In a Nutshell..... Why do I do this?

Last Friday, I rode with the midwife I assist to do our home visit with one of our clients. We typically make a home visit before the birth so we can familiarize ourselves with the route - makes it so much easier than driving cold turkey in the dark- and we get the sense of the layout of the home in terms of the birth. This was a repeat client but she had moved since her last birth. It took a bit of doing to get there and it was a lovely rural type setting. The weather was warm and the sky was clear and blue. She greeted us with her toddler. We chatted and toured her cozy home. Then we did the prenatal appointment- belly check, fetal heart tone check, urine check, blood pressure check- etc. Her little one showed us some of his toys. I admired some of her homemade toys and she showed me how to do the blanket stitch in order to finish the edge of her handmade doll. We lingered a bit and I remembered her last birth. I'm very much looking forward to attending this birth. We hugged goodbye and waved as we slowly drove out of the driveway. I looked out the window as they stood there watching us leave. For me- the next time I see her she will be in the midst of labor, as I'm typically not called until labor is advanced. The midwife precedes me and calls me to assist when she needs me which is usually later in labor. The mama looked so beautiful with her round belly and her precious little one was standing there by her side. It was as it should be. I felt almost moved to tears and I thought " We have the best job in the world!"Every woman deserves this type of prenatal care. We get to know the family. We listen with respect and true interest. The midwife builds a relationship with the mama and the family. When labor begins we attend as invited caregivers. We will be the supporters of the process. The birth will be attended with care and attention. The family unit is respected and supported. The baby will be gently and lovingly welcomed into the arms of his/her mama and in his/her own home. I love home birth. Love it love it love it.Post partum care is equally wonderful. They don't have to go anywhere. We leave them settled in in their own bed. Personal attention. Family support. Breastfeeding support. In addition to the personal visits there is the continual availability for phone consultations. Midwifery does not leave mothers and babies in the lurch. I'm so proud to have a share in this model of care. I wish this type of care for all families.So, there it is..... I love this work. It never grows old. As is the case with this family we build a history with our clients. What a privilege. If only more women availed themselves of this dignifying and respectful model of care. As a nurse part of my role is education. I feel the need to make this model known as an option. I'm using this blog as one way to accomplish that goal.
Posted by Helen at 9:43 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Important work

Last week I assisted at a birth. It had progressed slower than the mama had hoped for and she had to work really hard. She birthed at home as planned and everything was good. We thought about the respect and support that we gave to this family and wondered what would have happened if this couple would have planned to birth in the hospital. Of course, there is no way to really know - but it seems unlikely that in that setting, there would have been a calm acceptance of the slower progression that took place. Both baby and mama were doing great and there was no need for medical intervention.

As we were leaving we felt such satisfaction that this precious family was upstairs falling in love with their baby in the coziness of their own bed and in the comfort of their own home. They were all doing great. Mama had a wonderful meal and was going to get some much needed rest.

We talked a bit about the birth as were walking out to our cars. The midwife said, "We do important work." I agreed that it is indeed very important work and I really don't care who dislikes us for doing it - it's so important. How we treat pregnant, laboring and birthing women matters - it matters so much, and has far reaching effects.

I went home feeling very full and privileged to have a share in this very Important Work.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moms choosing Cesareans

Read this article about 1 mother who chose a Cesarean birth.
I wrote my thoughts in the comment section. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

Well, I thought I'd tell about some play that my 7 year old twin granddaughters were engaged in several months ago. Their mom, my daughter-in-law, shared this with me.

The kids have an extensive dress up wardrobe. E was wearing a lovely costume/ dress that was given to them by their older cousin who wore it in a dance recital. It is quite fancy. Fancy enough to wear to a Ball, which was exactly where E said she was going.

She told her sister, M, "I'm going to the Ball". Then she said, while holding the lump under her dress- "I really want to go to the Ball, but I'm going to have a baby". She grunted and pushed her baby out. Now with babe in arms, she looked conflicted. "I really want to go to the Ball but I just borned out this baby!"

M tells her that all is fine as she, M, will watch the baby for her. E considers this and says, "Well, I do really want to go to the Ball, but I did just born this baby... I don't know..." M assures her it will be fine and E remains conflicted.

Finally M tells her "It's O.K.- I've taken a special class in baby sitting!" E still is unsure- she really wants to go to the Ball- but she did "just born this baby". M tells her, " It will be fine! Look! I've got this special bed just for the baby."
Well, that does it! E looks with disdain at the bed & cries, "A bed! NO! Babies belong with their mamas! I guess I just can't go to the Ball."

Initially, I thought it was just cute, but after I shared it with some moms and have thought about it, I realized that it was really more than just cute. E has already figured out birth and parenting. Mamas put their own needs on hold to care for the needs of their children. They may "really want to go to the Ball" but just can't because of their children's more pressing needs at the time.
She knows that babies should be with their mamas & not stuck in a bed off in another room.

How does she know this? I'm not sure. She feels it, she's had it modeled for her. My daughter-in-law is a most wonderful mama and so E and her siblings have first hand experience with attachment parenting. My daughter,who is also local, attachment parents her 3year old & her 15 year old daughters.

I'm so thankful that my grandchildren have had these healthy models to follow. But that doesn't always mean they will get it right away. Remember, her own sister wanted her to leave the baby with her! This same sister told E during another play moment, "You have to do what I say- I'm the HOSPITAL LADY!!"

Swimmimg against the cultural current. We'll keep doing it & hope that eventually, they all get it. For now, at least E knows that "Babies belong with their mamas!"