January 15th, 2013 § § permalink
Hello ladies and gentlemen. Happy New Year! I’ve been inactive for quite a while due to a lot of new and wonderful changes. My last post was back in November. I will work really hard to try to update this blog once a week so stay tuned. So the first bit of news is that I am joining forces with two of my fellow birth doulas (Domino Kirke & Samantha Huggins) to open a storefront space called Carriage House Birth in Williamsburg Brooklyn. We are planning our first Childbirth Ed weekend intensive for January 26th. It’s all very exciting. I’m also thrilled to announce that we will be showing the amazing art work of Amanda Greavette in February for our opening party at Carriage House Birth. Stay tuned for details.
If you are an expecting Momma/couple in the New York City area and are looking for doula services, childbirth education, lactation support, pre-natal bodywork, etc…stay tuned. Our address is 97 N7th Street Brooklyn, NY 11249. Check out our website that is currently in the process of being completely revamped. wwwcarriagehousedoula.com If you want to contact me directly about doula services or potentially becoming professionally involved in our Carriage House Birth team email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to updating you all soon about the progress and all the exciting things we will be offering to the birthing community.
July 13th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
1. Not getting your monthly period rules. I might just stay pregnant until menopause so I don’t ever get it again.
2. Babies are really fucking cute. (please ignore the crying, pooping, puking, & no sleeping part)
3. You haven’t really lived until you grow a baby inside your body. It still amazes me that us women are capable of such pure awesomeness.
4. It gives you a free license to eat as much as a whale. I gained 60 pounds with my first pregnancy. Nuff said. Fattie.
5. All that extra belly rubbing/grabbing from complete strangers is a really hot and exciting turn on. Strangers also love to give unsolicited parenting advice which is really sweet as well. (#5 is a totally sarcastic reason. Keep your feelers to yourself you handsy strangers.)
March 28th, 2012 § § permalink
Okay so you’re blissfully pregnant and perhaps unaware of some of the shocking things that may happen to your body. I’m someone who truly loves being pregnant and feels that it’s a magical experience. That being said I was blown away at some of the crazy f’ed up things that happened to my body. I’ve also had friends share some of the shocking changes that left them surprised and not so thrilled about this whole pregnancy thing.
1. Varicose Veins – YUCK! I mean really? I had no idea that these things could happen on my lady bits. Twin pregnancies cause you to carry some extra weight putting pressure on the pelvis and restricting blood flow causing these beauties. Let’s just say it’s like having elephantiasis of the labia. Are you turned on yet? Some ladies get these rope like veins on their legs as well. I am thankful that all has returned to normal downstairs after I delivered my twins. Thank goodness.
2. Hemorrhoids – I’m not really sure that I have to say much more. A large percentage of women during their third trimester of pregnancy will get these horribly painful guests. Some even appear after delivery. Painful and not so pretty.
3. Stretch Marks – I got some on my boobs during my first pregnancy and my belly was unscathed. First twin pregnancy I came out with 1! I was thrilled and still was able to wear a bikini. Second twin pregnancy tore me up. They were very itchy and sometimes painful. My belly has a good amount of these battle wounds that I’m learning to be proud of. Good news is that they fade. My purple zebra stripes are now a light pink at 8 months post partum. I am looking for a sexy one-piece swimsuit.
4. Acne – Can you say “teenage girl”? Geez. I had a full on pizza face. Something about being pregnant with boys made me break out like crazy. It got much better after delivery. So much for that pregnancy glow that I had while pregnant with my girls.
5. Constipation – Fiber, Fiber, Fiber. Doesn’t happen with every pregnancy but when it does it’s no fun. Blame those pregnancy hormones for this one. Sometimes constipation will bring his ugly unwelcome friend the hemorrhoid.
6. Spider Veins – Little purple roadmaps on your legs. Increased blood circulation during pregnancy causes them. I have seen some serious damage to a few good friends from theses unsightly veins. The good news is that they are harmless and fairly easy to remove these days with laser treatments. Keeping up your vitamin C during pregnancy may help prevent them. They are hereditary so you may just be shit out of luck.
7. Linea Negra – It’s that dark line that may be running from your navel to your pubic bone. During pregnancy this line darkens and may be caused by the imbalance in hormones. It usually pops up around the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy. Mine seemed to last forever and has just fully faded.
8. Discolored Vagina – Yep I said it. Its may look like your vagina just lost a prize-fight. Purple, angry, and bruised looking. Fear not this usually is cleared up after delivery.
9. My Boobies – During pregnancy they look amazing. I was surprised how big they actually got. I finally had some big old fun bag stripper tits. I’m not going to talk about what happens after nursing twins in this post. Let’s just say pancake milk duds. Enjoy those boobies while you got em.
10. Charlie Horses – There were some nights that I woke up screaming and clutching my lower leg. Not too sure what causes them but my husband was convinced it was a potassium deficiency and I ate bananas by the bunches. It didn’t really help.
That’s my top ten. I know there are many other shocking things that I haven’t listed but I could go on forever. Enjoy your pregnancies the best that you can. Pregnancy is a truly magical and amazing experience even if you are plagued with veins in your crotch. I actually miss my pregnant body. I’m also nuts and a true birth/pregnancy addict.
March 7th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
Your test says positive or there are two pink lines. Congrats! Now what? If this is your first pregnancy you are either extremely shocked or very happy with your baby making efforts. Navigating the next steps are quite important on your baby having journey. What type of pregnancy and birth experience would you like? Choosing the right care provider makes a world of difference. Do you want to receive the care of an Obstetrician or a Midwife? Do you have any underlying conditions that may require you to seek special care? Depending on the care provider your first appointment will be around the 8-10 week mark. This is obviously different if you have been receiving fertility assistance and you may need to go in much sooner. Don’t over google. Try to relax. If you have had previous miscarriages this might not be an easy task for very understandable reasons. An overabundance of stress can play a very negative role in one’s pregnancy if you let it. I do think that knowledge is power and knowing that you have choices during your pregnancy and birth will benefit you tremendously. Read a book or better yet read 20! Know what you want or try really hard to figure it out. I often have clients that want a particular type of birthing experience and get the complete opposite because of where they decide to give birth. A hospital with a very high epidural and c-section rate probably isn’t the best place to have your drug-free natural birth. I agree that the universal goal is for a healthy baby but what about the birthing experience. Negative birthing experiences can cause PTSD and anxiety disorders. It may cause some women to never want another child again because of their negative birthing experience. A positive birthing experience can be truly magical and make you want to experience childbirth again and again. Not such a good thing in my case. Chuckle chuckle. The recent birth of my twin boys has made me a bit of a birth junkie. I will list my top 5 book choices for the newly pregnant mother. Good luck and congrats. Now go ahead get educated on the birthing process. Happy birthing.
- Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
- Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley & Keppler
- The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
February 13th, 2012 § § permalink
I have had three pregnancies and got two sets of twins out of the deal. Each time during my pregnancies I had people say the rudest things to me. It blows my mind how some people lack a censor button. While pregnant my hormones were running rampant and the seemingly nice old lady at the grocery store looking at my massive belly in horror and saying “good luck” with a sarcastic eye roll did not brighten my day. In fact I wanted to hit her full force with my massive belly and knock her down. But to protect my angels in utero I didn’t. These are my top ten things NOT to say to a pregnant woman.
- “Wow you must be due any minute!” -actually lady I’m only in my sixth month and I’m not nearly as big as your fat ass.
- “How many are you having?” -okay so I was pregnant with twins when the cashier asked me this but she didn’t know for sure.
- “EWWWW!!!!” -a woman on the Upper East Side at a cafe was seated next to me and struck up a conversation. When I told her I was having twins she responded by shouting “EWWWW.” Okay. I was left speechless and promptly left without finishing my sandwich.
- “Good Luck” -as I listed before this was followed by an eye roll. I actually am pretty f’in lucky. I don’t need you words of encouragement. Thanks anyway.
- “You’re HUGE” -this was said by a friend’s husband who thought he was being charming. Sorry buddy but ladies don’t like to be called HUGE . Not ever. Even while pregnant.
- “You’re going to have your hands full.” -you really have no idea. I didn’t even bother telling strangers that I was pregnant with my second set of twins. I would have had to pick their chins up off the floor.
- “Your husband must have super sperm” -listen I have just as much to do with this whole baby making as he did. Stop giving him all the credit. And why are you talking about his sperm?
- “Are they natural?” -this comment is twin specific but if I had a dime every time I heard this I’d be a damn millionaire. Yes they are. But aren’t all babies “natural”. I don’t think a woman who uses fertility assistance is having an unnatural alien baby. Shit the end result is the same. A mother to twins. We should get medals.
- “Was it planned?” -none of your damn business. Really why would someone ask this question?
- “Are you done now?” -another question I wish my friends, family, and strangers would stop asking. I’m not rich but I support my kids without any assitance from anyone. My husband and I will decide when we are done and we won’t be making an official announcement.
February 7th, 2012 § § permalink
The answer to this question dictates the experience you will have during the pregnancy and delivery of your baby. I have had the luxury of working with amazing midwives and obstetricians as my work as a birth doula and as an expecting mother. Having supportive and empathetic care providers is very important. Does your midwife or OB respect your desires? Do they respect your birth plan? If they don’t switch to a care provider that does. I am lucky that I work in NYC and we have some of the best OB’s and midwives in the world. We have some options here. Not as many as one would hope but much better than most places. When pregnant with my first set of twins I did research to find a care provider that was pro vaginal delivery with twins. I have encountered many OB’s that perform a c-section for multiples regardless of the woman’s history. That was an eye-opening experience. I was lucky to find an OB that was willing to deliver my twins as long as baby A was vertex. She was also comfortable with a breech extraction with baby B if she ended up breech. She was luckily vertex and I got to have a successful vaginal delivery with my twins. My amazing midwife supported my desire for a homebirth with my second set of twins. I received dual care from my midwife and an obstetrician for the entire pregnancy. Choosing a midwife that was empathetic to my desire for a natural twin birth was monumental in my ability to have a beautiful and safe homebirth. Certain hospitals and practices are not very supportive of unmedicated childbirth and doulas. You should know if your OB or midwife is supportive of you hiring a doula before you hire one. If they are unsupportive then it’s probably not a good match. I recall a doula client that I had receiving a very unnecessary episiotomy from a very old school doctor. She had doubts about his beliefs on birthing but didn’t want to switch in her third trimester of pregnancy. She regretted this decision after her negative birthing experience. Recently a friend had a very necessary c-section and had a wonderful birthing experience. This was because of her amazing obstetrician that made her feel comfortable and at ease through the entire process. It meant the world to her. When woman have birth plans that change for whatever reason the way they are received by their birthing team is so important. Sometimes a mother can feel disappointed in the path her birth has taken and needs gentle reassurance. Living in NYC you often encounter a practice of OB’s and or Midwives so you don’t know who will be delivering your baby. The important thing is to be on the same page as their practice as a whole. What are their c-section rates? Transfer rate for homebirthers? Can you have intermittent fetal monitoring or a hand-held doppler? What is their protocol if there is a PROM? ETC…Knowledge is power. Make sure you are on the same page as your care provider. Ask questions. Happy birthing to you.