One of my goals for birthday season this year was to write up the Blessings' birth stories and post them on their birthdays. The first three birthdays went by so quickly that I didn't get to any of them (though I'd still like to get them done this summer). I've been working on Katie's, and though I'm not finished yet, I'll post the first installment of her story tonight on her birthday.
After a good deal of prayer and seeking counsel, we moved to Missouri in August of 2000. Even before we moved, and before I was pregnant with our fifth child, we began preparing for our first hospital birth. We had no desire to birth in a hospital unless there was a medical need to do so, but because independent midwives (like the certified professional midwives who had assisted with our first four births at home in Kansas) were illegal in Missouri, our options were limited. So the learning process began.
One of my first missions upon moving was to find out exactly what options were available to us in the St. Louis area. It was a long and frustrating process! Along the way, I met some wonderful ladies and got involved in Friends of Missouri Midwives – a life changing development, to say the least. After research, interviews, and countless phone calls, we connected with a neat CNM who had delivery privileges at a local hospital. We also began a lifetime friendship with a wonderful Christian lady who agreed to be our doula.
Throughout my pregnancy, I was in a state of learning. I had depended greatly on my midwife for my first four births, but I had a growing realization that there was much that I needed to learn for myself to prepare for birth in Missouri. I learned about birth, about myself, about hospital tests and procedures, and so much more. I read birth story after birth story online, and found that to be one of the most educational and empowering activities I engaged in while my baby grew.
Jonathan and I studied up on standard hospital protocol. We researched various tests and procedures for their evidence-based worth. We decided where we stood and why about a vast array of issues, and did our utmost to fulfill our responsibility to be well-informed decision makers on behalf of our growing child. This would serve us well during labor and delivery. Our only regret is that we were not better prepared for what would happen after the birth...
Katie's Birth Story -
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, The Power of a Picture