Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inspection at the Birth Center

I'm sitting in my quiet home getting ready to go out for the day. It's cold out there. I see ice on the cars. I'm listening to the radio and disheartened to hear that the bickering between politicians goes on and on.
January has been a slow month for me as far as delivering babies. Only three sweet babies born that I helped with, and they were all early in the month. The past week, I've been consumed with having an inspection by the Department of Health at the birth center. They come once a year to see what goes on there. The woman that comes looks at my charts, looks at my policy books, and asks a lot of questions. Her general attitude toward me is critical and it is stressful. I know she has the power of life and death over my practice of midwifery.
Luckily, I had some warning that she was coming. She showed up last week and I was not there. She called me on my cell phone and asked where I was. I was at a class renewing my Neonatal Resuscitation certification. When she found out where I was, it seemed like she was aggravated, but said she would come back another day. That was a blessing to have some time to get things clean and organized. I felt prepared when she got there on Monday morning. She stayed all day Monday and Tuesday. I don't blame her- I know she is doing what she is hired to do. It just seems like the State is not supportive of something like my birth center where we have generally good outcomes and happy moms and babies.
It is a good thing to get my paperwork cleaned up and organized here at the beginning of the year. Anyone who knows me, knows I tend to be a bit of a pack rat. I have so many things in my life I want to do. It's hard to fit it all in. I went to a seminar recently about giving presentations. I would like to talk to more people about midwifery. I got a lot of good ideas about how to do it. The guy giving the presentation, Edward Tufte, hates power point. I never thought about it much, but he showed how to make something much better.
I am making a quilt. Last year, I saw a beautiful quilt at a shop and took a class to make it. All I did was buy some material and make the first square. So I am taking the class again this year to actually get it made. I have always loved to sew, but sometimes I've gone for years without sewing at all. I am going to try to keep a quilt going from now on. There are so many beautiful patterns to make.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Summary of 2008 Births

We helped with 66 babies at Bay Area Birth Center in 2008!

Home births 33
Birth Center 33
Biggest Baby 10 pounds, 10 ounces
Smallest Baby 5 pounds, 13 ounces
Busiest months- January and October
Busiest day- October 27th- 3 babies born in one day!

Transferred to Hospital Moms-8, Babies-1
C-Sections- 3
Premature- 1 (at 34 weeks)

Oldest Mom- 44
Youngest Mom- 20
Attempted VBAC's-7, Successful VBAC's-7
Breech Births-1
Long term morbidity-0
Miscarraiges-8 (not counted in total)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8 Resolutions for 2009

- Get my little office cleaned up and usable.
- Get paperwork organized into piles of priority and handled.
- Get active for awhile every single day.
- Get to the office earlier and leave earlier (8-5) unless someone is in labor.
- Eat 7 fruits and vegetables every day.
- Go to the library once a month.
- Take more pictures.
- Get my pictures organized.
- Do something about global warming.

A New Year!

It's the first week of 2009. I am slowly getting back to the rhythm of my life before the recent holidays. Everything was slowed down for the month of December because of Anson's sickness (see previous post). I took my midwife hat off for awhile and just left my mama hat on. It was good to slow down and take care of him and our family. He is doing much better. He went back to school for the first time today, and seemed to do fine. He is terribly skinny, but eating well and looking better.
I went back to work at the Birth Center- not that I haven't been there, but I haven't had my focus there. I have a lot of paperwork to get organized. I guess I will always struggle with paperwork, but I will keep on trying to tame it. It's a requirement for being a good midwife.
I am disappointed in myself when I look back at the previous posts. I only wrote one post on this blog in 2008. When I originally started it, I thought I would write a minimum of once a week. I often lie in bed and think of things to write, but I rarely actually log on and write. I've been reading several midwife books this past year. When I read books like those, I think there is nothing left to write. Many midwives have already written about their lives. On the other hand, no one sees things from my point of view, at this time and place. I witness amazing things in my life as a midwife. I will keep writing because it is comforting to me whether anyone else reads it or not.

2008 in Review

Dear Friends and Family December 31, 2008
Another year has come and gone. They are going too fast. This year took some unexpected twists and turns as they all do. It makes me love and appreciate life even more. I’ve loved all the cards, and letters, and pictures I’ve received this season. It is so wonderful to get updates and see pictures, and hear from friends from all over. The letters always inspire me to write my own, so here it is.
Our main focus at the end of the year and during the holidays has been taking care of Anson. We’ve never had any sick kids before, but we almost lost him from a ruptured appendix. He and George had gone to Dallas for a Cowboys game, and he vomited and had a lot of stomach pain right before the game. After they got back to Houston, he felt bad and didn’t want to eat. I thought he had a stomach virus. I finally realized it was something more. We took him to the Emergency Room and he had surgery the day after Thanksgiving. He was in the hospital for two weeks and had an IV line in for two more weeks at home. He got a stomach virus this past week- just what he didn’t need. He was beginning to think he would never get well. He has lost about 23 pounds- weight he didn’t have to lose. He has finally started to eat normally again and feel better. One silver lining to the whole thing is that he appreciates mom and dad a lot more than he did before, and we appreciate him, too.

One big project this year has been for Bonham to get his Eagle Scout award. It was a lot of work and he was definitely motivated and did most of it on his own. We helped him some, especially with his final project which was to collect medical supplies for a clinic in Africa. We got a lot of stuff and collected it in our dining room for about six weeks. Then we had a lot of helpers come and help box it up. We shipped 26 boxes of supplies! I also helped him with his hiking merit badge. We took five, 10 mile hikes together. I usually only made about six or seven miles, but he kept on going. That was hard work, but a lot of fun. Bonham is a senior in high school this year and Anson is in 10th grade. They both have been making good grades.

Luke and Abbie and Travis and Brenda still live in Eugene, Oregon. We got to go up and see them in March. It is an incredibly beautiful place. And we had a blast being up there with them. They all share a nice house there. They originally went up there to mine for gold, but that didn’t work out, so they got regular jobs. They came home for a 10 day visit in August. We had a birthday party for them while they were here (Luke is 24 and Travis is 21). We also went to Austin for a day and tubing in New Braunsfels. That was a great time. We miss them a lot and are glad they are doing well. I am secretly happy to see the weather so bad in Oregon this winter. Maybe they will start thinking about how much nicer it is in Texas and consider coming back down this way.

In between all these events, I continued working as a midwife and running my birth center, That always provides plenty of activity and excitement. I took off for two weeks in December so that I could stay at the hospital with Anson. I delivered 64 babies this year. You can learn more about the details at my blog- (

George worked hard as ever as an engineer and made several trips for work to Oklahoma, Trinidad, and the Philippines. I am proud of myself for getting on a better diet and losing 25 pounds this year. One of my resolutions is to not gain it back. We built a medium size garden this year. It did well and are looking forward to even better results next year.
We have spent the holidays at home together. I am thankful for my family, my friends, our home, my church, my health, and my work. It is good to be alive. I am looking forward to 2009.
All my love to those this goes out to.

Big Events 2008

January- We built a small garden out of cinder blocks.
February- Bonham working on his Eagle Scout project to collect medical supplies for a clinic in Africa. The supplies took up our whole dining room.
March- Trip to Oregon to see the Luke and Travis. Had a wonderful time. Such a beautiful place. Wish it wasn’t so far from Texas. Watching the election closely. Voted in the primary. Went to the rodeo.
May- I turned 50- I believe I’m starting the second half of my life- George gave me a gift of wicker furniture for the front porch
June- Family Reunion and vacation to Comfort, Texas. Bonham went to Scout Camp at Philmont, New Mexico
July- Went to the Panhandle for the funeral of my cousin, JW. He was quite a character. A real Texas cowboy. He was well loved by his family and friends. The church where the funeral was held was packed.
August- Luke and Travis (and Brenda and Abbie) came home from Oregon for a visit, We went to Austin for fun and tubing in New Braunsfels. They were here for 10 days that flew by.
September 12-13th- Hurricane Ike struck the Houston area. Big mess to clean up- we still have work to do to fix our house. Got rid of about a third of the trees on our property. It was quite a storm. I definitely underestimated the power of a Category II hurricane. We stayed at our home during the hurricane and spent an exciting and somewhat scary night catching water pouring in through two cracks in the ceiling and trying to keep the door in Bonham’s room shut. It amazed me how long it went on- 24 straight hours of wind. Power was off for about 10 days afterwards. That was the biggest inconvenience. Made me appreciate electricity a lot more.

October- Went to Amarillo to see mama. Bonham got his first job at Circuit City. My dog Gracie, turned 10. I’ll be surprised if she makes another year. Makes me realize how fast life passes. Seems like she was just a pup.
November- Anson got sick the week before Thanksgiving, Had surgery for ruptured appendix on Nov. 29th, Voted on November 4th. George’s sister, Rhoda, and her family came for Thansgiving

Anson was in the hospital from Nov. 29- thru Dec. 12. He had an IV when we brought him home and he was still getting antibiotics and running a fever. Gradually, he got better. We spent Christmas at home. Bonham got laid off from his first job at Circuit City because they are going bankrupt