Category Archives: Doulas

Princess Clover’s Birth Story

Born June 4, 2016 1:28 a.m.

9 lbs 6.5 oz, 21 1/2 inches

Midwives of Hale Kealaula; Selena Green and Jaymie Lewis

Photos by Jenna Toilolo; Captivating Creation Photography https://m.facebook.com/captivatingcreation

It all began a few weeks prior with a few light surges during the early morning hours and I was sure that this little ‘boy’ (I swore up and down that I was carrying a boy throughout the entire pregnancy lol) was going to arrive earlier than his EDD.

However March 27th came and went and still no Clover baby.  Of course, being a Midwife in training I knew that ‘he’ would come in his own good time.  Daddy however was getting a bit anxious and wanted to make sure that I had a ‘Plan B’ should baby not come by 42 weeks.  I assured him that we had pre-registered with Queen’s hospital so we could go there if our OB (wonderful Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro, who I heard isn’t accepting new patients at this time) thought it was necessary.

The morning of June 3rd, I picked up my children in Kapolei, did some errands and went grocery shopping all while having some pretty consistent surges 🙂  Walking through the isles of Sack n Save in Nanakuli pausing and holding on to the cart while telling my son to hold on a second lol.  Of course my wonderful Midwife; Selena Green was aware and had told my amazing Midwife Sister; Jaymie that I was having some surges.

When we got home we put things away and settled in to have dinner, still having some surges once in a while; and then while sitting in my seat on our ‘new’ couch, my water broke.  Daddy was a little surprised as he was setting up the grill outside to BBQ some ribs and was a little taken a back by the liquid on the ground (I stood up after the first gush).

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My midwife called to double check how fast my births were after waters broke and I told her that both my previous births were 5 hours.  So she let Jaymie and my beautiful friend Jenna who would be taken these amazing photos know that it was time to come.  As predicted the surges came stronger and longer, though I was able to eat and drink fine, joke around and help give daddy some directions on what could be done before the Midwives arrived.

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After that is basically a blur but I do remember holding everyone’s hands while laboring in the pool.  Getting an ice pop, laughing, being on hands and knees and moaning but most of all as it was getting to the most intense point.  Jaymie was whispering in my ear to let the energy go down and out, so when the surges came I did just that.  It helped tremendously and I remember pushing not long after that, it seemed like not very long but it was probably about an hour of pushing her down.

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When her head emerged, I thought it would be quick that she would slide out as my previous to babies did.  However little Clover’s shoulders were stuck and Jaymie had to get her little arm out first before she was fully birthed at 1:28 a.m. on Saturday June the 4th.  As soon as she came out she wasn’t breathing for a bit so we rubbed up her back but still no breaths, so I gave her a few puffs as we are trained to (just the air that’s in your mouth, not big breaths) and I heard her first little gasp.  We gave her a little bit of O2 also and she slowly came around and began breathing on her own.

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We didn’t know the sex of our baby yet, so I quickly flipped her bottom over to see and saw that I had been wrong the entire pregnancy.  My ‘boy’ was a little girl, my daughter Cierra and daddy were quite happy with the news!  I was in complete shock lol

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Then I saw that there was quite a bit of blood in the water and I could hear Selena and Jaymie saying that I needed to get out of the pool so they could monitor my bleeding.  I got a shot of Pitocin, some Hemhalt tincture and eventually a placenta shake to control the bleeding.

As soon as I was out of the pool and on the couch-bed in the living room I felt the most horrible migraine I have ever had come on.  (Towards the last days, I finally got upset and actually cried out to, “bring it on!”  It hurt so bad, it honestly couldn’t get any worse)

After that I was in a fog and just knew that I was in pain.  Everyone tried to help remedy the pain but it just wouldn’t subside and finally I called my beautiful friend Mileka to ask if she would please come and massage my migraine away.  She was a God sent and the migraine subsided enough that I finally felt I was able to enjoy this little baby girl.  After a few days I noticed that my thirst could not be quenched no matter how much water I drank and I was hospitalized for dehydration.  We began loading me up with electrolytes and soon I felt like there was hope at the end of the tunnel.

The migraine still persisted so I called on the chiropractor I had seen prenatally and that we send all our clients at Hale Kealaula to; Dr. Christine Lipat at Niu Health Chiropractic.  She adjusted baby and I and we both were SO much happier, Clover had been a bit fussy at the breast for a while but after she was adjusted was doing wonderfully.

Of course after all of that, my breastfeeding was a bit hampered and I had to start little Clover on some formula (which still kills me a bit) and we are now doing well with both.

Fast forward to today and Princess Clover is a very expressive, talkative, loving, happy and beautiful baby’s in the world 🙂

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We have had so much support since pregnancy and we wouldn’t have been able to be sane and doing well without you all:  our co-workers (too many to list), family; the Yadao ohana especially Aunty Roxanne and Aunty Noella who were one of the first visitors we had and the Skal ohana who have been supportive and sending their love and support from day one, love you all.

We’re most grateful for our birth team who had to come almost every day post-partum for one reason or another with me (we always say birth workers/body workers are always the ones that need the most care lol and it was no different with me!)  Selena, Valerie, Jaymie…Adam and I are so eternally grateful for all your care and love.

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Photos by Captivating Creation Photography https://m.facebook.com/captivatingcreation

“Bait and Switch” Maternity Care

Many women have had this happen.

Whether they knew something was not quite right and didn’t know who to tell, or just didn’t think it was ‘ok’ to say anything against the doctor.

I’ve had conversations with so many people saying how their doctor promised things that were music to their ears to hear, that made them think this was the ’empowering doctor’ they have been looking for.

Only to have the doctor do a 180 turn and do exactly what the parents said they didn’t want to happen, say they didn’t have a choice, or that they were putting their child’s life in jeopardy if they didn’t listen.

Please share your stories, read this article and share with all you know ❤

http://birthmonopoly.com/caroline/

An excerpt:

“I interviewed an OB/GYN at Brookwood during my first trimester. He told me the interventions I received during my first three births were unnecessary and risky. He criticized routine use of the drug pitocin (medication to speed up labor and control hemorrhage). He said there was no need to be confined to the bed, not even during monitoring. He explained how laboring in upright positions alleviates pain, increases blood flow, helps position the baby properly, and opens up the pelvis. He told me research showed no benefit in continuous monitoring for low risk women like me; in fact, intermittent monitoring was recommended. He told me that letting the normal physiological process play out would be safest for my baby and me—which aligned with all of the research I’d been doing. Finally, after much thought and prayer, I switched hospitals during my 20th week of pregnancy. I hired a doula, read a big stack of birth books, exercised, and ate a healthy diet. I carefully made a birth plan based on best medical research, approved my doctor. I was ready! Fast-forward to the night of baby Jack’s birth in 2012. After laboring freely at home for several hours through some mild contractions, I arrived at the hospital and met my nurse. And that’s when it all started: “Put on your gown and use the restroom now because you won’t be able to get out of bed for the next twenty minutes, and possibly for the rest of your labor.” “But my doctor said I could labor however I wanted.” “Well, your doctor’s not on call.” What?! The contradiction between the marketing and the reality was so shocking that for a second I thought to myself, have I walked into the wrong hospital? I knew there was no medical evidence for what she was asking me to do. I asked her where the birth tub was because my birth plan included water birth, and she informed me my room didn’t accommodate a tub. I told her over and over that my doctor promised me I could walk around during monitoring, but she continued demanding I get in the bed on my back so she could hook me up to the wired monitor instead of the wireless one I was promised.”

http://birthmonopoly.com/caroline/

“I Speak for the Baby!” An OB’s Fetish with Power and Control

One of the most trying aspects of birth work is servicing families within the framework of Western medicine ideology.  As with most things in our society, money has come before common sense, ethical treatment and even basic truths.

Women have been birthing for thousands of years, OB/Gyn’s have been around for a few hundred.  Granted we need they’re expertise as we evolve and medical technology assists with variations from “normal”, they are trained surgeons and look to solve issues.

However, when there is no real issue or concern with a pregnant woman sometimes issues are created in order for the OB/Gyn to feel relevant or to ‘put the mother in her place’ as being the ‘unknowing lay person, compared to his grand knowledgeable self’.

Once we begin to remember and have trust in what our ancestors knew before us and what are bodies still hold within us, we will be better empowered to encourage our providers to be our partners in our care, not our dictators.

From Birth Anarchy:

There is no “shared” decision making in women’s healthcare. Bodily autonomy means I decide. Shared decision assumes consensus, and we’ve seen what happens (and who loses) when there is not consensus.

Source: “I Speak for the Baby!” An OB’s Fetish with Power and Control

Last week, (yet another) article came out detailing the case of a woman who is suing her doctor for pressuring her into a cesarean against her will. There is so much to deconstruct within the narrative of that story, but I want to focus on the commentary from the Obstetrician in the case.

I have two patients. I don’t have just one patient …that is why I disagree with the statement of your, of the American, whatever, ACOG [the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists], that the desire of the mother has to supersede the desire of the fetus. I disagree with that. …I have an obligation now toward the baby. I’ve gotta speak for the baby because that is my second patient.”

The ACOG “whatever” that she is referring to is ACOG’s Ethics Committee opinion statement on “Maternal Decision-Making, Ethics, and the Law.” It reads, in part:

…practitioners should recognize that in the majority of cases, the interests of the pregnant woman and her fetus converge rather than diverge,” and that, “Pregnant women’s autonomous decisions should be respected. Concerns about the impact of maternal decisions on fetal well-being should be discussed in the context of medical evidence and understood within the context of each woman’s broad social network, cultural beliefs, and values. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, circumstances that, in fact, the Committee on Ethics cannot currently imagine, judicial authority should not be used to implement treatment regimens aimed at protecting the fetus, for such actions violate the pregnant woman’s autonomy.

11205560_10206749414198073_401034867845902740_n (2)I was asked to speak in May of this year at an action staged outside of ACOG’s annual conference in San Francisco. What I chose to speak about was exactly this Ethics Committee position statement. Because, at face-value, this position lends to a perception that obstetricians are true allies to women. And to be fair, physicians have been overwhelmingly supportive – some on the front lines, risking their very lives – in the struggle for safe and legal and accessible abortion. But, somehow there is a disconnect in the Obstetrics community in what autonomy looks like at the beginning of a pregnancy vs. what it looks like at term.

For those of us who have given birth in the U.S. Maternity care system – for the staggering number of us who would describe our births as traumatic – we know that ACOG’s position statement is in conflict with an overwhelming number of their member’s actions. The OB in the referenced lawsuit isn’t an anomaly. She is part of a paternalistic Obstetrics network that fancy themselves as baby-saving superheroes.

The Good of the Baby

Every minute of every day, multiple women in multiple places experience coercion and abuse at the hands of their care providers all in the name of the “good of the baby.” Somehow, when a woman finds herself, feet in the air, strapped to an L&D bed, the fight for her dignity and humanity and autonomy have been tossed in the biohazard bin to the left. This socially accepted culture of violence that permeates birth is ground so deeply into our psyches that even unwavering feminists use phrases like, “I was allowed” and “he let me” in the narrative of describing their births without even a flinch.

BiohazardAn obstetrician’s obligation begins and ends with the pregnant and birthing person, and there is no need for an obstetrician to “speak for the baby.” The person carrying that baby – the one birthing that baby – is the only person who could possibly hold the most investment in that child’s health and life. Blatant disregard for a woman’s autonomy during pregnancy and birth – and overt disregard of ACOG’s position on a woman’s authority – demonstrates a fetish with power and control.

It is no coincidence that the field of medicine most rife with force and abuse is one in which women are tied to the beds with cords and wires, told to lay back, spread their legs, and do as they are told. It is this very imagery of historical and present-day dominance over women that makes all people who suffer under this system, victims of this form of gender-based oppression and violence.

Read the entire article at: https://birthanarchy.com/i-speak-for-the-baby-an-obs-fetish-with-power-and-control/

The Saga to Accept Nature

The Fifth Home Birth

I was blessed to be a witness of a birth that is the most thought provoking one for me so far.  First, the parents were planning another hospital birth after their first born, a son, was born there.  However mom had a feeling she wanted to do things a different way.  She got in touch with a childbirth educator, who brought her to a talk featuring Midwife; Selena Green from Hale Kealaula.

From her first words of introduction she had tears.  Tears for what she knew she wanted for her baby and for herself with this birth and the feeling of not having an option or support brought the tears.

Luckily she continued to go back to learn more about cloth diapering and took a childbirth education class, which only empowered her thoughts of birthing out of the hospital.

She connected with Selena again and she and her husband decided to birth with her and at Hale Kealaula.  They came to their first Centering Pregnancy group, which brings together all the families birthing with Selena and talking about their experiences and thoughts/questions.  At their second, it branched into a father’s group and a moms group, so both got more information and confirmation they were doing what was right for them.

The Birth

Mom and dad were a little nervous when they first arrived and anxious too.  He did well listening when we let him know he could rest and provided her with comfort measures and reassuring words when she needed them.  There came a time when mom needed to let go and surrender but her fear and desire for it to be over NOW made progress slow for a little while.  But Selena let her know that she would have to be patient and that she was safe and cared for her in that place where she felt vulnerable.  She got to the place of being in the trance and pushed her baby girl out in the caul in only 30 minutes, with dad there to catch his first daughter on Father’s day.

Provoking Thoughts

As soon as baby girl was born, her grandfather called (the only call that came in) from the continent asking to see how mom was doing.  He was greeted by the first cries of his first grand-daughter.

A little while later, dad shared his thoughts about the differences he noticed between having had his son in the hospital and his daughter at the birth home.  He first mentioned that of course the drugs were not there, so the availability of them to be brought up and used was not an issue (nor would it be offered several times throughout the birth).  This made him think about the differences in the way his babies were treated when they first arrived.  His son, was limp and didn’t respond right away and had to be taken to the warmer immediately after birth.  We know this is in large part due to the epidural and pitocin given to mom and not only that but the handling of his babies was VERY different.  He understood now that giving baby to mom right away makes the most sense, after all she had been in her mother for nine months and would be comforted by her smell, heartbeat and breathing sounds.  Where as his son was jostled and handled like a piece of meat and not given to his wife until much later after he was born.  Even the temperament difference in his two babies at birth, he saw that his daughter was much more content, where his son was crying more and seemed under stress…dad had been a skeptic from the beginning and it wasn’t until he saw and felt with his own two eyes and heart, that they had made a great decision and the one that made them both feel more content.

Mom got to speak with her mother after the birth, who also happens to be a NICU nurse.  Of course most of her fear and anxiety came from her mother telling her the horror stories she sees in the NICU every day and just the shear number of them.  After the birth however, her mother shared that she was glad she had chosen to have baby at the birth home, where the hospital couldn’t interfere.  For that week at the hospital she worked at,  she had seen a few babies who had been so mishandled by the hospital that they ended up going to the NICU because of it.

A few hours after baby was born, the family slept, mom showered and ate and they packed up their belongings and went home to share their new baby with the family and big brother (who wouldn’t eat breakfast cause he was worried about mommy).

This may not sound like an epic saga to you

When I think about that place they came from in their thoughts and fears and how mom persevered and dad trusted his wife, how beliefs were changed and molded, trust was built and strengthened, a  family gained a member and the world stepped ONE BIRTH closer to LOVE, PEACE and normalizing nature, can’t think of a greater story.