Wednesday, August 31, 2005

latest and greatest pic of my kids Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

birth story (abbreviated)

I just wrote a novel about the birth I attended last weekend. In reading it over, I felt like I went into way too much detail, and realized I don't want to reveal that much information without my client's consent.

So, here is the short version: Mom's water breaks,(weeks early) and couple go to hospital a few hours later. I am called in 5 hours after she is admitted. Shortly after I arrive, she requests an epidural. She dilates quickly and is ready to push. She pushes for 5 hours, without progress and baby is born by c-section. Baby and mom are well. Not sure why baby never really decended, she was diagnosed as "arrested descent".

This mom was a total champ during her labor. She was cheerful and agreeable during her extensive pushing stage. She was in so many different positions I lost count. In the end, she had her baby and everyone was healthy. It was an unexpected turn of events from start to finish.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Called into action

Last week a fellow doula sent out a broadcast email asking for a backup for a few days. The other 2 doulas in the email link were both out of town, so I responded and agreed to be backup for her. She left yesterday and returns next Tuesday. She advised that the client is a first time mom who was feeling a bit nervous and was hoping to meet me. She connected us and we met this morning for coffee. The pregnant mommy and I talked for about an hour and I felt very comfortable with her. I told her I had a client who is due next week, so she wasn't allowed to go into labor until her regular doula comes home on Tuesday. She laughed and said she could keep her legs crossed until then. As we were leaving I asked her to send me an email after her baby was born, because I now felt a little invested in her and would be curious how things went. She said she would and we went our seperate ways.

An hour ago, she called me again.

"Hi Terri? It 's me from this morning?"

"Yeah, how are you?"

"You are going to kill me. My water just broke."

So I am going to a birth that I was not expecting! The really ironic thing is that she contacted me when she was searching out doulas. We emailed back and forth and then she said she found a doula she was really comfortable working with. I wrote her back and wished her well. Never expecting I would be there anyway!

Evolution of a father

The picture is of our friend Ron. He is holding my newborn daughter Brooke in the photo. I remember the visit like it was last week. Pam, his wife eagerly held Brooke and cooed in her ear. Ron was reluctant to even go near her. Finally we managed to convince him to hold her and snap a quick picture. Notice how uncomfortable he looks. He seems completely unsure about the tiny creature in his lap.

Flash forward 4 years. Ron is now the proud father of three children. Boy #1 was born 8 months after this photo was taken (no wonder Pam was so eager to hold the baby). Girl #1 was born 2 years later, and Boy #2 was born about 5 weeks ago. I thought about this picture this morning as I was driving past their house. As I approached their house, I spotted Ron passing his new baby out of the baby bjorn strapped to his body into the hands of his wife. Their son and daughter were outside too, clad only in underwear and diaper respectively. They were saying goodbye to a friend pulling out of their driveway. I slowed my minivan and rolled down my window.

"Hey, how are you guys? Those kids look great! That is the best thing I have seen all day!"

Ron shouts back "Dude, I'm Mr. Mom, I haven't worked a single day in the month of August!"

Au contraire...I'm sure he has worked EVERY day during the month of August.

This is my friend Ron. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Yes, and....

So, before I became a doula I worked in the world of theatre. Before I had my kids I was an apprentice and manager at this theatre. I loved the work, but relized early on I wasn't nearly self-centered enough to become an actor. I love actors, but lots of them are head cases. I am way to pragmaitc to live job to job and suffer for my art. I did that for a while, but then decided I had had enough.

During my training in the theatre, I did have some exposure to improv. Improv really scared the crap out of me as an actor. I was (and am) fascinated by those people who could just make stuff up on the spot. I always felt more comfortable with a script. Then I took a class and learned the rule of "Yes, and.." That means you accecpt the situation and add to it. It is the basis of improv. I had no idea at the time that this would come in so handy as a doula!

After I had my son, I realized that birth is one great big improvisation! As a good first-time mom, I dutifly wrote a birth plan (my script) and planned for my birth. As you might imagine, my birth didn't go the way I imagined. My water broke, there was meconium in the fluid and so my birth plan flew immediately out the window. No laboring at home, off to the hospital we went.

As I was entering into this improv, I tried to remember my rule of "yes, and..."(it wasn't easy). Yes, my contractions weren't starting on their own, and I was going to have to be induced. Yes, my baby was in a posterior position and I was having back labor. Yes, my labor was dragging on over 24 hours and I needed some rest. And guess what, I opted for an epidural. Was any of this in my birth plan? No, but this was the situation I had been presented with and my husband and I did our best with improvising our way to meeting our baby.

I try to apply "yes, and..." to the births I attend as a doula. When I am presented with a situation in a labor, I try to accept it and then use my experience and training by bringing something to the scene at hand. At the most recent birth I attended, the doctor proclaimed the woman was having a "prodromal labor". This was announced to me by doulicia (she has an eloquent post about the entire birth). I hadn't entered into the scene yet; I had met doulicia as I was coming off the elevator. She looked tired and a little defeated. She explaned that she was feeling a deja vous from her last client. Same hospital, same diagnosis, same room, same nurse! I could tell she needed a boost. I listened to what she said, accecpted the situation, but in a way broke my rule! I said "Let's not do prodromal labor today". In thinking about it afterward, I realized that I didn't technically break the rule. We as doulas, just added something to the scene. There are so many different variables in labor that send off different chain reactions! Sometimes you can change the dynamic by taking a left turn. By saying, "yes, but how about this instead....."

Monday, August 22, 2005

This is me in 1975. I can still remember getting this picture taken. I was mad at my mom for making me wear my school uniform. To this day I can't stand peter pan collars. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Turtle with sombrero Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

funny (again)

What do you get when you take someone with:

a little time on their hands + a lot of gumption + some video and computer technology?

you get:

one of the many things I love about the world wide web.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Butterfly ranching 101

So I am now in the business of raising butterflies. The pictures below are from this past weekend at my in-law's house. My father-in-law is a former high school science teacher and he does this every summer. For the past few years he has given me a chrysalis or two and we have watched them emerge. Actually we always miss the actual "birth", we usually notice after the butterfly has already come out. It is harder to time it than you think.

Anyway, I got the full lesson on how to find the monarch eggs, how to gather, feed and clean up after the caterpillars (I have to remove their poop, people). Roger also taught me how to carefully remove the chryslis from the top of the jar and tie it to a tiny branch. I now have 2 chryslises(sp?) 7 jars with caterpillars munching away on leaves, and approximately 10-12 leaves with eggs on them. Now I just need suggestions for names.

Can you tell I am a birth junkie?!!

The two butterflies that opened on Sunday Posted by Picasa

Andrew with new butterfly Posted by Picasa

New Monarch Posted by Picasa

Butterfly coming out of chryslis Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mermaid by Brooke Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 12, 2005


This is for all of my fellow PBS junkies. Especially the Antique Roadshow fans. I laughed out loud and almost wet myself a little.

Savage Chickens

Peace out.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

baby girl

Double doula #2 reports the arrival of a healthy baby girl. Working with doulicia again was just as much fun as it was the first time. There was just a good vibe with the couple and the labor nurse and even the OB. I'm not sure what the OB thought about the "double doula" scene at first, but she grooved with it. She even used some of the Arnica oil during crowning. She referred to it as "doula goo" Doulicia and I found that hilarious. She gave us the thumbs up at the end and said she was going to put us on her list of "good doulas". Building bridges ladies, always building bridges....

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

the things you see with cable tv

I am not a technical wizard by any means. I can surf the internet, blog to my little heart's content and even post pictures on flickr. I cannot build a web page or speak any computer languages. My husband can and that is one of the many reasons I married him. He can do complex math problems and runs a computer business. In short, I love that about him. I am the liberal arts major (theatre with an art minor) so I am good at the arty things and I like that about myself too. I think we compliment each other nicely.

Last night, worlds collided.

A while back we got a new TV. Our old one broke and Mark took the opportunity to go buy a new one. A really big HDTV one. I knew nothing about HDTV and really didn't know what the big difference was. I was more pissed about the fact that he wouldn't even take it in to see if it could be fixed. (We gave the old TV to his brother and lo and behold all it needed was a new on/off switch). Anyway, the new TV arrived at our home and not long after that a new HDTV cable box arrived as well. Mark was all atwitter about watching football in High Def. Woooo Hooo! as Homer Simpson would say. Since that time our cable company has added a new feature called "On Demand". This generally means you can see almost any show you want that is on their menu any time you like. Miss last week's Six Feet Under? No problem, fire it up and catch it when you can. Andrew has figured out On Demand and is a virtuoso at it. He mostly watches Corwin's Quest and Austin Stevens Snake Master. He is also partial to American Shark. He can navigate the remote better than his mother (big surprise).

So imagine my surprise when I was surfing on the "on demand" feature lastnight when I found a Lifestyles option. I boogie down to the Parenting selection. What to my wondering eyes should appear, but a childbirth preparation selection! Birthing options {click} Labor positions ("ooh check this out") {click}


AWESOME! This HDTV stuff is cool! (This is where the worlds start to collide!) Not only am I engaged in a new television technology, but it is centered around birth. Awesome! The birth classes were taught by Erica Lydon from Realbirth in NYC. The Labor positions episode that I watched was great! I only hope that they don't disappear from my "On Demand" menu. I will have to figure out some way to share them with my clients. Maybe Andrew can help me figure something out... he is his father's son.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

new photo page

I am not completely useless on the computer. I have just completed uploading some pics to a new photo web page on flickr. Hopefully if I get the link right, you should be able to get to them.

Happy viewing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

unscientific study

So I had a meeting with a new client tonight. We were chatting during our first prenatal meeting, discussing the type of birth she is hoping to have and we were talking about midwifery care. She is due at the end of August and will deliver in the hospital with a Nurse Midwife. She asked an interesting question tonight. What percentage of my clients were under the care of midwives? I had to stop and think and said I wasn't really sure, but I guessed around 60%. Then tonight I came home and figured it out. Here are the results of my completely unscientific study.

Number of births attended: 18
Number under midwifery care: 11 (roughly 61%)
Number under OB care: 7
Number who had epidurals: 9
Number who were unmedicated:9
Number of vaginal deliveries: 16
Number of c-sections: 2

Of those women who chose to get an epidural all of them were under the care of an OB. Only 2 of the women under the care of a midwife chose to have an epidural. Both women who had a c-section were under the care of an OB (although 1 was a breech presentation and was therefore a scheduled c-section). Interesting results, no? And I wasn't too far off my original guess of 60%.