Saturday, August 29, 2009

MANA stats

You know those MANA statistic consent forms you pregnant ladies sign when we first start care? Well, I have you to thank for this huge pile of work in front of me. I've had all year to get this done. Now the deadline is dangerously near. I've been waiting until the precise moment when procrastination adreneline kicks in to help me out. That was exactly 15 minutes ago. I now have 47 hours and 45 minutes until the great state of Utah comes knocking on my door. It's not your fault that the pile is huge. There are some practical, organized midwives out there that complete the 6 page finely printed form for each mama immediately after the birth and submit the data at the suggested 6 week postpartum mark. I am not in their club. There is a club for me however. The keyboards of many good women will be smokin' into the wee hours on Sunday night.
The Statistics Project of the Midwives Alliance of North America is a very good thing. Even if the state did not require these stats annually, I would still participate. The Project documents the value of the midwifery model of care. It also provides proof postive that homebirth is safe.
I do seriously thank you all for permission to collect and use your valuable information for this purpose. It's a great way to do your part on behalf of homebirth midwives and the families they serve.
If anybody out there feels like coming over to share tea and chocolate, come on. For now this is my babysitter!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He is born!

"My Summer of Baby Love" is officially over! The Dreamy Baby Boy is here. I have two beautiful birth stories to share. Stay tuned. So many of you have listened, read, called and supported me this summer; I just wanted you to know that he is here!

Thanks to Heavenly Father, the birth gods, a nameless Christian Science practitioner and a mom and a dad that trusted the whole design.

Thank you, Briana, for following me up the mountain this morning. Our trips to Park City have been the essence of this summer. Pretty, peaceful, soulful reminders of why we signed up for this work in the first place.

This midwife is gonna enjoy a private little meltdown now. Here's my set-up.

First, light my favorite Mexican Chocolate candle. Pacifica brand if you're interested.

Next, some Meditative tea in my only for special occasions mug. Yogi Teas is the brand. The little fortune on the tea string says "Delight the world with kindness, grace and compassion." I can do that.

I'm gonna let Pandora guide my music today. On the Bose dock. CSN&Y station. Well, look at that. S&G singing 59th Street Bridge Song, Feeling Groovy. Such a great album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Breathe deep

Drink up

Life I love you. All is groooovy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dreamier. . .

drivers, chippers, putters

PING! That's me, teeing off. I played golf. I know. Hard to picture it. So NOT my thing. Here's how it happened. A few weeks ago I went to the driving range with Chuck; a nice wife thing to do. Just watching is boring so I rented a driver for myself. It was thrashed, the handle grip all chewed up. Chuck shared his bucket with me and I swung away. I noticed that he stopped to watch me. With a curious smile he said, "You're really good." I looked up and said, "Yeah? Well I guess you didn't know me back in my day. I'm a grand slammer." He seemed a little wistful when he said, "No, I didn't know you then."

So when I had to cancel a promised camping trip for the second summer in a row, I had this bright idea: Agree to play golf with him. He was thrilled. I was a little nervous getting ready. I don't exactly own a golf suit. And what kind of earrings are golf appropriate I asked.

When checking in, I noticed a jar of metallic golf balls. "And throw this in," I said as I grabbed a pink one. We were off. I'm seriously good. I even got a little rush when I teed off and heard that ping noise and the ball sailed. Chuck said things like, "awesome" and "wow, that really got air." At the last hole he said I should probably use the pink ball (I'd been saving it!). I stood waiting at the tee for some old, slow guys that were ahead of us on the putting green. Here's how the highlight went.

Chuck: Go ahead.
Me: No. I don't want to hit one of those old dudes in the head.
Chuck: It will be OK. We're far away.
Me: No. It might be my lucky shot.
Chuck: I want to see your lucky shot. Come on.
So I swung away. PIIIIIING!!!!!!!!! Pinkie sailed on to the green then rolled off just a little. We were stunned.
Me: Uh-oh.
Chuck (more than a little surprised): I don't think they even noticed.

Me and golf. Who would have thought?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For Gina

Maximize the screen, turn up the volume. Practice the chorus; it's gonna be our theme song. You can be Emily, I'll be Amy Ray. I think I even have some pinstripe pants and will throw my very old Doc Marten boots in the trunk. Maybe Lin can make us a countdown 'til the adventure calendar.
53 more days

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Very Own Little Jackie Paper

Following a night and day at a birthing (stay tuned for a story; I'm still processing the beauty of it all), I came home, basking in yet another birth hangover. I made myself a cozy nest on the couch to savor the afterglow. Thinking about all of the amazing things that I had experienced in the past 24 hours, beginning with my crescent moon and sparkling Venus, well, I was seriously blown away. . . Baby Jack found his way to my nest. He shared the bliss of the babymoon with me. Somewhere during my singing to him, Puff the Magic Dragon, we crashed.

Puff, the magic dragon LIVES, present tense, by the sea. . . Peter Yarrow told us that himself! Remember that, Sinny?

fm db

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

moon and venus

I wanted to call everyone I know at 6 am to witness this incredible moonset/sunrise.  

Monday, August 17, 2009

My 5 Gratefuls List on this peaceful Monday

1. Waking at sunrise to a feeling that autumn is close. No one home but me, Jes and Bella so I turned up the Stones really loud, "Miss You".

2. My favorite white linen Sundance shirt was clean. I'm extra happy when I wear it.

3. Three 6 week postpartum visits, three bittersweet good-byes to families that I love so much. Thanks for the hugs, cookies and promises to make another baby for me!

4.  My last visit of the day, The Michaelson's. It was late, I was tired and traffic construction was bad.  I was met at the door by a little boy who said, "You're just in time for Family Home Evening." And so I was fed, my cup was filled. Five little blond, jammies on kids, mom, dad, grandma and Cody the Cool Dog, singing, learning, loving.  AND, after weeks and weeks of never looking at me, baby girl ran to me and let me hold and snuggle. Then baby boy came over.  They are both my babies and soon will share their newborn baby sister with me.

5. Arriving home at sundown, dinner waiting and this peaceful office to sit in and savor all things good that filled my day. Can you smell the sweet Mexican Chocolate candle layered over patchouli? Can you hear Augustana "I Still Ain't Over You"? 

The show is about to begin . . . I know when the stars are aligned you can

Monday, August 10, 2009

a boy and a girl

I don't wanna write a love song for the world
I just wanna write a song about a boy and a girl. . .
One more baby boy and one more baby girl will soon be born. That will be the end of my summer of love. The families are doing their best to stay busy, to stay patient. These little ones know when their birthdays are and so we wait. I wonder what it's like for them, for those that they are leaving for this great big earth adventure. I'm sure it's a time of tender preparation, making sure they have all of the gifts they are supposed to be bringing. Maybe it's a little scary as well as really exciting. I hope they know that two earthly families can hardly wait to meet them, love them and help them discover the gifts they have to share.
My birth bags are packed, the car is loaded. My hands and my heart are ready to welcome
a dreamy little boy and a lovely little girl. I can hardly wait to experience the joy their spirits will bring.
get ready. . .get set. . .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

She is born!

saturday morning
from the midwife's sunroof
"for each child that's born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are"
sweet honey in the rock

It didn't feel like a day and a night. The time peacefully passed. At 5:00 this morning, three of the cutest little boys ever, got a sister. Mom and Dad discovered it together at the same time. "We have a girl!" Mom held her close. Dad was beaming. This was a homebirth that couldn't have happened without the intuition of the mom and the dad. At 20 weeks an ultrasound indicated placenta previa. There was only one option for the midwife. Risk them out unless further ultrasounds and maternal-fetal specialists agreed that we were safe. They knew it would be OK but went along with my requests. A month ago we got the "all's well" that we needed. I am so happy that this little princess was safely born in her parent's bed at the quiet of daybreak. Blessings of gratitude for the peaceful spirit that reassured me that we were in the right place.

Good Morning Baby Girl

Thursday, August 6, 2009

midwife's moon

to hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great swirls of light

Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
I've been tethered to home since mid-May. This is unusual for me. I thrive on adventures; spontaneous trips to anywhere. There's only one thing that can keep me in the county, especially during the summer - due dates or in midwife-speak, EDBs. Estimated Date of Birth is just that, an estimation. For each mom there is a 5 week range of normal. There is no way of knowing when you can escape for a few days or not. Summer "on call" has been my lifestyle and it's not over yet.
I remember when this stretch started. I took a quick trip to Washington in early May. When I got home, Chuck and I discussed summer plans. I took a deep breath and reminded him that I had to stay close to home, within cell phone range for the next 4 months.
"Can we go to Pasco for Memorial Day?" he asked. NO.
"Can we go somewhere for the 4th of July?" NO.
"Can you go to Seattle with me in mid-July?" NO.
"Can we go camping?" NO.
Although midwife life has it's challenges, being married to a midwife is far worse. I get to witness the joy of mamas, papas, babies and families being born. There are times when I am aware of angels hovering near sending off a new life and angels hovering near to help receive that fresh spirit. There is sacred stillness in every birth space, whether it is during the middle of the night or during the middle of the day. This sweet baby boy was born in a house on a hot afternoon in the middle of the busy city. I wonder if the folks walking by could see the great swirls of light that surely surrounded us. Present in the small living room where he was born were his parents, his big brother, yet a toddler, his grandmother, his 3 aunts and 2 midwives. It was an honor to be a part of that circle and everyone present expressed over and over how peaceful yet powerful this birth experience was.
There was a small sliver of time right after this baby was born before he took his first earthly breath. It was like time standing still, like I was holding heaven for just an instant. His eyes were open as if he were communicating, "I have so much to tell you. Help me let go."
I call it "tween" time. It's beyond magical when it happens. Soon the baby sputtered, gasped, shifted his gaze to his mama and started to cry. It's a blessing to witness every time, new life and the hope that each life brings to this planet. I know that and give thanks every time.
At this birth there was something extra. I'm not sure I can describe it. It's as if every part of me was finely tuned in to the miracle. My senses were sharp, my mind was clear and the day was perfect; filled with an abundance of love and peace. I was open to the rich lessons this birth had to teach me about life, my work and the relationships I cherish.
Just hours old, as I did the newborn exam, this little one really connected with me. It was a spirit to spirit thing. A few days later when I visited, I held his head in my hands and he gazed into my eyes. It was an intensely spirit filled connection, again, and I wanted to cry.
I looked forward to my postpartum visit today. Once again, he filled me with an amazing affirmation that heaven is real and still lingering close around him.
I would not trade my summer experiences thus far for any adventure to anywhere. I've witnessed the trailing clouds that these babes bring.
I love my calling. I am blessed. Thank you baby boy for trusting me with your secrets.