Tag Archives: World health

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

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“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/

Improving Birth-Rally for Change Honolulu

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Why I’m rallying to improve birth

Hearing my grandmother’s and my mother’s birth stories, I realized first hand what was being talked about in “The Business of Being Born”.

My grandmother had given birth in a hospital where she remembers only being shaved, given drugs and waking up to my mother in her arms.  My mother is an only child.

My mother would tell my birth story to me a few times in my life and it was always with no fear and with a sense that birth was just a natural part of life.

In the BOBB, we learn about the “Twilight Sleep” era, then during the 70’s the resurgence of natural births and breastfeeding.  Unfortunately, my births were also very ‘mainstream’ after not listening to my intuition, I had both of my babies at a hospital.

While my experiences were not as horrific as others, for me, my daughters birth felt stolen.  I didn’t know who to tell, what to do, or that I had a ‘reason’ to feel the way I did.

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After seeing “The Business of Being Born”, doing research, taking workshops and submerging myself into anything that had to do with birth, I realized that women are still being used as experiments.

My reason for rallying, is that this madness needs to stop.

Our daughters deserve better, our babies deserve better, we deserve better.

Birth matters

6th Home Birth – 5th Year of Blogging

Wednesday Evening

Marked the 6th home birth I was privileged to have witness, while assisting Selena with Grace and watching this powerful mama give birth to her second child and first daughter.

This birth was interesting in that mama had her mother come for the birth to help with their son and keep him occupied as mama birthed.  There was a feeling of being crowded and mama didn’t feel comfortable and after about a week, her mother decided to leave before baby was born.  As soon as her mother was on the plane, her contractions started and we all knew baby would be born that night.  Sure enough 5 hours later, their baby girl was born into the world, as mama stood half squatting at the end of the bed as she did with their first born.

Today we visited her at home and both mom and baby are doing great and felt really good about the birth, saying it was much better than even their first home birth with their son.

To top of the day, a Sex Ed class asked Selena, Grace and I to speak again at UH.  Among the class, there were two young women who were asking the most questions.  After the class finished, one was asked to walk us back to the car to retrieve the parking pass.  She shared with Grace and I, that she and her husband were thinking about having a baby but she was so terrified of the pain of labor.  She also asked about whether her birth of being born by cesarean was actually necessary as her mother was told that she was stuck.

We got to share with her that we couldn’t say for sure but that her mother was probably not allowed to move around, which would’ve helped her to come out.

We also let her know that we thought it was great timing that she got to hear us speak and now has Selena’s information to work through her fear of pain during birth, before she gets pregnant.

Got 2 people to watch the Business of Being Born today, 5 years since the film changed my life forever

…all in all, this summer solstice brought about affirmation that the shift I have been hoping to see and be a part of with this blog is coming to pass.

Here’s to all of you on this journey to see peace on earth, one birth at a time. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

“Promoting the Importance of Midwifery”

http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/blog/post.cfm/promoting-the-importance-of-midwives-at-the-world-health-assembly

Wonderful blog entry about her trip to the World Health Assembly and the amount of attention Midwifery was getting.

Enjoy! Here’s a great quote from Bill Gates who made an appearance there, “when everyone has access to good health care, the world will be transformed.”