I got pregnant again when our first born was just 2 months. I know, I know... so many people came up when they saw me pregnant and smiled saying “breastfeeding isn’t effective birth control.” She was a surprise, she was spontaneous and when I look at her today I think “how could you ever be anything but, my delightful, energetic girl?”
Learning what I had from my first I refused more tests then before, but I still had a few bloodtests. On one appointment I was told I needed further tests to make sure I wasn’t getting gestational diabetes. The inner warning bells went off as I heard about the sugary mixture I would be asked to drink and the idea of challenging my body to get results seemed crazy. I reviewed what I had eaten before my appointment and realized that I’d been to starbucks and had a coffee cake and a iced mocha which had been my cravings and pleasure for awhile. I had also had grapefruit juice in the morning. To my doctor’s fury I skipped the test and told her to do the bloodwork again instead. I ate with caution before going to her office, and my tests came out normal. I then changed my diet for the rest of my pregnancy, cutting down on refined flours and eating lots of potatoes and natural foods instead.
A month before I was due I got horrible backpain. I thought it was from lifting my daughter up, but it got increasingly worse. My doctor came over, (did I mention she was also our next door neighbor) and said it was simply Braxton hicks, there was nothing to worry about, and she left to go to the beach with her family. An hour after she was gone, our second daughter was born on our bed.
It was probably one of the most incredible births as I wasn’t expecting it. My water broke the second she was going to be born, I felt my body push without my thinking about it. From being within she was suddenly without and she was breastfeeding right away.
But the sudden panic of it all had the ambulance being called and as I lay there in awe and wonder, 10 firefighters dashed into our bedroom. They come first, before any medics, did you know that? They didn’t know what to do and suddenly medics came in too. Our daughter was taken from my arms to be checked up on, I was given Picotin AGAIN for the afterbirth, even though I said I was breastfeeding. They thought all was fine and then suddenly decided our girl’s lungs sounds a little rough. So we were bundled up, I was stretchered down three flights of stairs and we were all in the ambulance.
So began a two week nightmare. Our daughter was pricked, poked and injected. When we said we didn’t want it done, we were told we were crazy, we were thought of as religious fanatics even though that had nothing to do with our motivations. One woman even argued that “St. Luke was a doctor!” as if that pronouncement would redirect my instincts and my daughter being objected to everything my heart told me she shouldn’t be would suddenly seem alright.
Because I was aware of the vitamin K shot I had eaten enormous amounts of kale and other leafy green vegetables when pregnant. Of course, when they whisked my angel off they gave her the vitamin K anyway, not listening to my logic. Because of the high amount of vitamin K in her little body, our daughter’s blood clotted incredibly quickly, so everytime the doctors wanted blood, they had to test numerous times. She looked like she was pin cushion. Not only that, but it caused her to get high jaundice so she was stuck under bili-lights and in the ICU for a week.
I jumped into action, even as my family thought I was over-reacting and I got lectures on how I “should just trust the doctors as they knew what they were doing.” I got a breast pump and started pumping all the time. My husband and I drove the doctors crazy as we performed energy healing under the lights calming her heart down and letting her know we were there. Finally a doctor cornered me saying the jaundice was taking too long and they were going to give her something to bring it down. Our objections, and suggestions of getting her to a window for some sun, we threatened with child services.
They agreed to not administering anything that day. They gave their word. But the next day, when looking at her frail body we saw a hole in her arm and no one would say what it was from. The mark was so large one doctor said it looked like it had been given from the inside. Our daughter still has a scar from the needle no one admitted to giving. No one said anything had been administered, no one admitted to giving the injection that they believed would take the jaundice down. Instead, everytime we protested or pushed it, the room would get strangely silent. We felt like our daughter had been kidnapped and we were forced to shut up and play the game to get her out of her cell as fast as possible.
Finally, she was home. She woke up every night with a hacking cough that made a chain smoker pale in comparison. They’d filled her lungs with something to make them burble. She still is susceptible to bronchitis or bad coughs if its damp out. And so we started to heal her. My diet became my focus and I breastfed with a daring glare at anyone who suggested otherwise. We started carrot juicing and she was getting teaspoons of it by 4 months to help with her lungs, and we fled the country, back to the UK, to escape the eyes of the system, which was feeling proud of another “success.”
Recalling our second daughter’s birth still makes my tummy turn. It still brings up anger, frustration and anxiety within me. But, I also know that the work I’ve been doing for the past two years in Spiritually Aware Parenting is because of that experience. Our second daughter has taught me that we do chose where and how we come when we are born. She still does things in a huge entrance. She’s full of life and vitality and probably drama. She demands for life to be clear and decisions to be made fast. As I think of her, under those lights, with shades on her eyes and her bottom in the air, I remember thinking she looked so matter of fact, so “alright life, if this is what you’re offering, I’m going to see the best of it.” Her spirit shone though and although I would do things oh, so differently now, if I could go back, I know that again, she came at a certain part of my journey and it set things in motion. We are such co-creators.
Five years later we got pregnant again. We knew the instant he was conceived and I also knew this time it would be different. I was determined to have a spiritually aware pregnancy and if you’ve read my first book, you know that’s where it started... with our little man. We connected together at around two months. We checked in with each other and no doctors. The idea of a doctor’s office frightened me. But having moved to a different province, there was no other choice. A small town, with one hospital, no midwives or birthing centres, it looked like a maternity ward was the only way to go. I got on the phone and called every naturopath in the book. I’d waited until I was six months. Finally, someone referred me to an OB at the hospital so I went to meet him. He was frantically busy with so many other expectant mothers. He was nice, but overworked and his only objection on my birth plan was the good ol’ Picotin which now I knew I didn’t want. “I don’t leave my patients in pain if I can fix it and end it fast.” He said.
We were given a tour of the ward and a list of pain relief options. When I said I’d had two girls without anything the nurse looked horrified. I was out of there.
Suddenly, home birth became the only option. I didn’t know other women did it all the time. I didn’t know what ramifications would be. The back up plan, as my husband said, was to run me down our long drive way in the wheelbarrow to get to the car to go to the hospital if things looked rough. With H1N1 in the hospital, I was only going there in an emergency.
I ran overdue by a few days according to my own calculations, but bang on target for the OB’s (darn). I was nervous, scared, anxious and yet when I tuned in to my body and baby, I knew all was well.
I did some yoga the night he was born and soon I woke up with my water breaking. Not fully trusting in everything I teeter tottered all night between tapping into the best birth experience, a holy sacred time, to wondering if I should holler for that wheel barrow. Out of the skylight window I gazed at the moon during contractions. I knew, no matter what, this is how it felt right to be.
My husband swears we’ll never do another unassisted and I think our daughters are turned off having babies from hearing me wail, but I look back at our son’s birth with a smile on my face. It seemed the closest to listening to my instincts and trusting in the wellbeing I’ve always known was there.
I might as well say here and now, and probably there and later, that although this book, Business of Baby is so enlightening and supportive of my instinctual beliefs, it is my truest beliefs that on this journey of life we all do our best and with the knowledge we’ve gained up to the point of each experience. Life is about growing and learning. It is so easy to fall into the trap of defending everything that happened before, but in truth it what has been only gets us to know and we can always grow and change our opinions. Like I say in my book, I feel the trick is to be educated, to research and hunt around for the best feeling options. If you read something and it feels good, do it, if it feels off, don’t take an author’s, or a doctor’s word for it.
Well, I was worried the review would be long winded! Let’s get on with it.