Monday, June 30, 2008

"Who Says Kids Make You Happy?"

I found this article today via and was so sad to read what it said.

I was even more saddened by the comments that people left after reading the article, such as:

"I happen to think that in this day and age, having a child is the more selfish of the two choices."
"I have to agree that married people without kids are probably happier. I know my husband and I were. I love my kids who are now 20 & 22 but if I had to do it over again I think we would have chosen to remain childless. Sure there were wonderful times but once they got older & started school, it became less wonderful. Perhaps if my husband and I shared a parenting style it would have been less difficult but it's too late now. When you really think about it do people have children for the right reasons or just because it is expected of them?"
Ok, I haven't been a mother for that long but honestly, I have never been so happy before. Every day I wake up and know that I am doing something sacred and wonderful, and that alone brings me great happiness. I love the quote by Julie Beck in this month's VT'ing message:
"Women have distinct assignments given to them from before the foundation of the world...These are vital responsibilities in the plan of happiness, and when women embrace those roles with all their hearts, they are happy!"
I couldn't agree more! Yes, parenting is difficult and sometimes not very fun. No, I can't do all the things I could do before I was a parent, but I wouldn't trade my child for the so called "freedom" that you have being without children. Has my marital happiness decreased? Heck, no! Seeing my husband as a father makes me love him a hundred times more. We actually appreciate our marriage much more now just because of the extra effort we have to spend making our time together special. The point that I am trying to make is that being a mother and KNOWING my divine purpose and embracing it with all my heart makes life truly joyful and everyday worth living to its fullest!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reflecting on the birth of Ravenna

I just read such a beautiful home birth story on a friend's blog and it got me thinking about my own birth experience. For those who don't know, I chose to be induced when I was 41 weeks and 4 days. At that point I was emotionally spent and very ready to have the baby. Technically I could have waited 3 more days (possibly more, but I didn't ask).

When I went into the hospital at 7 AM with my husband and doula, I was already in early labor having regular contractions about 3 minutes apart, but not very intense, and I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. We three decided to wait it out a while to see if I progressed. Unfortunately two hours later, the Pitocin was started. According to the L&D nurse, who wasn't very nice anyway, I wasn't progressing fast enough so she kept increasing the dose every hour or so. Four hours after starting the Pitocin I had only progressed to 4 cm and I was getting very discouraged. A hospital is a TERRIBLE place to have a slow, calm labor. Even though I had done my research and felt strongly for as few interventions as possible before I entered the hospital, I began to cave under the pressure of the mean nurse and the one midwife I didn't like. So, I let them break my water.

Looking back, I think that was where I gave up control of my birth. What I can remember from the experience was shaking uncontrollably and the student midwife (who delivered my baby BTW) asking me what was wrong. I told her it was just the contractions, but really, I was scared out of my wits! I had never been afraid of giving birth up to that point. After the waters ruptured the labor progressed quickly and the contractions became unmanageably intense (thank you, Pitocin!). Things continued to go down hill from there.

I will stop there because this is getting too long, but the conclusion that I have come to is that there is NO WAY, unless it is absolutely necessary, that I will EVER deliver in a hospital again. I didn't get to push in the position I wanted. In fact, I felt tricked into birthing in an unfavorable position. I was shocked by how many people were in the room when I was about the deliver; it ruined my focus and it was entirely unnecessary. No body asked me if they could come in. I still don't know why they were there. Birth should be peaceful and relaxed, not a circus! The worst part is that once the baby was out, she was on my stomach briefly then whisked away. I felt totally robbed! My baby was crying and I was strapped into stirrups, unable to go to her. Then I wasn't even allowed to deliver my placenta in my own time. Now, don't get me wrong, I had protested these things while they were going on, but I couldn't move much less assert my rights. I am grateful for my doula for supporting me while the machine raged around me. How lonely I would have been if she had not been there holding my hand and comforting me (Andrew was with the baby making sure they didn't do anything to her that they weren't supposed to).

The sad thing about all of this was, I had a birth plan and everyone in the room was aware of what I wanted. Only my doula respected those things. There are lots of other things that displeased me about my hospital birth, but I think the cards were a bit stacked against me. I am not trying to say "don't give birth in a hospital!" because I know people who had very satisfying births there. Perhaps the purpose of this experience was to teach me to go with my gut, and have a home birth. I never wanted to give birth in a hospital in the first place. Why did I do it, then? Well that is fodder for another post, another day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A tough week(end)

If I have seemed a bit stressed lately here is the D.L.:

1) My midwife discovered that I have retained placenta tissue which should have resolved itself by now. She gave me meds to fix it and we thought it had, but it turns out it hasn't. Fun.
2) I got a cold which I then passed on to my dear sweet baby. We have not been handling it well.
3) A clogged milk duct thanks to a fussy sick baby who didn't want to nurse and being out of the house all weekend and thus unable to pump.
4) An extremely busy weekend with family coming in for the baby blessing and everyone wanting to see Ravenna at once!
5) Running around the Salt Lake Valley trying to attend a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, meet up with Andrew's family, and somehow keep my baby happy all at the same time.
6) Putting on a luncheon for out of town guests here for the blessing.

Basically, by this afternoon I was trying so hard to keep smiling while holding back tears. I loved seeing my family, but this was all just too much for one Carrie to handle. So now I am trying to pack for Andrew's family reunion which we are leaving for tomorrow. Unforunately I didn't realize that I needed Ravenna's birth certificate to get on the airplane so I have to rush over to the health department tomorrow morning and see if I can get it. It seems like the stress will never end, or at least abate! I am also really sad because I felt like I didn't get to enjoy the time I had with the family and having Ravenna get blessed. I hope that upon my return I will have been able to enjoy the family reunion and we will all be healthy again.

Anyone else survived this kind of week? Care to share survival skills?

Thursday, June 5, 2008