MAYD to Birth: At Your Doorstep

Promoting gentle, empowering mother journies…

Jonathan Safran Foer

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An evening with Jonathan Safran Foer
i went to see my favorite (contemporary) writer speak last night in bexley. i went with my two best friends aaron and chelsea, who were thankfully as big of fans as i was. there’s something about sitting in silence in a dark room of strangers that is wholly unnerving to me. i’ve long had a problem seeing movies, though generally i am able to engage in what i’m seeing enough to forget about that discomfort thank God! the ticket gave no explanation of what the event was going to be like. it only used words like “presentation” and “an evening with jonathan safran foer”. book signing? reading? creative writing mini session? pictures with him? the lights dimmed and he was introduced and he just started talking like a normal person. well, an eloquent, kind, sweet, entirely high brow sort of normal person. i mean the guy went to princeton and published a worldwide best seller at age 25. what immediately stuck me, after an almost 20 minute introduction by an emmy award winning local journalist and another introduction by the president of the bexley education foundation, was his deep humility. he was entirely gracious and unpretentious in accepting the wordy praise of these people. humility goes a long way with me.

extremely loud & incredibly close came to me in a dark time. i remember laying in bed and crying while reading it but feeling simultaneously inspired by the main character to work through the crap i was dealing with. the main character, oskar, is probably my favorite modern literary figure. which is a little odd because he’s only 11. but the book is just so beautifully written and emotional. the movie was pretty meh. i mean there really was no way for that project to succeed given the text, let’s be real. anyways, his writing means a lot to me because it is one of the few books that i can remember reading and identifying with a character so much that i feel like i actually drew strength from them.

NERDGASM
so naturally it was my plan to tell him a shortened version of that when he signed my book but really i just turned into a deer in headlights and squeaked JENNY when he asked who to write it out to. later when my friends, who were much farther back in line than i was because i thoughtfully (IM SO HUMBLE) brought my book from home and both of them had to purchase theirs from the lobby, got their book signed they told him my little story and he said that meant a lot to him. of course i was in the gallery waiting for them to finish up, probably picking my nose when they motioned at me for him to see who the story was about.

he closed with this poem, written by by Yehuda Amichai

A Man In His Life

A man doesn’t have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn’t have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
what history
takes years and years to do.

A man doesn’t have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.

And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn’t learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.

He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the place
where there’s time for everything.

Asynclitism: a well aligned baby or a tilted head?

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This post is a quickie. I am compiling a list of suggestions for future posts via Facebook and Twitter which I will start working through. In the meantime this little topic has been cropping up a lot so here goes…

Asynclitism is when the baby’s head is moving through the pelvis ‘tipped’ to one side. This is usually diagnosed by a vaginal examination in labour. However, asynclitism is rarely caused by the baby having his/her head tilted to one side and rarely a real problem. Instead, like the anterior lip, it is a normal part of the physiological process of birth.

Disclaimer: Routine vaginal examination has NO place during a physiological birth. Unfortunately vaginal examinations continue to be commonly used to determine progress despite the lack of evidence supporting this invasive intervention. In addition, most women do not experience a physiological birth and instead have their labour induced or augmented. Once an intervention is implemented it’s effects need to be monitored ie. assessment of cervical dilation. Therefore, the following explains what is felt during an examination in relation to what is happening as the baby descends and rotates through the pelvis.

Asynclitism: normal birth physiology

The baby enters the pelvis through the brim/inlet. The easiest way to do this is with the head in the transverse position (facing sideways to mother). However, the baby is not lying in a perfecting vertical position. The woman’s pelvis is tilted and her uterus/baby are also sticking out at an angle – check out a pregnant woman for confirmation. If at this point in the birth process you put your fingers into her vagina, you will feel the side of the baby’s head near the symphysis pubis. If you dig further you will feel the saggital suture towards the back of the pelvis. The baby’s head is not tilted… it is perfectly aligned with the baby and the pelvis.

Once the baby has descended into the cavity/mid-pelvis he will use the space and the counter pressure of the pelvic floor (unless the muscle tone is reduced by an epidural) to rotate an anterior position (facing towards mother’s back) to fit the shape of the pelvic outlet. It is not until the baby has made this rotation that you will feel the centre of the head in the middle of the pelvis. If the baby’s head is well flexed, you will also be able to feel the occiput, the posterior fontanelle and the lambdoidal suture (I love that word – lambdoidal).

As usual the text book depictions of a perfectly central saggital suture reflect our cultural need to keep birth neat and orderly. It fits in with the clean and clinical depictions of birth in which the woman is replaced by diagrams and graphs. The reality of a vaginal examination is very different and involves bodily fluids, squishy bits, hair, caput (swelling on baby’s head), moulding, the amniotic sac, difficult to distinguish parts of the head… and is usually an unpleasant experience for the woman (yes, she is involved). When birth becomes complicated there may be an indication for a vaginal examination (eg. to determine position), but in the absence of a complication there is no point. Telling a woman that her baby is asynclitic is at best pointless and at worst stress inducing… OK I’ll shut up about VE’s and save it for dedicated post later on. Moving on…

Asynclitism: a variation or complication

Occasionally the baby enters the pelvis with his/her head tilted down towards their shoulder (a variation). If the baby continues to descend in this position it can alter the progress of the birth process. The woman may experience irregular contractions without change over many hours. Most of the time the baby will sort themselves out, particularly with an actively mobile mother. Techniques to create more space in the pelvis may help to provide additional room for head wriggling and repositioning. Unfortunately a common response to this situation is to put up syntocinon (pitocin) and create stronger contractions. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what happens if you have stronger contractions pushing the baby through the pelvis even harder and faster. The baby needs space to realign his head rather than more pressure and compaction (and the additional risk of syntocinon). Very occasionally the baby is unable to adjust his position and the birth becomes complicated – the baby becomes increasing compacted in the pelvis and begins to show signs of distress. In this situation the woman may require assistance to birth (instrumental birth or c-section).

Summary

Asynclitism is a normal part of the birth process. When it is caused by a tipped head it can alter the pattern of labour and may require additional work and support. It can be difficult to work out which type of asynclitism is happening via a vaginal examination (normal or a tilted head). Therefore it is best to keep fingers out of the vagina and focus on the woman and what she does or does not need from you.

Further resources

Spinning babies

I would love to hear your experiences of asynclitism.

50% Off Webinar for the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference

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Readers,

I have been confirmed as a panelist at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference on May 31 – June 1, 2012 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

If you attend, please take a few seconds to fill out the box on the form which asks how you learned about the conference with some variation of Unnecesarean, The Unnecesarean, Jill Arnold, CesareanRates.com or anything that will let them know that I referred you. Without the benefit of institutional support and without a spare $1500 in my pocket, I asked if they would be willing to help me get there and was relieved that I could help them by filling seats.

If you are in the Netherlands, then please ga naar de conferentie en vertel hen dat ik van je verzonden.

For those of you who want to stay put and attend the conference from home, you will want to get a group together and sign up for the webinar for half-off just for saying I referred you!

Please read more and reserve your spot today. My new Dutch friends can now mock me for using Google Translate to destroy their language. Het spijt me.

Jill

 

Human Rights in Childbirth Conference

Healthcare in childbirth is of great importance to society. This conference takes a unique, consumer perspective. It will focus on the legal and human rights issues arising at the intersection of childbirth and healthcare. The conference is being organized and hosted by affected groups, a legal research institute, and an international law program at The Hague University. Therefore, it creates a unique opportunity for a wide spectrum of stakeholders to share perspectives on the issues relating to birthing women and their families.

Doctors, midwives, lawyers, and parents agree on the general principle of client-centered care in childbirth. The conference will be a platform to explore the practical aspects of human rights in 21st century healthcare systems, and how those systems can both maximize safety and respect the dignity of the women they support.

For more information on the conference and for an overview of our esteemed panelists, please visit our website: www.humanrightsinchildbirth.com. (Facebook | Twitter)

 

About the Human Rights in Childbirth Webinar

This webinar provides a unique opportunity for professionals and parents around the world to be a part of the global discussion on human rights in childbirth. The Human Rights in Childbirth Conference will be LIVE streamed by a professional team, so you can watch live and join the discussion via twitter.

If you are unable to join live, you will be able to watch the conference panels at your leisure for 30 days following the conference, join the ongoing discussion via the Facebook page, and connect with the regional and international networks of professionals capable of protecting women’s fundamental right to authority and support in childbirth.

We want the conference to be accessible for your community, and we have negotiated a special price for you to join this important event!

 

Regular Price: €175/2 days inclusive the pre-conference publication. [Edit 5/8/2012- One day webinar option dropped]

Special Price for The Unnecesarean: $75/2 days pre-conference publication not included.

 

How to get this special price:

1. Go to the Registration Form: Registration Page

2. Fill in the registration form and select the webinar (you will see the regular prices but don’t worry you will get your discount!), in the field “How did you learn about the conference? *” fill in “Unnecesarean Discount”

3. Do not pay by clicking on the PAY PAL directly (then you will pay the regular price). You will receive a confirmation email from our office with the discounted price and you can pay either via PAY PAL or via a bank transfer.  The details for this will be provided in the email confirmation (this is created by a human, it is not an automatic mail, so won’t be sent directly). 

 

 

 

 


Amber Bead Necklaces

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Photo by Susie Faughnan

I’ve learned a lot about Amber Bead Necklaces recently. Like everyone else, I wondered if they really worked when I first was aware of the crunchy moms in my practice putting them on their babies. That was several years ago. Since, I’ve heard many  moms insist that the teething necklaces decreased the drool and fussiness and improved their baby’s quality of sleep. I kept hearing how  it had to be Genuine, Raw, Baltic Amber, Light as possible is the best for teething. Before I placed my second order I reconsidered if it had to be raw and “as light as possible.” When you start re-questioning, the moms have said they all get the job done.

From all the feedback I get about the necklaces, I honestly think it doesn’t matter raw vs polished, dark vs light. 

I hear how adults want a necklace too for carpal tunnel, neck pain, help them sleep better.

I have found out is is very hard to find raw necklace 18 inches and above. Everything I have found in longer lengths is polished. If you have found them let me know.  For adults who truly wanted raw, they have screwed two shorter ones together.


At least from this Lithuanian company. There may be “imitators” out there? I say you should get what ever your personal preference is and that’s why I got more variety with my second order. I’d love your opinion on this.

Perhaps, the amount of anti-inflammatory activity in the light may be “a little” more than in the dark, but is it significant. Doubtful.

The most popular question I get is; “Can you leave it on at night?” They baby ones are designed for 2 months old and above. They work when your skin warms the amber to reduces inflammation. At night when you are warm seems to me to be the most beneficial time to wear a necklace. Removing for sleep seems to me to be reducing the optimal benefit. I believe disclaimers “not intended for sleep” are legal disclaimers. Yet, you have to what your instincts and comfort level are. Take it off at night if you want, but you may lose some benefit. I know that some moms keep it on the baby’s ankle at night. That is a compromise. An ankle doesn’t seem to be as warm as the neck and chest and certainly not the same proximity for teething benefits. There is a knot between each bead. It is not a chain that can snap and the beads go everywhere.

They can be cleaned with damp cloth and warm water.

So my husband decided to give it a try and twisted two 12 inch ( dark chips) chains together to make a 24 inch chain. Within 10 minutes like he discovered gold, he said “it works”! Then he went to sleep. :) I was happy.

My office is well stocked and the best bet is to come by during office hours.

Permission to Mother now available on Kindle!

"Fracturing the Doctor-Patient Bond"

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Your “About” Page Really Needs an Update!

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I just realized that my “about” page for for this blog was about 5 years out of date! Wow, that was a trip down memory lane… back when I was on bedrest for 10 weeks due to preterm labor while pregnant with Will.

He was only born “3 weeks and 1 day early”. He has been a very healthy little boy. Now Will in a Montessori preschool and growing so fast!

Here is an update to what’s “about” me these days:

Hi, I’m Christine. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved here from Portland, Oregon July 2005. I have since worked at the Apple Store (where I met my husband), a yoga studio, LululemonDeepRoot, and TaskRabbit. I also used to teach bellydance and perform with the troupe Gypsy Caravan of Portland, Oregon.

I am now in the process of re-inventing this blog and myself as my 3.5 year old son has just transitioned into (nearly) full-time preschool.

I’m hell-bent on becoming a linchpin, living the well, rasing an awesome child, and social good. I also dream about dance and how I will revive it both in sharing the knowledge and collaborating with other dancers (both in class and in performance).

What moves you?

Yours,

Christine

Contact:
email me at: christine [at] maternityshare.com

Failing to Fail Properly

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Fail until you SUCCEED via http://fatfithealthy.tumblr.com/

I had to sweep the floor so that I could do yoga before I got started on my work. Then I had to check my email, my Facebook, and download Kickstarter gift from Beats Antique so I could have some sweet tunes to work to. But, actual my work is not getting done – and everyday this routine keeps repeating itself, the worse I feel.

Why am I stuck in a this cycle of avoidance? It SEEMS like I’m getting stuff done. But, that stuff is not what I need to get done first to show improvement in what I REALLY want to be doing.

My friend Almine posted a picture to Facebook today of a rock climber against a beautiful background so high up that only birds could (or so I would have thought) see that view. The caption was “Fail until you SUCCEED”. That image coupled with the spirit of Almine inspired me to post it on my own Facebook page so it would sit there as a reminder.

Okay, so, I know I am failing right now (because this blog post is not the work I am supposed to be doing), but, I don’t think that is what she meant by it.
In order to successfully fail I need to do my work. Put one foot in front of the other and JUST DO IT.

So, here I go. I am ending this post (which at least I can tally as writing practice) and moving on to the work I keep putting off: social media for an amazing new start up. I hope to be bold enough to post here about it here very soon.

Now, time to fail until I succeed.

Will, Framed by Paint the Moon

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These wonderful frames are a free download as one of the many delights that come with Liking the Paint the Moon’s fun, friendly Facebook Page. I wanted to try them out and, loved them so much I had to write about them right away. (Ok, I should have photo edited my photographs before putting them in those lovely frames but I will just have to learn that part next!)

I found the Paint the Moon site (that offers Photoshop Actions and Textures) after I stumbled upon the wonderfully charming blog Dear Button by the multi-talented mama Annie Manning. Both sites are filled with eye candy and are vibrant communities that are pleasure to be a part of.

Please go check out these wonderful sites. Annie’s love of life, her family and, making the world an even more beautiful place is a gift for us all. Enjoy, and be inspired!

http://paintthemoon.net/

http://www.facebook.com/paintthemoonphotography

http://dearbutton.wordpress.com/

Augustine is 7!

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Birthday breakfast for Augustine!
and right on the heels of his sister’s 5th birthday, augustine turned 7 yesterday! it is amazing to me that so many little nuances of my life go by and my brain just files away the details until they become almost like they happened to someone else and yet birthing my children i remember with amazing, vivid detail. i remember my water sprung a leak right on the midwifes table before an examination. i was mortified, thinking i had peed a little and ran out of the room to go to the bathroom and compose myself. but a little litmus test later my jaw dropped realizing shiz just got real and i was about to me a mother. david and i nervously walked around my parents house and i found 14 four leaf clovers. we sat in total silence watching ray trying to distract ourselves from the “deadline” of when we had to return to the hospital (10 pm). bags packed i said goodbye to my parents and we shuffled into the night and to the hospital. the next day at 4:14 PM out came a screaming little boy.

he rang in his birthday the same way i did my 30th, with a breakfast at Jack & Benny’s.

Augustine is 7!

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Birthday breakfast for Augustine!
and right on the heels of his sister’s 5th birthday, augustine turned 7 yesterday! it is amazing to me that so many little nuances of my life go by and my brain just files away the details until they become almost like they happened to someone else and yet birthing my children i remember with amazing, vivid detail. i remember my water sprung a leak right on the midwifes table before an examination. i was mortified, thinking i had peed a little and ran out of the room to go to the bathroom and compose myself. but a little litmus test later my jaw dropped realizing shiz just got real and i was about to me a mother. david and i nervously walked around my parents house and i found 14 four leaf clovers. we sat in total silence watching ray trying to distract ourselves from the “deadline” of when we had to return to the hospital (10 pm). bags packed i said goodbye to my parents and we shuffled into the night and to the hospital. the next day at 4:14 PM out came a screaming little boy.

he rang in his birthday the same way i did my 30th, with a breakfast at Jack & Benny’s.