Sunday, April 25, 2010


Rowena Willow
8lbs. 9ozs
19.5 inches
Born April 15 at 3:23 am.
Born at a freestanding birth center with world's best midwife. No interventions what so ever.
Hope to have the story up tomorrow or Monday. I realized I have friends here that are not on Facebook so sorry for the late notice guys.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Yesterday ended up being an anxiety day. I find myself moving between high anxiety and resolve towards patience. I started the day with resolve. I wasn't having a baby for a while so I might as well get stuff done. I caught up on grading, note taking, and commenting on on-line forums. I made soup and burritos for supper. I fed beastie children. I did lots and lots of dishes. I even went shopping, with all three beasties and no H. It was a productive day fed though by a restless, anxious energy that finally exploded after a phone call from my midwife.

She had emailed me suggesting acupuncture and I hadn't responded because I wasn't sure what to do about it. I can't afford it is the bottom line, and I know my insurance won't cover it. Plus I'm a bit skeptical about it's effectiveness. She's concerned that I'm overdue for me, that the baby is getting really big, etc. And she was worried that the baby might be in a bad position making real labor hard to get into. Of course I told H who also grew anxious and kept saying "Maybe you need to go a Doctor." So we fussed around feeding each other's anxiety which only got worst when we got a call that H's dad was coming today (it's been changed to Wednesday).

I spent the evening doing pelvic tilts, hanging around on my hands and knees. Drinking raspberry leaf tea. I pondered the nasty mysteries of Castor oil. I used my breast pump (I have milk dear god). I worried that the blueberry wanted to come out but was stuck. By 11, I was a mess. I made dh put in 30 Rock so I could laugh. I need to get that energy out of me. This fear, this restlessness, this doubt about my body and the blueberry.

After laughing, H, without prompting, put on our birth music: Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass's Passages. I love this cd and had wanted to give birth to Piper during it but she came quick and to Glenn Gloud's rendition of Bach (not a bad thing at all). So now I have a new chance to use what I consider the perfect birthing music. As soon as the music started, I began to feel the tension leave. I started to move my hips to the music (good positioning move) and once I started moving, I felt myself leave my head and just exist in the movement of my hips, the heavy weight of the baby in my womb. The more I danced, the more I felt lost in my body's movements, caught up in s space where it was all material, all centered on the way the music soothed me, sent the anxiety away.

And right before bed, the blueberry did some rather painful big movements that took a toil on my back but I slept really good (for me) afterwards, and when I woke up, the blueberry was low and centered. I could feel tiny hand movements that were no where near the head.

H and I had been talking earlier about how the problems with theories on the body is that they are so cerebral it's hard to think about bodies while reading and contemplating said theories. There's a lot of talk in many theoretical circles about "writing the body," "performing the body," histories/knowledge dwelling in the body" but how does one touch this? Is there a way to understand that reading/writing will never capture? I don't know but for me when I am this heavy with carrying life, a breath away from one of the most intense bodily experiences, I have no patience for "intellectual" argument about the body. The words hammer at me until I want to crawl under something to avoid their insistence for debate and argumentation.

Right now I want to wrap myself in music and the way it moves my body through the material imagery of birth.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

From the Mouth of Camille

As I'm sitting in the recliner, reclined naturally, and moaning about the lack of Blueberry, Camille looks over and says "Come on Mama, it's nice, warm and comfortable in there. He (the kids are determined I'm having a boy child)'s happy in there." Makes sense coming from Camille as she was the one who let out the scream of horror upon arrival. She didn't want to be born. I was on the pit for 12 hours with her, and it was touch and go in terms of a C-section. Luckily she came, albeit unwilling, shortly before the OB showed up.

Camille's birth was seriously traumatic for me. It was not a planned pregnancy nor did it come at the best time. Combined with some other icky circumstances it was a big depression fest for me. The birth seemed like a manifestation of all that crud. I warred between wanting this baby so much and not wanting the baby at all. We had decided on one child (ha now right?), and having this baby meant that I was going to have to keep teaching. H had a really hard time with these emotions, and really felt that I was rejecting the baby. It was a wretched time for all of us.

My water broke at 5 am. in bed 36 weeks into my pregnancy. We rushed to the hospital because we thought her birth would be quick as my son's had been. But it wasn't. It was bad from the get go. The nurse who saw me was rude and kept insisting I had peed myself before she even checked me. Finally she checked and my water had broken. No apology. Then she was really nasty about me coming in so early. I explained to her that my first birth had been very fast and that they wanted me to come in as soon as there was any sign of labor. She made some comment about how water breaking was not necessarily a sign of labor and that they were no doubt going to have to put me on pitocin. And it just went down hill from there. After walking around for a couple of hours, I was bullied into the pit. And then after nasty nurse left, worried, frantic, wow your husband is hot nurse came. When she wasn't trying to push an epidural on me, she was flirting with H. It was so nightmarish. Basically, they jumped the pit as high as they dared, and I suffered through the contractions from hell, and finally was able to push (they tried to flip me on my back until I threatened to kill the nurse...midwife jumped in and said "I can deliver from this angle."). And there she was, angry, expelled from the warm, comfortable place. My daughter. Perfect and beautiful right from the beginning.

I am remembering this because I think maybe Camille gets the blueberry in ways the other two beasties don't. Both Umberto and Piper were ready to be born. Neither made much of a fuss upon leaving the womb. Camille needed more time, and obviously the blueberry does as well. I'm impatient and excited to meet this new beastie. I can't deny this. I'm done being pregnant. I'm huge, unwieldy, tired. I want my body back. But I also want to honor the blueberry's need to be warm and comfortable. To come out into this world when he/she feels ready to see it. I wish Camille had had that option.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

No Right To Whine

I'm only at 37 weeks give a few days toward 38 so honestly I have no right to whine. There are women who go way past 40. But for me this is a long pregnancy. I have never been this pregnant. And in addition, I am having lots of "signs" that fizzle out to nothing. I felt so confident and proud of my body through this whole pregnancy. I felt strong. Felt like I made good decisions in terms of moving and eating. Enough so that I didn't freak too much out by my nearly 60lb weight gain. And honestly when I sailed by that 36 week mark I was pretty overjoyed as it meant that I could give birth at the center.

And now here I am not trusting my body. Today for the third time I thought labor was imminent. But after six hours of regular, fairly painful contractions, nothing. I told people. Canceled my classes. all for nothing. It's discouraging and makes me question my ability to even read my body. I keep hearing that I have to trust the baby, trust my body. And I honestly want to scream "Why should I?" At this point, there seems to be a lot of confusion on some one's part...

Last night, in the dark, with a breeze coming from the open window, I could feel the baby's presence like a breath. The nearness was a ghost touch but still there not solid but so real. I want to know this baby. I want to trust that this small presence knows when to come. Knows what to do. I want to believe in my body's ability to labor. To bring this life out when it is time. For now, I have to struggle against the tears, the frustration of living each day in expectation. And relishing those far fewer tosses and turmoils that ripple like earthquakes across my swollen stomach.