Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feeling Better!

I'm starting to feel like the first trimester sickies are beginning to subside which means it's time to get back to better eating habits and some regular physical activity. While I don't hyper-manage any part of pregnancy I do like to keep a healthy lifestyle so that my energy levels can be nice and high and I can feel good all around. I've found that for myself, staying active and not gaining too much weight (you know, the kind from eating too many chocolate bars!) is key to an easier birth and having the energy needed to take care of a newborn. So I'm off to the kitchen to see what kind of meal plans I can come up with :-) As for exercise, I hate the cold, so it's gonna be me sneaking into my warm bedroom with a DVD an hoping the kids don't kill each other for the 30-60 minutes of mommy time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Special... in a relaxed sorta way.

Usually, when I find out I'm pregnant, I go into this automatic response of feeling the need to read and re-read every little thing with an unspoken anxiety about making sure I do every little bit of research I need to and every little bit of preparing I need to lest I meet that fateful day unprepared. I am something like a child who refuses to go to sleep at night for fear of missing out on a party. I always feel like I'm gonna miss something! I noticed myself running on auto pilot and getting right back into that familiar line of thinking this time around. Something was so very obvious to me though, this wasn't really a need of mine, but rather more of a habitual act I am use to following.

I decided I would spend some time really exploring that instead of simply doing the same ol' thing just because. I came to realize that I don't need to be so overly concerned with the possibility that I might miss something important. That is a really heavy burden to bear when I could spend the time relaxing and enjoying instead. I am a very relaxed person by nature. I'm the kind of person who would be quite content to just never get on the scale, never bother with measurements or any other sort of monitoring and labor without documenting every little detail. I know the very idea of that drives some people up a wall (they've told me so!) but that's me. I see pregnancy and childbirth as a very special time but also a very natural and normal part of life so I don't feel the need to obssess about it. It is very freeing to accept that this is where I am with it. I can let go of uneccesary pressure and simply be.

So like the title of this post says... I believe this baby/pregnancy/birth is as special as any could be, but I chose to experience it in a very relaxed sorta way this time around :-) Probably not good news for blogging but it is what it is.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, It can achieve."

"Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought." Napoleon Hill

In our culture we are bombarded with ideas that childbirth is painful, unpredictable and frightening. We are taught that these things are "normal" and that a healthy baby is the best we can hope for. If we want a different kind of birth we have to make a conscious decision to seek out information that reveals the true face of birth, and then we must be diligent and consistent in placing these ideas, plans, and TRUTHS in our minds through repetition of thought. This is exactly how I came to believe in and achieve peaceful, calm and unhindered unassisted homebirths. People often assume that by now, after having so many children, that they must fly right out of me! That it must take little to no effort at this point because I'm a "pro". That's really ridiculous and not true at all. Time and experience have allowed me to take an intimate look at many of my own beliefs and ideas. I've learned a lot about myself over the years and I've watched my body respond to labor and birth under many different circumstances. So there are benefits in having multiple experiences from which I've gained wisdom and am able to make better choices from. But babies don't fly out of me and labor is work. I chose to start the work during pregnancy. The work for me involves dealing with any lingering fears, doubts, and frustrations, swimming in positive reinforcement through books like Ina May Gaskins and Birthing From Within, the experiences of others who have walked the path I intend to walk, and protecting my vision by eliminating exposure to what most people consider the "norm" (ie: A Baby Story on TLC!) So no more watching (and yelling) at the t.v. while a woman goes through a hospital birth. :-) This leads me right into the next quote...

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. " Napoleon Hill

This is something I first learned from my sweet husband. He often tells me I need to protect my dreams. It's taken me a while to understand what that means for me personally but I have a pretty clear picture of it now. If I can fully grasp the value of my visions and dreams and the power I have over making them a reality in my life, I will be very mindful of guarding them just as I would my own child. For me, that means being selective when I share my beliefs and intentions. I will not engage in petty arguments with fearful people about childbirth. It's one thing to share on my blog where I am free to express my thoughts and feelings and quite another to have to talk it out with people who expect that it's my goal to convince them of my choices. I protect them by resisting the temptation to rely on anything external to tell me that which I already know. For example, this time I didn't bother with a pregnancy test. You know, with all 6 of my children (8 pregnancies in total) I knew EACH time when I conceived and if I was iffy about that, I certainly knew before my period was even expected to arrive. Why do I need to pee on a stick to confirm what I already know? A pregnancy test doesn't make the baby real. The baby is there, pink lines or not. Protect it. I understand now.

"Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true." Napoleon Hill

There was no experience that allowed me to see this as a reality so clearly as when I was in labor with Seraphina. I had a midwife during my pregnancy with Sera because I had given in to the fear that my uterus would somehow be "tired" the fifth time around (I can only imagine how tired Michelle Duggar's uterus must be as she prepares for baby #18!). I really wish I wouldn't have allowed myself to be so affected by a midwife who had never even had a child of her own :-/ But, whatever, I wanted a "mommy" figure there, and it turned out to be the blessing and curse that a mommy figure can often times be LOL. Anyway, back to my intended story, I was unsure right up to the onset of labor about whether or not I wanted the midwife there at all. Having the flu and missing a nights sleep resulted in my thinking she would be a great benefit as I was completely out of it and my hubby was desperate for some rest. We had been up with the sweats, fevers, you name it and were totally spent and ready for a good nights sleep when my first hard contraction came. It sent me right into tears and I thought I'd just fall into the arms of the midwife and let her do all the work for me. Silly girl that I am :-) So we called the midwife and almost immediately my contractions came to a hault. She showed up at my door and even my amniotic fluid stopped leaking! I wouldn't find myself in labor again until 2 days later. You see my thoughts about labor and childbirth were already firmly planted in the safety and privacy of an unassisted birth. I already had a relatively painless 2 hour UC with Lucius only a year and some before. I didn't like anyone in my birth space and had very strong beliefs about the unnatural act of anyone besides my hubby sticking their fingers and faces in places only he's allowed to go. So it was no surprise to us that my body said forget it! HUGE difference from my UC with Lucius where I went from 0 - 10 centemeters in 2 hours and felt fantastic :-) The mind os a powerful thing.

“Self-disciplined begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.” Napoleon Hill

Discipline has always been a tough one for me. Mostly because it requires patience. Patience to see baby when it's time and not give into the temptation of getting an ultrasound so I can go baby shopping early :-) Patience to allow labor to begin at the right time even if I'm 41+ weeks into the pregnancy and my water has been broken for several days and I haven't had a single contraction yet, as has happened to me 4 times already and am now convinced is just another variation of normal. Not easy to have patience, but everything I believe in requires it. Discipline would've been key in Seraphina's birth. I would've taken better care of myself as I prepared for the birth by resting and getting good sleep, I likely wouldn't have had the flu if I didn't insist on going out for midnight walks to try to get labor started, when it was below freezing and snow was everywhere and baby was NOT ready to come out. Discipline is necessary for the work of pregnancy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Feeling Movements already :-)

I know it's early, but having had 6 children already, I'm pretty confident about judging what is or isn't baby movements :-) I'm feeling this little one move already! So awesome and so reassuring. It somehow balances out dealing with the all-day-every-day sickies.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

DIY Maternity Jeans

I found an online tutorial for making your own maternity jeans. Now I just need to get my sewing machine fixed!

DIY maternity jeans

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Freebirthing", the documentary

Discovery Health Channel will be airing a documentary called "Freebirthing" in the US on Oct. 21st at 9pm. I have no idea if that means we will get it here in Canada but I am really hoping we do. Anyway, I followed the link from the message below and couldn't resist posting a couple of video clips from the British version...

I am so excited about this! Here's a message about it from Laura Shanley, author of "Unassisted Childbirth" and fellow member of several UC email groups I belong to:

Dear Friends,

Oct. 21st at 9pm, “Freebirthing,” the British UC documentary that was originally titled “Outlaw Births,” will be airing on the Discovery Health Channel in the US . As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it isn’t a bad program, as far as these things go. There was actually m uc h I liked about it, but of course there are negative comments throughout from medical professionals who don’t approve.

I’ve blogged about the program several times. Here is my most recent posting: http://laurashanley .blogspot. com/2008/ 10/freebirthing- to-air-on- discovery- health.html

Be sure to read the comments below it. Heather B., who is prominently featured in the program, shared her thoughts about the way her story was presented. Heather is also prominently featured in the promos they’ve been showing on Discovery Health. I’ve turned to the station 3 times in the last few days, and within 15 or 20 minutes saw the promo each time.

Here is a page I put up with video clips from the British version. It’s essentially the same as the one I put up for “Outlaw Births” – http://freebirthing .org

To read what Discovery Health says about the show click here - http://health. discovery. com/tv/crib- notes/freebirthi ng.html

In other news, we have another tentative date for the “20/20” childbirth show – Oct. 24th. The show has been bumped several times and could be bumped again. But if it does end up airing, this could be a big week for UC! I’ll keep you posted!

With m uc h love,


Laura Shanley

Bornfree! The Unassisted Childbirth Page

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Warm Welcome

and a brief introduction to this blog...

This is the journal of the unassisted pregnancy and homebirth of baby #7. I am very passionate about mothering and childbirth, always have been. You will not find me apologizing for any of my choices or beliefs regardless of how far they are from the cultural norm. I was born to question everything and almost always go against the grain. I don't mean to offend, but often times that is the result of expressing what is in my heart. So if you're here, expect to hear what's on my mind, and if it bothers you... you can simply stop reading.

Ok, I'm really not that mean! So now that my disclaimer is all said and done... WELCOME! I am completely overjoyed to be experiencing the miracle of pregnancy, childbirth and mothering all over again and I'm so happy to be able to share the journey with my family and friends through this blog.