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Random December Lights

- I’m doing well this winter. It’s been extremely bright and warm winter (after a really great summer of light and heat), so the issues of darkness and cold haven’t affected me (that I can tell) at all. I feel wonderful emotionally and mentally and by now, usually, I would be counting the days until Dec. 21 has come and gone. (It’s 16 more days for those who do count.) Even still, I look forward to longer days.

- Where would I spend those longer days?


I want to be in Kaua’i so badly I can taste it. I read the daily paper each afternoon. I’m reading every book the bookstore has to offer (Sarah bought me every single one they had on the shelf!), memorizing the names, beaches and streets. I’m getting to know the area via the Internet, learning where the alternative healing places are, the health food stores (I found a co-op tonight!) are and where we will buy supplies when we eventually build our own home. We want to live in Kapa'a.

- A CNM on Kaua’i and I just began emailing. She’s beginning a homebirth practice. I’m salivating.

- I talked to a husband recently who was looking for a doula for their waterbirth. When I questioned where they were going to have the baby, he said it was in the hospital, but in the birth center. I explained the rules of the hospital, that no one gets to deliver in the water, that they don’t even allow accident waterbirths. Then I thought, “Who’s your midwife?” and he told me the name of their doctor. Really confused, I explained the doctors didn’t work in the birth center (that is in the hospital), but only Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) did and in order to birth in the birth center, they would have to see a CNM. He said that when they talked to the doctor about delivering in the birth center, she “highly discouraged it” since they were first time parents and that “you never know what could go wrong.” They are in the hospital, for crying out loud! As gently as I could, I explained that unless there was a medical reason, they should be “allowed” to deliver in the birth center to be able to have the water labor they’ve wanted since the beginning of the pregnancy. I told him how to find the midwives so they could consider seeing them until the birth. Mom’s due at Christmas.

I think what bothered me about this situation was the amount of mis-information the family had. Very sad.

- I started the proverbial “new lifestyle” on Tuesday. I had been eating like CRAP and it had to stop. I have gained so much weight, my feet are starting to hurt. Makes me sad considering all I’ve done to not be (this) fat again. I can’t keep going this way, though, or I’ll be signing up for a Lap Band.

- My doggie Digit (the black lab) possibly has a brain tumor. She’s 8.5 years old and has begun having seizures. I thought it was because she needed a change in her thyroid meds, but even fixing those hasn’t stopped the seizures. Apparently, epilepsy doesn’t come on this late in a Lab’s life, hence the suspicion of a brain tumor. We can’t afford the $1800 MRI to diagnose it; it wouldn’t change any outcome anyway. She’s on anti-seizure meds now and that has helped loads, but she is now really hungry and thirsty and she nearly grabs her food dish out of my hand when I am feeding her. During the loading-dose phase, she was extremely sedated, but she is better now. Still doesn’t play with Cash the way she used to, but at least she isn’t seizing in the bedroom all by herself. She’s lying on the floor at Sarah’s feet right now. Sarah’s eating Chinese and Digit wants to make sure she gets the first droppings should her fork slip. I wake up several times a night and touch her, making sure she is okay. The last seizure she had, Cash barked to wake us up so we could take care of her. Sleepy, I told Cash to be quiet, but he barked again and peered over the side of the bed to tell me what was going on. We thanked him so, so much for waking us up so Digit didn’t have to be alone in her seizure. It makes me infinitely sad to think about putting Digit to sleep, but know that is the ultimate resolution to a brain tumor. We are far from that now, but the inevitable-ness of it is just sad.

- The student midwives had a suturing class the other day. I was one of the helpers (originally at the class to practice) and knew a lot more than I thought I did! It’s been awhile since I sutured, but that episiotomy on the chicken, frighteningly like a blanched perineum, came right back together nicely. Of course, it’s a lot different when there is lochia oozing out and trying to get to inner tears that are beyond the pubic arch. But, I was happy I didn’t forget as much as I was worried about forgetting. I still don’t want to suture anyone and would rather they not tear. But, if I have to suture, at least I remember how.

- One of the babies due right now is 2 hours away. It’s mom’s 6th baby (one previously died at birth because of a ruptured velamentous insertion – the amniotic sac broke right over the cord insertion… it happened before labor began and an EMS transport to the hospital didn’t save the baby), so we need to fly to her house once labor begins.

My two apprentices and their babies went to this mom’s home visit a couple of days ago and it was a traumatic drive for me. One of the kidlets (6 months old) cried lots and even though we stopped once to console him, he screamed the last 45 minutes of the trip. I was a nervous wreck from wanting to stop to take care of his needs versus being so late to the family’s house and needing to be there. His mom ended up kneeling over the baby and nursing him in the carseat, but it wasn’t a terribly acceptable option to me. During the screaming sadness, I decided I couldn’t go with the two moms to the birth, but needed to drive alone so I could concentrate on the mom and her coming baby as well as practice my CPR and NR and such. They were very kind and gracious about my decision. A bummer in some respects because I love driving with someone else to talk to and share stories with. My one apprentice won’t be taking her baby to any births after April anyway. My newer apprentice goes along with her baby to tend to my first apprentice’s baby girl. It’s nice to have additional lactating breasts along. Co-nursing is so fabulous.

- I have another mama due with her third – my first third-repeat family (I caught their first and second babies, too). I feel like her sister after all these years! What a privilege it is to be invited back over and over. The mom having her 6th baby is a repeat client, too. I caught her last baby, the one after her son’s fetal demise. Her story is in my blog somewhere.

- I’m giving books away like crazy. I gave about 100 collector’s item books to a former client that wants to be a midwife someday. I gave my photography and Photoshop books to another former client who’s buying a Canon 40-D. Can I say how jealous I am? I sent my daughter a slew of organization and marketing books. I still have a huge collection of lesbian books that need to be sold. I wish I knew e-Bay like everyone else seems to. Somehow, I’ll get them sold. The lesbian books are really a coup since I got them 20 years ago and then they were serious collector’s items. Anyone want to bid on them?

- I got a perm yesterday. How flippin’ cool is it that my hair is long enough to get a perm!? I’ll get a pic after it settles down and put it up so you can see it. It’s still a tad tighter than I would like, but I can’t wash it until Friday and I know that will soften it loads.

- I’ve been working on Lenses in Squidoo , which is why you haven’t seen me here lots. I miss blogging, but have been writing like a fool over on Squidoo. Gotta get more attention for our offices. And the practitioners.

- I took myself off Topamax. I was having Lactic Acidosis and feeling totally gorked out drugged sleepy. I thought it was a highlight of having plunging anemia, but when I got the lab results back, my doctor was quite alarmed. We tried lowering the dose, but even that didn’t make the exhaustion go away. So, I am off the Topamax now. Diet Coke tastes delicious again.

- I have got to stop drinking coffee and Diet Coke! It can’t be helping my anemia at all. I am just so tired of being tired all the time. I am most sleepy during the morning, even after a great night’s sleep. I’ve already been tested for sleep apnea and passed, so I know it isn’t that. What else could be causing so much sleepiness? It’s frustrating.

- My wonderful, beautiful, talented and AP psychiatrist moved to Santa Barbara. I have to start with a new psych in Jan. I had a pick of two – the newbie just out of school or the former Family Practice Physician who went back to school in her 40’s to be a psychiatrist. Who do you think I chose? Of course! The FP doc. I’ll let you know how it goes when I see her.

- Sarah just had her first period after her ablation. Combined, it didn’t fill one tampon. Woo hoo! She was hoping for 18 months without any period like many get after an ablation. We chuckled that she is a “strong” bleeder. She has hemochromatosis, so needs to bleed anyway.

- My mom was hit head on last week and while she is not mangled like the cars, she is bruised and battered really bad. She’s not in the hospital, thank goodness, but is black and blue from the crash. A woman flew out of a gas station and across three lanes right into my mom’s car that was turning into the gas station. I am so glad she is okay, but worry she won’t continue getting the help she needs unless someone pushes her to. Thank GOD the woman had insurance and was cited by Highway Patrol.

- My mom had a giant birthday party weekend planned and it coincided with the aftermath of the accident. 30 family members and friends spent the weekend at Disney World, eating and having a blast. I wish I’d have been there with her.

Nudge me when I don’t write, eh? This felt great!

Reader Comments (4)

Sounds like you got enough going on!

I'm really interested in hearing about Sarah's ablation, I'm seriously considering getting it done myself. I'm on my 10th straight day of bleeding and my hemoglobin tends to hover around 8 or 9 at best, which makes me a whole lot less than smart. I'm walking around in an exhausted, anemic fog most of the time. I'm so over wearing diapers and waking up soaked from my knees to my armpits. Plus I've had my tubes tied so periods are really, really redundant right about now. Not feeling the "moon flow" love, if you know what I mean.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermamarose

So much to catch up on Barb!

I'm so sorry about Digit, it's heartbreaking to have a pet be ill.

Fabulous news on you & Sarah's health!

Can you post your Squidoo posts on here as well? Pretty please?

BTW, i've caught 2 babies since your last post! Woo!

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAgatha

Have you looked at the Squidoo pages? They aren't like "post" posts... they are short blurbs of information mostly. I include YouTube videos that match, etc.

I'd like it a LOT more if you went to the Lenses and rated me and commented there. :)

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

We recently sold a bunch of books on Amazon.

They take a bigger cut than e-Bay would - but it's so easy to upload them it's worth it...

Go and check it out - particularly if they're collectible!

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercooler*doula

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