Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I've always loved my birthday. I liked it when I was a kid because I would usually get out of school. I like it now because I am thankful for every year I have. I indulged myself today because I know I have a busy day tomorrow. Today, I went downtown and ate at one of my favorite little places in Houston- called Stone Mill Bakers on Kirby. I had a turkey-avocado salad with cranberries and a great dressing. Then I went to a nearby park and went for a walk. After that, I went to a little shop called Lucia's Garden. I love to go there. It has all kinds of unusual books and gifts and herbs. When I was there today, it was very cloudy and rainy and it felt good to be inside there. Lucia, the woman that owns the store, said hello to me. I bought two books, and a dishtowel. I feel very lucky that I got to do that. I hope all of you will have a good day on your birthday, too.

Negative Energy at Births

May was a very busy month for me for babies. I am happy to say all the mama's and babies I helped with are doing well. I'm sad that four moms had to go to the hospital- all for completely different reasons. Even though it wasn't exactly what we planned or wanted it was just the way things turned out. There are many times that I am very thankful there are hospitals available to help when there are problems I can't deal with. I often think about what would have happened in those situations 100 years ago. Sometimes, it would not be pretty. I am also very happy when we have a nice normal birth at home or the birth center with no interventions.
One problem that has come up several times in the past month is negative people at births. It seems like some people want the woman to fail at her goal of a natural birth. That makes me sad. They just can't understand why anyone would not want to be in a hospital maxed out on drugs. My own mother thought that. They are often somewhat rude to me as well.
Being a midwife has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I just laugh it off when people treat me like that. I think it is a mistake to invite people who are not solidly behind you to your birth. Sometimes, women feel obligated to invite their family to the birth even if they are not in favor of them having a midwife. It becomes more of a problem if some kind of a situation arises that causes us to go to the hospital. I think I will start talking to my clients about this issue more often.
I will be ok. It's just part of being a midwife in the United States at this time in history. I still believe that midwifery care is the way most women should start out and go to a higher level of care if needed. About 10-15% of women will always need more than a midwife can do. I look forward to a time when midwives are more respected. Until then, situations like that keep me humble.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays- not because of gifts- because of memories. Thinking about all the happy times I've helped women to become mothers. I guess yall are thinking about those memories, too because I always receive many messages and calls from former clients on Mother's Day. I wonder if women who have doctors call their doctors on Mother's Day?
I had a very nice Mother's Day. My two youngest sons and I went to church. The speakers at church made me feel very honored to be a Mother by what they said. After church, my sons and husband and I went to Galveston to the historic homes tour. It is kind of a Mother's Day tradition for us to do that. If I wasn't a midwife, I think I would be an architect. I love old houses and especially ones that have been nicely restored. Many of you know I live in a house that is newer but built in a older style. If we stay in Houston, I will eventually talk my husband into moving to Galveston or the Heights.
I heard from all my sons on Mother's Day! The two youngest ones are here at home and I got a card from the one in Springfield, Oregon. I got a call from the one in Eugene, Oregon, and an e-mail from my son in Denver. Being a mother is definitely one of my greatest blessings- right up there with good health and having enough to eat every day.
I get sad when I think of my own mother. She is in a nursing home near Amarillo, Texas. I miss her every day. She does not remember that she ever had any kids. She also doesn't remember how to talk on the phone, so it is difficult for me to call her. I sent her some flowers. When I was on the phone placing the order, I got choked up when the lady asked me what to put on the card. How can you tell someone in a few words thank you for my life and your love? I am thankful for my mother and my life. I hope all who read this had a good day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Difficulty with Writing

I hesitate to write on this blog sometimes because I know anyone can read it. I know people who think being a midwife is stupid can read it. Doctors who wish I would just go away can read it. Family members of my clients who don't agree with them having their babies outside the hospital can read it. I laid in bed thinking about this for a long time last night and I realized all writers have this problem. On the other hand, I could just write all these things in my journal and then close it up and put it away. I don't want to do that. I want others to know what I am thinking and I am willing to put it out for anyone to read.
Yesterday was a hard day. I still feel upset about. I helped someone with the birth of her first grandchild. We started out at the birth center and ended up taking her daughter-in-law to the hospital for a c-section. I did not want her to go, but she insisted she wanted to go. The doctor told me before we went that he would not do anything else but a c-section because he had some kind of a previous commitment. Despite all the talk to try to change her mind, when things like that happen, I just have to trust that the mother of the baby knows best and trust her intuition for what is best for her and her baby. I wish them all good things.
We have had a lot of transfers (five) to the hospital in the past three months and three of them ended up in c-sections. A transfer is always upsetting and the most stressful part of my work as a midwife. It's upsetting because it usually involves a problem, pain, and is not what we had planned. I'm happy to say that all the transfers have turned out well and all the mothers and babies are well. But every case was a difficult situation and it makes me question if I am doing the right thing with my life. Am I doing the best thing to help the most women and families? That question is why I write. It helps me work things through. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Unfortunately, I am out of time for therapy now. Jackie