October 31, 2008

Miscarriage.....God's Purpose Fulfilled.

Today I had the privilege of being a part of a heartbreaking event.

I had a woman call me that I have never met. Her, her husband and their five children had just moved here from California and she was about 14-16 weeks pregnant. She called because she was bleeding and cramping and didn't have a physician or midwife yet. I told her that we probably needed to do a sonogram because even if I heard a heart beat we would still need to know where the bleeding was coming from. So I called my amazing consulting physician and he agreed to see her that afternoon. I knew that she would be scared and apprehensive about seeing someone she had never met before so I went to the doc's office to walk them through the sonogram.

Its always amazing to me how you can have never met someone before but because of the same Spirit living in us we can bond in minutes. I realized after I got there why the Lord had urged me to attend this sonogram. Her husband had to stay with the five children so she was there alone.

Of course we were hoping to find a ticking little baby in there but unfortunately we did not. Her baby was there but was only about 8 weeks along and had no heartbeat. There appeared to be a small bubble on the back of the baby's neck suggesting their might have been a genetic disorder or something else wrong. I believe God in his mercy decided to take this baby into His arms.

Now to make this news even worse, this woman's mom had died a month ago. She was already in grieving mode and now had to deal with the loss of her baby too. I said earlier that I had the privilege of being a part of this heartbreaking event because when I saw that their was no heartbeat, I immediately saw this baby in its grandmothers arms. I shared with her that I had suspected that she was sad that her baby was not going to know his grandmother but that she actually got to see him and hold him before her! She wept and seemed comforted by the thought.

We cried together and I shared with her about my own miscarriages and we as two women who had felt the same pain knew each other and connected in the spirit even though we had only met 30 minutes before.

I told her I believed that with this baby's passing that God was saying that this baby had fulfilled his purpose. I believe that nothing can happen to us until we are finished with the call and purpose for which we were created for. I told her I didn't know if Jesus would share with her what that purpose was but I believed it all the same. She immediately said that it was this baby that had gotten her through her moms sudden death and that she believed that was his purpose. I was thankful that Jesus spoke to her so quickly.

I left thankful that I had been able to offer her the same comfort of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had offered me years earlier.

I left thankful to be apart of birthing life here and also birthing life into heaven.

I left thankful that God saw fit to leave us the Holy Spirit to comfort us in times of grief.

God is good and all that He does is good.

Pray for this family as you Thank God for the comfort of His Holy Spirit.

Short & Sweet conclusion to "No uterus...No opinion"

After my "No uterus...No opinion" post last night, the five Aleve I took brought relief and sleep.

I woke up at midnight, on the couch next to a raging fire. (In the fireplace) My sweet husband was laying on a pallet in the floor not far from me. When he heard me stir he asked "Are you ready to go to bed?" I was surprised because he has always loved sleeping by the fire. He usually was on the couch though.

He's so sweet. He didn't want to wake me up for fear that I would start moaning again and he didn't want to go to bed without me so he slept on the floor! He was more than ready to go to bed and we did. That's it....just wanted you to know how sweet my husband was.

October 29, 2008

No Uterus....No opinion!

I'm cramping. I feel nauseous and my back aches. I don't have a virus or flu. I got my period.

My very natural friends told me to take an herbal product called Cramplex. I took two and after 30 minutes I didn't feel better. My husband took me to dinner. I came home and the cramping jumped to second gear.

Forget the herbs, go for the drugs. I love Aleve. (Naproxin). I'm talking in short sentences because I'm stopping to cramp. OK, 5 Aleve (a little over the recommended prescription strength dose). I should be feeling no pain and sleepy in about 20 minutes. I'm a granola girl with almost everything else but not cramps. I deal with uterus's every day. I do not want to deal with my own. I'd prefer to think I don't have one.

My husband was trying to get me to take some other herbal product and I told him "No uterus, No opinion!" He walked away and said he would rather deal with taxes than my uterus. Ohhh, big one. Why do some women have their periods and feel nothing? Its not fair. I don't wish cramps on them, I just wish for their quiet, obedient uterus to be mine. I had a quiet obedient child so some would say its a fair trade. I'm not so sure at the moment.

OK, I feel better having vented to someone. Thanks. I'm going to go lie down until my drugs take me to that dreamland place where uterus's only produce perfect children and only speak when being spoken to.

October 26, 2008

Top 5 most amazing ways of getting through contractions......let me count the ways.......

Women never ever cease to amaze me. Their strength and stamina out do any Mixed Martial Arts fighter that I've ever seen. (Yes, I'm a fan of UFC!) They leave marathon runners in their dust. They can push a 10 pound baby out a little bitty opening in their body with no anesthetic!

How do they do it? It doesn't come from being taught, that's for sure. It comes from within them. The Word says that whatever He calls us to do, He will equip us and anoint us for the task. He knows us because He formed us. Therefore He gives us ways to cope with birth that are already built within us. He gives us rhythm. Sometimes its fast and furious, other times its slow and graceful.

OK, lets count.......

These women scrub, and clean and the more intense the contractions the harder they scrub. One woman in particular would be scrubbing her floors on her hands and
knees when we got there. We would set up for birth and
wait for her to get up, say "I'm going to bed now." and she
would proceed to lie down on her bed and push her baby out.
As far as I know she did that with every baby that she had
at home. A new baby and clean floors to boot!

This woman would labor like most breathing through the
contractions until she hit transition. Then she gets up
moves to the piano and begins to play....hard. Bach, Beethoven
whatever moves her to breathe, relax her bottom and just
bang it out!

Donna had a client once who every time a contraction would
come, she and her hubby would lock lips and passionately kiss
till contraction was over. They got it out the same way they got
it in!

On more than a few occasions I have had women who sang
during the contractions. Not like Yankee Doodle but long
beautiful notes. Mouth open, bottom loose. Mouth clenched,
bottom clenched.

Not just moseying but power walking! Contraction starts, mom
goes into power walk. Swinging arms, Huffing breath. By way
of path or big circles in room or house. Sometimes wears
midwife out due to staying close in case baby comes flying out!
These ladies usually end their walk climbing hands and knees
onto bed or pushing baby out standing holding up the wall.

Take that Randy Couture or Chariots of Fire guy!

Women don't do natural childbirth for their ego's! They do it for the joy that is set before them! Just like Jesus who endured the suffering of the cross beacuse of the joy that was set before Him.

To be handed a baby that is unmedicated, alert and peaceful with the world he is born into.

Evil Placenta leads me into Homeopathy........

I home schooled Keri until she was in the seventh grade. She was always doing school work within ear shot of my home office that I saw my clients in. She picked up alot of information at 3 years of age about women's bodies and pregnancy and birth than most girls knew by the time they were teenagers. I remember waiting in line behind an elderly woman in the grocery store and Keri asking her quite loudly, " Did your baby come out between your legs?" I apologized to the gasping woman and explained that I was a midwife and that she knew more than she should. She would ask my clients when they came for prenatal visits, "Have you had any bloody show yet?"

Keri started attending births with me when she was about 10 years old. I remember my introduction to herbs and homeopathics came as a freak accident happened at one of my births. Keri loved to examine the placenta's at my births. She was in the process of checking one out in the bathroom when I came walking in with a pot of hot boiling herbal tea to pour into Baby Mama's bath. As I came to where she was standing the handle on the pot broke and the boiling tea poured onto my barefoot daughter and also some on Donna Miller my partner. Keri was screaming bloody murder and I literally watched as the flesh melted off parts of her feet. I was franticly trying to deal with my terrified heart and very hurt daughter and take care of the Baby Mama that had just birthed her baby. What a horrible night!

Keri and Donna sat in the other room with their feet in a bucket of cold water. I called my husband to come get her and asked him to call our church group and have them start praying. Donna had a small spot on one of her toes and pressed through to help me with the rest of the care of my client. I was able to get new Baby Mama taken care of and headed home with Keri who was in obvious shock.

We had just met a couple in our church who were Naturopathic doctors and they were waiting for us at our apartment when we arrived. They started giving Keri Arnica which they said would stop the shock. They also had an Aloe Vera plant and were slicing and squeezing it onto Keri's foot. Donna had encouraged me not to take Keri to the hospital because she really felt like God made our bodies to heal from burns by causing blisters which the hospital would scrub off. I trusted Donna completely and the new friends were confident that she would be better off with alternative care for her feet as well.

It was amazing to watch as Keri came around from the shock as the Arnica began to work. She had third degree burns on her big toe, and second and third toes. She had second degree burns on the rest of the top of her foot. It looked ghastly. We spent all night giving her Arnica and putting Aloe Vera plant on her one foot and first degree on the other foot. The Aloe Vera gave the much needed relief from the pain. Over the next few days we soaked her feet in a Chamomile and Golden Seal tea. Although it worked great, that made them look even worse!

My pastor came over and encouraged us to not let anyone see for fear that someone would call CPS on us!

The Aloe Vera and Golden Seal tea soaks were pretty amazing. Her feet began to heal so quickly. She formed huge blisters which we believed would protect the wound from infection and we kept doing the same rotation of Arnica, Goldenseal foot soaks, and Aloe Vera. We also added the homeopathic Hypericum, which heals the nerves that could be damaged from the burn.

The pain was almost non existent at this point. Then on the 5Th day the blisters broke. At this point the Naturopath told us to start using Calendula Cream on her feet. It was amazing watching the rapid healing from this natural "antibiotic" "tissue healing" cream. Overnight it looked 60% better! The only problem now was that the rapid healing was causing a huge amount of discomfort due to the intense itching. Keri would cry all night from this intense itching. I couldn't stand that and went and got some cortisone cream for the itching. Ahhh. much better. She was wearing shoes and socks by day 7. Can you believe that??

To this day you cannot tell that her feet had been burned. No scars at all! God is so good! From that moment on I became a sponge seeking to suck all the information I could from these new friends about Homeopathy and Herbal treatments. This couple eventually offerred for me to come and use a room in their clinic to see my patients for free! I had this office space for 4 years in Grapevine. What a blessing!

To say the least, Keri wasn't much into going with me to births after that and if you asked her, placenta's were evil.

October 24, 2008

He didn't always sleep through birth calls............

As I posted in an earlier post my husband sleeps through my wee hour birth calls.

I can get a birth call during the night, get up and dressed and be gone for five or six hours and Bob doesn't have a clue that I even left. Its so funny to me that I can leave, go deliver a baby and come get back to bed and he thinks I just got up to go to the bathroom! Yes honey, I coached a woman through her labor, watched as she pushed for two hours and caught her baby as he flew by me. I watched them bond in the herbal bath and I made sure that baby could latch on and nurse before I left. Oh, and I went to the bathroom!

It wasn't always that way...........

When Bob and I married I was still a midwifery student working with Donna Miller as my preceptor. When I would get a middle of the night birth call he would get up with me, talk to me as I got dressed and carry my bag out to the car. He would call and make sure that I got to the birth mom's home and then he would go back to bed.

Not only did he send me off with style, he would make my homecoming amazing. I remember one time it was a cold winter night when I came dragging into the house. When I walked in he had a fire going in the fireplace, a snack fixed and a thick comfy pallet in the floor in front of the fire. He would lay down with me and let me download the whole birth.

After that I could go to bed and he would leave to go get Keri and let me sleep uninterrupted for as long as I needed. They always had a great adventure to tell me about when I woke up!

He may not wake up anymore when I leave but he is still the King of making me feel like a Queen when I get home. Remember the run of 5 births in 36 hours? When I got home he had a bubble bath drawn, dinner made and my bed ready with all my favorite pillows.

Thank you Jesus for giving me a man that supports and pampers me so that I can be with the Belly Mama's.

October 23, 2008

Jelly smeared faces made me want to marry this man...

I was a midwifery student when I met my husband, Bob. So he knew from the start what it looked like to be with me.

At that time I was doing 10-12 births a month, which meant I was called out in the middle of more than a few dates. He was always so sweet and even excited that I was off to bring a new life into the world!

It was a birth call that actually set the stage for the day that Bob stole my heart. My daughter Keri and I were having dinner at Bob's house and I got the "call". I was a little frantic because I needed to move quickly and I had my daughter to take to grandma's before i could even leave for the birth! Bob suggested that I leave her with him and that I could come get her when I was done. Great!! Off I went.

Well the birth lasted all night and I headed to Bob's to pick up my daughter who had spent the night. As I walked up to the front door I noticed that the door was open and through the screen door I could see Keri and Bob sitting next to each other on the couch eating toast and jelly and watching cartoons. They were laughing with big jelly smeared faces. My heart melted and Keri didn't want to leave with me to go home!

Little did I know the amazing bond that Jesus was forming with this man and my daughter! A year later I told my three year old Keri that I was marrying Bob and that Jesus wanted him to be her daddy, Her response? "Well that means he can't be Bob anymore!" She called him "Daddy" from that moment on!

October 21, 2008

October Uterus's Gone Wild!!!!!

This weekend I had 5 clients deliver within a 36 hour time frame.

Notice I didn't say I delivered 5 babies in a 36 hour time frame....

In twenty years of being a midwife it has never happened.

Friday night while I was sleeping I got three calls from clients saying that they thought their water had broken.

Did you guys drink the same water? Did a romantic movie come on? Was it your weekend that became "the weekend"? What the heck!

I gave the normal "everything coming out, nothing going in" speech and said a prayer asking Jesus to let everyone wait until my daughters wedding reception was over that night. I know that's mean but it was my daughters wedding reception and I had promised her I would go off call. I had rented a flapper dress and everything! I put all my staff midwives and then some on standby in case it happened during the reception. I kept saying "One at a time in a nice orderly fashion in Jesus name", which has always worked in the past 20 years and was taught to me by my mentor. Well the reception came and went. I told my clients that I would be back on call at 10:00pm.

At 10:03 pm I got the first call. My client from Ardmore, Oklahoma was on her way to the Birth Center and was feeling like her baby was very close to being born.

At 10:06 I got a call from mama #2 (Fri nite water broke call) (Azle) saying she was finally laboring and wanted someone to come. I sent Abby to go check on her and see what was going on.

At 10:15 mama #3 (fri nite call) (Decatur) called and was finally also laboring but would wait a while to have someone come also. So I headed straight to the Birth center from the reception to meet Oklahoma.

Oklahoma arrived and was 4cm dilated. Because she called me first, she got me.

At 2:43 am (now Sunday) mama #2 who's contractions spaced out and Abby left earlier was ready for someone to come. I called Christy, one of my staff midwives and she and her apprentice willingly went to be with this mom.

I and Abby labored with Oklahoma all night.

At 6:07 am, Mama #4 calls (NRH) and is ready for someone to come. I call one of our privileged midwives and she graciously goes to this mama's side.

, I have the birth center birth going and two other women laboring with backup midwives and one laboring waiting to call us when it kicked in better.

Decatur labors until noon and contractions stop at 6 cm. False labor. She sleeps, midwife goes home.

Now its 12:38 pm, Sun. and Decatur calls and wants someone to come. She has been calling off and on this whole time with reports on how she's doing.. I send Sarah, another staff midwife, to go see whats going on. She arrives and after two hours decided contractions have backed off so Sarah goes home to await client calling with stronger labor.

In the mean time I decide I must transport Oklahoma. She's 8 cm and has been forever it feels like. A little pitocin should do the trick. We get to hospital and they start the pitocin. Less than an hour later she looks at me and says "The baby is coming!" I pull back the sheet and there is baby's head out down to the nose!! I start yelling orders..."Get me some gloves! (you notice I say this first) hee hee, "Call the nurse!" I proceed to catch baby Oklahoma with no doctor or nurse around! Yipee!! Healthy 9lb baby boy! One down, three to go! I go to my phone to text the other midwives and notice that Christy has texted me and Azle delivered 20 minutes ago.
They both called three minutes apart and delivered 20 minutes apart. Dang it, I missed it!

I get home from the hospital at 6:00 pm, totally exhausted from being up all night and trying to manage all these births over the phone. At 6:30 as I was drifting off to sleep calls again and says to stand by, contractions have started up again. I sleep until 9:00 and wake up hungry. Go back to bed at 11:00 because I wanted to blog my frustration! I might mention that my husband made me look him in the eye and promise him that I would not go to any births during the night. He had spent the whole evening holding me while I cried about my stressful day and how I didn't understand God. When I cry he has learned that I am at my limit. So I promised him and went to bed.

At 12:30 am (Monday) I get a call from mama #5, Dr. Cindy's house, saying that she is laboring and I should come if I want to! She didn't want to call me earlier knowing I was having a birth marathon. I hang up the phone, tell Bob its Cindy and pretend to cuddle my pillow and go back to sleep. When his breathing changed I quietly got out of the bed, dressed and snuck out the garage door. I felt like a teenager who was sneaking out of a window! (I didn't do that mom, just heard stories from my wayward friends.)

While I was at Cindy's house I got the call from NRH that labor had started back up and she was laboring hard. I called the priviliged midwife and Abby to go running. She was 6cm and laboring like gangbusters!

My warrior friend Cindy had her baby at 7:58 am. While I was with Cindy, NRH birthed at 9:43am a healthy baby boy! Double Dang it! I missed another one! Another nights lost sleep but worth it!

At 7:00 pm after being asleep only 30 minutes, Sarah calls and Decatur is laboring hard and feels pushy. Sarah is almost the hour long trip there. I have run out of apprentice's to call for help so I call an old friend/apprentice and she jumps at the chance to go help. I have to resign myself to sleep or I'm going to throw up. I can't sleep cause I'm so upset that I'm missing my third birth in 2 days. My sweet husband comforts me and we get the call that Decatur was born only 20 minutes or so after Sarah got there. A surprise baby girl was born. (was told by sono that they were having 3rd boy.) A baby girl! I missed this wonderful surprise! I'm crying again as Bob leads me to the bed.

Poor Bob.....more tears and snot. I threw up, (all that snot) went back to bed and slept until 8:00 am Tuesday morning when I was startled awake yelling..."breathe, don't push!" Realized it was not a moaning pushing woman but the roar of a lawn mower outside my window. What??? Does he not know that I just delivered 5 babies in 36 hours? Reality sets in and I admit that I only delivered 2 of the 5 babies and I lay back down, cry and try to recover from the weekend that the uterus's went wild. I drift off dreaming about chopping the lawn guy up with the lawn mower.

Below is wild uterus weekend birth time line:

Azle was born on Sunday at.............,,........4:09 pm
Oklahoma was born on Sunday at ............4:30 pm
Decatur was born on Sunday at.................9:16 pm
Cindy's baby was born on Monday at......7:58 am
NRH was born on Monday at.....................9:46 am

October 20, 2008

I can't say that anymore!

One of the most common questions that I get when a newly preganat mommy is interviewing me is " How often do you miss a birth due to another birth and what happens?" I have prided myself on always being able to say "I have never in my twenty years of being a midwife ever had to miss a birth because of another birth." Most couples are very comforted by this amazing statistic! I assure them that if it ever did happen that I have awesome midwives that I work with who will fill in for me. Now, I have missed births from being out of town or ill but NEVER until this weekend did I EVER miss a birth because of another birth! Thats because God knows where I need to be and I can't be two places at once, right? Ok, I have missed births because the laboring mom did a wham bam thank you mam' kind of labor and baby came before I could get there but NEVER EVER did I miss a birth because of another birth! I can't say that anymore. I'm sad. It bothers me. My sweet husband keeps reminding me that now I can say I've only missed 3 births due to another birth in twenty years. Still pretty good, right? So....its the end of an era. God and I are talking about it. Well, I'm doing most of the talking and He's listening and waiting for me to stop talking to speak. (so I'll hear Him) He's so sweet like that. I will blog about this weekend that took my breath away later. I'm still talking to God.

October 18, 2008

How it all started.....

I was having the worst year of my entire life in 1986. My husband, grandfather, and best friend all died within about 9 months of each other. I was alone with a one year old baby and no idea where to go or what to do next. I was praying that Jesus would order my steps and heal my broken heart. I received social security survivor benefit for me and my baby so I didn't have to work. I was so grateful. My house and car was paid off with a death benefit that I didn't even remember signing up for. I had incredible support from my church family and my earthly family. Some of my friends from church were pregnant and planning on having a home birth. They asked me to come to their home when they went into labor and pray while they were birthing their baby. I became very interested in what they were doing and why. I was on about my third friend birth when I was allowed to be in the room as the baby was born. I was amazed at the peaceful beautiful miracle of home birth. The midwife for these friends was Donna Miller. I began speaking with her about what she did and what it would take to become a midwife. Donna's husband died about 6 months before mine and we had no idea that God's plan was for us to be joined at the hip for many years to come! Donna told me that I would have to move from Bridgeport where I was living at the time and come back to the metroplex where she lived. I was not emotionally ready at that time to leave my church family and I also had so much to take care of before I could go. I was praying and trevailing over whether God was calling me to midwifery or not. It was a dear friend who told me that if I went where my peace was that Jesus would be there. It was about a year later that I knew that I wanted to be a midwife and that Jesus was calling me there. I called Donna and told her I was ready to move and begin my apprenticeship with her. She laughed and said "Well, thats good because my apprentice quit yesterday! I found a duplex around the corner from my parents and moved back to my home town of Grapevine to begin my new life with my sweet 2 year old, Keri. The arrangement was perfect because when I got called out on a birth I could take Keri to my parents house, put her in their guest room, and take off to the laboring mommy. I had now gone from a time of death and grieving to a job and ministry of life! God is so good. Donna & I bonded from the start. We had both lost husbands and knew exactly what the other was feeling and going through. Donna Miller was a gift to me from my heavenly Father. We practically lived together as we were doing 8- 12 births a month. I apprenticed with Donna for 18 months and we assisted each other for all of our births for another year. To this day Donna and I work together on occassion and cover for each other when we need a backup. I took my first client in 1988 and have been catching babies ever since! Now you know how my God took me from a place of death and loss and transformed my life to a place of truth and life!