msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



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Yosemite trip and...we're having a home birth!

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August 19, 2003

Yosemite trip and...we're having a home birth!

Dan and I took Bugs up to the Sierras to go camping for a long weekend last weekend. We camped just on the other side of Yosemite near Tioga Pass, in the Eastern High Sierra, right near a river. Very nice. We arrived on Friday night, then on Saturday we went to Mono Lake, Bodie (old falling-down ghost town), and then hiking on a fantastic trail through the Victoria Lakes. Up and up and up to about 10,000 feet, past three or four alpine lakes with spectacular views, waterfalls, etc. It was totally warm, but there were still patches of snow on the ground here and there.

Bugs could not have been happier. He absolutely FROLICKED, bounding through the grass in big leaps of joy like a crazed gazelle for over an hour.

The next day we had a leisurely breakfast in camp, packed up, and headed to Yosemite, where we hiked up to Dog Lake, which was also gorgeous. Bugs went swimming, a first for him, and chased the tiny local chipmunks, to absolutely no result. Anyone who says that animals don't feel emotions should have seen this dog. He was in heaven. I have never seen him happier. Positively smiling. He was hysterical with joy.

Next weekend we're camping again, this time in Big Sur with a group of friends. My friend April organized the whole thing, and just had a baby to boot, so I am watching her as my role model to see how she handles camping with a 2 month old baby.

The following Tuesday, my dear friend Brad flies in from New York and we're off to Burning Man for five days, which should be a blast, although I can't say I've ever been there totally sober before.

Hell it's August, and I'm feeling great in this window between first trimester fatigue and third trimester hugeness, so I figure I might as well take advantage of it and get the hell out of town as often as I can. I'll have plenty of time at home in the near future.

I just passed 15 weeks and everything is going well. I had some light brown spotting for abut a week and a half with some strange crampy feelings, but my doctor checked me out top to bottom and couldn't find anything wrong, and then it went away. So I guess it was just one of those things.

I've only gained five pounds, but it feels like about 20. Big ol boobs, almost a D-cup now. They are crazy boobs, sticking straight out. Man, I hope they deflate nicely afterwards.

My abdomen is totally pooched, but not all that pregnant looking yet, just big and round. I guess it's all still just progesterone bloating.

I posted before that I hired a midwife, Veronica Wagner, to come to my house when I go into labor. I've been realizing how hard it will be to avoid all the scheduling and hurrying up and epidurals and monitors and inducing and all that shit in the hospital though, even with her there to be my advocate. I absolutely don't want any of that. I've been doing a lot of research and it's just so harmful, all that interference.

My poor friend April went over her due date a little bit (totally normal) and ended up getting induced, being in horrible pain, then he uterus failed (most likely because of a drug placed in pill form behind her cervix to supposedly help induce, she recently found out) and she had to have a C-section at the end of it all. Complete disaster. And honestly, she would have been fine if they had just let her alone and let her take her time and have the baby when it was ready to come out. She had all these problems nursing afterwards because of her incisions and her AND the baby being drugged up.

Anyways, Veronica (my midwife) invited me to come to a lecture she was giving at Palmer Chiropractic College last Thursday. It was fantastic She has been a midwife for over 25 years, her brother is a top OB-GYN in Germany, she is a registered nurse, etc. So I listened to her lecture on how the US has incredibly high rates of maternal hemorrhage and injury for a developed country, mostly caused by all the intervention we do as a matter of course, inducing anyone who goes over their due date, all the drugs given, how epidurals relax your uterus too much and make it more likely to hemorrhage, how episiotomies actually increase tearing, and make the baby come out too fast...there is a definite benefit to the baby being squeezed fairly hard on the way out, it gets all the mucus and fluids out of the baby's lungs and nose so they can breathe properly right away and aren't so congested.

After her lecture we watched films of home births that she delivered over the past 20 years. They were SO sweet, and all the women were perfectly in control, and didn't even appear to be in very much pain. They were totally focused, just breathing *hard* while Veronica massaged their perineum and eased the baby out nice and slow.

Two were breech births, and also an 11 pound baby delivered by a size 2 mom, and even *she* wasn't screaming or thrashing around like you always see on those horrible "Maternity Ward" shows where all the women are cursing and screaming and ready to throw themselves out windows. It took a minute or two to get the shoulders out but no episiotomy even, and she had NO tearing since he came out nice and slow with Veronica's help.

One family was especially sweet. The mom was pushing, the dad was coaching her, and their little son was watching. She breathed the baby out, and while it was coming out she reached down to touch its head. Veronica was telling her what a great job she was doing, and then the baby came out all the way. When it did, Veronica said "It's a girl!" and the mom started crying "Oh, a girl! My beautiful girl!" and holding the baby on her chest while her husband kissed her and the little boy kissed his mom too and they waited for the placenta to detach and everyone was just so happy, crying and calling for champagne. Not a scratch on that mom either.

It was about that point that I started bawling, and decided right then and there that I wanted to have the baby at home with Veronica, not in a hospital tied to all those monitors and bullshit. I don't want to have to decide WHEN to go to the hospital and have all kinds of people telling me what to do and freaking me out.

So I talked to Dan and he is fine with a home birth, just as long as HE doesn't have to deliver ;-). The hospital is only about three minutes away anyways. So if all goes well the rest of the way that's what we'll do. I'm excited now! I didn't realize how much I was dreading having to go to the hospital until I made the decision, and now I am actually looking forward to giving birth and having that experience on my own terms, and on my own turf. Screw it, I want to eat and drink and move round and be in my own home for this.

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