Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Well, as you may have seen from the announcement here, Tucker was born almost two weeks ago! The days since have passed in the expected blur, with my mother-in-law coming to cook and help out when we got home from the hospital, and then my mom coming out from Oregon this week. We are sleep deprived and in a bit of shock, I think, but elated.
I thought I’d share my birth story, in case anyone was interested.
As a labor and delivery nurse in Illinois, Courtney Gustin, 30, has helped bring many babies into the world. But during her pregnancy with her third child last year, she decided to give birth at home. “Working in the hospital, I saw so many things that were harmful to women and babies, including unnecessary labor inductions and Cesarean sections, as well as a lack of regard for women’s desire not to be separated from their babies after they are born,” Gustin says.
Let me ask you a question. Is there any purpose to labor pain or is it just the “curse of Eve?” Could it be that one of the reasons why most women find labor so dang painful is because it forces us to trust others to help us?
Last week, my niece was born. She was born at home, in a birthing tub, surrounded by midwives, doulas and family. When we heard she was here we were quiet more than jubilant. Somehow, knowing our niece had been born, and knowing--as we now know--what childbirth and childrearing entail, we weren’t in cigar-smoking, champagne-popping mode. Happy, yes. Delighted to have a new niece, relieved and happy and proud to know the home birth had gone well. And….pensive.
Former TV host Ricki Lake’s older son, Milo, was born 12 years ago in a New York City hospital. “After so many months of preparation . . . I was never in control. I had wanted to feel everything, but all I remembered of labor was fear and panic,” she writes in the preface to Your Best Birth. Shortly thereafter, Lake became a self-described birth junkie; and five years later her second son, Owen, was delivered at home, in water, by a midwife. “I chose to go against much of the advice given to me and did what I wanted, and it turned out even better than I expected,” she writes.
I recently watched clips from a show called “The Doctors” where four physicians discuss health-related current events. Ricki Lake, talk show host and co-author of Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience, was a guest panelist. The topic was home birth. The show’s OB/GYN, Dr. Lisa Masterson, MD, works at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and trained at USC Medical Center. Hey, that’s where I went to nursing school. She says she’s seen thousands of births. Me, too! Dr.
The words “easy labor” may seem like an oxymoron, but there are steps you can take, both throughout pregnancy and during labor, to make your experience less stressful and more comfortable, less clinical and more joyful. And although the following tips won’t guarantee you’ll have a sweat-free, pang-free birth, they can help make your labor and delivery more manageable.