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Friday, July 10, 2009

Pit To Distress

I don't write a lot about birth on my blog because this blog is more for personal ramblings and I ramble enough to keep it full already. Having said that, being next in line to become the President of a Birth Advocacy group, means that perhaps the blog will start to have more tidbits of Birth Culture thrown in from time to time.
I just read a blog post here and here and have to say that I am floored. Not so floored that I am actually surprised, but floored that doctors can be so damn selfish.
No Hippocratic oath needed. Just numbers, times, procedures.
No accountability for the mothers well being, physically or mentally. Not to mention how the babies will recover as well.
Now, I have to say that I understand that there is a need for C-Births. My own husband was a frank breech and they went for the section. I am positive that it did in fact save his life. However, 30 years ago they were not even close to as common as they are today, and I am not thinking that the physiology of women has changed exponentially in one generation.
The bottom line is that society says that we can't do it, we cant naturally birth our babies...well not without an epidural anyway, and for that matter, we can't breastfeed either, but formula is a great alternative.
This is WRONG.
We CAN and all we need is the support. Support of our friends, support from our spouse, support from our community, or caregivers etc.
When a women goes into labour I want her to have all of the information that she possibly can so that when the doctors come to say, "we are just going to give you some pitocin" She can know before hand what the maximum dose is for her body and will be able to cut them off if they tried to "pit to distress" her baby.
And by the off chance that she does end up having a c-birth she is *proud* of the fact that she has done everything she can and that her baby comes into the world without distress.
No regrets, no questions, just reassurance, and support.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Boys and Dolls,

It's no secret that I am more of a "genderized" mom. This means that I don't like it when my boys wear panties, dresses, high heels are okay for dress up...I have never bought them a barbie. On the other hand I am not into war toys and dont like fighting games.
I do have dolls for my boys though. This may make me a hypocrite in some peoples eyes, but I really feel like having a doll allows them to show their sensitive side and then can also mimic parenting.
My boys love to cuddle, hug, and kiss their babies. They fight over them and take them everywhere.
It's actually funny to me that out of ALL of the toys that they have they would become so connected to dolls.
This does of course make me nervous for when they are older, as they become more "genderized" then they already are and some other, older boy(s) say, "boys dont play with dolls"
I hope that I can make my boys feel confident enough that it wont phase them....their mom on the other hand......

Monday, July 06, 2009

Xavier Rudd

I went to the Xavier Rudd concert last night. It had to be the weirdest experience that I have had in a while.
First let me preface by saying that Xavier Rudd is got to be my favourite artist. His music speaks to me rhythmically and lyrically. He sings about social change, the environment, and the like. As I become more and more of a hippie in my old age, I really feel connected to what he is saying and most if not all of his shows change me that little. People love, sing, smile, sway and dance to him. It is truly a movement.
Last nights show however, was the oddest Xavier concert I had been to. For one, it was a packed house at the Jubilee (which is more of a formal concert place) and the majority of people did not look like stoners or hippies (who usually come to his shows).
I was excited, I thought it was great that he was reaching a higher audience...until...we sat next to these two bimbos who were drinking vodka out of pepsi bottles, talking and texting while the show was going on, and generally being disrespectful...did i mention that they got up and left the show 3 different times....second, no one stood up to dance, or sing unless Xavier asked (which he had to do twice).
No Dancing. It was crazy.
The whole purpose of a Xavier show is to dance.
I was trying to figure out WHY it was such a wierd vibe.
The venue...way too formal, too comfortable chairs??
The Crowd...too mainstream? No one knew him? Too corporate? Inner City Jackasses? Stampede?
Maybe the just didnt get the message?
I just find it so wierd, and cant get it.....
I have posted a Xavier song here, just so you can see what I mean about the message...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Canada Day

We had a great day at Canada Day celebrations yesterday. It is so fun to teach the boys new things. Keenan had never really heard the national anthem and Ryan thought that all of the festivities were wonderful.
We did have some junk food, but mini donuts are hard to resist. (I resisted...)
We actually bumped into an old roomate who has a band now that is actually quite successful. It was kinda funny to see him as we sometimes wish we could be like him, and he seemed totally blown away that we had children. (he knew that we did but had never met them). It was especially funny that both K and R loved to rock out to his music.
Seeing him again did make C feel a little sorry for himself, because he really misses the fact that he doesnt play music as much as he could.
I think he should just sign up to a market collective or something.....

Standing your Ground

As soon as you announce that you are expecting the advice starts. Everyone wants to tell you what to expect for your pregnancy, your birth and parenting in general. At first you may welcome the comments because you would like to learn as much as you can.

As the weeks go by, you start to form a construct of who you will be as a mother. You will take some advice while completely disregarding other advice that does not fit in with your birth plan or parenting style. Some people have no issue telling others that they disagree, but many new mothers feel that they must listen. They may believe that what they are hearing is true because they have no experience of their own to reference. I am here to tell you that you are the best parenting expert there is regarding your child.

At some point you will encounter people whose positions on birth and parenting you do not agree with. It can happen in a prenatal or playgroup class, or with close family and friends. While you have no obligation to listen to what the people in these classes say, it can be more difficult when the contrary advice comes from your inner circle. It may feel more personal and that makes it more difficult to brush the comments aside.

When facing disagreements, it is always good to be as informed as possible. Information is the first tool we can use to diffuse a disagreement. It makes it easier to explain why you are following the path less traveled. Know your position and the facts around it and you will feel more confident with your choice.
For our parents, it was normal to give a baby a bottle filled with pabulum at bedtime, and put them on their tummies to sleep. It was the best information parents had at the time. We would not do that with our children now. The pediatric advice has changed in 30 years because we know more. So although Grandma may think that they old way is the proven way, we can show her and others that recommendations are not the same now and we can tell them why.

Moms do not need to be defensive or disagreeable. By showing the information in black and white you can get others on board. There are lots of resources in the community for new moms including naturopaths, midwives, and doctors who can all help when talking about food or sleep related issues. There are also parenting books on every topic available at the library. If you are close enough, you can suggest a book to the other person so you can discuss the issue once they have read about it.

The most important thing for a new mom is to find support. Seek out likeminded people who believe in the same ideas that you do. Just having a support network of other moms will do wonders for your own personal convictions. You can find a variety of parenting groups through the Birth Unlimited resource guide or on the Internet. Get out of the house and meet people. You may think that you are the only one who believes in your choices, like vaginal water birth at home with midwives, but that is not the case. There are many, many moms and dads that believe the same things you do. You just have to find them.

Finding your support network will be the first step in to being more confident in your choices. Educating yourself will be the second. If you are confident in the choices that you are making, then people will be less likely to challenge you on them. Have a united front with your partner and keep your cool. Recognize that not all things are or have to be open for discussion. You can tell your friends and family to respect your decisions and that you will not discuss it anymore. Be strong and use your support network to build your confidence.

Remember, your birth and parenting choices primarily affect your immediate family unit. It is not your mother or your mother in law who will be woken up in the middle of the night. It is you. So make decisions that work for your family. Doing what is in your heart as best for your family is all you can do.

You are human and your positions may change as you encounter life changes. The key is to believe in what you are doing and be informed. Never feel guilty for doing your best. Do not stress over every comment sent your way. Your children will love you because you love them. And really isn’t that all that matters in the end?

**originally published in Birthing Magazine Summer 2009
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