Approaching The Time:
As we reached the portion of pregnancy when prenatal visits happen every two weeks, we found that Baby just couldn’t settle down. One week, head down. Next visit, vertex (sideways). Next visit, head down. 36 week visit… I think the head is here… maybe here? Well, there’s time. Baby will settle into a head down position soon.
Three days before the 37 week mark, we enjoyed a leisurely Saturday morning before heading out to Washington, Missouri for a session in a personal growth program with some friends/mentors. The older four children played at another friend’s house. Shortly after five in the evening, I realized that the reason I just couldn’t get comfortable was that I was having regular contractions! We decided to get on home so that I could lay down, so we picked up the other Blessings and headed home. While we sat at our friends house waiting for the children to get ready to go, I was having to breath and focus to get through contractions.
The stated plan was that we were going home to get things slowed down and hopefully stopped. As I breathed my way home (about a 45 minute drive), I was aware of two things that I was unwilling to even think consciously, much less speak out loud. One was that this was serious labor, and our chances of stopping it were slim to none. The second was that our baby was not head down.
Our time at home that evening is a bit of a blur to me. I remember lying on our bed, making phone calls and trying to not be too picky as I gave Jonathan last minute directions about what to pack. By this point, whether by spoken or unspoken communication, we both knew we were not just going up to the hospital “just in case.” The hospital where our midwife had privileges was about an hour from our home, so we (rather, Jonathan) packed as if we were headed there to have a baby. Then we hit the road again and dropped the oldest four off at Uncle Doug and Aunt Joyce’s place on our way to the hospital.
The drive to the hospital was pretty intense. I don’t believe that labor was intended to be dealt with while one is buckled in (or strapped down) and unable to move. I think I was mostly quiet on the way… praying and focusing on working with my body.
EDIT: See today’s press release
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Missouri families by rejecting the case of the Missouri State Medical Association, et al. over language that was signed into law last year to legalize certified professional midwives in Missouri. The ruling was based on the fact that the MSMA et al did not have “standing” in the case – which means they have no true legal interest in the case as the only possible effect for them would be economic. Our lawyers made a terrific case on that!
The plantiffs have 10 days to request a rehearing. We’ve been told is it very rare for the SC to agree to rehear a case, but the decision won’t be “final” until that’s over. So keep praying.
If you’d like to help, the Missouri organizations and families who joined the case have $32,000 in legal fees still to pay. You can make donations of any size at freethemidwives.org.
The result of today’s decision is that certified professional midwives are now legal in Missouri!
One of my goals for birthday season this year was to write up the Blessings’ birth stories and post them on their birthdays. The first three birthdays went by so quickly that I didn’t get to any of them (though I’d still like to get them done this summer). I’ve been working on Katie’s, and though I’m not finished yet, I’ll post the first installment of her story tonight on her birthday.
After a good deal of prayer and seeking counsel, we moved to Missouri in August of 2000. Even before we moved, and before I was pregnant with our fifth child, we began preparing for our first hospital birth. We had no desire to birth in a hospital unless there was a medical need to do so, but because independent midwives (like the certified professional midwives who had assisted with our first four births at home in Kansas) were illegal in Missouri, our options were limited. So the learning process began.
One of my first missions upon moving was to find out exactly what options were available to us in the St. Louis area. It was a long and frustrating process! Along the way, I met some wonderful ladies and got involved in Friends of Missouri Midwives – a life changing development, to say the least. After research, interviews, and countless phone calls, we connected with a neat CNM who had delivery privileges at a local hospital. We also began a lifetime friendship with a wonderful Christian lady who agreed to be our doula.
Throughout my pregnancy, I was in a state of learning. I had depended greatly on my midwife for my first four births, but I had a growing realization that there was much that I needed to learn for myself to prepare for birth in Missouri. I learned about birth, about myself, about hospital tests and procedures, and so much more. I read birth story after birth story online, and found that to be one of the most educational and empowering activities I engaged in while my baby grew.
Jonathan and I studied up on standard hospital protocol. We researched various tests and procedures for their evidence-based worth. We decided where we stood and why about a vast array of issues, and did our utmost to fulfill our responsibility to be well-informed decision makers on behalf of our growing child. This would serve us well during labor and delivery. Our only regret is that we were not better prepared for what would happen after the birth…
Yesterday’s weigh in marked 20 pounds lost since I got serious about getting healthier.
31 more to go….
I’ve been intending to revisit the tattoo issue from this post, especially since it was shocking enough that it earned a comment from the only individual in the Blogger system with the listed occupation of “Disenfranchisee.”
The tattoo I’m wanting is pretty simple… it’s the heart and cross symbol that we used for years as the KBC staff logo. Years before we adopted it as the staff logo, a dear group of KBC friends used it in correspondence, etc.
There are multiple reasons I want to get this as a tattoo. In addition to having a very personal connection to a specific group of dear friends, the heart with the cross is a tribute to KBC as a whole. Bigger than that, what a simple way to express the essence of who I am… because of His great love for me, God sent His only Son to lay down His life for my sin; because He has loved me and saved me, I can give my life to serving and loving Him and His creatures. And besides all that, one of my dear friends already has the tattoo and I’ve been longing for years to take my rightful place as her twin! 😉 That tells some of you who already has it, doesn’t it?