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Entries in birth (2)



I asked folks to “Toss Me a Birth-Related Word” on my Navelgazing Midwife Facebook Page and “Mucous” was the first word. Here, I’ll use the word as a springboard from which to jump.


I’ve written about “gloppies” (my nickname for mucous in birth) before, but thought I’d write about how gloppies clearly demonstrate how far a woman is in labor. I’m sure there are exceptions, but they would be extremely rare. I’ve talked to nurses and other midwives about this so have more info than just mine.

When a woman advances in labor, her mucous gets more and more copious. Personally, I have never seen a woman over 6 centimeters who didn’t have gloppies. When I meet up with a mom who looks like she’s in kick-ass labor… even if she smells in labor (another topic)… if she doesn’t have gloppies, she invariably turns out to be under 4 centimeters. I came to be able to tell if a woman was in progressing labor (as opposed to prodromal labor) by her gloppiness.

Of course, you have to be near the vagina in order to see how much there is.

And the closer to birth, the bloodier the mucous. I don’t mean bright red blood, but more period-blood looking, mixed with the mucous. I’ve asked women if they have to wipe two or three times when they call with “really hard” contractions. Not that I don’t go if they don’t, but lets me know if I need to run or not.

There is a seemingly endless supply of mucous because, well, this is an endless supply. Just like when we have a cold, mucous is made until the cold is over, the same with birth mucous. It’s just made until birth is over. I always wondered about the two kinds… are they similar in make-up? What’s different? What makes one when we’re sick and then other when we’re birthing?

Things I think about.


Mama & Baby Tattoos

NursingFreedom.org put up a post earlier this week of pictures of women's tattoos that depicted mothers and babies... nursing and birthing.

This inspired me to add a post here, one that'll continue growing as women find this or as we get even more tattoos representing our lives as birthing women.

If you'd like to send yours in, please send it to NavelgazingMidwife at gmail dot com. Please write what you would like to see under your piece... names, names of kidlets, what the tattoo means to you, etc.

I look forward to watching this project grow!

This is my tattoo, still a work in progress. I bartered this tattoo for a homebirth of the tattoo artist (Craig Driscoll who owns FiveTwoTattoo in San Diego) and his wife. It's hard to tell who got the better deal.

Just as we have birthstones, we also have birth flowers. I have a large flower for each of my four babies.

Starting at the bottom is the Tiger Lily... May's flower. This is for Meghann.

Moving up, to the left is the periwinkle daisy. This is for Aimee who was born in April.

Above the lily to the right, is a purple rose. This is for Sarah's son (still one of my own... nursed him and all) who was born in June.

Up behind Tinker Bell's butt is Tristan's marigold, October's flower.

The plumeria are for Sarah and I (who LOVE Kaua'i) and Tink is my girl.

This was a gift from a dear friend to Megan Miles as she began midwifery school. She's since added a yellow glow above the moon and the words, "While we breathe, we will hope."

Both of the above are Kimberly Kepples. She says:

The Triskele (spiral) represents birth, wisdom and motherhood. Some view it as also representing mind, body and spirit.

The Tree of Life has birds among the branches, representing each of my children. My tattoo artist did a variation on the tree that, to me, gave it a feminine twist with the swirls and colors.


This is Lori Rose's Celtic Knot. She says:

This is my Celtic motherhood knot.  (The photo was taken right after I had it inked, so that's why my skin is all red...)  It has a blue dot for my older son and a green dot for my younger son.  I'll be adding a purple dot for my baby girl as well.

Allyson says:

My tattoo is a pin-up girl style representation of the Goddess Yemaya. Goddess Yemaya is the goddess of the ocean, the essence of motherhood, and a protector of babies and children. She is the patron deity of babies, children, and women - especially pregnant women and women going through the journey of childbirth. I got this tattoo 6 years ago as an aspiring midwife, when I could only dream of supporting women and their babies as only a midwife can. The tattoo was done by a wonderful artist at Hula Moon
Tattoos in Pensacola, Florida.

A mama who prefers to remain anonymous says:

When I consulted with my artist to develop these tattoos, I had a very basic idea of what I wanted.  I provided him with that guidance, being fantasy oriented and so therefore my daughters as fairies.  The only other thing I provided him with were pictures of my three children.  I told him that I didn't want portrait style pictures of them, instead a general representation. 
The back art shows my youngest daughter sitting on her blankie (she has always had a purple blankie since she was born) in a tree.  She is easily content and observes the world around her.
The tattoo representing my older daughter is that of a fairy riding a bird.  This very much represents her adventurous spirit and tomboyish attitude.
My son is protrayed as a dragonrider.  He is cognitively impaired so loved the idea of having him looked out for by 'his' dragon.  And he loved the dragonriders in the movie Eragon.

We want to see more! Please send yours in.