Thursday, May 06, 2010

Today's Midwife Appointment

Turns out that I'm already 35 1/2 weeks!! O.O on the 17th I meet with Cynthia (my awesome-tastic midwife) to talk about what will happen the day of labor and delivery. I can't wait to get the baby out of my abdomen and into my arms, but I still worry about having a natural birth and whether or not I'm strong enough (not that I have much of a choice!).

I got to meet another of the midwives at the practice I've been going to. She was awesome and very nice, but we still love Cynthia bestest! The good thing is, since there is a amll period around my due date where Cynthia won't be able to attend our birth, we do like everyone at the assocation.

We also got a chance to ask a few more questions that came up when we met with the OB. The midwives do not induce labor until 42 weeks at the earliest, unless there are other reasons to believe that the baby is in distress (too little amniotic fluid, slowed heart rate, etc.), so that's really refreshing. They also have such a low episiotomy rate that they can't really make it into a percent (the midwife I talked to today has attended thousands of births and only done 4 episiotomies). Other than that I just did my Group B Strep test, listened to the heartbeat, found out that I haven't gained any weight in the past two weeks, and left. The best visits are the uneventful ones :-)

I have my Bradley method childbirth class tonight, and am starting to have some issues with the workbook material.. mostly that they cite rediculously outdated studies and seem to talk about Dr. Bradley like he's some sort of childbirth prophet. That said, I like that they engage the partner and encourage natural childbirth. I love that the teacher/doula that I take classes from gives us updated materials and encourages us all to think about what is best for us personally. (Here is the doula's blog: Thoughts from a Doula and website: Rights of Passage)

I'm also working on another potentially paid crafting project! I swear I'm going to start my etsy page one of these days, I'm just getting all the real-world contracts that I can first. Right now it's crocheting BOOBS for my teacher/doula and some of her acquaintances to use as lactation awareness aids. I'll also be making some of my feltimals (simple felt stuffed animals) for her prize bin. Unfortunately the first boob that I attempted came out kind of wonky, and not in a way that could be passed off as "every boob is different" wonky :-/ I'll be borrowing one of her current lactation-aid boobs tonight to use as a pattern.

We're also considering whether or not we should hire a doula for our labor and delivery. Honestly, we love our midwife to death and would probably be more comfortable with less people around. J and I have always found immense comfort and relaxation in just being together alone and able to concentrate on eachother. We also really don't know that we can afford to throw another expense in at the moment. Colleen (the teacher/doula) has been amazing and offered to do some bartering, and I know intellectually that we should have another person there who is a professional and can help us advocate for the birth that we want, but I really don't think there are going to be any issues with Cynthia as our midwife. As great as advice on this subject would be, I really think J and I are going to have to make this decision on our own. 


  1. Yay for uneventful appointments! I love hearing midwifes without episiotomy percentages! There are so few good reasons to cut.

    My experience with the Bradley method is pretty limited but I have run into the same three problems in my practice.

    1) Bradly was an egotistical ass that manipulated women while they were in labor (get a copy of his book from the 80's and you'll be sickened)His observations concluded that women were unable to comfort or coach themselves through labor and needed a level headed male to do so for them.
    2) There is not enough confidence building through his method. What happens if your partner can't help you like expected or even worse what if you don't want your partner to coach you. You can feel crazy things during labor. There is no shame in needing time to yourself or wanting someone other than your partner to hold you.
    3) It can leave men feeling helpless. Birth is complicated and painful and I have seen a few fathers crushed because they were unable to give their partners any relief.

    At the same time its one of the most popular natural childbirth methods and you can learn a lot from it. Just remember to play it by ear and not take anything to literally.

  2. Oh and are you watching the The Big Push for Midwives Campaign?? There is some really interesting stuff going on in your state!

  3. yay to babies being born around the 17th!

    that's my friends due date so it's a great day to have a baby!

    and you'll have enough strength to get through a natural birth, it's what us women are made for!

  4. I wrote this HUGE LONG explanation about the workbook, and the stigma of 'Bradley', both the doctor and the method (which are ironically not connected), but I LOST it when I tried to publish it and am too mad to start all over again! Stupid computer!

    Suffice it to say, I don't teach 'the bradley method' at all, I teach a hybrid that is dictated by regional trends, emotional readiness, my delivery room experience as a doula, and the tools parents need to birth in the way of their choosing. I do a lot of follow up, and don't believe I've ever had anyone feel helpless in the delivery room. I encourage people to explore their own wants and needs and comfort levels with birth, so that when the day comes, they're emotionally prepared for any curve ball thrown at them-- whether it's a medical issue, a support issue, or a comfort issue. I do my best to cover it all, and give parents the tools they need to cope with anything-- something 'the method' doesn't do at all.

    I also don't subscribe that any one way to birth is better than other, and don't assume your roles based on gender or anything else in the delivery room either. I'm open to all things, and teach to that end.

    I also only really use the workbook for vocab and relaxation exercises, and if they didn't make me buy them, I'd skip them in their entirety. So just read the vocab and move on if you don't like it-- I don't like it either.

    :P I hope you feel like the class does all these things for you-- at least as much of the class as you can attend before the baby comes!

  5. Colleen: Thank you so much for responding to this post! i personally love the way you teach the class and present on all topics from both sides of the divide. Heck, if i didn't like you're classes, i wouldn't link to you so much on my blog!

    The frustrations in this post were mostly triggered because I was working on the workbook homework and was finding holes in the information they presented. Still, I think the same can be said for much of the literature about childbirth; everyone is going to take a side, and it's up to the reader to make a well educated decisions.

  6. Oh, I'm happy to respond, and always happy to talk about what I do and why I do it-- and always open to suggestions or other points of view on how to do it differently.

    So, how is THIS for interesting??? Justin's (from class) mother had him and his brother with Dr. Bradley, and she didn't like him! LOL! How is that for a coincidence?? Especially after this conversation! It makes me wonder why they signed up the the 'Bradley' method?? I'll have to ask him!

    Oh, and no worries, I'm not offended or anything (you have to try harder than that to upset me), i just wanted to make it clear that I don't 'belong' with those hard-core Bradley-types that are out there. Though, the harder I look, the more I see that most instructors don't. At least the ones with a brain...

    We all wish the academy would do things differently, and we all teach to our own 'agendas' so to speak, but interestingly enough, the 'Bradley' name still draws enough attention to keep us in business, so we keep our credentials instead of going elsewhere. And that's really what it's all about. Whatever is going to help me reach more families to have empowered, kick-ass childbirths is good with me.

    And for your sake-- just finish Henci and skip the workbook-- I think you'll have all you need from there! :)

    Ashley-- I hope you weren't offended or upset by what I said. You're TOTALLY entitled to your opinion, and I didn't want to argue or anything, I just wanted to be clear what my goals were in class, and that your girl was in good hands... that's all. :)

  7. Oh My goodness I totally missed this! I was in no way doubting your abilities as a teacher. I am so glad to hear that you are taking the good and running with it.
    I love hearing how you teach it! I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job. I wish we had a Bradly teacher like you in the bay area.

    Sorry if there was any mix up.