Do you have a birth mentor/inspiration? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that we all tend to just hear the negative side of pregnancy - the horror stories and things that just make us worry more. And while it's so unfortunate that these things do happen, sometimes it's overwhelming that it seems to be all we hear.

I thought it might be nice to have a thread filled with nothing but positive stories and role models. So if you have an inspiring birth story or an amazing mama to share about, please do!

kati , wife to josh , mama to j&d (7.31.07) marion (9.18.08), feeder of nanuq and gracie lou
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#2 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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I've found Gloria Lemay's writing to be very uplifting. She's got an article about pelvises that talks about itty bitty women that look like they couldn't birth a tennis ball, can birth huge babies easily (my sister fits that description beautifully!). I find her positive attitude about women's bodies and ability to birth without a lot of fiddling around to be very encouraging.

Leilah McCracken, who seems to have disappeared, has also inspired me greatly.

Kiley
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#3 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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If you're looking for beautiful birth stories, I find HomebirthUK quite relaxing. Two of the mamas on there are inspirations to me- Deborah, who co-mods one of my Yahoo group, keeps me sane during the last weeks of pregnancy because she tends to go even later than I do, and Angela just has a beautiful way with words. I'm really glad she got a girl at last and can hand down her birth knowledge to another generation, though I'm sure she's never thought of it like that.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#4 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth was like my bible in my last pregnancy. I would have to list her as well as my midwives and all of the mamas I've met here and IRL who truly believe in birth as a natural process.

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#5 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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I second Ina May, I just her! I have several of her books and she has got everything right on imho.
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#6 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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My friend and doula, Monica, is so inspiring to me. She became pregnant when she was 18, unplanned, and had a natural home birth. She paid for it herself over several years, and breastfed and babywore her son. While he was still young she finished her college degree and now she's in grad school. Her birth experience was so moving for her that she became a doula and CBE and she's this amazing, calm, nurturing person. I feel like it's a total privilege to know her, and I feel like if she could do it at 18 then I should be able to do it at 26, with a partner, right??

In general I'm in awe of young Moms. I've had 2 young Mom clients. My first doula client ever was 20 when she had her second son. She raised her kids alone while her husband was deployed, while finishing her degree in engineering. She breastfed and cloth diapered her kids. Another client had an unplanned pregnancy at 18 and found out it was twins. She was really upset by her birth experience at a hospital and I think she will become an amazing advocate for women. I hope I can do half of what these amazing women have done!

Lauren (33), writer, recovering academic, WOHM to a highly sensitive child (Robin, Feb '08) and mellow little Holly (Jan '10). Newly diagnosed Bipolar I. rolleyes.gif
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#7 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My cousin Angie is such an inspiration for me. She and her husband had four children (five pregnancies) in eight years and she's such an incredible mother.

All of her children were born vaginally and fairly naturally, although in a hospital. I'm not sure anyone ever presented homebirth to her, or I imagine she would have considered it. She did have her last child with an epidural though, because, in her words she wanted to see what all the fuss was about! She hated it it though, because she said made her feel really disconnected from her body and she was glad she didn't have it with any of her other children.

Did I mention all of her children were over 10lbs?

But the reason she's my inspiration is because on the last birth, she had to have some internal reconstruction done afterwards and she had her tubes tied. Because this was her fourth big child, both she and her husband knew this one would be born with blood sugar issues (either high or low, I can't remember which) and the hospital would demand that they feed them right away. Well because she was in recovery longer than normal, her husband was in the nursery with the baby, fighting with the nurses, telling them not to give Morgan Jane a bottle, that as soon as Angie was out, she would breastfeed her. Well the moment his back was turned, the nurse popped a bottle in. I realize this is a bit of a horror story, and against my point with this thread all together, but, it does have a good point! Because of the initial bottle feeding, Morgan had massive issues with breast feeding. I remember going out to eat once with them when Morgan was a month old, and Angie had to ask the waiter to microwave the bottle of formula, then it was too hot, so she had to wait for it to cool, and the whole time Morgan was screaming. And Angie just looked at me and said, "This is why, if you can, you breastfeed." Anyway, she never gave up. She pumped, she did everything she could, and when Morgan was three or four months old, they established an amazing breastfeeding relationship that I they still have to this day, and Morgan is almost three.

So Angie is my inspiration, because really, it was exposure to her and her thoughts that led me to explore AP (before my husband and I even met!) and really convinced me that breastfeeding is worth it, no matter what you have to go through to do it and she is just such an awesome woman and a real inspiration to me.

(Also, to any mamas that read that this bottle feed, please know that it's not my intention to make anyone feel bad about their choice. I know that for some people, bottle feeding really is the best option and in the end, having healthy children, no matter how they got that way, is really the only thing that matters.)

kati , wife to josh , mama to j&d (7.31.07) marion (9.18.08), feeder of nanuq and gracie lou
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#8 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Ina May Gaskin and Laura Shanley

After 2 managed hospital births- I started studying to be a Doula. My 2nd daughter was only 2 months old when I read Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and ever since then I wanted a homebirth. Then after reading Laura Shanley's website I knew I had to have a UC. Reading that book and that website really gave me the confidence to believe in my body's ability to do what it was designed to do.
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#9 of 17 Old 07-06-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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Definitely adding my vote for Ina May. Her book blew my mind. I had no idea there were even possibilities like the ones she described.

I am blessed to have three mentor mamas. One has a ten year old, and three year old twins, one has a two year old, and the last has a two month old. They are accepting, thoughtful, and gentle. At the same time they don't try to hide the frustrations and the pain. I feel like I've gotten a good look into parenting as it could be, and it gives me hope I might be okay at this baby raising thing.

Mama to EG, Mate to MD, Writer, Editor, International Jewel Thief.
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#10 of 17 Old 07-07-2007, 05:57 AM
 
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If we're looking at writers as well, I love Mary Cronk. She talked with me a lot before Skye was born (breech for long enough to make me worry) and we would have booked with her, if she could have got to us in time.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#11 of 17 Old 07-08-2007, 09:20 AM
 
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My best friend is probably a main factor in me having had as natural of a childbirth in a hospital 2 times, breastfed both babies for almost 2 years each, and helped me discover how right homebirth is for me. She really helped me challenge alot of views that I never really thought very thoroughly about, i.e. never even really heard of women breastfeeding before, wierd sounding I know but never seen it or heard women talk about it before I did it with mine.
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#12 of 17 Old 07-09-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

My earliest inspiration was my friend's mother when I was little. I met her when I was 7ish. She was extended breastfeeding her youngest who had been born at home. She was also really active in LLL, so I attended several gatherings with them. To be honest, at the time I thought she was a bit of a freak. She planted the seed in me though. Now that I've nursed two babies longer than average and experienced a HBAC, I am so greatful to her.
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#13 of 17 Old 07-10-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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I echo the support for Ina May Gaskin. I read her childbirth book many times when I was pregnant so it would all stick in my head, and indeed her words came back to me during the toughest times in my labor. It was like she was there with me in spirit so I would definitely consider her to be an inspiration to me. I got to "meet" her (go to her live talk) a few months ago and it brought tears to my eyes to hear her speak at times. I'm a big mush like that.

I also have met two homebirthing mamas IRL since my own birth that have inspired me greatly. And through them, a most amazing midwife. I feel very blessed because I have truly gotten to the point where I can toss off any negative things I heard because I have found so many positives and feel very empowered as a result.
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#14 of 17 Old 07-10-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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I, too, love Ina May Gaskin and the wonderful mamas in her books. I read Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth each pregnancy - mainly the birth stories.

I also have several friends who have been very inspiring to me - one giving birth unassisted twice after a hospital birth ... one having a homebirth with her first, then going on to have a birth center birth (ending in c-section) and then a planned c-section - but fighting every step of the way to have the birth she wanted, yet realizing the limitations of her body at the time she was ready to birth her third child (the c-section was absolutely medically necessary). Yet another how homebirthed twins....

My journey as a mother has definitely evolved. I had a horrible medicated hospital birth with A - I could go on and on about what the doctors and nurses put me through, but I won't. When I got pg with Z, I took a Bradley class and came away from it feeling completley empowered and successfully birthed Z naturally in the hospital (different hospital with a laid back OB!). I birthed H in the water in a birth center (midwife attended) and finally birthed C at home in the water. C's birth was the most wonderful birth experience of them all - serene, intense, pain-free, amazing, joyous - I'm very much looking forward to labor and birth again!!! (C was 10lbs 14oz and 22.25in - and whenever I tell people that the first thing they ask is if I had a c-section. I love to see their jaws drop when I explain he was born at home after 7 minutes of pushing, completely pain free! )

Great thread!!!
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#15 of 17 Old 07-10-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Actually my birth mentor is a lady here in my town! Talk about inspirational!
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#16 of 17 Old 07-10-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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Definitely Ina May. I discovered Spiritual Midwifery in a little headshop when I was 14. When I was pg with dd her new book was recently out and I loved that one all through my pg.

A few months ago I discovered through the UC forum Laurie Morgan's The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth. It's wonderful!!!! I appreciated Laura Shanley's book as well (which I own and have read a gazillion times).

I feel though, that I am my own mentor. Except for interference from my mw, dd's birth was perfect and I could have done it with just dh there. We communicated without speech, he knew just what I wanted from him. This time I envision laboring with candles lit, in our jet tub and kneeling next to our bed, giving birth next to our bed with dh there to support me. I see myself pulling our child from my body with perfect calmness and complete silence.
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#17 of 17 Old 07-10-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletbegonias19 View Post
Definitely Ina May. I discovered Spiritual Midwifery in a little headshop when I was 14.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletbegonias19 View Post
A few months ago I discovered through the UC forum Laurie Morgan's The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth. It's wonderful!!!! I appreciated Laura Shanley's book as well (which I own and have read a gazillion times).
I'm gonna have to check that out.

Jen read.gif Mama of 2 precious boys blowkiss.gif (9)  flowersforyou.gif (6)  and still in heartbeat.gif with my Matt hat.gif after 12 years together. 

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