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Monday, March 24, 2008

Why I do not support the March of Dimes

March of Dimes ignores abortion-prematurity link

"We're dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality." from the MOD website

According to

"Latent post-abortion cervical damage may result in subsequent cervical incompetence, premature delivery, and complications of labor."

"Uterine damage may result in complications in later pregnancies "

"Abortion increases the risk of placenta previa in later pregnancies" (many mothers with placenta previa have to deliver their babies prematurely)

"Women who had one, two, or more previous induced abortions are, respectively, 1.89, 2.66, or 2.03 times more likely to have a subsequent pre-term delivery, compared to women who carry to term."

Women seeking abortions should be given accurate information about all the risks (both immediate and in the future) of abortion.

I also believe that the March of Dimes should get off their hypocritical butts and start INFORMING the public about the link between abortion and prematurity.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dear baby sister

This post will contain many Christian references. If that makes you uncomfortable I apologize, but my faith plays a significant part in my birthing philosophy. If my Savior can be born on a dusty floor among smelly livestock, then surely my children can be born in the comfort and safety of our home.

I’ve wanted to write this to you for a year now and just haven’t found the time. Or maybe I had the time and the words just wouldn’t come to me the way I hoped they would. I wanted you to know what an impact your pregnancy and the loss of your son have had on my life.

I’ve heard many times that when a teenage girl loses her baby, it must be “God’s punishment” for her being sexually active outside of marriage. I wholeheartedly disagree. First, “children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalms 127:3 KJV). He would never use a child to punish someone. Second, I believe that if any “punishment” is necessary, the trials of raising a child at 15 should serve as punishment enough.

There was an article in ParentLife magazine this month that really spoke to me when I thought about you and your son. The author writes, “He was ready for [him] to join Him in heaven, and He chose you to carry out [his] fate because He knew you’d be strong enough to handle it.” The Lord didn’t give you a son and then take him to punish you. A child is a blessing, whether you’re 15 or 40. I hope you don’t find this selfish on my part, but for me, Izaiah’s life and death helped me on my second pregnancy journey. After having had such a horrifying pregnancy and c-section with Sarah, my faith in God and faith in His creation of birth was severely shaken. Broken. I said I wanted to give birth to my son at home, and the way I was designed to give birth, but in my heart I didn’t really believe that would happen. I didn’t think I could do it and I didn’t think the Lord would help me.

If Izaiah’s death was not to punish you, then what was the purpose? What was the purpose of his short little life? It was no accident that mom wasn’t free to take you do the doctor the day you found out Izaiah had died. It wasn’t an accident that I was a stay-at-home-mom and everyone else in the family either worked or was at school that morning. The Lord purposed for my hand to be the one holding yours when the doctor walked in to tell us. Then to see you laboring that night, and all the next day for a baby who would never see your face, spoke to my soul. The Lord protected you through a terrible day and a half pitocin-induced labor. He gave you grace and peace. Before you got the epidural, and you were feeling your body painfully hug your sweet departed son, you never yelled out to anyone, “just take this dead baby out of me!” No one would have blamed you if you had. Labor can be painful even when the mother knows there is a sweet reward waiting just on the other side. For only sadness and pain to be awaiting you, everyone would have understood.

Then two months later, my son was conceived. A son, just like yours. How could I not have faith after witnessing your trial? Could I honestly say that the Lord protected a 15 year old girl through trying pregnancy and death of her son, but would not protect me as I birthed my son at home after having had a cesarean? I did worry during my pregnancy. I worried that my son would die before I saw his face. But then I would think about you and Izaiah, and I would trust the Lord. I would think about your love for your son, and the Father’s love for you, and I would trust Him.

I pray that I will never truly know your loss, and I pray that the Lord will continually teach you and draw you closer to him through it. I thank the Lord often for Izaiah’s life and death. Izaiah’s death and Caleb’s birth have taken me to a place in my relationship with the Lord that would not have been possible otherwise. I hope, I hope… that this can bring some comfort to you sister.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Between a knife and a lonely place

My husband has gotten a wonderful new job. In most ways, it’s going to be a very good thing for our little family. We will be able to (finally!) be out of debt. Absolutely, 100% out of debt. We’re going to be renting a home instead of buying, so we won’t even have a mortgage debt. I can’t begin to describe how free and liberated and, dare I say, autonomous, that makes this 26 year old mama feel!

And yet, this change is also a sense-of-self-shattering experience. We will be moving from Florida to Georgia. Here in Florida I had a wonderful midwife to attend my planned homebirth, even though it was only my second birth and my first was a c-section. I had absolutely no trouble finding this midwife. She has incredible experience, great compassion, deep dark knowledge of what birth can be and what it sometimes is, and an amazing relationship with a local perinatologist, making hospital transports seamless for the mother. In Georgia, I will have to fight. I will have to earn (if I haven’t already) the warrior in vbacwarrior. I have spoken with several midwives already. Most won’t attend a birth with me because I have a scar on my uterus. The ones I found who attend vbacs (secondary vbacs, only) either won’t attend a birth with me because we’ll live more than an hour from them, or they’re “uncomfortable” with me because I’ve had two SGA babies.

Where does this leave me? It makes me feel very small and insignificant, indeed. Trapped between a knife and a lonely place. I’ve had to ask myself, for the first time: what am I prepared to do to have what my head and my heart both feel is a “safe birth” for my future tiny blessing? Because I must take into consideration my husband’s feelings, UC is not an option. I must have a birth attendant, so whom do I choose? If I could find a CNM in Georgia who would attend a secondary vbac, what good would it do me? She will be under an OB’s thumb, leaving me no better off than having an OB him/herself. Then there’s the hospital. I absolutely refuse to go to a hospital for a normal pregnancy, labor and birth. What other choice do I have though? We’re only moving about four hours from where we are now, so the possibility exists that I may be able to move back down here for a few months. Then I could have my midwife and homebirth too. Even with this option, how will I get my prenatal care? Will a homebirth midwife provide this care for me, knowing that I will be leaving for the actual birth? If I choose a CNM or an OB for prenatal care, will I have to offer up my body to the barrage of tests inflicted upon pregnant women?

Navelgazing Midwife, Kneeling Woman… what say you? What is a woman in my position supposed to do? We are being sliced by OB’s and abandoned by midwives. Can you look me in the face (or in the blog, as it were) and say that you are happily willing to sacrifice me for the “greater good”? What about my baby? Most women today don’t want midwives. WHY do you insist upon “marketing” yourselves to these women, when you have women, mothers like me who are begging, pleading for a midwife? A safe birth. Are you really content transitioning to a sheep in wolf’s clothing?

What happened to “with woman”?