What we're thankful for.

Today I am thankful for my family. My wonderful, patient, kind husband, and our beautiful, spirited little boy. I am thankful for Tom's support, his selflessness, his work ethic, his intelligence, and his sense of humor, and I am thankful for Finn's tenacity, persistence, creativity, and endless joy. I am thankful for our health, for having a warm home to live in, and plenty of food and fresh water to eat and drink. I am thankful for indoor plumbing.

I am thankful for my mother, for giving me life, trying to teach me things I didn't want to hear about, and for her good health. I am thankful I had a father to raise me and love me, even though I don't have him any longer. I am thankful for my Gram, who had strong hands, great cookies, and silly names for all her furniture, even though she has left us as well.

I am thankful for my sister, for being my best friend, beautiful, strong, and compassionate. I am thankful she has found the man to spend the rest of her life with, and I am also thankful for him. I am thankful for my brother, who is disciplined, and selfless. I am thankful for his happiness and good health.

I am thankful for my inlaws, for loving me from the moment they 'got me', and for their support. I am thankful for Grandma and Poppa and how much Finn adores them and his cousin Soupie. I am thankful for my cousins, aunts, uncles, and other family members as well, even though I don't see them all nearly enough, and sometimes we don't get along.

I am thankful that I still have two healthy dogs, and that we have the technology to keep Murrey alive with minimal effort.

I am thankful for those that have reached out to us, and who help us. You know who you are, and you have changed our lives. Thank you for such amazing opportunities.

I am thankful for my friends. They support us, they love us despite our flaws, they listen to our bad jokes, and cry with us when we need consoling. I am thankful for the deepness and the strength of the bonds we have, and with so many. I am thankful for each person in my life, their health, and their good fortune. I am thankful that all of our victories are shared.

I am thankful we live in a country where speech and thought and free, and I am thankful to those in our government and military who work to keep it that way. I am thankful for fireman and local law enforcement, and all their work to keep everyone safe. I don't always agree with many of the decisions my government makes, but I am thankful to live here, and to know that I have an opportunity for my voice to be heard. I am thankful that change is possible, and I am thankful for democracy. I am thankful for Barack Obama, and the change he inspires.

I am thankful that we live in a country that is not war torn, or so corrupt that people are sick or starving, and I am hopeful that the future will show us a healthcare reform to change the lives of those in our country who do suffer. I would like all our citizens to have the access to care that my diabetic dog has.

I am thankful for medicine, and medical technology, and for all the lives it improves and saves. I am thankful for healthy babies, innocent smiles, and big, round, pregnant bellies. I am thankful to have an awesome job that allows me to touch people in very big, significant ways. I am thankful to those who have supported my studies and work to get me here. I am thankful for the opportunity to get here, and the people who let me scrub their toilets to pay my way.

I am thankful that our country tolerates all religions, and the lackthereof, and that our lawmakers will support our right to diversity, since many of us have questions, and few of us have answers. I am thankful that people in my country are learning to tolerate homosexuality and same sex adoption, and I hope there is more to be thankful for in the near future.

I am thankful for our oceans, and the vast beautiful wildlife on this planet. I am thankful for those working to research, conserve, and defend our natural resources and wildlife habitats.

I am thankful people are going green.

I am thankful for so much more.... and hope for more to be thankful for next year.

Ducks in a Row (the Aflac kind)

I just got my ducks in a row to be able to bill insurance! Most carriers won't have caught up to the new code yet, and I don't know how many of them will recognize it, or pay for it. But I can give you the code and you can call and check on it with your carrier.

Then, after the birth, I could provide you with an invoice and you can fill out a claim for and submit it to see if you're reimbursed-- isn't that DANDY???

The only thing really holding us back is that doulas are not state licensed, so we won't be recognized as a legitimate 'provider of service' so I don't think I can 'get on' anyone's plan just yet. Hopefully in the future this will change, but for now, I'm happy to offer my clients some form of reimbursement, however small!

Good luck and I hope you're covered!

The Doula's Ripple Effect

Recently, I blogged about the importance of finding the right provider, and how that's not always easy. This is made more difficult if your needs change, or if you overlook a small detail in your discussions, only to learn late in your third tri that your one missed point is a deal breaker with a doctor or CNM you thought you loved. This is very stressful position to be in, when moms are often 'nesting' and needing to know they are in good hands, and all is ready.

I recently helped a client in this particular situation get a new office whom she and DH are VERY happy with, and now things are smooth as silk again. There was a one question deal-breaker, that was somehow overlooked, and when it came to light, we were 33 weeks or so, and not happy. I am pleased, though, that she stood her ground, and found someone who could offer her more, because I know it will make her birth day much better. Well, this mom emailed me again this week to let me know that her late term switch inspired her friend to do the same.

This friend of hers walked into her OBs office with a 'birth plan' or something like it, and the doctor refused to even look at it. He then went ON about how OFFENDED (yes, actually offended) he was that she would bring something like this in to him. He has been delivering babies for (blah blah blah), and what does she know about it as a first time mom? How DARE she question 'his majesty'. Thankfully, this woman had a very level head, and said, 'thanks but no thanks', and walked.

She is now on the search for her new obstetrical mr. or mrs. right, and has told my client that her last minute search's success gave her the strength to stand up for what she believed in and get more for herself.

Now it upsets me to the Nth degree that there are ACTUALLY medical professionals out there who behave this way. God Complex, much? Since when is informed consent a frivolity, and since when does a woman not have a right to ask questions and make requests about what's done to her body when she's in labor?? Those outdated people who see birth as 'frought with danger... but we have the technology to save you from these perils', and who see it as a 'medical procedure' and not a life-changing, spiritual, beautiful right of passage, well, they make me ill. But all we can do is say NO, and go to someone who will respect us.

We need to be educated consumers, and to vote with our dollar.... and it is my hope that more and more women will do this, after hearing stories like my clients', and being encouraged by their doulas and other support professionals, that these outdated control freaks will soon step aside-- forced into early retirement due to public pressure for an open-minded, respectful physician.

I take this as a good sign-- that someone I don't even know is going to get the birth she wants because of encouragement I gave to someone else. So while this is a job that comes with many frustrations, it's important to take moments like this revel in the ripple effects your empowerment has on the community you live in. Personally, I couldn't be happier with my small role in the outcomes for these two women. And it has me pumped up to keep going, and to change the world a bit more each time!
Go Doula!!! Go Women!!! Go Birth!!!

I hope the sidelines are always this powerful!

Patient Abandonment Video from NBC 5

This video deals with a woman who was dropped from care by her OB at 40 weeks gestation (full term). Her ICAN leader Gina Crosley-Corcoran did a lot of work to try and find her some help, but she ended up delivering (safely, mind you) in the ER. And she got the VBAC she wanted.

My point in posting this article is not to say that 'This OB is a DOUCHE BAG', though that's pretty inarguable at this point. My point goes back to previous postings on communication and the importance of provider selection.

Too many women are waiting until the end of their pregnancies to ask the tough questions, and learning too late that they are incompatible with their provider's general operating procedures. At this point you will either need to give up on what you wanted, switch providers (which can be hard to do late in the game), or WORST CASE, you stick to your guns, and get dropped from care like she did.


A joke to sweeten your Friday!

The OB, the Anesthesiologist, and the Midwife...

An anesthesiologist, an OB, and a midwife walked into a bar. The anesthesiologist ordered a pitcher of stout and a double burger; the OB ordered a Reuben and a bottle of red wine; the midwife ordered their biggest plate of steak and fries with a margarita.
They all sat in a booth and shared war stories.

A long time passed, and the three realized something had gone wrong
with their order. They decided to find out what the problem was. They
found the bus boy just behind the swinging double doors to the kitchen.
He was struggling to get their overloaded cart from the tiled kitchen
to the carpeted dining area. The wheels kept catching on the bump.

The anesthesiologist kneeled down and examined the tires. You just need to inject something here in the back he announced. Then e
verything will go better.

The OB leaned down to look at the carpet. This part of the carpet is blocking the cart, he announced. Give me a knife and I'll just give it a little cut to help it along.

The midwife leaned over to the busboy and whispered loudly in his ear, "You can do this!

Just PUSH!"