Monday, June 25, 2012

Twin babies born by c/section, one still in the caul. Amazing and very rare photo!

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your inspiring story and the incredible photographs of you and your babies!

 I had a c-section with twins. My story is one about struggling to do what is best for mama and babies within the confines of hospital setting.It is also a story about not being afraid to advocate for what you want in spite of a medical system designed to protect doctors and nurses at the expense of mamas and babies.

I put on 80 pounds during my pregnancy but walked at least 2 miles every day up until the day of the delivery. The doctors kept saying i should stop being active-but I felt this would be a sentence to high blood pressure, diabetes, and bed rest for sure. They heavily monitored my pregnancy, having me in weekly for scans and constantly threatened early delivery and bed rest, which did not make me want to show up for the scheduled appointments at all. 

Torn between wanting to be sure everything was going well, and wanting to be left alone completely, I always showed up. At my 30 week appointment, they did not let me leave, and admitted me for delivery. I was very angry and felt it was unfounded (it was based on one doctor's impression that a doppler reading was too high). None of the nurses on the floor could understand why I was there once I told them the doctor was threatening to deliver my babies so early based on one doppler reading. (Doppler readings display the blood flow from baby to placenta, and can vary day to day. I had offered to come back the following day for another test, and i t was then he said I could not leave). Though I was admitted and stayed overnight, the next day the supervising doctor came in and apologized for having kept me there against my will based on the other doctor's assessment and released me home. That doctor was taken off my birthing team and I was given a new one. All the nurses stopped in before I left to congratulate my on my successful avoidance of such an early delivery.

I had always wanted a home birth, but once we found out it was twins I knew that most likely I was doomed to a hospital setting. The scheduled me for a c-section at 36 weeks, and this was a battle I was not willing to fight. One thing I knew I wouldn't compromise on was breastfeeding my babies, no matter what. I considered myself lucky because we were in New Zealand, where there are midwives AND nurses on staff. 

Once they were delivered, eyes wide open, one still in the cull, I was able to give skin to skin. They were not put in NICU at all, thanks to the midwives advocating for us (and my stubborn disposition), and we went straight to our room together. There was an incubator to keep them warm since they were only 4 and 5 pounds each.

Once the morphine wore off I realized the nurses were coming in and force feeding formula to my babies through nose tubes. I explained I was only going to breastfeed my babies, and that at the hospital's request, I had pumped a lot of colostrum that was in the fridge in case the nurses needed it. I was told what they were doing was standard practice and that I could breastfeed after they formula fed.

I was livid, knowing that I would lose my supply if the babies weren't allowed to nurse on demand. The midwives were keen to my concerns and let me breastfeed instead of formula feed when the nurses were not on shift. When the night nurse realized what was happening, she got very angry and ordered an emergency glucose test on both babies, telling me my milk could not support their needs and I was hurting them by allowing them to nurse for longer than 20 minutes at a time, because if I had enough milk, they would not need to nurse for longer than that.

The tests, done at 3 am, came back fine. She left my room crying, so upset that she had caused me such stress and because I made her feel extremely bad for questioning such a natural process by explaining that though the hospital may have protocols to follow, I was not so sure that everyone would thrive under their protocols. Her supervisor came in for a visit and I successfully lobbied to have the nurses who wanted to formula feed through nose tubes banned from my room, the nose tubes removed, and was able to breastfeed my babies on demand, undisturbed. The midwives were thrilled, and many of them stopped in to thank me for being such a vocal advocate for breastfeeding. Instead of being made to feel bad for being so argumentative, they told me they wished more mamas would be firm in their desires for skin to skin and for nursing. We left the hospital 4 days later with the babies in tow. We took a train from the hospital to town and walked home. This too, of course, was against the hospital's best advice. 

I am glad I trusted my body and my intuition- because the pregnancy was trouble free and the babies healthy, despite an early delivery at 36 weeks. I understand that the medical community is there to ensure everyone survives, but I also think they assume there are problems when there may not be. My babies came out alert and healthy, rooting for the breast. I think it is a sad myth that babies born by c-section cannot breastfeed, or that the mama won't have milk. I hope that women everywhere can feel empowered enough to advocate for what they want for them and their babies. Please don't be afraid to argue and speak up for yourself and your babies!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up? Part II

In my previous post, Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up? I presented my readers with an idea of what the skeptical community really thinks about Amy, the unlicensed and retired doctor. It was quite the eye opener.

Well, I have stumbled upon some new information and I realized, that after all this time, I have had Amy all wrong. I always believed she had something against natural birth and homebirth but it's much more than that. The reality seems to be that she is against women. I know that sounds extreme but let's not forget who were are talking about here. This is a woman who sees the world in black and white terms. It would make sense that she would be so vehemently against homebirth; homebirth gives women choice. If you dislike women, you don't want them to have choice.

You may wonder what the point is in giving you all a look into Amy's mind. Why don't we just ignore her, right? She's just a lonely, old lady with some wacky views. Well, I wish it were that simple. I really do. The problem is, Amy deceives a lot of people. If you don't know her background and all you read is.. "Harvard educated, Ob-Gyn", you may think, "Hey, maybe this lady is legitimate. Maybe we should listen to what she has to say." And you know, she actually could be legitimate but she loses all credibility when she takes her views too far. Her rigid and unwavering stance on so many issues really calls her rationality into question. Quite frankly, Amy Tuteur is not a reliable source for unbiased information.

Below is an exchange between Amy and her readers on a post she wrote about children deserving to have biological parents in their life and in their home, everyday. Sounds fair right? Well, it's not that simple. In a perfect world, yes, every child would have a happy home with both biological parents. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where some biological parents lie, cheat, gamble and drink. We have fathers who are mentally ill and unstable and worse. In those instances, a mother is doing a service to her children, when she removes him from the home. That's not what Amy believes, though.. let's take a look, shall we?

The belief that women should be stigmatized for being single moms. I can't help but think this would harm the children of single mothers, more than the mother's themselves...

The belief that children should only be conceived in marriage. So, mothers who accidentally get pregnant are automatically selfish and self indulgent?

The only thing that counts when two people divorce, is that the woman gets want she wants, she never thinks of anyone else but herself. Bad, selfish women..

Hmm. So, if your husband cheats on you- even repeatedly, you are supposed to stick around and take it? And if you don't, YOU are the selfish and self indulgent one? According to Amy, a cheating father doesn't threaten a child's happiness.. no, it's the mother's choice to leave that cheating husband that really threatens her child's happiness...

Wow. Women are pretty scummy aren't they, Amy? Not only do they only care about money but sex also takes precedence over their children.. 

A commenter is in disbelief that women leave their husbands simply because they want to have sex with other people..

So the ONLY reason women leave their husbands ( notice, it is ALWAYS the woman leaving the man and never the other way around) is because they simply- "don't like" them anymore. I always thought women wanted their children's fathers in their lives. Guess I was wrong...

This commenter has a few ideas why a woman might leave her husband..

Once again, it's the WOMAN'S fault. If only she still liked her husband after he beat her, cheated on her and spent all their money at the track. If only she put aside her needs for a minute and thought about her children's "alleged" happiness....

I always thought the man that was loving and consistently in the child's life was the father but I guess as long as you give your sperm that is the only requirement needed. I have a feeling many  children would disagree...

 Well, have no fear ladies. I know you think Amy is a woman hater but she doesn't think so highly of gay people either. At least we aren't alone!

I bet this kid would disagree with you Amy....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dr. Amy, the Comedian

According to Dr. Amy, a woman who hasn't even practiced as a doctor for almost twenty years and who has an expired medical license-  homebirth advocates, "vaccine rejectionists", and childbirth educators, are "gullible". She posted this image on her website.. ----->

She went on to say this:

Those who think they can "educate" themselves on the internet are gullible; don't actually read the books and websites, merely skim the titles; if they read the books and websites, they don't make an effort to understand what is written; and, of course, they have no idea about even the most basic elements of logical thought.

This gave me quite the chuckle. Apparently, Dr. Amy has forgotten that she sells medical advice over the internet....

I wonder what that says about the people who buy her medical advice online...
Not only are they educating themselves, but they are paying for that unique information that apparently, cannot be discovered by using google. Didn't you know, if you do a quick internet search, you are nothing but an ignorant fool? Instead, you can find out if you are pregnant by paying the low price of only 4.95! Then you can truly claim you are educated!

If I had to guess, I would say that the people who pay Amy for medical advice, fall under the gullible category, if we are going by her criteria. But then we don't want to forget about the people who trust someone who ridicules others for being gullible, all while selling medical advice over the internet..

Well, this is coming from the same woman that claims birth isn't powerful and mocks women who say that birth made them feel empowered.. in fact, she is so confused by this simple concept, that she actually thinks it means that a woman is claiming birth makes her as powerful as a president or a king or a saudi prince....

I wonder what she has in store for us next!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Breastfeeding, Boobs, and Silly Facebook Rules

Dearest Facebook,

I'm really not trying to be one of those people who nitpick and complain about every, little, thing but can we talk about your double standards for a minute?

What I'm trying to figure out, is why you find an image of a mother nursing her children, obscene? Is our culture THAT uptight that we get offended when see a flash of a woman's breast with a baby attached to it, but happily accept a flash of a woman's breast, as long as it's in a sexual manner?

Let's look at some images that are enough to get a user completely banned from facebook...

And now let's look at some images where no one bats an eye...

So, what's the deal facebook? We aren't just trying to be whiny, difficult mothers. We only want what is right and what is fair. Do you have a good answer for us? Why is something that is so natural and so beautiful, unacceptable to you?

I'd like to end this post to you with a message, written by Skeptical Mother fan, Sharyn Alwine Thomas..

No one is suggesting that Facebook eliminate or change the anti-obscenity policy designed to protect and preserve the innocence and safety of children while online. What we are suggesting is a measure of reasonableness... 
Facebook says their policy exists to protect children. Breastfeeding mothers ask only to do the same: Protect children and encourage other mothers to protect their children. To this end, we ask for the ability to portray breastfeeding in an honest, open way as being a normal function of human life...
We know that social media sites can act as a means to effect social change for the better. We've seen it change cities, countries, regions and the world. We ask you to reconsider your image policy in order to foster in the Next Big Social Change: The encouragement and support of proper infant nutrition for women around the world.
We, mothers and supporters of mothers, believe Facebook is capable of heralding that change.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I am really growing weary of all the hypocrisy I am seeing. And, I am going to be honest, that hypocrisy is mostly coming from the people who are against homebirth and are "fed up" with natural childbirth. Hypocrisy such as being pro elective c-section but adamantly anti- homebirth. If you cannot understand the hypocrisy in that, you need to reevaluate your beliefs. Let me explain.
Elective c-section without medical reason has a neonatal death rate of 1.77/1000.

When the people who are against homebirth analyzed the CDC data on homebirth, they came up with a neonatal death rate of 1.15/1000. (found here)
Don't forget the CDC data on homebirth actually includes high risk women and women attended by "other" midwife- which could mean a doula or a friend who hopes to be a midwife someday.
So, just based on this alone ( let's forget about the numerous benefits to baby and mother at a homebirth for a minute, especially when compared with c-section ), more babies live at homebirth than babies who are born by elective c-section, with no medical reason indicated. Here is my question- do you think it is hypocritical to support the one where more babies die, and at the same time, relentlessly go after the one where more babies live? Interesting question to ponder.

Then there is the hypocrisy of "blaming loss moms". Oh, am I tired of this line. I am tired of people using this statement to win arguments, to make themselves look sympathetic and to make other people look evil and cruel. If YOU blame mothers who have lost babies, then you are a hypocrite if you get angry  when other people do it, too. Please, please, take a look at yourself and your own actions. Work on yourself first. You think it is wrong to blame loss moms? Okay, then, don't do it yourself...

The majority of these comments ( a few others were about two other loss moms) were about a woman who labored for eight days and her midwives would not take her to the hospital, even when she begged. Taken from here. These are what the commenters, who are against homebirth, had to say about this mother's loss...

                BWF had absolutely no responsibility in this. Again, totally misdirecting blame.

                           The comments below are from two other homebirth loss stories taken from this blog..

         Those who are against homebirth, use the line- "NCB'ers always blame loss moms!" So, they are not happy when their cover has been blown. Guess what? They blame loss moms! Is it okay? No. Leave these mothers alone to grieve in peace. But, as I was kindly informed, numerous times when I asked for this, on this anti-natural birth blog, "they put their story on the interwebz, so we can judge it if we want..". Wow, how thoughtful.. how kind. Maybe, now they will look at themselves and the next time some grieving mother has her story posted on this awful site, people will protect her and defend her. And, for those who like to always claim it's the NCB side who blames, please come back to this post every now and then and have a wake up call.  Read your words, read your friends words, check out the kind of comments YOU like.  Hypocrisy, ladies, it's what you ate for breakfast.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up?

If you have ever heard of Amy Tuteur, then you have also probably asked yourself-
Who IS this woman and why is she constantly telling me homebirth is dangerous?
And, why does she feel it is her place to tell me where and how I should birth my child?

Well, if you have wondered this, you are not alone. Many of us have been intrigued by this random woman on the net who spends so much of her time and energy trying to make homebirth and midwives look bad. You would think, if homebirth was truly as dangerous as she claims and midwives were really as awful as she makes them about to be, she would have taken some action by now to actually do something about it.

Writing a blog is.. well.. writing a blog. It certainly won't make homebirth safer and as far as I know, midwives won't become more educated or experienced by anti-homebirth blog posts, either.
So, you may have wondered..What IS the point in what she is doing? You may have even asked yourself.. What in the heck happend to this woman to make her so rabid about homebirth?

Unfortunately, I just do not have an answer for that. I have speculation... Oh, yes, I have speculation, but I surely cannot prove, that besides being completely and utterly bored, this is all based on her ego and desperate need for attention.

What I can do is this.. I can present you, the reader with a little insight into the infamous doctor
and then you, yourself, can make a judgement call on the kind of person she is. You may want to ask yourselves a couple of questions at the end of this post.

1. Does Amy Tuteur use fact or opinion as a source of information?
2. Is Amy Tuteur a good source to look to when searching for scientific evidence?

A couple of years ago, Dr. Amy was a writer on a site called Science Based Medicine.This is a place where skeptics like to go to get to the truth of the matter through science, data and other fact based information. She lasted there for three months and due to some unknown reasons, decided and/or was asked, to leave.

This is what the majority of skeptics had to say about her departure..

We have all heard Amy Tuteur accuse many, many people of lying, twisting the truth, and making false claims based on pure opinion. Now, I am beginning to wonder.. exactly who is the one misrepresenting the truth? I know what I believe but I'll let you be the judge...