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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September check in

Hello ladies! I am on the home stretch of phase 2 and about a week away from requesting phase 3. I wrote a research paper on why we should lower the cesarean rate and hve ben looking for a way to publish it. This was an assignment for my technical writing class and I got an A. I consulted with my writing teacher and she has said that this is a totally publishable paper and I would like to send it out to be published, just don’t know where to send it to. She was very impressed with my research and writing skills. I have attended one more birth since my last check in. It was a friend of mine. It was a great home birth, my first water birth attended and I learned very valuable lessons. The mother self induced with herbs and castor oil a week before her due date and the baby was tiny and covered in vernix which leads me to believe she easily could have stayed pregnant another 2 weeks. She had a long latent phase and was anxious. The baby’s head was not in a centered position and so she really had to work with the small contractions and encourage her baby to move into a better position. The other student midwife had an optimal fetal position book that they were going over and so Mom tried a few different things like side lunging during contractions and sitting with her body positioned forward to better engage baby’s head. Once she was in active labor thing moved well. The biggest lesson I learned about birth at this experience is that no matter who you are or how much you know or think you know about birth, when you are in the moment and you can’t surrender, it is easy to become frightened and irrational. There was a period during transition when Mom was trying to escape labor and I knew what was happening and was in awe at the power of the body’s chemicals to disrupt someone’s conscious thoughts and beliefs. I was supporting the family members present and comforting them while it was difficult to listen to mom fight her labor. They were worried and I encouraged them to trust that this is a normal part of transition and it just means that she has some things to overcome and that she and the baby are fine and she will be pushing soon. I asked them to trust that the midwife would not put her in danger and is monitoring her well, knows her well enough to know if she needs to transfer and they are doing fine. This period lasted about 15 minutes and then mom started pushing. Baby was out in 45 minutes, caught by dad, in the water, it was fantastic. The midwife did a great job of supporting Mom only when she needed it and staying hands off the rest of the time. It was a beautiful birth. It was amazing to watch the Mom, her mom and sister, and her husband all work together and have to overcome obstacles in their own thinking to surrender to the power of birth and allow things to happen as they were intended to. I came away from that birth recharged and fully engaged in pursuing more apprenticeship opportunities that will work with my schedule as they come available. I have been invited to come to an office in Albany for prenatals and office work and will be called when I can come to a birth. I am excited about this and think that it will work out for the time being. I have also been invited to attend a birth with Lennon and went on a prenatal appointment with her to this client’s house. This one is a VBAC. Apparently 4 out of the 6 moms she knows who planned a home birth transferred to the hospital so she is doing her best to trust and try her hardest to get ready for this birth. This will be a journey for sure and I am looking forward to watching her transform through it all. I have some confusion about a situation that happened in my area about a baby dying at a home birth with an unlicensed midwife. The newspapers are vilifying her, but I see the most issue with the mom who didn’t do enough research and was not empowered or supported through her decisions. I have so many concerns and probably misconceptions because of lack of details. I am planning on attending the OMC meeting on Friday in hopes of clarification and to monitor the situation as the volunteer licensing in Oregon might be at stake if this mother gets her way. It irks me because if she thought she was hiring a licensed midwife, why didn’t she look her up? Why didn’t she ask questions at the prenatal appointment about what equipment the midwife uses and her policy about transfers? I guess I just want the comfort of knowing that this midwife did everything in her power to help this mom and I hope the papers are wrong. I feel horrible for the mom and her family for the loss of their baby. I only wish that she would have had the care from the beginning taht she deserved and that this situation can be prevented through proper education and practicioners honoring their clients wishes and empowering them with information so they can make decisions that are right for them. The resources are there, people need to be encouraged to use them. So based on all that, I am also concerned about how I should proceed with my education. Do I need to be preparing for my NARM and Licensure? Do I need to step up my studies to obtain these papers faster than I had intended working on it before? How should I plan things out, what if they take away the option of apprenticeship and I have to go to a different school? I am committed at AAMI and prefer this method of schooling, especially considering I am already going to a University for my BA in Human Development and Family Sciences, should I be looking at nursing instead now? I would prefer to be learning psychology and neuroscience, not nursing…. I think that the psychology is more pertinent to midwifery than nursing at this point. Ughhh the decisions…. Let’s see…. Well, I am also planning trip to Haiti for next December to go to the Mamababy Haiti birth center. I sent an email with questions about how I can legally organize fundraisers and plan for a group of me and a few friends to go and haven’t heard anything back. I read through the website and the handbook and FAQs and am trying to get prepared as much as possible. I think 2 weeks there could take out a year of waiting to attend births here and will help me get closer to my primary care under supervision part of training if I am indeed needing to prepare for the NARM. I also am motivated by the non technological aspects of working in Haiti with minimal resources and learning real midwifery skills without the safety net of a prestigious hospital within a few miles… real life midwifery in a setting that requires it. On the side lines, I am also working on filing a complaint with the State of Oregon Medical board about hospital policies surrounding the unnecessary removal of my daughter’s appendix a year ago. It is very much a mirror to unnecessary cesareans, circumcisions, and tonsillectomies… The whole, you should be glad it wasn’t worse/had a healthy baby/you don’t need that part of your body anyway/ there was no real loss mindset of our culture. Lawyers won’t pick up the case because there is no $$ value in it and all I can do is fight the board for policy change about informed consent and how when information changes, so does consent, and how a child is anesthetized. My daughter has a right to her body, her whole body, even if an appendix is perceived as not having any use, if you go in expecting to see an infected appendix and you go in and see a normal appendix, you don’t remove it “just because we were already there” and don’t come in laughing telling me “at least you don’t have to worry about appendicitis anymore.” Oh! And my favorite book find since I last reported was a CDROM collection of 34 antique midwifery books from the 1700-1800’s (for $5 on Ebay)! The few I have browsed were fantastic! It amazes me how much we had to “advance” in medicine to learn that they already had it figured out pretty darn good in the 1700’s, even the male doctors in Europe had respect for birth and knew when not to intervene. The writing is almost poetic in some of the books. I was really surprised!

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