T1’s Birth Slideshow

Kelli Nicole sent this to me yesterday* and I was surprised to find tears running down my cheeks. What a beautiful experience T1’s birth was, and I’m actually looking forward to my next home birth because of the way I felt when I watched this slideshow. If you have any questions about what you see in the pictures ask in the comment section and I’ll try to answer. If you’re new to That Wife and haven’t read the birth story, click here.

Oh, and this is very NSFW and family friendly. 🙂 The song is “Strong Ties” by Kalai.

The other thing I took away from this? I think That Husband is the greatest.

*Just to keep Kelli’s name in the clear, she is very timely in returning products to her clients. I’m operating under the special “friends and family” system, which means that there are sometimes delays. Just wanted to make sure you didn’t read this post and think that she takes forever to get things back to you!

Postnatal Cuddling

This post needs a preface. I believe sex is sacred, for bringing children into the world and bringing couples closer together. Our current culture is far too casual about sex, promiscuity is widely accepted and media turns the act into a joke with little emphasis on the consequences of such a cavalier attitude toward something so special. My goal with this post is to offer my perspective on postnatal sex without making light of it. If you know me in real life and the thought of me writing about my experience with intimacy after baby is a little too much I suggest you stop reading now.

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Giveaway: Birth, A Play in Fort Worth

I was contacted by Alexa regarding my interest in giving away two tickets to a play called Birth, something I would love to go to if I was in Dallas still. It’s been labeled as The Vagina Monologues for birth, and it details the diverse stories of 8 different women. If you’re not quite sure what you’re getting into I found this page on the site to be really helpful.

Below is the press release for the event.

Childbirth choices take center stage with BOLD Fort Worth’s production of Birth
ADVANCE TICKETS: $ 10 (available through www.boldfortworth.org)
Information: Alexa Gumm ? marketing@boldfortworth.org ? 682-710-BOLD (2653)
Fort Worth, TX – BOLD Fort Worth is presenting a day of focusing on mother-friendly childbirth
choices on September 25, 2010. Theatre goers will gather to see the DFW premiere of Birth,
a play by Karen Brody, and a Birth Fair will offer new, expectant and future mothers access to
professionals and companies who follow the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative.
Alexa Gumm ? marketing@boldfortworth.org ? 682-710-BOLD (2653)
All proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will benefit the Tarrant County Birth Network.
The event is part of BOLD (Birth on Labor Day), a global arts-based movement aspiring to
create childbirth choices for mothers around the world.
“Childbirth today is a human rights issue for low-risk pregnant mothers,” states author Brody,
who spent a year interviewing over 100 low risk women before writing her play. “Choices in
childbirth have been severely restricted for this large population of pregnant women despite
strong evidence-based research supporting a wide variety of birth choices.”
Brody founded BOLD in 2006 with the intention to use her play to raise awareness and
money that promotes childbirth choices that work for mothers. As Brody explains, “Pregnancy
today is typically viewed as an illness and emergency. BOLD uses theatre to raise people’s
consciousness that childbirth is normal. Once this is recognized people will start demanding
a childbirth model of care that is compassionate, evidence-based and puts the mother at the
center of her birth experience.”
Producer Shannon Blackwell became interested in the play after the birth of her second child in
“My two different births and the care I received during my pregnancies from my providers
showed me the huge difference in experience a woman can have,” she states. “Being
educated and knowing your options are significant factors in walking away from a birth feeling
empowered. It is a milestone in a woman’s life and we should celebrate that.”
Blackwell recruited Christi Moore-Murphy, an established theatre director and long time friend,
to direct “Birth” after Moore-Murphy delivered her second child via emergency c-section earlier
this year.
“We have an amazing group of actors, an unbelievably talented director and a fabulous group
of volunteers who are coming together for one day to change the way Fort Worth views birth,”
Blackwell continues. “And the best part is that our advocacy efforts will continue through the
funds we raise for the Birth Network.”
Since 2006 nearly 100 BOLD locations have raised over $130,000 for childbirth organizations.
Tickets are available online at www.boldfortworth.org. The play is PG-13 and not recommended
for younger children.
The Tarrant County Birth Network is a community organization, with national roots, whose
mission is to provide information about, and advocacy for, evidence-based, Mother-Friendly
care for expectant Tarrant County families seeking a healthy, informed, and enjoyable
pregnancy and birth.
Media Contact:
Alexa Gumm
682-710-BOLD (2653)

Comment below if you wold like to enter for two free tickets to the play! I’m bummed I just missed the showing in Chicago or else I would go myself.

The Placenta Print

This post, is going to gross a lot of people out. For some reason, thinking about/talking about/seeing placentas make people want to gag/vomit/die/etc. Honestly, I don’t really get what the big deal is, but if you don’t want to see a picture of T1’s placenta (and especially if you don’t want to see me holding it in my hand!), I suggest you skip this post.

This is T1’s placenta, wrapped up in several chux pads. At the time this photo was taken it had been sitting in our freezer for 3 months. My mom wasn’t a fan, as it slid out and almost hit her in the head several times. There aren’t many things crunchier than keeping a placenta in the freezer!

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If You Ever Want to See an OBGYN Again… Don’t Have a Homebirth

This post would have been a lot sharper, a lot more angry if I had written it an hour ago, but after some time spent T1 and listening to a Dashboard Confessional Pandora station I now feel like curling up into a corner and crying. And eating my feelings.

Based on your comments from my last post about an OBGYN visit I canceled my 2nd appointment with the lecturing OB and asked some friends for recommendation. All of the wives of the LDS guys that work with my husband go to Tuscan OBGYN and rave about everyone there, and though they all had hospital births I figured things would be better. I managed to get an appointment as a new patient on the very day my birth control sample pack would run out so I wouldn’t have to miss a day. After the disaster that was my appointment today, my stupid withdrawal bleeding is going to start up as my confused body adjusts to being back off the hormones again… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

(Oh, and the reason I keep going to an OB and now a midwife is that I want birth control, haven’t had a pap smear for 2 years, and suspect a yeast infection, and I want my visit covered by insurance. Several people have suggested a CNM, Planned Parenthood, or general practitioner. I have visited none of those before here in Dallas but I think they are a good choice for my third try at this.)

I ate, showered, got dressed, fed T1, changed a poopy diaper right before we walked out the door, loaded him in the car seat only to have him scream for the entire car ride there, took him out of his car seat, carried him up to the office, handed over the new patient paperwork I had filled out at home (you know, the pages and pages of it), sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes past my appointment time, was ushered back, weighed, asked the standard set of questions by the nurse, had my blood pressure taken, moved rooms, and sat and waited for the doctor to grace me with his presence.

He walked in and shook my hand, commenting on how cute T1 is (an obvious statement). He asked how long ago I had given birth, I said 9 weeks, and he asked me where I had delivered. I replied that it had been a home birth, and he went out of his way to turn away from his paperwork and back up against the counter in shock. His eyebrows raised and he asked “You didn’t see an OB your entire pregnancy?” Anticipating what was coming I told him that I had switched from a previous provider because I had been lectured on my choice to birth at home and that I was just there to get some birth control and would appreciate not receiving a lecture on my choices. He gathered up his stuff and opened the door, and I asked him to please stay and just write me a prescription for birth control because that’s all I wanted. He told me I was free to leave whenever I wanted and I asked one more time if he would please just stay and finish the appointment. He refused and left.

I left, announcing loudly in the receptionist office that the doctor had refused to see me and I would not be covering my copay (how lucky that I hadn’t payed beforehand, right?). I made it 10 steps out of the door before I burst into tears, calling That Husband on the phone and sobbing heavily. He urged me to go back in and stand up for myself, but “standing up for myself” was what had me sobbing in the first place. I guess the medical community would prefer doormats who don’t speak their mind? The medical community in Irving, TX anyway.

I cashed a check on the way home, reading all kinds of outraged tweets in response to my own tweets describing the encounter (thanks to everyone who responded sympathetically, it helped calm me down a lot). By the time I got home T1 was demanding another bottle and I had the chance to cool down. TH called me to let me know he had talked to the OB, and I had to remind myself that he wasn’t siding with the ignorant jerk who walked out on me when he said that the OBGYN had made it clear that “I didn’t want to continue with the questions that he was required by law to ask”.

Oh sure, because saying that you don’t want to be told you are a stupid idiot for choosing to birth at home and not use an OBGYN for your pregnancy is EXACTLY the same as refusing to cooperate with state mandated questions. Did his little form have on it somewhere: Be sure to treat patients like you know everything and they know nothing.

Maybe he is a perfectly nice man (and friends who recommended his office please don’t feel bad, I’m just happy you had better experiences), but he was still a jerk, and I still think that he walked out because he only wants patients who are going to nod their head and giggle at everything he says, the way I did with the last doctor, actions I’ve come to regret since. Unfortunately this post probably isn’t going to encourage anyone to stand up for themselves when it comes to their own medical care because it would certainly be easier to just lie about where I gave birth and go along with everything he says, right?

Today, I’m going to name names because I think that as someone who pays hard earned money toward insurance premiums and deductibles, I have the right to be cared for with respect. If you are a woman thinking about using Dr. Steven A. Hoffman as your OBGYN, and you plan on educating yourself and taking charge of your own medical care (as I think every woman should), I think you should think twice before using him as your care provider. Based on my experience he is not a good choice for a thinking woman’s OBGYN.

I’m feeling dejected at the thought of going through the “new patient” process once again. I feel frustrated that despite the assurance from people that “there are open minded OBGYNs out there who are able to look past anecdotal evidence and approach medical care from an evidenced based viewpoint”, I can’t seem to find those providers myself. Overall I just want to cry into an extra large tub of the richest chocolate ice cream I can find. Today was overall a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.