I have been meaning to blog a tour of Phoebe’s nursery for months, and now, at long last, here you have it! The tour of Phoebe’s baby room has arrived!
We have a cherry tree in our yard, and the day that its first blossom popped out on its first slender branch was the same day that I had my first contraction that signaled the beginning of labor. This is my birth story for Phoebe Isobel Wetzel.
Overall, I’d say I’ve had a darn good pregnancy. There have been no complications (except that one time our midwife thought maybe there was a complication, but it turns out there was absolutely nothing wrong). I haven’t gained a ton of weight. I haven’t had to struggle with our midwife over birth decisions, and I actually enjoy our visits with her. Mr. Wetzel and I have grown closer as this 9 month transition has matured us into parents.
My grandmother’s era expected her to be a stay at home mom. She was not wanted in the workplace, and the deck was stacked against her to not be successful in “The Man’s World.” We have made a lot of progress as a society in giving women professional opportunities…but have our attitudes evolved as well?
The first trimester, I gained no weight. I had little appetite. When I was hungry, I ate mostly fresh fruits and other raw foods, and I was grateful for the ridiculously fresh produce we received weekly from our CSA farm share. I started reading Nina’s Plank’s book Real Food For Mother and Baby and took her advice to heart, adding whole-fat foods (especially dairy), continuing to drink raw milk and eat raw milk cheese, and adding as much fish to my diet as I could stand.
One of the first decisions Mr. Wetzel and I made about our pregnancy, even before we got pregnant, was that we wanted to use a midwife instead of an OBGYN. The biggest factors that influenced us were: talking with friends that had experienced both births (midwife birth and stereotypical hospital birth); sharing feelings with each other about how we were unhappy with the over-medicalization of birth; and learning more about the work and stories of Ina Mae Gaskin, a key figure in the field of midwifery.
Today Mr. Wetzel and I went in for our first ultrasound scan. Our baby is 34 weeks and a few days old. The results? Everything was normal.
Women and couples are asked to make many decisions about their pregnancy and birth, and this responsibility can become very overwhelming. It doesn’t help that “everyone is an expert” and has an opinion about how you should raise your child. The BRAN model is a simple formula for parents-to-be to use when faced with any decision. As explained by Buckley, “When you are offered a test or intervention, BRAN reminds you to ask about and consider the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives and to also consider the effects of doing Nothing in this situation.” I will try to summarize Buckley’s key points (and I copy many sentences directly from her book).
Each time we would make a decision about the pregnancy and birth, we would give it serious thought. We’d ask ourselves: “What is best for the baby?” “What is best for our overall well-being?” “What does this specific situation call for or require of us?” I think many couples get into trouble when they have an idea of what kind of experience they want to have and then force that upon the reality that they are presented with. We aren’t crusaders for a birth style. We wanted to do a lot of listening and we wanted to remain open to the changing circumstances at hand.
And that’s why we’re going to have an ultrasound, after all.
Whenever someone finds out we’re pregnant, the conversation almost always goes like this:
Friend/Cashier/Random Person I just met: “You’re pregnant? That’s awesome!”
“Boy or girl?”
“We’re not finding out. We thought it would be more fun that way.”
“Oh, man! I could never do that! When I was pregnant, I found out as soon as possible.”
Hi, there! I’m Erin. I’m a crunchy Christian mom and artist. I love to eat local farm food and shop at thrift stores. I blog about our crazy life and baby girl (born April 2011). I love rainbows. My hair is messy. ^_^ I hope you enjoy my blog! (Read More about me here...)