Midwives and Why They are Awesome

What does it mean to have a midwife?  Now, I can’t speak for all women, but I can share our experiences with three gifted midwives.

Who did we call when my water broke at the beginning of labor with Eliana? Our friend, a midwife.  She didn’t live in the same town, but she calmly and graciously answered our questions in the middle of the night and gave us some recommendations before we went to the hospital.

Who did we call when I had signs of mastitis with Eliana? Our friend, the midwife.

Who did we call when we had questions about Eliana’s cord? Our friend, the midwife.

We were seeing an OBGYN at the time, but there is just something special about being able to call a friend from our former college group who is also a midwife to ask questions.

With Natalie’s pregnancy, we did concurrent care.  That meant I saw both the OBGYN and a midwife.  I would leave the OBGYN’s office frustrated nearly every time.  I didn’t fit in her box, and she didn’t like that I was not willing to do all that she recommended.  Yet, when my midwife came to my home, I saw her for the whole visit rather than the last few minutes.  I grew in understanding of my body and was educated and empowered to make decisions for me and Natalie.  We bonded during our time together and trust was established.

I closed my eyes during nearly all of Natalie’s labor, but I do clearly remember opening them at one point and looking at my midwife.  She was completely at peace.  It gave me the courage to push through the pain knowing that she felt I was doing just fine.

People asked me about having Natalie at home, and I told them it was glorious.  I was in my home, with familiar sights, sounds, and smells.  I don’t know about other moms, but walking into a hospital raises my anxiety level.  It is very common for labor to slow when traveling to and arriving at a hospital.  There are bright white lights, tons of people you don’t know, and most doctors work as a team, so there isn’t a guarantee that the one you spent some of your visits with will even be there.  Plus, in our experience with Eliana, we had a nurse who wasn’t supportive of me trying to have a medication free labor.  Trying to defend yourself isn’t conducive to progressing in labor.

With Lydia, we only saw a midwife.  I was so glad.  My appointments were during nap time so that while my other girls rested I was able to meet with my midwife.

Having a midwife means I can move during labor.  I don’t labor in a bed unless I want to.  With Natalie, Lydia, and Charlotte, I have labored in my living room where I had space to move positions during contractions as needed.  I was allowed and encouraged to stand, squat, kneel, sit, and lean.  The baby would be my guide, and I’d move as my body told me to.  I think the freedom to move has been key to my short labors.  Also, I didn’t have those bands around my tummy monitoring me.  Putting something tight on my tummy while laboring was never helpful to me.  I had asked to take it off when I labored with Eliana, because I heard you only needed it on for 20 minutes of hour.  But, since mine kept slipping during contractions I had to keep it on.  I know they serve a purpose, but I am glad my midwife has monitored the baby with a Doppler as needed and can tell without the use of a band that I am having contractions.

Having a midwife means after the baby is born, I recover in my own bed.  I never could figure out how to make the hospital bed comfortable.  I remember adjusting it throughout the night after Eliana was born, but still not figuring it out.  Plus, Kyle didn’t have to leave for the night like he did when I was in the hospital.

Having a midwife means, she comes 1 day, 3 days, and 9 days after the baby is born to check on me and baby.  It may not be a challenge for anyone else, but getting a baby to a doctor’s appointment is such a hassle for me those first few days.

It also means that when I had questions about a rash that suddenly appears all over Charlotte, I sent pictures to my midwife.  She explained what was happening and reassured me that it was normal and would go away.  It also meant getting advice about what to do when Charlotte’s cord had an unpleasant smell.  I don’t know about everyone else’s experiences with doctors, but now a days, each question seems to equal a higher bill.

Having a midwife means having someone to call when I miscarried a few years ago who could walk me through what would happen with my body.  It also meant when my sister miscarried farther along, I connected her to the midwife in our hometown and also asked questions of my midwife.  We both found great comfort in talking to midwives.

One of the greatest things my midwife did was help Charlotte to get out when her shoulders got stuck.  I believe God gave her the exact wisdom needed to move me and guide Charlotte out.

Our lives have been richly blessed by midwives.

 

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Back to School!!!

Eliana and Natalie had fabulous first days at school!  Eliana has been looking forward to school starting since the first week of summer.  Her excitement rubbed off on Natalie who was sometimes a little nervous.IMG_6492IMG_6497 (2) IMG_6503Although I had been anxious the night before thinking about how we’d all get to school between nursing and new rhythms, Charlotte had me up earlier than my alarm and everything went smoothly from there. Eliana and Lydia were up before my alarm too, and the excitement of the day meant we didn’t have meltdowns in the morning!  Hooray!

IMG_6520To help Lydia with the adjustment, we went for a short walk and enjoyed some time at the park.

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Charlotte is a Week Old

And in the blink of an eye…IMG_6486

Charlotte is already a week old!IMG_6487

How did that happen so fast?IMG_6488

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Welcome Charlotte Joy

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Charlotte Joy arrived August 5th at 7:15 am.  She weighed 8 pounds and 15 ounces and was 22 1/2 inches long.  She joined us after 3 hours and 15 minutes of labor.  I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to have home births.  It has been a privilege to work with midwives who care for me and my family.  God has given them talents and wisdom that I am forever grateful for.  Charlotte’s shoulders had gotten stuck, but my midwife was able to care for my needs and Charlotte’s needs in order to safely deliver her.  Kyle was a wonderful support to me once I woke him up.  Since I didn’t know how long I would labor, I let him sleep until the girls were getting picked up.

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I am thankful for GramE, PopE, and extended family who spent the day with my big girls while I labored and then recovered from Charlotte’s arrival.  GramE and PopE had already planned to take the big girls on an adventure to see extended family out of town, and the timing couldn’t have been better.  Instead of being picked up at 8 to start the adventure, they were picked up at 5 something.

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My healing process has been very smooth.  She was quite hungry while trying to help my milk come in.  So we sat together hours at a time until she was satisfied.  I am thankful for Kyle’s help in the middle of the night.  It took two and a half days for my milk to start coming in, and she has been much more satisfied in a shorter amount of time since then.

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Eliana, Natalie, and Lydia love their baby sister.  I was surprised at Lydia’s response.  As soon as she came in the door, she wanted to see her baby sister. She came and sat by me right away and said “Huggies”.  Right away she wanted to hold Charlotte.  That wasn’t how my 2 year olds had responded before to getting a new sister.  Then again, Lydia has been caring for baby dolls where as her sisters didn’t do that until they had a new sister. I’ve heard Eliana singing to her when she cries.  Natalie often comes by to check on her and touch her head, and she loves picking new clothes for Charlotte to wear.

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We love Charlotte tremendously and are so blessed to have her join our family.

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Pumpkin Sized Goals

IMG_5050What happens when you plant pumpkin seeds in March?  You harvest pumpkins at the end of June.  Although there were many beautiful golden bloosoms, only two large pumpkins grew.  I hadn’t done any research on when to plant pumpkins.  Since they arrived much sooner than I expected, I was completely content with two pumpkins instead of handfuls of them.  Turning pumpkins into pumpkin puree requires baking the pumpkins for an hour.  That is an hour of hot oven heat when the temperature outside is over 100 degrees at some point in the day.  And, when you happen to harvest a particularly large pumpkin, it means an hour for each half of the pumpkin.IMG_5049Then what do you do with so much pumpkin puree in your freezer?  I decided my goal would be to try new recipes.  Currently, there is a whirling sound as my bread maker is doing all of the hard work for me to taste a new pumpkin bread recipe.  I am hopeful that this recipe passed down from a book from Aunt Marcie will be a real treat for us.  The recipe said it isn’t the typical heavy pumpkin bread that you think of when fall comes, and it would even be quite tasty with a turkey sandwich.  So, here is to baby steps of trying something new!IMG_6269

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Eliana is seven!

Eliana has turned seven!  I am amazed that she has already completed kindergarten and first grade.  I am grateful that she enjoys reading and didn’t struggle learning like I did.  She stuns us with her artistic ability.  She loves organization and knowing what the rules are. I wonder where she got that from???  We are blessed to have Eliana as part of our family.

 

 

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Rachel and Ruli Visited!!!

IMG_6118Rachel and Ruli are such awesome people, and they are going to make amazing parents!  They haven’t been in living in our city for nearly three years, and yet when we see them it is as though time hasn’t passed.  I love that about them!  The laughter and joy they bring is comforting.  Seeing them spend quality time talking and playing with my girls is such a gift to them and me.  It only took Lydia about five hours to warm up to Uncle Ruli yesterday, but she clearly remembered him today.  I am so glad we are family, and that I remembered today to take a picture.  Yesterday I remembered to bring the camera to a family gathering, and then I forgot to get it out.  My pregnancy memory is causing all kinds of glitches these last few weeks.  Since Rachel is pregnant too, she understands that pregnancy memory is a real struggle.

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