labor and birth while in hospital, and incorrectly assumes that had she been at home, she would have experienced these same complications.  Ask any birth junky: the common quip from women after such an experience is: ". . . And thank GOD we were in the hospital, or . . . (insert dangerous and/or life-threatening scenario here). . . would have happened, and . . . (insert individual's name and horrific outcome here)!"  The faulty logic is that birth = danger, while in fact, very often it is birthing in the hospital that causes the problems encountered in birth: the iatrogenic complications (that is, problems arising as a result of medical intervention, not the actual birthing process).  Yes, hospitals are good for some births, and yes, major abdominal surgery is life-saving in some instances, but this does not mean that the hospital is the safest place to birth for most women.

If you are reading this and it makes sense, I am preaching to the choir.  For any readers who wonder, "Where is she getting these crazy correlations?!", I would truly love to spend a few hours on this post and give all the statistical data to back up what I've said in the above paragraphs, but alas, I have four young children, a teething and needy seven-month-old asleep on my chest as I type, and I need to start dinner, finish laundry, and otherwise continue cleaning and preparing for my next class.  So I regret to say that the above statements will have to suffice as a teaser and a challenge for anyone not convinced of the normalcy of birth.

Since having joined (name withheld) Birth, I have regained an excitement about teaching the essentials of a safe and satisfying birth.  I have also absolutely enjoyed the never-before-experienced sense of community with my sisters in birth: fellow birth educators, doulas and midwives (to name a few) within the (name withheld) Birth community.  This great bunch of birth workers have challenged me, encouraged me and constantly bring new and interesting information my way.  I am LOVING my affiliation with (name withheld) Birth!  (Incidentally, what I loved--and still do--was  the community, which is still alive and well after a mass exodus of most of the educators who had originally joined the org.  The business, as it stands, is a blight to the birthing community.)

Today, one of my colleagues posted an older article by Mothering Magazine entitled: "You Want to Give Birth Where?", stating that the couple had been clients of hers and students of one of our fellow Brio educators (while she was under a previous certification).  This article is a good read: one that chronicles how an intelligent, mainstream couple came to the oft-assumed "brave" and "out-there" decision to birth at home.  (Interesting note: the dad/baby pictured with the article is not the dad/baby of the article: my colleague states that he and his wife were much more mainstream.  I mention this as an aside to encourage you to read the actual article and put aside any conclusions drawn upon seeing the picture.)  Enjoy the read!

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Great Descriptions of Prodromal Labor

So, this is a couple months late, but I recently stumbled upon a blog description of prodromal labor that I thought was thorough and informative.  Go check out Frazzalicious Mommy and her post of late October: Red Light, Green Light. . . A Tale of Prodromal Labor.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What are We Doing?

Quote from the US CDC: "The cesarean delivery rate rose to a record high of 32.9 percent in 2009, up from 32.3 in 2008. The cesarean rate has increased every year since 1996, when the rate was 20.7."

All our advancing technology in birth sure has made a world of a difference, right? Only all these cesareans are not actually saving lives; the U.S.'s  Maternal and Infant Mortality rates are not going down, despite this increasingly upward trend of major abdominal surgery.

We have a ways to go to make birth safer in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mom of Twins Experiencing Prodromal Labor

So, I am a little late in posting this, but as of 8:12 this evening, there was no announcement on Natasha's blog that prodromal labor had culmanated into the birth of her twins, so I'm going to post this, thinking she is most likely still experiencing PL.

Read this post from last week and if you are inclined, encourage this mommy that she won't do this forever.  Prodromal labor has its challenges, and discouragement can be one of them.   Hopefully, someone who visits the post will not only encourage her, but her story will encourage a reader in the future that prodromal labor is not all for nothing.

I hope she updates when she gives birth, and I'll link from here.

*Updated to add: Natasha had her twins via c-section on the 17th!  Read here about "the twizzlers'" arrival and Natasha's coming to terms with a surgery she didn't want.