I had the privilege of assisting and photographing at my dear friend, Julia’s homebirth in September. I didn’t take nearly the amount of pictures I thought I would due to the fact that it was a fast labor and it was SO quiet! The camera was not quiet however, and neither was the 100mm lens I used occasionally. So instead of around 500 photos, I took just under 300. Don’t worry, I only picked my favorites for the slideshow. My friend Tamra, lent me her baby (read: one of her DSLR cameras and all but one of her lenses), while she was on vacation in California. Julia’s little one happened to wait until Tamra got back, but due to a mis-communication, I was still photographer. Our midwife (I say our, because she’s also my midwife), had called her assistant shortly after I arrived, but the baby came so fast, that I ended up being assistant as well.
I was in awe the whole time. Julia was amazing to watch. Her home was so peaceful, and so was she. She needed no interference or help. She trusted her body and listened to her heart. It was such an honor to be there. I told her that I loved the whole experience. I love birth and babies! Thank you, Julia, for allowing me to be a part of this sacred occasion.
Baby Peter* was born at home Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 2:24 am. He weighed in at 9 lbs. 8 oz. and was 21 inches long–the same as his sister “Wendy” who is now 2.5 years old. I’m working on the birth story so check back for more. For now, here are some pics. The last two are of an amazing knot in his cord.
*Peter is a pseudonym
Okay, so this is a VERY emotional issue for me. Childbirth is a very personal choice and effects the well being of mom, not just the baby. Also, I’m uninsured and refuse to birth in a hospital if it”s unnecessary. This bill would force me to choose Unassisted Childbirth (UC) at home or pay a huge bill to an OB and hospital. NO WAY! Just because not everyone chooses homebirth (after all it’s not for everyone), doesn’t mean it should be taken away from the women who do. Please write to your legislators to encourage them to vote NO on the bill.NO TO SB243!!!
This is a nasty attempt by the Utah Medical Association to get rid of Direct-entry Midwifery (DEM) in the state of Utah and to take away a woman’s right to have their babies “where, when, how, and with whom they choose” (see Utah Code 58-44a-601 below). They may say they’re not trying to do this, but that’s what the effect of this bill would be. The Utah Legislature passed the Direct-entry Midwife Act (HB25) in 2005. Why is someone trying to legislate this again? They say it’s to help keep moms and babies safe, but I don’t believe it for one minute.
Why would I be excluded? Well, having a “history” of large babies (over 8# 13oz) would risk me out of a DEM’s care for one. Also measuring over 3cm for the week of gestation, suspected GBS (I was negative with my third child and positive with my first two), and infection requiring antibiotics. So having a tooth infection (I’ve had it with my last pregnancy) that’s been treated would force me out of my DEM’s care.
As part of the original bill, HB25, the midwives are required to report all pregnancies and subsequent births to a national database. (I believe MANA keeps the database.) Then DOPL would put together a report for the year. 94 laboring moms were in the 2006 report (see DOPL Report below). If SB243 were in effect then, only 4% of those 94 women could have delivered at home assisted by a midwife. Hmmm, there’s a HUGE problem with this bill!!!
No other profession regulates another profession. Midwives and Medical Physicians treat patients so differently that they should NOT have the same rules. Midwives are highly trained and they know what they’re doing, oh, and SO DO I! It’s as if the UMA thinks we’re all dumb sheep who can’t think for themselves. Ugh!
I could write about all the bad things about this bill (and the sponsor), but reading it yourself as well as the following links should say it all for me.
Join the Utah Friends of Midwives group to learn more and how to help:
Say NOOOOO! to SB243 – NOOOOOO!
Sen. Dayton (Sponsor of the bill and wife to an OB) – She doesn’t stick to her “views” on government. I don’t think her “unborn children deserve our protection” applies to forcing women to birth in the hostile environment of the hospital because they have big babies!
Alright I’m done for now.
Some disorganized rambling thoughts of mine —
I’ve been thinking about the last few weeks of pregnancy with my now 5mo since one of my best friends, Tamra, is due with her fourth biological child next week.
I remember how difficult it was to wait for my body to begin labor, especially after a week beyond my due date. The only people I really wanted to talk to were my best friends and midwife who knew what to say and what not to. I knew they could sympathize without making me doubt my abilities to birth my baby without medical “help.” It “seemed” as if everyone else was so concerned that something was going to go wrong. It “seemed” as if very few people trusted in my ability to receive revelation for myself and my baby (although I do have to say that these people may not have seen it in this light). I was irked by it all, but I tried to stay happy and calm despite the negative feelings I received from a few people. The Spirit is what helped me keep my sanity when Satan was working at making me doubt what I knew was right.
David was a tremendous help, but even he began to wonder if all would be well. He was ready to check me into the hospital at the first day of week 42. I wasn’t, however. I have to say, though, that I couldn’t have had such a wonderful experience during and after the birth if he hadn’t been there for me. He was such a comfort. Thank you honey!
My midwife, Cathy, was so calm and trusting of me and my body. She was an extreme calm in my storm of frustration. She was always reassuring and willing to help or sit back and watch. She didn’t seem alarmed at anything. I think she was too kind when she said I was the nicest overdue mom she’d dealt with. :)
My close friends were also very reassuring and willing to help in any way possible, whether it be babysitting or just lending a listening ear. I wouldn’t have made it to week 41 if it hadn’t been for their help. They always knew what I needed to hear to keep me going.
We had difficulties hearing the heartbeat at the beginning of the pregnancy, yet I didn’t feel like I needed an ultrasound. I knew that homebirth was right for this baby’s birth as well. I don’t recall a time in any of my other pregnancies where I trusted the Lord so much. He gave me comfort and uplifted me when I felt at my lowest. My recent post on Joy would have been a HUGE help at that time. I understand, now, that I wouldn’t have felt the immense joy I did, had I not felt the deep sorrow.
I guess I should go into more detail as to what I mean… I went had a whole day of prodromal labor the week before Wendy was born. My midwife and friends all came over, but despite our efforts, the contractions stopped and everyone went home so I could rest. The next week was extremely hard to deal with. I wanted my baby in my arms so badly. Well meaning family and friends would ask about how I was doing, what was I going to do if the baby didn’t come soon, how long was I going to wait until going to the hospital, etc… I was tired of the same questions from different people. I began screening my calls after a while. On General Conference Sunday, I didn’t go to a family breakfast because I wasn’t looking forward to more questions. I stayed home and rested and cried, rested and cried. I was so emotional, but I hung on. After getting the kids in bed, David and I talked for a while. He voiced his concerns, and I voiced mine. We didn’t argue or anything, just cried together. After a very emotional discussion I asked for a priesthood blessing. I felt better and more at peace (like I had prior to the doubting thoughts snuck in by Satan–he doesn’t have a problem with getting someone when their vulnerable). I listened to a hypnobirthing CD and fell asleep. I woke up early with contractions. Baby Wendy was born later that afternoon after 14 hours of labor (not all active labor) and no difficulties.
So my point…I knew with all my heart, that the Lord would bless me with my desire for a homebirth and that all would be well. If I hadn’t been in the depths of despair (so to speak), I would never have had the incredible joy I experienced when she finally made her arrival that calm, beautiful day in April. It gives me hope for the next pregnancy and birth. I know I can do it, and I know that the Lord will always help me if I’m living righteously and listening to the Spirit.