Monday, June 30, 2008
I was trying to get one of her sleeping face by holding the camera up. This is one of those odd pictures that you almost delete, and then look closer at and decide it has a weird surrealism to it. Or at least that is what I thought.
From: Stuart Fischbein
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 5:35 PM
To: Douglas H. Kirkpatrick, MD
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
PO Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090-2188
I am a practicing OB/ GYN in southern California and Fellow of ACOG and recently was informed by midwife colleagues of your recommendation and encouragement for the AMA to lobby Congress for a law banning out of hospital birth. Funny that I had to hear of this decision from outside sources and was never approached by my college to see how I or my local colleagues felt about it. I have grave concerns regarding my organization taking such a stand. I think we are all agreed that ACOG has a statement regarding patients' rights to informed consent and informed refusal. Yet, it seems with every decision our organization moves further away from that basic tenet. ACOG's little "guideline" paper on VBAC in 2004 where the word readily was changed to immediately has had the chilling effect of doing away with VBAC options at hundreds if not more hospitals. Not due to patient safety, or the ideal of giving true informed consent but really, let's be honest, to fear of litigation. I have seen how patients have become counseled by obstetricians at facilities where VBAC has been banned. They are clearly given a skewed view of the risks of VBAC but rarely told of the risks of multiple surgeries. If you think this is untrue you are, sadly, out of touch with real clinical medicine.
As to out of hospital birthing, please give me the courtesy of an explanation as to the data you used and the process by which an organization which is supposed to represent me came to this conclusion. Any statement saying that it is as simple as patient safety and that one-size fits all hospital birth under the "obstetric model" of practice should be applied to all patients is, putting it nicely, not really in line with what best serves all our patients. In many instances, hospitals are not safe, certainly not nurturing and have a far worse track record for disasters than home birth. Even when emergency help is nearby this is true. The focus of all of us in medicine should be on reigning in trial lawyers and tort reform and lobbying Congress for that. The best interest of the college members and the patients we serve would be for my organization to spend its time and energy on something that has true benefit. Removing choices from well-informed patients and caring doctors and midwives is wholly un-American.
So please send me detailed information on how ACOG decided outlawing home birth was a wise thing to do. You must have scientific data to take such a drastic stand. Please make it available to me so that I may share it with like-minded colleagues. I would also like to know the process by which this came to pass. Who first raised this issue and why? What committee reviewed all the data and did its due diligence in interviewing those of us with long-standing experience in backing midwives who perform out of hospital births. There must be a fine, non-confidential paper trail you can share with your members. Specific names of committee member who voted for this would be enlightening and I am requesting this information. I would like to know the background and expertise regarding out of hospital birth for each member who had a hand in the decision to go to the AMA.
We live in an odd era where once something is said or recommended by a legitimate organization such as ACOG it has deep ramifications never intended such as becoming fodder for trial lawyers trying to squeeze the lifeblood and dignity out of your members. Or forcing women to travel hundreds of miles in labor to find a supportive facility. Or even worse, to have them arrive in a VBAC banned hospital and refuse surgery. Can this be the best we can do for our patients? Remember, your VBAC statement was meant to be only a recommendation but quickly became the rule by which hospital administrators, risk managers and anesthesia departments of smaller hospital banned this option for thousands of women. An option, that in proper hands, was the safe and accepted standard of care for 30 years. In fact, you still have an ACOG VBAC brochure that recommends this option! For those of us working at smaller hospitals where VBAC was banned due to lack of emergency help (anesthesia, OR crews, etc.) there is a big question that has perplexed us that no administrator seems to be willing or able to answer. That question is: "If a hospital cannot handle an emergency c/section for VBACs, and most emergency are for fetal bradycardia, hemorrhage (ie. abruption) or shoulder dystocia not for ruptured uteri, then how can they do obstetrics at all?" For they seem to still be able to have a maternity ward without in house anesthesia. Will someday ACOG, in their great wisdom but seeming disconnect from reality, make a "recommendation" that little hospitals stop providing obstetric services? Will this better serve women and their communities throughout America?
I am frightened and angered by what you have done in my name. Now I ask you to defend your position in encouraging the AMA to lobby Congress for another restriction on the freedom of choice that belongs to women and their families. Those choices include midwifery and the right to have the most beautiful and life changing event occur wherever best fits their desire. Midwives are well trained and required to have obstetrical backup. They have very special relationships with their patients and want the very best outcomes for them. They do not need me or you to police them. We have a habit in our country over the past 40 years of thinking we can legislate out stupidity. All that has done is erode the individual freedoms that belong, by birthright, to each of us. I would hope you trust your Fellows to know their specialty, their colleagues, and what is best for the patient as an individual. These decisions do not belong to politicians or faceless committees. You should have more faith in your members to give balanced informed consent. Again, my recommendation to you is to put all your considerable energy into changing our legal malpractice system. Those of us actually practicing medicine and caring for patients know this to be the greatest threat to the mission and responsibility we have chosen to undertake.
I look forward to your response and possibly the beginning of a meaningful dialogue.
Stuart J. Fischbein, MD FACOG
Medical Advisor, Birth Action Coalition
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Today is not supposed to be quite as hot as yesterday, but still warm. Bleh. Here was the scene at our house this morning after I dropped A on daddy while I went to the bathroom. We slept downstairs, but Ron braved the big bead. Poor Orion did not want to wake up. And Akasha slept most of the day as well. Guess heat makes folks sleepy around here.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Will try to add a picture later... :)
OK, here's one:
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Natural Birth Activist...
So Ron has taken to accosting strangers in stores. LOL, not really, but he has started several conversations recently. He talked to two different families looking at formula recently about the benefits of breastfeeding. Then he talked to a couple at Trader Joe's about why he wasn't yelling at Orion. He said the dad seemed more interested than the mom! He told them to go home and Google Alfie Kohn and Gordon Neufeld if they want more info haha.
But the biggest thing that has happened lately is his discussion of The Business of Being Born on a mainstream forum he mods. These are mostly younger folks, and alot of them actually went and watched it. One girl even said she couldn't imagine doing it any other way now!
And for today's picture, the first of many scenes like this I am sure. :)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Your first child teaches you the depth of your love.
Your second teaches you the breadth.
Of course, Akasha is my third child, but this will be the first time I have to juggle the needs of two little ones. I don't know where that quote came from, but I heard it at some point, and it really stuck with. I think so many moms wonder if they can possibly have the same amount of love for a new child, and it always just magickally happens. :)
I haven't checked in much about Orion. He seems to be doing great regarding the baby. He doesn't pay much attention to her. But he is acting out in other ways. He got mad at Ron this morning and threw something at me. :( He is very attached to Ron at this point, and I think we are going to have a really hard time when he goes back to work. He did ask to nurse a couple times, so we decided I would be the one to lay down with him at night, and we would let him nurse then, and see how it went from there. Indeed, it seems he has forgotten how to latch. He took a couple sucks and said "yum" and that was it. He did that for two more nights, and then last night didn't even want to do that. So I guess that is it. I think he is officially weaned.
I think he is doing fine all things considered. I am looking forward to feeling better so we can get out of the house. I just hope my back gets better and holds out for babywearing, because that is going to be key for successful parenting of two I think!
Things have been going mostly well. I was worried Akasha didn't seem that interested in nursing at first, but it seems to have really kicked in the last couple days. She is showing some fussy at the breast behaviors though, mainly on the right side. Hopefully the frenulum snip will help with that. Last night was straight out of hell, though, as I had some kind of reaction to something I ate. I am wondering if it could have been the Panda Express from two nights ago as that is the only thing we have really had different. I have never felt that sick in my life! For a couple hours, Ron had to take the baby. Luckily I happened to nurse her right before the worst of it hit. Then it seemed done and I have felt mostly fine since then thank Goddess. Miraculously, this was timed with her best night yet. She pretty much nursed and went back to sleep all night. I think I got more sleep last night than any night so far.
Not a great pic, but the only one I took today.
Happy Solstice Baby!
Friday, June 20, 2008
First off, because it is too cute to bury a few days ago, Cuteness by Amy:
Can you stand it?
And the mandatory yawn picture. Aren't you glad we got crying and yawning out of the way?
Our little quiet alert girl.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Gotta get the crying face too. She does not like diaper changes!
She does alot of this... during the day haha.
Enough with the flash already lady!
Chubbalubba! Manual lighting - so much nicer.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Carter looking chill.
OK, so Carter looks more like a gang banger. Those Californians - I swear!
Yeah, I know you just came for baby pictures. :)
Now Chris has baby fever!
Carter was in love.
For all of you who have asked for this, there is really not much out of the ordinary about this birth, but I am sure my write up will still end up really long as I am a rambler haha.
Let’s see, where to start…? I had been having strong Braxton Hicks for ages, which had gradually started hurting more. Not sure when I would consider it prodromal labor, but the pain started getting bad enough to stop and take notice on Thursday (the 12th). In fact, when I laid down, they kept waking me up, and I only ended up sleeping a couple hours that night. So I was a bit worried on Friday as I have friends who had prelabor like this for several days. I wanted the birth to take its own course, but I also was afraid of getting exhausted. Then I realized it was Friday the 13th and thought how cool it would be to have a baby on that day! I decided to take a nap in the afternoon and do a round of Pam’s cohosh plan in the evening to see if anything would happen.
So that is what I did, and nothing much seemed to change. I was still having fairly painful contractions with no pattern to them. I was starting to feel kindof depressed because I couldn’t sleep but felt like real labor could be days off. Then around 11 or so, the contractions seemed to pick up. I had Rose start timing them, and they were actually coming pretty close, mostly 4-5 minutes. I had no idea because some of them were fairly mild. It turns out they were following a pattern, although not a common one. I would have one pretty strong one, over a minute, then the next one would be about 45 seconds and not very painful. Odd. So I called Pam around 11:30 I think, and she suggested timing them for a half hour. I also mentioned that so much of the pain seemed tied up in the fact I felt a lot of bladder and rectal pressure at the same time. She said that sounded like possible posterior, even though I wasn’t having back pain, so I decided to start riding them on my hands and knees just in case.
Of course as soon as I got off the phone, the intensity and regularity seemed to pick up. Some were even only 2 minutes apart! So I told Ron I thought we should go down to the birth room and he should fill up the pool just in case (it is a huge one and was going to take awhile). I called Nicole to give her the head’s up, and she decided to head over. Then I called Pam back, and she said to give it another half hour to make sure. Ron was wanting her to come, but I understood as there are so many times something like this still dies out. But I also reminded Ron of the only thing he really needed to remember if Pam didn’t make it (don’t let the baby’s head come out of the water then go back under). Things kept rolling along and we were about to call her back when she called and said they had decided to come anyway. Guess everybody had a feeling this was it!
My contractions kept up the odd pattern of being mixed with weaker ones the entire time – even during transition. It made me question if this was really it, but labor is individual and strange for sure! I got in the pool as soon as there was enough water to enjoy it, and boy was that nice, but I was soooo sleepy. I was starting to feel dozy between contractions, so I decided to see if I could go to the bathroom at all and then lay on the bed to see if I could get in rest mode in between. While in the bathroom, I had a doozy that actually felt pushy at the end! I wasn’t too worried as I figured I couldn’t really be that close, so I thought I would see how the bed felt. Pam and Lennon got there somewhere around that time. The bed didn’t last long! The contractions were really starting to hurt, so I said I was getting back in the water.
I was wishing I had something lower than the wall to lean on, so Ron’s mom came up with the idea of an upside down plastic crate with a towel on it, and that was perfect. I was doing most of my contractions leaning on that, and they were getting pretty intense. I was off and on starting to feel mildly nauseous in between and was wondering if I was near or in transition, but I was still managing pretty well, so I was skeptical. When I started feeling kindof pushy at the end of some contractions, I asked Ron if he was getting in the pool. Maybe I sensed I needed him. It was perfect because I got into this kindof sideways position where I was pushing on his leg, and that worked well for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was pumping me with Reiki energy. Maybe that was why transition didn’t seem quite as bad this time? And I kept doing that all the way through pushing.
At that point I am pretty sure transition was really hitting because I had a few contractions that never completely subsided before the next crescendo. Thankfully I didn’t get any more nauseous! I was feeling more and more sporadically pushy, and my “O”s were turning to grunts and roars at the end. Then I felt the “pop” I have always heard about. For a split second I was like, what the heck, then I realized it must be water. It was weird because I couldn’t feel the amniotic fluid itself in the water at all. Lennon looked with the flashlight and confirmed it. I checked with Pam and she said that was at 3:02 am and that she thought I was in official pushing mode after that.
And dang, was I loud! I kept thinking about my friend Aubrey who said, “I roared that baby out!” That was just how I felt, and it seemed like the right thing to do. This part seemed way more painful than with Orion for some reason. At one point I said, “Whoever said pushing was a relief was crazy!” I think part of it might have been that Pam doesn’t do internal exams during labor unless you ask for them. I really wanted to follow my intuition, but part of me was wondering if I was really complete. I finally asked if it should hurt so much because I remembered that is how you know if you have a cervical lip. She asked where the pain was and said she thought I was fine. So then I gave over to it, and lots more roaring ensued. :) It seemed like a long time before I felt anything lower down, but then oy!
I never felt the “ring of fire” with Orion, but Goddess did I feel it this time! When it started burning, I made the funniest noises. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but I remember thinking it sounded like a little animal – something high pitched haha. As much as it hurt, I feel like this was the most empowering part of the birth for me. I so wanted to listen to my body, and I feel like I did that really well at this point. With each contraction, I would push a little and then stop and blow through it. I could just tell this was the best thing to do to let myself sit and stretch a little bit each time. It was an amazing experience just being in tune with my body and doing what I felt was right. I was also reaching down and feeling for her head this time. I have seen so many pictures of crowning, including Orion’s, and thought it would feel flat and hairy, but what I felt was smooth and bumpy. I remember asking if it could be the cord pushing out first because that is what it reminded me of. They looked with the flashlight and said it was the head and that it does feel ridgy because of the head being squished as it comes out.
Somewhere around this time, Lennon asked Ron if he wanted to catch her, and he said he would! This was the biggest surprise of the birth as he had not wanted to before. Originally, I planned to reach down for her, but I couldn’t in that position! While the room in the pool was great in early labor, it was officially too big for delivery! I had nowhere to put my feet and was hanging onto the edge. If I had let go, I would have gone under water!
I was wondering how many of those “crowning pushes” I was going to have to do, but I think it was only a few before Ron told me her head was out. Like last time, I didn’t even know it! Phew! Next push brought out half her body. That was pretty funny because I just assumed the rest would come all at once. Ron told me later she was out right to the middle of her stomach, with her hands still tucked inside. Pam was in the background asking gently if I could give just one more push. I remember laying there and thinking, sheesh, I was always done in one more push after the head before! But I took a breath, pushed, and there she was! Ron put her right on my chest and it was love at first sight for sure. She looked totally pinked up right from the beginning, and Pam said later she was a 10/10 for sure. She gave a few little sputters and was crying and breathing just fine. No plastic bulbs for my baby. Ron was checking her hands and feet out, and I just kept nuzzling her head and thinking how soft it felt.
I think this is right when we heard Orion upstairs. I had originally wanted to wake him up for the birth, but I am glad now we didn’t as I had no idea how loud I would be during pushing. As it turned out, that woke him up anyways. So perfect timing except Ron had to get right out of the water. And the poor little monkey was upstairs all alone and scared at first. He totally freaked out at being woke up initially, and Ron was going to put him back to bed, but he kindof came to and decided to stay.
We stayed in the water for awhile and waited for the placenta. At this time, I started going through all our names, and really felt like Akasha was the one. She certainly came into the world with an elemental force, and later I thought how it was interesting it is related to the principle of sound. Very fitting! The placenta didn’t seem ready to come, so I decided to move to the bed for more cuddling and waiting. Still nothing for quite awhile, so they said to try standing up. I didn’t think I could do it while holding her because my pubic pain was AWFUL at this point. So we checked if the cord was still pulsing. It wasn’t, so dad and Orion cut it together. Akasha went to Dad, and I was helped up. Still no placenta in the standing position, so I decided to go sit on the toilet. They put a liner under the lid, and I sat there for awhile. It was kindof freaking me out that blood was coming out every time I pushed, so I think that was what was keeping me from pushing harder. But I finally started working a bit more at it and out it came.
They had gone ahead and weighed her while I was in the bathroom, and as I suspected, a whopping 11 pounds, 6 ounces! She almost bottomed out the scale! Back to bed with the baby and got checked out for tears. Three small ones, but all superficial, so they were left alone. They actually weighed the placenta because it also looked so big LOL. They said they don’t usually do that – it was 2 pounds – guess that is big for a placenta. And then that was it. There was a bit of cleaning up, instructions and snacking, then everybody got on their way and it was a cuddle fest for the rest of the day!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Then Amy came by with a meal and to do a few quick pics! I think we got some nice ones. We didn't take any of our own today, so I will have to add them here for our one a day series when we get them. :)
Monday, June 16, 2008
At least we managed to get this shot with the tripod and timer before she left.
One of Grandma's other gifts:
This was declared a seatbelt.
And then I got a few more in the evening rocking with Daddy. My friend Jessica kept up with doing at least one picture a day for awhile, and I think that is a great idea!
LOL cross eyes
And the oh so common newborn one eye.
She is the mellowist active alert baby I have ever seen! <3
In other amusing news, the nickname Suma is now stuck in my head. Ron kept saying she looked like a sumo wrestler at birth, so the feminization just popped into my head. Of course Orion had like 20 nicknames in the blink of an eye, so I am sure she will have many more before we know it. :)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
We have decided on her name: Akasha Rose Prague
Akasha is the Sanskrit word meaning "aether" in both its elemental and mythological senses. In Hinduism Akasha means the basis and essence of all things. The source of everything that exists. It is one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five great elements"; its main characteristic is Shabda (sound). In Hindi the meaning of Akash is sky.
Rose is Ron's mom's name, and was also the name of my step-grandfather's mother.
I still haven't had the chance to write up the official birth story, so I figure I will just make that a separate post. I wanted to get up some of these pictures, though. They span the labor, delivery and rest of the day.
Most of the pictures were blurry. I realize that is my own fault as I wanted the room to be just candles, so I had to accept we weren't going to get the kindof great pics I had at Orion's. I went ahead and used some of the blurry ones here, because they do still give an idea of what was happening. :)
Here I am in the giant tub. This was before any of the assistants got there. I think I look like the Buddha haha.
I was soooo tired as I only got two hours sleep the night before due to prelabor contractions already getting uncomfortable, and I look like it in this picture! I decided to lay on the bed to see if I could feel snoozy in between. That didn't last long....
Back in the tub. This was probably transition/beginning of feeling pushy. I love this picture because Ron looks so centered and in Reiki mode.
Blur motion baby! But the only pic we have right after she came out. Ron actually caught her although he didn't want to at first. He really had no choice. :)
Look, it really is a baby!
Nicole checking her out.
I woke Orion up with my roaring. He was freaked out at first, then decided to stay up and check things out.
Rose feeling the cord still pulsing.
I call this one: "Four Hours of Sleep"
First mom and dad shot. Blurry but all I have.
Getting checked out.
Almost topping out the scale!
I thought this was funny. Rose was taking a picture as I was trying to get one on my phone for Sarah.
Daddy's first diaper change.
Orion checking things out.
Wow, does Ron ever look tired. And yes, that is a sposie. We don't get our service delivery until Thursday. I have a few cloth right now, but as Ron is doing everything and doesn't really like them, I am giving him a break for a few days. :) At least we put a cloth one on for her very first one. :)
Grandma gets a turn.
Orion holds his sister - LOL bedhead.
Learning what to do.
No, he was not choking her! He was actually giving her some sweet gentle pats.