Hand to Breast

A very informative article concerning the use of the infant’s hands while nursing.



Full Term?

I recently overheard a conversation in which one mother was encouraging another mother to induce at 38 weeks. She stated that 38 was full term and no one should have to go longer. I realize that this woman was just relaying what she had been told, and even I considered self-induction at week 38 :), but it is time that we learn to leave our bodies and babies be. In cases of pre-eclampsia and such, induction is sometimes needed…but for normal, healthy pregnancies to end with early induction can do harm.  Here is a  great blog on the subject:

“The brain grows rapidly between 38 and 41 weeks gestation: gray matter increases nearly 50%,  and myelinated white matter triples as the brain increases in complexity. It’s not surprising that being born even two or three weeks early might negatively impact some babies.”


Karsten’s Birth Story

Lisa here.  My littlest guy is coming up on his first birthday and I’m feeling nostalgic so I thought I’d repost his birth story.  Here it is…

I couldn’t get to the camera. So instead I tried to seal the images in my mind as we pulled into our driveway with a new little brother snug in his carseat. Inside the house Geneva and Caleb spotted us and stood waving and tapping at the living room window. Bob gestured for them to “come on!” and out they ran straight for the back seat, full of smiles and giggles and excitement.

What other snapshots would I take of the time before, during, and after Karsten’s birth? There’s Bob and I sitting at the table playing dominoes with my parents Thursday evening. There’s the bowl of cheerios with sliced banana that I left unfinished when I felt a pop pop gush as my water broke at midnight. Then there I am on the phone with the midwife, standing over the puddle in the kitchen. There’s Bob sitting at the computer while I wait for contractions to get going. And there I am at the door at 1 am wagging my finger and saying “come on we’ve got to go NOW!”

On the drive to the birth center the contractions started getting stronger. After we arrived and settled into our suite, I labored sitting on the ball and leaning on the edge of the bed while Bob applied pressure to my lower back. I started dozing between contractions since it was like 3:00 in the morning. My midwife Susan suggested I lay down in the bed and try to rest. We actually slept for over an hour. I had some contractions throughout that time that required my attention and when they got too strong to stay in bed, I got out and labored in the big, warm, relaxing tub. As I felt each contraction coming on, I tried to welcome it, instead of resist it, letting my body do its work, knowing that each contraction was bringing us closer to the end goal of meeting our baby. After Magdalena’s labor which was pitocin induced, this one seemed a lot less intense and much more manageable. When the time came to push, I wanted to try for a waterbirth but just could not get in a comfortable pushing position. My back was hurting and I felt like I was floating. I couldn’t get the stability I needed. I tried getting comfortable on the bed. No go. Still too much pressure on my back so we tried the birthing stool. With my feet firmly planted and gravity on my side, this was the way to go. But as I pushed, little was happening. At one point I thought, “I don’t think he’s going to come out.” And it seemed a reasonable thought at the time. Apparently Karsten had his hand up by his cheek, making my job more difficult. But we kept pushing and he did, indeed, make it out. The midwives handed him to me right away, and I mean right away and they let me keep him. One of the midwives did snap some real pictures of these moments but I am not willing to post them on the internet 🙂 I glanced at the clock – 6:30am.

We got some rest and bonded with our new son. I loved the peaceful, private atmosphere of the birth center. Susan checked in on me periodically during labor and then was there full on when I needed her. Then after his birth she checked in on us, but let us get our rest too. We were welcome to stay as long as we liked but also free to go home as soon as I was feeling well enough. We were home in time for supper. It was certainly my best birth experience so far and for that I am thankful.