Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Hour for Homebirth

Homebirth and Homestyle Happy Hour

Natural childbirth can be empowering anywhere. Homebirth provides the support and environment to make that happen. But in-hospital midwifery practices, like Yeshi Neumann's Homestyle Midwifery Service at St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco is equally successful.

Things that can help you achieve a successful Natural Childbirth:
Loving support during labor
An environment that not only supports, but encourages, natural birth
A practitioner that supports your choices and helps you achieve them
A doula

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Love Your Midwife

Thanks you to Rachel and Adam for being great marchers!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We even made the paper!

Of over 200 contingents in the parade, the San Francisco Chronicle gave a nod to the "homespun" "lesbian midwives, with a dozen or so marchers."
Thanks to all of our marchers and supporters!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pride Parade

Were we getting the cheers or was it that group behind us??

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dykes with Tykes

New babies, Violet, Luka, Spencer and Stella went to the Dyke March for the first time! We even met another 2 mommy family there that had an unintentional homebirth- Baby came so fast!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Birth Warrior

I was in the bedroom, rocking my hips back and forth at the foot of the bed. Whitney put on some music for me…I think it was bluegrass and we started dancing. As we were dancing contractions were picking up in intensity. We were dancing and I was rocking my hips…then I was pacing...kind of tramping around the room with the music. Whitney was pushing down on my shoulders making my contractions more worth while...more intense. I was screaming (on the inside) “bring it on!” I was actually fighting FOR the pain. I wanted it and was determined to move things forward. I became entranced by the music and Whitney’s encouragement. I think Whitney asked me who I was…I’m not sure if she did, or why she did…possibly she was seeing some change in me. Something was coming over me. When she asked me, with or without words, who I was…I responded, “I’m A Warrior.” When prompted with “what kind?”…I declared, “A Birth Warrior!” Then she asked, “and how do you feel?” I screamed, “STRONG!” And so a birth warrior was born. This warrior would be called on to carry me through the next 30 hours. I became someone stronger, someone with more courage, more determination, more will, more power, and more strength. The birth warrior is everything I wanted to be and everything I had become.
-- Mya Thorniley

See also Birth Warrior

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Official

Thank you to Kitty Yeo for 20 years of service at the San Francisco County Vital Statistics Office. Kitty will be retiring next week! Kitty has helped us for many years getting our babies registered that were born at home. Thank you, Kitty!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Solena's Waterbirthday

With love and light and laughter, Solena entered our lives.

Solena is the blending of Sol and Dena.

Birth is the blending of courage and faith.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Most Womanly Event

Childbirth is the most womanly of human events. It is personal and belongs within the family circle. Midwifery care is compassionate, safe, and combines ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. Midwives focus on cherishing the beauty within the mother while guiding and protecting the process of pregnancy, birth, and the welcoming of a new and precious being into the family. Midwives help your birth dreams come true.

-- Maggie Bennett, LM
Gentle Birth

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Milk Bar?

Ixchel and Kali know how to kick it at the end of the day!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Midwives Help People Out

Normal Birth
Spontaneous Birth
Natural Childbirth
Simple Birth
Non-intervention Birth
Normal Spontaneous Vaginal Birth

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ixchel and Kali

Kali and Ixchel
Giving birth to Kali and Ixchel is the most sacred powerful event of my life. A homebirth with twins, natural birth from my own power is a truly revolutionary act in our society that fears women’s power of creation. Where science is the religion and technology is worshiped. I give thanks to Maria and other midwives for holding the space where birth can be honored as a ceremony—a transformation, instead of being seen as a medical procedure.
Birth is creation, not a mathematical equation. This became my mantra as I became “overdue” with twins. Something unheard of in the world of induction and cesarean, where we are taught to fear our biggest power—the ability to transform light into life.
After two rounds of castor oil, seeing three different acupuncturists, black cohosh, blue cohosh, and rounds of pumping, it was my prenatal yoga class that started my labor at 41 and a half weeks of pregnancy.
I thought that labor would be like jumping into an icy swim hole—you’re either in the water or out of the water and it’s a second where you cross the line and take the plunge. But unlike a swim hole, I couldn’t just swim to the edge of the water and hop out—my pre-labor dragged on and on. It took me a while to find my focus. In the beginning were the sharp sparks of contractions highlighting the confetti of my thoughts. Thoughts going in all directions, without focus, what had I gotten myself into? I was excruciatingly pregnant and there was only one way out, through these contractions.
I had to rest and let my contractions ease up, before I found my focus. These were the contractions—the rushes of energy I had been waiting for. I had to surrender to them, give thanks for each one and let each one do its work. Now my labor became like walking up a big, steep hill. I didn’t look at the top, but just took it one step at a time, making the most of each stride. For the rest of the afternoon and evening, I just lay on my side focusing on each surge, letting them open my cervix. At one point I felt my cervix jump open. My contractions were coming on deeper, longer and closer together. I could still walk and talk through them, but I preferred to focus on them. I called Maria to check in and we agreed that she’d come back over in a couple of hours.
Maria arrived and we listened to the babies’ heartbeats, everything sounded great. She did an internal check of my cervix and got the funniest look on her face—I was fully dilated. She immediately began calling the other midwives. They arrived like the four directions, in perfect timing. Everyone who was supposed to be at the birth quickly arrived. It was such an empowering feeling; I had arrived at the peak of the birth without realizing it. It was intensity and beauty.
We lit the altar and my partner smudged me with sage and purified the space. I hung out in the birthing tub until the other midwives arrived. It was the dream team, so much wisdom and grace, the perfect gateway for life.
The next two hours were super intense. I had full trust in my babies to be born, in Maria to guide me and my body to birth the babies. My body knows how to give birth, my babies know how to be born.
We were chilling, until a drop stained with heavy meconium dripped from me. So the pushing was on. Within an hour I pushed Ixchel out through the intensity, through the pain. She lay on my belly, silver body with black opal eyes glistening. Her head was warm against my lips. I looked down and saw she was our baby girl. But she was barely crying, she was having trouble breathing. One of the midwives took her and started clearing her lungs and giving her oxygen.
Maria brought my focus back to the second baby. It was such an odd feeling to have one baby on the outside of my belly and one on the inside. Another of the midwives put all her pressure on the baby in my belly to keep her from going breech. I looked down, my belly was covered in blood from the first birth. I was walking the line—a fragment of light that separated life from death. Yet, I knew I was in the light, never did I doubt for a moment that the three of us walked in the light of life.
The energy in the room was thick and intense. I was having trouble feeling my contractions and they seemed to be slowing down. Maria told me I had to push as hard as I could when she told me to, with or without a contraction. She was rotating the baby internally. With all my force and focus I pushed—deeper and longer—I could feel her moving down. As she entered the birth canal, I heard Maria say “face presentation.” I knew that I couldn’t mess around, I pushed deeper and longer and Kali was born, like a comet facing the world her face coming out first. Our older son cut Kali’s chord.
Kali and Ixchel’s birth was not with out complications. I know that in a hospital I would probably have been forced to have an epidural and c-section. During my labor, I never even thought of needing a painkiller. I don’t remember pain or discomfort really being that much of a focus. It was intense work. I give thanks to Maria and the incredible team of midwives she put together. I also, give thanks that we had access to a hospital where Ixchel got the care she needed to get the meconium out of her lungs. Ixchel’s breathing did not stabilize and she had to be transported to the hospital with her father.
Giving birth is the most sacred ceremony. You become the energy of both death and life—they tug at each other and you must believe in your power to give life. Giving birth you face your fears and your doubts, you must transcend these—then true transformation is yours.
-- Tara Dorabji, the mother of goddesses