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Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Quotes from Ina May

I finished Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth this weekend. I really enjoyed about two-thirds of the book. The positive stories of natural childbirth were great to read and I must admit, I teared up more than once. The first part of the second section was great also. The whole chapter called “Sphincter’s Law” was rather fantastic and eye-opening. However, the end was so anti-established medical practice, that it made me more scared/nervous about what happens with a hospital birth than I already was.

There are some great lines and passages that I want to remember, but since I got the book out of the library, highlighting/marking the book really isn’t appropriate (and I don’t feel like I need a copy of this book), I’ll record them here along with their page numbers.

Birth is a normal physiological process. – 131

our bodies must work pretty well, or there wouldn’t be so many humans on the planet. – 131

There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men has such an organ, they would brag about it. So should we. – 144

One of the best features of labor is the rest periods that occur between these rushes [contractions]. Hardly anyone seems to talk about these in birth preparation books, but they are one of the most brilliant features of labor. Savor every second of them. – 146

We need to always remember that mothers who are afraid tend to secrete the hormones that delay or inhibit birth. This is true of all mammals and is part of nature’s design. Those who are not terrified are more likely to secrete in abundance the hormones that make labor and birth easier and less painful—sometimes even pleasurable. – 149

the woman’s body knows best and that, given enough time, nature knows best and that, given enough time, nature will take its course – 152

Women who have out-of-hospital births are also more likely than are women in U.S. hospitals to have the continuous help of someone they trust, another factor that has been shown to reduce the perception of labor pain. – 152

The woman gains a new appreciation of the wisdom of nature as expressed through her body. When she starts to understand that being amused and grateful actually moves the process of labor along more efficiently, she starts to work toward these feelings herself. Hard work may continue, but now she has the heart for it. Instead of fearing her body, she experiments with trusting it – 153 (emphasis mine)

Because trust is such a valuable and powerful feeling, it is important for pregnant women to be cared for by people whom they trust. Love is another very powerful healing and easing emotion. Trust and love make relaxation possible. – 180

When a mother loves and trusts her midwife or physician, she is going to find it far easier to relax her bottom in the presence of this person. This feeling of safety will not only make labor and birth more efficient, it can also make it significantly less painful. – 180-181

It is amazing how much better our bottoms work when we think of them with humor and affection rather than with terror, revulsion, or, worst of all, look awake from them in shame. Lord knows, we can’t turn our backs on our bottoms. – 182

labor often starts and stops a time or two before it becomes powerful enough to complete the birth process. … Four or five false starts are not unusual. – 205

Contracting the arm muscles during labor distracts women’s attention from holding their pelvic and thigh muscles tight to “protect” themselves during labor. – 207

some women must be upright or on all fours to have a baby. Women often make this choice spontaneously. – 231

In fact, sex is the central fact of reproductive behavior from conception to birth. If the sexual aspect of labor and birth is ignored, it will often work against progress in labor. Of course, the converse is also true. – 239

We share this need for privacy during labor with virtually all other female mammals. – 241

Your body is not a lemon! – 315

22 week update

In the past two weeks I’ve started feeling Stree kick. At first I wasn’t sure that that was what I was feeling. It felt like a little gas bubble popping, so I wasn’t sure if it was just gas, the ability to feel my pulse in stomach (which I can do sometimes), or kicks. But they have been happening more and more frequently, especially in the last week, so now I know they are kicks/punches/movement.

Sometimes he is really active and I feel a bunch all at once, or within a few minutes of each other. Sometimes I just feel an odd one or two. Sometimes I just feel heavy in my pelvis, as if he’s just settling down in there for a while. They still come to infrequently and are too light for me to determine any perceptible pattern. And nothing can be felt or seen on the outside yet, but I can’t wait for the day when Darius can feel his son move.

Belly at 22 weeks 2 days In belly news, none of my pre-pregnancy pants (other than yoga pants and leggings) fit anymore at all. I’ve been pretty much living in maternity pants/jeans, yoga pants, and Darius’s pajama bottoms. While I don’t look “to strangers” pregnant, I feel as though I’m finally moving out of the “ate too many cheeseburgers/pizzas” stage to the really looking pregnant stage (except for when wearing a large sweater…but it’s been so cold out lately).

In symptom news, still burping all the time but the hemorrhoids have seem to have cleared up mostly (for now). Also I’ve been getting tired a lot lately again and my back has started hurting on and off. Scoliosis + pregnancy = back pains earlier in pregnancy than for most people. Doing yoga can help somewhat. I have an appointment with a chiropractor on Monday! I am so looking forward to it.

My sister is in town this weekend, loving the pregnant me. We went out yesterday to look at baby things. She bought Stree a couple of cute onesies from Once Upon A Child, which is really really close by. Then we went to Babies R Us to pick up my Dad’s present to Stree. We have a Travel System (stroller/car seat/travel bassinet) now! This is really the only thing that we actually need need need when Stree is born, so yay! After that, my sister and I went a little crazy with the registry gun at Babies R Us, but it was kind of fun. There are a lot of cute things with monkeys on them out there if you want to go all ape over that kind of thing. We also checked out BabyEarth, since it just opened, but it was totally over my price range for just about everything.

Today we went out with my BF in Austin and hit up some thrift stores and Target to look for cute maternity clothing for me. Amongst some of the horrible and very questionable things, we actually found some stuff that was rather cute. It was really fun hanging out with the two of them in general.

I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which is even more hippy than Birthing from Within, but it is really nice to read positive stories about natural birth. She has some great points that I’ve been copying down since I’m just borrowing the book from the library, but that deserves its own post.

Two book reviews

At the beginning of November, I took out two books on Pregnancy/Birth from the library.

The first book was The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine. She is very honest and upfront about this not being a medical book, but a book about all the stuff the doctors won’t tell you or that you might be nervous to bring up to them (so true!). I really enjoyed Iovine’s straight-forward style. It made it feel like she really was a Girlfriend just telling me about what was going on. I laughed a lot while reading this book, not only at the stories she told, but also at her humorous language. Although I sometimes disagreed with what Iovine was saying, I never felt like this book was preaching “one true way” of doing anything. Overall a very enjoyable and informative read.

The second book was Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. The Birthing From Within classes were recommended to me by both my doula and by a coworker, so I was really excited to read this book. It’s a book by a birthing coach/midwife/birth teacher. It’s very hippy and touchy-feely, which worked well for me as I’m very hippy with liberal ideas. It did go a little too far for me with the whole “how to do birth art” chapter, so I skipped over that part. The rest of it confirmed with fact and stories many of the thoughts that I’d already had, such as it’s easier to give birth upright and that drugs were introduced to make it easier for the doctors. Reading it made me more confident in my own choices, helped me to rearrange some of my own thinking about my pregnancy and birth, and also gave me some information about natural birth that I didn’t know before.

Overall I really enjoyed both books for different reasons. I’ve already purchased a copy of The Girlfriend’s Guide and I plan on buying a copy of Birthing From Within soon, because I want Darius to read some of it.

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