Friday, November 16, 2007

Birth As We Know It....a must watch for everyone

This powerful, beautiful video states all that I feel in my heart and soul about birth. It touches on ancient wisdom and shows birth the way it is meant to be: peaceful, fearless, powerful, loving. Here is the 10 minute trailer...please share it with everyone! I am looking forward to seeing the full video.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Losing the fear

Last night I was reflecting on motherhood, an amazing journey that we embark on from the moment the little line shows positive on the pregnancy test. We worry, read, talk, and worry some more that somehow, we can never give enough, do enough, be enough for our kids. We worry about giving them vaccines. We worry about choosing not to vaccinate. We worry about ultrasounds in pregnancy. We worry about the "what ifs" when we choose not to have ultrasounds. We worry about picky eating. We worry if our children eat "too much".

Our grandmothers worried for different reasons. A farming family might go hungry if it was a bad year for crops. A serious infection could ravage a child's system, or kill them. A lack of contraception left a woman with little control over reproduction: she might have 10 babies in 20 years, leaving her physically exhausted and with more mouths to feed. How did women deal with this? They had faith. They knew and understood that they were part of a greater mystery. They trusted in God, or at least if they didn't trust in God doing what was best for them, they trusted that God was in control, and they accepted it.

Despite the fear mongering that is prevalent in our society, we are living at an optimum time to have children. We have a healthy, safe food supply. We live in safe, comfortable housing. If we choose to take advantage of it, we have amazing resources like free playgroups, local free libraries, safe and engaging playgrounds, La Leche League and more. Yet our worries persist.

We have lost our faith, and misled ourselves to believe something our grandmothers didn't: that we have control. We think that if we do it all right, we are going to guarantee no scraped knees, no sickness, no harm for our children. Big business takes advantage of us, marketing gadgets and medicines and technology to guarantee that our children will be smarter, healthier and happier. We have put our faith in plastics and computer chips and manufactured foods. We keep worrying because deep down our spirit knows this is not faith at all, but delusion.

We need to find our faith again. We need to acknowledge that we are not in control of all that happens. We need to let go of control in many areas of our lives, and start living with love and power, leaving fear in our wake.

I would like to share with you a prayer that is powerful to help you release control and start living with faith, whether your own personal belief system is based on Christianity or just a feeling there is something "out there". It is an adapted version of the "Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Niebuhr, with the first four lines intact and unchanged as they are extremely powerful to the woman who is learning to let go of control:

God/dess, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time
Accepting hardship as the path to peace and strength.
Taking the world as it is, not as I would have it:
Trusting that I am part of a greater consciousness,
That I am learning and evolving each day of my life
Through my experiences and my choice to live fearlessly.
That I will see the beauty in each day
And connect with all beings in a journey of LOVE.
God/dess, today I give the control to you.
I trust that you will guide me in my decision making.
I trust that the best thing I can do for my family is to love myself,
Tapping into the Love of the Universe, then sharing it with my family.
I am not afraid.

In sisterhood,


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sleeping with the enemy... to speak. I decided to add the "Adsense" program to my blog to generate revenue. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well...yes and no. The whole thing is pretty foreign to me, and the learning curve is steep.

I was dismayed to open up my blog last night to see a link to a site debating homebirth. I am happy to debate the pros and cons of homebirth, and its safety, but this woman goes beyond. She is disrespectful and pours out fear and ridicule. Not wanting to give the author any more advertising, I will only let you know that she and I share the same first name. This "doctor", if she is one, likes to take poor research and statistics, as well as homebirth stories with bad outcomes, and use them as "proof" that homebirth is unsafe. She also has issues with attachment parenting. I could only read so much before I had to click off the page....not worth my time.

The unfortunate fact is that birth is never a 100% successful journey. Babies are born at home, babies are born in the hospital. Sometimes babies die. Harsh facts. Let's look at some other facts:

There have been many studies looking at the safety of homebirth vs. hospital birth. According to the Cochrane database, "Home birth offers a safe and acceptable alternative to hospital confinement for selected pregnant women, and reduces the incidence of medical interventions". They found similar rates of mortality and lower rates of poor Apgar scores, fewer lacerations, less intervention and a much lower caesarian section rate (5% vs. 31%).

To be even more specific, in August of 2006 an Ontario study was released that also supported homebirth. You can read more here:

Don't take my word for it. Go and Google "homebirth studies" for yourself. In order for the study to be relevant, mind you, please note what births are included. For many years, the safety of homebirth was questioned as studies showed higher rates of mortality. Unfortunately, the studies were flawed as they included ALL out of hospital births, and so included births where there was no prenatal care and no trained care provider present. We need to compare births with full midwifery care at home vs. births with full doctor care in hospital.

You can even go check out the enemy...the point of this blog is to provide you with information, inspiration, and empowerment. You need to make your decisions for yourself. For me, knowing that studies show the risks are similar for a home and hospital birth, I will choose homebirth every time. Why? Because studies can't take into account the emotional and mental risk of feeling out of control of my births. Because studies don't show what a natural high you have when you birth your baby of your own will and power. Because studies can't illustrate the comfort of curling up in your own bed with your new baby. Because the hospital doesn't guarantee me anything...but may give me more than I bargained for.