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Breastfeeding in Public

After I read the article on the woman who was removed from a store in the local mall for breastfeeding, I was appalled and a little scared. Could I too go out in public and have an employee ask me to leave for breastfeeding? Or have a stranger look at me in disgust. It's a little scary. All I am doing from my point of view is feeding my baby. It is completly normal to me. Yet I found myself at Super Walmart this weekend with a crying baby and I knew the only thing that would soothe him was nursing. So I found a bench which was between the food section and the clothes section and fed him as discretly as I could. I never noticed any dirty looks and no one bothered me at all. So why is it that people get so offended anyway? What could be dirty about a little baby getting the best nourishment they can get? I mean can you really look at a woman and think that it is sexual that she has a baby at her breast? What is it pedophilia? I just don't get it. I mean if you are a woman and make the choice to not breastfeed, thats one thing. But to judge another woman and think there is something wrong with them? I personally have not encountered many people who had anything bad to say about breastfeeding, but after all the stoires I hear I have to wonder.

Belly Hair and Other Horror Stories

Pregnancy. Some women love it, some hate it. I can't really say I was one of those women that loved it. As a matter of fact, I was one of those women that really just wanted to smack all the women who walked around talking about their "glow" and how they just loved it. Glow. I'll tell you what that glow was- sweat. This last time I was pregnant I would get so hot and sweaty I couldn't believe it (and I do not normally sweat much). I was glowing like a sumo wrestler chasing down the ice cream man on a hot summer day. Not a pretty picture.

Don't get me wrong. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. The miracle of birth; the amazing capability of the human body to create life. It's just not fun when you are so naseaus for three months you can barely eat, then are so hungry that you are going to literally rip someone's head off because you need to eat RIGHT NOW! Not to mention the long list of other symptoms, all of which I seemed to be afflicted by. Here's a new one I didn't even know about. Belly hair. Yes. Belly hair. I mean sure I've got a little bit of soft, cute and light colored hair on my stomache. Barely noticable. After about the fifth month or so, it started to become apparent that my cute little belly hairs were becoming longer and darker. Talk about horrified. I was already feeling fat and bloated and getting the complexion of a teenager, so getting hairy too was yet another reason for my already out of control hormones to take another plunge into depression. And I soon came to realize it wasn't just my belly hair. I noticed my leg hair started to grow much faster also to the point where i would shave (that is while I still could) and within a few days I would look like I just came back from Woodstock. When you can barely reach your legs to shave and have to continue to let them grow into small forests, it doesn't do alot for your self esteem. So now I have that "special glow", I'm hairy and I can't lean over the counter to see in the mirror to put my make-up on. Maybe it's just me (and thousands of other women), but I this does not make for a happy time.

My Birth Story

As a mother of three, I have had the chance to experience birth in three very different ways. The birth of my first son was a hospital birth, and traumatic to say the least. The birth of my second son was at a birthing center, and very lovely. The birth of my third son, the one I will tell you about, was at home, and absolutly amazing.

It had been a long hard pregnancy for me this time around. I had major water retention, gained a severe amount of weight, had high blood sugar and almost didn't get to have the baby at home. On Sept. 5th I went in for a routine Midwife appt on my 39th week. I was reluctant to go, because I was at the point in my pregnancy where I thought I was never going to have the baby. My midwife, however was very incouraging and told me we wouldnt make another appt for the next week because she was sure I would have the baby by then. I was not so sure, but agreed nonetheless.

My husband and our two sons left the appt and headed for the grocery store to get something quick to make for dinner. Once we got into the store and began walkng around, my contractions began. I was in denial at first, but the contractions were strong enough that I could barely walk. I don't think my poor husband really knew what was going on. Finally we got to the car and I told him I thought I was having contractions, so we hurried home.

Once home, I began timing my contractions. They were about 5-6 minutes apart. I began walking around to make sure they kept coming while my husband made dinner. I was feeling really anxious and restless wanting to make sure this was "it", so I kept trying to find something to do like laundry or help ny husband. Finally I sat down and we called our midwife. She asked us to time the contractions for another half an hour, then call back. I was sure I was in labor, so I called my parents had let them know.

A half an hour later, the contractions were still 5-6 minutes apart, so we let our midwife know and she said she would be on her way. I was excited and sure that I would have a quick labor. Boy was I wrong.

Once the midwife arrived, she began to prepare the birthing space with help from my husband. I continued to walk around anxiously, wanting to make sure the baby's room was in order. I tried to relax and watch tv with my parents who had arrived right before my midwife, but I found it harder and harder to do. Finally I decieded to take a shower in hopes that it would help me feel better. After that I tried to watch tv again, but it was useless. The contractions were becoming to strong to be aware of my surrondings.

I went to lay down in my bed and tried to find a way to handle the contractions. They were now 2-3 minutes apart and becoming more and more painful. When my midwife checked me, I had barely dialated. I was really dissapointed and wanted things to move along faster. Unfortunatly, they didn't. I went on like that through the whole night. At one point I got up and walked around for awhile until I was just exhausted. Finally I gave in and went to sleep the best I could.

At around six in the morning, I woke up, more anxious then ever. I couldnt understand why my body didnt want to dialate. I tried walking around my bedroom, hoping and hoping it would do something. My midwives went to get breakfast. My poor parents had been up most of the night waiting and I felt horrible that they had to wait for so long. All I wanted was to finally make progess and have my son so i could hold him.

About 10 am on the 6th, my midwives asked me if I wanted to break my water. It was a possibility that that amount of water I had been retaining was getting in the way of making progess. I said 'yes' and we proceeded. I couldn't believe the amount of water that came out of me. I felt like I was sitting in a bathtub. The water just kept coming and coming, but i felt such relief to get rid of it all finally!

And thats when I knew I would finally have the baby. The contractions felt different and I knew they were doing something now. The pain was getting more and more intense to the point where all I could do was get through them. I coulndt even move. I got into the birthing tub and was able to relax a little. It wasnt long after that I felt the urge to push. I told my husband to get into the tub. He sat behind me and put his arms around me. He told me later that everytime I had a contraction it was like thunder going through the water.

Slowly I began pushing, not wanting to strain myself. The urge became stronger and stronger. It wasn't long before his head was emerging and my midwife put a mirror down so I could see it. It was amazing! It gave me the strength to keep going. Once he was out, my midwife put him on my chest. I held him and cried and told him I loved him. I had waited a very long time to met him and I was very happy!

The three of us sat there in the tub for awhile and just basked in our love. It was a wonderful moment. There was no intervention - no one taking him to weigh him, or clean him or put drops in his eyes. He was perfect and beautiful and everything felt so right. It was something that I would definatly do again, and i would have to say, anyone who is contemplating a home birth, try it!

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