*BEFORE you read this post, remember this is strictly mine & Devan’s opinions :)*

This baby isn’t even 9 weeks old and Devan and I are already researching a ton of tough decisions that have to be made. Devan and I are both naturalists, so we want to use as little medical intervention as possible. We have decided that we will probably not have a hospital birth. We’ve been researching birthing centers and right now we are going to tour two facilities; Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Mesa and Babymoon Inn, in Phoenix. We are leaning more towards Babymoon Inn because of the amazing reviews they have, but we won’t make a decision until we visit both facilities as well as a OBGYN. The idea of a non medicated birth scares the hell out of me, but I know that when it is all over I will be so happy I stayed strong. In a birthing center setting, you don’t have an option for any drugs, they do not have epidural anesthesia or pitocin on hand, you would have to be transferred to a hospital if you want it.

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Blessed // Epidural Talk

Yesterday we made it public knowledge to just about everyone we know that we are having a baby! We received SO MUCH support…it straight up melts my butter 🙂

I can’t believe how close we are to our “first try”…I am so excited!!!!!

D&I have been reading up on epidurals vs. natural birth and birthing centers/midwifes vs. hospital births…after doing a lot of research I am so overwhelmed with the information and a little scared. I can’t believe how much the drugs they give you affect the baby! We both decided (although in the end Devan has final say…obviously) that we want to go forth with a natural birth and if insurance can cover it we’d love to go to a birthing center or have a home birth. Unfortunately because of insurance we may not be able to get exactly what we want, but that is okay – no matter what the day will end with me snuggling up with my baby!

FYI for all of you interested in the research we’ve found…here are a few of the statistics I’ve come across!!

Among 33 industrialized nations, the United States is tied with Hungary, Malta, 
Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies, according to 
a new report from Save the Children (April 2006). This is the second worst newborn 
death rate in the developed world.

The five countries with the lowest infant mortality rates in the March of Dimes
report — Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Finland and Norway – midwives were used
as their main source of care for 70 percent of the birthing mothers.

Another report by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, coordinator of Integrative
Psychiatry and Systems Medicine at the University of Arizona College of
Medicine Program in Integrative Medicine, comparing 1,046 home births to 1,046
hospital births found negative outcomes consistently higher in hospital births.
These included a fetal distress rate six times higher in hospitals, a respiratory
distress rate 17 times higher in hospitals, babies requiring resuscitation 3.7 times
higher in hospitals, maternal postpartum hemorrhage three times higher in
hospitals and 30 birth injuries in the hospital compared with none occurring
during the homebirths.

These stats are just one in MANY statistics…and I haven’t even gone into the side affects that can occur when getting an epidural. Women have been giving birth naturally since the beginning of time…I know that Devan can do it too 🙂 <—- here is a link about epidurals, as you can see the CONS outweigh the PROS…I never thought I would even consider natural birth until I learned all of this…I can now say that I would do anything to avoid drugging up my baby or putting myself or he/she at risk. I just do not think it is worth it — no matter how much pain I am in!

Here are some other side effects:

Mother: Short term

* Dural puncture
* Hypotension (29%)
* Nausea, vomiting, shivering (frequent)
* Prolonged labor
* Uneven, incomplete or nonexsistent pain relief
* Feelings of emotional detachment
* Respiratory insufficiency or paralysis
* Convulsions
* Toxic drug reactions
* Slight to severe headache
* Septic meningitis
* Allergic shock
* Cardiac arrest
* Maternal death

Mother: Long term

* Neurological complications
* Backache (weeks to years)
* Postpartum feelings of regret, loss of autonomy
* Fecal and urinary incontinence or bladder dysfunction (inability to urinate)
* Paresthesia (”pins and needles”)
* Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function

Scary stuff right? I’m married to an amazing, strong woman so I know that Devan can get through labor without an epidural and I will support her no matter what she chooses, even if in the end she screams “GIVE ME A *&%@!#@ EPIDURAL!!!” LOL.

– Ashley

Studying Up

As promised, here is some positivity!

We went to Bookman’s on Sunday. I love it there so much, I could wander around for hours and never get bored! I went there looking specifically for books on natural childbirth, but walked away kind of empty handed 😦 As a kid, pregnancy was somewhat of a hobby of mine. I have read What to Expect When You’re Expecting and the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy cover to cover several times each… just for fun. A Baby Story was a good reason to fake sick and stay home from school (and now it’s a good reason to stay home from work!) I am well versed in common hospital births and all of the procedures and lingo that go along with them. I’ve always been really adamantly pro hospital birth, mostly because I am a slave to science and modern medicine. Now that we have this pregnancy ahead of us and a future baby to look forward to, my ideas are slowly changing. (This is that shift in worldview that I was talking about yesterday)

Jeffrey and Michael made the decision not to vaccinate Haidyn, and I will admit that for a while there I was pretty against their decision. Of course, it really has nothing to do with me or my beliefs, she is their baby, but people like to get all worked up when people do shit that they disagree with. Now that Haid is older, and we are looking into our own family, Ash and I have been talking to Jeffrey quite often about how and why he is raising Haid to be a natural baby, vaccine free and nutritionally as well. He gave us a couple of books on Vaccines that so far seem to be very middle of the road, just the facts, good and bad. I have a lot of research to do before we decide what will be right for our baby, but I trust that as long as we strive to be as educated as possible, things will fall right into place. I am also slowly but surely peeking into the world of natural birth. I have nothing against hospital births. In fact, I would like to be a labor and delivery nurse when I am done with my degree. However, I enjoy the idea of giving birth with a midwife in a birthing center, just because it’s much easier to have control over your labor and delivery. It’s much less restrictive. Of course, these are both things that we have a while to talk and make decisions about. I managed to find a book at Bookman’s that is all about combining holistic and modern techniques to build a birthing plan. I guess we will see how that goes! Looks like I have a lot of reading to do… Ash ordered me the Mayo Clinic Guide (it’s my favorite, I can’t help it) and it’s in the mailbox as we speak! She’s picking it up on her way home from work today 😀 I will have a lot of reading to do for sure.

Tomorrow is our first appointment with our fertility doctor… I had a meeting with HR today to talk about my options for leave… this is all getting so real! I know that it’s real because even though I am scared shitless, I keep moving forward. It’s incredible how different the world feels.

Peace out!